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Author Topic: Best way to study for ARGS  (Read 591 times)

Gunnar

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Best way to study for ARGS
« on: October 09, 2005, 06:21:00 PM »
Hey all,
My WEAKEST damn section on the lsat is the LR section.  I bought the LR Bible and I have all the books from Princeton Review and Kaplan.  My MAIN weakness is "assumption" questions. Does anyoen have any cool ways they learned to figure out the assumption in an argument?  I can break it down to its premises and main point, but pinning the assumption is what i have a lot of trouble with.  ANY LR EXPERTS willing to share their tips here??
Out of 50 or so LR questions, I get about 10-15 wrong every single time I take a practice test. I am taking the Dec. LSAT, do u guys think two months is enough time to gain 4-5 more questions?

Thanks!

IvanTrbl

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Re: Best way to study for ARGS
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2005, 09:06:46 PM »
The best technique for me was making sure to go through the arguments one at a time.  Specifically, do one question, refer to the answer key to see whether you got it right or wrong, and if you got it wrong, figure out why you did.  If you figure it out (which, for most questions, is very possible after a couple of reflective minutes), right down what you did wrong.  This is the best way to truly improve on the LR section because you can see not only why the answer is correct but what you were thinking when you got it wrong. 

However, If you can't figure out why you got a question wrong, circle it and ask someone for help (such as a tutor or friend).  Doing the method this way may take an hour to an hour and a half per LR section, but your speed will naturally increase from this excercise nonetheless.  It helped my Args increase from about 16 right / section to 22.5 right / secion. 
"I spent lots of money on birds, booze, and fast cars.  The rest I squandered." - George Best!

coda0092

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Re: Best way to study for ARGS
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2005, 04:26:55 PM »
hey there:

i am by no means an "expert" on LR ... but it *was my weakest section off the bat... i started getting 10/25 correct on the average (and like almost perfect games and 20/25 RC). ... there were just some things that didnt click right away for me...

i am not sure if anything here helps, but here is my $ .02 ...

basically, the section tests your ability to understand the logic of someone's argument.  They throw an answer in there a lot that simply restates the conclusion of the argument... i kept biting on those... but they're almost always wrong.

i am a full-time teacher and had no time to take a course... i didn't know that this board even existed when i started studying in september.  I would find a book that explains clearly the components of an argument (premises, conclusions, etc.) and one that helps you to find assumptions contained within the argument.  I believe you said the assumption questions were giving you are hard time...  i guess when i read the questions, the assuptions are something critical to the author's argument that are NOT explicitly stated. 

a poor example ( i am not an LSAT writer ... i am too lazy to dig out my study materials)

      Product X outsold Product Z in the first quarter of this year.  Product X is significantly less expensive than Product Z.  Therefore, if the manufacturer of Product X lowers its prices to a point below the price of Product Z; it will outsell product Z in the next quarter.

Some assumptions above could include that the driving force behind sales of the two products are price... that the products are equally useful, etc.

If the argument completely falls apart in the absence of the assumption, i have found that that is the best choice. 

Deconstructing the arguments and finding assumptions is critical (especially for strengthen and weaken questions-- you'll have to find the response that either strengthens the assumptions or attacks them)...

The other thing you may want to brush up on is formal logic... find a book that helps you to understand these concepts... like math class in HS ... if p ---> q , etc.   Some websites have some examples of diagramming logic and truth tables and what not.

I used a book from Nova that really clarified the LR section for me... i went from 10/25 to like 21/25 after it "clicked" for me. 

good luck!

deleted

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Re: Best way to study for ARGS
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2005, 07:13:08 PM »
negate the answer choice, add it to the stimulus and if the argument does not work then you have your answer.

e.g.

When Cortex arrived in Mexico in AD 1519 he observed the inhabitants playing a ceremonial game with a rubber ball. The pre-Columbian inhabitants of Mexico began to use rubber around AD 1000. Thus, we can be sure that the game must have originated sometime between AD 100 and Cortez' arrival.

