Tips from 170+ Scorers on LR

esh12
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Tips from 170+ Scorers on LR

Postby esh12 » Tue May 29, 2012 12:45 am

Whether you've been getting 170+ on the PTs or have actually gotten 170+ on an actual LSAT, I wanted to gather some info on how you guys tackle LR..

1. Do you always read the question stem first? I find myself re-reading the stem a second time after reading the stimulus to make sure I know what AC I'm looking for. But I feel this is wasting precious seconds.

2. Do you read the stimulus carefully on 1 pass as opposed to reading it fast, then re-reading it again as you go through the AC's? I find myself doing the latter, which again, I feel is wasting time.

3. A more open-ended question is, how often do you refer back to the stimulus as you go through AC's? I do this A LOT on the harder questions because I need to "refresh" my memory of the details that would help in selecting the right answer.

4. Do you go through the first 12 or questions as fast as you can, knowing that the first right answer you see is likely correct, so that you have more time for the next 13 questions?

5. How much do you mark-up your test booklet? For example, do you bracket the conclusion, outline the premise, write notes, form conditionals even when you don't really need them?

6. Do you ever cross out the right AC only to go back to it when you've noticed that you've crossed out 5 AC's? I do this with some frequency on the latter half of the test.

Any tips or pointers on LR in general would also be appreciated, even though I know there are a ton of threads covering this.

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Micdiddy
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Re: Tips from 170+ Scorers on LR

Postby Micdiddy » Tue May 29, 2012 12:57 am

esh12 wrote:Whether you've been getting 170+ on the PTs or have actually gotten 170+ on an actual LSAT, I wanted to gather some info on how you guys tackle LR..

1. Do you always read the question stem first? I find myself re-reading the stem a second time after reading the stimulus to make sure I know what AC I'm looking for. But I feel this is wasting precious seconds. I always read the stimulus first and always will.

2. Do you read the stimulus carefully on 1 pass as opposed to reading it fast, then re-reading it again as you go through the AC's? I find myself doing the latter, which again, I feel is wasting time. I read it basically as fast as I can, especially within the first 15 or so questions when the answers are easy. I have no problem re-reading it multiple times if I have to and always have enough time to do so.

3. A more open-ended question is, how often do you refer back to the stimulus as you go through AC's? I do this A LOT on the harder questions because I need to "refresh" my memory of the details that would help in selecting the right answer. I do this a lot when I have to as well. On harder questions I am comparing my answer choice to the stimulus very carefully to make sure it matches up exactly how it should.

4. Do you go through the first 12 or questions as fast as you can, knowing that the first right answer you see is likely correct, so that you have more time for the next 13 questions? I go through them very fast, but not to save time for the remaining questions, more because they are all mostly carbon copies of a question I have seen before and the answer is usually very obvious right away.

5. How much do you mark-up your test booklet? For example, do you bracket the conclusion, outline the premise, write notes, form conditionals even when you don't really need them? I cross out answers I eliminated, circle the one I choose and I check-mark question I am confident I got right and star ones I want to review with time remaining. I rarely touch the stimulus but occasionally I diagram parallel questions when I am done with a section and have 6 minutes left.

6. Do you ever cross out the right AC only to go back to it when you've noticed that you've crossed out 5 AC's? I do this with some frequency on the latter half of the test. Yeah sure, sometimes. Also I have realized that often when I star a question and have it narrowed to two answers, neither of them are right. My first sweep through I might pick one of the two but when reviewing at the end I un-eliminate every answer choice and start from scratch, thinking about each AC to its logical extreme.

Any tips or pointers on LR in general would also be appreciated, even though I know there are a ton of threads covering this. Pattern recognition.

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broadstreet11
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Re: Tips from 170+ Scorers on LR

Postby broadstreet11 » Tue May 29, 2012 1:41 am

esh12 wrote:Whether you've been getting 170+ on the PTs or have actually gotten 170+ on an actual LSAT, I wanted to gather some info on how you guys tackle LR..

1. Do you always read the question stem first? I find myself re-reading the stem a second time after reading the stimulus to make sure I know what AC I'm looking for. But I feel this is wasting precious seconds. I always start with the stimulus, and then go to the stem/choices. It just makes sense in my head because when I read the stem, I can usually predict the answer.

2. Do you read the stimulus carefully on 1 pass as opposed to reading it fast, then re-reading it again as you go through the AC's? I find myself doing the latter, which again, I feel is wasting time. I read it to the point where I can eliminate at least 3 answers easily on the first pass. I don't stress too much about reading carefully, but I have to have a good idea of the argument to begin.

3. A more open-ended question is, how often do you refer back to the stimulus as you go through AC's? I do this A LOT on the harder questions because I need to "refresh" my memory of the details that would help in selecting the right answer. All depends. I usually refer back a lot, but I also have the argument mapped out in my mind so I can quickly look for one or two key words.

4. Do you go through the first 12 or questions as fast as you can, knowing that the first right answer you see is likely correct, so that you have more time for the next 13 questions? I answer every question so that I'm sure it's correct. 1-12 are worth just as much as 13-25.

