Law School Discussion

LSAT Preparation => Studying for the LSAT => Topic started by: Jessicastorm on September 21, 2010, 07:09:20 AM

Title: LR: speed or skill?
Post by: Jessicastorm on September 21, 2010, 07:09:20 AM
Since late July I've been really focusing on the LSAT (again, in my case) and have seen my score go up, albeit not by much. I started with a 138 diagnostic, and I've gotten up to 146 in my last PT. I know that's not much, but the fact that my score is going up instead of decreasing or staying the same is a big deal for me. I took the LSAT once before without properly studying and got a 141. I'm aiming for at least a 160 this time around...Is that too much?

Some things do get easier, and every time I've taken a PT I notice some of the stuff is more familiar- mostly in logic games, though. In LR, I still have a hard time finishing the section. And what's frustrating is that the time limits are forcing me to guess on about 6-8 questions, but then there's also a small chunk of the section where my answers are all over the place. In my last two PT's I notice that I get on average about 8 wrong in the section What do I have to do to get over this? Right now I'm just trying to finish the stupid section, so I don't have to go through the same thing in December, but it's killing me...

How long does it take (or should it take?) someone to strongly finish the LR section? I mean, finish the section, be pretty confident in the answer choices and then still have enough time left to go back and revise, or answer the few left blank...

Thank you in advance for the help!
Title: Re: LR: speed or skill?
Post by: marcus-aurelius on September 21, 2010, 07:50:32 AM
Try this next time around. do the first 3 pages of questions, and then go to the last question and work backwards.  In general, the harder questions will be found after question 12.  You will also find an easy question or two towards the end as (in my opinion) LSAC does not expect everyone to get to.  Better to guess on difficult questions than easy.  Get points where you can
Title: Re: LR: speed or skill?
Post by: Jessicastorm on September 21, 2010, 08:16:50 AM
Thank you. I'm going to try that, especially because I didn't know the questions got harder toward the end of the section. But it makes sense now...

...I've noticed that the 5-minute warning comes when I'm on #17-18, usually. There's about 25 questions in a section, so that leaves me in the crapper for the rest. What I do is mark the last question so I know where it is (the scoring sheet goes past 25), and then watch the clock hardcore as I try to get the section done. That probably means that I'm only getting to #20-21 at the most. When there's about a minute left, I bubble in whatever..Usually the last three or four I don't even look at. But even when I do that, I've already done horribly in that second half of the section. In my last two PT's in at least one LR section, I get the first 12 or 13 correct. It's like I'm on a streak that completely dies out by question 15. From 15 on I'm lucky to get more than 5 answers right.
Title: Re: LR: speed or skill?
Post by: Morten Lund on September 21, 2010, 10:37:14 AM
Try this next time around. do the first 3 pages of questions, and then go to the last question and work backwards.  In general, the harder questions will be found after question 12.  You will also find an easy question or two towards the end as (in my opinion) LSAC does not expect everyone to get to. 

That's interesting.  Is that your observation, or an official secret?
Title: Re: LR: speed or skill?
Post by: marcus-aurelius on September 21, 2010, 03:49:41 PM
It's based on a study Kaplan performed and is in there lesson book, plus my own observation of where I typically marked a question wrong.  Of all the practice tests I took (after the first) I never missed an answer on questions 1-12.  I typically missed one answer, sometime 2 and they tended to be in the 14-21 range.

Title: Re: LR: speed or skill?
Post by: marcus-aurelius on September 21, 2010, 03:51:52 PM
Definitely try to do the 1-12 and then head to the last question and work backwards.  You will find one or two easy questions buried in questions 21 or later most of the time. 

Thank you. I'm going to try that, especially because I didn't know the questions got harder toward the end of the section. But it makes sense now...

...I've noticed that the 5-minute warning comes when I'm on #17-18, usually. There's about 25 questions in a section, so that leaves me in the crapper for the rest. What I do is mark the last question so I know where it is (the scoring sheet goes past 25), and then watch the clock hardcore as I try to get the section done. That probably means that I'm only getting to #20-21 at the most. When there's about a minute left, I bubble in whatever..Usually the last three or four I don't even look at. But even when I do that, I've already done horribly in that second half of the section. In my last two PT's in at least one LR section, I get the first 12 or 13 correct. It's like I'm on a streak that completely dies out by question 15. From 15 on I'm lucky to get more than 5 answers right.
Title: Re: LR: speed or skill?
Post by: Jeffort on September 21, 2010, 07:14:15 PM
OP:  Given that your highest score so far is 146 after some practice/study time I don't think your major problem or best solution is to do the questions in a different order.  You are missing far too many for your current score range to be based on the order you do them. 

