Useful Answers + Hot Tips From Dave Hall of Velocity

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Dave Hall
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Re: Useful Answers + Hot Tips From Dave Hall of Velocity

Postby Dave Hall » Tue Sep 29, 2015 3:35 pm

kcho10 wrote:
This is awesome advice, thank you! Do you think if I stick to this, I will be able to make a significant improvement within 2 months?

Happy to help.

Of course, everybody's, you know, a beautiful distinct snowflake, so how much you learn (and how quickly) will be largely a matter of your own desire, aptitude, work ethic and your ability and willingness to set aside good study time.

Still, yes, I think that two months is enough time for most people to make meaningful improvement.

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Binghamton1018
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Re: Useful Answers + Hot Tips From Dave Hall of Velocity

Postby Binghamton1018 » Thu Oct 01, 2015 5:34 pm

Hey Mr. Hall, thank you for all the tips and strategies in this thread! I was wondering, if I purchase the online course do the logical reasoning question explanations go into why four answer choices are wrong in addition to why one is credited? On the free videos, I see you only going into detail about the correct answer.

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Dave Hall
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Re: Useful Answers + Hot Tips From Dave Hall of Velocity

Postby Dave Hall » Fri Oct 02, 2015 5:29 pm

Binghamton1018 wrote:Hey Mr. Hall, thank you for all the tips and strategies in this thread! I was wondering, if I purchase the online course do the logical reasoning question explanations go into why four answer choices are wrong in addition to why one is credited? On the free videos, I see you only going into detail about the correct answer.

I never spend much time on wrong answers; they're always wrong because they do not accomplish the task set forth in the question. However, if you ever have a question about why a choice is wrong, you can always get an answer from me to clarify things.

As it happens, though, I only rarely get questions from students about wrong answer choices—after watching the paid course videos, you'll have a very good understanding of what each question wants and (crucially) how to answer, so it almost always becomes self-evident at that point why the four wrong answer choices are failures.

That's the key difference between the paid course and the free videos: in the paid course I explain how to derive right answers, and how to do so quickly and efficiently.

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Re: Useful Answers + Hot Tips From Dave Hall of Velocity

Postby kcho10 » Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:00 am

Hey Dave,

What are your thoughts on PT 7-18? Idk if it's just me, but my LR and LG scores are COMPLETELY different for these tests than they are for the most recent PTs. Are these PTs less reliable in terms of what I would expect to get on the actual LSAT? Do you think RC is more reliable? And if they are different, would it really be useful to practice them? What about 19-28? are they more worthwhile to practice? Thanks in advance!!

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Re: Useful Answers + Hot Tips From Dave Hall of Velocity

Postby Dave Hall » Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:25 am

kcho10 wrote:Hey Dave,

What are your thoughts on PT 7-18? Idk if it's just me, but my LR and LG scores are COMPLETELY different for these tests than they are for the most recent PTs. Are these PTs less reliable in terms of what I would expect to get on the actual LSAT? Do you think RC is more reliable? And if they are different, would it really be useful to practice them? What about 19-28? are they more worthwhile to practice? Thanks in advance!!

That makes sense to me. The test has evolved, and you can see that evolution most clearly when you compare the earliest tests to the most recent ones. You've already seen the difference, so inasmuch as you want to keep using old tests anyway, you should at least keep that difference in mind.

I feel as though the last 15 years' worth of tests provides sufficient material for studying, and using only those tests obviates any questions about the utility of your practice material (they're all very similar to today's tests!), so that's my recommendation to you.

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Re: Useful Answers + Hot Tips From Dave Hall of Velocity

Postby kcho10 » Sun Oct 11, 2015 11:31 pm

Hey Dave,

Sorry to keep bugging you with questions lol! I was wondering what you think is the best strategy for maintaining your skill level in the other sections while improving another? I'm trying to really improve on reading comp right now, but I'm scared I might mess up my other sections by being too focused only on reading comp. Do you think taking a prep test every day/every other day would suffice for maintenance? Thanks in advance!

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Re: Useful Answers + Hot Tips From Dave Hall of Velocity

Postby Dave Hall » Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:49 pm

kcho10 wrote:Hey Dave,

Sorry to keep bugging you with questions lol! I was wondering what you think is the best strategy for maintaining your skill level in the other sections while improving another? I'm trying to really improve on reading comp right now, but I'm scared I might mess up my other sections by being too focused only on reading comp. Do you think taking a prep test every day/every other day would suffice for maintenance? Thanks in advance!

