Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

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Shakawkaw
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby Shakawkaw » Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:17 pm

BP Ben wrote:I wanted to be able to do this in sickness as well as in health.


Wedded to the LOLSAT?

How do you suggest test takers prepare for the worst scenarios, especially since you noted you can't anticipate the amount of test day anxiety one might be feeling once they sit down? How do you reconcile this advice with the other posters on the boards whose advice is to take the test exactly as you're given it. By this, I mean - not doing 30 minute sections (though maybe the worst case scenario for the day of is that you'll lose focus and waste 5 minutes), and not doing back to back exams (instead sticking to regular 5 section practice tests), just to name a few examples off the top of my head.

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby Blueprint Ben » Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:20 pm

nlee10 wrote:
leslieknope wrote:BP Ben, you'll tell us when you guys know when scores are coming out, right?

Love, TeamFeb


Hey TeamFeb! We might not find out any sooner than you do, since the test is undisclosed, but let me check with the Inner Circle and get back to you.

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leslieknope
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby leslieknope » Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:28 pm

BP Ben wrote:
nlee10 wrote:
leslieknope wrote:BP Ben, you'll tell us when you guys know when scores are coming out, right?

Love, TeamFeb


Hey TeamFeb! We might not find out any sooner than you do, since the test is undisclosed, but let me check with the Inner Circle and get back to you.

You're a good dude, Ben.

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby Blueprint Ben » Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:53 pm

Shakawkaw wrote:How do you suggest test takers prepare for the worst scenarios, especially since you noted you can't anticipate the amount of test day anxiety one might be feeling once they sit down? How do you reconcile this advice with the other posters on the boards whose advice is to take the test exactly as you're given it. By this, I mean - not doing 30 minute sections (though maybe the worst case scenario for the day of is that you'll lose focus and waste 5 minutes), and not doing back to back exams (instead sticking to regular 5 section practice tests), just to name a few examples off the top of my head.


So, two questions. First, re: testing anxiety -- I think there's a sad truth underlying my previous post, which is that people who suffer from severe testing anxiety simply have to be stronger in their foundations than people who don't, in order to get the same score. Anxiety can be crippling, and if you're afraid that you might experience a test day drop due to anxiety, the most potent defense is to work hard enough that your skills allow you a kind of 'anxiety buffer.' If you want to hit 170, for example, you'll probably have to be PTing around 175. Also, I think taking the test in stress-inducing circumstances can help alleviate the anxiety of test day. Try out different conditions, and see if anything comes close to mirroring the stress you felt: noisy places, uncomfortable seats, way too much caffeine, with a hangover--whatever works for you. Get creative with the suffering you impose on yourself. :wink:

My response for the second question is similar: My opinion is that as long as what you're doing is harder than what you would reasonably expect to encounter on test day, then you're doing it right. Endurance training is always a good idea. When runners train for the 5k, do they just run 3 miles? Of course not. You have to build an endurance base in order to perform at your optimal level for the entire 5k race. Similarly with the LSAT, practicing with things like back to back PTs will help ensure that you never feel fatigued at any point in a 5 section test.

The one exception to that rule, in my opinion, is timing. I've posted elsewhere on the boards that I don't think anyone should ever practice with a time handicap. Timing is so critical to LSAT success, and your internal sense of timing is the first thing to go on test day, particularly if you're nervous. People rush through and miss easy points, or they waffle around unnecessarily on the easy questions and don't have time for the tough ones. That's why it's absolutely essential to practice a 35 minute pace, every single time. When you sit for the test, you should be so rock solid with pacing that your natural speed gets you to "pencils down" right at 34:49 on every section, without fail. If you practice with 30 minute sections, you'll get yourself into the habit of rushing, and it will probably cause you to sacrifice points on test day. My timing mantra: The goal of getting faster is to allow yourself the luxury of slowing down.

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby Blueprint Ben » Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:55 pm

leslieknope wrote:You're a good dude, Ben.

Thanks Leslie!

Sorry to disappoint: I just confirmed that because the Feb test is undisclosed, we won't know it's Grey Day any sooner than you do.

