LR: Rhythm and timing trouble

flannelman
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:43 am

LR: Rhythm and timing trouble

Postby flannelman » Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:28 am

I have been experiencing problems in LR from the beginning of study which mainly deal with timing (generally finishing the section is a challenge). On avg. a section will have 5 guesses at the end. Oddly I have noticed that running low on time does not seem to affect my accuracy very much. For instance if I hit #14 or so with and have around 10 min left and put the pedal to the metal and punch out the last 6 (usually some of the harder questions on the exam) I seem to get on avg. just as many wrong answers as I did in the first 14. Or however you want to split it. Its like when I realize I need to go into that Darwinian mode and transfer into survival speed gear, I don't suffer much loss. So naturally I'd love to just do that a bit earlier and finish out the whole test. BUT I CAN'T! I mean I can't get my mind to do it with out it actually being time to do it. At least not yet.

For the life of me I cannot figure out a way to force myself to go faster, and I really hate skipping problems even If they take some time to figure out (I have been going with the quality over quantity method). But I'm seeing this trend at the end and can't help but think there is some way to better utilize the darwinian survival mode that surly all of us have used at one point or another.

Anyone experience anything like this or have any Ideas? I'm going to take my next PT in reverse hoping that when I hit the go time button I might be able to answer more questions overall (because they should be a bit easier by the time I get there). However I also figure that starting off with the harder ones will likely stop me from getting as far in the beginning thus counterbalancing the effect of getting to more questions. Maybe I can't win.

Thoughts? At this point Ill try anything...

youknowryan
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:20 am

Re: LR: Rhythm and timing trouble

Postby youknowryan » Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:56 am

flannelman wrote:I have been experiencing problems in LR from the beginning of study which mainly deal with timing (generally finishing the section is a challenge). On avg. a section will have 5 guesses at the end. Oddly I have noticed that running low on time does not seem to affect my accuracy very much. For instance if I hit #14 or so with and have around 10 min left and put the pedal to the metal and punch out the last 6 (usually some of the harder questions on the exam) I seem to get on avg. just as many wrong answers as I did in the first 14. Or however you want to split it. Its like when I realize I need to go into that Darwinian mode and transfer into survival speed gear, I don't suffer much loss. So naturally I'd love to just do that a bit earlier and finish out the whole test. BUT I CAN'T! I mean I can't get my mind to do it with out it actually being time to do it. At least not yet.

For the life of me I cannot figure out a way to force myself to go faster, and I really hate skipping problems even If they take some time to figure out (I have been going with the quality over quantity method). But I'm seeing this trend at the end and can't help but think there is some way to better utilize the darwinian survival mode that surly all of us have used at one point or another.

Anyone experience anything like this or have any Ideas? I'm going to take my next PT in reverse hoping that when I hit the go time button I might be able to answer more questions overall (because they should be a bit easier by the time I get there). However I also figure that starting off with the harder ones will likely stop me from getting as far in the beginning thus counterbalancing the effect of getting to more questions. Maybe I can't win.

Thoughts? At this point Ill try anything...


Ideas to mix and match:

1. Do the sections backward.
2. Save certain Q types for the very end. Example: Inference Qs require a fundamentally different approach than pretty much every other type and this can slow some people down a lot more than they realize.
3. If it's long skip it. Many parallel or principle Qs take a lot of time not because they are complex, but because they are LONG. Rack up some points with shorter Qs quickly and then come back to the longer ones.
These three tricks take about 1 second per page to look for all 3 if you practice (since you're looking for specific test characteristics and not really reading).
4a. SKIM the questions looking for words in caps: i.e. EXCEPT. The Qs tend to be a trickier if only because they are less common. They also take time.
4b. SKIM the answers looking for question marks. Evaluate Qs are very rare. They also both tend to throw off the rhythm and are tough in general.
4c. If you see answers with 1-3 words per answer, you know it will mean an analogy OR a word used differently within the passage. If you see either of these, read the answers and you will be primed to suss the answer out far more quickly.
Hope this helps.

Edited: Added the bold part for clarity.
Last edited by youknowryan on Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

flannelman
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:43 am

Re: LR: Rhythm and timing trouble

Postby flannelman » Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:40 am

[quote="youknowryan"
1. Do the sections backward.
2. Save certain Q types for the very end. Example: Inference Qs require a fundamentally different approach than pretty much every other type and this can slow some people down a lot more than they realize.
3. If it's long skip it. Many parallel or principle Qs take a lot of time not because they are complex, but because they are LONG. Rack up some points with shorter Qs quickly and then come back to the longer ones.
These three tricks take about 1 second per page to look for all 3 if you practice (since you're looking for specific test characteristics and not really reading).
4a. SKIM the questions looking for words in caps: i.e. EXCEPT. The Qs tend to be a trickier if only because they are less common. They also take time.
4b. SKIM the answers looking for question marks. Evaluate Qs are very rare. They also both tend to throw off the rhythm and are tough in general.
4c. If you see answers with 1 word per answer, you know it will mean an analogy OR a word used differently within the passage. If you see either of these, read the answers and you will be primed to suss the answer out far more quickly.
Hope this helps.[/quote]

I really appreciate the advice! Though I'm not quite sure exactly what you mean when you refer to Inference q's. Are you talking about those which ask you (usually) to identify a general notion of some sort of the stimulus. Something that has to be true but isn't explicit like a must be true question (yet need not strengthen or weaken or anything)? Or something else? Either way I appreciate the help.

