Techniques for Improving LR

epgenius
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Techniques for Improving LR

Postby epgenius » Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:42 pm

Hey, so I've been studying for about a month now (between 2 and 6 hours a day) and have taken a handful of tests. I did fairly well on my first, pre-studying practice test but needed to improve LG badly so I've been focusing on that section since they were mostly alien concepts. While I have greatly improved my LG performance (missed 9 on my first test and only missed 1 on the last one I took), I have been having trouble improving on my LR performance, consistently missing between 4 and 7 questions per section. I've been studying the LR bible but have seen no improvement since applying many of the main techniques (I'm about halfway through the bible) and am now having trouble keeping pace with all the new diagramming, step-taking and analysis. Does just continuation with the LR bible system actually lead to improvement or does anyone have any pointers on things that could help me improve 5 or so questions per section? Thanks!

noobishned
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Re: Techniques for Improving LR

Postby noobishned » Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:50 pm

Two things that helped me tremendously were:

1.) Get the first ten to 15 questions done in the first ten to 15 min. This saves time for the harder questions in the end that you may be missing more than the lower numbered Q's.

2.) One thing that helped me in conjunction with the LRB was to not only apply concepts, but to read carefully. Pay attention to keywords like some, none, most, many, all, etc... This was critical in dropping my mistakes to a manageable amount. I'd venture to say it was more important than a lot of the LRB.

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Cerebro
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Re: Techniques for Improving LR

Postby Cerebro » Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:02 am

Finish reading LRB

There are two aspects of drilling LR questions. The first thing you'll want to do is drill by type. Your main goal with this drilling is to ensure that you are applying a consistent repeatable technique for each type of LR question. You don't have to wait till you are DONE with LRB to be doing this; do 10-15 LR questions of the same type untimed (repeat this as frequently as necessary to ensure your approach for each question type is automatic), being sure to apply the exact same methodology to each question, regardless of the difficulty, then move on to the next type.

Now, the second aspect is timing, and for this I believe that most people are using complete sections for this. But I think you can work timing issues at a more micro level, and for this it's probably OK to use questions that you've seen before. Since you've already worked on Logic Games, you probably already understand the timing aspects of the LG section -- like 1-2 minutes for game set-up and then 30-40 seconds per question (or less). So, I think each LR question is like a mini-LG. with the 1.75 minutes you have (on average) per question, you can break that down into: stimulus, question stem, answer choices. When you are doing your drilling by type excercise, once in a while, try to do them as quickly as you can, and try to time how much time you are spending on these three parts of the question. My wife helps me with this, and it's kind of a pain to do, but have someone watch you work on the questions and write down how many seconds you spend on each one (ETA: Ideally, your time keeper will track your time utilization separately for stimulus, question stem, and answer choices), and whether you had to go back and read the stimulus, and how much time you spent there, or if you spend a lot of time going back and forth to evaluate different ACs, and how much time you did that, etc. If you don't have someone patient enough to do this for you (or if your timing issues are very severe), then set up a camera on your computer or prop up your iphone and aim it at the test booklet while you are solving the problems. NOTE: Be sure that you use your pencil to track where your attention is focused, so that the observer (or camera) can get an idea of what you are trying to do. If you use a camera, you can watch the recording as part of your review process to get a better idea of how much time you are spending (or wasting) on certain behaviors. This is time consuming, so I would just do this for areas that you already know you are struggling with timing issues. I think it will help you to become more aware of how you are spending your time on some of the question types. Once you become aware of timing issues, you will just need to figure out how to solve them, but at least you'll have a place to start, which will be more specific than just "I need to do this kind of question faster next time."

The next aspect of timing improvement is practicing all the question types together on a complete LR section. My opinion is that this is better done after you've spent what you believe to be sufficient time working on the more question-specific approach and timing-related issues, as suggested above.

ETA: I apologize if the above is a mess. I'm just another guy who is studying for the LSAT, and I have found the above to be helpful for myself. The pro tutors and LSAT teachers on here will probably have more succinct, time-tested advice.

