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					                     LSAT Training Manual

On test day: “Now remember, when things look bad and it
looks like you're not gonna make it, then you gotta get
mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean. 'Cause if you lose
your head and you give up then you neither live nor win.
That's just the way it is.”
          Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood), The Outlaw Josey Wales

The LSAT might seem like Superman, but you’re Batman: “I
want you to remember this, Clark…in all the years to
come…in your most private moments…I want you to
remember my hand…at your throat…I want you to
remember…the one person who beat you.”
                55-year-old Bruce Wayne (Batman) to Clark Kent (Superman)
                The Dark Knight Returns

How the LSAT feels about you, your work, your family, your
life, etc: “Business bad? F**k you, pay me. Oh, you had a
fire? F**k you, pay me. Place got hit by lightning huh?
F**k you, pay me."
                Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), Goodfellas


Failure to adhere to the following rules ALWAYS results in a
disappointing score.

Rule 1: This manual must be memorized and mastered.

Rule 2: Focus on your strengths as much as your weaknesses.

Rule 3: Required homework is always the same: review and
master tutored material before doing anything else.

Rule 4: Cancellation of a tutoring session within 48 hours
means that I reserve the right to return the favor.
How to identify conclusion (main point) & evidence (assumed to be true).
1) Look for keywords
        a. Conclusion: thus, therefore, hence, so, clearly, suggests, “as a result”, “for this
           reason”, “this is why”
                  These words do not necessarily indicate the conclusion.
        b. Evidence: because, since, for, to, due to, in order to, to, after all
                  These words always indicate evidence; always circle them.
        c. Contrast: but, yet, however, although, while
                  These words indicate either a shift in evidence or the author’s
                  conclusion; always circle them.
 2) Use the why test
        Identify what you believe to be the conclusion. Ask “why?” Information in the
        stimulus must provide an answer to this “why”.
                “The conclusion is true. Why? Because of the evidence.”
* 3 types of conclusion: the author’s, someone else’s, intermediate
* 4 types of evidence: the “why”, unique, counter, and contextual
        Unique evidence: Elements of “why” evidence not discussed in any conclusions.
                * Always found within the “why” evidence
* Given a dialogue, identify at least one conclusion. If only one conclusion is apparent,
   the other speaker will most often disagree with that conclusion.

Tone: always exaggerate extreme or mild language.
Extreme: each, any, all, always, will, must, most important, only, exactly, same,
independent, primary, never, no, cannot
Strong (51%): most, tend, probably, commonly, generally, little, “only a few”
Neutral: often, many
Mild: some, possible, may, “no guarantee”, “not all” “at least a few”
       *some = magic LSAT word = “at least one”
       * “some/sometimes” in an answer: almost always wrong for weaken and
         strengthen, very often correct for inference and necessary assumption.
* Classic answer type: A comparison.
       A comparison is deceptive and often irrelevant.
               Ex: “Alex is smarter than Greg.” This does not mean that Alex is smart
               because Greg might be a dumb-ass. In addition, how much smarter is
               Alex than Greg? .001%? 200%?
Logical reasoning: 4-step method
1) Identify the question type
        * EXCEPT questions: focus on eliminating wrong answers.
2) Read the stimulus appropriately, taking note of any keywords or “tone” words.
        * Identify conclusion & evidence for all questions, except for inference & resolve.
3) Use the why test for all questions except for inference & resolve (predict an answer).
4) Evaluate the answer choices appropriately.

General rules for evaluating answer choices
1. If the correctness of an answer is not readily apparent, give it a “maybe” and move on.
2. Be willing to eliminate 4 answers that are definitely wrong.
3. Be willing to select a single answer without knowing why the others are wrong.
4. Never eliminate those answers you do not understand.
5. Only eliminate those answers that you could easily explain as to why they are wrong.
6. When choosing between answers: focus on the clearest/easiest answer and decide
   whether it’s definitely right or definitely wrong.
7. Evidence is always true; it can’t be flawed, weakened, or disagreed with. Evidence
   can, however, be shown to be irrelevant.
8. Tone tone tone tone tone

