June 2011 Study Group

sarahellenadkins
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Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby sarahellenadkins » Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:52 pm

So I've been reading this forum for a while, but this is my first time posting....I am in a bit of an emergency/panic attack.

I began studying for the LSAT in January to take it in June. I work full time with Americorps, am married, and have a house, so I knew I wouldn't have the option of studying 8 hours a day. Instead, I've studied 1-2 hours every day for going on 4 months now.

At first, I didn't do well on LR or LG, but very well in RC (averaging 2-4 missed per section from my very first test). I studied intensively LR and LG and improved both sections (Average 1-2 in LG and 4-7 total in LR). My scores went up, at the highest to 175. Side note- my goal is 170. Then, suddenly, a few weeks ago, everything started falling apart. My RC scores went from -2 to, at worst, -9, and, at average, -7!!!!

So I bought Manhattan RC guide, at the suggestion of many on this thread, and I read it, and it's good, and my RC score improved slightly. But now LG and LR are falling apart! And my scores are declining rapidly and continuously. I just finished PT 55 with a 161!!!! :shock: This is a mere two points about my absolute cold never-seen-the-LSAT-before diagnostic test. Way too much information- but here are my scores from the very beginning:


159
161
165
165
162
160
161
165
162
164
165
175
168
171
173
171
165
168
169
166
168
166
165
161

I study certain sections (from Powerscore, Manhattan books) every night and try to do at least one timed section every night, as well as one to two full timed tests per week. I review these tests as well as I can, trying to identify my weaknesses. I really thought I was getting this test down!! I thought about burnout, took a couple days off for a trip and now I'm back, and worse than ever.

Any advice/I've-been-there comments welcome! I seriously am at a loss as to what to do.

jim-green
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Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby jim-green » Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:20 pm

sarahellenadkins wrote:So I've been reading this forum for a while, but this is my first time posting....I am in a bit of an emergency/panic attack. I study certain sections (from Powerscore, Manhattan books) every night and try to do at least one timed section every night, as well as one to two full timed tests per week. I review these tests as well as I can, trying to identify my weaknesses. I really thought I was getting this test down!! I thought about burnout, took a couple days off for a trip and now I'm back, and worse than ever.
This is exactly what happened to me 2 weeks before the Feb 2011 test. It was burnout. I took 2 days off and came back with a strong score on the next PT. Note: taking 2 days off means really off, not doing sections. The 2 days before the Feb test, I thought I should relax so did 7 timed sections over the 2 days instead of a PT. Big mistake. It was not relaxing and hence I was tired out and had a big score drop. Physical exercise helped me throughout the study.

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tmon
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Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby tmon » Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:33 pm

jim-green wrote:
sarahellenadkins wrote:So I've been reading this forum for a while, but this is my first time posting....I am in a bit of an emergency/panic attack. I study certain sections (from Powerscore, Manhattan books) every night and try to do at least one timed section every night, as well as one to two full timed tests per week. I review these tests as well as I can, trying to identify my weaknesses. I really thought I was getting this test down!! I thought about burnout, took a couple days off for a trip and now I'm back, and worse than ever.
This is exactly what happened to me 2 weeks before the Feb 2011 test. It was burnout. I took 2 days off and came back with a strong score on the next PT. Note: taking 2 days off means really off, not doing sections. The 2 days before the Feb test, I thought I should relax so did 7 timed sections over the 2 days instead of a PT. Big mistake. It was not relaxing and hence I was tired out and had a big score drop. Physical exercise helped me throughout the study.



Yeah, I bet a lot of the issues you're having are burnout/nerves related, but I don't always think you have to completely put the test away in order to get past it. The fact that you've scored in your range for multiple tests in a row indicates that you definitely have the ability. Are you pushing yourself to get through the questions? I've been realizing lately that I'm pushing too hard on LR and it's actually slowing me down because I end up rereading stimuli. Additionally, while a lot of people like to psych themselves up for their test, I've been trying to calm myself into a chill but focused state, with generally positive effects. In these ways, practice just seems less stressful. You can look at wrong answers as opportunity to fix something you're not doing right, rather than something to dwell on and be annoyed at.

