Do you read every answer choice?

User avatar
JazzOne
Posts: 2938
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

Re: Do you read every answer choice?

Postby JazzOne » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:22 am

Jeffort wrote:
JazzOne wrote:
Jeffort wrote:This topic is Image silly.

There is no rational reason not to read all the answer choices before selecting one on questions you have time to attempt. Doing otherwise is Image stupid.

This type of habit may in part account for the more generous curves on the recent tests as compared to the strict curves of most of the 2005-2007 tests.

If you have time for a question, not reading all the answer choices before making a decision is dumb.

I get what was said about the LG section in terms of once you find what you know is correct (provided you analyzed the game scenario properly), look for it, select it and move on. If you processed the game info well and made the important deductions you can just scan the answer choices to find what you are looking for but you still have to read/scan them to find it.

Considering that someone in this thread scored a 180 without reading all the answer choices, don't you think it's a bit much to call it silly, stupid, and dumb?


Absolutely no!

180 scores are rare. 99.9th percentile. Small amounts of people pull them off each year. What about the rest of the crowd that takes the test that are trying to get into law school?

PS: I'm not disputing that the poster achieved a 180, but over the years, especially in discussion board land, I've heard tons of people make false score claims.

Just because it's not the best strategy for most people doesn't make it silly, dumb, and stupid. I would think that someone who went to law school would have realized that different people succeed using different strategies.

User avatar
JazzOne
Posts: 2938
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

Re: Do you read every answer choice?

Postby JazzOne » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:25 am

Jeffort wrote:If the person did get a 180, not reading all the answer choices was not the reason he/she achieved it.

I never said it was the reason. I merely said that it wasn't silly, dumb, and stupid.

User avatar
St.Remy
Posts: 526
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:12 pm

Re: Do you read every answer choice?

Postby St.Remy » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:25 am

Yes, 175

User avatar
incompetentia
Posts: 2307
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:57 pm

Re: Do you read every answer choice?

Postby incompetentia » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:30 am

People get 180s without reading every single answer choice.

That being said, it's not the best strategy for most people, especially if you're still not near 100% accurate with games or with LR.

User avatar
JazzOne
Posts: 2938
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

Re: Do you read every answer choice?

Postby JazzOne » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:49 am

incompetentia wrote:People get 180s without reading every single answer choice.

That being said, it's not the best strategy for most people, especially if you're still not near 100% accurate with games or with LR.

I completely agree. My problem with the other poster was his condescension. If one of his students asked him about this strategy, he probably wouldn't say, "That's a dumb question. You'd have to be stupid to use that strategy." But for some reason, he feels that's acceptable on a forum. I personally don't think it's a good idea to skip answer choices. But I don't think it's a stupid method for an advanced test taker because I often know precisely what the correct answer will say before I read any of the answer choices.

tomwatts
Posts: 1551
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Do you read every answer choice?

Postby tomwatts » Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:44 pm

JazzOne wrote:But I don't think it's a stupid method for an advanced test taker because I often know precisely what the correct answer will say before I read any of the answer choices.

This sort of reasoning has been presented a few times in this topic before, so I just wanted to address it here. (I know that you didn't advocate not reading all the answers, so I'm not disagreeing with you, just using your wording to make a point.) The problem is the "often." There are times when, before you get to the answer choices, there could be more than one correct answer. The most obvious example of this is in RC, in questions that ask, "Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?" Well, crap. It could be anything. But there are arguments in LR that make more than one assumption. There are Parallel questions (especially Parallel-Flaw) in which the answer is similar but not identical, and you don't know until you see that the rest of the answers are off that you've got the right answer.

So yeah, I often know what the answer is most likely to be before reading the answers, but I've been surprised by the answer choices plenty of times before. The reason to read all the answers is that if an answer looks superficially like what you were expecting, but it differs materially in some subtle way, you will be clued in by another answer choice that also looks right. On the other hand, if nothing else looks right, you've got the right answer and can move on.

There are definitely times when I read the other answers much faster because I think that I've got the right answer. It's just a dummy check; have I done something stupid, or do I really have it?

