Question about LR strategy to save time

msuz
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Question about LR strategy to save time

Postby msuz » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:24 pm

When doing LR, the powerscore book says to read every single answer, and only to skip over answers when you are running out of time.

But they also say that every answer has 4 answers that are 100% wrong and one that is 100% right. Don't these two statements kind of contradict each other? If I think I can recognize the correct answer without reading all of them, should I chose it and move on? And is this typically a strategy that high LSAT scorers use, or do they usually read all of the answers?

Doing my practice PT today, I finished with 10-12 minutes left over using this strategy, and had time to look over questionable answers, so maybe it just works for me!

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tehrocstar
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Re: Question about LR strategy to save time

Postby tehrocstar » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:51 pm

I know in one of the Kaplan guides I've read it says that if you find the correct answer and you're sure about it, you shouldn't check the rest of the answers.

If I were you, I'd do an experiment where you mark which answers you answered without reading the remaining answer choices and see if you are getting them correct, if so. I think you're fine.

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941law
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Re: Question about LR strategy to save time

Postby 941law » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:53 pm

Not sure how 4 answers can be '100% wrong' if some of the questions on LR clearly indicate that some answers "may be right, but you need to find the strongest of those" etc etc.

Want_My_Life_Back
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Re: Question about LR strategy to save time

Postby Want_My_Life_Back » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:15 pm

The reason they say the four of the AC's are 100% wrong is because they are according to the question asked. Even strengthen and weaken questions where two AC's seem like either could be correct; just because two AC's could strengthen or weaken doesn't mean both are correct when the question asked for which one does it with the most effect. In those cases one AC normally requires a larger logical leap than the other, an assumption that is required, which our brains automatically create leading us to believe both AC's are equally strong. This is why hard questions seem so easy the second time around, or at least part of the reason, because are brains aren't tricked so easily into overlooking the gap in reasoning.
If you don't go through all of the AC's then you could very well have gotten a question wrong that you felt 100% sure that you got right. Whereas if you had at least gone through all the AC's and noted that two of them appear to be correct you can at least give yourself a fighting chance of choosing the correct one.
My friend scored a 180 when he took his LSAT and the best advice he ever gave me was NEVER assume anything on the LSAT. Even when you feel 100% sure that answer choice C is correct invest the extra 5 seconds or so to at least mentally check off the remaining two.

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suspicious android
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Re: Question about LR strategy to save time

Postby suspicious android » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:17 pm

941law wrote:Not sure how 4 answers can be '100% wrong' if some of the questions on LR clearly indicate that some answers "may be right, but you need to find the strongest of those" etc etc.


It doesn't quite say that though, it says that for some questions, more than one of the answer choices could conceivably answer the question. That doesn't actually suggest that more than one does. In practice, there are no LSAT questions for which there was one really correct answer choice and then a runner up that was pretty correct, just not as good.

bp shinners
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Re: Question about LR strategy to save time

Postby bp shinners » Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:15 am

msuz wrote:When doing LR, the powerscore book says to read every single answer, and only to skip over answers when you are running out of time.

But they also say that every answer has 4 answers that are 100% wrong and one that is 100% right. Don't these two statements kind of contradict each other? If I think I can recognize the correct answer without reading all of them, should I chose it and move on? And is this typically a strategy that high LSAT scorers use, or do they usually read all of the answers?

Doing my practice PT today, I finished with 10-12 minutes left over using this strategy, and had time to look over questionable answers, so maybe it just works for me!


You have to realize that the books are written for the largest possible audience. So while those two statements seem like a contradiction, in reality it's the best advice you can give the average test-taker out there who isn't going to reach the high 160s/low 170s (even the low 160s, for that matter).

So while you might be 100% sure of your correct answer (because you understand the test and can predict what they're looking for), the average person reading that book will go through the answers, be '100%' sure of B, then '100%' sure of D, and go back and check between those two. If they just went with their first '100% sure' answer, they'd be wrong about half the time.

For me, personally, I can guess the correct answer about 95% of the time before looking at the answers, so I check for that quickly and then scan the other answer choices for what makes them wrong. I could probably get away without the second part of that and still do as well, but why not use all of the 35 min they give you?

Obelisk18
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Re: Question about LR strategy to save time

Postby Obelisk18 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:29 pm

I would say I read all of the answer choices 80% of the time on LR and I've been in the -0 to -1 range. But I define "read" somewhat loosely. I cross out wrong answer choices, circle the "right" answer choices, and then quickly scan the remaining answer choices. I tend to scan because I'll sometimes miss words like "not" or select an answer with the word "true" when I really want "false". I scan, to make sure there isn't a similar sounding answer. Also, scanning gives me a sense of whether I've read the stimulus properly- if two plausible seeming answers pop up, especially before number 20 or so, I probably misread something. That said, I feel comfortable doing this largely because I DO have time left at the end of a section. Even reading 80% of the answer choices, I finish LR sections with 5-9 minutes to spare. When you're only marking 5 questions out of 25, there's only so much review time you can practicably use. Better to make sure I don't make a stupid mistake on a problem I ought to get right. For example, today I took Prep C, and finished the second LR section with 8 minutes to spare. Went back, stared hard at the 5 problems I'd marked, even changed an answer (fortunately, as it turned out). Twiddled my thumbs for a minute or two. Graded the thing, and ended up with a -1...getting #8 wrong, one I hadn't marked, and one that was easier than every question I had marked by a factor of 2. So I think it depends on the person. Someone who's inordinately careful and process-oriented, but who has a hard time finishing a section without rushing, is probably going to consistently read the question and answer choices properly, and recognize the correct answer immediately. That person might not benefit from reading all the answer choices once they've found one they're fairly sure is correct.

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tedler
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Re: Question about LR strategy to save time

Postby tedler » Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:32 am

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Last edited by tedler on Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PDaddy
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Re: Question about LR strategy to save time

Postby PDaddy » Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:56 am

941law wrote:Not sure how 4 answers can be '100% wrong' if some of the questions on LR clearly indicate that some answers "may be right, but you need to find the strongest of those" etc etc.


If any part of an answer is wrong, the answer is 100% wrong. The subtleties that make answers wrong may seem so small as to make the validity of the answer debatable to the untrained eye, but there is always one answer that is superior to the others, thus 100% right. Test-takers must accept this proposition in order to do well.

In reality, there are instances where more than one answer could theoretically be correct, but they are extremely rare. Moreover, there are instances where more than one answer strengthens or weakens, etc. The infusion of the word "most" eliminates the possibility that more than one answer can be correct by dictating that the stronger answer must be chosen. In 99% of the cases, what constitutes the strongest answer is far from a subjective read.

Bottom line, just accept the proposition that only one answer performs the requested function and learn to figure out why the test-makers believe it to be so.




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