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 Dave Killoran
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#72021
mommycanrun wrote:Wow! So much has changed since a month ago.

I got 50% extra time. My accommodations were approved! I will have 53 minutes to complete each section. This is a game changer (pun intended. :-D ;) )

I took a few weeks off and came back to take a practice test. My score improved by 7 points. I'm still not where I want to be, but I will take it!

I am taking the LSAT WITHOUT accommodations on November 25th. I didn't get the approval in time for this round.

I will be taking the LSAT WITH accommodations on January 12th. I will have 2 months to study for January, but am prepared to study until summer for 2021. I want to put together a plan---tutoring, study plan, whatever.

I am currently sitting at a 157. My goal is a 172. I may not be applying for 2020. What do you recommend?
Hey, that's great news, congratulations! This one is easy: I'd recommend skipping November and focusing on January. Why take a test in November that won't be fair to you?

Any plan should be built around the principles in this article: https://blog.powerscore.com/lsat/retaki ... your-score. That provides guidelines for how to shape any study approach (which I know you've seen but it's still key).

Thanks!
 mommycanrun
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#72647
I just received my score without accommodations. I have a lot of work to do, but I am in need of some direction. I need to find someone to help me study. I'm signed up for the January 12th with accommodations. I'm going to give it hell, but I am 10 points from where I want to be on my practice tests.

What should I do? Tutoring? How many hours do you think I need? I'm probably looking at waiting until summer to take the third test but I need to do whatever I can to nail it.
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 Dave Killoran
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#72699
Hello!

I think we knew that this past test wouldn't show your ability all that well, so to be only 10 points away with an accommodations take coming up is actually a good sign, not a bad one :-D

Given the timeframe here, I'd go with 5 or 10 hours. That would be enough to shape your prep without being something you do every day! The question then becomes one of style of the tutor—do you want energetic, relaxed, demanding, supportive, etc. That all depends on what works best for you!

Thanks!
 Imcuffy
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#79045
I am looking for recommendation to something I find myself struggling with. With the LR section, I can see clearly a conclusion and the premises for the most part. I understand that much of the work that will be done has to do with the conclusion, whether I'm strengthening it, weakening it, or justifying the assumption, etc.

However, it seems that I am having a problem identifying that gap or that assumption. Because this seems hard at times, It is leads to having difficulty prephrasing answers, and further difficult either strengthening, weakening, etc.

What do you think I can do? I often see how a premise can lead to the conclusion but I miss the assumption that is made. Right now I am working through justify the assumption and seem to really not get it. I've tried the mechanistic method recommended but it seems that it doesn't always work. I also tried to diagram things in a conditional relationship but sometimes that can be a tad tricky. However, I can grasp that for the most part. I guess the thing is, even if I diagram, I seem to still miss the assumption or the gap which make it very difficult to choose the correct answer.
 Rachael Wilkenfeld
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#79060
Hi Cuffy

Learning to find that gap in arguments takes work! Some of it will boil down to mindset. It sounds like you are reading the stimulus and trusting the author. Try reading it as if it was your worst enemy giving you that argument. It might make it easier to see those holes. Be tough on the conclusion. Make sure you see how the author supports each part of it (or not). Think about what is missing before you even get to the answer choices.

In order to get stronger at this skill, you need to practice it. Slowly. Try going through an LR section or a mix of problems giving yourself as much time as you need to fully analyze each argument. Look at it from every angle, and find where you see any gaps. Look for new words or ideas in the conclusion--that's often a great place to start. And most importantly, take all the time you need. It doesn't matter if a single question takes you 20 minutes. Your goal for this process isn't timing yet, it's understanding and accuracy. Once you get stronger at finding the gap in an argument, you'll be able to speed up for the timed section.

Let's think about a real world example of finding the gap. Do you remember the broom challenge on social media last year? If you don't, Google #broomchallenge for some pictures. People were taking pictures of their brooms standing straight up. The conclusion they suggested drawing was that there was something unusual about gravity on that day only! Here's the basic structure of the theory:

Premise: My broom can stand up!
Conclusion: There must be something special about gravity today.

