Going from 155 to 170 - Progress Diary

hopefor170
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Going from 155 to 170 - Progress Diary

Postby hopefor170 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:44 pm

My goal is to go from my last LSAT score of a 155 to a 170 in October. I know alot of people are going to judge, but that is not of my concern. I thought it would be helpful to keep this diary to let people comment on how I am doing, to ask questions about strategies that stump me along the way, and to share my insight into certain things I discover. Please feel free to comment or ask questions!

July 27th - Hard day to study, alot going on around the apartment so I decided to just do a review of past questions for Logical Reasoning and go over again to see what I am doing wrong, see if there is a trend. I seem to be having alot of trouble with Flaw questions, describing "The reasoning in the political scientists argument is flawed because..." Anyone have any good insight on answering these questions? Some of the harder Must Be True questions are also throwing me off, especially the ones with the long stimulus where there isn't a clear conditional or casual reasoning noticed. POA going forward for these is to try to break them down as much as possible, maybe give myself more allotted time for these knowing they are going to give me trouble, saving them to the end, I don't know, I will try different ways and let you know how it went. One of the things that I have already recognized however, is that I find that I am answering questions better when I question every answer that I want to choose. For instance, "The argument proceeds by", when I feel that I have picked the best answer, I ask myself does it do this, does it do this and compare as quickly as possible. I have seen that this allows me to feel confident and move on quickly. I also think that skimming all answer choices first (carefully though of course) allows me to get rid of answers that I know are not correct based on several components (out of scope completely, too strong/weak of wording/opposite answers) and thus allows me to concentrate and "question" the answers that I am choosing between.

I know that some of these things might seem obvious to some, but to others (like myself) they weren't obvious strategies during the first take. I hope that this diary helps those who didn't start out with a great score, but are confident that they have the ability to achieve one.

hefox
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Re: Going from 155 to 170 - Progress Diary

Postby hefox » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:54 pm

I took a practice test, probably less seriously then I should have taken it, and got a 151. I totally freaked out and spend the next 4 weeks locked in my room doing practice test after practice test, and doing problems during the breaks between practice tests. Test day I got a 165. Sure, I should have started studying sooner, sure I should have gotten over myself and stopped thinking "hey this is just like the ACT", sure I probably should have showered more in the 4 weeks that I was locked din my room,. But, I got a score that didnt suck and was able to get a nice scholarship to the school I wanted to go to.

Go luck with your efforts, you have plenty of time to bring your score up and are totally capable of jumping 15 points.

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Adjudicator
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Re: Going from 155 to 170 - Progress Diary

Postby Adjudicator » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:08 pm

I score 170+ on practice tests when I don't time the logic games section. But on the real test I didn't finish that section, and got a 164.

I'm going to try to master that section this time and I think I might have a shot at 175 if I can do that.

Anyway, good luck to you!

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Nestico87
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Re: Going from 155 to 170 - Progress Diary

Postby Nestico87 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:09 pm

hopefor170 wrote:My goal is to go from my last LSAT score of a 155 to a 170 in October. I know alot of people are going to judge, but that is not of my concern.


I think you have set a realistic goal for yourself. The LSAT is entirely a game of "wax on, wax off". The more you do it, the better you'll get at it.

Make sure that you are only using real LSAT questions and nothing else, along with the PowerScore Bibles, of course.

Also, something that I have found really helpful is to not only work UP to your SCORE by taking timed tests and trying to gradually increase your score, but to also work DOWN to your TIME by setting a timer for 60 minutes per sections and then gradually work your time down to 35 minutes per section.

Hopefully that makes sense and is helpful.

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Precessional
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Re: Going from 155 to 170 - Progress Diary

Postby Precessional » Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:31 pm

Same number and aspirations here.

Best of luck.

hopefor170
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Re: Going from 155 to 170 - Progress Diary

Postby hopefor170 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:51 pm

So I came upon my first major struggle in understanding where I went wrong, hopefully someone can help me. What would be the flawed pattern of reasoning in the following stimulus: (note this is not an actual LSAT question because the question asked for something different then what is exactly the flawed pattern of reasoning, I will try to break it down as much as possible to avoid copyright as well)

Not all tenured faculty are professors.
Every faculty member in the english department has tenure.
Must be that not all faculty members in the english department are full professors.

