A Prep Dillemma... Help!

tbbartholomew
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A Prep Dillemma... Help!

Postby tbbartholomew » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:26 pm

Hey guys,

I know this topic has been beaten to death, but I believe I have a special circumstance. I was looking for some guidance on my issue as of now and everyone here seemed very knowledgeable from my creeping around in the past few weeks. Here it goes...

Back in April, I decided (with little research unfortunately) to take an LSAT prep course. I attend Stony Brook University, and Kaplan has their ads plastered everywhere. I was very ignorant of the many choice available to me, so simply just started there. I went with their "LSAT Extreme Anywhere Course" as I thought 4 meetings a week at around 3 hours a session would improve whatever my diagnostic score was going to be at least ten points or so (Assuming I scored on the lower end). I took a diagnostic and received a 149 (Dismal, I know). I was determined to score in the 90th Percentile from the start and followed the "Kaplan Method" and all that. I was doing hours of practice a day, and completed all of the homework assignments. I never missed a session! My score at the end of the course was a 154... needless to say I was very disappointed. But, not being one to give up, I rescheduled my LSAT to October in an attempt to study harder and retake the course if needed to reach my 164 target score. I called up Kaplan and they enrolled me in yet another class. I was less than pleased when I found out I could not get my money back.

I went out to the bookstore this weekend and purchased the two Powerscore Bibles (LR and LG) because I have heard nothing but rave reviews on their methods. I wasn't a fan of the "Kaplan Method" at all and every single time I would question it, I would receive the same automated-type answer from the instructor (Follow the Kaplan Method!). I know it seems ridiculous to "Re-invent the wheel", so to speak, but I feel that with a better method in mind I may do better. My plan as of this evening was to work through the 2 books and attend a Powerscore weekend course before the October test. However, my question to you is whether I should enact the strategy I described above, or take a full Powerscore online course (I do not have enough time to drive 45 miles away to the real one). Which would be the best option for increasing my score ten points or higher? I certainly have the resources to spend on it! Any suggestions would be welcome. Kaplan sort of screwed me. :cry:

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john1990
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Re: A Prep Dillemma... Help!

Postby john1990 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:57 pm

Personally i scored a 150 diag and then a 158 after the PS bibles, so i only increased a few more points. At this point it is important to find out why you are missing questions and focus on those areas. Are you missing alot, or do you not complete sections in time? It could be that kaplan is fine but you need more practice with it. I know Kaplan is bashed a lot but id be suprised if it was a completely insufficient method.

EDIT-after a month of taking a preptest a day (or 2) i was able to increase my stamina which had been holding me back. Then i started scoring in the 164-167 range consistintly, so with that diag score you have room for improvement

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gaud
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Re: A Prep Dillemma... Help!

Postby gaud » Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:15 pm

john1990 wrote:Personally i scored a 150 diag and then a 158 after the PS bibles, so i only increased a few more points. At this point it is important to find out why you are missing questions and focus on those areas. Are you missing alot, or do you not complete sections in time? It could be that kaplan is fine but you need more practice with it. I know Kaplan is bashed a lot but id be suprised if it was a completely insufficient method.

EDIT-after a month of taking a preptest a day (or 2) i was able to increase my stamina which had been holding me back. Then i started scoring in the 164-167 range consistintly, so with that diag score you have room for improvement



+1. My diagnostic was a 148 and just before the June 6th test my PT's were 168-170. What really put me ahead is EXACTLY what this poster said. Go through every problem after every PT, whether you were correct or not, and determine why EACH answer is either correct or incorrect. It can be time-consuming, but invaluable.

tbbartholomew
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Re: A Prep Dillemma... Help!

Postby tbbartholomew » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:20 am

Oh, I know I have plenty of room for improvement. I was just simply asking for the best course of action!

So my time would most definitely be spent just doing practice problems (and reviewing the answers very very closely) rather than trying to re-learn my methods? I personally believe that between school finishing up and work and having so much stress under my belt that it may have been holding me back. When I took practice tests I would get so many wrong on LR because I would miss tiny details (which I know is everything on LR). When I practiced just section by section, I would get a much better score. Maybe I was just nervous? My LG score was pretty much improving but was hit or miss for the most part but this could also be improved with just doing practice problems with the methods I have already learned. RC was never really a problem, I can easily score between 70 and 80 percent consistently on each section.

tbbartholomew
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Re: A Prep Dillemma... Help!

