To Those Who Have Scored 180s

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Albatross
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To Those Who Have Scored 180s

Postby Albatross » Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:18 pm

Any advice on getting from the lower 170's to getting up above the 175 mark and higher? What study schedule did you follow? I was averaging high 160s to low 170s before the June 2010 test, but crapped out on LG and ended up missing 8 (Usually -1/-0) ending up with a score of 162. Anyways, I miss anywhere from 2 to 6 per LR and anywhere from 4 to 8 on RC. I'm about to start the LRB to see if I can consistently score -1/-0 per section. Anyways, any advice on how to make that jump would be well appreciated. I also don't want to burn myself out for the October test. Another question. Is the LRB really going to bring an average -4 on LR to a -1/-0?

Bryan
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Re: To Those Who Have Scored 180s

Postby Bryan » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:19 pm

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Albatross
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Re: To Those Who Have Scored 180s

Postby Albatross » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:28 pm

Bryan wrote:I think the LR Bible is helpful. It mainly aided me by allowing me to solve the easier questions very quickly and so I was able to spend more time on the more difficult questions. Though I think that the Cambridge 410 Most Difficult Questions (http://www.cambridgelsat.com/productdet ... stions/336) was the bigger factor in getting me to consistent -0s and -1s on LR sections.

In terms of how to get from the low 170s to a 180, I think it goes beyond just mastering the test material.Make sure that you are on a regular sleep cycle, eating well, exercising and keeping a solid daily routine. On test day, keep a positive attitude (I even made a pump up playlist for my drive to the test center....how can you not do well if you have just listened to Murphy Lee's My Shoes?) and don't let the other test takers psych you out. Approach each question with confidence and try to forget about each section as soon as you finish it.

I also think its important to be able to do every section in 31 or 32 minutes max while prepping. The excitement of test day caused me to lose my train of thought a few times (especially in LG and RC, where you do a lot of thinking before you answer a question) and so I completed each section slower than usual. Also, the extra time allows you to check your work and reassure yourself that you haven't misbubbled or misread a question.


I have a long time to think about this, but thanks for the advice. What would you say about improving RC? I can actually see myself getting down to -1/-0 on LR, but my best RC section ever is a -4. Other than that, I am consistently -6 to -8. Have you tried the RCB?

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DGLitcH
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Re: To Those Who Have Scored 180s

Postby DGLitcH » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:34 pm

Bryan wrote:I think the LR Bible is helpful. It mainly aided me by allowing me to solve the easier questions very quickly and so I was able to spend more time on the more difficult questions. Though I think that the Cambridge 410 Most Difficult Questions (http://www.cambridgelsat.com/productdet ... stions/336) was the bigger factor in getting me to consistent -0s and -1s on LR sections.


Since the Cambridge book just pulls harder questions from the 10 Actual books, what was it about the Cambridge book that made a difference for you rather than just doing LR straight from the 10 Actual books?

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Re: To Those Who Have Scored 180s

Postby Bryan » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:42 pm

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Albatross
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Re: To Those Who Have Scored 180s

Postby Albatross » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:46 pm

Actually I have noticed that miss more when I make notes. Today, for example I took a PT and wrote shit down for the first passage only and nothing for the other three and missed 3 on the first passage, 1 on the second passage, and none on the last two. Maybe I'll look into that.

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Re: To Those Who Have Scored 180s

Postby almostfamous » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:48 pm

Hey! RC was by far my worst section in PTs. I started off PTing anywhere from -13 to -9 in a section. I did the Kaplan LSAT Advanced Book to get used to more difficult passages (though there are probably other books like the RC Bible that are better and will do the same thing), and learned a few other techniques that significantly decreased the number of stupid mistakes I made when reading and answering the questions.

1. I started to spend a lot more time on actually reading the passage instead of rushing through it to get to the questions. This saved me a lot of time answering the questions and made the answer choices really obvious sometimes when before the question might have been more difficult.

2. I underlined sentences that seemed like they might be important and made notes out to the side that diagrammed how the general passage was set up. i.e. introduction, main idea, argument from author, critics argument, conclusion, main problems, etc. This helped me tremendously in answering questions like "what would critics think about this idea..." or "which of these ideas would the author most likely agree with...". It gives you an idea of exactly where to go back to in the passage. I think this was the best thing for my RC score bc it forces you to be able to recognize the main points of the passage. I didn't make longer notes though because I found that it took up too much time and made me focus too much on those instead of the actual passage.

3. One of my biggest problems is that I would circle what I thought was a correct answer without reading the rest of the answer choices. A lot of the times I got problems wrong it was because I hadn't bothered to look down at choices C and D and see that one of them was a better answer. I don't mean in depth reading both of the other choices if you think you already have the right answer, but its skimming them just to make sure. This was true for me in the LR sections too, esp in the questions that asked for similar reasoning.

