Help with LR for Dec LSAT

jwatt8810
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Help with LR for Dec LSAT

Postby jwatt8810 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:56 pm

Looking for advice on how to improve LR scores before December LSAT. When I work on different types of questions individually or untimed LR sections as a whole, I usually have no problem and at most miss 1 or 2. However, once I do full PT's for time, it seems that my strategy breaks down and I am just rushing to just complete the section in time. I am averaging around -4 to -6 per section, with all coming towards the end of the test, usually around the +15-19 mark. Any advice for maintaining a sound approach under pressure? To be fair, I have only done 4 fully timed PT's, but also have worked through several timed LR sections (it's hard to get a full PT at night in when you're working 60-70 hr weeks ). While I realize practice, practice, practice is key, with only a month and a half remaining before the test, I wanted to see if there was anything else I should be doing to supplement.

Thanks in advance for any help!

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3v3ryth1ng
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Re: Help with LR for Dec LSAT

Postby 3v3ryth1ng » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:17 am

jwatt8810 wrote:Looking for advice on how to improve LR scores before December LSAT. When I work on different types of questions individually or untimed LR sections as a whole, I usually have no problem and at most miss 1 or 2. However, once I do full PT's for time, it seems that my strategy breaks down and I am just rushing to just complete the section in time. I am averaging around -4 to -6 per section, with all coming towards the end of the test, usually around the +15-19 mark. Any advice for maintaining a sound approach under pressure? To be fair, I have only done 4 fully timed PT's, but also have worked through several timed LR sections (it's hard to get a full PT at night in when you're working 60-70 hr weeks ). While I realize practice, practice, practice is key, with only a month and a half remaining before the test, I wanted to see if there was anything else I should be doing to supplement.

Thanks in advance for any help!


I had the same problem you have. At that point, I realized that my accuracy was good, but my timing was holding me back. 95% of the questions I was missing were questions I never even had a chance to try.

I was using a method that involved reading the question stem first. While this made sense at the time, I realized that it was costing me time because it required my brain to jump back and forth with different objectives while reading. While it's definitely crucial to be able to instantly know how to answer a particular question based on the stem, fully comprehending the stimulus is much more important, because you'll need all of it (even the mundane details) it to answer the question.

Read the stimulus first, and read it thoroughly. Not only does it save time by taking out a step, you'll begin to notice patterns in the stimulus that will help you predict answer choices. The LSAT has a way of using similar language for similar types of questions. You'll be reading an "identify the conclusion" question, and then you will realize "shit, I just read a conclusion" midway through the stimulus. With flaw questions, this speeds things up because you'll just see the flaw when you read; you'll know that it's a flaw question AND the exact flaw before you even read the stem (always check the stem btw). Then just scan through the answers to find the one that fits.

I still did every question thoroughly, but the timed saved from just figuring out questions before I even read the stem amounted to around 5-7 minutes. I usually finished with a minute to spare, sometimes more, missing 0-3. That's what helped me. Good luck!

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smaug_
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Re: Help with LR for Dec LSAT

Postby smaug_ » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:46 am

So, I'm no expert (I'll be taking the Dec. LSAT with you) but LR is by far my strongest section, and here are some things that I've found helpful:

1) Read everything once and answer. Circle numbers that took you longer to process or that seem to be taking more than a few seconds to answer. If you do this you will assuredly have time to review any question that you had problems with.

2) Underline elements of scope. By elements of scope, I mean words like never, must, all, some, etc. Many choices can be eliminated because they are the incorrect scope.

3) When necessary, replace words with symbolic logic. This is particularly helpful for parallel reasoning questions and necessary conclusion questions. I think it is far easier to find the necessary conclusion/ argument with parallel structure when everything is rendered in a nice "P->Q, P, |- Q." A basic understanding of MPP/MTT/RAA is invaluable if you use this method.

That's all I have, but using these methods has helped me in my PTs.

Good luck!

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glucose101
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Re: Help with LR for Dec LSAT

Postby glucose101 » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:58 am

What's MPP/MTT/RAA?

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lsatprepguy
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Re: Help with LR for Dec LSAT

Postby lsatprepguy » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:03 am

OP, to help with my timing, which seems to be what you are struggling with, try this:

Work on minimizing time spent on the earlier questions as they are generally easier, therefore giving yourself more time for the later questions.

At first, I aimed for 1 minute per question for the first ten. But I quickly found that I was able to keep at this rate until I started getting into 17-20 range.
If you can get yourself to that point without sacrificing accuracy, you will have 15+ minutes for the last 6 or 7 questions, which will help tremendously on those more difficult problems.

Eventually, you may even find that you are finishing sections early :)

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Help with LR for Dec LSAT

Postby JamMasterJ » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:15 am

start with question 11. Work to the end in about 20 minutes. Then go back and finish 1-10. try this a couple times. I've had a TON of people have success doing it this way who usually have trouble with burning out at the end of the section. The idea is to get through the hard questions before you burn out and take on the easy ones when you have less brainpower

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bigtexmex
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Re: Help with LR for Dec LSAT

Postby bigtexmex » Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:39 pm

This is the section that gives me the most trouble. LG, I'm getting 20-23 correct each time. RC about 23-25 correct. LR is the one where I'm getting 30-35.

I recently managed to get 41 correct, and the thing I did was just go through the LSAT SuperPrep in great detail to understand why I was getting so many wrong. A definite improvement on the latest PT.

I know, it's not great help, but it might be for someone checking this thread. Don't worry too much about timing just yet.

