Test prep advice - Unique situation!

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Test prep advice - Unique situation!

Postby nchls23 » Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:09 pm

So, I took the June 2010 LSAT after studying on my own for about two months, taking about 20 real practice tests and using PR's general LSAT prep book, as well as their logic specific prep book. I didn't really bother with reviewing reading comprehension, because I never got more than 0-2 wrong on that section, but focused on arguments and logic, as they were the most difficult sections for me (logic more so than arguments).

The first test I ever took, before I had even opened a book, I scored a 165. As I studied, my score dipped a bit, down to about a 161-162 while I tried to learn and practice the techniques in the book. Honestly, I didn't find their tips on arguments that helpful, but their strategies for logic games were enormously helpful. Essentially, my method of prep consisted of taking 1-2 practice tests a week while taking days to work on specific sections, and gradually increased the number of practice tests I took per week until that was more or less all I was doing. By the end of the two months, I was scoring without fail between a 168-172.

I got my June 2010 LSAT score and I got a 160. I was shocked, not only had I never scored that low on a practice test before, but it was a full five points lower than the first test I had ever taken. The worst part about it was that after having taken so many practice tests, I felt as though I could pretty accurately judge how well I had done on a particular test while taking it, and felt good about the test coming out of it.

That said, I've been considering some formal type of prep, but I'm not sure if its right for me. I never considered it to begin with because I was abroad (I'm back in the US now) when I decided to take the test, and there weren't any test prep options available in the country where I took the test. My worry with a class is that I'll sit for a diagnostic and score around my usual practice test scores, and there won't be much a class could do for me. Conversely, I've thought about hiring a tutor, but I don't know if learning tips and tricks about how to take the test would benefit me, as I had already been routinely scoring where I wanted to score on the actual LSAT.

Does anyone have some advice or insight? If anyone else has had a similar experience and could let me know what they did to prepare for the test again it would be greatly appreciated!

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Re: Test prep advice - Unique situation!

Postby WhatSarahSaid » Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:26 pm

I wouldn't suggest a class or tutor.

Two things to think about:

Which PTs were you taking? If you were only taking the early ones (PTs 1-40), you should know that the test has changed quite a bit since then (the opinion around here is usually that RC/LR are harder and LG is easier).

Did you look over your mistakes? Which sections did you make them in?

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Re: Test prep advice - Unique situation!

Postby LSAT Blog » Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:31 pm

+1 on whatsarahsaid - more recent PTs are more reflective of the exam you take on Test Day.

Sorry to hear your actual score was lower than your practice test ones.

I see two major potential causes:

1. The PR LG-specific book (LG Workout) exposed you to several recent LGs, which may have artificially increased your PT scores.

It should be noted that this is *in no way* at all a comment or reflection on the PR strategies, courses, or instructors, etc. The PR course uses only real LSAT questions.

2. Perhaps your PTs weren't taken under test-like conditions (viewtopic.php?f=6&t=121912#p3148219)

Since your PT scores are already where you want to be, this is probably something you can self-study your way through.


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Re: Test prep advice - Unique situation!

Postby nchls23 » Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:11 pm


I took practice tests from books available on LSAC's website. The books I had practice tests numbered 7, 9-16, 18, and 29-38. I knew that the RC had changed and included a two passage comparison set-up, but I also took the June 2007 prep test available on LSAC's website, and as such wasn't completely unfamiliar with it. Also, I did notice that while I was taking the earlier practice tests, most of the logic sections were really different. There were about 3 games per sections that closely resembled the question types in the PR book, but there would usually also be one that involved a unique setup that didn't look at all like anything in either PR book. I essentially chalked it up to the test changing with time, and took those results with a grain of salt. I finished with those tests, however, over a month before the actual test, and the practice test results that I had cited before I took the actual test were from the book containing preptests 29-38.

LSAT blog-

I did take the the tests under simulated conditions, from being in a Library with light background noise to using an analog wristwatch to time myself - I even cannibalized the practice tests in the back of the PR review book to use as experimental sections while taking a practice LSAT from the LSAC book. Also, I never saw an overlap between the questions in the PR book and the questions on my practice tests.

Thanks for the input! I feel like I'll have the best grasp of what happened tomorrow - as of yet it doesn't seem as though my responses are available on the LSAC site. I figure they'll be up on Monday.

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