Looking for Parallel Reasoning Resources

seagan823
Posts: 182
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:18 am

Looking for Parallel Reasoning Resources

Postby seagan823 » Wed May 29, 2013 8:56 pm

Does anybody have any good suggestions for improving parallel reasoning? I am going through my old answers to isolate exactly where my problems lie, but I am having more difficulty with this than I have when identifying and fixing flaws in my approach to other types of LR questions. So far my only resource has been LR bible and it has proved to be only slightly helpful in improving my performance. Thanks.

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wtrc
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Re: Looking for Parallel Reasoning Resources

Postby wtrc » Wed May 29, 2013 9:45 pm

seagan823 wrote:Does anybody have any good suggestions for improving parallel reasoning? I am going through my old answers to isolate exactly where my problems lie, but I am having more difficulty with this than I have when identifying and fixing flaws in my approach to other types of LR questions. So far my only resource has been LR bible and it has proved to be only slightly helpful in improving my performance. Thanks.


I love the LRB, for some things. Not for parallel reasoning. At all. I understand why, though, because it's the hardest to explain.

Drill Cambridge packets. Drill them over until you are nearly 100%. Parallel reasoning IS learnable.

For questions where the reasoning is valid/sound ("pattern of reasoning," not "flawed pattern of reasoning"), isolate the conclusion. Underline and circle that shit. Break down the argument. How did the passage reach the conclusion? Do we have 2 pieces of evidence? Just one? Are we inferring something based on other factors?

Go through the answer choices. Eliminate ones that don't have a conclusion, or are invalid, or unsound. Then when you have certain choices left, isolate those conclusions. Circle and underline them, just as you did in your stimulus. How is the author reaching the conclusion? Is the answer choice adding a new element that isn't in the stimulus?

For some questions, you can use formal logic to get the right answer. (A---->B----->C for A---->C, for example). If you can, then write it out. Write out your answer choices. One will match. The others won't. I think the LRB says not to write it out using logic like this, but there are times when it really is helpful, at least for me.

For parallel flawed questions, it's a bit trickier, and I still get one wrong real occasionally, but I approach it the same way. I find the conclusion, see the pattern of reasoning used to get to the conclusion, and make sure I know what the flaw/flaws are. Before I even look at the answer choices, I want to know what sucks about the argument. I want to make sure I know the argument well enough that I would have a solid pre-phrase for "the argument is most vulnerable to criticism on the grounds that..." question.

Then I break down the answer choices. Usually 1 or 2 have pretty solid reasoning actually. 1 or 2 more will have a flaw, but just a different flaw, often an opposite flaw (generalizes based on 1 person to the majority, rather than the majority to every person, etc.).

Hope this makes sense, but strategies for this are unique to everyone I think, so some people might have totally different approaches here.

westtech
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:29 pm

Re: Looking for Parallel Reasoning Resources

Postby westtech » Wed May 29, 2013 10:13 pm

Not to be that guy that just points to the search function but it really is worth spending some time using it to dig through people's posts for nuggets of advice for question types. I searched through posts for the individual question types like "parallel reasoning" and I have found a lot of great advice from LSAT instructors and high scoring test takers for how to approach these questions. I know BP Shinners also gives some killer advice in his office hours thread for parallel and parallel flaw questions. Just from going through posts and drilling parallel questions I was able to make them my best LR question type or as Noodley put it "a guaranteed point".

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sublime
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Re: Looking for Parallel Reasoning Resources

Postby sublime » Wed May 29, 2013 11:00 pm

..

LDVM4334
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Re: Looking for Parallel Reasoning Resources

Postby LDVM4334 » Wed May 29, 2013 11:38 pm

I can't offer much beyond anecdotal experience. I tried LRB, had already taken TM, but still struggled with these more than anything else.

Then at some point it just "clicked".

I still miss them on occasion, since I usually save them for last unless they're pre-Q15 just because of the time it takes to read it all, but I don't find them to be particularly difficult anymore, for the most part.




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