Re-taking a LSAT Prepcourse?

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firstwatch54
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Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:25 pm

Re-taking a LSAT Prepcourse?

Postby firstwatch54 » Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:31 pm

I took my LSAT this month (June 2017) and I canceled my score (I got sick in middle of the test; fever, upset stomach etc.)

I am going to re-take the LSAT this September. I took a prep course a few months ago to prepare for the June LSAT. I scored a 140 on my diagnostic test in April. By the end of May, I was scoring 160-162. I want to hit 165-167 in September.

I'm wondering if I should take another prep course with a different company to see what that might do for me? Or should I get a private tutor since I already took a full length prep course a few months ago?

Any thoughts? Thanks

AJordan
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Re: Re-taking a LSAT Prepcourse?

Postby AJordan » Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:17 am

Full disclosure, am tutor.

Costs are important here. I (probably naively) think that I could take any student in your spot and get that student to your pretty reasonable goal in your time frame with ~5 hours of structured sessions over the course of a month. I also could see the value in taking another course, or even the same one again.

That said, where I think you should focus your decision is on losing time/money invested. How much of the time/cost are you wasting taking a course trying to relearn material (inevitable) or just taking proctored sections leading to group discussion (valuable, but you can do this yourself with a tutor)? Do you think you'll benefit more from drilling things you've already learned (lean group classes) or tackling individual test issues related to your performance that simply aren't clicking (lean tutor)? Private tutoring costs can be way more expensive so it's important to come up with your individual value of time and energy as well.

When I studied for the LSAT I did it through 7Sage and obviously something worked because I hit my goal. Still, I like to think I could've done a few months of study of free materials/powerscore books and then halved my investment with private tutoring instead of using 7sage Ultimate+. YMMV.

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guybourdin
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Re: Re-taking a LSAT Prepcourse?

Postby guybourdin » Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:24 pm

What's your average score breakdown? Have you already completed every released test?

firstwatch54
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Re: Re-taking a LSAT Prepcourse?

Postby firstwatch54 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:07 pm

guybourdin wrote:What's your average score breakdown? Have you already completed every released test?


Hi there!

I've taken 14 pretests since April-early June of this year.

I'm pretty comfortable with logic games- I usually miss 1-2 questions (usually from careless mistakes).

My weakest section has to be Reading Comp- I miss like 7-9 questions on average. So, I really need to work on this.

I really like logical reasoning, but I tend to miss more questions on the 2nd section of logical reasoning. So, I may miss like 5 questions on the first section of logical reasoning and then I'll miss like 7-8 questions on the 2nd part. But it's not because the questions are harder or anything; I think it's because of test fatigue or lack of stamina etc.

I haven't studied LSAT at all this week (taking a break since I just took the June lsat on Monday). I plan on studying again next week to prepare better for the September test. Just not sure if getting a private tutor is a better choice than taking another LSAT prep course?

firstwatch54
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:25 pm

Re: Re-taking a LSAT Prepcourse?

Postby firstwatch54 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:18 pm

AJordan wrote:Full disclosure, am tutor.

Costs are important here. I (probably naively) think that I could take any student in your spot and get that student to your pretty reasonable goal in your time frame with ~5 hours of structured sessions over the course of a month. I also could see the value in taking another course, or even the same one again.

That said, where I think you should focus your decision is on losing time/money invested. How much of the time/cost are you wasting taking a course trying to relearn material (inevitable) or just taking proctored sections leading to group discussion (valuable, but you can do this yourself with a tutor)? Do you think you'll benefit more from drilling things you've already learned (lean group classes) or tackling individual test issues related to your performance that simply aren't clicking (lean tutor)? Private tutoring costs can be way more expensive so it's important to come up with your individual value of time and energy as well.

When I studied for the LSAT I did it through 7Sage and obviously something worked because I hit my goal. Still, I like to think I could've done a few months of study of free materials/powerscore books and then halved my investment with private tutoring instead of using 7sage Ultimate+. YMMV.


Hi, thanks so much for your response.

I am willing to put in hours of studying everyday for this September test. I just graduated college and I'm only doing a part-time job, so I just want to take the next few months just studying for the September LSAT.

