What are the best and worst prep books?

b2582
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What are the best and worst prep books?

Postby b2582 » Sat Apr 17, 2010 2:48 pm

just curious which is the best investment, and has yielded the best results...

b2582
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Re: What are the best and worst prep books?

Postby b2582 » Sat Apr 17, 2010 2:53 pm

i suppose i should disclude the official practice test books. kinda goes without saying that they're beneficial.

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Mr. Smith
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Re: What are the best and worst prep books?

Postby Mr. Smith » Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:33 pm

Best: Powerscore materials.

Worst: hmmm, Kaplan, maybe?

didionye
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Re: What are the best and worst prep books?

Postby didionye » Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:37 pm

I used kaplan and it worked fine for me. I never used powerscore but i heard its really good too.

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suspicious android
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Re: What are the best and worst prep books?

Postby suspicious android » Sun Apr 18, 2010 4:43 am

I have looked at Barron's, they write their own test questions. They are really, really, really bad. Like 90% of their questions don't come anywhere near meeting LSAC standards. Their games were actually okay, which is why I picked up the book. The formatting was crappy and they asked questions in ways that no real LSAT game would, but the scenarios and restrictions were pretty similar.

Logic Games for Dummies is another book I got off ebay for like $5. Man, I got screwed on that one. That book isn't worth a penny. Same problem with formatting as Barron's, but the guy who wrote LG for Dummies obviously only has a passing familiarity with the LSAT. There were several questions for which (E) was "None of the above", which I would have found amusing if it didn't mean the author had just decided he could write LSAT games without actually bothering to learn how the questions are worded. However, the absolute worst failure of the book was that the guy didn't have a fundamentally sound grasp of formal logic and didn't even properly understand his own games. There was one game for which the crucial rule was something like "X happens unless Y happens". The whole game erroneously infers that in this case if Y happens, then X cannot, which is such a fundamental logic error that I had to stop using the book entirely. (~X --> Y does not imply Y --> ~X)

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PDaddy
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Re: What are the best and worst prep books?

Postby PDaddy » Sun Apr 18, 2010 4:51 am

Mr. Smith wrote:Best: Powerscore materials.

Worst: hmmm, Kaplan, maybe?


1) Kaplan Advanced or Kaplan180 are good.

2) One many people sleep on (use it for logic games only) is McGraw Hills LSAT. Use it to learn diagramming and approaches.

3) All three Powerscore Bibles, LSAC SuperPrep and LSAC Next 10 (purple book and green book only)
Last edited by PDaddy on Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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MorningHood
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Re: What are the best and worst prep books?

Postby MorningHood » Sun Apr 18, 2010 4:54 am

suspicious android wrote:I have looked at Barron's, they write their own test questions. They are really, really, really bad. Like 90% of their questions don't come anywhere near meeting LSAC standards. Their games were actually okay, which is why I picked up the book. The formatting was crappy and they asked questions in ways that no real LSAT game would, but the scenarios and restrictions were pretty similar.

Logic Games for Dummies is another book I got off ebay for like $5. Man, I got screwed on that one. That book isn't worth a penny. Same problem with formatting as Barron's, but the guy who wrote LG for Dummies obviously only has a passing familiarity with the LSAT. There were several questions for which (E) was "None of the above", which I would have found amusing if it didn't mean the author had just decided he could write LSAT games without actually bothering to learn how the questions are worded. However, the absolute worst failure of the book was that the guy didn't have a fundamentally sound grasp of formal logic and didn't even properly understand his own games. There was one game for which the crucial rule was something like "X happens unless Y happens". The whole game erroneously infers that in this case if Y happens, then X cannot, which is such a fundamental logic error that I had to stop using the book entirely. (~X --> Y does not imply Y --> ~X)


Although TLS is very much against using fake practice tests, I went ahead and tried some. Big mistake. I used Princeton Review's Logic Games Workout, as well as the LSAT 180. To be quite frank, the logic games to both of these were pretty darn good. They seemed like real LGs to me.

Nothing could be closer to the truth. What those PR and Kaplan fucksterds did was pretty much create the exact same games as real PTs, only changing the subject of each game. When I took real preptests, I knew right away. It was blatantly obvious... I pretty much tainted my real PTs because of my stupid decision to ignore the general wisdom offered by TLS in LSAT preparation. Fuck my life.

xqhp82
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Re: What are the best and worst prep books?

Postby xqhp82 » Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:46 am

oh my....thanks so much for telling MorningHood, i'm glad that i've only done 4 games from the logic game workout and a PT from the big princeton review prep book. throwing them to the corner RIGHT NOW.

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Drummingreg
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Re: What are the best and worst prep books?

Postby Drummingreg » Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:58 am

MorningHood wrote:
suspicious android wrote:I have looked at Barron's, they write their own test questions. They are really, really, really bad. Like 90% of their questions don't come anywhere near meeting LSAC standards. Their games were actually okay, which is why I picked up the book. The formatting was crappy and they asked questions in ways that no real LSAT game would, but the scenarios and restrictions were pretty similar.

Logic Games for Dummies is another book I got off ebay for like $5. Man, I got screwed on that one. That book isn't worth a penny. Same problem with formatting as Barron's, but the guy who wrote LG for Dummies obviously only has a passing familiarity with the LSAT. There were several questions for which (E) was "None of the above", which I would have found amusing if it didn't mean the author had just decided he could write LSAT games without actually bothering to learn how the questions are worded. However, the absolute worst failure of the book was that the guy didn't have a fundamentally sound grasp of formal logic and didn't even properly understand his own games. There was one game for which the crucial rule was something like "X happens unless Y happens". The whole game erroneously infers that in this case if Y happens, then X cannot, which is such a fundamental logic error that I had to stop using the book entirely. (~X --> Y does not imply Y --> ~X)


Although TLS is very much against using fake practice tests, I went ahead and tried some. Big mistake. I used Princeton Review's Logic Games Workout, as well as the LSAT 180. To be quite frank, the logic games to both of these were pretty darn good. They seemed like real LGs to me.

