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 Post subject: for those who score over 170
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 5:26 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2006 3:07 am
Archived Posts: 6
My question is directed to those elite students who have scored over a 170. I am having trouble breaking 170. I usually score between 165 and 169 but score poorly in the games. I was wondering:
1) What kinds of scores do you all score on the individual sections? I usually score between 21 and 23 on the LR and 22 and 25 on the RC. Am I wrong in assuming that the best scorers are getting near perfect scores on the LG?

2) Do any of you have a similar story or any advice that may help?

3) Once I see the form of the graph or picture recommended for a problem I am fine but I never am sure what graph or table to use. Is there a finite number of possible options?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Cheers,


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 5:32 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 12:15 am
Archived Posts: 34
Are you taking a prep course of any kind? Just wanted to see if you had any existing strategies for tackling the games...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 6:10 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:26 pm
Archived Posts: 1837
1)If you can master the games section on multiple preptests, you are unlikely to run into something on test day that you can't handle, and you'll have almost a quarter of the test sewn up. That can only help if you are trying to ace it. Games are the area of the test that it's easiest to improve on; you have two months, and are in great shape.

2)I had started at a 165, scored several 170's pretty soon afterwards, and after almost two months of prep I was still averaging a 170. I couldn't finish games. I got 1-2 wrong on each LR section, and did well on RC. It wasn't until the last week of May and the first two weeks of June that I started doing better.

I had worked through the Logic Games Bible early on, and had found it very helpful, but had plateaued, so I went back to it in late may. I went over the concepts again, and drilled LG section after LG section. I also spent a lot more time going onve the games I had trouble with, analyzing how I could have saved time, and determining a better way to attack them. At the same time, I started doing newer preptests, which I found had easier games in them, and less questions per section. That is a definite trend over the last several years, IMO. In a single day in early June, I did one preptest from 1996 and one from 2004. On the 1996 test, I barely finished the LG section(still an improvement over my efforts earlier in the month). On the 2004 test I finished the LG section with six minutes to spare.

Over those last two weeks, I averages a 174 on preptests, and somehow, on test day, I pulled off a 178.

3)In addition to the Powerscore Logic Games Bible, which I used and recommend, Powerscore also sells "The Ultimate Set-ups Bible" which shows their recommended set-up diagram for every released logic game over the past ten years. I didn't get the book, but it sounds like it might be helpful to you.

Good luck!
Ian


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 9:49 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2006 3:07 am
Archived Posts: 6
to the MIT engineer- i am in the kaplan extreeme class and it really is slow. i am the only one in my class that can break 160. i have the kaplan books but they show you how to set the problem up and not the theory behind the diagram. did any of you use 8 or 9 diagrams and then put the games around them or did you customize all of the diagrams per each game?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:15 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 2:48 am
Archived Posts: 201
flhopeful, i definately commiserate--my situation is similar to your own. I will let you know if I discover any breakthrough methods. Good luck to the both of us!!

I had not planned on taking a course, but am now considering it. Would you say the course type you are currently taking is or is not worth the moola for someone scoring like you or me?

I would also like to improve my LR performance from on average, 2 to 4 questions wrong to getting just 1-2 wrong. Anyone have any tips? Might the LR Bible be useful to me?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:22 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 12:04 am
Archived Posts: 164
I think it's definitely worth the money to get the LR Bible. I have online access to both the LR & LG Bible's through my Powerscore class right now, and they both look like they are extremely thorough in explaining the different question types, how to tackle them, how to diagram them, and what traps to look for.

I just started the course, so I haven't used both books that much yet, but they do contain a ton of information that I know will be very useful to me in the coming weeks.

Hope that helps.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:45 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 1:25 am
Archived Posts: 24
I started a prep class about a week ago and got 165 on my first diagnostic test, missing 10 LG questions. My instructor told me to redo logic games over and over, and I did about 20 games several times. A week later, I missed only 2 on LG (skipped them - I'm still a little slow and need to keep practicing) to get a 175.

I think it's important to get tons of actual practice, to take it one question at a time (freaking out makes the games even more difficult) and to not overcomplicate the games. While the LG Bible is really helpful because it teaches you to make inferences and how to generally approach the Games, I think that it does overcomplicate the process - which can be bad if you're already pressed for time (I've stopped using shorthand, for instance, and instead of focusing on getting all the inferences at the beginning, I've learned to plug-and-chug, create scenarios and just keep my pencil moving - it saves me time in the long run). Although ultimately, I know that some people find the LG Bible works for them, so it also may depend on personal preferences and learning style as well. Good luck!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 1:02 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 1:57 pm
Archived Posts: 15
I got a 172 on June LSAT. I didn't take a prep course and hated logic games. Luckily I was great at LR and RC.

