How is this possible..

tmc07d
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How is this possible..

Postby tmc07d » Sun May 22, 2011 10:44 pm

Somewhere deep in these forums ive heard someone say "I really love it when I know the answer in my head even before reading the answer choices", referring to logical reasoning. I would like to know, how is it possible to literally be that accurate and that precise that before you even look at the answer you already know it. How can you prephrase that well? Can anyone enlighten me on this?

WayBryson
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Re: How is this possible..

Postby WayBryson » Sun May 22, 2011 10:49 pm

It isn't uncommon for questions to have one and only one logical solution. If you have your head firmly wrapped around what is being asked, then some questions are as obvious as 1+1=x.

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tmon
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Re: How is this possible..

Postby tmon » Sun May 22, 2011 10:49 pm

I know I've felt something like this when reading through a stimulus before, however, I think it's often an exaggeration for people to say they know exactly what the AC was going to be. There are times though when pre-phrasing the AC turns out to be extremely accurate. There are certain situations that the LSAT tests over and over, so if you've seen it before, you're already clued in. I don't think anyone recommends not doing your due dilligence in reading the possible ACs, but it just helps you spot the correct one faster.

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minnbills
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Re: How is this possible..

Postby minnbills » Sun May 22, 2011 10:50 pm

tmc07d wrote:Somewhere deep in these forums ive heard someone say "I really love it when I know the answer in my head even before reading the answer choices", referring to logical reasoning. I would like to know, how is it possible to literally be that accurate and that precise that before you even look at the answer you already know it. How can you prephrase that well? Can anyone enlighten me on this?


It's called "pre-phrasing."

Basically, you just try and anticipate what a right answer could be or would be if you were creating the test, and then looking for that answer.

For example, let's say aquestion asks:

Andi: if Mike drives 90mph on his way home, he will get a speeding ticket. Mike got a speeding ticket, so he must have been driving 90 mph.

Question: Which of the following is a flaw in Andy's reasoning:

Now, if you had to anticipate what the flaw was, what would you say? Andi assumed that because the result happened, one possible cause must have also occured. But he could have been going 70, or 100, or whatever and still gotten that ticket. So you would then look for an answer that points out this flaw.

This method works sometimes, I've never heard of anyone who could guess every answer, I doubt there are many who could even do most.

I hope that helps.

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Corwin
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Re: How is this possible..

Postby Corwin » Mon May 23, 2011 1:07 am

tmc07d wrote:Somewhere deep in these forums ive heard someone say "I really love it when I know the answer in my head even before reading the answer choices", referring to logical reasoning. I would like to know, how is it possible to literally be that accurate and that precise that before you even look at the answer you already know it. How can you prephrase that well? Can anyone enlighten me on this?

There are underlying patterns in the the LG and LR sections that can be recognized. Do enough prep and you'll start to see them.

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dpk711
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Re: How is this possible..

Postby dpk711 » Mon May 23, 2011 1:11 am

I find that many justify, flaw, and assumption questions are particularly easy to prephrase.

theaether
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Re: How is this possible..

Postby theaether » Mon May 23, 2011 1:17 am

Don't get in the trap of sticking to your prephrased answer and betting your life on it though. Sometimes it's hard to see TCR if you don't also keep an open mind and think of other approaches to the problem. Relying too hard on prephrasing kept me from getting the best scores I could in LR, until I became more flexible.

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gbpackerbacker
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Re: How is this possible..

Postby gbpackerbacker » Mon May 23, 2011 1:18 am

After so many practice tests, I felt I knew the answer before seeing the answer choices. It even got to the point where
I woud read less than half the question a lot of the time. I went a combined -4 on LR, FWIW.

thecactus
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Re: How is this possible..

Postby thecactus » Mon May 23, 2011 5:12 am

The point is not to figure EXACTLY what the right answer would be. The point is to predict as much as you can about what the right answer choice will look like before reading the answer choices. If you jump right into the answer choices without having an idea of what you're looking for, you will waste time and increase the likelihood that you will be led astray by attractive but incorrect answers.

Main point/conclusion, assumption, ID the flaw, justify questions are all very easy to anticipate.

Weaken, strengthen, parallel reasoning/flaw questions are very difficult to anticipate, so it's usually not worth your time to try. (However, for some weaken questions, if you can identify where the flaw in the argument is, it becomes easier to anticipate and spot an answer choice that exploits this flaw.)

