Episode 68: All You Need is Reason. And Money. And Wasabi Potato Chips.

Ben jumps right into Episode 68 by introducing listeners to LSAT India and their catchy tagline, “All you need is reason.” Nathan wants to check out this version of the 2009 test  but reminds us that here in America, the LSAT motto is more like “All you need is money.”  (1:28)

We discuss a study that looks at the impact of texting and email on human IQ. Spoiler alert: it’s bad. Constant texting/emailing decreases the user’s IQ by an average of 10 points, definitely a problem when you are preparing for the LSAT. Get tips from the guys on how to disconnect and use those extra brain cells to raise your test score. (19:50)

Ben has an issue with the Powerscore Logical Reasoning Bible’s explanation of the Correlation-Causation flaw. Nathan agrees that properly understanding this flaw is paramount to LSAT success, so we discuss it in detail to clarify. (25:51)

A letter from listener Wasabi Potato Chips* asks for advice on how much to prep before attempting her third LSAT. Hear the guys’ response to WPC and their thoughts on the third attempt in general. (43:15) *not her real name…but hopefully a real flavor of potato chip

Finally, we work through another Reading Comprehension passage from the June 2007 test. This time we explain Passage 2 from Section 4, a comparative reading type of question. Download the test yourself and play along as we go. (1:02:00)

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Take a listen and let us know what you think.

2 Comments


  1. Hey!

    I know you usually don’t like talking about how to increase speed because most people’s issue is accuracy, not speed.

    However, I have a 3.96 GPA and am scoring between 168 and 171 on practice tests, after improving from a 156 on my first practice test two months ago, missing 1-4 in each logical reasoning section, 3-4 in reading comprehension and 0 in games. This is only when I don’t put a time limit on the games, however. I rarely ever miss any questions in the games, but just take too long. I use the diagramming system taught in PowerScore and, while it makes a difference in the ease of answering questions, takes too long to construct.

    Do you have any tips other than keep playing games? Just that little bit could prove the difference between a school inside and outside the T14, and, if I can increase my score in the other areas over the next month, potentially put me in Harvard territory. Hopefully, I can hear back before the September LSAT!

    Thanks,
    Benjamin

    Reply

    1. Hi Benjamin,

      It’s hard to say for sure without seeing you do a game, but most folks who can ace the games — but not in time — are making one (or more) of these mistakes:

      1. They’re rushing through the setup. They write down all the rules, but don’t take the time to think about how the rules interact. Which variables are the most constrained? And can you make “worlds” or “templates” on the basis of them? Even if you can’t, thinking through the extremes (T can be as early as 4 or as late as 7, for example) can help you get your mind wrapped around the game in a way that makes the questions go much faster.

      2. They’re rushing through if-questions. They write down the new condition, make one or two easy inferences, but then dive into the answers prematurely. Granted, you don’t want to try to make inferences forever. That, too, is slow. But sometimes one more inference can make the difference between choosing the right answer at first glance and testing out two or three answers until you find the correct one.

      3. Along those lines, it often helps to list out the unused variables below your “mini-diagram” (the diagram you create for an if-question). So, for example, if I’m doing a simple ordering game, and I fill out four of my seven slots, then I have three slots left. I will often list out the three remaining variables. This list does two things: (1) it sometimes helps me make another inference; and (2) even if it doesn’t help me make any more inferences, it helps me test answers in my head without drawing anything else because I can more easily see the three variables moving around in the empty slots. And I don’t just use this technique for ordering games. I use it whenever I have two to four open slots.

      4. They don’t take advantage of previous diagrams. After I do the first question, which is almost always super easy, I do all the if-questions. To answer those questions, you often have to create valid scenarios that can then be used to choose the correct answer (or eliminate the wrong answers) in “global” or “which” questions.

      5. They list out all the variables that can’t be first, second, third, etc. The PowerScore LG Bible loves pushing this method, from what I recall. It’s a waste of time, in my opinion, and can actually slow you down beyond just the time it takes you to write them out. I want my diagram to be as clean and concise as possible. The more stuff I add to it, the more crowded it gets, effectively making it harder to find all the rules I need. To be sure, I want to write down inferences and any other cool insights. But you have to balance all those inferences with clarity. And those “not rules” add a ton of clutter without much benefit. Let’s say I list out my ordering rules right below my diagram like this:

      F – P – G – N

      I don’t know about you, but if that’s right below my diagram, I’m never going to put N first. It just seems obvious that N could never be in the first three slots. So that can save time.

      There are more, but maybe these will give you some ideas to play around with.

      Good luck!
      Ben

      Reply

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