I used Powerscore - highly recommend it.

I would strongly recommend that people get their hands on more recent tests to practice on. My cousin had a Kaplan book from her class that had tests going all the way to the end of 2004. These tests were definitely different from the most recent LSAC books, which I believe only go through 2002.

My LG scores on these more recent tests went up considerably and I never scored below 170. The LG I got on my real LSAT was super-easy and only 22 questions.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:18 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 12:15 am
Archived Posts: 34
I have generally heard poor things about Kaplan; if the course is too slow for you I'd recommend looking into another option as you aren't extracting your full potential.

For the logic games, there seems to be a limited number of "types" of questions they can ask (sequencing, grouping, mixed sequencing/grouping, mapping, etc.). With enough practice, you can definitely learn to identify the type of set-up required after reading the stimulus. I would study the Logic Games you practiced on before and see if you can identify the "stimuli" in the game that lead you to the correct set-up. Does this make sense?

Are you reading the stimulus for the game in its entirety before writing your set-up?

I think the LG section is the easiest section to ace on the LSAT..anyone have other opinions?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 3:56 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 1:57 pm
Archived Posts: 15
I was only able to finish 3 games 90% of the time on practice tests. I got a 172 on the real thing. It can be done.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 11:15 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 11:07 am
Archived Posts: 32
I'm taking the LSATs in October and I've been taking practice tests. I used Kaplan's LSAT 180 book and their regular LSAT Prep book for the practice, as well as downloading the LSAC practice LSAT. I've been averaging about 176 or 177.

Personally I found the break-down of types of questions and a few tips among the books (i.e. read the LR question before the passage) very helpful. If they cover more than that in the class, I haven't heard about it from anyone.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 12:06 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:29 pm
Archived Posts: 1037
Moshe,
On what part of the test do you find you need to improve the most, and how do you plan to do it?
Yours,
dwharris2


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 12:50 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 11:07 am
Archived Posts: 32
I discovered my biggest problem is keeping my attention on the questions...

I miss the most questions in LR. I go over the answers afterward and only once or twice did I feel like I didn't know the correct answer. Most of the time I end up going, "Well, heck, if I had just read the question carefully.." or more often, "Darn it! I KNEW that was the right answer/that was my first answer!"

I'm just gonna truck on through more practice tests.. I think that's the only way I'll improve.

My other problem area is the inference questions in RC. They trip me up for some reason. Again, more practice tests and try to internalize what I did wrong.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 2:42 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:29 pm
Archived Posts: 1037
Moshe,
Though I'm not near you in my scoring, I agree with you on LR. Most of my mistakes -- 80% of them -- come from not reading carefully enough and, usually, missing a key word or two. I find that underlining -- even the answer choices, in some cases -- makes me not only see but note the word(s). "Instinct" seems the be the reward for a lot of practice, and well worth trusting in the crunch of the test.
Yours,
dwharris2


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 1:15 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2006 3:07 am
Archived Posts: 6
for those who are scoring over 170-
i am wondering how many tests you all are taking?
are you doing section length practice or full tests most of the time?
i am taking the sep 30 test and was wondering what everyone else was doing


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 8:50 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 11:07 am
Archived Posts: 32
I started off working through the LSAT 180 book by Kaplan which breaks it down by section. After I got an understanding of the types of (difficult) questions I just started taking full length practice tests....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 9:33 am 
DELETED


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 1:57 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2006 3:07 am
Archived Posts: 6
do you guys practice with experimental sections?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 3:19 pm 
DELETED


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 6:38 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 1:25 am
Archived Posts: 24
Hi Fl_Hopeful:

I've taken 12 PrepTests so far, usually scoring between 173 and 177, and am planning on 3-4 per week with the experimental section until the Sept. test. I haven't done any section practice, but I do individual logic games over and over.

It probably depends on the person, but I did encounter more "brain fatigue" when I added a fifth experimental section to the three tests that I took this week (especially when I hit three LR sections in a row on Monday! I struggled a bit with my focus.) I would definitely try it at least a few times before the Sept. test. Depending on how it affects you and how you react, you can probably decide whether or not to add a fifth section to your tests.


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 Post subject: LR trouble
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 9:30 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 9:00 pm
Archived Posts: 41
I'm in testmasters weekend course now but, to be completely honest, I don't find it that useful. My original diag was a 159 but just from taking a few practice tests I found I have a better feel for the test and now consistently score (give or take a point or two) about a 169.

