December LSAT Study Diary (formerly October)

lparker
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby lparker » Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:48 pm

I have nothing to contribute. GOOD JOB, though! :D

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Anaconda
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby Anaconda » Mon Sep 06, 2010 3:21 pm

PT 46

Ughhh

RC: -7
LR1: -4
LR 2: -6 (almost all in the last 10)
LG: -0

Raw: 82
Score: 163

This means I've now gone from a 168 -> 164 -> 163. Kind of depressing.

The curve on this test SUCKED. -12 was a 167!!

At least my raw score stayed steady at a 82.

The last passage on RC destroyed me, wtf was that about?
LR had some tricky questions, and I thought LG was laughably easy (especially since I finished with 8 minutes to go).

It really sucks that I was 2 questions away from a 165. There's a huge difference between a 163 and 165, and to think that 2 questions is the difference between being 60% at one school and 30% at that school is utter BS.

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gdane
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby gdane » Mon Sep 06, 2010 3:31 pm

Yea I totally agree with your last point. Seems very ridiculous. Thats the nature of the beast. Thank USNWR and their rankings for making schools become so numbers obsessed.

You're going to make it though. I know youre going to have a breakthrough soon. Youve done it before. Also, -0 on LG is very impressive. Some of those games are tough as hell.

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Anaconda
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby Anaconda » Mon Sep 06, 2010 6:04 pm

gdane5 wrote:Yea I totally agree with your last point. Seems very ridiculous. Thats the nature of the beast. Thank USNWR and their rankings for making schools become so numbers obsessed.

You're going to make it though. I know youre going to have a breakthrough soon. Youve done it before. Also, -0 on LG is very impressive. Some of those games are tough as hell.


I thought the games in PT 46 were a cake walk. The last passage in RC...not so much.

I'm interested to see what I got wrong in LR. A -10 isn't too bad, but I really need to get it down to a -7 or -8 if I want a shot at 165/166.

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Anaconda
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby Anaconda » Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:40 am

Tomorrow (I guess today): PT 48.

This PT has a -8 curve. A -13 is a 166. This one should be fun. All what I can say is: LG and RC BETTER be easy.

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gdane
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby gdane » Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:42 am

Oh snap! Youre alive. I thought you died or were locked up. You hadnt posted in a while. Taking a break? If so, good idea.

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Anaconda
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby Anaconda » Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:45 am

gdane5 wrote:Oh snap! Youre alive. I thought you died or were locked up. You hadnt posted in a while. Taking a break? If so, good idea.


Last couple days have been very low key. It's really tough to balance school work and LSAT and I felt the past few days I did neither, besides going over some LR questions for maybe 30 minutes each day. I felt exhausted and brain dead today, couldn't concentrate on LR questions and had trouble understanding some I already did before. Hopefully I'll get a good night's sleep and feel energetic tomorrow, it makes a big difference.

lparker
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby lparker » Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:14 am

I'm taking PT48 tonight too. After work. I saw some complaints about the curve over in the prep thread. Kind of nervous about that...

Good Luck!

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Anaconda
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby Anaconda » Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:31 pm

PT 48

This basically puts me at the point where I'm ready to give up on the October LSAT and focus on school work.

LR1: -7
LG: -1
RC: -8
LR 2: -7

Raw: 78
Score: 160.

I've now gone from a 168 -> 164 -> 163 -> 160. I'm basically back to where I was when I first started taking regular PTs, and I'm getting really sick of it. I've been getting -9 on my LR total as of late, and I bomb the LR on both sections... I actually thought I did fairly well on the first LR too. I'm really fucking frustrated... so much work and time and yet so far from my primary goal (170) and even my modest goal (166). Back to where I was over a month ago. Great....

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Anaconda
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby Anaconda » Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:39 pm

I'm going to review this test tonight and then take PT 50 tomorrow. If I don't get a 164+ on it, I'm officially calling it quits for October.

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Anaconda
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby Anaconda » Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:49 pm

Well, after thinking about this rationally here's what I've determined:

-while I take PT's I can't control myself: I routinely grade myself BEFORE finishing the test by checking over my answers on my computer. I CANNOT do that anymore - it fucks with my psychologically and is a ridiculous thing to do. Solution: take PTs at the library and bring a second copy of the test that I will do right after. I will do both tests, timed and untimed back to back without grading ANYTHING.

