Mike's Trainer Thread

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The LSAT Trainer
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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:38 pm

Journey180 wrote:Hey Mike,

Question: In the Manhattan book, it has an example that reads, " Sally owns more cookbooks than Finn. Therefore, Sally is a better cook than Finn." Then, the Manhattan book explains that " Fin is a cooking school instructor and the books Sally owns were written by Finn" is a possible answer to a weaken question regarding the said argument. Manhattan also says this is, however, not a necessary assumption. My question, and it would really help to get an answer on it because there are other implications in my studies, is: would the negation and thus rendering of the weakener to "Fin is not a cooking school instructor or did not write the books Sally owns" then turn it into a necessary assumption? I'm asking because I'm thinking of possible applications of the negation test...perhaps in reverse-negations? Like find something that hurts the argument then negate it and that automatically becomes a necessary assumption.


Hi there --

I had a little bit of difficulty understanding your question, so please let me know if you are asking about something else (and if so, sorry for wasting your time) --

Also, I think that in general MLSAT, which has their own people on these boards, would prefer to get q's that are specifically about MLSAT materials sent their way -- however, I did write that portion of the book (while staring at a row of cookbooks on my living room wall), so I'm more than happy to give my thoughts --

I think what you are asking is whether you can use the negation test on the negations of strengthen answers, or on weaken answers created by negating the strengthen answer, in order to test out the answer choices -- in either case, the answer is no (wow is that a complicated sentence! but that's your fault, not mine :)). Strengthen and weaken answers are not answers that necessarily have to be true in order for the argument to work, and so I think the negation test, no matter how you rearrange the elements, does you very little good.

HTH -- please reach out if it doesn't or if you need anything else -- Mike

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby Journey180 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:49 pm

The LSAT Trainer wrote:
Journey180 wrote:Hey Mike,

Question: In the Manhattan book, it has an example that reads, " Sally owns more cookbooks than Finn. Therefore, Sally is a better cook than Finn." Then, the Manhattan book explains that " Fin is a cooking school instructor and the books Sally owns were written by Finn" is a possible answer to a weaken question regarding the said argument. Manhattan also says this is, however, not a necessary assumption. My question, and it would really help to get an answer on it because there are other implications in my studies, is: would the negation and thus rendering of the weakener to "Fin is not a cooking school instructor or did not write the books Sally owns" then turn it into a necessary assumption? I'm asking because I'm thinking of possible applications of the negation test...perhaps in reverse-negations? Like find something that hurts the argument then negate it and that automatically becomes a necessary assumption.


Hi there --

I had a little bit of difficulty understanding your question, so please let me know if you are asking about something else (and if so, sorry for wasting your time) --

Also, I think that in general MLSAT, which has their own people on these boards, would prefer to get q's that are specifically about MLSAT materials sent their way -- however, I did write that portion of the book (while staring at a row of cookbooks on my living room wall), so I'm more than happy to give my thoughts --

I think what you are asking is whether you can use the negation test on the negations of strengthen answers, or on weaken answers created by negating the strengthen answer, in order to test out the answer choices -- in either case, the answer is no (wow is that a complicated sentence! but that's your fault, not mine :)). Strengthen and weaken answers are not answers that necessarily have to be true in order for the argument to work, and so I think the negation test, no matter how you rearrange the elements, does you very little good.

HTH -- please reach out if it doesn't or if you need anything else -- Mike


Thanks Mike,

But... I guess I should rephrase my question. Maybe it's best to think of my question as not limited to strengthen/weaken types. Let's think of my question as regarding to the necessary assumption question type. For example we have this core:

Sally has more cookbooks than Finn --> So, Sally is a better cook than Finn

Let's also say we have " Finn is a master chef and wrote all of Sally's books."
I admit this by itself is not necessary for this particular argument because negating it would actually help rather than weaken it (thereby failing the negation test).

However...wouldn't the negation itself be a necessary assumption? For example:

Sally has more cookbooks than Finn --> ( nec assump: Finn is not a master chef or did not write Sally's books)-->So, Sally is a better cook than Finn

This proposed necessary assumption would pass the negation test because negating it would "weaken" the argument. right?

