Most effective way of speed buildup?

ijomer
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Most effective way of speed buildup?

Postby ijomer » Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:52 am

I know that taking many preptests can be the answer... but what other strategies can someone employ to increase the speed while doing LR and LG questions without conceding accuracy?

I am one month into my preperation (test is in October) and i've started from preptest 7 and am now around 21, some i took as full 5 section tests (averaging at 160) but that score was due to lack of speed, kuz when i did the questions i didn't get time to, my average was around 165. Anyways, I'm taking many individual sections timed (Although many questions in LG seem so weird for the early preptests) or should i start doing preptests again?

Thank You

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TopHatToad
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Re: Most effective way of speed buildup?

Postby TopHatToad » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:27 am

Familiarity with test questions and common answer traps is the best way to speed up, but I think you're putting the cart before the horse. You want to know the material before you start speeding up-- think accuracy before speed.

Untimed sections should be your most common study method at this point, with extra work on question types you frequently miss. If you can finish a section with a nearly-perfect score, then timing should come into play. Good luck!

ijomer
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Re: Most effective way of speed buildup?

Postby ijomer » Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:04 pm

TopHatToad wrote:Familiarity with test questions and common answer traps is the best way to speed up, but I think you're putting the cart before the horse. You want to know the material before you start speeding up-- think accuracy before speed.

Untimed sections should be your most common study method at this point, with extra work on question types you frequently miss. If you can finish a section with a nearly-perfect score, then timing should come into play. Good luck!


Thanks for the advice, but should i use older or newer preptests for individual practice? i have been working on 7 to 21 past 3 weeks and some say lsat has evolved alot in years...

JohnV
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Re: Most effective way of speed buildup?

Postby JohnV » Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:19 pm

ijomer wrote:I know that taking many preptests can be the answer... but what other strategies can someone employ to increase the speed while doing LR and LG questions without conceding accuracy?

I am one month into my preperation (test is in October) and i've started from preptest 7 and am now around 21, some i took as full 5 section tests (averaging at 160) but that score was due to lack of speed, kuz when i did the questions i didn't get time to, my average was around 165. Anyways, I'm taking many individual sections timed (Although many questions in LG seem so weird for the early preptests) or should i start doing preptests again?
j
Thank You


Familiarity will definitely help. Practice reading these kinds of questions will also build your speed. For example, my RC went from ~3:45 to 4:30 a passage to 2:30 - 3:30 within a month with an increase in my retention and accuracy simply because my reading speed increased with practice and the text didn't throw me off as much.

For LR I can recommend some advice that helped me a ton (from somewhere here on TLS). I went from 42 mins+ per LR section to under 30:00 consistently with it. To build strength I first started with untimed LRs (helps familiarize yourself with them). Then, move on to timing each question one by one. Try to hit it under 1:25 every time (I believe that's about equal time for each question). Once you are scoring under/around that more or less consistently (some will inevitably take longer but that's ok) go to 15 at a time, trying to finish at 15 minutes. I rarely could hit under 15 but scoring at/near it gives you surplus time at the end for the last 10.

This helped me become more comfortable with the time constraints and mentally keep track of how much time I had to allocate to each. Also, don't be too afraid about skipping a question to come back to later. I have made a habbit of skipping questions I identify as formal logic and comparative reasoning because I know those take longer and falling behind schedule adds a mental block that usually results in more time loss and less accuracy. Just something to keep in mind.

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TopHatToad
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Re: Most effective way of speed buildup?

Postby TopHatToad » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:56 pm

ijomer wrote:
TopHatToad wrote:Familiarity with test questions and common answer traps is the best way to speed up, but I think you're putting the cart before the horse. You want to know the material before you start speeding up-- think accuracy before speed.

Untimed sections should be your most common study method at this point, with extra work on question types you frequently miss. If you can finish a section with a nearly-perfect score, then timing should come into play. Good luck!


