## Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

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matt@manhattanlsat

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### Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Theopliske8711 wrote:Can you guys help with the if, but only if, rules that appear in a number of games and LR questions? How to interpret that?
The game in question is the Export Alliance game, PT45, S3, G4. "If, but only, if" is similar to the following:

if, and only if
then, and only then
all, and only
when, and only when

Each of these introduce biconditionals - double headed arrows.

In that game X exports soybeans, if but only if, Y exports soybeans: Xs <--> Ys

mystikal

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### Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

matt@manhattanlsat wrote:
Theopliske8711 wrote:Can you guys help with the if, but only if, rules that appear in a number of games and LR questions? How to interpret that?
The game in question is the Export Alliance game, PT45, S3, G4. "If, but only, if" is similar to the following:

if, and only if
then, and only then
all, and only
when, and only when

Each of these introduce biconditionals - double headed arrows.

In that game X exports soybeans, if but only if, Y exports soybeans: Xs <--> Ys

So-
[X's]<-only when->[Y's] (also)
Right?

matt@manhattanlsat

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### Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

mystikal wrote:So-
[X's]<-only when->[Y's] (also)
Right?
Not sure why you've included the words "only when" in your conditional notation, but if that's something you typically do, why not put in:

Xs<-when and only when->Ys

Manhattan LSAT Noah

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### Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Any of your MLSAT preppers, Matt and I are happy to geek out with you here.

doorsal

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### Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Hi Noah,

Thank you for hosting this awesome thread, its a great idea.

I recently bought one of your RC books and am working through. Thats my weakest section and the book has been great at helping me conceptualize how to approach the section.

So in the book it mentions that you should identify the argument of the passage and then hang the rest of the pieces in the passage around that. As is mentioned in the book, sometimes you cant tell the role a piece is playing until you find the argument. In those situations where the argument is in the last parts of the passage, does this mean you would have to go back and read the passage again to hang the pieces?

Put differently, should my approach be 1) Scan until I find argument and then 2) Return to top and hang the various pieces around it.

Finally, are your ebooks unprintable? I saw this question asked earlier but didn't spot the final word on it.

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Manhattan LSAT Noah

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### Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

doorsal wrote:Hi Noah,

Thank you for hosting this awesome thread, its a great idea.

I recently bought one of your RC books and am working through. Thats my weakest section and the book has been great at helping me conceptualize how to approach the section.

So in the book it mentions that you should identify the argument of the passage and then hang the rest of the pieces in the passage around that. As is mentioned in the book, sometimes you cant tell the role a piece is playing until you find the argument. In those situations where the argument is in the last parts of the passage, does this mean you would have to go back and read the passage again to hang the pieces?

Put differently, should my approach be 1) Scan until I find argument and then 2) Return to top and hang the various pieces around it.

Finally, are your ebooks unprintable? I saw this question asked earlier but didn't spot the final word on it.
First, the easy one - ebooks are unprintable. If you're looking to save a buck, see if one of our books is available used on Amazon.

As for the whether to scan for the argument and then return, good question. In short, no. Instead, take 10-15 seconds at the end of reading the passage and build a "passage map" - say to yourself what happened in each part of the passage. This should be enough to allow you to re-categorize information from early paragraphs if your understanding of the passage radically changes towards the end. Scanning to look for the argument (or "scale") would be tough, because sometimes it'd be hard to spot outside of the context of what you've read. Overall, you're aiming for an engaged reading stance, where you're actively reading, and that sort of read should allow you to skip any need to go back when you're done.

One scanning technique that one of our teachers recommends (and I'm now stealing) is to start the ready by spending a few seconds noticing what is being discussed in the first sentence of each paragraph. He likes this b/c the LSAT is one of the few times where you start reading something without having any idea what you're reading. Those few seconds gives him a context--"oh, I'm reading about dinosaurs." See if you like that technique.

Tell me if that doesn't clear it up.

