Manhattan LR and Cambridge Packets

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Manhattan LR and Cambridge Packets

Postby Lad » Sun May 03, 2015 11:34 am

Ok so I am currently going over the Manhattan LR guide for the LSAT and have also purchased the ultimate package of Cambridge packets and I was wondering if I should start drilling while i'm reading the guide or if I should finish before I start drilling. For instance just finished reading up on necessary and sufficient assumption questions in the LR guide and am not sure if I so should I start drilling those question types from the Cambridge packets NOW or should I finish the entire guide before I touch the packets?


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Re: Manhattan LR and Cambridge Packets

Postby Lad » Sun May 03, 2015 6:06 pm

Over 30 views and still no reply? Come on people, help a brother out.

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Re: Manhattan LR and Cambridge Packets

Postby Jeffort » Sun May 03, 2015 6:51 pm

After you finish each chapter about particular question types, you should not only do the HW Drill it practice questions at the end of the chapter but should also drill some more questions of the type(s) from the packets before moving onto another chapter. Drilling more questions than included in the book to practice applying the new concepts, techniques, etc. you read/learned from each chapter to more questions than included in the book before moving onto learning about other question types helps burn that LSAT knowledge into your memory and approach better so that you won't have to go back and re-read/re-learn info from each chapter again later as much due to a lot of it not sticking in your long term memory from first read through the chapters.

Don't go overboard and drill like 50-100 of each type from the packets before moving onto the next chapter/question type while going through the book learning the basics for the first time. But do drill more questions of each type than those included in the book before moving on in order to help solidify the knowledge into your memory and LSAT habits better through more actual application of it right after first learning it when it's fresh in your mind. Maybe do a handful or two of each difficulty level of the question type from the packets before moving onto another question type.

The sooner you start proactively trying to apply the LSAT knowledge presented in each chapter to a good amount of questions while that knowledge is fresh in your head, the better it will stick in your memory for long term.

Once you've finished the book, learned about all the question types and spent a good amount of time trying to apply the 'new knowledge' to a good amount of questions (but not a giant amount) while that knowledge was fresh, you'll then have a better big picture understanding of the interrelationships of the question types (for example, all assumption family LR questions are really just variations that are testing basically the same core skills) and then be ready to focus more of your prep time exclusively on drilling and review and less time having to re-read chapters to fill in the 'knowledge gaps' of stuff you read that didn't stick in your memory or get worked into your approach first time you went through the chapters.

Mainly focusing on trying to memorize all the foundational LSAT concepts, knowledge, techniques, etc. in each chapter during first read with the goal of finishing the book as quickly as possible before starting to focus on doing much drilling to practice applying the knowledge is less efficient because your brain will assimilate and retain things much better if you start putting the information into action right away by attempting to apply what you've just learned to a good amount of actual questions as you progress through the prep book to build your LSAT knowledge foundations.

In short, actually practicing trying to apply the foundational knowledge as you learn it while reading the chapters first time through is the most direct and efficient way to translate the knowledge into good hands on application skills rather than just trying to remember the info in the abstract at first but waiting weeks until you really get down to doing the skills building work of getting good at applying the knowledge and techniques to questions of various difficulty levels.

Doing a fair amount of LR type drilling while you first go through the book building your LSAT knowledge foundation gives you much more exposure to the commonly repeated flawed methods of reasoning that recur in the arguments for all assumption family question types so that you'll more quickly get familiar with the commonly repeated argument structures, methods of reasoning and flaws and be more likely to see and learn the common threads/patterns that run through all flawed argument based LR assumption family question types. For example, since the same commonly repeated flaws appear in arguments for all assumption family question types (str, wkn, necc assumption, suff assumption, describe the flaw, etc.), by getting familiar with the common flaws as you go you'll hopefully be able to more quickly recognize them and more easily learn and memorize the logical ways to str or wkn or identify the necessary assumption or describe the flaw or whatever Q type task is being asked for each of the different commonly repeated flaws.

When you learn each of the commonly repeated flawed methods of reasoning that recur over and over on the LSAT, you want to make sure you also learn how to logically describe the flaw (flaw Qs), how to logically exploit the flaw (weaken Qs), how to fix/lesson the severity of the flaw (strengthen Qs), how to identify the unwarranted/flawed but necessary assumption(s) that are made by using the specific flawed method of reasoning (necc assumption Q's), how to completely fix and get rid of the flaw (sufficient assumption Qs), etc.

Even though there are several different assumption family LR question types, they're all testing you on the same basic things: can you identify the flaw(s)/unwarranted assumption(s) of the argument and then find the answer choice that relates to the flaw(s)/assumption(s) the way the question type/stem is asking for?

Str question CRs strengthen/support a flawed/unwarranted assumption of the argument.
Wkn question CRs undermine/contradict a flawed/unwarranted assumption of the argument.
Necc assumption question CRs just state an unwarranted but necessary assumption the arguments validity depends on, meaning it's really just asking you to identify the AC that states a flawed/unwarranted/unsupported assumption of the argument.
Flaw question CRs just describe the flaw, usually in abstract ways but also frequently in the form of describing an unwarranted assumption (a necessary assumption for the reasoning to be able to be valid!)

With any flawed LR argument, the test writers could make it any one of the flawed argument based assumption family question types. Meaning they could use the same flawed argument as the stimulus for any assumption family question type and ask you to str it, or wkn it, or describe the flaw, or identify a necessary assumption, or identify a sufficient assumption, etc. LSAC doesn't do it anymore, but a good way to illustrate this is the fact that up until year 2000 and beyond PTs/LSATs, many LR arguments/stimulus had two different questions of different question types asked about the same argument.

Make sense?

TL;DR version: drill at least a handful of Qs of each difficulty level for each Q type from the packets before moving onto the next chapter so that your study time will be more efficient by making sure you're not just trying to memorize the information, but are actively working to get it instilled into your brain and LSAT approach, processes and habits by practicing applying the knowledge right after learning it. It's well established by science that people generally only remember long term about 20% of the material/information they read/study somewhat and that applying new knowledge by putting it into action for its intended purpose greatly increases comprehension and long term retention of the information.

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Monkey D Luffy
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Re: Manhattan LR and Cambridge Packets

Postby Monkey D Luffy » Mon May 04, 2015 5:42 pm

Jeffort, very informative. Thanks.

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