A Thought on LR Strategy for Beginners

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A Thought on LR Strategy for Beginners

Postby Obelisk18 » Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:10 pm

For relatively obvious reasons the "re-doing old Logic Games" method (some variant of PithyPike) is really effective. On a second or third pass, a game gets easier, but you're rarely consciously remembering specifics. Each individual question still has to be worked out. Instead, you're improving because you're recognizing key elements in the set-up as denoting a certain type of game and key parts of your diagram as denoting certain types of inferences. It's a cheat but a useful one, because you'll be doing a version of this on test day. You're preparing yourself- using something like training wheels admittedly- to respond more quickly to new, but familiar, games. It seems to me that this process is a lot less useful for LR. I find that if I take an LR section, review it as everyone suggests (focusing on specifically why answers are wrong/right on challenging questions) those questions are spoiled for me. The act of spending sometimes 5 or more minutes reviewing a question ensures that if I see the question again, I instantly recognize it, and go through much the same thought process. Which, especially if I'm trying to re-do something from the early stages of my prep, is often a pretty misguided process. So it occurs to me that the typical approach to LR is somewhat inefficient. Rather than going through Manhattan/Powerscore, taking practice tests, reviewing those practice tests, re-reading bits of Manhattan/Powerscore, etc, how about something like the following:

1. Read one of the Logic Games books.

2. Make copies of a number of the early tests- those least likely to feature questions that appear in modern prep books.

3. Take these tests, one by one, until you've run through each test once.

4. Make note of the LR questions you've missed but only by number. Do not attempt to review. Don't even look back at the actual questions.

5. Read a LR book. Manhattan or Powerscore. This is likely to take, if my pacing is any guide, somewhere on the order of 30 hours. If you're working on drilling games at the same time (which you can and probably should) this step could take a month or more.

6. Return to LR sections you've already taken. Do them again. If you're strapped for time (i.e, have less than 3 months to prepare) you may now want to review these tests. Compare your original answers to your new answers. Where have you improved? Are the flaws in your original reasoning (or at least, the flaws in the answers you reasoned your way to) easy to spot? If you're not strapped for time, you may want to move on to step 7 before reviewing.

7. Take new, preferably more recent, prep-tests. Review them. Work on your weak sections. Clearly articulate why wrong answers are wrong and why right answers are right, review weak question types, etc. This is basically equivalent to the current standard.

At any point during step 7, you can return to the original sections and do them for a third time. Spend less than 35 minutes working through repeated sections if need be, to counter your increased familiarity with the questions. You're not trying to use these sections as a proxy for real testing conditions. They're meant to allow you to re-reason- improving your thought processes (based on tips from the LR books, experience reviewing other tests, etc)- questions you've gone over but don't yet know the answers to (remember, you haven't yet evaluated individual questions, just made a note of the numbers you answered incorrectly!). If time is not an issue and you don't remember the questions/answers well enough to immediately jump to an answer choice, and you never knew if your original answer was correct, and you don't have any vague attempts to justify correct but badly understood answer choices clogging up your head, this seems like a reasonable control to evaluate your progress. And it ensures that when you finally do review your answer choices (all versions of them), you'll have something more articulate to say than "arrgh, I was deciding between A and B and I just chose wrong...oh well, moving on". Thoughts?

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