Weaken: the correct answer will weaken the conclusion, most often by discussing
unique evidence and using strong language.
1) “weaken” “undermines” “casts the most doubt”
2) Identify conclusion & evidence
3) Use the why test to focus on unique evidence.
4) Scan answers looking for unique evidence.
   Ask: does this answer weaken the conclusion or make the evidence irrelevant?
   Does it use neutral, strong, or extreme language?
* Mild language is OK if the conclusion is extreme.
* “some” or “sometimes” in an answer is almost always wrong.
* The correct answer can discuss “outside” evidence.
* When unique evidence is no help, focus on weakening the conclusion.
* Weaken EXCEPT: focus on conclusion (unique elements less important).

Strengthen: the correct answer will strengthen the conclusion, most often by
discussing unique evidence & unique conclusion and using strong language.
1) “strengthens” “answer supports stimulus” “justifies”
2) Identify conclusion & evidence
3) Use the why test to focus on unique evidence & unique conclusion.
4) Scan answers looking for unique evidence & unique conclusion.
   Ask: does this answer strengthen the conclusion or make the evidence more relevant?
   Does it use neutral, strong, or extreme language?
* “some” or “sometimes” in an answer is almost always wrong.
* The correct answer can discuss “outside” evidence.
* When unique evidence is no help, focus on strengthening the conclusion.
* Strengthen EXCEPT: focus on conclusion (unique elements less important).
Unique Evidence & Unique Conclusion
1. Unique evidence (UE): elements of “why” evidence not discussed in any conclusions.
       UE can be discussed twice unless another element of E is discussed only once.
              Element discussed only once = UE.
       Elements discussed in “non-why” evidence do NOT count against UE.
2. Unique conclusion (UC): elements of conclusion not repeated in “why” evidence.
       UC may be repeated elsewhere (in other conclusions or irrelevant elements).
       UC may not exist.
* Finding UE and UC in retrospect (i.e. after going to answers) is acceptable (not ideal).
* Demonstrative Pronouns (“such”, “this”, “these”): often repeat elements of C & E.
* Weaken/Flaw: UE more important than UC; often no UC.
* Given no UC but two pieces of UE, correct answer should discuss both UE.
* UE & UC take precedence over tone.
* Use the “reasonable person” test to determine whether an element is actually unique.
       Would a reasonable person believe that the 2 elements are similar or unique?
* “Obvious” elements of evidence (as determined by a reasonable person) are irrelevant
   and NOT unique.

Evaluating answers for strengthen, weaken, both assumptions, and flaw
1) Do not eliminate answers that discuss UE.
2) The more complex the stimulus, the more one should focus on UE and UC.
3) The more basic the stimulus, the more one should focus on the conclusion.
3) The correct answer need not discuss conclusion, but it will always affect conclusion.
4) UE and UC stick out like a sore thumb but are not always present (especially UC).

COMPLEX STIMULUS/ FORMAL LOGIC (any question type except Parallel R):
Note 1 or 2 unique elements; correct answer will discuss at least one element.

Inference: the correct answer will be inferable and most often use mild language.
1) “infers” “(the answer) follows logically” “the above supports the answer”
   “the answer is supported by the above” “must be true” ________(completing sentence)
2) Paraphrase the stimulus, treating everything as evidence (think basic).
        * Consider using notes to deal with the stimulus.
        * Take note of any conclusions (“claims, scientists, critics”).
                * The “claim” was made, but its truth is unknown.
                * Correct answer will likely address these conclusions.
3) Try to infer anything from the stimulus (think basic).
4) Ask: Is this answer inferable from the stimulus? Does it use mild language?
* Extreme language in an answer is usually wrong, unless the stimulus is extreme.
* Given an author’s conclusion, look to treat question as a strengthener (mild language).

