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Messages - Jeffort

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81
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Quick question.
« on: August 19, 2010, 08:44:58 PM »
  for the most part except for starting serious LSAT prep during your 2nd year of UG.  You can and should wait until bare minimum 3rd year to start going hard core with dedicated LSAT prep and practice. 

Getting familiar with the general parameters and content of the test, researching the ins and outs of Law Schools and the requirements for admission leisurely before 3rd year is fine while exploring post grad options.  However, it is not something to dive head on with at the cost of time for current studies at that point.  Wait until at least 3rd year when you largely have your GPA locked in and have been exposed to/explored various post-grad options before making the LSAT and LS admission your #1 priority and/or a major time dedication.

If I had suddenly jumped into dedicating myself to a many month study routine prepping to take the admission tests required for each of the various types of graduate programs I seriously contemplated during my 2nd year of UG I would have ended up spending all my time trying to prep for and take the LSAT, GRE, GMAT, MCAT and a few others all at the same time leaving me with no time for my UG classes and life. 

82
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Is it too soon for me to study for the LSAT?
« on: August 19, 2010, 06:56:32 PM »
Well, I don't agree with the never to soon sentiment when it comes to getting obsessed with prepping for the test right before or early into UG studies. 

Proceeding with it all one degree at a time, especially when transitioning from HS to UG seems pretty rational to me.  That UG GPA is a giant and the 2nd most influential factor for Law School admission. 

Of course that GPA takes 4+ years of steady work and dedication to keep up with many many graded tests and things along the way that cannot be undone later.  Unlike the LSAT you don't get second chances with your UG classes and GPA.  Once grades are on your transcript you are stuck with them. 

When just starting UG I think it would be prudent to focus a lot more of the next several years on getting and keeping that GPA high so that no matter how well you can and do score on the LSAT later you don't end up being a 'splitter' {low GPA high LSAT} having to compensate/make excuses for it later in your LS apps to convince some adcoms to let you in even though you didn't excel in your years of UG education.

There are no 'do-overs' to change your UG GPA unlike with the LSAT where you can cancel a bad day or take it again and expect the LS's to focus on your higher score like most LS's now do. 

It certainly doesn't take 4+ years of hard work and study to adequately prep for the LSAT in a way that ensures you achieve your maximum potential score.  Even if when you start prepping for the LSAT you flake out or 'F it up for some reason you still have more bites at the apple to try to lock in a great score. 

One screw up (or even more) on an administered LSAT does not tank your LS acceptance chances since you can take it again and expect most schools to look at and weigh more heavily a more recent higher score IN REPLACEMENT of a previous lower score. (of course it is much better to hit a great score the first time and not have to take it again)

In golf it is called a mulligan.  The LSAT and LS's (maybe cuz they are lawyers that have the time and $$ to golf for fun) understand and are willing to give mulligans on the LSAT but they are not with your UG GPA.  Even if with a mediocre UG GPA you go on to get a near perfect GPA in a masters or some other graduate degree program LS's DO NOT and will NOT substitute it for your UG GPA when applying their admissions index numbers scheme to your application when deciding to admit you or not.

As I said before, DO GOOD in UG, keep that GPA high, have fun, explore life and then get serious about setting aside a number of months for dedicated LSAT prep at the end of your UG years (or even later if you decide to take time off to travel the world, find yourself, start a band and try to get famous on youtube or something else in between).

As a side note:  It would be pretty funny to read an addendum to a LS app intended to explain away a sub-par GPA by telling them something like 'I didn't achieve grades that reflect my potential in UG because I was pre-occupied focusing my time studying to take the LSAT.'   :D


83
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Is it too soon for me to study for the LSAT?
« on: August 07, 2010, 06:20:34 PM »
I don't believe the OP and suspect it could be pickle or somebody similar attempting a flame thread. 

When I started UG I didn't have a clue about LS, graduate schools, etc., that type of stuff was galaxies away from my thinking and what I had learned about at the time.  I pretty much knew that high school was over, I was of age to get arrested and that I was supposed to start trying to do something productive in life by exploring a few directions and trying to pick one to go with. 

The odds of somebody that hasn't even started UG yet wanting to start prepping for the admission exam for a following 3 year program after the 4+ one that has not even begun are pretty darn low.

If this is real OP:  chill for a few years on the LSAT prep idea, enjoy UG, figure out what subjects you like/dislike, keep that GPA up, go out on dates, HAVE FUN while you can!

84
First of all, thank you so much for all the quality advice on here.
I hope to one day give back to this forum by sharing my experiences/knowledge of LSAT once I'm done and hopefully have mastered this beast.

I seeking some help for pt20 section 1 #17. I got the question correct but am a bit stumped by the sentences in choices (A) and (C).

In (A), the first sentence gives the conditional: 
        a business treats customers discourteously -> customers shop elsewhere

But does the next sentence that "Shopwell wants to keep all of its customers so they will never treat cusotmers discourteously" fit the conditional statement from the first sentence?

