Advice for getting from ~174 to 180

mhb77
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Advice for getting from ~174 to 180

Postby mhb77 » Sun May 01, 2011 9:02 pm

I was wondering if anyone here has advice for getting to a 180

I got a Kaplan test prep book and did a practice segment for each category, then went straight to the practice test and got a 175. I figured that since I did minimal prep work I could drag that score up with repetition but I've taken the test twice more and gotten 173 both times (admittedly with less practice immediately before testing, by test 3 I had completely run out of practice problems in the prep book). Right now missed questions seem to be evenly distributed amongst the segments, maybe a slight weakness in Logic Games.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a higher level prep book, or better yet study methods that would help me close the gap?

Thanks

paulinaporizkova
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Re: Advice for getting from ~174 to 180

Postby paulinaporizkova » Sun May 01, 2011 9:06 pm

the bible

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Advice for getting from ~174 to 180

Postby JamMasterJ » Sun May 01, 2011 9:08 pm

mhb77 wrote:I was wondering if anyone here has advice for getting to a 180

I got a Kaplan test prep book and did a practice segment for each category, then went straight to the practice test and got a 175. I figured that since I did minimal prep work I could drag that score up with repetition but I've taken the test twice more and gotten 173 both times (admittedly with less practice immediately before testing, by test 3 I had completely run out of practice problems in the prep book). Right now missed questions seem to be evenly distributed amongst the segments, maybe a slight weakness in Logic Games.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a higher level prep book, or better yet study methods that would help me close the gap?

Thanks

You are in an enviable position. Logic games is the easiest section to learn and with that high of a score, you are in a perfect position to have an elite score. The best thing that you can do is get the Logic Games Bible. It will help you with set up and making inferences, and with your innate talent, you should be able to score close to perfect every time. I get less than two wrong about every time on LG

mhb77
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Re: Advice for getting from ~174 to 180

Postby mhb77 » Sun May 01, 2011 9:35 pm

Excellent. I'd heard good things about the bible, but I was hesitant to put down more money on books. I guess I'll go for it.

While were at it do you have any tips for logical reasoning? That's probably my next biggest concern. That and not freaking out on test day, I don't normally get test anxiety, but this is kinda a big deal and I could definitely see it happening

HITeacher2
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Re: Advice for getting from ~174 to 180

Postby HITeacher2 » Sun May 01, 2011 9:57 pm

You know the difference between a 174 and a 178 can mean the difference between a full ride scholarship at Columbia (Hamilton) and a pittance. That's over $100,000 all baked into one three-hour test. Have you ever made $30,000 an hour before? Few people have the privilege.

Hope you don't freak out on test day ;)

rundoxierun
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Re: Advice for getting from ~174 to 180

Postby rundoxierun » Sun May 01, 2011 9:58 pm

mhb77 wrote:Excellent. I'd heard good things about the bible, but I was hesitant to put down more money on books. I guess I'll go for it.

While were at it do you have any tips for logical reasoning? That's probably my next biggest concern. That and not freaking out on test day, I don't normally get test anxiety, but this is kinda a big deal and I could definitely see it happening


If you are already consistently scoring 171+ I dont see how the bibles will be of much use to you. Save the money and instead invest in as many real LSAT practice tests as possible. At this point, the big thing you should focus on is establishing timing, familiarity with all the problem tupes and rhythm. The real key to 175+ is fast pattern recognition. The LSAT is very finite in its possibilities and, therefore, extremely repetitive

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KibblesAndVick
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Re: Advice for getting from ~174 to 180

Postby KibblesAndVick » Sun May 01, 2011 10:24 pm

tkgrrett wrote:If you are already consistently scoring 171+ I dont see how the bibles will be of much use to you. Save the money and instead invest in as many real LSAT practice tests as possible. At this point, the big thing you should focus on is establishing timing, familiarity with all the problem tupes and rhythm. The real key to 175+ is fast pattern recognition. The LSAT is very finite in its possibilities and, therefore, extremely repetitive


