Articles tagged "LSAT Study Tips"

LSAT Logical Reasoning: Links vs. Objections

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blog-linksLogical Reasoning is a multi-faceted LSAT section with many, many different things going on.

Logical Reasoning is also a highly repetitive section with very few things going on.

Dickens I’m not.

What do I mean by this apparent contradiction? Read more

#MovieFailMondays: The Force Awakens (or, How Movies Can Teach You About Logical Fallacies and Help You Ace the LSAT)

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blog-episodeviiEach week, we analyze a movie that illustrates a logical fallacy you’ll find on the LSAT. Who said Netflix can’t help you study? 🎥📖

Spoilers, there will be. Forewarned, you have been.

Read more

#MovieFailMondays: Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (or, How Movies Can Teach You About Logical Fallacies and Help You Ace the LSAT)

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Blog-ANewHopeEach week, we analyze a movie that illustrates a logical fallacy you’ll find on the LSAT. Who said Netflix can’t help you study? 🎥📖

I grew up in the suburbs of Jersey. My mom – one of the PTA regulars – always helped run our school’s Fun Fair – an afternoon of silly games that awarded tickets you could redeem for prizes. It was a fundraiser for the school, and my friends and I all anxiously awaited it. Me more than them, as my mom’s position afforded me the chance to see all the cool toys we could win ahead of time.

When I was eight or nine, I got really sick a few days before the Fun Fair. It was one of those early disappointments in life that will always stick with you – nothing too big, but big enough to a young Matt that I was in a bad mood. Read more

LSAT Lessons from an Ancient Windsurfer

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Blog-Windsurfer-BannerIf you go on one of those windsurfing web sites where the seasoned pros give advice to newbies, you see a lot of conversations like this:

Newbie: “I want to learn how to windsurf. I found someone selling a Ten Cate Sprinter windsurfer for $100. Is this a good board for a beginner?”

Pro: “No! That thing is over 30 years old. It will be too hard to learn anything with a board like that.”

So, there I was a few weeks ago, a total beginner who had never windsurfed before, paddling out into the Chesapeake Bay on an old Ten Cate Sprinter windsurfer. Why? Read more

4 LSAT Study Myths, Busted

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lsat-study-myths-busted1. MYTH: You should just keep taking practice tests until you’ve taken them all.

Please don’t do this. As we repeat again and again over here at Manhattan LSAT, preparation for this test is all about quality over quantity. If you just plow through tests without taking time to learn the proper strategies, to apply them, and then to evaluate your work with close and careful review using all of the study tools at your disposal (free explanations of questions by our 99th percentile teachers on the forum, in-class review sessions, and instructor office hours, among others), you will not be maximizing your study time, and your score will likely not improve as much as it could.

2. MYTH: You can’t improve at reading comp.

You can. It’s just slower than, say, improving at logic games, because you essentially have to learn how to read for the LSAT. Reading comp on the LSAT requires several skills that can feel and seem diametrically opposed: You have to be efficient but also thorough; you have to understand what you’re reading but not get bogged down by the details you don’t understand; you have to be sufficiently well-versed in the subject matter to be able to answer 5-7 questions on it but don’t need to try to become an expert on what you don’t need to become an expert on.

The solution here is going to be to take advantage of learning opportunities but also, to allow yourself enough time to improve on reading comp if you really need to. A month is generally speaking not enough.

3. MYTH: If you get a 180 on the LSAT, the school will just let you in regardless of what the rest of your application looks like.

You may have heard the legend of the guy who got a 180 and just drew a smiley face on the essay portion of his exam, then got into Harvard. If you haven’t, there’s a legend about a guy who got a 180 and just drew a smiley face on the essay portion of his exam, then got into Harvard.

I highly doubt this is true. But either way, I am going to say something frank and perhaps harsh, but listen up: If you actually want to use this as a guideline in approaching your own LSAT and application and major life decisions, please, by all means, do. Because the world doesn’t need any more dumb lawyers, and this will help weed them out.

Schools read your applications. They may or may not read your LSAT essay—but just in case, write one. And write it well (or, as best you can after sitting for four hours).

4. MYTH: You can rig your chances of scoring higher by which test you choose to take—February, June, October or December.

Nope. They’re all the same folks, at least for your purposes. Can’t plot this one, so don’t waste any more time thinking about it. Go do a logic game.

Studying for the LSAT? Manhattan Prep offers a free LSAT practice exam, and free Manhattan LSAT preview classes running all the time near you, or online. Be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, LinkedIn, and follow us on Twitter!