My thinking was that a conditional statement is on two concrete events and since 'wanting to' or 'will not be' doing something is a matter of intent and prediction respectively, that the sentences after the first can not be turned into conditional statement.
I also thought the same for (C) which again established a conditional in the first sentence but then uses different wording 'should' in the following sentences.
Can tell me if my thinking is correct? Or am I over-analyzing and are conditional statements more loose in terms of categorizing than I thought?

I think I get your question, correct me if I'm wrong. 

RE: Answer choice (A), second sentence, you are asking whether or not that can be translated into a conditional statement? and also asking how and if it fits with the conditional in the first sentence.  Is that correct?

The first sentence presents the conditional relationship between the two elements.  treat discourteously ---> DON'T keep customers

The second sentence tells you a fact and applies it to the general principle/conditional statement to form a conclusion about the factual truth of the other element.   

The conditional relationship between the fact established '...wants to keep all of its customers...' and the conclusion drawn, 'never treat discourteously' 
WANTS to keep customers ---> NOT treat discourteously
represents the METHOD OF REASONING the argument employs/path it takes to draw its conclusion from the combination of the fact and the conditional statement/general principle premise.

You shouldn't try to link the two sets together, instead you compare them to see if the application of facts to principle is logical or not and similar to the reasoning structure in the stimulus. 

Confusing your diagrams of premises with ones of the reasoning structure used to reach the conclusion can really mess things up. 

85
Acing the LSAT is more due to natural ability and work placed into it than just hard work. If you don't have the ability it will show. I have been scoring 180 every practice test so far and all the questions seem more elementary. When I do take the LSAT this fall I will score a 180 more than likely.

Anyone taking wagers on this?

I wouldn't even know how to calculate the odds of this being true about our board resident pickle.   

86
Hey guys,

So I'm taking an extended PR review course for the October LSAT, and as you can imagine, the course started out slow and is starting to pick up the pace. However, I wanted to do additional studying aside from the class material and the homework they assign--e.g. using the Bibles or doing practice tests by myself, or even following the advised study schedules one can find online. However, my PR instructor clearly voiced out to us multiple times that outside prep is not only unnecessary, but could also end up hurting our learning curve through PR. The reasoning for this was that all legitimate sources of prep use the same questions from the same sources-- previously released LSATs. Therefore, previewing these questions and learning strategies by yourself from another book could potentially ruin the strategy the company has set out for that question type.

I wanted to get outside input on this. What do you guys think about this advice? DO you think its better to just stick with the prep company and follow their strategies in order to get their average point increase, or do you think aside from the material test prep companies offer, outside material is necessary and helpful? What have some of your experiences been with test prep companies--have their point increase averages been true?

Thanks!

You have chosen your prep source/program, signed up for and paid for it, indicating that you believe their course has merit/value.  Therefore you should go with it, learn from the course and your teacher rather than trying to second guess things and re-invent things yourself.  Remember, you are the student not the teacher. 

Mixing and matching prep methods/sources is a bad idea.  Different companies/sources present things in their own ways (different verbiage to refer to similar/same things/concepts/etc., varied methods/strategies/techniques, etc.) and it can get confusing trying to figure out how to mix and match the different variations.

You must be in the early process of starting to prep for the LSAT since you seem to have a few misconceptions about it:


However, I wanted to do additional studying aside from the class material and the homework they assign

Don't worry, you will have more than enough materials and assigned homework to keep you busy and depending on your life schedule/demands will probably have trouble finding time to keep up with and do most of it.

DO you think its better to just stick with the prep company and follow their strategies in order to get their average point increase, or do you think aside from the material test prep companies offer, outside material is necessary and helpful?

YES, stick with ONE, take advantage of it with everything they provide and ask lots of questions.  Take advantage of your instructor! that is part of what you are paying to be allowed to do.

The PR full length courses include all available LSAT questions making outside sources of real LSAT questions superfluous.  Pretty much all reputable/well known LSAT prep course companies supply each student with a full set of all available previously administered LSAT questions as part of the cost of the class.  You don't sign up and pay $$1K+ for a full length live prep class just to get a set of books with the questions  and some outlines of concepts and strategies (you can purchase all available LSAT questions on your own for less than $200), you are paying to be taught how to perform well on the test step by step by a human you can interact with.

Hopefully your instructor is good and knows what he/she is talking about.  If your instructor sucks and/or the class turns out to suck/not help you for some other reason, then you explore other options.   

RE:
...and follow their strategies in order to get their average point increase...

I don't like the point of view of focusing on an advertised/claimed average score increase, and not just because they are largely unverifiable.  An average represents a group, not any particular individual of a group.  Nobody, no company, no teacher, no matter how good they are can guarantee that if you do XYZ like they tell you that your score will increase according to their average. 

Mileage varies per person, with a lot of it having to do with how hard and PROPERLY you prepare while in the class, meaning what you do inside and outside of class along the way to ultimately be prepared to give the test your best shot on test day.  Forget about averages (some people don't improve much {like people that don't study, do HW, practice or review outside of class}, others improve up to 20+ points), no class or book will do the work and take the test for you, that is your job. 

