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The LSAT Trainer

Posts: 629
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 4:57 am

MAPP wrote:
The LSAT Trainer wrote:
HTH -- MK
Mike, you sir are a baller and a saint! Thanks for the help!
sure thing -- thanks for the comment and always happy to help -- mk

Archer@Law

Posts: 51
Joined: Mon May 09, 2016 10:08 am

Hey Mike, I am using the 16 week Trainer study plan and had a question on Chapter 14.

On page 195, there is a two question drill about complex 'or' rules.

On question 2) I came up with the following sequence of letters and I am failing to see where I am messing this up at.

Answer C has 'L' in the seventh position. The sequence below is what I come up with:

J M G F K H L

Maybe I am going about the solving process the wrong way here when dealing with "must be true" questions? I go down the list and plug in whatever the answer says and see if it works within the confines of the rules.

Thanks

The LSAT Trainer

Posts: 629
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 4:57 am

Archer@Law wrote:Hey Mike, I am using the 16 week Trainer study plan and had a question on Chapter 14.

On page 195, there is a two question drill about complex 'or' rules.

On question 2) I came up with the following sequence of letters and I am failing to see where I am messing this up at.

Answer C has 'L' in the seventh position. The sequence below is what I come up with:

J M G F K H L

Maybe I am going about the solving process the wrong way here when dealing with "must be true" questions? I go down the list and plug in whatever the answer says and see if it works within the confines of the rules.

Thanks
Hey --

So, she could visit L last, but she doesn't have to -- for example, the order could be JMGKFLH -- and that's why (C) is incorrect --

When you plug in an answer like (C) and find a way to make it work, you come away knowing that L could be last, but that test doesn't tell you that L must be last. And the "must be" is what we need to know.

In terms of problem-solving process --

On a macro level, when asked a "must be true" q, it helps to understand that the default answer choice structure will be 1 answer that must be true, and 4 that could be true or false. This is very different from other testing situations where you have 1 answer that must be true and 4 that must be false.

And when asked a conditional q, the expectation should be that the condition leads to you making certain absolute inferences, and then some general deductions about "limited options" for the remaining elements --

In this case, when we put G in 3, we know absolutely that J must go in 1 and M in 2, and then we can make some general deductions about the various ways in which F, H, K and L can fill the remaining spots.

Here's why I'm mentioning all this --

Your general expectation should be --

1) For a must be true q or must be false q, the right answer will involve something from the "absolute" inferences we made, and the wrong answers discuss elements/spots we aren't certain about.

2) For a could be true q, the right answer will involve one of the elements/spaces etc. we don't know much about, and, more importantly, the wrong answers will be inferable from the "absolutes" we figured out -- for this game, if the problem had been a could be true, you could probably eliminate most wrong choices because they would counter the facts we know about J and M going in 1 and 2.

Q's won't always work this way, but the vast majority of them will.

1) Keep in mind that the challenge of Logic Games, as a whole, is in large part about balancing two somewhat conflicting motivations -- trying to figure out as much as you can about a game, and also trying to be as correct as you possibly can about knowing what must be vs what is still left uncertain. It helps to be very, very careful and conscientious about the latter distinction (for example, by noticing differences, during your setup, between inferences about what must be and inferences about limited options).

2) When given a condition to start a q, you should expect to be able to make inferences off of them, and the "absolute" inferences are the ones that will play the most important roles in terms of helping you confirm right answers or eliminate wrong ones.

3) When you do need to go to hypos, testing things out, etc. to verify, for a must be true q, knowing that an answer choice "could work" doesn't help much, because probably all 5 answers could work. Instead, to test (C), you want to see if it's possible for L not to go in 7 -- see if you can place it anywhere else -- and, if you can come up with an example where L can go elsewhere, then you know that (C) does not have to be true.

Man, I realize that was a ton of big-picture info I just threw at you there -- and you may not even have been interested in it -- in any case, I hope that helped somewhat, and do know that I'll discuss all these must be/could be sort of issues in greater depth later in the book --

Hope the studying is going well and let me know if you need anything else -- Mike

MAPP

Posts: 380
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2015 3:03 pm

The LSAT Trainer wrote:
I'm working through LG conditional drills on pgs 184/185 (Trainer 2013) and want to make my own way of diagramming this type of rule: "she will take K or G, but not both." You suggest diagramming as: In | Out with K under "In" and G under "Out" with a double arrow pointing at both.

