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Messages - Skallagrim

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: WHAT IS MY PROBLEM!!!!?!?!
« on: August 19, 2006, 10:18:37 PM »
Thank you all for the responses.  This is all fantastic advice, and yes, I do also feel like I've been somewhat restrained by the "Powerscore Method" when I attempt to set-up/work through the games.  I'm going to take the advice above and try an untimed LG section doing it in the way that works best for me.

Thanks again all.

By all means, do whatever works best for you. But I definitely think there is a time and place for diagrams and certain games will fall easier to certain diagramming methods. For example, for any game in which "Y happens after X but before Z" plays a significant role, you should give serious thought to implementing the linear game strategies in the LGB.

I definitely would not waste time trying to determine whether a game is "linear" or "advanced linear", though. The same goes with some of the other different types they have. Just be reasonable on the questions. Suppose a businessman has lunch and dinner on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with some bizarre rules regarding who he has food with at what time. Advanced linear maybe? Whatever, just throw down a few blank spaces for lunches and then under that a few blank spaces for dinners and get on with things.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: LG Time Management?
« on: August 19, 2006, 10:07:58 PM »
Get a good LG prep book -- I recommend LG Bible from PowerScore. You can work a hundred games, but if you approach each game with the same kind of bewildered, meandering attitude that probably characterizes most test takers, you might not improve significantly.

another suggestion relates to your best section.  in this case it looks like LR or games seems to be your best section.  you need to reduce one or both of these section to almost none wrong.  having a section that you're good at is nice, but people tend to stop trying to improve on it when they have a much lower score in another section.  this is not a good thing.  you should look at it this way.  if you were good at soccer and just ok at basketball, what do you think you have a better shot at being MVP in?  Point: don't neglect ur better sections, and instead improve as close to perfect as u can get.  this will help counter your lower score in RC.  good luck

The reason I would suggest someone focus on their worst section is because they are probably making more basic, and therefore easily correctable mistakes, in that section than in their better sections.

Let me put it another way. Each section has easy, medium and hard questions. It is reasonable, in general, to assume that people first score points on easy questions, then the medium, and finally the hard questions, or equivalently that questions are missed in reverse order (hard->medium->easy). So based on the OP's numbers, he's only missing hard questions in LR and LG, but he's missing medium and hard questions in RC. I think it makes sense for him to ask himself why he's missing medium difficulty RC questions rather than advise him to struggle to get every hard LR/LG question.

I agree with sunfunliving. It sounds like you know what you need to work on, so just make that happen. If you're dramatically bad in one area, prep that area. If you're bad in all areas and time is short, I'd prep LG since they say it's the easiest to train for.

My understanding also from the new ABA rules on LSAT scores is that taking the Sept test might not hurt even if you end up taking Dec as well. So you probably should just commit to Sept at least. This will probably motivate your studying as well, rather than wishy-washying it to the last minute. Plus, if you take Sept, plan to take Dec and then have to cancel Dec due to illness or whatever, that will still give you the option of applying to LS with your Sept score rather than relying on Feb and/or postponing a year.

I work full-time and honestly my current problem is forcing myself to spend my free time on other pursuits than law school prep :)

Roughly my plan is this:

Already completed: registered with LSDAS; (mostly finished) badgering professors to send in LOR to LSAC.

Now until Sept LSAT: LSAT prep; mull over ideas for PS; mull over school choices based on different LSAT possibilities 

Sept LSAT to receipt of score: write general PS, prepare resume, work out common info section of LSAC applications

Receipt of LSAT score and onwards: I took a week of vacation beginning 10/23 to bang out my applications. I should have my list of schools by 10/24, and then most or all apps out in the next week. This is also when I rush to get things done like dean's certification or special essays, depending on the school list.

I very much hope to "go complete" by Thanksgiving for all schools.

I wanted to write this post after browsing through the low-rating reviews some of the Amazon folks give to this book. A lot of what these negative reviewers say is valid and I think these negative aspects need to be addressed so that they don't turn people off of a very good prep source.