Dr. Dre

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### Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Hi Noah,

(1) Why is Manhattan LSAT the big hype all of a sudden? TLS'rs praise you're books, what is the secret?

(2) I got my books (used) on Amazon. Can I still sign up for resources on your guy's site?

Manhattan LSAT Noah

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### Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Dr. Dre wrote:Hi Noah,

(1) Why is Manhattan LSAT the big hype all of a sudden? TLS'rs praise you're books, what is the secret?

(2) I got my books (used) on Amazon. Can I still sign up for resources on your guy's site?
#1 - I have my opinion, but what students say is more important. But, since I'm here: I think our strategies are well-informed by what our teachers learn from teaching our classes. Overall, we try to remember that for something like how to approach the LSAT or see a flaw, we can't just say a bunch of categories and rules and expect people will learn them, we have to teach and we have to make it engaging, whether it's in a class, video, or book.

#2 - e-mail studentservices@manhattanlsat.com and ask real nice (they like haikus).

So, Dr. Dre, are there any more questions? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hfYkDcSXPQ

Dr. Dre

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### Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Sorry I wasn't too specific. I meant why are the Manhattan BOOKS that good? That's really all everyone here talks about.

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Manhattan LSAT Noah

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### Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Dr. Dre wrote:Sorry I wasn't too specific. I meant why are the Manhattan BOOKS that good? That's really all everyone here talks about.
Sorry I was unclear - I was talking about the book. My point was that our books are written to be "teachers", not dry textbooks. As for the strategies, we focus less on categorizing and sub-categorizing the test and more on what strong test-takers actually do during the test. But, let's see what you think after reading them. BTW, be sure you've got the 3rd edition of our LG guide - it's significantly beefier than the 2nd edition.

doorsal

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### Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Manhattan LSAT Noah wrote:
doorsal wrote:Hi Noah,

Thank you for hosting this awesome thread, its a great idea.

I recently bought one of your RC books and am working through. Thats my weakest section and the book has been great at helping me conceptualize how to approach the section.

So in the book it mentions that you should identify the argument of the passage and then hang the rest of the pieces in the passage around that. As is mentioned in the book, sometimes you cant tell the role a piece is playing until you find the argument. In those situations where the argument is in the last parts of the passage, does this mean you would have to go back and read the passage again to hang the pieces?

Put differently, should my approach be 1) Scan until I find argument and then 2) Return to top and hang the various pieces around it.

Finally, are your ebooks unprintable? I saw this question asked earlier but didn't spot the final word on it.
First, the easy one - ebooks are unprintable. If you're looking to save a buck, see if one of our books is available used on Amazon.

As for the whether to scan for the argument and then return, good question. In short, no. Instead, take 10-15 seconds at the end of reading the passage and build a "passage map" - say to yourself what happened in each part of the passage. This should be enough to allow you to re-categorize information from early paragraphs if your understanding of the passage radically changes towards the end. Scanning to look for the argument (or "scale") would be tough, because sometimes it'd be hard to spot outside of the context of what you've read. Overall, you're aiming for an engaged reading stance, where you're actively reading, and that sort of read should allow you to skip any need to go back when you're done.

One scanning technique that one of our teachers recommends (and I'm now stealing) is to start the ready by spending a few seconds noticing what is being discussed in the first sentence of each paragraph. He likes this b/c the LSAT is one of the few times where you start reading something without having any idea what you're reading. Those few seconds gives him a context--"oh, I'm reading about dinosaurs." See if you like that technique.

Tell me if that doesn't clear it up.
Thanks Noah, that definitely clarifies things. I will give it go. I will also try out the second strategy you mentioned.

Captain Rodeo

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### Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Hey Matt and Noah (don't know who is going to answer) thanks for doing this! I'm going through the MLSAT LR book right now, and am drilling with Cambridge packs.

