Please advise how to improve

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wysls

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Please advise how to improve

Postby wysls » Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:56 am

I have been studying LSAT for nearly 1 month and is going to take the June's exam. So far I have used Powerscore (6 books), Manhattan (3 books) and is currently reading LSAT Trainer. And I have taken 5 PTs as practice.

1st cold (not timed): LR(2 sessions) -4, LG -1, RC:-3
2nd (timed): LR -9, LG -0, RC -7
3rd (timed): LR -5, LG -2, RC -10
4th (timed): LR -9, LG -3, RC -7
5th (timed): LR -8, LG -2, RC -7

The thing is if I can get extra 5 minutes for each LR and RC session, I can easily get at least half the mistakes gone.

Please kindly advise what I can do to get a better score. Any advice appreciated!

AJordan

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Re: Please advise how to improve

Postby AJordan » Sat Apr 01, 2017 4:27 am

Take 6 more LR sections, do them under zero time pressure and only move on when you're reasonably confident on your answer. Have an alarm set for 35 minutes so you can mark where you would have finished under time constraints. At that point score your answers and see if you're really in a good spot, (9 of first 10/ 13 of first 15/ 17 of first 20 would be good markers) or if you're kidding yourself thinking time is the problem when it's actually accuracy. If you're not getting 9 of the first 10 correct that's your starting point. The first 10 are generally easier and will help you learn how certain question types work in low difficulty situations and also help you identify trends in questions types with which you struggle. Once you've tackled those problems you can go back to 35 minutes sections and see how you improve. I would advise you to stop wasting full tests until you get this issue worked out. With you LG scores you should be looking at 170+ but that ain't happening unless you can get to the -3/4 range in LR. This is one way to get there.
Last edited by AJordan on Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

wysls

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Re: Please advise how to improve

Postby wysls » Sat Apr 01, 2017 5:17 am

Thank you very much for your reply. I will definitely try it. Any suggestion for RC? I can usually do 2 passages correctly or -1, but only 5 minutes left for the last passage, and miss most of the questions there. Thanks.

AJordan

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Re: Please advise how to improve

Postby AJordan » Sat Apr 01, 2017 5:29 am

wysls wrote:Thank you very much for your reply. I will definitely try it. Any suggestion for RC? I can usually do 2 passages correctly or -1, but only 5 minutes left for the last passage, and miss most of the questions there. Thanks.


What's your methodology? Are you reading the passage twice? That would be the first thing I attempt to jettison if I were you. Read carefully once (3-4 minutes goal) and feel free to go back into the passage to answer questions. Are you operating with the knowledge that most RC questions are essentially "must be true" questions and that they're not asking you to read much between the lines? That knowledge helped me.

Edit: also, since it's not like you're crushing RC as it is I would shelve it for a bit until you have LR in a better spot. You'll learn things studying LR that will help you with RC and there are 50ish LR questions vs 26ish RC ones.
Last edited by AJordan on Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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HarveySpecterr

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Re: Please advise how to improve

Postby HarveySpecterr » Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:10 am

AJordan is giving you some great advice. I second all of it, especially the part about removing the timer on LR until you're more comfortable knowing *why you choose each answer choice, and confident in those answers. Once you become more fluid, you can speed it up later.

Another very small trick that helped me gain a few points on RC: before reading the passage, you can scan the questions for those ones that indicate line numbers -- e.g. when the author uses the phrase "plausible deniability" the second paragraph (line 27), which of the following best describes the meaning -- and then put a little mark beside those parts in the passage. That way, when you read it (hopefully for the only time), you can be extra alert to those words when you come to them.

wysls

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Re: Please advise how to improve

Postby wysls » Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:27 pm

Thank you very much.

McMooch

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Re: Please advise how to improve

Postby McMooch » Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:59 pm

First of all, don't stress! You still have 2/3 of the study time ahead of you. When studying with PT's, it's easy to get frustrated because you project that your current scores are going to carry through. But with some focuses work, they won't.

I think you should focus for a week at a time on different topics, starting with LR. LR is the bread and butter of the LSAT, and it's also going to train you in quick and effective thinking for the other sections. Think about it, each LR is a distinct topic with a distinct problem, while RC and LG are four larger sets of questions. So for one week, focus on LR and really nail down the different question types, where the premise(s) and conclusion(s) of arguments are, and so on. Solidify your progress with LR sections, and I'm sure you'll see improvement.

Next move to LG to take a break from the wordsssss. It doesn't seem like you need too much work on this though.

Finally, move to RC. Understand that when reading the passages, you're reading them in a different way than the LR arguments. That's why it's important to study each individually, and then to make sure you can answer both types of questions and flip-flop as you'll be doing on test day.

Enjoy the progress you've made, and focus to continue it. Hoping for the best!

wysls

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Re: Please advise how to improve

Postby wysls » Sat May 20, 2017 10:58 pm

Sorry to bother again. I have done another 20 PTs, the mistakes in LG and LR are well controlled (LG -0 to -1, LR(combined) -3 to -5). But all of a sudden, in the past 3 PTs, my RC became disastrous (-6, -9, -9). It was not because of the time issue, but the understanding of one particular passage in each section. I felt like I could understand those passages easily, but the questions were very confusing. Since the June's exam is approaching, I am really worried.

