Tips for improving from low 170s to high 170s

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Knock
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Tips for improving from low 170s to high 170s

Postby Knock » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:13 pm

Hey guys, so i'm currently in the low 170 range. It seems a lot of my mistakes are just sloppy ones here and there, and not fundamental errors or lack of knowledge. And since in the 170's every single question is extremely important, it seems kind of difficult to advance.

So i'm asking what tips people have to move from low 170's to high 170's.

I've heard the tips saying write out every question, I started doing that but it seems only helpful really for LR, and even then seems like quite the pain and I'm not sure if it's helping or worth the effort.

Any advice appreciated, thank you!

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beidoun
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Re: Tips for improving from low 170s to high 170s

Postby beidoun » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:07 am

Same exact problem here...interested to here what is said.

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Knock
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Re: Tips for improving from low 170s to high 170s

Postby Knock » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:12 am

beidoun wrote:Same exact problem here...interested to here what is said.


Glad to know i'm not alone :)

What schools are you targeting?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Tips for improving from low 170s to high 170s

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:15 am

If you have taken the LSAT only once & scored in the low 170s, why risk getting a lower score on the retake when you have already scored in the top one percent?

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Knock
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Re: Tips for improving from low 170s to high 170s

Postby Knock » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:23 am

CanadianWolf wrote:If you have taken the LSAT only once & scored in the low 170s, why risk getting a lower score on the retake when you have already scored in the top one percent?


I haven't taken the LSAT yet, those are just the scores i'm getting on prep tests.

I'm hoping to study hard and just take the LSAT once. We'll see how that goes.

Edit: Low 170's isn't top 1%, it's anywhere from like ~96/97% I believe? I think 173 is where it becomes 99%
Last edited by Knock on Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

09042014
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Re: Tips for improving from low 170s to high 170s

Postby 09042014 » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:25 am

Practice. There really isn't any trick.

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Knock
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Re: Tips for improving from low 170s to high 170s

Postby Knock » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:27 am

Desert Fox wrote:Practice. There really isn't any trick.


Thanks. Do you think I should just keep taking 4 section prep tests and reviewing my wrong answers? Or should I practice individual sections at a time to focus on that particular aspect? And do you have any recommendations on how to review the tests?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Tips for improving from low 170s to high 170s

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:37 am

The only LSAT table that I have on hand, from the Princeton Review, shows a 172 as being the 99%, a 173 is at the 99.3%. Maybe these numbers change year to year.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Tips for improving from low 170s to high 170s

Postby Stringer Bell » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:37 am

Desert Fox wrote:Practice. There really isn't any trick.


+1 to this. I think alot of my improvement came because I would get home from a long day at work and then take a PT. When I would do a PT on Saturday or Sunday it felt like cake doing it while I was fresh. Outside of going through the LR and LG bibles I rarely did individual sections as opposed to a full test once I started to get the hang of things.

I honestly don't know if this is a good recommendation, but making your mind tired before doing some PT's might help. Whether it's coming home from a long day at work, taking a short break and then taking a test or maybe substitute reading for a couple of hours if you are not currently working. Maybe give it a shot and then see if you notice a difference the next time you are taking a PT fresh.

09042014
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Re: Tips for improving from low 170s to high 170s

Postby 09042014 » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:37 am

Knockglock wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Practice. There really isn't any trick.


Thanks. Do you think I should just keep taking 4 section prep tests and reviewing my wrong answers? Or should I practice individual sections at a time to focus on that particular aspect? And do you have any recommendations on how to review the tests?


I'd keep taking 4 sections (with no break) to at least somewhat simulate the LSAT experience. Stamina is a factor on the LSAT.

If they are truly accidents, instead of reasoning flaws I'm not sure reviewing mistakes is really going to be the solution. Though you should try anyway, it won't hurt.

Try to force yourself to focus and pay more attention to details.

Also as you get better at timing you'll figure out which questions you skim and which you can devote full attention too.

09042014
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Re: Tips for improving from low 170s to high 170s

Postby 09042014 » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:39 am

CanadianWolf wrote:The only LSAT table that I have on hand, from the Princeton Review, shows a 172 as being the 99%, a 173 is at the 99.3%. Maybe these numbers change year to year.


In sept 09

172 98.6
173 99.0

09042014
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Re: Tips for improving from low 170s to high 170s

Postby 09042014 » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:41 am

Stringer Bell wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Practice. There really isn't any trick.