5. How much do you mark-up your test booklet? For example, do you bracket the conclusion, outline the premise, write notes, form conditionals even when you don't really need them? I almost never mark up (Maybe once every 4 sections). This is where I save my time. I do it in my head and then mark out wrong answer choices.

6. Do you ever cross out the right AC only to go back to it when you've noticed that you've crossed out 5 AC's? I do this with some frequency on the latter half of the test. Rarely, but I find that it's more often in the early half of the test when I make stupid mistakes for not reading carefully enough.

Any tips or pointers on LR in general would also be appreciated, even though I know there are a ton of threads covering this. Realize that 99.9% LR is all about finding or creating a gap in the argument. When you understand and find the gap in the first read, you should be able to zoom in on a correct choice.

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dowu
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Re: Tips from 170+ Scorers on LR

Postby dowu » Tue May 29, 2012 1:46 am

:shock: :shock:
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elee
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Re: Tips from 170+ Scorers on LR

Postby elee » Tue May 29, 2012 3:21 am

esh12 wrote:Whether you've been getting 170+ on the PTs or have actually gotten 170+ on an actual LSAT, I wanted to gather some info on how you guys tackle LR..

1. Do you always read the question stem first? I find myself re-reading the stem a second time after reading the stimulus to make sure I know what AC I'm looking for. But I feel this is wasting precious seconds. I personally always read the stimulus first, but that's because I can read quickly and can go back if I anticipate the question incorrectly. After experience, you will find yourself being able to anticipate both the stem and prephrase answers from the stimulus itself. This happens the most saliently for me when there is a string of premises in the argument, but then the conclusion introduces a new term that it claims to have established. Noticing new terms in the conclusion will usually result in a flaw, required assumption, strengthen, or main conclusion type question and you're good to go. That's just my preference though.

2. Do you read the stimulus carefully on 1 pass as opposed to reading it fast, then re-reading it again as you go through the AC's? I find myself doing the latter, which again, I feel is wasting time. I read it fast, but underline where the argument changes course or underline important sounding definitions or conclusions. In large stimuli, I note the general area of the main conclusion with a little hash to the left. This is not extensive "marking", just underlining very occasionally AS I read to help me retain it better. With speed, you can quickly knock out several wrong answer choices, and the time you saved can be spent conclusively deciding between the attractive choice and the right one. Again, this is for me.

3. A more open-ended question is, how often do you refer back to the stimulus as you go through AC's? I do this A LOT on the harder questions because I need to "refresh" my memory of the details that would help in selecting the right answer. I do it a lot on the harder questions as well, but because I skim the stimulus quickly, I spend the time more productively attacking 2 or 3 choices rather than trying to hold the whole stimulus in my head as I attack all 5 ACs. Finding WRONG answers quickly and accurately is a skill you develop from patterns and experience, and doesn't often require a super careful read. In the end, I may spend 5-20 seconds on the stimulus, 1 on the stem, 4 on each AC to week out questions, resulting in choosing between two choices after less than a minute, where the last 30 seconds if I need it can be spent fetching the right answer from the stimulus. Still, I find I only miss questions when I DONT check EVERY AC, so even if I hit an obvious right answer, I still will give the last few ACs a few seconds each to physically cross them out.

4. Do you go through the first 12 or questions as fast as you can, knowing that the first right answer you see is likely correct, so that you have more time for the next 13 questions? I never approach the initial ones differently. My approach works because these stims are usually shorter and wrong ACs can be VERY obvious. Therefore, I end up spending 30 sec until I have 2 choices, and usually answer the first 10 in under a min each. I check my watch once to confirm I am around the 10 min mark by Q10, then Q15 by 15 min, then I know I can methodologically go through the last stretch.

5. How much do you mark-up your test booklet? For example, do you bracket the conclusion, outline the premise, write notes, form conditionals even when you don't really need them?My LR sections get more and more marked up as I go. I rarely diagram unless it is a PURELY conditional stimulus and answer choices. I rarely write general principles or simplified representations of arguments. I DO underline as I read, bracket or hash mark the conclusion for very long stimuli, and get very aggressive with the ACs lol. I like to cross out the AC at the word that knocks it out, e.g., if it says MOST when i'm looking for a SOME, I slash right there so if I end up slashing all 5 ACs, I know WHY I slashed and which are more "legit". Sometimes I end up slashing all 5 because they don't match my prephrase, at which point i start filling in the bubbles lol (the A or B on the left) to indicate a 100% wrong answer while going through them again. I also circle the question number when I either thought it was tricky, or I feel I "outsmarted" a trick, or if i don't review all ACs because I'm on a roll. Then when I go back, I not only check Qs that were "hard" but where I know a trick was involved, and make sure me "catching" it was accurate and not me "overthinking" it. The last 5 Qs get pretty heavily underlined

6. Do you ever cross out the right AC only to go back to it when you've noticed that you've crossed out 5 AC's? I do this with some frequency on the latter half of the test. I guess I preempted this question. Yes, and it usually happens for explaining paradoxes, "most analogous to", or "most likely to agree with" questions. With my method, main point, flaws, assumptions, and strengthen questions are super fast and easy to me, especially assumption questions.

