The Official September 2014 Study Group

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longhorn65
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby longhorn65 » Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:17 pm

gnomgnomuch wrote:
luke65 wrote:HELP! Hey all as I've said before I am in a prep course and Im truly enjoying it and I think they teach great techniques that have helped me already. BUUUUUT they say under no circumstance should I work outside of the course on problems or review any other materials including my powerscore books. They say this is so that I dont get confused between the 2 different approaches and also so that they can watch me work and keep me from forming bad habits. Now As I said I love how they do things but I think i should work with it outside of class in order for the techniques to become smooth and fluent also I want to read the Bibles because I think the more you know the more you can adapt on test day. The counter point being I paid them good money and they have great results maybe they know better than me. WHAT do you all think any advice? or others whom have been in my situation?



WHAT?! IDK what prep test you're using but that is seriously iffy. I've used LSAT trainer, the bibles, Blue-Print, and im prob buying the Manhattan set soon as well. You're only gonna be able to game the LSAT up to a certain score (id say its around high 150's). If you want higher than that, you have to be very very fluid in your methods, which will prob involve cherry picking from different test companies approach.

I would at the very least, drill those question types you're doing in class to get down the technique they explain to you.

I am definately getting more than 15 hours a week in the course. Do you think thats enough and I diagnostic tested around 150 timed but it was at 1am with the tv on sooooo

gavaga1
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby gavaga1 » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:25 pm

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whitespider
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby whitespider » Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:45 pm

Checking in...

Though seeing as this thread started in January and already has nearly 50 pages of chatter on it, I'm already feeling woefully unprepared.

I've worked my way through a few prep-tests and I'm planning on doing 3 a week up until test day. I was just going to reference the bibles when reviewing answers and not quite understanding what I missed.

Hopefully that's a reasonably smart course of action. 170 or bust, baby!

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Louis1127
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Louis1127 » Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:48 pm

gnomgnomuch wrote:*Dinkleberg*

:lol:

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schmelling
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby schmelling » Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:28 am

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Calbears123
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Calbears123 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:29 am

schmelling wrote:checking in. Just had my first testmasters session and I'm feeling great about it. We took a diag to get a benchmark for improvement and I scored a 161. I graduated in may with a 3.27 gpa so i'm hoping for a 170 to at least have a shot at some of the t14. Feeling pretty confident I can get there studying full time and taking the course. Good luck to all and looking forward to getting to know you all through september and beyond.


GL with testmasters. I took it and day 2 they jump right into formal logic. Its good to know how to diagram but they don't teach you how to answer the LR questions on day 1 homework since its questions taken from alot of different question types, but your diag started pretty high so you'll do fine

ilikebaseball
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby ilikebaseball » Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:24 am

How important would you guys say Formal Logic is on exam day? I mean I can recognize the questions and everything now, but its not something that you say "IF I DONT USE IT, IM GONNA GET THE QUESTION WRONG." It seems more to me like an option to write it down so you don't have to remember all the premises

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Comstock
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Comstock » Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:14 am

choward014 wrote:How important would you guys say Formal Logic is on exam day? I mean I can recognize the questions and everything now, but its not something that you say "IF I DONT USE IT, IM GONNA GET THE QUESTION WRONG." It seems more to me like an option to write it down so you don't have to remember all the premises


Anecdotally, most of the time I do not diagram LR questions completely with formal logic arrows. I tried using the LR bible's method of a while and it honestly brought my score down. I found the arrows to waste too much time and be too confusing in the end for most questions when I could identify the method of reasoning through my head. For 90% of FL questions I just use my head, and only for the very sophisticated ones where no clear answer choice pops out to me do I diagram a bit.

For example PT 20, S1 Q19, A Parallel the Reasoning seems quite straight forward to me abstractly on what's happening, but PT15, S2, Q18, Parallel Reasoning seems impossible for me without some formal diagrams, mainly because the question choice is not as obvious.

I would say just be flexible with your approaches to each FL questions.

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Louis1127
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Louis1127 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:44 am

Comstock wrote:
choward014 wrote:How important would you guys say Formal Logic is on exam day? I mean I can recognize the questions and everything now, but its not something that you say "IF I DONT USE IT, IM GONNA GET THE QUESTION WRONG." It seems more to me like an option to write it down so you don't have to remember all the premises


Anecdotally, most of the time I do not diagram LR questions completely with formal logic arrows. I tried using the LR bible's method of a while and it honestly brought my score down. I found the arrows to waste too much time and be too confusing in the end for most questions when I could identify the method of reasoning through my head. For 90% of FL questions I just use my head, and only for the very sophisticated ones where no clear answer choice pops out to me do I diagram a bit.

