Can't get past 170. LR is killing me.

charliedarwin
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:47 pm

Can't get past 170. LR is killing me.

Postby charliedarwin » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:04 pm

This is my breakdown:

LR: -8 total
LG: -0/-1
RC: - 4

For LR, I usually finish 25 in 30, but when I go back to the questions, I just can't seem to pinpoint which ones I made a mistake in. I find that the ones I get wrong are the ones I miss, and the ones where I am under-confident turn out to be right. How can I fix this? How do I pinpoint confidence errors during the 5 minutes I have left?

Also, what tips do you have for RC? Half my answer choices seem to be wrong because I missed a detail or because I overthought the answer. Please help.

Thank you!

IvoryTowerTP
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Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:01 am

Re: Can't get past 170. LR is killing me.

Postby IvoryTowerTP » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:03 am

Which 8 did you miss?

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AvatarMeelo
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Re: Can't get past 170. LR is killing me.

Postby AvatarMeelo » Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:16 am

Would love the answer to this as well. 7Sage tells me that the ones I miss are almost always the hardest in the entire exam so I'm wondering if I just need more practice with the hard questions or if I have to go back to fundamentals since it doesn't matter what type the question is, it's just the hardest.

IvoryTowerTP
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:01 am

Re: Can't get past 170. LR is killing me.

Postby IvoryTowerTP » Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:00 pm

No, I literally meant, 'which 8 did you miss on this past test'?

charliedarwin
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Re: Can't get past 170. LR is killing me.

Postby charliedarwin » Mon Aug 28, 2017 5:45 pm

IvoryTower,

I meant I miss -8 in general.

But for my last PT (73), I missed:

S2: 12, 13, 20, 22, 25
S4: 22, 23 26

IvoryTowerTP
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:01 am

Re: Can't get past 170. LR is killing me.

Postby IvoryTowerTP » Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:58 pm

Looking at these questions (and the wrong-answers you picked that you PM'd), a couple of things do stand out. While there's not a clear trend in terms of question types, you are mostly getting easy questions right, and the errors you are making on the hard questions seem to fall into two major categories.

The first weak point I see is in applying formal logic rules strictly when those rules appear in text. I suspect that a lot of the time you're picking answers because they have the right concepts in them, but not verifying that they're in the right formal relationship. IE, you know that the right answer has to involve bleeps and blorps, so you pick the answer that mentions them both, without checking whether you want 'all bleeps are blorps' rather than 'all blorps are bleeps'.

On easy questions this doesn't hurt you, as the wrong answers don't have the right concepts. On harder questions, they either hide the concepts--like, say, by using a sneaky synonym for bleeps--or provide multiple answers that contain them. Your current method can't really deal with that.

For example, check question 12 in section 2. You probably bypassed the right answer A, because the question doesn't mention 'consent' at all, only consultation. Your wrong answer mentions consultation, but it's not exactly the same formal relationship/kind of consultation from the stimulus.

Or question 25 in section 2. The right answer uses the word 'suffer', which wasn't in the passage at all to that point. Your answer, D, uses terms directly pulled from the text, but they're actually explicitly denied by the formal relationship from the stimulus (~accurate citation→~include).

The second error involves 'loophole closers' in the setup. A lot of the time harder questions have answers that would be right in easier version of the question, but that the testmaker cleverly shuts down through a couple of words in the harder version. A lot of people learn to speed by these to move more quickly through the section, dismissing a lot of the stimulus as 'fluff' or 'padding'; this increases your score a lot at first, but then without that extra level of attention, you plateau.

For example, on question 13 in section 2, the evidence is written to make percent vs. number concerns irrelevant. The crime rate is pegged per 100,000 people, the prison population is as a percent of the whole, not as an actual amount. I'd imagine you didn't take note of that when reading the stimulus, and just kind of shorthanded it in your head to 'crimes aren't going down and the prison population is bigger'. This would work early, but will be penalized late.

The good news is, I'll bet if you go back through those mistakes from your past few tests and try hard to classify them, you'll start to see some larger patterns. Adjust your behavior to suit and you'll break through your plateau.

charliedarwin
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:47 pm

Re: Can't get past 170. LR is killing me.

Postby charliedarwin » Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:16 pm

How should I address the problems in the two categories you mentioned? Should I just be reading more carefully, or should I have a broader sense of what is relevant to the argument core?

IvoryTowerTP
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:01 am

Re: Can't get past 170. LR is killing me.

Postby IvoryTowerTP » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:00 pm

Think of it more as developing two levels of attention. You read the argument until you've got the argument core settled in your head, then you make sure to compare the specifics mentioned against the argument core. So, if your core is 'Things similar to X should be banned because X causes Y,' go back up and make sure they actually said banned, that the similarity wasn't qualified in some way, etc. You look at the argument from 1000 feet up, then from 1 inch away, back and forth.

charliedarwin
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:47 pm

Re: Can't get past 170. LR is killing me.

Postby charliedarwin » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:08 am

Thanks man!

pricon
Posts: 129
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Re: Can't get past 170. LR is killing me.