Not sure if you think this would apply to you, but in the event that it does, I thought I'd share.

Also, fellow Americorps here...and while I don't have a spouse/house, I know that can be an extra stressor.
Keep at it!

sarahellenadkins
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Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby sarahellenadkins » Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:53 pm

I did take 3 whole days off on a true vacation not doing anything related to the LSAT (except thinking too much about the fact that I should be studying) and have since upped my studying 1-2 hours per day.

I do think one of my major problems is I just started thinking too much about everything. As soon as I got LG under time, I have taken every test timed since then. On a whim, I took one test untimed and actually did very poorly on it. I think it just got me out of rhythm/made me analyze each question too much.

The problem is that I don't know how to get back to where I was!

I don't get nervous while taking tests. I'm generally a really easy-going test taker. I think this string of declining test scores has gotten me very nervous, though I really don't get nervous until I realize I scored -9 in a section!!

Does anyone have any advice on reviewing tests? I keep reading that's hte key to improving and I'm not sure I'm doing it entirely correctly. I usually re-do the specific missed problem and, if I get it right or wrong the second time, I analyze why I missed it and why the correct answer is right and my old answer is wrong. I just don't know what else to do.

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99.9luft
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Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby 99.9luft » Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:02 pm

sarahellenadkins wrote:Any advice/I've-been-there comments welcome! I seriously am at a loss as to what to do.


First of all what PTs were the recent ones? They do change over time, and with an emotional burnout, the latest PTs (or at least not the 90s ones) can seem much harder than they actually are, resulting in a frustration and low scores.

Secondly, can't emphasize enough how much emotional stability matters for this test. It allows you to not misread, to not rush, to not freak out.

Lastly, agree with jim that physical exercise can help achieve the aforementioned stability. Check out yoga classes, or just go run a mile per day and you will notice important changes in midset/stamina.

p.s. taking a break matters, too, however what matters more is what you do right after you get back from the break. Proper review procedures as well as drilling can often help more than constant (and often fruitless) PTing. Figure out how to learn from your mistakes, don't stress out, and be genuinely excited before each exam.

sarahellenadkins
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Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby sarahellenadkins » Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:03 pm

And yes, I work at a Domestic Violence Shelter with Americorps....super super stressful 100% of the time!! Unfortunately...can't remove that stressor!

sarahellenadkins
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Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby sarahellenadkins » Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:08 pm

Thanks for all the advice. I recently gave up my morning workouts to study more. Maybe that was a bad call.... Next week I'll get back on the workout routine!

And some of the PTs have been recent, in the 50s, but some have been in the 20s...so no correlation on that end.

I try to tell myself I am completely capable of a 170 while taking the test. I normally don't freak out. I just am not sure how to relax to get my score back up.

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tmon
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Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby tmon » Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:09 pm

sarahellenadkins wrote:Does anyone have any advice on reviewing tests? I keep reading that's hte key to improving and I'm not sure I'm doing it entirely correctly. I usually re-do the specific missed problem and, if I get it right or wrong the second time, I analyze why I missed it and why the correct answer is right and my old answer is wrong. I just don't know what else to do.


Yeah, there's no point in taking the PTs unless you're reviewing them well enough to change what you're doing wrong. Have you tried taking the test twice, first timed, then untimed? A lot of people really have good things to say about that method. Unless you're psyching yourself out, I can't see any reason for you to not be able to score as high/higher on an untimed test than timed. If you have the time for it, go through each question, completely analyzing the passage/stimulus/game, and make sure you're very clear on why your chosen answer is correct, but also exactly why all the others are wrong.

Another issue to consider is WHICH tests you've been taking. Since they change somewhat, it might take time to adjust to newer ones.