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby leslieknope » Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:58 pm

BP Ben wrote:
leslieknope wrote:You're a good dude, Ben.

Thanks Leslie!

Sorry to disappoint: I just confirmed that because the Feb test is undisclosed, we won't know it's Grey Day any sooner than you do.


Aww. Thanks for checking, though!

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby Blueprint Ben » Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:51 pm

Hey guys,

I wanted to let anyone who’s thinking about a BP class know that all Spring and Summer courses are 10% off until Tuesday, in celebration of our 10th anniversary! Click the link or PM me for more details.

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby Blueprint Ben » Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:17 pm

LSAT Words of Wisdom: The Perils of PT Analytics --
Targeting your "weaknesses" in LR

There's a cool trend now where people take a PT, blind review it, and then enter their answers into an online system, which breaks the entire thing down by question type and shows them what their "weaknesses" are. I did this when I was studying, and don't get me wrong, I think it provides really useful information. But here's the problem: Let's say there's an LR section that comes at the end of your PT, and you're not focusing right, and there happens to be a disproportionate number of high difficulty paradox questions in the latter half of the section when you're running out of time. You rush through, and get most of them wrong. Then the PT analysis tells you that paradox questions are your major weakness, so you go spend a week just drilling paradox questions. Yet you end up not making any net progress because the next PT shows a whole host of other "weaknesses" that magically surfaced over the course of the last week.

Gasp! How did this happen?

It's not that you became worse at the other question types out of neglect. It's just that every PT is different, and while PT84 might have a bunch of tough paradox questions, PT97 will blindside you with couple of killer weakens, and the paradox will be a piece of cake.

So here's my advice: Pay attention to the types of questions you're getting wrong in LR. Over the course of 8-10 PTs, the trends will start to be significant, and you should adjust your drilling volume accordingly. But don't let every PT send you scrambling on a wild goose chase to target your "weaknesses." Just assume, as long as you're getting questions wrong, that your weakness is everything. Drill everything.

I'm tailoring this advice to LR especially because LR has the greatest number of question types (with the greatest number of underlying commonalities among them), and people often (foolishly) try to use PT analytics as a way to streamline their drilling and save themselves some time. "Oh, looks like I'm getting weaken questions wrong, but I'm great at flaw questions. So I'll just drill weaken questions, and leave the flaws alone." This is a terrible plan. Especially in this example, since weaken questions ARE flaw questions at their core. The first step in every weaken question is to find the flaw. Drilling flaw questions will make you better at weaken, strengthen, the entire assumption family, parallel, main conclusion, role, etc. -- basically 90% of your average LR section. That's because most question types in LR require the same foundational skills, just appropriated differently. So just drilling a few question types and neglecting the others is totally dumb. Even if you think you're the master of question type X, drill it anyway, because it will help you get better at question type Z.

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby The Abyss » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:34 am

BP Ben,

I am currently in the drilling phase of my studying, and I am taking the June LSAT. My question is this: What is the maximum amount of drilling per day that you would recommend? I plan on drilling LR everyday and alternating LG and RC, so I'll be drilling two sections everyday. Is 50 LR and 10 games too little? Too much? Just right? I have anywhere from 2-4 hours every weekday and up to 9 hours on the weekend for studying. I've been stuck in a rut of consistent 163-165 PT scores and want to commit the next 2-3 weeks to intense drilling to fix foundational issues.

Thanks.

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby Blueprint Ben » Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:10 pm

The Abyss wrote:BP Ben,

I am currently in the drilling phase of my studying, and I am taking the June LSAT. My question is this: What is the maximum amount of drilling per day that you would recommend? I plan on drilling LR everyday and alternating LG and RC, so I'll be drilling two sections everyday. Is 50 LR and 10 games too little? Too much? Just right? I have anywhere from 2-4 hours every weekday and up to 9 hours on the weekend for studying. I've been stuck in a rut of consistent 163-165 PT scores and want to commit the next 2-3 weeks to intense drilling to fix foundational issues.

Thanks.

