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Please help: LR not improving

NamritaktNamritakt Alum Member

I have been consistently writing down explanations of LR questions I got incorrect (and many I got correct) in an attempt to improve my speed and understanding. I’ve been working on this for a over month, and I just cannot seem to finish a section on time with accuracy. I almost always score -4 going 5 minutes over time (working through the 50’s and 60’s PT sets). Ideally, I would like to be scoring -2 with a few minutes to spare, and I’m concerned that I won’t be able to get there in time for the October LSAT. Any tips or advice would be highly appreciated 😔


  • gvvert957gvvert957 Monthly Member
    24 karma

    I've been having basically the same problem. I've gotten down to 0 wrong for the games and 2-3 for reading comp, but I seem to always get 3-5 questions wrong on reasoning even when I'm extremely confident. Often the ones that end up throwing me are the ones I didn't flag, so I never bother reviewing them when I have time at the end.

    I think Reasoning is harder than the other two sections because, unlike the games and reading comp, there's no central passage or set of rules off of which a number of questions are based. Every question is standalone, so you can't figure something out and then apply that to a whole category of questions. Here's what I'm trying to do: Glance over every question at least a second time before finishing. I usually blow through these questions with about 10 minutes to spare, but then I go back and catch a good number of errors. Don't just go after the ones you've flagged; take a quick look at the other ones too just in case you notice something you didn't before. Fresh eyes help.

  • JaBoiLunchboxJaBoiLunchbox Monthly Member
    21 karma

    @gvvert957 offers good advice, I'll add a bit more to that.

    My girlfriend and I study together. She consistently scores -0, -1 while I average around -3. She has helped me considerably with my LR struggles, as LR was by far my worst section when we began.

    So if you can, I would strongly recommend studying with a buddy. If you can't then at least practice translating the LR stimulus IN BLIND REVIEW AND BEFORE YOU CHECK YOUR ANSWERS and explain the argument/debate to someone (or yourself) in casual conversation. I would be open to do this process with you over teleconference if you can't find anyone! Over time this will make you automatically translate the obtuse and confusing LSAT language into something that is easier to understand and recall at the speed required to be an efficient and accurate test taker on LR sections. It helps you understand if you are grasping what the stimulus is intending to say and whether or not it actually succeeds at doing so. It helps you figure out what the crucial elements are and what is just fluff that is there to distract or mislead you. Remember, most of the time you are looking for (necessary/sufficient conditions, conclusions, tone/perspective, etc.)

    I trust that you are keeping a wrong answer journal and are diligent about using it the right way. I have noticed that the wrong answer journal is beneficial for preventing specific mistakes in the future and noticing what you missed about the argument type, validity and soundness, but it does not help you improve the (process)* of the LR section: reading the stimulus and understanding what each question type asks of you efficiently.

    *trust the process.

    To improve the process you have to be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses. The way to do this is to constantly evaluate and adjust the way you approach a stimulus in general. Translation drills are invaluable and are the main reason I jumped from -5 -6 to -2 -3. I also always try to stay fresh and review strategies for approaching particular question types and as a result I often recognize the tricks LSAT uses in the certain answer choices. When I trip up it is almost ALWAYS because I didn't translate the stimulus correctly which means I didn't really understand what information the question type is zeroing in on, either that or I wasn't disciplined enough in the answer choices, or I was worried more about getting all the questions done in time rather then getting every question I was able to finish correct. I ALWAYS translate the stimulus and break it down to its fundamental parts.

    The only way to be accurate and finish in time is to follow the model: Slow = Smooth and Smooth = Fast. When you are doing problem sets, approach every question as if it requires your full attention: if you have seen it for the first time, if you are Blind Reviewing, or if you are reviewing past wrong answers. Break it down methodically, translate it into more useful language, write it down on paper/mark it up on your device and take your time. Doing so will reveal what you are doing well on and should be confident in, and what mistakes you tend to make. Retain the information you gain and you will notice that you will breeze through easier questions, giving you more time to scrutinize the really tough ones. Don't worry about the time right now, no matter where you are at in your studies. If you are dedicated to following this approach you will naturally get faster. If you are only reviewing and breaking down your wrong answers, you won't increase your overall ability to be accurate and timely and you won't improve your score.

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