Falling into the same traps

LegendaryOne
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Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2014 5:00 pm

Falling into the same traps

Postby LegendaryOne » Sun Dec 28, 2014 5:06 pm

I've been having this problem for the last two months. I've gone through the most of the LR Bible and I know most of the hidden traps (subtle word changes, strong language etc.). For some reason however, I keep falling into the same traps. I understand why I got the answer wrong after the fact, but it seems like I'm just wasting my time with these questions when I keep getting them wrong for dumb reasons. Has anyone seen this before? What should I do? I don't think I'm good enough to take full practice tests yet (my last test was a 151). What should I do?

Thanks.

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NL2424
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Re: Falling into the same traps

Postby NL2424 » Sun Dec 28, 2014 5:15 pm

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Last edited by NL2424 on Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ChoboPie
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Re: Falling into the same traps

Postby ChoboPie » Sun Dec 28, 2014 5:20 pm

How thoroughly are you reviewing your mistakes? Make sure you can

1.Confidently and specifically say exactly what you did wrong (misunderstood q-stem or something in the stimulus, exactly what about it you misunderstood, etc.)

and 2. Articulate exactly what you should have done to get to the correct answer efficiently.

I had problems falling for the same traps too, and I think this was largely due to simply looking at the right answer, coming up with a very general idea of why it was right, and then just leaving it at that. Is this what you're doing? Also, what about the right answers? Are you semi-guessing and getting some answers right (and not reviewing these), and then just reviewing the questions you got lucky on? Make sure you don't do this!

If your fundamentals are still really weak, you might want to finish going through some prepbooks + drilling (lots of people recommend by type, but some people don't and do fine--of course, they still pinpoint their weaknesses). Don't be too down about your score at the moment (sounds like you haven't burned gone through too many PTs yet); just try to increase your skills, familiarity, and review and you might very well make some gains. Hope this helps!

LegendaryOne
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2014 5:00 pm

Re: Falling into the same traps

Postby LegendaryOne » Sun Dec 28, 2014 5:38 pm

I'm having problems on Strengthens and Weakens (I've gotten better at these though), Flaws, MBT and SMBT. I have a general understanding of the stimulus after the first read, but then review it after eliminating some answers. I am usually able to narrow it down to two answer choices, but then I stumble an choose the incorrect answer. I've created an excel sheet which helps me keep track of my mistakes and I do spend time looking at forums for answer explanations.

What exactly should I do to improve my fundamentals? There are questions in the book, but is there anything I can specifically do to improve my ability to dissect the stimulus? I still have PT38-70ish so I'm still good on PTs.

I'm taking the June 2015 LSAT.

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ChoboPie
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Re: Falling into the same traps

Postby ChoboPie » Sun Dec 28, 2014 6:00 pm

LegendaryOne wrote:I'm having problems on Strengthens and Weakens (I've gotten better at these though), Flaws, MBT and SMBT. I have a general understanding of the stimulus after the first read, but then review it after eliminating some answers. I am usually able to narrow it down to two answer choices, but then I stumble an choose the incorrect answer. I've created an excel sheet which helps me keep track of my mistakes and I do spend time looking at forums for answer explanations.

What exactly should I do to improve my fundamentals? There are questions in the book, but is there anything I can specifically do to improve my ability to dissect the stimulus? I still have PT38-70ish so I'm still good on PTs.

I'm taking the June 2015 LSAT.


Hmmm... it sounds like something could be wrong with your approach. For flaw questions, make sure by the end of the stimulus you've recognized a gap in the reasoning (between premise and conclusion), and you can say exactly what that gap is. For MBT, are you wasting any time looking for a gap when you shouldn't be? Some people suggest reading the q-stem before stimulus to get an idea of what you're supposed to look for, but it really depends on the person and what's most comfortable for you. If you're frequently down to two answer choices, make sure always be looking for something that makes one of them wrong--always remember that one of them will always be wrong, and one of them will always be right, and there will be at least one specific reason for this.

For LR fundamentals, make sure you understand the correct process. Like, if you have an argument in the q-stem (i.e.: flaw, strengthen, weaken, etc.), make sure you recognize the conclusion and the support for it, and don't get bogged down in background info. For MBT questions and stimuli without a conclusion, absorb the information but don't get stuck trying to memorize everything!

And you've got over 5 months! That's more than plenty of time to get into good shape.

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NL2424
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Re: Falling into the same traps

Postby NL2424 » Sun Dec 28, 2014 6:40 pm

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Last edited by NL2424 on Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ChoboPie
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Re: Falling into the same traps

Postby ChoboPie » Sun Dec 28, 2014 6:48 pm

zacboro wrote:Strengthen, weaken, and flaw are my weak areas as well. A tip for strengthen though is make sure you identify the conclusion. Everything is about strengthening that conclusion, make sure your answer directly affects it. And as far as having to go back and read it, don't be discouraged about that. I don't know if I'm atypical but I read a stimulus, go through the question and answer choices, and if I can't find the correct answer right away I go back to the stimulus frequently. And I don't run out of time doing this. If you have to reread the stimulus then do it.


+1, especially about going back to stimulus. Don't go balls to the wall, but I think going back to the stimulus is HUGE vs. just trying to compare two tricky answer choices. It's so damn easy to get tempted and then get trapped comparing them for an excessive amount of time.

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NL2424
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Re: Falling into the same traps

Postby NL2424 » Sun Dec 28, 2014 6:50 pm

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