How to attack the LSAT the 2nd time around

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paulshortys10
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How to attack the LSAT the 2nd time around

Postby paulshortys10 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:46 am

About 3 months away from June Test. I got a 154 the first time (averaged mid to low 160's, speed and timing was my biggest issue).

I haven't studied or even looked at an LSAT question since DEC 11, mainly because I took almost all the later tests and I wanted to forget the material.

I figured it's time to get into the groove of things. How many PT's should I take? How should I slowly ease into the habit of daily studying again.

BTW i'm also taking a 25 hour class (campusprep AT UCLA). they are gonna have 3 proctored exams.

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Eugenie Danglars
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Re: How to attack the LSAT the 2nd time around

Postby Eugenie Danglars » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:19 am

Here's a thread I wrote on my retake strategy. Hope it helps you. I started at 157, so you can definitely improve a lot :-)

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=140092

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paulshortys10
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Re: How to attack the LSAT the 2nd time around

Postby paulshortys10 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:44 pm

Thank you, i hope i can make a huge improvement like that.

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Eugenie Danglars
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Re: How to attack the LSAT the 2nd time around

Postby Eugenie Danglars » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:06 pm

paulshortys10 wrote:Thank you, i hope i can make a huge improvement like that.


I bet you can with some hard work and patience :0) Good luck!

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paulshortys10
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Re: How to attack the LSAT the 2nd time around

Postby paulshortys10 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:35 pm

I'm planning on taking 25-30 PT's on my own in the next 90 days. PLus 3 proctored exams in the class.

Will this be enough the 2nd time around?

like i said, i need a lot of practice on speed and timing.

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Eugenie Danglars
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Re: How to attack the LSAT the 2nd time around

Postby Eugenie Danglars » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:14 pm

That's a lot of PT's in 90 days. If I were you, I'd spend the first three-ish weeks working on timing and targeted answer review by doing sections at a time. If you just smash through PT's without proper review, it's not that helpful.

What are you having timing issues with? LG or the other sections?

thecynic69
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Re: How to attack the LSAT the 2nd time around

Postby thecynic69 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:31 pm

Your goal should be to take every test. It doesn't seem to me that you will have enough time (realistically), but give it a whirl anyway (seriously, do what you have to do to get as many of them done as you possibly can, including accepting a lower grade or two in this semester's classes...you can only hurt your GPA by so much in one semester, and even a one or two point LSAT boost more than compensates for that).

FWIW, I found that decreasing time on sections was a good way to practice, but you should only do this at the point in your studies where it does not cause you to miss a lot of questions you should have answered correctly. Also, try to take exams early in the morning (walk to campus on a Saturday morning, take an exam in a classroom at ~9:00, break when you're supposed to, etc.)

Also, don't do silly things like not bubble when you do practice exams, allow yourself an 'extra 30 seconds to finish up a section', excuse silly mistakes by saying "oh, i'd never do something that dumb come test day."

I didn't read the other guys link on retakes so I won't go on ad nauseum; I'll assume he has most of it covered. GL with your retake!

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paulshortys10
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Re: How to attack the LSAT the 2nd time around

Postby paulshortys10 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:48 pm

thecynic69 wrote:Your goal should be to take every test. It doesn't seem to me that you will have enough time (realistically), but give it a whirl anyway (seriously, do what you have to do to get as many of them done as you possibly can, including accepting a lower grade or two in this semester's classes...you can only hurt your GPA by so much in one semester, and even a one or two point LSAT boost more than compensates for that).

FWIW, I found that decreasing time on sections was a good way to practice, but you should only do this at the point in your studies where it does not cause you to miss a lot of questions you should have answered correctly. Also, try to take exams early in the morning (walk to campus on a Saturday morning, take an exam in a classroom at ~9:00, break when you're supposed to, etc.)

Also, don't do silly things like not bubble when you do practice exams, allow yourself an 'extra 30 seconds to finish up a section', excuse silly mistakes by saying "oh, i'd never do something that dumb come test day."