I still think there's a chance that you're approaching the test differently lately, especially with you saying that you might be thinking about things too much mid-test. I feel like there's a thin line between "well, my gut says it's B, but some of the other choices look good too..." and "I'm fairly confident it's B because I've looked over the other choices and they seem inferior based on the conclusion in the stimulus. I know from experience how easy it is to convince yourself that your gut feeling is correct for all the wrong reasons.


It might be worth planning on doing some sections untimed, just to show yourself you can get the right answers and gain some confidence. I did a little of that with reading comp last week, and had significant improvement on my last PT...might've helped.

sarahellenadkins
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Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby sarahellenadkins » Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:13 pm

tmon wrote:I still think there's a chance that you're approaching the test differently lately, especially with you saying that you might be thinking about things too much mid-test. I feel like there's a thin line between "well, my gut says it's B, but some of the other choices look good too..." and "I'm fairly confident it's B because I've looked over the other choices and they seem inferior based on the conclusion in the stimulus. I know from experience how easy it is to convince yourself that your gut feeling is correct for all the wrong reason


I am definitely taking the tests differently! I am way over-analyzing things that I should just know and move on. Instead of going with my gut more, I am actually going against my initial reaction to a question...hmm...

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mickeyD
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Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby mickeyD » Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:33 pm

What suggestions do you guys have for taking that step up to the next level in LR? I'm currently hitting around -5/-7 total, and am hoping to get that down to -3/-4. Never gotten better than -2 on a section.

I've gone through the LRB, considering the MLSAT guide. Is it worth it? I improved from -10/-11 by just doing like 500 grouped questions, but I don't know if continuing that is gonna push me any further. I feel like there's some kind of adjustment that I need to make before I continue to plow through.

I want to hit a -0, preferably more than once, in the next 43 days. What did you guys do to reach that elite level?

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soj
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Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby soj » Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:39 pm

I saw Jane Eyre at the movies today. Here's part of a conversation between me and my friend, who didn't come with me to watch JE:

Me: Jane Eyre was so good!
Friend: Oh, have you seen the black and white version?
Me: You mean the book?

The conversation between soj and his friend suggests that they disagree as to whether
(A) Jane Eyre was a good movie
(B) the black and white adaptation of Jane Eyre is better than the 2011 adaptation
(C) the black and white version at issue does not refer to a film adaptation
(D) Mia Wasikowska was AMAZING!
(E) one should troll one's friends in real life conversations

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Eichörnchen
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Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby Eichörnchen » Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:42 pm

Nice job on that 170 Mickey! I don't know if this is too obvious, but for LR I ony have done a part of the bible (I plan on finishing it if games ever get under control) but for each question that I mark as unsure or wrong, I classify it, write out how I approached it and why that failed or what made me narrowly miss choosing the wrong AC, and then I write out why tcr is correct and why the other ACs are wrong.

And now a question for you good sir- how long did you drill games before you starting doing so well in them? And what did you do each day for drilling (like how many games/hrs)?

Oh and Soj- that Q was thrown out because C and E are correct! ;)

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soj
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Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby soj » Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:43 pm

Nooo, I thought I had a shot at a career as a test writer.

Call me, LSAC! :roll:

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tmon
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Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby tmon » Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:44 pm

sarahellenadkins wrote:
tmon wrote:I still think there's a chance that you're approaching the test differently lately, especially with you saying that you might be thinking about things too much mid-test. I feel like there's a thin line between "well, my gut says it's B, but some of the other choices look good too..." and "I'm fairly confident it's B because I've looked over the other choices and they seem inferior based on the conclusion in the stimulus. I know from experience how easy it is to convince yourself that your gut feeling is correct for all the wrong reason


I am definitely taking the tests differently! I am way over-analyzing things that I should just know and move on. Instead of going with my gut more, I am actually going against my initial reaction to a question...hmm...


Right. It's one thing to make sure you're right by ruling out other answer choices, it's another thing to be doubting yourself on problems 1-5, when you know you can answer them relatively easily. That's why I thought untimed work, slowed down, might help you some. Confidence and understanding when you're definitely right and should move on are skills like any other on the LSAT. I don't think you necessarily want to go with "your gut" always, but after enough practice "your gut" becomes the answer you know is right because you've analyzed the argument and you've ruled out the other options.

