Q for anyone who is consistently LR -4 or better, combined

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vuthy
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Q for anyone who is consistently LR -4 or better, combined

Postby vuthy » Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:59 pm

LR is proving to be tougher to crack than I thought. LG and RC are consistently no worse than -4 combined. But LR is stuck at somewhere between -8 and -10. Hasn't improved since I started working on it more than a month ago (drilling, PTs, Manhattan, blind review, the works). I do understand my mistakes better than I used to, and my blind review score is higher than my timed score. But still, it's really holding me back.

Worst part is there's no real pattern. I'll miss a few early Q's, several late Q's, a few easy, several hard -- and no Q type really stands out as a huge weakness (using LSATQA and my own data).

I always get through the first 15 in 15, usually w/ 1-2 wrong, and generally can get through the rest w/ out feeling super rushed. But there are just too many Q's -- the curve-breakers -- where I end up going w/ the wrong of the two attractive choices.

Basically just wondering from anyone who is consistently doing well on LR -- especially if you were "stuck" the way I am -- do you have any advice that I might not have thought of? Things I might not be doing? I've thought about trying to minimize damage by treating each LR as if it's just 22 questions (for now), and guessing on three per. Then if I can do that, go to 23 questions, etc. But obviously I'd rather just crack this some other way without gaming the test.

Sorry so long. Bit frustrated as you can tell.

magickware
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Re: Q for anyone who is consistently LR -4 or better, combined

Postby magickware » Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:13 pm

Try making a detailed examination of why you're getting those wrong and your thought processes as you're going through them.

I was stuck like you. No real apparent reason, getting -6 to -8 on combined LR sections for the most part.

Then gradually it just went down to -5 to -6, and now -0 to -5.

I've personally noticed that fatigue affects me a lot. I get a lot more wrong on the second LR section than the first one, for example. Now it tends to become something like -0 or -1 on the first section, -3 to -5 on the second section.

If you're getting down to 2 answer choices and choosing the wrong one though, then that means your process and understanding of that question type is not as solid as you think it is.

The LSAT Trainer
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Re: Q for anyone who is consistently LR -4 or better, combined

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:20 pm

Based on what you've written, I have two specific suggestions for you -- not sure what it is you need, and I'm sure you know best whether these are applicable to you or not -- I definitely feel your pain and would love to help --

1) Think of improving at LR in terms of skills and habits -- you need to develop certain specific skills, and you need to develop certain specific habits. For example, for a nec assumption q, you typically need to be able to
a) id concl
b) id support
c) find issue in reasoning
d) eliminate answers that either don't relate or don't play the correct role relative to the argument
e) use negation test among other tools to confirm the right answer.
Not only do you need the above skills, you need the habits to apply them properly (and perhaps more importantly, habits for not wasting time thinking about other things). If you look at every question in terms of the skills and habits required, I think you may be able to see some more significant patterns.

2) Related to #1, do your best to think of your misses from a practical, action-based point-of-view -- you can use whatever you are comfortable with, but in my work I suggest students use a basic rubric of
a) I read it wrong (Didn't correctly id and prioritize important components in stimulus, missed significance of certain modifiers in answer choices, etc.)
b) I thought it wrong (Didn't see the flaw correctly, or didn't see correctly how right answer related to flaw, etc.) or
c) I solved it wrong (I didn't eliminate wrong answers based on the right things, didn't use right rubric for determining whether right answer was right, didn't know not to look for an argument, etc.)

Every question you miss, you can think of as missing for one or more of the above.

Again, you don't have to use this particular rubric, and it's great if you come up with one for yourself, maybe based on the study materials you've been using -- the things I encourage you to do are to tie your prep/review to actions, skills, and habits, and to try and have as practical an understanding of how to get better as possible -- I definitely know that's easier said than done, but the more you can think about improving in terms of action steps (changes to have to solve/approach q's), typically the more in control you will feel, and the faster you will improve --

HTH -- good luck -- mike

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vuthy
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Re: Q for anyone who is consistently LR -4 or better, combined

Postby vuthy » Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:40 pm

I really appreciate the ideas and the help. Believe it or not, I actually do a really thorough blind review, going through each answer choice and writing out an explanation. Feel like I could teach the LSAT better than I can take the LSAT, if that makes any sense. And I guess I figured after 4-5 weeks of doing that, I'd see improvement, but maybe it just takes more time.