3 Musts to Read/Watch Before Saturday’s Test

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LSAT-february-datesLSAT countdown week! When it comes to final tips, we’ve got you covered. Here are a couple of posts to check out before you freak out.

1. LSAT Cheat Sheet. Wish you could take a cheat sheet into the exam? Of course you do. But since you can’t, do the next best thing: make one anyway, then review it before. More here.
2. Final Dos and Don’ts. It’s not too late to make smart decisions on how to spend your last 48 hours. Here are some ideas.
 
3. Think about the end goal. Once upon a time, this guy took the LSAT. Fast forward to last week. His 2-minute video aired during Super Bowl halftime in Georgia and is being called the “most insane Super Bowl commercial ever made.” Dream big, guys. You could be next.

Advanced Negation Techniques: Part II of III, A Do and a Don’t for Extreme Statements

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lsat-blog-postI LOVE Beyoncé. I want to sing like her and be like her, and last month I was supposed to fly to Dallas just to go to her concert with my sister. But instead, my flight was canceled and I was stranded in Queens watching You Tube clips while my sister and brother-in-law tried repeatedly to Facetime me from the rafters of the enormous theater. My self-pity video marathon included “All the Single Ladies,” and later, when I was thinking about this series and how best to describe negation technique, I thought of the song. While putting a ring on it is what Beyoncé wants for all you single ladies, what I want for you is this: When you’re facing an extreme statement (“all” “none” “best” “worst”)—not unlike my adoration for Queen B, herself—what I want you to do is put a hole in it. 

For a quick refresher, we’re discussing how to “negate” an answer choice to a necessary assumption question on the logical reasoning section of the LSAT. You do this in order to test it. If negating the answer choice makes the argument fall apart, it is necessary. (If negating the answer choice doesn’t destroy the argument, or if you can’t tell what it does, look for a better answer.) Last week I wrote my first post of three on negation techniques. Today, we keep going.

What do I mean by “put a hole in it?”

If the answer choice reads, “All birds fly,” you negate it by poking a hole in it: not all birds fly. Or some birds don’t fly. Same thing. Either way, notice what we’re doing. If the statement were a big hot air balloon, we’d be pin-pricking it. We aren’t, in other words, trying to melt it down then mold it into something else completely: “No birds fly.” That’s not negation. That brings me to the DON’T of this post, what my friend calls roofing it.

Roofing a joke is when people are discussing a subject and someone takes it too far. A classic example is when someone calls you Hitler when you express your view that a local park needs a thorough mowing. Or when everyone is discussing how annoying skunks are, and someone suggests we just blow up all the skunks.

When it comes to extreme answer choices to necessary assumption questions, don’t negate the sweeping statement with an opposing sweeping statement—don’t roof it.

Suppose (A) reads, “Dr. Seuss is the best children’s author ever.” You could negate this by saying, “There was another children’s author who was as good as Dr. Seuss.” You wouldn’t say, “Dr. Seuss was the worst children’s author ever to walk on earth.” That would be roofing it.

Say (B) reads, “Dr. Seuss wrote faster than any other writer in history.” Negate it: He didn’t. Or, someone wrote faster than him. Yes, and yes. Roofing it: He wrote as slow as your granny backing out of her driveway. Too far.

In sum, when it comes to extreme statements in answer choices, poke it, don’t roof it.

Next week we’ll be discussing my rule for negating mild statements, courtesy of Destiny’s Child.

Read Advanced Negation Techniques: Part I of III.

The Role of the Goal: Part I of II

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Goals are important when it comes to LSAT preparation. First we’ve got to make them, then we’ve got to stick with them.

This week and next, I’ll be talking about these two processes.

10 (3) Goals You Should Set, No Matter Who You Are

LSAT cellphone

1. Put your phone away. You can’t resist checking to see who texted. You just have to send that one email. You only need to map the tapas restaurant now so you will know what train to take there after you finish doing this practice test. Or would be doing, if you didn’t keep checking your phone.

Trying to study the LSAT with your Droid or Blackberry buzzing (or silently existing) next to you like trying to do yoga alongside a tiny man whispering, “Don’t clear your mind!” (I’m not sure why he has to be tiny, but he does.) Leave the phone in the other room–or just across the room–and you will practice better, which means you’ll score better. Are you really going to let your cell phone be the reason you end up at a lower ranked school? Harsh, but true. Read more