Hope this helps some, or adds something you hadn't tried before!

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Re: To Those Who Have Scored 180s

Postby Bryan » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:49 pm

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yoiav
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Re: To Those Who Have Scored 180s

Postby yoiav » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:50 pm

i dont mean to rain on anybodies parade but in my opinion, practice can only get u as far as the low 170's. after that its up to what god gave u between the ears

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Re: To Those Who Have Scored 180s

Postby 3|ink » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:53 pm

kesexton wrote:Actually I have noticed that miss more when I make notes. Today, for example I took a PT and wrote shit down for the first passage only and nothing for the other three and missed 3 on the first passage, 1 on the second passage, and none on the last two. Maybe I'll look into that.


I read on a post somewhere that the best way to conquer RC is to be an active reader. Highlighting and underlining are only ways of remembering what you forgot. The key is to look for things that you would undermine or highlight and commit them to memory. Of course, this is easier said than done.

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Re: To Those Who Have Scored 180s

Postby Bodega » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:55 pm

I didn't score a 180, but my two cents:

You need to be getting all logic games correct and missing only 1 or 2 fluke LR questions.

If you are missing a lot of LR questions, you should look and see if there is a specific type of question that you are missing, or certain type of logical flaw, cull all of those questions from other ptests and practice/study them.

For ex. you may have an issue with "weaken questions." In this case you would want to remember that there are 3 ways to weaken a casual claim 1.) cause without effect 2.) effect without cause 3. alternate cause. With that in mind, go do 100 weaken questions.

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Re: To Those Who Have Scored 180s

Postby Bryan » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:59 pm

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Albatross
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Re: To Those Who Have Scored 180s

Postby Albatross » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:29 pm

Bodega wrote:I didn't score a 180, but my two cents:

You need to be getting all logic games correct and missing only 1 or 2 fluke LR questions.

If you are missing a lot of LR questions, you should look and see if there is a specific type of question that you are missing, or certain type of logical flaw, cull all of those questions from other ptests and practice/study them.

For ex. you may have an issue with "weaken questions." In this case you would want to remember that there are 3 ways to weaken a casual claim 1.) cause without effect 2.) effect without cause 3. alternate cause. With that in mind, go do 100 weaken questions.


Typically, I am getting all LG right and the LRs I'm missing, I can see right away why I missed it, but I couldn't make the connection when I was answering the question. RC is a toss up though. Sometimes I do fairly well and sometimes I just fuck up.

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Re: To Those Who Have Scored 180s

Postby r2b2ct » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:04 pm

Bryan wrote:
yoiav wrote:i dont mean to rain on anybodies parade but in my opinion, practice can only get u as far as the low 170's. after that its up to what god gave u between the ears


I disagree with that. I think that if you can get into the low 170s, you have shown you can answer nearly all the questions and often the only thing preventing a 180 can be mental blocks or nerves.

Something that I've never seen discussed on here but that I think helped me is that I treated the LSAT like a competition. This probably sounds lame but if you know someone with a high score who annoys you (it could be a sibling, the guy who always talks in your politics class or even a forum poster), it helps to use that as motivation. Work on beating them! I mean, guys like Tiger and Michael dominated their sports not just by being physically gifted but also because they had such desire to win. Even on test day, it might help to focus on beating the kids sitting around you. I know this sounds antagonistic and even douche-y but honestly it might give you that extra edge.

Very good advice.

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Re: To Those Who Have Scored 180s

Postby Indebted » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:12 pm

Bryan wrote:I disagree with that. I think that if you can get into the low 170s, you have shown you can answer nearly all the questions and often the only thing preventing a 180 can be mental blocks or nerves.


I agree 100% with Bryan on this one. If you consistently score 170+ then you clearly understand the concepts and skills being tested. It's a matter of focus and attitude. Based on your posts, it seems like you're not confident in your RC abilities. Actually abilities aside, this lack of confidence is a huge weakness. You need to approach every section, every question with absolute confidence.

You should be spending a lot of time reviewing your RC. Not just the ones you got wrong, but also those with which you struggled. Take the time to actually write out why each wrong answer choice was wrong. This is very tedious, but forcing yourself to articulate a specific reason (as opposed to a gut "it just doesn't seem right" feeling) requires a higher level of analysis. Also, like Bryan said, learn to love whatever your reading and don't get bogged down in the details.

That being said, you're biggest problem in June was your LG score. You said that you averaged -1/0 on games. This is great. How fast are you completing the section? I read somewhere that if you have truly mastered LG, you should be able to do any game in under 7 minutes. At the time I thought this was complete bs, but now know it is possible. Start doing 30-31 minute LG sections. Once you can do a full section -1/0 in 30 minutes, you'll be confident and ready for whatever LSAC throws your way.

Good luck!