(All of the above applies only to LR and RC, of course. LG is different.)

almostfamous
Posts: 250
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 2:08 pm

Re: Do you read every answer choice?

Postby almostfamous » Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:52 pm

Agreed with the above poster...a lot of the time I thought I knew what the correct answer choice would be, but then skim another answer choice and realize something about the question that I hadn't thought of before. I don't think you need to thoroughly read through every choice if youre pretty sure you have the right one, but skimming through to make sure you haven't missed something is a good idea, and eliminates a lot of stupid mistakes that you'll look back on later and be like "wtf i really wish id just read answer choice d"

User avatar
JazzOne
Posts: 2938
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

Re: Do you read every answer choice?

Postby JazzOne » Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:56 pm

I agree Tom. I only objected to the poster's characterization of others. I have tried all kinds of bizarre methods. Most of them didn't work out, but I hardly feel stupid for being open to untradtitional techniques.

Mallard doesn't diagram the games. That strategy wouldn't work for me, but I wouldn't call him stupid.

User avatar
albusdumbledore
Posts: 1132
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:38 pm

Re: Do you read every answer choice?

Postby albusdumbledore » Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:03 pm

tomwatts wrote:
JazzOne wrote:But I don't think it's a stupid method for an advanced test taker because I often know precisely what the correct answer will say before I read any of the answer choices.

This sort of reasoning has been presented a few times in this topic before, so I just wanted to address it here. (I know that you didn't advocate not reading all the answers, so I'm not disagreeing with you, just using your wording to make a point.) The problem is the "often." There are times when, before you get to the answer choices, there could be more than one correct answer. The most obvious example of this is in RC, in questions that ask, "Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?" Well, crap. It could be anything. But there are arguments in LR that make more than one assumption. There are Parallel questions (especially Parallel-Flaw) in which the answer is similar but not identical, and you don't know until you see that the rest of the answers are off that you've got the right answer.

So yeah, I often know what the answer is most likely to be before reading the answers, but I've been surprised by the answer choices plenty of times before. The reason to read all the answers is that if an answer looks superficially like what you were expecting, but it differs materially in some subtle way, you will be clued in by another answer choice that also looks right. On the other hand, if nothing else looks right, you've got the right answer and can move on.

There are definitely times when I read the other answers much faster because I think that I've got the right answer. It's just a dummy check; have I done something stupid, or do I really have it?

(All of the above applies only to LR and RC, of course. LG is different.)


Not sure what is more astonishing. The fact that you retook a 176, or the fact that you got a 180 the second time around.

cubswin
Posts: 618
Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 4:40 pm

Re: Do you read every answer choice?

Postby cubswin » Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:40 pm

albusdumbledore wrote:
tomwatts wrote:
JazzOne wrote:But I don't think it's a stupid method for an advanced test taker because I often know precisely what the correct answer will say before I read any of the answer choices.

This sort of reasoning has been presented a few times in this topic before, so I just wanted to address it here. (I know that you didn't advocate not reading all the answers, so I'm not disagreeing with you, just using your wording to make a point.) The problem is the "often." There are times when, before you get to the answer choices, there could be more than one correct answer. The most obvious example of this is in RC, in questions that ask, "Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?" Well, crap. It could be anything. But there are arguments in LR that make more than one assumption. There are Parallel questions (especially Parallel-Flaw) in which the answer is similar but not identical, and you don't know until you see that the rest of the answers are off that you've got the right answer.

So yeah, I often know what the answer is most likely to be before reading the answers, but I've been surprised by the answer choices plenty of times before. The reason to read all the answers is that if an answer looks superficially like what you were expecting, but it differs materially in some subtle way, you will be clued in by another answer choice that also looks right. On the other hand, if nothing else looks right, you've got the right answer and can move on.

There are definitely times when I read the other answers much faster because I think that I've got the right answer. It's just a dummy check; have I done something stupid, or do I really have it?

(All of the above applies only to LR and RC, of course. LG is different.)


Not sure what is more astonishing. The fact that you retook a 176, or the fact that you got a 180 the second time around.


