Any useful advice? LSAT course usless now what?

Stang8
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Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:20 pm

Any useful advice? LSAT course usless now what?

Postby Stang8 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:36 pm

Hey everyone,

I initially enrolled in the Blueprint LSAT course, which had begun a week before August. I enrolled in this course thinking that i would be ready for the October LSAT, however sadly, i have yet to see much improvement.I currently go to school, and although my time is more limited I forced myself to stay in every weekend for 2.5 months just so i can study for my LSAT. I do not know why, but my scores have been abysmal. I am on the brink of giving up all hope of going to law school. I had taken my fourth and last diagnostic today, and i have only improved a mere 7 points. I started with a depressing 135, and have only managed to get to a 142. I am very frustrated, and discouraged, however I am not giving up just yet. I did most of the homework, and attended most of my classes, and i am still pondering as to why i have not seen much improvement. I am not going to take the October LSAT but the December LSAT. I have about 2 months to prepare. Ideally i need a 165, and will not take the LSAT till i get close to such a score. I am honestly on the brink of taking a loan out to finance a $7000 private tutor package by Power Score. Any suggestions would be appreciated greatly. I am so disappointed, each and every time i take a diagnostic i get even more discouraged. I feel like i have learned a lot but i just don't know why my score doesn't show the same.

ly2010
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:30 pm

Re: Any useful advice? LSAT course usless now what?

Postby ly2010 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:55 pm

Stang8 wrote:Hey everyone,

I initially enrolled in the Blueprint LSAT course, which had begun a week before August. I enrolled in this course thinking that i would be ready for the October LSAT, however sadly, i have yet to see much improvement.I currently go to school, and although my time is more limited I forced myself to stay in every weekend for 2.5 months just so i can study for my LSAT. I do not know why, but my scores have been abysmal. I am on the brink of giving up all hope of going to law school. I had taken my fourth and last diagnostic today, and i have only improved a mere 7 points. I started with a depressing 135, and have only managed to get to a 142. I am very frustrated, and discouraged, however I am not giving up just yet. I did most of the homework, and attended most of my classes, and i am still pondering as to why i have not seen much improvement. I am not going to take the October LSAT but the December LSAT. I have about 2 months to prepare. Ideally i need a 165, and will not take the LSAT till i get close to such a score. I am honestly on the brink of taking a loan out to finance a $7000 private tutor package by Power Score. Any suggestions would be appreciated greatly. I am so disappointed, each and every time i take a diagnostic i get even more discouraged. I feel like i have learned a lot but i just don't know why my score doesn't show the same.


I'm not sure if this makes you feel any better but I would be ELATED if I could improve 7 points! Just keep working on it. I don't think 2.5 hrs is enough. If I were in your position, I would do ALL the homework and review all your mistakes before you take more diagnostics.

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typ3
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Re: Any useful advice? LSAT course usless now what?

Postby typ3 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:04 pm

I don't think you could call the class useless if you've improved 7 points.


Sounds to me like the way you think is the problem. Go over the reasons for strengthening and weakening arguments and understanding logic.

Unless you're missing the LG and RC sections completely.

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northwood
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Re: Any useful advice? LSAT course usless now what?

Postby northwood » Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:15 pm

DO NOT TAKE OUT THE LOAN FOR 7,000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
a tutor package for 24 hours of one on one tutoring costs 2400 at most ( from pr.- ill give you a disclaimer- i took their liveonline course, and got a lot out of it. I went to every class, participated, did all of the homework, and augmented that with the LRB and LGB- and took notes in a notebooks, did every game 3 times. I also worked 8-5 monday - saturday and managed to have some sort of social life saturday nights- didnt get wild, but still got to be young)

seriously. a 7 point increase is awesome. You should be proud of your accomplishment!!
As for the course- you need to make sure to go to all of the classes, and do all of the homework! Otherwise, you are wasting your time and money. I also detect a bit of burnout. Perhaps you should postpone until June,, or even next october. If you take it in december, and dont score well, then by february, iit will be very late in the admissions cycle. Go out and enjoy college. With 8 months to a year to prep, you can maintain balance with school, the lsat and your social life. Get the bibles, make sure to dedicate 2 hours a day, 6 days a week from here until test day for lsat study ( you can tell your friends you have another class at those hours) and read them actively- taking notes, and referencing them frequently, until you can see where the explinations are in the book ( you can make a mental picture of the book)

Stang8
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Re: Any useful advice? LSAT course usless now what?

