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How do you ace the really difficult LR questions?

zoomzoomzoomzoom Alum Member

So I'm trying to improve on my LR and I usually have the most trouble with the most difficult LR questions (4 or 5 stars). A common question type here are really challenging Strengthen and Weaken questions.

I often review these missed questions in-depth and try to practice them untimed. While I do get these questions right again untimed, in timed conditions, I miss them over and over.

How do you get to a level of acing these questions consistently? I feel like the biggest issue is getting them correct under the intense time pressure

Comments

  • tvoelzke77tvoelzke77 Monthly Member
    20 karma

    What worked for me was at first setting a very reasonable time constraint, and drilling and drilling until I could work that time down to eventually around test pace. It's really just practice and recognizing similarities between the questions.

  • MissionLsatMissionLsat Alum Member
    379 karma

    Trust the process, you will surely get there. This test does takes time and the more you practise, analyse, the better you will become. You will soon start recognising the incurring patterns which help you to solve the harder questions under time pressure.

    All the best

  • WinningHereWinningHere Monthly Member
    372 karma

    Hi, are you getting all the easy and the medium questions correct? If so, then you can focus on the hard ones and the suggestions above are good. Also your sufficient and necessary skills must be spot on and to diagram can get you through a tough question. If you are not already getting 1-19 correct, then you should still be focusing on getting all of those correct under timed conditions first.

  • jasong99jasong99 Alum Member
    35 karma

    I also have a really hard time with those questions. I find that those questions usually come by question 15 until the end of the section, so I started taking LR sections by starting with question 15-25 and then going back to question 1. It leaves you more time to focus and reread the really difficult LR questions and that way you can breeze through the easy questions 1-10 or 1-15.

  • nomomnomnomomnom Monthly Member
    edited August 2021 365 karma

    It might be worth reviewing the core curriculum if Strengthening/Weakening Qs are a concern. Other than that, if you are blind reviewing in-depth, you're off to a great start! Are you keeping a wrong answer journal by any chance? Keeping an answer journal is extremely useful as it forces you to articulate the reasoning behind one question, your task, why incorrect answers were attractive, any tricks the LR writers are trying to pull. Most importantly, it forces you to address any mistakes you made and state specifically what to do in the future to resolve them. Then do drills to rectify those mistakes (eg: if you're missing questions because you didn't spend enough time reading the stimulus/misread something, aim to do stimulus translation drills. If it's because you didn't prephrase before heading into the answer choices, try to do drills to identify any unwarranted assumptions/gaps in premises-> conclusion). As you do more timed LR sections, you will begin noticing cookie cutter flaws/structure in arguments as well as in the wrong answer choices and your performance will improve (eg: Weakening question that wants you to strengthen/weaken hypothesis, argument by analogy, common necessity sufficiency confusion in wrong AC's, etc) .

  • agc438agc438 Yearly Member
    253 karma

    @nomomnom said:
    It might be worth reviewing the core curriculum if Strengthening/Weakening Qs are a concern. Other than that, if you are blind reviewing in-depth, you're off to a great start! Are you keeping a wrong answer journal by any chance? Keeping an answer journal is extremely useful as it forces you to articulate the reasoning behind one question, your task, why incorrect answers were attractive, any tricks the LR writers are trying to pull. Most importantly, it forces you to address any mistakes you made and state specifically what to do in the future to resolve them. Then do drills to rectify those mistakes (eg: if you're missing questions because you didn't spend enough time reading the stimulus/misread something, aim to do stimulus translation drills. If it's because you didn't prephrase before heading into the answer choices, try to do drills to identify any unwarranted assumptions/gaps in premises-> conclusion). As you do more timed LR sections, you will begin noticing cookie cutter flaws/structure in arguments as well as in the wrong answer choices and your performance will improve (eg: Weakening question that wants you to strengthen/weaken hypothesis, argument by analogy, common necessity sufficiency confusion in wrong AC's, etc) .

    Is it just me or did they go ham on strengthen/weaken/flaw questions in the later tests? Like, those types from the more recent tests appear MUCH more than the other question types in my current studying experience.

  • AlissaleeAlissalee Member
    86 karma

    Hello!

    LR mastery on these curve-breaker questions can be a feat, but not impossible! Doing these questions untimed is invaluable. However, what matters even more is what you DO when you are looking at them untimed. It is absolutely necessary to analyze the entire question, stimulus, correct answers, and especially the wrong answers. I find that most people don't spend enough time in this reflective process.There are common logic traps that test makers use to create difficult questions. If you can learn to identify them, you will better be able to recognize them on the actual test of what the test makers are trying to make you think as well as wrong answer traps. Not only will you become more accurate with difficult questions, you will also be able to answer them faster.

    Second, the trickier questions tend also to have more difficult stimulus. By analyzing the stimulus more thoroughly, you will better be able to uncover what they are really trying to say as well as the purpose behind each sentence. This clarity will make it easier to pre-phrase the correct answer. Furthermore, this skill of uncovering the true meaning of convoluted statements will ultimately help you to be able to read more fluidly in equally difficult questions that you will encounter-- not just on the one you are analyzing. Not to mention to benefits for RC.

    Personally, I found that depth over breadth approach to studying is much more effective in learning--rather than doing question after question and absorbing little. I scored a 176 in around 6 months of studying. I also help others spend less time studying (but with focused intent) and develop greater mastery. I'd be happy to talk to you more about this approach if you'd like to message me :)

  • nomomnomnomomnom Monthly Member
    365 karma

    @agc438 I'm not sure relative to older tests hahah, but you might be right! There are a good amount of them. I'm also noticing more flaw and MSS questions in the 80s.

  • agc438agc438 Yearly Member
    253 karma

    @nomomnom said:
    @agc438 I'm not sure relative to older tests hahah, but you might be right! There are a good amount of them. I'm also noticing more flaw and MSS questions in the 80s.

    I noticed by checking my analytics and noticing that strengthen and weaken questions were in bright red even though they weren't even showing when I took the earlier tests. (This is when I started practicing the 50+ test mark). I'm in the 70-80 tests and I've managed to count some tests having 5+ weaken questions, etc. The types that are the most prevalent to me are weaken, strengthen, and flaw. Parallel flaw/reasoning has about 2, and the rest is a mixed bag. I'm probs gonna have to retake the October because I'm not testing great for August so this is good to know lol.

  • Glutton for the LSATGlutton for the LSAT Alum Member
    480 karma

    Hi @oychoi79

    For me, it's helpful to stick to the basics. I try to follow the general checklist as follows:

    (1) Identify the question type.
    (2) Read the stimulus and answer choices carefully. Do not skim or rush on the first pass.
    (3) Identify the premise(s) and conclusion(s).
    (4) Translate the argument in my own, more simplified, words.
    (5) The answer choice should be both accurate descriptively and in its identification of the flaw.

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