Found RC help!!!

Tex_Mex13
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Found RC help!!!

Postby Tex_Mex13 » Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:56 pm

Examkrackers just came out with their complete LSAT study pack....I dont know how good it is but they have a RC book!

MLBrandow
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Re: Found RC help!!!

Postby MLBrandow » Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:47 pm

Examkrackers RC Book Review

First off, buy this book if you are struggling with RC and are taking the June LSAT. I have spent hours in my local bookstores sifting through RC strategies from other companies (call me a cheap ass), as well as reading through the free samplings on google's e-book cache (call me a cheap ass more). This book is well worth the $23 if you are finding yourself in a heap of trouble on RC.

Here is what makes this book more useful than anything else I've come across yet:
- It focuses on breaking up the passages by how the main point is presented and the arguments are structured, rather than by what the passage is about (a la Kaplan and a few others).
- It has a few in-chapter drills which hone the specific skills it teaches as you learn them, rather than delving into RC all at once by taking whole sections from the get-go.
- Each lecture focuses on one passage type and one question family.
- The mini-exams corresponding to each lecture are excellent. Each focuses solely on the relevant material you learned.
- It's the only book that I've come across yet with a comprehensive comparative reading section (17 pages).
- Many of the "typical wrong answer choices" that correspond to each answer type do, in fact, come up often, and are easy to spot once made aware.
- I like the book's use of color to draw attention to certain wrong answers, although this is ancillary at best.


Here are shortcomings of this book:
- If you are anal like me and have every PrepTest that can be feasibly attained, then the "extra practice" sections at the end are useless. It has 95 questions spanning roughly 15 passages that are all pulled from actual LSATs. However, if you are lazy and don't like buying all the PrepTests (bad idea, but hey, that's your prerogative), then this belongs in the other category.
- The paper this book is printed on pisses me off. It's glossy and reminds me of my high school textbooks rather than of the LSAT.
- There is a little sun-shaped mascot in various persona aside most of the pages, and it's really annoying.
- While the information this book provides is valuable, the method of presentation is questionable. I would like to see more examples in each lecture (it's pretty barren, only one per chapter), and I would also like to be given the opportunity to process a problem for myself rather than having to be walked through it.
- While some of the explanations are pretty solid, a few of the wrong answer choice explanations are too brief.
- The Title of Chapter 11 (the Reading Comprehension Review), is referred to in the subsequent page headers as Chapter 9. This indicates to me a bit of a rushed product.
- This book does not place enough emphasis on parsing. It simply says "remember this" in some cases where parsing would be very helpful.


Conclusion:
Overall, the biggest pluses this book has to offer are its dissection of different passage types and the mini-exams, which drill specific passage- and question-types. The biggest drawback was the lack of examples.

This book is laden with useful information, but you do have to get by its sometimes peculiar presentation to glean that information from it.


Rating:
Relative Usefulness - 4.5/5 (versus existing prep books)
Absolute Usefulness - 3/5 (in terms of what is necessary to master RC)
Clarity - 4/5
Quality of information - 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Recommendation:
Buy this book if you are struggling with RC and are taking the June LSAT. Consider buying this book if you are struggling with RC and are taking a later LSAT, as Powerscore's RC Bible will be released July/August.





=======================
original post:
=======================
DayDay11,

This looks like it might be quite a helpful book.

Here is a direct link:

--LinkRemoved--

I would be interested to see reviews on this product. I have never heard of Examkrackers before.


Edit: I noticed that it just came out a few weeks ago, so I went ahead and ordered it from Amazon.com for $22.00. I'll volunteer myself to be the guinea pig, as this is really the only section giving me grief.

I'll send out a review in a few weeks.

EDIT
: http://www.buy.com/prod/Examkrackers_LS ... 05563.html

$13.79 (shipping included) via special offer on Buy.com
Last edited by MLBrandow on Tue Feb 19, 2008 7:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.

MLBrandow
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Re: Found RC help!!!

Postby MLBrandow » Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:37 pm

After working through the first chapter of this book, I have to say I am quite pleased with the quality of information. Their method of teaching reminds me very much of the Powerscore LR/LG Bibles.

While there are a few changes I personally would prefer with its content layout, the information is there, and I have found what I have read thus far to be helpful.

For those curious, the book is 270 pages, and there is roughly 130 pages of instructional information divided into six lectures. Each lecture has a corresponding three-section exam stressing the relayed concepts, complete with full explanations. The last 30 pages of the book are extra practice passages with answers and no explanations. Each passage has annotated before its location in a given test. All of the passages come from real LSATs.


I'll post more as I get further into and/or complete the book.

uclabruins
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Re: Found RC help!!!

Postby uclabruins » Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:28 pm

Thanks for posting this info! I'm debating if I should get this, I guess I'll wait until a more complete review is posted.