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mickeyD
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Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby mickeyD » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:33 am

Eichörnchen wrote:Nice job on that 170 Mickey! I don't know if this is too obvious, but for LR I ony have done a part of the bible (I plan on finishing it if games ever get under control) but for each question that I mark as unsure or wrong, I classify it, write out how I approached it and why that failed or what made me narrowly miss choosing the wrong AC, and then I write out why tcr is correct and why the other ACs are wrong.

And now a question for you good sir- how long did you drill games before you starting doing so well in them? And what did you do each day for drilling (like how many games/hrs)?

Oh and Soj- that Q was thrown out because C and E are correct! ;)


You're right, I'm gonna start doing written reviews of my PTs again. After I made the jump to where I'm at now I stopped, I guess I got a little overconfident. I'll probably order MLSAT as well, this is the week where I need to slow down and start honing in on my issues before PTing starts to pick up.

As far as LG goes, about 4 weeks ago I classified every Linear and Grouping game and did about 100, repeated about 30. After I finished them all (took about 10 days), I definitely felt like I had improved, but I still struggled under time (LG was -9 and -10 on next PTs).

After this I went on a weeklong spring break cruise in Mexico binge drinking with my fraternity.

I didn't really start improving until I tweaked my approach about two weeks ago. Some people don't like it, but I committed to using Powerscore's strategy of taking a good amount of time to do setup and inference making. When I start a game in drilling, I don't let myself move on until I know that I've made the key inference or deduction to how the game works. Previously I would just diagram the rules, make a few Not Laws, and then hit the questions. Now I spend a lot of time fleshing out the options for the game. For example, I make templates for every conditional- it takes time but it helps me understand what's going on and gives me a valuable hypothetical that's definitely going to be tested at some point.

I do this is because games are just easier if I understand the big picture. Some people are smart enough to internally manage the rules and charge through Q's with some quick hypos, but I like to make templates as often as possible. I force myself to make deductions until I can say "Okay, the HM block can only go in group 2 or 3, and depending on that, V and Z have to be separated in either groups 1 and 2 or 1 and 3. T and P are the floater variables and go wherever HM doesn't go." Once I can say that, I know that I'm going to make up for lost time by being able to get through the questions very quickly.

Finally I put it all together with timed sections, starting last week. 30-34, review, 35-39, review, 20-24, review. This was big for me because I had to teach myself to stay calm and not panic under time- even with the clock running down, I eventually learned that moving slowly and carefully through my setup was going to get me much further than hitting the questions. Slowing down to speed up.

Aside from about 200 LR questions spaced out over 2 weeks, I've exclusively worked on LG, at least 2-3 hours/day. PTs only on the weekends. I'm sick of seeing good scores ruined by LG so I want to give it the attention it deserves. I only plan on doing 3 PTs in the next 2 weeks, and spending most of my time improving LR and continuing to drill timed LG sections.

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chrisnyoder
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Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby chrisnyoder » Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:59 am

mickeyD wrote:What suggestions do you guys have for taking that step up to the next level in LR? I'm currently hitting around -5/-7 total, and am hoping to get that down to -3/-4. Never gotten better than -2 on a section.

I've gone through the LRB, considering the MLSAT guide. Is it worth it? I improved from -10/-11 by just doing like 500 grouped questions, but I don't know if continuing that is gonna push me any further. I feel like there's some kind of adjustment that I need to make before I continue to plow through.

I want to hit a -0, preferably more than once, in the next 43 days. What did you guys do to reach that elite level?


I'm having the same problem with LR. I seem to be hitting about -4/-5 each section. Not more not less. Did -1 a couple of times only to make up for it with the next LR section :). I just ordered the MLSAT LR book. Hoping I can improve by a couple points until test day.

