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Lsat study session 1 nov. 3

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Lsat study session 1 nov. 3

  1. 1. Wednesday, November 3
  2. 2. The LSAT Test  Required by most law schools for admission  Second most important deciding factor after CGPA  Administered 3 times a year (February, June and October)  Deadline to apply for law school November 1st  5 timed sections:  3 that are scored  1 that is not scored  Writing sample section (not scored but used by some law school admissions boards)  Average score needed to get accepted 165 (80th percentile)
  3. 3. The LSAT Test  Categories of scored sections:  Logical Reasoning  Logic Puzzles  Reading Comprehension  One of the above sections will appear twice but will not be graded because it is used as an experimental section for newly developed questions
  4. 4. The LSAT Test – Myths and Tips Myths:  Reading the questions first helps  Having a law-related academic background helps Tips:  Time yourself while you practice questions  Read the information for each question in the order presented  Underline and use symbols to organize your thoughts
  5. 5. Our Focus: Logical Reasoning  Why Logical Reasoning?  What about the other sections?  What resources are useful?  The PowerScore series  The Logical Reasoning Bible  The Logic Games Bible  The Reading Comprehension Bible
  6. 6. About Logical Reasoning  What is it?  Critical thinking skills  Taking in information  Identifying exactly what is asked  Separating what is important information and what is not  Analyzing the important information using the appropriate method based on what is asked  24-26 questions, 35 minutes  Average of 1 minute 20 seconds per question  TIMING MANAGEMENT IS CRUCIAL!
  7. 7. Logical Reasoning Question Components  Presented in the following order:  Stimulus  Question  Answer Choices
  8. 8. Sample Question Muscular strength is a limited resource, and athletic techniques help to use this resource efficiently. Since top athletes do not differ greatly from each other in muscular strength, it follows that a requirement for an athlete to become a champion is a superior mastery of athletic techniques. Which one of the following most accurately expresses the conclusion of the argument? (A) Only champion athletes have a superior mastery of athletic techniques. (B) Superior muscular strength is a requirement for an athlete to become a champion. (C) No athlete can become a champion without a superior mastery of athletic techniques. (D) The differences in muscular strength between top athletes are not great. (E) Athletic techniques help athletes use limited resources efficiently.
  9. 9. Steps to answering a question Task Estimated Time1. 1. Read the stimulus , determine if there is an argument, identify the conclusion and make notations 20 seconds 2. Read the question, identify what type of question it is and recall the appropriate strategy 5 seconds 3. Read ALL of the answer choices and eliminate obvious wrong answers 20 seconds 4. Analyze the remaining answer choices while referring back to stimulus/notations 20 seconds 5. Utilize strategy to decide between potential answer choices 10 seconds
  10. 10. The Stimulus  Argument vs. Fact Set  Fact Set  A collection of statements that do not lead to any kind of conclusion  Usually does not evoke any kind of reaction from the reader  Example: “The Jacksonville area has just over one million residents. The Cincinnati area has almost two million residents. The New York area has almost twenty million residents.”
  11. 11. The Stimulus  Argument  A set of statements wherein one statement is claimed to follow from or be derived from the others.  Normally expresses an opinion using supporting statements  Supporting statements = “Premises”  Opinion = “Conclusion”  Example: “All professors are ethical. Mason is a professor. So Mason is ethical.”
  12. 12. Identifying a Conclusion  A statement or judgment that follows from one or more reasons.  What is the author driving at?  What does the author want me to believe?  What point follows from the others?
  13. 13. Identifying Premises  A fact, proposition, or statement from which a conclusion can be made.  What reasons has the author used to persuade me?  Why should I believe this statement?  What evidence exists?
  14. 14. Indicator Words Premise Indicators Conclusion Indicators because thus since therefore for hence for example consequently for the reason that as a result in that so given that accordingly as indicated by clearly due to must be that owing to shows that this can be seen from conclude that we know this by follows that for this reason
  15. 15. Simple Argument vs. Complex Arugment  A simple argument has one conclusion supported by one more more premises.  A complex argument has one MAIN conclusion and one or more subconclusions that are supported by premises, and that support the main conclusion. P1 + P2 + P3 P4+P5+P6 SC1 + SC2 + P7 MC
  16. 16. Strong vs. Weak Argument  Do the premises necessarily lead to the conclusion?  Always take the premises as true.  You are not trying to determine the TRUTH of the argument, you are trying to determine VALIDITY.  Validity = The conclusion makes sense given the facts stated.