Yep; you've got it.

The idea will be just to stay abreast of it, and your solution of a test every couple of days (paired of course with serious review!) should do the trick for you.

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Re: Useful Answers + Hot Tips From Dave Hall of Velocity

Postby kcho10 » Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:25 pm

Hi Dave,

I'm not sure if you answer questions about specific questions on the LSAT, but here goes...

This is a reading comp question from pt 17 section 4, passage 1, Q#2.

I narrowed it down to (B) and (E), and I was wondering what makes (B) better than (E)?

line 17 says that Their Eyes was not totally ignored by book reviewers upon its publication, and the end of the second paragraph seems to suggest that most critics were unable to appreciate Hurston's delineation of life of an ordinary Black woman in a Black community, which led to the novel going out of print (by the way is it right to assume that it led to the novel going out of print?) isn't it possible that even though it wasn't ignored at the time of publication, it was neglected because of the delineation of life later on?

Couldn't that very same statement (last second of paragraph 2) support (E) also? It does say that MOST critics' expectations led to the the book being marginalized...doesn't that suggest that they did not respond positively? I get that we would have to assume that not appreciating the delineation of life implies not responding positively, but isn't that a similar stretch to what (B) is making? I hope this makes sense, and thank you in advance

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Re: Useful Answers + Hot Tips From Dave Hall of Velocity

Postby Dave Hall » Mon Oct 26, 2015 5:36 pm

kcho10 wrote:Hi Dave,

I'm not sure if you answer questions about specific questions on the LSAT, but here goes...

This is a reading comp question from pt 17 section 4, passage 1, Q#2.

I narrowed it down to (B) and (E), and I was wondering what makes (B) better than (E)?

line 17 says that Their Eyes was not totally ignored by book reviewers upon its publication, and the end of the second paragraph seems to suggest that most critics were unable to appreciate Hurston's delineation of life of an ordinary Black woman in a Black community, which led to the novel going out of print (by the way is it right to assume that it led to the novel going out of print?) isn't it possible that even though it wasn't ignored at the time of publication, it was neglected because of the delineation of life later on?

Couldn't that very same statement (last second of paragraph 2) support (E) also? It does say that MOST critics' expectations led to the the book being marginalized...doesn't that suggest that they did not respond positively? I get that we would have to assume that not appreciating the delineation of life implies not responding positively, but isn't that a similar stretch to what (B) is making? I hope this makes sense, and thank you in advance

Sure thing.

(B) is undoubtedly true, given the text you've already pointed out—no matter the cause of the book's decline, it cannot have been the result of a complete neglect by reviewers, because the book was not completely neglected!

While (E), on the other hand, may possibly be true, lines 18-19 strongly suggest that it is not. Saying that the book received an early mixture of positive and negative reviews would be a bizarre way to indicate that it had actually gotten a majority of negative reviews. Possible? OK, maybe. But not likely.

However, we don't need to prove that (E) is false in order to know it's not the answer—the text simply doesn't offer any support for it (the "critics and readers" in line 36 seem to be later readers, given the juxtaposition the author makes of that ascription with the novel's going out of print; we thus have additional reason to believe that these were later readers, along with the report from line 18-19).

By contrast, we do get explicit, indubitable support for (B), and that's how we can know for certain that it's the answer.

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Re: Useful Answers + Hot Tips From Dave Hall of Velocity

Postby kcho10 » Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:02 am

Hey Dave,

I have a question about the 2nd logic game on PT 38. I was luckily able to get all the questions right, but I was stumped by the first rule "Frank demonstrates exactly one task before Gladys demonstrates ANY of the tasks".

I was confused as to whether I should interpret that as F...G...F with the other G as a floater, or as F..G...F, with the other G also between the two F's. I understood '...Gladys demonstrates any of the tasks' as a conditional, so why wouldn't it be the case that BOTH G's have exactly one F before them? Could you explain to me why that is not the correct interpretation, and provide some tips on how I can prevent this type of mistake in the future? And thanks for the explanations. They've been helping a lot!