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arcanecircle
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Re: Techniques for Improving LR

Postby arcanecircle » Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:37 am

Can't build speed without accuracy, and endurance is needed for game day, so you'll need to build all three.

I think its important to know what LR types appear most frequently on the test (Flaws are the most frequently asked type, then MBT/MSS/Inference questions, then Strengthen/Weaken and NA/SA) so those are where I'd focus. Flaws are essentially the most important because they manifest themselves in the assumption and weaken/strengthen questions too, just in different ways.

epgenius
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Re: Techniques for Improving LR

Postby epgenius » Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:03 am

Cerebro wrote:Finish reading LRB

There are two aspects of drilling LR questions. The first thing you'll want to do is drill by type. Your main goal with this drilling is to ensure that you are applying a consistent repeatable technique for each type of LR question. You don't have to wait till you are DONE with LRB to be doing this; do 10-15 LR questions of the same type untimed (repeat this as frequently as necessary to ensure your approach for each question type is automatic), being sure to apply the exact same methodology to each question, regardless of the difficulty, then move on to the next type.

Now, the second aspect is timing, and for this I believe that most people are using complete sections for this. But I think you can work timing issues at a more micro level, and for this it's probably OK to use questions that you've seen before. Since you've already worked on Logic Games, you probably already understand the timing aspects of the LG section -- like 1-2 minutes for game set-up and then 30-40 seconds per question (or less). So, I think each LR question is like a mini-LG. with the 1.75 minutes you have (on average) per question, you can break that down into: stimulus, question stem, answer choices. When you are doing your drilling by type excercise, once in a while, try to do them as quickly as you can, and try to time how much time you are spending on these three parts of the question. My wife helps me with this, and it's kind of a pain to do, but have someone watch you work on the questions and write down how many seconds you spend on each one (ETA: Ideally, your time keeper will track your time utilization separately for stimulus, question stem, and answer choices), and whether you had to go back and read the stimulus, and how much time you spent there, or if you spend a lot of time going back and forth to evaluate different ACs, and how much time you did that, etc. If you don't have someone patient enough to do this for you (or if your timing issues are very severe), then set up a camera on your computer or prop up your iphone and aim it at the test booklet while you are solving the problems. NOTE: Be sure that you use your pencil to track where your attention is focused, so that the observer (or camera) can get an idea of what you are trying to do. If you use a camera, you can watch the recording as part of your review process to get a better idea of how much time you are spending (or wasting) on certain behaviors. This is time consuming, so I would just do this for areas that you already know you are struggling with timing issues. I think it will help you to become more aware of how you are spending your time on some of the question types. Once you become aware of timing issues, you will just need to figure out how to solve them, but at least you'll have a place to start, which will be more specific than just "I need to do this kind of question faster next time."

The next aspect of timing improvement is practicing all the question types together on a complete LR section. My opinion is that this is better done after you've spent what you believe to be sufficient time working on the more question-specific approach and timing-related issues, as suggested above.

ETA: I apologize if the above is a mess. I'm just another guy who is studying for the LSAT, and I have found the above to be helpful for myself. The pro tutors and LSAT teachers on here will probably have more succinct, time-tested advice.


Thanks for the tips, is there somewhere where I can get ample examples of same category/same family questions? I haven't taken a test since I really got into the LR bible (I'm gonna take one tomorrow afternoon) but from the mini-drills at the end and during each chapter, I feel like I've gone backwards. I seem to be having the most trouble with MBT and Assumption questions (I'm not exactly sure why) but some categories like Point at Issue I have no trouble with. Before starting the LR bible I was pretty good with time (maybe a half question slow but nothing more) but the diagramming and analysis has pushed my answers to around 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes a piece. Also, does anyone else feel themselves having to re-read the stimulus two or three times to glean the meaning? I don't know if it's unfamiliarity or just being burned out...

