## Parallel Reasoning

Prepare for the LSAT or discuss it with others in this forum.

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### Parallel Reasoning

Seriously, I dread when these questions come up whether they be parallel flawed logic or reasoning. Whether I get them right is literally a toss of the hat; which is not good enough. Does anyone have any tips on how they approach these sections? I have read the LRB section, but it has been pretty useless as far as helping me with this section.

I am making flash cards of all of the parallel questions to run through over the next three weeks, but yeah, any tips would be great because this question type is literally killing my scores.

paulshortys10

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### Re: Parallel Reasoning

I somehow have become good at these (yet i suck at all the others.)i pretty much follow the bible methods.
I read the stimulus while underlining important words in the premise and conclusion(like must, or probably), and also remembering the structure of the stimulus. Then I read the stem to see what exactly im supposed to do. Then I cross off all the answers that don't match conclusion wording or premise wording. This usually eliminates 2 or 3. then you can approach the rest by examining the structure of the stimulus itself and comparing.....

pretty time consuming, but i can usually bang them out in under 2 minutes, which is not too bad. sometimes much quicker when it's an easy parallel.

LHC

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### Re: Parallel Reasoning

Something I've started going recently that's helped w/ parallel reasoning is after I diagram out the stimulus, I draw lines and arrows beside each answer choice as I read it. If it doesn't match how the argument flows in the stimulus then it's out. For this to work, it's really important that you get the structure of the stimulus right. This has helped me improve my speed and accuracy with these questions.

kaftka juice

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Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:49 pm

### Re: Parallel Reasoning

Parallel reasoning used to kick my ass. Then I started diagramming...and it still kicked my ass. But after I kept diagramming and practicing, I just kind of "got it." I think the diagramming helped me learn the material better. In the end I only needed to diagram the most complex PR questions, and the easier ones just popped out at me. But that's me--you may need to try several methods (just remember that it's not going to be an instant fix--give your brain some time to understand it).

JazzOne

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### Re: Parallel Reasoning

kaftka juice wrote:Parallel reasoning used to kick my ass. Then I started diagramming...and it still kicked my ass. But after I kept diagramming and practicing, I just kind of "got it." I think the diagramming helped me learn the material better. In the end I only needed to diagram the most complex PR questions, and the easier ones just popped out at me. But that's me--you may need to try several methods (just remember that it's not going to be an instant fix--give your brain some time to understand it).

+1

I have had a lot of students question my diagramming techniques because they require so much time. We spend 20 minutes in class diagramming all the answers for one question, and I've heard students remark that it's impractical for use on the test. My observation is that diagramming practice problems help your mind develop visual memories that can be recalled and applied to later questions. By diagramming consistently for practice, you can teach your visual cortex to apply the patterns to different contexts without an actual diagram on the real test.

lakers3peat

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### Re: Parallel Reasoning

JazzOne wrote:My observation is that diagramming practice problems help your mind develop visual memories that can be recalled and applied to later questions. By diagramming consistently for practice, you can teach your visual cortex to apply the patterns to different contexts without an actual diagram on the real test.

I agree this is useful in early stages of studying if you're not timing yourself. However, if you are practice testing and spending the time to diagram out PR question, you are wasting too much time. AT MOST, you should diagram the stimulus to see how the argument reaches its conclusion but even then, you should be able to realize this without having to spend the time diagramming. It used to take me about 2.5 minutes(ballpark) if I were to diagram the question and then diagram what I believed to be the CR. However, I realized that this was way to much time in a 35 minute timed section. I would recommend practicing with diagramming if you have time for that. If not, skip the question if you aren't able to instantly realize the flaw/reasoning structure after reading the question. It's true you will waste 15 seconds by reading and skipping but that's better than playing around with the 5 paragraphs that follow and wasting another 2 minutes. My .02.

edit: you can always come back to the question if there's time to spare or answer it if the stimulus presents an easy logical sequence you can quickly detect.

Posts: 88
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:46 pm

### Re: Parallel Reasoning

Thank you for the tips guys, I will start doing 20 minutes a day Jazzone just de-gramming parallel reasoning questions so that hopefully come test day I will be able to rip them up in my head.

One thing though. Can anyone explain to me why PT36,s.3,#19 is B. I chose D and honestly, even after reading Kaplan's explanation I still do not understand why it is 'not' D. I understand why B is also a good fit, but as far as I can tell there is no discernible difference either stylistically or logically between the stimulus and 19D which is why I chose D.

fragged

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### Re: Parallel Reasoning

Actually as messed up as it may sound, I was at about -5 on LR until a week before test day when I realized that I just spend too much time on parallel reasoning questions, and then I would end up short on time... rushing through the last few questions in the section.

So I started skipping the parallel reasoning questions as soon as I saw them, moved on and finished the section. Then I went back to the parallel reasoning questions, doing them at the end. Then I started consistently missing 1-2 on all my LR sections.

All I'm saying is that it might be killing your score because you get flustered when you see one. I don't know if you're already skipping them and then coming back, but if you aren't, you may want to try that.

JazzOne

Posts: 2980
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

### Re: Parallel Reasoning

fragged wrote:Actually as messed up as it may sound, I was at about -5 on LR until a week before test day when I realized that I just spend too much time on parallel reasoning questions, and then I would end up short on time... rushing through the last few questions in the section.

So I started skipping the parallel reasoning questions as soon as I saw them, moved on and finished the section. Then I went back to the parallel reasoning questions, doing them at the end. Then I started consistently missing 1-2 on all my LR sections.

All I'm saying is that it might be killing your score because you get flustered when you see one. I don't know if you're already skipping them and then coming back, but if you aren't, you may want to try that.

+1

I think that skipping parallel reasoning questions until you know how much time you have left is a wise strategy. I also skip inference questions but for a slightly different reason.

Posts: 88
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:46 pm

### Re: Parallel Reasoning

fragged wrote:All I'm saying is that it might be killing your score because you get flustered when you see one. I don't know if you're already skipping them and then coming back, but if you aren't, you may want to try that.

You know, I re-read the parallel reasoning chapter in the LRB today and noted the section discussing the tactics of the psychometics; that they like to put these questions at the end to fluster people. You know, after reading it, I could definitely recall a couple of times when a PR question has come up in a PT causing my PT to go up the gash after. From now on I am certainly skipping these questions until the end, cheers mate.

Can anyone give any pointers on the PR question I requested guidance with earlier in this thread?

JazzOne

Posts: 2980
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

### Re: Parallel Reasoning

fragged wrote:All I'm saying is that it might be killing your score because you get flustered when you see one. I don't know if you're already skipping them and then coming back, but if you aren't, you may want to try that.

You know, I re-read the parallel reasoning chapter in the LRB today and noted the section discussing the tactics of the psychometics; that they like to put these questions at the end to fluster people. You know, after reading it, I could definitely recall a couple of times when a PR question has come up in a PT causing my PT to go up the gash after. From now on I am certainly skipping these questions until the end, cheers mate.

Can anyone give any pointers on the PR question I requested guidance with earlier in this thread?

PM it to me if you can't get any replies. I don't have all the PTs, but I am perfectly willing to respond to a PM.

tng11

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Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 6:37 pm

### Re: Parallel Reasoning

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Last edited by tng11 on Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

niederbomb

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### Re: Parallel Reasoning

I usually assign a variable to each element and then compare the structure to the answer choices, crossing 'em off till one is left. For example If A------->B or C. IF C---->X. If B----> Y. I think this is how Kaplan recommends doing it. Works for me.