Should I retake the LSAT?

motivation
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Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby motivation » Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:12 pm

I took the lsat last October after prepping on and off in the summer for 3 months. I scored a 153 on the test, which was slightly lower than my PT average. I used the bibles in my prep, but only minimally. The majority of my prep involved timed sections with review, but I also took around 10 full length tests under timed conditions leading up to the test. Ultimately, I feel I lost my focus in my prep, and often times lethargically reviewed questions. I only hit my target score once or twice when taking PT's, and I'm not sure if a more concentrated effort will allow me to hit my desired score this coming October, which is when I plan to retake. Should I enroll in a 2-month Powerscore class leading up to the test, or perhaps take the course sooner, thus leaving me more time for full length tests? The thought has crossed my mind that I cannot improve, since I've already prepped and been exposed to much of the available material, so I'm apprehensive about retaking in that regard.

Any thoughts or advise would be greatly appreciated.

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KevinP
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby KevinP » Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:22 pm

motivation wrote:Should I enroll in a 2-month Powerscore class leading up to the test, or perhaps take the course sooner, thus leaving me more time for full length tests?

The answer depends but taking the class sooner might be better so you don't waste anymore PTs without knowing how to attack/review them properly. But honestly, I'm a huge advocate of self-study.

motivation wrote:The thought has crossed my mind that I cannot improve, since I've already prepped and been exposed to much of the available material, so I'm apprehensive about retaking in that regard.

The test is learnable. You admitted to using the bibles minimally; that's definitely not the way you want to go about it. You should read the bibles carefully and re-read sections multiple times if something isn't perfectly clear. You can improve but know that you will have to put some serious effort into it.

motivation
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby motivation » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:50 am

If I got -12 on games during the real thing, then would a Powerscore course, diligent attention to the bibles, and 10-12 recent preps tests be sufficient to increase my score by 3-5 points assuming no freak circumstances occur. I feel I am somewhat familiar with Powerscore's approach to games, and averaged 6-8 wrong during prep, but underperformed on the real deal. I fear if I take 3 months to study hard, then I may burn out once again, instead of going full speed until right before test with everything fresh in my mind.

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KevinP
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby KevinP » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:57 am

motivation wrote:If I got -12 on games during the real thing, then would a Powerscore course, diligent attention to the bibles, and 10-12 recent preps tests be sufficient to increase my score by 3-5 points assuming no freak circumstances occur.

Yes, you should be able to improve 3-5 points but you should not be satisfied with that. You should be satisfied only when you not missing a single question on the LG section. Logic games are by far the most learnable section of the LSAT.

motivation wrote: I feel I am somewhat familiar with Powerscore's approach to games, and averaged 6-8 wrong during prep, but underperformed on the real deal. I fear if I take 3 months to study hard, then I may burn out once again, instead of going full speed until right before test with everything fresh in my mind.

Burnout is always an issue so don't push yourself too hard. I will say this, simply being familiar with Powerscore's approach is extremely unlikely to get you the results you want. You should know it like the back of your hand. LSAC makes the underlying principles in their LG section very similar. As such, you should be able to figure out what type of game you are encountering (linear, hybrid, etc.). You should know exactly how to diagram the setup and how to attack every question type.

bp shinners
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby bp shinners » Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:01 pm

motivation wrote:I took the lsat last October after prepping on and off in the summer for 3 months. I scored a 153 on the test, which was slightly lower than my PT average. I used the bibles in my prep, but only minimally. The majority of my prep involved timed sections with review, but I also took around 10 full length tests under timed conditions leading up to the test. Ultimately, I feel I lost my focus in my prep, and often times lethargically reviewed questions. I only hit my target score once or twice when taking PT's, and I'm not sure if a more concentrated effort will allow me to hit my desired score this coming October, which is when I plan to retake. Should I enroll in a 2-month Powerscore class leading up to the test, or perhaps take the course sooner, thus leaving me more time for full length tests? The thought has crossed my mind that I cannot improve, since I've already prepped and been exposed to much of the available material, so I'm apprehensive about retaking in that regard.

Any thoughts or advise would be greatly appreciated.


If you were scoring in the mid-150s, I would recommend prepping from materials that will help you develop methods to solve the different problem types. You say that you used the bibles minimally - I would focus a lot more on them to get down how to solve the problems. You can pick this up by taking practice test after practice test, but that's a much slower process and prone to the development of bad habits when you think you understand something.

The courses are designed to teach you everything you need to know while giving you plenty of materials with which to prep. Taking an earlier course is, in my opinion, a good idea, but certainly not if it will result in you losing focus and burning out towards the end (which is why you'll see a variety of schedules from most companies - to allow for different learning/prep styles).