I've already taken a prep course, so i don't know if I should re-take another prep-course with a different company to review/re-learn all the materials again or if I should get a tutor to drill on specific question types? ( I find Flaw in the Reasoning and Weaken questions kind of difficult. I struggle with Reading Comp- I think Reading Comp is the most difficult section for me. I do well with logic games. I miss like maybe 1-2 questions overall). So, I really want to get better with Reading Comp and Logical Reasoning sections.

So I'm wondering if getting a tutor would be best? Or maybe taking a prep course again would be better because I can go over and re-learn everything again?
Thanks so much

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guybourdin
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Re: Re-taking a LSAT Prepcourse?

Postby guybourdin » Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:17 pm

firstwatch54 wrote:I've taken 14 pretests since April-early June of this year.

logic games- I usually miss 1-2 questions (usually from careless mistakes).

Reading Comp- I miss like 7-9 questions on average

I really like logical reasoning, but I tend to miss more questions on the 2nd section of logical reasoning. So, I may miss like 5 questions on the first section of logical reasoning and then I'll miss like 7-8 questions on the 2nd part. But it's not because the questions are harder or anything; I think it's because of test fatigue or lack of stamina etc.

Just not sure if getting a private tutor is a better choice than taking another LSAT prep course?


That you have taken so few tests is good, it means you have a lot of material to work with! It is not obvious to me that you need either a tutor or a course, unless you are so unfocused you cannot motivate yourself to study on your own.

I want to say taking more full length tests will help with stamina. Some people slip in an additional section to mimic the experimental section. I never did this, but I've seen plenty of people talk about it. I would probably advise against putting in an unseen section here because I would say that's a waste. If you're just working on stamina then the first few tests you took 2-3+ months ago should probably suffice to help with that. This is important to note: if you maintain your LG and RC score and only improve your stamina such that your second LR section is the same as your first, that is HALF of the improvement you're aiming for. That is you literally not improving on the material at all. I think this is a really positive thing to keep in mind because you're halfway there.

Question about RC: if you only did 3/4 passages in the 35 minutes, would you get a perfect score?

Question about LR: are you consistently missing the same types of questions (have you gone through Powerscore LR? I like the way they break down the different types of questions and I found it really helpful).

I really think the improvements you are aiming for are modest and achievable more or less by brute force: do every single practice test available, blind review everything. Be very careful about keeping track of what kinds of questions you get wrong in LR. It's possible you're getting tripped up on the same kind of question every time and figuring out that one kind of question improves your score another 2 points.

AJordan
Posts: 242
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:48 am

Re: Re-taking a LSAT Prepcourse?

Postby AJordan » Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:23 pm

I think you're actually in a pretty good spot in that you realize difficulties with flaws (flawed reasoning questions are just applied flaws, kind of like you did story problems in 1st grade that were applied addition/subtraction) and the assumption cycle (necessary assumption -- strengthen/pseudo-sufficient assumption/weaken -- sufficient assumption questions are all essentially related).

A good place to start would be to be able to come up with your own examples of the following flaws at will: https://7sage.com/19-common-lsat-argume ... -overlook/ with paying super special attention to mistaken sufficient/necessary and causation/correlation. I think those two are the two most common flaws on the LSAT and, though I have no concrete data worth sharing, I think they likely cause students the most trouble.

Making sure you understand the goal of sufficient assumption (what fills the logical gap here) and necessary assumption (what, if false, completely destroys the argument) is going to be another way to get you there. I figure this is an important distinction that many high scorers understand.

Finally, with reading comp, the more I do it/tutor it, the more I think that it just takes time and repetition. You've got at least 120 passages you can use. Try answering every question possible as if it were a "must be true" question on your next few passes and see if that helps. For easier passages look to tests in the 40s. For harder, 60s/70s will do you right.

Good luck.

firstwatch54
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:25 pm

Re: Re-taking a LSAT Prepcourse?

Postby firstwatch54 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:19 pm

guybourdin wrote:
firstwatch54 wrote:I've taken 14 pretests since April-early June of this year.

logic games- I usually miss 1-2 questions (usually from careless mistakes).

Reading Comp- I miss like 7-9 questions on average

I really like logical reasoning, but I tend to miss more questions on the 2nd section of logical reasoning. So, I may miss like 5 questions on the first section of logical reasoning and then I'll miss like 7-8 questions on the 2nd part. But it's not because the questions are harder or anything; I think it's because of test fatigue or lack of stamina etc.

