June 2011 LSAT--one month to prep: suggestions?

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June 2011 LSAT--one month to prep: suggestions?

Postby mmk33 » Wed May 11, 2011 12:53 am

Hi all,

I'm taking the test June 6th. I've been a successful test taker all of my life up until this point (SAT, GRE, etc.), and now at the age of 31 I'm having some trouble with the LSAT. I've taken three practice tests and scored 162, 166, 160. I'm looking to get my score into the 168-172 range for the test (1st choice for law school is Duke) and I'm hoping that's possible. I have a 3.74 gpa undergrad and I completed a Phd in English Literature before this. It has been some time since I've taken an actual standardized test, and sometimes I feel like I'm banging my head against a wall. I would appreciate any suggestions on the best preparation techniques. Right now this is what I'm doing:

-I purchased 30 prior LSAT exams from LSAC. I have taken three of them and plan to do one a day (the remaining 27) between now and test day.
-I purchased the Powerscore Games Bible and the Logical Reasoning Bible. I'm almost done with the Games Bible, and am going to start and read the LR Bible closely (a little bit every day) starting Thursday (5/12/11).
-I've created an excel spreadsheet to track my LSAT PT results and keep records of where I'm losing points. So far my biggest weaknesses are timing (the time I scored 166 two of the four sections I had to guess on the last four or five questions because I ran out of time, and got every single one wrong) and the games. The last PT I took I had -10 on the games section which obviously killed my score. My strength is RC (-0, -3, -4). My LR has been uneven (all the way from -2 to -7) and I need to get that more consistent.
-After every practice test I'm reviewing my mistakes and reading an explanation of the correct answer using the Manhattan LSAT site (http://www.manhattanlsat.com/lsat-test-explanations.cfm). To be perfectly honest, one of the most frustrating things about prepping for this test is that with the Logical Reasoning questions I'm getting wrong I frequently have either misread a minor detail in the question or I've been "tricked" by the question in some simple way.

I would appreciate any thoughts about things to add/take away from this plan for preparation.

Some of my concerns:
1. Should I do the games section at a slower pace instead of using test conditions?
2. Is there any way that one can burn out on practice tests? My experience is that taking PTs is the best preparation, but I'm not "getting it" in the way that I would like to: it's not clicking yet.
3. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get in the proper mindset for the test? I feel like it is best to be as relaxed as possible in terms of following intuitions/notice the obvious that is not immediately obvious, but at the same time this is such a detail-intensive exam that I frequently switch into a more intense mode during the PTs that I don't think is conducive to scoring optimally.

thanks for the help in advance.

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Re: June 2011 LSAT--one month to prep: suggestions?

Postby Pleasye » Wed May 11, 2011 1:52 am

Suggestion: postpone.

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Re: June 2011 LSAT--one month to prep: suggestions?

Postby Peg » Wed May 11, 2011 2:02 am


Good luck with this. Normally I would be dead against anyone prepping for one month, but you've already started with a lowest score of 160, so maybe you can pull this off. I would still tell you that, with your natural advantage at the LSAT, you could give yourself a great chance at getting 170+ if you waited till October.

With that said, I'll try and answer your questions.

1. LG sections - in the beginning, accuracy is way more important than speed. Concentrate on getting as close to 100% right in the beginning. You should understand the common traps and tricks, and you should understand your own strategy and shorthand, before you make pacing a priority.

However, when you do actual timed practice tests, of course you should go according to the time limit.

2. Yeah, you can burn out from too many practice tests, but the real issue is, are you taking the time to go back over your mistakes? Or are you just giving your mistakes a cursory once-over before moving on to the next prep test? In my experience, it is WAY MORE IMPORTANT to go over and really understand your mistakes than to do a hundred different prep tests. Write down your mistakes according to problem type so you can identify weak areas, go back and practice the problem type and really understand why your answer choice was wrong and why the correct answer choice is the right one. You would be better off doing 10 prep tests between now and June, and exhaustively going over your mistakes, than you would be if you took 27 prep tests and didn't go over your mistakes properly.

3. The mindset probably varies for each person, but for me it was all about confidence and calmness. What I would do is set my watch, and then I would sit down at my desk five minutes before the test was due to start to clear my mind. I would imagine the questions and feel confident that my mind was calm and focused enough to understand them and see through all the tricks. But I learned that I cannot trust my intuition all the time, so I focused on remembering the way the LSAT has trained me to think, rather than answering the questions on my gut instinct - my gut instinct gave me the wrong answer most of the time!

Hope that helps and good luck, I hope you get the score you want.

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Re: June 2011 LSAT--one month to prep: suggestions?

Postby voltron » Wed May 11, 2011 3:49 pm

i agree with the postpone. The LSAT is a different beast when it comes to exams. Take a practice released exam and see what you score and look at the school you are interested and if your score is no where near then postpone.

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Re: June 2011 LSAT--one month to prep: suggestions?

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Wed May 11, 2011 3:56 pm

Postpone till Oct. You'll break 170+ for sure. Don't rush this thing, you'll be more than fine. RC and LR will probably tighten up for you quickly because of your serious exposure to English, and LG will become near perfect after a month or two of serious practice.

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Re: June 2011 LSAT--one month to prep: suggestions?

Postby mmk33 » Thu May 12, 2011 11:53 am

thanks for the responses. I'm taking the advice of those above (and others through PM) and delaying for october. I'm aiming for 170+.

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