Suggestions for Practice Tests

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Rawlberto
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Suggestions for Practice Tests

Postby Rawlberto » Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:57 pm

I have been attempting to take practice tests, but have been taking the scores with a grain of salt. The reason is that a few of the questions in LR are questions I recognize. I have been using the Kaplan Mastery book in order to work on problems by type. I took 147-149 recently, and recognized a large chunk of the questions asked.
I don't want to go be doing 150-160 tests just yet, as I still have two months to go. Any suggestions on what range of tests I should be doing?

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incompetentia
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Re: Suggestions for Practice Tests

Postby incompetentia » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:01 pm

Get some of the older tests from the Actual PrepTest books.

Depending on how much test activity fatigues you, you may be okay with just one book (Next 10 is the newest, 29-38) or maybe get all three of them.

If you do some of the really old ones, try running some in 30 minute sections. The newer tests are more difficult and this will help you both to offset that and to prep you for real-test time dilation.
I think probably 55+ I would consider 'difficult' tests. Take your scores in the old books with a grain of salt, as they might come down 2 or 3 points when you reach 55.

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Rawlberto
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Re: Suggestions for Practice Tests

Postby Rawlberto » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:06 pm

Awesome, thanks for the help. I was going to take the 50 level tests next months just to gauge where I am at and what traps have been in the most recent ones in order to make proper adjustments. I appreciate the help!

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typ3
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Re: Suggestions for Practice Tests

Postby typ3 » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:18 pm

incompetentia wrote:Get some of the older tests from the Actual PrepTest books.

Depending on how much test activity fatigues you, you may be okay with just one book (Next 10 is the newest, 29-38) or maybe get all three of them.

If you do some of the really old ones, try running some in 30 minute sections. The newer tests are more difficult and this will help you both to offset that and to prep you for real-test time dilation.
I think probably 55+ I would consider 'difficult' tests. Take your scores in the old books with a grain of salt, as they might come down 2 or 3 points when you reach 55.



Kaplan Mastery are old question problems.

My suggestion, assuming you're in a Kaplan course,

is to do the corresponding Mastery problem types to the ones you do in class.

When you cover flaw in class, the next 2-3 days after the class do all the flaw questions and then review them for a day or two. Then do a few games and reading comp passages on friday/saturday (I assume your class is a 1 day on sunday?) Rinse and repeat for each week. There are 1457 problems in the 2009 Mastery book, so you should try to cover around 140-150 per week so that in a 15 week course you allow yourself enough time to spend 5 weeks taking full length practice tests.

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gdane
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Re: Suggestions for Practice Tests

Postby gdane » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:28 pm

If youre not ready, DONT just do practice tests. Youre wasting materials and your time if you do practice tests without knowing how to attack the question types. Go through the powerscore bibles, use Kaplan Mastery to drill questions and then work with practice tests to get your timing and endurance down.
If youre scoring high (160+), then ignore my advice. If youre scoring low (155 and lower) pay close attention.

Good luck!

nStiver
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Re: Suggestions for Practice Tests

Postby nStiver » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:52 pm

I also took a Kaplan course. It may be a painful pill to swallow, but I would ditch their methods and use powerscore's instead. Stay in the class, keep taking their practice tests, but buy yourself a copy of the Logic Games Bible and the Logical Reasoning Bible. It will be the best LSAT investment you ever make. Use Powerscore's methods for logical reasoning and above all, use their methods for logic games! The Kaplan method largely blows and is geared toward marketing over quality. It sucks admitting that you just spent 1000+ dollars on a mediocre course, but you can at least maximize the benefits of the course by making proper use of the materials they give you.

Use the entire Mastery Practice; it doesn't matter whether or not they give you old questions, just work through everything you can get your hands on at this stage. With regard to the mastery book, I found it works best in conjunction with the Logical Reasoning Bible. After you work through each problem type in the LRB, work through the corresponding section in the Mastery book. If you can finish that beast before you take the test, you will have the fundamentals down.

