Logical reasoning sections different difficulties?

walterjr
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Logical reasoning sections different difficulties?

Postby walterjr » Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:40 pm

Are the 2 different LR sections that are on an LSAT generally the same difficulty or is one section usually the "easy" one and the other is the "hard" one or something like that?

lsatgains
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Re: Logical reasoning sections different difficulties?

Postby lsatgains » Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:49 pm

The LR sections are imbalanced on some tests. Preptest 53 is one that comes to mind. I thought the first logical reasoning section was pretty tough, but then found the other one significantly easier.

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wealtheow
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Re: Logical reasoning sections different difficulties?

Postby wealtheow » Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:55 pm

sometimes it seems one section is easy relative to the other. 65, 66, and 70 come to mind, i'm sure there are others.

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fnma2jd
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Re: Logical reasoning sections different difficulties?

Postby fnma2jd » Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:39 pm

wealtheow wrote:sometimes it seems one section is easy relative to the other. 65, 66, and 70 come to mind, i'm sure there are others.


Definitely noticed this on 70. The first LR went great and the second was tough. While PTing, I just assumed I was fatigued until I was scoring it and noticed that 7sage rated it a 5/5 for difficulty.

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Jeffort
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Re: Logical reasoning sections different difficulties?

Postby Jeffort » Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:24 pm

LR sections can be balanced fairly evenly with each other or unbalanced with one that is noticeably easier or harder than the other, just like LG and RC sections can vary in difficulty from test to test. A single test-form can have LR sections that are overall more difficult than usual, which is typically counterbalanced by easier LG and/or RC sections and/or a more generous conversion scale.

Everyone that is complaining about PT70 LR being different from other recent tests is just noticing that those LR sections are a little harder than others due to a few more than usual extra-tricky questions with great trap answers. There are a few tricky cause and effect LR questions that keep nailing people on PT70 as well as a few other LR Qs with sneaky little things meant to catch careless test takers that go with an answer without having a good reason to eliminate the other main contender. Which section type is going to be balanced to be more difficult than usual, if any, varies by test form so there is no way to predict what you'll get on test day. The upcoming test could end up having a harder than usual LG section and normal LR or vice versa, we won't know the configuration until later.

Based on the overall trend in the LR sections from the last 10 tests, be very careful with cause and effect reasoning based questions, especially with strengthen and weaken types. LSAC has made a noticeable shift with answer choices for those in ways that are tricking many test takers. Many of the most missed and discussed LR questions from the PTs60-70 are CE ones with trap answers designed to sound like it is describing an alternate cause in a way that normally would str/wkn, but actually doesn't with the particular way the argument at hand is actually flawed in regards to the CE relationship. The one on PT70 about watching TV and exaggerating the risk of being a victim of a natural disaster is a fine example of one with a trap answer people pick because they think it indicates an alt cause that weakens. There are examples of this trend with CE based questions on almost every test going back to PT60 and a few before that, but they seem to now be in steady supply on every test. I'll bet that's a big part of what everyone is currently talking about when they mention LR being different/new.
In short, be very careful with CE based LR argument questions, they have great easy to fall for traps!

bp shinners
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Re: Logical reasoning sections different difficulties?

Postby bp shinners » Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:29 pm

Jeffort wrote:Everyone that is complaining about PT70 LR being different from other recent tests is just noticing that those LR sections are a little harder than others due to a few more than usual extra-tricky questions with great trap answers.


Yep. People complain about RC when the passage is dense, and LG when the game doesn't have easy deductions/conditional questions. People complain about LR when it's tricky; not when it's hard.