Postby Stang8 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:20 pm

I cant wait till June, I have to take it in December. I have been studying nearly everyday and i would spend my weekends day to night studying for this test. All my friends are scoring in the 150's at the least, and it is very disappointing when i look at my score. I currently have the bibles, and i have begun them to review what i learned at the blueprint course. I am hoping that it will reinforce what i learned.

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Chris_cpb
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Re: Any useful advice? LSAT course usless now what?

Postby Chris_cpb » Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:24 pm

The Blueprint: the movie 'course' has worked somewhat well for me but I can't stand the humor they throw into their books. I feel kind of unintelligent for going with Blueprint. Anyway, consider taking the December test if you aren't ready for October's; it's not the end of the world.

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3|ink
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Re: Any useful advice? LSAT course usless now what?

Postby 3|ink » Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:27 pm

If I could do it all over again, I would not have taken a prep course. I would have just taken PTs 1-60 starting 4 months ahead of time.

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Chris_cpb
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Re: Any useful advice? LSAT course usless now what?

Postby Chris_cpb » Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:33 pm

3|ink wrote:If I could do it all over again, I would not have taken a prep course. I would have just taken PTs 1-60 starting 4 months ahead of time.


Really? I would think it would be atleast helpful to learn how to make proper drawings for LG from prep materials first.

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3|ink
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Re: Any useful advice? LSAT course usless now what?

Postby 3|ink » Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:39 pm

Chris_cpb wrote:
3|ink wrote:If I could do it all over again, I would not have taken a prep course. I would have just taken PTs 1-60 starting 4 months ahead of time.


Really? I would think it would be atleast helpful to learn how to make proper drawings for LG from prep materials first.


LRB and LGB.

Hedwig
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Re: Any useful advice? LSAT course usless now what?

Postby Hedwig » Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:51 pm

I wish I had gone sequentially through the tests, haha. As well as started earlier so I could have done the LRB/LGB and then just gone through all the tests.

Find a tutor for less than 7000. I think you might benefit from some private one on one sessions with a tutor, but you don't need to pay 7000 for it.

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lennonist
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Re: Any useful advice? LSAT course usless now what?

Postby lennonist » Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:00 am

Ideally, i'd say don't take the lsat this fall. But, since you're REALLY forced to apply this fall, definitely don't take the Oct test (be absent) since you're not breaking 160s.

I'd finish up the course and study on your own by reviewing the lessons (the bibles didn't bring anything new to me personally as a fellow Blueprint alumnus). I went up 7-8 points while in the course and another 20 when doing things on my own (strategy review + daily practice tests).

Do not shell out $$$$ for smth you can largely do for free on your own (fine-tuning can be done with a tutor - BP or another)
Do not lose hope. The only way to overcome this depression is create a routine and follow it religiously.

Message me if you have any questions. Good luck!

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typ3
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Re: Any useful advice? LSAT course usless now what?

Postby typ3 » Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:19 am

3|ink wrote:If I could do it all over again, I would not have taken a prep course. I would have just taken PTs 1-60 starting 4 months ahead of time.


+1..

Wouldn't we all?

bp colin
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Re: Any useful advice? LSAT course usless now what?

Postby bp colin » Sun Oct 03, 2010 4:54 pm

Hey there. I'm actually a Blueprint instructor, so I just wanted to check in and see if there's anything I could do to help.

Like some have said, a seven-point increase is something to be proud of, but I definitely understand the frustration with not being where you want to be. I do think you can still see a lot more significant improvement, and sometimes it's just a matter of giving it more time and practice to really come together.