Thanks for all the good wishes everyone!

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Anaconda
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Re: Going from 155 to 170 - Progress Diary

Postby Anaconda » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:54 pm

hopefor170 wrote:So I came upon my first major struggle in understanding where I went wrong, hopefully someone can help me. What would be the flawed pattern of reasoning in the following stimulus: (note this is not an actual LSAT question because the question asked for something different then what is exactly the flawed pattern of reasoning, I will try to break it down as much as possible to avoid copyright as well)

Not all tenured faculty are professors.
Every faculty member in the english department has tenure.
Must be that not all faculty members in the english department are full professors.

Thanks for all the good wishes everyone!


Just give us the whole stimulus, what you wrote is a little confusing - it's not an LSAT question after all.

Anyways, the conclusion would be flawed because it is possible all faculty members in the English dept ARE ALL non-professor faculty. The non-professor tenured staff (consisting of the general whole of the university faculty) could all be in other departments. Just because a rule applies to the sum doesn't mean that it necessarily applies to the parts.

Does that make sense? Could you post the answer choices of the problem?

hopefor170
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Re: Going from 155 to 170 - Progress Diary

Postby hopefor170 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:02 pm

unfortunately, i of course can not for the life of me find the test that i took that had the above question on it so i am unable to give the answer choices, if i find it though i definitely will. Btw, your explanation really helped thank you!

July 29th - Did decently well today on a LR section that I took (un-timed though) but I got -3, I am upset since two of the ones I got wrong were part of the first 5 and during the second look it was obvious why I got it wrong (errr) Another question I am stumped with though:

We can increase agricultural production without reducing biodiversity, but only if we abandon conventional agriculture. Thus, if we choose to sustain economic growth, which requires increasing agricultural production, we should radically modify agricultural technique.

Which one of the following principles, helps to justify the reasoning above?

A) Agricultural production should be reduced if doing so would increase biodiversity.
B) Economic growth should not be pursued at the expense of a loss of biodiversity.
C) Economic growth should be sustained only as long as agricultural production continues to increase.
D) Preserving biodiversity is no more important than increasing agricultural production.
E) Agricultural techniques should be radically modified only if doing so would further the extent to which we can increase agricultural production.

Please let me know how you guys got to your answer!!! I spent way to long here and I am wondering what I am missing!

Thing I learned tonight: really giving myself a very quick synopsis at what just happened in the stimulus (facts stated, conclusions made and premises to support it....and so on and so on) I have a much better grasp on it when going to the answers in order to knock on certain ones very quickly. I have not started taking times sections yet though so I will let you know if this is bad when doing timed!

mrvinyl007
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Re: Going from 155 to 170 - Progress Diary

Postby mrvinyl007 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:17 pm

I'm in the same boat right now also. I've taken four PT's, with the highest score being 157. My LR is horrible. I've consistently scored -11 on both LR sections and can't for the life of me lower it. My goal is to get a 170 for the Oct test. I think we all have a shot at it if we keep our nose to the grind and study the parts we don't necessarily understand. I wish the best of luck to everyone like myself and the OP! We still have a solid 9 weeks or so.

mrvinyl007
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Re: Going from 155 to 170 - Progress Diary

Postby mrvinyl007 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:24 pm

hopefor170 wrote:unfortunately, i of course can not for the life of me find the test that i took that had the above question on it so i am unable to give the answer choices, if i find it though i definitely will. Btw, your explanation really helped thank you!

July 29th - Did decently well today on a LR section that I took (un-timed though) but I got -3, I am upset since two of the ones I got wrong were part of the first 5 and during the second look it was obvious why I got it wrong (errr) Another question I am stumped with though:

We can increase agricultural production without reducing biodiversity, but only if we abandon conventional agriculture. Thus, if we choose to sustain economic growth, which requires increasing agricultural production, we should radically modify agricultural technique.

