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Messages - dsds3581

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: Powerscore or Testmasters?
« on: March 14, 2004, 09:25:36 PM »
I have heard repeatedly that Powerscore is very similar to Testmasters in just about all respects, with Testmasters definitely being the better one still. But I'd say if money is a concern at all, it probably wouldn't hurt to just go with Powerscore (since it's cheaper). It seems that everyone I know of has improved immensely with either or. Also, I think having a month between the course and the test is good--that way, you have more practice time in case you need it. If you don't need it, then it'll probably leave you more confident with the techniques and relaxed by test day than coming right out of the course into the exam.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Testmasters
« on: March 14, 2004, 09:20:22 PM »
When did you take it? I have been wondering about this, as well.

I was told by quite a few people that it DOESN'T include most of their techniques, was mainly practice questions from past LSATS and that you could only get the techniques in class--a former instructor told me that and at least 2 or 3 people who took the class told me that. I don't know when the instructor taught there, but I think the people who told me that had the newer Testmasters books (the blue books vs the ones that look like notebooks).

I was told they don't include their techniques in their book because Robin Singh, Testmasters's creator, doesn't want their techniques getting out.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Taking a Logic Course
« on: March 12, 2004, 07:40:08 PM »
On many questions in the LR section, you can reduce them to logic and letters. Some are more obvious than others, like:

"Only if the electorate is moral and intelligent will a democracy function well."

First, you change it to--as you should know from your logic course--if/then statements.

"If a democracy is functioning well, then the electorate is moral and intelligent."

As also taught in logic courses, you can just use either A, B and C in your head or written out beside the statement, or you can use the beginning letter of the most significant words (or whatever is easiest for you):

If A, then B & C  or A--> B & C
If F, then M & I  or F-->M & I

The question goes something like:

"Which one of the following can be logically inferred from the claim above?" in reference to the original statement.

Well, as your logic course also teaches, you can see that "and" means it has to be BOTH of them. If even one of those two (moral and intelligent) is not true, then the democracy can't be functioning well. Or, in other words:

If -B, then -A or If -M or -I, then -F

I know there's something taught in logic that represents when you have a and/or/both situation, but I always don't really remember that one and feel that -B, then -A works much the same and keeps me from having to memorize a whole bunch of logic.

By the way, I'm getting this from "10 Actual, Official LSAT Preptests, test IX, section 4, question 4 just to let everyone know and to reference the source.

So the answer choices--you look at them, see which one looks most like the formal logic work you know/do...

You see that (C) says:

"If the electorate is not moral or not intelligent, then a democracy will not function well."

Breaking that down to logic, that's going to look something like that "If -B, then -A" concept. They say "or," so that means that one of those is not true when BOTH have to be true. If they said "and"--that's even more obviously the answer.

There are tons of other real problems in this book that illustrate logic on the LR section. A good question type to use logic on is parallel reasoning. I was taught in logic that you could turn just about any statement into an if/then statement, so that's all you have to think of many questions in the LR section as.

Same test/section, question 24, first sentence (the conclusion):

"It now becomes clear that the significant role initially predicted for personal computers in the classroom has not become fact."

This looks like a lot, but cut through the crap to break it down to:

R--> -F (the Role has not become Fact)

This is especially helpful in parallel reasoning because, most of the time, the structure of the answer choice is going to be the, in this case, it should be something that says:

A--> -B

Though not obviously written, the main point of the correct answer, which is (D), is that consumers are not using or buying microwave ovens as much, or C--> -U, as well as a few other parallelism that show this as the correct answer over others (because there will often be two answers, or maybe more, that have similar structure, though sometimes one of them might say -A-->B, which is backwards but can still trick someone up).

Like others said, you can just learn this kind of stuff from a study guide rather than a course. I also believe that the LR section will take most people more than just finding the evidence and the conclusion. For some people, breaking down statements like this helps them see the answer more clearly, though.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Struggling with Games
« on: March 11, 2004, 03:48:53 PM »
No offense, but this is an error that really shouldn't be happening. I've had trouble with knowing HOW to transpose rules, as you call it, but never mis-writing one. I would think checking each re-write against each original rule very carefully after writing all of them and making sure you wrote the right thing would, not necessarily be helpful in stopping you from doing this but should, help you catch it before you mess up entire Games.

Are you rushing? Maybe trying to get to 4 Games instead of just 3 and making careless mistakes such as mis-reading and mis-writing? If so, just take the time and slow down and focus on doing the 3 Games you do carefully. You don't HAVE to do 4. Many people can't do 4, but many of them also do still make a good score.

