For those of you who scored 170+

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leche
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For those of you who scored 170+

Postby leche » Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:01 am

I want to know EXACTLY how you did it. What books you bought, how you managed you study time (How many months did you prepare? How many days a week? Did you focus on your weaker sections for a time or mostly do practice tests?), how you responded to wrong answers on practice tests, and how you prepared the week before the test. I know everyone is different, but I am curious to hear different methods. I thought I was doing everything right on my first LSAT run - and was averaging around 165-167 - but ended up with a 159. I suspect I burned myself out by cramming 2 practice tests a day on the last week. I also didn't spend enough time figuring out why I got answers wrong.

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stephan75th
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Re: For those of you who scored 170+

Postby stephan75th » Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:12 am

Majored in Philosophy

Anomaly
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Re: For those of you who scored 170+

Postby Anomaly » Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:37 am

leche wrote:I want to know EXACTLY how you did it. What books you bought, how you managed you study time (How many months did you prepare? How many days a week? Did you focus on your weaker sections for a time or mostly do practice tests?), how you responded to wrong answers on practice tests, and how you prepared the week before the test. I know everyone is different, but I am curious to hear different methods. I thought I was doing everything right on my first LSAT run - and was averaging around 165-167 - but ended up with a 159. I suspect I burned myself out by cramming 2 practice tests a day on the last week. I also didn't spend enough time figuring out why I got answers wrong.


Don't burn out and spend more time identifying and addressing your mistakes.

bp colin
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Re: For those of you who scored 170+

Postby bp colin » Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:41 am

Yeah, two tests in a day is a pretty terrible idea. That time would be much better spent on reviewing the first test. You maybe should be spending nearly as much time reviewing the test as you did taking it. When you're done reviewing a test, for each question you miss you should be able to say exactly why the answer choice you picked was wholly incorrect and exactly why the one you didn't pick was correct.

examplepdf
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Re: For those of you who scored 170+

Postby examplepdf » Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:08 pm

bp colin wrote:Yeah, two tests in a day is a pretty terrible idea. That time would be much better spent on reviewing the first test. You maybe should be spending nearly as much time reviewing the test as you did taking it. When you're done reviewing a test, for each question you miss you should be able to say exactly why the answer choice you picked was wholly incorrect and exactly why the one you didn't pick was correct.


This is excellent advice.

Relatedly, especially if you're working fulltime, start studying earlier so you can study steadily and easily fit in 20 or so timed PTs before the test (and not cram them in the last week). I used to do a full timed PT every Saturday, and during the week split a PT to do half one night and half the other. (ALL TIMED PRECISELY.) I'd often work on LGs (my weakness) during my lunch breaks/when my boss was out. I saved the 2 most recent PTs to do the week before the test.

It's good to make a spreadsheet (or just simple list) of a bunch of PTs and when you're planning to do them. There is not an endless amount of material to work with (I only worked with real LSAT questions/tests, and not really old ones) and that can help you get motivated to do them and also not run out of material near test-time.

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robotclubmember
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Re: For those of you who scored 170+

Postby robotclubmember » Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:47 pm

leche wrote:I want to know EXACTLY how you did it. What books you bought, how you managed you study time (How many months did you prepare? How many days a week? Did you focus on your weaker sections for a time or mostly do practice tests?), how you responded to wrong answers on practice tests, and how you prepared the week before the test. I know everyone is different, but I am curious to hear different methods. I thought I was doing everything right on my first LSAT run - and was averaging around 165-167 - but ended up with a 159. I suspect I burned myself out by cramming 2 practice tests a day on the last week. I also didn't spend enough time figuring out why I got answers wrong.


I used all three PS Bibles, but most heavily used the LG Bible. I supplemented with Manhattan's LG Guide as well, and the Ace the LSAT LG book. I think Manhattan's guide is worth adding because they have a better approach for in/out games and matching games and, debatably, for sequencing games. Ace the LSAT has predictable methods but the problems they present are much more difficult than normal LSAT problems so they're good training (and using them means you don't have to burn through PT materials. Also used LR question type training.

I prepared about three months.