Quick question:

For Necc and Suff Qs premise boosters and conclusion redundancy are bad AC choices. But Strengthen and Weaken seem to be giving me some curve balls (so did Flaw actually)

I read an article by Dan from MLSAT (re Noah's post from PT 29-S4-Q20)

His 3 Weaken peculiarities: (1) Attack a Premise (2) Attack Assumption via Counter Premise (3) Introduce a Counter Premise

Can I take the opposite of these 1-3 (e.g., Support a premise) and apply them to Strengthen Qs as well?

With that in mind- how does conclusion redundancy and premise boosters come into play with these Qs?

Any other things you want to say about S & W Qs in general (I did finish the MLSAT chapter)

I got really comfortable with the 1st 3 types of Assumptions then these ones were less structured all around

I studied for this test before (actually did tutoring with Matt Sherman- hope you're doing well!) but before that took a meh Testmasters and then self studied with PowerScore for LR- now using MLSAT (yay) and just want to master this

Gracias!

matt@manhattanlsat

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### Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Hey Austin! I totally remember working with you a little ways back! Good questions, especially since while you'd think that the opposite of Weaken would automatically Strengthen. The truth is though that supporting a premise wont work on the Strengthen side. We already assume the premise is true in evaluating an argument, so just like on Assumption questions be careful with those premise boosters!

I would like to add that Causation is something that plays a much larger role on Strengthen/Weaken and even ID the Flaw questions. Really be on the lookout for words implying causation withon the conclusion of the argument:

Causes, because of, as a result of, has the effect of, induces, produces, creates, stmulates, as a consequence of, due to, leads to, if you want to ____(effect), then you should_____(cause) (obviously this list is not exhaustive, just some examples).

To weaken causation, provide an alternative cause or weaken the correlation (cause without effect; effect without cause). To strengthen causation, eliminate an alternative cause, or strengthen the correlation (when cause is present, so is effect; when cause is abasent, effect is absent to).

Also be on the lookout for conclusions that offer explanations for events in the premise (e.g., 7 out of 10 shoppers who expressed a preference, preferred Northwoods brand maple syrup. Therefore Northwoods brand must be tops for taste.). To weaken explanations, provide an alternative explanation (Northwoods brand is cheaper). To strengthen an explanation, eliminate a competing one.

Hope that helps, and good luck!

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Arthur the Aardvark

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### Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

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Captain Rodeo

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### Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Great! Thanks so much Matt! This really helps. And thank you for the well wishes!

matt@manhattanlsat

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### Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Arthur the Aardvark wrote:I have the second edition of MLSAT. Am I at a significant disadvantage to test takers who are using the third edition of MLSAT?

For what it's worth, I'm practice testing in the 170s after picking up your bundle of books.

Any extra help is great though.
Nice work! If you want to pm me where you think some of your areas of focus should be, I'd be happy to offer some area specific advice.

More directly to your question, you aren't at a significant disadvantage using the 2nd Edition. The only major updates really occur in the LG Strategy Guide. There you'd find more drills and exercises, plus some slightly different game type organization - nothing that you wouldn't recognize from the 2nd Edition.

From my experience working with people who are scoring in the low-170s, two issues really drive the push into the upper-170s. First, you begin to think more like the test-writer. Your expectations from each area of the section continue to develop and allow you to trust your thought process on the easier questions and build a more complete picture of wrong answers allowing yourself to make better eliminations. Both of these go into the second change; you move more quickly. For many people there's almost no problem that can't solved with more time. By shortening the time it takes you to knock out the things you already know how to do, you have the time to spend figuring out the really tricky ones that you do encounter.

Dr. Dre

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### Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Hey why is the Manhattan RC book very small (as in comparison to the Manhattan LG book) ?

When i got the book today in the mail, i thought i was being rick rolled.

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Manhattan LSAT Noah

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### Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Dr. Dre wrote:Hey why is the Manhattan RC book very small (as in comparison to the Manhattan LG book) ?

