June LSAT Prep strategy

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mac35352
Posts: 371
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:17 pm

June LSAT Prep strategy

Postby mac35352 » Sun Jan 23, 2011 2:20 pm

Hey there!
I'm a junior in college and originally wanted to take the October LSAT but due to some schedule conflicts I have plenty of free time this comming months so taking the June test seems like the best bet.
I took my first practice test yesterday under timed conditions without any previous exposure, I got a 148, sort of what I expected.
Now I obviously have a lot of work to do. My plan is to buy the Power Score bibles, maybe reading 2 or 3 chapters every other day and taking section of a practice test the other days without timing it and really focusing on figuring out my weaknesses. Once a week I would take a timed test prep.
I plan on following this routine for 8 weeks. In addition, I'll send 1-2 hours a day reading The economist, The American Scholar magazine, philosophy, politics, science books and other recommended readings. I would take any suggestions here because as an English major I am accostummed to reading fictional work.
I would like to take a Testmaster, Strategy Prep or a Powerscore test prep but I work until 7 during the week and all the classes in my area start at 6:30. The other option would be to use the money for the class to get a private tutor. I would be able to get from 10-15 hours of private tutoring at any of the test prep centers mentioned above plus some material (past LSAT questions, answer explanations, etc). Or if anyone here knows of a tutor in the DC-Arlington area that would be helpful too.
The month before the test I would take as many timed tests as possible.
Now, I know that many of the members of this forum have extensive experience with the test. I would like to hear some feedback on this plan, if you think I should add something, if there are any strategies that worked better orsomething that didn't work for you, etc.
Thank you for reading

Kurst
Posts: 448
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:33 pm

Re: June LSAT Prep strategy

Postby Kurst » Sun Jan 23, 2011 4:23 pm

mac35352 wrote:Now, I know that many of the members of this forum have extensive experience with the test. I would like to hear some feedback on this plan, if you think I should add something, if there are any strategies that worked better orsomething that didn't work for you, etc.

Compare your plan to those in the stickied "Great Advice" thread: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=396

mac35352 wrote:if anyone here knows of a tutor in the DC-Arlington area that would be helpful too.

I think TLS1776, who wrote perhaps the most exhaustive "How I Prepared for the LSAT" post, is available for tutoring in DC. Other options: Heather Gilchrist, though I'd check with Noah of Manhattan LSAT to see if she's still available; Griffon Prep; and Strategy Prep. If you're interested in tutors from Powerscore/Testmasters/Princeton Review/Kaplan, you may find this comparison helpful: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=93443

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EarlCat
Posts: 610
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Re: June LSAT Prep strategy

Postby EarlCat » Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:11 pm

mac35352 wrote:Hey there!
I'm a junior in college and originally wanted to take the October LSAT but due to some schedule conflicts I have plenty of free time this comming months so taking the June test seems like the best bet.
I took my first practice test yesterday under timed conditions without any previous exposure, I got a 148, sort of what I expected.
Now I obviously have a lot of work to do. My plan is to buy the Power Score bibles, maybe reading 2 or 3 chapters every other day and taking section of a practice test the other days without timing it and really focusing on figuring out my weaknesses. Once a week I would take a timed test prep.
I plan on following this routine for 8 weeks.

This is good.

In addition, I'll send 1-2 hours a day reading The economist, The American Scholar magazine, philosophy, politics, science books and other recommended readings.

This is silly. Spend that 1-2 hours enjoying life.

I would like to take a Testmaster, Strategy Prep or a Powerscore test prep but I work until 7 during the week and all the classes in my area start at 6:30. The other option would be to use the money for the class to get a private tutor. I would be able to get from 10-15 hours of private tutoring at any of the test prep centers mentioned above plus some material (past LSAT questions, answer explanations, etc). Or if anyone here knows of a tutor in the DC-Arlington area that would be helpful too.

If you're going to do a class or tutoring (which I highly recommend), then your above self-study plan should be discarded for that recommended by your instructor.

The month before the test I would take as many timed tests as possible.

Meh.

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mac35352
Posts: 371
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:17 pm

Re: June LSAT Prep strategy

Postby mac35352 » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:44 am

mac35352 wrote:if anyone here knows of a tutor in the DC-Arlington area that would be helpful too.

I think TLS1776, who wrote perhaps the most exhaustive "How I Prepared for the LSAT" post, is available for tutoring in DC. Other options: Heather Gilchrist, though I'd check with Noah of Manhattan LSAT to see if she's still available; Griffon Prep; and Strategy Prep. If you're interested in tutors from Powerscore/Testmasters/Princeton Review/Kaplan, you may find this comparison helpful: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=93443[/quote]

Thanks for the advise. I will contact TLS1776 to see if he is available or if he can suggest someone else. His LSAT prep advise is wonderful and very detailed.

