What is your best 2 month strategy for increasing focus?

lsatim
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:48 pm

What is your best 2 month strategy for increasing focus?

Postby lsatim » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:18 pm

First time poster. Long time lurker.

Questions:

How do you improve focus especially on LR besides doing a lot of them?
And should you try to go over all question types in turn or only move on if you master each?

Background:

I've studied about 2-6 hours a day for about 2 months. My diagnostic was a 150 (last year cold when I decided to delay it) and I have scored as high as 168, but my range is comically large. Last month I got a 154, this past week I've gotten 168 and a 160. Granted the testing conditions were awful for the 160 but still.

My "average" split for AR/LR/RC is about -4/-15/-6 but that varies tremendously. I've studied LG intensely and that variance is still quite large. I go from -0 to -6. On LR it's from about -3 to -11 a section. The times I do the best are the times I have at least 5 minutes left over. I get tripped up on games where I can't develop a coherent diagram. I can't seem to put 4 good sections together.

LG Prep: I have gone through the PS Bibles and the Manhattan books as well as used some other resources. Usually, I do well on about 3 out of every 4 sections I take. I've only just started taking the later tests which figure to be more hypothetical intensive and that has caused some problems. I think I'm fine here but could use improvement obviously. I'm having difficulty figuring out a way to use newer tests to practice on, while still having the prep resources available for full length tests.

LR Preps: No doubt, this is my biggest problem area. I'm using the Manhattan book and think it's fantastic. I've gone through the Assumption Family questions and still those account for like 70% of my misses. The funny thing is I miss many in a row regardless of difficulty. I'll miss like #s 2-4 or 12-18 and then only 1 other one. So I think it's a focus issue. I die when going through Weaken/Strenghten questions.

RC Prep: None, this one for me has been fairly intuitive probably because of being a philosophy major. I've never done anything other than full length tests and frankly, am happy with about -6. I would love higher but with a target aim for December test date means I have to make trade-offs in how I study.

If you've read this far, you are an awesome human being.

Appreciate the advice.

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RCinDNA
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Re: What is your best 2 month strategy for increasing focus?

Postby RCinDNA » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:56 am

LR - I pay attention, mark off qualifier words in the stimulus and I tend to read the question first so I know what I'm looking for. I go over all question types, but have been concentrating on paralleling flaws and necessary assumptions since those are problem areas for me at this point. I've mastered the other question types for the most part. The Cambridge LSAT books make it easier to drill LG and LR, so I'd recommend picking them up so you can drill the questions by type and practice applying the methodology for dealing with Assumption questions. It's not so much about doing a lot of them as it is about recognizing when to use a certain strategy.

LG - If you purchased an LSAT bundle of PDFs, I'd recommend printing the LG sections and the answer key for the last 10 or so, and going through those repeatedly. The LSAT makers often ask questions that should lead you closer to the right answer indirectly, so looking at an answer choice, recognizing if it's in prior work or if one or two of them is clearly impossible can shave off 20-30 seconds each. That time adds up. Also, any time you stare at the page being stumped and aren't working on disproving an answer choice or forget which answer you are testing loses time. LG isn't my best section, either, so I can easily lose time on harder questions, too. Only solution I could think of was to drill a lot of them so I'd recognize how to diagram correctly and accurately move through as many answers as quickly as possible.

lsatim
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Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:48 pm

Re: What is your best 2 month strategy for increasing focus?

Postby lsatim » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:50 am

Thanks for the reply and the advice. I think I need to get smarter at drilling. A lot of times I just eliminate answer choices without a solid reason why. I'm going to go back over the types of incorrect answers for each question.

I think I will order the Cambridge question type books today. So far, I've just been using PT's from the three books that LSAC prints out but they aren't in any order or arranged by difficulty so I think that will help.

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NoodleyOne
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Re: What is your best 2 month strategy for increasing focus?

Postby NoodleyOne » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:42 pm

One thing I recommend, for LR and RC, is a very time consuming approach to drilling.

Note: This isn't all drilling, but a good sized chunk (maybe 1/3rd of your drilling using this method).

For LR: In a notebook, write down why you're eliminating each answer. Out of scope, term shifts, etc. If you're down to two answers, don't look for the right one, look for the wrong one. Break each word apart, and be precise. This will get you thinking of answer choices in that manner, which will translate well to drilling.

For RC: RC is tough to improve, but it's not impossible. You have to train yourself to read critically. For each answer, make a note of where in the passage you get your justification. Why did you choose D? Lines 8-10, of course! If you can't find justification in the passage, then why are you choosing the answer? It takes awhile, but it can be worth it. Another little addendum though... some RC sections are tricky, so you may think there is justification when there isn't. It's not foolproof, but it certainly will help.

lsatim
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:48 pm

Re: What is your best 2 month strategy for increasing focus?

Postby lsatim » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:14 pm

I really like that idea. For the LR approach, I shouldn't time this right?

I know where I get stuck. I identify the "core" or the supporting and supported statements and now the gap between the two, but I fall apart once I get to the answer choices for these questions. It's hard to know what is out-of-scope for these types of 'analysis' questions.

Thanks again.

arasheht
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Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:58 pm

Re: What is your best 2 month strategy for increasing focus?

Postby arasheht » Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:14 pm

Rather unsurprisingly I'm in the same boat as you are, lsatim. My scenario doesn't deviate even a little bit from yours.

One of the methods that I started using for LG is to print off three copies of every LG section (grouped by type) and do 4-6 of them a day. After about 2 weeks I noticed that the repetition really started to pay off, as I was drawing diagrams more intuitively without too much difficulty. I actually tweaked one of the pinned threads for my own needs in the next 2 months to make a solid plan for myself, I'll include it below.