It's puzzling, because I'd be more inclined to think that this was just my LR "ceiling" if it weren't for the fact that the other two sections are really strong. Feel like I have another gear, just can't find it yet.

(Also puzzling because it seems like most folks on TLS are strong at LR and (if they struggle with anything), they struggle w/ RC and LG. Feel like an oddball for having it in reverse.)

Thanks again.

magickware
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Re: Q for anyone who is consistently LR -4 or better, combined

Postby magickware » Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:59 pm

Could you post a couple questions and why you got them wrong?

Then follow that with explanations.

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vuthy
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Re: Q for anyone who is consistently LR -4 or better, combined

Postby vuthy » Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:50 pm

You guys are way too generous w/ your time. Really appreciate it.

So for example, I did PT 53 today.

RC -2 (23, 27)
LG -2 (22, 23 -- misbubbled).
LR1 -6 (8, 13, 16, 19, 24, 25)
LR2 -3 (8, 18, 24)


Here's a few examples of LRs that run the gamut, plus my explanations.


LR1 # 8: Couldn't get it to click on first pass, so circled it. On second pass, was pressed for time and went with C for God only knows what reason. Took about 10 seconds in blind review to realize it was D.

LR1 #19: Went with B because it seemed as though all the key elements lined up. Subset of whole population (certain companies), most can probably improve. Have read the explanation on the MLSAT site, and could make a case for A, but still think it could go either way (based on the reading of "certain" as an indicator of a subset, just as "people who have habitually..." is a subset of people).

LR1 #25: Had B on first pass and talked myself off of it, thinking D was stronger because it was creating a circular argument (astrology is a science because knowledge of astrological features is scientific).

LR2 #18: Eliminated E on grounds that passage never says nature's beauty is "philosophically indisputable"; it says it's "undeniable," but they drop the "philosophically" qualifier from the previous clause. Still stand by that, but anyway, I went with B.

LR2 #24: Misread D as saying "any member" instead of "each member," although even with that, it's not as strong as A. This was one where I over-read the fact that it was a late question and out-thought myself. Had this been #6, I would have picked A and moved on.

Anyway, I know it's hard to say much just based on this, and I'll continue to analyze the wrongs. Even in doing this workup (again), I noticed that I had really talked myself off of a few rights. So maybe there's something there.

But if you guys are bored, I'm all ears. Thanks again.

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mvonh001
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Re: Q for anyone who is consistently LR -4 or better, combined

Postby mvonh001 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:01 pm

vuthy wrote:You guys are way too generous w/ your time. Really appreciate it.

So for example, I did PT 53 today.

RC -2 (23, 27)
LG -2 (22, 23 -- misbubbled).
LR1 -6 (8, 13, 16, 19, 24, 25)
LR2 -3 (8, 18, 24)


Here's a few examples of LRs that run the gamut, plus my explanations.


LR1 # 8: Couldn't get it to click on first pass, so circled it. On second pass, was pressed for time and went with C for God only knows what reason. Took about 10 seconds in blind review to realize it was D.

LR1 #19: Went with B because it seemed as though all the key elements lined up. Subset of whole population (certain companies), most can probably improve. Have read the explanation on the MLSAT site, and could make a case for A, but still think it could go either way (based on the reading of "certain" as an indicator of a subset, just as "people who have habitually..." is a subset of people).

LR1 #25: Had B on first pass and talked myself off of it, thinking D was stronger because it was creating a circular argument (astrology is a science because knowledge of astrological features is scientific).

LR2 #18: Eliminated E on grounds that passage never says nature's beauty is "philosophically indisputable"; it says it's "undeniable," but they drop the "philosophically" qualifier from the previous clause. Still stand by that, but anyway, I went with B.

LR2 #24: Misread D as saying "any member" instead of "each member," although even with that, it's not as strong as A. This was one where I over-read the fact that it was a late question and out-thought myself. Had this been #6, I would have picked A and moved on.

Anyway, I know it's hard to say much just based on this, and I'll continue to analyze the wrongs. Even in doing this workup (again), I noticed that I had really talked myself off of a few rights. So maybe there's something there.

But if you guys are bored, I'm all ears. Thanks again.


