Pre-phrasing answers

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Geetar Man
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Pre-phrasing answers

Postby Geetar Man » Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:36 pm

For reading comprehension, I've found that pre-phrasing my answers is the best way to practice. Since by doing this, I will force myself to dig into my short-term memory and utilize the information that I have read in the passage.

However, I was wondering if someone has practiced LR by pre-phrasing answers, and thus has gotten better in this section by doing so.

I understand that it's not possible to pre-phrase an answer for every question, but I do believe that most answers are "pre-phraseable".

Thanks!

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arkansawyer
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Re: Pre-phrasing answers

Postby arkansawyer » Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:38 pm

It's sort of a truism of lsat prep that people who pre-phrase answers score better than those who don't. You'll probably only be able to pre-phrase answers on easier questions, but it allows you to save time for the harder questions.

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arkansawyer
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Re: Pre-phrasing answers

Postby arkansawyer » Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:39 pm

I didn't really answer your question. Yes, your LR score will improve if you pre-phrase. Probably by a significant amount.

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Geetar Man
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Re: Pre-phrasing answers

Postby Geetar Man » Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:43 pm

arkansawyer wrote:It's sort of a truism of lsat prep that people who pre-phrase answers score better than those who don't. You'll probably only be able to pre-phrase answers on easier questions, but it allows you to save time for the harder questions.



So do you think that practicing pre-phrasing will help you to pre-phrase during the test --> save time on questions that you've pre-phrased the answer for and --> can use the time saved on harder questions?

Basically, is it possible that practicing to pre-phrase will help build one's "pre-phrase-ability"?

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Postby VasaVasori » Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:06 pm

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Last edited by VasaVasori on Sat May 02, 2015 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pre-phrasing answers

Postby Geetar Man » Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:57 pm

VasaVasori wrote:
Geetar Man wrote:
arkansawyer wrote:It's sort of a truism of lsat prep that people who pre-phrase answers score better than those who don't. You'll probably only be able to pre-phrase answers on easier questions, but it allows you to save time for the harder questions.



So do you think that practicing pre-phrasing will help you to pre-phrase during the test --> save time on questions that you've pre-phrased the answer for and --> can use the time saved on harder questions?

Basically, is it possible that practicing to pre-phrase will help build one's "pre-phrase-ability"?


IMO, definitely. When you first start pre-phrasing, you'll probably get a phrase that is kind of like the right answer, but as you do it more and more and see how your answer relates to the actual answer you'll almost certainly become more and more adept and pre-phrasing.



Did this happen to you? I was wondering if pre-phrasing is a huge reason for why people score in the top percentiles.

For me, if I can't form a pre-phrase, reading over the answer choices starts to make me sometimes forget what I'm looking for and confuse me. So I'm really looking for ways to pre-phrase more effectively.

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Re: Pre-phrasing answers

Postby slsplease » Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:37 pm

I wasn't aware people made a conscious effort to pre-phrase.. Usually when you read an argument you will automatically have an idea whether or not it is weak and why.

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Re: Pre-phrasing answers

Postby Geetar Man » Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:45 pm

slsplease wrote:I wasn't aware people made a conscious effort to pre-phrase.. Usually when you read an argument you will automatically have an idea whether or not it is weak and why.



Where have you been? lol I guess what you're assuming is that people naturally have the ability to automatically know what's wrong with the argument.

I don't think it's true for everyone, and for some of us, we have to basically pre-phrase what the right answer will look like before we move on to the answer choices, or else a few of the answer choices look fairly appealing. Since for me, I know that I can better answer questions correctly when I have a general notion of what I should be looking for in an answer choice. In which this comes from practicing pre-phrasing, or so I'm being told.

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Re: Pre-phrasing answers

Postby Geetar Man » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:06 pm

TTT!
Looking for other people's experiences and input!!

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Re: Pre-phrasing answers

Postby bp shinners » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:19 pm

We definitely teach that, for most questions, you can have a pretty good idea of what the answer is going to sound like before you head to the answer choices.

As far as personally, after teaching this for awhile, I can probably pre-phrase the answer to more or less what it's going to be about 80% of the time, and I have a general idea of what it's going to look like another 15% of the time. The other 5% is usually Strengthen/Weaken questions where they bring in alternate causes or new facts/situations that you can't really predict.

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Re: Pre-phrasing answers

Postby Geetar Man » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:35 pm

bp shinners wrote:We definitely teach that, for most questions, you can have a pretty good idea of what the answer is going to sound like before you head to the answer choices.

As far as personally, after teaching this for awhile, I can probably pre-phrase the answer to more or less what it's going to be about 80% of the time, and I have a general idea of what it's going to look like another 15% of the time. The other 5% is usually Strengthen/Weaken questions where they bring in alternate causes or new facts/situations that you can't really predict.



That's what I've noticed. I use post its for practice and on strengthen and weaken questions I just list possible answers (though I know there are answers ad infinitum).

