Prep Approach -- Emphasize review, or emphasize repetition?

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SoPro
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Prep Approach -- Emphasize review, or emphasize repetition?

Postby SoPro » Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:56 pm

I'm sure that I can find this answer elsewhere using the search function, but I prefer answers that I can engage.

What prep approach is better/more efficient/ensures the greatest improvement:

1. Taking as many prep tests as possible with little to no review of questions

or

2. Taking fewer prep tests but reviewing each test thoroughly


Likely, the ideal approach would be a combination of the above (lots of tests, lots of review), but I'm crunched for time. Let's assume that a thorough review of a prep test is roughly equal to the amount of time it would take to complete 1 1/2 -- 2 complete tests. If this estimate is wildly inaccurate, correct me.

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NZA
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Re: Prep Approach -- Emphasize review, or emphasize repetition?

Postby NZA » Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:03 am

Review. I took eight prep tests, I think, before the actual thing. I would review each answer I got wrong on the prep tests at least four or five times, asking myself why I got the question wrong, explaining the correct answer to myself, etc. And I'd then glance through the problems I got right, focusing on questions that gave me trouble (I would circle, for instance, the questions that I skipped over, and I'd pay special attention to those).

And I'd say your estimate is somewhat inaccurate, depending on how many questions you got wrong. I'd probably spend a good four or five hours total reviewing my test. One thing that also helps is studying with others, and going over the same test with them, helping to explain the correct answers to them that they missed, having them do the same for you, etc.

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SoPro
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Re: Prep Approach -- Emphasize review, or emphasize repetition?

Postby SoPro » Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:10 am

NZA wrote:Review...And I'd say your estimate is somewhat inaccurate...I'd probably spend a good four or five hours total reviewing my test.


Thanks for the response.

If you don't mind answering:

- Did you take a diagnostic?
- How much did you improve on the actual test?

If you'd rather not disclose your score, I'd appreciate a sense of how much you improved.

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NZA
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Re: Prep Approach -- Emphasize review, or emphasize repetition?

Postby NZA » Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:13 am

SoPro wrote:
NZA wrote:Review...And I'd say your estimate is somewhat inaccurate...I'd probably spend a good four or five hours total reviewing my test.


Thanks for the response.

If you don't mind answering:

- Did you take a diagnostic?
- How much did you improve on the actual test?

If you'd rather not disclose your score, I'd appreciate a sense of how much you improved.

No, I don't mind at all. Like I said, I took eight or nine diagnostic/prep tests under test conditions, and did a whole ton of other prep tests simply to practice (especially logical reasoning). First diagnostic, I think I did a 160? Or a high 150 something. I ended up scoring a 169, which was also the highest score I got on a diagnostic, as well. I was kind of hoping to break 170, but I doubt if I retook it I would've had a significant score change.

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mottainai
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Re: Prep Approach -- Emphasize review, or emphasize repetition?

Postby mottainai » Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:32 am

Both are important.

Repetition helps for timing and test fatigue. Once you get into a rhythm though, there's no reason to race through prep tests.

Review will help in the long run.
SoPro wrote:I'm sure that I can find this answer elsewhere using the search function, but I prefer answers that I can engage.

What prep approach is better/more efficient/ensures the greatest improvement:

1. Taking as many prep tests as possible with little to no review of questions

or

2. Taking fewer prep tests but reviewing each test thoroughly


Likely, the ideal approach would be a combination of the above (lots of tests, lots of review), but I'm crunched for time. Let's assume that a thorough review of a prep test is roughly equal to the amount of time it would take to complete 1 1/2 -- 2 complete tests. If this estimate is wildly inaccurate, correct me.


If you were to decide between these two strategies in a vacuum, the second one would probably be better...but in real life, it depends on your personal situation. Are you lagging on the test but scoring fairly well on the sections you do complete? Are you failing to grasp the nuances of the questions?

Short answer - it depends.

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EarlCat
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Re: Prep Approach -- Emphasize review, or emphasize repetition?

Postby EarlCat » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:53 am

SoPro wrote:What prep approach is better/more efficient/ensures the greatest improvement:

1. Taking as many prep tests as possible with little to no review of questions

or

2. Taking fewer prep tests but reviewing each test thoroughly


These two options don't seem to match the thread title. I wouldn't call taking as many tests as possible "repetition." (Although repetition is a very very good thing, and should probably be part of both options.) Of the two options you gave, I'd pick review. Churning and burning tests with no review doesn't do much for fundamental improvement (and at the end of the day, the test really is nothing but fundamentals). The LSAT is very mechanical, like math. Burning through tons and tons of math problems racing the clock with no review won't do much to make you better at math.

In addition, even after you've gone through a test and thoroughly reviewed it, don't just discard it. Reworking old questions is an incredibly valuable way to study. It's kinda like watching a movie for a second or third time. You start to pick up on things you missed--things beyond the superficial appearance that was all you saw the first time through. There's an underlying concept that is being tested in each question (and that shows up over and over again on test after test). Being able to spot those concepts is key to mastering the test IMHO, and learning to spot them is easier with familiar questions.

In other words, you don't have to do 30 or 40 preptests to thoroughly prepare. You're probably better off with 10 or 15 that you work through (both on and off the clock) two or three times over several months.

Let's assume that a thorough review of a prep test is roughly equal to the amount of time it would take to complete 1 1/2 -- 2 complete tests. If this estimate is wildly inaccurate, correct me.


I think this is an underestimate. Especially if you're reviewing every question right or wrong (which you should).

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SoPro
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Re: Prep Approach -- Emphasize review, or emphasize repetition?

Postby SoPro » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:21 am

EarlCat wrote:These two options don't seem to match the thread title. I wouldn't call taking as many tests as possible "repetition."


Thanks for the response.

How would you have titled the thread?

EarlCat wrote:Reworking old questions is an incredibly valuable way to study. It's kinda like watching a movie for a second or third time. You start to pick up on things you missed


Good tip.

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ms08g
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Re: Prep Approach -- Emphasize review, or emphasize repetition?

Postby ms08g » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:29 pm

Review is absolutely critical. Without in depth review and understanding of why you're getting particular questions wrong (and right as well) you are going to have a hard time making gains because you'll likely find yourself making the same mistakes. That said, the next step after review must be repetition--you will need to lock down problem areas and fix holes in your understanding and methodology. Look at Pithypike's approach (stickied), it combines repetition on individual question types and is an excellent method for fixing any problem areas through practice and drilling.




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