PTing in the mid 160's, weakness LG, possibility of 178?

CMDantes
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PTing in the mid 160's, weakness LG, possibility of 178?

Postby CMDantes » Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:33 pm

Hello all,

I've been taking several practice tests while I wait for my PS bibles to come in the mail, and I've been getting pretty consistent low to mid 160's. This is only taking 4 sections as opposed to the 5 on the real test, so is it an accurate representation of my progress at this point? Should I start mixing in random sections from other PT's to emulate the 5-section real test?

As for strengths/weaknesses:

RC - I've been getting a -6 or -5 (First PT untimed) on the RC's... but I feel like I can definitely improve that if I stop freaking out about timing. I just got my ideal analog watch to I'll be able to better monitor the time and stop rushing the last questions...where I usually miss answers. I also read that skipping the passages with fewer questions is a good idea, since it gives one more time to focus on the longer, tougher ones. Anyone agree with this?

I'm happy to say LR seems to be my strength, which is surprising since I've always done extremely well in comparable RC sections of previous standardized tests. I got a -6 on all sections of my first untimed tests, but oddly enough I managed a -3 on the first section and a -4 on the second section during a timed test I took at about 2:30am. A testament to practice? Should I be concerned as much with the LR bible given this?

LG I bomb. Regularly. I get -10, -12. I know people say that this is the easiest section to improve, but for someone as mathematically dense as I am, is this so? Anyone with similar experiences of traditionally being terrible with math scoring -0 to -2 (my goal) on the LG?

So given this type of initial breakdown, realizing I'm taking these PT's with little preparation/study, is my goal of a 178 (perhaps 180) attainable? My plan is to go through the bibles, work consistently on RC, read a brief (but dense) logic book, take a prep course beginning in March, and do about 30 PTs with like 5 diagnostics.

What do you guys think?

EDIT: To say that these are the earliest PT's, from the first "10 official" books LSAC puts out.

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swc65
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Re: PTing in the mid 160's, weakness LG, possibility of 178?

Postby swc65 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:36 pm

LG is the section that has the possibility for the most improvement. I started out PT in the mid 160s and scored a 176.

Also you will never get a 178 if you skip passages. I think that would be a LAST resort. I always found that finding something in the passages and relating them to one of your interests or trying to find something interesting about it helps to remember the points when it's time to answer the questions.

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gatorlion
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Re: PTing in the mid 160's, weakness LG, possibility of 178?

Postby gatorlion » Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:41 pm

CMDantes wrote:Hello all,

I've been taking several practice tests while I wait for my PS bibles to come in the mail, and I've been getting pretty consistent low to mid 160's. This is only taking 4 sections as opposed to the 5 on the real test, so is it an accurate representation of my progress at this point? Should I start mixing in random sections from other PT's to emulate the 5-section real test?

As for strengths/weaknesses:

RC - I've been getting a -6 or -5 (First PT untimed) on the RC's... but I feel like I can definitely improve that if I stop freaking out about timing. I just got my ideal analog watch to I'll be able to better monitor the time and stop rushing the last questions...where I usually miss answers. I also read that skipping the passages with fewer questions is a good idea, since it gives one more time to focus on the longer, tougher ones. Anyone agree with this?

I'm happy to say LR seems to be my strength, which is surprising since I've always done extremely well in comparable RC sections of previous standardized tests. I got a -6 on all sections of my first untimed tests, but oddly enough I managed a -3 on the first section and a -4 on the second section during a timed test I took at about 2:30am. A testament to practice? Should I be concerned as much with the LR bible given this?

LG I bomb. Regularly. I get -10, -12. I know people say that this is the easiest section to improve, but for someone as mathematically dense as I am, is this so? Anyone with similar experiences of traditionally being terrible with math scoring -0 to -2 (my goal) on the LG?

So given this type of initial breakdown, realizing I'm taking these PT's with little preparation/study, is my goal of a 178 (perhaps 180) attainable? My plan is to go through the bibles, work consistently on RC, read a brief (but dense) logic book, take a prep course beginning in March, and do about 30 PTs with like 5 diagnostics.

What do you guys think?