Which one of the following principles, helps to justify the reasoning above?

A) Agricultural production should be reduced if doing so would increase biodiversity.
B) Economic growth should not be pursued at the expense of a loss of biodiversity.
C) Economic growth should be sustained only as long as agricultural production continues to increase.
D) Preserving biodiversity is no more important than increasing agricultural production.
E) Agricultural techniques should be radically modified only if doing so would further the extent to which we can increase agricultural production.

Please let me know how you guys got to your answer!!! I spent way to long here and I am wondering what I am missing!

Thing I learned tonight: really giving myself a very quick synopsis at what just happened in the stimulus (facts stated, conclusions made and premises to support it....and so on and so on) I have a much better grasp on it when going to the answers in order to knock on certain ones very quickly. I have not started taking times sections yet though so I will let you know if this is bad when doing timed!



As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm not very good at LR, but I'll take a shot at this question.

I would of answered E. Mainly because if the techniques are radically modified form the conventional method, then there will be an increase in production, which will in turn sustain the economic growth. I may be entirely wrong though. But figured it was worth a try.

petrovovitch@
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Re: Going from 155 to 170 - Progress Diary

Postby petrovovitch@ » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:32 pm

hopefor170 wrote:unfortunately, i of course can not for the life of me find the test that i took that had the above question on it so i am unable to give the answer choices, if i find it though i definitely will. Btw, your explanation really helped thank you!

July 29th - Did decently well today on a LR section that I took (un-timed though) but I got -3, I am upset since two of the ones I got wrong were part of the first 5 and during the second look it was obvious why I got it wrong (errr) Another question I am stumped with though:

We can increase agricultural production without reducing biodiversity, but only if we abandon conventional agriculture. Thus, if we choose to sustain economic growth, which requires increasing agricultural production, we should radically modify agricultural technique.

Which one of the following principles, helps to justify the reasoning above?

A) Agricultural production should be reduced if doing so would increase biodiversity.
B) Economic growth should not be pursued at the expense of a loss of biodiversity.
C) Economic growth should be sustained only as long as agricultural production continues to increase.
D) Preserving biodiversity is no more important than increasing agricultural production.
E) Agricultural techniques should be radically modified only if doing so would further the extent to which we can increase agricultural production.

Please let me know how you guys got to your answer!!! I spent way to long here and I am wondering what I am missing!

Thing I learned tonight: really giving myself a very quick synopsis at what just happened in the stimulus (facts stated, conclusions made and premises to support it....and so on and so on) I have a much better grasp on it when going to the answers in order to knock on certain ones very quickly. I have not started taking times sections yet though so I will let you know if this is bad when doing timed!

it's B right?


hopefor170 wrote:So I came upon my first major struggle in understanding where I went wrong, hopefully someone can help me. What would be the flawed pattern of reasoning in the following stimulus: (note this is not an actual LSAT question because the question asked for something different then what is exactly the flawed pattern of reasoning, I will try to break it down as much as possible to avoid copyright as well)

(1)Not all tenured faculty are professors.
(2)Every faculty member in the english department has tenure.
Must be that not all faculty members in the english department are full professors.

Thanks for all the good wishes everyone!


here is a picture that corresponds to the premises (1) and (2) and demonstrates that the conclusion is only 1 of three possible arrangements of (T)enured faculty, (E)glish department faculty, and (P)rofessors.

Image

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ArchRoark
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Re: Going from 155 to 170 - Progress Diary

Postby ArchRoark » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:59 pm

Posting full length LSAT questions is a against forum policy.

Ok -- I am getting rusty at this but I will do my best to explain it. *I could be wrong and I am horrible at explaining my way of thinking.

I got the correct answer as B ---

"only if" introduces the necessary clause

The stimulus says basically that the only way to increase agricultural production without harming/reducing biodiversity is to abandon conventional agriculture.

