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LR in the 70s- Are they different?

StopLawyingStopLawying Alum Member
in General 821 karma
So I was averaging -5 total in LR on the 50s and 60s but when I started taking some of the 70s (70,71,72) it went up to -9 total. And usually one of the sections will be a lot easier where I'll go -2, and then I'll bomb the other one with like a -7. I've tried reviewing these questions in depth and I noticed several things:
1) the LR stimuli are longer
2) answer choices are harder to comprehend,eliminate
3) NA questions are not as tight as they once were (check out the LR question in PT71 section 1 on predatory pricing and you'll see what I mean).
4) Lots of annoying principle/strengthen questions that are really time-consuming.

Perhaps it may take some time getting used to, but after taking PT72 LR#2 I had to vent since I found this section to be insanely difficult. And with the circular game, this PT is an absolute killer.

Has anyone noticed any other trends in the 70s LR? Or does anyone have any advice on how to tackle/approach these different questions? Thanks!!

Comments

  • Ron SwansonRon Swanson Alum Member Inactive ⭐
    edited May 2016 1650 karma
    I noticed a similar thing with the 70s LR. The test evolves over time, and I think you're speaking to the slight transformation that has occurred between the 60s and 70s. I've also been having trouble maintaining my usual LR score during these most recent PTs.

    During her office hours, @allison.gill.sanford spoke to this change and really helped clear things up for me. Because the stimuli are longer and ACs are a bit more particular, you really need to remain focused during your read of the stimuli and ACs and stick to the question's objective. The LSAT demands high level use of the english language. If you want to finish these current sections in time/have the ability to review tough questions, you can't waste time reading then rereading questions/ACs over and over. These newer tests can really punish you for not fully grasping stimuli and ACs.

    Another 70s trend I have noticed is more of the unconventional sufficient assumption questions. They're relying less on the formal logic we've burned into our brains and more of an intuitive understand of arguments and support structures.
  • BruiserWoodsBruiserWoods Legacy Member Inactive ⭐
    1706 karma
    Yeah. Wtf is with all these dang principle/justify questions. Those take me 2-4 minutes on a good day. I can't keep up with 5 of them in a section. *huffs*
  • Ron SwansonRon Swanson Alum Member Inactive ⭐
    1650 karma
    @BruiserWoods I feel your pain haha. I think it's important to really nail the easy questions and implement a good skipping strategy. I'm trying to focus on getting through all the questions and making sure I'm getting every piece of low hanging fruit (think of the coconuts from core curriculum)

    Then assuming I've answered all of the ones I can get right away, I'll have some time to isolate the longer or more tricky questions and pick up some hard earned points
  • BruiserWoodsBruiserWoods Legacy Member Inactive ⭐
    1706 karma
    @"Ron Swanson" I've been trying to implement some of the steps from the skipping panel, and I'm just not really doing so good at it. I'm going to have to modify the advice in some way, because idk if I'm just incompetent or it's my learning disabilities or nerves or what, but I ALWAYS mis-bubble something when I skip a ton. Like, I do ok if I don't leave a page - I can keep up with it. But something is weird about when I'm trying to skip around. And then I have that knowledge in my head and it makes me more nervous and more distracted and then i just wanna say f it and not skip any.

    I took 66 today because I'm still waiting on 72-77 to come in the mail; I made a 172 on that one with only truly skipping 2 and saving them til the end. I know top scorers all do that skip stuff, but it's just so not intuitive to me that it's messing with my psyche.
  • twssmithtwssmith Alum
    5120 karma
    Congrats @BruiserWoods on the 172!!
    I am "trying" to take a calm approach to embrace the skipping method. It really challenges you to know your strengths and weaknesses when reading a Q Stem/Stimulus and knowing when to skip. Just as you think you are starting to master the concepts and start to quickly answer certain questions with complete confidence, skipping strategy opens the door for opportunities to further master the rest of the test.

