URMs scoring 160 or above

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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EbonyEsq
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URMs scoring 160 or above

Postby EbonyEsq » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:24 pm

I wanted to create a thread where contributing URM members of this forum who scored at or above a 160 on the LSATs can add any advice/suggestions they found helpful in acing the exam. When I first came on this sub-forum it took some time for me to sift through which URM members scored well and to then contact them via PM land for advice. This thread is an attempt to share the information in one location so that other URMs who have just begun or are currently in the process of studying for the LSATs can be provided beneficial information that can help maximize their chances of scoring well.

Of course there is another forum dedicated to this, however, it does not tailor to the needs of URMs. By this I mean it is not discussed or understood that most URM applicants begin their studies scoring below average - in the 130s and 140s. With this in mind it is my hope information from high scoring URMs can be disseminated to help other URMs far exceed such averages.

If you do not mind sharing:

1. What was your initial diagnostic score?
2. What was your score on test day?
3. How long did you study for this exam?
4. What tools/information/materials/advice did you use in preparing for this exam?
5. Did you take a prep course? If so, which, and was it helpful?
6. If it is one suggestion you would give on how to ace the LSAT, what is it?


Thank you for all your contributions!
Last edited by EbonyEsq on Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SupraVln180
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Re: URMs scoring 160+ or above

Postby SupraVln180 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:40 pm

I'm Cuban so not officially a URM, but I think I'm close enough.

Diagonistic: 153

Real Test (Oct '10): 163

Study: I went through the LRB and LGB. Then took about 40 Preptests. I am planning on retaking in June after this cycle is over, unless I get into Duke (which is highly unlikely). I was PTing alot higher than my actual score, but freaked out a little on test day. My word of advice is you better PT at 170 if you want a 160 and you better PT damn near 180 if you want a 170. It is very common to drop, and my mistake was PT right at 170, which is where I wanted to score, I wasn't prepared to drop. Reviewing your PT's is going to be the most important part of your prep, you have to know exactly why the wrong answers were wrong and the right ones were right. This is another area where I slacked off from time to time. Be honest in your prep, it will pay off on test day.

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SherlockHolmes
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Re: URMs scoring 160+ or above

Postby SherlockHolmes » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:16 pm

Native American

Initial Diagnostic: 155
Test Day: 161 :(

I probably studied consistently for about 2 months leading up to the test, but between classes and work it was difficult to keep a steady and progressive schedule.
Used the LG Bible and LR Bible, Manhattan LSAT, and scheduled modeled off of one from LSATblog. Took only 12 prep tests; mistake.
I did not take a prep course.
There is a multitude of suggestions. First and foremost, be honest with your prep. Accurately keep the time and simulate testing conditions the best you can. Review every answer you get wrong, asking yourself what about the wrong answer made you think it was right, and what about the right answer did you think was wrong. This is going to help you discern patterns within the test and your own thought process allowing for you to make corrections. Lastly, study your ass off. Tell your friends, your family, your SO, your dog, that you have the single most important test in your life and that you're going to have to be a ghost for the next 5 months or so. Become a hermit. Hole yourself up in your room with the bibles, about 30 prep tests, and a handful of adderall.
Depending on how this cycle ends, which I'm not very hopeful for, I may be retaking in June and reapplying. Best of luck to everyone.

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KMaine
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Re: URMs scoring 160+ or above

Postby KMaine » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:22 pm

160+ or above. Interesting.

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EbonyEsq
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Re: URMs scoring 160+ or above

Postby EbonyEsq » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:24 pm

KMaine wrote:160+ or above. Interesting.


160 or above. Edited for your reading pleasure.

Care to contribute by answering the above? Thanks.

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SMA22
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Re: URMs scoring 160+ or above

Postby SMA22 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:28 pm

Hispanic URM, worked FT while studying:

If you do not mind sharing:

1. What was your initial diagnostic score?

152

2. What was your score on test day?

159, then 171

3. How long did you study for this exam?

For June, I studied three months or so, but not as hard as I should've, and I was working FT and finishing up a graduate degree--bad idea, prioritize. For December, I studied pretty intensely for two months every night after work and on weekends.

4. What tools/information/materials/advice did you use in preparing for this exam?

I started with PowerScore Bibles and some Kaplan materials, and a handful of PrepTests. For my retake, I worked with an affordable tutor two hours a week and worked with PrepTests.

5. Did you take a prep course? If so, which, and was it helpful?

N/A, my tutor was through LawMethods in Chicago.

6. If it is one suggestion you would give on how to ace the LSAT, what is it?

I agree with poster above--I started saying no to happy hours and parties, and I went over every question I got wrong until I stopped making the same mistakes.