You seem, from what I gather, to not completely understand why some of the answers you chose are incorrect. That is essential to correcting your errors (which im sure you have heard a million times already). Also, when you are typing up a correction, which i am assuming looks similar to the one you posted, if not identical, you may find it more better to write out A: Out of scope, B: Uses a qualifier, C: This is the right answer, D: Out of Scope, E: Unrelated to premise-conclusion relationship, type of thing... But that is just a suggestion YMMV.

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vuthy
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Re: Q for anyone who is consistently LR -4 or better, combined

Postby vuthy » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:05 pm

mvonh001 wrote:You seem, from what I gather, to not completely understand why some of the answers you chose are incorrect. That is essential to correcting your errors (which im sure you have heard a million times already). Also, when you are typing up a correction, which i am assuming looks similar to the one you posted, if not identical, you may find it more better to write out A: Out of scope, B: Uses a qualifier, C: This is the right answer, D: Out of Scope, E: Unrelated to premise-conclusion relationship, type of thing... But that is just a suggestion YMMV.



Sorry -- those were my explanations for why I picked what I picked. I thought that would be more helpful than my write-ups for why what I picked was wrong. Thanks though -- I do need to work on being more concise in my write-ups for sure.

steven21
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Re: Q for anyone who is consistently LR -4 or better, combined

Postby steven21 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:33 am

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Last edited by steven21 on Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bizzybone1313
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Re: Q for anyone who is consistently LR -4 or better, combined

Postby bizzybone1313 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:49 am

steven21 wrote:knowing why you got each question wrong and why the correct one was correct and why the others were wrong will not help you increase your score


You are going against countless advice by super highing LSAT scorers. What is your basis for saying this?

magickware
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Re: Q for anyone who is consistently LR -4 or better, combined

Postby magickware » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:00 am

vuthy wrote:You guys are way too generous w/ your time. Really appreciate it.


I am of the opinion at this point that helping other people like this will help me more than it helps you =)

I'm being extremely selfish here! I swear!

vuthy wrote:LR1 #19: Went with B because it seemed as though all the key elements lined up. Subset of whole population (certain companies), most can probably improve. Have read the explanation on the MLSAT site, and could make a case for A, but still think it could go either way (based on the reading of "certain" as an indicator of a subset, just as "people who have habitually..." is a subset of people).


The thing about parallel questions, is that they have to be exact matches. So it's rather essential that you actually write out the logic chain utilized in the stimulus, then match said chain to the chains in the answers.

This one, admittedly, has a chain that is difficult to just break down. From what I did on my old PT, I just didn't bother to break it down and just went straight to the answers. However, it does present a clear chain, and I think that's why I didn't bother.

People with A tend to get better if they do B. Therefore, most people with A can get better if they do B.

Answer A follows this chain perfectly. Company with A tends to do better if they do B. Therefore, most companies with A can get better if they do B.

I don't like answer choice B because of its second sentence. The, "Therefore, most people with A..." part is not there. Reread the conclusion of answer B and the conclusion of the stimulus. You should notice that they're quite different.

vuthy wrote:LR1 #25: Had B on first pass and talked myself off of it, thinking D was stronger because it was creating a circular argument (astrology is a science because knowledge of astrological features is scientific).


A mentality that I learned to be very valuable on LR is knowing exactly what the question wants you to look for, and looking EXACTLY for that, and nothing else. LSAC likes to trick you by deliberately confusing you with things, and one of the best ways to deal with this is to look exactly for what the question wants you to find.

There's a really simple reason why D is wrong-It doesn't do this. The stimulus doesn't infer that astronomical knowledge is scientific because it is required to create an astrology chart; it infers that astrology is scientific because it requires astronomical knowledge. The obvious flaw then, is why would something be scientific merely because it requires presumably scientific knowledge?

vuthy wrote:LR2 #18: Eliminated E on grounds that passage never says nature's beauty is "philosophically indisputable"; it says it's "undeniable," but they drop the "philosophically" qualifier from the previous clause. Still stand by that, but anyway, I went with B.


It doesn't have to. If nature is undeniably beautiful, then it is a quality that absolutely belongs to nature. From there, it's just merely simple word-play on how you construct the sentence. The overall meaning still remains.