BP Shinners, so you say that you guys teach students to practice pre-phrasing? Do you have any tips on what I should be focusing on when I'm trying to pre-phrase? Aside from knowing what the right answer will look like; how can I narrow down my pre-phased answers?

I am doing self-study and have began doing this so I hope it helps restructure my reasoning/assumption and gap finding abilities. I study 20 hours a week and plan on taking down this beast in June!

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Re: Pre-phrasing answers

Postby suspicious android » Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:51 am

slsplease wrote:I wasn't aware people made a conscious effort to pre-phrase.. Usually when you read an argument you will automatically have an idea whether or not it is weak and why.


Most people cannot do this. Which is why the LSAT is hard.

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Re: Pre-phrasing answers

Postby bernaldiaz » Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:00 am

slsplease wrote:I wasn't aware people made a conscious effort to pre-phrase.. Usually when you read an argument you will automatically have an idea whether or not it is weak and why.


+1

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Geetar Man
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Re: Pre-phrasing answers

Postby Geetar Man » Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:32 pm

slsplease wrote:I wasn't aware people made a conscious effort to pre-phrase.. Usually when you read an argument you will automatically have an idea whether or not it is weak and why.


Shit, well duh. But I mean finding the weakness in an argument isn't always the same as what the answer choice will be.

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Re: Pre-phrasing answers

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:09 pm

I found that pre-phrasing (as in, actively spotting the error in reasoning even before the question stem, and then formulating an answer accordingly) immensely improved my accuracy and speed. My diagnostic was -10 PER LR section, but because I got into the sweet spot of pre-phrasing/throwing out a lot of useless LSAT prep rules/picking up the pace, I ended up finishing -4 combined LR the two times I took the LSAT. (1st test -4 -0, 2nd test -2 -2). But then of course I bombed my usually error free LG both times.

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Re: Pre-phrasing answers

Postby Geetar Man » Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:24 pm

FloridaCoastalorbust wrote:I found that pre-phrasing (as in, actively spotting the error in reasoning even before the question stem, and then formulating an answer accordingly) immensely improved my accuracy and speed. My diagnostic was -10 PER LR section, but because I got into the sweet spot of pre-phrasing/throwing out a lot of useless LSAT prep rules/picking up the pace, I ended up finishing -4 combined LR the two times I took the LSAT. (1st test -4 -0, 2nd test -2 -2). But then of course I bombed my usually error free LG both times.


So, Florida, Do you think that you practicing to actively spot the error in reasoning before you hit the answer choices is what helped you pick up the pace and answer questions better?
Right now (I havent put this actually into timed practice yet), I am missing about 7 questions per LR section (which is terrible, I know).
I was NEVER pre-phrasing/assessing the argument, at first, but since I have been practicing, the questions *seem* to be getting easier/more straightforward.
I hope that it starts to all come together! I feel as if I'm getting that notorious feel for what the right answer looks like. I just hope that I can keep this up until June.

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Re: Pre-phrasing answers

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:42 pm

Geetar Man wrote:
FloridaCoastalorbust wrote:I found that pre-phrasing (as in, actively spotting the error in reasoning even before the question stem, and then formulating an answer accordingly) immensely improved my accuracy and speed. My diagnostic was -10 PER LR section, but because I got into the sweet spot of pre-phrasing/throwing out a lot of useless LSAT prep rules/picking up the pace, I ended up finishing -4 combined LR the two times I took the LSAT. (1st test -4 -0, 2nd test -2 -2). But then of course I bombed my usually error free LG both times.


So, Florida, Do you think that you practicing to actively spot the error in reasoning before you hit the answer choices is what helped you pick up the pace and answer questions better?
Right now (I havent put this actually into timed practice yet), I am missing about 7 questions per LR section (which is terrible, I know).
I was NEVER pre-phrasing/assessing the argument, at first, but since I have been practicing, the questions *seem* to be getting easier/more straightforward.
I hope that it starts to all come together! I feel as if I'm getting that notorious feel for what the right answer looks like. I just hope that I can keep this up until June.


Like I said, I came a long in LR and you'll get there too so no worries. The turning point in LR was realizing that, if I could identify the error in reasoning, I would be able to spot TCR pretty quickly. That notorious feel you are getting will get stronger and will actually develop into something sturdy you can hang your coat on. The way to develop that sturdiness is practicing hundreds of questions, with the mantra of "spot the issue" in mind while doing so. Stripping away all the complexities, LR really is just about finding what the fuck is wrong with those couple sentences. I wasted a lot of time trying to master all of the different powerscore/manhattan 'rules' and found that the only useful one was the assumption negation technique and knowing the distinction between sufficient/necessary assumption questions. Also, I had a huge jump in my PT scores after I started reading the LR question stems first. I know powerscore rants and rants against it, but doing so allowed me to immediately search for the type of mistake I needed to look for (this also helps prioritize longer/difficult questions, which seems to be more important with the modern era LR style). Just tinker with a few strategies and find what works best for you.