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Re: To Those Who Have Scored 180s

Postby Albatross » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:18 pm

Indebted wrote:
Bryan wrote:I disagree with that. I think that if you can get into the low 170s, you have shown you can answer nearly all the questions and often the only thing preventing a 180 can be mental blocks or nerves.


I agree 100% with Bryan on this one. If you consistently score 170+ then you clearly understand the concepts and skills being tested. It's a matter of focus and attitude. Based on your posts, it seems like you're not confident in your RC abilities. Actually abilities aside, this lack of confidence is a huge weakness. You need to approach every section, every question with absolute confidence.

You should be spending a lot of time reviewing your RC. Not just the ones you got wrong, but also those with which you struggled. Take the time to actually write out why each wrong answer choice was wrong. This is very tedious, but forcing yourself to articulate a specific reason (as opposed to a gut "it just doesn't seem right" feeling) requires a higher level of analysis. Also, like Bryan said, learn to love whatever your reading and don't get bogged down in the details.

That being said, you're biggest problem in June was your LG score. You said that you averaged -1/0 on games. This is great. How fast are you completing the section? I read somewhere that if you have truly mastered LG, you should be able to do any game in under 7 minutes. At the time I thought this was complete bs, but now know it is possible. Start doing 30-31 minute LG sections. Once you can do a full section -1/0 in 30 minutes, you'll be confident and ready for whatever LSAC throws your way.

Good luck!




Yea, I typically finish LG sections with 5 and sometimes even 10 minutes left. I just choked on the real test. I'm going to go into a PT tomorrow with this mindset. Will report back later.

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Re: To Those Who Have Scored 180s

Postby Albatross » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:20 pm

Oh yea, what do yall think about me getting the LRB and RCB at this point? I feel like the only thing I could do better on LR would be to get a little faster, allowing me to check some that I wasn't sure on. Ultimately, I'd like to be finishing LR sections with 4 or 5 minutes left as well. Then RC. But LR first.

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Re: To Those Who Have Scored 180s

Postby Indebted » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:48 pm

kesexton wrote:Oh yea, what do yall think about me getting the LRB and RCB at this point? I feel like the only thing I could do better on LR would be to get a little faster, allowing me to check some that I wasn't sure on. Ultimately, I'd like to be finishing LR sections with 4 or 5 minutes left as well. Then RC. But LR first.


I didn't use any of the bibles, but I have flipped through them in Borders a few times. IMO it's not worth it at this point. Technique and strategy, which the bibles teach, don't seem to be your problem. You know the fundamentals. Your weaknesses seem to be focus, confidence, and maybe speed. I think you'd better serve yourself by drilling and reviewing intensely. CambrigeLSAT supplys great groupings of questions for this purpose. Just my $.02

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Re: To Those Who Have Scored 180s

Postby GeePee » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:56 pm

I think the Bibles can be worth it if you're not afraid to take or leave anything in the book. I do think that often times, your own methods will be better, but the LRB can motivate a particular style for you, which you can then adapt. Really, the most important part of the LRB is the learning of different logical concepts and ways to break down different question types. Beyond that, if you can already do that then they will be more or less a waste of time. The attention to detail in LR is important and really becomes almost automatic with correct practice.

EDIT: Also, I think it's fairly fallacious to assume that someone PT'ing at 170 is conceptually sound with regards to logic. It's often easy to get a specific LR question correct without knowing the overarching concepts that will apply generally to every question of that type. Those concepts save time and brainpower and increase accuracy. A 170 is obviously a good score, but by no means indicates anywhere near conceptual mastery.

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Re: To Those Who Have Scored 180s

Postby Indebted » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:13 am

GeePee wrote:EDIT: Also, I think it's fairly fallacious to assume that someone PT'ing at 170 is conceptually sound with regards to logic. It's often easy to get a specific LR question correct without knowing the overarching concepts that will apply generally to every question of that type. Those concepts save time and brainpower and increase accuracy. A 170 is obviously a good score, but by no means indicates anywhere near conceptual mastery.


While it may be easy to get a specific LR question correct without knowing the underlying concept/logic, I don't think it is easy to get enough correct to consistently score 170+ without such knowledge. This, of course, raises questions about what constitutes "consistent" and precisely what "inconsistent" scores are. I also think consistent 170+ does demonstrate near conceptual mastery.

As for the bibles, they are written for a general audience. PS's target market is anyone taking the LSAT, including those scoring 145 and 175. However, the bibles have diminishing marginal benefit as your score and experience with the test increase.

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Re: To Those Who Have Scored 180s

Postby Bryan » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:40 am

I suppose 170 doesn't demonstrate mastery, but I think that if you are always scoring between 170 and 175, then you've reached a point where techniques and knowledge aren't the primary factors holding you back.

