The Official September 2014 Study Group

cavalier2015
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby cavalier2015 » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:00 pm

PT14-2-7. let me take a crack at it.

Conclusion: the stripes on the zebras must serve as some sort of signal for other zebras
Why (premise): the stripes cannot serve as a camouflage
Gap/flaw: the author is assuming: since the stripes don't serve as camouflage, they MUST serve as some sort of signal. author fails to consider other functions, other than signals, the stripes may serve
So, look for an answer choice that addresses this. meaning, look for an answer choice that strengthens the fact that it MUST serve as a signal or that the stripes CANNOT serve any other function
Answer choices:
(a) we are looking for the functions of the stripes, not the characteristics of the zebras that have the stripes. irrelevant
(b) weakens the argument; supports the notion that the stripes serve as camouflage
(c ) change of color seems irrelevant to our argument core
(d) correct; if they have to react faster to moving shapes that have stripes--> it means that these stripes must TELL them something (tell = signal). if the stripes do not tell them something, then their reaction time shouldn't be any different
(e) voice signals? no. out of scope

this was how i thought of the question. hope it helps

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Postby mornincounselor » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:37 pm

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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby juddy » Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:01 pm

SPAM

Daily_Double
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Daily_Double » Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:03 pm

Sure thing. It's a Strengthen question, so the conclusion is not necessarily true. Your job is to identify the flaw, then prephrase something that would make the conclusion more likely to be true. Personally, I like to tell people to think of all of the members of the Assumption family as Flaw/Weaken questions initially---obviously for S/A and Strengthen questions you're not weakening, you're strengthening to some degree, but thinking of arguments this way makes it easier to find the gap.

Here we have a pretty terrible argument. Let's look at the structure:

(1) Stripes are important to Zebras in some way
(2) That way isn't Camouflage
_________________________________________________
Thus, it must be a signal for other Zebras

Well, the flaw is obvious: just because one possible explanation (camouflage) is insufficient doesn't mean the next available explanation must be applicable because the author hasn't narrowed the possibilities down to one.

You have to Strengthen this, so you should prephrase an answer which shows that (a) Signals do serve an important function, and that answer would ideally show that (b) the function is between, or involves, other Zebras. Because our argument is so terrible, just about anything establishing that stripes signal something to zebras would suffice to be correct.

Let's look at your thoughts on the answers:

mornincounselor wrote:(A) Says that the Zebra's with these "best-defined stripes" also are "characterized by exceptional size and vigor." I interpret this to mean the "best-defined stripes" is signaling to the other Zebra's the superiority of this subspecies of Zebras. This clearly happens in all kinds of species throughout nature. Many types of male birds for example will develop spectacular colored feathers in order to signal their superiority to the female species. By signaling this superiority to the females, they acquire more matings and therefore they become the dominant sub-species. This choice makes complete sense.


Ahhhhhh, but is it signaling something? You are correct that a particular part of some species' appearance signals something to other members of that species, but is that always the case? Or is it possible that at least some animals, possibly zebras, have stripes that don't function to signal anything? That's exactly the question we are looking to provide evidence to support a positive answer for and this answer is insufficient.

Answer choice (A) establishes a correlation between specific subspecies of zebras and particular types of stripes---but it doesn't tell us why that correlation exists and that's the problem with it. The correlation mentioned here could merely be coincidence. Your inference, that the stripes signal superiority, actually requires the conclusion to be true. And that would be a valid inference if we knew that the conclusion was true, however, being as this is a member of the Assumption family, and every conclusion in each member of the Assumption family is not necessarily true, we simply can't make that inference. All of this is to say that answer choice (A) doesn't Strengthen because it fails to make the conclusion more likely to be true, it would require an assumption to do so and whenever answers require an assumption to be true, they fail to satisfy the question stem.

