Should I Learn a System?

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february1
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Should I Learn a System?

Postby february1 » Sun Oct 20, 2013 11:53 am

First-time post:

So I just started my LSAT prep a couple of weeks ago (plan to take it in February for the first time) and I have a good problem to have, but I'm not sure what to do. I'm naturally good at the LR sections, missing between 2-5 combined on practice tests (2). I don't understand the different question types or anything like that, but I wonder if I should read the Powerscore Bible on this subject, or if that might do more harm than good. Basically, should I spend time learning a LR system or focus only on my weaker subjects (Logic Games ftw)?

Thanks!

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Hotguy
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Re: Should I Learn a System?

Postby Hotguy » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:19 pm

Yes, you're still missing 5. If I were you, and I was planning on scoring above 170, I would want to miss 0. From what you told me, you're not capable of scoring that without studying/learning a system. So it would be logical to find a credited book to possibly increase your score.

If you're not aiming for a high score, and you're happy with missing five questions, then by all means don't study/learn a system. Capiche?

drevo
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Re: Should I Learn a System?

Postby drevo » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:25 pm

Hotguy wrote:Yes, you're still missing 5. If I were you, and I was planning on scoring above 170, I would want to miss 0. From what you told me, you're not capable of scoring that without studying/learning a system. So it would be logical to find a credited book to possibly increase your score.

If you're not aiming for a high score, and you're happy with missing five questions, then by all means don't study/learn a system. Capiche?


Pretty much end of the story right here. You aren't hitting -0. And two tests is a pretty small sample size. Since you are already pretty good at it I would recommend just going straight for Manhattan's LR book.

06162014123
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Postby 06162014123 » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:51 pm

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Last edited by 06162014123 on Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Hotguy
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Re: Should I Learn a System?

Postby Hotguy » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:59 pm

RedShift wrote:I'll go against the grain and say there's no reason you have to learn a system to do well. With only 2 tests under your belt it's completely possible you can ace the section through your own study on the subject. That's not to say you shouldn't learn a system, but ultimately you have to figure out what works for you.

Personally, I felt bogged down by trying to follow someone else's rules for answering various question types.

I thought about that. But I made the assumption that he's likely missing questions that are big on formal logic. Notice that I said to use a credited book, that leaves room for the possibility of only getting a book specifically on formal logic or if he chooses, something like MLSAT.

Obviously I did make the assumption that he isn't familiar with formal logic. The reason I made that assumption is that he's also having trouble with LG. It sounds a bit harsh to try to learn formal logic on his own through pts, that's why I gave my recommendation.

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Should I Learn a System?

Postby iamgeorgebush » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:41 pm

I was in pretty much the same boat as you starting out, getting a few wrong on LR but rarely more than -5 combined. Before October, I was ranging -0 to -2 combined. Most of this rise was just due to practice, but I believe working through the Manhattan LR book was an important part of my improvement too.

So, should you learn a "system"? That's up to you, but being a natural at LR myself, I think it helped me.

Even more broadly, I would encourage you not to neglect your strengths too much, not only in LR but also in other sections. Remember, it's a timed test, and being able to blaze through the easier stuff will give you more time for the harder stuff. For instance, perhaps you don't have issues with simple ordering/linear games, but I bet you can do them faster! Finishing easy games in 4-5 minutes leaves a lot more time for harder games. Similarly, finishing the first 6/7 LR questions in 5 minutes will leave more time for the harder questions later on.

Also, I would encourage you to consider taking it in June instead of February. There is no admissions advantage to taking it in Feb over June (assuming you're applying in the 2014-2015 cycle, of course), and 4 months prep time probably won't enable you to score at your full potential.

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february1
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Re: Should I Learn a System?

Postby february1 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:07 am

Thank you everyone for the advice. You are definitely right about the formal logic issue, so I probably will, at least selectively, use the LR materials.

As far as taking it in February vs June, I just think I would do better at 8 am than at noon. Is that weird?

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SecondWind
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Re: Should I Learn a System?

Postby SecondWind » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:14 am

february1 wrote:First-time post:

So I just started my LSAT prep a couple of weeks ago (plan to take it in February for the first time) and I have a good problem to have, but I'm not sure what to do. I'm naturally good at the LR sections, missing between 2-5 combined on practice tests (2). I don't understand the different question types or anything like that, but I wonder if I should read the Powerscore Bible on this subject, or if that might do more harm than good. Basically, should I spend time learning a LR system or focus only on my weaker subjects (Logic Games ftw)?

Thanks!


Create your own. I've picked and chosen the things I like about each "system" and brought them all together to create my system. For example, I don't like most of Kaplan's methods for the logic games (or anything for that matter), but I like how they use capital letters for male entities and lowercase for female entities.

bp shinners
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Re: Should I Learn a System?

Postby bp shinners » Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:28 pm

SecondWind wrote:Create your own. I've picked and chosen the things I like about each "system" and brought them all together to create my system. For example, I don't like most of Kaplan's methods for the logic games (or anything for that matter), but I like how they use capital letters for male entities and lowercase for female entities.


This would be my advice. If you're naturally -5, worst case, on an entire test's-worth of LR questions, don't try to alter what you're doing right by blindly adopting a system. Figure out where your troubles are, and then look at a few systems to see which ones naturally jives best with your natural approach for the questions you're getting right. Then, selectively adopt the stuff that you are struggling with naturally.

I would also use that system (since we've already established it is close to what you're doing naturally) to formalize your natural skills. Right now, you're taking the test in a "language" that makes sense to you, but might include elements that you're not conscious of - your brain just takes care of them in the background. Figuring out exactly how you're approaching them can help you on the questions that are more difficult, as I've found people who are naturally good at the test tend to struggle even more with the hard questions that fall outside of their natural understanding than students who have to work at it. The latter group has spent so much time learning a method that they fall back on that; the former group has nothing to fall back on.




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