3rd & Final re-take best books to use ? (self-study)

aclaw55
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3rd & Final re-take best books to use ? (self-study)

Postby aclaw55 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:20 am

Hello everyone,

I started off with an extremely low cold score of 137 in Oct 2010 going in cold because I was extremely naive and thought possibly recommendations and a resume could of got me in law schools (I know what a dumb @$$). I then prepped with Kaplan course and focused more on doing prep-tests from Nov to Feb and went in the Feb 2011 exam scored a 148 jumping eleven points. I managed to get into a few TTTT's (Out of state schools - Intention is to practice in NY) but decided to take the advice from this board, and not waste money unless I can improve my score and climb rankings a bit. Now that I am two years out of college I am looking at my last re-take here. My RC seems to be the worst and I've tried using RC Bible from PS and I haven't seem much improvement. I am thinking go back through all the PS Bibles and do prep-tests like I did for my second exam? I am unsure exactly what to do differently this time around, but I do know RC needs the most improvement. I also am curious as to if you believe one has a peak score and where mine might be judging on my horrific cold -> 11 point jump in 3 months. I am am going to be working as assistant/paralegal full-time in NYC while I prepare for my final re-take whether it'd be Oct or December. I sincerely appreciate your help and advice.

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luckyme
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Re: 3rd & Final re-take best books to use ? (self-study)

Postby luckyme » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:44 am

I think people have a peak score; I have no idea where yours is. I didn't use the RC Bible, but reading dense material on a variety of topics (e.g. The Economist, Scientific American) for an hour or so every day might help. if you're scoring below 150, you're missing enough questions that you should probably focus on improving your performance on all sections. I liked the LGB and its Workbook; I think they also helped me on LR. Have you taken all of the practice tests? If not, you might want to consider ordering at least the recent full-length PTs...I think they can be bought for $8 or $10 each.

aclaw55
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Re: 3rd & Final re-take best books to use ? (self-study)

Postby aclaw55 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:07 pm

I guess I will start by carefully going back through the bibles.. then slowly disect new prep exams and see where I stand. I wonder if I'm going to pick up where I left off or if you take time off studying do you drop back down a couple of points? Should be interesting thanks for the input. few points higher into the 150s allows me to stay in NY, and if it's where I want to practice i'm not sure a TTTT out of state would of been the smartest idea although I wanted to start this fall..

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jbates14
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Re: 3rd & Final re-take best books to use ? (self-study)

Postby jbates14 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:06 pm

Search TLS. There is plenty of information on this site that can help you improve your scores. You are no where close to reaching your "peak score". Logic games is learnable and most of the test is. Take PTs and review them thoroughly, find why correct answers are correct and the 4 wrong ones are wrong. Once again, a lot of high scorers (175+) have contributed guides and other pieces of information that are helpful. Read pithypikes guide possibly and work your ass off.

Edit: You may also want to buy the Manhattan RC book. I have read that it helped a lot of people improve their RC scores.

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j12
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Re: 3rd & Final re-take best books to use ? (self-study)

Postby j12 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:36 pm

I improved 17 points over my cold diagnostic, so I think you still have room for improvement.

Besides just taking practice tests all the time to get used to the 35 minute time frame, you also need to review the questions you missed after each PT. One thing I got somewhere on TLS, which I'm certain helped me pick up a few points, is to cut out the questions you miss and review them everyday until you understand everything about the question: why the other 4 choices are wrong and why the 1 choice is right (like someone else already said).

The only prep material besides PT I used was the PS LG Bible, which I found to be very helpful. For RC I think the general advice is just to try and read a range of material so nothing throws you off on test day. If you're a slow reader and struggle to make it through all the passages on time I would consider punting a passage. Figure out which section usually gives you the most problem and just fill in the bubbles for that one randomly and move on just trying to get the other 3 passages 100%.

Good luck. You can do it.

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clouds101
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Re: 3rd & Final re-take best books to use ? (self-study)

Postby clouds101 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:08 pm

Just a suggestion, but you might want to try books that group Q types and just do all of them. I just learned here on TLS that Cambridge sells them in pdf format... I got Traciela's LR, LG, and RC books for PTs 1-20 and just made copies so that I could drill individual question types while also doing full-length prep tests. If given the choice, I would have bought the pdf ones. Ah well, what's done is done.

