Potential for Improvement on the LSAT

ccmonson
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Potential for Improvement on the LSAT

Postby ccmonson » Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:25 pm

I have yet to take a practice test even for the LSAT, and don't plan on taking the actual test for about 18 more months. But I was just wondering how possible it is, with dedicated studying, to improve your score on the LSAT. From the few practice questions I've attempted, my problem definitely seems to be timing rather than accuracy. Is there anyone who has dramatically increased their score through practice? And if so, was it self-taught with books and online practice tests, or did you take a class?

Derrex
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Re: Potential for Improvement on the LSAT

Postby Derrex » Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:30 pm

I improved from around 167 untimed to 176 on the real thing in about a year. No classes, just official PTs. Just keep doing them, get use to their wording. The initial problems I had were with the wording of LSAT questions in all its convoluted glory. Start with the old tests and work towards newer ones. Take breaks from studying, this stuff doesn't leave you. This is a learnable test, but your final score will be determined by how much you learn and what your full potential is.

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bees
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Re: Potential for Improvement on the LSAT

Postby bees » Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:33 pm

Since you have a year and a half. Read one book (not Twilight, something with decently long words) per week (or more, if you'd like) and you will ace reading comp.

And I went up 18 pts. If I could do it, so can you.

pattymac
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Re: Potential for Improvement on the LSAT

Postby pattymac » Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:34 pm

First, don't let anyone convince you that you cannot improve your score; I've heard this a lot too (most people don't score higher than their diagnostic) and nothing could be further from the truth. If you read this board as much as I do, you'll find stories of people going from the 140's to the 160's or even low 170's.

I read an excellent post on this board that said something along the lines of "studying for the LSAT is similar to doing grade 2 math problems...you didn't always understand how to do the questions but you didn't go home and study 101 of them under time constraints did you?" You've got to get inside the testmakers head and understand how they reason.

Take a diagnostic and see where you stand, if you want. Get the LG and LR bibles and kaplan mastery. I'd suggest the diagnostic first, but you're most likely going to need the bibles anyways. Pickup the LSAC Superprep and Kaplan Mastery too. Most importantly, pick up as many preptests as you can and make sure theyre the ones released by LSAC and not knockoff ones from other companies. Study with the real mccoy.

And good luck! This thing is beatable if you put in the hours. Keep your head down!

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MBZags
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Re: Potential for Improvement on the LSAT

Postby MBZags » Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:36 pm

Through self-study alone with PTs, the Bibles, and The Kaplan Orange Book, I went from low 140s (diagnostic) to a 167 on test day. The test is quite learnable once you practice enough. I see a lot of people on here talking about studying for 4-6 hours per day, but I was fine with a maximum of 2 hours a day for 3 or so months (and I didn't necessarily study everyday).

pattymac
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Re: Potential for Improvement on the LSAT

Postby pattymac » Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:37 pm

Derrex wrote:I improved from around 167 untimed to 176 on the real thing in about a year. No classes, just official PTs. Just keep doing them, get use to their wording. The initial problems I had were with the wording of LSAT questions in all its convoluted glory. Start with the old tests and work towards newer ones. Take breaks from studying, this stuff doesn't leave you. This is a learnable test, but your final score will be determined by how much you learn and what your full potential is.


Wanted to reiterate that this isn't the type of test that leaves you. Its logic; its learnable and theres a math vibe about it. Once you understand the process, you feel locked in. I'm the kind of guy that has to feel pressure to study effectively but this isn't that kind of party. I'm actually really enjoying studying for this stuff because a) I'm writing in June and b) there's not a whole lot of pressure and its not like you're going to to forget something (like a date of an event or a formula).

faradsheda
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Re: Potential for Improvement on the LSAT

Postby faradsheda » Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:48 pm

Does your score - or the legitimacy of your score - differ from practice test to practice test? Kaplan to Princeton to McGraw-Hill to the others?

skip james
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Re: Potential for Improvement on the LSAT

Postby skip james » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:20 pm

over 20 points. took months and months and months.

Derrex
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Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:04 am

Re: Potential for Improvement on the LSAT

Postby Derrex » Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:57 pm

faradsheda wrote:Does your score - or the legitimacy of your score - differ from practice test to practice test? Kaplan to Princeton to McGraw-Hill to the others?


