parallel flaw/reasoning is killing me!

170hopeful
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parallel flaw/reasoning is killing me!

Postby 170hopeful » Tue May 24, 2011 10:59 am

I took the Feb 2011 exam, and under extreme anxiety and inadequate practice, I scored a 145 on my first lsat exam. I did not really prepare for it the way I should have. I took no practice exams to build endurance. I just read the LR and LG bibles. As soon as I received my score, I decided to do a little research. I happened to stumble here on TLS and LsatBlog and found the 5 month study schedule. I just had my first actual practice exam after only a month of consistent studying of LG and a piece of LR. I scored a 158 on my exam. This is hopeful considering i've got another 4 months to finish up my studying and to tear through a good number of exams i purchased. I do seem to have a little problem with parallel reasoning, I can almost never get them right. Is there some surefire method to make it a bit easier? It's killing me. I think if I could nail the parallel flaw/reasoning questions, I could make a few points increase from both LR sections.

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seancris
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Re: parallel flaw/reasoning is killing me!

Postby seancris » Tue May 24, 2011 12:02 pm

The parallel questions are pretty much just excersizes in formal logic. They're sometimes a bunch of if/then statements that you have to record (X --> Y, etc.) and then check each answer quickly to see if it matches the pattern. Something else I sometimes do is just record the key transition words in the passage which looks something like this; "Everytime that X, Y also happens. If Y, Z cannot happen. Therefore, If X no Z."

The only time I tend to miss those questions is due to careless error, so that method works for me on PTs.

For further (better) explanation I would check out velocitylsat.com, and go to "online courses." They have a really good LSAT teacher who posted full-length video explanations to the June 2007 PT. Check out a few parallel questions and then go to the site and listen to his explanations.

Manhattan LSAT Noah
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Re: parallel flaw/reasoning is killing me!

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Tue May 24, 2011 9:57 pm

try reviewing the questions you've done with this order of operations:

1. knock out answer choices that have conclusion mismatches
if more remain:
2. knock out answer choices that have premise mismatches
if more remain:
3. knock out answer choices that have logic mismatches

If you see it's effective (which I find it to be), apply to new questions.

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PDaddy
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Re: parallel flaw/reasoning is killing me!

Postby PDaddy » Tue May 24, 2011 10:08 pm

170hopeful wrote:I took the Feb 2011 exam, and under extreme anxiety and inadequate practice, I scored a 145 on my first lsat exam. I did not really prepare for it the way I should have. I took no practice exams to build endurance. I just read the LR and LG bibles. As soon as I received my score, I decided to do a little research. I happened to stumble here on TLS and LsatBlog and found the 5 month study schedule. I just had my first actual practice exam after only a month of consistent studying of LG and a piece of LR. I scored a 158 on my exam. This is hopeful considering i've got another 4 months to finish up my studying and to tear through a good number of exams i purchased. I do seem to have a little problem with parallel reasoning, I can almost never get them right. Is there some surefire method to make it a bit easier? It's killing me. I think if I could nail the parallel flaw/reasoning questions, I could make a few points increase from both LR sections.


Remember that the topic is irrelevant in parallel reasoning, although two parallel ideas may be topically similar. it's about structural similarity. You must master formal logic in order to excel at parallel reasoning, because the LSAT twists the formal logic in ways designed to trip the untrained eye. Study formal logic backwards and forwards and practice summarizing the formal logic structure of the passages. Turn the structures backwards and forwards. If you can do that, and do the same with the parallel reasoning answers, you will master it.

You don't receive that many parallel reasoning questions on each exam, so do not devote too much attention to the questions in your overall plan. But mastering formal logic in general is one of the major keys to doing well on the LSAT (logic games, etc) as well as parallel reasoning LR passages, so do devote a lot of attention to that.

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tmon
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Re: parallel flaw/reasoning is killing me!

Postby tmon » Tue May 24, 2011 10:15 pm

Tag.

This is maybe the biggest LR issue for me at the moment and I'm planning on tackling it very soon.

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mac35352
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Re: parallel flaw/reasoning is killing me!

Postby mac35352 » Tue May 24, 2011 10:25 pm

The only downside to them is that they are usually long and time consumming but they are a personal favorite.
In adition to looking at the logic aspect of the words only (I see the argument as abstractly as possible like If A then B. if B then C. If A then C), my advise is to watch out for key words. This is true of every question type but sometimes the reasoning is almost identical with the exception of a key word like probably, never, seldomly.
Good luck!

suzige
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Re: parallel flaw/reasoning is killing me!

Postby suzige » Tue May 24, 2011 10:27 pm

OP, I feel your pain. parallel flaw and reasoning kills me too.

phlb19
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Re: parallel flaw/reasoning is killing me!

Postby phlb19 » Tue May 24, 2011 10:47 pm

Do you think it would be a reasonable strategy to skip parallel and parallel flaw questions and save them for the end? Unless of course they appear in the first 10 or so?

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mac35352
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Re: parallel flaw/reasoning is killing me!

Postby mac35352 » Tue May 24, 2011 11:21 pm

phlb19 wrote:Do you think it would be a reasonable strategy to skip parallel and parallel flaw questions and save them for the end? Unless of course they appear in the first 10 or so?

It's probably a good idea considering that most of them are long with longer answer choices which takes up a lot of time.

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BrightLine
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Re: parallel flaw/reasoning is killing me!

Postby BrightLine » Wed May 25, 2011 3:22 pm

phlb19 wrote:Do you think it would be a reasonable strategy to skip parallel and parallel flaw questions and save them for the end? Unless of course they appear in the first 10 or so?


I did not find parallel or formal logic questions "hard" but I would skip and come back no matter where in the section they appeared because they were time killers.

170hopeful
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Re: parallel flaw/reasoning is killing me!

Postby 170hopeful » Wed May 25, 2011 3:31 pm

Thank you to everyone who has responded in this thread. I appreciate the comments/suggestions. I think what i'll garner from this thread is the following: Since this is easily my kryptonite, I will always circle and come back to these questions when I reach the very last LR question on that particular section. I am going to drill the hell out of this question type. Since these do take a significant amount of time to analyze and answer, it seems wise to leave them for last. I do hope by implementing these tactics that some of you have laid out that i'll become efficient at nailing these in an appropriate amount of time. :lol:

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mickeyD
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Re: parallel flaw/reasoning is killing me!

Postby mickeyD » Wed May 25, 2011 4:26 pm

Manhattan LSAT Noah wrote:try reviewing the questions you've done with this order of operations:

1. knock out answer choices that have conclusion mismatches
if more remain:
2. knock out answer choices that have premise mismatches
if more remain:
3. knock out answer choices that have logic mismatches

If you see it's effective (which I find it to be), apply to new questions.


This.

This is one of those things that I read in the LR Bible but kind of tossed, but only now have realized how huge it is. Usually, you can knock out 2/5 of the ACs by matching conclusions, and another 1 or 2 by the premises. Then you only have to quickly diagram what you have left. Just pay attention to the exact language used in the conclusion, for example "Therefore, John is the best candidate" and knock out anything that doesn't match, for example "Thus, Eric is one of the best players" or "Thus, either Maggie or Sam is the best teacher."




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