Anywhere from 3-6 days a week. Started at like 10 hours a week, then started picking up to 15, 20, as I got closer. The last two weeks was freak out mode so I studied a lot.

I counted up the number of answers I got wrong by question type and at the end of every three PT's, summed them to see where I needed the most improvement, and spent a couple hours working on just those areas.

I responded to wrong answers by writing a 2-4 sentences in a steno pad to explain why I got the answer wrong to myself. This was the best way to get it to sink in, when I didn't do this, I kept repeating mistakes.

I took the day before the test off completely. The morning of the test I woke up at 4:30 AM and had a huge breakfast, relaxed some, and did one RC section to mentally prep my brain and build confidence before leaving for the test center. What you do the day before and of the test is important. You should be well-rested is all. I still performed beneath my averages but if I hadn't been well-rested and had done worse, all that prep time would have been for nothing.

justadude55
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Re: For those of you who scored 170+

Postby justadude55 » Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:53 pm

There isn't so much value in doing 2 practice tests in a day. It is more just consistently doing practice tests, and learning from every mistake you make. By the week of the test, your skills are kind of locked into where they will be so you should just focus on not losing anything, time effectiveness, etc.

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EarlCat
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Re: For those of you who scored 170+

Postby EarlCat » Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:18 pm

I used Kaplan's LSAT 180 book and 10 Actual Official LSAT PrepTests, using one or the other every night for about 3 hours for about 3 months.

I very strongly recommend against doing that.

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nshapkar
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Re: For those of you who scored 170+

Postby nshapkar » Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:25 pm

I haven't score a 170, however I did lol super hard at your avatar.

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sundance95
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Re: For those of you who scored 170+

Postby sundance95 » Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:34 pm

TestMasters course. Taking a course isn't at all necessary to achieving a high score, as evidenced by the other posters, but I really liked how it structured my studying, as I was working ~50 hours a week at the time.

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Eichörnchen
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Re: For those of you who scored 170+

Postby Eichörnchen » Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:37 pm

nshapkar wrote:I haven't score a 170, however I did lol super hard at your avatar.


+1

minnesotasam
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Re: For those of you who scored 170+

Postby minnesotasam » Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:13 pm

stephan75th wrote:Majored in Philosophy

[/thread] on the first response, nice.
sundance95 wrote:TestMasters course.

This.

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robotclubmember
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Re: For those of you who scored 170+

Postby robotclubmember » Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:09 pm

minnesotasam wrote:
stephan75th wrote:Majored in Philosophy

[/thread] on the first response, nice.
sundance95 wrote:TestMasters course.

This.


Cool story.

justadude55
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Re: For those of you who scored 170+

Postby justadude55 » Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:33 pm

Read the talmud.

Did logic games over and over till they click.

Employed formal and informal logic with family and friends in conversation (and became extraordinarily less liked in the process).

Didn't need LR help so much.

Lots of RC practice.

Miracle
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Re: For those of you who scored 170+

Postby Miracle » Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:35 pm

bp colin wrote:Yeah, two tests in a day is a pretty terrible idea. That time would be much better spent on reviewing the first test. You maybe should be spending nearly as much time reviewing the test as you did taking it. When you're done reviewing a test, for each question you miss you should be able to say exactly why the answer choice you picked was wholly incorrect and exactly why the one you didn't pick was correct.


+1

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FlanAl
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Re: For those of you who scored 170+

Postby FlanAl » Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:49 pm

I studied for it for one test with just the LG bible and doing PTs. Had 2 months before the re-take and worked with the LR bible and used the manhattan self-prep. I wasn't able to do all the work from the books (or finish them) and think I could have done better if I had. I think that having powerscore as your foundation and then augmenting it with manhattan is the best way to do it.

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jtemp320
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Re: For those of you who scored 170+

Postby jtemp320 » Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:50 pm

All in all took me about 5 months of studying to go from low 160s to mid/high 170s

I took Kaplan Advanced - I wouldn't say it was amazing but it helped me stay on track and gave me plenty of materials and timed tests with other people in a classroom which is great.