    In my PT phase, lack of confidence or running into a tough stretch of questions has created a hiccup as I try to figure out what is the most optimum strategy for me to utilize skipping. I am so thankful for all of the Sages for sharing their experiences and how they are so supportive to say - it just takes practice - which is no different from any of the training/advice when you first started studying for the LSAT:)

    I am re-taking sections to try to work on what is the best strategy for me. One section - I finished with 7 minutes left and couldn't figure out what questions to revisit sending me into a complete panic. Next section, I tried skipping fewer questions with a slower trigger to skip and almost didn't finish. Another section, I almost timed it to the best of my abilities.

    Believe in all of the hard work for you to have achieved your current scores and put the same tenacity towards honing your personal skipping strategy:)
  • westcoastbestcoastwestcoastbestcoast Alum Member
    3788 karma
    I'm going through something similar as OP. There is one section in which I would do well, (-2) and another section where I would go for minus 5 or more. Although after review, I can see how the corrext answer choices are correct, the credited response often doesn't feel like as precise fit as they seemed in the past.
  • Ron SwansonRon Swanson Alum Member Inactive ⭐
    edited May 2016 1650 karma
    Personally speaking, there are a few things that trigger my internal alarm to skip a question.

    1. If I don't grasp the stimulus after my first read. I'm not talking about slight confusion, as that's common with this exam. It's that feeling of "what the hell did I just read??" Skip it!

    2. If it's a flaw question, I don't move to the ACs unless I'm able to articulate a flaw in my head. As JY mentions a lot, flaw ACs are designed to play on your assumptions and trick you into making mistakes. It's crucial to take a moment to recognize the flaw, and if I can't do that..skip it!

    3. SA and NA: same idea as flaw questions. Have an idea of what you're looking for before heading into the ACs. This will save you a ton of time, and help with immediately eliminating trap answers.

    All in all, I think good skipping tactics stress putting the work in on your initial read, then making the reasoned decision about whether to skip based on how the question sits with you.

    One note of caution though: you need to develop this into an efficient process. You can't be putting in the up front stimulus work, realize you've just spent 2:25 on a question then move on. The quicker you can recognize when to skip the better
  • BruiserWoodsBruiserWoods Legacy Member Inactive ⭐
    1706 karma
    @twssmith thanks! :)

    I made two 168s last week on both PTs I took (I think it was 69 and 70). I took PT 67 and PT 66 this past weekend (170, 172 respectively).

    Last weekend, I ended up taking both PTs after 4 pm, and I truly think that made the difference in score. My brain feels much foggier in the afternoon. I'm starting to fine-tune my PTing and notice the outside factors, beside just confidence/familiarity with the test, that can affect my score. I think thats what a lot of us are going through right now. We have the material, now it's just fine-tuning to what works best/doesn't work for us.

    I'm also starting to get really anxious about the upcoming test date, and I"m having a hard time not letting that anxiety get to me. I
  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4181 karma
    I had a similar problem with the newest tests, though this problems seems to be finally going away for me. Nevertheless, it took me several tests to get back on track. The newer tests seem to bait you more with subtle word changes (at least in harder LR sections), and I personally believe that the newer questions occasionally require a bit more creative thinking than required in the past. I've also noticed some new methods required for filling in the gap in SA questions and keeping the argument alive in NA questions. Particularly with SA questions, the correct AC is more often than before not within the scope of my pre phrasing.