You need to do something to significantly improve your understanding of what is going on with LR questions, what concepts are involved and being tested, and to change/improve your approach and skills at solving each of the questions/question types, etc.

Timing is NOT your main problem, your underlying skills are.  Speed comes with/improves with better understanding of and skills with the materials.  When you know what is going on with, how to properly approach the various question types, and know/understand what techniques and methods of analysis to apply to each you will be able to solve each of them in less time with better accuracy.

Other than churning through a bunch of practice tests/sections as fast as you can timed, what else have you been doing to improve your LR problem solving skills?
Title: Re: LR: speed or skill?
Post by: Julie Fern on September 21, 2010, 10:19:13 PM
Try this next time around. do the first 3 pages of questions, and then go to the last question and work backwards.  In general, the harder questions will be found after question 12.  You will also find an easy question or two towards the end as (in my opinion) LSAC does not expect everyone to get to. 

That's interesting.  Is that your observation, or an official secret?

it hallucination.
Title: Re: LR: speed or skill?
Post by: MeganEW on September 22, 2010, 06:24:28 PM
OP:  Given that your highest score so far is 146 after some practice/study time I don't think your major problem or best solution is to do the questions in a different order.  You are missing far too many for your current score range to be based on the order you do them. 

You need to do something to significantly improve your understanding of what is going on with LR questions, what concepts are involved and being tested, and to change/improve your approach and skills at solving each of the questions/question types, etc.


Timing is NOT your main problem, your underlying skills are.  Speed comes with/improves with better understanding of and skills with the materials.  When you know what is going on with, how to properly approach the various question types, and know/understand what techniques and methods of analysis to apply to each you will be able to solve each of them in less time with better accuracy.

Other than churning through a bunch of practice tests/sections as fast as you can timed, what else have you been doing to improve your LR problem solving skills?
This is good advice.

Additionally, it's really important to get used to reading well.  If you don't already, read in your free time.

Finally, I'm not familiar with the ease of questions theory, but I did find it beneficial to choose which section to save for last.  I chose that section based on topic.  I find passages on the arts, literature, history, economics and law/policy fascinating.  My eyes glaze over, though, when I come across a science passage.  Typically it's easier to read and answer questions about topics you enjoy, so if you have to save one for last or skip one, make it the one with the topic that doesn't interest you.
Title: Re: LR: speed or skill?
Post by: marcus-aurelius on September 23, 2010, 04:55:21 AM
http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/logical-reasoning-tips-tricks-questions.html (http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/logical-reasoning-tips-tricks-questions.html)

1. Use the order of difficulty to your advantage.

Because questions 16-21 tend to contain question-types that most people find more difficult, begin with questions 1-15. This way, you'll start off on a roll and boost your confidence. Sounds reasonable enough, right? Here's where it gets wacky, though. After finishing question 15, jump to the end of the section and work your way backwards to eventually hit the toughest question. This technique isn't for everybody, but try it out on a couple of PrepTests and tell me how it works for you.

Title: Re: LR: speed or skill?
Post by: marcus-aurelius on September 23, 2010, 04:56:13 AM
And I agree with those above.  Increase your understanding will help tremendously
Title: Re: LR: speed or skill?
Post by: Julie Fern on September 23, 2010, 10:26:29 PM
http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/logical-reasoning-tips-tricks-questions.html (http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/logical-reasoning-tips-tricks-questions.html)

1. Use the order of difficulty to your advantage.

Because questions 16-21 tend to contain question-types that most people find more difficult, begin with questions 1-15. This way, you'll start off on a roll and boost your confidence. Sounds reasonable enough, right? Here's where it gets wacky, though. After finishing question 15, jump to the end of the section and work your way backwards to eventually hit the toughest question. This technique isn't for everybody, but try it out on a couple of PrepTests and tell me how it works for you.

