Non trad freaking out

NonTradHealthLaw
Posts: 401
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 2:44 pm

Non trad freaking out

Postby NonTradHealthLaw » Fri May 07, 2010 8:57 am

I've been appreciating all of the advice and assistance y'all have been providing other posters but now I guess it's my turn. After 10 years of work I had the epiphany that law school and a legal career are the appropriate next steps in my life - likely healthcare law or IP in biotech. I am not terribly concerned about my admissions likelihood at the T2 I'll probably attend, but the LSAT is freaking me out.

While I love standardized tests I'm fairly inconsistent in my LR performance. My scientist's brain just doesn't like to wrap itself around the implied assumptions/justify conclusions questions. Does anyone have advice? It pisses me off that I can dominate the LG and RC sections but LR is dominating me. I really think >170 will determine whether I can afford (due to scholarship) to leave my job and enroll fulltime or alternatively have to go part-time the first year and scramble to catch up.

I know the need to study/prepare/drill. I'm hoping someone might be able to give me a hint or explanation that just makes it click.

My stats if it matters are 3.5 LSDAS, 162-168 PLSAT, UR in my opinions but not my race, multiple first-author scientific publications, (hopefully) groovy LORs.

Thanks in advance and preliminary apologies if I broke some TLS rules.

shoop
Posts: 327
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:52 pm

Re: Non trad freaking out

Postby shoop » Fri May 07, 2010 11:53 am

NonTradHealthLaw wrote:I've been appreciating all of the advice and assistance y'all have been providing other posters but now I guess it's my turn. After 10 years of work I had the epiphany that law school and a legal career are the appropriate next steps in my life - likely healthcare law or IP in biotech. I am not terribly concerned about my admissions likelihood at the T2 I'll probably attend, but the LSAT is freaking me out.

While I love standardized tests I'm fairly inconsistent in my LR performance. My scientist's brain just doesn't like to wrap itself around the implied assumptions/justify conclusions questions. Does anyone have advice? It pisses me off that I can dominate the LG and RC sections but LR is dominating me. I really think >170 will determine whether I can afford (due to scholarship) to leave my job and enroll fulltime or alternatively have to go part-time the first year and scramble to catch up.

I know the need to study/prepare/drill. I'm hoping someone might be able to give me a hint or explanation that just makes it click.

My stats if it matters are 3.5 LSDAS, 162-168 PLSAT, UR in my opinions but not my race, multiple first-author scientific publications, (hopefully) groovy LORs.

Thanks in advance and preliminary apologies if I broke some TLS rules.


Whatever you do, don't use the word "epiphany" in your personal statement.

tomwatts
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Re: Non trad freaking out

Postby tomwatts » Fri May 07, 2010 2:03 pm

NonTradHealthLaw wrote:My scientist's brain just doesn't like to wrap itself around the implied assumptions/justify conclusions questions. Does anyone have advice?

Your scientist's brain should be perfectly attuned to finding assumptions! Let's say someone presents a study and says, "Here's the research I did. Here's what I think it means." You disagree with their conclusion, but you can't deny that they actually did the research that they did. Why might their evidence be true but their conclusion not follow? As soon as you can articulate that, you've got their assumptions!

Or let's say that you've presented some research and draw some conclusions based on it, and someone (who's in charge of whether you get published or not) says that they think that your conclusions aren't really justified by your evidence. What can you say that you'll do in addition to get more evidence to prove your point better? What further research/studies/data/etc. could you provide? That's what would justify the conclusion.

Now, the fact that it's multiple-choice is a little awkward, but it's still relevant.

NonTradHealthLaw
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Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 2:44 pm

Re: Non trad freaking out

Postby NonTradHealthLaw » Fri May 07, 2010 2:32 pm

shoop wrote:
Whatever you do, don't use the word "epiphany" in your personal statement.


You're right, shoop, I suppose that is a bit of a vapid word. At least I didn't claim to "know since age 3" or something equally inane.

tomwatts wrote: You disagree with their conclusion, but you can't deny that they actually did the research that they did. Why might their evidence be true but their conclusion not follow? As soon as you can articulate that, you've got their assumptions!
~~
What can you say that you'll do in addition to get more evidence to prove your point better? What further research/studies/data/etc. could you provide? That's what would justify the conclusion.

Now, the fact that it's multiple-choice is a little awkward, but it's still relevant.


