Lowest Starting Point for a 170+ LSAT

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olympia1000
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Lowest Starting Point for a 170+ LSAT

Postby olympia1000 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:47 am

Hey All,
I'm 4 years out of undergrad and took my first full timed practice test last night, and was NOT pleased with my score. Considering my scores on previous standardized tests, I was expecting much higher result. With my GPA (very low) I need more than a 170 to get me into a school, but judging from my staring point I have a long way to go.
I'm planning on two tests a week till the October exam, plus a Kaplan course, and two books - logic games and logical reasoning.

So, for everyone who got a 170 and higher ( and actually studied) what were your lowest starting points???

Thanks, and happy Friday!

Bankhead
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Re: Lowest Starting Point for a 170+ LSAT

Postby Bankhead » Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:02 am

Even with a 2.0/165 you could probably break top 100.

But to answer your question, someone who scores a 170 or better will probably start no lower than a 155 or so. This isn't always the case, I know of people who started out in the lower 140's and achieved over a 170, but it's rare. A 170 usually involves a certain natural aptitude for the test.
Last edited by Bankhead on Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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BlueDevilSarah
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Re: Lowest Starting Point for a 170+ LSAT

Postby BlueDevilSarah » Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:04 am

I eventually got a 175, started at a 158.

I took a 6-week Kaplan course, mainly for help with the RC section (LR and LG were already almost perfect and Kaplan's methods were kind of slowing me down). The course was 2 nights per week for 3 hours. I studied outside of those classes 3 hours a night, 3 times per week.

180Splitter
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Re: Lowest Starting Point for a 170+ LSAT

Postby 180Splitter » Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:30 am

166-->180

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olympia1000
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Re: Lowest Starting Point for a 170+ LSAT

Postby olympia1000 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:04 pm

nitsudrx wrote:Even with a 2.0/165 you could probably break top 100.

But to answer your question, someone who scores a 170 or better will probably start no lower than a 155 or so. This isn't always the case, I know of people who started out in the lower 140's and achieved over a 170, but it's rare. A 170 usually involves a certain natural aptitude for the test.


Ha, I got a 155 on my first practice. I will crush this test, no matter how hard I have to work.

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joonbug
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Re: Lowest Starting Point for a 170+ LSAT

Postby joonbug » Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:19 pm

180Splitter wrote:166-->180


Although admirable, that is not the highest jump I've seen. I've seen a person who went from 148 to 172. Anything is possible so don't give up!

Da Stain
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Re: Lowest Starting Point for a 170+ LSAT

Postby Da Stain » Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:53 pm

155--->170.

MarkTwain
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Re: Lowest Starting Point for a 170+ LSAT

Postby MarkTwain » Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:56 pm

I'm teaching a 4 week June LSAT cram course for Kaplan right now. After about 2.5 weeks of class, my students' average increase was 11 points. The lowest improved 3 points, and he's a complete slacker. The best two are currently up 19 and 20. Based on the diversity of work ethics and starting scores in my class, I would say anyone can go up 10-20 points within 1 month, and if you're NOT studying for June... 175+ should be achievable for you. 155 is a very good starting point. Keep in mind that this is a test that most people study extensively for. So to place around 70-75%tile without ever studying is very good.

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iwasgoingtobeasenator
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Re: Lowest Starting Point for a 170+ LSAT

Postby iwasgoingtobeasenator » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:04 pm

olympia1000 wrote:Hey All,
I'm 4 years out of undergrad and took my first full timed practice test last night, and was NOT pleased with my score. Considering my scores on previous standardized tests, I was expecting much higher result. With my GPA (very low) I need more than a 170 to get me into a school, but judging from my staring point I have a long way to go.
I'm planning on two tests a week till the October exam, plus a Kaplan course, and two books - logic games and logical reasoning.

So, for everyone who got a 170 and higher ( and actually studied) what were your lowest starting points???

Thanks, and happy Friday!


170 is what I got. 153 was my first diagnostic.

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olympia1000
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Re: Lowest Starting Point for a 170+ LSAT

Postby olympia1000 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:23 pm

MarkTwain wrote:I'm teaching a 4 week June LSAT cram course for Kaplan right now. After about 2.5 weeks of class, my students' average increase was 11 points. The lowest improved 3 points, and he's a complete slacker. The best two are currently up 19 and 20. Based on the diversity of work ethics and starting scores in my class, I would say anyone can go up 10-20 points within 1 month, and if you're NOT studying for June... 175+ should be achievable for you. 155 is a very good starting point. Keep in mind that this is a test that most people study extensively for. So to place around 70-75%tile without ever studying is very good.