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Jeffort
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Re: How is this possible..

Postby Jeffort » Mon May 23, 2011 1:07 pm

tmc07d wrote:Somewhere deep in these forums ive heard someone say "I really love it when I know the answer in my head even before reading the answer choices", referring to logical reasoning. I would like to know, how is it possible to literally be that accurate and that precise that before you even look at the answer you already know it. How can you prephrase that well? Can anyone enlighten me on this?


The "pre-phrase the correct answer" technique is not about trying to predict the specific sentence or exact set of words to look for in the answer choices before reading them. Since the LSAT question writers are skilled at paraphrasing it is impossible to predict the exact wording of the credited answer choice for a logical reasoning question.

Taught properly, the technique is intended to get you to read the stimulus and question stem carefully and know which question type you are asked so you are prepared to find and select the credited answer choice from the 5 options. For instance, when dealing with an assumption question, having an idea what the gap(s) in the reasoning of the argument are.

BTW, prephrase or prephrasing are not valid words recognized by, listed in or defined by any dictionary, hence the confusion about what it means to do so.
It is a term invented and used by test prep companies.
Last edited by Jeffort on Mon May 23, 2011 1:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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sanetruth
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Re: How is this possible..

Postby sanetruth » Mon May 23, 2011 1:12 pm

dpk711 wrote:I find that many justify, flaw, and assumption questions are particularly easy to prephrase.


Agreed, especially assumption questions. There is a trick with assumption questions regarding 'new information', meaning that late in the stimulus a word or phrase appears that was not mentioned in the initial argument. When an assumption question dumps new information on you in the stimulus, you can be 90% sure that this new information is related to the assumption the argument is making.

bp shinners
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Re: How is this possible..

Postby bp shinners » Mon May 23, 2011 1:23 pm

Don't forget main point questions; those are fairly predictable.

But, as others have said, there are patterns in the questions that start to emerge when you review enough materials. Some question types are more amenable to predicting the answers than others (sufficient assumption questions, for instance, can often be predicted nearly word for word), and it's important to figure out which types these are so that you don't waste time trying to predict an answer when it's not going to be easy to do so (or possible, in some cases).

phx
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Re: How is this possible..

Postby phx » Mon May 23, 2011 1:39 pm

After a few thousand LR questions (which you can easily achieve), previously hidden patterns start to emerge. I think you'll find that you begin to pre-phrase (as in guess at what the answer is before reading the answer choices) without even thinking about it, just from seeing so many of the same fact patterns and types of arguments and having a long catalog in your head of what previous answers were. After a certain point, you can begin to get a feel for which question types go with which stimuli. I found that sometimes my pre-phrase was spot on and allowed me to accelerate through the question, thereby buying me more time for future questions.

Even when my pre-phrase was not the correct answer, I found it very useful for eliminating incorrect answer choices since while not ultimately in the answer choices, my pre-phrase gave me a good idea of what type of answer I was looking for. Some people intentionally try to pre-phrase, but as I said, I just sort of subconsciously started doing it after awhile.

flexityflex86
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Re: How is this possible..

Postby flexityflex86 » Mon May 23, 2011 1:51 pm

Disagree it's a few 1000.

It can happen after 1, and it can never happen at all.

It really has more to do with perfectly understanding the argument you're reading. It is much harder to predict a strengthen/weaken than a flaw or an assumption as many things can strengthen an argument, but there are normally a limited set of flaws or assumptions.

For example if somebody says, "Israel's pre-67 boarders are defensible, because they defended them successfully then" - the necessary assumption is "anything that could be defended before '67 can be defended now", and the flaw is stating that past success guarantees future success. There are 1000s of things that can weaken this: "the israeli military is weaker now relative to its neighbors", "syria has more missles" etc. and there are 1000s of things that can strengthen it.

cardsfan04
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Re: How is this possible..

Postby cardsfan04 » Mon May 23, 2011 2:02 pm

I would be skeptical of anybody who claims to always be able to predict the correct answer. I try to prephrase when I can, but I find it more important to think of what kind of answer you are looking for than the specific wording, especially on strengthen/weaken. If you get a prephrased answer in your head, but don't see it, you have to go back and do this anyway, so I just do it before reading the ACs.




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