Also, and I can not stress this enough, DO NOT WORRY ABOUT SEEING PROBLEMS AGAIN IN PT'S. The only score that matters is the one you get on game day. Just keep your nose to the grindstone and work on timing, concentration, and fundamentals. By the end of my test prepping, I had done so many problems that I couldn't go through a test without seeing a question I had already done. This is ok. Did you get a perfect score on that test? If not, then you still have something to learn from it. Review all your questions, but especially the ones you got wrong.

If you REALLY feel like you have seen to many questions before, start doing sections with less time. I finally started doing this during the week before the October 2010 test. I gave myself 30:00 minutes per section. I though it was going bring my PT scores down, but surprisingly, they were not that much lower. Your brain adapts quickly to less time, it becomes the norm if you do it for a while. This essentially saved my ass on test day: I finished every section early, something I never used to do. I had enough time to go take a leak after section 1. If I hadn't had that cushion of extra time, I don't know how I would have held it.

I guess my main advice is to get the Powerscore books, start following Pithypike's schedule in the sticky at the top of the forum, and work through the mastery without worrying about seeing the questions again. The score on the practice tests does not matter, they only exist to get you to the point where you are so comfortable with the test that it will seem like a piece of cake on game day. Good Luck!

nStiver
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Re: Suggestions for Practice Tests

Postby nStiver » Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:07 pm

nStiver wrote:I also took a Kaplan course. It may be a painful pill to swallow, but I would ditch their methods and use powerscore's instead. Stay in the class, keep taking their practice tests, but buy yourself a copy of the Logic Games Bible and the Logical Reasoning Bible. It will be the best LSAT investment you ever make. Use Powerscore's methods for logical reasoning and above all, use their methods for logic games! The Kaplan method largely blows and is geared toward marketing over quality. It sucks admitting that you just spent 1000+ dollars on a mediocre course, but you can at least maximize the benefits of the course by making proper use of the materials they give you.

Use the entire Mastery Practice; it doesn't matter whether or not they give you old questions, just work through everything you can get your hands on at this stage. With regard to the mastery book, I found it works best in conjunction with the Logical Reasoning Bible. After you work through each problem type in the LRB, work through the corresponding section in the Mastery book. If you can finish that beast before you take the test, you will have the fundamentals down.

Also, and I can not stress this enough, DO NOT WORRY ABOUT SEEING PROBLEMS AGAIN IN PT'S. The only score that matters is the one you get on game day. Just keep your nose to the grindstone and work on timing, concentration, and fundamentals. By the end of my test prepping, I had done so many problems that I couldn't go through a test without seeing a question I had already done. This is ok. Did you get a perfect score on that test? If not, then you still have something to learn from it. Review all your questions, but especially the ones you got wrong.

If you REALLY feel like you have seen to many questions before, start doing sections with less time. I finally started doing this during the week before the October 2010 test. I gave myself 30:00 minutes per section. I though it was going bring my PT scores down, but surprisingly, they were not that much lower. Your brain adapts quickly to less time, it becomes the norm if you do it for a while. This essentially saved my ass on test day: I finished every section early, something I never used to do. I had enough time to go take a leak after section 1. If I hadn't had that cushion of extra time, I would have had to leave the room with questions un-done.

I guess my main advice is to get the Powerscore books, start following Pithypike's schedule in the sticky at the top of the forum, and work through the mastery without worrying about seeing the questions again. The score on the practice tests does not matter, they only exist to get you to the point where you are so comfortable with the test that it will seem like a piece of cake on game day. Good Luck!

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Rawlberto
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Re: Suggestions for Practice Tests

Postby Rawlberto » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:17 pm

nStiver wrote:
nStiver wrote:I also took a Kaplan course. It may be a painful pill to swallow, but I would ditch their methods and use powerscore's instead. Stay in the class, keep taking their practice tests, but buy yourself a copy of the Logic Games Bible and the Logical Reasoning Bible. It will be the best LSAT investment you ever make. Use Powerscore's methods for logical reasoning and above all, use their methods for logic games! The Kaplan method largely blows and is geared toward marketing over quality. It sucks admitting that you just spent 1000+ dollars on a mediocre course, but you can at least maximize the benefits of the course by making proper use of the materials they give you.