I also would dismiss the thought that you cannot improve; I'm willing to bet you still have a ways to go before you hit that wall (especially at -12 on the LG section). Whichever method you end up going with (self-study, course, Billy Madison style strip-tutoring*), put in the time, do the work, and you'll see your score improve.

*Despite my lobbying, this isn't offered by BP. Or any company, that I know of. Though after looking at some instructor headshots that might not be a bad thing...

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BigA
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby BigA » Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:13 pm

KevinP wrote:
motivation wrote:If I got -12 on games during the real thing, then would a Powerscore course, diligent attention to the bibles, and 10-12 recent preps tests be sufficient to increase my score by 3-5 points assuming no freak circumstances occur.

Yes, you should be able to improve 3-5 points but you should not be satisfied with that. You should be satisfied only when you not missing a single question on the LG section. Logic games are by far the most learnable section of the LSAT.


So how long does it take and what do you do to get to this point? What makes you think anyone can achieve this? I'd like to know. Still waiting to get there... hehe

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KevinP
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby KevinP » Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:10 pm

BigA wrote:So how long does it take?

This answer really depends on the individual.

BigA wrote:and what do you do to get to this point?

You read Powerscore's LG book and then practice, practice, practice.

BigA wrote:What makes you think anyone can achieve this? I'd like to know. Still waiting to get there... hehe

To be honest, I think anyone can achieve LG mastery because on modern LSAT games, the process is almost entirely mechanical. Sure, LSAC throws slight curveballs sometimes but they are easy to handle with practice. Once one has mastered LG, there is little "true" thinking involved. It's simply find the game type, set up the diagram, and start tackling the questions by plugging stuff in. Best of luck to you :)

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BigA
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby BigA » Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:43 pm

Thanks for the explanation. Do you say this as an instructor or based on your own abilities? I've done every game at least twice now, so I find these kind of posts frustrating, especially after tanking games on my LSAT today (asia)

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KevinP
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby KevinP » Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:15 pm

BigA wrote:Thanks for the explanation. Do you say this as an instructor or based on your own abilities? I've done every game at least twice now, so I find these kind of posts frustrating, especially after tanking games on my LSAT today (asia)


Mostly based on my own abilities + watching other people who struggled with LG master it. I hope my points don't discourage you but rather motivate you xD

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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby bp shinners » Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:35 pm

BigA wrote:I've done every game at least twice now, so I find these kind of posts frustrating, especially after tanking games on my LSAT today (asia)


Just doing them multiple times won't guarantee that you fully understand the concepts. Again, I'd recommend learning the methods/logic underlying the games in general before practicing the games, as that will help you understand the games much more than just going through them without proper review.

motivation
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby motivation » Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:19 pm

Just doing them multiple times won't guarantee that you fully understand the concepts. Again, I'd recommend learning the methods/logic underlying the games in general before practicing the games, as that will help you understand the games much more than just going through them without proper review.



I believe this sums up the flaw in my preparation. My method of reviewing PT's was terribly misguided by my arbitrary way of discerning why a certain answer choice was wrong (or correct). Now that I have begun a mindful reading of the bibles, I believe I will possess the tools needed to properly review questions. My main issue before was that I did not complete any of the drills in the bibles, and merely answered the questions, which I now realize was incredibly stupid.

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KevinP
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby KevinP » Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:33 pm

motivation wrote: I believe this sums up the flaw in my preparation. My method of reviewing PT's was terribly misguided by my arbitrary way of discerning why a certain answer choice was wrong (or correct). Now that I have begun a mindful reading of the bibles, I believe I will possess the tools needed to properly review questions. My main issue before was that I did not complete any of the drills in the bibles, and merely answered the questions, which I now realize was incredibly stupid.


Also, Manhattan forums has diagrams for most of the games. I find comparing their diagrams to mine is extremely useful in reviewing. Not sure if you want to go this route, but just a suggestion.

http://www.manhattanlsat.com/forums/log ... 4a51bf922a

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BigA
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby BigA » Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:43 am

bp shinners wrote:
BigA wrote:I've done every game at least twice now, so I find these kind of posts frustrating, especially after tanking games on my LSAT today (asia)


Just doing them multiple times won't guarantee that you fully understand the concepts. Again, I'd recommend learning the methods/logic underlying the games in general before practicing the games, as that will help you understand the games much more than just going through them without proper review.


Oh and I neglected to mention the fact that I've gone through the LG bible twice, but I have. I also review with explanations usually. So I have a pretty good idea about how to make a setup. So I really don't know what my problem is. Just slow at making inferences I guess. Then sometimes I'll lose a lot of time by forgetting about the implications of a rule and something will seem unsolvable for a period of time. Many reasons to botch a game. So any ideas on how I should prep for an October re-take??