I didn't read the other guys link on retakes so I won't go on ad nauseum; I'll assume he has most of it covered. GL with your retake!


I did the allow yourself an 'extra 30 seconds to finish up a section' last time...I paid for it during the real deal because I had no idea where I really stood.

My timing issues are mainly about 3 minutes for LR and 3-5 minutes for RC. Im usually good on LG unless I get stuck hardcore.

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aspire2more
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Re: How to attack the LSAT the 2nd time around

Postby aspire2more » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:52 pm

Personally, I think taking practice tests ad nauseum is ridiculous, period. I probably took 7-8 full practice tests total during my entire 4 month prep and had no trouble scoring above 165 on test day. You should not take more than 1-2 practice tests per week IF that many. Any more than that, and you're likely not reviewing the tests in enough detail to figure out where you're screwing up (and where you guessed and got lucky) and how to fix it.

If you already know speed and timing are your issues then you should be doing speed training, not endurance training. Once I got the basics down, I bought myself a kitchen timer and did individual sections for practice. I set the timer up for 35 minutes and tried to do as much as I could with as much accuracy as possible. When I wanted to practice in more "test like" conditions, I'd do a section on my lunch break with a free mp3 download someone shared with me. It was supposed to help simulate taking the test with other people - complete with coughing, pencil tapping, and a myriad of other annoying sounds. I probably took a full practice test every other week.

Over the course of a month, I saw a significant increase in my ability to answer the questions quickly. I got used to skipping the difficult questions instead of letting them bog me down. I found that I had a better sense of how long individual sections would take and didn't move too slowly. I also bought a watch with a bezel two weeks before the test. It allowed me to quickly set the time and kept me from relying on a clock or timer for actual timekeeping. Good thing too - there was no visible clock where I took my exam.

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mottainai
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Re: How to attack the LSAT the 2nd time around

Postby mottainai » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:57 pm

paulshortys10 wrote:
I did the allow yourself an 'extra 30 seconds to finish up a section' last time...I paid for it during the real deal because I had no idea where I really stood.

My timing issues are mainly about 3 minutes for LR and 3-5 minutes for RC. Im usually good on LG unless I get stuck hardcore.


Your goal should be to fly through LG and to destroy LR. Generally, RC won't go up or down too much.

For me, tests were helpful, but drilling specific LR question types was immensely helpful. It's not so much about the method of solving each question, but getting to the point where your unconscious mind picks up on subtle hints and causes certain parts of the stimulus to stick out, then either pre-phrasing the answer, or automatically ruling out three of five. Of course, you have to mix in tests as well, but powering through tests only helped to a certain extent.

You should be able to fly through any easy-medium LG in about 5 minutes. Drill the same games over and over. In my case, this helped out on the real thing - I finished the first three games in about 15-18 minutes and got stuck on the last game. If not for that extra time, I would've been screwed on the real test. Ended up with a 170.

Good luck on your studying. Getting yourself to start is the hardest part, IMO.

Miznitic
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Re: How to attack the LSAT the 2nd time around

Postby Miznitic » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:23 am

paulshortys10 wrote:About 3 months away from June Test. I got a 154 the first time (averaged mid to low 160's, speed and timing was my biggest issue).


Don't take the June test. Three months is nowhere near the amount of time you'll need

paulshortys10 wrote:I haven't studied or even looked at an LSAT question since DEC 11, mainly because I took almost all the later tests and I wanted to forget the material.


This is the absolute worst idea. You *NEED* to know past test material so you can learn the LSAT groove. When you're seeing new questions, seeing how they're similar to past questions helps more than you can imagine. It'll help make it seem like a close friend.

paulshortys10 wrote:I figured it's time to get into the groove of things. How many PT's should I take? How should I slowly ease into the habit of daily studying again.


Ease into studying? Waiting three months to start studying for a test that is now three months away? Dude, really, with a 154 on the December test? You've got a lot of work to do. Give yourself a minimum of six months study time. Taking the LSAT in June will not gain you admittance in the Fall. Sept/Oct would be the earliest.

