Seriously struggling on LR

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Seriously struggling on LR

Postby ALCA1920 » Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:01 pm

Hey everyone,

Congrats to all who took the June lsat, and I'm hoping to be in the same position in November.
I started seriously prepping for the LSAT 1.5 months ago. I got a diagnostic of 155 on the June 2007 exam. I took PT 36 and scored a 165 about 2 weeks ago, but I don't think it should count (I'd already seen 6 or 7 of the LR questions on there from drill problems).

I have access to 7sage's full course, and I have the Powerscore bibles and a copy of the LSAT trainer (got that one from a friend), and all the published PT's. Haven't tried the trainer/bibles yet; I've just been using the 7sage course. I'm improving on LG and RC gradually, but I'm really having a hard time on LR. I know what each question type is asking me to do, but my biggest problem is reading and understanding the stimulus. I find the passages too hard and convoluted to read (I feel lost/intimidated easily), and even when I try focusing in on the conclusion/premises, I still don't fully grasp what they mean, or what the assumptions/flaws are in the argument (I run into trouble on weaken/strengthen, assumptions, and mbt/mss most of the time).

Then I get to the answer choices, I'm not even sure what to look for in wrong/right choices, and I choose an answer on my gut feeling without knowing why the wrong answers are wrong or why the right answers are right. This isn't really a problem for the first 10 questions or so when the arguments/fact sets are easy to handle, but from there on, it's downhill. I get anywhere from 5 to 9 wrong on each LR section (timed).

As much as I appreciate JY's core curriculum, he sometimes crosses off wrong choices without really explaining why. Any help on this?


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Re: Seriously struggling on LR

Postby Morpheus » Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:30 pm

I agree that J.Y. can be terse when he is eliminating wrong answer choices. In instances where I found that he did not provide a thorough enough explanation, I would turn to the Powerscore and Manhattan prep forums. Here you can find pretty in depth explanations and discussions for virtually every LR question. The easiest way to locate these question-specific discussions is to Google the first line or so of the stimulus. That should produce the threads for that particular question. These should be a great supplement to your other study materials.

f you haven't tried the Trainer yet, I would say crack that open as well. It is among the best general overviews of the test out there and should help lay a good foundation for LR.

Rest assured it is not you, though. The language of the LSAT is deliberately obtuse, difficult and unnatural. Studying for the LSAT, and LR in particular, is not unlike learning a new language altogether. But just like with a new language, fluency comes with continued exposure. In time you will come to recognize patterns, gaps in logic, etc. and the process will become almost mechanical.

1.5 months is not that far into studying - most reputable programs would suggest at least double that at a minimum - so don't fret if it's not clicking just yet. A 155 is a good diagnostic, so know that you have the requisite aptitude for success on the LSAT. Just keep experimenting with different study materials, do thorough deconstructions of troublesome questions, and practice reading stimuli untimed for comprehension.

Good luck with your studies and keep up the hard work - you are going to be just fine.

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Re: Seriously struggling on LR

Postby perfunctory » Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:39 pm

I think what the LSAT is testing you on -- and what it is designed to help you develop -- is your ability to be absolutely precise. Going based on your "gut" feeling is absolutely what the "gatekeepers" of the legal field do not want you to do. They want you to be cold and precise with only what is given to you. What helps is knowing some of the common traps that they use, i.e., making the correct answer choices seem unappealing with difficult language, making the wrong answer choices seem more appealing, being too extreme or overbroad with the wrong answer choices, putting in latin in an answer choice, etc. What also helps is to formulate a guess before looking at the answer choices -- this prevents you from being swayed by the wrong answer choices.

Blueprint LSAT

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Re: Seriously struggling on LR

Postby Blueprint LSAT » Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:10 pm

I know the language can be intimidating and you don't know what you are looking for in the right/wrong answer choices yet, but I stress the YET. Both problems have the same solution in the end. Once you get familiar with the template structures they tend to use to construct arguments you will get a lot better knowing which language is just there to be confusing and which stuff you need to parse very carefully.

Try not to be intimidated or to beat yourself up too much. This test is designed to be an aptitude test for law school but it is learnable. Learning it just involves learning to think like a lawyer a bit early. Your approach to information got you or is getting you your undergrad degree. It is the one most people in life use. You read, you synthesize and you extrapolate. All very useful skills no one should be ashamed of. The problem is that in everyday life most people are engaging in good faith and have the shared goal of effective communication, or at least there is no facing off against opposing counsel.

You are going to need to be deliberate in breaking down some of that language, but start looking for patterns in structure as well. They use the same argument styles and logical fallacies over and over again and you will start to notice them if you look. Also, start asking yourself what they are getting at and what facts they are leaving out that might help or hurt their argument. It may be slower at first, but you will make up the time not having to beat your head against the answer choices so much. Plus, you will get faster as you get better.

Good luck!

Res publica

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Re: Seriously struggling on LR

Postby Res publica » Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:22 pm

How long are you spending reviewing an LR section? I was very dumb for a long time because I didn't utilize the blind review method. Take a test timed. Don't look at any of the answers. Go back and circle all questions you had difficulty with. ( I end up usually just going through the whole section again .) Expect to spend 1 hour reviewing and dissecting questions, then deciding to choose a new answer. Review correct answers. Then go to 7sage and watch the videos for LR. If you still don't fully understand an LR question after the video, I would add it to a list of questions you're still having trouble with and come to it a day or so later. Use other forums and resources as you see fit (Powerscore, Manhatten prep, and LSAT Hacks are my go to's).

I did this for about 40 LR sections and I went from missing about -10/12 to -0,-1, or -2 on a bad day.

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Re: Seriously struggling on LR

Postby CardozoLaw09 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:18 pm

I second the blind-review method. When going through the questions I would also indicate how confident you are about your answer.

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