    Regardless, I'm confident you'll begin to detect the differences, and I have no doubt that your score will get back to where it should be.
  • allison.gill.sanfordallison.gill.sanford Legacy Inactive Sage
    edited May 2016 1128 karma
    @BruiserWoods wow you have a lot to celebrate!! Take a day off and have a drink!! Congrats!
    About the skipping issues you brought up - I wonder if making a super obvious system for yourself (dog ear pages, huge circles around skipped questions, circle the number on the scantron and fill in a random one before you move on) would help. It's definitely worth it to nail the skipping strategy, you just might need to experiment with how to create a notation system that helps you to not mess up the bubbling or get lost trying to come back.
    I have a friend with significant dyslexia and we have edited a lot of papers together, and coming back to things in the middle is always harder for her than restarting a paragraph or some kind of reset. I'm not sure how similar her situation is to your learning needs but I think experimenting will be helpful!
    @"Ron Swanson" I'm glad the office hours helped with discerning the differences in the 70s series. I definitely agree with your analysis here - the LSAT is rewarding precision with both language and understanding your task in each question.
  • stepharizonastepharizona Alum Member
    3197 karma
    All really great points @"Ron Swanson" I also think the 70s have really stopped using indicator words as much as well, or having "sneaky" placements that JY talks about, such as having them for subconclusions and the lot. As you mentioned from @allison.gill.sanford you have to be precise and its not just about pension, its being able to be precise in the moment and pressures of the timed test.
  • BruiserWoodsBruiserWoods Legacy Member Inactive ⭐
    1706 karma
    @allison.gill.sanford said:
    and coming back to things in the middle is always harder for her than restarting a paragraph or some kind of reset.
    Yes, i'm thinking that is what's slowing me down. I have to like take inventory of ALL surrounding information (which questions were before, after, go through all the ACs again, etc.) I think that's what makes it hard for me too, I'll blatantly skip question 15, for example, and then answer 16 and by the time I am bubbling 16 in, I have forgotten that I skipped 15, and fill in the bubble for 15 with the AC for 16 and sometimes it takes me a few questions to even notice that.

    It's definitely going to be something I need to work on/with, because I definitely see the advantages.
  • BruiserWoodsBruiserWoods Legacy Member Inactive ⭐
    1706 karma
    @allison.gill.sanford said:
    huge circles around skipped questions, circle the number on the scantron and fill in a random one before you move on)
    This is a good idea. Maybe actually doing both might help. making a huge circle around the ENTIRE question I skip in my test booklet AND a circle around the number on the scantron. I'm gonna try this next drill/test.
  • allison.gill.sanfordallison.gill.sanford Legacy Inactive Sage
    1128 karma
    @BruiserWoods great! Yeah, I think it's a matter of sort of "overdoing" your notation or making it redundant so you have multiple backups to remind you of what was happening. And of course maintain enough time at the end to erase stray marks on your scantron!! Let us know how it goes, would love to hear if this works better for you.
  • BruiserWoodsBruiserWoods Legacy Member Inactive ⭐
    1706 karma
  • BruiserWoodsBruiserWoods Legacy Member Inactive ⭐
    1706 karma
    Taking my next PT Saturday. Infamous PT 72
  • Cayenne43Cayenne43 Alum Member
    195 karma
    @BruiserWoods for skipping I say the question number and answer choice in my head as I bubble. Example: Question 1 is A 2 is B 3 Skip 4 E 5 Skip etc. just an idea!
  • Cayenne43Cayenne43 Alum Member
    195 karma
    I bubble at the end of each page
  • twssmithtwssmith Alum
    5120 karma
    For skipping notation - what has seemed to work the best for me is to write the Q# at the top of the page - i.e.
    Complete skip Q #16 - write 16 huge at top of page and circle it
    Question #20 in the 75-90% range - write 20 at the top of the page but smaller in size and not circled.

    When I go back, I revisit the huge circled "skipped" questions and cross the number at top of page with a huge "X" when I choose my AC. After the skipped Q's, if time haha, I revisit the 75% Questions. While it works for many, I tried the markings on the Scantron and it did not work for me. Other than making sure I do not have any bubbling errors, I want to make sure my entire focus is on the actual test booklet and not spending time cross referencing back and forth. And for those that write the actual test with mini-desks, it would completely scare the crap out of my trying to juggle the test book and scantron using that system. (Pls always check out your test center:)

    Of note during PT phase, I have always put a hash mark under the Question number for Q's that I want to make sure to BR for various reasons but ignore during timed sections.

    Hope this helps because utilizing skipping strategy can be infuriating and frustrating when you first start to implement it. Find what works best for you with practice!
  • BruiserWoodsBruiserWoods Legacy Member Inactive ⭐
    1706 karma
    @twssmith do you find you're able to get to all the questions? even the ones you skipped? or do you usually just not get to 1 or 2 of them?
  • twssmithtwssmith Alum
    5120 karma
    I have played around with different ideas on when to skip - first couple of sections, I skipped too quick on Q's and had time left but sucked at managing how to distribute time left with too many skipped Q's. Next few sections, I cut it too close to revisit the few Q's I actually skipped. As I continue forward, I hope I can provide a better answer. One thing that I have worked on from the beginning is building an internal time clock so that I know about how long I am spending on a question - now that does not mean that I still don't fall for time sinks and over-compensate by pulling the trigger too fast to skip a question that if I had actually glanced at the AC's I would have been immediately been able to answer and wasted time to revisit.

