Any advice for those of us who have hit a brick wall?

letsdoit1982
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Any advice for those of us who have hit a brick wall?

Postby letsdoit1982 » Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:41 pm

I've improved my score from 150 to about 160, but I can't seem to improve any further. This is extremely frustrating, because I really want to score at the VERY least a 165. Maybe I just don't have what it takes to score that high, but I would really appreciate any and all advice that I could use, particularly PT review advice. For some reason, I don't feel like I'm getting as much out of my review as I should. I do write out explanations for each LR question I get wrong, but it doesn't seem to be helping that much. Thanks for help.


Edit: I also want to add that I've done around 18 PTs.
Last edited by letsdoit1982 on Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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maks25
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Re: Any advice for those of us who have hit a brick wall?

Postby maks25 » Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:42 pm

whats your average LR, RC and LG score?

letsdoit1982
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Re: Any advice for those of us who have hit a brick wall?

Postby letsdoit1982 » Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:44 pm

maks25 wrote:whats your RC and LG score?



LG is all over the place, but I think my average is probably around -7 or -8.

My RC average is around -10. Pathetic, I know.

LR average is probably -7 or so per section.

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maks25
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Re: Any advice for those of us who have hit a brick wall?

Postby maks25 » Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:56 pm

I had a similar score like you at one point. I've improved my LG to about -1 to -0.

Personally found it to be the easiest score to improve, all I did was go through the LG Bible (did all the exercises etc) and did 4 games a day until I started improving. First few days I wouldn't time myself and then started limiting my time from 12min a game to 10 to 8.

As for LR ...what study guide are you using? I started with the Princeton guide but soon found it to be insufficient since it doesn't explain all question types or even do a good job thereof. Then I got the PS LR Bibles and was able to improve to about a -3 to -5 by writing down each question type I got wrong on each PT and reviewing methods of solving such questions. I still have a few problems with formal reasoning questions which I am trying to improve on but I can see steady improvement.

As for RC...can't help you there, this is the section I am trying to improve myself.

letsdoit1982
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Re: Any advice for those of us who have hit a brick wall?

Postby letsdoit1982 » Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:59 pm

maks25 wrote:I had similar score like you at one point. I've improved my LG to about -1 to -0.

Personally found it to be the easiest score to improve, all I did was go through the LG Bible (did all the exercises etc) and did 4 games a day until I started improving. First few days I wouldn't time myself and then started limiting my time from 12min a game to 10 to 8.

As for LR ...what study guide are you using? I started with the Princeton guide but soon found it to be insufficient since it doesn't explain all question types or even do a good job thereof. I was able to improve to about a -3 to -5 by writing down each question type I got wrong on each PT and reviewing methods of solving such questions (LRB). I still have few problems with formal reasoning questions which I am trying to improve on.

As for RC...can't help you there, this is the section I am trying to improve myself.



Did that seem to help you a lot? I've read the LR Bible but I have not been following their methods 100%.

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maks25
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Re: Any advice for those of us who have hit a brick wall?

Postby maks25 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:05 am

letsdoit1982 wrote:
maks25 wrote:I had similar score like you at one point. I've improved my LG to about -1 to -0.

Personally found it to be the easiest score to improve, all I did was go through the LG Bible (did all the exercises etc) and did 4 games a day until I started improving. First few days I wouldn't time myself and then started limiting my time from 12min a game to 10 to 8.

As for LR ...what study guide are you using? I started with the Princeton guide but soon found it to be insufficient since it doesn't explain all question types or even do a good job thereof. I was able to improve to about a -3 to -5 by writing down each question type I got wrong on each PT and reviewing methods of solving such questions (LRB). I still have few problems with formal reasoning questions which I am trying to improve on.

As for RC...can't help you there, this is the section I am trying to improve myself.



Did that seem to help you a lot? I've read the LR Bible but I have not been following their methods 100%.


Quite a bit actually, I wouldn't say I follow them 100% but it really helps. Especially for Assumption questions. Personally I am thinking of buying the LR by question type collection from Cambridge LSAT too just so I can practice these types of questions without having to find them in the PTs.

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abbas123
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Re: Any advice for those of us who have hit a brick wall?

Postby abbas123 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:11 am

You can use the Grouped by Question Type book to practice questions by type w/o flipping through all the PTs

dynomite
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Re: Any advice for those of us who have hit a brick wall?

Postby dynomite » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:31 am

letsdoit1982 wrote:
maks25 wrote:whats your RC and LG score?

My RC average is around -10. Pathetic, I know.


This jumps out as a red flag. 10 is a lot of questions to miss on RC sections, especially for someone who's scoring well enough elsewhere to hit the 160s.

What's holding you back? Are you running out of time? Having trouble choosing answers in inference questions?

You have until June, I'm assuming? So you have time to experiment here. Have you tried:

1. Skimming the questions ahead of time? That worked really well for me.
2. Better mapping passages, making more detailed notes in the margins?
3. Skipping the passage with the fewest questions altogether and spending your time on the remaining three passages?
4. Not making any marks at all, and instead simply reading the passage twice in a row and then answering the questions?

