LSAT Hacks free PT explanations + Q and A with Graeme

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sashafierce

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Re: LSAT Hacks free PT explanations + Q and A with Graeme

Postby sashafierce » Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:26 am

LSAT Hacks (Graeme) wrote:sashafierce wrote:
Hi, I have two questions:

1. What's the difference between:

A. A claim that is required to establish the conclusion
B. A claim that is compatible with the truth or falsity of the conclusion
i.e. Two very common answer choices for Argument part Questions



The first one is a necessary assumption. You'll see that in necessary assumption stems.


Hi Graeme, one last question for "A. A claim that is required to establish the conclusion" can I immediately eliminate this answer choice when I see them as potential answer choices for "Argument part questions" (I have seen them a couple of times)? My reasoning is this...if its a necssary assumption then it cannot be something that is explicitly stated as part of the stimulus/argument???

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Re: LSAT Hacks free PT explanations + Q and A with Graeme

Postby gti24 » Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:20 pm

Thanks a lot for the response Graeme!

I'll definitely try to incorporate your advice when I do LR sections today.

For the logically complete questions, I meant how to approach questions with the question stem "which of the following most logically concludes the argument" and there is usually a ___ in the stimulus that you need the answer choice to fill. I have no idea how to approach these questions.

Also, with matching patterns of reasoning as well as matching flawed reasoning, I'm always able to narrow the answer choice down to two choices but then I pretty much guess from there. What is the best way to go about these questions? Is it easier to break down the stimulus into condition statements, then try to match it up with the answer choice? Is there always four completely wrong answers?

For Preptest 19 S 4 Q 21, I broke down the stimulus and got A some B, C -> A, conclusion C some B but answer A) gets me C-> A, B some A conclusion B some C, which is the same as the correct answer D) A some B, C->A, conclusion C some B right?

For Preptest 20 S 1 Q 19, I don't understand why the answer is D instead of B.

I am located in CA, I was wondering if you tutor at all?

Thanks again for your help!

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Re: LSAT Hacks free PT explanations + Q and A with Graeme

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:30 pm

flash21 wrote:Hey G, I've got a question about LR.

So basically, for LR sections I've been getting usually between 20-23 correct per section. I was wondering if you thought it was a good idea for me to still drill from cambridge at this point (I will continue to drill for certain question types that I haven't done much of like PF, paralell reasoning, point at issue etc), but for the more common questions types such as str/wea/na/sa/flaw, etc , I've drilled this out of the cambridge multiple times. Do you think its better time spent for me at this point simply going back over LR sections, questions that I've gotten wrong ( I track them all on 7sage), and reviewing the questions back over?

I'm also not sure at this point in prep whether drilling for LR or going back over timed sections and reviewing misses is my best option. I currently am scoring in the 161-164 range if that helps. I'll be continuing to drill logic games and reading comp from cambridge as those need more work than my LR. I'm just debating a bit since I've actually seen a lot of these cambridge questions multiple times. I know you can still learn from them, but you know what I mean?

Also, when reviewing misses from sections, how would you suggest maximizing my review? I feel as though sometimes finding out why wrong answers are wrong and right is right just is not enough.

Thanks a lot.


I think you're right that drilling will be less useful. The exception will be if you're missing a greater percentage of one less common type, OR you're getting any of these wrong: sufficient assumption, parallel reasoning

Those last two are more formulaic, and I think they can be flipped from hard to easy by learning the right approaches.

But it's likely at this point you're simply getting hard questions wrong. You can actually check this in 7Sage. Hovering over the answers on questions, you can see what % of people chose each answer. So if few people get a question right, it's hard.

You can go more in depth with your review in two ways:

1. Talk about hard questions with others
2. Write written explanations of the questions

Both activities are what took my understanding from "very good at an intuitive level" to "mastery". The first one in my case was tutoring – I learned so much from people's questions. You can replicate that by helping a study partner.

I also learned a lot from writing my explanations. I haven't had many students try this, but the few who have reported they learned a lot.

Finally, there's an idea I'd like to see more semi-high scorers try: low priced LSAT tutoring. Charge $15 an hour or so, and offer to tutor those who are scoring 135-150. You will learn a LOT, and get paid a little for the time. You'll help them too. Just be clear that you're not a master, and that's why the rate is low.

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About Me + Free Explnations

Hi, I'm Graeme. I scored a 177 and have been teaching since 2008. I release free explanations for LSAT PTs.

Free PT Explanations: http://lsathacks.com/explanations/
Free LSAT email course: http://lsathacks.com/email-course/

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Re: LSAT Hacks free PT explanations + Q and A with Graeme

Postby flash21 » Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:45 pm

LSAT Hacks (Graeme) wrote:
flash21 wrote:Hey G, I've got a question about LR.