Setup:
Buy all three bibles. Do not read them cover to cover.
Buy all practice tests old/new that you can find.
Buy Proctor DVD (optional, if you can find someone to proctor you for every saturday for a month)

Set aside some of the newer practice tests (four or five)

Begin:
Cold, do about three full practice tests, untimed (within a day or two, if possible). Check your answers and using the bibles, categorize them.
- Using the bibles, Figure out why you answered each and every question the way you did whether you got it correct or not. Oftentimes you'll see you answered a question correctly, for the wrong reason. Studying only those that you got wrong doesn't help you any. Find a pattern of your strengths and weaknesses and account for that.

When you've analyzed everything and definitely know why each one is answered so, do those same practice tests over again, timed and scored.

Interim: (long process)
Randomize sections. You don't care about when each was administered. Do at least one or two complete sections, nightly during the weekdays, and a complete battery on Saturday, and do the same as above, relax a little once a week and only do a couple questions. Analyze correct/wrong answers as you did above. Do every section, analyze every question before you proceed to the next step. Time a few sections, but this period is generally all untimed.

End:
On Saturday, wake up as if you're going to take the real LSAT. Do everything the same as if it were for real.

Take a complete timed battery. Use a proctor, or buy one of those proctor DVDs. Make it as real as possible, but do NOT be comfortable. No coffee, no drinks, no tv, absolutely no interuptions during this period.

Take the rest of the week to score and analyze your tests. Occasionally whip out a section you've done before and do the same.

paulshortys10 wrote:BTW i'm also taking a 25 hour class (campusprep AT UCLA). they are gonna have 3 proctored exams.


Awesome. But that's just the tip of that figurative iceberg. (see above)

stilles
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Re: How to attack the LSAT the 2nd time around

Postby stilles » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:31 am

Just wanted to thank Miznitic for the invaluable advice; am waiting for Feb score and am anticipating/fearing a retake. Your score increase is inspirational and thanks for imparting your wisdom!

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paulshortys10
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Re: How to attack the LSAT the 2nd time around

Postby paulshortys10 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:26 am

Miznitic wrote:
paulshortys10 wrote:About 3 months away from June Test. I got a 154 the first time (averaged mid to low 160's, speed and timing was my biggest issue).


Don't take the June test. Three months is nowhere near the amount of time you'll need

paulshortys10 wrote:I haven't studied or even looked at an LSAT question since DEC 11, mainly because I took almost all the later tests and I wanted to forget the material.


This is the absolute worst idea. You *NEED* to know past test material so you can learn the LSAT groove. When you're seeing new questions, seeing how they're similar to past questions helps more than you can imagine. It'll help make it seem like a close friend.

paulshortys10 wrote:I figured it's time to get into the groove of things. How many PT's should I take? How should I slowly ease into the habit of daily studying again.


Ease into studying? Waiting three months to start studying for a test that is now three months away? Dude, really, with a 154 on the December test? You've got a lot of work to do. Give yourself a minimum of six months study time. Taking the LSAT in June will not gain you admittance in the Fall. Sept/Oct would be the earliest.

Setup:
Buy all three bibles. Do not read them cover to cover.
Buy all practice tests old/new that you can find.
Buy Proctor DVD (optional, if you can find someone to proctor you for every saturday for a month)

Set aside some of the newer practice tests (four or five)

Begin:
Cold, do about three full practice tests, untimed (within a day or two, if possible). Check your answers and using the bibles, categorize them.
- Using the bibles, Figure out why you answered each and every question the way you did whether you got it correct or not. Oftentimes you'll see you answered a question correctly, for the wrong reason. Studying only those that you got wrong doesn't help you any. Find a pattern of your strengths and weaknesses and account for that.

When you've analyzed everything and definitely know why each one is answered so, do those same practice tests over again, timed and scored.

