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Have you read official explanations? Was it helpful?

AliceZ6v6AliceZ6v6 Alum Member
edited September 2016 in General 92 karma
So they have those superprep I and II...I read some of their explanations but wonder whether I should read all of them.
Do you think they are helpful in knowing how they design the questions and what their thought process is?
(How they get to the correct answers etc.)

Thanks!

Comments

  • SprinklesSprinkles Alum Member
    11536 karma
    Read an explanation for the questions you were iffy (even 1% iffy) and completely unsure about and of course questions you got right because you guessed. Any question you were solid on, there's no need to read an explanation.
  • twssmithtwssmith Alum
    5120 karma
    I have not thought about checking LSAC's process in the SuperPrep books b/c I just bought them for extra PTs, lol. Going to grab mine right now and see - the only thing is the tests are pretty old with SuperPrepII I think being the most current with RC comparative passage. Couldn't hurt to check it out...
  • AliceZ6v6AliceZ6v6 Alum Member
    92 karma
    @montaha.rizeq
    So you don't read or listen to all explanations?
    I'm wondering whether it's a good idea to stick to my own reasoning or refer to others...do you fully trust your reasoning when reviewing?

    @twssmith Let us know if you find their explanations are helpful then...lol
  • twssmithtwssmith Alum
    5120 karma
    If I struggled on a question, I will watch JY's video explaining how he processed the question and I learn a lot from the BR calls where people share their different perspectives to understand a question, but that advice only helps if you are using 7Sage. There a few sites to find additional info about how to understand a question - Lsathacks and Manhattan Prep user forums.

    When you understand a question - move on as @montaha.rizeq says. If you struggle on a certain question or flaw type, then find a resource to clarify your reasoning process:)
  • SprinklesSprinkles Alum Member
    edited September 2016 11536 karma
    @atzhang6v6 said:
    So you don't read or listen to all explanations?
    I'm wondering whether it's a good idea to stick to my own reasoning or refer to others...do you fully trust your reasoning when reviewing?

    If you want assurance for what answer you chose then it's a good idea to look at or listen to other explanations - otherwise I don't find it totally necessary. Once again, this is only for answers I'm 100% certain about. Even questions I'm 99% sure about, I listen to an explanation from JY.
  • Jonathan WangJonathan Wang Yearly Sage
    6736 karma
    For me, unequivocal yes. If you have time, you should read them all. And, in my opinion, you always have time. It is the most obviously worth-it use of time in all of LSAT preparation, in my opinion.

    First, how long does it take you to compare your thinking to the explanation if you were truly 100% correct? Second, is confirmation of (what you think is) an obviously-correct thought process really so worthless that you can't even be bothered to spend an incremental minute or two finding out for sure? And third, what happens if you're wrong and the reasoning is slightly different that what you thought? People answer questions right with the wrong reasoning all the time. How do you ever capture that learning opportunity if you never bother to check?

    Once upon a time, I thought it was unreasonable to review every question. Increasingly, I'm convinced that's not the case, and that students are leaving monstrous amounts of awesome insight on the table so they can cut their study session by an hour.
  • twssmithtwssmith Alum
    5120 karma
    @"Jonathan Wang" said:
    Once upon a time, I thought it was unreasonable to review every question. Increasingly, I'm convinced that's not the case
    Forgive me Ops, but I want to understand what Jonathan is saying:) Very Intriguing:)

    @Jonathan Wang, appreciate your post!
    If you don't mind elaborating - are you saying that you have found that every question should be reviewed no matter the level of confidence. What you are saying makes complete sense to me after listening to so many people with different aptitudes on the BR calls that has enhanced my knowledge of different strategies, however I am not clear on how to find the time to literally review each question as I progress in the PT phase.

    When I first started PT'ing, I would BR the whole section but I shifted to BR only the questions that were at or below 90% as recommended on the forums to identify confidence errors. Is my shift in proficiency understanding a question and not reviewing every question hindering my ability to learn?
    @"Jonathan Wang" said:
    students are leaving monstrous amounts of awesome insight on the table so they can cut their study session by an hour.
    Is this revelation due to people that want a "silver bullet" or for everyone no matter what dedication to learning the LSAT that there are missed opportunities?
  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma
    @"Jonathan Wang" said:
    Once upon a time, I thought it was unreasonable to review every question. Increasingly, I'm convinced that's not the case, and that students are leaving monstrous amounts of awesome insight on the table so they can cut their study session by an hour
    Such wisdom. Much wow.

    Actually, this is probably some of the best LSAT advice I have ever read.

  • tanes256tanes256 Alum Member
    2573 karma
    @"Jonathan Wang" said:
    People answer questions right with the wrong reasoning all the time.
    This!! I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me but if you're doing a thorough BR you should catch this. Which of course is the reason for BR. You should know why you're getting the questions right and wrong. If I'm drilling a few questions I read explanations for every question. Not so much on full PT, but since the Sage has said I should, then I guess, I shall. If I don't understand JY's explanation I read the Manhattan explanations and if I just sucked at that question I read Kaplan's explanations. I think there is much value in other's perspective on these questions. I've also gained several tips from reading other student's perspectives.
  • SprinklesSprinkles Alum Member
    11536 karma
    @"Alex Divine" said:
    Actually, this is probably some of the best LSAT advice I have ever read.

    Same lol. I think I'm going to start implementing this strategy. Thank you @"Jonathan Wang" for the wisdom, and glad I was able to hear this early on in my prep.
  • AliceZ6v6AliceZ6v6 Alum Member
    edited September 2016 92 karma
    Wow...glad to see my question led to such a good discussion :)
    @"Jonathan Wang" said:
    If you have time, you should read them all.
    Did you mean the official explanation or just explanation posts by students or instructors?
    I guess my questions is, I'm not sure how to review them...I read the BR post, but as someone just said, my reasoning could be wrong even though I chose the correct answer and even though I think I have the right reasoning. How can I make sure my reasoning is correct? By referring to other's explanations? But as also someone just said...people have different explanations and they might miss something as well. Also it takes time to compare other people's explanation...


