How to avoid STUPID/CARELESS mistakes

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How to avoid STUPID/CARELESS mistakes

Postby MCWoodhill » Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:56 am

this problem has been plaguing me throughout LSAT test and it became really bad few days ago:

1. I am always super nervous during the first and second sections and the anxiety--my hands were really trembling and quite failed to circle the answers--made me even more vulnerable to stupid mistakes;

2. I frequently misread LG conditions and scenarios and this was the biggest problem. Let me recount what happened to me last few days ago:

LG has four sets, ok, then:

I made a rush inference at the second set, this is ok and I figured it out when I had a problem with the third question and I fixed it soon


then i finished the second set and went on to the third

the condition states G cannot go with I, I wrote it down as G cannot go with H

three questions later, I figured it out--usually by failing to work out a right answer to a question

then I just figured out not only did I misread the condition but I too circled all the wrong answers from question 8 straight down to 17

I had to redid the second set surely very fast though--i even didn't circle the right answer on the book as I usually do. So first lesson learned: CIRCLE THE RIGHT ANSWER ON THE BOOK AS WHAT I DO FOR READING AND REASONING PARTS

then I got even more nervous and misread the condition again for the last set:

it states M doesn't go together with S but I read it as J, then .... three questions later, all over again.

To be frank, I finished LG still but without any check, I usually will make 2/3 mistakes, still usually those stupid mistakes basically for the first question of a set like a possible arrangement coz I often neglect one or two conditions.

I have no problem of speeding coz usually I can finish LG by 7-10 minutes--if there is no such games that involves lots of layers of conditions like some oldie goodies back in 1990s or some weird games that basically are impossible to diagram like some in PrepTest77 or 80, the X,Y,W,Z choices or the Building Trade games.

But those stupid mistakes are really hurtful. 2/3 mistakes means quite a different score.


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Re: How to avoid STUPID/CARELESS mistakes

Postby saffles » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:11 am

I used to get that all the time, but now I can get through all of the games without hesitation! For me, it was a matter of knowing what to do as soon as reading each setup. It really will come down to your inference abilities especially for the hardest games. I like to watch 7sage explanations to learn how I can setup the game and infer quicker. I used to go -10 and now I only miss a few or none at all.
If you know how to approach the LG section, you shouldn't be nervous. You should be confident. This comes from practice and building better habits. I really think the LSAT Trainer nailed this for me because it showed me how I should solve different types of questions (Must be false, must be true, could be true/false, etc...). It makes it so that you waste less time when going through the answer choices.
For the "must be..." questions, look only for the one that's guaranteed to be true/false and can't be both. And for "could be..." questions eliminate the ones that are obviously true/false. Also, for the Rules Questions that asks you to select which answer choice could be a possible arrangement of the game pieces, you simply have to check through the rules and eliminate choices. You don't even need to draw any diagram yet to solve that one.

So that helped me personally. This is just what I used to improve in case you want to look into it. Good luck and believe in yourself!

P.S. I've been known to misread a lot when excited. I read the rules twice during setup and then I really focus on what exactly the question stem is asking, even if I have to read it again. It shouldn't take more than a minute to read the stem twice.


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Re: How to avoid STUPID/CARELESS mistakes

Postby Hand » Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:20 am

Just be less stupid


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Re: How to avoid STUPID/CARELESS mistakes

Postby Pyrex » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:53 am

It sounds like you've put a lot of time an effort in to your process. You have solid timing, consistent strategies that work, and you have identified the key issues you need to address. I would encourage you to keep up this solid approach to your preparation. Confidence breeds success, and success breeds confidence, but solid preparation lays the ground work for both. There are some solid tactics for managing nervousness/focus (box breathing, etc), but I think you are fundamentally addressing the core issues by looking at how you can better prepare. Keep at it! With time and practice, you will be able to drastically reduce the impact of any nervousness.

Regarding specific LG questions, I agree with previous poster that it looks like the breakthrough will come from being able to better see inferences. I would suggest you take a step back, and try looking at how some other people approach the problem differently than you do, whether it's a different diagramming technique or whatever. For me, the free explanations at really helped me see a lot of potential inferences that I wasn't immediately intuiting. Overtime, I was able to adapt my technique by simplifying, removing notational elements that just cluttered and took time. It sounds to me like you are at a point where simplifying your process to laser in on inferences and implications of rules is the next challenge.

Curious, what prep method / diagramming techniques do you currently use?


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Re: How to avoid STUPID/CARELESS mistakes

Postby MCWoodhill » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:21 pm


Curious, what prep method / diagramming techniques do you currently use?[/quote]

Basically I just prepared by myself. I first finished the Cambridge bundle 1-60 and then did timing preps with 61-81

My weakest point is really 2: stupid mistakes--it drained up time and lowered the score

And paraphrasing, I can get the right answers but usually it took like 2 minutes. I'll try my best to fix these: basically principle application and parallel reasoning, sometimes must be true type

And basically my diagram decides into 3 types:

Sequence, in-out, distribution. Those three work physiologically for me. I dont like the Cambridge categories which are too specific. For me if a variable can repeat itself into different categories, it's distribution and I use column to attack the question. If a variable cannot, like boat team things, I use in-out diagram to attack the question. It works well for me in so far but I just make a lot of misreading, sometime over-inference

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