Diagrammed roughly as (not really necessary but this is how I view it in my head):
^AP + ~RB ---> ~CA

Contrapositive
CA ---> ~^AP or RB

^ == increase
~ == not
+ == and
The second half says:

Economic Growth ----> Increased agriculture production
EC--->^AP
~^AP --> ~EC

The part that is unproven is the last clause, the conclusion that we are trying to justify.
i.e. why should we accept that we need to:
~CA (modify agricultural technique i.e. abandon conventional agriculture)
Why do we have to do that?
If you follow the chain... the only reason we NEED to abandon conventional agriculture ~CA is if we want to NOT reduce biodiversity. If we didn't care about biodiversity... then who cares if we abandon conventional agriculture... we could just have economic growth and increased agriculture production at the expense/reduction of biodiversity.

B is the correct answer because if we take it at face value (i.e. assume it is true) then it proves the statement.
IF Economic growth should not be pursued at the expense of loss of biodiversity given the relationship above we must modify agricultural technique because the ONLY way to have increased agriculture WITHOUT reducing biodiversity is to modify conventional agriculture. Hence B proves the conclusion which is we must abandon conventional agriculture.


A) is wrong because nothing in the stimulus attempts to state that we must increase biodiversity. Everything is related to not reducing biodiversity which is different than increasing. It could mean increasing... it also could be keeping it as it is now.

C) is wrong because it completely avoids what we are trying to prove... which is why do we have to abandon conventional agriculture.

D) we don't know the relevant importance of each of these... preserving biodiversity could be WAY more important... it also could be WAY less... all we know that if we increase agriculture production and want to not reduce biodiversity then we need to alter our conventional agri... this is a value answer and we dont know the relative value of these competing choices.

E) I have a hard time explaining why this one is wrong but if you diagram it out... it basically says
~CA ---> ^AP
Which is a mistaken negation of our stimulus -- basically maybe there are many reasons why conventional agriculture should be abandon... perhaps because it is non organic and hippies are raging at our corporate farm practices.

Hope this helps... I am sure someone else can come around and explain it WAY better.

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blhblahblah
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Re: Going from 155 to 170 - Progress Diary

Postby blhblahblah » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:25 am

Not all tenured faculty are professors.
Every faculty member in the english department has tenure.
Must be that not all faculty members in the english department are full professors.


In distilled form:

E-->T--s--~FP

.: E--s--~FP

Flawed, because some members of T may not be members of E, and these members which have nothing in common with E may be part of ~FP

It is perfectly consistent with information given to conclude All E's are FP's. This is why it is flawed to necessarily conclude that some E's are ~FP
Last edited by blhblahblah on Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Moxie
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Re: Going from 155 to 170 - Progress Diary

Postby Moxie » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:26 am

Good luck! Went from a 155 to 168 in three months (and was testing in the low-mid 170s).

Aim high, I'm sure you'll do fantastic. :D

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topgun_iceman
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Re: Going from 155 to 170 - Progress Diary

Postby topgun_iceman » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:44 am

went from high 150s to 170s you can do it

hopefor170
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Re: Going from 155 to 170 - Progress Diary

Postby hopefor170 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:12 pm

August 3rd - Reading Comprehension study

- Since RC was my weakest element the first time around, I am trying to really concentrate on what I could do to improve my score in this section. Tonight I practiced my diagramming of the passage in order to establish the more efficient way I am able to retain key elements needed in going to answer the questions. After comparing my diagramming with the suggestions in the Powerscore Bible (so far, I recommend if you are really struggling with this section), I found where my weakest area's are. Understanding the different viewpoints presented is key and that is where my diagramming was lacking. I found that I am understanding structure alot better, but noting where the different viewpoints are presented could help me in not only speed of questions by accuracy as well. My studying of attacking question types is next. As I have been told by many, practice practice and more practice is what is really going to help in becoming better at RC. Lets hope thats the case, I am going to start my review of LG next week, it was my strongest area so I am not as concerned with "learning" but more making sure my skill sets regarding that area have not disappeared, lord knows I dont need any more to deal with right now!!