I was PTing in the 162-167 range consistently after taking the Blueprint course over the summer. I never once cracked 167, usually because 1 game would screw me up or I'd have a bad LR section once in a while. RC was my strong point; I would regularly make -2 or -0. You can improve the most on your LG score, but I'd caution that some people will never get -0 consistently, even with much effort. My best LG was -3. All of the questions I missed I had skipped because I ran out of time. I found LG the easiest to learn, but the hardest to complete in the allotted time. LR was always a mixed bag; I'd consistently finish them on time and invariably get 4-5 wrong in the second half of each section with a sprinkling of random misses (1 or 2) along the way. I wound up scoring 158 on the real LSAT (-8 both times in RC, my absolute best area)...in consecutive administrations (Sep 09 and Dec 09). I'm still sore at the thought that with all my studying and preparation, and the +10 point gains I made in 3 months, I wound up scoring 2 points above my PT average when I was self-studying back in 2006. Sometimes you just get the shaft no matter how hard you try, but you can definitely improve your LG significantly.

vampy
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Re: PTing in the mid 160's, weakness LG, possibility of 178?

Postby vampy » Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:53 pm

It's very common for users to discuss their huge score improvements on this forum, but statistically that is just very unlikely. If it were true, then scoring a 178 would not be the 99.8 percentile. Nobody I know made major improvements after their first four or five practice tests in any area except LG. Furthermore, improvements at the high end of the scale (LSAT 170+) get far more difficult to achieve, and also require a lot more luck.

vampy
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Re: PTing in the mid 160's, weakness LG, possibility of 178?

Postby vampy » Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:54 pm

I'll further add that the smartest people I know (people who got in the 1300s on the SATs in 7th grade) did not even get a 178.

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FuManChusco
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Re: PTing in the mid 160's, weakness LG, possibility of 178?

Postby FuManChusco » Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:10 pm

This has to be a flame. Who would ask specifically if they could get a 178. That's near impossible. If you're serious, reach for a 170. After that, it's all about getting a favorable test for your preferences and not making any mistakes.

thunder 85
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Re: PTing in the mid 160's, weakness LG, possibility of 178?

Postby thunder 85 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:45 pm

vampy wrote:It's very common for users to discuss their huge score improvements on this forum, but statistically that is just very unlikely. If it were true, then scoring a 178 would not be the 99.8 percentile. Nobody I know made major improvements after their first four or five practice tests in any area except LG. Furthermore, improvements at the high end of the scale (LSAT 170+) get far more difficult to achieve, and also require a lot more luck.



I disagree, just as the games can be broken down into very formulaic strategies, so can LR, meaning as long as you start with a -6 or better RC, its possible to get into the mid 170s and higher.


I will say that time and focus necessary to make those jumps aren't realistic from someone with either a full time job or full time school.

CMDantes
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Re: PTing in the mid 160's, weakness LG, possibility of 178?

Postby CMDantes » Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:11 pm

Thank you all for the constructive criticism. I realize that achieving such a high score requires a tremendous amount of luck, but honestly I want to try to leave as little to luck as possible. Factoring in the role of luck, from the beginning of a study plan, seems like a good way to underachieve. I dunno, perhaps you're right.

As for the individual who insinuated that I was flaming, I must ask how you reached this conclusion. For a test with such importance, why is reaching for the top percentile a flame? I want to succeed at this, and I want to echo my thoughts with the community. Is that not what this site is all about?

Why the heck would I shoot for a 170 if I'm trying to get into the top law schools?

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bees
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Re: PTing in the mid 160's, weakness LG, possibility of 178?

Postby bees » Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:13 pm

FuManChusco wrote:This has to be a flame. Who would ask specifically if they could get a 178. That's near impossible. If you're serious, reach for a 170. After that, it's all about getting a favorable test for your preferences and not making any mistakes.


OP made a post earlier about wanting to get a 167+, so maybe it's not a flame and just increased ambition.

CMDantes
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Re: PTing in the mid 160's, weakness LG, possibility of 178?

Postby CMDantes » Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:16 pm

bees wrote:
FuManChusco wrote:This has to be a flame. Who would ask specifically if they could get a 178. That's near impossible. If you're serious, reach for a 170. After that, it's all about getting a favorable test for your preferences and not making any mistakes.


OP made a post earlier about wanting to get a 167+, so maybe it's not a flame and just increased ambition.


This. I saw from my PT's that maybe I should shoot higher since I seemed to be doing pretty well.

kacee
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Re: PTing in the mid 160's, weakness LG, possibility of 178?

Postby kacee » Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:37 am

I'm really happy to read about your progress so quickly, CMDantes! You sound a lot like what I started out at, and as we discussed, shooting for a 178 is not unreasonable, though definitely a semi-unrealistic goal since luck and nerves come into play so much. I set my goal at 175+ to begin with, and as I said on the other thread, I feel confident that I did that well when test day finally arrived.