As a general pattern of Strengthen and Weaken questions, extreme answers (best of X, etc.) are generally not correct unless the conclusion is also framed in some way in terms of relativity. So be on the lookout for that so that next time you see an answer, the subject of which is an extreme example or scenario, it sets off a mental flag.


mornincounselor wrote:(D) on the other hand says that Zebra's react faster to things with stripes than to things without stripes. Well that's all well and good, but the prompt doesn't say "only this dominant sub-species has stripes while other subspecies do not" it only talks about the dominant subspecies having the "best-defined stripes." This choice makes no distinction whatsoever about how Zebra's will react better based on how well-defined the stripes are. This choice was an easy elimination for me so it's very surprising to see it be the correct choice.


But is the statement you refer to here a major premise (one used to support the conclusion directly) or is it more of a statement that provides background information to support a major premise? I bring up the distinction because you seem to rely on it to exclude possibilities, when it doesn't establish some sort of limitation. Instead it merely provides evidence that stripes are important, though the evidence is weak.

The author provides our major premises in the second and the beginning of the third sentences. We know that stripes are important in some way, we also know that they are not important because of any advantage from camouflage. Answer choice (D) gives us support for the assertion that the reason stripes are important is signaling because this answer establishes that stripes allow Zebras to do things that non stripes do not. It's not a phenominal answer but it does show that stripes signal something (because the recognition of them results in an increased rate of reaction) and that thing is a signal for other zebras. In this way it makes our conclusion more likely to be true.

You should take two things away from this question. First, extreme answers tend to be problematic. That doesn't mean that they are always incorrect, but that when you see them, it should set off a mental signal. Second, when you're strengthening or weakening, focus on the conclusion. Here our conclusion seeks to establish that stripes function as camouflage between other zebras and answer choice (D) is the only one that gives us a reason to support that conclusion.

Does that clear things up?

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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby cavalier2015 » Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:20 pm

Daily_Double,

could you please share with us your strategies with Necessary Assumption questions? these kick my ass everytime. i would love for you to share some tips, correct answer patterns, wrong answer patterns and general tips with those type of questions.

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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby diiggidy » Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:51 pm

This will be my third week studying for the September LSAT full time. I don't have anything else going on during the summer until school starts in September, so studying is pretty much all I'll be doing during the day. I'm an engineering major and typically have a lot of work during the semester, so will be trying to get as much studying done before the semester begins as possible. My diagnostic was a 160 (although this was a day after finals on about 5 hours of sleep), and am shooting for a 174+.

As for study materials, I have the Manhattan series, LG bible, and the LSAT trainer that i'm trying to get through as fast as possible so I can start the "real" studying. I've been doing about 5 hours/day, but feel that it's going somewhat slow. I'm currently through the LG bible, halfway done with Manhattan LR, and got 120 pages through the Manhattan LG book today. I'm trying to get through these as quick as possible without sacrificing actually learning the material, but am curious what anyone else thinks about this pace? How long did it take everyone else to get through these books? I'm hoping to get done with the books by the beginning of July, drilling the Cambridge packets through July (with a few PTs thrown in), and then PTs in August/September when I have time. I'm quite anxious to get through the books to start drilling, so I haven't started drilling at all yet. My plan was to get through the books, and then skim the relevant chapters again while drilling. Does this sound good, or should I be drilling during my first read through the books? Thanks for any advice and good luck everyone!

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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Daily_Double » Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:07 pm

cavalier2015 wrote:Daily_Double,

could you please share with us your strategies with Necessary Assumption questions? these kick my ass everytime. i would love for you to share some tips, correct answer patterns, wrong answer patterns and general tips with those type of questions.


Sure. Let's start with a definition, then common patterns in the answers.

Necessary Assumption - this question type asks you to find an answer that is required for the argument's truth. Meaning, if the argument can possibly be true, then what must be true? This relationship is actually one of Conditional Logic---the correct answer will give you a requirement for the argument to be capable of being true. The contrapositive of this relationship yields the Negation Test, which is really no more than proving a condition is required for X to be present by showing that it's absence leads to the absence of X.

Think about how picky we are about requirements--- what does the capacity to call someone on a cellphone require? Is it the possession of an iPhone? The ownership of a mobile plan? Or is there a way to call someone without either of these conditions being present? Meaning, are neither required? This is the type of back and forth you want to have mentally during your analysis of answers.