Jamestown
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Re: Found RC help!!!

Postby Jamestown » Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:11 pm

And this is all strictly RC correct?

MLBrandow
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Re: Found RC help!!!

Postby MLBrandow » Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:47 pm

uclabruins,

I plan to finish this book within a couple weeks at the latest. Upon completion, I'll be sure to post a qualitative review.

Jamestown,

Yes, this book is the first strictly RC book that has been released. Other prep books have had RC help sections, but this is the first book I would consider the RC analog to Powerscore's LG and LR Bibles.

overtheoxer
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Re: Found RC help!!!

Postby overtheoxer » Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:53 pm

Word gets out fast. These are selling out! This is something I really need. The PS one ins't due out until Fall.

cliquesh
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Re: Found RC help!!!

Postby cliquesh » Fri Feb 08, 2008 12:01 am

Can you copy the first sentence of one of the passages? I want to see if it is just a rehash of their 101Verbal Reasoning passages. Thanks

uclabruins
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Re: Found RC help!!!

Postby uclabruins » Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:23 am

cliquesh wrote:Can you copy the first sentence of one of the passages? I want to see if it is just a rehash of their 101Verbal Reasoning passages. Thanks

MLBrandow mentioned that the passages are real LSAT passages, so in that case, it wouldn't be the same as their MCAT VR passages

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LSAT Hater
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Re: Found RC help!!!

Postby LSAT Hater » Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:45 am

my boyfriend studied for the MCAT using kaplan and got a 21, he used examcrackers and got a 30...every mcat taker swears by examcrackers! i can't beleive they came out with this after i took the lsat!!!!

Tex_Mex13
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Re: Found RC help!!!

Postby Tex_Mex13 » Sun Feb 10, 2008 3:08 am

Ok I just bought all 3 books by EK.

I also have the 2 PS bibles. I intend on doing a detailed comparison on them in the future.

So far they look pretty good...They are loaded with practice questions...I don't think they are ALL real LSAT ones though.

riccardo426
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Re: Found RC help!!!

Postby riccardo426 » Sun Feb 10, 2008 9:40 pm

I think I am going to succumb and buy the RC examcracker book. I am still not very confident in my RC ability, especially since its been the hardest section as of late and it was my worst section on the SAT.

I also decided yesterday to do Main Point questions last, because I seem to get them wrong more than other question types. Doing them last will mean I have examined the passage more and should have a battle handle on the general main point.

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LawSuccess
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Re: Found RC help!!!

Postby LawSuccess » Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:03 pm

Thanks so much for the review. I may get this.

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thecaseman805
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Re: Found RC help!!!

Postby thecaseman805 » Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:57 pm

I just bought it. Is it sad that I'm excited about a new LSAT book?

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prelaw76
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Re: Found RC help!!!

Postby prelaw76 » Wed Feb 13, 2008 12:39 am

There's something sketchy about this thread...

JDewey
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Re: Found RC help!!!

Postby JDewey » Wed Feb 13, 2008 12:41 am

Read a book. Why are you guys going to read a book about how to read. Stupid as hell. I don't like companies that spell shit cute. A reading comprehension book by a company that spells crackers with two k's is just ironic.

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Bangalmafia
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Re: Found RC help!!!

Postby Bangalmafia » Wed Feb 13, 2008 12:45 am

A reading comprehension book by a company that spells crackers with two k's is just ironic.


I dunno J. I'm all about doing the RC sections just by reading the passages as a whole and figuring things out, but I know a LOT of people want to have blueprinted strategies. With something as important as the LSAT, and everything else being "learnable" (even LG which I initially have had no clue wtf to do on) why not an RC blueprint?

Anyways if you guys do find it helpful, please give out the review. It might be something worth checking out even if it is a few more consistently correct answers .

Tex_Mex13
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Re: Found RC help!!!

Postby Tex_Mex13 » Wed Feb 13, 2008 12:57 am

Why are you guys going to read a book about how to read.


It's not a book on how to read. It gives specific strategies for certain types of questions and tells you exactly what to expect in the new comparative reading passages. Some of the information is a bit rudimentary, but all of the official and unofficial passages offer a lot of practice that will definitely come in handy come mid-June.

MLBrandow
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Re: Found RC help!!!

Postby MLBrandow » Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:07 am

JDewey wrote:Read a book. Why are you guys going to read a book about how to read. Stupid as hell. I don't like companies that spell shit cute. A reading comprehension book by a company that spells crackers with two k's is just ironic.


JDewey,

Why would you even study for the LSAT? It just tests your reading and logic abilities. Shouldn't those already be good? Shouldn't you already be a master at pointing out fallacious reasoning?

I only ask these loaded questions because the answers are "I'd be stupid not to," "Not adapted to Test content," and for you, "Definitely no," or "Yes, except for tangent argument, part-and-whole and non-supporting premise fallacies" (perhaps more if your post was longer.)