I thought I might simplify by writing as: K <------|------> G which would read "if K, not G" and "If G, not K" The only thing this notation lacks is the requirement that either K or G be selected. Is this a problem? That is, are there some games rules that state, "if G then no K, and vice versa," which would leave open the possibility that neither is selected?

younjeos

Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:54 am

Hello,

I have a question with the “therefore” test, specifically with PT 42 4.16.

Regarding the first and third sentences, I don’t understand the difference between “because gratitude can’t be fulfilled anonymously, the social function of reinforcing good behaviors can only occur if the benefactor knows the source of gratitude”?

and

“because good behaviors can only be reinforced if the benefactor knows the source of gratitude, gratitude can’t be fulfilled anonymously”.

Does the first sentence not make sense because it's saying "because gratitude can't be fulfilled anonymously without any support or qualification? After thinking about how I approach these types of questions, I realized that I take each sentence as a fact that can stand on its own because we're not supposed to dispute the truth of the premises. For example, in my mind, I can imagine how “gratitude can’t be fulfilled anonymously” and “positively reinforcing these behaviors can have beneficial consequences only if the benefactors knows the source of the gratitude” can each act as independent statements that can stand alone without each other's support. I think there’s a fundamental error in the way that I’m approaching these types of questions. Could you help me point out what’s going wrong?
I also struggled with PT 70 1. #17 (the meteorologist) question as well.

Thank you!

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Archer@Law

Posts: 51
Joined: Mon May 09, 2016 10:08 am

The LSAT Trainer wrote:
Archer@Law wrote:Hey Mike, I am using the 16 week Trainer study plan and had a question on Chapter 14.

On page 195, there is a two question drill about complex 'or' rules.

On question 2) I came up with the following sequence of letters and I am failing to see where I am messing this up at.

Answer C has 'L' in the seventh position. The sequence below is what I come up with:

J M G F K H L

Maybe I am going about the solving process the wrong way here when dealing with "must be true" questions? I go down the list and plug in whatever the answer says and see if it works within the confines of the rules.

Thanks
Mike,

Sorry it took me a few days to reply.

Your advice was very helpful! I think I had a rough grasp of my problem later, but you have done way more to help really clarify where I went wrong. I find all of the "big picture" writing you do in the book very useful, so no need to apologize!

Thanks for the book and the response!

The LSAT Trainer

Posts: 629
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 4:57 am

MAPP wrote:
The LSAT Trainer wrote:
I'm working through LG conditional drills on pgs 184/185 (Trainer 2013) and want to make my own way of diagramming this type of rule: "she will take K or G, but not both." You suggest diagramming as: In | Out with K under "In" and G under "Out" with a double arrow pointing at both.

I thought I might simplify by writing as: K <------|------> G which would read "if K, not G" and "If G, not K" The only thing this notation lacks is the requirement that either K or G be selected. Is this a problem? That is, are there some games rules that state, "if G then no K, and vice versa," which would leave open the possibility that neither is selected?
Hey -- you were right to notice the difference in consequences, and it is a very, very important one to notice --

It seems you have a good handle on this but just to summarize --

If we have the basic 2 group or in/out situation (that is, every element has to assigned to one group or the other, but not both) -- as we do in this example -- there are three possible types of conditional rules that have something to do with putting elements in opposing groups -- and it’s absolutely essential you don’t mistake or confuse one type of rule for another --

Type 1: Either A or B, but not both --

In this case, we have two possible outcomes:
A in, B out.
B in, A out.

And two outcomes that can’t be:
Both A and B being in, and both A and B being out.

Type 2: If A is in, B is out. --

In this case, we have three possible outcomes:
A in, B out.
B in, A out.
Both A and B out.

And one outcome that can’t be:
Both A and B being in.

Type 3: If A is out, B is in --

In this case, we also have three possible outcomes, but they are not the same as above:

A in, B out.
B in, A out.
Both A and B are in.

And one outcome that can’t be --

Both A and B are out.

Again, these are distinctions that are very, very important to the test-writers and to the design of the games and so you want to make sure you don’t do anything to confuse one type of rule for another --

HTH -- Mike

The LSAT Trainer

Posts: 629
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 4:57 am

younjeos wrote:Hello,

I have a question with the “therefore” test, specifically with PT 42 4.16.

