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Author Topic: Speed???  (Read 1041 times)

nnebaby

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Speed???
« on: May 10, 2008, 06:16:15 PM »
I'm having trouble completing 5/6 questions on the LR sections, what is a good way do you think to pick up spead?

LSATHell

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Re: Speed???
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2008, 07:31:28 PM »
I think it's always a good idea (no matter how slow or fast you are) to save parallel reasoning/flaw questions for last. 
These problems are not only a time drain, but some of these problems require too much effort, and they can have an effect on how you approach subsequent problems.

Also, never waste too much time contemplating between answer choices, even if you're striving for perfection.
If you can't see an obvious answer choice the first time through, either take a quick look at the conclusion of the stimulus, look for degree words, or just move on and return to it later.

The above advice will help assuming that your problem is due to poor time management.
However, if you're a slow reader, then I advise you to just practice -- a lot.
Remember, there is a limited number of logical problems in the world, and your speed will be highly dependent on your familiarity of these problems.

When I first started, I was barely able to complete a LR section. 
After practice, I'm now finishing with 5+ minutes to spare. 
So I have no doubt that you'll see similar improvement if you put in the effort.

SCOTUS20

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Re: Speed???
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2008, 07:41:52 PM »
Yeah, he's right.  On my first test, I got just over half of the questions on LR right.  On the real thing, I only missed two.  Just keep practicing, my brother.

carnodel

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Re: Speed???
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2008, 09:37:59 PM »
I think it's always a good idea (no matter how slow or fast you are) to save parallel reasoning/flaw questions for last. 
These problems are not only a time drain, but some of these problems require too much effort, and they can have an effect on how you approach subsequent problems.

Also, never waste too much time contemplating between answer choices, even if you're striving for perfection.
If you can't see an obvious answer choice the first time through, either take a quick look at the conclusion of the stimulus, look for degree words, or just move on and return to it later.

The above advice will help assuming that your problem is due to poor time management.
However, if you're a slow reader, then I advise you to just practice -- a lot.
Remember, there are a limited number of logical problems in the world, and your speed will be highly dependent on your familiarity of these problems.

When I first started, I was barely able to complete a LR section. 
After practice, I'm now finishing with 5+ minutes to spare. 
So I have no doubt that you'll see similar improvement if you put in the effort.

That's really good advice.  Thanks! 

One question though - do you skim through each and every question in that section before you answer any of them in order to see which ones you will answer first or do you have some other approach?
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tcwhat

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Re: Speed???
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2008, 09:57:20 PM »
I'm having trouble completing 5/6 questions on the LR sections, what is a good way do you think to pick up spead?

Are you taking it June or October?

petsoundspop

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Re: Speed???
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2008, 10:39:02 PM »
Hey all!  Taking the test in June, and I'm having the same problem.  My accuracy is close to 100 percent, but I just always feel super rushed at the five minute warning.  All of my diagnostic results show I get almost all of the LR questions right except for the last three, which I'm forced to guess on.  Someone told me that they would do sections in 30-33 minutes instead of 35 to get a real feel for the pace of LR on test day.  What do you guys think?  I suppose it's better to be somewhat slower yet accurate as opposed to being fast and inaccurate, but it's so frustrating because it feels like I could get a perfect LR score if I had two more minutes!  Does that make any sense?  Or is it simply a matter of repeated practice under timed conditions?  Good luck to everyone!

FatUncle

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Re: Speed???
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2008, 11:40:39 PM »
I think there are a few things one can do to improve timing.  The first thing I would recommend is to put the time issue out of mind while reading the stimulus.  Do not let your eyes dart to the question stem as you read the stimulus trying to get ahead.  Don't look at your watch.  Don't do anything but read and understand what is being presented.  I would imagine that for some of the people who run out of time in this section, it is the case that for many questions they will refer back to the stimulus a few times while trying to identify the correct answer.  You can limit your need to do this by understanding the argument the first time through, and that means no shortcuts.  It may be necessary on a particularly nasty question to refer back to the stimulus, but on many of the easier questions the answer should be apparent without need to refer back to the stimulus.