Thanks in advance,
J180

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:18 pm

Journey180 wrote:
The LSAT Trainer wrote:
Journey180 wrote:Hey Mike,

Question: In the Manhattan book, it has an example that reads, " Sally owns more cookbooks than Finn. Therefore, Sally is a better cook than Finn." Then, the Manhattan book explains that " Fin is a cooking school instructor and the books Sally owns were written by Finn" is a possible answer to a weaken question regarding the said argument. Manhattan also says this is, however, not a necessary assumption. My question, and it would really help to get an answer on it because there are other implications in my studies, is: would the negation and thus rendering of the weakener to "Fin is not a cooking school instructor or did not write the books Sally owns" then turn it into a necessary assumption? I'm asking because I'm thinking of possible applications of the negation test...perhaps in reverse-negations? Like find something that hurts the argument then negate it and that automatically becomes a necessary assumption.


Hi there --

I had a little bit of difficulty understanding your question, so please let me know if you are asking about something else (and if so, sorry for wasting your time) --

Also, I think that in general MLSAT, which has their own people on these boards, would prefer to get q's that are specifically about MLSAT materials sent their way -- however, I did write that portion of the book (while staring at a row of cookbooks on my living room wall), so I'm more than happy to give my thoughts --

I think what you are asking is whether you can use the negation test on the negations of strengthen answers, or on weaken answers created by negating the strengthen answer, in order to test out the answer choices -- in either case, the answer is no (wow is that a complicated sentence! but that's your fault, not mine :)). Strengthen and weaken answers are not answers that necessarily have to be true in order for the argument to work, and so I think the negation test, no matter how you rearrange the elements, does you very little good.

HTH -- please reach out if it doesn't or if you need anything else -- Mike


Thanks Mike,

But... I guess I should rephrase my question. Maybe it's best to think of my question as not limited to strengthen/weaken types. Let's think of my question as regarding to the necessary assumption question type. For example we have this core:

Sally has more cookbooks than Finn --> So, Sally is a better cook than Finn

Let's also say we have " Finn is a master chef and wrote all of Sally's books."
I admit this by itself is not necessary for this particular argument because negating it would actually help rather than weaken it (thereby failing the negation test).

However...wouldn't the negation itself be a necessary assumption? For example:

Sally has more cookbooks than Finn --> ( nec assump: Finn is not a master chef or did not write Sally's books)-->So, Sally is a better cook than Finn

This proposed necessary assumption would pass the negation test because negating it would "weaken" the argument. right?

Thanks in advance,
J180


Hi there --

Just to clear things up (and sorry if this is obvious or redundant) --

A necessary assumption is something that absolutely must be true if the reasoning is to be used to justify the conclusion.

The negation test is simply a tool to gauge how good a necessary assumption answer you picked, the reasoning being that if an assumption is necessary, the negation of it should hurt the argument.

The part you wrote in above is in not a necessary assumption -- it does not need to be true that Finn is not a master chef, and it does not need to be true that Finn did not write the books -- Finn could be a master chef, and he could have written her books, and the argument could still be perfectly valid.

Does that help clear things up?

- Mike

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby Journey180 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:45 pm

The LSAT Trainer wrote:
Journey180 wrote:
The LSAT Trainer wrote:
Journey180 wrote:Hey Mike,

Question: In the Manhattan book, it has an example that reads, " Sally owns more cookbooks than Finn. Therefore, Sally is a better cook than Finn." Then, the Manhattan book explains that " Fin is a cooking school instructor and the books Sally owns were written by Finn" is a possible answer to a weaken question regarding the said argument. Manhattan also says this is, however, not a necessary assumption. My question, and it would really help to get an answer on it because there are other implications in my studies, is: would the negation and thus rendering of the weakener to "Fin is not a cooking school instructor or did not write the books Sally owns" then turn it into a necessary assumption? I'm asking because I'm thinking of possible applications of the negation test...perhaps in reverse-negations? Like find something that hurts the argument then negate it and that automatically becomes a necessary assumption.


