Advice on test prep--getting desperate!

calbear123
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:15 pm

Advice on test prep--getting desperate!

Postby calbear123 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:32 pm

So I've been studying for about 5 months now (on and off but last 2 months full-time) and I haven't been seeing much progress. I've been scoring around 160-165 and haven't really changed. I'm getting really worried now, I was supposed to take it in October but decided to move it to December thinking that more prep would increase my score. I haven't taken a class, I've just done the bibles and I happen to have the books for the Test master's course so I've been doing those booklets as well. But recently I've just been doing practice tests.

I'm aiming for 170+ as many of you are. Logic games I'm doing ok and I know I'll be able to improve in that section but I'm having major difficulty in LR! It's strange though, sometimes I'll get -3 or 4 on an LR section and another time I'll get -10 or 11. No matter how much prep I do I feel like its not improving that much and its really starting to scare me.

I guess my question is, for logical reasoning do you guys follow the LR bible's reccomendation of identifying the question type and then approaching the question the way they dictate? Did you find it helpful memorizing the classification system and approaching the questions the way they say? Is it worth it to go back through the LR bible and memorizing their system before going back to practice tests? What else can I do to improve LR?

Sorry this is totally disorganized and all over the place but I've been trying to figure this out on my own and don't know what else to do. Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated :)

WanderingPondering
Posts: 444
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:47 am

Re: Advice on test prep--getting desperate!

Postby WanderingPondering » Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:44 pm

calbear123 wrote:Logic games I'm doing ok and I know I'll be able to improve in that section but I'm having major difficulty in LR!


Sounds like you're already in the ight zone!

toothbrush
Posts: 2388
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:21 pm

Re: Advice on test prep--getting desperate!

Postby toothbrush » Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:26 am

I'll be daring to say that it is in fact pretty important to know how to classify each question - to an extent. For instance, the second you read the question (not the stim but the question) you should know what the question is asking. For many questions, I personally write next to the question what the question category is. For instance, main point questions i'll mark as MP. Below is a short list of what I can think of are important categories.

Main Point
Resolve paradox
Principle Apply
Principle justify
strengthen
weaken
assumption
flaw
parallel
parallel flaw
inference


Uhh it's like 1am so that's all I got. But the point is that knowing these categories lets you attack the question and each packs with it a methodology for solving the question. For instance, with main point questions, the second I identify it as such I know to look for the authors opinion / conclusion and do a "therefore" test. Knowing it's a MP question makes me 1) breath easy 2) have a game plan and 3) save time by reading a certain way looking for certain things.

No where will it test you to name every category of question type. But it definitely helps having models for each type and what to do when you encounter a question.

Keep on pushing along man.

I definitely suggest drilling questions by type and before you do so read the methodology. For example, read about how to address weaken questions, and the common ways to weaken an argument. THEN drill 100 weakeners from ranging difficulties so you can apply what you learned and get into your OWN rhythm.

The bibles are just guides. Part of being a top LSAT taker, from my limited and humble experience (I've scored ~176 on PT, Octoberplzzzz) is not only KNOWING the bibles and rules, but being fluid to apply them how you are comfortable and being able to flow with the exam. On Oct for example there were some questions that I couldn't really categorize (mods that's not specific!) but I sort of connected them to categories I knew I went from there.

I rambled a bit myself but I've been in your shoes and I know you just want some guidance.

Good luck!

calbear123
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:15 pm

Re: Advice on test prep--getting desperate!

Postby calbear123 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:26 pm

toothbrush wrote:I'll be daring to say that it is in fact pretty important to know how to classify each question - to an extent. For instance, the second you read the question (not the stim but the question) you should know what the question is asking. For many questions, I personally write next to the question what the question category is. For instance, main point questions i'll mark as MP. Below is a short list of what I can think of are important categories.

Main Point
Resolve paradox
Principle Apply
Principle justify
strengthen
weaken
assumption
flaw
parallel
parallel flaw
inference


Uhh it's like 1am so that's all I got. But the point is that knowing these categories lets you attack the question and each packs with it a methodology for solving the question. For instance, with main point questions, the second I identify it as such I know to look for the authors opinion / conclusion and do a "therefore" test. Knowing it's a MP question makes me 1) breath easy 2) have a game plan and 3) save time by reading a certain way looking for certain things.

No where will it test you to name every category of question type. But it definitely helps having models for each type and what to do when you encounter a question.

Keep on pushing along man.

I definitely suggest drilling questions by type and before you do so read the methodology. For example, read about how to address weaken questions, and the common ways to weaken an argument. THEN drill 100 weakeners from ranging difficulties so you can apply what you learned and get into your OWN rhythm.

The bibles are just guides. Part of being a top LSAT taker, from my limited and humble experience (I've scored ~176 on PT, Octoberplzzzz) is not only KNOWING the bibles and rules, but being fluid to apply them how you are comfortable and being able to flow with the exam. On Oct for example there were some questions that I couldn't really categorize (mods that's not specific!) but I sort of connected them to categories I knew I went from there.

I rambled a bit myself but I've been in your shoes and I know you just want some guidance.

Good luck!



Thank you so much for your advice! Exactly what I was looking to hear. One last question for you, I'm considering taking a class to help with my LR prep but since I already have a good amount of prep under my belt and don't have too much more time to study do you think its beneficial for me to take a class or to self study until December?

I was thinking Powerscore but class starts tonight and I don't know what to do!

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PeanutsNJam
Posts: 3699
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:57 pm

Re: Advice on test prep--getting desperate!

Postby PeanutsNJam » Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:35 pm

To be honest, all the strategies such as identifying question types and memorizing specific strategies to combat specific question types (such as negating assumptions) are not 100% guaranteed to get you the right answer all the time.

As in, you can't plug-n-chug LR if you want a -0 (using "strategies" will get you to -3 or so).

If you want assurance in LR, you have to get inside the heads of the test makers.

Over time and practice and most importantly, review, you will begin to understand the sneaky methods they use to make one answer choice right while the other tempting one wrong. If you're not at the point where you're eliminating down to two or at most three answer choices, you just need to work on expanding your reasoning abilities.

I'd say 70% of the test is prep/strategy, 15% test understanding, 10% reasoning ability, 5% luck (for a total of 180).

Books and strategies will get you to 160-170. If you want to break 170 you need more.

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

Re: Advice on test prep--getting desperate!

Postby bp shinners » Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:40 pm

calbear123 wrote:I guess my question is, for logical reasoning do you guys follow the LR bible's reccomendation of identifying the question type and then approaching the question the way they dictate? Did you find it helpful memorizing the classification system and approaching the questions the way they say? Is it worth it to go back through the LR bible and memorizing their system before going back to practice tests? What else can I do to improve LR?


I 100% recommend this approach. Those strategies are inherent in almost every test prep program for a reason - they work. The questions have some patterns to them that the approaches exploit - if you combine that with an understanding of the logic, your chances of getting a correct answer skyrocket.




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