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Topics - cherries

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Law School Applications / Columbia!
« on: November 27, 2008, 07:03:50 AM »
I was accepted!  I am so unspeakably excited and relieved that my cycle is now over.  Best.  Thanksgiving.  Ever.

Anyone else?

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Law School Applications / . . .
« on: October 25, 2008, 08:39:22 AM »
. . .

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Law School Applications / Cornell Dean's Certificate
« on: October 07, 2008, 04:28:34 AM »
So, I'm hoping to get my documents in to Cornell in time for the early action deadline of November 15th.  What are my options for the Dean's Certificate form?  Will they accept a digitally drawn signature or a typed signature?  What about a faxed copy of the form?  (I'm hoping that my parents will mail the forms for me.)

I would be able to submit it by snail mail from abroad, but my school requires a stamped envelope, which I unfortunately cannot come up with.

Advice?

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Law School Applications / The Economy & This Cycle?
« on: September 30, 2008, 09:28:21 AM »
From what I understand, a bad economy means a more competitive application cycle.  (I, of course, might be completely wrong about this.)

How much of an increase in LSAT scores and GPAs (from last year's percentiles) might one need to remain competitive?  And how are you personally selecting your targets, reaches, and safety schools with all this economy stuff in mind?

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Has anyone else found the games in SuperPrep B and C a lot more difficult than usual?  I'm now worried about my logic games skills and wishing that I hadn't even looked at these tests...  Two weeks is enough time to hone, but I really could use a confidence boost right now.

On that note, what are some "easy" PrepTests that you would recommend?  I feel like a high practice score is what I need to get back into the proper studying mindset because I've done really poorly this week.

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Studying for the LSAT / Some of Red's LR Advice
« on: September 05, 2008, 07:09:20 AM »
I remembered Red having some really good LR advice back in the day.  So I looked it up, and here's what I found.

I hope this helps others focus their efforts for October more effectively!

General LR Advice

LR has about seven different kinds of questions - forget how they classify them in PR. Kaplan etc: you'll figure out what they are when you do 10 or more practice tests..

Learn the structure of an argument (assumptions, unstated premises, conclusions) and work them backwards and forwards - that is the absolute key to LR

Learn how to spot the fallacy in statistical LR questions

Lear how to pace yourself by dividing each LR section into three blocks (20 mins, 20 mins, 15 mins) , and, if you're running late skip he parallel reasoning questions (they eat up time disproportionate to their value).

The LSAT is v. learnable. If you put the time in, regularly and steadily, doing real LSAT questiosns and not attempted replicas, yu'll be amazed at how comfortable you'll feel when it comes to the real LSAT in june.

LR Question Types

Redemption- you seem to have some good LR tips.  What if one hasn't seen patterns emerging? Then what next?

You don't have to make up crazy diagrams or to learn new notation. Review your mistakes and repeat over and over again. Nailing LR is a matter of habit: you'll recognize what TCR will be before you see it.


If you go over each incorrect response and look carefully at why you got it wrong, you'll see the pattern. There are only a very few types of question in LR

1. Weaken/Strengthen - these depend on you correctly identifying the conclusion of the argument (UNDERLINE IT) and testing each answer choice to see if it weakens/strengthens that conclusion or not;

2. Assumption questions - these depend on your ability to see a gap between the stated premises on the one hand, and the stated conclusion on the other. Whatever fills the gap and makes it a coherent argument is an assumption. Look through your answer choices and pick the one that fills this gap and makes the conclusion plausible... If you read the argument, UNDERLINE the conclusion and think about it in common sense terms, you'll find that you'll think to yourself "hmm the conclusion kind of depends on something else, too". That other thing on which it depends is the assumption.... Note the similarity between this type of question and the weaken/strengthen questions above.

3. Reasoning Error/Flaw in the argument: Underline the conclusion, label the stated premises and what do you have? Either 1) A gap. What's the gap? An unstated and therefore unwarranted assumption. or 2) an argument where the conclusion contradicts the stated premises. Bingo.

4. Inference questions /"which of the following Must be true..?" - the easiest of the whole lot. Just remember that it doesn't have to follow from the conclusion, it can also follow from just a single premise. Also, must be true is not the same as could be true. Almost anything could be true, but of your answer choices, only one must be true.

5. Paradox questions - they are probably the easiest: you have two facts going in opposite directions; only one of the five answer choices can allow them both to be true. Pick it. It's that simple.

6. Point of diagreement questions - two people saying two different things. Identify the premises and conclusions of each. Usually they disagree on a premise.