I want to consistently and confidently break 173+ but I always seem to mess up LR. For some reason I always miss anywhere from two - four on each LR section and figuring I make a few more stupid mistakes on LG and RC that brings me to about a 169.

Anyone have an recommendations for mastering LR?

Any suggestions are greatly, greatly appreciated!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 12:46 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 7:19 pm
Archived Posts: 1162
The book of real tests I bought from LSDAS didn't include experimental sections, and I think I sat very few practice tests with it included. But I don't think it makes a whole lot of difference, since you can spend too much time worrying about whether a particular section is experimental or not.

In the end what it came down to for me was repeating one section (the games) over and over and over. As for the question asked in the first post here - about the particular diagrams to use - I feel you can't use those as your basis for every question. You can't read a question and then waste time asking yourself "well, should I draw a chart, or a graph, or a map, or...." Just start scribbling down the information any way you can (as simple as three lines for three shelves or 8 slots for 8 fields is the way most questions go).

I actually found the logic games on the December LSAT ridiculously easy when it came down to it. I think there was a pretty large curve for that test because it certainly wasn't as challenging as most of the practice tests I'd been doing.

As for reasoning, I'm not sure about that. I started out consistently making mistakes on that section too (my first test was a 163 even though I didn't miss any on reading comprehension), and I guess all that improved me was a whole lot of practice. Sometimes there were questions I couldn't figure out even after looking up the answer, and I think what's important there is you don't give up. You ask someone, or you spend a lot of time on it, and you figure out why the answer is right and try not to let any question get you that way again.

I'm not sure if this is all that helpful. What it came down to me was practice and dedication. Lots of it.

Oh, and one note that hopefully will be more helpful and not too confusing. Mostly I've heard that your first instinct is right and not to change your answers on standardized tests in general. But the actual test day, I had enough time to check my answers twice, and I changed 2 questions in reading comp and 3 in logical reasoning - and they all turned out to be right. So go with your first instinct if you absolutely have no idea and rechecking is only managing to get you more confused and muddled, but don't be afraid to change answers if you recheck and think you've done something wrong the first time around.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:13 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 10:51 pm
Archived Posts: 99
Hi! I am in an unusual position compared to many of the people on this thread both in terms of test-taking background and the amount of preparation I have already put in.

I was a long time Princeton Review SAT instructor who was talked into becoming a LSAT instructor a while back (they needed people and I had the best rep as an instructor for the local office), but I only taught Args and RC before I stopped teaching for Princeton. Also b/c of my personal situation only decided to take and thus study for the LSAT recently. Fortunately I am starting off w/170 (thanks to my RC and Args knowledge) and just have to find a way not to miss 8 games questions in a row!!! So I have a month off basically just to work on Games. I know the games are supposed to be the easiest of the 3 sections to go up on and I have a month to prove it (or not). I have found some of the comments on this thread and the 160 thread especially helpful. Also If people on this thread don’t think this is realistic to bring my Games score in line with my other sections in a month let me know.

For nd_06: Try making your Pace QUICKER (less time per question) not slower on your next practice test. As counter-intuitive as this sounds, this change can help tremendously for certain types of general LR problems at your level. If you are missing 2-4 questions per LR section for very specific reasons (such as you repeat the same mistake time after time) then speeding up won’t help you as much. For the RC you need to give me more details.


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 Post subject: For DOS - likely a LSAT score of 173-175
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:00 am 

Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2005 6:22 am
Archived Posts: 1660
Hi Dos,

I too was at Princeton Review, but I started out teaching the LSAT and then they moved me to the GRE as well because they were short-staffed. Fun to learn other tests. I aced the GRE (2320/2400) thanks to them.

You are in excellent shape, for you should be able to nearly master games in the next month. Since you have the time and are under test deadlines, study for 30+ hours each week leading up to the test. Get the powerscore Logic Games Bible, quite helpful for most. You should be able to easily get a 173+.

Thanks for offering tips to others. After you take the test or even now, please post to the thread any insights you can offer on how to get a 160+ on the LSAT. Obviously, your tips will be on the Reading and logic games section.

Best of luck and I look forward to more posts on the LSAT and your applications. Hopefully you saw the post on writing your law school personal statement, filled with tips you may already know.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:07 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 7:19 pm
Archived Posts: 1162
A month is absolutely plenty of time. If I were in your position, starting from a 170, I wouldn't have even been worried enough to look for online forums to ask other people what they thought!

I improved from missing around half of the games I encountered to consistently getting every one right before the test, and then a score of 180. I studied more than one month but I've no doubt you've better study skills than I did, so I think your goal is completely realistic.


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