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Re: Useful Answers + Hot Tips From Dave Hall of Velocity

Postby Dave Hall » Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:36 pm

kcho10 wrote: so why wouldn't it be the case that BOTH G's have exactly one F before them?


That could certainly be true. But the fact that it's possible doesn't mean that it's necessary. That's the key distinction. It's not that you're wrong; it's that both scenarios you've indicated could be the case, so we cannot assume that only one of them must hold. That's not problematic—it's nearly always true that Games rules allow multiple iterations of the elements.

kcho10 wrote: Could you explain to me why that is not the correct interpretation, and provide some tips on how I can prevent this type of mistake in the future? And thanks for the explanations. They've been helping a lot!


The simplest thing, I think, is to always take the Games language at its denotative face value. Here, had the test writers wanted to say that F and G alternate, they would have written that.

Instead, they've used very precise language to convey the facts: F goes exactly once before G ever goes. Notice that this rule tells us nothing at all about what happens after G goes. So, this is why either of the possibilities you've mentioned is valid. We just don't know what happens after G.

kcho10 wrote: And thanks for the explanations. They've been helping a lot!


Excellent! I love when a plan comes together.

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Re: Useful Answers + Hot Tips From Dave Hall of Velocity

Postby kcho10 » Wed Nov 04, 2015 5:19 pm

Dave Hall wrote:
kcho10 wrote: so why wouldn't it be the case that BOTH G's have exactly one F before them?


That could certainly be true. But the fact that it's possible doesn't mean that it's necessary. That's the key distinction. It's not that you're wrong; it's that both scenarios you've indicated could be the case, so we cannot assume that only one of them must hold. That's not problematic—it's nearly always true that Games rules allow multiple iterations of the elements.

kcho10 wrote: Could you explain to me why that is not the correct interpretation, and provide some tips on how I can prevent this type of mistake in the future? And thanks for the explanations. They've been helping a lot!


The simplest thing, I think, is to always take the Games language at its denotative face value. Here, had the test writers wanted to say that F and G alternate, they would have written that.

Instead, they've used very precise language to convey the facts: F goes exactly once before G ever goes. Notice that this rule tells us nothing at all about what happens after G goes. So, this is why either of the possibilities you've mentioned is valid. We just don't know what happens after G.

kcho10 wrote: And thanks for the explanations. They've been helping a lot!


Excellent! I love when a plan comes together.


Sorry if you already explained this, but I still don't understand. Doesn't the 'any' signify a sufficient condition? So doesn't it need to be the case that BOTH G's have only one F before it? I thought the rule would be notated as G-->F...G...F. But if we have F..G..F..G, then for one of the G's, there would be two F's before right? And wouldn't that break the rule?

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Re: Useful Answers + Hot Tips From Dave Hall of Velocity

Postby Dave Hall » Sat Nov 07, 2015 1:57 pm

The simplest thing, I think, is to always take the Games language at its denotative face value.

We know empirically (and linguistically) that the rule means that there's exactly one F before the first G, and that it means no more than that.

Empirically, because of the answer to question 8, et. al., and linguistically because the phrase "X does exactly one thing before Y does anything" tells us what happens before Y's first occurrence, but does not make any claim on what happens after Y's first occurrence.

I'm trying to think of how one could formulate a rule to say what you're wanting this one to say. We've seen examples that are close: "Each occurrence of Y must be immediately preceded by an occurrence of X", but I'm not sure it's possible to indicate that there is one before and one after, except by saying "There must be exactly one X before any Y, and exactly [or at least] one X after Y."

Again, in other words, they tell us very precisely what they want us to know.

It's to your advantage to learn this phrasing; there's an identical rule in 63 Game 4 (and maybe elsewhere, that's the other one I can remember right now).

As to your question about the conditional relationship, I suppose one could symbolize this conditionally, so long as one recognizes that the condition applies only to the first time G occurs:

G1 → F—G

Although, since we know that G must occur twice, it seems much more straightforward to me to symbolize with the plainer:

F—G1—F

Which, to me, neatly clarifies that there is only ever one F before the first G.

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Re: Useful Answers + Hot Tips From Dave Hall of Velocity

Postby Dave Hall » Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:56 pm

Feeling feisty.