Just not sure if getting a private tutor is a better choice than taking another LSAT prep course?


That you have taken so few tests is good, it means you have a lot of material to work with! It is not obvious to me that you need either a tutor or a course, unless you are so unfocused you cannot motivate yourself to study on your own.

I want to say taking more full length tests will help with stamina. Some people slip in an additional section to mimic the experimental section. I never did this, but I've seen plenty of people talk about it. I would probably advise against putting in an unseen section here because I would say that's a waste. If you're just working on stamina then the first few tests you took 2-3+ months ago should probably suffice to help with that. This is important to note: if you maintain your LG and RC score and only improve your stamina such that your second LR section is the same as your first, that is HALF of the improvement you're aiming for. That is you literally not improving on the material at all. I think this is a really positive thing to keep in mind because you're halfway there.

Question about RC: if you only did 3/4 passages in the 35 minutes, would you get a perfect score?

Question about LR: are you consistently missing the same types of questions (have you gone through Powerscore LR? I like the way they break down the different types of questions and I found it really helpful).

I really think the improvements you are aiming for are modest and achievable more or less by brute force: do every single practice test available, blind review everything. Be very careful about keeping track of what kinds of questions you get wrong in LR. It's possible you're getting tripped up on the same kind of question every time and figuring out that one kind of question improves your score another 2 points.


Thanks for your response! I'll definitely try doing my full- length tests with additional section. That sounds like a great idea.

I think I tend to miss less questions on RC if I only do 3/4 passages. But I always rush trying to get that last passage in- I think timing is the biggest issue with RC.

I tend to miss lot of flaw and weakening questions. I've used Powerscore books and they've helped me very much.

So, in your opinion, do you think it might be best for me to get a tutor to go over these specific problems? Or will it be better to take another prep-course to go over everything again and re-learn all the materials?

Thanks for all your help!

firstwatch54
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:25 pm

Re: Re-taking a LSAT Prepcourse?

Postby firstwatch54 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:22 pm

AJordan wrote:I think you're actually in a pretty good spot in that you realize difficulties with flaws (flawed reasoning questions are just applied flaws, kind of like you did story problems in 1st grade that were applied addition/subtraction) and the assumption cycle (necessary assumption -- strengthen/pseudo-sufficient assumption/weaken -- sufficient assumption questions are all essentially related).

A good place to start would be to be able to come up with your own examples of the following flaws at will: https://7sage.com/19-common-lsat-argume ... -overlook/ with paying super special attention to mistaken sufficient/necessary and causation/correlation. I think those two are the two most common flaws on the LSAT and, though I have no concrete data worth sharing, I think they likely cause students the most trouble.

Making sure you understand the goal of sufficient assumption (what fills the logical gap here) and necessary assumption (what, if false, completely destroys the argument) is going to be another way to get you there. I figure this is an important distinction that many high scorers understand.

Finally, with reading comp, the more I do it/tutor it, the more I think that it just takes time and repetition. You've got at least 120 passages you can use. Try answering every question possible as if it were a "must be true" question on your next few passes and see if that helps. For easier passages look to tests in the 40s. For harder, 60s/70s will do you right.

Good luck.


Thanks so much for your valuable advice/tips! As I study my materials again, do you think getting a tutor to go over specific problems might be better than doing a full prep course again? Thanks so much for all your help. I really appreciate it!

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guybourdin
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Re: Re-taking a LSAT Prepcourse?

Postby guybourdin » Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:31 pm

It seems like you have a good head on your shoulders and a LOT of material to work with. I would say definitely don't get a tutor right now. There are so many people in the lsat subforum willing to help. Maybe reevaluate in 6-8 weeks. You should be able to do this without paying someone, though.

AJordan
Posts: 242
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:48 am

Re: Re-taking a LSAT Prepcourse?

Postby AJordan » Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:24 am

guybourdin wrote:It seems like you have a good head on your shoulders and a LOT of material to work with. I would say definitely don't get a tutor right now. There are so many people in the lsat subforum willing to help. Maybe reevaluate in 6-8 weeks. You should be able to do this without paying someone, though.


I think I agree with this. Another option would be to compile things you already have, get one session of tutoring, and then try using those tips as well as your material and the forums for a month. If you're plateaued staring at the first of August then maybe reevaluate.




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