So basically, for LR sections I've been getting usually between 20-23 correct per section. I was wondering if you thought it was a good idea for me to still drill from cambridge at this point (I will continue to drill for certain question types that I haven't done much of like PF, paralell reasoning, point at issue etc), but for the more common questions types such as str/wea/na/sa/flaw, etc , I've drilled this out of the cambridge multiple times. Do you think its better time spent for me at this point simply going back over LR sections, questions that I've gotten wrong ( I track them all on 7sage), and reviewing the questions back over?

I'm also not sure at this point in prep whether drilling for LR or going back over timed sections and reviewing misses is my best option. I currently am scoring in the 161-164 range if that helps. I'll be continuing to drill logic games and reading comp from cambridge as those need more work than my LR. I'm just debating a bit since I've actually seen a lot of these cambridge questions multiple times. I know you can still learn from them, but you know what I mean?

Also, when reviewing misses from sections, how would you suggest maximizing my review? I feel as though sometimes finding out why wrong answers are wrong and right is right just is not enough.

Thanks a lot.


I think you're right that drilling will be less useful. The exception will be if you're missing a greater percentage of one less common type, OR you're getting any of these wrong: sufficient assumption, parallel reasoning

Those last two are more formulaic, and I think they can be flipped from hard to easy by learning the right approaches.

But it's likely at this point you're simply getting hard questions wrong. You can actually check this in 7Sage. Hovering over the answers on questions, you can see what % of people chose each answer. So if few people get a question right, it's hard.

You can go more in depth with your review in two ways:

1. Talk about hard questions with others
2. Write written explanations of the questions

Both activities are what took my understanding from "very good at an intuitive level" to "mastery". The first one in my case was tutoring – I learned so much from people's questions. You can replicate that by helping a study partner.

I also learned a lot from writing my explanations. I haven't had many students try this, but the few who have reported they learned a lot.

Finally, there's an idea I'd like to see more semi-high scorers try: low priced LSAT tutoring. Charge $15 an hour or so, and offer to tutor those who are scoring 135-150. You will learn a LOT, and get paid a little for the time. You'll help them too. Just be clear that you're not a master, and that's why the rate is low.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
About Me + Free Explnations

Hi, I'm Graeme. I scored a 177 and have been teaching since 2008. I release free explanations for LSAT PTs.

Free PT Explanations: http://lsathacks.com/explanations/
Free LSAT email course: http://lsathacks.com/email-course/


Yeah Graeme you're right, its almost exclusively level 3-4. I think I'm going to go back to writing out answers for my LR questions. How do you suggest I get the absolute best out of this activity?

Thanks again!

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Re: LSAT Hacks free PT explanations + Q and A with Graeme

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:25 pm

flash21 wrote:
Yeah Graeme you're right, its almost exclusively level 3-4. I think I'm going to go back to writing out answers for my LR questions. How do you suggest I get the absolute best out of this activity?

Thanks again!


I'll reply to the other posts above soon, just wanted to finish off this one. To get the most out of writing explanations: Pretend someone else will read them. Pretend that you'll be judged on whether they make sense. Pretend the explanations have to be useful for someone.

That's what forced me to make better explanations. I knew people were going to use them.

Another trick is to imagine your friend who is most easily confused. They can't follow an argument. If you say the slightest thing wrong, they'll get confused or sidetracked. Imagine their voice in their head as they constantly question what you're writing. "But why, but whhhhhhhy?????"

That helped me. I imagined my most confused student. Still do sometimes. Whenever I write something and realize I skipped a step, that voice forces me to be clearer. And in doing so I often learn new things and notice things in the questions I never saw before.

The mechanism behind explanations or a study partner should be the same: they force you to be clearer in your thinking.

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About Me + Free Explnations

Hi, I'm Graeme. I scored a 177 and have been teaching since 2008. I release free explanations for LSAT PTs.

Free PT Explanations: http://lsathacks.com/explanations/
Free LSAT email course: http://lsathacks.com/email-course/

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Re: LSAT Hacks free PT explanations + Q and A with Graeme

Postby flash21 » Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:36 pm

LSAT Hacks (Graeme) wrote:
flash21 wrote:
Yeah Graeme you're right, its almost exclusively level 3-4. I think I'm going to go back to writing out answers for my LR questions. How do you suggest I get the absolute best out of this activity?

Thanks again!


I'll reply to the other posts above soon, just wanted to finish off this one. To get the most out of writing explanations: Pretend someone else will read them. Pretend that you'll be judged on whether they make sense. Pretend the explanations have to be useful for someone.

That's what forced me to make better explanations. I knew people were going to use them.

Another trick is to imagine your friend who is most easily confused. They can't follow an argument. If you say the slightest thing wrong, they'll get confused or sidetracked. Imagine their voice in their head as they constantly question what you're writing. "But why, but whhhhhhhy?????"

That helped me. I imagined my most confused student. Still do sometimes. Whenever I write something and realize I skipped a step, that voice forces me to be clearer. And in doing so I often learn new things and notice things in the questions I never saw before.

