What is the best way to review wrong answer choices??

MissJenna
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 11:18 am

What is the best way to review wrong answer choices??

Postby MissJenna » Fri May 04, 2012 11:20 am

Please help. I seriously cannot figure out how to review the wrong answer choices after I take prep tests & individual sections. I find myself obviously not learning from my mistakes. I don't know how to best analyze/review them so I can learn from them and not make the same damn mistakes again and again.

I have read tons of threads on this here and other forums and none of the threads are really specific as to what one should do exactly. All they say is to: "Thoroughly analyze your wrong (and right) answer choices." Ok...that's great but how exactly do we do that? I really believe this is A LOT more difficult than people make it sound.

Btw, I am specifically referring to the LR section. But if you have any tips for the RC section, I will definitely take those as well.:-)

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bdeebs
Posts: 133
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Re: What is the best way to review wrong answer choices??

Postby bdeebs » Fri May 04, 2012 1:16 pm

You asked for detail, so I will try to make this as detailed as possible, but keep in mind that this is based only on my thoughts. I haven't tutored anyone to see how they may respond, but I'm guessing this general approach is common.

First, I do the review within a day of taking the test, preferably the same day. I have to do this for two reasons. The first is that I need to remember what I was thinking, so I can correct it. The second is that if I wait too long, the fact that I got the question wrong doesn't insult me quite as much, and it is harder for me to ingrain something in my brain if I don't care about it.

I've always done some version of what I'm about to describe, but the one I use now is what the people at 7sage call "Blind Review". First, while taking the test, I mark every question that I'm not 100% sure about. Since I find it difficult to be purely 100% sure of anything without taking more time than I would under timed conditions, I define 100% as the point at which I would be willing to pay someone $50 if the answer is wrong without being marked. I tend to use a darker mark if I am more unsure of an answer.

The next part very important. Go back to the circled answer choices WITHOUT looking at the answers. This helps me to analyze my answers without half assing the process. For me, the small amount of assistance that knowing the correct answer choice provides probably diminishes the effectiveness of my review by 50%. At this time, I spend as much time as I need reviewing (I'll get to this process in a second) the circled answer choices until I am 100% sure that the answers are right, or until I give up because I can't understand after thinking about the problem for 10 minutes. If I choose to make changes to the answers, I mark it in pen to differentiate between the two answer choices. Then I check the answers and analyze what I got wrong. If a unmarked question is wrong, then it is a matter of overconfidence and I think really hard about how they tricked me into being so certain that I was right. If I marked a question and didn't make any changes, then it means my intuition was right and I think about how I could be more certain next time. If I initially had the answer wrong, then changed it to the right answer, then it's more of a time issue. If I marked it wrong and changed it to a wrong answer, then I don't know what the hell is going on in that question and I go back to the problem and repeat the process knowing the answer choice. If I still don't know what's going on, I'll seek help elsewhere.

As for the actual review process...
First, I try to break down the stimulus. This includes identifying which parts are premises and which parts are conclusions. Then, depending on the question, I try to come up with a possible answer. This will often be easy for questions in the beginning of the test, but more difficult to articulate for the latter half of the test. The type of answer will vary based on the type of question. For example, if it is a Strengthen/Weaken question, I will try to identify the main assumption made in the argument and then articulate a statement that either affirms or refutes that assumption. This identification process will become quicker with time, but to start, just look at your main conclusion and find something that isn't talked about in the rest of the stimulus. Then find a way to connect your premises to that thing you found.

Ex. I like the fall (C) because I like it when trees change color (P). Here's my stream of consciousness way of weakening it: The conclusion talks about the fall. The premise talks about trees changing color. How is changing color connected to fall? I guess in a lot of people's everyday life they grow up around leafy trees that change color in the fall so the author probably wants them to assume that fact. To counter that assumption, I'll just say something like, "Trees don't change color in the fall."

Whether this is the correct wording or even the correct assumption doesn't really matter to me. I just need to make sure I'm thinking critically about the stimulus. Then I go on to the answer choices and articulate to myself or a friend the exact reason why I choose a correct choice or eliminate the incorrect choices. The way that I do this is to create imaginary worlds where the incorrect answer choices don't do what the question stem is asking them to do. Then I try to articulate how the test makers were trying to trick me.

Ex: Ben likes the fall because in seeing the leaves on trees change color in his backyard, he is reminded of his youth.
Which of the following must be true?
A) Leaves change color because of a reduction in chlorophyll.
B) Ben likes the color orange.
C) Ben is not blind.
D) Leaves change color in the fall and spring.
E) Ben would get more enjoyment out of the money from chopping down his tree and selling the lumber than he would from looking at them.

A) This is wrong for two reasons. First of all, maybe chlorophyll isn't even related to color in this world. Maybe fairies come and paint all the trees. More importantly, the answer specifies a reduction in chlorophyll. Perhaps there is a time in spring where the leaves become green due to an increase in chlorophyll. Test writers are trying to draw in those science nerds that have prior knowledge.