Argument conclusion depends on which on of the following assumptions?

(A) The pre-Columbian inhabitants of Mexico played games on all ceremonial occasions. (The The pre-Columbian inhabitants of Mexico DID NOT play games on all ceremonial occasions) Add that, what does it tell you about the conclusion (rubber ball date)... Nothing

now look at (D) The game had been played since its inception with a rubber ball. (The game had NOT been played since its inception with a rubber ball.) Add that to the argument and it falls a part, knowing the date that rubber was used would not get you to the date the game originated if it was not always played with rubber. What if the earliest versions of the game were played with conch shells (ouch!)

hth

Gunnar

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Re: Best way to study for ARGS
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2005, 01:28:47 AM »
Thanks a ton for the tips everyone!  I took a practice test today and scored a 166, which is quite an achievement for me because a few weeks ago i was at 160.  My args jumped from 15 wrong to 8 wrong and I just got the LR Bible.  I'm trying to get in the mid 170's so I'll be sure to let everyone know of my progress. 

Azrael2

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Re: Best way to study for ARGS
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2005, 01:47:08 AM »
Heres how i look at it (and the way Blueprint taught me):
Theres two tupes of assumption questions, identifying which type they are makes it completely simple.

1.  Sufficent Assumptions:   i.e.  conclusion follows logically if this is assumed,  what assumption best supports the argument etc.

- Think of it as  "I'm never f*cked if this is true". You are finding the answer choice that makes the argument lock tight, you're filling in any possible holes that would weaken the argument.  You're pretty much making the conclusion a good conclusion by ruling out anything that would make it wrong.  Most of the time, the right answer choice is STRONG (all, none, never, always )


2.  Necessary Assumptions:   i.e. argument REQUIRES, DEPENDS, NEEDS this assumption;  argument assumes that

- Think of this as "I'm f*cked UNLESS this is true".  This can be found by the negation technique, if u make the right answer choice FALSE, then the argument falls apart.  Look for weak answer choices (SOME, at least). 


Ex.  Arguments   :  I'm gonna either get a 180 or a 174 on the OCT lsat.
     Conclusion : I'm gonna get a 174 on the OCT LSAT

     Necessary Assumption  :  I'm gonna get AT LEAST a 160 on the lsat. (make this false, I get under 160, and the conclusion is completely false).
     Sufficent Assumption  :  I'm not going to get a 180.

hth

theo

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Re: Best way for PIRATES to study
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2005, 02:16:31 AM »
ARG.  ARG.  ARG. 

ARG, MATEY.
quid leges sine moribus vanae proficiunt?

Eli

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Re: Best way to study for ARGS
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2005, 04:16:40 PM »
The best technique for me was making sure to go through the arguments one at a time.  Specifically, do one question, refer to the answer key to see whether you got it right or wrong, and if you got it wrong, figure out why you did.  If you figure it out (which, for most questions, is very possible after a couple of reflective minutes), right down what you did wrong.  This is the best way to truly improve on the LR section because you can see not only why the answer is correct but what you were thinking when you got it wrong. 

However, If you can't figure out why you got a question wrong, circle it and ask someone for help (such as a tutor or friend).  Doing the method this way may take an hour to an hour and a half per LR section, but your speed will naturally increase from this excercise nonetheless.  It helped my Args increase from about 16 right / section to 22.5 right / secion. 

interesting -- how much time did you spend doing this?

IvanTrbl

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Re: Best way to study for ARGS
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2005, 05:52:47 PM »
about 4 months and a gazillion hours.
"I spent lots of money on birds, booze, and fast cars.  The rest I squandered." - George Best!

diamondtedious

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Re: Best way to study for ARGS
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2005, 06:29:19 PM »
An impulse coming to tell me this is the right answer, that's what I am going at right now. To get there, I need to learn the mechanics and mold myself into the LSAT thinking, and this is where the prep book kicks in. By the time of the real test, if I still going through the mechanics to answer each question, I know I will be in trouble.