First thing--you shouldn't "prep" for a diagnostic. A diagnostic is supposed to be your "cold" ability.

Another thing--a lot of things in various prep books are the same as many things a course will teach you, so prepping with other material before the fact can kind of keep you from feeling like you're getting anything out the course.

I know this because I took Kaplan. Prior, I hadn't done anything but take practice tests. After Kaplan, my score improved a lot but I still felt like I needed more help. Just about all the books or guides I looked at after Kaplan had SOME helpful new stuff in it but was mainly the same techniques only maybe phrased/organized in a way that made more sense to me (for example, I feel that PR's Cracking the LSAT is a fairly simplistic version of what Kaplan teaches, in relation to the LR section). In addition to PR's book, I have a lot prep books I've used (Nova's Master the LSAT being one of them).

I do think they are great books (the Logic Games Bible included, though I never used it), but they just would have been a lot more helpful to me had I not taken Kaplan. They are best for people who want to self-prep. There's nothing wrong with getting extra prep books to try out different techniques and to combine certain ones (I actually abandoned Kaplan's RC method in favor of PR's method and have used a combination of books to get approaches to the LR section), but I'd say to do those after you see where Kaplan has gotten you. That's the reason I never bought the Logic Games Bible--after Kaplan, I didn't really need it. It does get a little confusing, more particularly with Kaplan vs Nova's Master the LSAT, because the terms and category divisions they use differ.

The thing that is probably helping me most now is getting a lot of old LSATs and practicing on those, as well as still working through some of the Kaplan materials I have (I have two sets of Kaplan's course books, and one of them  has thousands of old LSAT questions in it).

I would suggest that, while you're taking Kaplan, spend a LOT of time with that material and try to get the most out of it while you can. Use everything they make available to you--their library of old LSATs, everything in the books (do ALL the assignments and Home Study Book problems), the online portion of their site and all the materials available there, etc. 

But I think that whatever you have to do to get your score as high as you want it, you need to do it. And thinking about the LSAT as being interesting is definitely helpful. I think if you hate the approach to the LSAT too much, you might want to rethink the law school path. The fact that I find the logic of the LSAT interesting and do like that I'm training myself to think in such ways is cool to me, too.

Law School Admissions / Re: Admissions
« on: March 09, 2004, 09:08:03 AM »
I just really don't understand why that would change top schools from being so picky and help low schools raise their standings, though. I can see it lessening the impact of pickiness in top schools, but what it sounds like is that top schools would THEN be focusing too much more on numbers than they already do...which some people do want, so that might not be bad to them...but, like a Georgetown admissions officer once said to know, you pay all that money to apply to those top schools. The least they can do is sit down and devote 5-10 minutes of serious time/attention to your application, to look beyond numbers and see what you might contribute to their class and if they think you really can do the work (a paraphrase of her words).

In this way, it doesn't seem like it'd change lower-ranking schools that much because it seems like they already basically just take people as long as they have the numbers with some exceptions and sometimes reject those with higher numbers, possibly anticipating that person views their school as a safety.

I see the slight variations of "your school," though.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Princeton, Testmasters or Kaplan?
« on: March 08, 2004, 10:16:23 PM »
If you haven't already seen, there are threads here about Testmasters and Kaplan. They are still being posted on, so they won't be that hard to find. I took Kaplan, and I have PR's course books from someone who took the course, so if you have specific questions you can just send me a message.   

I agree, though--Testmasters or Powerscore would be better choices than Kaplan or PR, from everything I've heard. I also agree about Nova's Master the LSAT and PR's Cracking the LSAT being good study books.

Law School Admissions / Re: Okay, its time to vent!
« on: March 05, 2004, 09:43:08 PM »
Hehe, well aside from just being March 5th, it's also my birthday...which, at this time, is almost over.

>>I applied to three of these schools in November, but my complete undergrad transcripts were not finalized until Jan 18th or so. Does the admission silence for so long help or hurt me at this point?<<

Well, in my opinion...considering the fact that you applied in November but only really had app complete status around around the 18th of January...I don't think the silence is "long." I think it's normal, in your case. The fact that your application wasn't complete until then is as good as your having waited until the mid-end of January to apply to these schools because they probably didn't even look at your app until after they got that transcript. With applying after the holidays being considered "late" by many schools' standards...I'd say it depends on the school whether or not it helps you or hurts you that you haven't heard anything.