Natural ability at RC and LG is very, very important, since that is the hardest to learn. You seem to have it. I don't think you need to be timing your RC sections QUITE yet, that will stress you out too much and not let you pay attention to reading closely and getting as much information out of the passage as possible. Speed will come over time in this section. Try out a few different methods for getting as much out of the passages as possible. Underlining or bracketing main points, conclusions etc is extremely helpful. You sound like you have a good amount of natural reading comprehension, so I think you'll be able to pick this up as practice goes on and won't need to use the "skipping around" strategy for RC. The question types appear again and again, so you will naturally figure out what you need to be paying attention to (main points of passage, author's opinion, tone, etc). Make sure to pick up reading in your spare time as much as possible in place of TV. Reading articles from the New Yorker or a good "classic" (ie, hard-to-read) book or scientific non-fiction book (I'm reading "The Mind's I", collection of essays on consciousness, so good!) would be helpful in keeping your reading comprehension sharp while doing non-LSAT stuff.

Natural LR strength is soooo lucky to have, but it is those LAST FEW points that are so fucking hard to get. I couldn't get reliably close to perfect LR sections until almost the end of my practice. The LR Bible is really great for this, actually. Since you're good at it already, it may be a little tedious to go through, but it's very worth it, and especially the later chapters that deal with the more difficult question types are priceless. Over time you'll see which question types give you the most trouble, and the strategies you learn in the LR Bible will not only help you do these ones accurately but will make you a LOT faster with all the easier questions that you might already be getting right. Extra time means a lot in LR sections because it's extra seconds to make SURE that you can eliminate every wrong answer and to read and re-read the stimulus and answers to make sure you're not missing some tricky little word that makes all the difference.

LG is totally predictable. Don't even worry about it. In fact, I suggest you stop even doing LG sections right now and do extra LR and RC instead, since you really aren't learning anything from doing them "blind". Once you finish the LG bible, everything will be completely, completely different. I was in the exact same boat; got through maybe one and a half games in 35 minutes.. maybe. After the LG bible it became as easy and natural (and fun, actually) as doing sudoku and you'll almost definitely be able to do -0 to -2 sections after not too much practice. Once you're there it's just a question of doing LG sections enough to stay sharp and introduce yourself to a broad variety of game types.

It sounds like you're really on the right track to get where you want to be. Use this gung-ho motivation to practice RC and work through the bibles thoroughly. When that wears off (and it will) you should be starting the course, which will keep you practicing. The last few weeks will just be polishing yourself off, and the only thing left to worry about is your nerves. You've got 178 or close, I think, if you keep up like this.

Another rambling post, love Kacee <3

skip james
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Re: PTing in the mid 160's, weakness LG, possibility of 178?

Postby skip james » Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:49 am

kacee wrote:LG is totally predictable. Don't even worry about it. In fact, I suggest you stop even doing LG sections right now and do extra LR and RC instead, since you really aren't learning anything from doing them "blind". Once you finish the LG bible, everything will be completely, completely different. I was in the exact same boat; got through maybe one and a half games in 35 minutes.. maybe. After the LG bible it became as easy and natural (and fun, actually) as doing sudoku and you'll almost definitely be able to do -0 to -2 sections after not too much practice. Once you're there it's just a question of doing LG sections enough to stay sharp and introduce yourself to a broad variety of game types.


i disagree with this. personally, i'd get logic games down first, have a section in the bag (so to speak), so that you have more confidence in progressing along with your studies. i personally devoted a month of sole study to games, read every method out there (kaplan has a good method for pure sequencing games by the way, and powerscore is really only good for it's linear game setup, imo), and still didn't have the timing aspect of it completely down. funny thing about games, and i hear people say the same thing over and over again on test day, is that when you are sitting in the hot seat, games is much much more difficult to do timed than RC. something about the adrenaline and focus just kills my time in games on test day, whereas i tend to read much faster in RC finishing with time to spare (and this happened both times).

anyhow, personally i like the games-first approach. learning about conditional reasoning along the way will inadvertently help your LR and RC a bit, methinks. you have months of prep left. devote a solid month to games FIRST, then hit LR for the next month and a half to two months.

kacee
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Re: PTing in the mid 160's, weakness LG, possibility of 178?

