Classifying Question Types

How often do you classify question types?

Almost always.
12
60%
Only on certain sections.
2
10%
Only for a few question types.
2
10%
Almost never.
4
20%
 
Total votes: 20

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510Chicken
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Classifying Question Types

Postby 510Chicken » Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:05 pm

I wanted to know how many people look at a question, determine its type, then decide their strategy accordingly. I'm curious since I know that the PowerScore Bibles definitely break their chapters down this way and a lot of people seem to refer to various games as "Advanced Linear" or "In/Out", or reasoning questions as "parallel" or "distributional" etc etc.

Personally, parallel reasoning questions always stuck out to me, but other than that I feel like I treated all of the questions about the same. But what do you all think? Do you believe classifying the question types makes you more efficient? Does it determine how/whether or not you diagram? In general, what benefits do you see from doing this, or even from avoiding it? Thanks for your responses.

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soj
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Re: Classifying Question Types

Postby soj » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:45 pm

LG: of course. You can't diagram properly without knowing the Q type. You don't have to know the names of these Q types, but you need to be able to distinguish between them (maybe not quite so many categories as described in LGB, but general categories with a bit of flexibility) to diagram properly. As for people referring to games by their specific types, I think it's a clarity of communication thing.

LR: For some reason I recently started reading Q stems before the passage, and while I haven't seen any noticeable change in my LR scores, I have changed the way I approach passages. Yup, parallel definitely sticks out. I also have different approaches for MP/MoR/MBT/MBF/SA and for W/S/NA/Flaw in that for the former I tend to focus slightly more on identifying each sentence or phrase as premise, conclusion, or BG info, while for the latter, I look more for the most frequently committed errors or gaps in reasoning I'm used to seeing in LR.

RC: Not really. Too stressed to think about such things. I just try to think of the answer, and if I can't, try to think of where I might find the answer, and if I can't, panic.
Last edited by soj on Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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510Chicken
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Re: Classifying Question Types

Postby 510Chicken » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:33 pm

soj wrote:LG: of course. You can't diagram properly without knowing the Q type. You don't have to know the names of these Q types, but you need to be able to distinguish between them (maybe not quite so many categories as described in LGB, but general categories with a bit of flexibility) to diagram properly.

I actually find this interesting, since all of my diagrams look basically the same. They're all slots, usually lined horizontally but occasionally vertically. Depending on the conditions, there may be another row/column added, respectively. Do you use completely different diagrams for different types, or is it just a question of lay out? For example, I saw a Manhattan Prep In/Out setup (http://www.manhattanlsat.com/forums/diagram-t21.html?sid=24554b53277bd88ee035c5012f01ecb2) and that completely blew my mind - none of my diagrams ever looked anything like that, but the layout seemed pretty efficient.

bp shinners
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Re: Classifying Question Types

Postby bp shinners » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:35 pm

We teach to always lay out the question type first, and when I take practice tests (because, say, I'm proctoring and forgot to bring a book), I always do it myself. This not only sets in your mind what to look for in the stimulus (the non-question part of the question), but it also prevents you from convincing yourself afterwards that you're in a different question type. If you haven't gotten a MBF question wrong because you picked the MBT answer or a Strengthen question wrong because you picked the weaken answer, you're a better test-taker than I.

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Jeffort
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Re: Classifying Question Types

Postby Jeffort » Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:42 pm

I'm a little bit thrown off by this question in a "WTF? how would you know what to do with each question if you don't?" way.

Perhaps my reaction is due to some people attributing different meanings/connotations to the same words and phrases and that I am interpreting what the OP is asking differently than intended.

For clarity, I'm interpreting 'classifying question types' as equivalent to 'identifying the question type that the question stem asks', AKA, it's a strengthen the argument question, a weaken, a must be true, an identify a necessary assumption question, etc.

For further clarity (since the terms are imprecisely used loosely/differently by different people in discussion board conversations), when somebody says "the question" when referring to a component of a particular test item, I assume they are referring to the question stem itself (the single sentence that dictates the criteria for the credited answer choice) rather than the argument/passage/game scenario each LR/LG/RC question is about (commonly referred to as 'The Stimulus' in the LSAT prep world).

With that being said I hope the OP meant something different than what the literal plain text of the post seems to be asking. Otherwise, if you don't identify the question type, how the heck are you supposed to know which logical relationship the correct answer choice must have to the stimulus/passage/game scenario in order to decide the proper approach to employ when analyzing and sorting through the answer choices to eliminate incorrect answers and select the credited response?

flpackerfan
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Re: Classifying Question Types

Postby flpackerfan » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:35 pm

After finishing practice tests I always took the time to classify each question. Doing that helped me clearly see my problem areas and where I needed to study more.

Ideally by the time you're taking the real test you won't have to consciously say "okay this is a global question asking what must me true". That takes up a lot valuable time. You should be able to instinctively recognize the question type and approach it accordingly.

You probably are already doing that on some sections. For example I always did well on the reading comprehension sections, so I never wasted much time developing strategies for individual question types.

tomwatts
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Re: Classifying Question Types

Postby tomwatts » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:09 pm

I consciously think of question type on LG and LR but not on RC. However, there are certainly relatively common question types on RC that jump out at me when I see them (e.g. purpose, main point). On LG and LR, the question type determines everything about what I do with the question, but less so on RC.

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510Chicken
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Re: Classifying Question Types

Postby 510Chicken » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:59 pm

Jeffort wrote:With that being said I hope the OP meant something different than what the literal plain text of the post seems to be asking. Otherwise, if you don't identify the question type, how the heck are you supposed to know which logical relationship the correct answer choice must have to the stimulus/passage/game scenario in order to decide the proper approach to employ when analyzing and sorting through the answer choices to eliminate incorrect answers and select the credited response?

Eh... more along these lines:
tomwatts wrote:I consciously think of question type on LG and LR but not on RC. However, there are certainly relatively common question types on RC that jump out at me when I see them (e.g. purpose, main point). On LG and LR, the question type determines everything about what I do with the question, but less so on RC.

Somewhere earlier on this board you answered a question about principle and conditional reasoning questions, comparing them to each other in certain circumstances. That distinction between questions types is one I would almost certainly not have made. It's most obvious to me in Logic Games, where people have hugely different approaches to different types of games. Like I said earlier, I basically used the exact same template every time (and in retrospect it made the real test a little more frustrating, I think).

It is the conscious change in strategy that tomwatts alludes to that interests me. It's obviously got its merits, but it wasn't really a practice I engaged in very often. The best analogy I can come up with is something like using a screwdriver with a variable head as opposed to a fixed one. The former requires time to identify the proper fit, but provides a much more efficient approach to each individual problem. The latter just brute forces its way through everything, hoping to make up in speed what it lacks in efficiency. At least that's how I see it. I was just curious to see why people generally seem to choose the former style to the latter, and if there might be any benefits to that second style. But maybe it's a useless/meaningless question.

bp shinners wrote:If you haven't gotten a MBF question wrong because you picked the MBT answer or a Strengthen question wrong because you picked the weaken answer, you're a better test-taker than I.

I definitely have. But really, even if I hadn't, there's no way I was ever gonna win this with your 180.




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