Any tips or pointers on LR in general would also be appreciated, even though I know there are a ton of threads covering this.Test repeatedly to see what PACE is good for you. If you know the basics, HOW carefully you apply these tools to the questions is a balance that is highly personal. I scored consistently lower reading the stem first, or when I reread LRs deliberately and slowly, or when I didn't at least glance at EVERY answer choice. I decided to take a PT going through LR on more instinct and speed, and found myself underlining naturally. After making this change, I have consistently hit -0 or -1 on LR for my last 10 or so practice tests, with my last 4 being -0, -1, -0, -0 on total LR.

rbkl
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Re: Tips from 170+ Scorers on LR

Postby rbkl » Tue May 29, 2012 3:44 am

I apologize in advanced if any of this is repeated.

esh12 wrote:Whether you've been getting 170+ on the PTs or have actually gotten 170+ on an actual LSAT, I wanted to gather some info on how you guys tackle LR..

1. Do you always read the question stem first? I find myself re-reading the stem a second time after reading the stimulus to make sure I know what AC I'm looking for. But I feel this is wasting precious seconds.

No I don't. You can usually predict the stem by the time you are done with reading the stimulus. In fact, I think you need to be pursuing this goal of having a general idea of what the stem will ask for. In fact, not only can I usually predict the stem, but I prephrase my answer more times than not.

2. Do you read the stimulus carefully on 1 pass as opposed to reading it fast, then re-reading it again as you go through the AC's? I find myself doing the latter, which again, I feel is wasting time.

I think this is a bad habit of mine, but a lot of the times I don't even notice myself actively reading the stem. Again, I can pretty much predict what the question will ask. You should read it carefully, definitely. When I find a question that I am having trouble answering, then I will try to articulate every word of the stem in my head.

3. A more open-ended question is, how often do you refer back to the stimulus as you go through AC's? I do this A LOT on the harder questions because I need to "refresh" my memory of the details that would help in selecting the right answer.

This depends on the question, but the majority of the time, I will look back at least. On the first pass, I will try to eliminate every incorrect answer that I know for sure is wrong. If that leaves a single answer, I will select it and move on. Otherwise, I will re-read the stimulus SPECIFICALLY focusing on the remaining AC's I have left and try to eliminate more / find the correct one.

4. Do you go through the first 12 or questions as fast as you can, knowing that the first right answer you see is likely correct, so that you have more time for the next 13 questions?

I try to answer the first 3 pages in 15 minutes. I definitely do not answer them as fast as I can -- that's a terrible way to guarantee a -1 or -2 in that earlier questions.

5. How much do you mark-up your test booklet? For example, do you bracket the conclusion, outline the premise, write notes, form conditionals even when you don't really need them?

I don't use any marking at all, but that's only because I feel pretty comfortable with LR. I think you should really get good at finding out the main point / conclusion of the argument. Underlining the author's conclusion would be extremely helpful since many questions ask you to reinforce, strengthen, weaken, or reiterate it.

6. Do you ever cross out the right AC only to go back to it when you've noticed that you've crossed out 5 AC's? I do this with some frequency on the latter half of the test.

I do this on occasion, which is important because you need to learn how to cross out AC's without making them illegible, haha. In the case that this happens, I generally read the stem word for word. Many times than not, the issue is because I predicted wrong on the question stem, and I am looking for a different answer than it is being asked. If the stem is not the issue, I will glance over all of the AC's briefly to get a general idea of what I am trying to determine, and then re-read the entire stimulus with a closer eye for these things.

Any tips or pointers on LR in general would also be appreciated, even though I know there are a ton of threads covering this.

Cambridge packets. They group LR questions by question type so that you can run through all of the questions of a particular question type. Buy them and do them. It might be too late to finish all of these, and I am actually in the situation of starting too late as well. (Probably won't be able to run through all of the packets)

These are helpful because they train you to specifically work on pattern recognition. When you are going through each question type, you go into section with an implicit "bag of tricks" that you are mentally preparing in your head. To explain more concretely, imagine that you are working on a Main Point (find the conclusion) type of question. When working with the question type, you should be thinking:

1. Is this sentence in the stimulus a premise or a conclusion?
2. What makes more sense, Because of X therefore Y, or Because of Y therefore X? (Assuming X and Y are a pair of possible conclusions)
3. What is the goal of the author? (ie Is she trying to convince me to minimize my intake of cholesterol? Is she saying that Jeff is not guilty?)
4. Does the AC cover the entire stimulus in scope, or is it too narrow?
5. Does the AC make assumptions that are not supported from the stimulus? (Overextending the inference?)

So as you can see, pattern recognition is key. Doing enough of each type will definitely make you more comfortable. Once you get comfortable, you should be able give a specific reason why your answer is correct with specific information from the stimulus. When you are missing less than 3 each section and are trying to improve (I am at this stage currently) be sure to READ CAREFULLY. I miss a lot because I misread one word for some part of that question.