Postby pricon » Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:13 pm

charliedarwin wrote:This is my breakdown:

LR: -8 total
LG: -0/-1
RC: - 4

How can I fix this?


Keep practicing.

J0100+2802
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:13 pm

Re: Can't get past 170. LR is killing me.

Postby J0100+2802 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:55 am

Ivory Tower,

I was wondering if you would being willing to help me evaluate any patterns in regards where I'm going wrong with LR performance similar to what you did to charliedarwin's post. You seemed to really be able to breakdown his/her issues well. Recently I had been PTing in the 165-167 range but after taking two of the PT's in the 70's I have been having significant trouble, PT 76 (164) and PT 74 (161). I noticed that on both of these newer tests in the LR section I seemed to get mostly everything right up to questions 15-17 and then its super variable about how many I can get right or wrong after that point.

For example,

On prep test 74, Section 1 I got questions 15, 17, 18, 20, 22 and 25 wrong and on section 4 I got 13, 17, 18, 19, 21 and 23 wrong. I can't discern any noticeable question type pattern thats getting me tripped up. One thing that I have noticed is that the newer tests seem to be more abstract and subtle in the answer choices that end up being correct.

My goal is to hit 170+ and I don't care how long that takes to achieve. I am scheduled to take the September exam and will retake however many times necessary.

PM'd you the answers I chose for those questions as well.

Edit: I get all of the questions correct on Blind review but for some reason under timed pressure I find that I make really foolish mistakes, and kind of get caught up on moving fast.

IvoryTowerTP
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:01 am

Re: Can't get past 170. LR is killing me.

Postby IvoryTowerTP » Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:31 pm

Looking over these questions, I can identify a few problems up front.

First, you're right, matching abstract wording in answer choices is plaguing you. Like the original poster, you're tending toward answers that are clearly stated and that often would be correct in earlier, easier questions, but don't match the particular question you're doing later on. For example, PT74.S44.Q18: you picked the 'reversed causation' answer choice (often a good idea to look out for), but here, if you match it to the original stimulus, your answer would literally say 'it's not age (the cause) that makes the pineal gland stop working (the effect), it's the pineal gland not working that makes you age'. Similarly, in PT74.S4.Q17, there is only one piece of evidence 'put forward' in the original argument (jury nullification helps shield against injustice), and the responder whose argument we're being asked about never attacks that piece of evidence.

If I had to guess, I'd say you're not verifying the answers by matching the original stimulus content back up with the abstract terminology piece by piece. When you're reading answer (C) in 4.17, think: 'attempting to show a premise put forward--what premise? ok, the premise is, 'jury nullification helps shield against injustice'--is false--ok, so if this is the answer the author needs to have attacked the jury nullification premise, did he do that?'. You'd see he didn't and eliminate that answer.

Second, if you look at PT74.S4.Q13 (street sweepers) and PT74.S4.Q23 (Country F), your mistakes there both involve potential/actual slippage. This may be something you notice when it's easy, but in these questions the indicator that tells you whether something is possible or definite is a little more subtle. In 4:23, the question is asking for a scenario in which Country F will be forced to violate its principles, but in your answer choice, the violation's only potential; nothing there says that Country F is going to be taking World Oil up on its offer (that the sale's actually happening). The reverse happens in 4:13. There, the stimulus tells us that requests from qualified neighborhoods will be 'satisfied immediately'; ie, it's not a potential thing like the word 'qualified' would suggest. If you're qualified (and you request), you get your streets cleaned more than once a week. Heck, even the jury nullification question has a little bit of that. It's easy to miss that the problem is how juries work in actual practice, but it's there (when empowered, juries too often...) This isn't just a potential problem, but one that actually occurs.

Finally, you're not making the easy formal logic errors very often, so good job there. Mostly, your errors come when the terminology shifts subtly between two formal statements. PT74.S4.Q19. In your answer, (A) ~survive → ~skilled in the evidence changes to ~survive → ~performed properly in the conclusion. (Skilled surgeons can still under-perform.) In PT74.S1.Q20, there's a jump between several national organizations will hold conventions to several large conventions. (Sure, national organizations are probably going to hold large conventions, but maybe it's the National Association of Penny Shiners). I'd imagine your notes for the question just used 'convention' as the trigger/result there.

That's why I generally say to folks, "write like a caveman, don't talk like one'. When you write 'build → convention' make sure you still say in your head 'if we build the convention center, those national organizations will have some conventions' instead of 'build means conventions'.

Hope that helps!

J0100+2802
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:13 pm

Re: Can't get past 170. LR is killing me.

Postby J0100+2802 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:49 pm

Awesome response, I really appreciate that feedback and the time you took out of your day to give me it. Its interesting because it falls in line with what I noticed I do under timed conditions, especially looking back in retrospect. I've noticed that the points you bring up in terms of going back and searching for the validity of the AC is something that I need to do a lot more of. Often times it comes down to two answer choices and I get a bit confused and then decide to move on to not waste more time. I also think a major issue for me comes down to answer choice selection and elimination strategy as well as reading errors that contribute to the bulk of mistakes that I seem to make. I'm going to take your advice on board and implement it in my practice.

Thanks again!




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