Process of Elimination vs. Prephrasing (LR)

NightmanCometh
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:03 pm

Process of Elimination vs. Prephrasing (LR)

Postby NightmanCometh » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:54 am

Preparing for my first test last year, process of elimination (POE) used to be my bread and butter. I would read the stimulus quickly, get to the core, and move on to the answer choices to get rid of unattractive ones. I got my LR score to a decent level with this method (PT low 170s). Problem was, I would never really be consistently accurate with the difficult questions and it just mentally tired me out going through so many answer choices with such focus.

This time around, I took a different approach and placed more emphasis on stimuli analysis and understanding over POE. I would spend 45 seconds to 1 minute just on the stimulus alone, really understanding the reasoning structures and how it was pieced together. For many question types (especially assumption questions), before looking at the answer choices, I would predict the answer, scan the answer choices for the correct answer, test it again in my head, and THEN I would do some brief POE on the remaining choices before moving on.

This drastically improved my accuracy for difficult questions, as it made the correct answer glare at me from a sea of very tricky answer choices. This approach got my LR to a very high level- I was knocking out 179s on the PTs and LR became the least mentally exhausting section. I thought this was going great and then..

PT 65 destroyed me. This was one of my worst LR sections in ages. It deliberately made the correct answer incredibly unpredictable and unattractive. I would spend time on the stimulus and not find anything close to what I was looking for, then having to rely on POE to drive through them (and spending too much time in the process). It really punished me for not spending more time on the answer choices themselves, even though I perfectly understood the reasoning structures in the stimulus.

Does anyone have a similar problem or experience- any general thoughts on POE vs prephrasing in general? Do you think that this upcoming test will be similarly unpredictable? I also took the latest PT66 (June 2012), which I felt was much more normal and I crushed the LR with no problem...but I have to be prepared for the worst.

vegso
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:08 pm

Re: Process of Elimination vs. Prephrasing (LR)

Postby vegso » Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:34 am

I think if you understand the stimulus well you should be able to knock off the wrong answer choices fairly quickly, POE has always seemed necessary to me

User avatar
SumStalwart
Posts: 201
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:37 am

Re: Process of Elimination vs. Prephrasing (LR)

Postby SumStalwart » Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:51 pm

For me, POE is "my bread and butter." The thing is, I would rather get through the stimulus as fast as possible (while trying to understand it) and spend as much time on the answer choices, than spend 1 minute pre-phrasing and then moving onto the AC's. Oftentimes, with the more recent LSAT's, the correct answers depend on word choice variations (e.g. the distinction between often, usually, and many). The sooner that I can look at the answers, the sooner I can decide which one fits the best.

If you are running out of steam using the POE, perhaps, you could consider boosting your stamina (through timed drilling of individual problems). I know that it seems a little late in the game, however, I am sure that with a few minor tweaks, you'll be rocketing through the sections; 178 is quite impressive.

bp shinners
Posts: 3091
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: Process of Elimination vs. Prephrasing (LR)

Postby bp shinners » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:55 am

Personally, I always prephrase answers and can get pretty close about 95% of the time. The other 5% of the time, I have an idea of what I'm looking for (but no exact wording). Of course, I've been teaching this for several years, so those numbers are going to be higher.

However, I do think everyone should try to prephrase answers. If you don't, it's very, very easy for the LSAT to trick you into an irrelevant/wrong answer. When you know what you're looking for, it's harder to get you to pick something that you otherwise wouldn't look at.

Yes, you run the risk of prephrasing incorrectly and skipping over the correct answer. But if you prephrase incorrectly, you probably didn't understand the stimulus/question, and you would probably have had difficulty with the question anyway.

To me, PoE is a slow and inaccurate crutch to be used when you're stuck on a question. Otherwise, you should have an idea of what you're looking for before heading to the answer choices.

crate2012
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:12 am

Re: Process of Elimination vs. Prephrasing (LR)

Postby crate2012 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:42 am

Irregardless, we should cover all ACs, right? POE would be the way to go if you have trouble to predict.

drive4showLSAT4dough
Posts: 304
Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 10:19 am

Re: Process of Elimination vs. Prephrasing (LR)

Postby drive4showLSAT4dough » Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:10 pm

bp shinners wrote:Personally, I always prephrase answers and can get pretty close about 95% of the time. The other 5% of the time, I have an idea of what I'm looking for (but no exact wording). Of course, I've been teaching this for several years, so those numbers are going to be higher.

However, I do think everyone should try to prephrase answers. If you don't, it's very, very easy for the LSAT to trick you into an irrelevant/wrong answer. When you know what you're looking for, it's harder to get you to pick something that you otherwise wouldn't look at.

Yes, you run the risk of prephrasing incorrectly and skipping over the correct answer. But if you prephrase incorrectly, you probably didn't understand the stimulus/question, and you would probably have had difficulty with the question anyway.

To me, PoE is a slow and inaccurate crutch to be used when you're stuck on a question. Otherwise, you should have an idea of what you're looking for before heading to the answer choices.


BP -- can you clarify?

My approach, generally, I think of as POE -- in that I'm going through each AC crossing off the reason why its wrong. So: read question stem, assess Stimulus, take a moment to figure out what TCR should resemble, and then go through each AC crossing off what's wrong until there are 1 or 2 remaining.

Is that what you're calling POE? What can I do to get better at predicting?

bp shinners
Posts: 3091
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: Process of Elimination vs. Prephrasing (LR)

Postby bp shinners » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:08 pm

drive4showLSAT4dough wrote:BP -- can you clarify?

My approach, generally, I think of as POE -- in that I'm going through each AC crossing off the reason why its wrong. So: read question stem, assess Stimulus, take a moment to figure out what TCR should resemble, and then go through each AC crossing off what's wrong until there are 1 or 2 remaining.

Is that what you're calling POE? What can I do to get better at predicting?


It sounds like you're more or less doing what I suggest - the important part is that 'take a moment to figure out what TCR should resemble'. I still read each answer choice and cross it off for a certain reason. But that's a whole lot easier when you know what the right answer should look like - the errors in the wrong answers are more stark when you're comparing them to an ideal right answer.




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: bearedman8, bns212, cherrygalore, dg1090, eageragnostic, laqueredup, Majestic-12 [Bot] and 15 guests