How to go to 177+ ?

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kazu
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How to go to 177+ ?

Postby kazu » Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:06 am

I took the December 2009 LSAT and scored in between 167 - 173. While I realize this is a perfectly decent score, as I was PT-ing steadily at 175~180 the couple of weeks before I took the actual test, I feel I've underperformed and I've decided to retake it in June.

Because I took an undisclosed test, I have no idea how many I got wrong nor which section(s) I bombed. Based on my performance on the PTs I am guessing that it was a tough curve, and that I got -0~-1 in LG, none to a couple wrong in RC, and the rest all in LR. LR has always been my weak spot; after finishing both the LG and LR bibles about 6 weeks before the test I was steadily getting -3 in each of the LR sections (for -6 total), while getting -0 in both LG and RC (excepting the occasional stupid mistake). After a couple of weeks of PT-taking and reviewing I had managed to pull this up to -0~-2 per LR section. Unfortunately, due to nerves while taking the test, as well as the fact that I had minimal time to study/review the week leading up to the test date because of finals and deadlines etc, I feel I must have reverted into old habits during LR.

So, what do I need to do? I'll be taking the June 2010 exam so there's plenty of time left. I studied mainly by taking preptests. After finishing the bibles I didn't really concentrate on one single question type (I would just take whole sections timed then review what I got wrong). Time has never been my main concern, the questions I get wrong in LR aren't due to a lack of time but rather due to faulty logic on my part while solving the problem. I think I'll have to change my study method somehow, in order to get the score I want, but I'm not sure how.

Any advice/tips would be greatly appreciated. :)
Last edited by kazu on Sat Jul 17, 2010 3:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

cdnguy
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Re: How to go from 170 to 177+ ?

Postby cdnguy » Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:50 am

Obviously it's going to depend on where you lost your marks.

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JazzOne
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Re: How to go from 170 to 177+ ?

Postby JazzOne » Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:54 am

kazu wrote:I took the December 2009 LSAT and scored a 170. While I realize this is a perfectly decent score, as I was PT-ing steadily at 175~180 the couple of weeks before I took the actual test, I feel I've underperformed and I've decided to retake it in June.

Because I took an undisclosed test, I have no idea how many I got wrong nor which section(s) I bombed. Based on my performance on the PTs I am guessing that it was a tough curve, and that I got -0~-1 in LG, none to a couple wrong in RC, and the rest all in LR. LR has always been my weak spot; after finishing both the LG and LR bibles about 6 weeks before the test I was steadily getting -3 in each of the LR sections (for -6 total), while getting -0 in both LG and RC (excepting the occasional stupid mistake). After a couple of weeks of PT-taking and reviewing I had managed to pull this up to -0~-2 per LR section. Unfortunately, due to nerves while taking the test, as well as the fact that I had minimal time to study/review the week leading up to the test date because of finals and deadlines etc, I feel I must have reverted into old habits during LR.

So, what do I need to do? I'll be taking the June 2010 exam so there's plenty of time left. I studied mainly by taking preptests. After finishing the bibles I didn't really concentrate on one single question type (I would just take whole sections timed then review what I got wrong). Time has never been my main concern, the questions I get wrong in LR aren't due to a lack of time but rather due to faulty logic on my part while solving the problem. I think I'll have to change my study method somehow, in order to get the score I want, but I'm not sure how.

Any advice/tips would be greatly appreciated. :)

The December 2009 test was not undisclosed. Did you mean to say February?

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kazu
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Re: How to go from 170 to 177+ ?

Postby kazu » Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:58 am

JazzOne wrote:The December 2009 test was not undisclosed. Did you mean to say February?


No, I took it in Asia. LSATs taken abroad are undisclosed.

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JazzOne
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Re: How to go from 170 to 177+ ?

Postby JazzOne » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:03 am

kazu wrote:
JazzOne wrote:The December 2009 test was not undisclosed. Did you mean to say February?


No, I took it in Asia. LSATs taken abroad are undisclosed.