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relevantfactor
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Re: Techniques for Improving LR

Postby relevantfactor » Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:57 pm

Cerebro wrote:Finish reading LRB

There are two aspects of drilling LR questions. The first thing you'll want to do is drill by type. Your main goal with this drilling is to ensure that you are applying a consistent repeatable technique for each type of LR question. You don't have to wait till you are DONE with LRB to be doing this; do 10-15 LR questions of the same type untimed (repeat this as frequently as necessary to ensure your approach for each question type is automatic), being sure to apply the exact same methodology to each question, regardless of the difficulty, then move on to the next type.

Now, the second aspect is timing, and for this I believe that most people are using complete sections for this. But I think you can work timing issues at a more micro level, and for this it's probably OK to use questions that you've seen before. Since you've already worked on Logic Games, you probably already understand the timing aspects of the LG section -- like 1-2 minutes for game set-up and then 30-40 seconds per question (or less). So, I think each LR question is like a mini-LG. with the 1.75 minutes you have (on average) per question, you can break that down into: stimulus, question stem, answer choices. When you are doing your drilling by type excercise, once in a while, try to do them as quickly as you can, and try to time how much time you are spending on these three parts of the question. My wife helps me with this, and it's kind of a pain to do, but have someone watch you work on the questions and write down how many seconds you spend on each one (ETA: Ideally, your time keeper will track your time utilization separately for stimulus, question stem, and answer choices), and whether you had to go back and read the stimulus, and how much time you spent there, or if you spend a lot of time going back and forth to evaluate different ACs, and how much time you did that, etc. If you don't have someone patient enough to do this for you (or if your timing issues are very severe), then set up a camera on your computer or prop up your iphone and aim it at the test booklet while you are solving the problems. NOTE: Be sure that you use your pencil to track where your attention is focused, so that the observer (or camera) can get an idea of what you are trying to do. If you use a camera, you can watch the recording as part of your review process to get a better idea of how much time you are spending (or wasting) on certain behaviors. This is time consuming, so I would just do this for areas that you already know you are struggling with timing issues. I think it will help you to become more aware of how you are spending your time on some of the question types. Once you become aware of timing issues, you will just need to figure out how to solve them, but at least you'll have a place to start, which will be more specific than just "I need to do this kind of question faster next time."

The next aspect of timing improvement is practicing all the question types together on a complete LR section. My opinion is that this is better done after you've spent what you believe to be sufficient time working on the more question-specific approach and timing-related issues, as suggested above.

ETA: I apologize if the above is a mess. I'm just another guy who is studying for the LSAT, and I have found the above to be helpful for myself. The pro tutors and LSAT teachers on here will probably have more succinct, time-tested advice.


I'm sorry for being a pain, but you can take more than 1-2 minutes diagramming your Logic Game ;).

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Cerebro
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Re: Techniques for Improving LR

Postby Cerebro » Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:04 pm

relevantfactor wrote:
Cerebro wrote:Finish reading LRB

There are two aspects of drilling LR questions. The first thing you'll want to do is drill by type. Your main goal with this drilling is to ensure that you are applying a consistent repeatable technique for each type of LR question. You don't have to wait till you are DONE with LRB to be doing this; do 10-15 LR questions of the same type untimed (repeat this as frequently as necessary to ensure your approach for each question type is automatic), being sure to apply the exact same methodology to each question, regardless of the difficulty, then move on to the next type.

