Inexplicable LR drop in Dec

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Blougram

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Inexplicable LR drop in Dec

Postby Blougram » Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:22 am

Long story short: I took the June 2017 LSAT with little preparation. I always did well on RC (it's my second language, but I am an English major and a voracious reader) and LR (I mostly trusted my intuition). I worked primarily on LG with 7Sage. My goal score was 165, and I ended up with a 162 and the following breakdown:

LR combined: -4 (in line with my PTs)
RC: -5 (an anomaly, I blame judicial candor or the lack thereof; I never PTd worse than -3)
LG: -12 (yeah, I know)

While I got accepted to the University of Minnesota through the early decisions program (non-traditional applicant; I am not in a position to move out of state) I retook the test in December for scholarship purposes. I focused only on LG as I believed I had a reasonable (i.e. good enough) grasp of LR and RC. On test day, I felt great. I finished RC 10 minutes early, and LR just in time to double check a few questions. I have always struggled with LG, and didn't have time to work out the fourth game, but felt that I had first three down. I scored a 164 (two points short of my readjusted goal) but what took me by surprise was the breakdown:

RC: -0
LG: -8 (I am happy with this given my LG struggles; I had 15/16 going into the final game, but had to guess on all of the remaining questions. Probability dictates a mere (4/5)^7 = 21% chance of getting all of those wrong. And of course I did!)
LR: -13[sic]

I have never ever bombed LR so bad -- not even in my first PT attempt when I had no idea what LR was (20/25). And I did it twice, without having any idea while taking the actual test. I wasn't struggling, just working merrily along thinking that there were some clever detractors but that, hey, they weren't fooling me.

Now, it seems that LR was marginally more difficult this time round, but the increased difficulty would not explain this discrepancy. Has anyone else experienced something like this?

It feels like I could reach 168+ territory in February with modest LG gains, and, well, getting my LR mojo back. The only explanation I can come up with is that I relied almost exclusively on intuition back in June, but tried a more formal approach this time,

I am thinking of doing mostly PTs with blind review, but perhaps I should actually get hold of one of the LR books. Any suggestions?
Last edited by Blougram on Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Pneumonia

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Re: Inexplicable LR drop in Dec

Postby Pneumonia » Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:31 am

learn to diagram.

mcat4life87

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Re: Inexplicable LR drop in Dec

Postby mcat4life87 » Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:28 am

Blougram wrote:Long story short: I took the June 2017 LSAT with little preparation. I always did well on RC (it's my second language, but I am an English major and a voracious reader) and LR (I mostly trusted my intuition). I worked primarily on LG with 7Sage. My goal score was 165, and I ended up with a 162 and the following breakdown:

LR combined: -4 (in line with my PTs)
RC: -5 (an anomaly, I blame judicial candor or the lack thereof; I never PTd worse than -3)
LG: -12 (yeah, I know)

While I got accepted to the University of Minnesota through the early decisions program (non-traditional applicant; I am not in a position to move out of state) I retook the test in December for scholarship purposes. I focused only on LG as I believed I had a reasonable (i.e. good enough) grasp of LR and RC. On test day, I felt great. I finished RC 10 minutes early, and LR just in time to double check a few questions. I have always struggled with LG, and didn't have time to work out the fourth game, but felt that I had first three down. I scored a 164 (two points short of my readjusted goal) but what took me by surprise was the breakdown:

RC: -0
LG: -8 (I am happy with this given my LG struggles; I had 15/16 going into the final game, but had to guess on all of the remaining questions. Probability dictates a mere (4/5)^7 = 21% chance of getting all of those wrong. And of course I did!)
LR: -13[sic]

I have never ever bombed LR so bad -- not even in my first PT attempt when I had no idea what LR was (20/25). And I did it twice, without having any idea while taking the actual test. I wasn't struggling, just working merrily along thinking that there were some clever detractors but that, hey, they weren't fooling me.

Now, it seems that LR was marginally more difficult this time round, but the increased difficulty would not explain this discrepancy. Has anyone else experienced something like this?