Thanks so much for the advice and vote of confidence! I def plan to work as hard as possible, but so many people keep saying that to break 170+ you either have the innate ability or you don't....
And I found it hard to believe it was something I couldn't just work hard to improve.

MarkTwain
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Re: Lowest Starting Point for a 170+ LSAT

Postby MarkTwain » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:40 pm

No problem. Good luck!

MarkTwain
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Re: Lowest Starting Point for a 170+ LSAT

Postby MarkTwain » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:42 pm

For the record though this class meets for four hours 3x a week. In addition, I assign them about 25 hours a week of homework. Some of them have quit their jobs to take the class. If you're studying for October, you'll actually be better off, but start now. It's much easier to grasp the material if you learn it over time.

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olympia1000
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Re: Lowest Starting Point for a 170+ LSAT

Postby olympia1000 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:57 pm

MarkTwain wrote:For the record though this class meets for four hours 3x a week. In addition, I assign them about 25 hours a week of homework. Some of them have quit their jobs to take the class. If you're studying for October, you'll actually be better off, but start now. It's much easier to grasp the material if you learn it over time.


Well tell me what you think of my plan from now through the Oct test:
2 tests a week (1 on weekend, 1 test spread out over the week)
1 Logical reasoning & and 1 logic games book
1 kaplan course + their home work.

I have to go away in august for 3+ weeks for work , and kaplan is letting my split the course between june, july and sept.
During my time away I plan to continue with at least one test a week, more if I can, but I'll be working very long hours.

Obviously I will add more on if my score isn't increasing sufficiently, but does this seem like a good base?

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akahrpaperstacks
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Re: Lowest Starting Point for a 170+ LSAT

Postby akahrpaperstacks » Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:24 pm

nitsudrx wrote:Even with a 2.0/165 you could probably break top 100.

This is so true.

2 accepts (one with large money) and 7 WL in the top 100 (including a T1 school) so far and those are basically my numbers.

mgrogan
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Re: Lowest Starting Point for a 170+ LSAT

Postby mgrogan » Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:03 pm

155----> 170 took the kaplan course and then studied a ton on my own the month leading up.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Lowest Starting Point for a 170+ LSAT

Postby worldtraveler » Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:23 pm

I'm working with a student right now who started at 149 and is now testing in the high 170s. It's taken her two years to get to this point, a testmasters course, and private tutoring. She also studies a lot on her own and studies well. It is possible.

zeezoo
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Re: Lowest Starting Point for a 170+ LSAT

Postby zeezoo » Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:52 pm

When you take the practice exams before prepping, I really do not think there is any difference between a 155 and a 160. Because you have not yet been exposed to the material, there is a MUCH wider variance. One person may have a general idea of timing/planning, while another may spend 20 minutes on the first logic game without realizing it.

USCtrojan86
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Re: Lowest Starting Point for a 170+ LSAT

Postby USCtrojan86 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:17 pm

159-->173.

If you have to suck at something on the LSAT, it really helps to suck at LG and be naturally good at RC if you're looking to make big gains. LG's are highly learnable and LR is somewhat learnable; RC, on the other hand, seems pretty damn hard to improve on significantly, even with lots of practice and study.

Therefore, IMO where your weak points are within the test will probably determine how much you can actually hope to improve. I went from TERRIBLE at LG to moderately above average (I was fine with the RC/LR from the start), and it showed in the huge jump in my score.

On the other hand, I have three friends who all coldtested in the same range as me, but who all consistently struggled with RC. None of them broke 170, and I know for a fact that at least one of them (who I think is extremely intelligent) put in more hours prepping for the test overall than I did.

All this goes to show that when it comes to getting a 170+ on the LSAT, it's not just a factor of time, intelligence and hard work, although all three are important. It also matters a great deal exactly where your particular "intelligence" lies, and whether performance in the specific areas that you struggle in can be easily taught and worked on, given enough time and hard work.

Edit:
I took a 6-week Kaplan course, mainly for help with the RC section (LR and LG were already almost perfect and Kaplan's methods were kind of slowing me down).