Regarding the first and third sentences, I don’t understand the difference between “because gratitude can’t be fulfilled anonymously, the social function of reinforcing good behaviors can only occur if the benefactor knows the source of gratitude”?

and

“because good behaviors can only be reinforced if the benefactor knows the source of gratitude, gratitude can’t be fulfilled anonymously”.

Does the first sentence not make sense because it's saying "because gratitude can't be fulfilled anonymously without any support or qualification? After thinking about how I approach these types of questions, I realized that I take each sentence as a fact that can stand on its own because we're not supposed to dispute the truth of the premises. For example, in my mind, I can imagine how “gratitude can’t be fulfilled anonymously” and “positively reinforcing these behaviors can have beneficial consequences only if the benefactors knows the source of the gratitude” can each act as independent statements that can stand alone without each other's support. I think there’s a fundamental error in the way that I’m approaching these types of questions. Could you help me point out what’s going wrong?
I also struggled with PT 70 1. #17 (the meteorologist) question as well.

Thank you!
Oh man - some of the toughest reasoning structure q’s u will ever find -- thanks for bringing them up for discussion, and I can certainly understand why these would cause u (and pretty much everyone else who sees them) trouble --

& sorry for the delay -- I’ve been trying to get out from a pile of student q’s that built up as I was helping people get ready for the June test -- in any case, here are some thoughts that I hope you find helpful --

1) The “therefore” test is one tool, but it’s not an absolute indicator.

2) The “therefore” test ought to be used within context -- to illustrate why, imagine these two different arguments.

“John has been going to the gym regularly, so he must be in great shape.” vs

“John is in great shape, so he must be going to the gym regularly.”

In the first example, the author’s conclusion is that “he must be in great shape.”

In the second example, the author’s conclusion is that “he must be going to the gym regularly.”

If we take those two phrases out of context and just use the therefore test, we can come up with “Going to gym, therefore must be in great shape” or “In great shape, therefore must be going to the gym” -- either statement can work, and so using the test doesn’t get us closer to the right interpretation --

So again, you want to use the “therefore” test to try to get a more correct sense of what the author is intending in the context (again, as opposing to isolating the elements outside the context of the given argument).

3) I would not suggest using the term “because” -- I know that’s a very minor quibble, but “because” implies causality -- causal orientation and reasoning structure are two different things, and you don’t want to messy up your thought process.

4) For 42.4.16, I definitely agree that it’s very difficult to make an absolute case for one part being the support and one part the conclusion. The biggest clue for me was the flow between the second and third sentences -- there are structural and reasoning indicators that show that the second sentence is meant to support and flow into the final one. Once that connection is established, then it’s a matter of how the first sentence fits with those two -- you can try to get creative in terms of trying to fit it in before or alongside the Sentence 2 to Sentence 3 link, but the argument flow that makes the most sense is that the second sentence leads to the third which then leads to the first.

5) I also want to point out that in real time, I would have relied heavily on my elimination skills here -- the great news is that none of the 4 wrong choices are within the realm of possibility -- every single wrong choice has obvious tells that make it absolutely wrong.

6) For 70.1.17 - again, you want to try and see the entire reasoning structure --

1st S: If warmer, heavy downpours likely to become more frequent.
2nd S: Warm -leads to forming rainclouds more quickly.
3rd S: Warm - also leads to larger clouds.
4th S: Larger clouds - heavier downpours.

How does the author intend for all this to relate? I think it makes the most sense to see it as the first sentence being his big, overall conclusion, and the second through fourth sentences as support for that conclusion.

He’s saying that if the atmosphere gets warmer, heavy downpours will be more likely. Why?

Well, if the earth gets warmer, there will be a couple of consequences (the “also” in sentence 3 is an interesting indirect clue of overall structure) --
a) quicker forming rainclouds (2nd sentence)
b) larger clouds, which make heavy downpours more likely. (3rd and 4th)

7) Again, for 70.1.17 as well, in real time, I would have heavily relied on my elimination skills (for other types of tests, eliminating wrong answers can be a cop-out or back-up plan, but I believe that for the LSAT it’s central to what they are testing/your success) -- for me, (A), (B), and (E) were quick eliminations --

And being able to eliminate (C) is probably the crux of this q -- in order to see (C) as being incorrect, it really helps to understand how the support is structured -- there is no information given that is meant to support that final sentence (notice that the third sentence helps us see that the final sentence is relevant to the overall argument, but that third sentence isn’t meant to support or prop up the validity of the final one) -- that tells us that (C) can’t be right, and also double-confirms for us that the final sentence cannot be a conclusion (which, by definition, is something that is supported).