Enter discount code: FCKTRMP at checkout to get 50% off your enrollment in any course.

The world needs smart lawyers, and we want to help create some.

d

ETA: That code is good for the rest of January.

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Re: Useful Answers + Hot Tips From Dave Hall of Velocity

Postby dan9257 » Sat Feb 25, 2017 8:48 am

Hi Dave,

Thank you so much for your help and honestly your posts have been incredibly helpful!!!

I think it would be awesome if you could also give some hot tips on other question types that haven't been covered yet in the thread...! (For example, strengthen, point at issue, resolve the paradox, principle)

Looking forward to your tips :D

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Re: Useful Answers + Hot Tips From Dave Hall of Velocity

Postby Dave Hall » Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:54 pm

Good idea, Dan!

Today, let's do Strengthen Questions (I think it'll help to contrast them against Weaken questions):

Strengthen and Weaken questions are two sides of a coin. In both instances, we will answer by appeal to the assumption of the argument. You cannot strengthen an argument on this test by showing that the evidence on offer is true. We will correctly stipulate the truth of all the evidence (we have to. In a world where the facts are in question, how can we ever hope to reason properly together? See Sean Spicer's body of work for illustration). So, if the validity of the evidence is not in question, how can we make the argument stronger or weaker?

We can do so because the argument has assumed something. So, to make the argument stronger, we'll assert that the necessary assumption is true. To weaken it, we'll deny the truth of the assumption.

Consider an example: If an argument begins by saying that Mechanical Engineering majors are astonishingly physically attractive as a group, and that therefore, they must be a successful dating population, then that argument is flawed, because it has assumed a connection between attractiveness and success in dating.

So, to strengthen that conclusion, indicate that physical attractive does matter in dating. Say something like "Typically, the more attractive a person is, the more likely it is she'll be able to get a date." This doesn't prove that the conclusion is true, but it does make it more likely - and that's what we were asked to do.

To weaken this conclusion, attack the assumption: Say something like "Recent studies have indicated that physical attractiveness is a much less important consideration in dating than financial acumen." In this way, you're denying the strength of the connection between attractiveness and dating. This doesn't prove the conclusion is false, but it makes it less likely. That was its job.

There are pretty strong language cues at work in the answers for Weaken and Strengthen questions, too. Like this:

1. We've established that the right answer to a Weaken or Strengthen question will (respectively) attack or assert the necessary assumption of the argument. In order to do so effectively, that answer needs to employ bigger, more powerful words than the soft language we expect from Inference and Necessary Assumption answers.

2. While the load-bearing language we know to expect from the answers to Sufficient Assumption questions would be awesome for doing the work of weakening and strengthening, experience teaches us not to expect such language to be used.

So, while it would certainly kick a lot of ass (in more ways than one) if an answer choice said "Nobody has ever enjoyed any Steven Seagal movie," such an answer isn't to be expected among the answer choices.

At the same time, an answer that said "People do not always enjoy Steven Seagal movies" is such weak sauce that it can't be expected to effectively counter (or support) much of anything, and would therefore be very unlikely to be the credited response.

Instead, we will expect language that's in between those two poles.

I'm thinking about words like these:

-most
-many
-often
-usually
-rarely
-few

I call these words (quite cleverly, I think) "Middle Language."

Denotatively, they're not so different from the soft language of previous discussions on this thread. However, these words trade heavily in connotation. So much of their force comes not from direct meaning, but instead from their evocative nature. "Many" doesn't mean much different from "some," but it sure sounds like more, doesn't it? For this reason (along with those given above) we can expect this kind of language within the right answers to weaken and strengthen questions.

So, when choosing between two answer choices for Weaken and Strengthen questions, look for Middle Language.

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Re: Useful Answers + Hot Tips From Dave Hall of Velocity

Postby dan9257 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:04 am

Hi Dave,

Thanks so much for your great tips! But I do need to ask you a question about "many" as Middle Language.
I believe "many" is equal to "some" logically and for this reason, I've seen that in some Weaken/Strengthen Qs, answer choices with "many" are incorrect because we can't logically evaluate the power/impact of "many." I'd like to know how you think about this.