The correct answer will give you something that absolutely must be true if the conclusion has the capacity to be necessarily true. The steps are the same as the other members of the Assumption family (Conclusion, Premises, then identify why the conclusion doesn't necessarily follow from the premises) with a slight twist (you then have to prephrase a requirement of that conclusion's truth). This is the typical introduction to N/A questions. And you should understand it completely.

But sometimes people have trouble with N/A questions. That's fine, distinguishing requirements from sufficient assumptions can be tricky at first, not to mention the difficulty of developing a habit of identifying why the conclusion was not necessarily true to begin with. When this is the case, I like to change the approach slightly because saying the same things over and over (the approach and definition above) tends to lead to the same result (the student making errors on N/A questions). Instead of looking at N/A as assumptions that defend the argument or strengthen it to some degree, think of them instead as a fact that destroys the argument. If you think about it for a moment in the context of a conversation between two people where one points out what the other's argument depends upon, this is really what you're doing in this question type. You're weakening the author's argument not supplying an assumption to defend it.

Essentially what you're doing here is the exact opposite of Sufficient Assumption questions (in one you strengthen to 100% and in the other, you weaken to 100%) Let me elaborate a little bit. Instead of thinking about what's required for the conclusion, attack it by isolating the critical missing element between what has been established (the premises) and what the author has concluded and then saying "BUT THIS ISN'T TRUE." What you just did was prephrase the negated version of the correct answer.

A lot of students prefer the second way of looking at N/A questions. Again, here, instead of thinking about what is required, you look for ways to completely collapse the argument. If you're familiar with the negation test you'll note that these phrases I've been throwing around are featured in the test and what I'm suggesting here is that you simply reverse the steps (instead of negating the answers you basically negate your prephrase). They are the same thing in principle, but for some students, approaching this question type as one that weakens provides more guidance than thinking about the task in terms of something that defends the conclusion against an attack.

Now, these are two seemingly different ways of looking at the same job, but once you become familiar with both they become one fluid part of your analysis and that's the main reason why I suggest giving it a shot. Just to be clear, the reason I suggest the second way of looking at N/A questions is not because the first isn't sufficient, it's essential to understand it, but working on the second way will help you towards that end and eventually you'll be asking yourself the same questions I asked above in the cell phone example: "Is this required? Would it's absence lead to the lack of X? No? Then it's not necessary."

In terms of patterns, there are two very common ones. The first is in the stimulus itself, the second are in the answers.

Stimuli Patterns
You can frame your prephrase in terms of a link between the premises and the conclusion. And if you're struggling that's exactly what I suggest. So, you go through the steps (Conclusion, Premises, look at the separation between the two) and then in your prephrase you ask yourself "What if there wasn't a link between the premises and the conclusion? What if the inference produced by the premises doesn't always lead to the conclusion?" This is frequently the requirement because if there's not a relationship, if there's no link, then the argument falls apart.

Answer Patterns
Here we don't like strong answers here (most, all), instead we prefer weak answers (some, sometimes, at least one, a few). But that's not because absolute language is a bad thing, it's more so that it's likely not to be a requirement. However, note that weak answers become strong answers when you negate them---this is how the negation test works. Perhaps an example of common features will help:

Capacity:
(1) Could be/Might be ---- negated version: must be false/cannot ever be

Quantity:
(1) Some/At least one/A few ---- negated version: none

Frequency:
(1) Sometimes/Occasionally ---- Never

Note that the negated version of the weak language becomes absolute. Don't forget the underlying principle of the negation test here, you're looking for a requirement, which by definition if absent or negated renders the conclusion not necessarily true. The negation test is used to determine whether a condition could occur without the event mentioned in the answer, and that is more likely to be the case if the negated version contains absolute language.

Hope this helps. Give it a shot, remember, especially in the Assumption family you shouldn't just read the argument, you have to consciously ask yourself questions: "Does the conclusion always follow from these premises? Is there a way that it couldn't?" And understand that the goal of these two approaches is to incorporate the Negation Test into your analysis so that it's one fluid process from the very beginning.