GOOD LUCK. I'm in the same boat (third retaker, blurgghhh). Have faith!

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cmckid
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Re: 3rd & Final re-take best books to use ? (self-study)

Postby cmckid » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:41 pm

You didn't tell us how intensely you practiced- the highest scorers here tend to have gone through at least 1/2 of all the released practice tests, as well as any of the bibles they thought useful. If you want to maximize your score, do all three bibles, and then all of the practice tests.

aclaw55
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Re: 3rd & Final re-take best books to use ? (self-study)

Postby aclaw55 » Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:59 am

Thank you all for your input. I will definitely purchase the Manhattan RC book because I am beyond awful in RC. If I was able to even slightly improve in RC it would make huge difference on my scores. I am happy to see that there might be hope after all for this third re-take although as I said I am pretty disgusted to not be in law school two years out of college. LG Bible didn't seem to help me like I thought it would but the LR one definitely has. Any other recommendations while I continue studying for possibly Oct or Dec LSAT? Thank you all again for your time.

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sandwiches5000
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Re: 3rd & Final re-take best books to use ? (self-study)

Postby sandwiches5000 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:30 am

aclaw55 wrote:Thank you all for your input. I will definitely purchase the Manhattan RC book because I am beyond awful in RC. If I was able to even slightly improve in RC it would make huge difference on my scores. I am happy to see that there might be hope after all for this third re-take although as I said I am pretty disgusted to not be in law school two years out of college. LG Bible didn't seem to help me like I thought it would but the LR one definitely has. Any other recommendations while I continue studying for possibly Oct or Dec LSAT? Thank you all again for your time.


I am two years out of college. No law school yet (wasn't sure that was what I wanted to do at first and needed a few years working to save money.) I don't think it's that sad at all. It can be frustrating because we want to be on our "real" career paths already, but the money you save/work experience you gain can help you in the admissions process and can help stave off debt. That is assuming you've been working these past couple of years.

aclaw55
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Re: 3rd & Final re-take best books to use ? (self-study)

Postby aclaw55 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:57 am

sandwiches5000 wrote:
aclaw55 wrote:Thank you all for your input. I will definitely purchase the Manhattan RC book because I am beyond awful in RC. If I was able to even slightly improve in RC it would make huge difference on my scores. I am happy to see that there might be hope after all for this third re-take although as I said I am pretty disgusted to not be in law school two years out of college. LG Bible didn't seem to help me like I thought it would but the LR one definitely has. Any other recommendations while I continue studying for possibly Oct or Dec LSAT? Thank you all again for your time.


I am two years out of college. No law school yet (wasn't sure that was what I wanted to do at first and needed a few years working to save money.) I don't think it's that sad at all. It can be frustrating because we want to be on our "real" career paths already, but the money you save/work experience you gain can help you in the admissions process and can help stave off debt. That is assuming you've been working these past couple of years.


That's a very good way at looking at it sandwiches5000. I just think that realistically I'm going to have to take out loans to pay for law school anyway regardless, and the process of paying them back is going to be the years of sacrificing that I would like to be sooner rather than later. I am eyeing CUNY Law because of tuition but I'm not sure if it makes sense to attend a public interest school if indeed you plan on working possibly in private sector. I have began studying 3 hours a night after work already and I noticed simple techniques in the RC Bible i missed. I hope to break into 150s/early 160 this October and the latest December. Thank you for the advice

am060459
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Re: 3rd & Final re-take best books to use ? (self-study)

Postby am060459 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:18 am

i scored a 134 on my cold. i have taken the lsat twice after a year of studying and on both scored a 159. i decided to postpone studying and look for a job. now im a paralegal at a V5 and will resume studying for lsat maybe in a year or so.


since this is your final and last attempt i strongly suggest not taking it in october or december. sometimes the best thing to do is step back and take a break. the good thing about scoring low is there is a lot of room for improvement. LG should be your primary focus. it is the most learnable of all three sections. if you can do well on this section (assuming you didnt do well) you can easily be scoring in the low 150s. i went from -15 to -2/-3 on average and sometimes 0.