He teaches the LSAT, and IIRC he isn't even going to apply to law school, so re-taking a 176 isn't as neurotic as it sounds.

User avatar
incompetentia
Posts: 2307
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:57 pm

Re: Do you read every answer choice?

Postby incompetentia » Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:23 pm

The routines of a typical 180 would really not be recommended strategy for almost anybody else. ("Typical 180" is kind of contradictory anyway...)

User avatar
AverageTutoring
Posts: 298
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:18 pm

Re: Do you read every answer choice?

Postby AverageTutoring » Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:25 pm

cubswin wrote:He teaches the LSAT, and IIRC he isn't even going to apply to law school, so re-taking a 176 isn't as neurotic as it sounds.


Yeah…but it does serve to make us look bad when we spend over 5 months studying using every available PT in addition to a full length course + PS Bibles only to obtain a 170 when Tom spends one month using Cracking The LSAT, literally thee worst book to use for LSAT Prep, and he nets a 176. And to make matters worse he decides to re-take for shits and giggles and becomes the proud owner of a 180. LOL

Tom is a great guy and good for him! But he makes me feel so ashamed of my skills lol

tomwatts
Posts: 1551
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Do you read every answer choice?

Postby tomwatts » Tue Nov 09, 2010 12:29 pm

AverageTutoring wrote:Yeah…but it does serve to make us look bad when we spend over 5 months studying using every available PT in addition to a full length course + PS Bibles only to obtain a 170 when Tom spends one month using Cracking The LSAT, literally thee worst book to use for LSAT Prep, and he nets a 176.

That's not entirely fair on several counts. First of all, it was two months, not one. :P Second of all, I didn't just use Cracking the LSAT; I used Cracking the LSAT and about 15-20 PTs. The PS Bibles have the reputation that they do because they contain real LSAT questions, but I don't think PS techniques are any better than the ones that you find in Cracking the LSAT. In my opinion, they're worse. I honestly believe that using Cracking the LSAT correctly was a substantial part of my dramatic and rapid score improvement (started at a 154).

User avatar
well-hello-there
Posts: 320
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:38 pm

Re: Do you read every answer choice?

Postby well-hello-there » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:30 pm

Rarely do I NOT read every answer choice but most of the time it is because I am too lazy to pre-phrase an answer. If I were a little smarter and a little less lazy, I don't think I would have to read so many answer choices. 165 & 168

on a side note,

He teaches the LSAT, and IIRC he isn't even going to apply to law school, so re-taking a 176 isn't as neurotic as it sounds.


My LSAT instructor was a 180 scorer and already had a law degree and none of his story ever made any sense just like Tom not applying to law school makes no sense.....the only thing I can figure is that they both have too many felonies on their record to ever practice law.

User avatar
JazzOne
Posts: 2938
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

Re: Do you read every answer choice?

Postby JazzOne » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:49 pm

well-hello-there wrote:Rarely do I NOT read every answer choice but most of the time it is because I am too lazy to pre-phrase an answer. If I were a little smarter and a little less lazy, I don't think I would have to read so many answer choices. 165 & 168

on a side note,

He teaches the LSAT, and IIRC he isn't even going to apply to law school, so re-taking a 176 isn't as neurotic as it sounds.


My LSAT instructor was a 180 scorer and already had a law degree and none of his story ever made any sense just like Tom not applying to law school makes no sense.....the only thing I can figure is that they both have too many felonies on their record to ever practice law.

lol

My LSAT trainer went to Berkeley and clerked for a Circuit Court. When I met him, I remember thinking, "Why the hell is he teaching LSAT?" I figured he must have been disbarred or something. He is now persona non grata at my test prep company, so perhaps he makes a habit of burning bridges.

User avatar
DieAntwoord
Posts: 250
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:17 pm

Re: Do you read every answer choice?

Postby DieAntwoord » Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:03 pm

I did't read all of the answer choices unless it is RC. 178

tomwatts
Posts: 1551
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Do you read every answer choice?