Any help would be really appreciated!

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it's allgood

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Re: Please advise how to improve

Postby it's allgood » Mon May 22, 2017 10:09 am

wysls wrote:Sorry to bother again. I have done another 20 PTs, the mistakes in LG and LR are well controlled (LG -0 to -1, LR(combined) -3 to -5). But all of a sudden, in the past 3 PTs, my RC became disastrous (-6, -9, -9). It was not because of the time issue, but the understanding of one particular passage in each section. I felt like I could understand those passages easily, but the questions were very confusing. Since the June's exam is approaching, I am really worried.

Any help would be really appreciated!


For reading comprehension, what has helped me is to not get time trapped by questions. This means that if I don't know the answer or where in the passage to find the answer or am confused by answer choices, I quickly cross off any answer choices I know are wrong and then move on to another questions. I go back to those questions at the very end and usually wind up getting them right. But before I started doing this, I was wasting lots of time answering these types of questions and then not having time to answer any questions in the last section.

AJordan

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Re: Please advise how to improve

Postby AJordan » Mon May 22, 2017 11:35 am

Congratulations! You're now a 170+ scorer. This is the reality for most 170+ scorers. Either one game, one RC passage, or a run of five or so LR questions makes us all question ourselves. Unfortunately, at the top of the LSAT range there is, by design, a certain amount of randomness in order to split the top of the curve. The only solution is to try and patch weaknesses. For some in RC this means consistently doing harder RC passages over and over. For others, they like to read things at a high reading level they are not interested in for practice (The Economist is a popular resource for this.) Personally, I just did every RC passage and then did them all a second time. If you need a confidence boost maybe try the tests in the 30s and 40s. If you're looking for a challenge try the purple book, 62-71 I think. Do all of those. Don't be afraid to do them twice.

I'm also making an assumption here but part of me thinks you're ESL which, if so, congratulations on being so damn good at English. Still, there is a maximum for all of us. I ended in the same boat you're in now and came out of test day with a 174. I took FEB so I don't know what I missed but dollars to donuts I missed two or three on one RC passage. That's just the way it is. We all have limits, even most top scorers.
Last edited by AJordan on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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tuna_wasabi

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Re: Please advise how to improve

Postby tuna_wasabi » Mon May 22, 2017 2:04 pm

wysls wrote:Sorry to bother again. I have done another 20 PTs, the mistakes in LG and LR are well controlled (LG -0 to -1, LR(combined) -3 to -5). But all of a sudden, in the past 3 PTs, my RC became disastrous (-6, -9, -9). It was not because of the time issue, but the understanding of one particular passage in each section. I felt like I could understand those passages easily, but the questions were very confusing. Since the June's exam is approaching, I am really worried.

Any help would be really appreciated!


I get what you are saying, especially with the most recent PT's. The way they word the answer choices makes it much easier for us to draw the wrong inferences. It really comes down to having a very clear mental map of the passage, ruthlessly winnowing the AC's, and double-confirming the answer you pick. I'm still struggling with this too.

AJordan wrote:Congratulations! You're now a 170+ scorer. This is the reality for most 170+ scorers. Either one game, one RC passage, or a run of five or so LR questions makes us all question ourselves. Unfortunately, at the top of the LSAT range there is, by design, a certain amount of randomness in order to split the top of the curve. The only solution is to try and patch weaknesses. For some in RC this means consistently doing harder RC passages over and over. For others, they like to read things at a high reading level they are not interested in for practice (The Economist is a popular resource for this.) Personally, I just did every RC passage and then did them all a second time. If you need a confidence boost maybe try the tests in the 30s and 40s. If you're looking for a challenge try the purple book, 62-71 I think. Do all of those. Don't be afraid to do them twice.

I'm also making an assumption here but part of me thinks you're ESL which, if so, congratulations on being so damn good at English. Still, there is a maximum for all of us. I ended in the same boat you're in now and came out of test day with a 174. I took FEB so I don't know what I missed but dollars to donuts I missed two or three on one RC passage. That's just the way it is. We all have limits, even most top scorers.


Wysls, if you are also an ESL, PM me and let's go over the RC part together. I agree with AJordan that we all have our own limits, but I'm really sure that with the right mindset and prep, we can do well enough in RC.

wysls

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Re: Please advise how to improve

Postby wysls » Mon May 22, 2017 10:11 pm

Thank you very much for your valuable input. I will definitely follow your advice.

Yes, I am a non native speaker, that is part of the reason why I am a bit lack of confidence with my RC. I am always trying hard to balance between the speed and understanding, while still afraid of missing something intuitive to native speakers. But preparing for exam itself is a learning process, and I am glad that I have been learning a lot during this process.

Thanks again for your help.



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