Sorry for the length -- but I hope at least some of those thoughts were helpful --

Mike

Archer@Law

Posts: 51
Joined: Mon May 09, 2016 10:08 am

Mike,

Had another question for you. I'm beginning to enter the ramping up portion of my studies for the September test, and I am going to be doing heavy drilling combined with blind review. Of course this will be done in addition to my work in the Trainer (Will be starting Lesson 16 in the next couple days). Any advice on which tests I should be drilling and how I should structure it?

I.e. Should I use tests 1-38 for drilling or some other number? Should I organize by question type? If so, should I shell out the big bucks for the organized sets on Amazon?

I guess what I am saying is that I am little lost in general as to how I should set up a heavy drilling schedule and what materials I should use.

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The LSAT Trainer

Posts: 629
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 4:57 am

Archer@Law wrote:Mike,

Had another question for you. I'm beginning to enter the ramping up portion of my studies for the September test, and I am going to be doing heavy drilling combined with blind review. Of course this will be done in addition to my work in the Trainer (Will be starting Lesson 16 in the next couple days). Any advice on which tests I should be drilling and how I should structure it?

I.e. Should I use tests 1-38 for drilling or some other number? Should I organize by question type? If so, should I shell out the big bucks for the organized sets on Amazon?

I guess what I am saying is that I am little lost in general as to how I should set up a heavy drilling schedule and what materials I should use.

Hey --

First a little motivational video about the benefits of practicing and forming effective habits --

https://youtu.be/oG_DQXEK764

Here are some thoughts -- as I always say, you know yourself best so feel free to use or ignore any of this advice as you see fit --

1) Ideally, I think it’s best to mix in some more recent tests into your drilling -- though, of course, you do want to make sure you have plenty of newer tests for pt’s, restricting yourself to older tests for drilling creates an unnecessary escalation of a “wow the test is changing and maybe the systems I’ve been working on are no longer ideal” sorts of concerns -- if u can incorporate some of the more recent tests into your drilling the transition won’t feel as significant.

I understand that plenty of TLS students have had tons of success using just the older tests for drilling and newer ones for PTs, so, again, please feel free to ignore my advice.

2) Just to make sure you are aware of some of resources available to help with this - on the Trainer site, I offer free study schedules to help you combine your trainer, drilling, and pt work (you might want to specifically check out the D.I.Y. Schedule in the archives section), as well as a breakdown of questions from exams 29 - 75 by type (I also offer an online sortable table of LG and LR) - you can access all this in the student resources section of the Trainer site --

http://www.thelsattrainer.com/lsat-prep-resources.html

3) If you are going to do that much drilling, I suggest doing it in rounds -- so that, for example, you do a third of your drill work while you are going through the trainer, a third as you are going through another study resource (if you are using another resource), and a third when you are done with all your learning products -- this can help you track improvement, focus more of your time on weaker areas (for example, maybe by the third round of drilling u know you are awesome at Flaw Q’s but weaker at Inference, you can devote more time and energy that round to Inference Q’s), and so on.

4) Ideally, as long as you are performing at an accuracy rate that you are happy with, I think it’s best to gradually mix up problems more and more as you advance through your drilling -- so, for example, maybe the first round of games drilling, you drill games separated out into very specific Ordering categories, next time through you drill various Ordering games together, and the final time through you mix up Ordering games with other types of games --

This will really help you train for the challenge of habitually thinking about the right types of thoughts at the right time (switching from thinking about flaws to thinking about inferences, for example).

So, that’s the end of the practical stuff -- I also have some suggestions for optimal mindset -- I know this sort of advice can sound a bit fluffy, especially to people who are already strong students, but I believe that having the proper mindset is enormously important to maximizing potential --

1. I think it can be very helpful to have as clear an understanding as possible of what it is you want to accomplish with all of your drilling -- to me, the simplest way to put it is this:

What you want to gain or earn from investing your time and effort into drill work is the capacity to trust in your own mind.

