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Trying to make the -7 to -4 LR Jump

m.i.rivasm.i.rivas Alum Member


I'm seeking any and all advice people may have for LR. I usually get -7 to -9 on sections and want to get that down to consistently -4 or -5. In blind review I usually get -1 or -2 wrong, but it just usually takes me a while to get to the right answer. I often spend way too long (2 min) on a question when I'm being timed and want to get faster while not sacrificing accuracy.

I recently read the loophole and the translation drills have helped me to read more actively but this usually takes up a lot of time. I feel like I have a solid foundation and can see why wrong answers are wrong and right answers are right I just need to close the BR gap. I know for sure there are a few curve-breaker questions I couldn't get timed but there are usually at least 4 that I know I should have gotten. I tend to be super under-confident when I'm timed which can slow me down as a debate for too long between answer choices.

Would full sections or drills be better to improve time? Any suggestions on how to find a good skipping strategy that could help? Or what I could do to get more confident in general?

Really would appreciate any advice that helped! :)


  • luxetveritasluxetveritas Member
    edited September 2020 64 karma

    maybe try doing drills with the hardest questions only. and maybe review the loophole again! practice the drills in the loophole until the basic translation and "CLIR" process becomes second nature. I was in your position about a month ago and am now at about -2/-3 for LR. you've got this!

  • chaplin___chaplin___ Core Member
    591 karma

    @luxetveritas if you don't mind me asking, what made it all click for you? like what's your "aha" moment?

  • m.i.rivasm.i.rivas Alum Member
    203 karma

    Thanks so much for your advice. I was just wondering if you do the process in the loophole completely like reading the stimulus before the question stem. And how long did you do translation and CLIR drills before it felt really comfortable?

  • ClevelonClevelon Core Member
    72 karma

    I think the fastest way to get to -4 or -5 from there is to refine your flagging strategy. I completely skip the questions that take me the longest on the first round and I flag questions that I want to go back and verify without the stress of having all the questions still in front of me. Then second round I revisit flagged questions first. I usually end up changing at least a couple answers that I would have gotten wrong the first round. Then the last thing I do is what I consider to be the time sink questions, which for me is parallel flaw/reasoning and harder must be trues. Your time is more efficiently spent becoming more accurate on questions you've flagged than spending 5-6 minutes on two particularly challenging questions.

  • evanescenceevanescence Alum Member
    174 karma

    I'm also having LR troubles. Can someone explain what this loophole is?

  • a1ex_682a1ex_682 Alum Member
    307 karma

    The Logical Reasoning Loophole by Ellen Cassidy. Buy it. Memorize it. It will change your LR game!

    @"kat.evans" said:
    I'm also having LR troubles. Can someone explain what this loophole is?

  • luxetveritasluxetveritas Member
    64 karma

    @chaplin___ honestly just reading the stimuli first, then doing CLIR and prephrasing. That allowed me to go into the ACs feeling equipped and ready to know what to look for

  • luxetveritasluxetveritas Member
    64 karma

    @m.i.rivas yes! i've found that for me, i like reading the stims before the stems. and it didn't take too long - i probably did a handful of lr sections before feeling comfortable

  • Hans ZimmerHans Zimmer Member
    541 karma

    I made big gains in LR by doing what may seem like an insane BR process. I redo every question from a section during BR and I try to articulate to myself why right acs are right, and why wrong acs are wrong.

    Regarding skipping, I looked at which questions were taking me the longest -this was parallel questions -and I adopted an instant skip policy. I went from not being able to get close to finishing every question to just having those skipped PFs left over.

  • howdoichangemyavatarhowdoichangemyavatar Free Trial Member
    52 karma

    Identifying which question types specifically are the ones giving you trouble is key. Blind review is great, but you should also be paying attention to which question types you're getting wrong and making sure you get more practice on those. Thinking of it in terms of 2/4 strengthen questions, or 0/2 parallel reasoning questions vs just -7 or -4 is what really separates 99th percentile from the rest. This is literally how lsat tutors make their money. They're really good at identifying patterns in your missed questions. I worked my way up from 150 to 177, and this was without a doubt the most important part of my studying. If you're studying with an lsat prep program, they generally have an "analytics" section that will identify the missed questions patterns for you, but if you're doing self-study you'll have to put more time in yourself to identify the pattern. Some people also record themselves while taking prep tests to see exactly which questions they are spending too much time on and take that into account.

  • SufficientConditionSufficientCondition Alum Member
    edited September 2020 311 karma


    Seconding what someone else said, I would learn to skip the longer questions, then return if you can.