B) This answer wants you to assume that orange is a color that leaves change and Ben likes it. Well maybe Ben is indifferent to orange, but really loves yellow and red, and that is why he likes to see the leaves change. In that case, could be false.

C) The stimulus says he sees leaves change color. He cannot be blind. This is right.

D) This plays on prior knowledge again. Maybe in Ben's world, leaves change color in Fall and Winter...who knows?

E) There's usually some completely random answer like this. You don't really even have to imagine a scenario where it is false because it's so obviously wrong.

I hope that made sense. It's more difficult than I thought to explain a thought process. Let me know if you need clarification.

Manhattan LSAT Noah
Posts: 746
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:43 am

Re: What is the best way to review wrong answer choices??

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Fri May 04, 2012 1:24 pm

Good ideas, bdeebs - especially the part about reviewing before checking your answer.

Here are a couple more ideas: http://www.manhattanlsat.com/blog/index ... lanations/ & here's one on diagnosing problems -- it's also part of what you should do for yourself in review: http://www.manhattanlsat.com/blog/index ... lsat-help/

dkb17xzx
Posts: 405
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:25 pm

Re: What is the best way to review wrong answer choices??

Postby dkb17xzx » Fri May 04, 2012 1:33 pm

bdeebs wrote:You asked for detail, so I will try to make this as detailed as possible, but keep in mind that this is based only on my thoughts. I haven't tutored anyone to see how they may respond, but I'm guessing this general approach is common.

First, I do the review within a day of taking the test, preferably the same day. I have to do this for two reasons. The first is that I need to remember what I was thinking, so I can correct it. The second is that if I wait too long, the fact that I got the question wrong doesn't insult me quite as much, and it is harder for me to ingrain something in my brain if I don't care about it.

I've always done some version of what I'm about to describe, but the one I use now is what the people at 7sage call "Blind Review". First, while taking the test, I mark every question that I'm not 100% sure about. Since I find it difficult to be purely 100% sure of anything without taking more time than I would under timed conditions, I define 100% as the point at which I would be willing to pay someone $50 if the answer is wrong without being marked. I tend to use a darker mark if I am more unsure of an answer.

The next part very important. Go back to the circled answer choices WITHOUT looking at the answers. This helps me to analyze my answers without half assing the process. For me, the small amount of assistance that knowing the correct answer choice provides probably diminishes the effectiveness of my review by 50%. At this time, I spend as much time as I need reviewing (I'll get to this process in a second) the circled answer choices until I am 100% sure that the answers are right, or until I give up because I can't understand after thinking about the problem for 10 minutes. If I choose to make changes to the answers, I mark it in pen to differentiate between the two answer choices. Then I check the answers and analyze what I got wrong. If a unmarked question is wrong, then it is a matter of overconfidence and I think really hard about how they tricked me into being so certain that I was right. If I marked a question and didn't make any changes, then it means my intuition was right and I think about how I could be more certain next time. If I initially had the answer wrong, then changed it to the right answer, then it's more of a time issue. If I marked it wrong and changed it to a wrong answer, then I don't know what the hell is going on in that question and I go back to the problem and repeat the process knowing the answer choice. If I still don't know what's going on, I'll seek help elsewhere.

As for the actual review process...
First, I try to break down the stimulus. This includes identifying which parts are premises and which parts are conclusions. Then, depending on the question, I try to come up with a possible answer. This will often be easy for questions in the beginning of the test, but more difficult to articulate for the latter half of the test. The type of answer will vary based on the type of question. For example, if it is a Strengthen/Weaken question, I will try to identify the main assumption made in the argument and then articulate a statement that either affirms or refutes that assumption. This identification process will become quicker with time, but to start, just look at your main conclusion and find something that isn't talked about in the rest of the stimulus. Then find a way to connect your premises to that thing you found.

Ex. I like the fall (C) because I like it when trees change color (P). Here's my stream of consciousness way of weakening it: The conclusion talks about the fall. The premise talks about trees changing color. How is changing color connected to fall? I guess in a lot of people's everyday life they grow up around leafy trees that change color in the fall so the author probably wants them to assume that fact. To counter that assumption, I'll just say something like, "Trees don't change color in the fall."

Whether this is the correct wording or even the correct assumption doesn't really matter to me. I just need to make sure I'm thinking critically about the stimulus. Then I go on to the answer choices and articulate to myself or a friend the exact reason why I choose a correct choice or eliminate the incorrect choices. The way that I do this is to create imaginary worlds where the incorrect answer choices don't do what the question stem is asking them to do. Then I try to articulate how the test makers were trying to trick me.