Use the entire Mastery Practice; it doesn't matter whether or not they give you old questions, just work through everything you can get your hands on at this stage. With regard to the mastery book, I found it works best in conjunction with the Logical Reasoning Bible. After you work through each problem type in the LRB, work through the corresponding section in the Mastery book. If you can finish that beast before you take the test, you will have the fundamentals down.

Also, and I can not stress this enough, DO NOT WORRY ABOUT SEEING PROBLEMS AGAIN IN PT'S. The only score that matters is the one you get on game day. Just keep your nose to the grindstone and work on timing, concentration, and fundamentals. By the end of my test prepping, I had done so many problems that I couldn't go through a test without seeing a question I had already done. This is ok. Did you get a perfect score on that test? If not, then you still have something to learn from it. Review all your questions, but especially the ones you got wrong.

If you REALLY feel like you have seen to many questions before, start doing sections with less time. I finally started doing this during the week before the October 2010 test. I gave myself 30:00 minutes per section. I though it was going bring my PT scores down, but surprisingly, they were not that much lower. Your brain adapts quickly to less time, it becomes the norm if you do it for a while. This essentially saved my ass on test day: I finished every section early, something I never used to do. I had enough time to go take a leak after section 1. If I hadn't had that cushion of extra time, I would have had to leave the room with questions un-done.

I guess my main advice is to get the Powerscore books, start following Pithypike's schedule in the sticky at the top of the forum, and work through the mastery without worrying about seeing the questions again. The score on the practice tests does not matter, they only exist to get you to the point where you are so comfortable with the test that it will seem like a piece of cake on game day. Good Luck!


Actually I fully agree that Kaplan's methods are pretty awful if you are hoping to hit 160+. I just have the books left over from the class, but I have been using the LGB and LRB. Actually, I started at 141 at Kaplan and ended the course with a 152. Which is great and all, except all of it came due to the LRB which helped me improve tremendously in games. I honestly basically learned nothing for LR due to Kaplan, so I am trying to build up using the LRB. I was hoping to do pret tests at the beginning of next months, and then just continue reviewing in order to refine. Frankly, if Kaplan could just release the Mastery Books I would recommend that someone only use that, the methods they use are lacking.

Thanks for the tips on building up speed.

As the posted previously, I am currently hitting around 155+. I took a prep test and got a ton of LR incorrect, so I am just going to spend the rest of the month making sure that I am getting questions right. I probably won't start taking PTS until November, as doing bad on PTs seems to just cast doubt on what you are doing (mostly getting questions wrong due to my current pacing, not so much methods). Thanks for the advice everyone.

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GoGetIt
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Re: Suggestions for Practice Tests

Postby GoGetIt » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:09 am

nStiver wrote:I also took a Kaplan course. It may be a painful pill to swallow, but I would ditch their methods and use powerscore's instead. Stay in the class, keep taking their practice tests, but buy yourself a copy of the Logic Games Bible and the Logical Reasoning Bible. It will be the best LSAT investment you ever make. Use Powerscore's methods for logical reasoning and above all, use their methods for logic games! The Kaplan method largely blows and is geared toward marketing over quality. It sucks admitting that you just spent 1000+ dollars on a mediocre course, but you can at least maximize the benefits of the course by making proper use of the materials they give you.

Use the entire Mastery Practice; it doesn't matter whether or not they give you old questions, just work through everything you can get your hands on at this stage. With regard to the mastery book, I found it works best in conjunction with the Logical Reasoning Bible. After you work through each problem type in the LRB, work through the corresponding section in the Mastery book. If you can finish that beast before you take the test, you will have the fundamentals down.

