Plateauing at 168-169, HELP ME BREAK 170, PLEASE!

ag912
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Plateauing at 168-169, HELP ME BREAK 170, PLEASE!

Postby ag912 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:01 am

I NEED to break 170 for the t14 due to my GPA, but the last 5 practice tests I've taken I cannot seem to break the barrier. It's like a fleeing unicorn that I can only see in my dreams!

Basically my score breakdown is usually:

4-5 wrong per logical reasoning section
2-4 wrong per reading comp
3-7 wrong on logic games

I realize that my main problem is with logic games. I'm currently taking testmasters (which is not that helpful for really pushing that 170 mark) and I've read/worked through the lsat logic games bible.

While I know that I'll probably gain a couple points on the LG section with some practice over the next month, I can't seem to shake the consistent mistakes on logic games and reading comp. What's the best way to go about minimizing my mistakes on these two sections? I want to be able to get one or the other down to 1 or 2 mistakes so I have some leeway with the LGs.

I'd really appreciate any help or direction towards books or strategies that may help me!

ag912
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Re: Plateauing at 168-169, HELP ME BREAK 170, PLEASE!

Postby ag912 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:02 am

I wanted to add that I usually finish the reading comp with 5-10 minutes and the logic games sections with 5-8 minutes to spare.

over9000
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Re: Plateauing at 168-169, HELP ME BREAK 170, PLEASE!

Postby over9000 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:59 am

LG is your problem so you have to eat, sleep, breathe logic games. Keep drilling and re drilling games until its stuck in your head. Its definitely possible to get a perfect LG section so be thankful that that is your weakness. I have the same problem as you except my RC of -5 to -8 is what's keeping me from a 170 and that's harder to improve

ag912
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Re: Plateauing at 168-169, HELP ME BREAK 170, PLEASE!

Postby ag912 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:05 am

i am drilling logic games incessantly now but what can i do to minimize my losses in LR/RC so i have some breathing room?

bp shinners
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Re: Plateauing at 168-169, HELP ME BREAK 170, PLEASE!

Postby bp shinners » Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:12 pm

Hard to say without a breakdown of the question types that are giving you problems.

However, if you have 5-10 min left on RC, you're going way too quickly through the passages and questions. That's enough time to do another passage. Check over your past practice tests, see which question type you're getting wrong (specific reference, MP, author's viewpoint, alternate viewpoint, etc...) and spend more time on the passages focused on those areas, and on the questions asking about them.

Same with Logic Games - 5-8 minutes left is enough time for another game. If you're getting a 169, that means you understand the material fairly well. Slow yourself down, check your answers, and don't make those dumb mistakes.

In short, there's absolutely no reason to have time left over in a section while complaining that you didn't do as well in that section as you wanted. Take that extra time to check for dumb mistakes. Hell, with 5-10 minutes, I could probably check my answers for 10-15 logical reasoning questions.

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Angrygeopolitically
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Re: Plateauing at 168-169, HELP ME BREAK 170, PLEASE!

Postby Angrygeopolitically » Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:26 pm

maybe some timing strategies will help you.
Like trying to do the first 10 in ten minutes for lr.
Or bubbling in after every two pages.
Try rea's logic games book if you are not perfect there yet. I went through it two times in a couple weeks and after that I stopped missing questions.
Try 6 sections a test to build up endurance if you are getting tired.
Perhaps one of those sections could be 20-26 of Cambridge's 'hardest logical reasoning problems'
Go over wrong problems looking for trends. Write down why you miss questions.
Are you testing in different locations? different times of the day? Are you eating well? testing hungry/tired?

acrossthelake
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Re: Plateauing at 168-169, HELP ME BREAK 170, PLEASE!

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:29 pm

ag912 wrote:i am drilling logic games incessantly now but what can i do to minimize my losses in LR/RC so i have some breathing room?


On the contrary, you should be minimizing your losses in LG to leave yourself breathing room for LR/RC. If you're finishing LG with 5-8 mins left, you should be getting none wrong. If you're getting that many wrong, slow down.

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birdlaw117
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Re: Plateauing at 168-169, HELP ME BREAK 170, PLEASE!

Postby birdlaw117 » Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:44 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
ag912 wrote:i am drilling logic games incessantly now but what can i do to minimize my losses in LR/RC so i have some breathing room?


On the contrary, you should be minimizing your losses in LG to leave yourself breathing room for LR/RC. If you're finishing LG with 5-8 mins left, you should be getting none wrong. If you're getting that many wrong, slow down.

This.

What makes you so confident in the incorrect answers on LG that you choose them so quickly and finish so early? Are you making assumptions that are not backed by the rules given? Are you getting close and then just guessing? Slow down. Make sure you know why each answer is right, and every other choice is wrong. When you know that, move on.

Also, how are you reviewing your PTs? Are you reviewing them? Immediately after you take each test, sit down and go through every question. Know why each is right and each is wrong. Keep doing this. Also, keep track of question types you are missing with greater frequency. Once you identify those, maybe look back at the Bibles to get some pointers in those areas.