I'd also like to add, get rid of critics. If someone isn't being supportive of your decision to go to postpone taking the exam, retake the exam, or shoot for a 170, then cut them out of your life. I was told by a ton of people not to retake after getting a 159, but I didn't listen and am glad I didn't!

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EbonyEsq
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Re: URMs scoring 160+ or above

Postby EbonyEsq » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:41 pm

SMA22 wrote:Hispanic URM, worked FT while studying:

If you do not mind sharing:

1. What was your initial diagnostic score?

152

2. What was your score on test day?

159, then 171

3. How long did you study for this exam?

For June, I studied three months or so, but not as hard as I should've, and I was working FT and finishing up a graduate degree--bad idea, prioritize. For December, I studied pretty intensely for two months every night after work and on weekends.

4. What tools/information/materials/advice did you use in preparing for this exam?

I started with PowerScore Bibles and some Kaplan materials, and a handful of PrepTests. For my retake, I worked with an affordable tutor two hours a week and worked with PrepTests.

5. Did you take a prep course? If so, which, and was it helpful?

N/A, my tutor was through LawMethods in Chicago.

6. If it is one suggestion you would give on how to ace the LSAT, what is it?

I agree with poster above--I started saying no to happy hours and parties, and I went over every question I got wrong until I stopped making the same mistakes.

I'd also like to add, get rid of critics. If someone isn't being supportive of your decision to go to postpone taking the exam, retake the exam, or shoot for a 170, then cut them out of your life. I was told by a ton of people not to retake after getting a 159, but I didn't listen and am glad I didn't!


Congrats on your MAJOR jump! Do you by chance know if LawMethods is only available in Chicago?



SupraVln180 wrote:Reviewing your PT's is going to be the most important part of your prep, you have to know exactly why the wrong answers were wrong and the right ones were right. This is another area where I slacked off from time to time. Be honest in your prep, it will pay off on test day


I admit, this is a problem of mine. I'm still working on this.

SherlockHolmes wrote:Lastly, study your ass off. Tell your friends, your family, your SO, your dog, that you have the single most important test in your life and that you're going to have to be a ghost for the next 5 months or so. Become a hermit. Hole yourself up in your room with the bibles, about 30 prep tests, and a handful of adderall.


Why adderall?

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EbonyEsq
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Re: URMs scoring 160 or above

Postby EbonyEsq » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:45 pm

Sherlock,

How did you find Manhattan LSAT? Did you take their online, in person or self study course?


Also, I noted all of you mentioned the LGB and LRB. How did you go about pacing yourself to review the material? Did you read a chapter a day or per week? Also, did you drill on question types after review of one chapter? How were your individual schedules in reviewing the bibles?

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SherlockHolmes
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Re: URMs scoring 160+ or above

Postby SherlockHolmes » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:48 pm

EbonyEsq wrote:
SMA22 wrote:Hispanic URM, worked FT while studying:

If you do not mind sharing:

1. What was your initial diagnostic score?

152

2. What was your score on test day?

159, then 171

3. How long did you study for this exam?

For June, I studied three months or so, but not as hard as I should've, and I was working FT and finishing up a graduate degree--bad idea, prioritize. For December, I studied pretty intensely for two months every night after work and on weekends.

4. What tools/information/materials/advice did you use in preparing for this exam?

I started with PowerScore Bibles and some Kaplan materials, and a handful of PrepTests. For my retake, I worked with an affordable tutor two hours a week and worked with PrepTests.

5. Did you take a prep course? If so, which, and was it helpful?

N/A, my tutor was through LawMethods in Chicago.

6. If it is one suggestion you would give on how to ace the LSAT, what is it?

I agree with poster above--I started saying no to happy hours and parties, and I went over every question I got wrong until I stopped making the same mistakes.

I'd also like to add, get rid of critics. If someone isn't being supportive of your decision to go to postpone taking the exam, retake the exam, or shoot for a 170, then cut them out of your life. I was told by a ton of people not to retake after getting a 159, but I didn't listen and am glad I didn't!


Congrats on your MAJOR jump! Do you by chance know if LawMethods is only available in Chicago?



SupraVln180 wrote:Reviewing your PT's is going to be the most important part of your prep, you have to know exactly why the wrong answers were wrong and the right ones were right. This is another area where I slacked off from time to time. Be honest in your prep, it will pay off on test day


I admit, this is a problem of mine. I'm still working on this.

SherlockHolmes wrote:Lastly, study your ass off. Tell your friends, your family, your SO, your dog, that you have the single most important test in your life and that you're going to have to be a ghost for the next 5 months or so. Become a hermit. Hole yourself up in your room with the bibles, about 30 prep tests, and a handful of adderall.