Postby tbbartholomew » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:50 am

I also thought I should mention that I usually finish the sections in the allotted time. Sorry for the double post!

albanach
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Re: A Prep Dillemma... Help!

Postby albanach » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:58 am

tbbartholomew wrote:I also thought I should mention that I usually finish the sections in the allotted time. Sorry for the double post!


Can you score higher with more time?

You should work on accuracy first, then improve your speed. If you focus upon speed from the very start, it's very difficult to learn the question types and get your accuracy up.

tbbartholomew
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Re: A Prep Dillemma... Help!

Postby tbbartholomew » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:23 am

albanach wrote:
tbbartholomew wrote:I also thought I should mention that I usually finish the sections in the allotted time. Sorry for the double post!


Can you score higher with more time?

You should work on accuracy first, then improve your speed. If you focus upon speed from the very start, it's very difficult to learn the question types and get your accuracy up.

Is that a rhetorical question? I think I can! How would you best work on accuracy? I am very familiar with the different types of questions on each section. I was wondering if I should focus on practice problems for a month or so or a new methodology IE Powerscore.

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gaud
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Re: A Prep Dillemma... Help!

Postby gaud » Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:31 pm

Pick up the PS LR Bible and the LG Bible if you are interested or at least hit up a B & N to check them out. They are awesome.

As the other posters have said, you should work on accuracy. This is something that will improve over time through review (when you are reviewing you need to concern yourself with questions such as what led you to choose the incorrect answer. when you can determine mistakes like this and what causes them, you will improve your accuracy in the future: it's that simple).

tbbartholomew
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Re: A Prep Dillemma... Help!

Postby tbbartholomew » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:07 pm

Well I do own both bibles as of a few days ago. My question to you guys is should I work through them now or forget about them and simply just keep practicing the problems with kaplans method? Id like to make the best use of the time I have left.

zanzbar
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Re: A Prep Dillemma... Help!

Postby zanzbar » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:12 pm

Honestly I was in the same boat that you were in with my initial diag being a 148 and taking a Kaplan course, and after the Kaplan course I was up to a 156 then I got the powerscore bibles and they so far have me up to a 163 however I would recommend going with Manhattan LSAT. I invested in their RC and LR strategy guides and I have to say I believe they are better quality then the PS bibles. If I had the funds available I would recommend taking an online course with them instead of PS. Also I believe once a month or so they offer a free online workshop so you can get an idea how a lesson will work.

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gaud
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Re: A Prep Dillemma... Help!

Postby gaud » Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:18 pm

OP, I would try out a PT and review each and every question and see if you are understanding why you miss the problems that you are missing. If you understand why you are missing the problem and believe that the skills you learned from Kaplan are sufficient enough for you to progress your score enough for you to be satisfied, then go for it. If you are still having trouble, I would recommend reading your PS books, as I am sure many other posters on here would: they are pretty helpful.

"zanzbar", you are totally right about Manhattan LSAT, especially with their RC book. OP, if you need help in RC I would definitely recommend Manhattan as it helped me (after PS and Testmasters). As for their LR strategy, I have no experience there so I cannot really be sure if it is better/worse than PS.

All in all, you have quite some time until Oct, so relax.

albanach
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Re: A Prep Dillemma... Help!

Postby albanach » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:29 am

tbbartholomew wrote:Is that a rhetorical question? I think I can! How would you best work on accuracy? I am very familiar with the different types of questions on each section. I was wondering if I should focus on practice problems for a month or so or a new methodology IE Powerscore.


Many here have been very successful with PowerScore. I haven't tried any other methodology, so don't really feel qualified to say one is better than another.

Others have mentioned the importance of review. Give yourself a little more time to do a prep test. You don't want to be rushing answers, rather you should focus on getting the right answer.

Mark any questions that you find difficult. Afterwards thoroughly review all the questions you got wrong and all those you marked as difficult, even if you got them correct. You need to understand exactly why each wrong answer was incorrect and why the correct answer was correct.

Through practice and review you should get faster at spotting the correct answer and at eliminating incorrect ones. On games you should become faster at spotting the necessary inferences that enable you to complete the game in the allotted time. Gradually reduce the amount of time you are giving yourself on each section until you are completing them within the 35 minutes while maintaining high accuracy.

Don't sit the LSAT until you are comfortably completing PTs at and above your target for test day.




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