The mechanism behind explanations or a study partner should be the same: they force you to be clearer in your thinking.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
About Me + Free Explnations

Hi, I'm Graeme. I scored a 177 and have been teaching since 2008. I release free explanations for LSAT PTs.

Free PT Explanations: http://lsathacks.com/explanations/
Free LSAT email course: http://lsathacks.com/email-course/


Okay great. You know what, I may actually begin posting them on the manhattan LR forums. That'll force me to understand and make sure everything makes sense as you said, and will force me to make things as comprehensive as possible. Thanks a lot man.

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Re: LSAT Hacks free PT explanations + Q and A with Graeme

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:19 pm

sashafierce wrote:
LSAT Hacks (Graeme) wrote:sashafierce wrote:
Hi, I have two questions:

1. What's the difference between:

A. A claim that is required to establish the conclusion
B. A claim that is compatible with the truth or falsity of the conclusion
i.e. Two very common answer choices for Argument part Questions

The first one is a necessary assumption. You'll see that in necessary assumption stems.


Hi Graeme, one last question for "A. A claim that is required to establish the conclusion" can I immediately eliminate this answer choice when I see them as potential answer choices for "Argument part questions" (I have seen them a couple of times)? My reasoning is this...if its a necssary assumption then it cannot be something that is explicitly stated as part of the stimulus/argument???


No, don't ever do that. The reason is this: answers typically do NOT restate something that was explicitly stated in the stimulus. I've seen maybe 1-2 total instances of this.

Answers often state something that was implicitly assumed, or something similar to what was stated. And students frequently tell me "the argument already said that!". But there's always, always, always a difference (again, with *maybe* 1-2 exceptions).

So if you think something has already been said, it's actually a great signal that you need to reconsider things, and you should flag that answer for review. It doesn't mean the answer is right, but it does mean you're reading something wrong.

In general, I dislike "I will eliminate an answer if it does X" rules. Sometimes they apply, but they're too brittle and can cause failure unexpectedly.

Exception: I do this on parallel reasoning, but only after I've determined the structure and what would be a departure from the structure.

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About Me + Free Explnations

Hi, I'm Graeme. I scored a 177 and have been teaching since 2008. I release free explanations for LSAT PTs.

Free PT Explanations: http://lsathacks.com/explanations/
Free LSAT email course: http://lsathacks.com/email-course/

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Re: LSAT Hacks free PT explanations + Q and A with Graeme

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:35 pm

gti24 wrote:Thanks a lot for the response Graeme!

I'll definitely try to incorporate your advice when I do LR sections today.

For the logically complete questions, I meant how to approach questions with the question stem "which of the following most logically concludes the argument" and there is usually a ___ in the stimulus that you need the answer choice to fill. I have no idea how to approach these questions.

Also, with matching patterns of reasoning as well as matching flawed reasoning, I'm always able to narrow the answer choice down to two choices but then I pretty much guess from there. What is the best way to go about these questions? Is it easier to break down the stimulus into condition statements, then try to match it up with the answer choice? Is there always four completely wrong answers?

For Preptest 19 S 4 Q 21, I broke down the stimulus and got A some B, C -> A, conclusion C some B but answer A) gets me C-> A, B some A conclusion B some C, which is the same as the correct answer D) A some B, C->A, conclusion C some B right?

For Preptest 20 S 1 Q 19, I don't understand why the answer is D instead of B.

I am located in CA, I was wondering if you tutor at all?

Thanks again for your help!


Oh, I see. These questions depend on understanding why the author says what they're saying. "Identify the conclusion" and "role in argument" questions are good practice for "complete the argument", and they're more common.

My approach is to identify the conclusion and reasoning. Except, it will be incomplete. So you have to ask "why is the author telling me this?". The answer to that question will usually be what completes the argument. I find I can prephrase these almost 100% of the time.

Parallel Reasoning

Yes, there are (almost) always four completely wrong answers. I've seen 1-2 exceptions over 70+ preptests, but you can more or less assume all wrong answers are wrong, because 99.999% of them are.

I'll explain my parallel reasoning process using the two example questions.

Preptest 19 S 4 Q 21: I saw this was a flaw of applying characteristics of a group "Some tenured faculty not full professors" to a subgroup (linguistics). I looked for the answers that had subgroups. Only C did. I then examined C to see if it matched. Both C and the stim have this structure:

Some of A are not B.
Everything in subgroup Z is A.
Therefore some in subgroup Z are not B

That was enough. I only really formalized the structure on C. I first looked for the subgroup error. And I wasn't as formal in my mind as I was above – I wrote it extra clear because it has to make sense to everyone, not just me.

The more general form is this: I'm looking to disqualify answers that miss the central feature.

For Preptest 20 S 1 Q 19: I saw there were two good reasons that the professor couldn't teach two introductory classes. I looked for that.