What's most important is to figure out exactly what's holding you back. How did the homework go compared to the practice tests? If you do much, much better on the homework than the tests, that might have to do with the nerves that come along with taking tests. Knowing that you'll be getting an actual score can make it pretty stressful, and then having the added pressure to finally see a score that's a big improvement from your current level adds a whole extra layer of the stress. If that's something that's happening, then taking more tests, in realistic testing environments, can help you acclimate to it. Also, it might be a problem with rushing. A lot of times under test-taking conditions, people suddenly go way too fast, which can ruin accuracy.

If the homework is similar to the tests though, then you might want to go back through the lessons and work on core concepts. As others have noted, it's extremely important to figure out why you missed the ones you did. A significant amount of time should be spent on reviewing the ones you missed. You should figure out why you liked the wrong one and why it's totally wrong, as well as why you didn't like the right one, and why it's totally right.

Let me know if you've got any questions, or if there's anything else I can do. Like I said, I do think that further significant improvement is definitely possible.

-Colin

Stang8 wrote:Hey everyone,

I initially enrolled in the Blueprint LSAT course, which had begun a week before August. I enrolled in this course thinking that i would be ready for the October LSAT, however sadly, i have yet to see much improvement.I currently go to school, and although my time is more limited I forced myself to stay in every weekend for 2.5 months just so i can study for my LSAT. I do not know why, but my scores have been abysmal. I am on the brink of giving up all hope of going to law school. I had taken my fourth and last diagnostic today, and i have only improved a mere 7 points. I started with a depressing 135, and have only managed to get to a 142. I am very frustrated, and discouraged, however I am not giving up just yet. I did most of the homework, and attended most of my classes, and i am still pondering as to why i have not seen much improvement. I am not going to take the October LSAT but the December LSAT. I have about 2 months to prepare. Ideally i need a 165, and will not take the LSAT till i get close to such a score. I am honestly on the brink of taking a loan out to finance a $7000 private tutor package by Power Score. Any suggestions would be appreciated greatly. I am so disappointed, each and every time i take a diagnostic i get even more discouraged. I feel like i have learned a lot but i just don't know why my score doesn't show the same.

JurisDoctorate
Posts: 224
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:22 am

Re: Any useful advice? LSAT course usless now what?

Postby JurisDoctorate » Sun Oct 03, 2010 5:34 pm

I found a tutor on Craigslist for $25/hour. She scored a 170 and she's a big help. I've seen a bunch of tutors, on CL, for less than $60/hour. I'd go the private contractor route.

Stang8
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:20 pm

Re: Any useful advice? LSAT course usless now what?

Postby Stang8 » Sun Oct 03, 2010 6:27 pm

Hey there. I'm actually a Blueprint instructor, so I just wanted to check in and see if there's anything I could do to help.

Like some have said, a seven-point increase is something to be proud of, but I definitely understand the frustration with not being where you want to be. I do think you can still see a lot more significant improvement, and sometimes it's just a matter of giving it more time and practice to really come together.

What's most important is to figure out exactly what's holding you back. How did the homework go compared to the practice tests? If you do much, much better on the homework than the tests, that might have to do with the nerves that come along with taking tests. Knowing that you'll be getting an actual score can make it pretty stressful, and then having the added pressure to finally see a score that's a big improvement from your current level adds a whole extra layer of the stress. If that's something that's happening, then taking more tests, in realistic testing environments, can help you acclimate to it. Also, it might be a problem with rushing. A lot of times under test-taking conditions, people suddenly go way too fast, which can ruin accuracy.

If the homework is similar to the tests though, then you might want to go back through the lessons and work on core concepts. As others have noted, it's extremely important to figure out why you missed the ones you did. A significant amount of time should be spent on reviewing the ones you missed. You should figure out why you liked the wrong one and why it's totally wrong, as well as why you didn't like the right one, and why it's totally right.

Let me know if you've got any questions, or if there's anything else I can do. Like I said, I do think that further significant improvement is definitely possible.

