Quick question about LSAT Q's- harder as section progresses?

imjustjoking22
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Quick question about LSAT Q's- harder as section progresses?

Postby imjustjoking22 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:36 pm

I'm only on my second LSAT test (practice) but there's an obvious trend- I get the vast majority of the first questions in the sections right, with my errors being concentrated in the end of the sections.

Are the questions known to get harder as they progress in the section, or is this likely the result of test-taking fatigue/etc? (hoping it is the latter! haha).

Sorry if this is a dumb question- I don't remember reading anything about the questions varying in perceived difficulty in any uniform way, so I'm curious.

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Hawkeye Pierce
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Re: Quick question about LSAT Q's- harder as section progresses?

Postby Hawkeye Pierce » Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:56 pm

Are you talking about the LR sections? If so, yes. The first 10 are usually pretty basic in difficulty, and they more-or-less get progressively harder in chunks. I found that in the last few (20-25), there was one or two relatively easy questions as well.

imjustjoking22
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Re: Quick question about LSAT Q's- harder as section progresses?

Postby imjustjoking22 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:57 pm

Shawh wrote:Are you talking about the LR sections? If so, yes. The first 10 are usually pretty basic in difficulty, and they more-or-less get progressively harder in chunks. I found that in the last few (20-25), there was one or two relatively easy questions as well.


Well, darn!

BlueDiamond
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Re: Quick question about LSAT Q's- harder as section progresses?

Postby BlueDiamond » Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:10 pm

imjustjoking22 wrote:
Shawh wrote:Are you talking about the LR sections? If so, yes. The first 10 are usually pretty basic in difficulty, and they more-or-less get progressively harder in chunks. I found that in the last few (20-25), there was one or two relatively easy questions as well.


Well, darn!


how is this bad news? they basically give you ten warmup questions to get you in the right mindset

imjustjoking22
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Re: Quick question about LSAT Q's- harder as section progresses?

Postby imjustjoking22 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:22 pm

BlueDiamond wrote:
imjustjoking22 wrote:
Shawh wrote:Are you talking about the LR sections? If so, yes. The first 10 are usually pretty basic in difficulty, and they more-or-less get progressively harder in chunks. I found that in the last few (20-25), there was one or two relatively easy questions as well.


Well, darn!


how is this bad news? they basically give you ten warmup questions to get you in the right mindset


Ok, good point. Plus, I'm realizing that my missed questions spread is often something like 3 questions before #20 and 3 questions after, which means that fatigue has to be playing some part in it at least (my reasoning behind wanting them to all be equal difficulty was hoping I just needed to increase stamina).

Although grading myself it seems like most of my mistakes are stupid ones- I'm doing each of the sections in 20-25 minutes (except for LG, which I seem to be taking 6-7 min/per on) so I'm wondering if maybe I should stop timing myself and focus on accuracy... even though I'm not pressuring myself on time yet (just trying to get a feel for where I am) I seem to subconsciously move a bit faster through everything.

Of course, my biggest problem is probably over-analyzing every tiny step of this when I should just shut up and do 10 more practice tests before I look for "trends." :mrgreen:

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Hawkeye Pierce
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Re: Quick question about LSAT Q's- harder as section progresses?

Postby Hawkeye Pierce » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:11 pm

Be sure to focus on accuracy first. Use the old tests (like pre 40s) to practice that. Then whenyou begin to feel more comfortable, move to timed. And when you're doing the timed ones, if you find yourself finishing early, go back and double chck the ones you were not entirely sure about.

imjustjoking22
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Re: Quick question about LSAT Q's- harder as section progresses?

Postby imjustjoking22 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:31 pm

Shawh wrote:Be sure to focus on accuracy first. Use the old tests (like pre 40s) to practice that. Then whenyou begin to feel more comfortable, move to timed. And when you're doing the timed ones, if you find yourself finishing early, go back and double chck the ones you were not entirely sure about.


Yea, I think I'm going to set aside my timer for a while and try to really take my time- I've just done the June 2007 one and then I started on the earlier ones (did #7). Trying to save the later ones for closer to the lsat. I'm going to do a prep course too, so I don't know how much studying of methods I should do, but I'm figuring more practice tests never hurt anyone!

But your advice is definitely solid. Goodbye, timer. Now I have to find the patience to actually spend 35 minutes on every section...haha.

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Jeffort
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Re: Quick question about LSAT Q's- harder as section progresses?

Postby Jeffort » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:56 pm

Doing the sections in 20-25 minutes is a mistake, especially this early in your prep.

