Question about Conditional Reasoning and Powerscore Methods

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dsn32
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Question about Conditional Reasoning and Powerscore Methods

Postby dsn32 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:04 pm

Hey all,

So I've been studying for October for about 3 weeks now, loosely following Pithypike's guide, and things have been going pretty well in terms of implementing all of Powerscore's methods for all three sections. However, I have finally come across something that I'm not sure if I should be implementing or not, and I was wondering if anyone has ever had the same issue.

When it comes to conditional reasoning, I feel as if it is much easier for me to think things out logically in my head rather than going through the necessary/sufficient diagrams and the like. While I have certainly had room to improve on the LR sections of my practice tests, timing hasn't been a huge issue when I've "winged it" (mind you, I have only been studying for three weeks). Conversely, my ability to diagram and think in terms of conditional reasoning is so poor at this point, it is a struggle to get through the sections in a timely fashion when looking at problems in this way. However, I have also noticed questions where it is absolutely necessary to implement these strategies (i.e.: the contrapositive is the answer, which doesn't always jump out as the conclusion to draw without diagramming).

Basically, I'm wondering if anyone else has had this same issue and how they handled it. I realize that I'll probably never reach my full potential in LR if I don't take the time to learn conditional reasoning like the back of my hand, but at the same time, is time better spent perfecting other things instead of embarking on an uphill battle I may never perfect?

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suspicious android
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Re: Question about Conditional Reasoning and Powerscore Methods

Postby suspicious android » Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:45 pm

Conditional reasoning is one of the most heavily tested skills on the LSAT, I can't think of any other skill that should take priority over it, except maybe reading ability in general. So yeah, you should try to become an expert in conditional reasoning even if it slows you down at first, especially if you're planning to prep for several months.

imjustjoking22
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Re: Question about Conditional Reasoning and Powerscore Methods

Postby imjustjoking22 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:43 pm

I've been feeling the same way- since I generally do pretty well just thinking it out, it's hard to get the motivation to really learn and drill all of the strategies. But, what keeps getting brought up to me is that on test day, it will just be another tool that you can choose to use when it helps and not when it doesn't, which makes it worthwhile IMO!

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dsn32
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Re: Question about Conditional Reasoning and Powerscore Methods

Postby dsn32 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:22 pm

Yeah, I solely focused on this for a few more hours this afternoon, and I do see progress and the benefits already, even though my ability to move quickly went completely out the window (for the time being at least). Thank you both for the advice!

bp shinners
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Re: Question about Conditional Reasoning and Powerscore Methods

Postby bp shinners » Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:18 pm

For some of the more complex conditional reasoning questions, it's very difficult to do them without diagramming (All lawyers are cowboys, some cowboys are ski resort owners, etc...). Being able to diagram quickly and effectively is one of those tools that you should have just in case you need it when a question isn't clicking.

That being said, it's like those scholars who learn to do math on an abacus. Eventually, they've used it enough they don't even need it anymore and can do unbelievably complex math problems in their heads by imagining the manipulation of the abacus. Doing many conditional reasoning drills will help your brain develop the ability to recognize the patterns without always having to diagram stuff, making you faster and more accurate.

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dsn32
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Re: Question about Conditional Reasoning and Powerscore Methods

Postby dsn32 » Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:42 pm

bp shinners wrote:For some of the more complex conditional reasoning questions, it's very difficult to do them without diagramming (All lawyers are cowboys, some cowboys are ski resort owners, etc...). Being able to diagram quickly and effectively is one of those tools that you should have just in case you need it when a question isn't clicking.

That being said, it's like those scholars who learn to do math on an abacus. Eventually, they've used it enough they don't even need it anymore and can do unbelievably complex math problems in their heads by imagining the manipulation of the abacus. Doing many conditional reasoning drills will help your brain develop the ability to recognize the patterns without always having to diagram stuff, making you faster and more accurate.


This is what I've been hearing from people I've asked in real life (as opposed to TLS "fake-life", I suppose). Good to know, and hopefully this is indeed the case. Thanks!

Manhattan LSAT Noah
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Re: Question about Conditional Reasoning and Powerscore Methods

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:27 pm

I think you can also hone your "holistic" ability to reason, not only work from the formal logic up. Breaking down arguments to their core, debating them using focused common sense.

But, for basic formal logic practice, try "If/Then" in the LSAT Arcade.




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