Stay out of this thread if you don't have the capacity or willingness to contribute anything of value. No one cares that you can draw a one-degree, incorrect inference.
Last edited by MLBrandow on Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:10 am, edited 2 times in total.

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aguyingeorgia
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Re: Found RC help!!!

Postby aguyingeorgia » Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:08 am

I'm taking over the forum one thread at a time.

I'm curious about the Examkracker book though.

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sanam
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Re: Found RC help!!!

Postby sanam » Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:21 pm

Hi MLbrandow and Day11

I was planning on purchasing the whole set from examkrakers but was waiting on review of the material you guys have read so far. So please let me know is it worth buying the whole pack since I already have both the PS bibles.

Thanx

MLBrandow
Posts: 129
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:12 pm

Re: Found RC help!!!

Postby MLBrandow » Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:37 pm

sanam,

I should be finished by next week. While I can't comment on the effectiveness of the Examkrackers LR and LG books, I would think it redundant to purchase them in addition to the PS Bibles.

If you are looking to make your decision before then, I would say the following:

Definitely buy the RC book, as it is in my opinion far and away the best RC product out right now. There are, however, a number of changes that I would make to what I have seen in the first two lectures (four chapters of 11).

The drilling and the delineation of passages by composition rather than topic (history, law, science, etc) I think are two of the better assets of this book.

The gripes I have with this book thus far aren't anything that is said that I feel is incorrect, simply parts that I think may be lacking and can be improved upon.


In short sum, if you are taking the June LSAT, I would definitely pick this up. Even as a mediocre source, it is far and away better than anything else out right now. That said, Powerscore's RC Bible will come out July/August, and so if you are taking the September or December LSAT, I would still recommend this book, but only as a precursor to the RC Bible.

There is a lot of solid information in this book thus far, and I think this book hits on some critical strategies in RC that aren't apparent in other RC methodologies, but it seems lacking in a few places.

So yes, I think you should buy the book, as it is good supplemental practice, but also a solid foundation to build upon in attacking RC. We learn LR and LG by individual question types and game types--this book treats RC in much the same manner.

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Pavlov's Cat
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Re: Found RC help!!!

Postby Pavlov's Cat » Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:47 pm

MLBrandow, do you have any knowledge of Blueprint's RC techniques? I'm waiting for Blueprint's self-study materials to arrive (later this month they say :x ), and I'm wondering whether I should get this book too. I have heard a few positive things about Blueprint's RC instruction, but not really enough to constitute a solid opinion either way.

riccardo426
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Re: Found RC help!!!

Postby riccardo426 » Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:37 pm

I'm currently on Amazon.com's waitlist for this book :(.

Though without the book my RC seems to be improving. I took a practice RC section today and got -2 :) , but the section was from 1994. I definitely still need to improve to do well on these new beefed-up RC sections.

Tex_Mex13
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 2:40 am

Re: Found RC help!!!

Postby Tex_Mex13 » Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:32 pm

Ok, like I said, I will give a more in depth review when I have gone through all the books, but so far this is what I have done:




PS's LGB vs. EK's Analytical Reasoning

I only have 1 chapter left in the bible and a few left in the EK so here goes.


1. Linear Games:

PS>EK

I found PS to be more simple and slightly more practical. A lot of the symbolization is the same (I realize logic symbols are universal) so it just comes down the the diagramming choice. Overall, I favored PS approach although EK does have some helpful hints and tips (nothing detrimental) that PS leaves out.


2. Binary Games, or grouping games with only 2 groups

EK has it's own section for these and PS just puts them into their Grouping chapter.

This is where EK really stood out to me. Their method for these types of games is very efficient and they explain everything in very simple language. Their steps on conditional statements make it almost impossible not to learn it well.
Their chapter on Binary games really left me feeling confident with these types of games.
If anything, find a way to get your hands on this chapter!

3. Advanced Linear Games

This is by far my worst section (on the test). PS method is probably more preferable for a couple of reasons, but #1 is that EK teaches the grid. In fact, they even call them "Grid Games." PS teaches to NOT use the grid and so I was already skeptical of the method when I turned the page and saw that they were called grid games. So I could be biased. I sort of just combined the methods from both books on this section and came up with my own way. So again, I would say PS beats out EK on this section (but EK is still pretty helpful).


One major difference between the two is that PS has Actual LSAT games through the entire book and EK doesn't. Their games are almost identical if you ask me though. Plus, I don't like spoiling the games before I do them on a PT.


That is as far as I have gotten on both books. So far, I would recommend the book for people looking to get AS MUCH practice and as many strategies in as possible. For people cruising through the games section, this book may not be for you.


I am only 1/2 way through the LRB and 2 chapters into EK's LR so that review will have to wait a little while.




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