Hi there --

I had a little bit of difficulty understanding your question, so please let me know if you are asking about something else (and if so, sorry for wasting your time) --

Also, I think that in general MLSAT, which has their own people on these boards, would prefer to get q's that are specifically about MLSAT materials sent their way -- however, I did write that portion of the book (while staring at a row of cookbooks on my living room wall), so I'm more than happy to give my thoughts --

I think what you are asking is whether you can use the negation test on the negations of strengthen answers, or on weaken answers created by negating the strengthen answer, in order to test out the answer choices -- in either case, the answer is no (wow is that a complicated sentence! but that's your fault, not mine :)). Strengthen and weaken answers are not answers that necessarily have to be true in order for the argument to work, and so I think the negation test, no matter how you rearrange the elements, does you very little good.

HTH -- please reach out if it doesn't or if you need anything else -- Mike


Thanks Mike,

But... I guess I should rephrase my question. Maybe it's best to think of my question as not limited to strengthen/weaken types. Let's think of my question as regarding to the necessary assumption question type. For example we have this core:

Sally has more cookbooks than Finn --> So, Sally is a better cook than Finn

Let's also say we have " Finn is a master chef and wrote all of Sally's books."
I admit this by itself is not necessary for this particular argument because negating it would actually help rather than weaken it (thereby failing the negation test).

However...wouldn't the negation itself be a necessary assumption? For example:

Sally has more cookbooks than Finn --> ( nec assump: Finn is not a master chef or did not write Sally's books)-->So, Sally is a better cook than Finn

This proposed necessary assumption would pass the negation test because negating it would "weaken" the argument. right?

Thanks in advance,
J180


Hi there --

Just to clear things up (and sorry if this is obvious or redundant) --

A necessary assumption is something that absolutely must be true if the reasoning is to be used to justify the conclusion.

The negation test is simply a tool to gauge how good a necessary assumption answer you picked, the reasoning being that if an assumption is necessary, the negation of it should hurt the argument.

The part you wrote in above is in not a necessary assumption -- it does not need to be true that Finn is not a master chef, and it does not need to be true that Finn did not write the books -- Finn could be a master chef, and he could have written her books, and the argument could still be perfectly valid.

Does that help clear things up?

- Mike


Actually, that clears everything up Mike. Thanks! Besides, I believe I might have just had a memory lapse of some of the most important lessons of Chapter 3. I remember them now. I know the necessary assumption has to obliterate the argument beyond repair if it is negated; and, if we weaken the argument, it doesn't have to obliterate the argument in the same way. That is the very reason why weaken answers can be so specific because they don't have to pass the negation test.

Right? If not right, please give me a counterexample.

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:12 pm

You got it -- glad it was helpful -- Mike

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby ManoftheHour » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:05 pm

Should I do LSAT Trainer before continuing my drills? What do you guys think? So far, I've been reading a chapter from Manhattan, then doing the corresponding drills to the chapter.

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby LeCanada » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:50 pm

Any plans to put the book on Amazon.ca? I've heard amazing things from others on here and I want in on this at some point.

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:03 pm

LeCanada wrote:Any plans to put the book on Amazon.ca? I've heard amazing things from others on here and I want in on this at some point.


Hi there -- Can you not order it in Canada? I didn't realize -- I just tried looking it up on .ca and found it -- http://www.amazon.ca/The-LSAT-Trainer-M ... _952598_43 -- but it could be that I can see it because I am in the U.S. -- Thanks for being interested in the book and let me know if you have any questions about it -- Mike.

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby flash21 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:11 pm

mike what is your honest opinion on the logic chain for manhattan logic games

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby LeCanada » Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:37 am

The LSAT Trainer wrote:
LeCanada wrote:Any plans to put the book on Amazon.ca? I've heard amazing things from others on here and I want in on this at some point.


Hi there -- Can you not order it in Canada? I didn't realize -- I just tried looking it up on .ca and found it -- http://www.amazon.ca/The-LSAT-Trainer-M ... _952598_43 -- but it could be that I can see it because I am in the U.S. -- Thanks for being interested in the book and let me know if you have any questions about it -- Mike.


Thanks! I had honestly looked a few before but it kept taking me to the American Amazon for some reason. Much appreciated!