Also, and I can not stress this enough, DO NOT WORRY ABOUT SEEING PROBLEMS AGAIN IN PT'S. The only score that matters is the one you get on game day. Just keep your nose to the grindstone and work on timing, concentration, and fundamentals. By the end of my test prepping, I had done so many problems that I couldn't go through a test without seeing a question I had already done. This is ok. Did you get a perfect score on that test? If not, then you still have something to learn from it. Review all your questions, but especially the ones you got wrong.

If you REALLY feel like you have seen to many questions before, start doing sections with less time. I finally started doing this during the week before the October 2010 test. I gave myself 30:00 minutes per section. I though it was going bring my PT scores down, but surprisingly, they were not that much lower. Your brain adapts quickly to less time, it becomes the norm if you do it for a while. This essentially saved my ass on test day: I finished every section early, something I never used to do. I had enough time to go take a leak after section 1. If I hadn't had that cushion of extra time, I don't know how I would have held it.

I guess my main advice is to get the Powerscore books, start following Pithypike's schedule in the sticky at the top of the forum, and work through the mastery without worrying about seeing the questions again. The score on the practice tests does not matter, they only exist to get you to the point where you are so comfortable with the test that it will seem like a piece of cake on game day. Good Luck!

Kaplan isn't AS bad as many say it is, you just have to make sure you do the homework. I took a Kaplan course as well. Everyone is always bashing their methods, however, I don't agree fully that all of their methods are flawed. Kaplan doesn't have the best classroom experience, granted, their methods with logical reasoning isn't all that bad. Moreover, I do concede to the fact that I gained a lot from the class because I had an excellent teacher; also to the fact that their logic games techniques aren't the best out there(bibles are GOLD). Kaplan isn't as bad as many make it seem. Not the best, but not horrible. Self-study is definitely the way to go imo.

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typ3
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Re: Suggestions for Practice Tests

Postby typ3 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:44 am

GoGetIt wrote:
nStiver wrote:I also took a Kaplan course. It may be a painful pill to swallow, but I would ditch their methods and use powerscore's instead. Stay in the class, keep taking their practice tests, but buy yourself a copy of the Logic Games Bible and the Logical Reasoning Bible. It will be the best LSAT investment you ever make. Use Powerscore's methods for logical reasoning and above all, use their methods for logic games! The Kaplan method largely blows and is geared toward marketing over quality. It sucks admitting that you just spent 1000+ dollars on a mediocre course, but you can at least maximize the benefits of the course by making proper use of the materials they give you.

Use the entire Mastery Practice; it doesn't matter whether or not they give you old questions, just work through everything you can get your hands on at this stage. With regard to the mastery book, I found it works best in conjunction with the Logical Reasoning Bible. After you work through each problem type in the LRB, work through the corresponding section in the Mastery book. If you can finish that beast before you take the test, you will have the fundamentals down.

Also, and I can not stress this enough, DO NOT WORRY ABOUT SEEING PROBLEMS AGAIN IN PT'S. The only score that matters is the one you get on game day. Just keep your nose to the grindstone and work on timing, concentration, and fundamentals. By the end of my test prepping, I had done so many problems that I couldn't go through a test without seeing a question I had already done. This is ok. Did you get a perfect score on that test? If not, then you still have something to learn from it. Review all your questions, but especially the ones you got wrong.

If you REALLY feel like you have seen to many questions before, start doing sections with less time. I finally started doing this during the week before the October 2010 test. I gave myself 30:00 minutes per section. I though it was going bring my PT scores down, but surprisingly, they were not that much lower. Your brain adapts quickly to less time, it becomes the norm if you do it for a while. This essentially saved my ass on test day: I finished every section early, something I never used to do. I had enough time to go take a leak after section 1. If I hadn't had that cushion of extra time, I don't know how I would have held it.

I guess my main advice is to get the Powerscore books, start following Pithypike's schedule in the sticky at the top of the forum, and work through the mastery without worrying about seeing the questions again. The score on the practice tests does not matter, they only exist to get you to the point where you are so comfortable with the test that it will seem like a piece of cake on game day. Good Luck!