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robotclubmember
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Re: LR: Rhythm and timing trouble

Postby robotclubmember » Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:41 am

I think the most important thing to remember is that all of the easiest questions ten to be within the first ten, and none of those should take, on average, more than a minute. So your first ten questions should be knocked out in ten minutes, leaving more time for the harder ones. Just really press yourself to meet that benchmark, and your score will improve.

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Re: LR: Rhythm and timing trouble

Postby robotclubmember » Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:48 am

youknowryan wrote:
flannelman wrote:I have been experiencing problems in LR from the beginning of study which mainly deal with timing (generally finishing the section is a challenge). On avg. a section will have 5 guesses at the end. Oddly I have noticed that running low on time does not seem to affect my accuracy very much. For instance if I hit #14 or so with and have around 10 min left and put the pedal to the metal and punch out the last 6 (usually some of the harder questions on the exam) I seem to get on avg. just as many wrong answers as I did in the first 14. Or however you want to split it. Its like when I realize I need to go into that Darwinian mode and transfer into survival speed gear, I don't suffer much loss. So naturally I'd love to just do that a bit earlier and finish out the whole test. BUT I CAN'T! I mean I can't get my mind to do it with out it actually being time to do it. At least not yet.

For the life of me I cannot figure out a way to force myself to go faster, and I really hate skipping problems even If they take some time to figure out (I have been going with the quality over quantity method). But I'm seeing this trend at the end and can't help but think there is some way to better utilize the darwinian survival mode that surly all of us have used at one point or another.

Anyone experience anything like this or have any Ideas? I'm going to take my next PT in reverse hoping that when I hit the go time button I might be able to answer more questions overall (because they should be a bit easier by the time I get there). However I also figure that starting off with the harder ones will likely stop me from getting as far in the beginning thus counterbalancing the effect of getting to more questions. Maybe I can't win.

Thoughts? At this point Ill try anything...


Ideas to mix and match:

1. Do the sections backward.
2. Save certain Q types for the very end. Example: Inference Qs require a fundamentally different approach than pretty much every other type and this can slow some people down a lot more than they realize.
3. If it's long skip it. Many parallel or principle Qs take a lot of time not because they are complex, but because they are LONG. Rack up some points with shorter Qs quickly and then come back to the longer ones.
These three tricks take about 1 second per page to look for all 3 if you practice (since you're looking for specific test characteristics and not really reading).
4a. SKIM the questions looking for words in caps: i.e. EXCEPT. The Qs tend to be a trickier if only because they are less common. They also take time.
4b. SKIM the answers looking for question marks. Evaluate Qs are very rare. They also both tend to throw off the rhythm and are tough in general.
4c. If you see answers with 1 word per answer, you know it will mean an analogy OR a word used differently within the passage. If you see either of these, read the answers and you will be primed to suss the answer out far more quickly.
Hope this helps.


I don't really agree with much of this.

1. No. Doing the section backwards is stupid. It introduces a possible bubbling nightmare, and your objective is to complete all the questions anyway... why do it backwards? The easiest ones are the first ten so do them first, they are easy points, and an easy point is worth just as much as a hard point. Doing the entire LR section from finish to start is actually comically bad advice I think.

2. OK, I agree that some questions should be saved for the end. Inference questions are not really a good example. Parallel reasoning is a good example.

3. Same as 2. Skip a question here and there to hit the end and keep your pace up. You don't want to end up sinking 3 or 4 minutes into a single question, so if you sense that is possible, return to the question at the end of the section. When a single question takes 3-4 minutes, odds are, you could lose two points off that question. If it takes that long it means you aren't confident about the question and may get it wrong anyway, but sinking so much time may prevent you from getting another question as well that you could have answered if you had rationed time better.

4a. That's a waste of time, EXCEPT questions are not trickier, they are the same. But that's just an opinion.

4b. I've never gotten an Evaluate question wrong in my entire LSAT prepping, even from the very first test. These tend to be alarmingly easy questions.

4c. This makes it obvious this advice is bogus. This is RC advice. In no way does this apply to LR.