Why adderall?


I said that tongue-in-cheek. I just meant that you will have to study a lot.

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SherlockHolmes
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Re: URMs scoring 160 or above

Postby SherlockHolmes » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:51 pm

EbonyEsq wrote:Sherlock,

How did you find Manhattan LSAT? Did you take their online, in person or self study course?


Also, I noted all of you mentioned the LGB and LRB. How did you go about pacing yourself to review the material? Did you read a chapter a day or per week? Also, did you drill on question types after review of one chapter? How were your individual schedules in reviewing the bibles?



I didn't take any of their courses, but I found them searching for an explanation to a question. They have a forum on their website dedicated to each section of prep tests from 40 on up I believe. Also LSATblog has study schedules that have the pacing all laid out for the bibles.

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Punisha20
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Re: URMs scoring 160 or above

Postby Punisha20 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:56 pm

African-American Male

1. 146 initial diagnostic

2. Freaked out on the October test and scored 156, I was more relaxed and scored a 163 in December.

3. I studied from March to June, then again from August to October, and very little studying for in November/December. At least 200 hours of prep.

4/5. I took the Powerscore virtual course starting in March, which I didn't get much out of because I didn't do much of the homework. However, I went back through the course through the Archives and did most of the homework and supplemental materials in prep for the October exam, and my score began to increase into the 160s. The advice I would give, is if you take prep class complete the homework and you will be fine.

6. Take a ton of PTs, I only did about 9. I wish I did 20+, I know I would have done much better than a 163.
Last edited by Punisha20 on Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SMA22
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Re: URMs scoring 160 or above

Postby SMA22 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:57 pm

EbonyEsq wrote:Sherlock,

How did you find Manhattan LSAT? Did you take their online, in person or self study course?


Also, I noted all of you mentioned the LGB and LRB. How did you go about pacing yourself to review the material? Did you read a chapter a day or per week? Also, did you drill on question types after review of one chapter? How were your individual schedules in reviewing the bibles?


Don't worry so much about pacing--take a good couple of weeks to just familiarize yourself with the exam and what's out there. Keep in mind that no one source is going to get you where you need to be--build a foundation with books, and then get cracking on preptests, and supplement as needed. Work at your own pace, but work diligently.

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spacepenguin
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Re: URMs scoring 160 or above

Postby spacepenguin » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:27 pm

Here's what I did and unfortunately, what you probably shouldn't do:

1. What was your initial diagnostic score?
160

2. What was your score on test day?

165

3. How long did you study for this exam?

Roughly 2 months of Kaplan/Princeton Review/LGB/all sorts of crazy manuals with about 8 practice tests in between. I kept improving my score with each test and on the 8th scored a 173....I was ok with that.

4. What tools/information/materials/advice did you use in preparing for this exam?
See above

5. Did you take a prep course? If so, which, and was it helpful? Parts of the Kaplan course and truthfully, the advice given here is just as helpful.

6. If it is one suggestion you would give on how to ace the LSAT, what is it?

Take 20+ practice exams...the LSAT isn't as much about intelligence as it is an exercise of mental attrition. If you hit a peak, that is you keep scoring within +/- 1 point and are satisfied with the score...take the test. For the love of God don't do what I did and assume that an upward trend with a small sample indicates what you'll get on test day.

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csalguero10
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Re: URMs scoring 160 or above

Postby csalguero10 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:36 pm

Answers in bold.

EbonyEsq wrote:If you do not mind sharing:

1. What was your initial diagnostic score? 168
2. What was your score on test day? 179
3. How long did you study for this exam? 2 months
4. What tools/information/materials/advice did you use in preparing for this exam? Powerscore bibles. Also bought every practice test I could get my hands on.
5. Did you take a prep course? If so, which, and was it helpful? No. Unless you're initially below 160 I think a prep course is a waste of time.
6. If it is one suggestion you would give on how to ace the LSAT, what is it? Don't rush/panic. If you've taken enough practice tests you'll be more than ok on the timing.


Thank you for all your contributions!


Edit: Hispanic URM. Also I really think my engineering undergrad helped with the logic games, as I was already doing these things for fun before I ever looked at an LSAT.
Last edited by csalguero10 on Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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s0ph1e2007
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Re: URMs scoring 160 or above

Postby s0ph1e2007 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:37 pm

1. What was your initial diagnostic score?
somewhere in the 160s
2. What was your score on test day?
179
3. How long did you study for this exam?
6 months in earnest
4. What tools/information/materials/advice did you use in preparing for this exam?
Everything i could get my hands on. All the bibles. 20 and up for all the p-lsats, and a couple logic game books: princeton review and kaplan I believe.
5. Did you take a prep course? If so, which, and was it helpful?
No, and I really think they are only good tools for those who can't trust themselves to otherwise put in the time to study.
6. If it is one suggestion you would give on how to ace the LSAT, what is it?
Remember that it really is learn-able and just give yourself SIGNIFICANT time to study. If you get stuck somewhere, try something different, don't just assume you've reached your peak performance.