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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby DestroyingTheLSAT » Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:49 pm

Off topic but I think something is wrong when you're having dreams about logic..... :shock:

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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby cavalier2015 » Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:19 am

thank for the post. i've read the post multiple times but i am unclear how to use it in practice. could you take me through your thought process using that skill you have just told us about? For example PT34-S2-Q21. or really any other NA question. thanks a bunch

Daily_Double wrote:But sometimes people have trouble with N/A questions. That's fine, distinguishing requirements from sufficient assumptions can be tricky at first, not to mention the difficulty of developing a habit of identifying why the conclusion was not necessarily true to begin with. When this is the case, I like to change the approach slightly because saying the same things over and over (the approach and definition above) tends to lead to the same result (the student making errors on N/A questions). Instead of looking at N/A as assumptions that defend the argument or strengthen it to some degree, think of them instead as a fact that destroys the argument. If you think about it for a moment in the context of a conversation between two people where one points out what the other's argument depends upon, this is really what you're doing in this question type. You're weakening the author's argument not supplying an assumption to defend it.

Essentially what you're doing here is the exact opposite of Sufficient Assumption questions (in one you strengthen to 100% and in the other, you weaken to 100%) Let me elaborate a little bit. Instead of thinking about what's required for the conclusion, attack it by isolating the critical missing element between what has been established (the premises) and what the author has concluded and then saying "BUT THIS ISN'T TRUE." What you just did was prephrase the negated version of the correct answer..
[/quote]

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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Daily_Double » Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:57 am

cavalier2015 wrote:thank for the post. i've read the post multiple times but i am unclear how to use it in practice. could you take me through your thought process using that skill you have just told us about? For example PT34-S2-Q21. or really any other NA question. thanks a bunch


Yeah sure. Remember the suggestion was basically to reverse the negation test and attack Necessary Assumption questions as if they were the ultimate Weaken question type. Perhaps a comparison will help, in S/A questions you're strengthening the gap between the premises and conclusion to 100%, that is to say you identify an assumption which, when combined with the premises, guarantees the conclusion. A lot of people confuse necessary assumptions with sufficient ones because the guidelines for sufficient assumptions are pretty clear---find something that when added to the premises makes the conclusion true---but necessary assumptions don't provide clear cut guidelines until you get a feel for how narrow the concept of a requirement really is and how is apply the negation test quickly. This approach supplies one, though in reality is is probably just the reverse of what you're doing, and I find that many people generally are better at identifying things that are wrong with an argument instead of helping the argument in some way. Let's see how that applies to a few questions:

PT34-S2-Q21:

(1) Adv. have a negative effect on society b/c people can't understand their true meaning
(2) Lit. Dept. of University gives students skills
______________________________________________________________________
Thus, it is the Lit. Dept.'s responsibility to teach about Adv.

Professor Wigmore's name delights me, but his argument is a poor one. The author hasn't established any link between the effects of advertisements and the Lit. Dept.'s responsibilities. We want to destroy the argument by saying that there is no link between the premises and the conclusion. So my prephrase is:

"It is not the Lit. Dept.'s responsibility to teach about subjects that have a negative effect on society."

The effect of this prephrase is simply to collapse the argument. If it works, then the negation of it is required. Here, if we take the prephrase and apply it to the argument, then the conclusion doesn't work at all. So the negation of it must be required. After you've analyzed the argument this way you simply have to skim through the answers and (E) should leap right off the page and yet seem very different than what you expected at the same time. Which is always fun.

This answer has the same effect as the weaken prephrase, it just looks slightly different and incorporates a bit of background information.

Let's look at another one that's a bit more fun and predictable at the same time. That's right, I'm talking about PT65, S1, Q18:

(1) All of the Domesticated Animals living today were trained thousands of years ago
(2) People tried to domesticate all the animals that were worth training.
_____________________________________________________________________________
Thus, the Domesticated Animals living today would be difficult to train or not worth training.