>>Perhaps someone can enlighten me as to what "rolling basis" REALLY means<<

Rolling admissions means the schools look at and usually accept/make decisions on students as they receive applications from this, if their file is complete. This is why applying and having your application COMPLETE early is helpful...after the holidays, it's much harder to have any kind of advantage in getting in because many schools have accepted almost half the students they're going to accept by then. So if everything had been completely done for you in would have been much better off at schools with rolling admissions and probably would have heard from most or all your schools by now.

>>Are they waiting for all the late appliers/feb lsat takers?<<

I don't know what schools do this, but I'd say probably not. I always hear that you don't need to take the LSAT later than December, so Feb takers usually have to wait until the coming fall of that year to apply. Plus, I can't see law schools waiting for anybody...especially at a school with rolling admissions. They will accept as many people as they can off the bat, and later applicants...well, sorry for them. Some schools also hold certain decisions, or maybe even all decisions they make, until a certain date and then start sending them out.

>>or even why some schools (in my case the lower tiers) have an absurdly long application timeline if any at all?<<

Hmmm...okay, you applied to lower tiers, so it's possible that some of them DO wait for Feb LSAT takers and that it might be good that you haven't heard yet, if they have a long timeline. Who knows. I would think it takes them so much longer because they probably get more applicants. I read something the other day that the majority (I, think, 70%) of people who take the LSAT score between 140 and 160...those people might throw in some apps to higher-tier schools, but they are also all going to be applying to some lower-tier schools. So those lower-tier schools probably have to spend a lot of time on these apps and making decisions, especially schools that don't have rolling admissions (those schools will wait until the deadline to start looking at apps, which I feel doesn't save time for them like doing rolling admissions does).

>>Also, why the inconsistency with some schools? For instance a few of my schools have been diligent about confirming the completion of my app, whereas others haven't sent anything<<

Maybe as you have now come to understand, the inconsistencies are probably because of the different ways the schools go about their admissions processes.

>>A few of the schools have even sent me financial aid apps...Does this essentially mean I will be getting a spot, even though they explicitly state that the two are seperate?<<

I don't think this can be assumed, but who knows.

>>I know that there is other people trolling this board that are in a similar boat that I'm in, and that not all of us have the great gpa and lsat which alleviates some of the stress!<<

I think everyone's stressed and not 100% (or even 90%) confident about their chances...particularly those with the great stats. For one thing, I often see people with, like, a 4.0 and a 177 on the LSATs wanting to know what their chances at HYCCN are. I think the higher the schools are you want to get into, the more you worry because they are so much weirder about who they accept and who they turn down. Plus, people usually want to go to these schools very badly and get their hearts set on a top school. With lower-tier schools, it pretty much seems like that if you have the numbers and don't screw up the rest of the application, then you're basically okay and everyone will be shocked if you don't get in...which is not necessarily the case with those who have higher numbers and apply to top schools. 

Anyway, just my thoughts. 

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Is LSAT too low?
« on: March 05, 2004, 03:03:08 PM »
Very, very little chance.

I think you need to prep hard for a re-take, score at LEAST in the mid 160s (therefore, don't take the test again until you're scoring at least that high repeatedly on practice tests) and then apply with an addendum about how you got that 149 while you were having problems dealing with complications that were recent in relation to the time of that exam. That way, several top 20 schools will probably disregard the 149 instead of averaging it with your higher score.

Law School Admissions / Re: Can't Get In!!!!
« on: March 04, 2004, 08:06:54 PM »
Yeah, I was also wondering what other schools you applied to. I also agree that many of the schools you applied to are out of your league, so I do understand about half of those decisions (particularly UVA, UTA and Baylor...). I'm kind of surprised Georgetown waitlisted you, not rejected you...hmmm, but it looks to me, from like GTown might be going on a "waitlist" spree this year. So the fact that they waitlisted you IS kind of good, maybe.

I think you might want to consider re-taking the LSAT/re-applying in the fall, as well. But what you might want to do, just to make sure you don't get in anywhere this year (if these are the only schools you applied to), is to stay in touch with Georgetown and ride them, letting them know you really want to attend! Maybe even visit and be sure to let the admissions officers know you did. That way, when they start taking people off the waitlist and accepting some, they will remember you and think of you as possibly one of the first people to contact! Don't sit back and wait. If Georgetown still doesn't accept you and that was your only chance, then you will know to re-take/re-apply. If they accept you, that won't be necessary!  ;)

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