+1 to this. I think alot of my improvement came because I would get home from a long day at work and then take a PT. When I would do a PT on Saturday or Sunday it felt like cake doing it while I was fresh. Outside of going through the LR and LG bibles I rarely did individual sections as opposed to a full test once I started to get the hang of things.

I honestly don't know if this is a good recommendation, but making your mind tired before doing some PT's might help. Whether it's coming home from a long day at work, taking a short break and then taking a test or maybe substitute reading for a couple of hours if you are not currently working. Maybe give it a shot and then see if you notice a difference the next time you are taking a PT fresh.


I also PTed after a long day at work and I really think it helped build stamina. The real thing was stress free.

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Knock
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Re: Tips for improving from low 170s to high 170s

Postby Knock » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:50 am

Desert Fox wrote:
Knockglock wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Practice. There really isn't any trick.


Thanks. Do you think I should just keep taking 4 section prep tests and reviewing my wrong answers? Or should I practice individual sections at a time to focus on that particular aspect? And do you have any recommendations on how to review the tests?


I'd keep taking 4 sections (with no break) to at least somewhat simulate the LSAT experience. Stamina is a factor on the LSAT.

If they are truly accidents, instead of reasoning flaws I'm not sure reviewing mistakes is really going to be the solution. Though you should try anyway, it won't hurt.

Try to force yourself to focus and pay more attention to details.

Also as you get better at timing you'll figure out which questions you skim and which you can devote full attention too.


Thanks. I guess they aren't completely mistakes, more so I know the concept but didn't execute it properly due to stamina/tiredness and under the time crunch.

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KibblesAndVick
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Re: Tips for improving from low 170s to high 170s

Postby KibblesAndVick » Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:33 am

Two pieces of advice:

First, make sure you're getting -0 on logic games. If you're already hitting 170, then you're close enough that you should be able to perfect them. I don't know if games are a strength or a weakness for you, but if you want to hit high 170's you're going to have to routinely get -0/-1 on them.

Second, work on your focus and concentration. Sloppy mistakes are going to be the bane of your existence as you move forward. Make sure you're adding a 5th section to work on endurance. I'd also highly recommend that you work out if you don't already. If at all possible start taking your practice tests at the same time of day that you'll be taking the real LSAT. Figure out what you want to eat during the break and start eating that during your practice tests. Basically, make sure you're going to feel as comfortable on test day as you can.

You're in the red zone of LSAT prep. Get ready to go Adrian Peterson on this shit. This may or may not work for you, but I found it helpful to think of it as "attacking" the test. I felt confident and being aggressive helped me go fast. Good luck with your prep!

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Knock
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Re: Tips for improving from low 170s to high 170s

Postby Knock » Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:48 am

KibblesAndVick wrote:Two pieces of advice:

First, make sure you're getting -0 on logic games. If you're already hitting 170, then you're close enough that you should be able to perfect them. I don't know if games are a strength or a weakness for you, but if you want to hit high 170's you're going to have to routinely get -0/-1 on them.

Second, work on your focus and concentration. Sloppy mistakes are going to be the bane of your existence as you move forward. Make sure you're adding a 5th section to work on endurance. I'd also highly recommend that you work out if you don't already. If at all possible start taking your practice tests at the same time of day that you'll be taking the real LSAT. Figure out what you want to eat during the break and start eating that during your practice tests. Basically, make sure you're going to feel as comfortable on test day as you can.

You're in the red zone of LSAT prep. Get ready to go Adrian Peterson on this shit. This may or may not work for you, but I found it helpful to think of it as "attacking" the test. I felt confident and being aggressive helped me go fast. Good luck with your prep!


Thank you so much. I love the football analogy...finally someone is speaking to me on my level haha. Anyways yeah, I've been anywhere from -2 to -4 on LG so it appears that I have some work to do here. Should I just drill games off PT's that i've already done? so I don't spoil unseen preptests.

For working out, do you recommend lifting weights, or cardio like running of bike riding? I don't have a gym membership right now, and I don't know if I have enough time to be hitting up the gym. I could probably do a jog or bike ride though.

I will definitely start taking some tests at 12:30 in preparation for the June LSAT. Any recommendations on good snacks?

Thanks again.

OK, now that I'm done being a dick:

I went back through every single PT and tallied each type of question I missed. This helped isolate the areas in which I was most likely to make a mistake when tired. That way, when I came across one of those questions late in a test, I had a little fight-or-flight moment where my eyes narrowed and I knew I needed to hone in.

I liked it. I'd be inclined to keep using it, if my wife didn't talk me out of a re-take.