Ex: Ben likes the fall because in seeing the leaves on trees change color in his backyard, he is reminded of his youth.
Which of the following must be true?
A) Leaves change color because of a reduction in chlorophyll.
B) Ben likes the color orange.
C) Ben is not blind.
D) Leaves change color in the fall and spring.
E) Ben would get more enjoyment out of the money from chopping down his tree and selling the lumber than he would from looking at them.

A) This is wrong for two reasons. First of all, maybe chlorophyll isn't even related to color in this world. Maybe fairies come and paint all the trees. More importantly, the answer specifies a reduction in chlorophyll. Perhaps there is a time in spring where the leaves become green due to an increase in chlorophyll. Test writers are trying to draw in those science nerds that have prior knowledge.

B) This answer wants you to assume that orange is a color that leaves change and Ben likes it. Well maybe Ben is indifferent to orange, but really loves yellow and red, and that is why he likes to see the leaves change. In that case, could be false.

C) The stimulus says he sees leaves change color. He cannot be blind. This is right.

D) This plays on prior knowledge again. Maybe in Ben's world, leaves change color in Fall and Winter...who knows?

E) There's usually some completely random answer like this. You don't really even have to imagine a scenario where it is false because it's so obviously wrong.

I hope that made sense. It's more difficult than I thought to explain a thought process. Let me know if you need clarification.



This is great stuff! Thank you

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dowu
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Re: What is the best way to review wrong answer choices??

Postby dowu » Fri May 04, 2012 2:30 pm

Tag for my reviewing tonight.

lawschool2014hopeful
Posts: 554
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:48 pm

Re: What is the best way to review wrong answer choices??

Postby lawschool2014hopeful » Sat May 05, 2012 12:40 pm

bdeebs wrote:You asked for detail, so I will try to make this as detailed as possible, but keep in mind that this is based only on my thoughts. I haven't tutored anyone to see how they may respond, but I'm guessing this general approach is common.

First, I do the review within a day of taking the test, preferably the same day. I have to do this for two reasons. The first is that I need to remember what I was thinking, so I can correct it. The second is that if I wait too long, the fact that I got the question wrong doesn't insult me quite as much, and it is harder for me to ingrain something in my brain if I don't care about it.

I've always done some version of what I'm about to describe, but the one I use now is what the people at 7sage call "Blind Review". First, while taking the test, I mark every question that I'm not 100% sure about. Since I find it difficult to be purely 100% sure of anything without taking more time than I would under timed conditions, I define 100% as the point at which I would be willing to pay someone $50 if the answer is wrong without being marked. I tend to use a darker mark if I am more unsure of an answer.

The next part very important. Go back to the circled answer choices WITHOUT looking at the answers. This helps me to analyze my answers without half assing the process. For me, the small amount of assistance that knowing the correct answer choice provides probably diminishes the effectiveness of my review by 50%. At this time, I spend as much time as I need reviewing (I'll get to this process in a second) the circled answer choices until I am 100% sure that the answers are right, or until I give up because I can't understand after thinking about the problem for 10 minutes. If I choose to make changes to the answers, I mark it in pen to differentiate between the two answer choices. Then I check the answers and analyze what I got wrong. If a unmarked question is wrong, then it is a matter of overconfidence and I think really hard about how they tricked me into being so certain that I was right. If I marked a question and didn't make any changes, then it means my intuition was right and I think about how I could be more certain next time. If I initially had the answer wrong, then changed it to the right answer, then it's more of a time issue. If I marked it wrong and changed it to a wrong answer, then I don't know what the hell is going on in that question and I go back to the problem and repeat the process knowing the answer choice. If I still don't know what's going on, I'll seek help elsewhere.

As for the actual review process...
First, I try to break down the stimulus. This includes identifying which parts are premises and which parts are conclusions. Then, depending on the question, I try to come up with a possible answer. This will often be easy for questions in the beginning of the test, but more difficult to articulate for the latter half of the test. The type of answer will vary based on the type of question. For example, if it is a Strengthen/Weaken question, I will try to identify the main assumption made in the argument and then articulate a statement that either affirms or refutes that assumption. This identification process will become quicker with time, but to start, just look at your main conclusion and find something that isn't talked about in the rest of the stimulus. Then find a way to connect your premises to that thing you found.

Ex. I like the fall (C) because I like it when trees change color (P). Here's my stream of consciousness way of weakening it: The conclusion talks about the fall. The premise talks about trees changing color. How is changing color connected to fall? I guess in a lot of people's everyday life they grow up around leafy trees that change color in the fall so the author probably wants them to assume that fact. To counter that assumption, I'll just say something like, "Trees don't change color in the fall."

Whether this is the correct wording or even the correct assumption doesn't really matter to me. I just need to make sure I'm thinking critically about the stimulus. Then I go on to the answer choices and articulate to myself or a friend the exact reason why I choose a correct choice or eliminate the incorrect choices. The way that I do this is to create imaginary worlds where the incorrect answer choices don't do what the question stem is asking them to do. Then I try to articulate how the test makers were trying to trick me.