Formal logic (inference): focus first on unique elements, otherwise:
1) Translate the stimulus into if/then form (if necessary).
2) Try to form elements into logical chain (answer should discuss 1st & last elements).
3) Look for answers that have an “if element” common to your notes.
4) Translate answer choices into “if/then” form when necessary (recall contra-positive).
Necessary assumption: the correct answer will be necessary in order for the
conclusion to be true (as shown by the negation test), most often by discussing
unique evidence & unique conclusion and using negative or mild language.
1) “relies” “depends” “required” “necessary” “assumption”
2) Identify conclusion & evidence
3) Use the why test to focus on unique evidence & unique conclusion.
4) Scan the answers looking for unique evidence & unique conclusion.
   Negate answers looking to kill the conclusion.
   Look for negative or mild language (BIG DEAL)
* Use the negation test where it is easy to do so.
* Extreme language in an answer is almost always wrong.
* When unique evidence is no help, focus on negating answers to kill the conclusion.

The negation test: if an answer is negated and the conclusion falls apart as a result, then
that answer is the necessary assumption (“some” negates into “none” and vice-versa).

The two basic necessary assumptions to every argument:
    * The evidence is in some way relevant to the conclusion.
    * The evidence does not lead to a different conclusion.

Sufficient assumption: the correct answer will prove the conclusion to be true most
often by discussing unique evidence & unique conclusion and using strong language.
1) “conclusion follows logically” “enables the conclusion to be properly drawn/inferred”
2) Identify conclusion & evidence.
3) Use the why test to focus on unique evidence & unique conclusion.
4) Scan answers looking for unique evidence & unique conclusion.
   Ask: does this answer prove the conclusion to be true or make the evidence relevant?
   Does it use neutral, strong, or extreme language?

Method of Argument: the correct answer will describe how the author uses evidence
to affect a conclusion and use the same tone as the stimulus.
1) “does which of the following” “argumentative strategy” “responds by”
2) Identify conclusion & evidence
3) Use the why test to think about how the author uses evidence to affect a conclusion
4) Ask: Does the author actually do this? (insert answer)
         Does the tone match that of the stimulus?
Flaw: the correct answer will be a flaw actually committed by the author, most often
by discussing unique evidence & unique conclusion.
1) “flaw” “calls into question” “most vulnerable to criticism” no question mark
2) Identify conclusion & evidence
        * Extreme conclusions are often flawed due to their tone.
3) Use the why test to focus on unique evidence & unique conclusion.
4) Scan answers looking for unique evidence & unique conclusion.
   Ask: Does the author/argument actually do this? (insert answer)
   If so, is it a flaw?
* Flaw = the conclusion is invalid (evidence is irrelevant) or incorrect
* Wrong answers may be too extreme or too mild
* When UE is no help, focus on killing the conclusion.
* Dealing with “Flaw” language in answer choices:
  “fails to consider” “ignores the possibility”: cut the language, treat like weaken.
  “fails to show”, “fails to establish”: cut the language, treat like necessary assumption.
  “takes for granted that” “assumes without warrant”: rephrase as “believes”.
           * Possible to cut language and treat like necessary assumption (not ideal).

Principle: the correct answer will reflect the “moral of the story” and/or strengthen.
1) “principle” “proposition” “generalization”
2) Paraphrase the stimulus (unless a conclusion is apparent).
         * Given a clear conclusion, treat the question as a strengthener.
3) Think about the moral of the story (think basic)
4) Ask: Does this answer reflect the principle/moral?
   Is every element of the answer discussed in relevant parts of stimulus (and vice-versa)?
        * Wrong answers may be too extreme or too mild.

Application, violation, and parallel principle
* Some principle questions provide the principle/moral in the stimulus, and the correct
  answer will be an application or violation of that principle.
          * Formal logic often applies.
* Some principle questions will provide an application of the same principle in the
  stimulus and the correct answer (parallel principle).
* Always think about the “moral of the story” for any type of principle question.

Resolve/explain: the correct answer will resolve a discrepancy or explain a situation,
most often by discussing relevant elements of the discrepancy/situation.
1) “discrepancy” “resolve” “explain”
2) Paraphrase the discrepancy/situation.
3) Try to resolve/explain discrepancy/situation (think basic)
4) Ask: Does this answer resolve/explain the stimulus?
   Does it discuss elements of the discrepancy?
* Correct answer will explain how both contradictory elements could be true.
* Look to answer the question directly.
Role of a statement: the correct answer will describe the function of the statement
referred to in the question and use the same tone as the stimulus.
1) “role” “function”
2) Ignore the statement in the question and identify conclusion & evidence.
      * Look for other conclusions (someone else, intermediate).
      * Correct answer will likely discuss the relationship among conclusions.
3) Determine whether the statement is a type of evidence or type of conclusion.
4) Ask: Does the statement actually do this?
        Does the tone match?