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby All Star » Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:43 am

I just got my copy in the mail this morning!!!! Hopefully it can help me out, since yesterday I scored a 159 on a PT with a dismal -17 LR total. I heard that this book is great for LR so hopefully it could help me refine my strategies and help me get the 165+ score that I need in October!

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:43 pm

flash21 wrote:mike what is your honest opinion on the logic chain for manhattan logic games


I came up with the logic chain, and I like to think that some test takers have benefitted from it --

However, I didn't include it in the trainer, and I no longer suggest it to students --

The big benefit of the Logic Chain is that it helps you see conditional links quickly and relatively easily -- once the chain is set up properly, it can help you make inferences faster. It does not, btw, give you inferences or allow you to see things that you couldn't see otherwise.

The big drawbacks of the chain are a) it's only helpful in certain situations (and sometimes it's tough to know when it will be helpful), and b) it has a high rate of user error -- in my experience, even when students know the conditional rules, they can make mistakes in terms of setting up the diagram, or they can get stuck because the diagram gets too messy, or they have problems reading their diagram. The chain also doesn't work as well when a game has multiple dimensions, or when the rules get unusual -- you end up thinking about how to fit the game to the diagram, rather than the diagram to the game, and that puts you at a disadvantage.

When I work on curriculum, I try to do my best to think about different types of students at different levels -- in this regard, I'm not convinced the logic chain helps those it's supposed to help -- here's what I mean --

I think the logic chain is most attractive to those who are weaker at conditional logic, but, unfortunately, these are the people who are most likely to make mistakes in implementing the logic chain.It's very difficult to consistently set up effective logic chains when you are not automatic at conditional logic, and if you make a mistake on the chain during the test it can put you in a very tough spot.

I think the chain is most helpful for shaving some time for those who are already great at conditional logic, but, fortunately or unfortunately, these are the very people don't need the chain -- they can see those inference links without the chain -- and the little speed benefit they would get from it doesn't offset the increased work/chances for error.

In my experience, the absolute key to these types of games is mastery over conditional logic. If you have this mastery, you can use any variety of methods and they will work out for you. If you're not as comfortable with conditional rules, no diagram is going to give you the consistency necessary for a top score. If you have this mastery, a simple diagram is all you need (and I offer some simpler alternatives to the chain in the trainer), and a simpler diagram gives you less chance for error/makes it easier to recover from an error. And if you don't have this mastery, a more complex diagram will work like magic on certain games, but leave you totally stuck on others -- to me, that level of risk is not worth it.

The people at Manhattan or the students who are better at using the chain than I am may disagree, but those are my general thoughts -- hope that helps, and please let me know if you have further q's --

Mike

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby Louis1127 » Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:19 pm

Just made the purchase. May not start my study and go through it until a little later this year (or Jan '14 at the absolute latest) but will definitely post (most likely positive) reviews once I do.

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby Nicolena. » Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:17 pm

In the beginning of your book, I remember reading about the different reasons you may be getting the questions incorrect. I've come to the realization that I am able to read the stimulus and identify the information properly and I think about the reasoning properly. However, when I reach the answers I'm not thinking right anymore. I've taken detailed notes each time I do questions to record my process and see where it goes wrong and this is where it's happening. Do you know how I can correct this or maybe why this is happening? Am I possibly rushing through the answers too quickly?

Thanks again.

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:43 pm

Nicolena. wrote:In the beginning of your book, I remember reading about the different reasons you may be getting the questions incorrect. I've come to the realization that I am able to read the stimulus and identify the information properly and I think about the reasoning properly. However, when I reach the answers I'm not thinking right anymore. I've taken detailed notes each time I do questions to record my process and see where it goes wrong and this is where it's happening. Do you know how I can correct this or maybe why this is happening? Am I possibly rushing through the answers too quickly?

Thanks again.


Hi Nicolena -- here are some suggestions -- obviously I know very little about you, so I'm not quite sure what advice would be most useful -- I'm sure you know better than I what best relates to your situation, so feel free to ignore whatever you think doesn't apply to you -- btw, I seem to recall reading that you are already testing at a fairly high level -- I'm giving my advice assuming this is the case, but if it isn't, what I would say would be quite different, so please let me know --

1) The two things you initially mentioned -- reading the stimulus properly and seeing the reasoning properly -- are the two most important aspects of LR -- and even at the 180 level, you can continue to get better and better at those things. I'm really happy to hear that you feel comfortable with those skills, but I encourage you to keep pushing yourself to get even better.

