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Messages - LSAT Freedom

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: advice RE: february lsat
« on: January 06, 2011, 11:59:22 PM »
If you want a 10-point increase to the 163-64 range, you should think about postponing until the June LSAT.  It sounds like you're doing a lot of practice (which is good), but I wonder how much understanding you've attained with respect to the logic that underlies the exam.  That's what you really need to focus on and understand.  A lot of the logic that the exam tests is repeated throughout the questions.  You need to focus on understanding those logical principles.  It might take more than a month to do so, so you might want to consider waiting until June.  A 153 score isn't bad at all.  But if you think you can do better, postpone it, find an LSAT prep course that works better for you, and go for it.

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: Deciding Whether to Try Again
« on: January 06, 2011, 11:54:34 PM »
It's not beyond all hope to try again.  If you put in the work and studied the right way, you can, indeed, significantly improve your score.  It's all about understanding the logical principles the LSAT tests.  I wouldn't recommend another grand, however.  There are a lot of other options out there for LSAT prep.

If you do choose to take the exam again, focus on a straightforward method for understanding the questions.  Forget about gimmicks and any other "short cuts" anyone has ever taught you.  Understand the logic.  If you understand the underlying logical principles, you will do much better.

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: Blackstone LSAT prep course in Florida
« on: January 04, 2011, 10:04:14 PM »
I have actually spoken with a couple of individuals who liked the course and said their scores increased as a result of the course.

It really depends on what you want.  Blackstone is a classroom course, less costly than most, and it's local for you, so maybe that's the best option.  Testmasters is obviously a well-received course that's effective but slightly more expensive.  Do your research.  Figure out what you need and what works best for you.  Some people like classroom courses and the community feel they offer.  Others need more flexible preparation that they can adapt to their schedules.  Other people also focus exclusively on cost.  If you intend on applying to law school in 2012, you still have plenty of time, so do some extensive research, compare and contrast courses and prices, and pick the best option for you.     

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: LSAT Prep courses: study before, or no?
« on: January 04, 2011, 09:57:31 PM »
You can absolutely start studying now.  The LSAT is such a different animal and unlike other standardized tests.  The more exposure you have to it, the better.  Here are two things you can do between now and the July start date for your prep course:

1) Familiarize yourself with the exam.  Look it over.  Learn about the structure of Logical Reasoning questions, Logic Games questions, and Reading Comp. questions.  Take a crack at the writing sample.  Take a section or two under timed conditions and see how you do.  The only way to know whether you can, in fact, improve with a prep course is to measure how you do BEFORE you take the course.  Moreover, measuring how you do will help you understand whether you already grasp anything on the exam and whether you have any weaknesses.  Heck, you might be a pro at Reading Comp. and, thus, can focus on the other sections.  So, focus on familiarizing yourself with the exam.  It will not only help you prepare for the LSAT itself, but it will also help you focus on your weaknesses when your prep course gets underway.

2) Study some logic.  The LSAT is an exam that tests logical principles.  It doesn't test memory or how well you can regurgitate information.  It tests your thinking and analytical abilities.  Familiarize yourself with logical reasoning and fallacies in arguments (like, for example, ad hominem arguments, etc.).  This will give you a good foundation for the exam and the course.  It will also soften the blow in July when you are fully exposed to the exam and how it works. 

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: Best prep-course company?
« on: December 23, 2010, 06:33:23 PM »
Barnum,

Thank you.  We are aware of Mentor Prep.  They are a local company in the DC area with a course taught by one person.  We offer a course taught by several Harvard Law graduates (plural).  Hence, the tagline.

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: How to Start Preparing
« on: December 22, 2010, 01:20:43 PM »
Aurelius brings up a great point that often is overlooked.  The LSAT is an exam that tests logical principles.  Unless you took a logic course in college or high school (unlikely), you've probably never been exposed to most of the logical principles the LSAT tests.  The LSAT tests your deductive reasoning, ability to find weaknesses in arguments, ability to find points that strengthen an argument, recognition of various argument types (like ad hominem, etc.), and many other logical concepts.  Studying formal logic will help familiarize you with these concepts.  Understanding what they are and how they work will give you a significant advantage when you study and do practice questions and tests.  To the extent you can get someone to teach you these concepts and show you examples of where they occur on the LSAT, that would also be a huge advantage.

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: Question from Oct 1996
« on: December 22, 2010, 10:12:25 AM »
D isn't it because there is no connection in the explanation between recovery time and developing a distaste for the food.  Therefore, we don't have enough information to conclude that D would support that explanation.  It would be a bit of an inferential leap.

As for C, remember the call of the question: you need an answer that "provides the strongest support" for the explanation.  As Aeto mentioned, C touches on both concepts that the explanation sets forth (1) taste and (2) getting sick.  First, it provides additional information about why someone (in this case, a child) would develop a distaste for certain food (because a child has more acute taste).  Second, it provides a fact (kids get sick more often) without which the development of a distaste for a certain food would never occur.  So, on both levels, it supports the explanation in the question.

It's helpful to look at these questions as math problems.  Break them into pieces, and, with questions like these (support, strengthen, etc.), make sure the answer matches the information in the question. 

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: Strengthen questions
« on: December 21, 2010, 04:30:20 PM »
1) The initial issue I see is that your diagramming of the statement is incorrect.  It should be H --> FS.  But not to worry, thatís a common mistake since itís worded the way it is.  When we say ďP does not guarantee Q,Ē that should be diagrammed as follows: Q --> P.  P is a necessary condition, but not a sufficient condition.  In other words, for example, if you speed, you will get a ticket (S --> T).  Getting a ticket is a necessary condition, but itís not sufficient to state that you were speeding because there are other reasons why you could have gotten the ticket.  Put another way: Getting a ticket (T) does not guarantee that you were speeding (S).  Similarly, when we say that, to get into a top law school (L), you need to have a high GPA (G) and LSAT score (S), we would diagram it as follows:  L --> GS.  However, getting a high GPA and LSAT score does not guarantee that you get into a top law school because there are other reasons and considerations that are taken into account.

So, here, H --> FS.  FS is a necessary condition, but itís not sufficient for H.  In other words, FS doesnít guarantee H because there are other reasons for H (i.e., health, family, etc.). 

B isnít the correct answer because it states that FS isnít necessary, and we just demonstrated that FS is, in fact, necessary.  So B actually weakens the conclusion in the question.

2) As for your second question, itís neither A nor B.  Itís C.  The function of that first statement in the argument is that itís the conclusion.  The advocate starts right off with the conclusion (which is a recommendation), and the statements that follow it are facts that support his/her conclusion.  Itís not a premise that, if true, would support anything in that argument; rather, it is supported by the statements that follow it.  Moreover, itís not a compromise of any kind.  The advocate doesnít seem to be aiming for compromise.  He/she proposes X and lists facts that support X.

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: Preptest 42 S2 Q5
« on: December 21, 2010, 03:20:06 PM »
There are two claims in that question.  And, upon first glance, they appear to conflict with each other: The first claim appears to indicate that D are unnecessary for those who receive them.  The second claim asserts that D are, in fact, necessary for those who receive them.  Your job is to find a statement (in the answer choices) that explains that inconsistency.     

Accordingly, the correct answer is B, which explains that itís not a one-size-fits all situation: some people are worse off than others and, thus, need D more than the ones who donít receive D.  And that explains the inconsistency in the two claims.

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: Best prep-course company?
« on: December 21, 2010, 12:38:29 PM »
The post actually offered her general advice that will hopefully help her make a good decision (as we have in other posts).  Sorry if that offends you. 

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