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A Fun Strategy for LR?

K-MagnetK-Magnet Alum Member
edited November 2014 in General 283 karma
I had read about this strategy before on various forums, but never decided to take the plunge. Then I finally decided to force myself to do the following... and it was surprisingly rewarding & fun. Yes, fun.

--not trying to step on anyone else's copyright toes, but I've read about this same general idea from various posts
--I've written down exactly what I did

Stage 1.
1. Read each LR stimulus in real time (i.e. don't go too slowly & try mimicking your timed test speed).
2. Bracket the Conclusion. Place a C next to the bracketed portion.
3. Read the Question. Label the Question type, writing this label next to the question.
4. In the space below or next to the Question, write 1AC =........ 4AC =.........
Write down your thoughts for what the 1AC should include. All pre-phases are welcome. Write down your thoughts for what the 4 incorrect ACs might include.
5. Tailor the approach to specific Q types. For example, if it is a Strengthen Q, then the 1AC =... might be more general guesses of support, and you cannot specifically guess what the right AC will be. However, you can write that the 4 ACs will be either weaken or neutral. As another example, if it is an EXCEPT Q, then write 4ACs =.... 1AC=.....
6. Do this for every Question in the section.

Stage 2.
1. Return to every Q and for the first time, look at the ACs. You should try to select the correct AC based only on your written notes. DO NOT compare the ACs to each other -- compare them to your notes, and if necessary, to the stimulus which you may have forgotten & need to skim again.
2. Eliminate the four incorrect ACs & choose your correct AC.

Stage 3.
1. Continue this process with more LR sections.
2. When you are tired of writing so much, continue the process with only writing the 1AC notes & no longer writing the 4 AC notes.

Stage 4.
With practice of this process, you will start to build the habit of knowing what to expect in the correct AC & 4 incorrect ACs. You will stop writing down the brackets, the C, the Q type, and the 1AC & 4AC ideas, but you will have internalized the habit of noting them all.

This is fun firstly because the time pressure is off for this strategy.

This is also fun because you get to be creative. What are the possible answers for the paradox? How would you describe the flaw? For some Qs, it will be fun to take the seriousness out of the equation and come up with your own funny answers or exceptions.

Yes, you will see improvements. If anything, you will have a better understanding of the pattern of incorrect ACs for questions. You will also see your problem Q types.

What is so rewarding is when your pre-phrases or guesses actually match the right ACs. Of course, this cannot always happen because there can be infinite ways to strengthen/weaken or a very large number of necessary assumptions, but you are dipping into the realm of possibilities and that's what is important.

Indeed, the impetus is on you -- you get to control what YOU think should be the best AC. Don't let the ACs trick you. Too often we pair the ACs against each other in mini-battles-- and this is the wrong way of attacking the question. We need to GET IN, GET OUT. Know what we are looking for & move on.

We waste time comparing attractive AC 1 and attractive AC 2 directly against each other --- in reality, we should be comparing AC 1 to what we wanted & the stimulus and AC2 to what we wanted & the stimulus.

I *strongly* encourage you to try this strategy or a similar one!!


  • ckscaggsckscaggs Alum Member
    12 karma
    I'm going to try a variation of this and see how it goes. I've done the whole coursework for 7sage and have greatly improved on LG (-1 or -2 on occasion). However, I'm still struggling to focus and choose answers in LR and sometimes in RC. I think the best thing you pointed out here, is that I (as well as others) get in those mini-battles comparing answer choices rather than actually referencing the AC to the passage itself. If you have any other suggestions for LR and RC, or tips, I'll check back on this post. Thanks for your input.

  • marleybabymarleybaby Alum Member
    194 karma
    Im trying this out today. Say, how many times do you recommend doing this until you get results?
  • K-MagnetK-Magnet Alum Member
    283 karma
    @cksgaggs I discuss other tips with LR & RC in terms of blind review in this post --

    When you say that you're struggling to focus, perhaps there are certain types of Q that you should skip as time-suckers of your focus. I consistently skip the parallel reasoning questions and sometimes skip very 'abstract' questions. Usually, I find my focus more engaged when I am handling a more comprehensible subject matter. I then return to the parallel & abstract questions and really focus as hard as I can. But I don't let them waste my time earlier & frustrate me earlier when I have other Q types to look forward to that I find more agreeable.

    @marleybaby -- I recommend doing Stage 1/2 for 4 sections of LR, 2 preptest's worth of material. I then recommend switching to Stage 3 (only writing down what you expect of the correct 1AC) for at least 2 sections of LR, 1 preptest's worth of material. You should definitely see results from this commitment.
  • LeoFiro8LeoFiro8 Alum Member
    edited November 2014 244 karma
    I don't get stage 1 section 4 of your method? write 1 AC and what it should say?
  • DByrne07DByrne07 Monthly Member
    279 karma
    Interestingly - as one completes more LR questions and watches all JY's videos, the strategy above becomes commonplace.
  • Vriver01Vriver01 Alum Member
    60 karma
    This is great! I'm going to try this this weekend.
  • K-MagnetK-Magnet Alum Member
    283 karma
    @LeoFiro8 You would write down 1AC = ...what you're expecting the 1 correct AC to have.... & then 4AC = ..... what you're expecting the 4 incorrect ACs to have....

    PT32, S4, Q15
    Doctors should never prescribe....
    The Q is a Flaw EXCEPT.
    I bracketed the conclusion (the first sentence) & labelled the question as Flaw X.
    I wrote....
    4AC = psychologists treating vs. all others treating; most cases vs. all; drugs could fix stress?; psychotherapy not for all?
    1AC = not a flaw

    In this case, I took my time to think & write down what the flaws might be & sure enough I was rewarded -- three directly matched with ACs C, D, & E.

    PT33, S1, Q10
    Art historian: Great works of art.....
    The Q is a Sufficient Assumption.
    I bracketed the conclusion (the end of the last sentence) and labelled the question appropriately.
    I wrote...
    1AC = connection between public funds & art needed; do we even need to support art or not?
    4ACs = do not justify the conclusion

    In this case, the correct AC answers the question I posed.

    @DByrne07 What is great about this strategy is it being complementary to JY's attack in the videos. But an important difference is you might think about what JY might say and/or what *YOU* might say. For some people, thinking along JY's lines can be enough. I found it very helpful to embrace my own thinking & see what objections I could come up with. I think you could end up watching all of the videos & not necessarily have adopted your own attack to the questions and your own specific way of seeing them. This helps reinforce your personal approach, aided by the foundation of an understanding of Qs from 7sage.

    @Vriver01 Glad you will try it!
  • SapphireSapphire Alum Member
    289 karma
    im sorry, but what does AC stand for?
  • jdawg113jdawg113 Alum Inactive ⭐
    2654 karma
    answer choice
  • orajstricklandorajstrickland Alum Member
    54 karma
    This was very helpful to me -- especially the comments about finding what *YOU* might say. I find JY's explanations very helpful but I am still struggling. I think it is because I have not adopted my own attack, and I am going to work on this as suggested. Thank you @K-Magnet and all others on this post!
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