For example PT 20, S1 Q19, A Parallel the Reasoning seems quite straight forward to me abstractly on what's happening, but PT15, S2, Q18, Parallel Reasoning seems impossible for me without some formal diagrams, mainly because the question choice is not as obvious.

I would say just be flexible with your approaches to each FL questions.


I diagram when there are any "some" statements (is that formal logic?). I do this because I have noticed that whenever there are "some" statements in the premises/conclusion, the LSAT usually tests the fact that some statements are reversible.

I tend to err on the side of caution as far as diagramming. If I try and trudge through a questions without diagramming, and it turns out I should have, I just wasted time doing the problem in a way that didn't help me answer it.

Don't know where you are as far as knowing concepts, but formal logic was a HUGE weakness for me originally, but I am now way better and rarely miss formal logic questions, so maybe this will help you.

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sfoglia
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby sfoglia » Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:01 pm

Louis1127 wrote:
Comstock wrote:
choward014 wrote:How important would you guys say Formal Logic is on exam day? I mean I can recognize the questions and everything now, but its not something that you say "IF I DONT USE IT, IM GONNA GET THE QUESTION WRONG." It seems more to me like an option to write it down so you don't have to remember all the premises


Anecdotally, most of the time I do not diagram LR questions completely with formal logic arrows. I tried using the LR bible's method of a while and it honestly brought my score down. I found the arrows to waste too much time and be too confusing in the end for most questions when I could identify the method of reasoning through my head. For 90% of FL questions I just use my head, and only for the very sophisticated ones where no clear answer choice pops out to me do I diagram a bit.

For example PT 20, S1 Q19, A Parallel the Reasoning seems quite straight forward to me abstractly on what's happening, but PT15, S2, Q18, Parallel Reasoning seems impossible for me without some formal diagrams, mainly because the question choice is not as obvious.

I would say just be flexible with your approaches to each FL questions.


I diagram when there are any "some" statements (is that formal logic?). I do this because I have noticed that whenever there are "some" statements in the premises/conclusion, the LSAT usually tests the fact that some statements are reversible.

I tend to err on the side of caution as far as diagramming. If I try and trudge through a questions without diagramming, and it turns out I should have, I just wasted time doing the problem in a way that didn't help me answer it.

Don't know where you are as far as knowing concepts, but formal logic was a HUGE weakness for me originally, but I am now way better and rarely miss formal logic questions, so maybe this will help you.


This is good to know.

I'm working through the conditional statements chapter of the Manhattan right now, and diagramming is actually the only thing that seems to work for me to arrive at the correct answer when the question stem is specifically testing for understanding of logic chains. (See Q25, S4 of PT22.) The moment we get into the "every X is Z," "every Z is X," "only Z is X," or "only X is Z" kinds of answer choices, I fall into complete peril.

I don't fully trust my diagramming skills just yet, but hoping to get there soon.

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WilliamStrong
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby WilliamStrong » Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:29 pm

I am planning to take the December 2014 LSAT and I hope to have the September 2014 LSAT as my practice test a week before December 6th. Does anyone know where will that test first be available? And how long after the September 2014 score release date will it be available? I read from somewhere that some LSAT blogs post the test online for download days/weeks before the test becomes available on amazon.

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bondja
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby bondja » Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:13 pm

mornincounselor wrote:Studying for the LSAT is a cycle of good days followed by bad days followed by good days.

Today is a bad one so far for me. Finished up Chapter 10 of Manhattan RC and only managed to go [3/6] and [3/8] on the two "unusual" passages. I had a good grasp of the scale and author's opinion but the tricky choices were just too much for me. On all but one missed question I was done to two choices.

Following that I continued with more level 4 Parallel (Reasoning) questions. Missing more than half of these as well. Started at 50 and I've missed 50, 51, 53 and 54. Can anyone find a pattern and recognize what I might be doing wrong?


I'll look in my Manhattan RC to see how I did. I forgot what questions they were, sadly. I'll get back to you later tonight.

As far as the Parallel Reasoning - I would do this. Do the questions normally but because look at the answer to see if you got it right or wrong, go through the question again and say out loud what you are thinking. Maybe you are inferring something hastily that you shouldn't and making P -> R when it's definitely -R -> P (or something like this)

When I get bogged down I just go back to the question and explain myself to myself. Manhattan forums have great explanations for a lot of the questions as well which works for me. I'll do those 4 questions tonight and see if we can figure it out!...or I'll get them wrong and then we need someone else to help us out!

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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby WaltGrace83 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:52 pm

Just did PT2 RC, passage by passage.

