stuck in the mid 140s

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northwood
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stuck in the mid 140s

Postby northwood » Sun May 16, 2010 5:34 pm

I have been studying actively for the past 2 months, and after taking 6 full length practice exams, I am still scoring the same as I did the first time I took the test, ( 145- no studying at all)... Any suggestions as to how to best tackle this thing, other than to give up, take the test and forget about law school. Thanks!

Tautology
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Re: stuck in the mid 140s

Postby Tautology » Sun May 16, 2010 5:39 pm

Can you give us an idea of what kinds of problems you're having? Are you running out of time on every section, do you consistently think you know the right answer only to find out it's wrong, do you just not understand on a lot of questions? Also, what have you been doing to study? We could give better advice if we knew what it was you have been doing.

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cinefile 17
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Re: stuck in the mid 140s

Postby cinefile 17 » Sun May 16, 2010 5:40 pm

I definitely recommend taking a course or getting some tutoring. If you're scoring that low (and even after studying), you're obviously missing some really essential things, and a course would probably be the best/easiest way for you to learn what these things are. Go with Testmasters or Powerscore, not Kaplan.

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Aro5389
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Re: stuck in the mid 140s

Postby Aro5389 » Sun May 16, 2010 5:52 pm

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Last edited by Aro5389 on Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Concept2
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Re: stuck in the mid 140s

Postby Concept2 » Sun May 16, 2010 6:17 pm

Go w/ Testmasters, In my opinion the methodology they use is far superior to the other programs. I actually sat in on a Kaplan course before choosing T.M. and was not impressed. My diagnostic was a 146 and I eventually scored (after 3 months) a 159, not outstanding but that was after ONLY going to the courses. I basically skipped the at home study to my detriment. The courses were fantastic and the teachers are young and energetic.

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joemoviebuff
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Re: stuck in the mid 140s

Postby joemoviebuff » Sun May 16, 2010 6:33 pm

Don't know what you mean by "studying actively" but grab the POWERSCORE BIBLES and EVERY DAMN RELEASED LSAT EVER MADE. Then make it your life. A course might be good for you, but if you have the self-discipline to study for a few hours everyday, I wouldn't say you need one. If you're supposed to take the LSAT in June, postpone it until October. As you know, a score in the 140's won't get you anywhere you want to be.

Diagnostic: 155
After six months of rigorous study: 170

Good luck.

tomwatts
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Re: stuck in the mid 140s

Postby tomwatts » Sun May 16, 2010 6:38 pm

Aro5389 wrote:My main weakness is time.

If you're scoring in the mid-140's, this is not possible. If you correctly answer all the questions associated with two games, two passages, and about twelve or thirteen arguments (so half the section) and guess on the rest, you'll score in the low 150's on most tests. Your problem is not time; your problem is that you're getting a LOT of questions wrong. So slow down and get things right, and then try to speed up gradually from there.

If you're already taking a course, then you have a source of technique and you have access to all of the released tests. Make use of that. Go back over your notes from the course and make sure you know the methods you've been taught backwards and forwards. Then go back over the questions you're getting wrong and try to figure out how not to get them wrong in the future. Accuracy first! If you can't get questions right, then answering more questions is just going to mean that you try harder and still get a lot wrong.

If you're taking one of the more abbreviated courses (I think Kaplan just calls them "classroom" or something — as opposed to the Extreme), then you might find that you're just not getting enough information, and you might want to get some supplemental tutoring or postpone and take a real course (one of the 80+ hour ones) over the summer. Then again, you might just need to buckle down and go over the homework extremely diligently and put even more into the course than you're putting in right now. Depends on your specific situation.