-my score is dependent on doing well on LGs. If I get a really hard RC section, I'm screwed. I need to improve on RC and make sure nothing I see on LG will scare me.

-I need to improve on LR. On this last PT, I felt I didn't have a strategy or was using some tricks to tackle the harder questions. I need to get my LR score down from -9 to -12 average to -6 to -8.

-I need to start eating healthier, and exercise more. Mental fatigue and concentration have been terrible during my last 3 exams - I've missed so many questions because I haven't been mentally sharp (probably missed 3-4 questions on the PT I took today because of this).

-I can't take the test in October - I'm not concentrated on school, and it's going to destroy my GPA. I'm so frustrated with the LSAT at this point, I might end up bombing both the Oct LSAT and my classes. I'm not planning on going to law school next year, so why would I take the LSAT when my average is well below my goal?

I'm going to skip the October LSAT and take the December LSAT. It's going to give me 12 weeks instead of 4. This gives me so much more flexibility and freedom between my studying for school and studying for the LSAT, and will prevent a possible breakdown that I feel coming soon if I continue down the October path.

I'll take one PT a week between now and the late October - STRICT conditions, timed, and then taking the untimed redo right after it. NO PEAKING AT ANSWERS. One day a week will be totally devoted to taking and retaking a PT, so I can get the full benefit of of SOS's strategy. 1 day each week will be devoted to reviewing the questions I got wrong or felt were difficult. Another 2 days will be devoted to redoing old LGs, doing old RC passages I never attempted, and redoing some of the hardest LR questions. I'm also going to re-read a chapter of the LRB every other day.

By the first week of November, I'll do 2-3 PTs a week, depending on my work load. By early-mid November, I'll hopefully have raised my PT average to mid 160's, and try to do my best to put myself over the top by December.

At this point, I'm not improving - I'm actually doing progressively worse. I'm not happy with anything right now, and by spreading the LSAT stuff out, the LSAT prep is not longer frantic - it will be controlled, paced, and relaxed.

If I get a 159 in mid October, so what? I'll still have 2 months left to improve.

Right now I have 18 PTs left untouched. (41-49 odds, 50-60, Superprep B, C, June 07). The only thing I'm REALLY concerned about this plan that I'll have looked at every single LSAT question, so what happens if I need to retake? Then I'd probably have to wait until the next October where at that point I would have forgotten a lot of the questions.

---

So the gameplan right now is:
-Redo/Review PT 48 today and tomorrow.
-Take PT 40 next Friday (Friday becomes my weekly PT day)
-do LSAT review when I have free time, school work comes first for now
-try to get in 3 days of LSAT studying per week (in addition to taking the PT) - do 8 LGs (2-3 per day), 35 tough LR questions (10-12 per day) and 2 Reading sections a week (1 a day). Doing all those questions should take about 3 1/2 hours a week, and maybe another 1-2 hours to review them Add 1 1/2 hours re-reading the LRB a week, and that's only about 6-7 hours of LSAT studying a week.
-I'll take Sunday and most of Saturday to concentrate on school work. I'll read for classes every weekday, and do LSAT stuff in between my school work.

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gdane
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Re: December LSAT Study Diary (formerly October)

Postby gdane » Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:08 pm

Well Im glad to see that you decided to hold off a bit. I think its for the best. Youre not applying until next year anyway, so hell you could probably even take February or June. However, December is supposedly the "easiest" test.

I have to ask, did you always use this SOS method? Ive read up on it and Im not sold on it. It seems really counterproductive to me. I think it may be wiser to just take PT's and go over them in great detail. Taking a strictly timed PT and retaking the same test untimed just doesnt seem that useful. This is just my opinion though. If you feel that it works for you, then by all means continue.

In any case, youre getting there and I know that whenever you do take this thing youll do great.

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Anaconda
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Re: December LSAT Study Diary (formerly October)

Postby Anaconda » Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:38 pm

gdane5 wrote:Well Im glad to see that you decided to hold off a bit. I think its for the best. Youre not applying until next year anyway, so hell you could probably even take February or June. However, December is supposedly the "easiest" test.