I see. Well, I retook a 171. I had been practicing at 178-180 prior to my retake. I only improved 3 points. It seemed disappointing at the time, but I went from 98%ile to 99%ile, so I outscored half of the test takers who outscored me the first time around. That's a significant improvement, but the adcomms didn't see it that way. I was told that a 3-point increase was statistically meaningless. It is very difficult to improve at the top end. Some people retake without any additional prep and everything clicks. Others double up their study efforts and have only modest gains to show for it. Have you done all the PTs already?

heyguys
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Re: How to go from 170 to 177+ ?

Postby heyguys » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:06 am

Combination of luck and performing well under pressure.

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vespertiliovir
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Re: How to go from 170 to 177+ ?

Postby vespertiliovir » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:07 am

Without knowing your scoring breakdown, it's hard to say. I was in a similar situation though, so here's my 2¢/what worked for me:

Calm down, and study less instead of more. Clearly you are capable of scoring in your desired range (as evidenced by your PTs), so let the test come to you. I found that stressing less during my prep = stressing less during the real test = a much better score.

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kazu
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Re: How to go from 170 to 177+ ?

Postby kazu » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:10 am

JazzOne wrote:
kazu wrote:
JazzOne wrote:The December 2009 test was not undisclosed. Did you mean to say February?


No, I took it in Asia. LSATs taken abroad are undisclosed.

I see. Well, I retook a 171. I had been practicing at 178-180 prior to my retake. I only improved 3 points. It seemed disappointing at the time, but I went from 98%ile to 99%ile, so I outscored half of the test takers who outscored me the first time around. That's a significant improvement, but the adcomms didn't see it that way. I was told that a 3-point increase was statistically meaningless. It is very difficult to improve at the top end. Some people retake without any additional prep and everything clicks. Others double up their study efforts and have only modest gains to show for it. Have you done all the PTs already?


No, I actually have maybe half of the PTs left, mostly earlier ones but maybe about 4 recent ones (40s and 50s).... I do feel that I need to change my study method though in order to "solidify" (is that a word?) my desired score, but I'm just not sure how. I also agree with you that it seems to be difficult to improve at the top end. How did you study for your retake?

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JazzOne
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Re: How to go from 170 to 177+ ?

Postby JazzOne » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:14 am

kazu wrote:
JazzOne wrote:
kazu wrote:
JazzOne wrote:The December 2009 test was not undisclosed. Did you mean to say February?


No, I took it in Asia. LSATs taken abroad are undisclosed.

I see. Well, I retook a 171. I had been practicing at 178-180 prior to my retake. I only improved 3 points. It seemed disappointing at the time, but I went from 98%ile to 99%ile, so I outscored half of the test takers who outscored me the first time around. That's a significant improvement, but the adcomms didn't see it that way. I was told that a 3-point increase was statistically meaningless. It is very difficult to improve at the top end. Some people retake without any additional prep and everything clicks. Others double up their study efforts and have only modest gains to show for it. Have you done all the PTs already?


No, I actually have maybe half of the PTs left, mostly earlier ones but maybe about 4 recent ones (40s and 50s).... I do feel that I need to change my study method though in order to "solidify" (is that a word?) my desired score, but I'm just not sure how. I also agree with you that it seems to be difficult to improve at the top end. How did you study for your retake?

I did a some PTs and reviewed my answers. I'm not really sure what else I could have done. Actually, I just thought of something. Someone suggested this after I did my retake, and I regret not being able to try it. Do the PTs, but only give yourself 33 minutes per section. That will take care of any timing issues. Also, review the tests thoroughly when you're finished. And make sure you are never missing a question LG. I'll let some others chime in now since my retake was not very successful.

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kazu
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Re: How to go from 170 to 177+ ?

Postby kazu » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:18 am

Thanks heyguys and vesper. Not knowing my score breakdown is killing me at this point, but I guess it's the price I have to pay for even being able to take the test in Asia. I'm really hoping I can reduce the "luck" portion through studying but perhaps not?