Well, that all depends on you, Abyss. But I've seen your posts in the June thread, and I know you're very serious, so I'll give you the Platinum Plan:

Rather than laying out hard numbers for hours and drilling volume, I'm going to ask you to think about your prep conceptually as a series of cycles, or thresholds. The most effective study regimen, IME, is one where you gradually increase the intensity until you reach your limit, push slightly beyond it, and then allow yourself to recover. The amount of time each cycle takes to complete depends on your level of endurance and mental discipline at this point in your prep. The result should be that those two measures of strength increase after every recovery period, making it harder and harder to reach your breaking point in each successive cycle. You'll also probably see your biggest score jumps at the beginning of each cycle, after the rest period ends and your light phase begins. The recovery is where the magic happens.

So start with a low intensity week. Maybe 2 hours of drilling/weekday and a PT or two on the weekend. Then turn up the heat gradually. Around week 3, you'll hit maybe 4-5 hours/weekday and as much as you can handle on the weekend. (Again, the actual amount depends on your level of endurance/mental discipline at that point in your prep. Don't push too far too quickly, or it will take much longer to recover.) Once your head hurts and you can't see straight, prep one more day at max intensity, and then take ~3-5 days (maybe a whole week, if you can spare it) entirely off. Don't skimp on the recovery period. That's the whole reason you do this--the recovery is when you actually make progress.

When I was at the peak of my training, the most I drilled was around 100 LR, 16 passages, and 16 games in a day. You probably won't need to go much further than that. At the beginning of a light week, it was maybe 15 LR, 2-4 passages, and 4-6 games in a day, just to ease back into it. Obviously you can (and should!) adjust those numbers based on your relative strengths and weaknesses. For me, a passage took a lot more energy than a game, so if I was going for a light day, I would keep the RC to a minimum. But on a hard day, RC would be the focal point.

The main thrust of this post is really just about the mindset: Push beyond your limits, and then recover. Rinse and repeat until 180.

I know this advice is a little bit unconventional. People don't tend to think about LSAT prep this way. But in my experience, getting better at the LSAT is less about learning and more about training. It's much closer to an athletic event than it is to a test. How long can you focus intensely on this dense passage? How fast can you solve this complicated logic puzzle? How efficiently can you break down the core of this argument? To do this really well, you need strength and skill above all else. Train with that mindset, and you'll make an enormous amount of progress.

Best of luck! Feel free to post here with any questions you have along the way.

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby betterLawyerUP » Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:14 pm

Any thoughts on PT13 LG2? A very easy game and I got it perfect in 8min, however it seems it should be done in about 5-6min. The biggest issue I have is whether the game should be done by filling out possible worlds or just writing the rules and going the questions. On this one in particular I went right to the questions and I was wondering what an Lsat pro would do, thanks

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby Blueprint Ben » Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:52 pm

betterLawyerUP wrote:Any thoughts on PT13 LG2? A very easy game and I got it perfect in 8min, however it seems it should be done in about 5-6min. The biggest issue I have is whether the game should be done by filling out possible worlds or just writing the rules and going the questions. On this one in particular I went right to the questions and I was wondering what an Lsat pro would do, thanks

Hey there!

So PT13 Game 2 is a simple sequencing game with a couple of conditional rules, and it's really not a big deal. That said, you're right, 8 minutes is probably too much time. You should be able to do it in 5. But I don't think the most efficient solution would be to split this into scenarios. You can do it that way if you place the VK box into the four different positions (M/T, T/W, W/Th, Th/F), but after you account for the two conditional rules involving H and I in Monday, you wind up with 6 different scenarios. For your ROI, that many scenarios for this game is probably pushing it.

My rule of thumb is that once you get above 4 scenarios (especially with an easy game like this), the time it takes to solve them usually isn't worth the time it saves you on the questions. This game is on the cusp, but I'd suspect that the reason it took you longer than 5 minutes is more a function of your facility with conditional rules and visualizing possible worlds than your diagramming/inference process. So I don't think it would have been better to do scenarios here. Just keep drilling sequencing games, and you'll get much faster as you become better at visualizing block placement and more automatic with conditional language.

