Feb test takers, what was your study method, what

janetrey
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:00 pm

Feb test takers, what was your study method, what

Postby janetrey » Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:18 pm

went well and what would you do differently if you could?

If you used a prep company and want to give a thumbs up or down that would be great too.

OHKC42
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:19 pm

Re: Feb test takers, what was your study method, what

Postby OHKC42 » Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:44 pm

I took the Feb test. Started studying the week ater Thanksgiving. I took a diagnostic (157) that was proctored by Kaplan about two weeks before I started studying (check your school, because Kaplan might offer one there, too,) and then a practice test every Friday until the week of the exam. I would go over my test and try to figure out why I got each problem wrong that I got wrong, and then I would use books to find tips and drills on those sections. I used Princeon Review and Powerscore books...the Logic Games Bible is great. I studied about 2 hours a day, usually taking Sundays off. I also took the Powerscore weekend class the last week of January and thought it was helpful.

When you're taking practice tests, use real, previosly administered tests, time them under real conditions (and use an analog watch,) don't take them in dead silence, and always keep extra tests to pull single sections from. Do one of the extras as Section 1, 2, or 3 (because that is always when the experimental is.) Taking a five section test is different than a four section test, and the practice tests only have four sections, so you'll haveto find your own "experimental."

Oh, and I scored 97th percentile, if you want an idea of how this improved my score...157-->169.

vampy
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:02 am

Re: Feb test takers, what was your study method, what

Postby vampy » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:07 pm

I studied a lot for the December '09 exam and scored in the Mid 170s. I didn't open a book once for February 10 and scored near 180. I think a lot of people could benefit from doing their studying well before the exam so that their brain has time to absorb the information and build new neural networks.

ConsideringLawSchool
Posts: 313
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:18 pm

Re: Feb test takers, what was your study method, what

Postby ConsideringLawSchool » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:19 pm

note: sorry for typos--writing on my phone on the train. Will expand on this post if folks would like

I did fairly well on the Feb test (177) but, to be honest, I'm not sure that my studying method was terribly effective. I started with a diagnostic in the high 160s, so I was a bit disappointed with my final score, though I am certainly not complaining.

I went through the LGB. Though it had helpful tips, I do think that it is important to use it only as a jumping off point. I never focused on their classifications or their more rigid diagramming ideas. I took some pointers (especially regarding common pitfalls and tricky language), but I think I mastered games just by doing lots and lots of them. I'm pretty sure I got -0 on the games, and I think this score resulted from a wholistic approach to games that allowed me to tackle quickly somewhat atypical game types.

I spent several months doing the LG and LR sections piecemeal from prior tests. This strategy worked pretty well for me since I was working two jobs and had limited prep time. I did about 2 sections a day. For me, the single most helpful LR prpe was going through the CambridgeLSAT collection of the 410 hardest LR questions. By the time of the test, I had nearly 100% accuracy on LR and was consistently finishing with 10 minutes to spare. Some tips on here were super helpful, especially regarding rousing on the fact that there is always exactly 1 right answer and that there are always exactly 4 answers that are unquestionably wrong.

My major regret is regarding RC. I always hated studying for this section. Honestly, all to often, I fell asleep when practicing RC. On the test, I had RC last and royally screwed up by running out of time at the end. I had to hurry through the final passage and had to make good guesses on some of the final four questions. I am incredibly frustrated that I did not force myself to do all 59 tests worth of RC as I did with LG (for LR, the collection I mentioned above enabled me just to focus on hard questions). I had read too many times that you can't study for RC, and I really wish I had ignored that advice, had some caffeine, and forced my way through all the RC sections. (I did glance through the RC bible but found it useless.)

Based on my less-than-great studying experiences, here is what I would recommend for busy folks starting out pretty well off and aiming for top scores:

-Take a diagnostic 4 months before the test

-Read LGB, but don't get too tied to it's methods

-Untimed, do the practice tests in Superprep. Read the explanations for every question very carefully--the explanations are written by the test-makes and give you wonderful insight into how they think. Read every explanation for every question (right and wrong answers).

-Over the course of the next 60 days, each day do one LR section and one LG or RC section (timed) from PTs 10-40. Review mistakes thoroughly. If you find you are gettin perfect scores on LR questions 1-15 and not having timing problems, consider just using the Difficult Questions set for LR

-During the last 60 days, do a full-length timed PT 3 times per week (PTs 40-59). Review any mistakes thoughly.

nycparalegal
Posts: 483
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:26 am

Re: Feb test takers, what was your study method, what

Postby nycparalegal » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:24 pm

ConsideringLawSchool wrote:
I did fairly well on the Feb test (177) but, to be honest, I'm not sure that my studying method was terribly effective. I started with a diagnostic in the high 160s, so I was a bit disappointed with my final score, though I am certainly not complaining.


Let me get this straight. You started in the high 160s, and ended up with a 177. Bro, I don't think you should be disappointed that's a fantastic job.

ConsideringLawSchool
Posts: 313
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:18 pm

Re: Feb test takers, what was your study method, what

Postby ConsideringLawSchool » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:33 pm

nycparalegal wrote:
ConsideringLawSchool wrote:
I did fairly well on the Feb test (177) but, to be honest, I'm not sure that my studying method was terribly effective. I started with a diagnostic in the high 160s, so I was a bit disappointed with my final score, though I am certainly not complaining.


Let me get this straight. You started in the high 160s, and ended up with a 177. Bro, I don't think you should be disappointed that's a fantastic job.


Thanks. I'm definitely not complaining, but I am frustrated because I knew all along that RC was my weakness and yet I didn't practice it enough and screwed up the last few questions on the whole test. Also, I was consistently getting better scores on PTs but just screwed it up on the real thing. Oh well

Zatarra
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:23 pm

Re: Feb test takers, what was your study method, what

Postby Zatarra » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:26 pm

Start early(ish) and don't burn out!

I took a Sept PowerScore course, fairly cold, with a diagnostic in mid/low 160s. Completed the majority of the coursework, omitting some of the homeworks on topics I was strong in. If you do take a course, don't shirk the load on anything you need work on! Honestly, I'd recommend trying to complete everything, but if you're pressed for time and/or nearly burned out, focus on your weaker areas. I'm completely rubbish at self-motivating for exams, so the course kept me on a consistent schedule, and provided a neatly organized packet of material to work through. If you're highly self motivated, a course may not be necessary -- I found some of the strategies a bit counterproductive, so if you're already acing a section, don't necessarily follow the course lockstep.

Was all set to take the December 09 LSAT, but chipped my tooth the morning of. Sat for the test to get a feel for it, but canceled immediately (and went to the dentist!). Relaxed through December, and took six timed PTs during January, with a handful of timed LG sections. Also did a handful of LRs every other day. Kept reading for RCs -- I find these to be highly related to your general reading ability -- therefore, simply keeping up a diet of suitably complex reading material can keep you sharp -- assuming you do generally well in RCs.

Ended up with a 177 in Feb. Honestly, past 175 I really think test to test variance and state of mind are going to be much larger factors than your preparation, as even one stray mark of misbubble can make a big difference.

In short, keep a fairly rigorous schedule in the beginning, identify your weaknesses early and focus on those, and, provided your PTs are close to what you're aiming for, easing up on the intensity toward the end may take a bit of the pressure off. Be sure to take at least one timed PT every week before the exam, and try to do at least a few questions every other day to keep your mind sharp. DO NOT let one bad PT throw off your game -- one of my last PTs was a mid/high 160s, which almost derailed me!




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