I do agree that its important to 'go beyond' the Bibles. The Powerscore method taught me a lot but by the end of my studying, I was never consciously slotting either games or reasoning questions into specific types. Instead, I used their basic set-up and notation and then combined that with my own methods. I think the games in tests 59 and 60 show that it is no longer enough to just understand how to apply what is taught in the Bibles; instead, you will need to use your own intuition to solve the games. This is hard to do and thats why going fast (6 or so minutes) through the more basic games is important because then you will have enough time to use 'brute force' on the twist games that seem to be appearing now.

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Re: To Those Who Have Scored 180s

Postby Albatross » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:43 am

Having read all of this, I think I am going to forget about the bibles and just focus on questions that I am unsure about. Tomorrow, I am going to take another PT and I will get a -0 on RC. Thanks for all of the advice, but at this point, I think it is a confidence thing.

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Re: To Those Who Have Scored 180s

Postby jdstl » Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:20 am

I can't offer too much advice in terms of LR/RC, for me, the "journey to 180" was all about improving LG, I started out -2 to -4 on the "verbal" sections.

That said, I think getting perfect at LR/RC is all about forcing yourself to focus on individual words. On a tough question, it seems that either three different answers seem right, or none of the answers seem right. It's often one word that makes or breaks an answer (sometimes in the answer itself, sometimes in the prompt/passage.

It's easy to tend to think of the question in common sense terms, which works fine for the easy questions. But for tough LR/LG questions, the answers are never flawed in common sense ways. There's always some nit-picky one word (often a word of degree, ie. none, all, most) that changes the whole thing.

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Re: To Those Who Have Scored 180s

Postby simulacra » Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:42 am

1) different kinds of practice. it goes without saying that you need to take a ton of PTs under test conditions (really--if they're not under test conditions you're wasting your time, and in my opinion making yourself even worse off). you also need to build endurance and speed. do multiple versions of a given section consecutively without taking breaks. conversely, try doing sections or entire tests with five minutes or ten minutes shaved off each section. the lsat is a long, harrowing test and your brain has to adjust.

2) be adaptive. frankly, some of the advice that even the books and courses will give you is awful. you should determine what does or doesn't work for you, which means processing different ways of thinking about the test and experimenting. for instance, i tried several different ways of diagramming LG's before i settled on what worked, and for RC i tried taking notes, not taking notes, and finally settled on reading once for overall comprehension quickly without notes and reading a second time and jotting down quick notes. you should be self-critical in the sense that you should think about why you're making the mistakes you're making.

3) control all the variables. the test room is not going to look or feel like your living room, and there's a real risk that the shift could leave you on edge. similarly, the guy coughing next to you might throw you off at a pivotal moment. so, take tests in multiple locations, and occasionally in very crowded or loud areas, so you learn to filter out the noise. clear your head before you begin to practice to build mental discipline.

4) this is war. two insights above are spot on: treat this like a competition, and train your body as much as your mind. i was actually in the best shape of my life while i was studying for the lsat because of the drive.

5) get in the zone on game day (but don't practice). wake up early so your mind has time to adjust, exercise, have a big breakfast, give yourself tons of time to get out to the test center, listen to pump-up music (i listened to the monday night football theme song--not kidding). whatever it takes.

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Albatross
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Re: To Those Who Have Scored 180s

Postby Albatross » Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:50 am

simulacra wrote:1) different kinds of practice. it goes without saying that you need to take a ton of PTs under test conditions (really--if they're not under test conditions you're wasting your time, and in my opinion making yourself even worse off). you also need to build endurance and speed. do multiple versions of a given section consecutively without taking breaks. conversely, try doing sections or entire tests with five minutes or ten minutes shaved off each section. the lsat is a long, harrowing test and your brain has to adjust.

2) be adaptive. frankly, some of the advice that even the books and courses will give you is awful. you should determine what does or doesn't work for you, which means processing different ways of thinking about the test and experimenting. for instance, i tried several different ways of diagramming LG's before i settled on what worked, and for RC i tried taking notes, not taking notes, and finally settled on reading once for overall comprehension quickly without notes and reading a second time and jotting down quick notes. you should be self-critical in the sense that you should think about why you're making the mistakes you're making.

3) control all the variables. the test room is not going to look or feel like your living room, and there's a real risk that the shift could leave you on edge. similarly, the guy coughing next to you might throw you off at a pivotal moment. so, take tests in multiple locations, and occasionally in very crowded or loud areas, so you learn to filter out the noise. clear your head before you begin to practice to build mental discipline.

4) this is war. two insights above are spot on: treat this like a competition, and train your body as much as your mind. i was actually in the best shape of my life while i was studying for the lsat because of the drive.

5) get in the zone on game day (but don't practice). wake up early so your mind has time to adjust, exercise, have a big breakfast, give yourself tons of time to get out to the test center, listen to pump-up music (i listened to the monday night football theme song--not kidding). whatever it takes.


I like this. Will put it to test.




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