D matches, and B seems to match. But look carefully at the second reason. It adds nothing! The first reason said the revised code doesn't apply. So far, so good. But both statements have to be sufficient reasons the thing won't happen. So let's consider the second statement on its own.

The second reason says "most sections of the code do not apply to 1900-1920", which doesn't tell us where they DO apply. This statement include the possibility that most of the code DOES apply to buildings built before 1900. This statement does not do the job if it stands on its own, and it adds nothing to the first reason.

Make sense?

I do tutor. Most of my tutoring students are via Skype. I tutor Saturdays, and charge $175 an hour. It's high, but that's because there's only one of me. I like doing some tutoring, but I'd rather spend the bulk of my time writing free explanations everyone can use. If you or anyone wants more info about tutoring, you can PM me.

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About Me + Free Explnations

Hi, I'm Graeme. I scored a 177 and have been teaching since 2008. I release free explanations for LSAT PTs.

Free PT Explanations: http://lsathacks.com/explanations/
Free LSAT email course: http://lsathacks.com/email-course/

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Re: LSAT Hacks free PT explanations + Q and A with Graeme

Postby flash21 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:36 am

how would you recommend I lay out my PT schedule from now until December 6th? I'll probably be doing PT 47 at some point during this week.

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Re: LSAT Hacks free PT explanations + Q and A with Graeme

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:40 pm

flash21 wrote:how would you recommend I lay out my PT schedule from now until December 6th? I'll probably be doing PT 47 at some point during this week.


I don't know. This is one of the most common questions I get, but there's no right answer. Here are a few considerations.

1. Leave some PTs undone. Statistically speaking, a good chunk of students will retake. The most common problem retakers face is no fresh PTs. Leave some undone. You don't need to do them all.
2. Monitor energy. You don't want to burn out. You really don't. One a week can be plenty. You can do more, but it depends on your other commitments and personal energy levels.
3. Don't go in order, leaving recent to last. You want to mix it up a bit. Otherwise you'll be unexposed to the recent stuff until the very end.
4. Review and redo. The most important part of your prep. Redoing hard questions is central to understanding them on a deeper level. Simply doing more questions won't help you if you're not learning what you're doing wrong. Repetition is the best way to get a better understanding. Just leave enough delay that you've forgotten the questions a little.

Hope that helps! Everyone wants structure, and I could tell you "Do a PT every saturday morning and Wednesday evening, starting with 45" but that advice wouldn't be based on any evidence about what works. (Unfortunately, no one has evidence about what works)

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About Me + Free Explnations

Hi, I'm Graeme. I scored a 177 and have been teaching since 2008. I release free explanations for LSAT PTs.

Free PT Explanations: http://lsathacks.com/explanations/
Free LSAT email course: http://lsathacks.com/email-course/
Last edited by LSAT Hacks (Graeme) on Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LSAT Hacks free PT explanations + Q and A with Graeme

Postby aaron949 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 5:33 pm

Hi G,

Thanks for doing this!

I'm signed up for the Sept test. Just wondering how would you approach these last three weeks? And how would you approach reviewing PTs?

Also for timed sections, do you have any suggestions for improving accuracy? Usually for LR sections, when I do it untimed, I'm missing 1 or 2, but timed, I'm missing around 6.

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Re: LSAT Hacks free PT explanations + Q and A with Graeme

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Fri Sep 05, 2014 1:59 pm

aaron949 wrote:Hi G,

Thanks for doing this!

I'm signed up for the Sept test. Just wondering how would you approach these last three weeks? And how would you approach reviewing PTs?

Also for timed sections, do you have any suggestions for improving accuracy? Usually for LR sections, when I do it untimed, I'm missing 1 or 2, but timed, I'm missing around 6.


I'd aim to do a fair number of full PTs. Don't burn out, but a higher number than what you were doing before is appropriate. Review should be pretty thorough. I like blind review, where you review everything you were uncertain about BEFORE checking the answers. It's an untimed exercise.

As for timing accuracy, it means you don't know the material as intuitively as you could. Try to reconstruct what made you choose the wrong answer timed. There are no "stupid mistakes". Every error you make is one you were intended to make, and you'll need to figure out what strategies would let you avoid them in future.

e.g. For except questions, write "EXCEPT" under answer E, as a reminder it's an except question. Very, very common source of error, and easily fixed.

When you identify something you could be better at, redo those questions later. And try to develop categories of errors. As subtle as "number vs. percentage". Redo questions until spotting errors like that is second nature. It does you no good to say "I understand" unless you can spot the issue under time pressure.

Hope that helps!

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About Me + Free Explnations

Hi, I'm Graeme. I scored a 177 and have been teaching since 2008. I release free explanations for LSAT PTs.

Free PT Explanations: http://lsathacks.com/explanations/
Free LSAT email course: http://lsathacks.com/email-course/

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Re: LSAT Hacks free PT explanations + Q and A with Graeme

Postby aaron949 » Wed Sep 10, 2014 5:30 pm

Sweet thanks G.