  17. 17. Ex: Weak Argument The Jacksonville area has just over one million residents. The Cincinnati area has almost two million residents. The New York area has almost twenty million residents. We should move to Jacksonville.  Why is this a weak argument?
  18. 18. Ex: Strong Argument  The Jacksonville area has just over one million residents. The Cincinnati area has almost two million residents. The New York area has almost twenty million residents. Highly populated areas often have a high crime rate. We should move to Jacksonville.
  19. 19. Compare that to…  The Jacksonville area has just over one million residents. The Cincinnati area has almost two million residents. The New York area has almost twenty million residents. People who live in highly populated areas often smell bad. We should move to Jacksonville.  What is the point I’m trying to make?
  20. 20. Read the fine print!  Be weary of quantity, frequency and probability indicators. Know exactly what the author said! Quantity Frequency Probability All never must Every often will most sometimes probably many hardly likely several occasionally would few frequently Not necessarily sole rarely could
  21. 21. Scope of the argument  Understand the scope of the argument in order to eliminate answer choices are outside of the scope  Scope = The range to which the premises and conclusion encompass certain ideas.  If an argument is discussing a surgical procedure or technique, then the ideas of surgery and medicine are within the scope. But any ideas pertaining to federal monetary policy relating to healthcare is not.
  22. 22. Notating the Stimulus  Things to notate/mark:  The Main Conclusion of an argument  Quantity, frequency and probability indicator words  To notate the conclusion, use brackets [ ]  To notate Q, F and P indicators, underline
  23. 23. Exercise 1  Identify the conclusion and determine if the argument is strong or weak.  Some teachers claim that students would not learn curricular content without the incentive of grades. But students with intense interest in the material would learn it without this incentive, while the behaviour of students lacking all interest in the material is unaffected by such an incentive. The incentive of grades, therefore, serves no essential academic purpose.
  24. 24. Exercise 1 Answer  Some teachers claim that students would not learn curricular content without the incentive of grades. But students with intense interest in the material would learn it without this incentive, while the behaviour of students lacking all interest in the material is unaffected by such an incentive. [The incentive of grades, therefore, serves no essential academic purpose.]
  25. 25. Exercise 2  Identify the conclusion and determine if the argument is strong or weak.  While it was once believed that the sort of psychotherapy appropriate for treatment of neuroses caused by environmental factors is also appropriate for schizophrenia and other psychoses, it is now known that these latter , more serious forms of mental disturbance are best treated by biochemical – that is, medicinal – means. This is conclusive evidence that psychoses, unlike neuroses, have nothing to do with environmental factors but rather are caused by some sort of purely organic condition, such as abnormal brain chemistry or brain malformations.
  26. 26. Exercise 2 Answer  While it was once believed that the sort of psychotherapy appropriate for treatment of neuroses caused by environmental factors is also appropriate for schizophrenia and other psychoses, it is now known that these latter , more serious forms of mental disturbance are best treated by biochemical – that is, medicinal – means. This is conclusive evidence that [psychoses, unlike neuroses, have nothing to do with environmental factors but rather are caused by some sort of purely organic condition], such as abnormal brain chemistry or brain malformations.
  27. 27. Exercise 3 (TIMED: 45 seconds)  Identify the conclusion and determine if the argument is strong or weak.  If relativity theory is correct, no object can travel forward in time at a speed greater than the speed of light. Yet quantum mechanics predicts that the tachyon, a hypothetical subatomic particle, travels faster than light. Thus, if relativity theory is correct, either quantum mechanics’ prediction about tachyons is erroneous or tachyons travel backwards in time.
  28. 28. Exercise 3 Answer  If relativity theory is correct, no object can travel forward in time at a speed greater than the speed of light. Yet quantum mechanics predicts that the tachyon, a hypothetical subatomic particle, travels faster than light. Thus, if relativity theory is correct, [either quantum mechanics’ prediction about tachyons is erroneous or tachyons travel backwards in time.]
  29. 29. Why determine strong vs. weak?  This is the essence of critical thinking and logical reasoning. Most logical reasoning questions that are asked will require you to make this kind of analysis.  Buy LSAT Prep Tests and practice, practice, practice!  Don’t forget to time yourself!
  30. 30. Next Session:  The Question Stem  The 4 question family groups  The 13 question types  Must Be True Questions  Main Point Questions  Conditional Reasoning  Weaken Questions

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