Ex: Ben likes the fall because in seeing the leaves on trees change color in his backyard, he is reminded of his youth.
Which of the following must be true?
A) Leaves change color because of a reduction in chlorophyll.
B) Ben likes the color orange.
C) Ben is not blind.
D) Leaves change color in the fall and spring.
E) Ben would get more enjoyment out of the money from chopping down his tree and selling the lumber than he would from looking at them.

A) This is wrong for two reasons. First of all, maybe chlorophyll isn't even related to color in this world. Maybe fairies come and paint all the trees. More importantly, the answer specifies a reduction in chlorophyll. Perhaps there is a time in spring where the leaves become green due to an increase in chlorophyll. Test writers are trying to draw in those science nerds that have prior knowledge.

B) This answer wants you to assume that orange is a color that leaves change and Ben likes it. Well maybe Ben is indifferent to orange, but really loves yellow and red, and that is why he likes to see the leaves change. In that case, could be false.

C) The stimulus says he sees leaves change color. He cannot be blind. This is right.

D) This plays on prior knowledge again. Maybe in Ben's world, leaves change color in Fall and Winter...who knows?

E) There's usually some completely random answer like this. You don't really even have to imagine a scenario where it is false because it's so obviously wrong.

I hope that made sense. It's more difficult than I thought to explain a thought process. Let me know if you need clarification.


Wow, thanks so much.

I was wondering for the "actual review process" part, do you do this process for all the questions? even the ones you got right?

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bdeebs
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Re: What is the best way to review wrong answer choices??

Postby bdeebs » Sat May 05, 2012 3:28 pm

I do the review process for any question I circled, even if I got it right. As for the ones I didn't circle, I have to do a shortened version just to answer the questions.

MissJenna
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 11:18 am

Re: What is the best way to review wrong answer choices??

Postby MissJenna » Tue May 08, 2012 4:12 pm

Thank you so much for your detailed analysis. It definitely helped. I had to re-read it a couple times.

I just needed some clarification on a few things.

(1) For the 2nd part, are you saying to go through & the correct the answers but don't circle the correct answer (just mark it wrong) & then go back to it and make a 2nd attempt at it?

(2) This is my worst section by far & the worst thing is that I haven't seen these 'supposed' patterns that I'm suppose to be seeing by now.

(3) As for your actual review process,

1. I definitely started breaking down the stimulus which I have never done before except for just marking the conclusion when I take the test/section the 1st time around. My review process usually consisted of: Checking my work after I take a section/test & then reading the explanations I have. If I don't have any explanations to it, well then I just re-read the stimulus & the correct answer & then the correct answers. I try to articulate why the correct answer is correct but obviously this little strategy hasn't helped me. I just get frustrated.

2. When you say you try to come up with a possible answer....you're referring to paraphrasing I take it?? something I should be doing anyway before I jump to the answers.

Can you explain this a little more? Personally, there really isn't 1 type of question I struggle with. It's really all of them unfortunately.....especially assumption questions.

I don't know. This section is so brutal. I can't seem to get even half right. And being that it accounts for 50% of the exam, it's really hurting my score. I thought once you get better at the RC section then this section follows??? That hasn't been my experience thus far!!


bdeebs wrote:You asked for detail, so I will try to make this as detailed as possible, but keep in mind that this is based only on my thoughts. I haven't tutored anyone to see how they may respond, but I'm guessing this general approach is common.

First, I do the review within a day of taking the test, preferably the same day. I have to do this for two reasons. The first is that I need to remember what I was thinking, so I can correct it. The second is that if I wait too long, the fact that I got the question wrong doesn't insult me quite as much, and it is harder for me to ingrain something in my brain if I don't care about it.

I've always done some version of what I'm about to describe, but the one I use now is what the people at 7sage call "Blind Review". First, while taking the test, I mark every question that I'm not 100% sure about. Since I find it difficult to be purely 100% sure of anything without taking more time than I would under timed conditions, I define 100% as the point at which I would be willing to pay someone $50 if the answer is wrong without being marked. I tend to use a darker mark if I am more unsure of an answer.

The next part very important. Go back to the circled answer choices WITHOUT looking at the answers. This helps me to analyze my answers without half assing the process. For me, the small amount of assistance that knowing the correct answer choice provides probably diminishes the effectiveness of my review by 50%. At this time, I spend as much time as I need reviewing (I'll get to this process in a second) the circled answer choices until I am 100% sure that the answers are right, or until I give up because I can't understand after thinking about the problem for 10 minutes. If I choose to make changes to the answers, I mark it in pen to differentiate between the two answer choices. Then I check the answers and analyze what I got wrong. If a unmarked question is wrong, then it is a matter of overconfidence and I think really hard about how they tricked me into being so certain that I was right. If I marked a question and didn't make any changes, then it means my intuition was right and I think about how I could be more certain next time. If I initially had the answer wrong, then changed it to the right answer, then it's more of a time issue. If I marked it wrong and changed it to a wrong answer, then I don't know what the hell is going on in that question and I go back to the problem and repeat the process knowing the answer choice. If I still don't know what's going on, I'll seek help elsewhere.