Item 1:

It is very true that the LG Bible primarily shines in its treatment of the two fundamental game types: linear games and grouping games. To define the terms, a linear game is a game where you have to put items, events, people etc in order. A grouping game is where you must put items, events, people etc into groups. The book excels in teaching you strategies for handling the basic versions of these types of games. You will be taught fast and efficient ways of diagramming the rules for these questions, and often these diagrams will be so complete that you can answer a few questions simply by looking at your diagrams.

The book is less good in teaching you how to handle games which are non-trivial variations on the basic types, or are one of the rare off-the-wall types that are neither linear nor grouping. While many of these variant or off-the-wall games are worked in this book, you will primarily have to learn from the explanations given. This relies on the reader having the ability to generalize from the explanation for the particular case to find out how they would handle similar problems in the future. This in turn relies on the reader to possess a certain logical insight, which is unsatisfactory because gaining this insight is why most readers buy the book.

In practice, though, most of the games you will encounter will be linear or grouping, and I believe almost any game will benefit from at least some of the strategies taught in the book.

Item 2:

The book does use a lot of different Capitalized Terms, which have little trademark TM symbols next to them. These terms represent specific strategies or concepts. I suppose that they do this because they want students to walk into the test able to clearly identify the strategies they are going to use when they work the problem. Looking at a problem and saying "Okay, I'll try to Identify the Templates" will likely lead to a bolder approach than saying "Okay, I guess I'll try to figure out what main types of configurations I can have for this problem". Also, if a strategy cannot be articulated and catalogued for use, it may never occur to the test-taker to use it. In my opinion Not Laws are the best example of how this capitalizing technique by the book can help the reader nail down certain concepts and keep them in the front of their mind during the test.

On the other hand, I did find the breakdown of each type of problem into subtypes to be a bit obnoxious. A few exercises ask you to classify particular problems to a very precise degree within their system, presumably on the theory that once the problem is specifically identified it will be completely clear on how to solve it. You should definitely have a grip on the nature of the problem you are solving, and the system they give will help with that, but you should not waste time trying to find the PowerScore word for something once you have the concept firmly in mind.

So overall, I think the Possible Overuse of Terminology is not that big a deal as long as you find your own comfort level with what terms you feel you need to memorize vs what terms stand for concepts you are already comfortable with.

Item 3:

The worst problem with the book is that the explanations for each individual game tend to over-analyze the setup and each question. In all seriousness I think if a test taker worked out each setup to the degree given in the book, that person would run out of time on the second game. The book does a pretty poor job of telling you what you should ACTUALLY THINK during the setup portion of each of their example games and questions. Even worse, a lot of times their lengthy explanations only give one specific way of answering a particular question. There are often different approaches that can be taken which are not mentioned in the explanation.

What this means is that you should concentrate on the techniques the book gives and concentrate less on the explanations for the games they give. Review those explanations if you get stuck or are just curious about their approach, but if you solved the problem through some other logical means, don't worry. However, if you find that you are mainly solving problems through some enlightened guesswork, then you should probably slow down, review the techniques and see how to use those to your advantage. The system they give is designed to reduce guesswork and fuzzy-headedness to a minimum, and you should take advantage of that.

Item 4:

There is some worry that because the games in the LG Bible are from real LSATs, you are spoiling yourself when you actually work through preptests. But they don't use any games past Dec 2000 (preptest 33), which leaves a lot of preptests, plus it shouldn't really matter anyway unless you have a photographic memory. Plus it's much more confidence-boosting to use real games rather than worry about the helpfulness of the simulated alternative.