    Idk what CLIR or the loophole is, but I recommend prioritizing question drills by TIME or frequency of occurrence rather than right/wrong. Studying even the most basic types can help if it does up your time on this questions.

    It's tempting to home in on the most flawed question types in your approach, but often the largest marginal gains are in the periphery.

  • bt.genawbt.genaw Core Member
    27 karma

    In my opinion, those scores are two different levels of familiarity. Someone who does -0 to -3 has a strong grasp on LR while -6 to -8 understands the fundamentals but needs refining. If you go -1 to -2 with BR then you are someone with a strong grasp and your problem is more likely test strategy. When drilling Qs, I think it is most important to use as much time needed to get the correct answer, but when trying to mimic test conditions, skipping is essential. Often times, you will return to a question and see something you didn't notice. I think top test takers are superior bc they know when to leave a Q and when to return to it.

    I'd recommend doing timed sections to help increase speed and mimic test conditions then using blind-review to review only those Qs that you flagged and struggled with. This way you can still go at it with a clear head. If you continue to struggle with time, it might also mean you just need to practice more in the core curriculum bc the LSAT does have a very repetitive way of asking even its most difficult Qs and being able to see these tricks and anticipate traps comes with practice. It's a marathon not a sprint, so keep training and remember some days may feel bad, but in the long game, you are showing progress!

  • BullfroggerBullfrogger Member
    184 karma

    Keep practicing really understanding the prompts as you do questions. You will get faster over time. Rushing and trying to go fast is how you miss questions.

  • hopefullinghopefulling Member
    edited September 2020 905 karma

    For me, intensive BR as @"Hans Zimmer" said: (doing EVERY question and analyzing ... with the thought that eventually, I'll be able to ease up on this when I'm above my goal score (in Phase3 of preptesting)). I'm so excited to finally see some progress. I started out where you are (range of -7 to -12), even after reading the Loophole (before the Loophole, I was ranging -8 to -12). Her section on 'translation' really helped me to understand the stimuli. Her overall theme of the loophole helped me think more critically. Right now, I'm so excited to be at -3 timed and -1/0 in BR for LR section drills (timed, BR untimed). I haven't taken a full PT in a little while (I wanted to Foolproof to not waste LGs in the PTs) and I'm looking forward to bumping one in as a checkpoint of my progress. Also, I read the Loophole before starting 7sage. It helped me work more quickly through the CC to have that basic understanding.

    In doing this intensively in BR, it's also working into my timed approach (which is what I'd hoped/planned: repetition!). In BR I run through my little consolidated approach on every question (well, when it's 'easy' and POE is 'obvious' I use it only as a back-up to check myself for those nasty overconfidence errors). I really analyze the assumptions (and in BR mentally tagging SA and NA) and that support bridge. In BR, on the questions I stagnate on, I'll flip through my notes (also handy as a note refresher).

    And selective skipping. Sometimes I jump from question 10 to 20 in timed, just to grab those low-hanging fruit first. I skip around. I've seen that if I spend too long on a question, I'll get it wrong anyways.
    I have been also doing timed drills to work on past problem types and that has helped immensely. Also 4-star and 5-star drill sets. But, analyzing those ACs critically is working wonders: seeing categorical v. qualified language more often - especially between two similarly worded choices (parallel types). ... And I do giggle a bit every time I see a 'best way' in an AC.

  • KyleM511KyleM511 Member
    edited September 2020 34 karma

    I wanted to answer your post because I was in your exact same position about a month or two ago. I had been stalling out around -7 ~-10 on LR even after reading the Loophole. I was also frustrated at this stage of my studying. I found the loophole extremely helpful as well as the lessons on here.

    Just because I wasn't seeing immediate improvements on my practice sets doesn't mean I hadn't learned anything from the lessons or the books. It just takes a little practice to get quick at it. I would normally run out of time for 4 of the questions. What I started doing was just doing practice tests over and over again (with BR) and I started to see a really quick improvement in everything. I am now regularly getting -3 ~-4 on LR and I have enough time for all the questions. I was also surprised to see improvement in RC from doing this.

    At your stage Id say the hardest part is over, try just doing a bunch of PTs and meticulous BR, this was really the key for me breaking through.

    I will also add, in regards to skipping strategy, I almost always save the Principle/flaw parallel questions for last, as I find they disrupt my flow, also if you are reading a really complicated stimulus that isn't clicking right away, skip and come back, usually when I come back to it later It registers.

    Hope this helps

  • cklomoooooo-1cklomoooooo-1 Member
    edited September 2020 128 karma

    If you have tried everything taught in 7-sage, I would recommend the loophole in logical reasoning by Ellen Cassidy. It really helps a lot!!!1

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