Need help mastering LR

180ornothing
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:07 pm

Need help mastering LR

Postby 180ornothing » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:23 pm

Hey guys, this is my first post on the site although I have been an avid reader since I started my LSAT prep.

I am currently PTing in the mid to upper 170's and what's really holding me back from consistently scoring in the high 170's is LR. I consistently oscillate between -2 and -4 combined without any noticeable pattern in the types of questions I am getting wrong. They seem to consistently be from stupid mistakes like reading too quickly or losing focus.

I was wondering if anybody had any advice for really locking down LR and picking up those last few wrong answers. Thanks!

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Otunga
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Re: Need help mastering LR

Postby Otunga » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:44 pm

180ornothing wrote:Hey guys, this is my first post on the site although I have been an avid reader since I started my LSAT prep.

I am currently PTing in the mid to upper 170's and what's really holding me back from consistently scoring in the high 170's is LR. I consistently oscillate between -2 and -4 combined without any noticeable pattern in the types of questions I am getting wrong. They seem to consistently be from stupid mistakes like reading too quickly or losing focus.

I was wondering if anybody had any advice for really locking down LR and picking up those last few wrong answers. Thanks!


I'm roughly in your LR range but a few points off your overall range. Anyway, how's your timing in LR? If you're barely finishing on time, then maybe just changing up your technique slightly and getting through the questions faster would allow you to correct any previous mistakes. In other words, are the questions you typically get wrong in the 'I would've gotten it if I only had enough time' box? Or are they in the 'I would've deliberated about that question forever and still probably would've gotten it wrong' box? I find that my wrong answers are in the latter box less and less, but my timing isn't consistent, and so I often don't get to go back and review questions at all. If you're finding the same, then all I can suggest is changing up your technique to improve timing to get you that extra review time. If you are finishing with a good amount of extra time and still missing between -2 to -4, then I'm unsure what to say, as all you can really do is review thoroughly and I'm sure you have been. Perfecting LR is damn tough. I hit -1 yesterday (total) for the first time and the wrong one was a silly blip.

I'm obsessive about perfecting LR and LG because my RC is often poor. It doesn't seem you have that problem.

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NoodleyOne
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Re: Need help mastering LR

Postby NoodleyOne » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:48 pm

How much time do you typically have at the end of a section? If you're cruising with 5+ minutes left, try slowing down a bit. If you're pushing the time limit every time, or at least feeling the pressure of the clock every time, practice easy questions and get stupid good at them. If you're scoring that high, you probably won't find particular question types holding you back, but rather you need to work on kind of a macro-level "how do I tackle LR as a whole". Make the most of your time.

180ornothing
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:07 pm

Re: Need help mastering LR

Postby 180ornothing » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:52 pm

Thank you for the reply. Time is not an issue for me, I generally finish with 5 or so minutes left. When I look back at my wrong answers I have more of a "of course, that's the right answer) sort of response. That is, I consistently make silly mistake like reading too quickly and missing out on a key word or losing focus and not truly grasping the argument. It's frustrating because these lapses happen randomly and I'm not too sure how to recognize when it's happening or eliminate as most as possible these silly mistakes. It's very rare that I am completely stumped as to why something is the right answer.

Congrats on that -1!

180ornothing
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:07 pm

Re: Need help mastering LR

Postby 180ornothing » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:54 pm

NoodleyOne wrote:How much time do you typically have at the end of a section? If you're cruising with 5+ minutes left, try slowing down a bit. If you're pushing the time limit every time, or at least feeling the pressure of the clock every time, practice easy questions and get stupid good at them. If you're scoring that high, you probably won't find particular question types holding you back, but rather you need to work on kind of a macro-level "how do I tackle LR as a whole". Make the most of your time.



Maybe it is that I am moving too quickly. I'll try slowing down next PT.

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Otunga
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Re: Need help mastering LR

Postby Otunga » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:58 pm

180ornothing wrote:Thank you for the reply. Time is not an issue for me, I generally finish with 5 or so minutes left. When I look back at my wrong answers I have more of a "of course, that's the right answer) sort of response. That is, I consistently make silly mistake like reading too quickly and missing out on a key word or losing focus and not truly grasping the argument. It's frustrating because these lapses happen randomly and I'm not too sure how to recognize when it's happening or eliminate as most as possible these silly mistakes. It's very rare that I am completely stumped as to why something is the right answer.