My weakness was LG so 2/3 of my studying was in that area and I used 1/3 of my time on LR and RC. Here is how I finally got down to -10 on LG (which gave me a 167) and then -5 on LG (which gave me a 174).

I did the LG Bible from front to back twice.

I took one test a week under realistic conditions (which I then reviewed carefully). Then the next day I redid the LG section from that test untimed once (no mistakes if possible) and then did it timed once the next day.

Also for about two weeks before the actual test I woke up at the time I'd be waking up for the test and did an actual LG section timed before work. At night when I'd get home from work I'd two timed sections and then review mixing in all three types of sections.

Whatever you can do to relax and just focus on technique and sustained concentration rather then the end score will help. Once I stopped letting a bad PT or a bad section bother me my scores were consistently higher.

Eventually something clicked for me and I think that was a result of just the sheer # of hours I dedicated and comfort with the test. Good luck!

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mac35352
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Re: For those of you who scored 170+

Postby mac35352 » Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:49 pm

justadude55 wrote:Read the talmud.

Did logic games over and over till they click.

Employed formal and informal logic with family and friends in conversation (and became extraordinarily less liked in the process).
Didn't need LR help so much.

Lots of RC practice.

LOL I am nowhere near a 170 but I find myself doing this constantly.

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leche
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Re: For those of you who scored 170+

Postby leche » Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:02 pm

jtemp320 wrote:I took one test a week under realistic conditions (which I then reviewed carefully). Then the next day I redid the LG section from that test untimed once (no mistakes if possible) and then did it timed once the next day.


I see a lot of people recommending this - doing the same section over a few times. Whenever I try to do this though, I always remember all the correct answers, ESPECIALLY if it was a question I missed the first time. So needless to say I don't feel like I'm getting much out of doing it over again. Did this happen with you? Did you find it helped anyway?

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aspire2more
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Re: For those of you who scored 170+

Postby aspire2more » Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:16 pm

In August, I skimmed the Kaplan LSAT prep book and took one practice/diagnostic test. Then from September - October I went through the PowerScore LG Bible and did all of the exercises. In the meantime, I took two practice tests that were administered for free by test prep companies (Kaplan and Princeton Review) in a realistic setting (minus the writing section).

From mid-November until the day before the December test, I took (most of) the Kaplan on-demand prep course. I completed three practice tests and tons of LR, RC, and LG sections. The day before the exam, I took off from work. I laid around watching TV and got a professional massage. Then I took the test at a center that had individual cubicles for students so distractions were minimal.

My practice tests were in the low to mid 160s and I got a 170 on test day.

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FuManChusco
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Re: For those of you who scored 170+

Postby FuManChusco » Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:39 pm

get high, get high scores.

TyrodTaylor
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Re: For those of you who scored 170+

Postby TyrodTaylor » Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:42 pm

bp colin wrote:Yeah, two tests in a day is a pretty terrible idea. That time would be much better spent on reviewing the first test. You maybe should be spending nearly as much time reviewing the test as you did taking it. When you're done reviewing a test, for each question you miss you should be able to say exactly why the answer choice you picked was wholly incorrect and exactly why the one you didn't pick was correct.


I agree with this reasoning, but, I took two tests, one after the other, under conditions, the day before the real thing. I think it helped me gain confidence about getting through it. I reviewed them each after, and got the exact same score on both, which then showed me that Just the one test the next day would be a breeze.

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joemoviebuff
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Re: For those of you who scored 170+

Postby joemoviebuff » Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:36 pm

I took the test twice, Sept. 09 (157) and Dec. 09 (170). My study strategy was the same for both tests (I got sick the day before the first and got like 3 hours of sleep). Only my goals changed in that time; while studying for the first test I wanted a 168, on the second I wanted a 180.

1. Order the Powerscore Logic Games and Logical Reasoning Bibles. They were absolutely critical to my 170. I have no experience with the Reading Comprehension Bible; I just had my way of doing it and I did well on those sections by myself. From what I hear it’s nice to have, but not necessary. Read The Economist and Harper's so your brain is used to huge, dense passages of text.

