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Messages - Xlogic

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I was at the district court today. While in the "small claims" court session, I took notes on an interesting case that came before the Judge.

Sidebar: All through the case proceeding (which was short, about 10 minutes), the Judge kept using words like "necessary", "sufficient", "insufficient" etc....

Back to the Story...
In the end, he made his ruling on the case based on what was more likely to be true than not. I thought I'd attempt to formulate the case as a LR question such as we might find on the LSAT. If you have some spare time, please give me some feedback.

Female Plaintiff: At 10 pm, I parked my car in bar-X's open parking lot and went into bar-X to meet with friends for drinks. Three hours later I came out to find my passenger side door and window damaged. Based on witness testimony and the police report, the defendant's car collided with my car which caused the damages to my car; therefore, the defendant owes me $5000 in damages to fix my car.

Female Defendant: I agree I was at the bar, at 10 pm, on the day in question. But I became a bit drunk so I had a friend drop me off at home at midnight, my neighbor checked on me at home at 12:30 AM. When I returned to the bar the next day I discovered that my car had been stolen. I filed a report with the police, the paper work of which I have handed to the Judge. My car was stolen at the time of the incident so I was not driving my car when it hit your car; therefore, I am not responsible for any damages to your car.

Rule: If Defendant was behind the wheel when collision occurred, then Defendant is liable for damages to Plaintiff.
Burden of proof: Plaintiff to prove by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) that the defendant is guilty 

Which one of the following most helps the Plaintiff's argument ? (BTW, the Plaintiff won the case)

(A) Plaintiff presented a police report (to the Judge) that clearly stated (beyond any reasonable doubt) that the defendant's car was involved in the collision
(B) The Plaintiff claimed she could provide two witnesses that saw the defendant leave Bar-X alone at 12:00 am (on day of incident)
(C) Defendant claimed that on advice of counsel, she did not deem it necessary to provide any witnesses to corroborate her story
(D) The Defendant was involved in a hit and run incident a month prior to this incident
(E) A call was made to the police at 12:30 AM, from BarX's parking lot, about a suspicious man attempting to break into the defendant's car

(Note: Answer options were not necessarily presented as evidence in the case)

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I've managed to get actual tests from previous years and also preptests from lsac. I plan on spending around an hour each day working on one section of a test and then review my answers and focus on the answers I got wrong.  On the weekend, I would try to take the entire test. I plan on doing this from beginning of July up until the end of September, right before my LSAT on October 1, 2011.

Will this method be enough to improve my score up to 160's? Even if it's low 160's I would still be very happy.  I have read that the powerscore logical bible helps a lot. I have a copy of the book and I plan on reading it.  What are your feedbacks and opinions about the book and how helpful it is? I would like to focus on techniques that will help me most at improving my score.

Thanks for reading, hope you guys can help me out with advice, opinions.

Powerscore is great for LR (in my opinion). I think they do a good job of addressing all question types. But I don't subscribe to the "do not read the question first" model suggested by Powerscore; other than that, Powerscore LR is great! (Pay extra attention to necessary and sufficient conditions)

For LG, I've gone through both Powerscore and ManhattanLSAT books. I think the latter wins out because the diagramming tools suggested by ManhattanLSAT are more intuitive. The tool for binary grouping is great (works for most binary grouping games).

For RC, none of the books impress me. I've taken bits and pieces from here and there... still finding my way in this section. I think practice-practice-practice is the rule of the game here.

Good luck :)

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: Is this a good start?
« on: July 27, 2011, 03:06:05 PM »
Congrats on the great scores! (Untimed/timed is impressive)
Untimed I'm in the 160-165 range.

I think untimed is important because we get to work on our raw understanding of the test.

I guess you could do more recent tests (PT > 40-ish) and compare your scores. In my limited experience, PTs in the 19-28 range are a bit different (harder/easier depending on section) from later PTs.
> Your LG may even go higher cos there seems to be a strong correlation between newer tests and easier games

Cheers.

4
Studying for the LSAT / Re: I'm giving up on Law School....
« on: July 27, 2011, 04:10:32 AM »
A really tough decision indeed.
I agree with what some have expressed already. Live your life in such a way that you do not look back and wonder... "O, what if..."
I've heard about some people that decided against Law school after going through the painful process of prepping for the LSAT.
Some took the LSAT but decided "Nah, Law school ain't for me".

