Currently scoring in 170s - how do I get a 180?

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glewz
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Currently scoring in 170s - how do I get a 180?

Postby glewz » Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:01 am

Sounds pretty stupid to ask, as my scores are pretty decent (and I hope I'm not offending anyone), but I'm wondering what are some things that you all did to get strong 175+ scores on the LSAT exam day.

And since I have >1 month of time, could some of you high scorers give me some general advice on consistently score above 175 or even better, 180?

Past prep test scores since I started preparing:
174: Didn't keep records
178: -2 LR, -3 RC, -1 LG
176: -3 LR, -2 RC, -1 LG
173: -7 LR, -3 RC, -0 LG
177: -4 LR, -2 RC, -0 LG
172: -7 LR, -2 RC, -1 LG
170: -3 LR, -6 RC, -3 LG (Taken while sick)

I've taken 1 test a week thus far with Section 2 as the experimental (because it gives me fatigue by the time I hit section 3 and because that way I can factor in a bad section 1 score).

The rest of my time is spent preparing for a September 14th GMAT, which means that I've been devoting 2 days a week to LSAT (1 day to take the test, and 1 day to review it fully). My LSAT test is on October 6th. After my GMAT test, I will take 3 tests/week and gradually make it 4 tests/week. I will not take a test on October 5th.


Would really appreciate some insight. Thanks a lot!


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glewz
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Re: Currently scoring in 170s - how do I get a 180?

Postby glewz » Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:10 am

Thanks eskimo - reading all articles : ) excellent

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aevea
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Re: Currently scoring in 170s - how do I get a 180?

Postby aevea » Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:22 pm

glewz wrote:The rest of my time is spent preparing for a September 14th GMAT, which means that I've been devoting 2 days a week to LSAT (1 day to take the test, and 1 day to review it fully). My LSAT test is on October 6th. After my GMAT test, I will take 3 tests/week and gradually make it 4 tests/week. I will not take a test on October 5th.


I teach both GMAT and LSAT and think it might be a bad idea to try to prep for both at once. Aside from the obvious division of resources, the tests' arguments and passages are superficially similar but subtly different. Mastering GMAT arguments could potentially throw you off a little on LSAT arguments. When you're talking about a 180, it's all about extreme precision.

I don't know your application schedule or potential but if you really want a 180 on the LSAT, I'd advise backing the GMAT to Nov. and taking care of the LSAT first.

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EarlCat
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Re: Currently scoring in 170s - how do I get a 180?

Postby EarlCat » Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:10 pm

aevea wrote:I teach both GMAT and LSAT and think it might be a bad idea to try to prep for both at once. Aside from the obvious division of resources, the tests' arguments and passages are superficially similar but subtly different. Mastering GMAT arguments could potentially throw you off a little on LSAT arguments. When you're talking about a 180, it's all about extreme precision.

I don't know your application schedule or potential but if you really want a 180 on the LSAT, I'd advise backing the GMAT to Nov. and taking care of the LSAT first.


^This. GMAT args and reading comp are both MUCH more forgiving than those on the LSAT. If you want to hit a home run, you need to warm up with a heavier bat. Put off the GMAT.

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theZeigs
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Re: Currently scoring in 170s - how do I get a 180?

Postby theZeigs » Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:32 am

For me, the difference between my score and a 180 was stupid mistakes and nerves. On every test, I would say there would be maybe 1 or 2 questions that I would get wrong even without a time limit. Otherwise, all my mistakes were the kinds where when I went back to look at the question, I would be like "well, obviously D," but under the time pressure/consecutive questions, I made "stupid mistakes."

This was also primarily due to the fact that my RC was rarely worse than -3, and usually 2/3 of those I would get right under no time pressure.

To give an idea, too, I was PTing around -6 to -11 when I should have been around -1 to -3. Granted, a -3 won't get you a 180, but often a -1 or -2 will.