Either way, good luck.


Haha thanks, and welcome to the thread. That is a brilliant suggestion. I am definitely going to do that once I have a little bit bigger sample to figure out what my consistent weaknesses are.

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AngryAvocado
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Re: Tips for improving from low 170s to high 170s

Postby AngryAvocado » Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:20 am

+1 to the attack mindset and to "practice practice practice." Those are the biggest two things.

Couple more tips:

When you're taking PTs, circle any and every question that you're less than 100% sure about (this number should go down the more and more you practice). Review only those questions and the ones that you missed, and especially focus on ones that you missed but didn't circle. Don't waste time reviewing easy questions that gave you no trouble, but make damn sure that you understand every question that you circled and/or missed.

Don't get content. Start handicapping yourself once you're consistently acing a section. If you're always -0/-1 on games, start taking time off that section. If you're consistently <-2 on RC or LG, start taking time off those as well. This was huge for me, as I finally got down to 30 minute sections for every section and it was huge come test day. Not only did it give me a boost of confidence going in, I had plenty of time to go back over questions that I had circled.

Also, I took a few 6 section exams (LR was always easiest for me so I'd add random LR/LG sections from earlier tests to simulate "worst case scenario" experimentals) the week before the exam just to make sure I had more than enough stamina.

HTH, and good luck!

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beidoun
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Re: Tips for improving from low 170s to high 170s

Postby beidoun » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:12 am

Knockglock wrote:
beidoun wrote:Same exact problem here...interested to here what is said.


Glad to know i'm not alone :)

What schools are you targeting?


MIchigan is my number one choice. I live in Michigan so it would be perfect. UVA/NW are the other t-14 I would like to attend. What schools are you targeting?

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KibblesAndVick
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Re: Tips for improving from low 170s to high 170s

Postby KibblesAndVick » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:00 pm

Nightrunner wrote: ... proper preparation prevents piss poor performance.

+1 This is awesome.

OP, look over the games sections you've done and try to see if your mistakes have anything in common (all one type of game, if you have trouble with the questions where they suspend a rule and replace it with a new one, if you're running out of time and missing them on the last game, ect.) If you can find a theme, I would suggest you go back and review it ad nauseam. If you see a specific weakness, destroy it :D. If it just seems to be really random mistakes, I think you should just keep doing new PTs and try to keep focused.

I don't think it makes a difference what you do. Whatever you're most comfortable with or fits into your schedule. Studying for the test is stressful and you'll feel a little burnt out sooner or later. Doing anything physical (gym tanning laundry or basketball pool beach or whatever you think you'll stick with and be happy doing) will help you keep grounded.

I always ate bananas and trail mix with fruits and nuts. I don't know much about nutrition, but this was cheap and easy. I also like those things a lot. I'd pick someone you'll be happy about eating during the break.

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jpSartre
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Re: Tips for improving from low 170s to high 170s

Postby jpSartre » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:27 pm

I'm in a similar position, and at this point i think the difference comes down to concentration. Taken individually, there are maybe 5 or 6 truly difficult questions on the test, which themselves are very do-able.

There are two crucial things that I've learned from the two weeks I just took off:

Maintain a balanced focus throughout -not too much as to over think the questions, but not too little as to be careless- and

Maintain the proper perspective:

In LR, understand the passage as a unit, and narrow in on the conclusion. Understand what the question is for, and ask yourself what the test makers are trying to test you on. I don't think LR is ALL about being able to flawlessly apply and comprehend logic, you really need to know what the makers are looking for.

In LG, you gotta understand how the pieces fit together, and remember that the test makers ask certain questions to test whether you understand the consequences of the rules. Again they're looking for something, just find out what that is.

In RC, I think all I can say is maintain focus on the passage, and spend time reading it. No use blowing through the 3 or 4 paragraphs of information to get to the questions if you don't understand the information.

I think all of this comes with practice, but for me these insights (however well I was able to express them) came after a 2 week break after taking 25 PTs. Practice practice practice, but don't forget that letting things sink, and gainin perspective on the nature of the test, in is a real phenomenon with real results.

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theadw
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Re: Tips for improving from low 170s to high 170s

Postby theadw » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:36 pm

AngryAvocado wrote:+1 to the attack mindset and to "practice practice practice." Those are the biggest two things.

Couple more tips:

When you're taking PTs, circle any and every question that you're less than 100% sure about (this number should go down the more and more you practice). Review only those questions and the ones that you missed, and especially focus on ones that you missed but didn't circle. Don't waste time reviewing easy questions that gave you no trouble, but make damn sure that you understand every question that you circled and/or missed.