I have to ask, did you always use this SOS method? Ive read up on it and Im not sold on it. It seems really counterproductive to me. I think it may be wiser to just take PT's and go over them in great detail. Taking a strictly timed PT and retaking the same test untimed just doesnt seem that useful. This is just my opinion though. If you feel that it works for you, then by all means continue.

In any case, youre getting there and I know that whenever you do take this thing youll do great.


SOS is great - but the big problem is that I'm way too eager to see what score I got. When I check my answers, there's not a lot of motivation to do in-depth review. Re-taking the PT untimed slows everything down, and you can see what your weaknesses are - either you flat-out didn't understand the question, or maybe you made a silly mistake. If you switched an answer from right to wrong, you know you clearly didn't fully grasp the question. Only problem is I've only truly done this method by the book (zero cheating) maybe once, but I thought it greatly helped.

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gdane
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Re: December LSAT Study Diary (formerly October)

Postby gdane » Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:40 pm

Ehh. I dont know. I still think you should try to do a few PT's without using this method. Take it, grade it and then go over it. Understanding why you got a question wrong and what your weaknesses are arent exclusive to this method. But, if it works for you go for it.

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GoldenGloves
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Re: December LSAT Study Diary (formerly October)

Postby GoldenGloves » Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:46 pm

Didn't bother reviewing the original SOS thread, but I seem to remember reading that the strategy was used over a course of several months, and so while it may be effective for study, it may be best for extended periods of study rather than in the last month and a half before taking the LSAT.

Hopefully this means you'll have a chance to better benefit from it given your new plan.

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Anaconda
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Re: December LSAT Study Diary (formerly October)

Postby Anaconda » Fri Sep 10, 2010 12:08 am

Is it me, or are some of the LR in PT 48 extremely difficult? Some 2 star questions even seemed hard. Just re-did a bunch of them, and several took me a WHILE to fully understand because the key to the correct answer was soooooo nit-picky and detail oriented. Seems a little over the top...

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DrackedaryMaster
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Re: December LSAT Study Diary (formerly October)

Postby DrackedaryMaster » Fri Sep 10, 2010 12:22 am

PT48 was rough for me. Only hit 164. -4/-0/-6/-6. LR2 was particularly brutal. The curve sucked.

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Anaconda
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Re: December LSAT Study Diary (formerly October)

Postby Anaconda » Fri Sep 10, 2010 12:44 am

DrackedaryMaster wrote:PT48 was rough for me. Only hit 164. -4/-0/-6/-6. LR2 was particularly brutal. The curve sucked.


Curve was total BS. This was maybe the hardest PT I've taken from the modern era (PT 30-60), at least in terms of LR. Thought RC has some really tricky questions, even though the passages weren't tough to read. This test should have been at least a -10, maybe even a -11. At least LGs were easy - I had 25 minutes to finish the last two. Sometimes I think it would be better to have a tough LG section and easier LR and RC.

Hedwig
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Re: December LSAT Study Diary (formerly October)

Postby Hedwig » Fri Sep 10, 2010 12:50 am

It seems like you're definitely making the right decision going for the December LSAT. Do you have exams in December at all?

My classes just started and I got my syllabuses and wanted to die (two 3000 word papers due on the same day lol), but really, it all starts getting harder after the LSAT, so it's not a huge deal.

I agree that you should try doing it WITHOUT the SOS method. Just try doing a PT, grading it, examining each question/answer you got wrong AND circled as difficult while doing the test.

Just once!

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Anaconda
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Re: December LSAT Study Diary (formerly October)

Postby Anaconda » Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:00 am

eit wrote:It seems like you're definitely making the right decision going for the December LSAT. Do you have exams in December at all?

My classes just started and I got my syllabuses and wanted to die (two 3000 word papers due on the same day lol), but really, it all starts getting harder after the LSAT, so it's not a huge deal.

I agree that you should try doing it WITHOUT the SOS method. Just try doing a PT, grading it, examining each question/answer you got wrong AND circled as difficult while doing the test.

Just once!


The problem is, that is what I've been doing for most of my PTs! I think my lack of improvement is due to the fact I haven't been doing SOS's method and have become obsessed with instant feedback while taking my PTs (i.e grading parts or an entire section in between taking sections). And I've yet to see improvement by doing this. I might go really hardcore and not only do SOS's method of retaking the test, but then going back and typing up answers for every single question I got wrong to make sure I really internalize the logic. There's usually 1-2 questions per PT I simply don't get even after analyzing them for an hour.