This is only exacerbated by test day nerves. I am a good test taker yet was still super jacked up on test day, costing me about 2-3 points from my test average.

For me, I think people who get a 180 are the kinds that never make dumb mistakes. For example, when I took math/math intensive classes in college, I would always do the test twice, completely independently, then check my answers. Almost every test I caught several dumb mistakes, e.g. where I added 6+5 = 10. I understood how to do triple integrals or linear algebra, but those kind of brain-fart mistakes were the difference. Unfortunately, on the LSAT, this option does not exist.

rynabrius
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Re: Currently scoring in 170s - how do I get a 180?

Postby rynabrius » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:07 am

Make sure to get a good night's sleep.

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Dany
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Re: Currently scoring in 170s - how do I get a 180?

Postby Dany » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:11 am

Also, I of course scored well below a 180, but I think something that would have helped me would be to do 5-section PTs. I missed 3 questions on the whole test, up to the last 10 questions... where I missed FIVE OUT OF TEN. Ridiculous. And it was on what was normally a strong section for me! When I looked back over the test, I probably should've missed only 2 of those 5, but sheer mental exhaustion had kicked in, I think. So I think the marathon/endurance aspects of the test need to be thought of, because I think a lot of getting a 180 is performing at 100% all the way until the end.

d34d9823
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Re: Currently scoring in 170s - how do I get a 180?

Postby d34d9823 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:21 am

For me, it's all about mental discipline. If you can drop 175s, you have the concepts, but you need to get to the point where you never miss questions because you misread, had a brain freeze, etc.

Disclaimer: I failed at mental discipline on my LSAT. The pressure got to me a bit. I wish there was some way to simulate the pressure of the test in practice sessions.

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Ragged
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Re: Currently scoring in 170s - how do I get a 180?

Postby Ragged » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:23 am

d34dluk3 wrote:
Disclaimer: I failed at mental discipline on my LSAT.


Oh yea, you totally failed and are a total loser with your 179, sir! :roll:

Tsispilos
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Re: Currently scoring in 170s - how do I get a 180?

Postby Tsispilos » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:24 am

surprised nobody said

the best way to get a 180 is to get them all right. . .

d34d9823
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Re: Currently scoring in 170s - how do I get a 180?

Postby d34d9823 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:25 am

Ragged wrote:
d34dluk3 wrote:
Disclaimer: I failed at mental discipline on my LSAT.


Oh yea, you totally failed and are a total loser with your 179, sir! :roll:

You didn't get to see me panicking on the test.

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Dany
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Re: Currently scoring in 170s - how do I get a 180?

Postby Dany » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:41 am

d34dluk3 wrote:For me, it's all about mental discipline. If you can drop 175s, you have the concepts, but you need to get to the point where you never miss questions because you misread, had a brain freeze, etc.

Disclaimer: I failed at mental discipline on my LSAT. The pressure got to me a bit. I wish there was some way to simulate the pressure of the test in practice sessions.

Yeah, this is a thread for 180 advice. Try better next time.

jkjkjkjk173:(

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Ragged
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Re: Currently scoring in 170s - how do I get a 180?

Postby Ragged » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:44 am

d34dluk3 wrote:
Ragged wrote:
d34dluk3 wrote:
Disclaimer: I failed at mental discipline on my LSAT.


Oh yea, you totally failed and are a total loser with your 179, sir! :roll:

You didn't get to see me panicking on the test.



You should write an addendum about that.

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EarlCat
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Re: Currently scoring in 170s - how do I get a 180?

Postby EarlCat » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:52 am

Ragged wrote:
d34dluk3 wrote:
Ragged wrote:
d34dluk3 wrote:
Disclaimer: I failed at mental discipline on my LSAT.


Oh yea, you totally failed and are a total loser with your 179, sir! :roll:

You didn't get to see me panicking on the test.



You should write an addendum about that.


+1

thsmthcrmnl
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Re: Currently scoring in 170s - how do I get a 180?

