High Diagnostic....advice on study plan?

nothereok
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High Diagnostic....advice on study plan?

Postby nothereok » Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:28 pm

I took my first diagnostic and scored a 171. I did another one the next day (yesterday) and got a 173. The second one I misread a game, and only got 1 wrong on the logical reasoning sections and 1 on RC.

Before taking the diagnostic, I planned on spending most of my time studying logical reasoning since it is the majority of the test. I purchased the powerbible and the Princeton review study guide to that end. I have a pretty intense workload starting in a week so I want to make a study plan I can actually stick to.

My question is..... should I still read the ~500 page powerible about LR or should I just start taking practice tests and going over questions I get wrong ( so far I have understood the ones I got wrong)? I guess I just want to know if the powerbibles are worth the time if you are scoring all right from the get-go. Or perhaps someone has advice about chapters that are useful.

Also, I know messing up the game is bad, but I feel the most comfortable with the games so I think just getting timed practice with different types of games is all I need there. Basically if you feel all right with the material is it okay to forgo study books and just take all the practice tests? Has anyone studied this way...how did it turn out?

Thanks!

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blhblahblah
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Re: High Diagnostic....advice on study plan?

Postby blhblahblah » Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:32 pm

One test a week until test day, coupled with careful review, should suffice.

Your logical apparatus is already well-formed: reading the LRB/PR manual would not be useful, and could be harmful.

09042014
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Re: High Diagnostic....advice on study plan?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:34 pm

nothereok wrote:I took my first diagnostic and scored a 171. I did another one the next day (yesterday) and got a 173. The second one I misread a game, and only got 1 wrong on the logical reasoning sections and 1 on RC.

Before taking the diagnostic, I planned on spending most of my time studying logical reasoning since it is the majority of the test. I purchased the powerbible and the Princeton review study guide to that end. I have a pretty intense workload starting in a week so I want to make a study plan I can actually stick to.

My question is..... should I still read the ~500 page powerible about LR or should I just start taking practice tests and going over questions I get wrong ( so far I have understood the ones I got wrong)? I guess I just want to know if the powerbibles are worth the time if you are scoring all right from the get-go. Or perhaps someone has advice about chapters that are useful.

Also, I know messing up the game is bad, but I feel the most comfortable with the games so I think just getting timed practice with different types of games is all I need there. Basically if you feel all right with the material is it okay to forgo study books and just take all the practice tests? Has anyone studied this way...how did it turn out?

Thanks!


Forgo the material, you aren't who they are trying to help.

Go over your tests and if you find a pattern look it up in the powerscore bibles.

acrossthelake
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Re: High Diagnostic....advice on study plan?

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:42 pm

I was in the same situation. I ignored all the materials--the bibles, etc. and just did a bunch of preptests. I'd actually recommend NOT using the bibles---they use all these techniques that I don't think are necessary and might be confusing to those who naturally "get it". Lots of diagramming of LR, for example, but I left all my LR questions untouched and just used...logic, I guess... Keep track of your errors to see if there's any pattern---I didn't have a pattern. I ran a few preptests through an analysis of type website and I was basically missing every question type at approximately equal rates,but you might find that you miss some types more than others. Focus that way.

Woozy
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Re: High Diagnostic....advice on study plan?

Postby Woozy » Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:03 pm

I'll echo the sentiments here and tell you to just take PTs. My diagnostic was almost the same as yours. I just took PTs and random sections, and went over my answers. You clearly do not need to learn any strategies; just get used to the format and timing of the test and you will score well.

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KibblesAndVick
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Re: High Diagnostic....advice on study plan?

Postby KibblesAndVick » Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:08 pm

You're too intelligent to be a lawyer. Become an engineer or a scientist. I'm only kind of kidding.

nothereok
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Re: High Diagnostic....advice on study plan?

Postby nothereok » Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:26 pm

Thanks everyone. All the advice has been really helpful. I am going to scrap the powerbible for now and just focus on getting as much timed practice done as possible. A lot of you said what I was worried about...becoming confused by the powerbible and/or overthinking things.

Thanks for the compliment as well :)

czelede
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Re: High Diagnostic....advice on study plan?

Postby czelede » Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:11 pm

I was in somewhat of the same situation as you (174 diag), so I'd be happy to offer my game plan.

I should note: at the beginning, RC was my weakest, LR was okay, and LG I had timing issues with (but not accuracy) - if I screwed up one rule on LG it was game over for me.