Interesting. Did you make big gains on RC from the Kaplan method?

bartletforamerica
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Re: Lowest Starting Point for a 170+ LSAT

Postby bartletforamerica » Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:46 pm

157=>176
once you've got timing/strategy figured out, kaplan's stratosphere book is great.
good luck.

phaedrus
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Re: Lowest Starting Point for a 170+ LSAT

Postby phaedrus » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:17 pm

olympia1000 wrote:Hey All,
I'm 4 years out of undergrad and took my first full timed practice test last night, and was NOT pleased with my score. Considering my scores on previous standardized tests, I was expecting much higher result. With my GPA (very low) I need more than a 170 to get me into a school, but judging from my staring point I have a long way to go.
I'm planning on two tests a week till the October exam, plus a Kaplan course, and two books - logic games and logical reasoning.

So, for everyone who got a 170 and higher ( and actually studied) what were your lowest starting points???

Thanks, and happy Friday!



171-->169

With lots of practice tests in between. Bet that doesn't make you feel better.

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olympia1000
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Re: Lowest Starting Point for a 170+ LSAT

Postby olympia1000 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:53 pm

USCtrojan86 wrote:159-->173.

If you have to suck at something on the LSAT, it really helps to suck at LG and be naturally good at RC if you're looking to make big gains. LG's are highly learnable and LR is somewhat learnable; RC, on the other hand, seems pretty damn hard to improve on significantly, even with lots of practice and study.

Therefore, IMO where your weak points are within the test will probably determine how much you can actually hope to improve. I went from TERRIBLE at LG to moderately above average (I was fine with the RC/LR from the start), and it showed in the huge jump in my score.

On the other hand, I have three friends who all coldtested in the same range as me, but who all consistently struggled with RC. None of them broke 170, and I know for a fact that at least one of them (who I think is extremely intelligent) put in more hours prepping for the test overall than I did.

All this goes to show that when it comes to getting a 170+ on the LSAT, it's not just a factor of time, intelligence and hard work, although all three are important. It also matters a great deal exactly where your particular "intelligence" lies, and whether performance in the specific areas that you struggle in can be easily taught and worked on, given enough time and hard work.

Edit:
I took a 6-week Kaplan course, mainly for help with the RC section (LR and LG were already almost perfect and Kaplan's methods were kind of slowing me down).


Interesting. Did you make big gains on RC from the Kaplan method?



Interesting. My weakest section, by FAR is LG. I scored well on RC and and LR, with the only real issues I had being timing, though I'm sure some practice and learning a few tricks for LR would help.

At the point I'm at now with LG I can only improve.

MarkTwain
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Re: Lowest Starting Point for a 170+ LSAT

Postby MarkTwain » Sat Jun 07, 2008 6:22 pm

Your plan sounds pretty good. Just make sure that you don't use the same prep tests in your solo prep that Kaplan uses for its diagnostics. I believe they are currently using 50-53, but check. I have a tutoring client that got a 169 diagnostic, but only because he'd seen the test a week before (he got a 155 or so the first time).

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joonbug
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Re: Lowest Starting Point for a 170+ LSAT

Postby joonbug » Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:17 pm

Agreed. LG is more "learnable" than RC, as the performance of RC depends heavily on one's already built up reading comprehension skill that can't really be obtained in a couple months. Consider yourself lucky if LG is where you are struggling. However, this does not spell a certain doom for those who are weak in RC. RC is also learnable in a sense that there are specific questions that LSAT poses over and over again, and familiarizing yourself with those stems will definitely up your RC scores.

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stavand
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Re: Lowest Starting Point for a 170+ LSAT

Postby stavand » Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:38 pm

160--->172

bobo11111111111
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Re: Lowest Starting Point for a 170+ LSAT

Postby bobo11111111111 » Sat Jun 07, 2008 11:33 pm

olympia1000 wrote:Hey All,
I'm 4 years out of undergrad and took my first full timed practice test last night, and was NOT pleased with my score. Considering my scores on previous standardized tests, I was expecting much higher result. With my GPA (very low) I need more than a 170 to get me into a school, but judging from my staring point I have a long way to go.
I'm planning on two tests a week till the October exam, plus a Kaplan course, and two books - logic games and logical reasoning.

So, for everyone who got a 170 and higher ( and actually studied) what were your lowest starting points???

Thanks, and happy Friday!



Did you hit the 155 without ever looking at the material or did you do some studying beforehand?? If you took that totally blank, then the 155 is impressive.




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