I respect those people, because it's never too late to teach yourself about you.
Questions we always ask ourselves "What do I want? Why do I want it? For whom am I doing this for?"
Some go to law school cos they couldn't get into med school. Some do it because of Daddy or Mommy or in pursuit of riches. But what do you really want?

If you figure out (and not all of us do) what you really want, and what you really want is to go to law school.. then...
Try and TRY AGAIN to get what you want. If it doesn't work out, then it doesn't work out.
And when your kid comes up to you and says "I want this so bad, but I'm not sure, I'm scared...",
You'll look that kid in the eye, with conviction, and say "I did it, and so can You!"

Good luck  :)

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: Conditional Statements --Help me out!
« on: July 27, 2011, 03:19:30 AM »
@BraveDave, My logic statements are very similar to yours. Thanks.
Note: Bolded extra inferences.

MW = Mary watch a movie
MS = Mary go to the shop


Mary will go to the Shop or watch a movie
> (Inclusive OR) MS or MW or (MS and MW)

Mary will either go to the shop or watch a movie
> (Inclusive OR) MS or MW or (MS and MW)

Mary will either go to the shop else she will watch a movie
> (Exclusive OR) MS or MW
> Inference: MS --> not MW, 
> Inference: MW --> not MS (contrapositive)


Mary will go to the shop but she will not watch a movie
> MS and not MW

Mary will go to the shop and she will watch a movie
> MS and MW

If Mary will watch a movie, she will not go to the shop
> MW --> not MS
> MS --> not MW (contrapositive)

If Mary does not watch a movie, she will go to the shop
> not MW --> MS
> not MS --> MW (contrapositive)

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Studying for the LSAT / Conditional Statements --Help me out!
« on: July 26, 2011, 06:27:32 PM »
I've worked on LR and LG questions that use "OR" in creative ways. Sometimes I get tricked, especially when I expect one conditional form, but the LSAT is looking for another.

Here are a few of them...

Mary will go to the Shop or watch a movie
Mary will either go to the shop or watch a movie
Mary will either go to the shop else she will watch a movie
Mary will go to the shop but she will not watch a movie
Mary will go to the shop and she will watch a movie

If Mary will watch a movie, she will not go to the shop
If Mary does not watch a movie, she will go to the shop

Could you help translate these sentences into "or", "and" or conditional statements
> M = Mary, S = Shop, W = Watch movie

Thanks!

7
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Strengthen/Weaken LR Help
« on: July 26, 2011, 06:08:29 PM »
I am actually doing great in preparation for questions (understanding conclusions, evidence, assumption, scope, formal logic, keywords etc.) and most of my predictions are dead on with the correct answer choices - and all of this is done within efficient times. It seems, however, the answers themselves are messing with me. For some reason I can't see through the awkward language. When I do I get really excited because it sticks out immensely from the rest, but if not I begin to tread.

I have noticed this now in my Reading Comprehension section as well. I understand everything just fine until I begin reading the answers - even when I have the exact prediction of the correct answer, I often don't see it. This, then, seems to be a major issue I am having with all questions.

Any advice? Here are examples of the above issue. I know exactly why they are wrong but maybe there are common "wrong answers" that I am falling for that I just don't see?


I'm sort of in the same boat. I have the most consistent problems with Necessary Assumption and Strengthen/Weaken questions.
Most times when I review the question it makes sense (sometimes not).

One thing you may want to do, which I've been working on, is categorizing the wrong answer choices during your review.
Is the answer option wrong because it is...
- Out of scope (careful with this one)
- Narrow scope
- Reverse (Strengthen instead of weaken)
- True, but irrelevant (doesn't strengthen or weaken)

(Is there a pattern in the wrong choices you choose??)

I've also been working on high level strategies for Strengthen/Weaken questions as well as other question types.
For Strengthen/Weaken: What's the conclusion, how is it supported? What's the Gap?

I used to get burned a lot because I would quickly cross off answers that seemed out of scope. But I've noticed that for Strengthen/Weaken questions, the correct answer is often something I did not think about. So, maybe from that standpoint, we should focus more on what the correct answer should do, as opposed to what we think it will actually be.

I say this because often times I'm like "Yeah, the correct answer must be this... and then I go through choices A to E and damn near cross every one of them out! Damn!". The correct answer could strengthen/weaken the argument by a mere 1% and still be right.

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