The vast majority of test takers will spend a huge amount of their time and energy during the actual exam worrying about what they are supposed to be thinking about, and questioning whether they have chosen the right concerns to think about --

What the drilling should do is to help you develop mental habits for thinking about the right concerns at the right moments -- so that, every time you run into a Suff Assumption Q, you habitually look for the argument, you habitually focus on ways to eliminate wrong answers, you will naturally consider whether the right answer does guarantee the conclusion,, and so on.

This obviously won’t make it so you get every problem right, but it will

a) make it so that you are less likely to get distracted by the various mental traps the test writers create in order to distract you
b) make it so you spend far less time and energy worrying about what you are supposed to do &
c) make it so you can put more of your focus into the specific situation at hand.

2. Make sure to value every single PT --

It’s admirable to see students practice so many PT’s, and overall it’s a great thing, but, at the same time, it’s human nature to value each PT worth of Q’s as being less important if you know you are going to be studying 70 pt’s (as opposed to, say, just 5) -- and so you want to make sure to try and mitigate that effect --

The LSAT is, in many ways, the same 100 question test given again and again and again -- and if you truly have the capacity to get a 170 on one test, you have the capacity 170 on any test. So, really make sure to try to not sacrifice mastery for the sake of volume.

3. Finally, and this relates to #1, and all the “mantras” I mention in Lesson 1 of the Trainer -- instead of using a number of pt’s or a number of hours spent or even your scores as your gauge of progress or work accomplished, make it so that you think about your drilling primarily in terms of the skills and the habits that you have been able to develop -- so, for example, you don’t deem a drill set of Inference Q’s successful if you finished a certain amount or reached a certain level of accuracy in a certain amount of time (though, of course you want to know and track those things), but rather, if you feel, at the end of it, that you have a habitual process that you can lean on every time you run into an Inference q --

And when you feel haven’t developed a process you can lean on, you can look into your understanding and your strategies, and know to practice more problems, and so on --

And the benefit of this is that at the end of your drilling, instead of just knowing that you’ve completed a certain number of tests or that you are at a certain accuracy level, you will know that you have skills and habits that you can trust in on test day.

Sorry for the length, and, again, feel free to ignore anything that sounds hokey or doesn’t apply -- hope some of that helps, let me know if you have any follow-up, and wish you the best -- Mike

Archer@Law

Posts: 51
Joined: Mon May 09, 2016 10:08 am

Thanks!

The LSAT Trainer

Posts: 629
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 4:57 am

Thanks!
Sure thing - thanks for the thanks and wish you the best - MK

Archer@Law

Posts: 51
Joined: Mon May 09, 2016 10:08 am

The LSAT Trainer wrote:

Thanks!
Sure thing - thanks for the thanks and wish you the best - MK
Quick follow up Mike in regards to the drilling layout on the 29-71 schedule. On the 3rd set of drills it has full sections listed for the 41-50 PTs. I'm afraid I don't have access to the actual full tests. However, I do have access to the questions by way of the Manhattan book that divides the tests by question type. I ordered the Manhattan book after find the cost for the actual full tests is anywhere from \$40-\$100+ per test on Amazon.

Any recommendations on how I should account for this?

Thanks again for everything

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The LSAT Trainer

Posts: 629
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 4:57 am

Archer@Law wrote:
The LSAT Trainer wrote:

Thanks!
Sure thing - thanks for the thanks and wish you the best - MK
Quick follow up Mike in regards to the drilling layout on the 29-71 schedule. On the 3rd set of drills it has full sections listed for the 41-50 PTs. I'm afraid I don't have access to the actual full tests. However, I do have access to the questions by way of the Manhattan book that divides the tests by question type. I ordered the Manhattan book after find the cost for the actual full tests is anywhere from \$40-\$100+ per test on Amazon.

Any recommendations on how I should account for this?