When i got the book today in the mail, i thought i was being rick rolled.
The RC book isn't heavy on drills like our other guides. It depends on you applying the strategies to RC sections. Report back on whether it lets you down or deserts you.

Dr. Dre

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### Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

So far, the RC book is great!

Dr. Dre

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### Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Question for RC book:

On page 55, the book diagrams the third "opinion" as (O3). I want to know why they don't diagram it as (3).

1. Is it because the last paragraph is not an argument, but an opinion? Because to me, the passage is introducing another argument. So, IMO, it would be the third argument.

2. Can there even be a third argument in a passage?

3. What then is the difference between an argument and an opinion?

lsatkid007

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### Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

hey guys
is it safe to say that every sentence in a rc passage could be labeled "background info, viewpoint, or evidence"?

thanks

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Manhattan LSAT Noah

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### Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

lsatkid007 wrote:hey guys
is it safe to say that every sentence in a rc passage could be labeled "background info, viewpoint, or evidence"?

thanks
Great question.

I think you could run with that. My hesitation is that there might be moments when it's debatable - for instance, if a paragraph is explaining a side of the scale and then there's reference to a caveat; we could say that's more detail than evidence (but it's details about the evidence, so...). You may find it useful to split out authors opinion from viewpoint, or just give it an extra star or something, because it's such an important part of the passage to notice. Hesitations aside, I like where you're going with this, so keep going.

Dr. Dre - I'm on the road w/o the RC book, so I'll look at your question when I return to my cave.

matt@manhattanlsat

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### Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Dr. Dre wrote:Question for RC book:

On page 55, the book diagrams the third "opinion" as (O3). I want to know why they don't diagram it as (3).

1. Is it because the last paragraph is not an argument, but an opinion? Because to me, the passage is introducing another argument. So, IMO, it would be the third argument.

2. Can there even be a third argument in a passage?

3. What then is the difference between an argument and an opinion?
Hey Dr. Dre, to some of your questions...

1. The issue is that (1) and (2) relate to the debate between individual autonomy and the power of the gods.

There are then three opinions (views) that relate to that debate: Snell's, Rivier's, and Lesky's. You're right that the third paragraph introduces a new argument, but only from the perspective that Snell and Lesky also introduce arguments. All three arguments present different views on what makes Greek dramas tragic vis a vis the relationship between individual autonomy and the power of the gods.

2. There can definitely be a 3rd argument in a passage, though this is not very common.

3. The difference between an opinion and an argument is that an opinion provides a personal view that relates to the central argument. An argument would be more specifically the position outlined, possibly without a supporting voice.

Hope that helps!

Dr. Dre

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### Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

matt@manhattanlsat wrote:
Dr. Dre wrote:Question for RC book:

On page 55, the book diagrams the third "opinion" as (O3). I want to know why they don't diagram it as (3).

1. Is it because the last paragraph is not an argument, but an opinion? Because to me, the passage is introducing another argument. So, IMO, it would be the third argument.

2. Can there even be a third argument in a passage?

3. What then is the difference between an argument and an opinion?
Hey Dr. Dre, to some of your questions...

1. The issue is that (1) and (2) relate to the debate between individual autonomy and the power of the gods.

There are then three opinions (views) that relate to that debate: Snell's, Rivier's, and Lesky's. You're right that the third paragraph introduces a new argument, but only from the perspective that Snell and Lesky also introduce arguments. All three arguments present different views on what makes Greek dramas tragic vis a vis the relationship between individual autonomy and the power of the gods.

2. There can definitely be a 3rd argument in a passage, though this is not very common.

3. The difference between an opinion and an argument is that an opinion provides a personal view that relates to the central argument. An argument would be more specifically the position outlined, possibly without a supporting voice.

Hope that helps!
thanks so much

5ubv3rt

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### Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Hey guys. I'm about to buy the MLSAT trilogy for Kindle. Before I get started, I'd like to do all the PTs that are referenced in these books. That way I take all my PTs fresh. Can you provide a list of the PTs used in the trilogy?