Now, the second aspect is timing, and for this I believe that most people are using complete sections for this. But I think you can work timing issues at a more micro level, and for this it's probably OK to use questions that you've seen before. Since you've already worked on Logic Games, you probably already understand the timing aspects of the LG section -- like 1-2 minutes for game set-up and then 30-40 seconds per question (or less). So, I think each LR question is like a mini-LG. with the 1.75 minutes you have (on average) per question, you can break that down into: stimulus, question stem, answer choices. When you are doing your drilling by type excercise, once in a while, try to do them as quickly as you can, and try to time how much time you are spending on these three parts of the question. My wife helps me with this, and it's kind of a pain to do, but have someone watch you work on the questions and write down how many seconds you spend on each one (ETA: Ideally, your time keeper will track your time utilization separately for stimulus, question stem, and answer choices), and whether you had to go back and read the stimulus, and how much time you spent there, or if you spend a lot of time going back and forth to evaluate different ACs, and how much time you did that, etc. If you don't have someone patient enough to do this for you (or if your timing issues are very severe), then set up a camera on your computer or prop up your iphone and aim it at the test booklet while you are solving the problems. NOTE: Be sure that you use your pencil to track where your attention is focused, so that the observer (or camera) can get an idea of what you are trying to do. If you use a camera, you can watch the recording as part of your review process to get a better idea of how much time you are spending (or wasting) on certain behaviors. This is time consuming, so I would just do this for areas that you already know you are struggling with timing issues. I think it will help you to become more aware of how you are spending your time on some of the question types. Once you become aware of timing issues, you will just need to figure out how to solve them, but at least you'll have a place to start, which will be more specific than just "I need to do this kind of question faster next time."

The next aspect of timing improvement is practicing all the question types together on a complete LR section. My opinion is that this is better done after you've spent what you believe to be sufficient time working on the more question-specific approach and timing-related issues, as suggested above.

ETA: I apologize if the above is a mess. I'm just another guy who is studying for the LSAT, and I have found the above to be helpful for myself. The pro tutors and LSAT teachers on here will probably have more succinct, time-tested advice.


I'm sorry for being a pain, but you can take more than 1-2 minutes diagramming your Logic Game ;).


Of course; take as much time as you need.

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Cerebro
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Re: Techniques for Improving LR

Postby Cerebro » Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:08 pm

epgenius wrote:
Thanks for the tips, is there somewhere where I can get ample examples of same category/same family questions? I haven't taken a test since I really got into the LR bible (I'm gonna take one tomorrow afternoon) but from the mini-drills at the end and during each chapter, I feel like I've gone backwards. I seem to be having the most trouble with MBT and Assumption questions (I'm not exactly sure why) but some categories like Point at Issue I have no trouble with. Before starting the LR bible I was pretty good with time (maybe a half question slow but nothing more) but the diagramming and analysis has pushed my answers to around 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes a piece. Also, does anyone else feel themselves having to re-read the stimulus two or three times to glean the meaning? I don't know if it's unfamiliarity or just being burned out...


Cambridge LSAT has questions grouped by type.
Powerscore released two volumes of LR Question Type Training which categorizes and reprints every LR question in PTs 1-40.
Also, you could try to get Kaplan Mastery & Practice LR, which is similar.

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relevantfactor
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Re: Techniques for Improving LR

Postby relevantfactor » Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:12 pm

One of the things that does help to save time on that section is to:
stpo flilnig teh gaps in teh ligocal raesinong of teh qsuetnios, so taht you dno't heva to raed ti over nad over agian.

epgenius
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Re: Techniques for Improving LR

Postby epgenius » Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:14 pm

relevantfactor wrote:One of the things that does help to save time on that section is to:
stpo flilnig teh gaps in teh ligocal raesinong of teh qsuetnios, so taht you dno't heva to raed ti over nad over agian.


Stop or start filling in the gaps? Can you explain that a little more? And is there anything that one can download that has questions listed by question type? Since the test is in 2 weeks I'd rather not wait for packets to be mailed...

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Cerebro
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Re: Techniques for Improving LR

Postby Cerebro » Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:57 pm

epgenius wrote:
relevantfactor wrote:One of the things that does help to save time on that section is to:
stpo flilnig teh gaps in teh ligocal raesinong of teh qsuetnios, so taht you dno't heva to raed ti over nad over agian.


Stop or start filling in the gaps? Can you explain that a little more? And is there anything that one can download that has questions listed by question type? Since the test is in 2 weeks I'd rather not wait for packets to be mailed...


This thread (which is stickied) has all the LR questions organized by type: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=108425

Having said that, I was under the impression that one could download the PDFs from Cambridge LSAT after purchasing them (i.e., instantaneous delivery). Is this not the case? (I've never ordered PDFs from them, ldo.)