For LG:
- I did not use the LG Bible. You don't need this. I felt the old PTs weren't any easier for LG sections so I just worked over some of those sections individually, trying to get my time under 30 minutes with 100% accuracy.

For LR:
- I did not read through the entire LR Bible. But after about 4 PTs I realized I was consistently perplexed by Parallel Reasoning problems, so I went and read the section on that, which helped me immensely (never missed another PR problem again).

For RC:
- I just carefully went over the problems I missed. I felt the biggest hurdle of RC for me was getting accustomed to the way the test makers think. Around the 50s the RC gets a little harder suddenly (imo), but you just have to get used to the change. I did the PTs sequentially, so this kind of screwed me over into a panic the week before the test, but it fortunately turned out alright.

I ended up taking about 15 PTs over the course of a month, starting with the lower 40s. I would take a test and score it, writing down missed or problematic questions in a spreadsheet. The next day, I would go over those questions before looking at the answers and see if I would get the same answer, and why. I would then read the explanations for those questions, paying attention to all of the available answer choices. Rinse and repeat. If my weakest section on a particular test was LR, then I would use an old LR section as my experimental during the following test.

Since you are already scoring well, I would concentrate on ensuring there is no test day score drop. One thing I would focus on is properly simulating test conditions. If your timing is very well spaced (i.e. you use the full 35 minutes) consider setting a timer for the 5 minute warning - your performance knowing that there are only 5 minutes left is often affected if you are working up to the very end, especially on test day. You want to be able to finish comfortably and check answers you were uncertain about; for me, this margin of comfort came at the 5 minute mark - I tried to be complete and fairly confident at the 30 minute mark. It's also important to prepare for distractions (doing tests in a coffee shop is helpful) and account for the possibility of test fatigue (do 3 sections in a row, break for 15, and then the last two, alternating your experimental in the first 3).

Good luck!

omeezy4sheezy
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Re: High Diagnostic....advice on study plan?

Postby omeezy4sheezy » Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:36 pm

Wow, no offense at all OP but I really wish I could punch you in the face right now haha

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3|ink
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Re: High Diagnostic....advice on study plan?

Postby 3|ink » Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:41 pm

omeezy4sheezy wrote:Wow, no offense at all OP but I really wish I could punch you in the face right now haha

Image

nothereok
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Re: High Diagnostic....advice on study plan?

Postby nothereok » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:55 pm

I just realized that czelede wrote an extremely well though out and helpful reply and I forgot to say thank you. Here is a belated thank you!

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Mr.Binks
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Re: High Diagnostic....advice on study plan?

Postby Mr.Binks » Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:58 am

3|ink wrote:
omeezy4sheezy wrote:Wow, no offense at all OP but I really wish I could punch you in the face right now haha

Image


I agree. You're a genius.

acrossthelake
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Re: High Diagnostic....advice on study plan?

Postby acrossthelake » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:49 am

Mr.Binks wrote:
3|ink wrote:
omeezy4sheezy wrote:Wow, no offense at all OP but I really wish I could punch you in the face right now haha

Image


I agree. You're a genius.


Not really.

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princeR
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Re: High Diagnostic....advice on study plan?

Postby princeR » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:58 am

How does someone diagnostic this high... wtf. Like, how would you even know how to approach the games section without a little intro at least? Damn man, I'm impressed!

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Errzii
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Re: High Diagnostic....advice on study plan?

Postby Errzii » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:00 am

I was halfway typing a response then I realized holy shit necro bump

penguinbrah
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Re: High Diagnostic....advice on study plan?

Postby penguinbrah » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:41 am

i don't understand how you people can cold diagnose that high.

how do you even know what the questions are going to be? How do you know what to even do at the games section? How is it that simply having to read and process the question stems don't slow you down because you don't know what type of questions you are attacking? Simply.. what the fuck?!

Really curious as to how the thought process is - maybe learning this thought process might help some of the people that want to score 170+ range.

acrossthelake
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Re: High Diagnostic....advice on study plan?

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:47 am

penguinbrah wrote:i don't understand how you people can cold diagnose that high.

how do you even know what the questions are going to be?
How do you know what to even do at the games section? How is it that simply having to read and process the question stems don't slow you down because you don't know what type of questions you are attacking? Simply.. what the fuck?!

Really curious as to how the thought process is - maybe learning this thought process might help some of the people that want to score 170+ range.


Why would I have to know what a question is going to be ahead of time in order to answer it quickly?

Fark-o-vision
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Re: High Diagnostic....advice on study plan?