Thanks again for everything

Hey -- one thing you can do, if you still have enough time on your schedule, is to switch some of those from 41-50 w/some of the other the pt's assigned in the first and second drill sets -- assuming you have other pt's in full sections, I think that should work out fine --

otherwise, I don't think it's that bad a thing (could even be better for you depending on where u r in your studies) if you do end up using the broken-up sets as opposed to the more mixed together drill assignments -- I know that may sound like it contradicts my earlier advice, but the reason I say that is because right after that third set of drills, you are going to be going into your full sections/pt practice anyway, so, essentially, you will just be slightly delaying when you are getting into the mixed together work, and I think that's fine -- HTH and let me know if u have any follow-up q's -- MK

Archer@Law

Posts: 51
Joined: Mon May 09, 2016 10:08 am

The LSAT Trainer wrote:
Archer@Law wrote:
The LSAT Trainer wrote:

Thanks!
Sure thing - thanks for the thanks and wish you the best - MK
Quick follow up Mike in regards to the drilling layout on the 29-71 schedule. On the 3rd set of drills it has full sections listed for the 41-50 PTs. I'm afraid I don't have access to the actual full tests. However, I do have access to the questions by way of the Manhattan book that divides the tests by question type. I ordered the Manhattan book after find the cost for the actual full tests is anywhere from \$40-\$100+ per test on Amazon.

Any recommendations on how I should account for this?

Thanks again for everything

Hey -- one thing you can do, if you still have enough time on your schedule, is to switch some of those from 41-50 w/some of the other the pt's assigned in the first and second drill sets -- assuming you have other pt's in full sections, I think that should work out fine --

otherwise, I don't think it's that bad a thing (could even be better for you depending on where u r in your studies) if you do end up using the broken-up sets as opposed to the more mixed together drill assignments -- I know that may sound like it contradicts my earlier advice, but the reason I say that is because right after that third set of drills, you are going to be going into your full sections/pt practice anyway, so, essentially, you will just be slightly delaying when you are getting into the mixed together work, and I think that's fine -- HTH and let me know if u have any follow-up q's -- MK
Okay Mike I've cooked something up. What do you think?

Drill Set 1 Q-Type - 29-38

Drill Set 2 Q-Type - 41-50

Drill Set 3 Full Sections- 52-61

PTs - 62-71 + 72-77

The LSAT Trainer

Posts: 629
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 4:57 am

Archer@Law wrote:
The LSAT Trainer wrote:
Archer@Law wrote:
The LSAT Trainer wrote:

Thanks!
Sure thing - thanks for the thanks and wish you the best - MK
Quick follow up Mike in regards to the drilling layout on the 29-71 schedule. On the 3rd set of drills it has full sections listed for the 41-50 PTs. I'm afraid I don't have access to the actual full tests. However, I do have access to the questions by way of the Manhattan book that divides the tests by question type. I ordered the Manhattan book after find the cost for the actual full tests is anywhere from \$40-\$100+ per test on Amazon.

Any recommendations on how I should account for this?

Thanks again for everything

Hey -- one thing you can do, if you still have enough time on your schedule, is to switch some of those from 41-50 w/some of the other the pt's assigned in the first and second drill sets -- assuming you have other pt's in full sections, I think that should work out fine --

otherwise, I don't think it's that bad a thing (could even be better for you depending on where u r in your studies) if you do end up using the broken-up sets as opposed to the more mixed together drill assignments -- I know that may sound like it contradicts my earlier advice, but the reason I say that is because right after that third set of drills, you are going to be going into your full sections/pt practice anyway, so, essentially, you will just be slightly delaying when you are getting into the mixed together work, and I think that's fine -- HTH and let me know if u have any follow-up q's -- MK
Okay Mike I've cooked something up. What do you think?

Drill Set 1 Q-Type - 29-38

Drill Set 2 Q-Type - 41-50

Drill Set 3 Full Sections- 52-61

PTs - 62-71 + 72-77

Sounds like a great plan -- good luck w/it and reach out if you need me -- mk

roranoa

Posts: 559
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:18 am

Hi Mike,

Thanks for all the feedback up to this point.

I have a question about RC.

I always try to read for structure like you emphasize in your book. But I have a hard time doing that with passsages that elaborate on one subject. Passsages that give a detailed chronology of an artist, a description of a native dance or a textbook explanation of some space theory. (ex. PT 68 / section 1 / passage 1)

You see, when the passage has an argument I am able to benefit much by reading for structure. I can slow down on important points and skim through (and save time) lines that are less crucial. But if the passage is like those mentioned above, even if I know what each paragraph is talking about, usually the passage will have a parallel structure with each paragraph talking about a different (yet equally important) aspect of the subject. In this case I can't seem to pin point what is more or less important. So I feel like I have to read everything in detail which makes me lose a lot of time.

What do you suggest I do? Any advice would help!

