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General questions relating to LSAT Logical Reasoning.
 KG!
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#78115
Progress/Problem
I have noticed that my score has not improved as much as I'd like. The Powerscore analytics have been a tremendous help in narrowing down which problems I am constantly getting wrong which include flaw, assumption, weaken, strengthen, and occasionally principle/resolve the paradox problems (I know it's a lot). I've reviewed the Powerscore method and the pattern I noticed with completing the questions is that (1) I often mess-up during my prephrase/don't know what to look for in the problem (2) I have difficulty finding issue with the problem & gap in the stimulus. To the first point it is not that I do not know what to do, but rather that I have difficulty applying it to the actual problem and being flexible. For example, in weakening questions after finding the premise/conclusion I will focus on the conclusion. I know my task is to find an answer choice that will make it LESS LIKELY for this conclusion to follow from the premises. The specific problem I have is that I literally say that in my head without thinking (due to time)/or sometimes not knowing well "hmm what are some possible answers I should have in my mind to make that conclusion less likely?" In other words, I noticed for all of these problems and especially with weaken questions I am not that specific or great with my prephrase. I understand I do not have to know exactly what the answer will be, but I think it needs to be a bit better than what I'm doing now. For the second point, with necessary assumptions I know I need to look for answer choice that needs to be true or else the argument falls apart/flaw questions I need figure out that gap in the argument + treat it like a MBT to make sure the flaw for the answer choice is actually occurring in the stimulus! So, once again I know and understand my task but it often takes too much time for me figure out the assumption and sometimes the flaw isn't what I expected. So, how exactly do I work on fixing those gaps when attacking the question so I won't let the answers "control" me?

How I study and review:
I've been doing a mix of delayed blind review and immediate review. After a test, which I typically take digitally I get to see my score instantly!(again, s/o to you guys) I then note every single question I got wrong, guessed, or flagged. Afterwards, when some time has passed usually the evening time or within 24 hours, I try those problems again (without time constraints) and then after each problem I look on this forum for an explanation. Over and over again flaw, assumption, strengthen/weaken, and principle, is either a hit or miss. To a point where I'm not all that confident in my answers-- every time test I have a positive mindset and go in thinking I dominated the test and realize after seeing the numbers that I did quite the opposite. This really hurts my confidence going forward because on multiple questions I was confident for the WRONG answer. I recently listened to your podcast on how to review PTs and perhaps I will take more time on them I really try and understand. I like to think I am reviewing the test "well," but clearly I am still getting these problems wrong! Again, I ask what can I do?


Thank you guys so much In advance!!
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 Dave Killoran
PowerScore Staff
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#78155
Hi KG,

Thanks for the message! I'll try to reply in the next 24 hours—things are a bit crazy here as I'm dealing with a power outage and a nearby wildfire.

Thanks!
 KG!
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#78170
Oh no very sorry to hear that! Hope everything improves for you!
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 Dave Killoran
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#78230
Hi KG,

The way you describe this makes me feel as if it's not a particular question type that's the issue (and it rarely is—everything has a root cause that goes deeper than just the question being asked). All of these types revolve around seeing how the pieces of an argument relate to each other, so the issue is inside seeing degrees of support and connection between the premise and conclusion. And, then beyond that, being able to personalize what was said and react to it (which is really prephrasing under a different name). So, with that in mind, I'm going to a quote a few pieces of what you said and react to each point:

  • * "in weakening questions after finding the premise/conclusion I will focus on the conclusion" — This sounds really rigid to me, because I don't do it in a particular order. It's more like a waterfall, and I'll see pieces as they are presented. If I find the conclusion first, fine. There's no order to what you are doing here, and knowing that might release you to react more freely.

    * "I know my task is to find an answer choice that will make it LESS LIKELY for this conclusion to follow from the premises" — Think of it more along the lines of, What do I think sucks about this argument instead of thinking what answer would make it less likely to follow. Meaning, react in a direct, personal way to what you read, not a cold, analytical way of likelihoods. Where's the hole in the argument? Find it, and attack it! This helps solve the prephrase problem you mentioned immediately afterward as well.

    As an exercise, just a read a few Weaken question arguments (or Flaw, or Strengthen, doesn't matter, it just needs an argument with a problem) and don't worry about the answers. Instead, ask yourself what you don't like about the argument, or where you see a problem with it. Most people are intuitively good at seeing problems.

    * "with necessary assumptions I know I need to look for answer choice that needs to be true or else the argument falls apart" — There's so much more to how assumptions work that I feel like you've absorbed the extended points of what it is while not articulating the basic truth of what an assumption is: something the author is committed to and needs to hold on to for dear life to have the argument maintain integrity. Without really grasping that truth, these questions are always difficult, so the focus should be less on the techniques and perspectives around this question, and more on taking 100 Assumptions and looking at the language in each one—why are they all so vital to the author's argument?

    * flaw questions I need figure out that gap in the argument" — Again, I'd say it's so much more than this. Yes, there are gaps, but Flaw is about the way in which the author makes the mistake, which goes beyond the gap.

    * Last, it's not about doing questions or how much you review them, but in what you get from that review and how well you know what you looked at. Your standard of understanding for every question should be the Teaching Test, which is step 6 here: https://blog.powerscore.com/lsat/retaki ... our-score/. Strive to drain all the knowledge from each LR question, not just review to get through it :)

It's extremely hard for me to make a deeper analysis without seeing someone do questions, so I wonder if a tutor might be an optimal solution for you here. I sense you have all the tools to do well, but the pieces aren't falling into place the way they should and it seems like your focus on some of these questions is mis-angled just a bit! A small adjustment might have everything click into place :-D .

Anyway, hopefully that's a start. Thanks!
 KG!
  • Posts: 24
  • Joined: May 26, 2020
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#78409
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my long winded question! I definitely get your points and really appreciate the advice --- I think I'll definitely take a step back to focus on the argument structure/connections

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