LR- feeling worse

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ExpertonBIRDLAW
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LR- feeling worse

Postby ExpertonBIRDLAW » Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:12 pm

I just started a prep course and have been studying at home. I know that LR is my worst section right now and I feel like I'm overthinking the question and I'm have a hard time understanding the diagramming technique that my instructor showed us. I feel like I've gotten worse at this section since I tried to learn the technique. How do I get better at them and get a better grasp on understanding it?

Thanks!

AJordan
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Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:48 am

Re: LR- feeling worse

Postby AJordan » Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:21 pm

If you're diagramming more than 3 or 4 questions (max) per section you're not doing yourself any favors. The standard strategy I recommend for an LR question is:

Read the stimulus,
Understand what it's saying,
ask: "Is this an argument" If yes, form a quick opinion on its relative merits as an argument (most of them suck pretty horribly)
Read question stem - if appropriate, make an educated guess at the answer
Start crossing off the worst options until you have either found the correct answer jumped and hit you in the face or you've eliminated the worst four

Diagramming conditional logic, something I'm only guessing your instructor is teaching you, is a teaching tool. Much like blind review, it's an effective way to get the formatting of many test questions into your brain and to get you thinking a certain way. It is neither necessary nor sufficient for success at LR. Also like blind review, you're not going to be doing much of, if any of, it on test day, so use it for what it is, one kind of teaching tool to help you learn.

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ExpertonBIRDLAW
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Re: LR- feeling worse

Postby ExpertonBIRDLAW » Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:27 pm

AJordan wrote:If you're diagramming more than 3 or 4 questions (max) per section you're not doing yourself any favors. The standard strategy I recommend for an LR question is:

Read the stimulus,
Understand what it's saying,
ask: "Is this an argument" If yes, form a quick opinion on its relative merits as an argument (most of them suck pretty horribly)
Read question stem - if appropriate, make an educated guess at the answer
Start crossing off the worst options until you have either found the correct answer jumped and hit you in the face or you've eliminated the worst four

Diagramming conditional logic, something I'm only guessing your instructor is teaching you, is a teaching tool. Much like blind review, it's an effective way to get the formatting of many test questions into your brain and to get you thinking a certain way. It is neither necessary nor sufficient for success at LR. Also like blind review, you're not going to be doing much of, if any of, it on test day, so use it for what it is, one kind of teaching tool to help you learn.


I'm not diagramming them while doing a PT (takes way too much time), but trying to get the method down. Like you said, I think he's doing it as a teaching tool but it's just confused me even worse than when I started. I start to worry that I'm getting the wrong answer and psych myself out. I did just do a practice set of 10 Q's and got 80% so I do feel a bit better lol. Thanks for your tips!

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Platopus
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Re: LR- feeling worse

Postby Platopus » Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:42 pm

I'm going to disagree with Ajordan and recommend reading the question STEM first; I personally found it easier to focus on the relevant parts of the stimulus with an idea of what the question is asking. I agree with the rest though. You really should only be diagramming a handful of questions per section. Learning to diagram correctly takes time and is best learned through repetition when drilling. I would also get in the habit of bracketing the conclusion for any stimulus with an argument. These are tools, but the quicker you can get comfortable recognizing and diagramming arguments, the better you will do at this test. Best to save the practice for drilling though, do what works best for you now on PT's.

edit for clarity: It is perfectly normal to feel frustrated at getting "worse" at formal diagramming, since to most formal logic is a foreign language. Luckily, the LSAT only tests you on a couple of these types of questions per test. Basic conditional logic is NECESSARY for LG, but much less so for LR. It's hard now, but it will start to get easier and you will see improvement if you can master it.

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MediocreAtBest
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Re: LR- feeling worse

Postby MediocreAtBest » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:57 am

I wouldn't worry too much about diagramming. I diagram maybe one question every 3 tests lol. If that.

But if you're struggling, go back to basics. Make sure you identify the conclusion and the premises. I started reading the stem first, I think that can be helpful and put your brain in the right mode. Try just doing a section without diagramming.

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Future Ex-Engineer
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Re: LR- feeling worse

Postby Future Ex-Engineer » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:59 am

Platopus wrote:I'm going to disagree with Ajordan and recommend reading the question STEM first; I personally found it easier to focus on the relevant parts of the stimulus with an idea of what the question is asking. I agree with the rest though. You really should only be diagramming a handful of questions per section. Learning to diagram correctly takes time and is best learned through repetition when drilling. I would also get in the habit of bracketing the conclusion for any stimulus with an argument. These are tools, but the quicker you can get comfortable recognizing and diagramming arguments, the better you will do at this test. Best to save the practice for drilling though, do what works best for you now on PT's.

edit for clarity: It is perfectly normal to feel frustrated at getting "worse" at formal diagramming, since to most formal logic is a foreign language. Luckily, the LSAT only tests you on a couple of these types of questions per test. Basic conditional logic is NECESSARY for LG, but much less so for LR. It's hard now, but it will start to get easier and you will see improvement if you can master it.

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Slippin' Jimmy
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Re: LR- feeling worse

Postby Slippin' Jimmy » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:57 pm

Platopus wrote:I'm going to disagree with Ajordan and recommend reading the question STEM first; I personally found it easier to focus on the relevant parts of the stimulus with an idea of what the question is asking. I agree with the rest though. You really should only be diagramming a handful of questions per section. Learning to diagram correctly takes time and is best learned through repetition when drilling. I would also get in the habit of bracketing the conclusion for any stimulus with an argument. These are tools, but the quicker you can get comfortable recognizing and diagramming arguments, the better you will do at this test. Best to save the practice for drilling though, do what works best for you now on PT's.

edit for clarity: It is perfectly normal to feel frustrated at getting "worse" at formal diagramming, since to most formal logic is a foreign language. Luckily, the LSAT only tests you on a couple of these types of questions per test. Basic conditional logic is NECESSARY for LG, but much less so for LR. It's hard now, but it will start to get easier and you will see improvement if you can master it.

+180, Stem before Stim!




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