How much do you really use formal logic in LR?

msquaredb
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How much do you really use formal logic in LR?

Postby msquaredb » Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:44 pm

I just started the TestMasters prep and I have to admit, it seems formal logic heavy. Every single logic game question in the first section (40) was explained using formal logic. The second second has 60 LR problems, but very few of the seem to require formal logic. The second section doesn't have nearly as many explanations, so I can't tell if the formal logic method is still being advocated.

I feel like I don't have time to do the formal logic for EVERY question. Is it acceptable to just stick to hard ones, parallel reason, and blatant formal logic questions?

How much did you use it on the LR section?

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beezneez
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Re: How much do you really use formal logic in LR?

Postby beezneez » Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:48 pm

I see formal logic as simply a tool to use when the text gets more complex. If you can keep track of all the elements in your head - awesome if you can! - then you should be ok without it. I started to like FL when I started seeing it as a roadmap or summary of the text. I had to stop resisting it first and just give in.

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cc.celina
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Re: How much do you really use formal logic in LR?

Postby cc.celina » Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:04 pm

I mean, you shouldn't abandon the rules of formal logic, or anything. For almost every question, you are going to need to know things like how to reverse conditional statements, what "unless" means in LSAT world, etc etc. If you mean "how often do you have to diagram," the answer is however often it helps you. Like above poster said, for questions that are complex with a lot of interacting elements, diagramming them is going to save you some time. For questions that have simpler arguments, it's not going to be as necessary.

archangel326
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Re: How much do you really use formal logic in LR?

Postby archangel326 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:59 pm

I took the TM class, and was taught the formal logic (i.e. diagramming some, none, all, and, of course, the conditional statements, etc).

I use formal logic almost on every stimulus unless I can do them in my head.

Also, doing formal logic gives you a better chance of getting the right answer and, with enough practice, should save you time.

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Adam Banks
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Re: How much do you really use formal logic in LR?

Postby Adam Banks » Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:21 pm

I was pretty bad with LR to start because I was just using intuition. Now that FL s almost second nature, LR is extremely easy

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LionelHutzJD
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Re: How much do you really use formal logic in LR?

Postby LionelHutzJD » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:03 pm

I toojust started the testmasters class and know exactly what you're talking about. But it is certainly not a big thing to be concerned about. All of this formal logic help is really going to help us with getting better at the questions. That being said, I am finding it easy to keep track of the information BECAUSE of practicing with formal logic. Testmasters ftw so far...

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polobull
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Re: How much do you really use formal logic in LR?

Postby polobull » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:56 am

I think formal logic is a great tool but it is certainly not the only one. I use it when my thinking gets tied up on a particular problem. Practicing using it on every test question is a good way to make sure that you have the ability to easily slip into it and be comfortable there but I definitely wouldn't recommend it as your basic approach to the test.

meandme
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Re: How much do you really use formal logic in LR?

Postby meandme » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:53 pm

polobull wrote:I think formal logic is a great tool but it is certainly not the only one. I use it when my thinking gets tied up on a particular problem. Practicing using it on every test question is a good way to make sure that you have the ability to easily slip into it and be comfortable there but I definitely wouldn't recommend it as your basic approach to the test.


How do you use formal logic on every test question? I know its not something you recommend.

Thanks
God bless

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anon sequitur
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Re: How much do you really use formal logic in LR?

Postby anon sequitur » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:35 pm

Go through the homework drills (not the actual LSAT questions, just the ones with formulas asking you to find the valid inferences). If you can go through all of them at a good quick pace, get 95%+ of them correct and not be puzzled by any incorrect answer choices, then you've mastered the formal logic necessary for the test. If you can't do this, you would benefit from further practice. This is one of the areas that students skimp on the most, because it's not immediatley obvious why it's helpful. I've taught hundreds of students, and I don't think I've ever had a student getting in the mid or high 170's who couldn't tear through these exercises like a hot knife through butter. Also, I've not had any students who couldn't do these accurately and quickly getting higher than the mid 60's. Many students just use brute force analysis/gut feeling to get through these issues on the LSAT, so they can do without symbolic logic. If you got a 170 or so on your diagnostic, this might be a successful strategy, but for the rest of us, it's better to have a thorough and explicit understanding of the concepts. Which requires a lot of repetitive, boring practice on questions that seem so easy it's not even worth reading twice, much less diagramming completely.

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polobull
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Re: How much do you really use formal logic in LR?

Postby polobull » Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:03 pm

anon sequitur wrote: ...a hot knife through butter.


That's something to aspire to :|

lederhosen
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Re: How much do you really use formal logic in LR?

Postby lederhosen » Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:57 am

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Last edited by lederhosen on Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bp shinners
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Re: How much do you really use formal logic in LR?

Postby bp shinners » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:43 pm

meandme wrote:How do you use formal logic on every test question? I know its not something you recommend.

Thanks
God bless


You definitely should NOT use formal logic on every question. FL is a tool. Let's call it a hammer. If your problem is a nail, use formal logic. If your problem is a text to your girl on the side that your girlfriend found, a hammer is not a tool you should be using (that could get messy).

FL is great when you can use it. You will use it on nearly every Logic Game question. You will use it on about 50% of MBT questions. You will use it on Soft Must Be True Principle questions. You will use it a lot (probably around 50%) on Sufficient assumptions, less on Necessary assumptions. You will often use it on Parallel questions, and occasionally on flaw questions. Other questions, though, generally don't use it.




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