HTH gl!

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shifty_eyed
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Re: Tips from 170+ Scorers on LR

Postby shifty_eyed » Tue May 29, 2012 10:17 am

I wasn't going to reply, but then I saw that all the posters who have replied so far read the stimulus before the question stem, which I don't do, so I think my approach may be slightly different (but still effective for me!)
esh12 wrote:Whether you've been getting 170+ on the PTs or have actually gotten 170+ on an actual LSAT, I wanted to gather some info on how you guys tackle LR..

1. Do you always read the question stem first? I find myself re-reading the stem a second time after reading the stimulus to make sure I know what AC I'm looking for. But I feel this is wasting precious seconds. I read the question stem first always, and I underline the key words in the stem (like weakens, assumption, etc) so I always read the stimulus with the question stem in mind.

2. Do you read the stimulus carefully on 1 pass as opposed to reading it fast, then re-reading it again as you go through the AC's? I find myself doing the latter, which again, I feel is wasting time. I read the stimulus VERY carefully at first, and so on the easier questions, I sometimes don't even need to reread it at all. On most of the questions, I do end up rereading some or all of the stimulus, however.

3. A more open-ended question is, how often do you refer back to the stimulus as you go through AC's? I do this A LOT on the harder questions because I need to "refresh" my memory of the details that would help in selecting the right answer. On the harder questions, I do refer to the stimulus quite a bit. I don't think you can avoid this.

4. Do you go through the first 12 or questions as fast as you can, knowing that the first right answer you see is likely correct, so that you have more time for the next 13 questions?When an answer choice matches my prephrase exactly, I will skip over the rest of the answer choices. If not, I skim all answer choices regardless. I end up moving through the first 10 or so questions quickly not through a conscious attempt, but just because they generally require less thought. There are usually one or two in the first twelve that I can't do super quickly though.

5. How much do you mark-up your test booklet? For example, do you bracket the conclusion, outline the premise, write notes, form conditionals even when you don't really need them? I underline stuff in the stimulus out of habit, and I also underline the key words in the question stem. I write out conditionals maybe once per test, so very rarely. Sometimes I do write short notes, but this is generally so I will know my thought process when I review the test later, so I'm probably not going to do this on the actual test; it wastes time.

6. Do you ever cross out the right AC only to go back to it when you've noticed that you've crossed out 5 AC's? I do this with some frequency on the latter half of the test. Yep. Probably on at least one question every PT. Even when I don't cross out every question, on harder questions, I always go back and review eliminated answer choices to make sure I didn't accidentally eliminate the correct answer. I mark through the answer choice letter (A, B, C, D, E) once, and when I review them again, I mark through the ones I am still certain on again to form an X through the answer choice letter.

Any tips or pointers on LR in general would also be appreciated, even though I know there are a ton of threads covering this.

esh12
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Re: Tips from 170+ Scorers on LR

Postby esh12 » Tue May 29, 2012 12:47 pm

This is some great feedback. Thanks to all those who've answered. For those who haven't, feel free to contribute if there is anything else to add.

AEA --> C

hamsamitchguy03
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Re: Tips from 170+ Scorers on LR

Postby hamsamitchguy03 » Tue May 29, 2012 11:32 pm

i consistently get to the 20th question with 16ish minutes left.

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elterrible78
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Re: Tips from 170+ Scorers on LR

Postby elterrible78 » Tue May 29, 2012 11:53 pm

esh12 wrote:Whether you've been getting 170+ on the PTs or have actually gotten 170+ on an actual LSAT, I wanted to gather some info on how you guys tackle LR..

1. Do you always read the question stem first? I find myself re-reading the stem a second time after reading the stimulus to make sure I know what AC I'm looking for. But I feel this is wasting precious seconds. I have trained myself to read the question stem first. I didn't for the longest time because the LR Bible suggests that doing so is a waste of time, because you will probably end up re-reading the stem again. I found that if I did not read the question stem first, I would almost always end up re-reading the actual stimulus, which is obviously a much bigger waste of time.

2. Do you read the stimulus carefully on 1 pass as opposed to reading it fast, then re-reading it again as you go through the AC's? I find myself doing the latter, which again, I feel is wasting time. I read it pretty carefully, but as quickly as I can while still getting an accurate read. Sometimes I have to re-read it to double check the accuracy of an answer choice, or for elimination purposes, or whatever. I'd be very surprised to find people who both consistently scored in the 170s and could honestly say that they rarely re-read a stimulus.

3. A more open-ended question is, how often do you refer back to the stimulus as you go through AC's? I do this A LOT on the harder questions because I need to "refresh" my memory of the details that would help in selecting the right answer. I think this is completely normal. I do it as often as I think I have to, with an eye out for specific things, such as wording that establishes a certain scope or whatnot.

4. Do you go through the first 12 or questions as fast as you can, knowing that the first right answer you see is likely correct, so that you have more time for the next 13 questions? I don't feel any extra pressure, per se, on the first 12 questions...they just naturally go more quickly because they tend to be much easier to answer.

