mvonh001 wrote:objection_your_honor wrote:the_pakalypse wrote:objection_your_honor wrote:I know a lot of you June takers are jumping right back into PTs. I'm debating either doing that, or running the full Noodley guide again and really refining my process (which, ultimately, was not up to snuff or I wouldn't be here).
I'm the type of person that needs an overarching plan. I can't just wing it and drill sometimes, PT sometimes. Your thoughts?
I would encourage you to work on process. You really really have to spend time looking for patterns in the stimulus types, answer choices, and the answers you chose incorrectly.
Most 170 scorers know some basic patterns (e.g. causation, how to weaken/strengthen an analogy) but there are tons of other things out there that may be useful.
I can't even begin to explain how many weaken/strengthen questions rely on a comparison between two entities (e.g. one group gets a treatment and the other doesn't). Or how many difficult weaken/strengthen/assumption questions rely on one answer choice that is SUPER close but not completely relevant to the stimulus (i.e it's somehow accounted for, excluded, or not relevant). In fact this same pattern saved me on PT 69 for that lotto question.
You also have to optimize your process (i.e. become lazy and find the easiest way to your answer).
An example of optimizing your time (aka finding the easiest way to an answer) is becoming really fluent with formal logic. I trusted my instincts to a point where I could mentally follow the logic "train" -- this allowed me to go through the questions much faster. If I couldn't follow the "train" (aka connecting conditionals) completely in my head, I would eliminate answer choices very quickly by eliminating any answer choice that mentioned a necessary condition in a sufficient condition or vice versa.
For easier questions, I realized the Manhattan strategy for MBT/MBF questions in LG (look at all answer choices, defer judgement, see if one pops out -- if not, then test hypos) applied to LR as well. I realized in my retake prep the reason I struggled through LR was because I over-thought each question. Instead of thinking why each answer could potentially work, you have to think this is why its wrong OR defer judgement. Deferring judgement is an awesome, awesome tool. You have to refine your instincts so that you can figure out when an answer is sufficiently good. Become efficient.
The BIGGEST and by far the easiest thing most people overlook is a change in terms (i.e. you are strong, therefore you must be athletic). This is so, so prevalent in the LSAT and once you can see this change consistently, you'll find that questions go over quickly. (Whenever I found a change in terms for an assumption/strengthen/weaken question, I immediately looked in the answer choices for a corresponding answer choice). Oh god most SA questions are so so easy once you start doing this -- especially those ones that deal with abstract topics. I actually started looking forward to them.
Anyways I hope this helps. If it does, let me know. I have a bunch of these thoughts but I'm not sure it would be helpful/easily understood.
Very helpful, thanks. From a practical standpoint would I do these things (initially) by returning to basics (ie Manhattan chapters and drilling), or by taking and reviewing PTs?
Drill until you feel confident in your abilities, then PT... Or intersperse your drilling with PT'ing - that is what I am doing. I am drilling LR LG and RC everyday (30 LR questions, 5 LG games, and 1 RC section) on the weekdays and doing PT's on the weekends.
I wouldn't recommend that. You have too much variety for one day. 30 LR questions won't be enough for you to get the most out of your drilling and see all the patterns. Same with doing 1 RC section. This early in the game I think it would be most beneficial to do a few days/week of LR drilling, followed by RC, then LR. LG, of course, is the exception in that you can be always drilling that.
It might even be beneficial to drill similar types of LR questions consistently (see DD's posts for his categorization, which I like quite a bit). So, for example, you'd drill all available strengthen/weaken/assumption questions, do a week of RC, and then do must be true/point of agreement/most strongly supported... just a thought. I think it would allow you to see how similar things can be on the LSAT.