Main point: the correct answer will reflect the conclusion of the speaker/argument
and use the same tone as the stimulus.
1) “main point” “conclusion”
2) Identify the conclusion, looking for contrast key words.
        * The author’s conclusion often disagrees with another conclusion.
        * The author’s conclusion may be implied, rather than explicitly stated.
3) Use the why test to confirm the conclusion
4) Ask: Does this answer reflect the conclusion?
        Does the tone match?

Point at issue: the correct answer will reflect a disagreement between the 2 speakers.
1) “disagrees” “point at issue”
2) Identify the clearest conclusion between the two speakers.
3) Use the why test for both arguments (if necessary).
4) Ask: Does this answer agree or disagree with a speaker’s conclusion?
* When struggling, ask: do both speakers actually disagree over this answer?
* The correct answer may substitute elements of the evidence for the conclusion.

Parallel Reasoning: the correct answer and the stimulus will use the same type of
evidence to reach the same type of conclusion
1) “parallels” “similar”
2) Identify conclusion & evidence, focusing on keywords and tone words.
3) Look for answers with similar keywords and tone words
4) Ask: Does this answer have the same type of conclusion and evidence as the stimulus?

Three other options for parallel reasoning:
1) Paraphrase the story and look for the same story.
2) Count the number of relevant elements and select answer that has the same number.
3) Rephrase as formal logic, compare each answer, and rephrase “attractive” answers.

Parallel the flaw: 3 options
1) Identify the flaw (often alternative conclusion); look for the same flaw in the answers.
2) Use the normal method for parallel reasoning.
3) Identify the two classic formal logic flaws:
       i) E: if X then Y; C: if no X then no Y (incorrect negation)
       ii) E: if X then Y; C; if Y then X (incorrect reversal)
Formal logic (if-then statements)
I. Practical formal logic: “If there is rain, then there are clouds.”
        1) The “if” element acts as a trigger that causes a result.
        2) The “then” element is the result.
        3) Which of the following is a logical deduction from the if-then statement above?
                 a) If there is no rain, then there are no clouds. NO
                 b) If there are clouds then there is rain. NO
                 c) If there are no clouds, then there is no rain. YES (Contra-positive)
        4) The contra-positive is the only deduction that can be made from an if-then
            statement.
        5) Contra-positive: switch and negate the elements.
                 * Switch “and” to “or” and vice-versa.
II. Abstract formal logic: If X then Y.
        1) Contra-positive: If not Y then not X
        2) “If X and Y then Z”; contra-positive: If not Z then not X or not Y
        3) “If X or Y then Z”; contra-positive: If not Z then not X and not Y
                 * “not…and” = “neither…nor”
IV. Take note of any formal logic language and consider re-writing it into if/then form.
        1) If X then Y (If there is rain then there are clouds) =
                 a) All X are Y
                 b) X only if Y
                 c) Only Y is X
                 d) No X unless/without Y
                 e) X requires/ depends on/ relies on/ causes Y
                 f) Y is required by/ necessary for/ needed by X
        2) If X then no Y (If I’m a father, then I’m not a mother) =
                 a) No X are Y
V. Logical reasoning question types involving formal logic, in order of frequency:
        1) Sufficient assumption
        2) Inference
        3) Parallel reasoning (including flaw)
        4) Application of principle
        5) Flaw
        6) Necessary assumption
VI. Watch out for the passive voice
        1) When a sentence begins with a pronoun, uses “it is/was” and/or “by”
            (passive voice), translate the sentence into the active voice: re-state the
            sentence without the offending terms.
                      Ex: “T is always required by R” (R requires T; if R then T)
                          “There is L whenever there are Ks (whenever Ks, then L)
VII. General note: “If the evidence…then the conclusion.
GAMES: If you’re writing, you’re doing it right.
If you’re staring…
Games: 4-step method
1) Write down the entities: # type characters.
         * Consider building entities directly into the sketch.
2) Create a sketch based on the type of game.
       * Almost always use slots (_ _ _ _) or a chart
3) Write down the rules.
4) Answer the questions appropriately.