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby The Abyss » Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:06 pm

BP Ben wrote:
The Abyss wrote:BP Ben,

I am currently in the drilling phase of my studying, and I am taking the June LSAT. My question is this: What is the maximum amount of drilling per day that you would recommend? I plan on drilling LR everyday and alternating LG and RC, so I'll be drilling two sections everyday. Is 50 LR and 10 games too little? Too much? Just right? I have anywhere from 2-4 hours every weekday and up to 9 hours on the weekend for studying. I've been stuck in a rut of consistent 163-165 PT scores and want to commit the next 2-3 weeks to intense drilling to fix foundational issues.

Thanks.

Well, that all depends on you, Abyss. But I've seen your posts in the June thread, and I know you're very serious, so I'll give you the Platinum Plan:

Rather than laying out hard numbers for hours and drilling volume, I'm going to ask you to think about your prep conceptually as a series of cycles, or thresholds. The most effective study regimen, IME, is one where you gradually increase the intensity until you reach your limit, push slightly beyond it, and then allow yourself to recover. The amount of time each cycle takes to complete depends on your level of endurance and mental discipline at this point in your prep. The result should be that those two measures of strength increase after every recovery period, making it harder and harder to reach your breaking point in each successive cycle. You'll also probably see your biggest score jumps at the beginning of each cycle, after the rest period ends and your light phase begins. The recovery is where the magic happens.

So start with a low intensity week. Maybe 2 hours of drilling/weekday and a PT or two on the weekend. Then turn up the heat gradually. Around week 3, you'll hit maybe 4-5 hours/weekday and as much as you can handle on the weekend. (Again, the actual amount depends on your level of endurance/mental discipline at that point in your prep. Don't push too far too quickly, or it will take much longer to recover.) Once your head hurts and you can't see straight, prep one more day at max intensity, and then take ~3-5 days (maybe a whole week, if you can spare it) entirely off. Don't skimp on the recovery period. That's the whole reason you do this--the recovery is when you actually make progress.

When I was at the peak of my training, the most I drilled was around 100 LR, 16 passages, and 16 games in a day. You probably won't need to go much further than that. At the beginning of a light week, it was maybe 15 LR, 2-4 passages, and 4-6 games in a day, just to ease back into it. Obviously you can (and should!) adjust those numbers based on your relative strengths and weaknesses. For me, a passage took a lot more energy than a game, so if I was going for a light day, I would keep the RC to a minimum. But on a hard day, RC would be the focal point.

The main thrust of this post is really just about the mindset: Push beyond your limits, and then recover. Rinse and repeat until 180.

I know this advice is a little bit unconventional. People don't tend to think about LSAT prep this way. But in my experience, getting better at the LSAT is less about learning and more about training. It's much closer to an athletic event than it is to a test. How long can you focus intensely on this dense passage? How fast can you solve this complicated logic puzzle? How efficiently can you break down the core of this argument? To do this really well, you need strength and skill above all else. Train with that mindset, and you'll make an enormous amount of progress.

Best of luck! Feel free to post here with any questions you have along the way.


Thanks for the response! I'm going to give this method a shot these next few weeks.

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby kelssimone » Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:46 am

Yay! I am a former Blueprint student. I took the class last july-september. I am planning on doing a retake of the exam and a retake of the class. I made a 142 on the exam, which is awful, but I had a lot of things going on that semester. Have you seen people increase by a significant amount? I will be out of school when I re-test and strictly focusing on studying. I just want to make sure I am aiming for something feasible.

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby Blueprint Ben » Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:58 am

kelssimone wrote:Yay! I am a former Blueprint student. I took the class last july-september. I am planning on doing a retake of the exam and a retake of the class. I made a 142 on the exam, which is awful, but I had a lot of things going on that semester. Have you seen people increase by a significant amount? I will be out of school when I re-test and strictly focusing on studying. I just want to make sure I am aiming for something feasible.

Welcome!

Yes, I've seen people increase by a significant amount. I personally increased my score ~30 points from the 140s to the upper 170s. You can do anything you set your mind to! This test is learnable, but you will have to put in a lot of work.