Go for accuracy without significant time pressure (take up to an hour per section if you need to) and see how you do on a full test you have never been exposed to before. Do it without the answer key near you so that you DO NOT check answers as you go and instead answer all the questions before you check the key.

Your goal taking one that way is to try and get every question correct without any aid and also without significant time pressure. Doing that helps to get an indication of how your current logical thinking/decision making compares to what the test writers expect and reward.

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Re: Quick question about LSAT Q's- harder as section progresses?

Postby imjustjoking22 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:04 pm

Jeffort wrote:Doing the sections in 20-25 minutes is a mistake, especially this early in your prep.

Go for accuracy without significant time pressure (take up to an hour per section if you need to) and see how you do on a full test you have never been exposed to before. Do it without the answer key near you so that you DO NOT check answers as you go and instead answer all the questions before you check the key.

Your goal taking one that way is to try and get every question correct without any aid and also without significant time pressure. Doing that helps to get an indication of how your current logical thinking/decision making compares to what the test writers expect and reward.


Yea, I wasn't meaning to pressure myself for time at all- I set my timer somewhere I couldn't see it and didn't set a limit, but figured I'd get a feel for how long it took me if I let the timer run. I guess instead I need to consciously slow myself so I really think through each question.

And darn it, how did you know I've been checking answers? :P So you think it's best to do all 4 sections straight rather than stop and check answers at the end of every section? I figured it would be good to see my mistakes immediately while it was still fresh in my mind, but I'm definitely down to change that if it might be better to wait.

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zozin
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Re: Quick question about LSAT Q's- harder as section progresses?

Postby zozin » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:18 pm

Have you done LR questions individually? If not, I really suggest you do that instead. If you have the Bibles/Manhattan LSAT books, read and review each chapter that focuses on a specific question type. Then work on that question type exclusively. Cambridge LSAT has LR questions broken down by type and then by difficulty, it's a great way to recognize where your weaknesses lie.

--LinkRemoved--

And yes, LR difficulty increases. 1-7 are usually going to be the easiest, the teens and early 20s are going to contain the hardest questions, the last few tend to be of medium difficulty.

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Jeffort
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Re: Quick question about LSAT Q's- harder as section progresses?

Postby Jeffort » Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:01 pm

imjustjoking22 wrote:
Jeffort wrote:Doing the sections in 20-25 minutes is a mistake, especially this early in your prep.

Go for accuracy without significant time pressure (take up to an hour per section if you need to) and see how you do on a full test you have never been exposed to before. Do it without the answer key near you so that you DO NOT check answers as you go and instead answer all the questions before you check the key.

Your goal taking one that way is to try and get every question correct without any aid and also without significant time pressure. Doing that helps to get an indication of how your current logical thinking/decision making compares to what the test writers expect and reward.


Yea, I wasn't meaning to pressure myself for time at all- I set my timer somewhere I couldn't see it and didn't set a limit, but figured I'd get a feel for how long it took me if I let the timer run. I guess instead I need to consciously slow myself so I really think through each question.

And darn it, how did you know I've been checking answers? :P So you think it's best to do all 4 sections straight rather than stop and check answers at the end of every section? I figured it would be good to see my mistakes immediately while it was still fresh in my mind, but I'm definitely down to change that if it might be better to wait.


From my 10 years working directly with students prepping for the LSAT I've seen all the various ways students study/practice and I guess that built up some good intuition. That's how I knew you were checking your answers as you worked through the questions while doing a full test. Students do it all the time.

Unfortunately, it biases how you approach later sections/questions while still working the test. You will not have the luxury of checking answers as you go on test day, therefore it is a bad habit to get into when taking a diagnostic test for 'how am I currently scoring/what are my strengths and weaknesses' purposes. It leads many people to think they are really scoring in the 170+ range on practice tests and will on test day as well, only to be disappointed when scores are released.

To get a good baseline indication of the concepts/question types/etc. you need to work on, just work through an entire test focused on accuracy, answer as many questions as you can correctly straight through with the goal of selecting the credited response for every question. Once you are done, then you correct it and review your mistakes thoroughly. Review every question you got wrong as well as the ones you were uncertain about but got lucky with a flip of the coin guess. That is how you figure out which areas & types of logical thinking and skills you are being tested on that you need to improve.

Straight up 'take lots of timed tests' practice is for later when you are approaching test day in order to build your endurance and fine tune your approach for test day conditions.

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gggrra
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Re: Quick question about LSAT Q's- harder as section progresses?