    If you haven't seen it, watch Corey's https://7sage.com/webinar/timing-and-levels-of-certainty/
    about the pyramid of levels of confidence. I still go back to his methodology when BRing to determine what type of questions I am skipping to get as many Qtypes as I can on level One. Wish I had the answers, but I am a work in progress:)
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly Member Sage 🍌
    25590 karma
    I circle the question numbers, but differently to denote different reasons to return. A circle is just I'm not entirely sure. It may mean there was one answer choice I wasn't entirely confident with eliminating or it may be something I got on intuition but want to work out to confirm if I have time. A double circle means I had no idea. Either I didn't understand the stimulus or just choked or eliminated every answer choice or whatever it is. When I go back, I start with the circles. I can cover them very quickly and defend against error and slight misunderstandings. Then I work out the double circles. The idea is to start with the easiest, quickest work first. I just want to make sure if I'm going to spend several minutes on a complex parallel flaw question that I've gotten everything else first. If I can be confident I've gotten every other question correct, running out of time on that one insane curve breaker isn't as big a deal. On the other hand, if I don't get to several easier questions because I spent the time on the curve breaker, that's not so good.
  • BruiserWoodsBruiserWoods Legacy Member Inactive ⭐
    edited May 2016 1706 karma
    @"Cant Get Right" ohhh!!!!! See, I do mark things on my answer sheet in a similar fashion to come back to, but I've been doing 2 things different from the strategy you just described. First, I always go straight back to the "hard" ones instead of going back through the easy ones first. I never thought of it in the terms you're describing but that makes so much sense, and I will implement this strategy immediately.

    Second (just to clarify) my skipping problems come primarily from not filling in the bubbles; I get confused and overwhelmed with trying to keep up with the answer sheets (learning disability); on the last two drills, I just filled in "C" as a place-holder and wrote a "S" next to the question so that I knew to come back to it and that "C" wasn't really the answer I thought it was. That seems to be working so far. I guess even if I somehow forget or overlook that skipped question, at least i filled in SOMETHING and have a 20% at getting it right. I'm going to implement some combination of that, and putting in another "safety net" such as @allison.gill.sanford and @twssmith have suggested.
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly Member Sage 🍌
    25590 karma
    Right on @BruiserWoods ! It’s been really effective for me, so hope it works for you! Let me know how it goes!
  • runiggyrunruniggyrun Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    2481 karma
    @BruiserWoods said:
    First, I always go straight back to the "hard" ones instead of going back through the easy ones first.
    I circle the ones where I think I have the right answer but I'm not positive and I add a square to the ones where I have no clue/I have an answer but it's not sitting right with me for some reason. Like you, I always go back to the "hard" ones first because I learned through BR that if I was sure enough to just circle, I either was right or I was confident enough that I didn't change the answer even after a quick review. Therefore I decided that for my style/threshold of circling, going back to the "hard" questions first was more likely to yield an extra couple of points than going over the easy ones. I can see how it might be different for others, and BR is a great tool to determine which strategy would be most beneficial.
    I also recommend bubbling something in when you skip, and making a mark, like you are starting to do. Otherwise it's sooo easy to misbubble (even without ADHD). Besides, like you said, if you don't have time to go back, at least you have a 20% chance of getting a point with a random bubble.
  • BruiserWoodsBruiserWoods Legacy Member Inactive ⭐
    1706 karma
    @runiggyrun said:
    circle the ones where I think I have the right answer but I'm not positive and I add a square to the ones where I have no clue
    I do a circle (more like a little dot) for the ones i'm kinda sure on and a like 3-line asterisk for the "level-4" ones that i'm just like oh no absolutely not. The ones I skip, I have been using the new strategy with the "S" and it's working decently so far. I just actually don't find that I have the need to skip a lot of questions, but there are definitely at least 2-4 per LR section.
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