Kaplan isn't AS bad as many say it is, you just have to make sure you do the homework. I took a Kaplan course as well. Everyone is always bashing their methods, however, I don't agree fully that all of their methods are flawed. Kaplan doesn't have the best classroom experience, granted, their methods with logical reasoning isn't all that bad. Moreover, I do concede to the fact that I gained a lot from the class because I had an excellent teacher; also to the fact that their logic games techniques aren't the best out there(bibles are GOLD). Kaplan isn't as bad as many make it seem. Not the best, but not horrible. Self-study is definitely the way to go imo.



It's not like the prep companies have drastically different methods. Nearly all of them follow the exact same format for courses as Kaplan. By this I mean, they introduce a problem type, assign you the homework in a mastery book, later in the course you move to timed sections, and finally full PT's.

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GoGetIt
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Re: Suggestions for Practice Tests

Postby GoGetIt » Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:52 am

typ3 wrote:
GoGetIt wrote:
nStiver wrote:I also took a Kaplan course. It may be a painful pill to swallow, but I would ditch their methods and use powerscore's instead. Stay in the class, keep taking their practice tests, but buy yourself a copy of the Logic Games Bible and the Logical Reasoning Bible. It will be the best LSAT investment you ever make. Use Powerscore's methods for logical reasoning and above all, use their methods for logic games! The Kaplan method largely blows and is geared toward marketing over quality. It sucks admitting that you just spent 1000+ dollars on a mediocre course, but you can at least maximize the benefits of the course by making proper use of the materials they give you.

Use the entire Mastery Practice; it doesn't matter whether or not they give you old questions, just work through everything you can get your hands on at this stage. With regard to the mastery book, I found it works best in conjunction with the Logical Reasoning Bible. After you work through each problem type in the LRB, work through the corresponding section in the Mastery book. If you can finish that beast before you take the test, you will have the fundamentals down.

Also, and I can not stress this enough, DO NOT WORRY ABOUT SEEING PROBLEMS AGAIN IN PT'S. The only score that matters is the one you get on game day. Just keep your nose to the grindstone and work on timing, concentration, and fundamentals. By the end of my test prepping, I had done so many problems that I couldn't go through a test without seeing a question I had already done. This is ok. Did you get a perfect score on that test? If not, then you still have something to learn from it. Review all your questions, but especially the ones you got wrong.

If you REALLY feel like you have seen to many questions before, start doing sections with less time. I finally started doing this during the week before the October 2010 test. I gave myself 30:00 minutes per section. I though it was going bring my PT scores down, but surprisingly, they were not that much lower. Your brain adapts quickly to less time, it becomes the norm if you do it for a while. This essentially saved my ass on test day: I finished every section early, something I never used to do. I had enough time to go take a leak after section 1. If I hadn't had that cushion of extra time, I don't know how I would have held it.

I guess my main advice is to get the Powerscore books, start following Pithypike's schedule in the sticky at the top of the forum, and work through the mastery without worrying about seeing the questions again. The score on the practice tests does not matter, they only exist to get you to the point where you are so comfortable with the test that it will seem like a piece of cake on game day. Good Luck!

Kaplan isn't AS bad as many say it is, you just have to make sure you do the homework. I took a Kaplan course as well. Everyone is always bashing their methods, however, I don't agree fully that all of their methods are flawed. Kaplan doesn't have the best classroom experience, granted, their methods with logical reasoning isn't all that bad. Moreover, I do concede to the fact that I gained a lot from the class because I had an excellent teacher; also to the fact that their logic games techniques aren't the best out there(bibles are GOLD). Kaplan isn't as bad as many make it seem. Not the best, but not horrible. Self-study is definitely the way to go imo.



It's not like the prep companies have drastically different methods. Nearly all of them follow the exact same format for courses as Kaplan. By this I mean, they introduce a problem type, assign you the homework in a mastery book, later in the course you move to timed sections, and finally full PT's.

