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LR Plateau for Sooooooo Long

DogOnBuffaloDogOnBuffalo Alum Member

One of the biggest issues I'm having at breaking the 173 barrier is that my LR scores haven't improved in like 6 months. I am still stuck at a –3 section average, though of course I fluctuate, sometimes I get –5s and sometimes I score –1s. However, I notice that the majority of mistakes I make are ones where I was either careless and lost focus, or where I was down to 2 ACs and chose the wrong one. Technically, if I could eliminate those errors I think I could consistently score -1 per section.

I've tried a bunch of things to eliminate these mistakes (e.g., doing untimed LR sections, BRing almost every question, slowing down on tough questions, skipping questions, even meditating to be in a clearer state of mind, etc.) but none of them have worked to consistently improve scores.

I was wondering how some of your were able to overcome a plateau in LR. What should I do? Any advice would be welcome, and thank you to anyone who responds!

Comments

  • youbbyunyoubbyun Alum Member
    1755 karma

    this is a good question. following this thread.

  • Michael.CincoMichael.Cinco Alum Member Sage
    edited April 2019 2106 karma

    Seems like we may have different issues but my biggest problem was timing. If i finished a section i would get to -3 across two lrs easily. But i ran out of time. So i did what the folks at lsathacks suggested which was skim the acs first rather than diving into each one.

    The lsat trainer has been the key to my success in lr though. I would use their methods and when i brd i would review the question type i got wrong in the book and in the CC

    I also developed a strategy for what to do when i was down to two answer choices. I have a mapped out process that i execute in those situations, theres some contextual variability but it mostly stays the same. The key when you get down to two answer choices is to get down and dirty. Get into the specifics of the stimulus and see if you properly identified the conclusion or if you missed a key modifier. If the two acs are similiar find out what the difference is between them and how does that relate to the question stem and stimulus.

  • PrincessPrincess Alum Member
    821 karma

    Wow! Congrats on that score though! Would you be able to share your tips as to how you got consistently less than 5 wrong? I am struggling with LR so much right now and stuck in the 60s

  • hawaiihihawaiihi Member
    973 karma

    I think there are two things that really helped me.

    1) Writing out the explanations for every LR question I got wrong, explaining why the correct answer was correct and why the others weren't (especially important when I was down to two answers and picked the wrong one like you're doing). I kept these all in a spreadsheet, organized by question type, which is important because...

    2) Using the analytics tracker and becoming more aware of what question types I was consistently getting wrong was huge for me. I realized I was getting the same types of questions wrong over and over again. It allowed me to see patterns in my thinking that led to those errors and patterns in the questions that made it easier to catch the correct answer. I also started writing the question type (i.e. "Flaw") next to those questions when I came across them in my section practice, which helped me signal to my brain that I needed to pay extra attention to this question. Finally, I took screenshots/photos on my phone of every LR question I got wrong, grouped them by question type, and would scroll through them on my phone or computer when I had a spare minute and review the logic in my head.

  • DogOnBuffaloDogOnBuffalo Alum Member
    167 karma

    @"Michael.Cinco" said:
    Seems like we may have different issues but my biggest problem was timing. If i finished a section i would get to -3 across two lrs easily. But i ran out of time. So i did what the folks at lsathacks suggested which was skim the acs first rather than diving into each one.

    The lsat trainer has been the key to my success in lr though. I would use their methods and when i brd i would review the question type i got wrong in the book and in the CC

    I also developed a strategy for what to do when i was down to two answer choices. I have a mapped out process that i execute in those situations, theres some contextual variability but it mostly stays the same. The key when you get down to two answer choices is to get down and dirty. Get into the specifics of the stimulus and see if you properly identified the conclusion or if you missed a key modifier. If the two acs are similiar find out what the difference is between them and how does that relate to the question stem and stimulus.

    Thanks for your response Michael! I tend to struggle with timing too, though I finish all questions on almost every LR section. My problem with timing is more the mental panic it gives me halfway through the section. Like if Q13 takes me 2 mins, I'll panic and check the watch, and I'll rush through the next 5 questions and end up unnecessarily dropping 2 points. I've used the LSAT trainer before, and it did help me get in that critical thinking mindset. And I'm definitely going to try your strategy for 2 appealing answer choices. I suspect I'm too hesitant to get down to small details because of my fear of running out of time, but that's probably the way to the get the Q correct. Thanks again for the advice!

  • DogOnBuffaloDogOnBuffalo Alum Member
    167 karma

    @hawaiihi said:
    I think there are two things that really helped me.

    1) Writing out the explanations for every LR question I got wrong, explaining why the correct answer was correct and why the others weren't (especially important when I was down to two answers and picked the wrong one like you're doing). I kept these all in a spreadsheet, organized by question type, which is important because...

    2) Using the analytics tracker and becoming more aware of what question types I was consistently getting wrong was huge for me. I realized I was getting the same types of questions wrong over and over again. It allowed me to see patterns in my thinking that led to those errors and patterns in the questions that made it easier to catch the correct answer. I also started writing the question type (i.e. "Flaw") next to those questions when I came across them in my section practice, which helped me signal to my brain that I needed to pay extra attention to this question. Finally, I took screenshots/photos on my phone of every LR question I got wrong, grouped them by question type, and would scroll through them on my phone or computer when I had a spare minute and review the logic in my head.

    That's amazing dedication! I've tried doing that before (writing out explanations for LR questions I got wrong). I did it for about 8 PTs, but then gave up, because I wasn't sure if it was helping. I found it really really difficult to do and to be positive about. When you were doing it, did you feel like it was actively helping you become better at LR? Were your explanations very detailed, or were they abstract? And when you did have an explanation, how did you make sure that you didn't make the same mistake again next time? I felt like I didn't know how to use the explanations I wrote out to help me correct the same mistakes.

  • DogOnBuffaloDogOnBuffalo Alum Member
    167 karma

    @Princess said:
    Wow! Congrats on that score though! Would you be able to share your tips as to how you got consistently less than 5 wrong? I am struggling with LR so much right now and stuck in the 60s

    Sure! I used to really struggle with LR when I was scoring in the mid 150s. I used to take section after section but inevitably score only a -9 or so. Then, my instructor (I was taking an in-person class with BP) told me that instead of speeding up, or focusing on timing at all, I need to slow down and instead aim to not finish the section. So instead of attempting 26 and getting 17 correct, I should attempt 20 or 21. I took his advice and my score literally jumped 8 points overnight (158 --> 166). After a little more practice to gain speed, I was probably consistently scoring -5 per section.

    To get to where I am now, I focused in on the question types I was getting wrong, which for me were strengthens, weakens, sufficients, and necessaries. I drilled these question types untimed, really trying to focus in on the process of how to answer these questions. With more practice I was slowly able to answer them more and more accurately. But now I'm stuck at -3. If I ever break the plateau I'll be sure to let you know! I hope this helps!

  • PrincessPrincess Alum Member
    821 karma

    Wow! That's fantastic advise! I will definitely have to try that tomorrow and aim to attempt 20/21 because I think I do get overwhelmed with trying to get to all of the questions. Good luck and keep working hard!

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