If the course curriculum and your instructor are both good, the rest of the final outcome is in your hands. 


87
I have really hard time swallowing the Conditional Reasoning section from PowerScore.

On page 116 of Logical Reasoning Bible it says...

"The sufficient condition does not make the necssary condition occur.  "

and then...

"occurrence of the sufficient condition is a sign or indicator that the necessary cnodition will occur"


??????????????????

and on next page....


someone receiving an A+ (Sufficient) is a sign that indicates that studying(Necessary) must also have occurred.


and then.....

A+ (Sufficient) does not make the studying (Necessary) occur



In sum, does the sufficient condition make the necessary condition occur or NOT!!!????

Sufficient and necessary/conditional relationships do not NECESSARILY entail cause and effect.  Conditional relationships are in large part different than cause and effect relationships, however, there is some overlap between the two types of basic logic.

With conditional relationships, the truth of the sufficient condition guarantees the truth of the necessary condition, logically speaking, but that does not mean that the occurrence of the sufficient condition caused the necessary condition to be true.  One conditions truth REQUIRES the other to be true, but that does not mean that the sufficient condition came first and caused the necessary to be true.  The order the two conditions became true in time (temporally) can go either way.  It's just a matter of logical truth.  If you know that A is true, then you can conclude that B is true, but absent other context or subject matter stuff the established relationship tells you nothing about causal or temporal relationships between the conditions. 

88
Studying for the LSAT / Re: D-Day, T-Minus 45 Hours
« on: June 06, 2010, 03:54:12 PM »

For Today, the last day before T-day, just relax.  No timed practice tests, no review and studying.  Just do something relaxing that keeps your mind off the test.  Watch movies or have a Calgon Moment or something.    Just DO NOT STUDY, WORK A BUNCH OF PROBLEMS, OR DO A PRACTICE TEST.

89
Studying for the LSAT / Re: The Official LSAT Handbook by LSAC
« on: June 04, 2010, 06:23:47 PM »
Has anybody looked into this book?

 I saw it on LSAC's website, and I am curious about the length and the content quality.

What are your ideas?

http://www.amazon.com/Official-Handbook-School-Admission-Council/dp/0982148755/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275674931&sr=8-2

This is a new book and I don't think the first copies have begun shipping yet.  The publication date is listed as June 21, 2010.  For $10 (direct from LSAC) I'm sure it wont hurt since it is written by LSAC.  According to the description, it contains recycled content that is also contained in the LSAC SuperPrep, plus some expansion on that stuff.  It is 200 pages, whereas the SuperPrep is 400 pages, so I wouldn't expect anything brand new or super groundbreaking. 

I would guess that since it's called the LSAT Handbook, that it has all the registration and test rules and regulations stuff, FAQ's, stuff about LSDAS, the application process and LSAC online application stuff, etc.  all put together in one handy reference book along with a test, explanations for it, and a basic overview of the section and question types.   

90
Hey dudes, I'm here in the room too.  If you are confused about what I meant you can just ask me for clarification, stop assuming things and stop putting words in my mouth please. 

How about this version:  Two years is a heck of a long time to spend studying and practicing for ONE standardized test that tests the same narrow set of skills in the same/similar ways every time (no big surprises on the test!).  You might get sick of the same old same old after a while.  Plus, it is reasonable to believe that with such long term study and practice that you would have hit your peak prepped/studied/learned/practiced score potential in less time provided you prepare/study and practice effectively.  There is a concept called the law of diminishing returns. 

I can hear it now.  A hypothetical conversation between two people that somehow met and became friends while both first started thinking about prepping for the LSAT.  Conversation takes place ~2 years after they first met:

A:  "Hey B, how's it going?"
B:  "Not bad A, and you?"
A:  "Good, just finished second semester 2L finals at XYZ Law School, It feels like I got run over by the crim pro final, the fact pattern was cRaZy but I think I did alright on it.  I'm going to be clerking for judge PDQ this summer in HappyGetaJobVille and have to move next week.  I don't think my cat is going to like the trip, she flipped out last time she was on a plane, good thing the vet gave me those kitty tranc pills.  If you are still in the area we should get lunch or something.  What are you up to these days?"
B:  "I'm working on grouping games, they are kicking my butt.  I just did birds in the forest again and got 2 wrong.  I made a stupid mistake.   :(  "
A:  "Oh cool, you're teaching LSAT classes and tutoring people now?  I hear there is good money doing that, a few of my classmates in LS do that on the side for extra spending cash and drinking $$$, you've certainly been studying for that thing long enough to know it well enough to teach it to anyone.  That sounds like a good gig."
B:  "ehh, no, I'm not teaching it, canceled my last score and I'm taking it again but am worried because I've worked all ~60 tests at least 3 times each and don't have a new one to use for more timed practice."

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