-Colin


Hey Colin, I browsed through practice tests 1 to 4, and i noticed that i have not improved in my LR whatsoever, in fact my performance has deteriorated, I am getting 20/50 right in LR, which is bogging me down the most. I have slightly improved in the LG and RC, but LR still seems to be the one i am struggling with most. My homework scores, are just as bad as my test scores.

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northwood
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Re: Any useful advice? LSAT course usless now what?

Postby northwood » Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:48 pm

LR is a hard section. It takes a while to notice a consistent increase. There are 13 different types of questions for LR alone- so depending on each specific section you may end up with more question types that are difficult to you, or easier. Dont give up hope yet. with 4 tests, you can definately identify the question types that stump you the most. Go get the LRB and read through it ( if youve done it allready do it again) After each chapter, drill those question types ( do around 20 or so at least) If you search on this site ( or even google) there is a spreadsheet that identifies the question types from all released prep tests. After you have done this- then start doing untimed LR section work. then timed.

It will take a lot of dedication and hard work, but you can definately improve on LR ( and once you get this section down- it helps with RC too!)

you can do it!

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DrackedaryMaster
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Re: Any useful advice? LSAT course usless now what?

Postby DrackedaryMaster » Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:55 pm

To the OP: Please print out and highlight Northwood’s previous response. I believe he may have pointed out your biggest issue in LR improvement.

Some perspective. I took June 06/Sep 08 and got dismal scores (148/149), the second after taking a PS Prep-course. But to be honest, I didn’t really concentrate all that much on the homework. The larger problem, however, is that I didn’t fully understand the question types, how to recognize them quickly, and the type of responses and characteristics of the correct answer choice for each respective type.

If I had to take a guess (since this was my problem only hitting 24/51 on LR on those tests), I bet you are approaching each question as a Must-Be-True, regardless of the question type. While there certainly are quite a few MBT questions on the LR section, the approach doesn’t necessarily work on the assumption, strengthen, weaken, paradox questions, etc that drove me CRAZY because for the life of me I could not understand why certain answers to LR questions allowed outside information while others didn’t. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to the answers, and in some respects it looks like a guessing game. And don’t get me started on those abstract-level method of reasoning questions, principle, and evaluate questions that seemed like I was reading a foreign-language answer choice.

When I finally sat down in June and went through the LRB (three times), I paid heavy attention to PS’s Question Family diagram which I had previously ignored. I learned each question type and tried my best memorize the rules necessary to attack that particular kind of question. In a way, it was like its own LG. I took notes. Then I studied again, and did another read through because you will not pick everything up the first time (like I didn’t catch on until the second reading how the book was set up in terms of the abstractive-ness of the questions).

I tested what I had learned with the LR sections from the free June test. I missed 5 on the first and 3 on the second, un-timed, although in perspective, that’s quite an improvement from the -26 I got. So I got three “Official Books”, the “SuperPrep” and tested more gradually going from un-timed to timed. On average now, I get about 80% or 40/50 combined, which is pretty good, although I still get tripped up by the rougher LR questions. But thanks to this improvement, I can now consistently get into mid/upper 160’s.

For LG improvement, get the LGB and go through it thoroughly, doing all the games and questions. When you are done with both the LRB and the LGB, I suggest using all the “Official” Books as un-timed practice, which will give you over 60 LR section and 120 games to practice. As you review and improve, you should pick up speed without sacrificing accuracy. Once done with the “Official” books, try to do the “SuperPrep” tests timed as a transition into the more recent PTs. Finally, do PT 40-sixty-something timed.

One final note (and sorry for the long post but I want to help as much as I can): while a prep-course can definitely help lead you in the right direction of preparing for the test, I really believe the best preparation and the majority of the learning comes through self-study. I’ve done both and I can tell you firsthand than even an eight-week prep course as good as TM, PS, or BP, can only go so far. They can introduce you to and teach you the rules, but the mastery of them comes through self-study.




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