Also, one last question, I was wondering if you had any advice on what I should do for RC.

I'm missing around 7-8 constantly, so do you think its a good idea to maybe focus on 3 sections and make sure they are all right and then guess on the final section?

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Re: LSAT Hacks free PT explanations + Q and A with Graeme

Postby alexroark » Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:55 am

Hi Graeme,

How would you recommend constructively reviewing RC passages in PTs after you've taken them in order to improve on future passages?

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions!

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Re: LSAT Hacks free PT explanations + Q and A with Graeme

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Mon Sep 15, 2014 5:48 pm

aaron949 wrote:Sweet thanks G.

Also, one last question, I was wondering if you had any advice on what I should do for RC.

I'm missing around 7-8 constantly, so do you think its a good idea to maybe focus on 3 sections and make sure they are all right and then guess on the final section?


Yes, I think so.

1. You will get *some* points by guessing. Usually 1-2 for the final 7-8 questions.
2. You can usually answer 1-2 specific detail questions without reading the passage.
3. You can likely get near perfect on the first three passages if you take ~12 minutes each on them.

With this in mind, here's your strategy, in steps

* Finish first three well, guess on final passage
* Finish first three perfectly, guess on final passage
* Finish first three perfectly, guess on final passage, answer 1-2 specific detail questions
* all of the above, and read the passage quickly
* all of the above, read the passage, answer some questions

Those are steps. The goal is to get the first three passages down solidly. Then you expand outward from there. Note that by "perfection" I really mean -2 to -0. You may make some mistakes on genuinely hard questions, but the goal is not to leave questions where you are in doubt, and could answer with more time.

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About Me + Free Explnations

Hi, I'm Graeme. I scored a 177 and have been teaching since 2008. I release free explanations for LSAT PTs.

Free PT Explanations: http://lsathacks.com/explanations/
Free LSAT email course: http://lsathacks.com/email-course/

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Re: LSAT Hacks free PT explanations + Q and A with Graeme

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Mon Sep 15, 2014 5:52 pm

alexroark wrote:Hi Graeme,

How would you recommend constructively reviewing RC passages in PTs after you've taken them in order to improve on future passages?

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions!


Yes, absolutely. I learned a ton redoing passages with students, and while writing explanations. RC passages have patterns, just like the rest of the LSAT. The LSAC actually writes all of the passages themselves. This is different from the SAT, which takes passages from existing materials. But the LSAC *adapts* passages from materials – all passages are written to a common standard.

Intuition is the key to doing well on the test, fast. Redoing passages gives you an intuition for their structure, for what kinds of information are important, for words that indicate shifts in opinion, etc.

I also notice that students frequently fail to completely understand passages. They're quite deep. I suspect that redoing them will make you more likely to get the full meaning of passages. Discussing them with other people will also help. This applies to all sections. Discussion has all of these benefits:

1. Other people will notice things you don't.
2. Talking about things out loud makes you flesh out your thoughts.
3. Other people will ask questions that make you consider things in a new light

I got good at all sections, RC included, by answering questions students asked me. Often I didn't know the answer! They were confused by something I hadn't even noticed. Answering their questions forced me to look at the passage more carefully and notice everything that was there.

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About Me + Free Explnations

Hi, I'm Graeme. I scored a 177 and have been teaching since 2008. I release free explanations for LSAT PTs.

Free PT Explanations: http://lsathacks.com/explanations/
Free LSAT email course: http://lsathacks.com/email-course/

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Re: LSAT Hacks free PT explanations + Q and A with Graeme

Postby gti24 » Tue Sep 16, 2014 12:39 pm

Hey Graeme,

Thanks a lot for all your advice. It has helped me quite a bit the last few weeks. I just wanted your opinion on my situation. I'm signed up for the Sept LSAT but my LR score is still fluctuating quite a bit from -3 to -7 per section. Any recommendations for how to approach this last week, or would you recommend postponing my test to Dec? This will be my third retake

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Re: LSAT Hacks free PT explanations + Q and A with Graeme

Postby mjsjr » Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:42 pm

Hi, Graeme!

I have a specific question I don't understand. The stimulus provides a complex situation (at least to me) that I can't seem to comprehend. I think your interpretation would really help me out. I could type the entire question verbatim, but I don't know if that's allowed on these forums? I'll just include the PT information below. Thanks!

PT 7 S4 Q19.

Edit:

To be more specific, I don't understand what the consequences of the facts in the stimulus are. I don't understand why the correct answer choice results from the ideas presented.

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Re: LSAT Hacks free PT explanations + Q and A with Graeme

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:52 am

gti24 wrote:Hey Graeme,

Thanks a lot for all your advice. It has helped me quite a bit the last few weeks. I just wanted your opinion on my situation. I'm signed up for the Sept LSAT but my LR score is still fluctuating quite a bit from -3 to -7 per section. Any recommendations for how to approach this last week, or would you recommend postponing my test to Dec? This will be my third retake


One sentence stood out for me: "This will be my third retake". You have one shot. If you're not dead certain you can get the score you need, take it in December. LSAT scores always fluctuate, so the average of your range should be above what you need.

