Mind Over Matter

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wen5000
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 5:03 pm

Mind Over Matter

Postby wen5000 » Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:40 am

As welcoming as everyone has been in these forums, I find myself somewhat removed from the entire process since I'm not applying this year and probably won't be for the near future. There are a couple reasons for my delay: a) my GPA is terrible compared to what is required to attend a T14 school b) I'm told that work experience will both strengthen my application, allow me to glimpse the real world, and hopefully give me some financial independence c) I like to study the hell out of standardized tests, but I need time to do so.

I've been working on all three since I realized, last spring, suddenly and irrevocably that I needed to study law. While GPA and WE are graduals concerns that I'm addressing by having better study habits and actively finding jobs/internships for this summer and beyond, the LSAT prep begins very shortly. In fact, I spent ~ $180 on LSAT prep books today. I used mainly AlexB's advice (he of YLS admission) that he posted in his blog.

I hope to begin studying during spring break and make it a habit into next quarter. In the mean time, I will probably talk about useless topics such as my life, my drinking habits, my general disdain for algebra, and law school anxiety. That's all for now.

User avatar
wen5000
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 5:03 pm

Our Finest Hour

Postby wen5000 » Sun Mar 16, 2008 7:00 pm

My LSAT books have arrived. I got the "please pick up your package from the mail room" slip a couple days ago. Next week, I have my final exams, but then, the work begins. I plan to take a diagnostic test on the first Saturday morning six days from today, and I will go from there. Check back for regular updates, observations, concerns, frustrations, etc about the LSAT preparation process ("Lpp").

Frustration #1: The Powerscore Bibles actually cost less (~$20 per book) on their website than on Amazon. Amazon.com has never ripped me off before, so I didn't even think to check the Powerscore website. Silly me, but you can learn from my mistakes.

Observation #2: I stumbled upon the law firm of a certain Munger, Tolles, and Olson LLP (more on how I heard about them later). It appears that roughly 142/201 of their attorneys have done judicial clerkships of some sort and roughly 23/201 have done SCOTUS clerkships. That seems really intense to me. :shock:

In other news, WE WON OUR FIRST RUGBY GAME THIS SEASON! 19-5. It was a well-played game on both sides. We had good fundamentals and kept our line defensively. No breakaway missed tackles or standing around rucks and getting blown over (big problems last season). Generally, very solid play by the pack. We used a different guy at 8-man cos our normal guy couldn't play, and he did a great job for us. Our scrums got stronger as the game went on, and we won most of the defensive ones at the end of the game. I'm not really sure how much I contributed to that as a flanker, but...props to the props, eh? :P It felt real good to get this win. We'd played hard and not won a single game last season, so we're already off to a good start :).

Personally, I had some good runs off of line-outs because they didn't defend the deep throw (to me, past the two jumpers) most of the time. I also had some clutch passes to the scrum-half off of that play, which felt real good cos a) forwards never pass b) I didn't get hammered c) it's kind of improvising (it's usually a "catch the ball, go into contact, and wait for support" kind of forward play). Otherwise, I need to work on my conditioning - I got really tired at the beginning of the game, and it took me a while to hit my "second wind." I now understand the concept of "wanting it more." Oh, and I didn't miss my first tackle. It's one of my personal goals this season.

All in all, very awesome.

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wen5000
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 5:03 pm

Re: Mind Over Matter

Postby wen5000 » Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:24 pm

Yep. I did not follow my initial plan of taking my first prep test on Saturday. Spring break was too fun. I needed to de-stress from school too much. I played about 4 days of continuous bridge, and I finally got down to my first prep test today.

Preptest #19 from "10 More Actual, Official LSAT Preptests." My score break down was as follows:

11/24 (LG)
20/24 (LR)
19/27 (RC)
21/26 (LR)

Total = 70/101 = 158 scaled score.

Not exactly the total pwnage I was hoping for, but being good at standardized testing means that you're good at prepping, not cold-taking tests, so I'm not too disappointed either. I only need 22 points of improvement!

Some general thoughts: hard to maintain concentration for the second LR section. The phone rang during the RC section, and I got really thrown off the passage I was working on. Trying to read too fast at the moment, and I end up skimming and not absorbing the information.

RC: I feel like the RC section is very similar to the SAT reading sections, so I just need to re-sharpen my RC skills. Read fast but accurately, and decisively figure out the main point/conclusion type questions.

LR: I feel I have a good feel for, but I need to get the finer points down. Unfortunately, there is one SPECIFIC question type that completely screws with me. The one where it gives you an argument and then goes "this reasoning is MOST similar to which of the following arguments?" And it lists five really random premise-conclusion type of things. Very wierd.

LG: I got creamed. No other way to put it. I didn't even get to the 4th game, but my brain was already tired. There were two sequencing (I think that's what they're called - there are three parents ABC, and three kids DEF, and here are some rules about how they can be arranged in a line/two groups) ones, and I didn't have any better method than brute force/trial and error. And then there was one that seemed really easy to me (there are five time slots, you need to schedule some events, subject to these conditions). Maybe these are the same type of game, and one of them is just easier. I dunno. I have the PowerScore LG Bible though, so hopefully I can study these up ASAP. Tomorrow, we begin the said Bible. I had the LR Bible as well, and a Princeton Review general LSAT book (to brush up on RC, I suppose). Oh, and as I finished the test, I actually considered actually writing down all the possible arrangements for the sequencing games and just looking at them. I'm pretty sure it's not that difficult to calculate/enumerate all of the possibilities, and it'll be helluva lot faster to answer the questions than, like, freaking staring at the conditions and going over a bunch of scenarios in my head.

Writing Section: I didn't do it. If anyone can explain the importance of this section to me, or how it works, or if law schools actually read it, or what they're looking for, that'd be great. The Preptest book warns that "not writing an essay has been grounds for rejection," but if it isn't scored, the incentive to write anything interesting seems kind of low. Hopefully, it'll be covered in the Princeton Review book or something.




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