It feels like I could reach 168+ territory in February with modest LG gains, and, well, getting my LR mojo back. The only explanation I can come up with is that I relied almost exclusively on intuition back in June, but tried a more formal approach this time,

I am thinking of doing mostly PTs with blind review, but perhaps I should actually get hold of one of the LR books. Any suggestions?


What do you mean by a more formal approach on LR the second time around - I thought you said you studied only LG? So what did you do different for LR?

Mikey

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Re: Inexplicable LR drop in Dec

Postby Mikey » Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:48 am

You really need to fix that LG, as it seems like it is what is constistently screwing you up. It's not hard to get good at LG, I did it and I'm a dumbass, trust me. 7sage is great for LG, especially their free YouTube videos. If you haven't used them then do so.

With that said, LR on this December test was hard and had weird shit. Lots of people including myself thought so, and I didn't hit my LR average either. I never used any books but I've heard good things about the LSAT trainer and Manhattan for LR.

BagelBiter

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Re: Inexplicable LR drop in Dec

Postby BagelBiter » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:04 pm

.
Last edited by BagelBiter on Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

peege

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Re: Inexplicable LR drop in Dec

Postby peege » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:14 am

I had the same thing happen to me back in September. It was almost like I prepared too much, and LR became harder because I was overthinking. When I retook in December I made sure I was reviewing the LR questions backwards and forwards. The most helpful thing was probably explaining the reasoning out loud to somebody else. I went -13 on LR in September and ended going -6 in December and got to my goal score. Also you should certainly work on LG. Putting in just like 2 hours a day for two weeks will make a huge difference.

Blougram

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Re: Inexplicable LR drop in Dec

Postby Blougram » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:38 am

What do you mean by a more formal approach on LR the second time around - I thought you said you studied only LG? So what did you do different for LR?


I diagrammed; I tried to verbalize: "A is better than B and C because..." instead of relying on my gut feeling. I tried not to anticipate the answer (probably a mistake). In any case, I have taken a quick look at the questions I got wrong, and, yeah, in some cases I made stupid mistakes. But in others, I am still not sure *why* I got it wrong. I think I will spend some time deconstructing (let's call it blind review) the two LR sections.

A reddit user recently published an Excel macro with LR item numbers from recent tests broken down into categories. I think I could use that tool to see what my blind spots are. I know that I am often stumped by the parallel reasoning/flaw type, but I am sure there are 2-3 other types that I often miss. (I know that there is no relationship between LR item type and the content from which the question is drawn, but as an English major/ABD I find it ironic that I often get the rhetoric/literature questions wrong, and ace the science ones.)

Also you should certainly work on LG. Putting in just like 2 hours a day for two weeks will make a huge difference.


Will do! There is still a psychological barrier here. When I was first toying with the idea of law school a few years ago, I downloaded the free LSAT PDF. Everything seemed perfectly doable (I mean, LR was weird, but I still got most of the questions right) until I got to LG, stared at the first game for five minutes, closed the PDF and figured I was not cut out for law school. (I had no idea that you are actually supposed to diagram the game boards; I was just looking at the setup and then at the questions, and back again, without making any headway.)

It's not hard to get good at LG, I did it and I'm a dumbass, trust me. 7sage is great for LG, especially their free YouTube videos. If you haven't used them then do so.


I have always struggled with math/logic standardized tests (while acing the verbal ones), and I figured LG was way beyond my reach. The GRE is a case in point. Verbal: took one practice exam, scored 170. Scored 170 on the real exam. Math: Spent weeks practicing, but scored a measly 157. It is super comforting to know that other dumbasses have mastered the section! :D

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NotLawDog

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Re: Inexplicable LR drop in Dec

Postby NotLawDog » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:56 pm

Blougram wrote:
What do you mean by a more formal approach on LR the second time around - I thought you said you studied only LG? So what did you do different for LR?


I diagrammed; I tried to verbalize: "A is better than B and C because..." instead of relying on my gut feeling. I tried not to anticipate the answer (probably a mistake). In any case, I have taken a quick look at the questions I got wrong, and, yeah, in some cases I made stupid mistakes. But in others, I am still not sure *why* I got it wrong. I think I will spend some time deconstructing (let's call it blind review) the two LR sections.