And if you think you can score higher by December, that's $$$$, so it makes sense to postpone in that case too, even if you think September would be "ok". Always go for the highest score.

If you're totally stalled, that's a bit of a tougher question. But if you are not yet perfect on LG, and you are missing question types like parallel, sufficient assumption, necessary assumption, flaw, principle* then you're still missing stuff that can be learned, and more time can help.


*Note on principle questions. They're really about five question types bundled into one. Some of them are very regular. It's the regular, learnable ones I"m referring to here, like principle/application questions.
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Hi, I'm Graeme. I scored a 177 and have been teaching since 2008. I release free explanations for LSAT PTs.

Free PT Explanations: http://lsathacks.com/explanations/
Free LSAT email course: http://lsathacks.com/email-course/

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LSAT Hacks (Graeme)

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Re: LSAT Hacks free PT explanations + Q and A with Graeme

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:40 am

mjsjr wrote:Hi, Graeme!

I have a specific question I don't understand. The stimulus provides a complex situation (at least to me) that I can't seem to comprehend. I think your interpretation would really help me out. I could type the entire question verbatim, but I don't know if that's allowed on these forums? I'll just include the PT information below. Thanks!

PT 7 S4 Q19.

Edit:

To be more specific, I don't understand what the consequences of the facts in the stimulus are. I don't understand why the correct answer choice results from the ideas presented.


You're right, you can't post verbatim. The way you referenced is perfect.

This is a tricky question. Or at least, I don't see questions like this anymore. It's a mathematical question. Let me use a simpler example to explain it. Let's say years are only 7.25 days long. So we still have leap years every four years. Years look like this:

Year 1: 7 days
Year 2: 7 days
Year 3: 7 days
Year 4: 8 days
Year 5: 7 days.

Lets say in the first year, your birthday is on Monday. Year 2 is the same. Year 3 is the same. Year 4 is still the same actually. But year five is different. Let's look at this in terms of days:

Year four:

Day 1: Monday (Birthday)
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Day 8: Monday

Now, your birthday is DAY 1 of every year. So what day is your birthday in year five?

Year five:

Day 1: Tuesday (Birthday)
.....etc

So under the current system, your birthday changes every cycle of leap years.

The proposal is to make years four and five look like this:

Year four:

Day 1: Monday (Birthday)
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Day 8: Leap day, not part of week

Year five:

Day 1: Monday (Birthday)
.....etc.

So making the leap day not part of a week means that given days of the year will always falls on the same day of the week.

(I'm simplyfying a bit. There's also day 365. The proposal is to make that day not part of a week either. That 365th day is why holidays currently change every year, and not just every four years)

The question is: what group will be affected by this proposal? B is right, because if you take a day of rest every seven days, then your day of rest will shift. In my example above, the leap day isn't a part of the week, but it's still a day. So anyone counting rest days according to the number of days is going to be thrown off by this extra day.

Currently, a religious group could take a day of rest every seventh day and have it fall on the same weekday. Under the new proposal, they can't.

Hope that helps! If it still doesn't make sense, map out the weekdays in full like I did on a sheet of paper. And know you're highly unlikely to see a question like this on the modern LSAT.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
About Me + Free Explnations

Hi, I'm Graeme. I scored a 177 and have been teaching since 2008. I release free explanations for LSAT PTs.

Free PT Explanations: http://lsathacks.com/explanations/
Free LSAT email course: http://lsathacks.com/email-course/

mjsjr

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Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:05 am

Re: LSAT Hacks free PT explanations + Q and A with Graeme

Postby mjsjr » Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:26 pm

LSAT Hacks (Graeme) wrote:
mjsjr wrote:Hi, Graeme!

I have a specific question I don't understand. The stimulus provides a complex situation (at least to me) that I can't seem to comprehend. I think your interpretation would really help me out. I could type the entire question verbatim, but I don't know if that's allowed on these forums? I'll just include the PT information below. Thanks!

PT 7 S4 Q19.

Edit:

To be more specific, I don't understand what the consequences of the facts in the stimulus are. I don't understand why the correct answer choice results from the ideas presented.


You're right, you can't post verbatim. The way you referenced is perfect.

This is a tricky question. Or at least, I don't see questions like this anymore. It's a mathematical question. Let me use a simpler example to explain it. Let's say years are only 7.25 days long. So we still have leap years every four years. Years look like this:

Year 1: 7 days
Year 2: 7 days
Year 3: 7 days
Year 4: 8 days
Year 5: 7 days.