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Re: Pre-phrasing answers

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:50 pm

flem wrote:
Geetar Man wrote:
slsplease wrote:I wasn't aware people made a conscious effort to pre-phrase.. Usually when you read an argument you will automatically have an idea whether or not it is weak and why.


Shit, well duh. But I mean finding the weakness in an argument isn't always the same as what the answer choice will be.


Keep it vague - like a major drawback to what the argument is advocating for, or a better alternative.

Then you know what to keep an eye out for. It'd be retarded to try and guess the exact answer, or get shocked when your overly specific prephrase doesn't show up.


At least a fifth - and yes that means at least 5 questions - of TCR can be pre-phrased immediately after reading the stim before starting to look at the answer choices. It really is kind of funny after doing a bunch of PTs and seeing the answer right there in front of you. This saves a HUGE amount of time. And if your pre-phrase isn't spot on, it's sometimes close, and if not, you have still successfully identified a reasoning error by coming up with a pre-phrase in the first place.

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Geetar Man
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Re: Pre-phrasing answers

Postby Geetar Man » Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:38 pm

FloridaCoastalorbust wrote:
Geetar Man wrote:
FloridaCoastalorbust wrote:I found that pre-phrasing (as in, actively spotting the error in reasoning even before the question stem, and then formulating an answer accordingly) immensely improved my accuracy and speed. My diagnostic was -10 PER LR section, but because I got into the sweet spot of pre-phrasing/throwing out a lot of useless LSAT prep rules/picking up the pace, I ended up finishing -4 combined LR the two times I took the LSAT. (1st test -4 -0, 2nd test -2 -2). But then of course I bombed my usually error free LG both times.


So, Florida, Do you think that you practicing to actively spot the error in reasoning before you hit the answer choices is what helped you pick up the pace and answer questions better?
Right now (I havent put this actually into timed practice yet), I am missing about 7 questions per LR section (which is terrible, I know).
I was NEVER pre-phrasing/assessing the argument, at first, but since I have been practicing, the questions *seem* to be getting easier/more straightforward.
I hope that it starts to all come together! I feel as if I'm getting that notorious feel for what the right answer looks like. I just hope that I can keep this up until June.


Like I said, I came a long in LR and you'll get there too so no worries. The turning point in LR was realizing that, if I could identify the error in reasoning, I would be able to spot TCR pretty quickly. That notorious feel you are getting will get stronger and will actually develop into something sturdy you can hang your coat on. The way to develop that sturdiness is practicing hundreds of questions, with the mantra of "spot the issue" in mind while doing so. Stripping away all the complexities, LR really is just about finding what the fuck is wrong with those couple sentences. I wasted a lot of time trying to master all of the different powerscore/manhattan 'rules' and found that the only useful one was the assumption negation technique and knowing the distinction between sufficient/necessary assumption questions. Also, I had a huge jump in my PT scores after I started reading the LR question stems first. I know powerscore rants and rants against it, but doing so allowed me to immediately search for the type of mistake I needed to look for (this also helps prioritize longer/difficult questions, which seems to be more important with the modern era LR style). Just tinker with a few strategies and find what works best for you.



Yeah dude! I started reading the stem first too because it just seems like the best way to tackle the questions since you know what you're looking for. I hope that by practicing the pre-phrasing, I can start answering more questions correctly!

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Re: Pre-phrasing answers

Postby ExcelBaller » Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:01 am

Prephrasing leads to pattern recognition pattern recognition leads to speed and accuracy

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Re: Pre-phrasing answers

Postby bp shinners » Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:48 pm

Geetar Man wrote:BP Shinners, so you say that you guys teach students to practice pre-phrasing? Do you have any tips on what I should be focusing on when I'm trying to pre-phrase? Aside from knowing what the right answer will look like; how can I narrow down my pre-phased answers?


We have different tricks for different question types, though it all comes down to knowing the 'list of flaws' that are possible on LSAT arguments. Once you get them down, you can pre-phrase the answer to pretty much any question that relies on the flaw (Flaw, +/-, Sufficient and Necessary, etc...), which is the majority of the test.

There are some tricks for the other question types - any specific ones you looking for tips on?

As another poster said, though, it's mostly pattern recognition, which lets you see the matrix behind the test, which leads to faster and more accurate answering. Pre-phrasing also makes you slow down enough to actually think for a few seconds about the stimulus instead of just plowing through the answers and being distracted by things your brain decides sound good but have very little to do with the argument as presented.

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Re: Pre-phrasing answers

Postby acrossthelake » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:02 pm

Geetar Man wrote:
slsplease wrote:I wasn't aware people made a conscious effort to pre-phrase.. Usually when you read an argument you will automatically have an idea whether or not it is weak and why.


Shit, well duh. But I mean finding the weakness in an argument isn't always the same as what the answer choice will be.


I think slsplease was saying that for a fair number of high scorers, when they read the answer choice, they automatically know whether it'd weaken or strengthen or if it accurately points out a weakness in the stimulus statement, etc. But if you're finding that pre-phrasing works, then yes of course keep doing it.




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