June 2011 Study Group

User avatar
geverett
Posts: 285
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:07 pm

Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby geverett » Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:18 pm

I certainly hope so.

User avatar
geverett
Posts: 285
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:07 pm

Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby geverett » Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:28 pm

Copies of every HLS exam ever administered from 1870 - 1995 to whet your appetite. Killing time in between LG sections. Back to it.

And here is the link: --LinkRemoved--

As you can see forgetting things like inserting the link demonstrates the achilles heel I have in games and other lsat sections for that matter.

User avatar
soj
Posts: 7735
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:10 pm

Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby soj » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:20 pm

Background: An exclusive self-studier (no tutors or prep programs), I've read all three Bibles and all three Atlas (i.e. 1st edition) guides. I've done about 25 PTs, and have done well (raw scores ranging from -2 to -11, scaled scores ranging from 170 to 180). I wanted to improve my LR score (combined mean-median-mode of -3.8 -4 -3), and thanks to a generous gift from Manhattan LSAT Noah, I was able to get a copy of the MLSAT LR Guide Second Edition. I review it here for the benefit of other posters as well as the MLSAT editing team.

Verdict: The MLSAT LR Guide 2.0 is really, really good. Overall, I think the book is a worthy purchase even for someone who has the Bible as well as Manhattan LR v1. I would even call it nearly as good as the PS LR Bible, which I consider the single best LSAT prep book in existence. It's definitely worth the investment even for someone who has already read the PS LR Bible and is doing decently well.

Improvements over MLSAT LR Guide v1 (also called the Atlas LR Guide)

- no glaring errors. there are a few typos, but these have been enumerated on the online errata, and aren't harmful the way at least one typo in v1 was.

- much, much more content. the book divides up the LR section in a similar way to v1, but each section contains many more questions, all of them real. V2 follows the same format of V1: a few warm-up questions, a discussion of strategies integrated with solutions to the warm-up Qs, and then a problem set. The problem sets in v2 are much longer than those in v1, and v2's solutions are much more fully explained than v1's.

Advantages over PS LR Bible

- like PS, MLSAT2 reads well and explains concepts clearly and consistently. I read PS first so I got more insights out of PS, but MLSAT certainly has new insights to offer.

- many more practice Qs. Amazing though it is, the Bible doesn't have enough Qs with which to practice its recommended strategies. MLSAT2 doesn't have this problem because it gives you plenty of preview problems (whose solutions are integrated with the strategies, so you can see the strategies in action) as well as plenty of review problems.

- covers foundational stuff quite well. this isn't an improvement over PS since PS is also good at foundational stuff, but MLSAT is no slouch. I glossed over a lot of it (esp. the lengthy section on conditional logic basics), but I could tell that anyone who needs to review the basics would do well to get both PS and MLSAT.

- focus on the test-taker's approach. This was actually kind of toned down from v1 (which actually had pages devoted to narrating the thoughts of a hypothetical 170+ test-taker reading the stimulus), but it's still partly there, and it's helpful. Sometimes PS's approach is too top-down, analyzing stimuli and ACs from the perspective of a test-maker who already knows the solution to the problem. MLSAT takes a bottom-up approach that explains precisely which elements of a wrong AC should lead us to eliminate it. With MLSAT, there are fewer instances in which you think, "well, duh, it's obvious when you already know the answer, but how are you supposed to come up with that thought when you don't know the answer?" Note that while I like this approach a lot, I'm not 100% sold on it (or at least the way MLSAT does it), and I'll explain why below.

Drawbacks (beware, this is going to get really nitpicky and maybe even a little unfair)