Lets say in the first year, your birthday is on Monday. Year 2 is the same. Year 3 is the same. Year 4 is still the same actually. But year five is different. Let's look at this in terms of days:

Year four:

Day 1: Monday (Birthday)
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Day 8: Monday

Now, your birthday is DAY 1 of every year. So what day is your birthday in year five?

Year five:

Day 1: Tuesday (Birthday)
.....etc

So under the current system, your birthday changes every cycle of leap years.

The proposal is to make years four and five look like this:

Year four:

Day 1: Monday (Birthday)
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Day 8: Leap day, not part of week

Year five:

Day 1: Monday (Birthday)
.....etc.

So making the leap day not part of a week means that given days of the year will always falls on the same day of the week.

(I'm simplyfying a bit. There's also day 365. The proposal is to make that day not part of a week either. That 365th day is why holidays currently change every year, and not just every four years)

The question is: what group will be affected by this proposal? B is right, because if you take a day of rest every seven days, then your day of rest will shift. In my example above, the leap day isn't a part of the week, but it's still a day. So anyone counting rest days according to the number of days is going to be thrown off by this extra day.

Currently, a religious group could take a day of rest every seventh day and have it fall on the same weekday. Under the new proposal, they can't.

Hope that helps! If it still doesn't make sense, map out the weekdays in full like I did on a sheet of paper. And know you're highly unlikely to see a question like this on the modern LSAT.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
About Me + Free Explnations

Hi, I'm Graeme. I scored a 177 and have been teaching since 2008. I release free explanations for LSAT PTs.

Free PT Explanations: http://lsathacks.com/explanations/
Free LSAT email course: http://lsathacks.com/email-course/


That's a perfect explanation. Thank you so much!

alexroark

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Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:45 am

Re: LSAT Hacks free PT explanations + Q and A with Graeme

Postby alexroark » Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:06 pm

This question is from PT18 Section 2, Question 8. I feel like I 90% understand this question. I was hoping you could fill in the gaps. I have read some online explanations for this question but did not see anyone mention the whole-to-part/part-to-whole flaw. Is that not happening in this question?

I thought that might have been the flaw to attack here.
The stimulus is saying:

Homicide rate increased by 50%
Usually the weapon used was a knife
Most deaths are b/c of unpremeditated assaults within family
unpremeditated assaults within the family would not result in deaths if it were not for knives
Deaths are govt's fault for not regulating knives

We are going from homicide rates in general, to a smaller subset of homicides that occur within the family. The unwarranted assumption being made is that because homicides in general are bc of knives, that homicides occurring within the family must also involve knives (what is true of the whole is true of the part). So I looked for an answer choice that matched my pre-phrase of saying that hey maybe knives aren't involved in household homicides. That is why I almost selected A until I realized it was out of scope bc we are dealing with murders that are not premeditated (those tricky bastards). Eventually I did end up selecting the correct answer in answer choice E.

If most homicides involve a knife and most homicides occur within the family then the only thing we can conclude is that some homicides within the family involve a knife. Right? So it could be true that most homicides within the family do not involve knives, in fact maybe only a very very small percentage of unpremeditated domestic assaults involve knives. I feel like if you don't realize that knives don't have to be prevalent in unpremeditated domestic assaults, then you would have a hard time selecting E on account that it would seem to challenge a stated premise in the stimulus which is not the right way to weaken an argument on the LSAT.

What are your thoughts on this? A(once i realized the scope) C and D were very easy for me to eliminate. Got a little hung up on B in terms of how it affects the argument. But even if these assaults were underreported that would still have no effect on the argument right?

But mostly what are the meat and potatoes so to speak of this argument. Is it not to realize that there is a whole-to-part flaw that is happening??

alexroark

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Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:45 am

Re: LSAT Hacks free PT explanations + Q and A with Graeme

Postby alexroark » Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:15 pm

LSAT Hacks (Graeme) wrote:
alexroark wrote:Hi Graeme,

How would you recommend constructively reviewing RC passages in PTs after you've taken them in order to improve on future passages?

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions!


Yes, absolutely. I learned a ton redoing passages with students, and while writing explanations. RC passages have patterns, just like the rest of the LSAT. The LSAC actually writes all of the passages themselves. This is different from the SAT, which takes passages from existing materials. But the LSAC *adapts* passages from materials – all passages are written to a common standard.

Intuition is the key to doing well on the test, fast. Redoing passages gives you an intuition for their structure, for what kinds of information are important, for words that indicate shifts in opinion, etc.

I also notice that students frequently fail to completely understand passages. They're quite deep. I suspect that redoing them will make you more likely to get the full meaning of passages. Discussing them with other people will also help. This applies to all sections. Discussion has all of these benefits:

1. Other people will notice things you don't.
2. Talking about things out loud makes you flesh out your thoughts.
3. Other people will ask questions that make you consider things in a new light

I got good at all sections, RC included, by answering questions students asked me. Often I didn't know the answer! They were confused by something I hadn't even noticed. Answering their questions forced me to look at the passage more carefully and notice everything that was there.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
About Me + Free Explnations

Hi, I'm Graeme. I scored a 177 and have been teaching since 2008. I release free explanations for LSAT PTs.