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mac35352
Posts: 371
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Re: June LSAT Prep strategy

Postby mac35352 » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:49 am

In addition, I'll send 1-2 hours a day reading The economist, The American Scholar magazine, philosophy, politics, science books and other recommended readings.

This is silly. Spend that 1-2 hours enjoying life.

Haha, ok. I thought reading dense material could be helpful.
I would like to take a Testmaster, Strategy Prep or a Powerscore test prep but I work until 7 during the week and all the classes in my area start at 6:30. The other option would be to use the money for the class to get a private tutor. I would be able to get from 10-15 hours of private tutoring at any of the test prep centers mentioned above plus some material (past LSAT questions, answer explanations, etc). Or if anyone here knows of a tutor in the DC-Arlington area that would be helpful too.

If you're going to do a class or tutoring (which I highly recommend), then your above self-study plan should be discarded for that recommended by your instructor.

The classes start in late March, I don't want to wait that long to start studying.
The month before the test I would take as many timed tests as possible.

Meh.[/quote]
Is this a bad idea then?

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EarlCat
Posts: 610
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:04 pm

Re: June LSAT Prep strategy

Postby EarlCat » Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:26 pm

mac35352 wrote:Haha, ok. I thought reading dense material could be helpful.

It is if you do it for years. A few months with the Economist probably isn't going to do much but help you fall asleep. I assume you're already a voracious reader, and I don't think the fiction/non-fiction distinction is going to make a ton of difference. My guess is that you're already pretty good at comprehending what you read. What's more important, IMHO, is to become familiar with the types of questions the LSAT asks and the types of things within the passages those questions are about.

The classes start in late March, I don't want to wait that long to start studying.

Here's the scoop. One of the last things you want to do is form bad habits. Bad habits aren't only formed when you do something wrong. They also show up when you do something different from your instructor. The most difficult students I've ever had are those who try to mix methods. They would learn from me then try to blend that with what they learned from someone else's book. Even if there were nothing "wrong" with the book, the differences in approaches create a lot of cognitive dissonance, and really hinder their progress. Thus, I (and I expect most instructors on here) would advise staying away from studying before your formal instruction starts.

One thing you could do, if you're really chomping at the bit, is to hire a tutor from the same company as the course you plan to take (same instructor would be even better). That way you'll presumably be learning more or less the same techniques that your class instructor will be using. You could also purchase materials from the same company (e.g. if your class is with PowerScore, then starting with the bibles isn't the worst idea in the world). One word of caution, however. Most retail LSAT books, even from reputable companies, are sub-par, and many don't follow the in-class methods.

The month before the test I would take as many timed tests as possible.
Meh.

Is this a bad idea then?

Depends. I think timed practice tests are overrated. Look at all the threads on LSAT boards that say "I did 33 practice tests last week and I still can't break 160. Help!!!" IMHO timed tests are good for two things only: 1) Establishing an initial baseline to know what kind of score increase you need, and 2) figuring out your pacing. If you are not consistently hitting the number of questions you need to hit on timed tests, you need to practice that, and the only way to do that is on the clock. Otherwise, I don't think much learning takes place when you're franticly rushing from question to question. Speed and accuracy on the LSAT comes from understanding and internalizing the mechanics of the test, and that familiarity comes from slow, deliberate practice, not racing the clock.

Manhattan LSAT Noah
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Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:43 am

Re: June LSAT Prep strategy

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:33 pm

Kurst wrote:
mac35352 wrote:Now, I know that many of the members of this forum have extensive experience with the test. I would like to hear some feedback on this plan, if you think I should add something, if there are any strategies that worked better orsomething that didn't work for you, etc.

Compare your plan to those in the stickied "Great Advice" thread: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=396

mac35352 wrote:if anyone here knows of a tutor in the DC-Arlington area that would be helpful too.

I think TLS1776, who wrote perhaps the most exhaustive "How I Prepared for the LSAT" post, is available for tutoring in DC. Other options: Heather Gilchrist, though I'd check with Noah of Manhattan LSAT to see if she's still available; Griffon Prep; and Strategy Prep. If you're interested in tutors from Powerscore/Testmasters/Princeton Review/Kaplan, you may find this comparison helpful: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=93443

Thanks for the shout out, mac3532. Heather is no longer with us, but Ally Bell is - http://www.manhattanlsat.com/abell.cfm

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kennethellenparcell
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Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:02 am

Re: June LSAT Prep strategy

Postby kennethellenparcell » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:26 pm

Seconded (or thirded?) on contacting TLS1776 for tutoring in the DC area, who got a perfect score based on intense self-study, and is also a very nice person.




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