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Prepare for the LSAT or discuss it with others in this forum.
10052014

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iamgeorgebush

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Hmm, that's a good question. I read the Manhattan LR book in order and it all made sense to me, but I already had a background in logic. Have you ever taken a logic course or otherwise had exposure to conditional reasoning?

Conditional reasoning is pretty simple.

P -> Q is the same as ~Q -> ~P

10052014

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Daily_Double

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Howl

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If you finished the LRB and feel solid on conditional logic as well as other formal logic (most vs. some vs. all kind of stuff), I think you can dig right in.

I had done PS LRB and actually got the MLSAT LR only two weeks before my October test, so I only studied the first 6 chapters of MLSAT, and I did fine. I don't know what your problem areas are, but the question types I was getting wrong were mostly Flaw or Assumption ones, and MLSAT does an excellent job at explaining and tackling those in the first 6 chapters.

On the other hand, if you're still getting Must be True/Cannot be True types of questions wrong, starting with the conditional section of the MLSAT might be a good idea.

JazzOne

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Daily_Double wrote:Conditional reasoning is both simple and complex simultaneously---it's easy to learn to diagram but it's another thing entirely to fully incorporate into one's method of reasoning. Understanding what is necessary/essential/required for a given condition takes time even though it's very intuitive. This is a huge stumbling block for students, since it's difficult to make connections between intuition and the new concepts tested on the LSAT even though these concepts really aren't that new, they just appear to part of an enormous mountain (think Mount Doom, complete with Goblins, Sauron, and Orcs---God I miss that video game) that students have to climb, and perhaps fail and try again, before attending law school.

Personally I'd recommend beginning with MBT/MSS questions and conditional logic because determining what must be true of a given fact pattern is essential to success on this test. Whatever is not necessarily true, these ambiguities in the stimulus, bear further analysis and are related to the Assumption family, which are a majority of the section. But before you can identify these issues in an argument, you must first be able to reason why they are issues in the first place---why the conclusion is not necessarily true. When I introduce this structure to my students, I use the old saying "You've got to walk before you can run," so start walking, because success on this test requires running.

+1

The mantra I repeat for my students is, "Go slow to go fast." I got it from the movie Cars ("turn right to go left").

It's counterintuitive that practicing slowly can increase your ability to work quickly, but it works because of a nesting process that Ray Kurzweil calls "recursion." As you examine the material slowly, you begin to identify patterns. Eventually, you develop a mental model that allows you to recognize the pattern without focusing on each individual element that makes up the pattern. As you examine the material further, you realize that the pattens are grouped together in predictable ways (patterns within a pattern), and you can eventually understand the larger patterns without reference to the smaller patterns, and so forth.

I'm beginning to realize that the instructors on TLS rely on very similar teaching methods.
Last edited by JazzOne on Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

10052014

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iamgeorgebush

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jaylawyer09 wrote:Do you guys always diagram the formal logic while drilling? what about conditional and causal?

thanks

I did early on. It's definitely useful as an exercise, and it could even be useful to do on the actual test for trickier questions, if you have the time.
Last edited by iamgeorgebush on Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

JazzOne

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jaylawyer09 wrote:Do you guys always diagram the formal logic while drilling? what about conditional and causal?

thanks

I draw a sharp dichotomy. For homework practice, I ask my students to be quite pedantic. Symbolize every conditional even if you can answer the question without the symbol. That gives you practice symbolizing and will make your process quicker. Plus, you need to practice symbolizing the easy statements so that you can work your way up to the hard ones. Otherwise, when you reach a difficult question, you might not have the diagramming skills when you really need it.

I would say the same about the negation test for necessary assumption questions. On un-timed homework, I would negate every single answer choice to practice negating and to get a feel for how correct and incorrect answer choices affect the argument once they're negated.

On the real test, however, ain't nobody got time for that. In a timed setting, I would only symbolize and negate when necessary to answer the question.