  • stepharizonastepharizona Alum Member
    3197 karma
    @atzhang6v6 said:
    Do you think they are helpful in knowing how they design the questions and what their thought process is?
    (How they get to the correct answers etc.)
    Yes, yes and more yes. I think its like "seeing behind the current of OZ..." so to speak.

    I am not sure why more people don't do it, I ordered SPII mainly for C but also wanted the LSAC view on 62 &63 as we get to see HOW the LSAC approaches their question design through their explanations.

    Sure its great to see explanations from JY, Graeme and other resources, but that is their personal interpretation. Have you ever researched a tough question and seen how even the best test takers see things a bit differently? .

    The explanations in the SPs ARE how the LSAT sees it. I knew this (there is a letter that Graeme wrote about an error on a test and the LSAC response was really interesting to the logic method), but didn't take the time to really go over their explanations. Also, at the time I dont think I really understood enough to see this.

    I am sure like many others, I had only been using the SP I explanations for the ones I missed until I got the LSAT tool the LSAC has on their website and actually went through every single one of the answers they provide and I realized I should have been reading the SPI all along. As I head back into the 60s with retakes I plan to actually read through every question and try to compare it to my log too see how close I was to their interpretation. I mean it can't hurt.
  • stepharizonastepharizona Alum Member
    3197 karma
    @"Jonathan Wang" said:
    For me, unequivocal yes. If you have time, you should read them all. And, in my opinion, you always have time. It is the most obviously worth-it use of time in all of LSAT preparation, in my opinion.
    Sweet!! Do you advise we go through it with our logs, or should we just read them? I wasn't using a log back when I did SPI and did not have the SPI book built into my current study plan, so should I retake those (its been at least a year since I have seen them, except for parts of B that Cambridge used as 5th sections) or would it be beneficial to review their explanations without comparing. I am guessing I should find the time to retake the SPIs and then compare my logic.

    Thoughts @"Jonathan Wang" Thanks for your help!
  • Daniel.SieradzkiDaniel.Sieradzki Legacy Member Sage
    2301 karma
    Yeah, the explanations are great. The first thing they made me realize is that there is often multiple reasons why a tricky wrong answer is wrong. I often see this on BR calls. Two different people eliminate a wrong answer for two different valid reasons. This is a really important insight because it pushes you to really understand why wrong answers are wrong and why right answers are right. The explanations are the ultimate version of that.
  • AliceZ6v6AliceZ6v6 Alum Member
    92 karma
    Hi,
    @stepharizona said:
    The explanations in the SPs ARE how the LSAT sees it.
    So do you think their LG explanations are good too? Are they different a lot from JY's diagrams?
    I was assuming you are talking about explanations for LR, but do you mean explanations for all sections?
  • Jonathan WangJonathan Wang Yearly Sage
    edited September 2016 6736 karma
    @twssmith said:
    If you don't mind elaborating - are you saying that you have found that every question should be reviewed no matter the level of confidence.
    Yes. The mere act of forcing articulation of things you think are self-explanatory deepens understanding considerably. If it's truly as easy as you think, it won't take long, and you'll surprise yourself with how often you can't actually articulate why something is the way it is. Those are prime learning opportunities. Fundamentals first.

    @atzhang6v6 said:
    Did you mean the official explanation or just explanation posts by students or instructors?
    If you have official explanations, those are obviously first. After that, you just need to cultivate a short list of trusted sources and stick to it. If I were studying, for example, I might rank them Official -> 7Sage (ok there's that JY guy, but meeeeeeeeee!!!) -> LSATHacks -> Manhattan forums. If you churn through that many explanations and still don't get it, then that's a great topic for a tutor (shameless plug for me!) or a study group, or perhaps even this community.

    @stepharizona said:
    Do you advise we go through it with our logs, or should we just read them?
    Whether you go through one question at a time, small chunks (say, a page at a time), or as a full section, the goal is to have a point of comparison. That means a blind review (or equivalent) run at least. I wouldn't stress out too much about finding old logs, just create new ones. After all, isn't part of the goal of studying to be able to replicate your thought processes consistently?

    @twssmith said:
    Is this revelation due to people that want a "silver bullet" or for everyone no matter what dedication to learning the LSAT that there are missed opportunities?
    Even the most dedicated students 100% leave this stuff on the table. Obviously, "silver bullet" folks leave a lot more out there due simply to the fact that they're not actually interested in learning it in the first place (hence, their desire for a silver bullet and my consequent sneering at their complaints when it doesn't work).

    Story time (sorry in advance for credential dropping, skip if you don't want to hear it):

    I was a 4-year national circuit policy debater in high school, and a 4-year mock trialer in college (including making it to nationals one year). I scored 175 on my LSAT and graduated from Columbia Law. And when I picked this test back up in 2010-11 so that I could teach it with JY at PreProBono, doing every question from tests 54-56 and critically examining every explanation easily tripled the depth of my understanding. Recording videos for the course and teaching those same questions over and over again developed those skills even further. Looking back, it's completely embarrassing how little I understood when I was just starting to teach this thing. So you'll forgive me for feeling like if it's good enough for someone who literally ate and breathed rhetorical exercises at the highest level for 11 years prior to teaching the LSAT, that it's good enough for you too.
  • stepharizonastepharizona Alum Member
    3197 karma
    @"Jonathan Wang" said:
    just create new ones. After all, isn't part of the goal of studying to be able to replicate your thought processes consistently?

    Perfect and excellent point.
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