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Br3v
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Re: Techniques for Improving LR

Postby Br3v » Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:29 pm

know the difference between the two largely encompassing type of questions. Those asking you to make an assumption that could literally be as big as you want, and those asking you to literally make as few assumtions that are absoultely critical (ie the people having the arguments have a pulse).

Once you can easily recognize that, certain workdings become more apparent.

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relevantfactor
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Re: Techniques for Improving LR

Postby relevantfactor » Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:55 pm

epgenius wrote:
relevantfactor wrote:One of the things that does help to save time on that section is to:
stpo flilnig teh gaps in teh ligocal raesinong of teh qsuetnios, so taht you dno't heva to raed ti over nad over agian.


Stop or start filling in the gaps? Can you explain that a little more? And is there anything that one can download that has questions listed by question type? Since the test is in 2 weeks I'd rather not wait for packets to be mailed...


Stop - there is no a on the first word lol.

The LSAT contains mostly bad arguments(arguments that are not yet proven), so that it gives us more room to make assumptions, find flaws, and etc. In our usual daily lives(at least most of us who are not Bruce Wayne), we overlook gaps and fill in with known assumptions, such as, dogs don't like cats. However, when reading the LSAT, or answering questions, it's crucial to have a balance of what is already proven and what is an assumption that is needed. Knowing that whatever they say is in actuality said for a specific reason will save you lots of time on questions and also improve your score. I will give you a quick example of an LSAT question that tests the reader's attention for detail, without filling in the gaps.
PT 64, LR#1 Q#20:
While this could be an easy question for some of us, some readers could mistake that "only" members of Video King Frequent viewers club can receive a coupon, and by doing so, they would waste a significant time trying to figure it out why Pat was an exception, or maybe even speculate that Walnut Lane is in Main Street. A lot of people waste time, trying to go over the question stimulus again, and sometimes, yet again, they fill in the blanks without supporting evidence. This could be critical to your accuracy, and timing issues.
Personally, I prefer reading something that I have no background knowledge, so that I can be free of any biases or prejudicial thoughts.
Hope this makes sense.

epgenius
Posts: 166
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Re: Techniques for Improving LR

Postby epgenius » Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:05 am

relevantfactor wrote:
epgenius wrote:
relevantfactor wrote:One of the things that does help to save time on that section is to:
stpo flilnig teh gaps in teh ligocal raesinong of teh qsuetnios, so taht you dno't heva to raed ti over nad over agian.


Stop or start filling in the gaps? Can you explain that a little more? And is there anything that one can download that has questions listed by question type? Since the test is in 2 weeks I'd rather not wait for packets to be mailed...


Stop - there is no a on the first word lol.

The LSAT contains mostly bad arguments(arguments that are not yet proven), so that it gives us more room to make assumptions, find flaws, and etc. In our usual daily lives(at least most of us who are not Bruce Wayne), we overlook gaps and fill in with known assumptions, such as, dogs don't like cats. However, when reading the LSAT, or answering questions, it's crucial to have a balance of what is already proven and what is an assumption that is needed. Knowing that whatever they say is in actuality said for a specific reason will save you lots of time on questions and also improve your score. I will give you a quick example of an LSAT question that tests the reader's attention for detail, without filling in the gaps.
PT 64, LR#1 Q#20:
While this could be an easy question for some of us, some readers could mistake that "only" members of Video King Frequent viewers club can receive a coupon, and by doing so, they would waste a significant time trying to figure it out why Pat was an exception, or maybe even speculate that Walnut Lane is in Main Street. A lot of people waste time, trying to go over the question stimulus again, and sometimes, yet again, they fill in the blanks without supporting evidence. This could be critical to your accuracy, and timing issues.
Personally, I prefer reading something that I have no background knowledge, so that I can be free of any biases or prejudicial thoughts.
Hope this makes sense.


I don't have PT 64 so I don't know the question to which you are referring...




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