Thanks, Tom. I'll keep these in mind while studying as, in retrospect, it's how one approaches refereeing journal submissions. 31 days away. Oy vey.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Non trad freaking out

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Fri May 07, 2010 2:40 pm

Here are two pretty common ways that assumption questions are formatted in LR:
1) Spot the new term or the shift in the conclusion. If they are talking about one specific thing in the Ev and then try to make a concl about something that might seem related, but in reality it's a new term/topic, then the two must be connected through an assumption for that argument to work.
2) Spot an apparent hole in the argument and then fill it with an assumption.

edit to add: Assumption questions are questions you need to be predicting what the correct choice looks like. There are the occasional few that can be harder to predict, but the majority of these questions you should already know what you need to be looking for before going to the answer choices.
Last edited by Richie Tenenbaum on Fri May 07, 2010 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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nonpareilpearl
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Re: Non trad freaking out

Postby nonpareilpearl » Fri May 07, 2010 2:41 pm

NonTradHealthLaw wrote:While I love standardized tests I'm fairly inconsistent in my LR performance. My scientist's brain just doesn't like to wrap itself around the implied assumptions/justify conclusions questions.


I feel your pain! I graduated with a degree in physics, and when taking the LSAT I sometimes feel like on some questions you need outside knowledge and not on others. One thing I did to help me is use the LSAT Deconstructed books from PowerScore. I took the tests twice: timed and untimed. I went through to see what I missed (especially more than once) and why. The Deconstructed books explain why every answer is right or wrong - not just why the right answer is correct or why the most commonly chosen wrong answer is wrong. Occasionally they will throw in a "most commonly picked wrong answer" in their description. If I picked the "most commonly chosen wrong answer" I sometimes felt a little better :)

I know that after talking to someone who had already conquered the LSAT that she said she sometimes felt like her answers on the PTs were right, but in the end you begin to "get a feel" for the test. The more practice tests you take, the better feel you will get. So I recommend taking a lot of them - I know I am going to.

NonTradHealthLaw
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Re: Non trad freaking out

Postby NonTradHealthLaw » Fri May 07, 2010 2:53 pm

nonpareilpearl wrote:Occasionally they will throw in a "most commonly picked wrong answer" in their description. If I picked the "most commonly chosen wrong answer" I sometimes felt a little better :)


A month ago when starting this I agreed wholeheardly...until I thought about it some more and realized...sh*t...half wrong doesn't get me any bonus points.

amyLAchemist wrote:Have you done the LR bible (powerscore)? Saved my life.


Working through it now and will finish the initial perusal this weekend. Then I'll be diving into each section a bit more diagnostically. My lawn is just going to have to go unmowed until June 8. Sorry, neighborhood association.

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badpixie
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Re: Non trad freaking out

Postby badpixie » Mon May 10, 2010 1:07 am

NonTradHealthLaw wrote:My lawn is just going to have to go unmowed until June 8. Sorry, neighborhood association.


This may have been a joke, but there's a kernal of truth here: Make your prep time as high on your priority list as humanly possible. Obviously, some things can't be put off or ignored, like your job, but make a study plan and stick with it, and let anything else slide if you can get away with it. (Hopefully, you have a spouse/partner who is understanding and willing to pick up the slack.) I literally did not cook a meal or do anything around the house in the two months leading up to the LSAT -my partner took care of the house and we lived on take out. Basically, I had two "jobs" during that time - my regular day job, and then whatever LSAT prep I had scheduled for the evenings and weekends. It was a lot at the time, but the payoff was worth it.

NonTradHealthLaw
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Re: Non trad freaking out

Postby NonTradHealthLaw » Mon May 10, 2010 8:39 am

badpixie wrote:I literally did not cook a meal or do anything around the house in the two months leading up to the LSAT -my partner took care of the house and we lived on take out. Basically, I had two "jobs" during that time - my regular day job, and then whatever LSAT prep I had scheduled for the evenings and weekends. It was a lot at the time, but the payoff was worth it.


Thanks for the reassurance that it's okay to be a schlub this entire month. I've tried to reassure my partner that every second I spend studying is an investment into our future. Fortunately he gets it - I just need to figure out a way to reinforce that to the dogs, too.

CordeliusX
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Re: Non trad freaking out

Postby CordeliusX » Mon May 10, 2010 2:45 pm

A lot of it is practice, practice, practice. It's discouraging until you see improvement, and a lot of my improvement was not really noticeable by me (I would never feel like I learned something quantifiable, it just seemed to "click" a bit better)

I think non-trads have a disadvantage if you've not been taking standardized tests, or any tests, for a while. It's tough to get in that mode.




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