1: 8:10 (6/6)
2: 8:40 (7/7)
4: 10:30 (7/7)


.......



3: 12:20 (4/8) :oops: :shock:

absolutely CRUSHED. It took me 5.5 minutes just to get through that passage (it was a science-y one)!!!!!!!!!!

I gotta figure out why I sucked that one up specifically and then go and see where I can improve. Wow, I got rocked. I feel like it would also be SUPER beneficial if I had some sense that would tell me, "hmmm this passage is going to be a doozy, you better skip it!" If I could have gone 1,2,4, 3 if I were to have been taking this section on a PT, I probably would have gotten -4/5 on RC rather than the -10 that would have invariably ensured from not getting to the much-easier passage 4 and being strapped for time when I do.

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WaltGrace83
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby WaltGrace83 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:55 pm

However, I did try a new thing out on that passage 4 that I am going to try and continue. I will circle the key "shifting" words - but, however, yet, etc. - while I read.

I have been trying to annotate (I wasn't doing it before) but I don't know if it is helping or not. However, the the "shift" words seem to be pretty key so I might JUST do those words. What really sucks though is that it seems that some passages are super-conducive to annotating and some just aren't. Errrrghhhh

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WaltGrace83
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby WaltGrace83 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:58 pm

I did do PT70's RC for funsies yesterday and I was able to get it done with a near-perfect degree of accuracy but I was sitting at around 38:00 minutes in time I believe. While one PT is hardly indicative of the new stuff, was PT70 easier than usual? I feel like it really wasn't different from the RC I've been working with (early EARLY PTs)

All I want to do is finish RC on time and get a -4 or better every time (of course, once I get to that goal I am invariably going to want a -0).

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bondja
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby bondja » Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:02 pm

WaltGrace83 wrote:However, I did try a new thing out on that passage 4 that I am going to try and continue. I will circle the key "shifting" words - but, however, yet, etc. - while I read.

I have been trying to annotate (I wasn't doing it before) but I don't know if it is helping or not. However, the the "shift" words seem to be pretty key so I might JUST do those words. What really sucks though is that it seems that some passages are super-conducive to annotating and some just aren't. Errrrghhhh


This is how I do it. I use " / " to indicate a shift. I circle important players, underline phrases I think are key, usually they are when I'm reading them but then the passage usually kicks them out, and bracket things I know will be asked.

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Louis1127
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Louis1127 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:05 pm

WaltGrace83 wrote:Just did PT2 RC, passage by passage.

1: 8:10 (6/6)
2: 8:40 (7/7)
4: 10:30 (7/7)


.......



3: 12:20 (4/8) :oops: :shock:

absolutely CRUSHED. It took me 5.5 minutes just to get through that passage (it was a science-y one)!!!!!!!!!!

I gotta figure out why I sucked that one up specifically and then go and see where I can improve. Wow, I got rocked. I feel like it would also be SUPER beneficial if I had some sense that would tell me, "hmmm this passage is going to be a doozy, you better skip it!" If I could have gone 1,2,4, 3 if I were to have been taking this section on a PT, I probably would have gotten -4/5 on RC rather than the -10 that would have invariably ensured from not getting to the much-easier passage 4 and being strapped for time when I do.


I wish I was a 180 scorer just so I could put your mind at ease, Walt.

I was drilling RC like a madman for over a month this May/June. I did that passage after a month of hardcore drilling (and self-perceived improvement) and thought I owned it. I got 2 out of 8 right. I was extremely discouraged and thought that I might not be able to even get above 160 on the real thing. That passage- and how shitty I did on it- caused me to seriously question myself.

But I called my Dad and we chatted. He encouraged me to take the rest of the day off and come back to the LSAT in 2 days or so. It helped tremendously.

Also, later I look at the other passages in PT 2, owned all of them (like you did), and then looked at the games from PT 2. I nearly owned all of them (went -4, which is REALLY good on LG for me).

The point is don't let that passage get you down too much. I did. But you don't do that :wink:

Also, if you haven't taken a break in a while, it may be time for one!

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BlackCanary
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby BlackCanary » Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:21 pm

Checking in...

I stated studying mid April, thinking I would take June, but decided against that, so I've been slacking a bit lately (watching world cup and all). Figured how much you guys are studying would motivate me.

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bound
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby bound » Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:49 pm

BlackCanary wrote:Checking in...

I stated studying mid April, thinking I would take June, but decided against that, so I've been slacking a bit lately (watching world cup and all). Figured how much you guys are studying would motivate me.



So glad you're here with me :)

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BlackCanary
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby BlackCanary » Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:59 pm

bound wrote:So glad you're here with me :)


Hi! :) I didn't realize you were retaking.