As for LR, I know how it feels missing rows of questions after one another. To combat that and to zero in where I'm going wrong, I've gotten into the habit of quantifying the amount of question I get wrong per type, per section (i.e. PT12 3x Inference, 2x Assumption etc.) While I haven't seen any major improvement yet, I can feel that I'm becoming more confident answering the types of LR questions that I take on (apart from the really difficult ones in the Kaplan Mastery, usually the 4-star rated ones).

And as far as RC is concerned, I've just recently picked it up and noticed that wherever I can write a brief summary next to a major point, I see myself doing better. To do that I've copied 10 consecutive RC sections and am going thru them. Can't comment too much on that as I have only recently started.

Anyways, here's the study plan that I slightly altered for myself using this thread: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=41657

Instead of studying over 3 months I've cut the plan short into 20 day cycles, effectively compressing the timelines.

For the first 20 day cycle, I will be doing the following:
4-6 LG games a day, preferably of the same type
1 RC section + review the previous day's RC section (particularly the mistakes)
As outlined in the thread posted above, the same break-up of LR types. For my purposes, I'll be doing 6 days of Assumption Questions (sets of 10, roughly 20-30 questions a day + review of both the right and the wrong answers), 6 days of Flaw, 6 days of Strengthen/Weaken.

Convert "month 2" into another 20 day cycle, as well as "month 3", and I think you should have a solid study plan to tackle the next 60 days 'till the exam.

I hope this helps!

b33eazy
Posts: 146
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:43 pm

Re: What is your best 2 month strategy for increasing focus?

Postby b33eazy » Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:34 pm

NoodleyOne wrote:One thing I recommend, for LR and RC, is a very time consuming approach to drilling.

Note: This isn't all drilling, but a good sized chunk (maybe 1/3rd of your drilling using this method).

For LR: In a notebook, write down why you're eliminating each answer. Out of scope, term shifts, etc. If you're down to two answers, don't look for the right one, look for the wrong one. Break each word apart, and be precise. This will get you thinking of answer choices in that manner, which will translate well to drilling.

For RC: RC is tough to improve, but it's not impossible. You have to train yourself to read critically. For each answer, make a note of where in the passage you get your justification. Why did you choose D? Lines 8-10, of course! If you can't find justification in the passage, then why are you choosing the answer? It takes awhile, but it can be worth it. Another little addendum though... some RC sections are tricky, so you may think there is justification when there isn't. It's not foolproof, but it certainly will help.

Those are some good tips. I have a question about Logic Games, how do I get faster at that?

jmsae
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:04 pm

Re: What is your best 2 month strategy for increasing focus?

Postby jmsae » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:12 pm

NoodleyOne wrote:One thing I recommend, for LR and RC, is a very time consuming approach to drilling.

Note: This isn't all drilling, but a good sized chunk (maybe 1/3rd of your drilling using this method).

For LR: In a notebook, write down why you're eliminating each answer. Out of scope, term shifts, etc. If you're down to two answers, don't look for the right one, look for the wrong one. Break each word apart, and be precise. This will get you thinking of answer choices in that manner, which will translate well to drilling.

For RC: RC is tough to improve, but it's not impossible. You have to train yourself to read critically. For each answer, make a note of where in the passage you get your justification. Why did you choose D? Lines 8-10, of course! If you can't find justification in the passage, then why are you choosing the answer? It takes awhile, but it can be worth it. Another little addendum though... some RC sections are tricky, so you may think there is justification when there isn't. It's not foolproof, but it certainly will help.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYCNtfLVgZM&feature=plcp

LSAC forced 7Sage to remove the vast majority of the videos he had on youtube but there are still a few that are quite beneficial. I linked one above for you to check out, it is the first of 3 steps iirc. He recommends a similar method to the one I quoted above. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to go over all of your LR questions before grading them. Otherwise, you are just "rolling the dice" upon grading them to see if it was a hit or miss. With this method you are forced to recognize your logic and why you chose the correct or incorrect answer. Also, I would personally work on the fundamentals of LR before I work on timing, which it seems like you are doing.

lsatim
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:48 pm

Re: What is your best 2 month strategy for increasing focus?

Postby lsatim » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:25 pm

arasheht: really like that breakdown. Only question I have is, how can you fit all of the different LR questions types in if you are spending 6 days on each? Will there be any time to take full length PTs?

I think I'm going to buy the LR Cambridge sets and games.

Do games like this: (Pithy Pike Method)
Relative Order - 3 days
Simple Order - 3 days
Complex Order - 4 days
In/Out Group - 3 days
Group Distribution - 4 days
Assignment Determined - 4 days
Assignment Undetermined - 5 days
Misc/Circ Linearity/etc - 3
~30 days

Do LR: (7sage Blind Review Method)
Assumption S/Assumption N - 4 days
Flaw - 4 days
Strengthen/Weaken - 4 days
Principle Support - 3 days
Principle Example - 3 days
Main Point - 1 day
Complete the Passage - 1 day
Argument Role - 2 day
Must be True/Must be False - 2 days
Matching/Matching Flaw - 3 days
Point at Issue - 2 days
Paradox - 2 days
~30

RC:
15-40,42,44 60-62 for dual passages
~30

Final month till test:
45-66 in order about once every three days. Review the other two.

Each day something like this:
LG: 5 games X2 each
- 1 difficult game in order from Cambridge Packet in order
LR: 1 type of question divided by the amount from PT 21-40 X10
RC 1 section + review

Each week would have full sections in games/LR at least twice. Wednesday and then Saturday

Anyone have thoughts on this plan? Am I missing something? The days are obviously not strict. If I'm not getting it, I'm willing to slow down until I do and if I don't feel like I need a day on sequencing then I'll move on.

Thanks again everybody.




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