Based on the overall trend in the LR sections from the last 10 tests, be very careful with cause and effect reasoning based questions, especially with strengthen and weaken types. LSAC has made a noticeable shift with answer choices for those in ways that are tricking many test takers. Many of the most missed and discussed LR questions from the PTs60-70 are CE ones with trap answers designed to sound like it is describing an alternate cause in a way that normally would str/wkn, but actually doesn't with the particular way the argument at hand is actually flawed in regards to the CE relationship. The one on PT70 about watching TV and exaggerating the risk of being a victim of a natural disaster is a fine example of one with a trap answer people pick because they think it indicates an alt cause that weakens. There are examples of this trend with CE based questions on almost every test going back to PT60 and a few before that, but they seem to now be in steady supply on every test. I'll bet that's a big part of what everyone is currently talking about when they mention LR being different/new.
In short, be very careful with CE based LR argument questions, they have great easy to fall for traps!


Definitely agree here. The LSAC is getting really good at using the "tricks" to approach these questions to create trap answers.

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raindrop
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Re: Logical reasoning sections different difficulties?

Postby raindrop » Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:15 pm

I think in general the two LR sections on any given test are of equal difficulty. However I had the same impression as OP for awhile, but from my experience any perceived difference in difficulty had more to do with one section having the normal trajectory of easier to difficult, and the other seemingly more difficult section having more difficult questions on the front end (eg. a noticeable spike in questions 7,8,9, and 10). The latter section came off as more difficult when in reality they were roughly the same.

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Jeffort
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Re: Logical reasoning sections different difficulties?

Postby Jeffort » Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:00 pm

bp shinners wrote:
Yep. People complain about RC when the passage is dense, and LG when the game doesn't have easy deductions/conditional questions. People complain about LR when it's tricky; not when it's hard.

..............

Definitely agree here. The LSAC is getting really good at using the "tricks" to approach these questions to create trap answers.



Yeah, as I'm sure you also saw, after PT67 with the infamous zones game but before PT68 was administered a bunch of people were freaking out after taking PT67 for practice claiming it marked a 'new era' of harder than usual LG sections that were going to steadily flow out on every subsequent test. Same thing with the silly rumor about recent games sections having less deductions and needing a lot of brute force work to solve.

It always makes me laugh when people prepping for the LSAT commit the overgeneralizing from a single example flawed method of reasoning to claim the test has changed and a new trend has begun just because of one section with a slight twist that made a few questions a little more tricky than usual that worked to mess a bunch of people up. A few slightly tricky in unexpected ways questions per test is actually the norm for every LSAT, not something unusual.

It would actually be unusual to have a new LSAT that didn't have something a little tricky in a slightly different than usual way in one of the sections to really test the skills of high scoring level test takers to make sure everyone that scores 170+ really has the ability level and doesn't get there from having simply memorized some 'tricks' for answering hard questions when you really don't understand the logic involved.

LSAC for sure has made a deliberate effort over the last several years to make the semi-brainless CE LR question 'trick' of just picking any answer that sounds like an alternative cause lead people to trap answers that don't really understand the specific flaw/main assumption in the argument at hand. It's not that those questions have actually gotten harder per se, it's just a change to make sure people that get them correct actually do understand the flaw at hand instead of getting it right because they remembered a fallback trick designed to get a point without really understanding why the answer is correct. I think this emerging trend makes test scores even more reliable as true indicators of skill level, which unfortunately makes it harder for people to achieve scores on test day that are a few points higher than their actual ability level from having memorized some educated guessing strategy tricks that worked on past test forms.

If people want to really talk about the emerging new trends in LR, it's things like this designed to really test peoples understanding of the flawed reasoning presented instead of whether they memorized educated guessing answer choice selection 'tricks'. The important stuff to focus on in prep and review with these 'unusual' questions is the actual underlying flaws and logic involved in the questions and answer choices to make sure you really understand what is going on instead of just blindly remembering 'Oh, there is CE in the arg, must find and pick an answer with an alt cause' without knowing why that does work with certain CE reasoning structures and not with others. Whenever non logic/don't need to really understand why it works 'tricks' that sometimes work to get points begin to fail, people typically conclude the test got harder instead of realizing they've been getting some hard questions right on older tests without fully understanding the logic involved with the answer choices relationship to the reasoning.




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