Key to the LSAT...?

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clay7676
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:44 am

Key to the LSAT...?

Postby clay7676 » Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:11 pm

Hi all! Beautiful day outside! Well, after completing PT 40 and receiving a 163, I'm absolutely elated about my performance. By the standards expressed on this forum, this isn't all too something to be proud of, but it's a significant improvement from my other scores ranging from 153-158. And while working through the test and going through the answers/explanations, I had a sudden realization of WHY I was doing better. I was doing better because I was focused/alert/critical/aware of each passage/phrase/word. This allowed me to more easily eliminate wrong answers and understand the scope of the argument with more precision. Based on this I have some questions: Is this a key component of it? I realize that this may be a common understanding or basic idea when taking this, but I don't honestly believe I have so critically attacked the passages in the LR as I did this time and it seemed to make things so significantly easier. And, based on that, is this a skill possibly that develops with practice and understanding how the LSAT is supposed to be taken? It's quite possible I'm just exhibiting attention deficit disorder or anxiety or something (which is true to an extent anyway), but it seems like for me this may be a new way of learning compared to how I study/learn in my university courses. Curious for all thought!

Thanks.

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patfeeney
Posts: 437
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:47 pm

Re: Key to the LSAT...?

Postby patfeeney » Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:01 pm

clay7676 wrote:Hi all! Beautiful day outside! Well, after completing PT 40 and receiving a 163, I'm absolutely elated about my performance. By the standards expressed on this forum, this isn't all too something to be proud of, but it's a significant improvement from my other scores ranging from 153-158. And while working through the test and going through the answers/explanations, I had a sudden realization of WHY I was doing better. I was doing better because I was focused/alert/critical/aware of each passage/phrase/word. This allowed me to more easily eliminate wrong answers and understand the scope of the argument with more precision. Based on this I have some questions: Is this a key component of it? I realize that this may be a common understanding or basic idea when taking this, but I don't honestly believe I have so critically attacked the passages in the LR as I did this time and it seemed to make things so significantly easier. And, based on that, is this a skill possibly that develops with practice and understanding how the LSAT is supposed to be taken? It's quite possible I'm just exhibiting attention deficit disorder or anxiety or something (which is true to an extent anyway), but it seems like for me this may be a new way of learning compared to how I study/learn in my university courses. Curious for all thought!

Thanks.


I believe that's a first step, but it's not the full monty. You need to develop your ability to see and analyze every word thoroughly, but you also need to be able to analyze argument and logic structure just as easily. It's all about learning the precise way that these questions are supposed to be read/considered. However, it's a fantastic step forward.

Don't be ashamed of that kind of score. Most of us start in the 150s. I scored a 145 on my first preptest back in January. If you put the time and effort in, higher scores will result.

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Jeffort
Posts: 1896
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:43 pm

Re: Key to the LSAT...?

Postby Jeffort » Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:35 am

clay7676 wrote:Hi all! Beautiful day outside! Well, after completing PT 40 and receiving a 163, I'm absolutely elated about my performance. By the standards expressed on this forum, this isn't all too something to be proud of, but it's a significant improvement from my other scores ranging from 153-158. And while working through the test and going through the answers/explanations, I had a sudden realization of WHY I was doing better. I was doing better because I was focused/alert/critical/aware of each passage/phrase/word. This allowed me to more easily eliminate wrong answers and understand the scope of the argument with more precision. Based on this I have some questions: Is this a key component of it? I realize that this may be a common understanding or basic idea when taking this, but I don't honestly believe I have so critically attacked the passages in the LR as I did this time and it seemed to make things so significantly easier. And, based on that, is this a skill possibly that develops with practice and understanding how the LSAT is supposed to be taken? It's quite possible I'm just exhibiting attention deficit disorder or anxiety or something (which is true to an extent anyway), but it seems like for me this may be a new way of learning compared to how I study/learn in my university courses. Curious for all thought!

Thanks.


Yes yes yes be excited!! This is a big important breakthrough in LSAT progress towards perfection!!!!

It's an absolutely essential way to think when analyzing questions in order to answer them correctly for valid logical reasons. Focusing on the precision of the words used is important so that your mind properly registers what exactly is being said and established in terms of the actual boundaries/strength/reach/scope of premises and conclusions. Lots of attractive trap answers are written to appeal to people that overgeneralize the reach or strength of premises or conclusions or statements in answer choices.

Careful critical reading is one of the big skills heavily tested by the LSAT in all sections, most heavily in RC and LR, not so much in LG. Many of the higher level difficulty questions have trap answers and correct answers that turn on small details of precise words used for why one is correct or instead a trap. If you haven't experienced it yet, you'll start to see questions where it comes down to one single word that makes an answer correct or alternatively a good trap answer. Situations like an answer choice that says most while the related information in the stimulus says many is a common example of such a trap. Change many to most or most to many and then the answer would be correct. There are tons of other related examples where distinguishing the correct from the trap comes down to one single word in either the answer or the stimulus that makes the difference. Nitpicky details, gotta love em for the LSAT!

Anyway, keep going with the super focused critical approach, it is responsible for some of your current improvement and you can build on it to get even better!




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