Growth between a cold diagnostic and solid studying?

pwyoung
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Growth between a cold diagnostic and solid studying?

Postby pwyoung » Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:08 am

I took a practice test cold as a part of law school week just to see where I'm at. Came out to a 152 with no prior experience on it.

I guess my question is how much of a difference is there between starting to study and just a cold run through? A 152 obviously worries me quite a bit but I've got over a year before I'm even thinking about taking an LSAT, and I'll definitely get into studying for it.

Should I start studying now here and there? I was thinking about getting the Bibles and then maybe doing a PT a month just to keep making progress until the last few months before I take it where I can get more intensive with it.

Thanks for any help guys.

vodkashot
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Re: Growth between a cold diagnostic and solid studying?

Postby vodkashot » Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:21 am

pwyoung, I don't think you have to worry.

I started out with a similar cold diagnostic, but am now regularly scoring in the mid-to-high 160s (last PT written: 168) after about 2 months of sporadic studying while finishing up my senior year of undergrad and balancing my 5839581 extracurriculars at the same time. You have a year, which is more than enough time to improve to your desired score.

Your score will shoot up significantly after you learn the basic fundamentals of how to approach the questions, then will gradually improve when you do more and more PTs and get used to the what the LSAT demands you to think. Anyways, the LG Bible is absolutely fantastic, just finishing the LG Bible boosted me about 8 points. The LR Bible is, I find, a bit less useful but it does have handy sections on things like formal logic and conditional reasoning, but I find that practice really makes perfect for LR.

thegrayman
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Re: Growth between a cold diagnostic and solid studying?

Postby thegrayman » Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:08 am

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Last edited by thegrayman on Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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typ3
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Re: Growth between a cold diagnostic and solid studying?

Postby typ3 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:23 am

Yea, you can improve a great deal.

However, I wouldnt' give your second or third PT's too much weight. I went down considerably on them as I adapted to new testing methods that slowed me down / I didn't have a firm grasp of.

By the 4th PT and a month later I had already improved 7/8 points.

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Ginj
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Re: Growth between a cold diagnostic and solid studying?

Postby Ginj » Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:44 am

pwyoung wrote:I took a practice test cold as a part of law school week just to see where I'm at. Came out to a 152 with no prior experience on it.

I guess my question is how much of a difference is there between starting to study and just a cold run through? A 152 obviously worries me quite a bit but I've got over a year before I'm even thinking about taking an LSAT, and I'll definitely get into studying for it.

Should I start studying now here and there? I was thinking about getting the Bibles and then maybe doing a PT a month just to keep making progress until the last few months before I take it where I can get more intensive with it.

Thanks for any help guys.


I went from a 155 to a 169 in a month. I also neglect most of my other responsibilities to study.

Meh.

cowgirl_bebop
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Re: Growth between a cold diagnostic and solid studying?

Postby cowgirl_bebop » Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:15 am

A 152 cold diagnostic is nothing to worry about, especially if you have about a year to prepare. You can make a great deal of progress in that amount of time.

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yzero1
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Re: Growth between a cold diagnostic and solid studying?

Postby yzero1 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:20 am

I wouldn't worry about it. In fact, if you really have over a year to study, I'd forget about the LSAT until at least 4-5 months before the test date and just focus on bringing up my grades in the meantime. For the record, I improved 17 points from my diagnostic, and even bigger jumps are not unheard of.

mst
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Re: Growth between a cold diagnostic and solid studying?

Postby mst » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:26 am

On the safe side, I think most people can improve at least 8-10 points with a decent amount of work. Despite what many of the people on this board will tell you, most people don't improve 15-20 points, regardless of how much work they put in.

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typ3
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Re: Growth between a cold diagnostic and solid studying?

Postby typ3 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:31 am

mst wrote:On the safe side, I think most people can improve at least 8-10 points with a decent amount of work. Despite what many of the people on this board will tell you, most people don't improve 15-20 points, regardless of how much work they put in.


Most people outside of this board don't improve 8-10 points.


I've heard from a variety of test companies that 3-7 is where the majority of preppers end up.