Sorry, for taking this long to reply. And sorry to OP for kinda hi-jacking the thread.

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Nulli Secundus
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby Nulli Secundus » Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:18 am

Thing is, most of the schools you can get in with a 160 or so is not really worth going to anyway ITE, therefore, I would suggest rethinking your goals in life.

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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby bp shinners » Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:10 pm

BigA wrote:Just slow at making inferences I guess.


Most of the students with whom I work who understand the concepts well but have timing issues because they have difficulties making those deductions will treat each game as unique in this regard. They'll use the type (grouping/ordering/combo) to work on the setup, then forget it when they try to make deductions. However, the game types dictate the best places to look for deductions.

Ordering game? Look at your most restricted variable and your blocks. These will generally limit one variable to the point where you can place it (or determine it can only go in one of two places) or a block (that will only be able to go in one or two places). After you figure that out, you can build scenarios, or at least have a solid starting point to work on the questions.

Grouping game? Again, look at the most restricted variable. If it's a grouping game with two groups, there are only two places that variable can go, and you can build scenarios around that.

These are broad strokes, but they'll help you get quicker at deductions in general. After looking at deductions as coming from the game types and working with them for a little while, you'll start to develop your own feel for where the deductions are likely to come from.

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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby Audio Technica Guy » Fri Jul 08, 2011 6:10 pm

Nulli Secundus wrote:Thing is, most of the schools you can get in with a 160 or so is not really worth going to anyway ITE, therefore, I would suggest rethinking your goals in life.


I don't really agree with this. If you think this, you don't really want to be an actual lawyer, you want to go to a prestigious school. Even in a bad jobs market, you can still easily get into a school that will get you a law job with a 160.

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BigA
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby BigA » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:38 am

bp shinners wrote:
BigA wrote:Just slow at making inferences I guess.


Most of the students with whom I work who understand the concepts well but have timing issues because they have difficulties making those deductions will treat each game as unique in this regard. They'll use the type (grouping/ordering/combo) to work on the setup, then forget it when they try to make deductions. However, the game types dictate the best places to look for deductions.

Ordering game? Look at your most restricted variable and your blocks. These will generally limit one variable to the point where you can place it (or determine it can only go in one of two places) or a block (that will only be able to go in one or two places). After you figure that out, you can build scenarios, or at least have a solid starting point to work on the questions.

Grouping game? Again, look at the most restricted variable. If it's a grouping game with two groups, there are only two places that variable can go, and you can build scenarios around that.

These are broad strokes, but they'll help you get quicker at deductions in general. After looking at deductions as coming from the game types and working with them for a little while, you'll start to develop your own feel for where the deductions are likely to come from.


Thanks. Sometimes I see those things quickly and am able to nail the game. I think doing it consistently is the problem though

motivation
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby motivation » Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:49 pm

Nulli Secundus wrote:Thing is, most of the schools you can get in with a 160 or so is not really worth going to anyway ITE, therefore, I would suggest rethinking your goals in life.


Even if I will have zero debt from law school and UG upon graduation?

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Nulli Secundus
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby Nulli Secundus » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:53 am

motivation wrote:
Nulli Secundus wrote:Thing is, most of the schools you can get in with a 160 or so is not really worth going to anyway ITE, therefore, I would suggest rethinking your goals in life.


Even if I will have zero debt from law school and UG upon graduation?


Well, unless you mean your parents will pay for your school, you will need to understand a certain thing about the full scholarships of schools under a certain rank: stipulations. Most of the time, full scholarships at schools like this will have absurd stipulations for class rank at the end of each year and again, most of the time, they will put the scholarship recipients to same section so your competition will be just as desperate. So it depends on you, really, if you feel like you are able to keep top 10%-20%, 3 years straight, among people trying their damnedest to do the same: go for it.

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BigA
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby BigA » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:08 am

motivation wrote:
Nulli Secundus wrote:Thing is, most of the schools you can get in with a 160 or so is not really worth going to anyway ITE, therefore, I would suggest rethinking your goals in life.


Even if I will have zero debt from law school and UG upon graduation?


Curious how you'll graduate like this. Not sure what kind of school would give a full ride with 160. Special circumstances? Not trying to gang up on you. Just curious.

motivation
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby motivation » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:58 pm

Curious how you'll graduate like this. Not sure what kind of school would give a full ride with 160. Special circumstances? Not trying to gang up on you. Just curious.


I would be graduating with no debt through the benevolence of my family. I am not under the impression that I would get a full ride from any worthwhile school with a 160. With that being said, would it be justifiable to go to a school like Chicago-Kent under these circumstances?




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