wrong.
Title: Re: LR: speed or skill?
Post by: Julie Fern on September 23, 2010, 10:26:55 PM
you welcome.
Title: Re: LR: speed or skill?
Post by: marcus-aurelius on September 24, 2010, 05:12:24 AM
Julie, you are quite weird.  It is turning me on
Title: Re: LR: speed or skill?
Post by: Julie Fern on September 24, 2010, 12:40:26 PM
smart but verbally inarticulate chicks where at.
Title: Re: LR: speed or skill?
Post by: marcus-aurelius on September 24, 2010, 12:48:12 PM
Fighting must be much easier
Title: Re: LR: speed or skill?
Post by: Julie Fern on September 24, 2010, 05:22:59 PM
for whom, and than what?
Title: Re: LR: speed or skill?
Post by: RachelK on September 25, 2010, 04:08:12 PM
This is so true. I almost never miss questions from 1 -14. There are usually a few hard questions at the end but there are always some really easy ones that you just never get to because you're tied up in the middle. I don't want you to lose hope girl. I started out wit ha 142 diagnostic last year taking kaplan. Didn't do so hot on the LSAT, given i only studied for 3 weeks and got a 144. BUT since then, I have studied casually for the year and now scoring at a 158. I am taking the Ocotober LSAT. DON'T GIVE UP. You will get there. Its all about improving your skills. figuring out what is going on in the question. and most importantly FOCUS! speed comes along as you get used to the questions. Ultimately, don't set your goals too high. Even I know I may never get in the 160s. Sometimes, telling yourself you need to get an unreasonable score adds to your anxiety and makes you worse. Just try to do your best and stop focusing on the scores. Anyways thats my two cents. Good luck!
Title: Re: LR: speed or skill?
Post by: Jessicastorm on September 28, 2010, 10:29:25 AM
This is so true. I almost never miss questions from 1 -14. There are usually a few hard questions at the end but there are always some really easy ones that you just never get to because you're tied up in the middle. I don't want you to lose hope girl. I started out wit ha 142 diagnostic last year taking kaplan. Didn't do so hot on the LSAT, given i only studied for 3 weeks and got a 144. BUT since then, I have studied casually for the year and now scoring at a 158. I am taking the Ocotober LSAT. DON'T GIVE UP. You will get there. Its all about improving your skills. figuring out what is going on in the question. and most importantly FOCUS! speed comes along as you get used to the questions. Ultimately, don't set your goals too high. Even I know I may never get in the 160s. Sometimes, telling yourself you need to get an unreasonable score adds to your anxiety and makes you worse. Just try to do your best and stop focusing on the scores. Anyways thats my two cents. Good luck!

Thank you so much! That means a lot to know someone is sort of going through the same thing. I'm not giving up, but I'm being more realistic now, I guess you could say. All I know is that this is the time to really kick it into high gear.

Good luck on the October test!
Title: Re: LR: speed or skill?
Post by: Jessicastorm on September 28, 2010, 10:37:36 AM
OP:  Given that your highest score so far is 146 after some practice/study time I don't think your major problem or best solution is to do the questions in a different order.  You are missing far too many for your current score range to be based on the order you do them. 

You need to do something to significantly improve your understanding of what is going on with LR questions, what concepts are involved and being tested, and to change/improve your approach and skills at solving each of the questions/question types, etc.

Timing is NOT your main problem, your underlying skills are.  Speed comes with/improves with better understanding of and skills with the materials.  When you know what is going on with, how to properly approach the various question types, and know/understand what techniques and methods of analysis to apply to each you will be able to solve each of them in less time with better accuracy.

Other than churning through a bunch of practice tests/sections as fast as you can timed, what else have you been doing to improve your LR problem solving skills?

That's about all I've been doing. A lot of my 'skills' or 'techniques' mostly come into play for logic games. I know that I really need to improve my LR skills. Sometimes I think I can get away with it, but when I'm spending a minute and a half on a question, then yeah...I need a new angle. This, for me, is probably the hardest part of studying. I've been told that the more questions I do the more familiar the 'types' will become, and eventually that will make them easier (or faster?) to solve.

I think the thing is, whenever I finish an LR section, I don't really know how to go about reviewing it. I go back, look at all the ones I got wrong and then look at the right answer and try to figure out why that was the correct choice/why I picked the other answer instead. Is that helpful? I'm looking for thorough explanations, like the kind I get for logic games...But I can't find it, not even in the prep course I'm taking.
Title: Re: LR: speed or skill?
Post by: carolyny476 on October 01, 2010, 10:21:22 PM
http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/logical-reasoning-tips-tricks-questions.html (http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/logical-reasoning-tips-tricks-questions.html)

1. Use the order of difficulty to your advantage.

Because questions 16-21 tend to contain question-types that most people find more difficult, begin with questions 1-15. This way, you'll start off on a roll and boost your confidence. Sounds reasonable enough, right? Here's where it gets wacky, though. After finishing question 15, jump to the end of the section and work your way backwards to eventually hit the toughest question. This technique isn't for everybody, but try it out on a couple of PrepTests and tell me how it works for you.
Thanks for sharing the link!
Title: Re: LR: speed or skill?
Post by: Julie Fern on October 04, 2010, 10:32:58 AM
not to mention bad advice.
Title: Re: LR: speed or skill?
Post by: The Brian on October 05, 2010, 04:04:40 PM
the only strategy i use for LR is the first 15 questions in 15 minutes.

that way i have 20 minutes for the final 10 questions. this helps a lot, since i usually get -0 in the first 15, but miss more from the 15-20-25 range.

as for the OP; time is not your issue. you need to be a lot more accurate before you even worry about timing.