Perfecting LR

jordizc
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Perfecting LR

Postby jordizc » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:04 am

I'm currently averaging -3 LR per section on timed sections (not doing whole PT). This is currently my weakest section and I was wondering If anyone had any advice for increasing my average. Should I get Manhattan LR? Just keep on taking timed sections and practice tests?

FlowBro
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Re: Perfecting LR

Postby FlowBro » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:11 am

I am in a similar boat to you! Except I need to bring up my RC from a -5 average! Very curious to hear some veterans with knowledge speak about this.

dkb17xzx
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Re: Perfecting LR

Postby dkb17xzx » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:08 am

jordizc wrote:I'm currently averaging -3 LR per section on timed sections (not doing whole PT). This is currently my weakest section and I was wondering If anyone had any advice for increasing my average. Should I get Manhattan LR? Just keep on taking timed sections and practice tests?



Manhattan LR + Dave Hall's thread + Cambridge LR by type. Drill it.

kaseyb002
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Re: Perfecting LR

Postby kaseyb002 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:13 am

Have you gone through old LR sections and reviewed every single question? When I do this I will go through EVERY question (not just the ones I got wrong) and do the following:

1. mark question type by question stem (F = flaw, NA = necessary assumption, etc.)
2. read stim and mark if it has a common flaw type (C = causal, FA = false analogy, etc.)
3. most important of all, I will right a little phrase next to every answer choice clearly articulating why each answer choice is right or wrong. Manhattan explanations forum is a great tool for this too.

I had practiced LR for like 100+ hours, but it wasn't until I started doing this in-depth review did I feel things start to take off.

It's work, and you may feel like it's too time consuming. I would try doing it for a section or two and see if you feel like you're getting a better feel for the section or not. May not be for everyone.

bp shinners
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Re: Perfecting LR

Postby bp shinners » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:48 am

jordizc wrote:I'm currently averaging -3 LR per section on timed sections (not doing whole PT). This is currently my weakest section and I was wondering If anyone had any advice for increasing my average. Should I get Manhattan LR? Just keep on taking timed sections and practice tests?


If you're down to -3/section, you've got a solid understanding of the section. Chalk 1-2 up as stupid mistakes, as it's hard to iron them out 100% (without studying for years).

However, at this point in your prep, you need to focus on finding out which of the LSAT's tricks you're falling for. Don't just figure out why the right answer is right and the wrong one wrong; figure out how the dude who wrote the question got you to determine the right answer was wrong and the wrong answer was right. They spend a lot of money on psychologists to exploit the cognitive biases in our heads in order to get us to pick wrong answers.

So write out explanations for how you got tricked. What about the right answer made you think it was wrong? This will tell you how the LSAT is distracting you. What about the wrong answer made you think it was right? This will tell you which flaws you're committing when trying to answer a question. Once you figure out the tricks being used on you that are working, you can stop falling for those tricks.

FlowBro
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Re: Perfecting LR

Postby FlowBro » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:49 pm

bp shinners wrote:
jordizc wrote:I'm currently averaging -3 LR per section on timed sections (not doing whole PT). This is currently my weakest section and I was wondering If anyone had any advice for increasing my average. Should I get Manhattan LR? Just keep on taking timed sections and practice tests?


If you're down to -3/section, you've got a solid understanding of the section. Chalk 1-2 up as stupid mistakes, as it's hard to iron them out 100% (without studying for years).

However, at this point in your prep, you need to focus on finding out which of the LSAT's tricks you're falling for. Don't just figure out why the right answer is right and the wrong one wrong; figure out how the dude who wrote the question got you to determine the right answer was wrong and the wrong answer was right. They spend a lot of money on psychologists to exploit the cognitive biases in our heads in order to get us to pick wrong answers.

So write out explanations for how you got tricked. What about the right answer made you think it was wrong? This will tell you how the LSAT is distracting you. What about the wrong answer made you think it was right? This will tell you which flaws you're committing when trying to answer a question. Once you figure out the tricks being used on you that are working, you can stop falling for those tricks.


Legend. Your help is much appreciated.

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Liquox
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Re: Perfecting LR

Postby Liquox » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:33 pm

This method has worked well for some questions that the breakdown-method didn't work for; might help get that extra few:

Read the premises and figure out what exactly it's trying to tell you. (i.e. if someone says "authors either think themselves grammatically correct and write the sentence or won't write the sentence at all if they think they're wrong", it's more or less like saying "authors either like their coffee with 10000 packs of sugar or none at all") usually by then the something-wrong sticks out.

hope that helps

collegebum1989
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Re: Perfecting LR

Postby collegebum1989 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:34 pm

Same problem as OP, -2/-3 on LR, trying to go -1/-0 consistently. I find that the questions I get wrong aren't a particular type, but mostly reading/interpreting the language of stimulus incorrectly. When I understand the stimulus, I notice the answer glaringly. It's only when the answer choice is indirectly correct (ex. defender necessary assumption, indirect strengthen by eliminating alternative, etc) that I get the answer choices wrong. When reviewing, I realize the mistake I made, but not learning how to prevent this in the future, since the problem stems from not interpreting the stimulus properly, not proper technique or understanding of concepts.

Not sure how to improve on this further beyond just taking multiple sections or drilling.

bp shinners
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Re: Perfecting LR

Postby bp shinners » Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:56 am

collegebum1989 wrote:the problem stems from not interpreting the stimulus properly


I'm pretty sure the answer is "no", but can you tell when you're misinterpreting/misunderstanding the stimulus?

collegebum1989
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Re: Perfecting LR

Postby collegebum1989 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:54 pm

Yes, it's usually when I can't prephrase properly or when answer choices don't match a prephrase so they seem to look incorrect.

