Weakening questions - a strategy for harder questions?

LSATcantwinLSATcantwin Alum Member Sage
edited November 2017 in Logical Reasoning 13286 karma

Yesterday I had the privilege of working through a problem with J.Y. It’s in here if you are curious;

https://7sage.com/discussion/#/discussion/13637/pt-82-br-sessions-with-j-y-spoiler-warning

The question was PT82.S4.Q14 a weakening question.

After working through it I can see where I was confused. I see how the two answer choices that stumped me are different.

My question is, that on some questions, I find myself really struggling to see how they work. This is ESPECIALLY true for weakening questions. On some of these questions I have a really hard time seeing how any AC does something to the argument or, more succinctly, the conclusion. Only through really intense scrutiny of these kinds of problems am I able to get to the answer. Obviously I do not have the time to do this kind of in-depth analysis during a test.

For example on the question J.Y. Helped me with I was able to eliminate 3 answer choices fairly easily. I was then stuck between two. No matter how much I read them, I thought they said the same thing. It took really comparing them to understand that one of the AC did something the other didn’t. Only after I saw how they were different, was I able to see how the right answer weakened the argument. I should have been able to spot this right away.

I don’t like feeling “on my heels” like that during a test. I like to have a semi clear idea of what to look for or, at the very least, when I read the right answer knowing right away that I've found the right one.

Another example was PT35.S4.Q20

I had no clue how the AC worked until I had a chance to really dig deep into it. By then I've wasted far too much time and screw myself for the rest of the section. It's one of the many issues I am still trying to address before my next test.

Any suggestions on how to approach questions like this in a better way? I know what I'm asking is really abstract, but I hope I make sense.

Comments

  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Alum Member Sage 🍌
    27161 karma

    It sounds like you've made progress on how to go about cracking these open. Keep pursuing that in review to refine the process and you'll find that you'll do better under time.

    This next part is probably going to be fairly predictable coming from me, lol, but here it is. On timed sections where you're still not able to do it, a lot of the trick is to simply not worry about it. If you can't differentiate quickly and confidently, just move on and come back later to see what progress you can manage on it. You don't have to get it right every time you see it. If you can get your accuracy on these to about 65%, that's pretty good. On any given section, I've normally got 4 questions that I never really understand. But I don't miss 4 questions per section, I miss 1 or 2. I make whatever progress I can on these and try to get to 65%.

  • LSATcantwinLSATcantwin Alum Member Sage
    13286 karma

    @"Cant Get Right" said:
    It sounds like you've made progress on how to go about cracking these open. Keep pursuing that in review to refine the process and you'll find that you'll do better under time.

    This next part is probably going to be fairly predictable coming from me, lol, but here it is. On timed sections where you're still not able to do it, a lot of the trick is to simply not worry about it. If you can't differentiate quickly and confidently, just move on and come back later to see what progress you can manage on it. You don't have to get it right every time you see it. If you can get your accuracy on these to about 65%, that's pretty good. On any given section, I've normally got 4 questions that I never really understand. But I don't miss 4 questions per section, I miss 1 or 2. I make whatever progress I can on these and try to get to 65%.

    Interestingly enough I now almost always finish LR with about 5-8min to spare. I think having a long break helped me a lot. I was burnt out. I also skip problems more readily now. I use a modified method of what you told me to. The only difference is before I move on I commit myself to an answer. Then come back and see if I'm still as committed. This has sped me up because I don't sit there pondering the question forever.

    These types of questions are more insidious for me because I feel prepared and am only thrown off after reading through all the Ac. Then I have a feeling of "wtf" and I can't even begin to commit to something. That throws off my entire groove.

    I took a PT today and went -5 total in LR, -0 in LG and -5 in RC. On this particular test it landed me at a 172. One of the LR questions was a stupid mistake. The other three were more complicated than I thought when reading them originally.

  • NotMyNameNotMyName Alum Member Sage
    5320 karma

    @LSATcantwin

    I think having a long break helped me a lot. I was burnt out.

    how long of a break did you take?

  • LSATcantwinLSATcantwin Alum Member Sage
    13286 karma

    @jkatz1488 said:
    @LSATcantwin

    I think having a long break helped me a lot. I was burnt out.

    how long of a break did you take?

    I didn't touch LSAT from Sept 17th until like October 20 something. So like a full month. And now that I'm studying again I am going SUPER light. Like a PT every 2 weeks or so.

  • NotMyNameNotMyName Alum Member Sage
    5320 karma

    nice. thanks for sharing. i'm seeing score dips and having difficulty focusing. thinking about taking a break but those things could also be a result of new techniques i'm trying to implement.

  • LSATcantwinLSATcantwin Alum Member Sage
    13286 karma

    @jkatz1488 said:
    nice. thanks for sharing. i'm seeing score dips and having difficulty focusing. thinking about taking a break but those things could also be a result of new techniques i'm trying to implement.

    It’s possible it’s both. Prior to the Sept test I was obsessed with the lsat to an unhealthy level. I didn’t see a friend for 3 months. If I wasn’t at work I was studying. I studied at work. I woke up at 4am to study before work. I did like 3 PT’s a week. I needed the break lol

  • NotMyNameNotMyName Alum Member Sage
    5320 karma

    @LSATcantwin i can relate lol

    well with regard to your original post, i can relate to that too. it's actually exactly my bottle neck and i am working to implement what cantgetright suggested. it's harder than i thought. only finishing the section w 5 minutes. i'll get there.

  • LSATcantwinLSATcantwin Alum Member Sage
    13286 karma

    @jkatz1488 said:
    @LSATcantwin i can relate lol

    well with regard to your original post, i can relate to that too. it's actually exactly my bottle neck and i am working to implement what cantgetright suggested. it's harder than i thought. only finishing the section w 5 minutes. i'll get there.

    Yep I’m at 5-8min also. I’m a stubborn asshole though, so I’ve just changed it up a bit. I’m now forcing myself to be okay with an answer and then moving on. When I finish then I go back and see if I still like my answer.

    I just cannot leave an answer blank I’m too arrogant and stubborn lol.

  • 1000001910000019 Alum Member
    3279 karma

    @LSATcantwin did you get further clarification for PT82.S4.Q14 ?
    I've been searching for an alternative explanation, and I came across your thread.

    If so, can you check out the question I posted in the comments:
    https://7sage.com/lsat_explanations/lsat-82-section-4-question-14/

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