- While I certainly appreciate MLSAT's efforts to approach problems from the test-taker's perspective (see above), it doesn't always succeed. Like all other prepbooks I know of, MLSAT tends to oversimplify ACs, exaggerating reasons a correct answer is correct and reasons a wrong answer is wrong. Some reasons for eliminating ACs seem valid only if you presume, as the author unwittingly does, those ACs to be wrong. In other words, sometimes MLSAT uses the same top-down approach that other books use, but disguises it as a bottom-up approach. For example, certain ACs are dismissed as "out of scope" or "completely irrelevant" even when there is a seemingly legitimate (though ultimately wrong for other reasons) line of thinking that might lead one to believe they are in scope and relevant. Yes, it's true that these seemingly legitimate lines of reasoning probably aren't actually legitimate. However, readers do make them, and it's important to recognize their existence and explain how they can be resisted, and how the wrong ACs might sometimes be eliminated even with a different line of reasoning. It's always disappointing to see your line of thinking (whether correct or not) go unacknowledged in the explanations. Of course, fully dissecting every wrong AC and rejecting it from every possible line of reasoning would be a ridiculous and impossible exercise in a book that already seems overlong in some of its explanations. However, the book could be improved if it explained some of the most popular wrong ACs with statements like "this AC MIGHT seem in scope if you assume X, but X is an unwarranted assumption because blah blah blah" or "even if you consider it from this perspective, this AC is still wrong because blah blah blah." Notice this is not the same as endorsing wrong approaches, as those who oppose my recommendations might try to argue. I feel bad raising this criticism because this book is actually the least guilty of presupposing the wrongness of wrong ACs of all the books I've read. However, there's still room for improvement.

- Something else that might have contributed to my unease about MLSAT's presumed orthodox methodology is that MLSAT does not diagnose. And I'm not talking about preview Qs meant to be diagnostic because MLSAT certainly has those. And while I wish the book would give us the solutions to these preview Qs earlier in the chapter (I'm impatient, after all), I see why the book chooses to integrate them one-by-one in the chapter instead of giving them right off the bat. I'm referring to diagnosing wrong lines of thinking. Apart from general statements like "if you're having trouble with identifying the core, read chapter 2," MLSAT does not diagnose or recommend any specific action for someone who chooses a particular wrong AC or a pattern of wrong ACs. It would be useful to have statements like "if you chose C, here's where you might have gone wrong ... to get more practice on this particular issue, try this."

- The theoretical explanations aren't quite as satisfying or illuminating as those of PS. It's hard to give an example especially because MLSAT nevertheless comes close, but as useful as it was overall, MLSAT2 didn't give me any eureka moments that were as enlightening as the most enlightening moments I had while reading the PS LR Bible or the Atlas LG Guide. I understand PS LR has the advantage of being my first book (when I had much more room to improve than I do now), and Atlas LG has the advantage of being LG, in which there are more hard-and-fast rules than in LR.

Conclusion: At the risk of sounding like a spokesperson for overpriced in-person tutoring services, I get the impression that my problems with this book serve to highlight the limits of a prep book. Yes, a good prep book should acknowledge multiple lines of thinking and diagnose the specific problems of a struggling student, but it's a very rare book that can actually do that nearly as effectively as a tutor can. I know this because I'm a tutor (not an LSAT tutor, obviously) and I've also written some mini-guides on my subject, and I know how tough it can be to write advice that is universal as well as specific, whereas it's easier (nay, possible) to fine-tune your advice when you're tutoring one-on-one. Limited by its medium, MLSAT LR2 nevertheless fares really well in comparison to other prep books, and I certainly recommend it for beginners as well as "experienced" LSAT students.

EDIT: The above was written before I had finished the last two substantive chapters (Inferences and Matching). This edit contains my comments on those two chapters now that I've finished them. The Inferences chapter (MBT, MSS) is great. The material is original, and I could start applying some of its strategies right away. I feel much better about MSS questions. The Matching chapter (PR, PF) is not as great as it recycles (sometimes verbatim) most of the material from v1. It felt like the least well done chapter of the book. Also, here's also an example of the book being overly critical of wrong ACs, and overly lenient towards TCRs: For PT23 S3 Q23, one tempting wrong AC is (D), which the author eliminates for two apparently independent reasons: 1) it has a shift in terminology that the stimulus doesn't have (a very subtle shift I was lucky to detect during my own attempt at the problem), and 2) it focuses on shifting resources from the worse activity to the better activity, whereas the stimulus shifts resources from the better activity to the worse activity. Reason 1 is legitimate; Reason 2 is not. Reason 2 is not legitimate because (B), the correct answer, never even mentions which activity is better and which activity is worse. In PR, if an element of an argument is important enough that its being reversed in an AC is reason enough to eliminate that AC, shouldn't omitting that element altogether also be reason enough to eliminate an AC that omits that element? This kind of double standard in evaluating ACs is not helpful for someone who chose the wrong AC. The book shouldn't have mentioned Reason 2 at all; the distinction between the better activity and the worse activity cannot contribute to determining the correct answer because TCR omits that distinction.

