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Messages - mateudn

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: How do I know when I should diagram in LR?
« on: March 23, 2012, 12:29:33 PM »
Thanks Jeffort, everything you said just confirms what I was thinking. Right now I believe I'm in somewhere in the middle of my prep. I've read the whole LGB and LRB ( doing all the questions on them) just to get a good grasp about the whole thing. Now I'm going back to each chapter in the LRB to seriously study the main concepts of each question type. So, far I've studied Must Be True and Main Point, and I've drilled 20 questions of each (untimed).

My plan is to take the LSAT in June and I want to spend April doing what I'm doing nw(deeply studying each type of question/drilling) and taking full sections of the LSAT, after I'm done with all types of question. Then, in May I plan to do just full PrepTest in real test conditions. Meanwhile, I plan to do the same with LG but I'm kind of not too worried with them because when I was reading the LGB I did 90% of the question right, so I think I just need more practice and I'll be fine.

As a final note, the first 20 Must Be True question that I drilled I got 13 right but it took me a ridiculous amount of time (I'm talking about 8 hours) because I was trying really hard to get ALL of them right. From next 20 questions, Main Point, i got 18 right and it took less time than the MBT questions. Thus, my question: Is it Main Point Questions easier than Must Be True or it's me who's improving?

ps: I'm starting with Weaken question and they are REALLY confusing to me.

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: How do I know when I should diagram in LR?
« on: March 21, 2012, 06:11:28 PM »
Yeah that helps, thanks. But my concern is that if I read the question, and then only halfway through it I decide to diagram, I will lose valuable time rereading the question. I was wondering if there's some type of clue (perhaps by the type of question) that would make this decision easier and/or quicker. I think by reading the question stem before the stimulus may help on that.

Your question is about an issue many students commonly face early into preparing for the LSAT and one worth asking.

Diagramming is useful for some question types and not for others when you are taking a timed test. 

You must keep in mind that many of the various diagrams in LSAT prep books and the ones instructors write on the white board during prep classes are meant for educational/illustration purposes and not always meant as an example of what/how much you should diagram on test day.  Many of them are meant to illustrate, teach and drill in the concepts and relationships that exist in a given LR question.

For instance, on test day/under timed conditions, it is not very useful to diagram Main Point/Main conclusion questions because your task is simply to identify the main conclusion of the argument and find the answer choice that restates/paraphrases it.  Same thing with role in the argument questions.  Even if there are conditional statements, diagramming them out is not a very efficient way to determine if a given statement is a premise, counter premise, sub-conclusion, or main conclusion.   

The LR question types that diagramming sufficient and necessary condition relationships when presented in the stimulus and/or answer choices is most useful for include:

must be true/most strongly supported
Must be false
sufficient assumption/justify the conclusion
parallel reasoning (non flawed ones, but sometimes with parallel the flawed reasoning ones if the flaw is based on conditional logic)
Principle questions (there are several variations of these)
Flawed method of reasoning (Not all, only when the argument is based on conditional logic)
Strengthen and weaken questions occasionally, but not that often.

Regarding wasting time re-reading the stimulus to make your final selection between two answer choices, that is mostly a mythical fear.  In reality, most students that have trouble finishing LR sections in time waste a lot of time debating answer choices BECAUSE they didn't fully comprehend the stimulus and/or overlooked/forgot some crucial details that make the difference between the correct answer and the most attractive trap answer. 

This is especially true with the higher difficulty rated questions that many test takers answer incorrectly.  A quick re-read of the stimulus once you have it narrowed to two (sometimes three) contender answer choices should take no more than a few seconds since you have already read it and are already familiar with it.  Refreshing your memory of the finer details and nuances of the stimulus can make the difference between getting the point or selecting a trap answer and typically takes less time than people spend debating answering choices on hard questions they get stuck on.

First, thanks a lot for the help. Second, let me be a little bit clearer. Should I read the question stem before the stimulus? At least your point that some question should not be diagrammed supports the reading of the question stem upfront. This way a person can identify that a question type need no diagram, no matter how hard the stimulus may be. That is personally what I think is better to do, unlike the PowerScore LR Bible.

Finally, when I was talking about re-reading a question I was referring to questions that sometimes need to be diagrammed. For example, by reading a question stem upfront I know that the question is a Must Be True question, which sometimes makes diagramming recommended. However, how do I know I indeed need to diagram that specific question? Ultimately, what I'm trying to avoid is to read the stimulus and only then realize that I need to diagram it. And if the question is complex enough to require diagramming, it is likely that I'll need to re-read the question because I wont remember the statement that need to be diagrammed.

Regarding re-reading the stimulus before picking the "winner" choice, in my little experience I've already learned that it is well worth it and takes little time.

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: How do I know when I should diagram in LR?
« on: March 21, 2012, 03:19:35 AM »
Yeah that helps, thanks. But my concern is that if I read the question, and then only halfway through it I decide to diagram, I will lose valuable time rereading the question. I was wondering if there's some type of clue (perhaps by the type of question) that would make this decision easier and/or quicker. I think by reading the question stem before the stimulus may help on that.

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Studying for the LSAT / How do I know when I should diagram in LR?
« on: March 20, 2012, 10:48:02 PM »
Hi everyone, that's my first post here, and I want to thank you for any response in advance.

I've read the PowerScore LR Bible and begun drilling question types. And I've noticed that in pretty much every question one could draw some sort of diagram (causal, conditional). However, I've also noticed that I lose valuable time diagramming on these questions but I end up not using the diagrams to answer the questions. Thus, my question: How does one know when to diagram?

ps: I've researched it but couldn't find anything.

Again, Thanks.

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