I love this argument. Remember, you're trying to weaken the conclusion to 100%, so prove it wrong. An easy way to do this is to look at the parts or the whole of the conclusion, then look at the facts that support it and simply say "Nope. The facts never lead to this conclusion, or they don't lead to the conclusion in this case." So let's look at the parts of the conclusion and make this simple:

The author concludes, in the first part of the conclusion, that wild animals today would be difficult to train. Why? Because People tried, and obviously failed, to train them in the past. But they didn't have Cesar Milan, or TV in general. Which is to say that things were different. Here, if you were destroying the link between these things you would point out that "Training animals in the present is much easier than it used to be, so the fact that some people back in the day couldn't train tigers to sit, doesn't mean that I can't!"

The author concludes in the second part that wild animals today must not be worth domesticating. It's the same problem. If you're weakening this you would want to point out that the argument doesn't provide any evidence about the value/worth of domestication for wild animals in the present, so it assumes that the past evidence is indicative of the present.

Does that make it clearer? Don't over think this, the suggestion is just to provide some guideposts along the way in Necessary Assumptions during the prephrase portion of your time. The goal is for you to make the Negation test an integral part of your analysis, and one way for this is to try to weaken these questions from the very beginning. When you move to the answers, everything goes back to normal---Is the answer relevant to the gap between the premises and conclusion? Is it a requirement? Is the conclusion false without it? etc.

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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby cavalier2015 » Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:37 pm

mysteriously inactive for TLS standard time.

3.5 (er 1 week short of .5) months to go, im sure people are too focussed on drilling and reading the prep books for another month or so :)

mornincounselor wrote:This thread seems mysteriously inactive for this stage in the game. That September date will be here before we know it. I'm excited, but I realize just how very much there is left to learn.

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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby ricekrispies » Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:05 pm

Hey everyone, thinking about taking the September LSAT! Do I still have enough time to effectively study for it? Also, is there any preference from law schools as to which LSAT you take (September vs February vs July, etc)?

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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby cavalier2015 » Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:49 pm

ricekrispies wrote:Hey everyone, thinking about taking the September LSAT! Do I still have enough time to effectively study for it? Also, is there any preference from law schools as to which LSAT you take (September vs February vs July, etc)?


Starting now is the recommended time actually. So study hard and you'll be fine. And the lsat depends on when you want to attend law school.

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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Straw_Mandible » Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:35 pm

Hey all,

Just finished reviewing PT57. This test brought some huge breakthroughs coupled with some pretty major disappointments. Here's the breakdown:

LG -7 (-1 BR)
LR -4 (-1 BR)
LR -4 (-1 BR)
RC -2 (-0 BR)
Scaled: 166

Let me start with where I went wrong:

LG (The Wildly Overrated Mauve Dinosaurs)
I really wish I didn't spend so much time on these forums, because I always know when I hit one of the notoriously difficult games/passages/questions, and sometimes I let them psyche me out. When I saw Dinos, I immediately skipped it and went to the fourth game instead. It turns out, for whatever reason, that the fourth game was way harder for me to wrap my head around than Dinos, and I spent way too long working through it. (This was exacerbated by the fact that there was almost no space on the page to diagram -- stupid cambridge PDFs!) By the time I got to Dinos, I only had 5 mins left. But I immediately saw the key inferences (In/Out games are my strongest by far). If I had just 3 more minutes or so, I could have cracked the whole thing wide open and gone -0 on it. (I know, because I did it in blind review.) I need to drill games hard this week so that I don't struggle with timing like this anymore.

LR (Meh.)
There were a few questions in each section that stumped me. My weakest question type has always been MSS/MBT, and there was an abnormally large contingent of MSS questions on this test. I need to break out those packets before I hit PT58.

RC (Fractals and the Luxury of Slow Reading)
This was the huge breakthrough. Last week (PT56) was the first time I had ever finished a RC section under time, and I went -5. This week, I hit the last passage (Fractals - another notoriously difficult one) with 12 mins to spare, and I went -2 overall (-0 on Fractals, -2 on Cather). The secret formula? F**K SPEED READING. Speed reading is a scam and a farce and nobody should ever pull their hair out trying to do it. You do not need to read quickly in order to finish the section on time. I spent as much time as I needed to get a clear, comprehensive understanding of the passages, and I saved centuries on the questions. In a matter of two weeks, RC went from being my worst section (-10) to my best section (-2). Slow, precise, purposeful reading is potently effective.

