Law School Discussion

college classes as prep

college classes as prep
« on: October 06, 2008, 06:47:47 AM »
Anyone think taking critical reasoning and symbolic logic in college is money and time well spent for the test?

Re: college classes as prep
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2008, 07:16:29 AM »
No joke, my formal logic class did help me on the test.  The night before the test I absolutely could not sleep, so around 1am I broke out my logic book and in about fifteen minutes I was able to fall asleep.

If you can get an A in formal logic (you are a math person, love symbols, etc.)  it might help a little.  If you are a math person and have trouble with arguments in English, it might help you a bit more.  But don't take it if it is going to hurt your GPA at all.  And it doesn't come near to substituting for two months of solid prep, taking prior tests over and over again.

Not sure what you mean by critical reasoning but I suppose it couldn't hurt...

Re: college classes as prep
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2008, 07:58:11 AM »
Anyone think taking critical reasoning and symbolic logic in college is money and time well spent for the test?

I do believe that formal logic and intro to philosophy helped me a great deal on the LR section. I don't think it is a coincidence that philosophy majors have one of the highest LSAT score averages.

Having said that, I believe that spending the time and money on targeted LSAT prep with a prep company or tutor would be more beneficial.

If taking a formal logic course would fulfill some requirement toward graduation or count as an elective, then go for it. If not, spend the tuition money and time on a tutor or prep course.

-HYSHopeful

Re: college classes as prep
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2008, 08:13:02 AM »
Anyone think taking critical reasoning and symbolic logic in college is money and time well spent for the test?

I took both of these classes in college for my philosophy minor and found that both helped me EXTRAORDINARILY. For my reasoning/critical thinking class we basically discussed popular argument structure (like the argument from analogy, blah blah), and every day read an article/essay from a variety of works (Hume to modern professors), identified their argument and defended/agreed. The class helped me learn a lot of the basics of logic and definitely is worth taking.

Symbolic Logic was probably one of my favorite classes I took in college (lol dork), and I actually did find it useful on a couple of the logic games during the October test. It helped me recognize a lot of the inferences and whatnot.

If you only take one, I found Reasoning/Critical thinking more useful overall though. =)

ETA - of course, I chose to get a philosophy minor (was not required with my music major), so I just picked courses that fit what was required and just happened to randomly select these two in my group. If you find it'll hurt your GPA or you might benefit more from a paid tutor or course, that might be best. Formal logic is definitely not for everyone. In my class, it was definitely a "get it" or "don't get it" situation. It's just how certain people look at things I suppose.

Re: college classes as prep
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2008, 08:19:05 AM »
I don't know how helpful an intro to philosophy course would be, although if it helped HYS then I'm sure it has the possibility of doing some good.

That being said, upper level philosophy courses do help to develop the reasoning skills that are tested on the LSAT.  But I think that many people who are attracted to philosophy have an innate talent here, which might explain the higher average LSATs.  If you aren't good at this kind of thing, it might help you to immerse yourself in it, but just be sure you don't do so at a sacrifice to your GPA.  

I would take a diagnostic or two before deciding to pay for a prep course.  And avoid using the Kaplan free diagnostic (the one they give to big groups of students a few times a year).  That is a phony test, not a real LSAT, and not a good indicator of what your performance on a real test would be.  Go into Kaplan and ask them for a *real* LSAT as a diagnostic, or buy one yourself and use that.  If you are scoring in the mid-160s to start off, I don't think prep courses will do much good, unless you are completely hopeless at doing prep on your own time.  In that case you might want to rethink law school to begin with!

Re: college classes as prep
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2008, 10:09:14 AM »
I don't know how helpful an intro to philosophy course would be, although if it helped HYS then I'm sure it has the possibility of doing some good.

My intro to philosophy course helped develop my ability to critically analyze arguments. We deconstructed and evaluated arguments on god, free will, utilitarianism, etc. It was a great course that I credit for forming the foundation of much of my analytical thinking skills.

I do think that the extent to which an intro to philosophy course would be helpful for the LSAT depends upon how the course is taught
and who teaches it.

One book that I read in my intro to philosophy course, which I think is why I got as much out of the class as I did, is Think, by Simon BlackBurn (see: Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy). I'd highly recommend it.

Re: college classes as prep
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2008, 10:12:11 AM »
I don't know how helpful an intro to philosophy course would be, although if it helped HYS then I'm sure it has the possibility of doing some good.

My intro to philosophy course helped develop my ability to critically analyze arguments. We deconstructed and evaluated arguments on god, free will, utilitarianism, etc. It was a great course that I credit for forming the foundation of much of my analytical thinking skills.

I do think that the extent to which an intro to philosophy course would be helpful for the LSAT depends upon how the course is taught
and who teaches it.

One book that I read in my intro to philosophy course, which I think is why I got as much out of the class as I did, is Think, by Simon BlackBurn (see: Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=httpwwwpublas-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0192100246" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />). I'd highly recommend it.


Any book recomendations for formal logic? -

Re: college classes as prep
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2008, 10:20:07 AM »
Quote

Any book recomendations for formal logic? -

You can't go wrong with Introduction to Logic, by Harry Gensler

Re: college classes as prep
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2008, 10:29:08 AM »
Quote

Any book recomendations for formal logic? -

You can't go wrong with Introduction to Logic<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=httpwwwpublas-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0415226759" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />, by Harry Gensler

Thanks for the rec - it looks really comprehensive. I also found this which, for 5$ may be good enough for some background for tackling the LRB -

http://www.amazon.com/Logic-Very-Short-Introduction-Introductions/dp/0192893203/ref=cm_cr_pr_sims_i

Re: college classes as prep
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2008, 12:11:10 PM »