I agree with all of this. If you're already in the mid 170's you don't need to learn the material. You need to learn how to go fast and minimize mistakes. There isn't much strategy or tricks to it. Just lots and lots of real practice tests until it becomes second nature. Start taking full practice tests with an experimental section added in. Make sure you time yourself and be strict about it. Congrats on being this far along already. Good luck studying.

mhb77
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Re: Advice for getting from ~174 to 180

Postby mhb77 » Sun May 01, 2011 10:33 pm

HITeacher2 wrote:You know the difference between a 174 and a 178 can mean the difference between a full ride scholarship at Columbia (Hamilton) and a pittance. That's over $100,000 all baked into one three-hour test. Have you ever made $30,000 an hour before? Few people have the privilege.

Hope you don't freak out on test day ;)



Haha. I think I just felt my blood pressure rise a few points. I knew that once you get above 170 every point is hugely significant, but that is insane.

Honestly I'm more concerned about just getting in at this point, normally I'd be happy with anything above a 170 but I feel like my GPA is a little weak.

Actually on that note, does anyone know if top schools actually care what you took as an undergrad or do they just look at the numbers? Because I think my course load is pretty intense (I'm a biochem major and I have the courses for a double major with physics but my university does this weird thing where they break up into colleges and I'm stuck in the Ag school for the in-state tuition)

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The Gentleman
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Re: Advice for getting from ~174 to 180

Postby The Gentleman » Sun May 01, 2011 10:54 pm

paulinaporizkova wrote:the bible


Given that the difference between a 174 and a 180 is largely luck, paulina may have been referring to the religious book.

bp shinners
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Re: Advice for getting from ~174 to 180

Postby bp shinners » Tue May 03, 2011 1:28 am

KibblesAndVick wrote:
tkgrrett wrote:If you are already consistently scoring 171+ I dont see how the bibles will be of much use to you. Save the money and instead invest in as many real LSAT practice tests as possible. At this point, the big thing you should focus on is establishing timing, familiarity with all the problem tupes and rhythm. The real key to 175+ is fast pattern recognition. The LSAT is very finite in its possibilities and, therefore, extremely repetitive


I agree with all of this. If you're already in the mid 170's you don't need to learn the material. You need to learn how to go fast and minimize mistakes. There isn't much strategy or tricks to it. Just lots and lots of real practice tests until it becomes second nature. Start taking full practice tests with an experimental section added in. Make sure you time yourself and be strict about it. Congrats on being this far along already. Good luck studying.


Third-ed. *ahem*

There's also a lot of luck involved when you get to that point, as someone else said. Just keep practicing, honing, and alleviating your worries so you don't freak out on test day.

And go out for your favorite food the night before. Unless your favorite food is scotch.

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yngblkgifted
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Re: Advice for getting from ~174 to 180

Postby yngblkgifted » Tue May 03, 2011 2:48 am

OP,

I offically hate you for having this problem.

Sincerely,

a hater. :wink:

whymeohgodno
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Re: Advice for getting from ~174 to 180

Postby whymeohgodno » Tue May 03, 2011 3:06 am

Pray

c_dubya_s
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Re: Advice for getting from ~174 to 180

Postby c_dubya_s » Tue May 03, 2011 10:27 am

KibblesAndVick wrote:
tkgrrett wrote:If you are already consistently scoring 171+ I dont see how the bibles will be of much use to you. Save the money and instead invest in as many real LSAT practice tests as possible. At this point, the big thing you should focus on is establishing timing, familiarity with all the problem tupes and rhythm. The real key to 175+ is fast pattern recognition. The LSAT is very finite in its possibilities and, therefore, extremely repetitive


I agree with all of this. If you're already in the mid 170's you don't need to learn the material. You need to learn how to go fast and minimize mistakes. There isn't much strategy or tricks to it. Just lots and lots of real practice tests until it becomes second nature. Start taking full practice tests with an experimental section added in. Make sure you time yourself and be strict about it. Congrats on being this far along already. Good luck studying.