As for the actual review process...
First, I try to break down the stimulus. This includes identifying which parts are premises and which parts are conclusions. Then, depending on the question, I try to come up with a possible answer. This will often be easy for questions in the beginning of the test, but more difficult to articulate for the latter half of the test. The type of answer will vary based on the type of question. For example, if it is a Strengthen/Weaken question, I will try to identify the main assumption made in the argument and then articulate a statement that either affirms or refutes that assumption. This identification process will become quicker with time, but to start, just look at your main conclusion and find something that isn't talked about in the rest of the stimulus. Then find a way to connect your premises to that thing you found.

Ex. I like the fall (C) because I like it when trees change color (P). Here's my stream of consciousness way of weakening it: The conclusion talks about the fall. The premise talks about trees changing color. How is changing color connected to fall? I guess in a lot of people's everyday life they grow up around leafy trees that change color in the fall so the author probably wants them to assume that fact. To counter that assumption, I'll just say something like, "Trees don't change color in the fall."

Whether this is the correct wording or even the correct assumption doesn't really matter to me. I just need to make sure I'm thinking critically about the stimulus. Then I go on to the answer choices and articulate to myself or a friend the exact reason why I choose a correct choice or eliminate the incorrect choices. The way that I do this is to create imaginary worlds where the incorrect answer choices don't do what the question stem is asking them to do. Then I try to articulate how the test makers were trying to trick me.

Ex: Ben likes the fall because in seeing the leaves on trees change color in his backyard, he is reminded of his youth.
Which of the following must be true?
A) Leaves change color because of a reduction in chlorophyll.
B) Ben likes the color orange.
C) Ben is not blind.
D) Leaves change color in the fall and spring.
E) Ben would get more enjoyment out of the money from chopping down his tree and selling the lumber than he would from looking at them.

A) This is wrong for two reasons. First of all, maybe chlorophyll isn't even related to color in this world. Maybe fairies come and paint all the trees. More importantly, the answer specifies a reduction in chlorophyll. Perhaps there is a time in spring where the leaves become green due to an increase in chlorophyll. Test writers are trying to draw in those science nerds that have prior knowledge.

B) This answer wants you to assume that orange is a color that leaves change and Ben likes it. Well maybe Ben is indifferent to orange, but really loves yellow and red, and that is why he likes to see the leaves change. In that case, could be false.

C) The stimulus says he sees leaves change color. He cannot be blind. This is right.

D) This plays on prior knowledge again. Maybe in Ben's world, leaves change color in Fall and Winter...who knows?

E) There's usually some completely random answer like this. You don't really even have to imagine a scenario where it is false because it's so obviously wrong.

I hope that made sense. It's more difficult than I thought to explain a thought process. Let me know if you need clarification.

MissJenna
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 11:18 am

Re: What is the best way to review wrong answer choices??

Postby MissJenna » Thu May 17, 2012 10:48 am

bump..:)

JJDancer
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Re: What is the best way to review wrong answer choices??

Postby JJDancer » Fri May 18, 2012 1:34 pm

I haven't taken the LSAT for a while so I'm a little rusty on specifics such as breaking down the stimulus (just haven't thought about it in a while) but what helped me was to go over both right and wrong answers.
For right answers see if it was a guess, or you were 50/50 between two - why is the answer you picked correct? why did you want to pick the other answer (on those you are 50/50 on) and what was the CORRECT rationale?

On wrong answers, to see if I was 50/50 (this was a big issue for me - it may be less helpful to someone missing a lot more problems, because then you are missing the bigger patterns, mine was smaller things) I would cover up the wrong answer choice I marked the first time (lets say it was D). And I would try the question completely fresh - make all new assumptions/etc. and go through it with the remaining 4 answer choices. If I got it right this time I would analyze what assumptions I was making about D and why they were wrong etc.

If I still missed then it was probably not understanding the stimulus as well so go through the stimulus again slower - see what you are assuming, see if you missed anything, make sure you didn't miss a NOT in the question etc. and do it again, this time with 3 answer choices. Do it with 2 answer choices if you miss again but at that point I would recommend general review of how to approach those types of questions (for example parallel reasoning type questions)...

HTH

MissJenna
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 11:18 am

Re: What is the best way to review wrong answer choices??

Postby MissJenna » Fri May 18, 2012 5:07 pm

JJDancer wrote:I haven't taken the LSAT for a while so I'm a little rusty on specifics such as breaking down the stimulus (just haven't thought about it in a while) but what helped me was to go over both right and wrong answers.
For right answers see if it was a guess, or you were 50/50 between two - why is the answer you picked correct? why did you want to pick the other answer (on those you are 50/50 on) and what was the CORRECT rationale?