Yes, I would seriously disregard anything from outside vendors as legitimate. In fact, I'd consider tossing everything except for possibly the Kaplan 180 book IF you run out of official material. Even then, the logic games in the book are nothing like the real test. I've found Princeton Review to be particularly bad because some of the questions on LR involve "This is a stronger answer". There will never be such things as strong and stronger answers on the real LSAT, only right and wrong. Stick to real lsat tests, theres plenty of material + review it all.

tomwatts
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Re: Potential for Improvement on the LSAT

Postby tomwatts » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:16 am

Went from a 154 to a 176 in a couple of months with Cracking the LSAT and a bunch of released tests. Totally learnable.

(Also, when TPR materials talk about an answer being "strong," they're talking about language strength, not quality. If one answer has "sometimes" in it and another has "always" in it, the "always" one is stronger than the "sometimes" one. Whether that's good or bad depends on the question type. This does matter on the real test.)

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vanwinkle
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Re: Potential for Improvement on the LSAT

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Jan 17, 2010 4:53 am

pattymac wrote:I read an excellent post on this board that said something along the lines of "studying for the LSAT is similar to doing grade 2 math problems...you didn't always understand how to do the questions but you didn't go home and study 101 of them under time constraints did you?" You've got to get inside the testmakers head and understand how they reason.

Take a diagnostic and see where you stand, if you want. Get the LG and LR bibles and kaplan mastery. I'd suggest the diagnostic first, but you're most likely going to need the bibles anyways. Pickup the LSAC Superprep and Kaplan Mastery too. Most importantly, pick up as many preptests as you can and make sure theyre the ones released by LSAC and not knockoff ones from other companies. Study with the real mccoy.

And good luck! This thing is beatable if you put in the hours. Keep your head down!


I totally concur with this advice in general. Study the questions and question types, and learn how to solve them untimed first; after you understand them all (or at least understand many of them enough to get correct reliably), then you should start putting yourself under time pressure to improve your answer rate. You can't get faster if you don't know how the questions work in the first place.

Also, I agree with the poster who said to try reading a book a week. Since you have so much time before you're planning to take, read as much as you can. Read novels. Read biographies and nonfiction. Read different kinds of magazines, especially science-themed magazines like Scientific American, since there's almost always a science-themed essay in a reading comp section and people who don't have science backgrounds have difficulty with those.

You're not trying to learn anything specific, you're just trying to increase how much your brain is used to gathering large amounts of information off a printed page. The more you read the better your brain gets at reading.

I had a 157 and jumped to a 170 in 3-4 months. 18 months is forever in terms of LSAT improvement. You have all the time in the world, and if you use it wisely you can have huge gains by test day.

Sandro
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Re: Potential for Improvement on the LSAT

Postby Sandro » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:34 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
pattymac wrote:I read an excellent post on this board that said something along the lines of "studying for the LSAT is similar to doing grade 2 math problems...you didn't always understand how to do the questions but you didn't go home and study 101 of them under time constraints did you?" You've got to get inside the testmakers head and understand how they reason.

Take a diagnostic and see where you stand, if you want. Get the LG and LR bibles and kaplan mastery. I'd suggest the diagnostic first, but you're most likely going to need the bibles anyways. Pickup the LSAC Superprep and Kaplan Mastery too. Most importantly, pick up as many preptests as you can and make sure theyre the ones released by LSAC and not knockoff ones from other companies. Study with the real mccoy.

And good luck! This thing is beatable if you put in the hours. Keep your head down!


I totally concur with this advice in general. Study the questions and question types, and learn how to solve them untimed first; after you understand them all (or at least understand many of them enough to get correct reliably), then you should start putting yourself under time pressure to improve your answer rate. You can't get faster if you don't know how the questions work in the first place.

Also, I agree with the poster who said to try reading a book a week. Since you have so much time before you're planning to take, read as much as you can. Read novels. Read biographies and nonfiction. Read different kinds of magazines, especially science-themed magazines like Scientific American, since there's almost always a science-themed essay in a reading comp section and people who don't have science backgrounds have difficulty with those.

You're not trying to learn anything specific, you're just trying to increase how much your brain is used to gathering large amounts of information off a printed page. The more you read the better your brain gets at reading.

I had a 157 and jumped to a 170 in 3-4 months. 18 months is forever in terms of LSAT improvement. You have all the time in the world, and if you use it wisely you can have huge gains by test day.


Any tips for a fellow 157er(me) to jump to 170 in 4 months?

joekim1
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:20 am

Re: Potential for Improvement on the LSAT

Postby joekim1 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:11 pm

if you can self-diagnose yourself and pinpoint what your exact weaknesses are as you do questions, you should be able to find ways to correct them and bump up your score to the sky. it's all about micro management. mental micro management, if that makes any sense..




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