5. How much do you mark-up your test booklet? For example, do you bracket the conclusion, outline the premise, write notes, form conditionals even when you don't really need them? I don't mark it up very much at all on the LR questions. The only times I really put pencil to paper at all is to diagram out particularly tortuous conditional reasoning, or on pattern of reasoning/argument questions, since the actual order of components is often at issue.

6. Do you ever cross out the right AC only to go back to it when you've noticed that you've crossed out 5 AC's? I do this with some frequency on the latter half of the test. I can't say I do this all that often. What does happen sometimes is that I'll cross an AC out as obviously wrong, only to realize that it's actually obviously right when none of the others seem to fit.

Any tips or pointers on LR in general would also be appreciated, even though I know there are a ton of threads covering this.

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Postby VasaVasori » Wed May 30, 2012 12:06 am

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Re: Tips from 170+ Scorers on LR

Postby dkb17xzx » Wed May 30, 2012 12:20 am

Tag - great thread

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banjo
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Re: Tips from 170+ Scorers on LR

Postby banjo » Wed May 30, 2012 1:03 am

esh12 wrote:Whether you've been getting 170+ on the PTs or have actually gotten 170+ on an actual LSAT, I wanted to gather some info on how you guys tackle LR..

1. Do you always read the question stem first? I find myself re-reading the stem a second time after reading the stimulus to make sure I know what AC I'm looking for. But I feel this is wasting precious seconds.

2. Do you read the stimulus carefully on 1 pass as opposed to reading it fast, then re-reading it again as you go through the AC's? I find myself doing the latter, which again, I feel is wasting time.

3. A more open-ended question is, how often do you refer back to the stimulus as you go through AC's? I do this A LOT on the harder questions because I need to "refresh" my memory of the details that would help in selecting the right answer.

4. Do you go through the first 12 or questions as fast as you can, knowing that the first right answer you see is likely correct, so that you have more time for the next 13 questions?

5. How much do you mark-up your test booklet? For example, do you bracket the conclusion, outline the premise, write notes, form conditionals even when you don't really need them?

6. Do you ever cross out the right AC only to go back to it when you've noticed that you've crossed out 5 AC's? I do this with some frequency on the latter half of the test.

Any tips or pointers on LR in general would also be appreciated, even though I know there are a ton of threads covering this.


1. I read the stimulus first. My goal is always to absorb the reasoning of the paragraph as a whole. I don't actively hunt for conclusions, premises, background information, assumptions, or anything like that without first grasping what the stimulus as a whole is trying to do.

2. I read most stimuli only once. Some I read twice. On a few questions I read the stimulus 10 times in a row because I can't figure it out and I can't stop thinking about the question. This is an awful habit and something you should address early on if it's a problem.

3. I refer back to the stimulus on inference questions and necessary assumption questions.

4. I don't try to go through the early questions faster, but it works out that way anyway. Honestly some of the earlier questions can be knocked out in 15 seconds.

5. I diagram only when I am feeling overwhelmed by the information in the stimulus. I write something on about 4 questions per section, usually on parallel reasoning questions and inference questions that involve formal logic.

6. I do exactly what shifty_eyed does. If I'm going through the answer choices a third time (almost never happens), I put a slash through the entire AC, including the words, so I know never to look at it again.

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Micdiddy
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Re: Tips from 170+ Scorers on LR

Postby Micdiddy » Wed May 30, 2012 1:38 am

banjo wrote:6. I do exactly what shifty_eyed does. If I'm going through the answer choices a third time (almost never happens), I put a slash through the entire AC, including the words, so I know never to look at it again.


I feel I should mention that I do this also. At some point, after un-eliminating answers and going over the question for the 3rd, 4th, 10th time or whatever, I literally scribble out entire AC's. Usually I start with one slash through the letter, and a check next to "contenders," then circle the answer I will put on my answer sheet.
Then going through again because I was not happy with my choice, I will sometimes check next to ones already slashed, or double slash ones I checked (one slash for the letter, one slash for the first checkmark).
At this point, if I look at a question I slashed and see substantial, credible proof it is wrong (like it blatantly says something not in stimulus) I will scribble out the entire AC and never look at it again (I think I have missed one question ever when the whole AC was crossed out this way, which I think is actually a pretty good percentage).
These days, I almost never have to "settle" on a choice. Eventually the right one becomes clear and I circle it or, since usually it is already circled and crossed out at this point and one or two other answers have circles and slashes as well, I literally draw an arrow pointing to it.

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elterrible78
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Re: Tips from 170+ Scorers on LR

Postby elterrible78 » Wed May 30, 2012 1:54 am

Micdiddy wrote:
banjo wrote:6. I do exactly what shifty_eyed does. If I'm going through the answer choices a third time (almost never happens), I put a slash through the entire AC, including the words, so I know never to look at it again.


I feel I should mention that I do this also.


Yep, me too. If I'm making a second pass, I will completely black out the letter beside the AC. Have never ended up with one of my blacked-out ACs being the correct response.