Probably the best advice you could get. I used the bibles, but only to get me up into the 170 range. Once you're there, take as many of the RECENT practice tests as you can (i.e. from PT 50 or so onwards). I found that the patterns on the tests changed slightly once you got towards PT 50 or 55, so the most recent practice tests are really the most valuable for preparing yourself. If you have time, work your way up from PT 50 to the most recent PT (61 or 62?) before test day. And make sure to make your practice tests as realistic as possible in preparation for test day (using an experimental section, taking it in a classroom/unfamiliar location, timing each section, etc.). Some test prep companies will let you pay $10-15 to sit in on one of their proctored practice tests, which (in my opinion) can be the best way to prepare yourself for the test day environment.

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incompetentia
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Re: Advice for getting from ~174 to 180

Postby incompetentia » Tue May 03, 2011 11:02 am

There are very few prep issues that you will have getting from the mid-170s to 180. I firmly believe that the only difference between scoring 171 and 180 on test day is how focused you are and how well you minimize any distractions. I happened to be in a similar boat as you, and after skimming through some prep material talking about types of questions, I did nothing but take tests and drill sections/question types until the test. You should establish a testing routine that will be as similar as possible to the actual test day, so that you won't be too freaked out that day. (I used mellow music to focus myself before PTs the last 3 weeks, and the playlist I used was just slightly longer than my drive to the testing center so that I could chill in the car for a few minutes before walking in.)

You WILL want to take a look at the problems you missed and see if there are any patterns in terms of question types, and figure out if you're regularly missing any one subtype of questions (I had the biggest trouble with the main-point questions in RC and the assumption questions in LR). It sounds like you already have a decent method yourself of solving most of these questions on your own, so you'll want to come up with a method that you're comfortable with. (I ended up starting each RC passage by skimming rather than reading for detail to answer the main-points, and I started to diagram the assumption questions.)



As a meh-GPA high-LSAT science major (chemistry), I can tell you that the classes you take have very little bearing on your cycle relative to your actual GPA. I actually slightly underperformed my numbers even for splitters, although I had some unique circumstances.

mhb77
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Re: Advice for getting from ~174 to 180

Postby mhb77 » Thu May 05, 2011 6:32 pm

Sounds like the consensus is that I've got to start grinding through some practice tests. I've burned through all of mine and accidentally had amazon send my next set home instead of to my dorm. Anybody know if there are tests floating around on the internet anywhere? I've been retaking old tests, but I doubt that is a good method of evaluation, even if I don't think I remember anything.

Shame my course load doesn't do anything to offset my meh-GPA, although I can't really think of any reason law schools would care about my cloning skills or whatever. Also @incompetentia I nearly switched to chemistry, it's good stuff. Although certain things (Physical chemistry) can torpedo a GPA

delusional
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Re: Advice for getting from ~174 to 180

Postby delusional » Thu May 05, 2011 6:53 pm

I know that some people prep far better than they test, or have wide ranges among PTs, and they feel that there's a lot of luck involved. Which is true. OTOH, you make your own luck. It's true that this can be a chance to make the equivalent of tens of thousands of dollars in a few hours, so make sure you do every single test that you possibly can under conditions that simulate or are more intense than the real test. If you have a couple months, do two tests a week starting from PT 47 ish. If you have more time, start from earlier tests with the goal being to finish the most recent test the week before the actual LSAT. Don't actively LOOK for mistake trends, once you're used to the questions, you'll recognize them. Keep challenging yourself - if you get a couple 177 plus, switch to thee nighttime or add a section or try finishing in 33 minutes. There will still be luck, and you'll wonder why you got anamolous scores here and there, but the overall trend will be upward. And the more you master it, the less will be outside your control.




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