When are you aiming to sit for the test, and what do you plan on doing differently this time around?

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby kelssimone » Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:08 pm

BP Ben wrote:
kelssimone wrote:Yay! I am a former Blueprint student. I took the class last july-september. I am planning on doing a retake of the exam and a retake of the class. I made a 142 on the exam, which is awful, but I had a lot of things going on that semester. Have you seen people increase by a significant amount? I will be out of school when I re-test and strictly focusing on studying. I just want to make sure I am aiming for something feasible.

Welcome!

Yes, I've seen people increase by a significant amount. I personally increased my score ~30 points from the 140s to the upper 170s. You can do anything you set your mind to! This test is learnable, but you will have to put in a lot of work.

When are you aiming to sit for the test, and what do you plan on doing differently this time around?


Thanks for the response Ben! So I plan on sitting for the October Test this time. I am graduating in May, and will be dedicating my summer through September to studying. I was going to start self studying in June just to get my head into the game, possibly taking practice tests and using the BP logic game book. Do you think that this time table will allow me to at least break 155? My honest goal is 160. Thanks!

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby Blueprint Ben » Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:26 pm

kelssimone wrote:Thanks for the response Ben! So I plan on sitting for the October Test this time. I am graduating in May, and will be dedicating my summer through September to studying. I was going to start self studying in June just to get my head into the game, possibly taking practice tests and using the BP logic game book. Do you think that this time table will allow me to at least break 155? My honest goal is 160. Thanks!

You can definitely break 160 in that time, if you study the right way. No doubt about it (but bear in mind the "if"). I think it's a great idea to start self-studying as early as you can, especially since you've taken the course already. Most of the difference in your retake score will depend on the work you put in outside of class. I can help you put together a self-study schedule that will work for your goals.

Do you know your section breakdowns from your previous LSAT off the top of your head? If not, you can access your score report on LSAC.org. Do you remember your scores on your practice exams leading up to the test? Did you struggle with one section or question type in particular?

The more information you provide, the more I'll be able to help!

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby kelssimone » Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:23 pm

BP Ben wrote:
kelssimone wrote:Thanks for the response Ben! So I plan on sitting for the October Test this time. I am graduating in May, and will be dedicating my summer through September to studying. I was going to start self studying in June just to get my head into the game, possibly taking practice tests and using the BP logic game book. Do you think that this time table will allow me to at least break 155? My honest goal is 160. Thanks!

You can definitely break 160 in that time, if you study the right way. No doubt about it (but bear in mind the "if"). I think it's a great idea to start self-studying as early as you can, especially since you've taken the course already. Most of the difference in your retake score will depend on the work you put in outside of class. I can help you put together a self-study schedule that will work for your goals.

Do you know your section breakdowns from your previous LSAT off the top of your head? If not, you can access your score report on LSAC.org. Do you remember your scores on your practice exams leading up to the test? Did you struggle with one section or question type in particular?

The more information you provide, the more I'll be able to help!


I would appreciate that! So I just looked at my score report and I literally got 10 right in each section. On my first BP practice exam I scored a 134, I plateaued around 142 because that was my highest PT score. Right now I literally think Im not strong in any particular section. I have an idea of whats going on, but not a strong grasp. I know that in my BP class I did not really understand diagramming very much. So I think that hurt me when it came to using that method to solve LR questions.

As far as Logic Games. I felt I was really getting the hang of them. But I believe I really need to re-familiarize myself with them and work on just setting up my diagrams correct from the jump

AS for RC....Not sure how I can improve here. I have always been a solid reader, but for some reason I always averaged between 10-12 questions right in this section.

When I start in the summer I was thinking of going straight logic games for the month and trying to get near perfect in that section using the BP book and PTs, then when my class starts in July I am going to focus on sharpening my LR skills for the end of July and August and September focusing more on relaxing for the test and trying to earn a few more points in RC.

As far as hours of study I am wanting to put in 40 hours a week if possible. I will be working part time so I will have to factor that into my schedule. Thanks!

