LSAT Prep -Brick Wall?

stinkygpa
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LSAT Prep -Brick Wall?

Postby stinkygpa » Fri May 06, 2011 6:43 am

Is there really such a thing as a brick wall in the LSAT prep? I scored 151 on my first diagnostic and after a month of prep I scored a 159. But I feel that although I'm improving and recognizing the patterns as I progress the TestMasters materials, I'm consistently getting questions wrong for reasons of being careless or being coaxed by the "sucker choices." The reasons why my answer choice was wrong is always obvious to me in hindsight though, which perhaps is the most frustrating part 'cause makes me go "you shit-for-brains, how did you miss that!?"

I've been prepping an average of 5 hours a day for 5 weeks now and I'm hoping to break 170. After finishing with TestMasters, I'm going to look through LG Bible and even LR Bible if necessary. What is the usual learning curve for the LSAT prep? If anyone has taken TestMasters, it would be really helpful if you could share with me some stories of how you learned through course.

I plan to take the LSAT only once. I have registered for the June LSAT, but if I'm not scoring as well as I hope to be scoring on the practice tests by week before the test, I'm taking the October test instead. But I'm worried -is there a brick wall? I'm a pretty optimistic guy with a positive outlook, but I don't want to be unrealistic.

tourdeforcex
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Re: LSAT Prep -Brick Wall?

Postby tourdeforcex » Fri May 06, 2011 8:24 am

this really depends on a few factors, some things i can think of off the top of my head are initial score (demonstrative of how your basic logical reasoning is), what exactly you're improving on, the amount of time, and your ability to review and learn from review

i took TM. started w/ a 159 which was higher than most of the people in my class, yet my improvement was probably less on average. i took october to score a 165 and then december to score a 167. so in all an 8 point improvement. my TM instructor said that average improvement is about 10 points.

getting questions wrong for being careless can be good or bad news. can you stop being careless in the same amount of time? how do you cope w/ stress (for me the week leading up to actual test and day of were really really stressful)?

what are you weaker on? as for going through LG bible and LR bible, my opinion is don't do LR b/c you've basically learned the same thing through TM. as for LG, use it for the games (don't write on the actual game pages so you can do them again and again)

i'd say if you've improved 8 points since, you're on a great track. eventually your true test of improvement comes when you're taking those last set of exams on your own. breaking 170 is a goal for a lot of people, definitely possible. stay disciplined and positive.

best wishes.

flounder
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Re: LSAT Prep -Brick Wall?

Postby flounder » Fri May 06, 2011 8:56 am

What I love is when I take a practice test and hit a question that I studied in the LR book. AND I STILL GET THE WRONG ANSWER!

seanPtheB
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Re: LSAT Prep -Brick Wall?

Postby seanPtheB » Fri May 06, 2011 1:20 pm

stinkygpa wrote:Is there really such a thing as a brick wall in the LSAT prep? I scored 151 on my first diagnostic and after a month of prep I scored a 159. But I feel that although I'm improving and recognizing the patterns as I progress the TestMasters materials, I'm consistently getting questions wrong for reasons of being careless or being coaxed by the "sucker choices." The reasons why my answer choice was wrong is always obvious to me in hindsight though, which perhaps is the most frustrating part 'cause makes me go "you shit-for-brains, how did you miss that!?"

I've been prepping an average of 5 hours a day for 5 weeks now and I'm hoping to break 170. After finishing with TestMasters, I'm going to look through LG Bible and even LR Bible if necessary. What is the usual learning curve for the LSAT prep? If anyone has taken TestMasters, it would be really helpful if you could share with me some stories of how you learned through course.

I plan to take the LSAT only once. I have registered for the June LSAT, but if I'm not scoring as well as I hope to be scoring on the practice tests by week before the test, I'm taking the October test instead. But I'm worried -is there a brick wall? I'm a pretty optimistic guy with a positive outlook, but I don't want to be unrealistic.


You have to officially postpone by I thiiiink May 12, it may be a day or two after that, to have you score not show up as a cancellation to law schools. So don't wait til a week before the test, because by then you will have screwed yourself.

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Strange
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Re: LSAT Prep -Brick Wall?

Postby Strange » Fri May 06, 2011 1:24 pm

Do law schools really care if you cancel?

vamos
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Re: LSAT Prep -Brick Wall?

Postby vamos » Fri May 06, 2011 1:43 pm

seanPtheB wrote:You have to officially postpone by I thiiiink May 12, it may be a day or two after that, to have you score not show up as a cancellation to law schools. So don't wait til a week before the test, because by then you will have screwed yourself.

If you don't show up on the day of the test, it will show up as an absence, not a cancel.

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YaSvoboden
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Re: LSAT Prep -Brick Wall?

Postby YaSvoboden » Fri May 06, 2011 3:27 pm

vamos wrote:
seanPtheB wrote:You have to officially postpone by I thiiiink May 12, it may be a day or two after that, to have you score not show up as a cancellation to law schools. So don't wait til a week before the test, because by then you will have screwed yourself.

If you don't show up on the day of the test, it will show up as an absence, not a cancel.


If you're paying for it anyway, show up, get the experience, and then cancel. Look through the deans' interviews on here, one cancel doesn't matter.

vamos
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Re: LSAT Prep -Brick Wall?

Postby vamos » Fri May 06, 2011 4:12 pm

YaSvoboden wrote:
vamos wrote:
seanPtheB wrote:You have to officially postpone by I thiiiink May 12, it may be a day or two after that, to have you score not show up as a cancellation to law schools. So don't wait til a week before the test, because by then you will have screwed yourself.