Thanks for the advice, but should i use older or newer preptests for individual practice? i have been working on 7 to 21 past 3 weeks and some say lsat has evolved alot in years...


It has evolved, but not in any way that would preclude using the older ones first. The relative difficulty of individual sections has changed, but the curve is still set. If I had to describe the new vs old tests, I'd say that LSAC has standardized the question types more; that is, oddball question types and games have been reduced.

All the advice above this is good stuff, definitely listen to it. In addition, there are a couple drills you could try. Untimed sections is still your starting point, and then drilling question types out of a few "throwaway" PTs. Once you're confident in your ability to nail these questions untimed, start working with timing drills.

For LR for example, the general order of question difficulty is easy-medium-hard-medium with a peak in the late teens/early 20s. In order to give yourself the necessary time to tackle the hardest problems, hit some LR sections with a goal of minute-per-question. The longer you can continue this drill under your time limit-- 10 questions, maybe 15-- the more time you've saved yourself for the difficult late questions.

hblake
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Re: Most effective way of speed buildup?

Postby hblake » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:04 pm

JohnV wrote:I have made a habbit of skipping questions I identify as formal logic and comparative reasoning because I know those take longer and falling behind schedule adds a mental block that usually results in more time loss and less accuracy. Just something to keep in mind.


How do you identify questions with formal logic?

ijomer
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Re: Most effective way of speed buildup?

Postby ijomer » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:08 am

Thanks alot for reply tophat and johnv

I had one more question, how can speed be built up for LG questions?

Im getting a grip of LR questions, getting around -5 a section, but most of those mistakes are veryy stupid, and small, which annoys me even more, but LG questions, how do i speed up with them?

Is it true that to brake into 160s LG has to be mastered and to brake into 170s LR has to be mastered?

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TopHatToad
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Re: Most effective way of speed buildup?

Postby TopHatToad » Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:00 am

I've personally never thought of it in those terms, but it's true that LG is the easier of the two (in my opinion, at the least) to master.

LG mastery requires several disparate skills in order to become efficient/mastered. Forgive the sloppiness, it is almost 4am here and I've had a night out, but I'll try to list them.

First, you need to master diagramming. For 1d games (ie, ordering and grouping that don't attach secondary traits) and the harder 2+ dimensional games, you need to know quickly and efficiently how your game is going to be set up on the page.

Second, you need to represent your clues in an unequivocal and easy-to-understand manner.

Thirdly (and overlooked the most often), double-check the clues. This is the breaking point between LG masters and those who are good but lack the experience. Take the few seconds; a missed clue or a misunderstood clue can mean the difference of a minute or two in the games, and that can make all the difference.

Fourth, deductions deductions deductions. Know the difference between making the deductions that matter and spinning webs of hypotheticals that cost you time and don't enlighten your answers. This is, of the tips, the most experience-based. Practice!

Finally, once all of that is done, tackle the questions in the most efficient order. For Princeton, we call them Grab-a-rule, Specific, General and Complex questions, but each company has their own names for them. Point being, questions that add conditions force you to construct hypotheticals, which if saved allow you to quickly rule out the over-arching "General" question answers and pare them down to a testable number. Doing them in the right order adds efficiency, which translates into more time for the hardest games.

Hope that helps!

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Clearly
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Re: Most effective way of speed buildup?

Postby Clearly » Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:37 am

ijomer wrote:Thanks alot for reply tophat and johnv

I had one more question, how can speed be built up for LG questions?

Im getting a grip of LR questions, getting around -5 a section, but most of those mistakes are veryy stupid, and small, which annoys me even more, but LG questions, how do i speed up with them?

Is it true that to brake into 160s LG has to be mastered and to brake into 170s LR has to be mastered?


Nope, sounds like slogan crap to me. To break into the 160s you need a certain number of questions right, likewise for 170. My first exam I SUCKED at LG, planned on doing 2 MAYBE 3 of the games, and I scored a 164.