Postby tomwatts » Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:35 pm

well-hello-there wrote:My LSAT instructor was a 180 scorer and already had a law degree and none of his story ever made any sense just like Tom not applying to law school makes no sense.....the only thing I can figure is that they both have too many felonies on their record to ever practice law.

Oh no! My secret is out!

gerbal
Posts: 84
Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 12:42 am

Re: Do you read every answer choice?

Postby gerbal » Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:27 pm

On about 3~4 questions in each section, I select answers without reading every answer choice. This gives me a speed boost so I am not under time pressure at the end of the section. This could be my way of compensating for my slow reading speed, and you probably don't have to do this if you read fast. I do this with the questions where I feel very confident, and I don't remember the last time I missed a question doing this. I mark the questions so I can come back and read all of the answer choices if I have time left over after completing the section. I got 179 on the real test.


exactly the same as this guy, right down to the score

motiontodismiss
Posts: 870
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:36 pm

Re: Do you read every answer choice?

Postby motiontodismiss » Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:54 pm

Most of the time.

Exceptions:
1) on LG where the correct answer is clearly evident.
2) on RC detail questions where the answer is clearly evident.
3) on LR questions where the answer choice exactly matches my prephrase.

Haven't taken the LSAT yet.

User avatar
catsparka
Posts: 267
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:50 pm

Re: Do you read every answer choice?

Postby catsparka » Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:30 pm

gerbal wrote:
On about 3~4 questions in each section, I select answers without reading every answer choice. This gives me a speed boost so I am not under time pressure at the end of the section. This could be my way of compensating for my slow reading speed, and you probably don't have to do this if you read fast. I do this with the questions where I feel very confident, and I don't remember the last time I missed a question doing this. I mark the questions so I can come back and read all of the answer choices if I have time left over after completing the section. I got 179 on the real test.


exactly the same as this guy, right down to the score

mtrl
Posts: 65
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:13 pm

Re: Do you read every answer choice?

Postby mtrl » Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:34 pm

Yes/177.

Read them, at least in LR and RC. LSAC deliberately designs questions to have one appealing contender early and then the credited response later. If you're a slow reader, work hard on prephrasing.

adt231
Posts: 241
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:51 pm

Re: Do you read every answer choice?

Postby adt231 » Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:56 pm

Yes/171.

If i was running low on time, the only section that I felt comfortable not reading all the answer choices was logic games. Also, this was only when I had a great diagram for the game with multiple deductions already made or if I had exhausted all of the possible arrangements allowed by the rules of the game. But even when mastering a game like this, there is not much time saved by not reading all of the answer choices. You waste only a few seconds and potentially can catch yourself making a really silly reading mistake, for example.

But if you're not running low on time, then why not read all the answer choices? This is especially true for logical reasoning and reading comprehension. Even if you read the question and really like answer A, read the rest and quickly articulate to yourself a reason for why each of the other answers are definitely wrong (or at least worse than the one you like). The chances are that A is the one you'll go with anyway, but the amount of time wasted on doing this seems to be worth catching the right answer later on for even just 1 or 2 questions.

User avatar
bmwhype2
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 1:49 pm

Re: Do you read every answer choice?

Postby bmwhype2 » Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:00 pm

i think there was a study somewhere that says on questions that have have changed answers, 80% of the time the first answer was correct and ppl underestimate their own abilities too much

BilderMoss
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:00 am

Re: Do you read every answer choice?

Postby BilderMoss » Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:58 pm

Above Poster - that's true but I don't think it applies well to the LSAT given the levels of trickery built in. When I change I'd say 90% of the time it's to the correct answer not away from it.

And as for the topic, I always read all the answers though I think just spotting your pre-phrased answer for the first ten in LR as one poster suggested is pretty clever and I may try that if I decide I need a little extra time.

LSAT: 172 Current PT LSAT AVG: 178

User avatar
MysticalWheel
Posts: 354
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:23 pm

Re: Do you read every answer choice?

Postby MysticalWheel » Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:59 pm

JazzOne wrote:Yes, 174




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: #gobroncos, BobBoblaw, dj9i27, nimbus cloud, SunDevil14, VMars, Yahoo [Bot] and 30 guests