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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby flash21 » Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:46 pm

Straw_Mandible wrote:Hey all,

Just finished reviewing PT57. This test brought some huge breakthroughs coupled with some pretty major disappointments. Here's the breakdown:

LG -7 (-1 BR)
LR -4 (-1 BR)
LR -4 (-1 BR)
RC -2 (-0 BR)
Scaled: 166

Let me start with where I went wrong:

LG (The Wildly Overrated Mauve Dinosaurs)
I really wish I didn't spend so much time on these forums, because I always know when I hit one of the notoriously difficult games/passages/questions, and sometimes I let them psyche me out. When I saw Dinos, I immediately skipped it and went to the fourth game instead. It turns out, for whatever reason, that the fourth game was way harder for me to wrap my head around than Dinos, and I spent way too long working through it. (This was exacerbated by the fact that there was almost no space on the page to diagram -- stupid cambridge PDFs!) By the time I got to Dinos, I only had 5 mins left. But I immediately saw the key inferences (In/Out games are my strongest by far). If I had just 3 more minutes or so, I could have cracked the whole thing wide open and gone -0 on it. (I know, because I did it in blind review.) I need to drill games hard this week so that I don't struggle with timing like this anymore.

LR (Meh.)
There were a few questions in each section that stumped me. My weakest question type has always been MSS/MBT, and there was an abnormally large contingent of MSS questions on this test. I need to break out those packets before I hit PT58.

RC (Fractals and the Luxury of Slow Reading)
This was the huge breakthrough. Last week (PT56) was the first time I had ever finished a RC section under time, and I went -5. This week, I hit the last passage (Fractals - another notoriously difficult one) with 12 mins to spare, and I went -2 overall (-0 on Fractals, -2 on Cather). The secret formula? F**K SPEED READING. Speed reading is a scam and a farce and nobody should ever pull their hair out trying to do it. You do not need to read quickly in order to finish the section on time. I spent as much time as I needed to get a clear, comprehensive understanding of the passages, and I saved centuries on the questions. In a matter of two weeks, RC went from being my worst section (-10) to my best section (-2). Slow, precise, purposeful reading is potently effective.


First of all, congratulations. Whats that blind review score work out to btw?

For reading comp - when you're reading slowly like that, are you just trying to understand everything? How do you do this without getting too caught up in details? I've read a lot about spending 4 or even 5 minutes on the passage lately, and my only concern is I think I may tend to get caught up in the details too much if I use this approach. Obviously its working really well for you, if you could describe your process for RC that would be great.

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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Straw_Mandible » Thu Jun 19, 2014 5:31 pm

flash21 wrote:First of all, congratulations. Whats that blind review score work out to btw?

For reading comp - when you're reading slowly like that, are you just trying to understand everything? How do you do this without getting too caught up in details? I've read a lot about spending 4 or even 5 minutes on the passage lately, and my only concern is I think I may tend to get caught up in the details too much if I use this approach. Obviously its working really well for you, if you could describe your process for RC that would be great.


Thanks, Flash. I usually don't calculate the BR score because it doesn't matter, but I guess -3 on this test would be a 179. (But honestly, anything less than 180 on BR is just sloppy/hasty reviewing.)

As for RC, I don't fear getting too caught up on the details because I'm reading with a purpose. The purpose is to understand the argument(s)/main points and to know the structure of the passage inside and out, so that I can quickly and easily find any tidbit the questions may ask about. And don't be fooled by the idea of "background information"--every word is relevant, and every word is fair game. You just have to be able to make a quick assessment of the relative centrality of what you're reading at any given time (in relation to the main points), in order to properly understand the overall reasoning structure. But any amount of time invested in getting a clearer understanding of reasoning structure is going to pay out huge dividends on the questions. The better you know the passage, the faster you can rule out wrong answers and zero in on the relevant information to confirm correct answers. So trying to speed through and gloss over details to get a snapshot of the "main point" is going to do you a severe disservice. Spending time on the details helps you develop a stronger understanding of the passage as a whole.