TheColonel
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Re: Tips from 170+ Scorers on LR

Postby TheColonel » Wed May 30, 2012 1:57 am

esh12 wrote:Whether you've been getting 170+ on the PTs or have actually gotten 170+ on an actual LSAT, I wanted to gather some info on how you guys tackle LR..

1. Do you always read the question stem first? I find myself re-reading the stem a second time after reading the stimulus to make sure I know what AC I'm looking for. But I feel this is wasting precious seconds.
I read the stem first every time and write down what type of question it is on the side. Writing internalizes it for me and allows me to return to the question without having to reread the stem.

2. Do you read the stimulus carefully on 1 pass as opposed to reading it fast, then re-reading it again as you go through the AC's? I find myself doing the latter, which again, I feel is wasting time.
I read it through carefully and I would say that is enough for probably 75 percent of the questions. The rest I have to look back for. Also, sometimes I find myself quickly skimming the stimulus as soon as I start seeing conditional language just to sort of get a lay of the land and then I diagram.

3. A more open-ended question is, how often do you refer back to the stimulus as you go through AC's? I do this A LOT on the harder questions because I need to "refresh" my memory of the details that would help in selecting the right answer.
I do it on harder questions fairly frequently. Sometimes I realize that I didn't read it closely enough and so I go back and reread the entire stimulus. Other times I am just looking for one specific sentence or part of a sentence.

4. Do you go through the first 12 or questions as fast as you can, knowing that the first right answer you see is likely correct, so that you have more time for the next 13 questions?
I generally do not. I'm terrified I'll just pick the first good looking answer and miss the correct answer further down. I generally do 10 in 10, 15 in 16-17, 20 in 23-25, and the final 5/6 with the remainder.

5. How much do you mark-up your test booklet? For example, do you bracket the conclusion, outline the premise, write notes, form conditionals even when you don't really need them?
I only bracket in Role questions and Main Point questions. I diagram probably half of the conditionals and generally only when I feel I need to.

6. Do you ever cross out the right AC only to go back to it when you've noticed that you've crossed out 5 AC's? I do this with some frequency on the latter half of the test.
This happens to me but not too frequently. My threshold for crossing out is fairly high I guess because I more often find myself with only 3 or even 2 crossed out and then have to decide between the remainder.

Any tips or pointers on LR in general would also be appreciated, even though I know there are a ton of threads covering this.


My general advice would be to drill by question type and then do as many LR questions as you can stomach. I have started to feel very comfortable in the section but this is only after having done tons and tons of practice questions. After a while you will start to notice patterns and almost be able to answer questions by feel. Some answer options just seem like that is how LSAC would word a correct answer choice and others just seem like the kind of sucker choice the LSAC loves to insert into the test.

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Re: Tips from 170+ Scorers on LR

Postby bp shinners » Wed May 30, 2012 4:02 pm

esh12 wrote:
1. Do you always read the question stem first? I find myself re-reading the stem a second time after reading the stimulus to make sure I know what AC I'm looking for. But I feel this is wasting precious seconds.


I always read it first. Then, I write down what type of stem it is (MBT, F for Flaw, P for Parallel, etc...). So much of my strategy is based on knowing exactly what to look for in the stimulus. I generally read the stem, know what I'm looking for, find it, and then go right to the answers.

2. Do you read the stimulus carefully on 1 pass as opposed to reading it fast, then re-reading it again as you go through the AC's? I find myself doing the latter, which again, I feel is wasting time.


Nope, I read it slowly to make sure I completely understand it. It helps that I know what I'm looking for based on what type of question it is. Skimming is never a good idea on the LSAT.

3. A more open-ended question is, how often do you refer back to the stimulus as you go through AC's? I do this A LOT on the harder questions because I need to "refresh" my memory of the details that would help in selecting the right answer.


I usually do a first pass to eliminate most (if not all) of the wrong answer choices. If I'm between two, I'll refer back to the stimulus. If I think I have my answer, I check it against the stimulus one more time.

4. Do you go through the first 12 or questions as fast as you can, knowing that the first right answer you see is likely correct, so that you have more time for the next 13 questions?


Yep. Timing is 90% confidence.

5. How much do you mark-up your test booklet? For example, do you bracket the conclusion, outline the premise, write notes, form conditionals even when you don't really need them?


If there's an argument, I underline the conclusion. If I can diagram it, I diagram it. If there's a study, I make a chart/graph with the relevant info. LG obviously a lot of marking up. RC I also mark up quite a bit, but mostly to slow myself down and keep myself focused.

6. Do you ever cross out the right AC only to go back to it when you've noticed that you've crossed out 5 AC's? I do this with some frequency on the latter half of the test.


Very, very rarely. For almost every question, I have an idea of an element that's going to show up in the correct answer choice. My first pass is to eliminate any answer choice that lacks that element. It's rare that what I'm looking for isn't in the answer choice.

Any tips or pointers on LR in general would also be appreciated, even though I know there are a ton of threads covering this.

[/quote]

In general, realize that almost every question that's not in the implication family (Must be True/False, Most Strongly Supported) is a variation of a flaw question (the exceptions being Resolve/Explain, Role, Describe, and Main Point questions). If you can't find the flaw/assumption, you're going to have trouble answering it. After underlining the conclusion and figuring out the relevant premises, I ALWAYS figure out what the flaw is.