As I've said in a few other places, reading the questions first really helps direct my reading. I know which particular phrases to look for, which relationships to keep especially close tabs on in the reading. Just as valuable, I also have a sense of what I DON'T need to look for/pay attention to.

joekim1
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Re: Any advice for those of us who have hit a brick wall?

Postby joekim1 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:47 am

i don't know if this will help for you, but at the end of the day, i was able to reduce my averages to -0 for LG, -1 or -2 for RC, and -2 to -3 for LR combined.

for LG, organize the problems into their respective types (according to powerscore classifications or others you can find on the net) and practice the setups and inferences. by doing this enough, you should have a general idea at the end of how to respond to different information, and it should get to the point where you can combine different strategies for "hybrid" games, etc. once you do this enough, make sure you practice them timed (just do them as fast as you can, and after you do 4, add up the time, because time for individual games frankly doesn't matter, some will be long some will be quick n simple).

for LR, just drill like hell. after doing enough problems, i get into "autopilot mode" after i do a couple of questions, and it feels like i almost answer the questions unconsciously. not that i'm trying to be unconscious during the test (though it probably explains why i don't remember anything afterwards) but the LR questions are simply so abstract in nature that in order to answer questions correctly you have to stop thinking in normal english and do all your thinking/interpreting in "logic". don't know if that's just me, but whatever. though i do hope to figure out how to work out the questions without having to go into autopilot mode, cuz then i would be able to retain my sanity before and after the test.

for RC, i went from -13 to -2 average by changing the way i read and think. when you read, make sure you pay attention to what's important, and this is defined by what lsac is going to question you on. so you first need to do a lot of questions, and then after a while you get a sense of what kinds of things lsac thinks is important for you to know from the test, so you should be able to pay attention to these things more easily later on. also, when answering questions, realize that some are practically givens (if you understood what you read) and some require you to enter that abstract mode of thought required on the LR sections. i had to change my mode of thought for viewpoint questions, for example, cuz otherwise i'd end up picking what i thought the author SHOULD HAVE thought, rather than what the author actually did think. slight differences in nuance can go a long way, so that's what i found myself doing later on.

i'm sure everyone's brain/processing system is different, but this is what i found myself doing. this was a bit difficult for me as someone who is also familiar with an asian language because i often switch thought processes from english to korean (and it's very, very different). but yeah, hth.

now i'm going to reflect on why i bothered typing this up. thanks op.

EDIT: oh and i almost forgot, after practice, attitude and timing is everything. with something as abstract as the lsat, a poor attitude can make you see things that don't exist, namely the validity of wrong answer choices. and it will slow you down on test day. so be wary of that.

and for timing, automatically make 33 minutes the maximum time. bubbling will take approx 1 to 2 minutes, so if you don't practice each timed section with bubbling, make 33 your max, and as you practice, see how much you can cut that down to. it's possible to finish sections 10 minutes early, and should be your goal (it will reduce stress on test day). oh and aim to get all the questions right. after all, it's logic. you either get it or you don't (or you get lucky). but also try not got to develop OCD or something. man, this test is something.

letsdoit1982
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Re: Any advice for those of us who have hit a brick wall?

Postby letsdoit1982 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:15 pm

dynomite wrote:
letsdoit1982 wrote:
maks25 wrote:whats your RC and LG score?

My RC average is around -10. Pathetic, I know.


This jumps out as a red flag. 10 is a lot of questions to miss on RC sections, especially for someone who's scoring well enough elsewhere to hit the 160s.

What's holding you back? Are you running out of time? Having trouble choosing answers in inference questions?

You have until June, I'm assuming? So you have time to experiment here. Have you tried:

1. Skimming the questions ahead of time? That worked really well for me.
2. Better mapping passages, making more detailed notes in the margins?
3. Skipping the passage with the fewest questions altogether and spending your time on the remaining three passages?
4. Not making any marks at all, and instead simply reading the passage twice in a row and then answering the questions?

As I've said in a few other places, reading the questions first really helps direct my reading. I know which particular phrases to look for, which relationships to keep especially close tabs on in the reading. Just as valuable, I also have a sense of what I DON'T need to look for/pay attention to.


I might give this a try. I keep on hearing people suggest this, but I always figured that it would take too much time. Do you read the answers, or do you just read the question?

letsdoit1982
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Re: Any advice for those of us who have hit a brick wall?