Also, I'd like to ask your advice on how to deal with difficult necessary assumption questions. What do you do when you have no idea what the logical gap is and so you can't really pre-phrase? you also mentioned in an earlier post that you compare two competing answer choices in order to identify the difference between the two. I often hear that comparing answer choices to each other is not the best thing to do when I am stuck with two contenders. Can you tell us more about how you compare the answer choices and how you get to eliminate the wrong one?

Again, thank you so much Dave! :D

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Re: Useful Answers + Hot Tips From Dave Hall of Velocity

Postby Dave Hall » Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:05 pm

dan9257 wrote:Hi Dave,

Thanks so much for your great tips! But I do need to ask you a question about "many" as Middle Language.
I believe "many" is equal to "some" logically


Correct! (the following elaboration is from my post above):

Dave Hall wrote:Denotatively, [middle language is] not so different from soft language. However, these words trade heavily in connotation. So much of their force comes not from direct meaning, but instead from their evocative nature. "Many" doesn't mean much different from "some," but it sure sounds like more, doesn't it?


dan9257 wrote:and for this reason, I've seen that in some Weaken/Strengthen Qs, answer choices with "many" are incorrect because we can't logically evaluate the power/impact of "many." I'd like to know how you think about this.


There are absolutely plenty of wrong answer choices with Middle Language. But that's not why they're wrong (there's probably some exception to that somewhere, but for the vast majority, it's the case).

One thing that's nice about the LSAT is that it's not a philosophical debate—we can examine the evidence.

Take PrepTest 76 as an example (I use it because I just recorded some free explanations for it #YayFreeStuff). Of the 6 correct answers to the Weaken and Strengthen questions on that test:

1 used Load-Bearing language, which is unusual

1 used no obvious structural signifiers (about the ratio I'd expect)

and all the rest (two-thirds of the right answers, which is probably slightly lower than the overall historical ratio) used Middle Language ("practically no..." and "less likely..." and "many" and "substantially easier...")

This is how I came to that maxim—by precedent. Make sense?

dan9257 wrote:Also, I'd like to ask your advice on how to deal with difficult necessary assumption questions. What do you do when you have no idea what the logical gap is and so you can't really pre-phrase? you also mentioned in an earlier post that you compare two competing answer choices in order to identify the difference between the two. I often hear that comparing answer choices to each other is not the best thing to do when I am stuck with two contenders. Can you tell us more about how you compare the answer choices and how you get to eliminate the wrong one?


Yes! In fact, we can develop some judo to use their own answer choices against them.

I call it the Negate Test. In short, we start from the knowledge that the right answer is necessary to the conclusion. That means that if you take it away, the argument will die, right?

So, when you're weighing answer choices, ask yourself this question: "If this answer choice weren't true, would the conclusion still make sense?"

If the conclusion can live without the answer choice, it's not the right answer!

However, if the right answer were not true, then the conclusion of the argument would become stupid.

This is because the conclusion depended on the truth of the right answer.

Make sense?

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Re: Useful Answers + Hot Tips From Dave Hall of Velocity

Postby Dave Hall » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:13 pm

dan9257 wrote:Hi Dave,

Thank you so much for your help and honestly your posts have been incredibly helpful!!!

I think it would be awesome if you could also give some hot tips on other question types that haven't been covered yet in the thread...! (For example, strengthen, point at issue, resolve the paradox, principle)

Looking forward to your tips :D

OK, Dan,

Today we'll take a look at Point of Disagreement (or of Agreement) questions.

These questions really ought to be pretty much the same as Main Conclusion questions, right?

I mean, if two people are arguing, then the point of disagreement between them is probably the first person's main conclusion!

And that's true! The first speaker's conclusion is usually the point of their disagreement. However, you only get that point as an answer choice about one out of every three questions. Most of the time, even though it's the disagreement, you just don't see it represented in your choices. (and for Agreement questions, it's historically less likely that they agree on the main point).

Instead, mostly the test writers give you smaller, ancillary points to mull over.

So, if you don't see the main conclusion as an answer choice, you can treat choices the way you would answers to Inference questions: the right answer will be something that you can prove Person A says is true, and that you can prove Person B says is false (or vice versa).

So, practically speaking, develop a means of tracking each speaker's response to each answer choice (a T-chart that gives you two columns for checks and exes would work, for example).

There will be several answer choices (probably three of them) where you simply cannot prove what one (or both!) speakers think about the answer. Those answers are always wrong!