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Micdiddy
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Re: Tips from 170+ Scorers on LR

Postby Micdiddy » Wed May 30, 2012 4:27 pm

bp shinners wrote:
esh12 wrote:
1. Do you always read the question stem first? I find myself re-reading the stem a second time after reading the stimulus to make sure I know what AC I'm looking for. But I feel this is wasting precious seconds.


I always read it first. Then, I write down what type of stem it is (MBT, F for Flaw, P for Parallel, etc...). So much of my strategy is based on knowing exactly what to look for in the stimulus. I generally read the stem, know what I'm looking for, find it, and then go right to the answers.

2. Do you read the stimulus carefully on 1 pass as opposed to reading it fast, then re-reading it again as you go through the AC's? I find myself doing the latter, which again, I feel is wasting time.


Nope, I read it slowly to make sure I completely understand it. It helps that I know what I'm looking for based on what type of question it is. Skimming is never a good idea on the LSAT.

3. A more open-ended question is, how often do you refer back to the stimulus as you go through AC's? I do this A LOT on the harder questions because I need to "refresh" my memory of the details that would help in selecting the right answer.


I usually do a first pass to eliminate most (if not all) of the wrong answer choices. If I'm between two, I'll refer back to the stimulus. If I think I have my answer, I check it against the stimulus one more time.

4. Do you go through the first 12 or questions as fast as you can, knowing that the first right answer you see is likely correct, so that you have more time for the next 13 questions?


Yep. Timing is 90% confidence.

5. How much do you mark-up your test booklet? For example, do you bracket the conclusion, outline the premise, write notes, form conditionals even when you don't really need them?


If there's an argument, I underline the conclusion. If I can diagram it, I diagram it. If there's a study, I make a chart/graph with the relevant info. LG obviously a lot of marking up. RC I also mark up quite a bit, but mostly to slow myself down and keep myself focused.

6. Do you ever cross out the right AC only to go back to it when you've noticed that you've crossed out 5 AC's? I do this with some frequency on the latter half of the test.


Very, very rarely. For almost every question, I have an idea of an element that's going to show up in the correct answer choice. My first pass is to eliminate any answer choice that lacks that element. It's rare that what I'm looking for isn't in the answer choice.

Any tips or pointers on LR in general would also be appreciated, even though I know there are a ton of threads covering this.



In general, realize that almost every question that's not in the implication family (Must be True/False, Most Strongly Supported) is a variation of a flaw question (the exceptions being Resolve/Explain, Role, Describe, and Main Point questions). If you can't find the flaw/assumption, you're going to have trouble answering it. After underlining the conclusion and figuring out the relevant premises, I ALWAYS figure out what the flaw is.
[/quote]

Reading over this, it sounds like you take a lot of time going through LR. Or I guess I should say I feel like I would take a lot of time using your strategies, like writing down the question type, reading stem first, diagramming and underlining, etc.
Do you generalize end sections with time left and go back to review? Are you just super speedy at this stuff by now?

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LionelHutzJD
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Re: Tips from 170+ Scorers on LR

Postby LionelHutzJD » Thu May 31, 2012 9:41 am

TheColonel wrote:
esh12 wrote:Whether you've been getting 170+ on the PTs or have actually gotten 170+ on an actual LSAT, I wanted to gather some info on how you guys tackle LR..

1. Do you always read the question stem first? I find myself re-reading the stem a second time after reading the stimulus to make sure I know what AC I'm looking for. But I feel this is wasting precious seconds.
I read the stem first every time and write down what type of question it is on the side. Writing internalizes it for me and allows me to return to the question without having to reread the stem.

2. Do you read the stimulus carefully on 1 pass as opposed to reading it fast, then re-reading it again as you go through the AC's? I find myself doing the latter, which again, I feel is wasting time.
I read it through carefully and I would say that is enough for probably 75 percent of the questions. The rest I have to look back for. Also, sometimes I find myself quickly skimming the stimulus as soon as I start seeing conditional language just to sort of get a lay of the land and then I diagram.

3. A more open-ended question is, how often do you refer back to the stimulus as you go through AC's? I do this A LOT on the harder questions because I need to "refresh" my memory of the details that would help in selecting the right answer.
I do it on harder questions fairly frequently. Sometimes I realize that I didn't read it closely enough and so I go back and reread the entire stimulus. Other times I am just looking for one specific sentence or part of a sentence.

4. Do you go through the first 12 or questions as fast as you can, knowing that the first right answer you see is likely correct, so that you have more time for the next 13 questions?
I generally do not. I'm terrified I'll just pick the first good looking answer and miss the correct answer further down. I generally do 10 in 10, 15 in 16-17, 20 in 23-25, and the final 5/6 with the remainder.

5. How much do you mark-up your test booklet? For example, do you bracket the conclusion, outline the premise, write notes, form conditionals even when you don't really need them?
I only bracket in Role questions and Main Point questions. I diagram probably half of the conditionals and generally only when I feel I need to.