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20121109
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Re: URMs scoring 160 or above

Postby 20121109 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:42 pm

To be honest, I don't see why a URM would prepare any differently than a non-URM. Any advice given here has probably been reiterated in the LSAT Prep Forum.

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SherlockHolmes
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Re: URMs scoring 160 or above

Postby SherlockHolmes » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:48 pm

GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:To be honest, I don't see why a URM would prepare any differently than a non-URM. Any advice given here has probably been reiterated in the LSAT Prep Forum.


TITCR

rundoxierun
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Re: URMs scoring 160 or above

Postby rundoxierun » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:49 pm

GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:To be honest, I don't see why a URM would prepare any differently than a non-URM. Any advice given here has probably been reiterated in the LSAT Prep Forum.


Echo this..

diagnostic 164. Stats/cycle on LSN, link in profile.

PM me for anything specific.

jimbo1220
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Re: URMs scoring 160 or above

Postby jimbo1220 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:56 pm

1. What was your initial diagnostic score?
High 150/low 160

2. What was your score on test day?
172

3. How long did you study for this exam?
June for October LSAT, so about 4 months.

4. What tools/information/materials/advice did you use in preparing for this exam?
Official LSATs published through LSAC.

5. Did you take a prep course? If so, which, and was it helpful?
No.

6. If it is one suggestion you would give on how to ace the LSAT, what is it?
As someone said before, the test is learn-able. Intelligence helps, but really the ability to run through the questions and recognize patterns is most helpful. The only way I can think of to do the latter is taking exams over and over. Obviously the official exams from LSAC will provide the greatest indicator of how well you've learned the exam.

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Justathought
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Re: URMs scoring 160 or above

Postby Justathought » Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:03 pm

1. What was your initial diagnostic score? 148, Timing was a huge issue. I scored well enough on what I completed, but I moved at a snail's pace.

2. What was your score on test day? Oct 160, Dec 164

3. How long did you study for this exam? April till October. Wish I could say I studied a lot from Oct to Dec, but I really was focused on school and had sort of resigned myself to a 160 for this cycle. Had I devoted myself to the test, I think the results could have been great.

4. What tools/information/materials/advice did you use in preparing for this exam? Intro to Logic class in school January to May. Started self-study in April. I highly recommend an intro to logic class. It provided a solid basis for understanding the nature of the LSAT. Just be careful, because some LSAT logic is slightly different from other kinds of formal logic. For example: "Many" was translated into more than half by my LSAT instructor, while my formal logic professor indicated that we could only logically assume more than 1. There is some translation required in logical statements, and it is key to know which translation are preferred.

5. Did you take a prep course? If so, which, and was it helpful? Princeton Review July to October. I can see this program being helpful if you are really struggling with the basics of the exam, but it is not designed for the high achievers on this board. The method of teaching seems to steer students toward a certain score range, employing strategies which can only result in so high of a score. Again, if you are really struggling, take a course. It should certainly get you into the 150s.

6. If it is one suggestion you would give on how to ace the LSAT, what is it? Relax. I did far less the second time around, but I was totally relaxed. I was ill prepared for my second test, I was ready to go for the first one, but I think nerves made all the difference.

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EbonyEsq
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Re: URMs scoring 160 or above

Postby EbonyEsq » Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:08 pm

GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:To be honest, I don't see why a URM would prepare any differently than a non-URM. Any advice given here has probably been reiterated in the LSAT Prep Forum.


And neither have I suggested such, however, this thread can be used as a source of guidance and encouragement for URMs who often seek advice from other URMs on how to ace this exam. There is a URM sub-forum for a reason, is there not? If we (URMs) can have threads for guidance on law school admission we can certainly have the same for LSAT preparation. Studying for and doing well on the LSAT continues to be a stumbling block for the majority of us. Having an outlet in which we can come together and share our insight on LSAT preparation will prove beneficial.

Moreover, we seldom hear of URMs scoring well. This thread will also serve such a purpose. Do you care to add?

Thank you.

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EbonyEsq
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Re: URMs scoring 160 or above

Postby EbonyEsq » Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:11 pm

Thank you for all that have contributed thus far.

tkgrrett wrote:Echo this..

diagnostic 164. Stats/cycle on LSN, link in profile.