Games step 2: types and sketches
1) Sequencing: standard, loose, and double (sketch = slots)
       * Entities are placed in order.
       * Given days of the week, months, or years, place these on top of a chart.
2) Yes/no (sketch = chart)
       * Only two choices in placing a set of entities.
                Ex: sale/no sale, Oakland/Berkeley, on/off
3) Distribution (sketch = chart)
       * A larger set of entities is placed among a smaller set.
       * Given two sets of entities, place the smaller set on top of the chart.
4) Matching (sketch = chart)
       * Entities are matched to one another.
       * The game might describe a specific sketch.
5) Selection of a specific number (sketch = labeled slots)
       * A specific number of entities is to be selected from a group of multiple entities.
6) Combination (charts = slots in a chart, chart/grid)
       * Game types are combined.
Games step 3: write down the rules
Do the following whenever possible:
1) Build rules into the sketch.
       * Use slashes to build in “remaining” entities.
       * Build in “no-consecutive” rule.
2) Rephrase rules as blocks.
       * Combine rules to create blocks.
       * “No-consecutive” rules.
       * Build large blocks into the master sketch.
       * Eliminate blocked entities from the “ends” of the game.
3) Rephrase rules into “if/then” form.
       * Recall contra-positive.
       * Build “special if/then” rules into the sketch.
4) Rephrase rules into specific numbers.
       * Consider “0” as a possibility.
       * Complete number possibilities.
                * Math: begin by assigning “0” to the lower-numbered entity.
                * If/then: recall contra-positive
        * Look for other rules that limit the lowest or highest numbers.
5) Rephrase rules as groups or split-groups.
        * Use slashes to place split-groups.
6) Note any floating entities.
        * Use slashes to place interchangeable floaters.
7) Translate “exactly” into “only”.
8) Compare rules to make any additional deductions.
Games step 4: answer the questions appropriately
I. Define the question type by identifying the nature of the wrong answers.
        * Must be true: wrong answers could or cannot be true but do not have to be true.
        * Must be false/CANNOT be true: wrong answers could (or must) be true.
        * Could be true: wrong answers cannot be true.
        * Could be false: wrong answers must be true.
        * Could be a complete and accurate: wrong answers cannot specifically be true.
        * Is a complete and accurate: wrong answers are incomplete or not acceptable.
II. Answer the questions in the following order:
        1) Line-up
        2) “If” questions
        3) “Non-if” questions
        4) Rule change questions
        * “Non-if” questions should be answered in order given any good deductions.
III. Line-up questions (when the answers provide a complete line-up of the game)
        1) Select a single rule.
                * Recall that rules are built into the sketch and in shorthand
        2) Apply that rule to each answer, eliminating those answers that violate the rule.
        3) Repeat process until only one answer remains.
        * Partial line-up (when the answers provide only a partial line-up)
                * Apply same method, but consider “completing” certain answers.
        * Line-up EXCEPT:
                * Apply the same method, but select the answer that violates a rule.
        * Use the correct answer as “prior-work” when answering other questions.
IV. “If” questions
        1) Build the “if” into the sketch.
                * When the “if” is ambiguous, place entities anywhere allowed by rules.
        2) Use the rules to build any additional entities into the sketch.
                * Look for entities common to the rules and those built into the sketch.
                * Build in blocks or numbers, eliminate ends, recall contra-positive.
                * Complete the sketch when it is easy to do so.
                * Consider creating 2 (or 3) options at once.
        3) Evaluate the answers appropriately (see part VII).
V. “Non-if” questions
        1) Use rules and deductions.
        2) Use prior work.
        3) Evaluate answers appropriately (see part VII)
VI. Rule-change questions
        1) Apply the rule change only if you feel that you have the time.
VII. Evaluating answers appropriately
        1) Compare each answer to the information in the sketch/prior work.
                * If the correctness of an answer is not readily apparent, move on.
                * Only eliminate those answers that are clearly wrong.
        2) Build remaining answers into the sketch.
        3) Be willing to make a quick guess and move on.
Formal logic (if/then statements)
The contra-positive is the only deduction that can be made from an if/then statement.