You're at the point where you need to study more efficiently. You have to fine-tune your LSAT testing skills.

lothsome
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Re: Plateauing at 168-169, HELP ME BREAK 170, PLEASE!

Postby lothsome » Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:36 pm

On average, 10 or so wrong places you in or around 171, depending on the exam (at least, based on what I've seen in the PT books). So, if you can get LR down and RC down to 0 wrong every time, you should break 170. But LG is way easier to perfect.

However, if you're getting that broad a range wrong on each logical reasoning section (between 8 and 10 total incorrect LR across both sections) then you are unlikely to break 170. I'd say a tolerable total wrong on LR is 3 per section, on average, and even that's a little high. I recommend going into LR and really examining why you're missing questions. If you can't figure out why LR questions are coming up wrong, and correct that tendency, then I doubt you'll have a reliable chance of breaking 170.

Reading Comprehension, your scores aren't bad. Treat it the same as LR, and work on answering the questions strictly and rigorously. You're finishing with 8 minutes to spare, and you have a feeling for which questions are most likely wrong in each section (if you don't, then you're doing something wrong). Make sure you mark the questions that you're uncertain about, and use your 8 minutes to go over them and make sure you're absolutely convinced the answer is correct.

Logical Games: you should make maybe 1 error on this section, ever. If you're finishing with so much extra time, you're going too fast and probably missing, misinterpreting, or inserting rules, or else misreading questions. You may also misunderstand rules, or fail to derive all the things that should be obvious. I'd check your comprehension of the rules first, then move on to other things. Use all 35 minutes, don't stop, mark anything you aren't certain of, and if you cannot figure out why an answer is wrong, work on it until it clicks, remember why it's wrong, and apply the methods you used to solve it so similar questions and situations later.

I'll ask you, on LG are you seeing the similarities between games? If you're doing frequent PTs, you should notice that many of the games approach you with similar rules and situations. You need to perfect a method for recognizing the requirements of the game, and rapidly using methods you've already perfected to derive the correct relationships and answers on a per question basis.

ag912
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Re: Plateauing at 168-169, HELP ME BREAK 170, PLEASE!

Postby ag912 » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:18 pm

sorry there was an error, i'm not finishing the logic games and finishing the OTHER sections with 5-8 minutes to spare.

lothsome
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Re: Plateauing at 168-169, HELP ME BREAK 170, PLEASE!

Postby lothsome » Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:34 pm

ag912 wrote:sorry there was an error, i'm not finishing the logic games and finishing the OTHER sections with 5-8 minutes to spare.


Then I highly recommend pulling out the PTs and working the LG sections as hard as you can. You need to build familiarity with the games, and develop your own methods of quickly solving problems, and the best way is intense practice, and then reviewing for as long as you are able in order to develop better ways to solve the problems.

Personally, I found that when I had trouble with a LG, I was able to never have the same problem again by considering the question in detail, and determining an efficient way to think about the rules/problems. Now I finish most of the games in about 5-7 minutes, depending, and I split about 50/50 on no errors or 1 error.

Example: A question the second PT book had two categories of things, let's call them Monkeys and Zebras, with 4 zebras (a, b, c and d) and 3 monkeys (x, y, z). You then had to put them into sequential cages numbered 1 through 7 from left to right. One of the rules stated that no two zebras could be caged sequentially. This meant, since there were 4 zebras, that only one pattern was possible: ZMZMZMZ. With that knowledge, I knew immediately where the monkeys would always be. I knew that the "no sequential zebras" rule gave me this because I've seen similar things before in other games, and because practice had trained me to look for efficient sequencing methods. Thus, for any multi-category sequencing question, I am generally able to solve them without errors because of this repertoire of modes that I can rapidly and efficiently bring to bear against the problem.

Practice and repertoire building will naturally increase your speed.


As for the other sections: you're missing questions for a reason, and part of that might be because you're blowing through them and not fully considering what the stimulus or the passage actually says. Usually, I find, if you're having trouble with LR/RC it's because you aren't addressing the correct parts of the argument, or you've misinterpreted the stimulus (often they go hand in hand). It's worth it to mark any question you're uncertain of the answer to, and then return to it later to make sure. Once again, practice and repetition will build familiarity with the questions and the kinds of answers that are most frequent, and this will increase your accuracy. RC answers often, additionally, conform quite closely to the passage's structure (MP questions, for instance, often parallel the structure of the passage). It's worth it to just get to know all these things.

QUESTION: Have you been doing PTs regularly, at least 3 times per week, from cover to cover? PTs are the absolute best tool to improve consistency because, by the time you reach the consistent 175+ mark, you'll be so familiar and sick of the questions that you'll literally be able to vomit the answers onto the page.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Plateauing at 168-169, HELP ME BREAK 170, PLEASE!

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:14 pm

This is all that matters:

ag912 wrote:3-7 wrong on logic games


Work like crazy to get that down to -0.

lothsome wrote:QUESTION: Have you been doing PTs regularly, at least 3 times per week, from cover to cover? PTs are the absolute best tool to improve consistency because, by the time you reach the consistent 175+ mark, you'll be so familiar and sick of the questions that you'll literally be able to vomit the answers onto the page.


LOL +1.




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