PM me if you want some pointers as we both had somewhat similar cold lsat scores.

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sandwiches5000
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Re: 3rd & Final re-take best books to use ? (self-study)

Postby sandwiches5000 » Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:23 pm

aclaw55 wrote:
sandwiches5000 wrote:
aclaw55 wrote:Thank you all for your input. I will definitely purchase the Manhattan RC book because I am beyond awful in RC. If I was able to even slightly improve in RC it would make huge difference on my scores. I am happy to see that there might be hope after all for this third re-take although as I said I am pretty disgusted to not be in law school two years out of college. LG Bible didn't seem to help me like I thought it would but the LR one definitely has. Any other recommendations while I continue studying for possibly Oct or Dec LSAT? Thank you all again for your time.


I am two years out of college. No law school yet (wasn't sure that was what I wanted to do at first and needed a few years working to save money.) I don't think it's that sad at all. It can be frustrating because we want to be on our "real" career paths already, but the money you save/work experience you gain can help you in the admissions process and can help stave off debt. That is assuming you've been working these past couple of years.


That's a very good way at looking at it sandwiches5000. I just think that realistically I'm going to have to take out loans to pay for law school anyway regardless, and the process of paying them back is going to be the years of sacrificing that I would like to be sooner rather than later. I am eyeing CUNY Law because of tuition but I'm not sure if it makes sense to attend a public interest school if indeed you plan on working possibly in private sector. I have began studying 3 hours a night after work already and I noticed simple techniques in the RC Bible i missed. I hope to break into 150s/early 160 this October and the latest December. Thank you for the advice


No problem. In fact, schools tend to look favorably on work experience before school.

Have you tried http://lsatblog.blogspot.com? I used his studying plans and they worked well for me. There are a number of them that are adapted to how many hours/months of studying you can commit to. My advice is to come up with a solid plan of how you can improve and stick to it. 3-5 hours per day is crucial. For me, 5-6 days a week was good. Not 7. That's crazy. Everyone needs a break. I ended up PTing around 175 but something went horribly wrong on test day I guess (nerves.) Ended up with a 167 and retaking in October. Anyway, don't let nerves get the best of you! Make sure you practice only under real conditions!!! Don't give yourself a minute more or let yourself bubble in answers after time is up.

totaltest.milan
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Re: 3rd & Final re-take best books to use ? (self-study)

Postby totaltest.milan » Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:05 pm

RC is generally the most difficult to improve on because it's not just a question of learning certain techniques, you need to have a good foundation with your reading skills. That being said, given enough time, dedication, and practice of correct techniques you can certainly see improvement. That's part of the reason why people are recommending that you start reading dense material on a regular basis. I don't recommend the Economist or the Wall Street Journal, or any other news magazine, sophisticated or not. The reason is that that material is designed to be read for content, the reading passages on the test are designed to be read for structure - densely layered arguments with multiple perspectives in opposition. I recommend to my students that they read philosophy books, and the one in particular that I always recommend is "A Companion to Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory (Blackwell Companions to Philosophy)". The others in the series are good too, and will develop your ability to read for structure and argument.

In addition it's also absolutely necessary to have a system for doing this section - the powerscore book is pretty good and I've been told Manhattan LSAT has a good approach. I have my own approach that has worked well with my students and you can check it out on my website on the resources page. In a nutshell, every passage is going to have multiple perspectives or points of view that are generally going to be in opposition and that will be developed through engagement with one another. As you pay attention to whose perspective is presented and how it's engaging with the rest of the information you'll develop a framework that makes it much easier to synthesize all the information in the passage so that you have more confidence with the questions.

There's no magic bullet, the LSAT is a skills test, and like any other skill you have to develop it through intelligent practice. In this case that means that you need to find approaches for each different question type and practice them until you're consistently accurate, then practice under timed conditions. The more actual LSAT questions you do the higher likelihood that you'll do well on the test.




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