The fact that the last substantive chapter is weak dulls my enthusiasm a tiny bit, but the 11 chapters that come before it are still fantastic. My overall recommendation is the same.
Last edited by soj on Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:29 pm, edited 8 times in total.

Climber80
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:24 pm

Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby Climber80 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:48 pm

Hi everyone!
I'm new to the thread, and have been studying extensively as well. If there's anyone who would like to do some group studying with me through skype or the Elluminate classroom, give me a holler.
:)

User avatar
Neidermeyer519
Posts: 244
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:20 am

Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby Neidermeyer519 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:28 pm

Well, I've been drilling LG pretty hard, and it seems that the only ones I have problems really setting up are the pure sequencing games in which the order is relative and there are like 7 or 8 factors in play. Other than that I seem to be doing pretty good. Once I slowed down and spent more time diagramming and making inferences, the questions became a lot easier.

As for LR and RC, they are coming along. The LR Bible has helped quite a bit. The only questions that still confuse the hell out of me are the ones where the wording becomes extremely complex and difficult to wrap my head around. Guess I have about 7 1/2 weeks to figure those out.

User avatar
OhOkay
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:14 am

Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby OhOkay » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:32 pm

geverett wrote:I've been working from the earlier tests today. I'm wrapping up 5 timed LG sections. Then I will do 5 timed RC passages. Then I will do 6 LR sections. Hopefully I can get this all done tonight. We shall see. Also, no I am not doing them straight in a row. I am pausing after each one, re-working what I got wrong, and taking a short 5-10 minute break.


holy crap. wow!! you have some killer stamina, that is amazing. isn't that like 12 hours' worth of work?! i'd be dead after max four sections of anything. so far i definitely haven't even been able to follow my plan of reviewing my PTs the same day i take them. afterwards i just want to sleep like i just ran a half-marathon. any tips?

User avatar
geverett
Posts: 285
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:07 pm

Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby geverett » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:09 am

I got to make up for that 161 I made earlier this week. Off too bed. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. in the morning.

User avatar
Neidermeyer519
Posts: 244
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:20 am

Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby Neidermeyer519 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:19 am

geverett wrote:I got to make up for that 161 I made earlier this week. Off too bed. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. in the morning.


Sounds like a plan! Im gonna flip through the LR Bile for a bit

User avatar
mickeyD
Posts: 357
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:43 pm

Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby mickeyD » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:53 am

geverett wrote:I got to make up for that 161 I made earlier this week. Off too bed. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. in the morning.


gev you are a man on a mission. That 161 may end up being a blessing after all if it motivates you take your prep up a couple notches.

User avatar
soj
Posts: 7735
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:10 pm

Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby soj » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:07 am

Neidermeyer519 wrote:LR Bile

:lol:

User avatar
Neidermeyer519
Posts: 244
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:20 am

Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby Neidermeyer519 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:18 am

lol...shows you I'm way too tired to be doing this LSAT stuff

User avatar
99.9luft
Posts: 1244
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:32 pm

Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby 99.9luft » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:07 am

could have gotten what would have been my personal record -6 total...but fucked it up on the last section. too depressed to post details now.

User avatar
mickeyD
Posts: 357
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:43 pm

Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby mickeyD » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:45 am

Studied til 1am for my exam tomorrow, then another 2 hours of LSAT, mainly LG.

It's Greek Week at my school this week, so my fraternity has had a party every single night, none of which I've gone to (yay LSAT!). I'm currently posting this while my blacked out roommate is passed out next to some random chick in the sorority we're paired up with :lol:

Tomorrow night they're having a "Beerlin Wall" party while I do 100 Must Be True questions... :(

User avatar
Eichörnchen
Posts: 1119
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:51 pm

Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby Eichörnchen » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:01 am

mickeyD wrote:Studied til 1am for my exam tomorrow, then another 2 hours of LSAT, mainly LG.

It's Greek Week at my school this week, so my fraternity has had a party every single night, none of which I've gone to (yay LSAT!). I'm currently posting this while my blacked out roommate is passed out next to some random chick in the sorority we're paired up with :lol:

Tomorrow night they're having a "Beerlin Wall" party while I do 100 Must Be True questions... :(

Ew...and I'm instantly reminded why I didn't go within 100 yards of anything frat related while in college. :lol:

jim-green
Posts: 808
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:55 pm

Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby jim-green » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:32 am

geverett wrote:I got to make up for that 161 I made earlier this week. Off too bed. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. in the morning.
Did anyone get back to you about the strategy to review RC questions? I took my first timed half-PT last night.