JazzOne wrote:I did a some PTs and reviewed my answers. I'm not really sure what else I could have done. Actually, I just thought of something. Someone suggested this after I did my retake, and I regret not being able to try it. Do the PTs, but only give yourself 33 minutes per section. That will take care of any timing issues. Also, review the tests thoroughly when you're finished. And make sure you are never missing a question LG. I'll let some others chime in now since my retake was not very successful.

That seems a lot similar to how I studied for the December test, actually. Maybe I could review more thoroughly but other than that... Thanks for your input though :)

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Re: How to go from 170 to 177+ ?

Postby sibley » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:33 am

Just study the section that you lose the most points on (or the section that you think you have the best chance of improving on), and do so really casually. Take a couple more PTs (like one ever 1.5-2 weeks) in a different environment than you took your last one. Try again. I took in Sept and got a 158. I was distraught, and expecting a 165+. I retook in Dec doing that and got a 170. Obviously you're trying to get into a different level than I was, but it's likely that it was just a fluke/the result of your environment/etc.

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tinman
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Re: How to go from 170 to 177+ ?

Postby tinman » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:33 am

kazu wrote:Thanks heyguys and vesper. Not knowing my score breakdown is killing me at this point, but I guess it's the price I have to pay for even being able to take the test in Asia. I'm really hoping I can reduce the "luck" portion through studying but perhaps not?

JazzOne wrote:I did a some PTs and reviewed my answers. I'm not really sure what else I could have done. Actually, I just thought of something. Someone suggested this after I did my retake, and I regret not being able to try it. Do the PTs, but only give yourself 33 minutes per section. That will take care of any timing issues. Also, review the tests thoroughly when you're finished. And make sure you are never missing a question LG. I'll let some others chime in now since my retake was not very successful.

That seems a lot similar to how I studied for the December test, actually. Maybe I could review more thoroughly but other than that... Thanks for your input though :)


I have a friend who did exactly what you plan. She got a 170 last June after studying a lot and scoring consistantly in the high 170s. She then retook this fall and scored a 178. I don't think she studied much at all between the two tests. I think she took a couple full-length tests during the two weeks before the fall exam. She scored in the high 170s on those (after the break from June). I think for her the confidence from those last few PTs as well as the restfulness that comes with not cramming before the latter exam were huge factors.

She was someone who does not always perform to her best under pressure. If you are like her, perhaps making sure you are rested and relaxed before the next LSAT administration is the best thing you can do.

But of course, the best advice for someone who wants to score in the high 170s is to make sure that you get less than five wrong on the actual exam :)

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Re: How to go from 170 to 177+ ?

Postby vtoodler » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:34 am

I hear that Kaplan 180 is good for those seeking top scores. What do you guys think of Kaplan 180?

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Re: How to go from 170 to 177+ ?

Postby booboo » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:35 am

kazu wrote:Thanks heyguys and vesper. Not knowing my score breakdown is killing me at this point, but I guess it's the price I have to pay for even being able to take the test in Asia. I'm really hoping I can reduce the "luck" portion through studying but perhaps not?

JazzOne wrote:I did a some PTs and reviewed my answers. I'm not really sure what else I could have done. Actually, I just thought of something. Someone suggested this after I did my retake, and I regret not being able to try it. Do the PTs, but only give yourself 33 minutes per section. That will take care of any timing issues. Also, review the tests thoroughly when you're finished. And make sure you are never missing a question LG. I'll let some others chime in now since my retake was not very successful.

That seems a lot similar to how I studied for the December test, actually. Maybe I could review more thoroughly but other than that... Thanks for your input though :)


I did something like what JazzOne said. I took each section with 32 minutes. I feel like it helped me focus on improving accuracy with less time, hence, with (my) expected slow down due to test day pressure, I had enough time to complete the sections. Oh yeah... I didn't have a watch the day of the exam and there was no clock in the lecture room. Not the best choice I have ever made, but I feel as if the shorter section timing is why I didn't end up bombing the exam. If I didn't live so far away from my test center... :./.

kazu, I would recommend keeping your latest exam as your final diagnostic before the exam. Do the work that you feel necessary to prepare. When test time is coming, take that final diagnostic. If you don't score in the upper part of your range for improvement, then you will know what to expect.