Postby kacee » Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:55 am

@skip james

I definitely agree with you, but CMDantes has the Powerscore Logic Games bible on the way in the mail. So why work on logic games practice sections when he is essentially stabbing in the dark? Once he knows how to diagram quickly and pull information out from there, he'll be able to master it much faster. Personally I think the LGB is great for learning how to diagram... especially if you don't already have your own methods that need to be overwritten. Then again I never used any other prep books.

But otherwise I think you're right. Once he gets the bible, focusing on LG exclusively and getting it in the bag is a great way to go. That way you are on top of it to begin with and only need to keep from getting rusty, which is easy to do if you are taking full practice tests. But until you have strategy to diagram and such, you're wasting your time trying to work through confusing logic games.

As for the test-day timing, I feel the opposite! When you've done two dozen logic games and they throw one at you that is just like ones you've done before, it should just be natural. Unless you're all worked up, diagramming it out and answering the questions should be second nature and pretty much brainless, unlike RC and LR which take close and careful reading to make sure you're not skimming over some important word or detail.

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theZeigs
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Re: PTing in the mid 160's, weakness LG, possibility of 178?

Postby theZeigs » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:50 am

FuManChusco wrote:This has to be a flame. Who would ask specifically if they could get a 178. That's near impossible. If you're serious, reach for a 170. After that, it's all about getting a favorable test for your preferences and not making any mistakes.


I disagree. As Kanye said: "Shoot for the stars, so when you fall, you land on a cloud."

You want to shoot for perfection and understand that this is the real world and it's unlikely that you'll get there.

CMDantes
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Re: PTing in the mid 160's, weakness LG, possibility of 178?

Postby CMDantes » Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:25 pm

Kacee, I look forward to reading your responses. Please continue rambling!

Thanks again for the kind words, and I must say I'm feeling pretty positive about this whole thing. I understand that it's a semi-unrealistic goal, but that helps me drive myself to certain limits.

I'll work on my RC sections untimed, trying to minimize the margin of error. I think that doing a bunch of alternating RC/LR sections in a row will help me get past the fatigue factor. I have plenty of these to spare, since apparently the earlier tests are only really good for their hard LG's... and I need to burn through this material before spring break/the beginning of the course.

I appreciate the responses and criticism, everyone! This is an excellent community.

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zimbadimp
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Re: PTing in the mid 160's, weakness LG, possibility of 178?

Postby zimbadimp » Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:29 pm

I found playing sudoku helped me improve lg

09042014
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Re: PTing in the mid 160's, weakness LG, possibility of 178?

Postby 09042014 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:32 pm

CMDantes wrote:Hello all,

I've been taking several practice tests while I wait for my PS bibles to come in the mail, and I've been getting pretty consistent low to mid 160's. This is only taking 4 sections as opposed to the 5 on the real test, so is it an accurate representation of my progress at this point? Should I start mixing in random sections from other PT's to emulate the 5-section real test?

As for strengths/weaknesses:

RC - I've been getting a -6 or -5 (First PT untimed) on the RC's... but I feel like I can definitely improve that if I stop freaking out about timing. I just got my ideal analog watch to I'll be able to better monitor the time and stop rushing the last questions...where I usually miss answers. I also read that skipping the passages with fewer questions is a good idea, since it gives one more time to focus on the longer, tougher ones. Anyone agree with this?

I'm happy to say LR seems to be my strength, which is surprising since I've always done extremely well in comparable RC sections of previous standardized tests. I got a -6 on all sections of my first untimed tests, but oddly enough I managed a -3 on the first section and a -4 on the second section during a timed test I took at about 2:30am. A testament to practice? Should I be concerned as much with the LR bible given this?

LG I bomb. Regularly. I get -10, -12. I know people say that this is the easiest section to improve, but for someone as mathematically dense as I am, is this so? Anyone with similar experiences of traditionally being terrible with math scoring -0 to -2 (my goal) on the LG?

So given this type of initial breakdown, realizing I'm taking these PT's with little preparation/study, is my goal of a 178 (perhaps 180) attainable? My plan is to go through the bibles, work consistently on RC, read a brief (but dense) logic book, take a prep course beginning in March, and do about 30 PTs with like 5 diagnostics.

What do you guys think?

EDIT: To say that these are the earliest PT's, from the first "10 official" books LSAC puts out.


Stop wasting PT's until you do the bibles. You will regret this. Also fuck a prep course, you are smart enough to study your self.

180 is definitely possible, and it should be your goal. Good luck.




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