There are all sorts of assumptions in there, but the biggest is that brooms can't typically stand like that. Normally, we would never try to stand our brooms up in the middle of the floor, so we have no reason to think they couldn't do so on other days. The gap here goes from seeing a phenomenon to jumping to the idea that it indicates something unusual about the laws of physics.

So focus in on that conclusion in your stimulus. What isn't supported? What else would you need to know? And what is the author trying to get you to assume?

Hope that helps!
Rachael
 Imcuffy
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#79157
Rachael Wilkenfeld wrote:Hi Cuffy

Learning to find that gap in arguments takes work! Some of it will boil down to mindset. It sounds like you are reading the stimulus and trusting the author. Try reading it as if it was your worst enemy giving you that argument. It might make it easier to see those holes. Be tough on the conclusion. Make sure you see how the author supports each part of it (or not). Think about what is missing before you even get to the answer choices.

In order to get stronger at this skill, you need to practice it. Slowly. Try going through an LR section or a mix of problems giving yourself as much time as you need to fully analyze each argument. Look at it from every angle, and find where you see any gaps. Look for new words or ideas in the conclusion--that's often a great place to start. And most importantly, take all the time you need. It doesn't matter if a single question takes you 20 minutes. Your goal for this process isn't timing yet, it's understanding and accuracy. Once you get stronger at finding the gap in an argument, you'll be able to speed up for the timed section.

Let's think about a real world example of finding the gap. Do you remember the broom challenge on social media last year? If you don't, Google #broomchallenge for some pictures. People were taking pictures of their brooms standing straight up. The conclusion they suggested drawing was that there was something unusual about gravity on that day only! Here's the basic structure of the theory:

Premise: My broom can stand up!
Conclusion: There must be something special about gravity today.

There are all sorts of assumptions in there, but the biggest is that brooms can't typically stand like that. Normally, we would never try to stand our brooms up in the middle of the floor, so we have no reason to think they couldn't do so on other days. The gap here goes from seeing a phenomenon to jumping to the idea that it indicates something unusual about the laws of physics.

So focus in on that conclusion in your stimulus. What isn't supported? What else would you need to know? And what is the author trying to get you to assume?

Hope that helps!
Rachael
Thanks Rachael for all of the tips. I do remember the broom challenge as well. I think for me, it is a mix of not fully understanding the stimulus which than leads to not fully seeing the gap. Perhaps it is the way the authors write it indiscreetly. To add to that, I think I was trying to rush through to meet the 1.25 per question or as close as possible. Often times I was not because again, if I did not fully understand what I was reading, making a prephrase would than take more time and further, reading tricky answers only adds to that.

So as a plan of action, I will not worry about time for the moment. I will read to fully understand and than look for a gap in the stimulus. Once I get good at that and feel confident, I will work on speed.

Are there any other recommendations that you think would help? I was searching through Youtube to find videos that help with pre-thinking an assumption. Do you think that is a good idea?
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 KelseyWoods
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#79193
Hi Cuffy!

Here are some resources you might want to check out for more work on identifying sufficient and necessary assumptions:

Blog Post: Understanding LSAT Justify the Conclusion/Sufficient Assumption Questions
https://blog.powerscore.com/lsat/unders ... questions/

Podcast: Justify the Conclusion/Sufficient Assumption Questions
https://blog.powerscore.com/lsat/lsat-p ... questions/

Podcast: Necessary Assumption Questions
https://blog.powerscore.com/lsat/lsat-p ... questions/

Both Justify/Sufficient Assumption and Necessary Assumption Questions require you to really focus on identifying gaps in arguments, which as you've mentioned is an important skill for a variety of question types. So starting off by really focusing on these question types and developing that skill further will be useful.

Again, go slow. The only way to build speed is to build your understanding. It takes time to fully implement these concepts. So train yourself to go slow and really pick apart everything that is stated in an argument, then start thinking about what wasn't stated.

Hope this helps!

Best,
Kelsey

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