This mostly happens on strengthen/weaken questions where I don't see the connection between an answer choice and the stimulus. Since the answer choices in strengthen/weaken questions are not limited to the details of the stimulus, I have a hard time determining which ones are out of scope. This also happens on MSS question types when I can't connect parts of the stimulus.

I've nearly eliminated misreading, since when I'm confident about an answer choice, I always get it right.

penguinbrah
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Re: Perfecting LR

Postby penguinbrah » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:58 am

I'm in the same boat as collegeboat... averaging about -3 on LR and getting most of my answers wrong either because of stupid mistakes or because I completely have no idea what the wording is saying in the stimulus leading not being able to prephrase an answer. I as well struggle mainly on weaken and strengthen questions even though I try to connect the gap and attack that assumption. I simply can not stand questions with convoluted language. Which makes me upset because I'm not getting questions wrong because I don't understand the logic but because I am struggling at understanding the english language which is absurd because english is my first language sadly.

bp shinners
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Re: Perfecting LR

Postby bp shinners » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:23 pm

collegebum1989 wrote:This mostly happens on strengthen/weaken questions where I don't see the connection between an answer choice and the stimulus.


Ah, gotcha.

I'll tell you what I tell my students:
You can't strengthen or weaken a valid argument on the LSAT. If the argument is 100%, then you definitely can't strengthen it - there's nothing greater than 100%. And you can't weaken it, because there's no place to attack (except going after a premise, which you're not allowed to do on the LSAT). So the first step is recognizing that all questions have a flaw.

The second step is finding that flaw. If you can abstract the flaw out of the argument, then you're much closer to finding the correct answer, even when it's outside the scope. Because if it is completely outside the scope of the argument, topically, then it has to relate somehow to the flaw. It's usually a lot easier to determine if the answer deals with the relevant flaw than it is to see if the answer deals with the argument since, as you said, the correct one usually seems outside the scope.

collegebum1989
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Re: Perfecting LR

Postby collegebum1989 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:29 pm

Thanks for the help bp shinners, I'll try that out...

For general questions where I don't understand the argument core, I've realized that the reason I get it wrong is because I can't see how the wrong answer choices are incorrect. For example, after doing so many LR questions, I can now identify why the answer choice is wrong (detail creep, narrow focus, out of focus, detail distortion, etc).

I find that when the stimulus is either 1) unusually verbose or 2) unusually abstract, I tend to abandon my instinctual thinking pattern on LR questions and make unwarranted assumptions based on familiarity of words or familiarity of concepts/ideas similar to that in the stimulus. This is what leads to picking incorrect answer choices which are usually out-of-scope or distortions of the original argument.

Any suggestion on how to combat this?

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totgafk180
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Re: Perfecting LR

Postby totgafk180 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:59 pm

collegebum1989 wrote:Thanks for the help bp shinners, I'll try that out...

For general questions where I don't understand the argument core, I've realized that the reason I get it wrong is because I can't see how the wrong answer choices are incorrect. For example, after doing so many LR questions, I can now identify why the answer choice is wrong (detail creep, narrow focus, out of focus, detail distortion, etc).

I find that when the stimulus is either 1) unusually verbose or 2) unusually abstract, I tend to abandon my instinctual thinking pattern on LR questions and make unwarranted assumptions based on familiarity of words or familiarity of concepts/ideas similar to that in the stimulus. This is what leads to picking incorrect answer choices which are usually out-of-scope or distortions of the original argument.

Any suggestion on how to combat this?


I have this same issue. What I think is the solution is, to as you said earlier, drill. At the same time, try to become better at recognizing questions with challenging language and save time on other questions; then, you should have more time to spend on the questions with challenging language.

Generally, to assist my comprehension for these questions, I will make notes off to the side (tracing the movement of ideas throughout the stimulus).

bp shinners
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Re: Perfecting LR

Postby bp shinners » Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:18 pm

collegebum1989 wrote:Any suggestion on how to combat this?


Those questions are usually filled with language meant just to confuse you. So take the pieces of information one at a time.

Start with the conclusion. Underline it. Then, work backwards. There are probably going to be several sentences that don't really impact the conclusion - they're just definitions/extraneous information. Just pull out the relevant premises. Understand each one, one at a time, until you have a complete picture of how the argument goes from them to the conclusion.

vegso
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Re: Perfecting LR

Postby vegso » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:22 pm

bp shinners wrote:
collegebum1989 wrote:Any suggestion on how to combat this?


Those questions are usually filled with language meant just to confuse you. So take the pieces of information one at a time.

Start with the conclusion. Underline it. Then, work backwards. There are probably going to be several sentences that don't really impact the conclusion - they're just definitions/extraneous information. Just pull out the relevant premises. Understand each one, one at a time, until you have a complete picture of how the argument goes from them to the conclusion.



I heart every post you make sir

collegebum1989
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Re: Perfecting LR

Postby collegebum1989 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:24 pm

awesome, so far I've been circling terms and underlining action words like RC, and this is probably how I miss important stimuli/conclusions. Underlining conclusion only from now on!

Thanks for the help

bp shinners
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Re: Perfecting LR

Postby bp shinners » Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:37 pm

collegebum1989 wrote:awesome, so far I've been circling terms and underlining action words like RC, and this is probably how I miss important stimuli/conclusions. Underlining conclusion only from now on!

Thanks for the help


It's funny. Some people follow the big picture, but they miss the small words. Other people miss the big picture, but catch the small words.

You definitely sound like you fall into the latter category. Just make sure that when you start focusing on the big picture, you don't start skipping those small words!




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