Postby thsmthcrmnl » Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:26 pm

Be in the mindset that one and only one answer is right. If you're not sure about two or more choices, you're missing something. There's no A-is-sort-of-better-than-B.

And be in the right frame of mind. Be able to move on after something you weren't sure about last section.

rynabrius
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Re: Currently scoring in 170s - how do I get a 180?

Postby rynabrius » Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:05 pm

Allow me to QQ a bit. I completely panicked the day of the test. First of all, I could not sleep the night before. Then, I over-caffeinated to compensate. The result is that I was way too jittery for the RC section, which I had not over-prepared for like the other sections. (There was no RC Bible at the time.) That first section cost me my 180. My practice average going--for the last five timed practice tests I took--was higher than a 179.

Basically, get some exercise the day before, and try to take the test in a familiar environment, so you're not in a hotel room.

I also panicked for the logic games, but I was so overprepared for them I was able to re-do a whole section flawlessly.

The crazy thing is that I am still bitter about it.

d34d9823
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Re: Currently scoring in 170s - how do I get a 180?

Postby d34d9823 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:26 pm

thsmthcrmnl wrote:Be in the mindset that one and only one answer is right. If you're not sure about two or more choices, you're missing something. There's no A-is-sort-of-better-than-B.

And be in the right frame of mind. Be able to move on after something you weren't sure about last section.

These are almost word-for-word from my day-of-the-test psych sheet.

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sgtgrumbles
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Re: Currently scoring in 170s - how do I get a 180?

Postby sgtgrumbles » Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:29 pm

d34dluk3 wrote:These are almost word-for-word from my day-of-the-test psych sheet.


What else was on there? Did you get it from somewhere (LSAT Blog, stickied TLS topic, etc.)? Care to share?

d34d9823
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Re: Currently scoring in 170s - how do I get a 180?

Postby d34d9823 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:36 pm

sgtgrumbles wrote:
d34dluk3 wrote:These are almost word-for-word from my day-of-the-test psych sheet.


What else was on there? Did you get it from somewhere (LSAT Blog, stickied TLS topic, etc.)? Care to share?

Since you flattered my ego by asking, here it is. I wrote it myself; X and check refer to the marks I made beside problems, signifying "come back to" and "pretty damn sure", respectively.

General:
    Don't rush, read questions carefully
    Don't stagnate on questions/LG you don't get. If you do one complete analysis and don't know, X it and come back.
    Don't change answers under time pressure: unless you have time for a full analysis, stay with your first guess.
    Don't check unless answers are a home run. 2 good answers = danger danger.
    2 good answers doesn't happen: you're missing something.
    LSAT doesn't favor direct over philosophical or on-point vs. subtle; rather, there is always one right answer.
    X if question is confusing or you get an uneasy feeling about it.
    If no good answer, X it. There is no such thing as best bad answer.
    Reread all answer choices when redoing.
    After redoing unchecked, focus on 1-8: I tend to make a disproportionate number of errors there.
    Check bubbling at 5 minute warning.
    Don't try to guess experimental: no evidence of test fatigue.
LG:
    On games, speed is everything. Misses are rare on completed games.
    Dumb misses on games are usually in the first game: redo this after unsure problems.
LR/RC:
    Be aware of / underline absolutes (best, most, etc.) and EXCEPT!!!
    On "2 people disagree/agree" questions, write X/not X and Y/not Y next to each answer choice.
    On "value most highly" questions, go through and underline phrases that support the best two options.
    On "passage supports", find crucial paragraph and read VERY carefully.
    Don't confuse people e.g. author vs. subject, one friend of protagonist vs. another.
    Main point / main idea = most discussed. Conclusion = conclusion.

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3|ink
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Re: Currently scoring in 170s - how do I get a 180?

Postby 3|ink » Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:21 pm

d34dluk3 wrote:Dumb misses on games are usually in the first game: redo this after unsure problems.
"

I've noticed this too. Damn LSAT.




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