In my experience teaching, when students say they are in control of an LR stimulus but can't differentiate the answers, or when they say they can read an RC passage well but they just don't understand the questions, or when they say they are great at LG diagramming and setup but that it's the questions that end up confusing them -- the vast majority of the time, the student is not doing that first step as well as he/she could/should, and the struggles with the questions and answers are a consequence of not having as strong an initial understanding as is necessary (for example, the student understands each part of the stimulus of an LR argument but doesn't actively prioritize and focus correctly, or a student can set up a correct LG diagram, but isn't comfortable to the point of being able to use that diagram to think through questions, etc.). Again, this may not pertain to you, but do know that from a teacher's perspective, this is what I have seen again and again. Keep in mind that the entire purpose of doing everything well in the stimulus is to put yourself in the best position to evaluate the answers -- so if you are not finding yourself in an ideal place to evaluate answers, it makes sense to reevaluate how well you are truly doing with the stimulus.

2) The answer choice needs to match the stimulus, and it needs to match the task in the question stem. If you aren't haven't trouble connecting the answers to the stimulus, the main other possibility is that you are having trouble connecting to the task. Make sure you have a very specific understanding of what each type of question is asking for, and make sure that your actions are based on this understanding -- that is, that you focus on eliminating answers because they don't match the stimulus or don't fit the role, and then that you verify the right answer based on those two specific gauges.

3) The last tip I have is to really work on being aggressive with the answers. Don't take in the answers passively -- go into the wrong answers with specific instincts about what you are looking for and actively search for reasons why answers are wrong. When you think you have a right answer, don't just rely on intuition -- activity match it up word for word with the stimulus, and actively explain to yourself how the answer fits the task. I believe that the more you stay on the offensive, the easier it is to retain your focus.

Again, not sure which of the above pertains to you, but I hope you find at least some of it helpful -- reach out if you need anything else --

Mike

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby objection_your_honor » Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:36 pm

Quick question: do you recommend against taking the India LSAT exams? There are 4 available for free online from LSAC. I have seen all released PTs and so it looks like an opportunity to see new material.

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:42 pm

objection_your_honor wrote:Quick question: do you recommend against taking the India LSAT exams? There are 4 available for free online from LSAC. I have seen all released PTs and so it looks like an opportunity to see new material.


Hey -- I honestly don't know much about them and just took a quick look in order to answer the q --

I think they are fine to practice with, but unfortunately I don't think much of it is new material -- taking a quick look at the first sample -- I recognize all of the games as being alterations of U.S. versions -- with three recycling centers in Ganga Nagar instead of Rivertown (hilarious - I bet that was Pearson's doing), for example, and I also recognized a few of the LR as being exactly the same q's as those used in U.S. tests. And I imagine there are some altered LR q's (same skeleton, subjects changed) in the same way there are altered games -- it seems possible that they might skew LR more toward Indian norms, but considering that LSAC likes to think of itself as not being culturally biased (yeah, right), I would think that they probably wouldn't feel the need to do that. Obviously, with some q's not having five answers and such, and knowing nothing about their scoring scale and how it relates to ours, you can't use it for getting an accurate sense of section or PT performance, but I certainly don't see a problem in using the q's for drill work.

Hope you are enjoying (enjoyed?) the trainer -- you should get some props for being one of the first adopters -- take care --

Mike

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby Jeffort » Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:43 pm

objection_your_honor wrote:Quick question: do you recommend against taking the India LSAT exams? There are 4 available for free online from LSAC. I have seen all released PTs and so it looks like an opportunity to see new material.


Even though it's not my AMA thread I'll answer anyway.

Since they are real LSAT questions written and pre-tested by LSAC just like questions for the regular LSAT they are useful for practice, just not for score range prediction purposes.