In short, this is all insane, but the worst advice is doing the section backwards. Please don't.

youknowryan
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:20 am

Re: LR: Rhythm and timing trouble

Postby youknowryan » Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:36 pm

robotclubmember wrote:
youknowryan wrote:
flannelman wrote:I have been experiencing problems in LR from the beginning of study which mainly deal with timing (generally finishing the section is a challenge). On avg. a section will have 5 guesses at the end. Oddly I have noticed that running low on time does not seem to affect my accuracy very much. For instance if I hit #14 or so with and have around 10 min left and put the pedal to the metal and punch out the last 6 (usually some of the harder questions on the exam) I seem to get on avg. just as many wrong answers as I did in the first 14. Or however you want to split it. Its like when I realize I need to go into that Darwinian mode and transfer into survival speed gear, I don't suffer much loss. So naturally I'd love to just do that a bit earlier and finish out the whole test. BUT I CAN'T! I mean I can't get my mind to do it with out it actually being time to do it. At least not yet.

For the life of me I cannot figure out a way to force myself to go faster, and I really hate skipping problems even If they take some time to figure out (I have been going with the quality over quantity method). But I'm seeing this trend at the end and can't help but think there is some way to better utilize the darwinian survival mode that surly all of us have used at one point or another.

Anyone experience anything like this or have any Ideas? I'm going to take my next PT in reverse hoping that when I hit the go time button I might be able to answer more questions overall (because they should be a bit easier by the time I get there). However I also figure that starting off with the harder ones will likely stop me from getting as far in the beginning thus counterbalancing the effect of getting to more questions. Maybe I can't win.

Thoughts? At this point Ill try anything...


Ideas to mix and match:

1. Do the sections backward.
2. Save certain Q types for the very end. Example: Inference Qs require a fundamentally different approach than pretty much every other type and this can slow some people down a lot more than they realize.
3. If it's long skip it. Many parallel or principle Qs take a lot of time not because they are complex, but because they are LONG. Rack up some points with shorter Qs quickly and then come back to the longer ones.
These three tricks take about 1 second per page to look for all 3 if you practice (since you're looking for specific test characteristics and not really reading).
4a. SKIM the questions looking for words in caps: i.e. EXCEPT. The Qs tend to be a trickier if only because they are less common. They also take time.
4b. SKIM the answers looking for question marks. Evaluate Qs are very rare. They also both tend to throw off the rhythm and are tough in general.
4c. If you see answers with 1 word per answer, you know it will mean an analogy OR a word used differently within the passage. If you see either of these, read the answers and you will be primed to suss the answer out far more quickly.
Hope this helps.


I don't really agree with much of this.

1. No. Doing the section backwards is stupid. It introduces a possible bubbling nightmare, and your objective is to complete all the questions anyway... why do it backwards? The easiest ones are the first ten so do them first, they are easy points, and an easy point is worth just as much as a hard point. Doing the entire LR section from finish to start is actually comically bad advice I think.

2. OK, I agree that some questions should be saved for the end. Inference questions are not really a good example. Parallel reasoning is a good example.

3. Same as 2. Skip a question here and there to hit the end and keep your pace up. You don't want to end up sinking 3 or 4 minutes into a single question, so if you sense that is possible, return to the question at the end of the section. When a single question takes 3-4 minutes, odds are, you could lose two points off that question. If it takes that long it means you aren't confident about the question and may get it wrong anyway, but sinking so much time may prevent you from getting another question as well that you could have answered if you had rationed time better.

4a. That's a waste of time, EXCEPT questions are not trickier, they are the same. But that's just an opinion.

4b. I've never gotten an Evaluate question wrong in my entire LSAT prepping, even from the very first test. These tend to be alarmingly easy questions.

4c. This makes it obvious this advice is bogus. This is RC advice. In no way does this apply to LR.

In short, this is all insane, but the worst advice is doing the section backwards. Please don't.


@robotclubmember: Given that I only have my own opinions and you have your own facts (hint: see PT 61, LR1, #17), how can anyone disagree with you? I, however, can ignore you.

@the OP, inference Qs are Must Be True or Cannot Be True and to a lesser degree, Most Strongly Supported. Try out some of these ideas and I am confident that at least one of them will help speed you up. It is possible that some will slow you down, and as I initially said, mix and match to your taste. In fact, I recommend doing an LR section backward first. It has worked well for some people (and badly for others). The trick is to try everything and see what works for you.

