What exactly is review?

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What exactly is review?

Postby bgrdrdr » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:22 pm

Soooooo, first time poster. Anyways my PTs have been pretty good, 166-175 (large range I know). BUT, I think I'm burning through practice tests waaaay too fast (3-5/week), so I'd like to slow it down a bit. I really don't think I'm spending enough time "reviewing" my tests. I've read some top scorers say they spend ALOT of time reviewing PTs. Usually after I finish a test, I just check the questions I missed as well as the ones I marked as hard. I usually see instantly why I missed the questions and the entire review process takes maybe 10-20 min.

So I'd like some advice on better, more involved ways to review my PTs. I've tried writing why I missed each Q but that just seems a little silly. Any help would be great. Thanks!

BTW, I really don't have a main weakness. I score anywhere from -0 to -6 on any given section (although LG is more of a timing issue).
Last edited by bgrdrdr on Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What is exactly is review?

Postby rht82688 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:28 pm

"What is exactly is review?".....

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Re: What exactly is review?

Postby mickeyD » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:49 am

This definitely doesn't apply to everyone, but the most helpful advice I've gotten in regards to review from these boards was the suggestion to review BEFORE grading the test. What this means is going through the questions, analyzing the problem again to determine why you think it's right, or changing an answer because you saw it differently. It is a very long process and is almost like taking the test all over again, but it allows you to clearly set in your mind the reasoning you used and why you think an answer is right.

After doing this and changing whatever answers you think you missed (leaving the old answer next to it of course), grade the test. When you still get answers wrong, you are able to clearly see what your faulty reasoning was, because you made that same mistake twice- under time and during review with unlimited time. It makes me so mad that I never want to make that same mistake again. You also get two scores- one timed score that shows you where you are currently at, and one untimed score that I like to interpret as my absolute potential.

Everyone always says that you really make your gains when you can identify your weaknesses and then correct them, and this is the method that has worked wonders for me in that respect.


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Re: What exactly is review?

Postby Kurst » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:53 am

The method to which mickeyD alludes is Stanley Otto Swift's: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=36512

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Re: What exactly is review?

Postby bp shinners » Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:08 am

On top of that, during the review, write down why you think your answer is right. For some reason, codifying it in text makes it more real and less ephemeral than just having it in your head. When you go back, you can't change what you were thinking, because it's written in ink on the page.


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Re: What exactly is review?

Postby ejh22 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:31 pm

I'm retaking the LSAT (aiming for June) and can definitely sympathize with the OP's feeling that they are burning through prax tests. The first time I took the test in October, I kept doing prax test after prax test and got lazy on the review because I'd heard that taking as many tests as possible was the key to doing well. Now I realize that this advice is very true, but churning through prax tests without review is not wise because you don't experience the maximum amount of potential gain from every test. Review not only reveals your weaknesses and strengths but also increases your familiarity with the test. Now I am taking only 2-3 prax tests a week (more recent ones with older sections as experimentals) but am consistently reviewing them. There's a balance but you should not take multiple tests without reviewing them in between. Otherwise, you're not gaining as much as you could from them and may even be reinforcing bad habits.

For LR I review every single question-ones I got right and ones I got wrong (even those that I got right and wasn't uncertain on). I write out why each answer is right or wrong in the margins of the test. There isn't that much space there, I know, but my explanations aren't that complicated. Usually I can identify wrong answers by Powerscore's method (i.e. Shell, Opposite, Reverse), and I like having things all in one place. I've heard of people writing this stuff in a notebook or word document though too.

For RC I reread the passage and pay attention to how I approached it and which of my notations did or didn't help me very much. For example, just today I reviewed the RC section from PT 26 and the last passage there is extremely dense and is written confusingly. When I reread it, I noticed that taking some more detailed notes in the margins helped me answer the questions faster and so I know to implement this method when I approach a similar passage that I just cannot wrap my head around. As with LR, I write in the margins why answers are right or wrong according to the information in the passage and I usually include a specific line or paragraph reference as to where the info is in the passage to back up each correct answer.

I just do the logic games over again in a brightly colored pen. I make a new setup and everything and figure out how I can more easily find inferences or diagram the game. So far, my biggest problem with games is maintaining accuracy under the strict time constraints so when I review my prax tests I always consider how I could have done the game faster. If accuracy is more your problem (take at least one untimed test/section to find out) I second the suggestion of pretty much everyone else here to read Powerscore's LGB (or continue to refine whatever approach works best for you--you can't get a perfect score timed if you can't get a perfect score untimed).

This weekend I'm going to photocopy my tests and cut out those LR questions which I missed and those which I had trouble on and glue them to index cards so I can review them when I'm on the bus, waiting for an appointment etc.

I review a test shortly after I take it because ultimately you are trying to identify where your reasoning went wrong. When I get a question wrong, I ask myself why the answer I chose was incorrect and what in it made me think it was correct. Then I'm more aware of what reasoning I should avoid when faced with a similar question.

Basically, the LSAT is a predictable test and trips the most unfamiliar test takers up. That is why review is so important. You are examining the test on a deeper level-picking it apart and putting it back together again-so that you know exactly how to answer every question on test day. Review is time consuming (my method takes me 6-8 hours per test, depending on how much difficulty I had with it) but it's worth it.

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Re: What exactly is review?

Postby lakers3peat » Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:43 pm

After I do a test under timed conditions, I don't grade it. I wait a day then the following day I print out the test again and redo the entire thing without timed conditions. I then grade each seperate practice test and see which ones I got right/which ones I got wrong. If i missed a question both times on both practice tests I cut it out and save it for later to review over because clearly it is one that has given me problems. If I got it wrong the first time and right the second time then I try to analyze where I went wrong in answering it. I think this is basically the method described above. All in all, you spend two days per practice test. Day1 taking it timed(2-3 hours) then Day2 doing it again(3-4 hours) then if you have the energy on day2 you review the questions(1-2 hours) or you save it for day 3 and do it then. Then repeat the cycle. I also go to the manhattan lsat forums if I am having problems with a question and I read their explanations or I search for it here. If there explanation doesnt make sense or I still cant figure it out, I add it to a list of questions I am saving and planning to review over with a tutor. I want the absolute best possible score this time around and if I cant figure it out after 2 tries + reading online discussion about it then I am going to get in person help. Spending 200-300$ for a couple hours will gross enormous dividends if I can score much higher than Dec. Thats me personally


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Re: What exactly is review?

Postby blink » Mon May 02, 2011 5:11 pm

Wow, thanks for the helpful posts. This is a question I have been wondering about for a few PTs now.

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