Postby letsdoit1982 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:18 pm

joekim1 wrote:i don't know if this will help for you, but at the end of the day, i was able to reduce my averages to -0 for LG, -1 or -2 for RC, and -2 to -3 for LR combined.

for LG, organize the problems into their respective types (according to powerscore classifications or others you can find on the net) and practice the setups and inferences. by doing this enough, you should have a general idea at the end of how to respond to different information, and it should get to the point where you can combine different strategies for "hybrid" games, etc. once you do this enough, make sure you practice them timed (just do them as fast as you can, and after you do 4, add up the time, because time for individual games frankly doesn't matter, some will be long some will be quick n simple).

for LR, just drill like hell. after doing enough problems, i get into "autopilot mode" after i do a couple of questions, and it feels like i almost answer the questions unconsciously. not that i'm trying to be unconscious during the test (though it probably explains why i don't remember anything afterwards) but the LR questions are simply so abstract in nature that in order to answer questions correctly you have to stop thinking in normal english and do all your thinking/interpreting in "logic". don't know if that's just me, but whatever. though i do hope to figure out how to work out the questions without having to go into autopilot mode, cuz then i would be able to retain my sanity before and after the test.

for RC, i went from -13 to -2 average by changing the way i read and think. when you read, make sure you pay attention to what's important, and this is defined by what lsac is going to question you on. so you first need to do a lot of questions, and then after a while you get a sense of what kinds of things lsac thinks is important for you to know from the test, so you should be able to pay attention to these things more easily later on. also, when answering questions, realize that some are practically givens (if you understood what you read) and some require you to enter that abstract mode of thought required on the LR sections. i had to change my mode of thought for viewpoint questions, for example, cuz otherwise i'd end up picking what i thought the author SHOULD HAVE thought, rather than what the author actually did think. slight differences in nuance can go a long way, so that's what i found myself doing later on.

i'm sure everyone's brain/processing system is different, but this is what i found myself doing. this was a bit difficult for me as someone who is also familiar with an asian language because i often switch thought processes from english to korean (and it's very, very different). but yeah, hth.

now i'm going to reflect on why i bothered typing this up. thanks op.

EDIT: oh and i almost forgot, after practice, attitude and timing is everything. with something as abstract as the lsat, a poor attitude can make you see things that don't exist, namely the validity of wrong answer choices. and it will slow you down on test day. so be wary of that.

and for timing, automatically make 33 minutes the maximum time. bubbling will take approx 1 to 2 minutes, so if you don't practice each timed section with bubbling, make 33 your max, and as you practice, see how much you can cut that down to. it's possible to finish sections 10 minutes early, and should be your goal (it will reduce stress on test day). oh and aim to get all the questions right. after all, it's logic. you either get it or you don't (or you get lucky). but also try not got to develop OCD or something. man, this test is something.


That's quite a jump. It seems like you were able to increase that score mainly by just doing section after section?

dynomite
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Re: Any advice for those of us who have hit a brick wall?

Postby dynomite » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:38 pm

letsdoit1982 wrote:That's quite a jump. It seems like you were able to increase that score mainly by just doing section after section?


Here's something you could try that I heard of someone doing once for RCs:

Read a PT passage once through the way you normally do -- if you underline usually, do that, if you don't do anything usually, don't. Then, take a blank sheet of lined paper and try to outline what you just read from memory. Write down the general themes and anything that you can remember, paragraph by paragraph, and then answer 2 questions:

PP 1: ____

PP 2: ____

PP 3: ____

PP 4: ____

In 1 sentence, what was this passage about?: _____

In 1 sentence, why did the author bother writing this passage?: ____

Try doing that from memory and see how you do. If you aren't able to remember much, it'll tell you a lot. Even if you are, doing this a few times might help you begin to "read critically."

letsdoit1982
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Re: Any advice for those of us who have hit a brick wall?

Postby letsdoit1982 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:34 pm

Something that I'm considering (despite Powerscore's advice) is to read the question stem before the stimulus. It seems pretty divided on TLS on which method is best.

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meddlingkid
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Re: Any advice for those of us who have hit a brick wall?

Postby meddlingkid » Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:43 pm

dynomite wrote:3. Skipping the passage with the fewest questions altogether and spending your time on the remaining three passages


This is great advice. This helped me improve my RC from -10+ to -5 or -6. My guess letter was D, btw.

dynomite
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Re: Any advice for those of us who have hit a brick wall?

Postby dynomite » Mon Feb 08, 2010 5:24 pm

letsdoit1982 wrote:Something that I'm considering (despite Powerscore's advice) is to read the question stem before the stimulus. It seems pretty divided on TLS on which method is best.


Again, this worked wonders for me (-1 or -2). You absolutely still have time to read the passages if you read with a purpose, and it helps direct your reading.

My only question -- again -- is why you're missing 10 questions. If it's because you're running out of time, that's one thing. If it's because you're having trouble understanding the questions/locating the answers in the passage, that's another.

letsdoit1982
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Re: Any advice for those of us who have hit a brick wall?

Postby letsdoit1982 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:11 pm

meddlingkid wrote:
dynomite wrote:3. Skipping the passage with the fewest questions altogether and spending your time on the remaining three passages


This is great advice. This helped me improve my RC from -10+ to -5 or -6. My guess letter was D, btw.



I will also try this. The problem I have with this method, however, is that there is ZERO room for error with the passages you choose to do.




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