Any advice on improving diagramming skills in RC or attacking RC questions with better speed?? I am open to all suggestions!

nStiver
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Re: Going from 155 to 170 - Progress Diary

Postby nStiver » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:46 pm

hopefor170 wrote:My goal is to go from my last LSAT score of a 155 to a 170 in October. I know alot of people are going to judge, but that is not of my concern.



Good attitude man. Don't let anyone keep you down. My diagnostic was 147 and my highest pt was 171. Its a pretty simple equation really. My maxim is "Score not good enough? Practice more!". Its like losing weight. Most people know that all it takes is to burn more calories than you intake. The hard part is the dedication needed to put the equation into practice.

hopefor170
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Re: Going from 155 to 170 - Progress Diary

Postby hopefor170 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:27 pm

August 5th - More Reading Comprehension...

Did some un-timed reading comp sections tonight, happy with my overall results, missing one or two. I don't know if anyone has read the reading comprehension bible but i just finished it and while it was not AS insightful as the logical reasoning bible, i will admit that so far their strategy of finding views, tones, arguments, and structure before proceeding to the questions has really helped. I will admit that tonight I took the type to write out what the different views were, the tones and so on (during timed sections this is obviously not going to be feasible), I do think that it gets my mind going on which portions of the passage are important to note and thus, help me in my overall strategy.

Question, right now I am doing reading comprehension passages from practice tests from the "10 Actual, Official LSAT Preptests" as well as "The Next 10 Actual, Official LSAT Preptests". I see that these preptests are dated in the mid-90's. I was told by someone that the reading comprehension passages and questions have become harder throughout the years and have changed (I do understand the addition of the comparative reading passage). Has anyone else who has done preptests both from the mid-90's to the more recent ones noticed a difference in terms of difficult of the passage or questions in the more recent exams?

As always, thanks for everyones support!!!

hopefor170
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Re: Going from 155 to 170 - Progress Diary

Postby hopefor170 » Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:37 pm

August 8th - Took yesterday off to attend a work get together, concentration today was a little low (might be some after effects) so I thought I would take off from RC and LR and begin reviewing some LG, which was my best section last time. Luckily, the good scores in this section continue and after doing a few sections (un-times) I only got 1 question wrong on one section out of all of them, not so bad. I seem to understand Logic Games pretty well. I have the LR bible and I figure I will still read through it to see if there is anything in it worth trying, I dont want to change my strategy too much as so far it seems to be working. If anyone needs help understanding any of the LG problems, feel free to ask!

No one answered my other question regarding RC changing from older tests to newer tests, still looking for some input here if anyone can!

The plan for this week starting tomorrow is to practice more LR and RC while reading through the LG book. Going to start timing soon, hopefully that doesn't throw me back too far.

hopefor170
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Re: Going from 155 to 170 - Progress Diary

Postby hopefor170 » Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:10 am

August 11th - Did a good amount of LG and RC tonight, happy with the results of LG (not surprising) however, i did 2 sections of RC and found on one it was -2 and the other it was -8, not happy with the second considering it wasn't timed. I am hoping that this poor score in the second is a result of the fact that it was the last thing i was going to do tonight and i had already been in my room for about 3 hours straight.

Has anyone tried briefly reading some of the question stems first before proceeding to the passage? I seem that I am never quite able to "predict" which parts of the passage I can expect questions for. I dont know if this would matter or not considering I just go and re-read that specific section anyway, just wondering though. I am really determined to increase my RC score as much as possible so I am willing to try out any method or strategy ppl suggest.

Tomorrow night is a slight break - no actual problems but rather a brief studying of questions types and strategies for LR and a review of my performance on RC tonight. Friday night, concentrate fully on LR, do two full sections with review (what a fantastic Friday night!)

My goal is to take 15 full-length, timed, practice tests. Considering that I am re-taking the LSAT's, do you believe that this is a good amount? I start timed full-length tests in September (taking alot of time off from work). However, I am thinking that the last week of August I will start doing random sections timed and see how I do, kind of build myself up. Thoughts?




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