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby Blueprint Ben » Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:05 pm

kelssimone wrote:I would appreciate that! So I just looked at my score report and I literally got 10 right in each section. On my first BP practice exam I scored a 134, I plateaued around 142 because that was my highest PT score. Right now I literally think Im not strong in any particular section. I have an idea of whats going on, but not a strong grasp. I know that in my BP class I did not really understand diagramming very much. So I think that hurt me when it came to using that method to solve LR questions.

As far as Logic Games. I felt I was really getting the hang of them. But I believe I really need to re-familiarize myself with them and work on just setting up my diagrams correct from the jump

AS for RC....Not sure how I can improve here. I have always been a solid reader, but for some reason I always averaged between 10-12 questions right in this section.

When I start in the summer I was thinking of going straight logic games for the month and trying to get near perfect in that section using the BP book and PTs, then when my class starts in July I am going to focus on sharpening my LR skills for the end of July and August and September focusing more on relaxing for the test and trying to earn a few more points in RC.

As far as hours of study I am wanting to put in 40 hours a week if possible. I will be working part time so I will have to factor that into my schedule. Thanks!

Ok, we can work with 40 hours a week. I think that's just the right amount of time for someone in your position. The question is how you should be filling that time. What materials, if any, can you still access from your previous course? Do you have questions to drill by type? As I understand it, you get access to the online course as soon as you sign up for the live class, so definitely use that to your advantage.

I think it's a good idea to focus on games during your self-study period. The BP games book is great--I used it myself when I was studying. But just reading the book won't be enough. The majority of your study time should be spent drilling a high volume of games by type. After you read a chapter, you should drill every released game of that type. Move on only when you're completely comfortable with the games you drilled. If you have trouble with a game, save it, put 3-5 fresh copies of that game in a pile with the others, and redo them periodically, every few days, until you're 100% automatic in your process. Training this way will allow you to develop the muscle memory you will need in order to finish the section accurately under time. The more repetitions you do, the faster and more automatic you'll become.

Let me know what materials you have to work with, and we'll go from there.

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby Buddha180 » Sat Mar 07, 2015 7:37 pm

Having a hard time deciding between prep courses. I did Kaplan online and panicked at the day of test ended up doing horribly. I did learn most of the kaplan methods. I heard good things about BluePrint any suggestions?

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Shakawkaw
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby Shakawkaw » Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:55 pm

Buddha180 wrote:Having a hard time deciding between prep courses. I did Kaplan online and panicked at the day of test ended up doing horribly. I did learn most of the kaplan methods. I heard good things about BluePrint any suggestions?


There's a reason it's called "Kraplan."

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby Blueprint Ben » Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:54 am

Buddha180 wrote:Having a hard time deciding between prep courses. I did Kaplan online and panicked at the day of test ended up doing horribly. I did learn most of the kaplan methods. I heard good things about BluePrint any suggestions?

Hey Buddha! Love the handle. I can't speak to the merits of the Kaplan course, since I've never had any exposure to their methods, but in my (completely unbiased) opinion, I think you would stand to benefit substantially from a Blueprint course. PM me if you'd like to discuss the course offerings in detail. I can also offer a discount for TLSers!

One thing I'll say about mixing methods: It's really not a big deal. At the end of the day, you can (and should!) feel free to decide what work best for you. As long as you're strong in the foundational logic of the test, being exposed to a variety of different testing strategies can only help you; it cannot hurt you.

Emerson must have had the LSAT in mind when he wrote: "As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble."

I think the greatest benefit to taking a Blueprint course would be the quality of the instructors and the strength of the course material in laying the foundation you need to grasp the core principles underlying all aspects of the test. And the methods work. Our students increase 11 points on average from their first to their best proctored exam, which is a statistic which I think speaks for itself. Let me know if you have any specific questions about the BP course materials.

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby kelssimone » Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:38 pm

BP Ben wrote:
kelssimone wrote:I would appreciate that! So I just looked at my score report and I literally got 10 right in each section. On my first BP practice exam I scored a 134, I plateaued around 142 because that was my highest PT score. Right now I literally think Im not strong in any particular section. I have an idea of whats going on, but not a strong grasp. I know that in my BP class I did not really understand diagramming very much. So I think that hurt me when it came to using that method to solve LR questions.