Nothing could be closer to the truth. What those PR and Kaplan fucksterds did was pretty much create the exact same games as real PTs, only changing the subject of each game. When I took real preptests, I knew right away. It was blatantly obvious... I pretty much tainted my real PTs because of my stupid decision to ignore the general wisdom offered by TLS in LSAT preparation. Fuck my life.

:lol:

DanInALionsDen
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Re: What are the best and worst prep books?

Postby DanInALionsDen » Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:10 am

suspicious android wrote:I have looked at Barron's, they write their own test questions. They are really, really, really bad. Like 90% of their questions don't come anywhere near meeting LSAC standards. Their games were actually okay, which is why I picked up the book. The formatting was crappy and they asked questions in ways that no real LSAT game would, but the scenarios and restrictions were pretty similar.

Logic Games for Dummies is another book I got off ebay for like $5. Man, I got screwed on that one. That book isn't worth a penny. Same problem with formatting as Barron's, but the guy who wrote LG for Dummies obviously only has a passing familiarity with the LSAT. There were several questions for which (E) was "None of the above", which I would have found amusing if it didn't mean the author had just decided he could write LSAT games without actually bothering to learn how the questions are worded. However, the absolute worst failure of the book was that the guy didn't have a fundamentally sound grasp of formal logic and didn't even properly understand his own games. There was one game for which the crucial rule was something like "X happens unless Y happens". The whole game erroneously infers that in this case if Y happens, then X cannot, which is such a fundamental logic error that I had to stop using the book entirely. (~X --> Y does not imply Y --> ~X)


I've been thinking about this, and while the rest of the book does sound like bullshit, if you quoted this setup properly, I think you might be the one making the logical error. "X happens unless Y happens" should mean that if Y happens, X cannot. "Unless" is the key word, which, with no qualifying word, simply implies an either or relationship. By qualifying word, I mean something like "must," which is to say that if the sentence read "X must happen unless Y happens," then your logic would be correct. In this case, without Y, X would have to be present in the solution, and with Y, it may or may not be present... Maybe you just quoted it wrong. :wink:

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suspicious android
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Re: What are the best and worst prep books?

Postby suspicious android » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:41 pm

DanInALionsDen wrote:I've been thinking about this, and while the rest of the book does sound like bullshit, if you quoted this setup properly, I think you might be the one making the logical error. "X happens unless Y happens" should mean that if Y happens, X cannot. "Unless" is the key word, which, with no qualifying word, simply implies an either or relationship. By qualifying word, I mean something like "must," which is to say that if the sentence read "X must happen unless Y happens," then your logic would be correct. In this case, without Y, X would have to be present in the solution, and with Y, it may or may not be present... Maybe you just quoted it wrong. :wink:


Actually, no. "unless" doesn't indicate an either/or relationship. It's a a guarantee that something will happen except under a particular instance. If that instance occurs, then there is no guarantee *either way*. In colloquial usage, we usually mean it as "either/or" but in a strict sense, it is not.

I will wash my car unless it rains. So.. If it does not rain, then I will wash my car. Those two sentences are logical equal, right?

~WC --> R
~R --> WC

So what happens if it rains? Well, rain actually proves nothing in this case, neither does me washing my car. Those would be "mistaken reversals" in the PS terminology. The only way I can make a valid inference from this statement is to say either I did not wash my car or it did not rain.

Soooo... when the rule was given as "X unless Y" we can think of it as "~X --> Y", from which the fact that Y occurs implies nothing. Only ~X or ~Y would lead to valid inferences. I hope that puts us on the same page.

tomwatts
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Re: What are the best and worst prep books?

Postby tomwatts » Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:38 pm

In casual conversation, we're usually sloppy about "if and only if." I might sometimes say, "I'll go to class if it's not raining" and mean "I'll go to class if and only if it's not raining." The former means that you know what I'll do if it doesn't rain but not what I'll do if it does, but the latter means that you know what I'll do if it doesn't rain and what I'll do if it does. In casual conversation, we're often sloppy about this, but LSAC never is. This is usually part of the reason for the confusion about "unless." Or about conditional statements in general, for that matter.

Also, as I've said many times before, the right way to use of a book of technique that doesn't use real LSAT questions is to treat the example questions as examples, not practice. They're just examples to be specific, not practice to hone your skills. Then get yourself a bunch of real LSAT questions in order to practice.

sunny
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Re: What are the best and worst prep books?

Postby sunny » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:09 pm

the best: powerscore LR & LG
the bad: Barron's cuz the methods it teaches only confuse me than help me in the pt.

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ugchicago
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Re: What are the best and worst prep books?

Postby ugchicago » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:14 pm

I think A Separate Peace is my personal favorite, but many people seem to prefer Catcher in the Rye.

As for worst, I can't think of any of the top of my head.

:lol: I realize that was entirely worthless to you...

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Luis Gomez
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Re: What are the best and worst prep books?

Postby Luis Gomez » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:18 pm

Practice tests. Those were all I had and they worked well.

sk8kim
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Re: What are the best and worst prep books?

Postby sk8kim » Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:52 pm

For learning concepts:
LR Bible
LG Bible

For practice problems:
SuperPrep
The "10" Series
Individual PTs
Kaplan Mastery Practice

waxloaf
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Re: What are the best and worst prep books?

Postby waxloaf » Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:01 pm

There seems to be really no reason to do fake questions, there are so many real ones availible




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