June: A Month of Review (in Review)

I know people who would kill their mother for a 168, much less a 17x. But it all comes down to goals, right? And my goal is relatively simple: I want to walk out of the test center on Sept. 16th not thinking I could’ve done better.

*Hits blunt*

Time, man. It’s like, relentless. Like, can it just chill. Haha. Shit man. Time. Who wants to order a pizza



  • 6/6 Things I need to work on:
    •  Recognizing logical structure when the conditionals aren’t obvious
    •  Recognizing logical structure without diagramming
    • Skimming for structure
    • Eliminating answers that are out of scope immediately based on structure
    • SPEED


  • 6/8 Notes for future reference:
    • What are you looking for on social media, exactly? What are you hoping to find?
      •  Can you track the time, in minutes, you spend on SM?
        •  Remember: data can be powerful.
    • How to best utilize commute time? This week was an experiment
    • What will your daily schedule look like?
      • What is the relationship between autonomy and consistency?
    •  Tennis is fun and I like playing it.


  • 6/11 LR question types to work on:
    • Weaken
      • These questions aren’t typically the most difficult for folks, and me missing a significant number of them indicates that I don’t fully understand what the testmakers are looking for w/r/t sufficient and necessary conditions and overall argument structure.
    • Parallel Reasoning (and Flawed PR)
      • This is going to take a while
    • Necessary Assumptions
      • There are some fucking difficult questions out there, man


  • 6/14 Notes for future reference:
    • Review Sufficient Assumption Qs
    • Recognize the question stem:
      •  Know immediately what to look for in ACs based off of the phraseology of question stem
      • Bubbling in AC’s after completing all the Qs saves time
      •  Skip and come back to difficult questions
        •  This has worked very well recently w/r/t saving time


  • 6/22 Notes for Future Reference  
    •  Be more confident in RC.
      • You are smart. Your first intuition is usually correct (w/r/t RC)
      •  And you are probably just as likely to get a question right (or wrong) after 30 seconds as you are after 3 minutes
        • Read all the answer choices, but be ok with being unsure
    •  Drill Sufficient Assumption
    • Drill Parallel Reasoning
    • Keep drilling weakening


  • 6/29 Notes for Future Reference
    • On difficult games: slow down
      • Take a breath. Don’t rush to diagram
        • The testmakers don’t want you to use recipes
        • take a look at the questions to see what they’re really asking you
        • and if it doesn’t seem like a diagram will make sense, use your intuition.
        • They’re subverting your desire to be prescriptive. Fuck em, be flexible.


Ok, so a few things are sticking out to me.

Parallel Reasoning

Just yesterday I missed a PR question. I’m still not particularly good at these questions. I’ve drilled most of the q’s in the PowerScore LR book. Maybe I can increase my chances at getting these questions right if I increase the speed at which I can get through all other questions and leaving a significant amount of time to diagram the structure of PR stimulus and AC’s. Not sure.

What is the Relationship Between Autonomy and Consistency?

I have thoughts about this but they’re nebulous. I’d rather not say anything more about this now.

Social Media

Deactivated FB account more than a week ago and haven’t looked back. Still use twitter regularly. I guess it makes me feel less lonely sometimes. It’s a place to hide. An instrument of self-forgetting. Idk. Happy to be off of FB.


I’m still up to the timer on most sections. Kind of makes me uncomfortable. Maybe 50% of the time I don’t complete the whole RC section in time. But nearly everyday I take a timed section, and am getting a better intuitive understanding of what 35 minutes feels like. Trusting the process, as it were, that eventually the speed will come.

Assumption Questions

I’ve gotten better at these questions thanks to talking to Kurt about his strategies approaching them.

  • Sufficient Assumption: recognize the gap in the argument
    • To do this, first you must recognize the argument being made. What is the structure? What is the conclusion?
      • Then, what makes this argument work?
    • Be on the look out for NA answer choices, testmakers trying to trick (or, ahem, test) you.
  • Necessary Assumption:
    • Forget about what makes the argument work
    • What, IF FALSE, makes the argument shit the bed?

July: Looking Forward

  1. Flaw. Not necessarily PFR, but those too. Most passages, I miss a flaw question (identify the flaw). Drill these.
  2. Parallel Reasoning. How can we start nailing these? Feeling confident about them? Check in next month. Have we made progress?
  3. Consistency and Autonomy. I’ve got a good thing going. I’m glad I’ve imposed the daily post requirement on myself. Studying w/ other people helps w/ learning and accountable. I wonder if after another month of doing this I’ll feel more…free?
  4. Fuck, it’s only gonna get hotter outside.

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