Before taking a prep course...

wildcatpride
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Before taking a prep course...

Postby wildcatpride » Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:22 am

Before taking a Testmaster's course, is there anything that I should have done or completed?

I'm aiming for a 175+ in February, so I'm wondering before I start the course in January, is there anything I should have completely done? Preptests 1-30? Bibles? etc. etc.

Also, is it advantageous to take the course this Fall, and then self-study from December onwards? Which technique works better?

Lastly, what's the best book to improve RC?

Thanks in advance TLS

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2014
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Re: Before taking a prep course...

Postby 2014 » Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:59 am

If I were you I would have LR under control before you start the class since to my knowledge most classes focus on LG since it is the most learnable. That means probably working through the LR Bible and doing a few practice tests. Try to get to the point where you are missing as few as possible on LR even if it takes you a bit of extra time and at that point take as many practice tests as it takes you to get comfortable with timing.

As far as RC the consensus is that none of the books are GREAT. I did the RC Bible and I think it helped me get a better grasp for what the questions would ask and had a fair bit of practice available in it as well. I think it is worth the time, but I can't comment if it is any better than the others out there. People have suggested spending time each day reading dense material so that the RC passages are easier to read quickly and comprehend, so consider that.

I imagine with your goal that it would be better to take the class in the fall though. Considering that many classes are designed around LG, and they do a good job of getting one up to the upper 160's or so, but after that it is self study that makes the difference. Usually you want the last month or two of your practice to involve a lot of practice tests, and if you are in a class for that time, you won't be able to do as many.

Hope that helps.

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Re: Before taking a prep course...

Postby 3|ink » Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:10 pm

wildcatpride wrote:Before taking a Testmaster's course, is there anything that I should have done or completed?

I'm aiming for a 175+ in February, so I'm wondering before I start the course in January, is there anything I should have completely done? Preptests 1-30? Bibles? etc. etc.

Also, is it advantageous to take the course this Fall, and then self-study from December onwards? Which technique works better?

Lastly, what's the best book to improve RC?

Thanks in advance TLS


Assuming that December is out of the question, is June 2011? Need you apply this year? I ask because February is the worst time to take the test.

1.) The TM course is compressed almost entirely into one month for February.
2.) Weather killed a lot of people mentally this year. They had to wait an extra 3 weeks.
3.) Yeah.

I recommend waiting until June if you can't take the test in December. February is really late to be applying to LS anyway, so even if you pull off a miracle score, your chances won't be optimal.

wildcatpride
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Re: Before taking a prep course...

Postby wildcatpride » Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:19 pm

No I'm actually a junior this year.

Why is Feb the worst time to take it? I originally planned on taking the June LSAT but then when should I take the course? Should I take it during Spring or take the Feb course and self-study from spring break onwards?

I'm just trying to find the best strategy to be comfortably hitting 170+ on the practice tests a month or 2 before my LSAT.

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Re: Before taking a prep course...

Postby 3|ink » Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:23 pm

wildcatpride wrote:No I'm actually a junior this year.

Why is Feb the worst time to take it? I originally planned on taking the June LSAT but then when should I take the course? Should I take it during Spring or take the Feb course and self-study from spring break onwards?

I'm just trying to find the best strategy to be comfortably hitting 170+ on the practice tests a month or 2 before my LSAT.


February is terrible because:

1.) The weather
2.) They don't release the test (so you won't know where you screwed up if you do).
3.) TM's February class is compressed into 1 month.

Just spend a summer studying and take it in September of 2011. No need to rush if you're just a junior.

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EarlCat
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Re: Before taking a prep course...

Postby EarlCat » Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:50 am

Take the course up front. You don't need to prep for a prep course. Take the test when you're prepared regardless of the weather.

wildcatpride
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Re: Before taking a prep course...

Postby wildcatpride » Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:23 pm

Can someone please advise me on this plan?

Taking the course in October/November - Testmasters. Then I have 3 weeks off for Christmas to further shore up any specific problems and keep my practicing going. Then when I get back for winter quarter, I have 6 weeks before the FEBRUARY test to take simulated practice tests, and really polish any specific weaknesses at hand.

I think for me taking it in Feb will be the easiest because June conflicts with my quarter exams (Yes, I'm on that dreaded quarter system). And I wanted to take it this (junior) year so I can send out my apps real early to maximize chances.

Can someone explain why February is really looked down upon? & whether I should really postpone till June? Appreciate the help.

wildcatpride
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Re: Before taking a prep course...

Postby wildcatpride » Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:21 pm

Anyone? I could really use some help...

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Re: Before taking a prep course...

Postby 3|ink » Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:26 pm

Testmasters covers all of the released LSAT material. You won't have much left after the course.

tomwatts
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Re: Before taking a prep course...

Postby tomwatts » Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:20 pm

wildcatpride wrote:Can someone please advise me on this plan?

Sounds fine. If you go through the course that quickly, you won't be able to finish all the HW, but you'll be doing a bunch of it afterwards anyway, so it doesn't matter.

wildcatpride wrote:Can someone explain why February is really looked down upon?

Read earlier in this topic for the only reasons. To summarize: it's not released (which is annoying but not a serious problem), the weather sucks in certain areas and gets the test postponed (which doesn't matter in other areas — I'm in California, so it makes no difference to me), and the prep courses are often short and flaky in response to the students being short and flaky (which is not always the case, and you're not taking a Feb course anyway). So it doesn't sound as though it matters for you at all.

sarahh
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Re: Before taking a prep course...

Postby sarahh » Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:45 pm

I took one practice test before doing the course. The course is pretty thorough - I don't think you need to do much prep. I did a regular, non-compressed course, and I found it difficult to find time to do all of the homework and practice tests. (I work full-time). With a compressed class, I think it would be very difficult to find time to do everything.
You would definitely have more time if you did the October/November course, but keep in mind that they kick you out of the on-line account (which you need to use to find out how you scored on the supplemental tests) very soon after the test date associated with the course.




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