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Re: How to go from 170 to 177+ ?

Postby booboo » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:38 am

vtoodler wrote:I hear that Kaplan 180 is good for those seeking top scores. What do you guys think of Kaplan 180?


It's.. okay. The questions are similar enough to the real LSAT, but to be honest, the LSAT questions are just more solid. Sometimes looking at the answers at some of the Kaplan LSAT 180 questions, I really wondered what kind of logical leap they expect out of readers. The LG was interesting... maybe a bit tougher. RC just wasn't an accurate reproduction.

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Scrutinizer
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Re: How to go from 170 to 177+ ?

Postby Scrutinizer » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:50 am

I took the same Asian LSAT and I'm in a similar position - I scored 171 after consistently PT'ing higher. The fact of the matter is it comes down to performance not ability. Delivering the goods during PT's demonstrates that you know what you're doing. The main issue was likely your (our) game day performance.

I think the earlier comments about relaxing and not stressing during your prep and the subsequent test are good advice. I'm very confident that if I retook now I'd do significantly better. December was my first test so it was all new to me. But even more importantly, I now have a 98th percentile score under my belt so the pressure is largely off. When you rewrite try to take solace in the fact that you've already got a 170. You're at the buffet going back for more shrimp, but you don't really need those shrimp. So relax.

If I were you, I'd approach it real slow like. Maybe on PT every two weeks until you get closer. Set tighter time limits for maybe half of them, but don't get your knickers in a knot about the prep. You can obviously write a 178. You just need to do so in June. If you want to really take it up a notch look into sports psychology and see how top athletes prep for game day. Adapt those method for June.

I'm not rewriting because I don't care that much and with my GPA a 171 should serve me fine. But all the best to you.

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Re: How to go from 170 to 177+ ?

Postby lawyering » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:55 am

kazu wrote:I took the December 2009 LSAT and scored a 170. While I realize this is a perfectly decent score, as I was PT-ing steadily at 175~180 the couple of weeks before I took the actual test, I feel I've underperformed and I've decided to retake it in June.

Because I took an undisclosed test, I have no idea how many I got wrong nor which section(s) I bombed. Based on my performance on the PTs I am guessing that it was a tough curve, and that I got -0~-1 in LG, none to a couple wrong in RC, and the rest all in LR. LR has always been my weak spot; after finishing both the LG and LR bibles about 6 weeks before the test I was steadily getting -3 in each of the LR sections (for -6 total), while getting -0 in both LG and RC (excepting the occasional stupid mistake). After a couple of weeks of PT-taking and reviewing I had managed to pull this up to -0~-2 per LR section. Unfortunately, due to nerves while taking the test, as well as the fact that I had minimal time to study/review the week leading up to the test date because of finals and deadlines etc, I feel I must have reverted into old habits during LR.

So, what do I need to do? I'll be taking the June 2010 exam so there's plenty of time left. I studied mainly by taking preptests. After finishing the bibles I didn't really concentrate on one single question type (I would just take whole sections timed then review what I got wrong). Time has never been my main concern, the questions I get wrong in LR aren't due to a lack of time but rather due to faulty logic on my part while solving the problem. I think I'll have to change my study method somehow, in order to get the score I want, but I'm not sure how.

Any advice/tips would be greatly appreciated. :)


Kazu, for what it's worth, I was in your boat for the Sept LSAT. I got a 170 (the same as my diagnostic) after PTing between 174 and 178 for the past month or more. I was sure it wouldn't be good enough and was planning on re-taking in Feb. Since then I've gotten into Harvard and Stanford, among others. If your GPA is good enough and you have great reasons for "why law" I would reconsider spending all that time/energy retaking it.