My father had a professor in London who said to him, "You Americans are always trying to discover what's relevant. What you fail to discover is that the whole f**king world is relevant."

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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby cavalier2015 » Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:19 pm

this might have been obvious for the majority of you, but holy shit: knowing conditional logic makes LR very manageable. studied conditional logic section in the manhattan guide and reviewed sufficient assumptions and got nearly everything in the Cambridge packet right…really good feeling. now if only the entire test was sufficient assumptions

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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby akechi » Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:46 pm

Hey there,

Are any of you interested in the idea of creating a group PTing review schedule? I know a lot of past high scorers on TLS did this and suggest it as a study tool. We can all download Elluminate or Skype and someone who is highly organized can be the one to distribute review room links, determine dates, etc.

Let me know what you guys / girls think.

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Louis1127
Posts: 817
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:12 pm

Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Louis1127 » Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:01 pm

akechi wrote:Hey there,

Are any of you interested in the idea of creating a group PTing review schedule? I know a lot of past high scorers on TLS did this and suggest it as a study tool. We can all download Elluminate or Skype and someone who is highly organized can be the one to distribute review room links, determine dates, etc.

Let me know what you guys / girls think.


Interested. Not tech savvy but have skype and interested :D

cavalier2015
Posts: 367
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 12:50 pm

Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby cavalier2015 » Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:24 pm

akechi wrote:Hey there,

Are any of you interested in the idea of creating a group PTing review schedule? I know a lot of past high scorers on TLS did this and suggest it as a study tool. We can all download Elluminate or Skype and someone who is highly organized can be the one to distribute review room links, determine dates, etc.

Let me know what you guys / girls think.


interested. keep me posted. i can do the organization if needed so.

h3jk5h
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:56 pm

Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby h3jk5h » Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:17 pm

Straw_Mandible wrote:
flash21 wrote:First of all, congratulations. Whats that blind review score work out to btw?

For reading comp - when you're reading slowly like that, are you just trying to understand everything? How do you do this without getting too caught up in details? I've read a lot about spending 4 or even 5 minutes on the passage lately, and my only concern is I think I may tend to get caught up in the details too much if I use this approach. Obviously its working really well for you, if you could describe your process for RC that would be great.


Thanks, Flash. I usually don't calculate the BR score because it doesn't matter, but I guess -3 on this test would be a 179. (But honestly, anything less than 180 on BR is just sloppy/hasty reviewing.)

As for RC, I don't fear getting too caught up on the details because I'm reading with a purpose. The purpose is to understand the argument(s)/main points and to know the structure of the passage inside and out, so that I can quickly and easily find any tidbit the questions may ask about. And don't be fooled by the idea of "background information"--every word is relevant, and every word is fair game. You just have to be able to make a quick assessment of the relative centrality of what you're reading at any given time (in relation to the main points), in order to properly understand the overall reasoning structure. But any amount of time invested in getting a clearer understanding of reasoning structure is going to pay out huge dividends on the questions. The better you know the passage, the faster you can rule out wrong answers and zero in on the relevant information to confirm correct answers. So trying to speed through and gloss over details to get a snapshot of the "main point" is going to do you a severe disservice. Spending time on the details helps you develop a stronger understanding of the passage as a whole.

My father had a professor in London who said to him, "You Americans are always trying to discover what's relevant. What you fail to discover is that the whole f**king world is relevant."



Were your gains mainly from understanding the reasoning structure more thoroughly, or being more able to do the detail questions (or both)?

I think when I read a passage I get a rough understanding of the main arguments (I maybe wrong), but I have the most trouble doing local questions where I have to find the details. In those questions, I spend a large amount of time going back and forth on my contender choices and the text, and a lot of times I get them wrong nevertheless.

What are your thoughts on this?

Congrats on your breakthrough




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