Help with Logical Reasoning...Time Issues

FAJISTE
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Help with Logical Reasoning...Time Issues

Postby FAJISTE » Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:06 pm

I know that even though I think my problem is unique, this has obviously troubled thousands of LSATers before. But regardless, I recently began taking a few timed preptests, and in the logical reasoning sections I consistently got anywhere from 8-12 wrong. As a result, I began doing a few LR sections without timing myself and I consistently got -1 or even none wrong. How can I increase my speed without losing my accuracy? Do I need to just keep doing timed LR sections until I reach my goal of -1 or none wrong? I noticed that the questions I get wrong are stupid mistakes as well, do to a lack of time to read the question and a constant feeling as though I'm being rushed to read through the problems and answer the questions.

Any advice or tips anyone could offer would be greatly appreciated.

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incompetentia
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Re: Help with Logical Reasoning...Time Issues

Postby incompetentia » Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:08 pm

It sounds like you're freaking yourself out a little bit with the time. Roughly how many questions do you end up not having time for at the end? Is it 8-12, or do you get through most and simply feel like you're rushing?
How much time does it take for you to complete an untimed section? Do you find that you're missing a certain question type more when you feel rushed, or does it seem pretty evenly spread among all of the question types?

FAJISTE
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Re: Help with Logical Reasoning...Time Issues

Postby FAJISTE » Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:15 pm

Well at first when I began timing my sections I'd only get up to like question # 15 with about 1 or 2 wrong. I began doing questions quicker in order to increase my speed. Now I can finish the section in time, but I'll have like 8-12 wrong. So I've apparently sacrificed accuracy for time.

It takes me about 45-50 minutes to complete an untimed section. The questions that I'm working on for literally like 5-7 minutes are mostly Parallel Reasoning and questions in which I'm not sure whether to apply Formal Logic to or not. Some parallel reasoning questions really get me because I can't find any of the things that the LR Bible tells me to search for (Matching the Conclusion, the Premises, the Reasoning etc) in the answers and then I end up wasting like ten minutes to diagram the premise and the answers to see if they match up.

In addition: When I do the timed tests I literally circle the one I believe to be correct and move on right away without reading the rest. Usually those are the ones I get wrong because there's usually a better answer out there then the one I hastily selected.

I just get so caught up worrying about time and finishing the first ten in ten minutes, etc. Also, I literally started timing myself just earlier this Monday, so perhaps I just need more practice? I just want to know where I stand and what path I need to head down.

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incompetentia
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Re: Help with Logical Reasoning...Time Issues

Postby incompetentia » Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:24 pm

It does sound like you're freaking yourself out more than you should with the time issue. Remember that answering 5 questions deliberately and accurately is better than trying to rush through 10.

Parallel reasoning questions are typically the ones people find most time-consuming. Often, the best thing to do at first, at least with respect to time management, is to leave these until the end of the section. There's really no easy way around them, but with some practice, you should be able to quickly disqualify a couple of the answers right off the bat.
Personally, I try to keep a rough idea of how much time I've spent on the current question, and if I feel I've reached 2-2.5 minutes on the current question, I'll usually just mark it and come back later, which serves the dual purpose of being able to tackle the other questions and also having a fresh look at the question when you do return to it. If you're spending even 4 minutes on any single question, you've already used up more than 10% of the entire time on the ~25-question section.


Do note that 1-15 are typically the easier questions in the section, with 16-25 being more difficult. Since it sounds like you're missing the majority of these when you have the sections timed, it would probably benefit you to find the simpler questions and tackle those deliberately, rather than trying to speed through, which seems to lower your accuracy to not much better than guessing.

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Yougot
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Re: Help with Logical Reasoning...Time Issues

Postby Yougot » Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:28 pm

Set your timer for 30 minutes and train like that.

What worked for me was starting off fast and then forcing myself to slow down near the end. I normally hit the last 10 questions with 15 minutes left, allowing myself to slow down and think those ones through.

25 questions

First 10 target: A minute each.
11-20: 90 seconds each.
21-25: 2 minutes each.

At that pace a 25 question test will take 35 minutes. I know that it is a lot easier said than done, but practice, practice, practice makes perfect.

FAJISTE
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Re: Help with Logical Reasoning...Time Issues

Postby FAJISTE » Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:38 pm

Thank you for the hasty replies. I'm going to keep timing myself on preptests and focus on precision/accuracy rather than timing. If I finish, great. If I don't, fine. Once I consistently get the first ten right, I'm going to focus on getting them done in ten minutes or less, and so on. Does that sound like a viable strategy?

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Verity
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Re: Help with Logical Reasoning...Time Issues

Postby Verity » Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:39 pm

incompetentia wrote:It does sound like you're freaking yourself out more than you should with the time issue. Remember that answering 5 questions deliberately and accurately is better than trying to rush through 10.

Parallel reasoning questions are typically the ones people find most time-consuming. Often, the best thing to do at first, at least with respect to time management, is to leave these until the end of the section. There's really no easy way around them, but with some practice, you should be able to quickly disqualify a couple of the answers right off the bat.
Personally, I try to keep a rough idea of how much time I've spent on the current question, and if I feel I've reached 2-2.5 minutes on the current question, I'll usually just mark it and come back later, which serves the dual purpose of being able to tackle the other questions and also having a fresh look at the question when you do return to it. If you're spending even 4 minutes on any single question, you've already used up more than 10% of the entire time on the ~25-question section.


Do note that 1-15 are typically the easier questions in the section, with 16-25 being more difficult. Since it sounds like you're missing the majority of these when you have the sections timed, it would probably benefit you to find the simpler questions and tackle those deliberately, rather than trying to speed through, which seems to lower your accuracy to not much better than guessing.