As far as the timed/untimed...Mastery is key, and you should break down questions without a clock. HOWEVER, esp for LG, efficiency is the name of the game, and too much untimed practice could reinforce time-wasting techniques. That said, The clock is basically a way of testing efficiency, and you could build efficiency without having to do so under the clock. If your doing untimed LG sections focus specifically on how you could have been faster, or if there was a faster way of reaching the same conclusion. Was there an answer choice maybe you couldn't rule out, but opted to skip because it didn't 'seem' like a good starting point to answer a "Which of the following units CANT occupy that slot" question, only to find the first one worth testing was the correct answer? Those are moments that can add up.

Basically the name of the Logic game..game.. is developing the fastest way of getting to the right answer. Remember that when practicing off the clock. Mindlessly burning LG's isn't the idea. Take games, break them down, get good at making inferences; spend 20 minutes on a game if you like, as long as you are dissecting it and absorbing the patterns that make them up.
Then you can start burning thru games to test what you've learned, but always make sure you've learned something new before wasting more games. Practice makes permanent, make sure your etching the RIGHT way to do a game into your mind.

Good luck!

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Honey_Badger
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Re: Most effective way of speed buildup?

Postby Honey_Badger » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:17 am

Clearlynotstefan wrote:As far as the timed/untimed...Mastery is key, and you should break down questions without a clock. HOWEVER, esp for LG, efficiency is the name of the game, and too much untimed practice could reinforce time-wasting techniques. That said, The clock is basically a way of testing efficiency, and you could build efficiency without having to do so under the clock. If your doing untimed LG sections focus specifically on how you could have been faster, or if there was a faster way of reaching the same conclusion. Was there an answer choice maybe you couldn't rule out, but opted to skip because it didn't 'seem' like a good starting point to answer a "Which of the following units CANT occupy that slot" question, only to find the first one worth testing was the correct answer? Those are moments that can add up.


I think another way you could approach this (and maybe assuage some of your fears about timing) is to start a stopwatch (then put it face DOWN) and just mark time for each game you do. This way you are focusing on QUALITY, but still have a benchmark of time per game to work off of. You may find that as your "untimed" practices increase, your actual time performing will decrease, while maintaining quality practice.

JohnV
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Re: Most effective way of speed buildup?

Postby JohnV » Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:01 pm

hblake wrote:
JohnV wrote:I have made a habbit of skipping questions I identify as formal logic and comparative reasoning because I know those take longer and falling behind schedule adds a mental block that usually results in more time loss and less accuracy. Just something to keep in mind.


How do you identify questions with formal logic?


Well by now I can just tell from the wording. Usually it looks something like... Person X has characteristic Y. People with characteristic Y do this. Person Z is ___....

Then the question is usually a 'must be true' (other types as well but I can't remember atm). Basically, if at any time during an LR section I think I need to diagram to organize the information I skip it and come back to it at the end which I'll have 3 to 5 minutes to do the problem and check the rest of the test (and that's basically only Formal Logic for me).

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2014
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Re: Most effective way of speed buildup?

Postby 2014 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:07 pm

Repetition is really the key. There is no better way to build speed than familiarity with the test. By now you should realize that for example in a LR section when a question takes up the better part of a page it is probably a parallel question (i.e. Which sentence exhibits the same form of reasoning as the stimulus) and that those can often take up more than their share of time. So potentially leave that one till the end. No matter how you categorize questions by calling them formal logic, weaken, strengthen, etc, you should by now realize that from test to test question types are similar and recognize which ones take you personally too long.

One thing I also did for a while was do whole PTs or individual sections on a more strict time limit than 35 minutes. Usually I would do 30, though I did some at 25, but by doing this if you can get to where you are finishing comfortably with 5 minutes to spare, when you actually have those 5 minutes it feels like an eternity.

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glucose101
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Re: Most effective way of speed buildup?

Postby glucose101 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:18 pm

There are little tips you can do, but on the whole, the more comfortable and confident you are with the questions and answer choices--the faster you'll be.

Basically: Just practice, practice, practice.




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