A reddit user recently published an Excel macro with LR item numbers from recent tests broken down into categories. I think I could use that tool to see what my blind spots are. I know that I am often stumped by the parallel reasoning/flaw type, but I am sure there are 2-3 other types that I often miss. (I know that there is no relationship between LR item type and the content from which the question is drawn, but as an English major/ABD I find it ironic that I often get the rhetoric/literature questions wrong, and ace the science ones.)

Also you should certainly work on LG. Putting in just like 2 hours a day for two weeks will make a huge difference.


Will do! There is still a psychological barrier here. When I was first toying with the idea of law school a few years ago, I downloaded the free LSAT PDF. Everything seemed perfectly doable (I mean, LR was weird, but I still got most of the questions right) until I got to LG, stared at the first game for five minutes, closed the PDF and figured I was not cut out for law school. (I had no idea that you are actually supposed to diagram the game boards; I was just looking at the setup and then at the questions, and back again, without making any headway.)

It's not hard to get good at LG, I did it and I'm a dumbass, trust me. 7sage is great for LG, especially their free YouTube videos. If you haven't used them then do so.


I have always struggled with math/logic standardized tests (while acing the verbal ones), and I figured LG was way beyond my reach. The GRE is a case in point. Verbal: took one practice exam, scored 170. Scored 170 on the real exam. Math: Spent weeks practicing, but scored a measly 157. It is super comforting to know that other dumbasses have mastered the section! :D



Any way you would link me to that reddit thread where the macro is?

Blougram

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Re: Inexplicable LR drop in Dec

Postby Blougram » Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:49 pm

Hm. I scored a combined -3 on the September/82 LR sections. Both sections taken during a bumpy bus ride and off an iPhone screen. Hopefully this means that my December performance was a one off (combined with trickier-than-normal questions). I will definitely analyze my December mistakes, but will focus much more on LG. First out: the fourth section from December, which I didn't have time to do. :)

Any way you would link me to that reddit thread where the macro is?

I haven't looked at it, but the link is posted here:

https://www.reddit.com/r/LSAT/comments/ ... ce_needed/

mdelacruz

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Re: Inexplicable LR drop in Dec

Postby mdelacruz » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:58 pm

Mikey wrote:You really need to fix that LG, as it seems like it is what is constistently screwing you up. It's not hard to get good at LG, I did it and I'm a dumbass, trust me. 7sage is great for LG, especially their free YouTube videos. If you haven't used them then do so.

With that said, LR on this December test was hard and had weird shit. Lots of people including myself thought so, and I didn't hit my LR average either. I never used any books but I've heard good things about the LSAT trainer and Manhattan for LR.


Second this. LG is totally learnable. I'd say just drill a ton of games and see if it starts coming naturally to you. Try to diagnose what the specific problems are on the games. Are you having difficulty setting them up? Running into an issue with time and having to rush? Are the problems specific to a particular type of game or question type?

Totally jealous of your RC score. RC is consistently my worst. Looks like if you can improve on LG you'll be golden for Feb.

Blougram

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Re: Inexplicable LR drop in Dec

Postby Blougram » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:10 am

Second this. LG is totally learnable. I'd say just drill a ton of games and see if it starts coming naturally to you. Try to diagnose what the specific problems are on the games. Are you having difficulty setting them up? Running into an issue with time and having to rush? Are the problems specific to a particular type of game or question type?


I think the setup is fine. I use the 7sage conventions, which I like. I definitely struggle with making initial inferences, and with knowing when a game is restricted enough so that you can come up with all permutations on 3-4 worlds/game boards. I tend to brute force a lot. This takes time, and I normally only have one or two minutes (if that) left for the final section. In December, I had to guess on all the questions on the final game (scoring a grand total of 0 points). I took a look at it last week, and it wasn't difficult at all. Linear sequencing meets Sudoku. But I didn't have time to attempt it during the actual test. If I can get the inferences down (and use the possible-worlds approach for restricted games) I could probably gain 5-7 minutes, and have plenty of time left for the final section.



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