User avatar
Ginj
Posts: 531
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:53 am

Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby Ginj » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:35 am

If anyone's looking for a study buddy, I'm ready and willing. I'm currently scoring in the upper 160's, hoping for low- to mid-170's in June. Pretty good at RC and LG. Inexplicably goofy with LR. PM me.

User avatar
Eichörnchen
Posts: 1119
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:51 pm

Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby Eichörnchen » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:38 am

jim-green wrote:
geverett wrote:I got to make up for that 161 I made earlier this week. Off too bed. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. in the morning.
Did anyone get back to you about the strategy to review RC questions? I took my first timed half-PT last night.

I think I replied to him here. Others may have as well- just check his post about it and they should be there

User avatar
coldshoulder
Posts: 963
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:05 pm

Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby coldshoulder » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:25 am

I'm only up to about prep test 24, with about 6 weeks left should I jump forward to more recent tests? Or plan to do a huge number of recent test right before the real exam?

jim-green
Posts: 808
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:55 pm

Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby jim-green » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:55 am

Eichörnchen wrote:
jim-green wrote:Did anyone get back to you about the strategy to review RC questions? I took my first timed half-PT last night.
I think I replied to him here. Others may have as well- just check his post about it and they should be there
Thanks, I paged back and read your reply. It was helpful.

No one wished me luck before I took my first half-PT yesterday :(

User avatar
geverett
Posts: 285
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:07 pm

Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby geverett » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:33 pm

You only get a "good luck" on full PT's. Sorry. Board rules.

User avatar
geverett
Posts: 285
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:07 pm

Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby geverett » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:35 pm

When anyone gets a chance I would love to hear some thoughts on PT 7 RC passage #2 question #14. I'm having trouble finding support for the answer.

User avatar
Eichörnchen
Posts: 1119
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:51 pm

Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby Eichörnchen » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:39 pm

geverett wrote:You only get a "good luck" on full PT's. Sorry. Board rules.

Haha that's what I was just about to say!

Speaking of PTs I think I'll take 28 today. I won't make it to the study group cause I did some rough math for how long it would take to do the '3 copies of most games' technique and holllly $@&# I better get moving cause I have all that to do, hopefully without neglecting the other sections. (anyone have a time machine/ 1 of their three magic wishes they aren't using?)

User avatar
soj
Posts: 7735
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:10 pm

Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby soj » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:42 pm

geverett wrote:When anyone gets a chance I would love to hear some thoughts on PT 7 RC passage #2 question #14. I'm having trouble finding support for the answer.

How about lines 30-35? It's been a while since I did this passage so nothing else jumps out at me at first glance, but there might be other indications.

jim-green
Posts: 808
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:55 pm

Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby jim-green » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:52 pm

geverett wrote:You only get a "good luck" on full PT's. Sorry. Board rules.
I did pretty bad on my first timed half-PT. I have done only untimed till now, and my timed score yesterday was pretty lower. I was planning to do my first timed full PT tomorrow, but now I am wondering if I should go back to untimed for tomorrow's PT. Someone on this TLS told me to move from untimed to timed only when I get -0 on untimed PTs. I'll let you guys know when I do my first full PT. Didn't know about the rule.

User avatar
pinkstark
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:47 am

Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby pinkstark » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:58 pm

jim-green wrote:
geverett wrote:You only get a "good luck" on full PT's. Sorry. Board rules.
I did pretty bad on my first timed half-PT. I have done only untimed till now, and my timed score yesterday was pretty lower. I was planning to do my first timed full PT tomorrow, but now I am wondering if I should go back to untimed for tomorrow's PT. Someone on this TLS told me to move from untimed to timed only when I get -0 on untimed PTs. I'll let you guys know when I do my first full PT. Didn't know about the rule.


Don't know how long you've been studying...if you're not comfortable with your timed scores. I guess you don't have to push it. Keep doing the untimed ones until you get somewhat better. Since you're taking it in June. What about giving yourself another half a month to figure out what's wrong and start timing from May 1st for a month....Just saying.




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: BobBoblaw, Instrumental, Yahoo [Bot] and 9 guests