I'm an LSAT tutor. Below is what I posted after the June test. I truly hope that each of you who didn't do what you know was your best find a way to figure out what you need to do differently next time. Feel free to PM me and I'll be happy to talk it out with you. Take care.
A few observations from an LSAT tutor:
Many of you mention that you hit well below your PT's. This is a certain indicator of the need for stress management. You should prepare for this aspect of the test with as much diligence as you devote to the test content. One stress management technique, developed as a treatment for anxiety but now popular with world-class athletes, is Progressive Muscle Relaxation, or PMR. Once mastered, it's a powerful tool for leveling your energy and freeing your brain to do its best. You'll find many free downloads of PMR programs if you Google the term. My favorite collection of PMR -- and other relaxation/breathing techniques for de-stressing -- is here:
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Regular practice of deep breathing techniques, combined with PMR, produces an automatic, muscle-memory response to relax at the onset of anxiety. The result is vastly improved clarity of thought, better sleep patterns, and a general sense of confidence and well-being. But it's an acquired skill, so it's best to begin at once.
Some of you tanked on the fifth section. This probably indicates an endurance problem. Consider working many five-and six-section PT's, especially in the month before Game Day. They can be enough to make you gag, but I guarantee they do improve your mental toughness. If you don't feel you'll apply yourself if you know which are the "experimental sections" (which you put together from the older PT's), have a friend do a little cut-and-paste graphics job and put them together for you. It's a bit of a pain but worth it if you need that crutch. Cambridge LSAT has put together some 5-Section tests, and you can purchase them in pdf files (yes, they ARE legal and the publisher IS an LSAC licensee) instantly for downloadhttp://www.cambridgelsat.com/product/ls
Those who were hit by RC have mentioned reading this summer, especially complex materials such as The Economist. That's a great idea as far as it goes, but you also should commit to routinely tackling actual RC sections. This is so for at least two reasons: The most sophisticated periodicals out there are no match for those garbled RC passages. Try underlining the subject and predicate of the more complex sentences as you read; a favorite trick of lsac is to entwine these two components in a morass of subordinate clauses and prepositional phrases. Thus the next reason for faithfully tackling RC PT's: It's the only way you'll develop an intuitive sense of what the test-takers expect. That's why RC is the most challenging for tutors; it can be difficult to discern a pattern of weakness.
For LR, a great free resource is the podcast series, Logic in Everyday Life: http://www.princetonreview.com/lsat-logic.aspx
Each podcast takes an example of argumentation from a TV ad or a political speech and analyzes it in terms of LR. Please don't mistake my recommending something published by Princeton Review as any enthusiasm by me for that company (but to each his own of course; apologies to Admin Ken). Each 'cast is just a few minutes long and, if you listen daily, you will see your LR mindset improve.
As for LG: Know your conditional statements cold. You may think you already do, but you CAN improve. I'm convinced that one reason (of several) the dreaded dinosaur game from PT 57 threw so many test-takers is the phrasing of the conditional rules. Go through your LG's and note the phrasing of each conditional statement. You may want to make flash cards. I'm working on a set and I'll post a template when they're complete. Improving your recognition of the correct form of any conditional statement will improve both accuracy and speed on LG's. Of course, you must also practice, practice, practice. If a certain game type gives you trouble, consider getting a set of that type. Cambridge has them in sets for a very good price: http://www.cambridgelsat.com/product/ls
I have a bias against classes, but I feel that they make especially little sense for the re-taker. You already know the basics. Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. What this means for some of you is that just drilling through the PT's may not be the answer either. Re-takers need to "study smart." You each will need something different. I would suggest, as a first step, analyzing each missed question by type (e.g. LR Most Strongly Supported, RC Main Point, etc.). Do this on your actual test, and on your old PT's if you still have them. If you have trouble identifying your weaknesses, a tutor can be a valuable tool. There are many of us out there; be sure you can visit with one to see whether you will be compatible as to learning/teaching style AND your individual needs BEFORE you are required to pay for a session. The right tutor, the best teaching tools (PowerScore Bibles IMO), and of course plenty of actual LSAT PT sections, and timed PT's can be the most effective -- and cost-effective prep.
The point is: You have to figure out exactly what went wrong last time and change it up accordingly. The retake process actually can be quite satisfying if you view it as an opportunity to complete a work in progress.
My very best to you all.