Many of my students have told me versions of the same thing, especially if they've been self-studying. It goes something like this:
"I'm trying to improve, but I've hit a plateau. I'm always -5 or -10 on Logical Reasoning (or Reading Comprehension), and I can't figure out what's wrong. My misses are all over the map, and there's no pattern or consistency to what I miss. What do I do? It doesn't seem like it's any particular question type, I just don't get better."
Sound familiar? It should. It happens to everyone studying for the LSAT. At a certain point, it's tough to figure out what might be going on or why you're missing those last few questions. But there's hope. Because there is always a pattern.
No matter how random it looks, or how inconsistent, I guarantee you there is a pattern to what you miss and why. Last winter, I had a student with this very issue. He couldn't understand why he continued to miss 4-6 questions over and over on Logical Reasoning. He sent me the practice sessions, showed me the the ones he got wrong. Sure enough, he missed different types of questions without rhyme or reason. Parallel reasoning, strengthen, must be true. All over the map.
However, many of his mistakes DID share a common theme. They all involved making use of and understanding the conditional relation. One, for instance, was a Justify the Conclusion question where the conclusion expressed a conditional. Another question was a parallel reasoning question. It made use of a hypothetical syllogism (basically, nested conditionals). A few were flaw and weakness questions, and guess what? They all made use of wrong inferences based on the conditional relation.
So, we drilled the conditional relation, its implications and its mistaken inferences. He went from missing 4-6 to missing 1. Across both sections.
Of course, that's a relatively simple pattern. Others were sometimes more complicated. One of my students kept missing LR questions that were science based or experimental. No particular reason; mental block. Pointing it out when a long way to removing it. Another kept missing questions where the conclusion expressed a causal relation. I could go on. The point is that there is always a pattern. You may not see it, but it's there. The good news is once the pattern is identified, it's easy to fix. Sometimes it just takes a fresh look to help see the pattern.
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