On wrong answers, to see if I was 50/50 (this was a big issue for me - it may be less helpful to someone missing a lot more problems, because then you are missing the bigger patterns, mine was smaller things) I would cover up the wrong answer choice I marked the first time (lets say it was D). And I would try the question completely fresh - make all new assumptions/etc. and go through it with the remaining 4 answer choices. If I got it right this time I would analyze what assumptions I was making about D and why they were wrong etc.

If I still missed then it was probably not understanding the stimulus as well so go through the stimulus again slower - see what you are assuming, see if you missed anything, make sure you didn't miss a NOT in the question etc. and do it again, this time with 3 answer choices. Do it with 2 answer choices if you miss again but at that point I would recommend general review of how to approach those types of questions (for example parallel reasoning type questions)...

HTH



Thank you......

I guess I just need to take my time with this section.

If i could get at least half right on each of the 2 LR sections, I would very happy. I know that probably doesn't seem very good to you (or others) but this section seriously kicks my butt and literally makes me nauseous.....I wish it didn't.:(

JJDancer
Posts: 1564
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:41 pm

Re: What is the best way to review wrong answer choices??

Postby JJDancer » Fri May 18, 2012 5:14 pm

MissJenna wrote:Thank you......

I guess I just need to take my time with this section.

If i could get at least half right on each of the 2 LR sections, I would very happy. I know that probably doesn't seem very good to you (or others) but this section seriously kicks my butt and literally makes me nauseous.....I wish it didn't.:(

Are you using any Kaplan/testmasters/Bibles to help with this section? If not, go through the LR Bible in detail.

MissJenna
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 11:18 am

Re: What is the best way to review wrong answer choices??

Postby MissJenna » Fri May 18, 2012 5:49 pm

JJDancer wrote:
MissJenna wrote:Thank you......

I guess I just need to take my time with this section.

If i could get at least half right on each of the 2 LR sections, I would very happy. I know that probably doesn't seem very good to you (or others) but this section seriously kicks my butt and literally makes me nauseous.....I wish it didn't.:(

Are you using any Kaplan/testmasters/Bibles to help with this section? If not, go through the LR Bible in detail.


I took a TM course & I have the LR Bible. I just picked up a Kaplan book today. I don't know what my problem is & why it's not clicking. I'm just really worried. Obviously I'm not going to get it by the June exam but I hope to get at least 1/2 right on each section by Oct.

Unlike the RC & LG where I can actually get them all right (the most wrong untimed is no more than a -4), I just can't even get half right on each LR section if I do it untimed.

Does this ever click? i mean will it eventually? I ENVY the people who get no more than -2 right on each LR sections. How do they do that??!!

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LoveLife89
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Re: What is the best way to review wrong answer choices??

Postby LoveLife89 » Fri May 18, 2012 6:11 pm

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JJDancer
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Re: What is the best way to review wrong answer choices??

Postby JJDancer » Fri May 18, 2012 7:47 pm

Without going through problems with you I'm not sure what your particular obstacles are. Definitely go through the LR bible slowly though and say "a is wrong because.." for each wrong answer choice and then why the correct one is correct. Read up on the common pitfalls.

Also, consider getting a private tutor (depending on what market you are in) you may be able to meet with someone for a few hours and have them find out what your weakness is and then go from there.

VariableChange
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Re: What is the best way to review wrong answer choices??

Postby VariableChange » Fri May 18, 2012 9:42 pm

Piggy Backing off what the previous person said, dive into the question, and I'm not talking the no diving shallow area.

You must truly understand the question from all ends of the spectrum. How is the argument structured? Why'd you miss the question, why were certain answer choices wrong, why was what you selected right.

In addition, conceptually understand it as well. Know the question type. Did you understand the passage?

JJDancer
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Re: What is the best way to review wrong answer choices??

Postby JJDancer » Sat May 19, 2012 12:25 am

Basically analyze the crap out of the stimulus, even more than what the question is asking. Actually don't even look at the question and just analyze almost like its a logic game and you need to find all the possibilities. When you can do this, no matter what the prompt/questions asks for (parallel/weaken/etc) you will have the answer.

This is sort of impossible to do on the real test but doing this untimed should help you see patterns.

Figure out what the stimulus allows, what it prohibits, and what is a maybe/depends depending on additional information. Usually one's assumptions about these will be wrong, leading to confusion/picking the wrong answer.

Also, do you pick wrong answers that you think are correct or are you unsure/guessing when you pick them? If the former then your assumptions are wrong, and if the latter then you haven't analyzed the stimulus enough.

MissJenna
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Re: What is the best way to review wrong answer choices??