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northwood
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Re: stuck in the mid 140s

Postby northwood » Sun May 16, 2010 7:41 pm

I keep on thinking I have the correct answers for the arguments section, only to find out that I'm wrong, especially on assumption questions, I am able to fiinish all of the argument sections with 2-3 minutes to spare . I think I may not be reading each option as intently as possible, because when I go over the missed mistakes, I can see where the right answer is, and why the answer I picked is incorrect about 75% of the time.( and I am using scantrons to mark my answers in.. I get them from the teachers lounge during my free periods when I should be preppring for classes,) plus I can only do 2 games totally correct, and half of the third before time runs out ( if i rush, then i just end up with wrong answers, and a lot of scribble marks on the test page).
I am able to get through the reading comprehension and completely answer 3 passages, missing one or 2 questions at the most on each passage. I have just enough time to skim the fourth passage and be able to correcly answer 1 or 2 questions before the 33minute mark, when I stop to make sure that I have correcly bubbled in the scantron sheet for the section.
I am also in the princeton review online class, which allows me access to working online. I have never taken an online class before, and with my schedule ( teaching from 7 am until 5pm) it was the best option for me. I am planning on taking Kaplins classroom class over the summer, when I wont be teaching..

Thank you all for your insights and suggestions. They are very helpful and beneficial!!!!

03121202698008
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Re: stuck in the mid 140s

Postby 03121202698008 » Sun May 16, 2010 7:45 pm

northwood wrote:I keep on thinking I have the correct answers for the arguments section, only to find out that I'm wrong, especially on assumption questions, I am able to fiinish all of the argument sections with 2-3 minutes to spare . I think I may not be reading each option as intently as possible, because when I go over the missed mistakes, I can see where the right answer is, and why the answer I picked is incorrect about 75% of the time.( and I am using scantrons to mark my answers in.. I get them from the teachers lounge during my free periods when I should be preppring for classes,) plus I can only do 2 games totally correct, and half of the third before time runs out ( if i rush, then i just end up with wrong answers, and a lot of scribble marks on the test page).
I am able to get through the reading comprehension and completely answer 3 passages, missing one or 2 questions at the most on each passage. I have just enough time to skim the fourth passage and be able to correcly answer 1 or 2 questions before the 33minute mark, when I stop to make sure that I have correcly bubbled in the scantron sheet for the section.
I am also in the princeton review online class, which allows me access to working online. I have never taken an online class before, and with my schedule ( teaching from 7 am until 5pm) it was the best option for me. I am planning on taking Kaplins classroom class over the summer, when I wont be teaching..

Thank you all for your insights and suggestions. They are very helpful and beneficial!!!!


I highly recommend the powerscore bibles and lots of practice tests. Towards the end, I could read a prompt and know what most of the wrong answers would look like before even readin the answers.

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catharsis
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LSAT prep

Postby catharsis » Sun May 16, 2010 8:05 pm

I saw your thread regarding your road bumps with the LSAT. I just wanted to first tell you NOT to give up and keep working hard. I, much like yourself, had to teach while studying for the LSAT but I found that having the right materials made a world of difference. In total, I spent around $3,000 in supplies, courses, etc. but it was well worth it. My initial diag was upper 140s so I know how you feel.

If you need any materials let me know and I could sell them to you for a competitive price. I took the best course out there in my opinion- Powerscore and I even have a great chronograph Casio watch you could practice with and the LSAT Proctor DVD which helped me immensely with timing issues.

CanadianWolf
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Re: stuck in the mid 140s

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun May 16, 2010 8:22 pm

Reads as if you need a systematic approach for each type of question. You may benefit greatly from taking an LSAT prep course from any established organization whether Princeton Review, PowerScore, TestMasters, Blue Book or Kaplan. The quality of Princeton Review & Kaplan courses depends largely upon the particular instructor.
Since you have similiar scores in the middle 140s for all six practice exams, you are similiar to an employee of 6 years with one year's experience six times rather than a six year employee with six years' experience. It will be interesting to read of your progress after taking the Kaplan classroom course. Some students need classroom instruction to do well, while some can do well with self study. Although I am only stating the obvious, I think that it will help you to have confidence that a classroom type LSAT prep course will help you in a very positive fashion.

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northwood
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Re: stuck in the mid 140s

Postby northwood » Mon May 17, 2010 9:40 am

any tips for assumption questions.... these seem to be the thorn in my side on lr ( i found that I get most of these questions wrong when i check back on the preptests..)

dynomite
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Re: stuck in the mid 140s

Postby dynomite » Mon May 17, 2010 10:16 am

northwood wrote:any tips for assumption questions.... these seem to be the thorn in my side on lr ( i found that I get most of these questions wrong when i check back on the preptests..)