I. Practical formal logic: “If it’s a rabbit then it is an animal.”
        1) The “if” element acts as a trigger that forces a certain conclusion.
        2) The “then” element is the conclusion.
        3) Which of the following is a logical deduction from the if/then statement above?
                a) If it is not rabbit, then it is not an animal. NO
                b) If it is an animal, then it is a rabbit. NO
                c) If it not an animal, then it is not a rabbit. YES (Contra-positive)
        4) Contra-positive: switch and negate the elements.
                * Switch “and” to “or” and vice-versa.

II. Abstract formal logic: If X then Y.
        1) Contra-positive: If not Y then not X
        2) “If X and Y then Z”; contra-positive: If not Z then not X or not Y
        3) “If X or Y then Z”; contra-positive: If not Z then not X and not Y
                * “not…and” = “neither…nor”

Formal logic exercise
1) If it’s a rabbit, then it is an animal.
   Contra-positive:

2) If X then Y
   Contra-positive:

3) If it’s a rabbit, then it is an animal and it breaths.
   Contra positive:

4) If X then Y and Z
   Contra-positive:

5) If it’s a rabbit, then it’s a boy or a girl.
   Contra-positive:

6) If X then Y or Z
   Contra-positive:

7) If it’s a rabbit, then its not a dog
   Contra-positive:

8) If X then not Y
   Contra-positive
Formal logic (continued)

III. Always recall the contra-positive when given an if/then rule
          The contra-positive: every if/then rule has at least 2 “ifs” (triggers).
             Ex. “If C then D”
                  2 “ifs” (triggers): 1) If C
                                      2) If not D
             Ex. “If F then G and H”
                  3 “ifs” (triggers): 1) If F
                                      2) If not G
                                      3) If not H
             Ex. “If K then L or M”
                   2 “ifs” (triggers): 1) If K
                                       2) If not L and not M (neither L nor M)

IV. The following can be rephrased as “if X then Y”
       a) Y if X
       b) X only if Y
       c) Only Y is X
       d) Y whenever X
       e) No X unless/without Y
       * Translate tricky rules into if/then form by recalling “rabbit” and “animal”.
       NOTE: If X but only if Y = If X then Y AND If Y then X
V. Two special if/then rules
       1) If F then no G
                * Since F and G can never be “yes” together, at least one must be “no”.
       2) If no K then L
                * Since K and L can never be “no” together, at least one must be “yes”.

                   YES                         NO
                 (K/L) or both              (F/G) or both

       3) NOTE: “If X then no Y and no Z” = “if X then no Y” and “if X then no Z”
                “If no X or no Y then Z” = “if no X then Z” and “if no Y then Z”
Reading Comprehension – Think BASIC!
1) Read the passage quickly, (3 – 4 minutes) taking basic notes on each paragraph.
       a) Focus notes on all opinions (especially the author’s), voices (critics, historians),
           and/or theories.
       b) Write down only what you understand
       c) Consider writing down “crystal clear” details.
2) Review notes and summarize all opinions, focusing on the author.
       a) Author’s opinion might be neutral (to explain, to discuss, etc)
3) Predict a basic answer to each question before evaluating the answers.
       a) If possible, determine which paragraph the question refers to.
       a) Use notes to predict a basic answer
       b) Refer back to the passage only when necessary.
       c) Main point questions: select answer that discusses all opinions.
4) Be attracted to “nice and general” answers.
       a) The correct answer will often act as an “umbrella” over other answers.
       b) Extreme language is typically wrong
       c) Strong language is OK if it reflects an opinion.
5) When stuck: select the answer that comes the closest to the relevant opinion or the
   author’s main idea.
6) Reading Comp homework
       a) Try a timed passage on your own.
       b) Review all correct answers, thinking about how you could have taken them
           down in your notes, especially as opinions.
       c) Identify those questions where referring back to passage was necessary
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