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.
Probably a repeat:
1. I read the stimulus, then the stem, then the AC's.
2. When in my right mind, I read the stimulus very carefully and critically the first time. This is crucial, in my opinion. If at times I get to the end of it and was not sure of what happened, I reread it.
3. I think I always refer back, even on the easier questions. I do this just to be sure that my answer is correct. Sure, I'm often fairly certain that I got it; at that point, I could circle it, and move on. But to me, the 5-10 (or more, if I find out I'm mistaken) second trade off to ensure that I have the correct answer is well worth the decreased risk of even one missed question.
4. I do not go as fast as I can, per se. Though I do strive toward the proper balance of certainty of AC and speed. On my recent tests, I've finished roughly 15-17 of the first questions in roughly 15 minutes, with good accuracy. But, don't get me wrong: there are many tough questions to found earlier in the section that may well command more than a minute of your time.
5. I mark sporadically. Sometimes when the conclusion is just really obvious ("But, this view is mistaken.", e.g.) I'll bracket it out of reflex. On questions that refer to a specific word or set of words within the stimulus, I do underline them. Other words--like words that indicate a huge quantifier shift or other point of error--I'll notate as well. On questions with a lot of conditionals (MBT's or SA's, for example), I nearly always write them out.
6. Generally I don't run into that problem because I'm not too quick to cross off an answer unless it is so flagrantly wrong that it warrants no further consideration. I'll read a choice that in itself does nothing on a weaken question, for example, and realize that with several assumptions it may weaken the argument, but that it is probably not the right answer. In a case such as that, I'll leave it alone until I find an answer that is clearly better.
Sometimes, I'll be going a bit too quick and cross out an answer that, when I've finished slashing it, all of a sudden appears to be correct. Be careful of going too fast. Many questions turn on devilishly intelligent subtleties.
If LR is really a problem for you, consider skipping 5 questions in the section (those which you anticipate to be the most difficult) guessing all one letter on them, and using the 29 minutes to complete and bubble the other 20 perfectly.
Though, I don't think there's anything to stop you, or many others for that matter, from achieving a consistent -1/-0 on LR, if you've studied it intensely and so forth.