Then, for Disagreement questions, the right answer is the only place in your chart where you have both a check (you can prove someone says "yes") and an x (you can prove the other person says "no").

For Agreement questions, it'll just be the only place where you have two checks, or two exes.

Hope that helps!

d

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Re: Useful Answers + Hot Tips From Dave Hall of Velocity

Postby hcss11 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:24 pm

Hi Dave,

Thanks for making this great thread!

I took my first diagnostic last week and got a 148. I'm aiming to improve by 20+ points come test day. To do that, I'm using this schedule:

•Month 1 (March)
«2 LSAT Trainer
chapters/day (7
days a week)
«1 chapter of
Powerscore LG
Bible, and
Manhattan LSAT RC
and LR books
following
each 2 Trainer
chapters, day by
day, on alternating
days commensurate
with the chapter
material read in the
LSAT Trainer
ø Example:
« Day X: 2
LR Chapters
in Trainer, 2
LR Chapters
in Manhattan
LSAT(digging
deeper)
« Day Y: 2
RC Chapters
in Trainer, 1
RC Chapter
in Manhattan
LSAT(digging
deeper)
« Day Z: 2
LG Chapters
in Trainer, 1
LG Chapter
in
Powerscore
LG Bible
(digging
deeper)
«Drill sets as
described in LSAT
Trainer 12-week
schedule, day
by day
«2 PrepTests per
day (starting with 1,
going to 71)

•Month 2 (April)
«2 Powerscore
Logic Games Bible
Chapters/day (7
days a week)
«Drill sets as
described in LSAT
Trainer 12-week
schedule (only
Logic Games), day
by day
«2 Logic Games
PrepTest Sections
per day
(starting with 1,
going to 71)

•Month 3 (May)
«2 Manhattan LSAT
Reading
Comprehension
chapters/day (7
days a week)
«Drill sets as
described in LSAT
Trainer 12-week
schedule (only
Reading
Comprehension),
day by day
«2 Reading
Comprehension
PrepTest sections
per day (starting
with 1, going to 71)

•Month 4 (June)
«2-3 PrepTests
every day of the
month until test day

I'd like to know if you this is a good idea for improving that much, or if you would suggest other ways. From talking to some people, improving by that much is hard, but I'm already putting in the work to make that happen since I'm aiming to apply early as a URM splitter. Looking forward to hearing from you and thanks for all you do here!

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Re: Useful Answers + Hot Tips From Dave Hall of Velocity

Postby Dave Hall » Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:13 pm

hcss11 wrote:Hi Dave,

Thanks for making this great thread!

I took my first diagnostic last week and got a 148. I'm aiming to improve by 20+ points come test day. To do that, I'm using this schedule:
...

I'd like to know if you this is a good idea for improving that much, or if you would suggest other ways. From talking to some people, improving by that much is hard, but I'm already putting in the work to make that happen since I'm aiming to apply early as a URM splitter. Looking forward to hearing from you and thanks for all you do here!

Well, I can't speak intelligently about those prep materials. I've never looked at any of them. I do know these things:

1. Velocity is awesome, and sufficient for your greatest improvement. :)

2. No matter how you prepare, the most important thing you can do is understand the LSAT. So don't think of it as a number of problems to solve or a number of pages to read or a number of videos to watch—think of it as a daily attempt to understand more about what the test wants from you. If you make that your mission, you give yourself your best possible chance of improving.

It's about mindset, in other words; your approach will determine your results.

3. There's no point ever in doing work if you're not learning from it. So just make sure that your agenda gives you time to soak up the material you use; anything less than comprehension is wasted time.

Make sense?

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Re: Useful Answers + Hot Tips From Dave Hall of Velocity

Postby hcss11 » Sun Mar 26, 2017 12:54 am

Dave Hall wrote:
hcss11 wrote:Hi Dave,

Thanks for making this great thread!

I took my first diagnostic last week and got a 148. I'm aiming to improve by 20+ points come test day. To do that, I'm using this schedule:
...

I'd like to know if you this is a good idea for improving that much, or if you would suggest other ways. From talking to some people, improving by that much is hard, but I'm already putting in the work to make that happen since I'm aiming to apply early as a URM splitter. Looking forward to hearing from you and thanks for all you do here!