As far as Logic Games. I felt I was really getting the hang of them. But I believe I really need to re-familiarize myself with them and work on just setting up my diagrams correct from the jump

AS for RC....Not sure how I can improve here. I have always been a solid reader, but for some reason I always averaged between 10-12 questions right in this section.

When I start in the summer I was thinking of going straight logic games for the month and trying to get near perfect in that section using the BP book and PTs, then when my class starts in July I am going to focus on sharpening my LR skills for the end of July and August and September focusing more on relaxing for the test and trying to earn a few more points in RC.

As far as hours of study I am wanting to put in 40 hours a week if possible. I will be working part time so I will have to factor that into my schedule. Thanks!

Ok, we can work with 40 hours a week. I think that's just the right amount of time for someone in your position. The question is how you should be filling that time. What materials, if any, can you still access from your previous course? Do you have questions to drill by type? As I understand it, you get access to the online course as soon as you sign up for the live class, so definitely use that to your advantage.

I think it's a good idea to focus on games during your self-study period. The BP games book is great--I used it myself when I was studying. But just reading the book won't be enough. The majority of your study time should be spent drilling a high volume of games by type. After you read a chapter, you should drill every released game of that type. Move on only when you're completely comfortable with the games you drilled. If you have trouble with a game, save it, put 3-5 fresh copies of that game in a pile with the others, and redo them periodically, every few days, until you're 100% automatic in your process. Training this way will allow you to develop the muscle memory you will need in order to finish the section accurately under time. The more repetitions you do, the faster and more automatic you'll become.

Let me know what materials you have to work with, and we'll go from there.



Hi Ben, so I still have all my Blueprint books from my course. I've just did work in them. I can still use them right?I will purchase the BP games book closer to June. I was also going to order the official LSAC tests book and Do practice tests every saturday. I also have a rather large Manhattan Logic Games book. I can use this to drill games. I feel pretty confident about this plan!

Blueprint Ben
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby Blueprint Ben » Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:59 pm

kelssimone wrote:Hi Ben, so I still have all my Blueprint books from my course. I've just did work in them. I can still use them right?I will purchase the BP games book closer to June. I was also going to order the official LSAC tests book and Do practice tests every saturday. I also have a rather large Manhattan Logic Games book. I can use this to drill games. I feel pretty confident about this plan!


Great! Whether the books are still useful depends on how much you drilled already. Are the majority of the games still fresh?

If you're going to drill games properly, you need to have access to multiple fresh copies of every game, separated by type. I'd recommend making a copy of every fresh game you have, and saving the copies a folder, with the question types paper clipped together. If you have any trouble with a game (i.e., you messed up a rule, missed a deduction, brute forced it with hypos, or hesitated on any of the questions), make at least 5 fresh copies of that game from your master set, and redo it periodically until you've completely internalized the game and perfected the most efficient process. Do this with every game that you find even remotely challenging.

PTing on Saturdays is fine, but unless you're also drilling LR and RC during the week, it might be counterproductive. If you're not drilling LR and RC heavily, but you're taking timed PTs, you will likely reinforce bad habits. Maybe instead of taking full PTs weekly during your self-study period, consider stacking 4 or 5 LG sections in a row, timed like a full PT and scored individually. Then, once you've mastered LG on your own, spend most of your prep time during the course on LR and RC drills.
Last edited by Blueprint Ben on Tue Mar 10, 2015 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby nlee10 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:59 pm

Shakawkaw wrote:
Buddha180 wrote:Having a hard time deciding between prep courses. I did Kaplan online and panicked at the day of test ended up doing horribly. I did learn most of the kaplan methods. I heard good things about BluePrint any suggestions?


There's a reason it's called "Kraplan."

If you have the disposable $$, then Blueprint is a good choice. I think with their study methods could get you past the 160 mark with the caveat of you really have to do all the homework/review/attend class/PT's/everything they throw at you. My classmates were working full-time and on many occasions it was hard for them to complete all the work.

-former BP student


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