As others have said, if you don't have the Powerscore Bibles yet you should get them immediately. I also want to highlight something that tomwatts said, which is excellent advice that you (and I'm sure many others reading this thread) should reread:

tomwatts wrote:
Aro5389 wrote:My main weakness is time.

If you're scoring in the mid-140's, this is not possible. If you correctly answer all the questions associated with two games, two passages, and about twelve or thirteen arguments (so half the section) and guess on the rest, you'll score in the low 150's on most tests. Your problem is not time; your problem is that you're getting a LOT of questions wrong. So slow down and get things right, and then try to speed up gradually from there.


---

Now, Assumption questions: These are often very difficult to learn -- an assumption is unstated, so you have to do some legwork. One of the most helpful pieces of information to have is this simple formula:

(Evidence) + (Assumption) = Conclusion

Basically, they're giving you the Evidence (or "Premise"), and they're giving you the Conclusion, and you need to identify the gap between the two.

This page actually does a pretty good job of giving you the basic structure: http://www.lsat-center.com/lsatc4s4a.htm

You're also going to need to learn the difference between Necessary and Sufficient assumptions -- this is a crucial step that will allow you to much more easily answer these questions.

tomwatts
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Re: stuck in the mid 140s

Postby tomwatts » Mon May 17, 2010 1:43 pm

northwood wrote:I keep on thinking I have the correct answers for the arguments section, only to find out that I'm wrong, especially on assumption questions, I am able to fiinish all of the argument sections with 2-3 minutes to spare . I think I may not be reading each option as intently as possible, because when I go over the missed mistakes, I can see where the right answer is, and why the answer I picked is incorrect about 75% of the time.( and I am using scantrons to mark my answers in.. I get them from the teachers lounge during my free periods when I should be preppring for classes,) plus I can only do 2 games totally correct, and half of the third before time runs out ( if i rush, then i just end up with wrong answers, and a lot of scribble marks on the test page).

I am able to get through the reading comprehension and completely answer 3 passages, missing one or 2 questions at the most on each passage. I have just enough time to skim the fourth passage and be able to correcly answer 1 or 2 questions before the 33minute mark, when I stop to make sure that I have correcly bubbled in the scantron sheet for the section.

Based on this, I suspect you're BOMBING the LR (in PR terminology, Args). For someone scoring in the 140's, you sound as though you're doing reasonably well on RC (in the vicinity of -8 or -10) and just need to build up your speed gradually. Missing 1 or 2 per passage is a good place to be (but 0 or 1 per passage would be better). Similarly, you're doing okay in Games if you're getting 2.5 of them — that's probably another -8, give or take. But if you're not cracking a 150, you must be missing a total of 40-45 questions, which means that the majority of what you're missing is in Args, and if you're doing every single question in the Args sections, you must be answer those questions and just getting them wrong.

So do what you're doing in Games and RC. Slow waaaaaayy the heck down. Instead of getting to 25-26 Args questions, get to 16 or 17. You'll have 50% more time per question, so you can really read everything and apply the approach properly. And if you can bring that accuracy from 50% or worse to 90% or better, you'll only miss 1 or 2 of the questions you're attempting, which means you'll be getting 14 or 15 points instead of whatever it is now (sounds like 10 or 12). Then build up your speed gradually; when you can get to 16 or 17 and only miss 1 or 2, then try to get 18 or 19 and only miss 1 or 2. Then try to get to 20 or 21 and only miss 1 or 2. And so on.
northwood wrote: I am also in the princeton review online class, which allows me access to working online. I have never taken an online class before, and with my schedule ( teaching from 7 am until 5pm) it was the best option for me. I am planning on taking Kaplins classroom class over the summer, when I wont be teaching..