Well, I can't speak intelligently about those prep materials. I've never looked at any of them. I do know these things:

1. Velocity is awesome, and sufficient for your greatest improvement. :)

2. No matter how you prepare, the most important thing you can do is understand the LSAT. So don't think of it as a number of problems to solve or a number of pages to read or a number of videos to watch—think of it as a daily attempt to understand more about what the test wants from you. If you make that your mission, you give yourself your best possible chance of improving.

It's about mindset, in other words; your approach will determine your results.

3. There's no point ever in doing work if you're not learning from it. So just make sure that your agenda gives you time to soak up the material you use; anything less than comprehension is wasted time.

Make sense?


Insightful advice! Thanks a bunch, Dave! If I happen upon any money to afford your program, I'll certainly take a look. :)

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Dave Hall
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Re: Useful Answers + Hot Tips From Dave Hall of Velocity

Postby Dave Hall » Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:18 pm

hcss11 wrote:Insightful advice! Thanks a bunch, Dave! If I happen upon any money to afford your program, I'll certainly take a look. :)

Thanks—make sure you check out our library of free explanations for the answers to all the questions from every section of all recent tests. I think you'll find it of some use.

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Dave Hall
Posts: 186
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:18 pm

Re: Useful Answers + Hot Tips From Dave Hall of Velocity

Postby Dave Hall » Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:27 pm

dan9257 wrote:Hi Dave,

Thank you so much for your help and honestly your posts have been incredibly helpful!!!

I think it would be awesome if you could also give some hot tips on other question types that haven't been covered yet in the thread...! (For example, strengthen, point at issue, resolve the paradox, principle)

Looking forward to your tips :D

In continuing to answer your question, today let's look at Resolution Questions.

Resolution Questions will typically be associated with brief passages that may well
not actually be arguments. Instead, these passages will most often just outline a
puzzling or seemingly paradoxical set of facts. Resolution Questions will ask you to
resolve or to explain that seeming discrepancy.

Like this:

Over the first half of the current season, the New York Yankees have amassed the
worst pitching record in professional baseball. Nevertheless, when asked on
Monday for their predictions, a group of the most widely-respected experts in the
field agreed almost unanimously that the Yankees would win this year’s World Series.


Huh.

Puzzling, no? A real head-scratcher.

But the idea that it's a paradox just isn't true—it comes from the fact that we (or the
test writers) have assumed something.

You can think of it like this—if someone were to
suggest to you that the two italicized sentences above were mutually exclusive, how could you
prove that person wrong?

Here’re a few ways you might do so:

1. The Yankees have averaged 16 runs per game so far this year.

2. The group of experts in question spent the weekend at dan9257's house, drowning
in absinthe and covered by a thick fog of opium smoke. As a result, their
cognitive abilities are impaired.

3. Widely-respected experts habitually grossly overstate the chances for the New
York Yankees.

There are multiple other ways a person might resolve that paradox, and none of the
three items above need to be true. None of them would prove much of anything if
they were. But – and this is crucial – if any one of them were true, it would go a long
way toward resolving the strangeness of the Yankees’ poor pitching coupled with the
experts’ grandiose prediction. Any one of them is a legitimate Resolution.

And now, a couple of answer choices that would not help resolve anything:

1. The Yankees’ pitching record is poor only because their starting three pitchers
are all out for the next 6-8 months with various injuries.

2. Usually, most experts tend to agree that the winner of the World Series will be
one of the three or four teams with the best pitching records.

The first option does explain the Yankees’ bad pitching, but it does nothing to
reconcile that fact to the experts’ seemingly odd prediction.

The second option, instead of offering any explanation for the strange coincidence of
facts offered in the passage, just makes things worse. And that’s not cool.

In summation, you can expect three kinds of answer choices for Resolution Questions:

1. Some wrong answer choices that explain why one-half of the passage is true,
but do nothing to resolve the central paradox of the passage (like explaining
why the Yankees’ pitching is bad but not saying why the experts think the
Yanks’ll win the Series).

2. Some wrong choices that will drive the wedge deeper; these bad answers may
deal with BOTH SIDES of the issue, but in precisely the wrong way.

3. One correct answer that will demonstrate a means by which you can account
for all of the information in the passage.


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