Agreed. In addition, I feel that all of these courses are indeed very similar. What makes or breaks the student is how much effort they are willing to put in on their own time. Many people expect to just show up for class and score a 180 without doing the necessary work.

overunderachiever
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Re: Suggestions for Practice Tests

Postby overunderachiever » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:09 am

Kaplan's LG and RC methods aren't very useful...but they provide a good starting point for LR

nStiver
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Re: Suggestions for Practice Tests

Postby nStiver » Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:55 pm

typ3 wrote:
GoGetIt wrote:
nStiver wrote:I also took a Kaplan course. It may be a painful pill to swallow, but I would ditch their methods and use powerscore's instead. Stay in the class, keep taking their practice tests, but buy yourself a copy of the Logic Games Bible and the Logical Reasoning Bible. It will be the best LSAT investment you ever make. Use Powerscore's methods for logical reasoning and above all, use their methods for logic games! The Kaplan method largely blows and is geared toward marketing over quality. It sucks admitting that you just spent 1000+ dollars on a mediocre course, but you can at least maximize the benefits of the course by making proper use of the materials they give you.

Use the entire Mastery Practice; it doesn't matter whether or not they give you old questions, just work through everything you can get your hands on at this stage. With regard to the mastery book, I found it works best in conjunction with the Logical Reasoning Bible. After you work through each problem type in the LRB, work through the corresponding section in the Mastery book. If you can finish that beast before you take the test, you will have the fundamentals down.

Also, and I can not stress this enough, DO NOT WORRY ABOUT SEEING PROBLEMS AGAIN IN PT'S. The only score that matters is the one you get on game day. Just keep your nose to the grindstone and work on timing, concentration, and fundamentals. By the end of my test prepping, I had done so many problems that I couldn't go through a test without seeing a question I had already done. This is ok. Did you get a perfect score on that test? If not, then you still have something to learn from it. Review all your questions, but especially the ones you got wrong.

If you REALLY feel like you have seen to many questions before, start doing sections with less time. I finally started doing this during the week before the October 2010 test. I gave myself 30:00 minutes per section. I though it was going bring my PT scores down, but surprisingly, they were not that much lower. Your brain adapts quickly to less time, it becomes the norm if you do it for a while. This essentially saved my ass on test day: I finished every section early, something I never used to do. I had enough time to go take a leak after section 1. If I hadn't had that cushion of extra time, I don't know how I would have held it.

I guess my main advice is to get the Powerscore books, start following Pithypike's schedule in the sticky at the top of the forum, and work through the mastery without worrying about seeing the questions again. The score on the practice tests does not matter, they only exist to get you to the point where you are so comfortable with the test that it will seem like a piece of cake on game day. Good Luck!

Kaplan isn't AS bad as many say it is, you just have to make sure you do the homework. I took a Kaplan course as well. Everyone is always bashing their methods, however, I don't agree fully that all of their methods are flawed. Kaplan doesn't have the best classroom experience, granted, their methods with logical reasoning isn't all that bad. Moreover, I do concede to the fact that I gained a lot from the class because I had an excellent teacher; also to the fact that their logic games techniques aren't the best out there(bibles are GOLD). Kaplan isn't as bad as many make it seem. Not the best, but not horrible. Self-study is definitely the way to go imo.



It's not like the prep companies have drastically different methods. Nearly all of them follow the exact same format for courses as Kaplan. By this I mean, they introduce a problem type, assign you the homework in a mastery book, later in the course you move to timed sections, and finally full PT's.


GoGetIt, you are correct that all the prep courses present the information in roughly the same order. However, I am not bashing the sequence of the Kaplan course, as you described above. My problem is with the content.

Although I think there are way better options out there than Kaplan, a person could conceivably score well using the Kaplan Method. Hell, a really smart girl in my class scored a 170 using their stuff. I just think the way they explain this method is sub-par. For the serious LSAT student that is bent on cracking 160+, there are better materials out there. Kaplan fill's their written explanations and instruction with quick one liners and vague explanations. When going through the Mastery book, I have seen several, honest to god, bad explanations for LR questions. While they give you the correct answer, they literally give an incorrect reason for why that choice is correct, and why the others are not. Its like it was written by people who were given a crash course in the Kaplan Method, and told to write explanations for 1000+ problems.