Postby Fark-o-vision » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:50 am

acrossthelake wrote:
penguinbrah wrote:i don't understand how you people can cold diagnose that high.

how do you even know what the questions are going to be?
How do you know what to even do at the games section? How is it that simply having to read and process the question stems don't slow you down because you don't know what type of questions you are attacking? Simply.. what the fuck?!

Really curious as to how the thought process is - maybe learning this thought process might help some of the people that want to score 170+ range.


Why would I have to know what a question is going to be ahead of time in order to answer it quickly?


I didn't diagnose this high, but any high level English that isn't a literature course is probably going to familiarize you with LSAT material. I knew Rhet/Comp kids who were walking through sections when they found out I was taking the LSAT. Not many of them wanted to be lawyers, though.

thsmthcrmnl
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Re: High Diagnostic....advice on study plan?

Postby thsmthcrmnl » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:39 am

penguinbrah wrote:i don't understand how you people can cold diagnose that high.

how do you even know what the questions are going to be? How do you know what to even do at the games section? How is it that simply having to read and process the question stems don't slow you down because you don't know what type of questions you are attacking? Simply.. what the fuck?!

Really curious as to how the thought process is - maybe learning this thought process might help some of the people that want to score 170+ range.


Since you do say you're really curious, lest I come off as humblebraggy:

Familiarity with formal logic helps. I came in knowing (a-->b)<-->(~b-->~a). So does familiarity with rhetoric. I knew about concepts like ad hominem and reductio ad absurdum. It's not like you need to know the words — they never talk about "contrapositives" on the test — but the concepts are important. Different people are going to have different levels of exposure to this stuff. An engineer who is forced to sit through proofs in math class is going to see a lot if it, even if he's not taught the names.

I think the other big thing is timing. I read very quickly. That's quite helpful. Lots of people don't like to read. Frequent reading also leads to a bigger vocabulary, which means less time spent dealing with LSAT's deliberately complex diction. It's not like there's anything crazy on there, but if it say something like "Alice responds to Bob by illustrating that his circumlocutions arrive at the antithesis of his argument," I know what that means without having to spend time making sure I understand the bigger words. Seconds add up. Confidence helps with this too. I trusted myself enough to move on immediately when I thought something was right. At least for myself, in LR and RC, I always had enough time. If there was a question I got wrong, it was because I couldn't figure it out with any more time, not just a few more minutes.

Hope that's helpful.

penguinbrah
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Re: High Diagnostic....advice on study plan?

Postby penguinbrah » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:12 am

thsmthcrmnl wrote:
penguinbrah wrote:i don't understand how you people can cold diagnose that high.

how do you even know what the questions are going to be? How do you know what to even do at the games section? How is it that simply having to read and process the question stems don't slow you down because you don't know what type of questions you are attacking? Simply.. what the fuck?!

Really curious as to how the thought process is - maybe learning this thought process might help some of the people that want to score 170+ range.


Since you do say you're really curious, lest I come off as humblebraggy:

Familiarity with formal logic helps. I came in knowing (a-->b)<-->(~b-->~a). So does familiarity with rhetoric. I knew about concepts like ad hominem and reductio ad absurdum. It's not like you need to know the words — they never talk about "contrapositives" on the test — but the concepts are important. Different people are going to have different levels of exposure to this stuff. An engineer who is forced to sit through proofs in math class is going to see a lot if it, even if he's not taught the names.

I think the other big thing is timing. I read very quickly. That's quite helpful. Lots of people don't like to read. Frequent reading also leads to a bigger vocabulary, which means less time spent dealing with LSAT's deliberately complex diction. It's not like there's anything crazy on there, but if it say something like "Alice responds to Bob by illustrating that his circumlocutions arrive at the antithesis of his argument," I know what that means without having to spend time making sure I understand the bigger words. Seconds add up. Confidence helps with this too. I trusted myself enough to move on immediately when I thought something was right. At least for myself, in LR and RC, I always had enough time. If there was a question I got wrong, it was because I couldn't figure it out with any more time, not just a few more minutes.

Hope that's helpful.


well thanks that makes sense. I have a marketing, finance, and business administration background and used to hate reading up until recently (the past 1-2 years). Also, I don't read very quickly and have trouble with convulated language and actually have to pause to think about what it said. I tend to read over passages and then have to re-read sentences because I have no idea what I just read. However, I am improving with more and more practice so hopefully there will be light at the end of the tunnel for me.

penguinbrah
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Re: High Diagnostic....advice on study plan?