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kazu
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Re: How to go from 170 to 177+ ?

Postby kazu » Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:19 pm

Thanks for all the great advice guys! I guess the general consensus is less studying, not more, and focusing on relaxing / not burning out.

I do realize that not retaking is also an option, but I've decided to retake.

I think I'm going to take a month or so off, recharge, then start (slowly) prepping again...
Last edited by kazu on Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cardinal08
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Re: How to go from 170 to 177+ ?

Postby cardinal08 » Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:46 pm

I don't think burnout is necessarily a huge problem. Take 1-2 tests a week and you'll be fine. I went from about your score in June to your target score in December (in Asia as well) by focusing on timing. The difference between the two tests was in June I was bubbling up to the last minute and even ran out of time on two sections, whereas in December I finished five minutes early on every section, and so I had time to go back. I ended up changing an incorrect answer to correct in every section, which at this end of the curve is huge. So take PTs aiming to finish in 30 minutes, and then use the remaining minutes to go back to ones that you were even the slightest bit uncertain about. Good luck.

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Re: How to go from 170 to 177+ ?

Postby MURPH » Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:59 pm

I disagree with the study less, not more advice. Do every test you can get your hands on and go over each answer choice with a fine tooth comb.
Better yet, put an ad in craigslist and offer to tutor students for a reasonable price. The actual pay isn't that important but the experience of teaching and of having to take the time to really understand it before a tutoring session or class is what give you the most improvement. Getting paid for learning the LSAT is better than paying someone to teach you the LSAT. Some testing companies will hire you with a 170. I went from 170 - 175 dong this. PM me

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IHaveDietMoxie
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Re: How to go from 170 to 177+ ?

Postby IHaveDietMoxie » Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:05 pm

If LR is your problem, studying a logic intro book can help solidify things. (yes it is a word) I only scored a 171 on the recent test though, so take it for what its worth. Also, consider beta blockers if nervousness is an issue (talk to a doctor).

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Encyclopedia Brown
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Re: How to go from 170 to 177+ ?

Postby Encyclopedia Brown » Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:07 pm

Ice in the veins.

Edit for real advice: Don't get caught up in the gravity of the situation when you are taking the real test. Treat it like just another practice test. If you start thinking about how many points you think you have, questions you might have missed on other sections, etc., you can lose sight of what you're doing.

blueballa
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Re: How to go from 170 to 177+ ?

Postby blueballa » Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:19 pm

I took the December test in Asia also, and my guess would be that it was a particularly difficult curve. I felt like I had nailed the test and ended up with a 171. I had a few friends who took the Asia test and felt the same way, but didn't do as well as they thought. It might not be a bad idea to consider retaking, if you think you're capable of getting high 170s.

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kazu
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Re: How to go from 170 to 177+ ?

Postby kazu » Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:42 pm

Encyclopedia Brown wrote:Ice in the veins.

Edit for real advice: Don't get caught up in the gravity of the situation when you are taking the real test. Treat it like just another practice test. If you start thinking about how many points you think you have, questions you might have missed on other sections, etc., you can lose sight of what you're doing.


Hey, I liked the "ice in the veins" advice :mrgreen:
But you're right, I think that was probably where I slipped up the most. I didn't have a full-on panic attack or anything but in the first section I could not stop thinking about how many I possibly got wrong / how that would affect how well I needed to do in the subsequent sections. I managed to pull myself together sometime in the middle of the second section, but I guess the damage was done already.

blueballa, I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought the curve in Asia must've been tough.

Hi DietMoxie!! how are your apps going? Are there any particular logic intro books that you recommend? Based on some other threads I've read there seems to be a debate on whether doing that is really effective or not but I guess it can't hurt...
Last edited by kazu on Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MURPH
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Re: How to go from 170 to 177+ ?

Postby MURPH » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:38 am

My LSAT teacher tutored in China. He also got paid to help them write PS's and help with applications. It was a great learning experience for him when he finally applied. I'll bet you can corner the market on LSAT prep classes if you start one.




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