That being said, I do like that the Kaplan course gives you so many problems to work with. If a Kaplan student of average intelligence were to work through every single problem they give you, they would get a good score. For me, I discovered the LGB and LRB half way through my Kaplan course and saw that they were on a whole different level. You don't get the feeling that they cut corners, like you do with Kaplan. PS breaks everything down for you. Its dense reading, but I think it is great.

Adding to my negative Kaplan experience was that my teacher was atrocious. She would literally blow through the material as fast as she possibly could, and declare with satisfaction that she was "faster" than the other teachers. She would then let us out 1 to 2 hours early every single day of class. It was like she thought this was somehow good. She was really snippy and got mad when people didn't get her explanations. Ultimately, it was the letting us out early and the "I want to finish the class as fast as possible, which proves I am better than the other instructors" attitude that really robbed us. Its almost criminal, we all pay 1000+ dollars for a course, and the full class time is supposed to be part of that. It still pisses me off to this day.

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lakers3peat
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Re: Suggestions for Practice Tests

Postby lakers3peat » Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:25 pm

"She was really snippy and got mad when people didn't get her explanations. Ultimately, it was the letting us out early and the "I want to finish the class as fast as possible, which proves I am better than the other instructors" "


Haha, I laugh at this because I had the similar experience with my instructor except it was Testmasters. She never let you out early---she was obliged to teach the full 4 hours--- but she would get through the lesson quickly then go over specific homework questions or drills at which time most people would get up and leave(if they hadn't already). She never took time to answer specific questions about specific homework questions(lol).

Actually what annoyed me the most was how my instructor thought she was the "cool instructor." She dressed 'fashionably' and talked like she was a 'homey' not a prep class instructor. I swear one time she compared herself to other instructors by saying, "during training, other instructors would give detailed, complicated answers and I would be like 'Bs the right answer because that s**t doesn't work without the other s**t being right also'" Honestly I am paraphrasing but she did refer to stuff on the lsat like it was meaningless and not worth taking completely seriously. I am glad she got 170+ but ugh, she's a teacher and should teach? Maybe it was me personally but I wanted someone who could be completely technical and be enthusiastic about it; not someone who was stoked because they did well and are now making bank trying to explain their broke sense of logic to others.

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GoGetIt
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Re: Suggestions for Practice Tests

Postby GoGetIt » Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:08 am

nStiver wrote:
typ3 wrote:
GoGetIt wrote:
nStiver wrote:I also took a Kaplan course. It may be a painful pill to swallow, but I would ditch their methods and use powerscore's instead. Stay in the class, keep taking their practice tests, but buy yourself a copy of the Logic Games Bible and the Logical Reasoning Bible. It will be the best LSAT investment you ever make. Use Powerscore's methods for logical reasoning and above all, use their methods for logic games! The Kaplan method largely blows and is geared toward marketing over quality. It sucks admitting that you just spent 1000+ dollars on a mediocre course, but you can at least maximize the benefits of the course by making proper use of the materials they give you.

Use the entire Mastery Practice; it doesn't matter whether or not they give you old questions, just work through everything you can get your hands on at this stage. With regard to the mastery book, I found it works best in conjunction with the Logical Reasoning Bible. After you work through each problem type in the LRB, work through the corresponding section in the Mastery book. If you can finish that beast before you take the test, you will have the fundamentals down.

Also, and I can not stress this enough, DO NOT WORRY ABOUT SEEING PROBLEMS AGAIN IN PT'S. The only score that matters is the one you get on game day. Just keep your nose to the grindstone and work on timing, concentration, and fundamentals. By the end of my test prepping, I had done so many problems that I couldn't go through a test without seeing a question I had already done. This is ok. Did you get a perfect score on that test? If not, then you still have something to learn from it. Review all your questions, but especially the ones you got wrong.