7. Parallel Reasoning questions - I usually advise people to skip these unless they are aiming for a 180 because the point-time payoff is not worth it. They're not hard - just diagram it in x's and y's if you have to, take the first and lat parts of the diagram and compare the r/ship of the x's and y's to each answer choice. That's usually enough to eliminate the wrong answer choices.


The best overall advice that I can give for LR is this: make sure that every answer choice that is not the one that you have picked is wrong. Make it wrong and know why. If you absolutely can't it is the credited response. If you don't bother, you are taking a big risk. This is also a good approach for RC...

LR Pacing


Divide the the LR section into either 2 or 3 parts - whichever you're most comfortable with - so that you can pace yourself and make sure that you're spending the appropriate amount of time on each question. The questions roughly from 19 to 25 take longer to do than the ones before them, whereas the first 13 are a snap (they will be to you to by june).

This is what I did: I did the first 13 questions in 16 minutes; Qs 14 - 18 in 9 minutes (they are the trickiest, usually, and it's better to be careful with them), and 19 to 16 in 10 minutes (they're not hard, they just take a long time to do properly). That kind of breakdown worked for me. I had done about 30 real LSAT tests before sitting down to take the real thing, and given how familiar I was with he kinds of questions that they ask, it was a snap - I don't think that I got a single LR question wrong in the last 10 practice exams that I took and I didn't get any wrong in the real thing either.. (ironically, I screwed up a game which is by far the easiest section on the LSAT, but that's another story)



RC Comments

My problem may be a little different from the rest of you all & I would like some advice. I don't have a learning disability, etc., so please don't imply that.

I have a problem 'understanding' the logical reasoning & reading comprehension sections. I can never seem to retain nor understand half the time what I've read.  What is the cure for this?

A brief bio of me: I majored in Biology and English in undergrad. My GPA (LSAC's) is a 3.5.  So I'd like to think I'm a sorta smart. lol.

What I can't understand is Biology was one of my major's & I still struggle with the science passages.

I'm taking the June exam in case you would like to know.

Here's the thing: RC is the most learnable section after games.

Different types of passages require different strategies:
1. Science ones typically have an abundance of specific questions - when you go back to the passage from the question stem, make sure that you read well around the item that it is referring to. Context makes all the difference and that's what they are testing for.

2. With the others, they are structured usuall either as one theory/position/phenomenon explored, or as multiple theories assessed. Make a table (with columns) for these, and actually write and sort the ideas in the the table. Don't even think about starting to answer the questions ntil you KNOW that you have a firm grasp of what's going on..

HTH

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Studying for the LSAT / June 2008 LSAT?
« on: September 04, 2008, 06:35:48 AM »
Is there anywhere online to buy a digital copy of the June 2008 LSAT?

I'm living abroad for a year, so spending $60 on shipping for one practice test doesn't really appeal to me/isn't an option.  (I got all my other materials back when I was in the US but left the country before PrepTest 54 was released.)

Is a physical booklet really the only way to buy a copy?

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Studying for the LSAT / Eliminating 3 out of 5 answers...
« on: August 26, 2008, 10:04:37 AM »
From what I've read, there are almost always 3 "obviously" wrong answer choices to any given LSAT question, leaving you with 2 main contenders, one of which has to be incorrect.  My problem is that I have serious trouble knocking out the 3 obviously wrong choices.  Looking back on my practice LSATs I'll occasionally scratch out one choice and hardly ever more than two.

Do you have any suggestions for how to quickly get down to the 2 main contenders?  Thanks!

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Studying for the LSAT / Amazon.com 4-for-3
« on: July 21, 2008, 07:13:33 PM »
I just ordered a few new PrepTests from Amazon.com and accidentally found out about a promotion they're having:  Buy 3, get 1 free.  Anyone who still needs to buy individual practice tests might be interested since it ends up giving you a 25% discount on them (and free shipping).  I just figured I'd recommend Amazon.com as a good place to get them since I don't know anywhere else that you can get a discount and free shipping on these.  (Also, I don't think it's a promotion that expires.)

I hope this helps someone!

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Law School Applications / Packets for Recommenders
« on: July 15, 2008, 03:00:49 PM »
My main question is what did (or will) you put in the packets of information that you gave your recommenders?

I plan to give them my resume, a cover letter explaining where and why I'll be applying to law school, any previous work I've done for them, and a list of the qualities that my potential law schools look for in an applicant.  A couple of my law school admissions books have passages written for recommenders.  Is it a good or bad Idea to include these?  I ask because including these seems a bit presumptuous to me.

I know that recommendations aren't worth as much as one's GPA and LSAT, but I would still like to try to make them as helpful as possible (as anyone would).  So, thank you for any and all help!

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