Postby penguinbrah » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:17 am

acrossthelake wrote:
penguinbrah wrote:i don't understand how you people can cold diagnose that high.

how do you even know what the questions are going to be?
How do you know what to even do at the games section? How is it that simply having to read and process the question stems don't slow you down because you don't know what type of questions you are attacking? Simply.. what the fuck?!

Really curious as to how the thought process is - maybe learning this thought process might help some of the people that want to score 170+ range.


Why would I have to know what a question is going to be ahead of time in order to answer it quickly?


Because when I did my first cold diagnostic I had a hard time figuring out what the question stems were asking me, and therefore did not know how to approach the answer choices. Nor did I have any idea whatsoever would be the best way to approach the games. I drew some weird, incoherent shit all over my paper. It wasn't until I went over the powerscore bibles and learned what the question stems were asking that I finally understood how to approach each type of question. Same thing with games - I needed some sort of structure on how to approach them instead of holding multiple stuff in my brain and trying to draw random boxes all over the place.


Fark-o-vision wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:
penguinbrah wrote:i don't understand how you people can cold diagnose that high.

how do you even know what the questions are going to be?
How do you know what to even do at the games section? How is it that simply having to read and process the question stems don't slow you down because you don't know what type of questions you are attacking? Simply.. what the fuck?!

Really curious as to how the thought process is - maybe learning this thought process might help some of the people that want to score 170+ range.


Why would I have to know what a question is going to be ahead of time in order to answer it quickly?


I didn't diagnose this high, but any high level English that isn't a literature course is probably going to familiarize you with LSAT material. I knew Rhet/Comp kids who were walking through sections when they found out I was taking the LSAT. Not many of them wanted to be lawyers, though.


Lol I have not taken any high level english courses besides one where we read Don Quixote and Frankenstein etc. and writing 101 and 102. My only regret now is that I used to not like reading and did not read anything outside of school up until the past two years. I wish I had read all the books I could get my hands on in my childhood instead of playing all those video games.

acrossthelake
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Re: High Diagnostic....advice on study plan?

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:32 am

Fark-o-vision wrote:
I didn't diagnose this high, but any high level English that isn't a literature course is probably going to familiarize you with LSAT material. I knew Rhet/Comp kids who were walking through sections when they found out I was taking the LSAT. Not many of them wanted to be lawyers, though.


I definitely didn't take a single English course in college.

I know a handful of people who diagnosed this high...they're just people who get it. There's not much in their background that one would need to explain it. Some read. Some don't read too often. They're just all fairly logical people.

I just understood the questions from the get-go.

penguinbrah
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Re: High Diagnostic....advice on study plan?

Postby penguinbrah » Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:33 am

acrossthelake wrote:
Fark-o-vision wrote:
I didn't diagnose this high, but any high level English that isn't a literature course is probably going to familiarize you with LSAT material. I knew Rhet/Comp kids who were walking through sections when they found out I was taking the LSAT. Not many of them wanted to be lawyers, though.


I definitely didn't take a single English course in college.

I know a handful of people who diagnosed this high...they're just people who get it. There's not much in their background that one would need to explain it. Some read. Some don't read too often. They're just all fairly logical people.

I just understood the questions from the get-go.



but what about the conditional reasoning etc? I feel like you can't do good on the questions with the CR chains unless you know how to diagram them efficiently.

acrossthelake
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Re: High Diagnostic....advice on study plan?

Postby acrossthelake » Sat Jan 14, 2012 7:04 am

penguinbrah wrote:

but what about the conditional reasoning etc? I feel like you can't do good on the questions with the CR chains unless you know how to diagram them efficiently.


I didn't diagram or make markings other than the circling of the answer outside of the logic games section. Occasionally I'd diagram parallel CR questions if the stems and answer choices were fairly long with multiple sentences to double check I didn't miss anything. Conditional reasoning should be fairly familiar to anyone who has ever played a very mean game of Clue(if you play Clue with conditional reasoning then basically all players should solve the game simultaneously, leaving just a race to get to the room in time, which makes the game basically a very large Logic Game, but a boring board game) or who has taken a computer science course. In terms of classes like logic & comp science, I noticed in college that it was a fairly binary distribution. Some people understood it pretty instantly and did well without much effort at the very intro level (anything beyond intro gets hard even for the 'naturals' in comp sci, but like basic C really plays into that sort of logical thinking quite well), while the other half of the class struggled and sometimes got Cs despite trying a fair bit. It's unsurprising to me that the latter individuals would do well without much struggle on something like the LSAT, although I think a good chunk never try and end up in engineering or comp sci etc.




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