Drilling Assumptions Strategy

mcs268
Posts: 251
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:03 pm

Drilling Assumptions Strategy

Postby mcs268 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:53 pm

So after missing many sufficient and necessary assumption questions on my practice tests I've decided to take a step back and start drilling my mistakes before I continue my practice tests (I am currently on prep test 38 and peaking around 165, need to make 170+). I just bought Cambridge's LSATs by type for these two q types (coincidentally, covering 1-38, so I figured it was good timing). I hope by getting these 100% accurate I can increase my score about 5 points or so.

How would you recommend going through them? I was thinking maybe 25 for 35 minutes like an actual section, then reviewing them as I would a normal section. The only problem is I do not want to stop taking practice tests for that long. I'm afraid if I stop for like two weeks I'm going to be out of the groove. Do you think it's possible to drill both these question types for only two weeks or will I need more time? i just don't want to take any more tests until I master these effectively..Thanks!

jjrialva
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:59 pm

Re: Drilling Assumptions Strategy

Postby jjrialva » Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:45 am

I'm also at that point where one has to sit down and review specifically what is being done wrong. My kaplan mastery practice book should arrive this week and I'll be doing what you are about to do. Although, I would say 1/3 of my problem is misreading the stimulus of LR questions because English is my 2nd language.

If I were you I would do a few drills of maybe 10 questions at a time (just a few since you already have the basic knowledge of the LSAT and what assumptions questions are about) untimed. The reasoning behind this is that when you do it untimed and you get something wrong you are definitely missing something and you are at the same time almost ruling out the possibility that you got it wrong because of time constraints. You can cut out the exercise like some people suggest and review it few days later so the solution to your error will internalize.

One thing I have started doing for every LR question that takes too long even if I got it right is to review it and write down why each wrong answer is well wrong. I have read on this forum it helps.

I was also afraid of loosing the LSAT mindset if I stopped studying for a while but I did stop for 3 weeks and when I came back to study I was were I left off. However I don't think you have to stop doing practice tests altogether. Be sure to bring some slight positive modifications to every prep test you do. Maybe if you were doing 3 a week now do just 1 or 2 to avoid burn out.

Good Luck I really hope we can get out of this situation a hit 170... you are more close than I am though!

Oscar85
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:53 pm

Re: Drilling Assumptions Strategy

Postby Oscar85 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:39 am

Hey, I am going to start doing this soon! here is what I recommend that you do: know what you are being asked by the question stem... then try to identify what you think is the conclusion + supporting premises... Obviously, the problem with assumption questions is that there is a flaw in them... a missing link that creates a weak point for the argument. Finding this missing link is not always easy, and that is probably why you got the question wrong. I would force myself to try to identify the gap in the argument, even if you know what it is already. Then move on to the answer choices and try to identify the incorrect answer choices, and tell yourself why they are wrong. Would it be right if it weren't for the fact that they used a different term? Did they bring in another assumption that required you to make new assumptions? etc. By doing this you know what the test maker does to create this confusion in the test taker.

Also you will probably only need a week if you take them timed + thoroughly review them. Also, I would not recommend you try taking them in 35 minutes... Assumption questions tend to be harder (they are the most common, so there is a higher chance that there will be more difficult ones), so you will be disappointed if you are taking 40 minutes to complete a section that would not take you a long time if easier questions were included. Focus on time, but don't set a 35 minute limit on yourself. Focus first on mastery, and then move on to timed practice, and then mixed review.

totaltest.milan
Posts: 84
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:45 pm

Re: Drilling Assumptions Strategy

Postby totaltest.milan » Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:37 pm

mcs268 wrote:So after missing many sufficient and necessary assumption questions on my practice tests I've decided to take a step back and start drilling my mistakes before I continue my practice tests (I am currently on prep test 38 and peaking around 165, need to make 170+). I just bought Cambridge's LSATs by type for these two q types (coincidentally, covering 1-38, so I figured it was good timing). I hope by getting these 100% accurate I can increase my score about 5 points or so.

How would you recommend going through them? I was thinking maybe 25 for 35 minutes like an actual section, then reviewing them as I would a normal section. The only problem is I do not want to stop taking practice tests for that long. I'm afraid if I stop for like two weeks I'm going to be out of the groove. Do you think it's possible to drill both these question types for only two weeks or will I need more time? i just don't want to take any more tests until I master these effectively..Thanks!

Ok, assuming that you've studied how to approach these questions (you've read PS/Manhattan/etc) this is what you should do:

First, make sure that you're practicing both types together, so when you study mix up the questions in such a way that you're not sure which one you're doing until you actually read it. There's science behind this, people will learn things more effectively if they test/review 2 to 3 related concepts at a time rather than if they take each concept separately.