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Comstock
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Comstock » Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:02 pm

WaltGrace83 wrote:I did do PT70's RC for funsies yesterday and I was able to get it done with a near-perfect degree of accuracy but I was sitting at around 38:00 minutes in time I believe. While one PT is hardly indicative of the new stuff, was PT70 easier than usual? I feel like it really wasn't different from the RC I've been working with (early EARLY PTs)

All I want to do is finish RC on time and get a -4 or better every time (of course, once I get to that goal I am invariably going to want a -0).


Along this line, I was wondering if anyone who has done the old PTs (1-40) and the newer ones (40+) would be able to chime in on if any of the sections changed a lot. For example, is LG/LR/RC considered a lot easier on the older PTs? Just wondering for selfish reasons as I'm now moving on to more modern PTs (PT 44 Tomorrow!) after doing pretty well on the 1-40 range and hope I'm not in for a major shock :P

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Louis1127
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Louis1127 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:09 pm

Comstock wrote:
WaltGrace83 wrote:I did do PT70's RC for funsies yesterday and I was able to get it done with a near-perfect degree of accuracy but I was sitting at around 38:00 minutes in time I believe. While one PT is hardly indicative of the new stuff, was PT70 easier than usual? I feel like it really wasn't different from the RC I've been working with (early EARLY PTs)

All I want to do is finish RC on time and get a -4 or better every time (of course, once I get to that goal I am invariably going to want a -0).


Along this line, I was wondering if anyone who has done the old PTs (1-40) and the newer ones (40+) would be able to chime in on if any of the sections changed a lot. For example, is LG/LR/RC considered a lot easier on the older PTs? Just wondering for selfish reasons as I'm now moving on to more modern PTs (PT 44 Tomorrow!) after doing pretty well on the 1-40 range and hope I'm not in for a major shock :P


This is one of the few areas where TLS is bad, in opinion.

Someone asks about if there's a huge difference in the old PTs and new PTs, someone says RC is a little harder, someone says games are a little easier (which after June 2014 I'm not even sure that's correct but anyhow), this "consensus" of three posters is taken as fact, someone else asks a month later and someone (in a fashion much too dogmatic) states that games are easier and RC is harder, this cycle repeats, repeats, and repeats, people think it so when they take a new PT they subconsciously think to themselves that games are a little easier and RC is a little harder, then they tell someone else that when they ask, repeat, repeat.

The differences between old and new LSATs is extremely overblown on TLS in my opinion. Although there are differences.

Straw_Mandible
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Straw_Mandible » Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:23 pm

Well said, Louis. I think you're right that the differences are overblown and subject to distortion by the TLS echo chamber.

I will say, however, that I have noticed an increase in RC difficulty after June 2007. This is neither directly nor solely a consequence of the introduction of comparative passages, since these are often relatively straightforward in comparison to the other passages in the section. I have a theory that the test writers made some additional (relatively subtle) changes to the questions and structural complexity of the RC passages on the whole when they decided to introduce the comparative passage. In my opinion, new RC questions generally have become more pointedly tricky, detail-oriented, or otherwise challenging in ways that demand more high-level analysis and synthesis.

This is just what I've noticed in drilling and taking PTs. The test has changed over time, but not by much, and different people with different skill sets will respond differently to those changes.

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gnomgnomuch
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby gnomgnomuch » Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:45 pm

Comstock wrote:
WaltGrace83 wrote:I did do PT70's RC for funsies yesterday and I was able to get it done with a near-perfect degree of accuracy but I was sitting at around 38:00 minutes in time I believe. While one PT is hardly indicative of the new stuff, was PT70 easier than usual? I feel like it really wasn't different from the RC I've been working with (early EARLY PTs)

All I want to do is finish RC on time and get a -4 or better every time (of course, once I get to that goal I am invariably going to want a -0).


Along this line, I was wondering if anyone who has done the old PTs (1-40) and the newer ones (40+) would be able to chime in on if any of the sections changed a lot. For example, is LG/LR/RC considered a lot easier on the older PTs? Just wondering for selfish reasons as I'm now moving on to more modern PTs (PT 44 Tomorrow!) after doing pretty well on the 1-40 range and hope I'm not in for a major shock :P



I dont think the change is serious. For example, I've used PT 1-38 for drilling, but I've taken some of the 60 tests, and i didnt find it significantly harder/easier either way. There are always going to be outliers, where a particular LG is super hard/confusing (there PT 39, 40, the Mauve game, the bus game and the most recent prep test, springs to mind) or an RC section that will be a bit trickier, but from what I've seen, the tests are about the same level of difficulty throughout the years...though keep in mind, the test is dam HARD.




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