Second, becoming better at discriminating between when you need to use various techniques you have learned (diagramming formal logic, say) and when you do not will save time.  There will be questions that, for instance, contain elements of formal logic, and some will immediately start to diagram them before reading what the question asks of you and what the answer choices are.  Some questions are a 1 out of 5 in terms of difficulty, and some are a 5 out of 5; if you attack them all as though they are 5's it will cost you a lot of time.  Obviously, constant vigilance is absolutely necessary in this section, and not giving questions their due will quickly cost you points, but it is also important that you vary your approach to a question, only pulling out all the stops when there is no other option. For instance, just because you see a parallel 'flaw in the reasoning' question doesn't mean you should assume this is the death star of questions in whatever section you are working on.  Read through the answer choices and see what you're dealing with and go from there.  I guess what I'm trying to say is applying a mechanistic approach to each and every question can bite you in the end.  Personally, I don't care what the Logical Reasoning Bible calls a certain type of question and how they suggest you approach it; I read the question and do what it asks of me. 

Finally, efficiently eliminate answer choices.  One way of getting to the correct answer on a tough question is by eliminating those that are obviously wrong.  You might read answer choice A) to a question and think "that's completely wrong, this question is probably going to be easy" only to find that when you reach E) you still haven't found the right answer.  If you have not crossed off answers that are clearly wrong as you go, you will pay at this point, as your confusion starts to mount.  A good example is PrepTest 46, Section II, question 23.  This is a formal logic question that can easily eat a lot of time or lead to incorrect answers for a lot of people, and the CR is not obviously true for most.  However, all of the wrong answer choices, in my mind, are very clearly wrong, and if you eliminate them swiftly you will leave yourself with the right answer.  Eliminating answers is a skill I have gotten much better at with practice and it allows me to move through questions much more systematically.  There are flaws repeated over and over in various answer choices (the passage says some while the answer says most or all, for instance)that you can become better at identifying as you go.  When reading answer choices I suggest you assume the persona of a complete jerk.  If it is off by a word that makes it too strong or too weak, if it goes too far, if the question is asking you to infer something and an answer choice says something the author of the passage would probably agree with or sort of maybe implies without it being explicit, it gets crossed off.  If you were to treat things your friends said to you in casual conversation like this, they would call you a 'jerk' or a 'nitpicker'.  That is what I mean by being a jerk when you approach these questions.

Anyway, that's all I have got. 


LSATHell

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Re: Speed???
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2008, 10:39:40 AM »

One question though - do you skim through each and every question in that section before you answer any of them in order to see which ones you will answer first or do you have some other approach?

My approach is to just read everything as is, in order.

I'm usually able to identify the problematic PR questions because they're very long, usually half a page with the answer choices.
Those tend to be time traps because they typically don't have an identifiable method of reasoning.
So they require you to paraphrase a relationship of its clauses, and juggle through each relationship and match them against the clauses of each answer choice.
That takes time, and also disrupts your test taking rhythm.

The most important thing is to just be a smart test taker, which means just focusing on understanding the stimuli and answering the question.  Focus and develop a rhythm, and ignore all other elements such as how much time you have left.  If you can manage to do that, then you'll be much more efficient and much faster.

EarlCat

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Re: Speed???
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2008, 11:40:22 AM »
Eliminating answers...allows me to move through questions much more systematically.  There are flaws repeated over and over in various answer choices (the passage says some while the answer says most or all, for instance)that you can become better at identifying as you go.

QFT

Speed in and of itself is a matter of choice.  In 35 minutes you can bubble 28 circles and have enough time left to get a pizza delivered.  Accurate speed takes a bit more practice.  Pattern recognition for common wrong answers helps a lot.  Also, don't worry about slow reading.  Most of the time wasted is not in reading, but in debating two or three answer choices.  Rather than spend your time going back and forth, pick the one you think is best and circle the question number.  Move on to your next battle, and if you have time at the end, revisit the questions you circled.  Even if you don't have time for that, at least you picked an answer and invested your time into working more (possibly easier) questions.  This might get you a bit out of your comfort zone, but it's just practice anyway.  Experiment a little.  If you don't like the results, you can always go back to what you were doing before.

limegreen

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Re: Speed???
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2008, 12:39:20 PM »
I'd recommend the Logical Reasoning Bible.  Also, I would not recommend going through the entire section and picking which questions to do.  I just do them in order, and if I come to a particularly tough one (parallel, flaw, etc.) I will read through it once and if I think it's going to take a lot of time I just come back to it.  I usually end up with a few I need to go back to but overall I try to go with my gut because I've found that when I change answers more often than not I am changing from the right answer to a wrong one.