Second, If Cambridge divides these questions by difficulty then start with the easy ones (if not then start with questions numbered 1 - 8, it's not perfect but it works well enough) and take 20 - 25. Do these UNTIMED. You need to first develop your ability to do them properly before you can do them properly under time pressure. Make a note of any that you're not sure about/deliberated over/had problems with. See which ones you got wrong and review. Review the ones you noted as well as the ones you got wrong. The point of review is to establish why the correct choice is correct and why the incorrect answer is incorrect; at this point you're looking to figure out LSAC's patterns. Once you've reviewed take a break and then redo the ones you marked/got incorrect. You'll be surprised how many you get wrong again - the point of this is to force you to apply what you established while reviewing. Keep reviewing and redoing until you don't get any wrong. As you get better at reviewing and you start figuring out LSAC's patterns you'll get everything right the second time around. Do this for all of the easy questions, then all of the medium questions (or 9 - 16), then all of the difficult questions (17 - 26). If you're working on tests 1 - 38 it shouldn't take you more than a week or two, assuming that you're dedicated.

Oscar85
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:53 pm

Re: Drilling Assumptions Strategy

Postby Oscar85 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:46 pm

totaltest.milan wrote:
mcs268 wrote:So after missing many sufficient and necessary assumption questions on my practice tests I've decided to take a step back and start drilling my mistakes before I continue my practice tests (I am currently on prep test 38 and peaking around 165, need to make 170+). I just bought Cambridge's LSATs by type for these two q types (coincidentally, covering 1-38, so I figured it was good timing). I hope by getting these 100% accurate I can increase my score about 5 points or so.

How would you recommend going through them? I was thinking maybe 25 for 35 minutes like an actual section, then reviewing them as I would a normal section. The only problem is I do not want to stop taking practice tests for that long. I'm afraid if I stop for like two weeks I'm going to be out of the groove. Do you think it's possible to drill both these question types for only two weeks or will I need more time? i just don't want to take any more tests until I master these effectively..Thanks!

Ok, assuming that you've studied how to approach these questions (you've read PS/Manhattan/etc) this is what you should do:

First, make sure that you're practicing both types together, so when you study mix up the questions in such a way that you're not sure which one you're doing until you actually read it. There's science behind this, people will learn things more effectively if they test/review 2 to 3 related concepts at a time rather than if they take each concept separately.

Second, If Cambridge divides these questions by difficulty then start with the easy ones (if not then start with questions numbered 1 - 8, it's not perfect but it works well enough) and take 20 - 25. Do these UNTIMED. You need to first develop your ability to do them properly before you can do them properly under time pressure. Make a note of any that you're not sure about/deliberated over/had problems with. See which ones you got wrong and review. Review the ones you noted as well as the ones you got wrong. The point of review is to establish why the correct choice is correct and why the incorrect answer is incorrect; at this point you're looking to figure out LSAC's patterns. Once you've reviewed take a break and then redo the ones you marked/got incorrect. You'll be surprised how many you get wrong again - the point of this is to force you to apply what you established while reviewing. Keep reviewing and redoing until you don't get any wrong. As you get better at reviewing and you start figuring out LSAC's patterns you'll get everything right the second time around. Do this for all of the easy questions, then all of the medium questions (or 9 - 16), then all of the difficult questions (17 - 26). If you're working on tests 1 - 38 it shouldn't take you more than a week or two, assuming that you're dedicated.

What about if you are using the question stem approach first? Would you still suggest that we do three other question types?

totaltest.milan
Posts: 84
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:45 pm

Re: Drilling Assumptions Strategy

Postby totaltest.milan » Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:31 pm

Oscar85 wrote:What about if you are using the question stem approach first? Would you still suggest that we do three other question types?

I'm not quite sure what you're asking. Should you do what I recommended (specifically mixing up the two different assumption types) even if you read the stem first? Yes. I teach my students to read the stem first.

mcs268
Posts: 251
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:03 pm

Re: Drilling Assumptions Strategy

Postby mcs268 » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:44 pm

Just an update - I drilled 5 easy sufficient and 20 easy necessary assumptions today untimed. I went 100% on suffients and got 2 wrong on assumptions. However, I wasn't 100% sure on the sufficents when I answered them, but they were all from tests 1-10 so its possible the wording was just weird. Wasn't sure about 5-6 necessaries however I did get the right answer, which means I'm better at recognizing wrong answers and choosing the best one. Time will tell, but I think I'm on my way!




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