All of the LSAT-India tests appear to be real previously administered regular LSAT test forms that were adapted (modified) to become LSAT-India tests. One of them is a modified version of the June 2007 test so you will have seen MOST of the questions if you used the June 2007 free LSAT. Another of them is for sure a test form that was previously used as a non-disclosed regular LSAT that was modified the same way as the June 2007 test so it's safe to assume that the other two are also modified LSAT tests that were previously used as non-disclosed regular LSAT test forms.

There are drawbacks to using them as practice tests: There is no score conversion chart to translate your performance into a scaled score. The highest difficulty level LR questions appear to have been removed from the USA version and replaced with other lower difficulty questions. Some of the sections only contain four instead of five answer choices to choose from. So, while a good source for fresh authentic LSAT questions to practice with, they are not ideal for timed practice test use since they are less difficult test forms overall and have no score scale.

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:48 pm

Jeffort wrote:
objection_your_honor wrote:Quick question: do you recommend against taking the India LSAT exams? There are 4 available for free online from LSAC. I have seen all released PTs and so it looks like an opportunity to see new material.


Even though it's not my AMA thread I'll answer anyway.

Since they are real LSAT questions written and pre-tested by LSAC just like questions for the regular LSAT they are useful for practice, just not for score range prediction purposes.

All of the LSAT-India tests appear to be real previously administered regular LSAT test forms that were adapted (modified) to become LSAT-India tests. One of them is a modified version of the June 2007 test so you will have seen MOST of the questions if you used the June 2007 free LSAT. Another of them is for sure a test form that was previously used as a non-disclosed regular LSAT that was modified the same way as the June 2007 test so it's safe to assume that the other two are also modified LSAT tests that were previously used as non-disclosed regular LSAT test forms.

There are drawbacks to using them as practice tests: There is no score conversion chart to translate your performance into a scaled score. The highest difficulty level LR questions appear to have been removed from the USA version and replaced with other lower difficulty questions. Some of the sections only contain four instead of five answer choices to choose from. So, while a good source for fresh authentic LSAT questions to practice with, they are not ideal for timed practice test use since they are less difficult test forms overall and have no score scale.


just like my answer, only better :) -- thanks for the info jeffort.

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby bimmer11 » Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:28 am

Hey Mike, quick question for you...

I was going through One Argument & Ten Answers on pg. 286 and got tripped up on the 4th set, specifically answer choice E and how it supports the argument. Maybe I misread the argument, but to me the premise is all about surgical methods and their timing in the operating room. How does having a lessened chance of complications days after surgery support the argument? I admit it's late and I might be missing something, but I'm at a loss here.

On a side note after 20 chapters, I have to say this is a great book!

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby scandk » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:32 pm

bimmer11 wrote:On a side note after 20 chapters, I have to say this is a great book!


I'd have to agree. It's helping me refine my LR skills quite a bit. I went 48/52 on my ID the flaw q drill set prior to reading the TRainer. After reading the Trainer's multiple chapters on flaws (as opposed to MLSAT's 1), and finishing the seemingly endless flaw drills, I 100/100'd my most recent ID the flaw drill set.

Currently hoping the other chapters are as good as what I've read so far

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby lawschool22 » Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:27 pm

Mike -

I recently completed the Manhattan LSAT Interact course, supplemented with the Cambridge drill packets. At this stage in my prep I have primarily moved to taking and reviewing practice tests. I do some drill refreshers from time to time based on any weaknesses uncovered from the PT process. I am taking the test in October, which leaves me with approximately 6.5 weeks of prep time.

With that said, do you feel the Trainer would be beneficial to me at this stage in the game? If so, how would you recommend I incorporate into my current studying? Is it possible to get through the Trainer in the remaining time that I have? Would you recommend doing only the drills in the book itself, since I will be taking the PT's on their own? Should I go through the entire book, or prioritize my weak areas?

Any help you can provide will be appreciated!

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:51 pm

bimmer11 wrote:Hey Mike, quick question for you...

I was going through One Argument & Ten Answers on pg. 286 and got tripped up on the 4th set, specifically answer choice E and how it supports the argument. Maybe I misread the argument, but to me the premise is all about surgical methods and their timing in the operating room. How does having a lessened chance of complications days after surgery support the argument? I admit it's late and I might be missing something, but I'm at a loss here.