Postby MissJenna » Sat May 19, 2012 1:52 pm

JJDancer wrote:Without going through problems with you I'm not sure what your particular obstacles are. Definitely go through the LR bible slowly though and say "a is wrong because.." for each wrong answer choice and then why the correct one is correct. Read up on the common pitfalls.

Also, consider getting a private tutor (depending on what market you are in) you may be able to meet with someone for a few hours and have them find out what your weakness is and then go from there.


I swear I think I've gon thru that LR Bible 10 times.......well at least it feels like it.

I've thought about a hiring a TM tutor since I had taken a course but they are sooooooo expensive. I guess I want to make sure I exhaust my options before shelling out sooooo much money.

1 thing that really bothers me is I'm not seeing the patterns I feel like I should at this point. I don't know. Flaw Q's are the only ones I don't find that bad.

JJDancer
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Re: What is the best way to review wrong answer choices??

Postby JJDancer » Sat May 19, 2012 2:46 pm

I used to be a private LSAT tutor and would sometimes get clients on craigslist so check there for people who may be cheaper. Ask them what their LSAT score is, when they took it last, and what range of students they help (scorewise) and where their students have gotten (scorewise).

You may be able to get someone for just a few hours to help you with LR only.

Also keep in mind things like weaken and strengthen. A weaken answer choice just has to weaken the proposition a little bit, it doesn't have to kill it (so to speak). A strengthen choice just has to help (even a little). You need to basically understand a) the structure of reasoning in the stimulus and b) the possibilities the stimulus permits and forbids. See if you can do that.

Good luck.

JJDancer
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Re: What is the best way to review wrong answer choices??

Postby JJDancer » Mon May 21, 2012 1:59 pm

Also, a tip for Must Be True or Must be False questions:

MBT: if you can take an answer choice and make it false (meaning A) says thus, chickens are necessary for omelets and you can come up with a scenario where you make omletes without chickens (say with some vegan product) then you made that answer choice false so its notmust be true) so it's not the correct answer. Just be sure that your "making it false scenario" falls within the parameters of the stimulus.

MBF: if you can make an answer choice true in EVEN ONE CASE, it is not the correct answer.

HTH

jt_thomas24
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Re: What is the best way to review wrong answer choices??

Postby jt_thomas24 » Tue May 22, 2012 7:15 pm

One thing that helped me was simply being honest with myself, about my level of understanding of both the passage and the question. (like previously mentioned) The best question you can ask yourself is, why did I pick that answer? If you cannot thoroughly explain to yourself (or as some else suggested, a friend) that your answer is the BEST answer given the structure of the argument and based on the question, then your simply just guessing. Despite all of my pride and 'thinking' I knew what was going on, realistically I was just guessing.

Often times you realize that it is not a flaw in your ability to reason or think analytically, but rather the professional test writers have tricked you into making some assumptions. Remember, every word has a specific purpose and is placed in its location for a reason. Even if that reason is to take up space and bored you to death with useless information. They do this by making specific rhetorical choices that they know the common reader will overlook. Consequently, its not that you don't understand what you have just read or even that you cant pick out the premises and conclusions. The problem is the implications of wording both the premise and conclusion a certain way, that can drastically change how you think (and essentially feel) about a problem. My mistake was not paying close enough attention to words like, can cause, likely too, much better, must etc. All of which bait you into thinking about a problem a certain way. Usually one or two words will end up changing the whole way you end up thinking about the argument. I can now narrow down the reason I got a questions wrong down to one (or two) specific words that I simply over looked (or misinterpreted) which lead me to a different answer.


In JJDancer example I would have stopped right at the word necessary and realized they are using that word for a specific purpose, and to use any other word(s) will drastically change how I think about the problem. Which usually gets me thinking, why is it necessary to use chicken? What, the test writers don't like pork or turkey? This is where you laugh and start to have fun taking the test.


Not sure if any of this will help, but paying super close attention to detail certainly wont hurt.

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thecap91
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Re: What is the best way to review wrong answer choices??

Postby thecap91 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:45 pm

dkb17xzx wrote:
bdeebs wrote:You asked for detail, so I will try to make this as detailed as possible, but keep in mind that this is based only on my thoughts. I haven't tutored anyone to see how they may respond, but I'm guessing this general approach is common.

First, I do the review within a day of taking the test, preferably the same day. I have to do this for two reasons. The first is that I need to remember what I was thinking, so I can correct it. The second is that if I wait too long, the fact that I got the question wrong doesn't insult me quite as much, and it is harder for me to ingrain something in my brain if I don't care about it.

I've always done some version of what I'm about to describe, but the one I use now is what the people at 7sage call "Blind Review". First, while taking the test, I mark every question that I'm not 100% sure about. Since I find it difficult to be purely 100% sure of anything without taking more time than I would under timed conditions, I define 100% as the point at which I would be willing to pay someone $50 if the answer is wrong without being marked. I tend to use a darker mark if I am more unsure of an answer.