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robotclubmember
Posts: 743
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Re: LR: Rhythm and timing trouble

Postby robotclubmember » Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:48 pm

youknowryan wrote:
robotclubmember wrote:
youknowryan wrote:
flannelman wrote:I have been experiencing problems in LR from the beginning of study which mainly deal with timing (generally finishing the section is a challenge). On avg. a section will have 5 guesses at the end. Oddly I have noticed that running low on time does not seem to affect my accuracy very much. For instance if I hit #14 or so with and have around 10 min left and put the pedal to the metal and punch out the last 6 (usually some of the harder questions on the exam) I seem to get on avg. just as many wrong answers as I did in the first 14. Or however you want to split it. Its like when I realize I need to go into that Darwinian mode and transfer into survival speed gear, I don't suffer much loss. So naturally I'd love to just do that a bit earlier and finish out the whole test. BUT I CAN'T! I mean I can't get my mind to do it with out it actually being time to do it. At least not yet.

For the life of me I cannot figure out a way to force myself to go faster, and I really hate skipping problems even If they take some time to figure out (I have been going with the quality over quantity method). But I'm seeing this trend at the end and can't help but think there is some way to better utilize the darwinian survival mode that surly all of us have used at one point or another.

Anyone experience anything like this or have any Ideas? I'm going to take my next PT in reverse hoping that when I hit the go time button I might be able to answer more questions overall (because they should be a bit easier by the time I get there). However I also figure that starting off with the harder ones will likely stop me from getting as far in the beginning thus counterbalancing the effect of getting to more questions. Maybe I can't win.

Thoughts? At this point Ill try anything...


Ideas to mix and match:

1. Do the sections backward.
2. Save certain Q types for the very end. Example: Inference Qs require a fundamentally different approach than pretty much every other type and this can slow some people down a lot more than they realize.
3. If it's long skip it. Many parallel or principle Qs take a lot of time not because they are complex, but because they are LONG. Rack up some points with shorter Qs quickly and then come back to the longer ones.
These three tricks take about 1 second per page to look for all 3 if you practice (since you're looking for specific test characteristics and not really reading).
4a. SKIM the questions looking for words in caps: i.e. EXCEPT. The Qs tend to be a trickier if only because they are less common. They also take time.
4b. SKIM the answers looking for question marks. Evaluate Qs are very rare. They also both tend to throw off the rhythm and are tough in general.
4c. If you see answers with 1 word per answer, you know it will mean an analogy OR a word used differently within the passage. If you see either of these, read the answers and you will be primed to suss the answer out far more quickly.
Hope this helps.


I don't really agree with much of this.

1. No. Doing the section backwards is stupid. It introduces a possible bubbling nightmare, and your objective is to complete all the questions anyway... why do it backwards? The easiest ones are the first ten so do them first, they are easy points, and an easy point is worth just as much as a hard point. Doing the entire LR section from finish to start is actually comically bad advice I think.

2. OK, I agree that some questions should be saved for the end. Inference questions are not really a good example. Parallel reasoning is a good example.

3. Same as 2. Skip a question here and there to hit the end and keep your pace up. You don't want to end up sinking 3 or 4 minutes into a single question, so if you sense that is possible, return to the question at the end of the section. When a single question takes 3-4 minutes, odds are, you could lose two points off that question. If it takes that long it means you aren't confident about the question and may get it wrong anyway, but sinking so much time may prevent you from getting another question as well that you could have answered if you had rationed time better.

4a. That's a waste of time, EXCEPT questions are not trickier, they are the same. But that's just an opinion.

4b. I've never gotten an Evaluate question wrong in my entire LSAT prepping, even from the very first test. These tend to be alarmingly easy questions.

4c. This makes it obvious this advice is bogus. This is RC advice. In no way does this apply to LR.

In short, this is all insane, but the worst advice is doing the section backwards. Please don't.


@robotclubmember: Given that I only have my own opinions and you have your own facts (hint: see PT 61, LR1, #17), how can anyone disagree with you? I, however, can ignore you.

@the OP, inference Qs are Must Be True or Cannot Be True and to a lesser degree, Most Strongly Supported. Try out some of these ideas and I am confident that at least one of them will help speed you up. It is possible that some will slow you down, and as I initially said, mix and match to your taste. In fact, I recommend doing an LR section backward first. It has worked well for some people (and badly for others). The trick is to try everything and see what works for you.


Great advice for something that has happened less times than fingers I have on one hand. Even so, reading the entire stimulus is critical to answering the question. Any serious top scorer will tell you that reading the answer choices before the stimulus is bad strategy in LR. It's as bad advice as it would be to suggest you read all the answers in a LG game before looking at the rules.

You can ignore me, but if you're going to be giving people bad advice, then I feel obligated to chime in. Doing the LR section backwards? C'mon. Even if that WERE good advice, which it isn't, this guy is a week away from test day. You really want to ask him to revamp his entire strategy that close to test-day? We're at the point where the best anyone can do is make a few refinements to the strategy that is already in place. If the ribbon-cutting ceremony is a week away, put your bells and whistles on the building, polish it up to make it look nice, but don't try to tear it down and build a new building.




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