LSAT Kung Fu Blog / LSAT Kung Fu Blog
LSAT Kung Fu Blog
So, you want to do logic games more efficiently? You’ve come to the right place, kid. Let’s kick off that LSAT prep of yours with some sweet, sweet tips on how to be faster at Games:
You may have read that Harvard Law School is going to start accepting the GRE for admission. WHAT. THE. HOLY. EFF?
It’s true! But what does it mean? And more importantly, what does this mean for you?
Well, this isn’t the first time Harvard has done something like this. In 2009, their business school started accepting GRE scores as well as GMAT scores. Now? Just about everybody does!
So I think it’s fairly likely that within 5 years a majority of law schools will begin accepting GRE scores as well as LSAT scores.
As you get started with your LSAT prep (or somewhere in the middle of LSAT prep, or even if you’re already well into your LSAT prep. OK, let’s just say that at any point in your LSAT prep), one of the key things you’ll need to figure out is how to find the Main Point of a Reading Comp passage.
Well, that’s where this post comes in! I’ve been thinking about it, and I’ve decided to write a few words on identifying the main point of passages, and you are now reading those words. IT’S AN EXCITING TIME TO BE ALIVE.
Here’s one thing for you to do; every single time you read a passage, pretend that you have a friend sitting next to you. We’ll call that friend Francisco.
When you finish reading, turn to Francisco and say, “Francisco, I’ve just read a passage about [topic X].”
The words you put into those brackets are the main point of the passage.
See? The answer was in you all along! You’re just like the Karate Kid, but with less cultural appropriation.
Let’s do an example (using passage two from PrepTest 76, because that is where I opened my book while looking for an example to use).
Inference Questions are probably, as a class, my favorite type of Logical Reasoning questions. They're awesome. And if you want a strategy for dealing with Logical Reasoning questions on the LSAT, you could do a lot worse than starting with how Inference Questions work.
They underpin a lot of what we talk about when we talk about LSAT LR as a whole—the ideas of proof, and of Load-Bearing Language (a term I use to denote language that is big and aggressive enough to bear the burden of proof), and conditional reasoning, and language cues from answer choices. Inference Questions are the whole package, is what I’m saying (except for flaws. They don’t have flaws, usually, which is also in my estimation greatly to their credit).
Let’s pause there for a second; they don’t have flaws. This is because most Inference Questions are asked about passages that aren’t even arguments at all. They’re often just dumps of information.
Take question 17 from the second LR section in PrepTest 80—the December 2016 LSAT—for example.
So I was thinking about the problem of evil. And by this I do not mean the problematic fact that evil is sometimes done to people and/or animals and/or the only habitable planet in our solar system, nor am I referring to the problems caused to me personally by evil, such as being mugged, having my stereo stolen from my car, or having to wait in a very long line.
(And what's happening here is that I hope you come for the free LSAT prep and stay for the tangential meanderings, or vice versa. Either way, we're talking about getting ready for LSAT test day and we're talking about how LSAT flaws relate to you).
So, what I’m talking about here is the problem that the existence of evil poses to the theoretical underpinning for the existence of God; at least for the Western conception of him/her.
And I noticed a striking similarity between this problem of evil and the lack of any authoritative studies on the effects upon LSAT score of being, like, totally out of your mind on the "Cha Cha Salsa" (or the “diggity dank,” or the “Jamaican red hair,” or “the oregano,” if you will), while taking the test.
So, if you’ve been following this space, you have some idea of how to get ready for the LSAT. And if you’ve been savvy and good-looking enough to have enrolled in the Velocity LSAT course, then you are a world-beating monster when it comes to being ready for the LSAT.
But maybe you’re not quite, completely certain that you’re 100% ready for the day of the test, with all its stresses and joys.*
Well, my dahling, that’s why we’ve gathered here today.
Let’s do this:
There are 3 things you have to have in order to take the test
(Take Test →Have These Things
Don’t Have These Things → Can’t Take Test)
Here’s what they are:
1. Your admission ticket. But only the first page! Do not play yourself by bringing pages 2-5 along with you. You’ll have only yourself to blame if you do. You will print up your admission ticket at LSAC.org, and you should NOT print it until the day before the exam—sometimes, they make last-minute changes, and you want to be certain you’re on top of those changes.
I don’t use this space for political opinions. I almost never use it for personal sharing (other than how I feel about flaw types on the LSAT, obvs).
But Trump poses an existential threat to our democracy. His numerous and repeated menacing statements on the press, on Muslims, on Mexicans, on women (on pretty much everyone, right?) constitute forthright declarations of war against the American experiment. So this is different. This is worth talking about, and just because I happen to own a business doesn't mean I can abdicate my duties as a thinking, moral being.
Plus, he’s just an asshole. I mean, he mocked a disabled man for his disability. Who does that?
So I think we should fight him. America is our home. He came into our home and he threatened us.
And also, America is an idea. More than maybe anyplace else, America is supposed to mean something specific about welcome, about seeing our common humanity, about reserving a place at the table for everybody. It’s supposed to be for all of us, and I think we should use every tool at our disposal to ensure that this beautiful, fragile idea that is our country survives the next four years.
On the LSAT, you can expect about 4 or 5 questions of the type I lovingly refer to as Sufficient Assumption Questions (2 or 3 of them in each Logical Reasoning section).
These questions are phrased in one of the following ways:
- Which one of the following principles, if valid, most helps to justify the reasoning above?
- Which one of the following, if assumed, allows the conclusion to be properly drawn?
- The conclusion above follows logically if which of the following is assumed?
Each version is demanding the same main task—that you provide an answer that would be big enough, strong enough, tough enough, aggressive enough, and, you know, enough enough to prove that the main conclusion of the argument is true. These mofos are asking for something that suffices for proof.
So you’re looking for something major, here.
Take for example question 21 from Section 1 in PrepTest 33. This is a Sufficient Assumption question (see the same wording as bullet point #1 up there? Oh, yeah). We can talk another time about the denotative vs. expected demand of this phrasing another time, after we’ve slipped into something more comfortable, probably.
Well, this is how I got my perfect LSAT score (s! Three of them. But who’s counting?*). It will provide you a framework for understanding how a person can get a great LSAT score, and will tell you with some specificity what you should do to earn your own perfect (or maybe just really, really good) score on the test.
LET’S DO THIS.
This morning, we’ll undertake an investigation into one of the most problematic issues facing America; one of the thorniest problems of our time - should I, uh, cancel my LSAT score?
To answer this murky, subjective, psychologically- and emotionally-charged question, we’ll make use of reason, thoughtfulness, and math. Sounds delicious.
OK; to begin with, before we can even start to think about whether or not to cancel our score, we have to set some ground rules - when should a person cancel her LSAT score? I mean, the answer is sort of like “When she didn’t do as well as she could’ve,” right? Right, but let’s firm that up a bit.
First, let’s establish our real baseline number. When I talk about this baseline goal, I’m not talking about the score that would make you ecstatic. I’m talking about the actual, real score that you could in fact go on with. It may help to think of it like this:
Imagine I’m Timothy Theophilis Tester (my parents hated me) and I’ve been scoring 166-167 on my most recent practice tests. My test-day goal is therefore 167-168. I want to do my absolute best. I know what I’m capable of, and I want to meet that, or maybe just exceed it.