The next part very important. Go back to the circled answer choices WITHOUT looking at the answers. This helps me to analyze my answers without half assing the process. For me, the small amount of assistance that knowing the correct answer choice provides probably diminishes the effectiveness of my review by 50%. At this time, I spend as much time as I need reviewing (I'll get to this process in a second) the circled answer choices until I am 100% sure that the answers are right, or until I give up because I can't understand after thinking about the problem for 10 minutes. If I choose to make changes to the answers, I mark it in pen to differentiate between the two answer choices. Then I check the answers and analyze what I got wrong. If a unmarked question is wrong, then it is a matter of overconfidence and I think really hard about how they tricked me into being so certain that I was right. If I marked a question and didn't make any changes, then it means my intuition was right and I think about how I could be more certain next time. If I initially had the answer wrong, then changed it to the right answer, then it's more of a time issue. If I marked it wrong and changed it to a wrong answer, then I don't know what the hell is going on in that question and I go back to the problem and repeat the process knowing the answer choice. If I still don't know what's going on, I'll seek help elsewhere.

As for the actual review process...
First, I try to break down the stimulus. This includes identifying which parts are premises and which parts are conclusions. Then, depending on the question, I try to come up with a possible answer. This will often be easy for questions in the beginning of the test, but more difficult to articulate for the latter half of the test. The type of answer will vary based on the type of question. For example, if it is a Strengthen/Weaken question, I will try to identify the main assumption made in the argument and then articulate a statement that either affirms or refutes that assumption. This identification process will become quicker with time, but to start, just look at your main conclusion and find something that isn't talked about in the rest of the stimulus. Then find a way to connect your premises to that thing you found.

Ex. I like the fall (C) because I like it when trees change color (P). Here's my stream of consciousness way of weakening it: The conclusion talks about the fall. The premise talks about trees changing color. How is changing color connected to fall? I guess in a lot of people's everyday life they grow up around leafy trees that change color in the fall so the author probably wants them to assume that fact. To counter that assumption, I'll just say something like, "Trees don't change color in the fall."

Whether this is the correct wording or even the correct assumption doesn't really matter to me. I just need to make sure I'm thinking critically about the stimulus. Then I go on to the answer choices and articulate to myself or a friend the exact reason why I choose a correct choice or eliminate the incorrect choices. The way that I do this is to create imaginary worlds where the incorrect answer choices don't do what the question stem is asking them to do. Then I try to articulate how the test makers were trying to trick me.

Ex: Ben likes the fall because in seeing the leaves on trees change color in his backyard, he is reminded of his youth.
Which of the following must be true?
A) Leaves change color because of a reduction in chlorophyll.
B) Ben likes the color orange.
C) Ben is not blind.
D) Leaves change color in the fall and spring.
E) Ben would get more enjoyment out of the money from chopping down his tree and selling the lumber than he would from looking at them.

A) This is wrong for two reasons. First of all, maybe chlorophyll isn't even related to color in this world. Maybe fairies come and paint all the trees. More importantly, the answer specifies a reduction in chlorophyll. Perhaps there is a time in spring where the leaves become green due to an increase in chlorophyll. Test writers are trying to draw in those science nerds that have prior knowledge.

B) This answer wants you to assume that orange is a color that leaves change and Ben likes it. Well maybe Ben is indifferent to orange, but really loves yellow and red, and that is why he likes to see the leaves change. In that case, could be false.

C) The stimulus says he sees leaves change color. He cannot be blind. This is right.

D) This plays on prior knowledge again. Maybe in Ben's world, leaves change color in Fall and Winter...who knows?

E) There's usually some completely random answer like this. You don't really even have to imagine a scenario where it is false because it's so obviously wrong.

I hope that made sense. It's more difficult than I thought to explain a thought process. Let me know if you need clarification.



This is great stuff! Thank you


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ltowns1
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Re: What is the best way to review wrong answer choices??

Postby ltowns1 » Mon May 04, 2015 7:45 am

This is a really good question. I'm going to assume that you're asking this in an effort to understand how to eliminate better. I know one thing that helps me to analyze wrong answers is to really understand and focus on the core, but more specifically the conclusion. I think when you look at the answer choices you should ask yourself whether the answer choice affirms what the conclusion should do.(and ultimately the question stem as well) Conclusions focus on mostly positive/negative positions. 'I can do this, you should not do this, you're right to do this, you're wrong to do this'. So first I look to see if the answers affirm in some way the conclusion.(especially for the harder arguments) Then I also look for the scope of the argument.(ALL, many, some, none) Finally,just exposing yourself to a lot of questions, and learning from what you did right/wrong in the process should help you understand as well.....my 2 cents. I would love to know what the LSAT expert's think about this question, it's something that I have thought about myself at one time.




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