Thanks!
Last edited by roranoa on Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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lsatisfunbro1996

Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:15 pm

Hey Mike,

I just purchased your book and will be receiving it in the mail tomorrow. I am excited to use your renown book. I am using the bibles now but I am struggling to make those needed inferences and I find their explanations of the games to be confusing to grasp. I hope this book will help me a lot!

disbalex

Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:34 pm

Hey Mike,

I stumbled this by chance after I used your book to study for the Feb 2016 LSAT. I just wanted to thank you because your book was the single largest contributing factor towards me scoring a 170 (not counting all the practice tests).

A little bit of background: I was scoring ~158 prior to purchasing this book. After 1 month of reading/learning the tricks using the LSAT Trainer, followed by 2 more months of doing practice tests (3-4 a week), I was scoring avg 167-169. On test day, I got lucky and walked out with a 170.

The LSAT Trainer

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roranoa wrote:Hi Mike,

Thanks for all the feedback up to this point.

I have a question about RC.

I always try to read for structure like you emphasize in your book. But I have a hard time doing that with passsages that elaborate on one subject. Passsages that give a detailed chronology of an artist, a description of a native dance or a textbook explanation of some space theory. (ex. PT 68 / section 1 / passage 1)

You see, when the passage has an argument I am able to benefit much by reading for structure. I can slow down on important points and skim through (and save time) lines that are less crucial. But if the passage is like those mentioned above, even if I know what each paragraph is talking about, usually the passage will have a parallel structure with each paragraph talking about a different (yet equally important) aspect of the subject. In this case I can't seem to pin point what is more or less important. So I feel like I have to read everything in detail which makes me lose a lot of time.

What do you suggest I do? Any advice would help!

Thanks!
Hey Roranoa --

Hope you’ve been well --

I certainly understand having more difficulty seeing the structure of such passages -- they are the ones that go against the norm, and so it makes sense that they’d throw you off --

Here are a few tips -- nothing that isn’t mentioned in the Trainer, but it might help to see them here --

1) Think of passage structure in terms of tendencies and twists, and be eager about exploring those twists.

So, as you alluded to, you can expect that most LSAT passages will present some sort of debate and the author’s view one way or the other --

But passages will often stray from this, and, when they do, it helps to engage in what’s unique and try to go with that -- so, if you get the sense that a passage sounds really objective and you don’t see a hint of viewpoint coming, you start thinking -- “maybe this is one of those passages that doesn’t have an author’s viewpoint” and try to go with that as you continue your read -- or when you see that a passage suddenly presents a third viewpoint, or moves on to a stray topic, it can be helpful to think about how they passage is different from the norm, and use this to influence what you consider as you read.

2) Don’t feel like you have to know everything perfectly in the moment, and give yourself until the end of the passage to finish your evaluation of structure.

A lot of times, you will read something and not know what purpose it serves until you read the next thing or the next thing or the next thing -- you may not know until you are done and get a chance to think about how everything actually comes together -- and passages are designed to work this way -- in large part, challenging passages are defined by the fact that their structures are hard to see, and often the key is patience.

so, you put yourself at a disadvantage if you put a big burden on yourself to make decisions about each sentence too quickly (and, by the way, this is a huge reason why overly burdensome notetaking strategies are terrible for students) --

When you feel lost, certainly it helps to focus on certain details to make sure you understand the exact subject matter, the exact point, and so on, but you also way to be comfortable with a little fuzziness (more formally known as cognitive dissonance) -- if you feel like you understand each part of a passage but not how they all come together, give yourself some distance, don’t force it, and as you keep reading things will likely become clearer.

Perhaps most importantly, keep in mind that the structure of a passage is, by far, easiest to see when you are done reading -- as I mention often, it’s just like watching a movie -- in the moment, you may not know why a character does something , etc., but, when the story is finished, it’s much easier to go back and understand the previous scenes more clearly --

So, again, don’t be afraid to allow for a little fuzziness and give yourself a chance to see how everything relates at the end of your read.

3) Lastly, try to utilize the main point / purpose q’s to confirm or clarify your understanding -- especially for the toughest passages, the right answers to these questions can help tip you off on the right mindset you ought to have about the passage as a whole as you are answering the other q’s --

Of course, it’s often toughest to see the right answer to these q’s when you’ve had trouble seeing the structure of the passage, so I understand it’s the type of advice that may make you want to throw the Trainer out the window -- I will say that these situations really show off the benefit of developing strong elimination skills -- typically, even when the right answer is tough to see as being correct, you can survive and grow your understanding because the four wrong answers will be incorrect in clearly definable ways.