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2Serious4Numbers
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Re: Growth between a cold diagnostic and solid studying?

Postby 2Serious4Numbers » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:43 am

+19 off diag. It's definitely doable with your timeframe

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s0ph1e2007
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Re: Growth between a cold diagnostic and solid studying?

Postby s0ph1e2007 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:44 am

with a lot of study you can definitely improve 15 points

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TommyK
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Re: Growth between a cold diagnostic and solid studying?

Postby TommyK » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:45 am

I had a lukewarm diagnostic (was familiar with question types, but not strategies nor had developed endurance) of 153, ended scoring 167 on lsat in October. Prepping about 10-20 hours per week (I work FT), over course of about 5 months - two 2 1/2 month times.

The amount you increase I think is largely going to be a function of how well your prepare. Looking back, I could have studied more. And if I had focused on my weak area (logic games), I could have walked out of October with low 170's (LG was -8; total was -16).

The other variable is how refined your skills are already. If you already have fairly well-refined critical thinking skills and you just have to work on speed and timing, your ceiling is going to be much higher than if you have to develop those critical thinking skills.

152 is a diagnostic you should feel comfortable with. The positive side is that you're concerned about it. I'd say about half the people at my LSAT center displayed a complete unfamiliarity with the test (asking questions like, "how many sections are there?"). You've sought out an awesome clearinghouse of information on this website and if you dedicate some serious time and effort to practice under testing conditions, you can earn a score you're happy with.

Good luck

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incompetentia
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Re: Growth between a cold diagnostic and solid studying?

Postby incompetentia » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:49 am

There's no point in studying for a full year except maybe occasionally, but if you put the work in, you can probably improve quite a bit.

In 4 weeks of studying, I managed to score +12 off my diagnostic - that's not necessarily the norm maybe (and I had some luck) but with your timeframe I would consider +12 a reasonable goal (and more is possible).

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dpk711
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Re: Growth between a cold diagnostic and solid studying?

Postby dpk711 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:20 pm

159---->172 here
15 point difference doable, I was scoring in the mid 170s on my PTs though

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BxNYC
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Re: Growth between a cold diagnostic and solid studying?

Postby BxNYC » Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:01 pm

I also had a 152 diagnostic earlier this year and just scored a 168 on the October exam. Improving by 15+ points is definitely possible.

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joeysun
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Re: Growth between a cold diagnostic and solid studying?

Postby joeysun » Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:05 pm

First cold diagnostic was 145.

I took a Testmasters course and did at least 15 practice tests after the Testmasters course ended (I delayed my actual LSAT in order to prepare more).

Highest practice test was 169. Usually tested in the 164-range. Actually scored 162.

So, dramatic improvement is very possible. I'd say taking numerous practice tests are your best bet, once you actually understand how the LSAT works. Learn the test first; then, work on doing it faster.

HTH

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AverageTutoring
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Re: Growth between a cold diagnostic and solid studying?

Postby AverageTutoring » Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:22 pm

Cold diagnostics are a poor indicator of future success. They are very good at showing how much you need to improve and where, but in terms of predicting your actual score, they have about as much correlation to that as the size of the average apple in your fridge.

Most people don't improve more then 10 points from their diagnostic because they don't put in the effort. That's not to say studying for 15+ hours a day is a guarantee of a good score, just that it is possible and it might take longer for some people then others. I.e. one student may need to study over a year and let the material slowly seep into their sub-conscious, others may need 3 weeks to improve 10 points. It's all relative. But what everybody has in common is the ability to kill this exam.

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paratactical
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Re: Growth between a cold diagnostic and solid studying?

Postby paratactical » Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:34 pm

While most of what these guys are saying is true and that it is possible to increase, it's also possible to increase dramatically in practice but then still do as badly or even worse than your diagnostic on a real LSAT exam. The actual pressure of the test surprises a lot of people and it's incredibly difficult to figure out who will do well and who won't. There is definitely the possibility for a lot of improvement from your diagnostic, but the flip side is possible, as well.




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