You can certainly challenge whether nature is undeniably beautiful or not, but given that the stimulus says this, we have to take it as fact for this question.

And there is a solid reason why B is wrong- The stimulus never makes this argument.

The ethicist states that many environmentalists claim that nature is just morally valuable, regardless of whatever it may give us. Then the ethicist proceeds to claim that, even if nature was not morally valuable, it is undeniably beautiful. And since this is an absolute quality inherent to nature, any argument for preserving nature will be more solid if based upon its beauty moreso than whether it's morally valuable.

Within this, we don't actually see the ethicist claim that the uncertainly of whether or not nature is morally valuable makes it a weak, or not an insufficient, reason for preserving nature. It just says that there are better reasons than this.

Since the question asks us for the principle/argumentative strategy that the ethicist used, we can't really choose an answer choice containing a principle that he never mentions.

vuthy wrote:Anyway, I know it's hard to say much just based on this, and I'll continue to analyze the wrongs. Even in doing this workup (again), I noticed that I had really talked myself off of a few rights. So maybe there's something there.


I promise you there is. I don't know how many times I've talked myself into thinking that I understood LR. Then I reread the book and did more review and realized that I didn't know as much as I thought I did.

steven21
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Re: Q for anyone who is consistently LR -4 or better, combined

Postby steven21 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:23 am

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Last edited by steven21 on Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

steven21
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Re: Q for anyone who is consistently LR -4 or better, combined

Postby steven21 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:25 am

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Last edited by steven21 on Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Clearly
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Re: Q for anyone who is consistently LR -4 or better, combined

Postby Clearly » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:33 am

steven21 wrote:knowing why you got each question wrong and why the correct one was correct and why the others were wrong will not help you increase your score

LOL Thats literally the only thing that WILL improve your score. In fact, knowing why the wrong ones are wrong and the right ones are right, is kind of the definition of improving your score. Your saying you're trying to do this and its not working doesn't mean it doesn't work, it means you're not succeeding in doing it.

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Re: Q for anyone who is consistently LR -4 or better, combined

Postby steven21 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:39 am

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Last edited by steven21 on Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Q for anyone who is consistently LR -4 or better, combined

Postby steven21 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:40 am

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Last edited by steven21 on Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Q for anyone who is consistently LR -4 or better, combined

Postby steven21 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:40 am

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Last edited by steven21 on Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Q for anyone who is consistently LR -4 or better, combined

Postby ScottRiqui » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:45 am

steven21 wrote:it means it doesn't work


How can it not work? If you can clearly articulate why you picked the answer you did, and also why you *didn't* pick any of the other answers, then you either got the question right, or your analysis was flawed. Barring a "bad" question that would have been thrown out by LSAC, those are the only two possible outcomes.

It's possible to be able to answer a question correctly without doing this, but if you *can't* do it for a particular question, it's a sure sign that you don't understand the question as well as you could.

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Clearly
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Re: Q for anyone who is consistently LR -4 or better, combined

Postby Clearly » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:46 am

steven21 wrote:been doing it consistently and thoroughly for a little over a year

That's the thing... You aren't doing it. You literally can not be knowing why the correct answers are correct, and the wrong answers are wrong, and not see success doing so. What you are saying, is you have been TRYING to get to this point, and it isn't happening.

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Clyde Frog
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Re: Q for anyone who is consistently LR -4 or better, combined

Postby Clyde Frog » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:52 am

steven21 wrote:it means it doesn't work


Not with that attitude.


Try this thread if you're still having trouble, steven21.

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=206480

magickware
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Re: Q for anyone who is consistently LR -4 or better, combined

Postby magickware » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:57 am

steven21 wrote:it means it doesn't work


Then you're doing it wrong.

It worked for me. It was the only thing that worked for me. I saw no improvement on LR before I actually sat my ass on the seat and spent 10+ minute on each question I got wrong trying to understand every fucking detail and why I got it wrong.

So, again, you're doing it wrong.

If you have better suggestions then I'm all ears. Spending 10+ minute on a question means it takes a while to go through all of them if you get a lot wrong, and I'm always looking for better ways to do things.