If you don't show up on the day of the test, it will show up as an absence, not a cancel.


If you're paying for it anyway, show up, get the experience, and then cancel. Look through the deans' interviews on here, one cancel doesn't matter.

True, but a cancel counts as one of your three attempts, whereas an absence does not. Steve Schwartz lsat blog has a great article on the cancel vs. absence debate.

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YaSvoboden
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Re: LSAT Prep -Brick Wall?

Postby YaSvoboden » Fri May 06, 2011 4:46 pm

vamos wrote:
YaSvoboden wrote:
vamos wrote:
seanPtheB wrote:You have to officially postpone by I thiiiink May 12, it may be a day or two after that, to have you score not show up as a cancellation to law schools. So don't wait til a week before the test, because by then you will have screwed yourself.

If you don't show up on the day of the test, it will show up as an absence, not a cancel.


If you're paying for it anyway, show up, get the experience, and then cancel. Look through the deans' interviews on here, one cancel doesn't matter.

True, but a cancel counts as one of your three attempts, whereas an absence does not. Steve Schwartz lsat blog has a great article on the cancel vs. absence debate.


Good point. Anyway, OP, If you are at 159 and aiming for 170, move it out til October now. A jump that big can happen in a month, but it is quite unlikely. Manhattan Noah posted a nifty flowchart in a similar thread. If you want to keep the June appointment just in case you see a miracle, go for it. But October sounds more likely.

And I know this is off topic, but why is there not an August test nice and conveniently placed at the end of summer?

seanPtheB
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Re: LSAT Prep -Brick Wall?

Postby seanPtheB » Fri May 06, 2011 5:33 pm

My bad on confusing cancellation and absences. But I agree that you should move it out to October now. Doesn't really sound to me like it's worth it to go in June hoping for a miracle and using an absence if you're not sure you slayed it.

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mickeyD
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Re: LSAT Prep -Brick Wall?

Postby mickeyD » Fri May 06, 2011 10:39 pm

Personally I think that a big part of LR is the ability to recognize and quickly eliminate the common wrong answer choices. The LR Bible helps with this, as they teach you the common wrong answer choices, and then do a good job of pointing out every single time they occur in the example questions.

This way, when you're answering LR questions, you're not just looking for the right answer, but actively identifying wrong answers and eliminating them. It adds to your arsenal of attacking the answer choices because now you're not just looking for an answer choice that answers the question stem, but also answer choices that fit the molds of common wrong answer choices.

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Addicted to LSAT
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Re: LSAT Prep -Brick Wall?

Postby Addicted to LSAT » Sat May 07, 2011 11:37 am

There are plateaus during LSAT prep and there's probably a wall for everyone but you probably haven't reached it after a month. In order to push through this one you might have to change things up

I think it was Rita Mae Brown who first said "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

Try a different approach. Try reading question stems first, or improving/revising your RC notations, or making sure you're LG diagrams are perfect.

On review try this - make a few copies of one LSAT section. This works better with games but you can do it with LR and RC too. Do the section in 35 minutes. Mark the ones you get wrong as wrong but don't make note of the correct answers. Give yourself another try at the ones you got wrong. Take your time on this go around. Then mark them again and really study the ones you got wrong twice. It's not enough to say, oh yeah I would have gotten that. Take the time to understand it to the point where you can explain it to someone. Try teaching someone why you got the question wrong and why the right one is right. Girlfriends/Boyfriends/little siblings are great for this.
Then put this section aside for a day or two and when you come back to it start over doing a clean copy in 35 minutes. Yes, you'll recognize some questions but you still need to read them. Don't just answer from memory, read the full question and answers before answering. Draw diagrams all over again. Check your score in the same way again? Did you score perfect or close to? Probably not. Keep repeating this on sections until you are scoring close to perfect.This will help you get into the flow and confidence of answering close to perfect in the required time. Then move on to a new section and hopefully see your score improve.

stinkygpa
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Re: LSAT Prep -Brick Wall?

Postby stinkygpa » Sun May 29, 2011 5:57 pm

So I just took my fourth diagnostic and this is how I have improved so far:

151, 157, 165, 164.

Does the fact that I got worse on my fourth diagnostic mean that I've hit that brick wall? In my defense, I got stuck on the third logic game and that was hugely detrimental to my whole logic games section and I ran out of time on Reading Comprehension because I took too much time on the other reading passages. God, this whole LSAT prep thing seriously blows and it's really damaging my self-esteem.

Have you guys experienced a score drop during your prep? If so, do you have any tips on time management? Anything will help at this point. Thanks

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YaSvoboden
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Re: LSAT Prep -Brick Wall?

Postby YaSvoboden » Sun May 29, 2011 6:25 pm

stinkygpa wrote:So I just took my fourth diagnostic and this is how I have improved so far:

151, 157, 165, 164.

Does the fact that I got worse on my fourth diagnostic mean that I've hit that brick wall? In my defense, I got stuck on the third logic game and that was hugely detrimental to my whole logic games section and I ran out of time on Reading Comprehension because I took too much time on the other reading passages. God, this whole LSAT prep thing seriously blows and it's really damaging my self-esteem.

Have you guys experienced a score drop during your prep? If so, do you have any tips on time management? Anything will help at this point. Thanks


I don't think of 165 to 164 as a score drop. Sure they are different on the real thing, but in practice you are within the same scoreband. You have nowhere near hit a brick wall.my last 5 are 172, 171, 167, 176, 173. You have made some good leaps already and were able to identify what went wrong on the last test. Work on those and keep getting better.




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