Postby gggrra » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:38 pm

imjustjoking22 wrote:
BlueDiamond wrote:
imjustjoking22 wrote:
Shawh wrote:Are you talking about the LR sections? If so, yes. The first 10 are usually pretty basic in difficulty, and they more-or-less get progressively harder in chunks. I found that in the last few (20-25), there was one or two relatively easy questions as well.


Well, darn!


how is this bad news? they basically give you ten warmup questions to get you in the right mindset


Ok, good point. Plus, I'm realizing that my missed questions spread is often something like 3 questions before #20 and 3 questions after, which means that fatigue has to be playing some part in it at least (my reasoning behind wanting them to all be equal difficulty was hoping I just needed to increase stamina).

Although grading myself it seems like most of my mistakes are stupid ones- I'm doing each of the sections in 20-25 minutes (except for LG, which I seem to be taking 6-7 min/per on) so I'm wondering if maybe I should stop timing myself and focus on accuracy... even though I'm not pressuring myself on time yet (just trying to get a feel for where I am) I seem to subconsciously move a bit faster through everything.

Of course, my biggest problem is probably over-analyzing every tiny step of this when I should just shut up and do 10 more practice tests before I look for "trends." :mrgreen:


Yea make sure you review your completed section thoroughly after each test. I made the mistake of not reviewing very thoroughly and blew threw PTs way too fast.

imjustjoking22
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Re: Quick question about LSAT Q's- harder as section progresses?

Postby imjustjoking22 » Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:15 am

Jeffort wrote:
imjustjoking22 wrote:
Jeffort wrote:Doing the sections in 20-25 minutes is a mistake, especially this early in your prep.

Go for accuracy without significant time pressure (take up to an hour per section if you need to) and see how you do on a full test you have never been exposed to before. Do it without the answer key near you so that you DO NOT check answers as you go and instead answer all the questions before you check the key.

Your goal taking one that way is to try and get every question correct without any aid and also without significant time pressure. Doing that helps to get an indication of how your current logical thinking/decision making compares to what the test writers expect and reward.


Yea, I wasn't meaning to pressure myself for time at all- I set my timer somewhere I couldn't see it and didn't set a limit, but figured I'd get a feel for how long it took me if I let the timer run. I guess instead I need to consciously slow myself so I really think through each question.

And darn it, how did you know I've been checking answers? :P So you think it's best to do all 4 sections straight rather than stop and check answers at the end of every section? I figured it would be good to see my mistakes immediately while it was still fresh in my mind, but I'm definitely down to change that if it might be better to wait.


From my 10 years working directly with students prepping for the LSAT I've seen all the various ways students study/practice and I guess that built up some good intuition. That's how I knew you were checking your answers as you worked through the questions while doing a full test. Students do it all the time.

Unfortunately, it biases how you approach later sections/questions while still working the test. You will not have the luxury of checking answers as you go on test day, therefore it is a bad habit to get into when taking a diagnostic test for 'how am I currently scoring/what are my strengths and weaknesses' purposes. It leads many people to think they are really scoring in the 170+ range on practice tests and will on test day as well, only to be disappointed when scores are released.

To get a good baseline indication of the concepts/question types/etc. you need to work on, just work through an entire test focused on accuracy, answer as many questions as you can correctly straight through with the goal of selecting the credited response for every question. Once you are done, then you correct it and review your mistakes thoroughly. Review every question you got wrong as well as the ones you were uncertain about but got lucky with a flip of the coin guess. That is how you figure out which areas & types of logical thinking and skills you are being tested on that you need to improve.

Straight up 'take lots of timed tests' practice is for later when you are approaching test day in order to build your endurance and fine tune your approach for test day conditions.


Thanks, everybody!

So if I'm going to take a prep course, should I still start learning question types and all of that beforehand? It sounds a bit stupid now to not do it, but I have read several places that they recommend you not prep too much before the course itself.

I have some prep books (plus the PS bibles) and then the tests through the 50s, and I do have a full month-I don't want to waste it when I could be studying in a "smarter" way.

I'll narrow my focus a bit and do some of the PS LG book. I feel like LR and RC are going to be my "strengths" in comparison, while LG could be the one section I am in danger of blanking completely on- so makes sense to become comfortable with that and then shift my focus to the other sections in turn.

imjustjoking22
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Re: Quick question about LSAT Q's- harder as section progresses?

Postby imjustjoking22 » Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:42 pm

Well, the PS bible is kind of rocking my world.... I may have also spent a solid 6 hours with it just now. Ahh!

...I'm hoping it's normal for the games to feel harder before they feel easier...




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