Congrats on that -1!


Thanks.

I often have those reactions too. And so I assume, like me when that happens, you're not circling the question to go back to it since you're confident in the answer. I don't finish with 5 minutes left - I usually finish with 2 minutes left. Even so, overconfidence is tempting. And I suspect you want to go back to the ones that you circled, if any.

I like Noodley's post about having to take a macro-approach. I was talking to someone else on this board about how I doubt myself on Q1-10 too often, treating them like they're tougher questions than they are - looking for subtle term shifts or little details in the answer choices as reasons to eliminate them. But almost always, the answer is staring you in the face and you've just got to circle it. Anyway, treating the earlier questions like they demand thorough examination takes up time, so I'm gonna try avoiding that.

180ornothing
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:07 pm

Re: Need help mastering LR

Postby 180ornothing » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:05 pm

Otunga wrote:
180ornothing wrote:Thank you for the reply. Time is not an issue for me, I generally finish with 5 or so minutes left. When I look back at my wrong answers I have more of a "of course, that's the right answer) sort of response. That is, I consistently make silly mistake like reading too quickly and missing out on a key word or losing focus and not truly grasping the argument. It's frustrating because these lapses happen randomly and I'm not too sure how to recognize when it's happening or eliminate as most as possible these silly mistakes. It's very rare that I am completely stumped as to why something is the right answer.

Congrats on that -1!


Thanks.

I often have those reactions too. And so I assume, like me when that happens, you're not circling the question to go back to it since you're confident in the answer. I don't finish with 5 minutes left - I usually finish with 2 minutes left. Even so, overconfidence is tempting. And I suspect you want to go back to the ones that you circled, if any.

I like Noodley's post about having to take a macro-approach. I was talking to someone else on this board about how I doubt myself on Q1-10 too often, treating them like they're tougher questions than they are - looking for subtle term shifts or little details in the answer choices as reasons to eliminate them. But almost always, the answer is staring you in the face and you've just got to circle it. Anyway, treating the earlier questions like they demand thorough examination takes up time, so I'm gonna try avoiding that.


Exactly! It's almost always questions that I felt confident about. I think perhaps if I move more slowly and carefully I'll start eliminating some of those wrong answers. If that doesn't work I'm not exactly sure what will.

I like the idea of taking a "macro-approach". I suspect that once you gain more confidence in the first ten questions in the section you will significantly increase your speed.

180ornothing
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:07 pm

Re: Need help mastering LR

Postby 180ornothing » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:08 pm

It might also be worth noting that I read the stimulus first and then the stem. That strategy has always worked for me so I never felt the need to change things up. Does anyone think could possibly be increasing my chance of making stupid mistakes?

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Otunga
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Re: Need help mastering LR

Postby Otunga » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:13 pm

180ornothing wrote:It might also be worth noting that I read the stimulus first and then the stem. That strategy has always worked for me so I never felt the need to change things up. Does anyone think could possibly be increasing my chance of making stupid mistakes?


Potentially so. Reading stim first feels so strange to me given that I've always done stem first. I like to know what I'm up against. It's easy to tell when you're getting a paradox question or a must be true question, but on assumption family questions? I like to know if I have to strengthen or weaken the argument beforehand.

180ornothing
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:07 pm

Re: Need help mastering LR

Postby 180ornothing » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:54 pm

I'll try practicing by reading the stem first and see what happens.

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NoodleyOne
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Re: Need help mastering LR

Postby NoodleyOne » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:18 pm

We've hashed this out dozens of times in the time I've been around... I don't think there's a huge difference between stim v. stem first. You'll find top scorers will end up on both sides of the debate, so I'll say it just doesn't really matter... do what works best for you.

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SupCutie
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Re: Need help mastering LR

Postby SupCutie » Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:34 am

Anyone blow through the easy ones and get absolutely stumped on the hardest? I mean I can do the first 15 in 15 minutes most of the time, then within the last 10/11, the majority I can finish at a reasonable pace (1:20-1:45 per) but there's always maybe 2-4 stumpers that take me 2+ minutes the finish and I end up being squeezed for time and guess from process of elimination.




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