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rftdd888
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Re: Q for anyone who is consistently LR -4 or better, combined

Postby rftdd888 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 4:34 am

I'm early in my prep but around -2.5 Q's per LR section right now, improving all the time. I'll contribute only because I'm on track to be under -4 overall and I started with around 5 or 6 misses per LR section.

first let me ask, do you have a method of marking questions for review? one thing that helped me jump up a few points in PTs was cutting some LR losses by catching them upon review in the last 5 minutes of time. as far as timed sections go, I always finish with ~6 mins to spare because I'm good at test-taking and reading comp. Once I began using those minutes to return to marked questions, I tended to settle on the correct response having had the break from the Q and returning to it this way. here is my method, copied from another user: draw a small box around the question number if the question gave you trouble -- aka, you did not confidently select an answer that you understood to be correct based on your learning & experience. if it gives you trouble, mark it. you can mark it light or bold depending on how you feel about the difficulty. this will help you skip around and pick the questions off at the end of the section.

the important thing was that taking a break from a tricky question helped me get it right later on. maybe my thought process is incorrect, so I just started moving on to other questions after selecting my best guess at the moment.

other than that I would suggest making ample use of old LR and RC sections. do them over and over again.

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vuthy
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Re: Q for anyone who is consistently LR -4 or better, combined

Postby vuthy » Sat Jul 20, 2013 7:23 am

magickware wrote:
LR1 #19 ....

I don't like answer choice B because of its second sentence. The, "Therefore, most people with A..." part is not there. Reread the conclusion of answer B and the conclusion of the stimulus. You should notice that they're quite different.



I think I see it now. "Most small companies" (B) =/= "most small companies that have never advertised on the internet"?




magickware wrote:LR2 #18....

It doesn't have to. If nature is undeniably beautiful, then it is a quality that absolutely belongs to nature. From there, it's just merely simple word-play on how you construct the sentence. The overall meaning still remains.



See this is what gets me stuck sometimes. I know we're supposed to look for detail creep and term shifts. And in this one, the stim absolutely does not say that nature is "philosophically indisputable," as answer E does. The stim says "undeniable" but nothing about philosophically undeniable or indisputable. So this is a situation where looking for term shifts and finding them actually made me eliminate the right answer straight away. Just have to find that sweet spot, I guess, between not looking for details enough and looking for them too much. (That said, my choice, B, clearly sucked.)

Thanks again. (And just to be clear, I'm not the one who was arguing against blind review upthread. I swear by it.)

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Re: Q for anyone who is consistently LR -4 or better, combined

Postby tamitaylor » Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:47 am

Vuthy, I have the exact same problem as you so I'm interested in these responses as well. For me, I just can't seem to distinguish what makes a question "more correct" than another in the Q's that I can't figure out even with blind review.

Also, I think I've been relying too heavily on correct/incorrect answers from questions I've completed before...not sure if anyone else has noticed this. I'll think "Well, this question is just like that one question I did a week ago" and approach the answer choices from that lens, rather than from the unique circumstances that question presents. This is especially true for me with weaken questions, I think because you can't exactly eliminate questions that seem somewhat out of scope. I realize you have to do many practice questions to prepare, so I'm hopeful this is just part of the learning process. Although I'm totally open to suggestions.

I'll say this too-- my dad is a fed judge and I showed him PT 26, Section 2, Question 12. (Fat & cancer rates) I eliminated D, thinking that was too big of an assumption to make the connection between environmental pollution, and the LSAT doesn't test outside knowledge. I was totally stumped as to why that was the correct answer, and my dad just looked at me and said "Well, yeah, that's an assumption, but you can see the others are wrong. You're overanalyzing this." (Of course then my mom, who does cancer research, wanted to weigh in, and she launched into this long-winded explanation of why environmental pollution can absolutely cause overall cancer rates to go up and why...oh mom.)

So yeah...he hasn't taken the LSAT since the 70s but I think his advice was basically on point for any question.

Thanks everyone for help!

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Re: Q for anyone who is consistently LR -4 or better, combined

Postby AAJD2B » Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:37 am

steven21 wrote:
bizzybone1313 wrote:
steven21 wrote:knowing why you got each question wrong and why the correct one was correct and why the others were wrong will not help you increase your score


You are going against countless advice by super highing LSAT scorers. What is your basis for saying this?


I say that because I have been doing that and also a whole lot more and my score has not improved



Can anyone spot the flaw in THIS argument?

:lol:




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