It's about the argument

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Nightingale
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:51 pm

It's about the argument

Postby Nightingale » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:30 pm

This has become my new mantra before every LR section I take.

I know you are thinking to yourself, "well of course it's about the argument... it's the LSAT," and you would be correct! But if you are like me, you find yourself either (1) making simple mistakes on LR questions that, upon review, cause you to smack your head against the table, or (2) spending too much time eliminating certain answer choices, effecting both your rhythm and confidence.

I typically range from -0/2 on each LR section, and nearly 100% of those missed questions come from careless errors. But I soon realized that those careless errors had one thing in common: I didn't take the argument at face value. Every trap answer you will face doesn't take the argument at face value; but it surely will give you enough rope to hang yourself.

Taking the argument for what it is relies on remembering only one thing: everything you need is right in front of you. You don't need be creative. You don't need to apply a value judgment. The LSAT only asks that you apply black and white rules of reasoning. Taking a binary approach to these questions will allow you to systematically diagnose an argument and swiftly eliminate those answer choices that deviate from what the argument has given you.

One of the very first things we learn when prepping for LR is that "it's not whether the argument is right or wrong; the only thing that matters is whether it is sound." Simple, yes. But then again, that's why they call them "simple mistakes."

drevo
Posts: 280
Joined: Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:49 pm

Re: It's about the argument

Postby drevo » Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:40 pm

Nightingale wrote:This has become my new mantra before every LR section I take.

I know you are thinking to yourself, "well of course it's about the argument... it's the LSAT," and you would be correct! But if you are like me, you find yourself either (1) making simple mistakes on LR questions that, upon review, cause you to smack your head against the table, or (2) spending too much time eliminating certain answer choices, effecting both your rhythm and confidence.

I typically range from -0/2 on each LR section, and nearly 100% of those missed questions come from careless errors. But I soon realized that those careless errors had one thing in common: I didn't take the argument at face value. Every trap answer you will face doesn't take the argument at face value; but it surely will give you enough rope to hang yourself.

Taking the argument for what it is relies on remembering only one thing: everything you need is right in front of you. You don't need be creative. You don't need to apply a value judgment. The LSAT only asks that you apply black and white rules of reasoning. Taking a binary approach to these questions will allow you to systematically diagnose an argument and swiftly eliminate those answer choices that deviate from what the argument has given you.

One of the very first things we learn when prepping for LR is that "it's not whether the argument is right or wrong; the only thing that matters is whether it is sound." Simple, yes. But then again, that's why they call them "simple mistakes."


CR. A few weeks ago I was stuck at PTing at 173. My usual -4 or -5 combined on LR were always "careless" errors that when I reviewed them were more or less obvious as to my dumb mistake. Problem was I couldn't find a pattern in why I was getting a few wrong every time and I tried to find my mistakes in relation to the particular type of LR question. Then, while watching the penultimate episode of Breaking Bad and reviewing a PT I finally figured out what all my mistakes in LR had in common: I was doing too much and not just focusing on the simple argument. I think I got to where I understood all the reasoning and strategies of all the different types of LR question types that I was looking too deep into the questions. I took my first PT after around a 6 day break where I had no recently taken PT's mistakes on my mind and just kept the "core argument" idea in mind and wouldn't you know it I finally broke through to a 177. Followed that up with a 176 the next day. On the 177 I missed 1 total in LR and on the 176 I missed none. I have since been able to keep my LR scores at this level.

It seems like such a silly thing to help especially once you already understand how LR works and all the flaws, conditionals, etc. but in the process of trying to "outsmart" or get into the LSAT test writers' mind you can over complicate things.




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