Item 5:

I have an undergraduate and graduate degree in mathematics. I grant that I have a natural ability to see things logically. Where the LG Bible helped me was to give me a system to approach the games, and that's all I really needed. But if you're the sort of person who, for instance, doesn't understand a question even when the answer is fully explained to you, then you should consider taking a class rather than purchasing this book. However, DO NOT buy one of the other prep books because of reviews that say LG Bible is "too hard". LG Bible teaches the LG section as it is, and getting a dumbed-down prep book is probably going to send you into the real LSAT with false confidence.

Studying for the LSAT / Discussion of Logic Games Bible from PowerScore
« on: August 19, 2006, 03:19:40 PM »
I just want to share my thoughts on this book. Specifically I'm talking to the other "me"s out there who are wondering if a ~230 page book can possibly be worth $65, when similar books by other companies cost around $30.

Answer: it's totally worth it.

Longer story: I've taken a bunch of practice LSATs (early 30s preptests) and I noticed that I always did much worse on the games section than LR or RC. I'd miss twice as many in LG as I would the other sections, sometimes more in LG than I would on the rest of the test combined. In fact my LG performance has been:

PrepTest 29: 15/24 -9
30: 17/23 -6
31: 20/23 -3
32: 17/24 -7
33: 13/23 -10
34: 14/24 -10

I bought the Kaplan Logic Games Workbook because of price and availability, but the questions in there seemed pretty contrived and I was unhappy with it. So last Saturday I tracked down a copy of the LG bible, drove 30 miles and picked up the one copy that store had. I finished it a few days ago and took my first practice LSAT since then (Oct 2004, preptest 45).

Result: ZERO MISSED in LG and FIVE MINUTES TO SPARE in that section. This contrasted with earlier performances of finishing two games, half-finishing another and guessing on the rest in minute 34. Now I know the later preptests are supposed to have easier LG sections than the old ones, so that probably contributed to the gain, but still, a major improvement. I won't know what my average gain is until I knock out a bunch more preptests. But I'm thinking it'll be around a 4-5 point LSAT average gain.

Conclusion: If you're at all shaky on LG (meaning you regularly run out of time or miss more than 3-4 questions) you should seriously consider buying this book. The only people I would suggest not buy this book are the people who really should take a class instead of self-study.

Amazon link:

Sorry if I sound like a fanboy for this book but it makes me sad to see people struggling with the LG section, but who may not think about getting this book because of the high price tag relative to other LG prep books.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana
« on: August 09, 2006, 08:41:39 AM »
Thanks for the replies. I'm sorry, it sounds like I wasn't clear in my original post. The schools I mentioned are already on my list, except for SMU which I'm not interested in. At the moment my top choice is UT, regionally followed by Tulane and U Arizona. It all depends on how my LSAT goes and where I get money. I'm also applying to a few T10's, so if I get money somewhere like that, that'll shake things up a bit. What I was hoping to do here was get a few more options, but now I think that my choices are pretty much set until after the LSAT.

Where should I go next fall? / Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana
« on: August 08, 2006, 11:59:00 PM »
Hi folks, first post, nice board, all that :)

My UGPA is 3.93 and I'm sitting for the Sept 2006 LSAT. My practice scores have been from 167-176 and I'm assuming I'll get between 165-170 on the real thing. My wife and I are planning to settle down long-term in one of the major cities in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, or Louisiana. My goal is public service so scholarships are very important to me. While I will probably be able to qualify for T14, hefty scholarships might not happen depending on how the LSAT goes, so I would like to have a number of lower T1 schools in mind to shoot for money.

What's bumming me out is that there don't seem to be any T1 schools in the four states mentioned above, other than UT, until we get down to Tulane/SMU/U Arizona right at the T1/T2 border. I'm not a slave to the USNWR rankings but I'm hoping for some middle ground.

What I'm asking is, are there any sub-T14 T1 schools other than UT/Tulane/SMU/U Arizona which have particularly good reputations in my target areas? I've ruled out Alabama since my wife doesn't want to live there for three years. I'm also not too excited about California schools. Are NC/GA/FL schools too far away to be useful as regional names?

Am I missing anything?


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