I'll give you $1K if you explain the whole bok choy/Evil Oprah thing.

R1chardParker
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Re: Help with Logical Reasoning...Time Issues

Postby R1chardParker » Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:42 pm

To improve my LR speed I did a lot of drills where I would attempt to complete the first 10 questions in a section in 10 minutes. When I was able to do that without sacrificing accuracy, I switched to doing the first 15 questions in 15 minutes. I think this helped tremendously- I finished both my LR sections (and the experimental LR) with time to review all my answers but didn't feel rushed.

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incompetentia
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Re: Help with Logical Reasoning...Time Issues

Postby incompetentia » Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:46 pm

Verity wrote:I'll give you $1K if you explain the whole bok choy/Evil Oprah thing.

Had no tar on a previous board I frequented for a long time, so somebody made me this:

Image

It's evolved from there.
I take Visa, Discover, or cash.

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Verity
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Re: Help with Logical Reasoning...Time Issues

Postby Verity » Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:46 pm

incompetentia wrote:
Verity wrote:I'll give you $1K if you explain the whole bok choy/Evil Oprah thing.

Had no tar on a previous board I frequented for a long time, so somebody made me this:

Image

It's evolved from there.
I take Visa, Discover, or cash.


But why bok choy?

FAJISTE
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Re: Help with Logical Reasoning...Time Issues

Postby FAJISTE » Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:52 pm

ncterp wrote:To improve my LR speed I did a lot of drills where I would attempt to complete the first 10 questions in a section in 10 minutes. When I was able to do that without sacrificing accuracy, I switched to doing the first 15 questions in 15 minutes. I think this helped tremendously- I finished both my LR sections (and the experimental LR) with time to review all my answers but didn't feel rushed.


Which preptests did you use for drilling 10 for 10 mins and 15 for 15 mins? I'm asking this because I don't want to run out of sections so I can save at least 20-30 for full-length preptests.

totaltest.milan
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Re: Help with Logical Reasoning...Time Issues

Postby totaltest.milan » Fri Jul 15, 2011 3:01 pm

Find which questions are giving you the most trouble (you said that you're struggling with the parallel reasoning questions) and practice those in isolation, do a bunch until you feel more comfortable with how you're approaching them. Then move on to doing timed sections. I generally advise to do untimed sections first but if you're getting -1 then you can move on to timed sections. I have lists of argument question types on my site in the resources section. Also, the arguments section has changed the least from the first published tests up to now so you can work from any of the published tests. In general I try and have my students use the latest tests for full-length timed practice and the earlier ones for practicing questions and sections.

Parallel reasoning is tough because there's a lot of reading, but if you're approaching them properly then there's no reason for you to diagram every single choice, they always have at least a couple of choices where one of the key elements (premises, reasoning, conclusion) doesn't match and that you can eliminate quickly. It's a question of developing the ability to spot that.

If you feel that you understand the different question types and how to do them then don't worry too much, your score is definitely going to improve once you start working through the timed sections. This test is largely a skills test, and like any other skill improvement comes through practice.

R1chardParker
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Re: Help with Logical Reasoning...Time Issues

Postby R1chardParker » Fri Jul 15, 2011 3:05 pm

I used older prep tests to do the drills noted above (the ones included in the 10 real LSAT series). I never took the older prep tests in full. Instead, I used them for LR drills, logic games drills, etc.

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incompetentia
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Re: Help with Logical Reasoning...Time Issues

Postby incompetentia » Fri Jul 15, 2011 3:43 pm

Verity wrote:But why bok choy?

It was the first thing that came to mind when somebody offered to redesign.

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Verity
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Re: Help with Logical Reasoning...Time Issues

Postby Verity » Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:26 pm

incompetentia wrote:
Verity wrote:But why bok choy?

It was the first thing that came to mind when somebody offered to redesign.


No money.

FAJISTE
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Re: Help with Logical Reasoning...Time Issues

Postby FAJISTE » Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:09 pm

Update: So I've been drilling the 10 questions 10 minute approach and I've been able to finish the first ten in ten minutes with almost none wrong (maybe one here and there from stupid mistakes). I must say it's been working great and checking the other answers to make sure that there isn't a better one has definitely increased my accuracy. The first ten questions really are much easier; after drilling them for a bit, I noticed how ridiculous the incorrect answers seem when pitted against the correct one.

Thanks guys for the tips. Greatly appreciated. I guess I just seemed lost and frustrated with this section without knowing which way to turn. But now I am definitely seeing improvements. You've all been very helpful, especially the guy who backed off the 1k deal with evil Oprah :)

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birdlaw117
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Re: Help with Logical Reasoning...Time Issues

Postby birdlaw117 » Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:22 pm

If you're still struggling with Parallel Reasoning questions, you could just immediately diagram the stem, and then as you're reading each answer choice, compare it to your diagram on the fly. You should be able to eliminate at least 3 of the 5 doing this (I would think), and then focus on the last two for just a little bit more. Based on what I read, it sounds like this would shorten your process by quite a bit.

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EarlCat
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Re: Help with Logical Reasoning...Time Issues

Postby EarlCat » Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:53 pm

Verity wrote:
incompetentia wrote:
Verity wrote:But why bok choy?

It was the first thing that came to mind when somebody offered to redesign.


No money.

Image

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bleh
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Re: Help with Logical Reasoning...Time Issues

Postby bleh » Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:35 pm

well if you can do things right. it means you just need to do more and speed it up.
it would be different story if you can't get them right untimed and you don't know why.
just do more questions.




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