6. Do you ever cross out the right AC only to go back to it when you've noticed that you've crossed out 5 AC's? I do this with some frequency on the latter half of the test.
This happens to me but not too frequently. My threshold for crossing out is fairly high I guess because I more often find myself with only 3 or even 2 crossed out and then have to decide between the remainder.

Any tips or pointers on LR in general would also be appreciated, even though I know there are a ton of threads covering this.


My general advice would be to drill by question type and then do as many LR questions as you can stomach. I have started to feel very comfortable in the section but this is only after having done tons and tons of practice questions. After a while you will start to notice patterns and almost be able to answer questions by feel. Some answer options just seem like that is how LSAC would word a correct answer choice and others just seem like the kind of sucker choice the LSAC loves to insert into the test.




About how long did you drill for before becoming comfortable? (lol?)

Impending1L
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Re: Tips from 170+ Scorers on LR

Postby Impending1L » Thu May 31, 2012 9:50 am

About how long did you drill for before becoming comfortable? (lol?)[/quote]

That's what she said.

TheColonel
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Re: Tips from 170+ Scorers on LR

Postby TheColonel » Thu May 31, 2012 10:43 am

LionelHutzJD wrote:About how long did you drill for before becoming comfortable? (lol?)


I couldn't really put an exact number on it. I finished Blueprint's online course and then took probably a half dozen PTs before I really got comfortable. So probably ~75 or so questions per question type and then ~15 full LR sections. Your mileage may vary.

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LionelHutzJD
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Re: Tips from 170+ Scorers on LR

Postby LionelHutzJD » Thu May 31, 2012 10:56 am

TheColonel wrote:
LionelHutzJD wrote:About how long did you drill for before becoming comfortable? (lol?)


I couldn't really put an exact number on it. I finished Blueprint's online course and then took probably a half dozen PTs before I really got comfortable. So probably ~75 or so questions per question type and then ~15 full LR sections. Your mileage may vary.



How long was the course? Sorry, im taking testmasters three month course starting in July and I wanted to make sure its ample time and materials.

bp shinners
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Re: Tips from 170+ Scorers on LR

Postby bp shinners » Thu May 31, 2012 3:57 pm

Micdiddy wrote:Reading over this, it sounds like you take a lot of time going through LR. Or I guess I should say I feel like I would take a lot of time using your strategies, like writing down the question type, reading stem first, diagramming and underlining, etc.
Do you generalize end sections with time left and go back to review? Are you just super speedy at this stuff by now?


You probably don't want to hear this, but using all of these strategies, it takes me about 10 minutes to get through an LR section (I'll usually get 1-2 wrong when I'm going at this pace; 15 minutes if I want to ensure perfection). I've been doing this long enough that I can read the prompt and the stimulus and know, more or less, the exact answer. Doesn't take long to find it if that's the case. So this lets you know that it's at least possible to get through the stuff quickly while still doing all of this.

And, honestly, if you break it down, it shouldn't take too long. You have approx. 1:20 for each LR question. This is how long it should take you to do each step (not how long I take - how long most people should take to get through them)
Read the prompt and write down the question type: 5 seconds (this also lets me know if I'm likely to diagram or not, as only a few question types regularly lend themselves to diagramming - parallel, must be true, soft must be true principle, and sufficient assumption; it also lets me know if I'm looking for a conclusion)
Read the stimulus and find the conclusion, if there is one: 20 seconds
Diagram anything that needs to be diagrammed: 10-25 seconds, depending on how much has to be diagrammed
Think about what I'm looking for in an answer choice: 10 seconds

So, up to now, I'm between 45 and 60 seconds. If it took me 25 seconds to diagram, I should know exactly what I'm looking for in an answer choice, so it should take me MUCH less time to find the answer, say 10-15 seconds. If I didn't have a lot to diagram (or I had nothing to diagram), I should spend 5-10 seconds on each answer choice. Since I spent that 10 seconds to figure out what I'm looking for, I don't have to spend more time evaluating the answer choice and checking it against the stimulus. This is why I say that 90% of timing is confidence.

If you're taking longer than that for any of the steps, you're spinning your wheels. That means you feel like you're doing productive work, but you're actually just sitting there, not moving any closer to a correct answer. If you spend the proper time with the stimulus to begin with, you won't have to refer back to it. If you diagrammed, the answer should jump out at you.

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Micdiddy
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Re: Tips from 170+ Scorers on LR

Postby Micdiddy » Thu May 31, 2012 11:36 pm

Honestly that's pretty incredible. I feel that going my absolute fastest I could end a section in 23 minutes maybe, and prob miss 1 or 2, but usually I end with 6 or 7 minutes left and get none or some wrong atypically.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Tips from 170+ Scorers on LR

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:55 am

Micdiddy wrote:Honestly that's pretty incredible. I feel that going my absolute fastest I could end a section in 23 minutes maybe, and prob miss 1 or 2, but usually I end with 6 or 7 minutes left and get none or some wrong atypically.


I'm assuming he's already seen the questions.




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