Don't get content. Start handicapping yourself once you're consistently acing a section. If you're always -0/-1 on games, start taking time off that section. If you're consistently <-2 on RC or LG, start taking time off those as well. This was huge for me, as I finally got down to 30 minute sections for every section and it was huge come test day. Not only did it give me a boost of confidence going in, I had plenty of time to go back over questions that I had circled.

Also, I took a few 6 section exams (LR was always easiest for me so I'd add random LR/LG sections from earlier tests to simulate "worst case scenario" experimentals) the week before the exam just to make sure I had more than enough stamina.

HTH, and good luck!


+1 to the above; also, be sure that you can perform consistently on every section no matter when it appears. Folks I've tutored often score within a wide range on RC -- well when it's first, and poorly when it's last. On RC, assign a 1-sentence summary to each paragraph in your head; this will help you when you reference the passage later.

For games, if you do several KenKen puzzles every day, you'll work the same part of your brain.

skip james
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Re: Tips for improving from low 170s to high 170s

Postby skip james » Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:08 pm

When I interviewed for TM, I asked Robin Singh what it was that lead him to hit consistent 180s (if you look at the TM website, you'll see his distribution of scores jumps around A LOT until about 7 or 8 years after his first test), and he told me that he thinks it was two things:

1) that there were more tests available so he could study more of them, have a better understanding of the test in general.

2) he became a better guesser. if he was stuck between two answer choices, i.e. between answer choice (A) where he could see a flimsy reason why it was wrong but tempting reasons for it to be the correct answer and choice (B) something he totally didn't understand, he would eliminate A (since he could see a reason why it'd be wrong) and choose B, even though he didn't understand it.

I thought that was pretty interesting.

Personally, the difference for me was that I got better at RC. I scored 172 the first time I took the test, and a 177 the second, and I know my RC proficiency was the reason for the discrepancy.

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jpSartre
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Re: Tips for improving from low 170s to high 170s

Postby jpSartre » Sat Mar 27, 2010 2:21 pm

skip james wrote:When I interviewed for TM, I asked Robin Singh what it was that lead him to hit consistent 180s (if you look at the TM website, you'll see his distribution of scores jumps around A LOT until about 7 or 8 years after his first test), and he told me that he thinks it was two things:

1) that there were more tests available so he could study more of them, have a better understanding of the test in general.

2) he became a better guesser. if he was stuck between two answer choices, i.e. between answer choice (A) where he could see a flimsy reason why it was wrong but tempting reasons for it to be the correct answer and choice (B) something he totally didn't understand, he would eliminate A (since he could see a reason why it'd be wrong) and choose B, even though he didn't understand it.

I thought that was pretty interesting.

Personally, the difference for me was that I got better at RC. I scored 172 the first time I took the test, and a 177 the second, and I know my RC proficiency was the reason for the discrepancy.


This is unnecessarily critical, but don't you think his score evened out after 7 or 8 years because he'd been taking the test FOR SEVEN OR EIGHT YEARS? If you've taken that many tests, and you don't get 180s every time you're probably exceptional, and not in a good way.

The guessing advice is very solid advice. But this guy can't get every question right with 100% confidence after 8 years of taking the test?

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Ragged
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Re: Tips for improving from low 170s to high 170s

Postby Ragged » Sat Mar 27, 2010 2:31 pm

In the same situation as you, except I already have a low 170s score on the record.

Thanks for all the tips, guys.

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Knock
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Re: Tips for improving from low 170s to high 170s

Postby Knock » Sat Mar 27, 2010 3:40 pm

Ragged wrote:In the same situation as you, except I already have a low 170s score on the record.

Thanks for all the tips, guys.


Just curious: why do you think your cycle didn't go that great? you seem to have pretty strong numbers

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Ragged
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Re: Tips for improving from low 170s to high 170s

Postby Ragged » Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:35 pm

Knockglock wrote:
Ragged wrote:In the same situation as you, except I already have a low 170s score on the record.

Thanks for all the tips, guys.


Just curious: why do you think your cycle didn't go that great? you seem to have pretty strong numbers


Weak softs, mediocre PS/LORs. No "why X" addendums to schools outside of T5. + increase in applications means that schools are going to be trying to increase their medians, which makes my numbers much less impressive. I should also add, shitty UG.

Getting in atleast one of CCN would be a consolation....




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