Viper
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Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby Viper » Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:18 am

Hey everybody!! I'm new to the forums (i've been reading them here and there, but i just made an account).

I've noticed you guys are almost all doing timed tests with a 5th "experimental" section too. How important is it to do an actual test all the way through, I've been sitting down and doing anywhere from 1 to 6 sections (all LG and LR, I figure they are the easiest to improve on, i should focus on them more) non stop. I will adhere to a 35 minute limit per section, but I haven't done full tests since i was studying last September/October.

Back in Sept. I took a diagnostic and got 153 (-14 of 28 on RC ='[, -5 on LG) but after just going over that test and learning what the LSAT was all about i jumped to the high 150s/low 160s after going through the mcgrawhill and kaplan and princeton review books (although I don't think PR were official tests). RC has been my achilles heel, I'm ranging from -4 on my best RC section to -12 of 25 on my worst section.

My study plan for the test: I started on test 29 (The Next 10...) and i'm planning on working through them all in order up til 60 (or is 61 the newest released) by test day. As far as logic games, I've done almost all of them between the 30 in the "Actual, Official" books. I have a quite a few -0's, but I have A LOT of -1s, most of which are from misreading the question or just making some really dumb mistake. And -3 is my worst for LG (barring a -8 i got because i copied down a rule wrong on game 1 of PT 23, which was already one of the hardest games sections i've seen, and I just didn't have the time to finish)

In the past 2 days these are what my scores are looking like
PT 29:
LR(1) -6
LG -2
LR(4) -7

PT 30:
LG -0
LR(2) -6
LR(4) -5

PT 31:
LG -3
LR(2) -7
LR(3) -6

PT 32:
LR(1) -3
LG -0
LR(4) -5

PT 33:
LR(1) -5
LR(3) -7
LG -0

PT 32 has me convinced I have the potential to score low 170s (with some luck on the RC section). Realistically I'm thinking I can get somewhere between 80 and 90 raw score with enough studying and practice and depending on test day luck/nerves. I'd be freaking thrilled I pulled off a 167+ (aiming to be a splitter at UGA/UF, with a 3.1 GPA I don't stand much of a chance without at least a 165

Any comments/advice/suggestions are welcome, especially directed towards my study plan. Is it a good idea to focus on LR first before RC, or is a bad idea to be doing all these tests and skipping the RC section? Oh right, I don't have test 40-53, and 60+. Where would be the best place to get those? I know i can order them from amazon for $8 a pop, is there another option for those tests?

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tmon
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Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby tmon » Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:12 am

Viper wrote:
Any comments/advice/suggestions are welcome, especially directed towards my study plan. Is it a good idea to focus on LR first before RC, or is a bad idea to be doing all these tests and skipping the RC section? Oh right, I don't have test 40-53, and 60+. Where would be the best place to get those? I know i can order them from amazon for $8 a pop, is there another option for those tests?


Oh man. Do yourself a HUGE favor and think of all of your weaknesses as areas you need to focus on more than anything else. It is CRUCIAL that you focus on RC, and makes a world of sense to include it in your practice. I hope I'm not sounding like a jerk, but this is really important because you can't improve on something you're not practicing heavily.

As for the 5th section...there's a pretty good chance that will help too. Worst case scenario, you have no stamina issues and it's just extra practice. Use RC every time for awhile until you're more comfortable with it if you have to. But there's a chance that you could have score problem toward the end of your test because your mind becomes fatigued. I'm regretting not doing 5 sections the whole time, personally, but hopefully I started doing it early enough to get past the stamina wall.

I hope this helps! Good luck!

jim-green
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Re: PT48 S4 #6 LR most supported question

Postby jim-green » Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:49 am

xjykybl wrote:
jim-green wrote:Anyone done the PT48 S4 #6 LR most supported question yet?
C is too much of an inference to make. Plus, the stem only says "are looking for". It's not necessary that the kind of new technology has already been adopted by managers. Therefore, it's too early to say the advantage enjoyed by the skilled workers is gone.
You are right! C is too much of a logical leap. For example, in some other field, like rocket science, skilled workers may still have an advantage. I looked at it again after your tips above. Merci! This was helpful.