If you REALLY feel like you have seen to many questions before, start doing sections with less time. I finally started doing this during the week before the October 2010 test. I gave myself 30:00 minutes per section. I though it was going bring my PT scores down, but surprisingly, they were not that much lower. Your brain adapts quickly to less time, it becomes the norm if you do it for a while. This essentially saved my ass on test day: I finished every section early, something I never used to do. I had enough time to go take a leak after section 1. If I hadn't had that cushion of extra time, I don't know how I would have held it.

I guess my main advice is to get the Powerscore books, start following Pithypike's schedule in the sticky at the top of the forum, and work through the mastery without worrying about seeing the questions again. The score on the practice tests does not matter, they only exist to get you to the point where you are so comfortable with the test that it will seem like a piece of cake on game day. Good Luck!

Kaplan isn't AS bad as many say it is, you just have to make sure you do the homework. I took a Kaplan course as well. Everyone is always bashing their methods, however, I don't agree fully that all of their methods are flawed. Kaplan doesn't have the best classroom experience, granted, their methods with logical reasoning isn't all that bad. Moreover, I do concede to the fact that I gained a lot from the class because I had an excellent teacher; also to the fact that their logic games techniques aren't the best out there(bibles are GOLD). Kaplan isn't as bad as many make it seem. Not the best, but not horrible. Self-study is definitely the way to go imo.



It's not like the prep companies have drastically different methods. Nearly all of them follow the exact same format for courses as Kaplan. By this I mean, they introduce a problem type, assign you the homework in a mastery book, later in the course you move to timed sections, and finally full PT's.


GoGetIt, you are correct that all the prep courses present the information in roughly the same order. However, I am not bashing the sequence of the Kaplan course, as you described above. My problem is with the content.

Although I think there are way better options out there than Kaplan, a person could conceivably score well using the Kaplan Method. Hell, a really smart girl in my class scored a 170 using their stuff. I just think the way they explain this method is sub-par. For the serious LSAT student that is bent on cracking 160+, there are better materials out there. Kaplan fill's their written explanations and instruction with quick one liners and vague explanations. When going through the Mastery book, I have seen several, honest to god, bad explanations for LR questions. While they give you the correct answer, they literally give an incorrect reason for why that choice is correct, and why the others are not. Its like it was written by people who were given a crash course in the Kaplan Method, and told to write explanations for 1000+ problems.

That being said, I do like that the Kaplan course gives you so many problems to work with. If a Kaplan student of average intelligence were to work through every single problem they give you, they would get a good score. For me, I discovered the LGB and LRB half way through my Kaplan course and saw that they were on a whole different level. You don't get the feeling that they cut corners, like you do with Kaplan. PS breaks everything down for you. Its dense reading, but I think it is great.

Adding to my negative Kaplan experience was that my teacher was atrocious. She would literally blow through the material as fast as she possibly could, and declare with satisfaction that she was "faster" than the other teachers. She would then let us out 1 to 2 hours early every single day of class. It was like she thought this was somehow good. She was really snippy and got mad when people didn't get her explanations. Ultimately, it was the letting us out early and the "I want to finish the class as fast as possible, which proves I am better than the other instructors" attitude that really robbed us. Its almost criminal, we all pay 1000+ dollars for a course, and the full class time is supposed to be part of that. It still pisses me off to this day.

Touche. Kaplan methods are not the worst but their explanations are certainly disappointing. It's almost as if they are just going strictly by their lesson plan that consists of several redundant Kaplan "one-liners"(ex. Sure these seem hard but KAPLAN will help solve any problem). Maybe I speak for myself on this one but I heard a lot of this during my course and the student/teacher interaction wasn't the greatest. I did the homework ;a significant amount of the improvement is from my individual work and not their teaching. Kaplan's classroom experience just isn't up there and is by far this course's biggest issue. The most positive thing I gained from the course was a load of prep materials to use in my self-study. All-in-all I felt as if I was scammed out of $1000. :|




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