Are you taking the recorded Online course or the LiveOnline course? I ask only out of curiosity; I made some of the recordings for the Online course and am teaching a couple of the LiveOnline courses right now, so there's a decent chance that you're working with something that I'm involved in. :)

As far as following up with a Kaplan classroom course, meh. I could see doing this if you're doing the recorded course, just because you don't have access to live instructors that way, but switching companies halfway through might be disorienting. None of us are all that different from each other, but there are hazards in doing this.

jamesieee
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Re: stuck in the mid 140s

Postby jamesieee » Mon May 17, 2010 2:03 pm

joemoviebuff wrote:Don't know what you mean by "studying actively" but grab the POWERSCORE BIBLES and EVERY DAMN RELEASED LSAT EVER MADE. Then make it your life. A course might be good for you, but if you have the self-discipline to study for a few hours everyday, I wouldn't say you need one. If you're supposed to take the LSAT in June, postpone it until October. As you know, a score in the 140's won't get you anywhere you want to be.

Diagnostic: 155
After six months of rigorous study: 170

Good luck.


+1

jjlaw
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Re: stuck in the mid 140s

Postby jjlaw » Mon May 17, 2010 6:04 pm

It sounds like you are missing some real fundamentals that are needed to fully understand this test. I started out at mid-140s as well and after months of studying, I've been scoring in the high 160s. When I look back at what I *thought* I understood back in the mid-140s to what I *really* understand now, I realize just how much I've learned in those past months. I would suggest studying over the summer to really get a handle on the fundamentals needed for this test. I would even pick up a book on informal logic to get your mindset ready.

As for LR, I think understanding Assumption and Flaw questions are essential to overall success because there are elements of both question types in almost every question you see in the section. For example, if you need to weaken or strengthen an argument, you sometimes need to get a handle on the assumption of the stimulus.

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RockabillyForums
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Re: stuck in the mid 140s

Postby RockabillyForums » Tue May 18, 2010 3:38 pm

I have been reading this forum for the past few days and have read some excellent information regarding the LSAT. I have already taken the LSAT twice and plan on taking it again in October. Like you I have been stuck in the 140's, First attempt: 142, Second Attempt: 145. I know I can greatly increase my score. My problem was the first time I took it I did not study much and the testing room was 58 degrees (I wish I was joking, I looked at the thermostat) and the guy next to me kept cracking his gum. The second time I took the test I had the flu and again the room was 58 degrees but this time I brought a jacket but felt like crap. So I decided since I am done with school I have plenty of time to study without distractions. My suggestion to you from everything I have read and experienced is start working out, eating healthy, and getting plenty of sleep. I have started eating healthy, cut back a lot on caffeine, and workout. If your healthy so is your brain, if your dragging so is your brain. I have noticed a difference in my scores since I have started. Also, a wonderful suggestion from a couple of people that I did was buy an informal logic book. It's available on Amazon called Informal Logic: A Pragmatic Approach, it's around $20.00-$30.00 or if you have a ipad or Kindle it's $14.40. I read it during my free times at work, and highlight the key points on my iPad and reread them again later. Hope this helps....good luck!!

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stintez
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Re: stuck in the mid 140s

Postby stintez » Tue May 18, 2010 3:49 pm

northwood wrote:I keep on thinking I have the correct answers for the arguments section, only to find out that I'm wrong, especially on assumption questions, I am able to fiinish all of the argument sections with 2-3 minutes to spare . I think I may not be reading each option as intently as possible, because when I go over the missed mistakes, I can see where the right answer is, and why the answer I picked is incorrect about 75% of the time.( and I am using scantrons to mark my answers in.. I get them from the teachers lounge during my free periods when I should be preppring for classes,) plus I can only do 2 games totally correct, and half of the third before time runs out ( if i rush, then i just end up with wrong answers, and a lot of scribble marks on the test page).
I am able to get through the reading comprehension and completely answer 3 passages, missing one or 2 questions at the most on each passage. I have just enough time to skim the fourth passage and be able to correcly answer 1 or 2 questions before the 33minute mark, when I stop to make sure that I have correcly bubbled in the scantron sheet for the section.
I am also in the princeton review online class, which allows me access to working online. I have never taken an online class before, and with my schedule ( teaching from 7 am until 5pm) it was the best option for me. I am planning on taking Kaplins classroom class over the summer, when I wont be teaching..

Thank you all for your insights and suggestions. They are very helpful and beneficial!!!!


When you guess before you run out of time mark all the same answer's. I have been told by many people D is the most popular chosen by a very very very small %. However in either case just stick with one letter and use that one.




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