Free PT Explanations: http://lsathacks.com/explanations/
Free LSAT email course: http://lsathacks.com/email-course/


Thanks, I will keep those ideas in mind as I review past RC passages!

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LSAT Hacks (Graeme)

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Re: LSAT Hacks free PT explanations + Q and A with Graeme

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Wed Sep 24, 2014 8:54 am

alexroark wrote:This question is from PT18 Section 2, Question 8. I feel like I 90% understand this question. I was hoping you could fill in the gaps. I have read some online explanations for this question but did not see anyone mention the whole-to-part/part-to-whole flaw. Is that not happening in this question?

I thought that might have been the flaw to attack here.
The stimulus is saying:

Homicide rate increased by 50%
Usually the weapon used was a knife
Most deaths are b/c of unpremeditated assaults within family
unpremeditated assaults within the family would not result in deaths if it were not for knives
Deaths are govt's fault for not regulating knives

We are going from homicide rates in general, to a smaller subset of homicides that occur within the family. The unwarranted assumption being made is that because homicides in general are bc of knives, that homicides occurring within the family must also involve knives (what is true of the whole is true of the part). So I looked for an answer choice that matched my pre-phrase of saying that hey maybe knives aren't involved in household homicides. That is why I almost selected A until I realized it was out of scope bc we are dealing with murders that are not premeditated (those tricky bastards). Eventually I did end up selecting the correct answer in answer choice E.

If most homicides involve a knife and most homicides occur within the family then the only thing we can conclude is that some homicides within the family involve a knife. Right? So it could be true that most homicides within the family do not involve knives, in fact maybe only a very very small percentage of unpremeditated domestic assaults involve knives. I feel like if you don't realize that knives don't have to be prevalent in unpremeditated domestic assaults, then you would have a hard time selecting E on account that it would seem to challenge a stated premise in the stimulus which is not the right way to weaken an argument on the LSAT.

What are your thoughts on this? A(once i realized the scope) C and D were very easy for me to eliminate. Got a little hung up on B in terms of how it affects the argument. But even if these assaults were underreported that would still have no effect on the argument right?

But mostly what are the meat and potatoes so to speak of this argument. Is it not to realize that there is a whole-to-part flaw that is happening??


A few notes:

1. You're right that technically only some homicides in the family are with knives
2. This is an old LSAT. It's less logically formed. Most new LSATs that use "most" are formulaic, whereas this one was using "most" in the context of a larger flaw.
3. The error you identified could have been the error (and partly was). But there can be multiple errors in LSAT questions. Never get fixated on a single prephrase. Prephrases are just guesses.
4. This is a flawed reasoning question. It's asking for the strongest "criticism". A isn't really a criticism. Even if it said "intended homicide" it's not critiquing the logic of the argument. It's more of a weaken answer, and not a strong one: merely showing a possibility doesn't show that many people *are* using guns/poison.
5. E is actually engaging with the logic. It's showing cause before effect or effect without cause. Note also that the second part of E addresses the flaw you identified. If most houses don't have knives, then this is obliquely responding to the idea that knives might not be the cause of unpremeditated crimes in the family.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
About Me + Free Explnations

Hi, I'm Graeme. I scored a 177 and have been teaching since 2008. I release free explanations for LSAT PTs.

Free PT Explanations: http://lsathacks.com/explanations/
Free LSAT email course: http://lsathacks.com/email-course/

User avatar
appind

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Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:07 am

Re: LSAT Hacks free PT explanations + Q and A with Graeme

Postby appind » Sat Oct 04, 2014 5:36 pm

Hey Graeme,
I have a few questions in light of your post about speed reading.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=228874&p=7670928&hilit=speed#p7670928

I have 12 months to prep for my next retake when I become eligible. How should someone with these scores go about prepping?
There is a large variation in my scores on some specific section types on the actual administrations. The first scored administration my LR best section was xx, worst was xx. The second administration my LR best section was xx, worst was xx. My LG best section in these admins has been xx, worst xx. The only consistently bad section was RC: xx and xx. These individual sections scores make me think that I have the capacity to do well in LR of upto xx/section and LG upto xx/section even on real admins, even though on the test as a whole I screw up. What may I be doing wrong?

I've also exhausted all prep material, some PTs even multiple times. I have time to prep and I'd be willing to do heavier exercises than lsat so lsat feels easy. Any material which pushes my intellectual boundaries enough so lsat becomes easy?
I have heard conflicting opinions about speedreading, some even saying that fundamentally it's skimming and that subvocalization is almost necessary for good retention. I have tried spreeder but it's different than reading a rc passage on paper. Can speedreading really help?
Last edited by appind on Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:20 am, edited 1 time in total.



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