That’s what comes to mind for now -- hope that helps and wish you the best -- Mike

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lsatisfunbro1996 wrote:Hey Mike,

I just purchased your book and will be receiving it in the mail tomorrow. I am excited to use your renown book. I am using the bibles now but I am struggling to make those needed inferences and I find their explanations of the games to be confusing to grasp. I hope this book will help me a lot!
Hey -- thanks for trusting in the Trainer and wish you the best with it -- if you run into any trouble or need anything, don't hesitate to get in touch -- MK

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disbalex wrote:Hey Mike,

I stumbled this by chance after I used your book to study for the Feb 2016 LSAT. I just wanted to thank you because your book was the single largest contributing factor towards me scoring a 170 (not counting all the practice tests).

A little bit of background: I was scoring ~158 prior to purchasing this book. After 1 month of reading/learning the tricks using the LSAT Trainer, followed by 2 more months of doing practice tests (3-4 a week), I was scoring avg 167-169. On test day, I got lucky and walked out with a 170.
Hey! -- Oh, that's so awesome to hear -- I can just picture how happy you must have been seeing that score -- huge congrats -- appreciate the comment and you letting me know --

Mike

The LSAT Trainer

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Hey Everyone —

Just wanted to let you know about a new free resource I’ve created —

It’s a self-assessment checklist that you can use to quickly assess how ready you feel for the exam. The checklist breaks down the LR, LG, and RC sections according to challenges, question types, and so on, and gives you space to rate/grade yourself on how comfortable you feel with your understanding, strategies, practice experience, and level and mastery.

And you can find it here — http://www.thelsattrainer.com/are-you-r ... klist.html

It is designed using Trainer categories and terminology, but hopefully it can be useful to you whether you’ve prepared with the Trainer or not —

You can use it to monitor your develop throughout your LSAT study process, or you can use it toward the end of your prep to assess strengths and weaknesses, figure out where you need to focus your attention, and so on.

I think this might be especially useful for students who are gearing up for the September exam —

Thanks for taking a look, and if you have any questions or comments let me know —

Mike

Pozzo

Posts: 1909
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 3:36 pm

The LSAT Trainer wrote:Hey Everyone —

Just wanted to let you know about a new free resource I’ve created —

It’s a self-assessment checklist that you can use to quickly assess how ready you feel for the exam. The checklist breaks down the LR, LG, and RC sections according to challenges, question types, and so on, and gives you space to rate/grade yourself on how comfortable you feel with your understanding, strategies, practice experience, and level and mastery.

And you can find it here — http://www.thelsattrainer.com/are-you-r ... klist.html

It is designed using Trainer categories and terminology, but hopefully it can be useful to you whether you’ve prepared with the Trainer or not —

You can use it to monitor your develop throughout your LSAT study process, or you can use it toward the end of your prep to assess strengths and weaknesses, figure out where you need to focus your attention, and so on.

I think this might be especially useful for students who are gearing up for the September exam —

Thanks for taking a look, and if you have any questions or comments let me know —

Mike
This is great! Thanks!

The LSAT Trainer

Posts: 629
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 4:57 am

Pozzo wrote:
The LSAT Trainer wrote:Hey Everyone —

Just wanted to let you know about a new free resource I’ve created —

It’s a self-assessment checklist that you can use to quickly assess how ready you feel for the exam. The checklist breaks down the LR, LG, and RC sections according to challenges, question types, and so on, and gives you space to rate/grade yourself on how comfortable you feel with your understanding, strategies, practice experience, and level and mastery.

And you can find it here — http://www.thelsattrainer.com/are-you-r ... klist.html

It is designed using Trainer categories and terminology, but hopefully it can be useful to you whether you’ve prepared with the Trainer or not —

You can use it to monitor your develop throughout your LSAT study process, or you can use it toward the end of your prep to assess strengths and weaknesses, figure out where you need to focus your attention, and so on.

I think this might be especially useful for students who are gearing up for the September exam —

Thanks for taking a look, and if you have any questions or comments let me know —

Mike
This is great! Thanks!
Sure thing - hope u find it useful! - MK

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