Value of Understanding Wrong Answers (LR)

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theZeigs
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Value of Understanding Wrong Answers (LR)

Postby theZeigs » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:33 am

I am super frustrated right now.

I took PT 20 last evening and scored what I consider fairly abysmally. I am doing the Stanley Otto Swift Method of reviewing full tests, untimed, after doing it. In the first section alone, in the first 5 problems I'm doing (working backwards from 25), I have gotten 3 wrong already.

I understand what I did wrong both timed and untimed. I'm not going to lie, I think that question 24 is horribly phrased (leads one to believe that the coal surplus is calculated annually, rather than the sum of previous amounts mined and consumed...when I figured out that this is what they were asking, I could make a simple equation and solve), and I think question 22 is just a monster / dagger to the heart / diabolical question that requires one to really step back and diagram, with a correct answer choice (AC) that really takes some abstract reasoning. Question 21 is less difficult but still deceptive; I can see why the correct AC is correct but not why two of the incorrect ones are totally/absolutely incorrect (specifically, B and C).

The problem is this: now that I understand the mistakes I made on these questions and have spent a ton of time just understanding these three mistakes, I feel as though these questions are useless to me. Obviously, I can take away "oh, don't make a mistake like THAT again" but simultaneously, I know that next time I see these problems, I will know exactly the right answer and even exactly how to arrive at the right answer. Even though I know how I got to the wrong answer, I don't see how I will be able to avoid this flawed reasoning. In other words, these problems are dead to me because I know them too well inside and out now.

Basically, what I'm saying is that it doesn't seem right now that reviewing mistakes is making a difference. Maybe I'm just frustrated with my progress (or lack thereof). My mistakes are all over the map, and all I'm seeing is that there seems to be an endless amount of traps I can fall in. Moreover, knowing about old traps isn't (so far at least) making it easier. Would it help if I made up an LSAT problem that used the same traps? At what point should review start to point out (most) holes that I wouldn't have avoided without seeing before, and thereby cause steady, large increases in my score?

I will hedge and say that one thing I find important with the Otto method is to not look at the answers when doing untimed until you're SURE you picked the right AC (I don't find it all that important to not check your timed test immediately, so long as you don't remember which ones specifically you got wrong and are genuine about the untimed review). When you are sure that TITCR for an AC, you shouldn't feel that deep need to check and make sure, since you've not only found TCR but also why all other AC's are not TCR.

Shrimps
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Re: Value of Understanding Wrong Answers (LR)

Postby Shrimps » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:57 am

What answer did you pick for the coal question, I wonder?

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BrightLine
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Re: Value of Understanding Wrong Answers (LR)

Postby BrightLine » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:59 am

The advice I would give, is in addition to focusing on what part of the logic you initially missed, take a moment to process the question type. That way in your mind you will know "I missed the parallel reasoning question because I reversed the argument" or "I missed an EXCEPT question because i forgot what I was looking for"

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theZeigs
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Re: Value of Understanding Wrong Answers (LR)

Postby theZeigs » Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:09 pm

Shrimps wrote:What answer did you pick for the coal question, I wonder?


I picked D (goto answer choice), but when I first did the problem, I didn't see how ANY could be correct (how any MUST be true). This is necessarily the case when you read the question as saying that the surplus is calculated yearly. When you calculate it as the sum of all years, you have the following formula:

from 1970 until 1990: surplus = A (amt. mined in that period) - X (amt. consumed in that period)
1990: surplus = [ A + B (amt. mined in 1990) ] - [ X + Y (amt. consumed in 1990) ]
1991: surplus = [ A + B + C (amt. mined in 1991)] - [X + Y + Z (amt. consumed in 1991) ]

Knowing 1991 < 1990, we have: (distribute)

A + B +C - X - Y - Z < A + B - X - Y ,
which reduces to
C-Z < 0 (zero)
So C < Z
Meaning amount mined in 1991 must be less than amount consumed in 1991.

This was an easy, and elegant (if I do say so myself ;) ), solution to the problem, but again I think that the problem was poorly written.

BrightLine wrote:The advice I would give, is in addition to focusing on what part of the logic you initially missed, take a moment to process the question type. That way in your mind you will know "I missed the parallel reasoning question because I reversed the argument" or "I missed an EXCEPT question because i forgot what I was looking for"


This is good advice, I'm going to try to incorporate that into my "questions missed" spreadsheet, thanks. +1




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