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Argyle Rocks
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Re: Help with LR for Dec LSAT

Postby Argyle Rocks » Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:43 pm

JamMasterJ wrote:start with question 11. Work to the end in about 20 minutes. Then go back and finish 1-10. try this a couple times. I've had a TON of people have success doing it this way who usually have trouble with burning out at the end of the section. The idea is to get through the hard questions before you burn out and take on the easy ones when you have less brainpower


+1. JamMasterJ's method has been praised by quite a handful of those who took the October 2011 test. When you're running out of time in an LR section, it's a lot easier to be stuck with the easier questions at the beginning of the section than to be stuck with the more time-consuming/difficult questions at the end of the section. By the time you finish #11 (or whatever the first question number of the page around that number is) to #25/26, #1-10 should be a breeze (relatively speaking, of course). I can say that Jam's method helps me with my LR timing (although, I'm definitely not a pro and still occasionally run out of time on PTs).

I have yet to hear of a person who thought they did worse using this question-attacking method for LR.

If you're still trying to master technique/fundamentals and are not quite doing sections yet, it might be advisable to hold off on this method. What I'm saying is that you should definitely solidify technique before getting the timing down. It's obvious advice, but I know plenty of people who have been so consumed by getting the timing down early that they sacrifice accuracy. That's no bueno. When you're ready for timed sections (or, perhaps you already are), then fire away with Jam's method!

Best of luck in doing well on the LR sections!

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glucose101
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Re: Help with LR for Dec LSAT

Postby glucose101 » Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:24 pm

I mean...does it matter between Jam's method and the 15-in-15? I mean, wouldn't you rather just rack up the easy pts first, so if you dont' get to the hard ones, it isn't a big deal?

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Argyle Rocks
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Re: Help with LR for Dec LSAT

Postby Argyle Rocks » Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:24 pm

glucose101 wrote:I mean...does it matter between Jam's method and the 15-in-15? I mean, wouldn't you rather just rack up the easy pts first, so if you dont' get to the hard ones, it isn't a big deal?


Fair enough and good point, as it might be splitting hairs for some. To each, his/her own. I will admit that I don't always adhere to Jam's method, but I do for most of my timed sections.

My personal preference is Jam's method mainly because I get "rid" of the tougher questions first. It's just my personality (disorder)... much like how I'll eat everything on my dinner plate that I don't like before I eat the things I do like. I know... it's weird. Eh, I digress.

My one reason (and, it's really the only reason) against the "15-in-15" method is that I seem to have an over-dependence on the watch/time with the 15-in-15 compared to starting on Question ~11. It's not that I don't look at the watch when I start on Q11, but I obsess over my pace when I'm doing 15-in-15, which I feel slows me down (or, at the very least, eats up my time). I think perhaps a slight advantage of Jam's method is that you can storm through the final 10 questions or so even if there isn't much time left.

I will concede that an advantage of 15-in-15 is getting the easy points down (as you have mentioned). A disadvantage, however, seems to be when something goes off during the first 15. Knowing that those first 15 are "easy" (relatively speaking, of course) can be a disadvantage when one spends an unusual amount of time on a question or doesn't seem to understand what the question is conveying. When that happens, it can be demoralizing because of the "everything in the first 15 should be a breeze" mentality. Of course, skipping such questions shouldn't make it much of a problem, but I think it's still a consideration.

I think the OP will definitely have to tinker around and see what works best for him/her. The matter of things "clicking" can be reached a number of ways. What you find/read on TLS might work, but it might not. People are different. But, again, I will emphasize getting the fundamentals down before timing is a concern. If the OP is past that stage, then he/she gets to figure out what works best.

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3v3ryth1ng
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Re: Help with LR for Dec LSAT

Postby 3v3ryth1ng » Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:37 pm

Argyle Rocks wrote:
glucose101 wrote:I mean...does it matter between Jam's method and the 15-in-15? I mean, wouldn't you rather just rack up the easy pts first, so if you dont' get to the hard ones, it isn't a big deal?


Fair enough and good point, as it might be splitting hairs for some. To each, his/her own. I will admit that I don't always adhere to Jam's method, but I do for most of my timed sections.

My personal preference is Jam's method mainly because I get "rid" of the tougher questions first. It's just my personality (disorder)... much like how I'll eat everything on my dinner plate that I don't like before I eat the things I do like. I know... it's weird. Eh, I digress.

My one reason (and, it's really the only reason) against the "15-in-15" method is that I seem to have an over-dependence on the watch/time with the 15-in-15 compared to starting on Question ~11. It's not that I don't look at the watch when I start on Q11, but I obsess over my pace when I'm doing 15-in-15, which I feel slows me down (or, at the very least, eats up my time). I think perhaps a slight advantage of Jam's method is that you can storm through the final 10 questions or so even if there isn't much time left.

I will concede that an advantage of 15-in-15 is getting the easy points down (as you have mentioned). A disadvantage, however, seems to be when something goes off during the first 15. Knowing that those first 15 are "easy" (relatively speaking, of course) can be a disadvantage when one spends an unusual amount of time on a question or doesn't seem to understand what the question is conveying. When that happens, it can be demoralizing because of the "everything in the first 15 should be a breeze" mentality. Of course, skipping such questions shouldn't make it much of a problem, but I think it's still a consideration.

I think the OP will definitely have to tinker around and see what works best for him/her. The matter of things "clicking" can be reached a number of ways. What you find/read on TLS might work, but it might not. People are different. But, again, I will emphasize getting the fundamentals down before timing is a concern. If the OP is past that stage, then he/she gets to figure out what works best.


I definitely tried starting later in the test before, and variations of skipping around to certain problems. Generally, I just found that I increased the likelihood of me missing the easier questions in the beginning because of the anxiety I felt near the end of a section. Maybe that's just me. Doing the first 10 in 10 minutes usually reduced my anxiety enough so that I didn't freak out on the last 15, no matter how difficult they were. I guess OP just needs to try out a couple different approaches and find what works for him!




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