Another benefit to being pedantic about homework is that drawing the symbols will help you build visualization skills so that you can eventually visualize symbolic logic without committing it to writing. It's kind of like algebra. At first, you need to write down every step, but as you get better, you can do multiple steps at once, or perhaps solve entire problems in your head. But you didn't start off solving those difficult problems in your head. The written process helped you to develop a mental model for solving those problems.
Last edited by JazzOne on Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

iamgeorgebush

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Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:57 pm

JazzOne wrote:
jaylawyer09 wrote:Do you guys always diagram the formal logic while drilling? what about conditional and causal?

thanks

I draw a sharp dichotomy. For homework practice, I ask my students to be quite pedantic. Symbolize every conditional even if you can answer the question without the symbol. That gives you practice symbolizing and will make your process quicker. Plus, you need to practice symbolizing the easy statements so that you can work your way up to the hard ones. Otherwise, when you reach a difficult question, you might not have the diagramming skills when you really need it.

I would say the same about the negation test for necessary assumption questions. On un-timed homework, I would negate every single answer choice to practice negating and to get a feel for how correct and incorrect answer choices affect the argument once they're negated.

On the real test, however, ain't nobody got time for that. In a timed setting, I would only symbolize and negate when necessary to answer the question.

Another benefit to being pedantic about homework is that drawing the symbols will help you build visualization skills so that you can eventually visualize symbolic logic without committing to writing. It's kind of like algebra. At first, you need to write down every step, but as you get better, you can do multiple steps at once, or perhaps solve entire problems in your head. But you didn't start off solving those difficult problems in your head. The written process helped you to develop a mental model for solving those problems.

Credited.

10052014

Posts: 590
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:12 am

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Last edited by 10052014 on Sun Oct 05, 2014 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

JazzOne

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Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

jaylawyer09 wrote:
iamgeorgebush wrote:
JazzOne wrote:
jaylawyer09 wrote:Do you guys always diagram the formal logic while drilling? what about conditional and causal?

thanks

I draw a sharp dichotomy. For homework practice, I ask my students to be quite pedantic. Symbolize every conditional even if you can answer the question without the symbol. That gives you practice symbolizing and will make your process quicker. Plus, you need to practice symbolizing the easy statements so that you can work your way up to the hard ones. Otherwise, when you reach a difficult question, you might not have the diagramming skills when you really need it.

I would say the same about the negation test for necessary assumption questions. On un-timed homework, I would negate every single answer choice to practice negating and to get a feel for how correct and incorrect answer choices affect the argument once they're negated.

On the real test, however, ain't nobody got time for that. In a timed setting, I would only symbolize and negate when necessary to answer the question.

Another benefit to being pedantic about homework is that drawing the symbols will help you build visualization skills so that you can eventually visualize symbolic logic without committing to writing. It's kind of like algebra. At first, you need to write down every step, but as you get better, you can do multiple steps at once, or perhaps solve entire problems in your head. But you didn't start off solving those difficult problems in your head. The written process helped you to develop a mental model for solving those problems.

Credited.

okay, I'll diagram formal logic and condition etc.. when drilling without strict timing.

But, later on the PTs, I will not, since I will have gotten a fell for when to diagram, and when not to.

is this correct?

That sounds reasonable to me. I would also add that you should diagram when you're reviewing questions you missed on a timed PT. That will also help you to understand when diagramming helps and when you don't need it.

Christine (MLSAT)

Posts: 357
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jaylawyer09 wrote:I have the MLAST LR, and I will begin drilling with the packets soon. (taking in june 14')

However, I noticed that they cover the Conditional logic chapter much later (Chapter 8 - page 300)

So, My question: Should I read those chapters first (the conditional chapter and other plainly informative chapters that contain knowledge like causal reasoning, etc..)?,-- because When I drill chapter 1 for example, I want to drill with knowledge of conditional reasoning and other things that are covered later in the book.

this is because, -- I don't want to finish drilling 150 MBT questions that may contain conditional reasoning, only to find out that I was going to read about it later.

It sounds like you've got a good idea of how you want to move forward now, but I just wanted to offer my perspective on the Conditional Logic chapter of the LR book. While it doesn't pop up til Chapter 8, this is primarily because the first 7 chapters fully explore the assumption family questions, and that makes for a cohesive arc.

But I often recommend that my students read the Conditional Logic chapter multiple times, at different stages of their preparation. You'll see things in it the second time that just didn't come close to clicking the first time, etc.

So, if I were in your shoes, I'd give the chapter a spin now and just check-in on how many of the concepts felt solid and intuitive. But if there are things that aren't gelled yet, don't overstress them at this point. Just keep an awareness of the conditional issues with you as you dive into the question-type specific chapters, with an eye to circling back to Ch. 8 a few times in the long run.

10052014

Posts: 590
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:12 am

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