1a. Other books I found useful were the “Powerscore Logic Games Workbook,” a couple of their LSAT Deconstructed books, which go over every question in detail and explain why the right answers are right and the wrong answers are wrong, and finally, Douglas Waldron's "Informal Logic," (but only after you have a good understanding from the other books).

2. Obtain each of the books from the "10 Actual, Official LSATs" series, as well as the newest tests released individually. Also get LSAC's Superprep book. Do Superprep first, then work your way through all the LSATs you have, from oldest to newest. The older tests are quite different from the newer ones, (and thus the one you'll be taking officially) but are still good to start out your study with. As you progress with your study, you're understanding of the concepts will improve as you work your way through to the newer tests. Resist the urge to use the newer tests first.

3. I started studying in July for the September test. My highest score going into the first test was 168, which I would've been quite content with, and my average was a 164. I feel it's important to note that the most significant progress in my study occurred in the two months between that test and the December test, and thus, I recommend giving yourself six months to prepare. My average in those three months was 170, with my highest score being a 176 and my lowest being a 165. The method I used is as follows:

Take two or three, full-length, timed tests per week that simulate the actual conditions you will be in, even including a break. Take the test and score it one day, then the next day go over the answers with a fine tooth comb, exploring why you got the ones right that you did, and the ones you got wrong were wrong. By going over every question, you cement the right concepts in your head, and work to correct the ones you're struggling with. You will complement your test days and your grade days with additional study and exercises from the Bibles, as well as your dense, scholarly magazines. I venture to say I gave about four hours of study to the LSAT each day, five to six days a week. (A lot of time, yes, but it has to be your mission to beat the shit out of this test.)

Set aside three or four of the older LSATs to use later. After a couple weeks of four-section tests, break up these older tests into sections and insert an extra section in your practice tests to act as an experimental section and increase endurance. Some people recommend throwing in another extra section (for a 6 section test) for even more endurance but I found this to be overkill.

Other things:

A. Avoid burn-out! If you need a break for a day, take one. Just don’t let it turn into a week-long vacation.

B. Shoot for a 180. The first three months I was just trying to get a 168 on the test, and as long as I was close to that, I was content, but that kept me from reaching my potential. After the first dismal experience with the test, I wanted nothing more than to annihilate it, which meant getting a 180. Remember the phrase “Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars?” Well, yeah. I landed among the stars at 170. Still pretty good right? This test will determine where you go to law school for the next three years, and literally three more points on it can mean the difference between an acceptance and a rejection, or sticker price and a full-ride. You must kill it! You most likely will not achieve perfection, but you can come pretty damn close. It feels good opening that email from LSAC and reading that you scored in the 98th percentile of all test-takers.

C.Only use official questions from an actual LSAT in your study. Some companies make up their own questions to avoid paying LSAC for theirs. Don’t waste your time on these.

And with that my long ramble of a post is over.

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edgarfigaro
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Re: For those of you who scored 170+

Postby edgarfigaro » Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:09 pm

I wouldn't tell people to follow my regime, because all I did was go through the Powerscore LG bible and took 20 tests under actual conditions. However, I do believe that the #1 thing you can do is to chill out before the test. 3 days before, I completely stopped doing anything related to the LSAT. The day before, I went by the test center to check out the parking/making sure I knew how to get there. Then I played a game of golf and watched a movie. I stayed in a hotel the night before, made sure to ask for the quietest room they had, and got a good night's sleep. Got up, went to Bojangles for a champion's breakfast (a bacon egg and cheese biscuit, an order of biscuits and gravy, and iced tea), did a logic game, and drove to the center.

Also, I suggest you look for center reviews...my friend's first take was utterly ridiculous- the center had one clock for 4 class rooms, the proctors screwed up the timing and gave the wrong directions, and location was extremely noisy.

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bk1
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Re: For those of you who scored 170+

Postby bk1 » Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:14 pm

I scored well on my cold diagnostic. I studied the PowerScore books to improve LG (my worst section on my diagnostic) and brush up on how the other sections are formatted. I took a bunch of PT's and then barely improved over my diagnostic because I was burned out.




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