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Eichörnchen
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Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby Eichörnchen » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:13 am

Thanks for the description of your approach to LG Mickey. It looks like it really worked so I can only hope that after another week/ week and a half I'll start to show some improvements. I have been rereading the bible and doing games of the type I just did a chapter on ie, did the basic linear chapter then 4 basic linear games, then the ad linear chapter and 4 ad linear games day before yesterday and yesterday read the grouping chapter (and only did one grouping game due to a family party. Of you think you can do LGs with 4 young cousins swarming you and demanding to know what you're doing, you're wrong :) ) so today I'll review the grouping chapter, do 8 games and keep going in the bible. Then I plan on doing the PS workbook and doing about 12 games per day. Do you think that is a realistic approach? Sorry to interview you but it seems like we were both in the same crappy LG boat and you have successfully escaped.

Oh and happy Easter all. :) is anyone actually planning on doing the PT 52 review today at 1? I think it was last week that it was just me, Gev and JG so I figured there may be low to now turnout on Easter.

jim-green
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Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby jim-green » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:46 am

Eichörnchen wrote:Thanks for the description of your approach to LG Mickey. It looks like it really worked so I can only hope that after another week/ week and a half I'll start to show some improvements. is anyone actually planning on doing the PT 52 review today at 1?
Not to lecture, but I really hope you do them untimed. This is the single greatest thing that helped me on LG. I cannot review at 1 because I'll be taking PT49, but I am free at 8. Will there be anyone meeting at 8? Happy Easter! Jim

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Eichörnchen
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Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby Eichörnchen » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:51 am

jim-green wrote:
Eichörnchen wrote:Thanks for the description of your approach to LG Mickey. It looks like it really worked so I can only hope that after another week/ week and a half I'll start to show some improvements. is anyone actually planning on doing the PT 52 review today at 1?
Not to lecture, but I really hope you do them untimed. This is the single greatest thing that helped me on LG. I cannot review at 1 because I'll be taking PT49, but I am free at 8. Will there be anyone meeting at 8? Happy Easter! Jim

The games? Yep I do them untimed. Actually, I set a stop watch so I know how long I took to do it and I write it at the top so I can look back and see if my timing is getting better as I keep going. And I won't be at test review either now (I'm stuck in the land of no wifi).

jim-green
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Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby jim-green » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:07 pm

Eichörnchen wrote:And I won't be at test review either now (I'm stuck in the land of no wifi).
You're at an '80s party?

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Eichörnchen
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Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby Eichörnchen » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:12 pm

jim-green wrote:
Eichörnchen wrote:And I won't be at test review either now (I'm stuck in the land of no wifi).
You're at an '80s party?

Haha I wish- sadly it is my own apartment. :( it's an "in-between" place since I finished college, but plan on going to Europe for 4 months (oh god knock on wood it goes well) after the LSAT. So lameo Internet providers said it would be 150 to install, then 40/month then another 150 to uninstall in three months. Yuck.

xjykybl
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Re: June 2011 Study Group

Postby xjykybl » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:34 pm

jim-green wrote:
Eichörnchen wrote:Thanks for the description of your approach to LG Mickey. It looks like it really worked so I can only hope that after another week/ week and a half I'll start to show some improvements. is anyone actually planning on doing the PT 52 review today at 1?
Not to lecture, but I really hope you do them untimed. This is the single greatest thing that helped me on LG. I cannot review at 1 because I'll be taking PT49, but I am free at 8. Will there be anyone meeting at 8? Happy Easter! Jim

Sorry for my dumb question. So when ppl are talking about "meeting", is there a chat room on the forum where ppl can have group talk to discuss questions?
I am taking PT 49 this afternoon as well, if anybody wants to review PT49 or any test before PT49, I am up for it.




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