Interim: (long process)
Randomize sections. You don't care about when each was administered. Do at least one or two complete sections, nightly during the weekdays, and a complete battery on Saturday, and do the same as above, relax a little once a week and only do a couple questions. Analyze correct/wrong answers as you did above. Do every section, analyze every question before you proceed to the next step. Time a few sections, but this period is generally all untimed.

End:
On Saturday, wake up as if you're going to take the real LSAT. Do everything the same as if it were for real.

Take a complete timed battery. Use a proctor, or buy one of those proctor DVDs. Make it as real as possible, but do NOT be comfortable. No coffee, no drinks, no tv, absolutely no interuptions during this period.

Take the rest of the week to score and analyze your tests. Occasionally whip out a section you've done before and do the same.

paulshortys10 wrote:BTW i'm also taking a 25 hour class (campusprep AT UCLA). they are gonna have 3 proctored exams.


Awesome. But that's just the tip of that figurative iceberg. (see above)


You suggest i take it in OCT instead? What if I fuck that one up too. then I have to wait until Dec, which is a late app (im a URM, need all the help)

I would preferably love the extra 3 months to study and possibly take all 62 PT's. I guess I need to think about this more in the next few days. I should start studying however.

Miznitic
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Re: How to attack the LSAT the 2nd time around

Postby Miznitic » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:35 am

paulshortys10 wrote:You suggest i take it in OCT instead?


Yes. For the next six months, do nothing but think about the LSAT. I took an entire year, but at least your +13 points higher than my first score, so you have that in your favour.

paulshortys10 wrote:What if I fuck that one up too. then I have to wait until Dec, which is a late app (im a URM, need all the help)


Simple: Don't fuck it up. The end result will be directly proportional to how much effort you put into it.

paulshortys10 wrote: ... I should start studying however.


+1

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paulshortys10
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Re: How to attack the LSAT the 2nd time around

Postby paulshortys10 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:52 am

Miznitic wrote:
paulshortys10 wrote:You suggest i take it in OCT instead?


Yes. For the next six months, do nothing but think about the LSAT. I took an entire year, but at least your +13 points higher than my first score, so you have that in your favour.

paulshortys10 wrote:What if I fuck that one up too. then I have to wait until Dec, which is a late app (im a URM, need all the help)


Simple: Don't fuck it up. The end result will be directly proportional to how much effort you put into it.

paulshortys10 wrote: ... I should start studying however.


+1


Lol...thanks for your advice.

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Eugenie Danglars
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Re: How to attack the LSAT the 2nd time around

Postby Eugenie Danglars » Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:10 am

Agreed...if you put in the work, you won't have to worry about October because you won't screw up. I took it October 2010, and it was fine.

Also, imo, how many PT's you do will depend a lot on the scores you're getting. If you're in mid 160's, then 1-2 a week is good. You'll need more time to review and do drills. Once you get over 170, it doesn't take nearly as long to review because you're only missing 12 questions or so, and practicing speed and timing until they feel naturally is proportionally more important. So, the better you get, the more PT's per week. Just my 2 cents :-)

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robotclubmember
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Re: How to attack the LSAT the 2nd time around

Postby robotclubmember » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:51 pm

Sup dude. Glad to see you're back and ready to give it another go. I don't understand the posters saying that three months isn't enough time. What are you supposed to do, study for half a year? A whole year? Three months is ideal in many ways, especially considering you've already put some time in. You're not starting from zero.

Obviously go through the bibles again. The bibles have helpful info on time management towards the back of each of them. Do as many PTs as you can. But understand that practice without theory is as bad as theory without practice. I went through the LG bible three times to make sure my methods were sound and my strategies were committed to memory. I did question type training for LR.

There is plenty of good advice. I can't help with retaking, but I mostly wanted to chime in to disagree with this idea that you need more than three months. There is a point where you've kind of maximized the returns on your studying efforts, and I would guess that most people top off after 250 hours. If you studied 15 hours a week until the day of the test you'd be in about as good as shape as you're going to get. After that, each additional 50 hours of study may get you one point, but the returns diminish. How mugh time can you commit each week I guess?




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