On a side note after 20 chapters, I have to say this is a great book!



Hi Bimmer -- that's a mistake, and I'm so sorry! I'm looking at it now and honestly I don't know what the hell I was thinking --

There are three or four other small errors like that that others have caught, and I'll be posting about them in the next few days (as well as getting them fixed in the books) -- hopefully, it's the very last time I'll have to do this --

Glad you are liking the book, and again, so so sorry for the error -- I know how incredibly annoying that can be when you are working on aligning your habits correctly -- thanks for pointing it out, and if there is some way I can make it up to you (that is, you need extra help with something), please don't hesitate to pm --

Mike

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The LSAT Trainer
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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:14 pm

lawschool22 wrote:Mike -

I recently completed the Manhattan LSAT Interact course, supplemented with the Cambridge drill packets. At this stage in my prep I have primarily moved to taking and reviewing practice tests. I do some drill refreshers from time to time based on any weaknesses uncovered from the PT process. I am taking the test in October, which leaves me with approximately 6.5 weeks of prep time.

With that said, do you feel the Trainer would be beneficial to me at this stage in the game? If so, how would you recommend I incorporate into my current studying? Is it possible to get through the Trainer in the remaining time that I have? Would you recommend doing only the drills in the book itself, since I will be taking the PT's on their own? Should I go through the entire book, or prioritize my weak areas?

Any help you can provide will be appreciated!


Hi --

I'm not sure if you should get into the trainer -- I do know that a lot of people bought the book right before the June test, and those I heard from were very happy they did so, but obviously that's quite a self-selecting group (they felt they needed the book in the first place, and liked it enough to get in touch with me).

I know you are fairly far along in your process -- my suggestion to you is that you think about where you are at in terms of skills and habits, and if you think you need more help with skills, go ahead get into my book; if you think you've got the skills and it's more about habits, you may want to keep focusing on q drills and pts.

In terms of skills, you can break it down to --
1) do I understand all the concepts I'm supposed to understand as well as I should?
2) do I feel confident I have effective strategies for handling all the various issues that might arise?
3) do I feel confident in my ability to apply my understanding and strategies? (For example, are you comfortable enough with notating conditional statements so that you don't have to worry about making errors, and so that you can easily use your notation to think about the situation? Or do you feel a little bit shaky and have to think about how you notate, rather than the actual situation?)

If you don't free strong about any of the above, and if you don't feel confident that your current study tools can provide you with what you need, I think you should definitely go for the trainer and that you'll be very happy with it.

Again, if, at this point, you feel pretty good about your skills, and it's more a matter of getting better and better at doing what you know you are supposed to do, then it may be a better use of your time to just focus on firming up your habits.

I know that in real life self-eval is never so black and white and it's not so easy to differentiate skills and habits, but hopefully the above helps a bit in your decision.

Finally, in terms of how you should use the book should you get it -- I would suggest you read the four intro chapters first, and then from there decide whether you should go through the book completely, or whether you ought to just focus on drills, or on one section type etc. As I've mentioned before, I kind of think of the trainer like exercise equipment -- the more you use it, the better you'll get. The first four lessons will give you a very good sense of all the different ways that you can put it to use.

--BTW, in terms of looking at those first four chapters, please note that I am making some drastic changes to the website (hopefully to be completed in the next few days) and, as part of that, I'll be giving away the first five chapters, along with three others, for free -- so, if you are one the fence about whether the trainer will be a good use of your time, you may want to wait to see those --

Good luck and hope that helps -- whether u get the trainer or not, please get in touch if you need anything --

Mike

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paglababa
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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby paglababa » Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:37 pm

Mike,

I've done extensive drilling for LG and LR and have those done good enough. I'm PTing between 174 and 168 now which is quite a big range. I'd like to get it consistent in the upper 170s. My main weakness is RC. If I could get that down to a -1 through -3 I would be ecstatic and have 175+

I've been studying since the last week of June and writing the exam in October. Tips for improving RC? Being killed by inference questions. I'm thinking of buying the lsat trainer but only if it will help me in RC. To be honest, the only studying i did for RC was reading the entire MLSAT book and doing the sections on my practice exams.

Thanks.


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