Studying too far in advance?

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rvadog
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Studying too far in advance?

Postby rvadog » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:15 am

Hey guys,

I'm planning on taking the LSAT next September. This is perfect for me as I will have from May to Septembet to study intensively. I really need to do very well on the LSAT in order to make up for poor (will finish 2.5-2.8) gpa.

Everyone seems to say do not start studying with intensity before 3-4 months out.

Is it a bad idea to pick up a book on Logic Games now and start doing some here and there to teach myself the process, symbols and diagraming with no times?

elblufer
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Re: Studying too far in advance?

Postby elblufer » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:19 am

Just don't overdo it. It's easy to burn out studying for the LSAT, and burning out will lead to decreased performance on the test. Is there any reason why you don't want to take in June? That way, you could start studying slowly now, then study really intensely through May and have it over with.

rvadog
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Re: Studying too far in advance?

Postby rvadog » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:28 am

My thought process was that in I will be taking classes in Spring so I won't be able study at the same intensity as if it is my only focus.

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WhiteyCakes
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Re: Studying too far in advance?

Postby WhiteyCakes » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:46 am

If people can work full time jobs and still find time to study, you can manage to find time studying with classes

rvadog
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Re: Studying too far in advance?

Postby rvadog » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:55 am

I work full time (Coast Guard) and attend school full time!

I guess i'll play it by ear. Is there a downside to taking it twice? I've read schools just take your top score now. Is that true?

As I stated before, I screwed myself by messing around during my first two years in school and really need a 170. I'm willing to put in the work.

bp shinners
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Re: Studying too far in advance?

Postby bp shinners » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:05 pm

Outside of burn-out, the biggest threat to prepping for such an extended period of time is running out of material. So if you do decide to study for such a long period of time (which I generally recommend against), make sure you have at least 10 PTs left for the last couple months. Preferably more, and preferably more recent tests.

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cahwc12
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Re: Studying too far in advance?

Postby cahwc12 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:06 pm

rvadog wrote:Hey guys,

I'm planning on taking the LSAT next September. This is perfect for me as I will have from May to Septembet to study intensively. I really need to do very well on the LSAT in order to make up for poor (will finish 2.5-2.8) gpa.

Everyone seems to say do not start studying with intensity before 3-4 months out.

Is it a bad idea to pick up a book on Logic Games now and start doing some here and there to teach myself the process, symbols and diagraming with no times?


Anyone telling you the bolded is giving you bad advice. I think the prevailing wisdom on TLS is that 3-4 months is optimal, but if you're aiming for the best possible score, the law of diminishing returns doesn't apply. Repeat material, drill baby drill, repeat PTs, whatever you need to do to improve your score those extra few points.

While certainly 3-4 months will give you the strongest gain for your time invested, no one will argue that 10 months of preparation will be superior if you do study that much.


I think a reasonable prep plan could be forwarded that encompassed a 7 or 8 month study plan if you really wanted to get deep into prep. Something like this:

Month 1: Take a full, timed PT under test-like conditions. Read LG Bible and/or Manhattan LG. Do games by type from PTs 1-40. Repeat games you make mistakes on or that feel slow. Comprehensively review your mistakes and any difficulties.

Month 2: Read LR Bible and/or Manhattan LR. Do LR by type from PTs 1-40. Mark questions you have difficulty with or miss and put them into a separate folder/file/etc. Repeat those questions later on. Take full LG sections from PTs A, B, C, June 07 and Feb 97. Comprehensively review your mistakes and any difficulties.

Month 3: Read RC Bible or Manhattan RC. Do full RC sections from PTs 1-40. Take full LR/LG sections from PTs 30-40 and A, B, C, June 07 and Feb 97. Mark passages you have difficulty on and redo them in the future. Comprehensively review your mistakes and any difficulties.

Month 4: Take full, timed PTs with experimental sections twice per week. Mix up your PTs (take one from the 60s, followed by one from the 50s, followed by one from the 40s). Comprehensively review your mistakes and any difficulties. Do targeted drilling on your weaknesses.

Months 5-8: Take full, timed PTs with experimental sections twice per week. Mix up your PTs (take one from the 60s, followed by one from the 50s, followed by one from the 40s). Retake newest PTs that you have previously taken (from the 60s and 50s). Comprehensively review your mistakes and any difficulties. Do targeted drilling on your weaknesses.

If you take two five-section PTs per week and repeat every PT from 50-68, that gives you 4-5 months of PTs. If a retake still gives you trouble, take the PT a third time. Throughout everything log your scores, review with friends, review alone, drill when you have free time, take a day or two off here and there. Be consistent and be true to yourself. Don't worry so much about your PT average, but rather the raw score and the mistakes you are making and how to fix them. Every missed question is at least two mistakes, not one. You picked the incorrect answer and you eliminated the correct answer. Understand your reasoning behind both logical errors.

If you are going to school full-time and working full-time, you can stretch Months 1-3 to two months each, starting today (in December). Make every single Saturday "test-day" and go to a library, or some quiet place. Bring a 1-gallon ziploc bag with your snackbar(s) and gatorade, a wristwatch, pencils, scantron, and take a five-section test with a 10-minute break. Do this every Saturday at 830am. Do drilling whenever you have free time. The beauty of question drilling in the first few months is you can do them in 2-10 minute chunks, so there really is no excuse to not having enough time.

Do your best to also make a day during the week (say, Wednesday afternoon) to also take a PT in test-like conditions.



And just for anecdotal advice, I did the above and improved from 141 to 168, 166 (with a PT average mid 170s). Best of luck. Don't let anyone tell you that it's a waste of time when every point means potentially thousands in additional merit scholarship.

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TheJanitor6203
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Re: Studying too far in advance?

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:35 pm

The test is in October, not September btw.

florida1949
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Re: Studying too far in advance?

Postby florida1949 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:41 pm

I would just be worried about running out of material (i.e. prep tests)

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francesfarmer
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Re: Studying too far in advance?

Postby francesfarmer » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:43 pm

rvadog wrote:Hey guys,

I'm planning on taking the LSAT next September. This is perfect for me as I will have from May to Septembet to study intensively. I really need to do very well on the LSAT in order to make up for poor (will finish 2.5-2.8) gpa.

Everyone seems to say do not start studying with intensity before 3-4 months out.

Is it a bad idea to pick up a book on Logic Games now and start doing some here and there to teach myself the process, symbols and diagraming with no times?

Buy a study schedule. I bought one from a popular LSAT Blog (which may or may not be called LSAT Blog on blogspot) and it was so, so helpful to have something that told me what to do every day for the four months leading up to the test. That blog has schedules for up to 7 months of studying and they're cheap. I was PT-ing in the 174-179 range before my test and I got a 172.

I think you should take longer than 3-4 months to study since you do work and attend school full time. In the interim you should play sudoku and read a lot to get your brain into gear a little bit.




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