PS, I still thoroughly review the test after taking it both timed and untimed - intimed isn't the only review.

The people on TLS have all noted dramatic improvement with the SOS method, I just haven't done it faithfully and have constantly cheated (correcting the test before retaking it). Have to stop that!

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penguin
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Re: December LSAT Study Diary (formerly October)

Postby penguin » Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:00 pm

I have no place commenting on your score progress of PTs since my score is still not going up and just started LG about 1 month ago. After I found your posts, I searched for SOS method since I didn't even know what it was.

I started doing it for about 3 weeks now and it helped me to understand better. I would write out my thoughts on what I thought about the games or better ideas how to approach certain game types. For most of the time, I would write out my answers (how I reached the right answer) before looking up answer keys or books for further explanations.

This SOS method really takes time, and I sometimes feel like I don't even want to do it because I'm so tired or something :cry: But overall, I think this method is helping me to improve my LG skills and thinking process. I have to explain myself why I select the answer (either right or wrong) by writing out all explanations in my own words without looking anything. A lot of people on TLS commented that writing out your own explanations really helps. So I will stick with this as well.

Anaconda, do you usually use the same copy for redo? I am using the same copy from the 1st try. I tend to rely on my answers from the 1st try when I redo although I use a blue pen for redo. In this way, I miss the same question twice... so I have to remind myself not to rely on my first picks.

Good luck on your prep and the real thing. I read almost every post in this thread because I was so curious to see how you are progressing :D Impressive.


Anaconda wrote:
eit wrote:It seems like you're definitely making the right decision going for the December LSAT. Do you have exams in December at all?

My classes just started and I got my syllabuses and wanted to die (two 3000 word papers due on the same day lol), but really, it all starts getting harder after the LSAT, so it's not a huge deal.

I agree that you should try doing it WITHOUT the SOS method. Just try doing a PT, grading it, examining each question/answer you got wrong AND circled as difficult while doing the test.

Just once!


The problem is, that is what I've been doing for most of my PTs! I think my lack of improvement is due to the fact I haven't been doing SOS's method and have become obsessed with instant feedback while taking my PTs (i.e grading parts or an entire section in between taking sections). And I've yet to see improvement by doing this. I might go really hardcore and not only do SOS's method of retaking the test, but then going back and typing up answers for every single question I got wrong to make sure I really internalize the logic. There's usually 1-2 questions per PT I simply don't get even after analyzing them for an hour.

PS, I still thoroughly review the test after taking it both timed and untimed - intimed isn't the only review.

The people on TLS have all noted dramatic improvement with the SOS method, I just haven't done it faithfully and have constantly cheated (correcting the test before retaking it). Have to stop that!

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Anaconda
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Re: December LSAT Study Diary (formerly October)

Postby Anaconda » Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:25 pm

I actually make a second photocopy, so I have to start from scratch. Thanks for the encouragement!

xyzzzzzzzz
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Re: December LSAT Study Diary (formerly October)

Postby xyzzzzzzzz » Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:04 pm

thanks for posting this- quite helpful.

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Anaconda
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Re: December LSAT Study Diary (formerly October)

Postby Anaconda » Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:04 pm

Haven't updated in a while, but only redid the sections during the weekend. Some of the LR questions on PT 48 were TOUGH. I also redid RC, and it seemed much easier the second time, even though some questions seemed a little random.

This week I'm going to do a couple LGs, 2 RC sections, and maybe ~30 LR questions all starting tomorrow.

I'll take a PT on Friday. Not sure which one I'm taking yet - kind of scared to do PT 40 because of the mapping airlines game.

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Anaconda
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Re: December LSAT Study Diary (formerly October)

Postby Anaconda » Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:24 pm

Do you guys think it would be ok to take my next PT on October 1st (essentially a 3 week PT hiatus). I'm still doing (limited) LG, LR and RC practice in the meantime, it's just so hard during the week with classes.

What would you guys say is a decent amount of weekly LSAT practice a week? I think I can only realistically do about 6-8 LGs, 30-35 LR [difficult] questions and 1 RC section a week (work outside of PTs).




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