Concerned about non-scientific approach

JDeezy
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Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:45 pm

Concerned about non-scientific approach

Postby JDeezy » Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:52 pm

Hi All,

Been lurking on here for a while and have really benefitted from creepily reading all your discussions, thanks for the help!

Currently prepping for the October test, PTing around 171 with some 175s and 166s worked in there. I'd like to be rocking 173-175 consistently before the real thing.

I'm a little concerned with my approach to LR (and somewhat RC.) While I keep track of what question types (flaw, assumption, etc) I most frequently get wrong and try to dirll those types, I don't really think about the question types while taking the test. For example, when reading a question, I just kind of read it and go to answers, without thinking "OK, this is a flaw question, which means I should be looking for X, Y, and Z.) I've found that thinking like about the question type tends to take more time and is confusing, especially on the easier questions. Is this something I need to overcome in order to consistently work at -1, -0 in LR? Do some of you ID the question type in your head for every question before answering? Anyone have a similar approach that I do?

FWIW, I'm normally around -2 on each LR section and -4 on each RC.

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gaud
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Re: Concerned about non-scientific approach

Postby gaud » Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:46 pm

Maybe, with scores like that, you categorize the question types without even knowing?

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flippacious
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Re: Concerned about non-scientific approach

Postby flippacious » Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:08 pm

It depends. Do you miss questions because you're picking the wrong type of answer choice for the question? As in, do you sometimes choose an answer that would strengthen the argument, when you are supposed to be looking for a necessary assumption? Pay attention to why you pick the wrong answers and why they are wrong. Sometimes an answer choice will seem very appealing because it uses the same terms as the stimulus, but the answer choice doesn't actually perform the role the question asks for. If you're being tricked in this way, then yeah you need to identify the question types better in order to go -0 or -1.

As for my own approach, I read the question stem, identify the question type, read the stimulus and hopefully have a grasp on what the correct answer should be like before reading the answer choices. In order for this to work, though, it's important to be able to identify the question type quickly and easily, and to know exactly what you're looking for as you dive into the stim.

Edit: regardless of whether you read the question or the stimulus first, I think reading the question stem and knowing what you are being asked is pretty important.

JDeezy
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:45 pm

Re: Concerned about non-scientific approach

Postby JDeezy » Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:04 pm

@flippacious-

Hmm, that's a good point. I don't believe I am picking the wrong type of answer choices (at least not based on the picking the wrong question types.) Certainly something to keep an eye on though.

--

I think a lot of my mistakes come from not focusing strongly on the conclusion, and choosing choices that don't ladder up to the conclusion of the argument. On more difficult questions I've started to underline the conclusion to combat this.

I guess I just read these forums and hear a lot about people "mistaking flaw questions for assumption questions" or "misinterpreting strengthen questions," etc and I'm like :shock: :shock: I don't think about it in that way at all. At this point it feels like I should just keep grinding away with my methods and see if I get some improvement, rather than overhaul my approach.

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cc.celina
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Re: Concerned about non-scientific approach

Postby cc.celina » Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:57 pm

Hey there. For LR and RC, I didn't really take the time to consciously think to myself, "This is a (type) question, so I should do this" every time I answered a question. (Of course, it becomes pretty impossible not to recognize the main question types right away -- I can't see a question stem that asks "on which of the following assumptions does the argument depend" without automatically thinking 'necessary assumption.' This probably comes with practice more than anything else.)

What I DID do was keep track of which question types I was missing (using LSAT QA (LinkRemoved), I recommend it) and I drilled those question types when I was getting a lot wrong.

As long as you can readily identify a question type when you have to and remember all the strategies to help you when you're stuck (i.e. diagramming for complex parallel reasoning questions; negation test for necessary assumption questions, etc etc) then you're OK. You don't necessarily have to slow yourself down on easy questions by thinking extensively about the question type.




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