PM me for anything specific.


Please answer all of the questions initially posed. Thanks. :D

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helloscriptkitti
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Re: URMs scoring 160 or above

Postby helloscriptkitti » Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:18 pm

I agree that preparation shouldn't differ because you're URM, as my most valuable advice came from insight from people with diverse perspectives and diagnostic scores. But here is my experience as a retaker (I know it's long):

1. What was your initial diagnostic score? 150

2. What was your score on test day?156/162/167

156 (June 09) While studying for the test the first time I began to get serious tension headaches because I put so much pressure on myself. I was too absorbed in the test and neglected myself but not going to the gym, eating healthy or having a social life. It severely hindered my focus and ability to progress. Each practice test I took without improvement made matters worse. I also took a PS and Kaplan class b4 self-studying and found that they were not helpful. I think I was expecting to improve by just taking the class and really didn’t have much time to study at home because I worked full-time and went to school.

162 (June 10) - I took a yr off to regroup. Laid out a 4 month study plan based on advice from Pithypike and LSATBlog. I didn’t start full-length practice exams until the last month and that allowed me to be calmer the first 3 months and absorb more. I reviewed all practice tests and wrote out the questions and answers for the ones I got wrong based on advice from TLS. I also took tests in public places and got used to not being easily distracted. I also kept up with my gym regimen and ate better, so that I had more energy and to control my tension and anxiety. I felt more relaxed during the test but still blew logic games and missed a lot of RC questions. Timing was still a major issue.

167 (Dec 10) – Intended on retaking in Oct but had a family emergency and couldn’t. I think this was a blessing in disguise because I received 5 great acceptances b4 Dec test and was very calm come test day. Everyone I knew (including an admissions consultant) thought I was crazy for still wanting to retake after those acceptances and told me not to, but I knew I could do better. My highest timed PT score was in the 170s. I decided to stop doing timed practice tests in Oct after scoring 162s on 4 tests because it was killing my morale. I needed to do something different or I would trigger more anxiety headaches. The only studying I did was 2-3 untimed games or 10-15 LR problems from Cambridge LSAT’s Most Difficult Questions on the way to work and home. I reviewed the questions to figure out why they were wrong/correct and redid logic games that gave me trouble. I didn’t study when I got home. When I took the real test my timing had greatly improved just from better understanding the questions. I still ran out of time on logic games but only missed 3 RC with time to spare, although I did not practice RC at all. I also did much better in LR.

3. How long did you study for this exam?
See above. Although I will say that studying smarter is better than studying longer.

4. What tools/information/materials/advice did you use in preparing for this exam?
Powerscore Bibles and TLS were my greatest assets. The study guides and explanations from people helped me to slowly change my flawed pattern of reasoning, in addition to getting familiar with the test through lots of practice. I REALLY wished I had saved my money on those classes.

5. Did you take a prep course? If so, which, and was it helpful?
Prep courses were not helpful because when I took them (pre-TLS) I expected it to be like college classes. I was used to sitting in class and being able to do well on exams just by being in class to absorb the information. This was my first time having to put so much work into studying for something and I really think that TLS was much more useful than a class. But I am a self-learner so that may be different for others.

6. If it is one suggestion you would give on how to ace the LSAT, what is it?
Relax. It’s really not the end of the world if u don’t score well the first time (although no one could tell me that at the time). As someone that usually performs great under pressure, the more pressure I put on myself for this test, the less effective I was at improving. I still feel like I could’ve done better, but I am satisfied with the progress I made in the end.

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csalguero10
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Re: URMs scoring 160 or above

Postby csalguero10 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:24 pm

As an addition to my post here is what I've found was absolutely crucial to maintaining focus and not becoming seriously depressed while studying: WORK OUT. Seriously. Get as much exercise as you possibly can. Whenever my mind would start wandering, I would go outside for a run/swim/lift/whatever and that would immediately make me feel better. Remember your mind isn't at its sharpest if your body feels like crap. Take care of yourself as a whole.

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EbonyEsq
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Re: URMs scoring 160 or above

Postby EbonyEsq » Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:27 pm

csalguero10 wrote:As an addition to my post here is what I've found was absolutely crucial to maintaining focus and not becoming seriously depressed while studying: WORK OUT. Seriously. Get as much exercise as you possibly can. Whenever my mind would start wandering, I would go outside for a run/swim/lift/whatever and that would immediately make me feel better. Remember your mind isn't at its sharpest if your body feels like crap. Take care of yourself as a whole.


Thanks for adding this important tidbit.




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