What is all this study garbage anyway?

lawgod
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What is all this study garbage anyway?

Postby lawgod » Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:32 pm

I have been trolling* here off and on for a bit, and I get the impression that everyone thinks the LSAT is able to totally be studied for, and the difference between a 180 and a 130 is well you studied.

Is there really a basis for this idea?
Do we really know of legitimately large amounts of people who have significantly improved their average scores after having already learned the basic way of taking it? I know of no such people, and I bet there are few. To the contrary, people I know killed themselves for many months and didn't improve at all after the initial improvement.

Really, it doesn't even make sense. Schools heavily rely on the score, and consider it a good indicator of 1L performance. 1L performance is considered a good indicator of job performance by the employers (perhaps for lack of better indicators). If we assume that studying for the LSAT does not make one a better law student and lawyer, we need to say it is something more internal.

My personal opinion, is that LSAT taking skill is a rough indicator of lawyering skill, and UGPA is a rough indicator of ability to sit down and do your work and write reasonably well. And that's just what I think.

So perhaps I'm way wrong. Perhaps you will regale me with stories of many people whose diagnostic was 150, 3 months got them averaging 165, and 8 months got them averaging 180. And if that is normal, then I'm wrong.
But telling me of improvements over diagnostic is worthless-- that just means you need to somewhat learn the system. And telling me stories of your uncle's cousin who did it is also worthless. I want to hear about the masses.

* Yes trolling. I didn't mean to write lurking.

TMC116
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Re: What is all this study garbage anyway?

Postby TMC116 » Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:36 pm

lawgod wrote:I have been trolling* here off and on for a bit, and I get the impression that everyone thinks the LSAT is able to totally be studied for, and the difference between a 180 and a 130 is well you studied.

Is there really a basis for this idea?
Do we really know of legitimately large amounts of people who have significantly improved their average scores after having already learned the basic way of taking it? I know of no such people, and I bet there are few. To the contrary, people I know killed themselves for many months and didn't improve at all after the initial improvement.

Really, it doesn't even make sense. Schools heavily rely on the score, and consider it a good indicator of 1L performance. 1L performance is considered a good indicator of job performance by the employers (perhaps for lack of better indicators). If we assume that studying for the LSAT does not make one a better law student and lawyer, we need to say it is something more internal.

My personal opinion, is that LSAT taking skill is a rough indicator of lawyering skill, and UGPA is a rough indicator of ability to sit down and do your work and write reasonably well. And that's just what I think.

So perhaps I'm way wrong. Perhaps you will regale me with stories of many people whose diagnostic was 150, 3 months got them averaging 165, and 8 months got them averaging 180. And if that is normal, then I'm wrong.
But telling me of improvements over diagnostic is worthless-- that just means you need to somewhat learn the system. And telling me stories of your uncle's cousin who did it is also worthless. I want to hear about the masses.

* Yes trolling. I didn't mean to write lurking.


The first thing in bold is a poor argument.

The second is absolutely absurd.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: What is all this study garbage anyway?

Postby Bildungsroman » Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:38 pm

--ImageRemoved--

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soj
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Re: What is all this study garbage anyway?

Postby soj » Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:43 pm

Image

EDIT: Bils :evil:

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incompetentia
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Re: What is all this study garbage anyway?

Postby incompetentia » Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:45 pm

I'm assuming I'm going to regret this response in 24 hours. Prove me wrong.
lawgod wrote:Do we really know of legitimately large amounts of people who have significantly improved their average scores after having already learned the basic way of taking it?

I suppose you'd imagine that the large numbers of people who retake here and improve by double digits outliers.
To the contrary, people I know killed themselves for many months and didn't improve at all after the initial improvement.

What study methods were they using? There's constant studying, and then there is intelligent studying. These are completely different (and often opposite) things.
Really, it doesn't even make sense. Schools heavily rely on the score, and consider it a good indicator of 1L performance.

Correlation is 0.4. Some indicators, but hardly an overwhelming one.
1L performance is considered a good indicator of job performance by the employers (perhaps for lack of better indicators).

You answered your own question.

lawgod
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Re: What is all this study garbage anyway?

Postby lawgod » Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:51 pm

Why are you going to regret a response?

I have seen the people here who improved on retake. I want to know if there is a definite plateau when you know how to do it, and then it is just a question of how well you can.

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KibblesAndVick
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Re: What is all this study garbage anyway?

Postby KibblesAndVick » Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:57 pm

You're setting up this false dichotomy between natural ability accounting for all variance in LSAT scores and studying accounting for all the variance. It's a mix of the two.

Once you learn the basics you should see a significant jump from your diagnostic. Once you learn the basics you should be able to identify specific types of games and LR questions that give you trouble. If you can figure out those question types you should see another jump. Once you've worked on your specific weaknesses you can practice time management. Learning how much time to spend on difficult questions versus easy questions can improve your average score. You can improve your ability to focus and concentrate. That should make you more consistent and help prevent stupid mistakes on test day. Another possible jump.

If you really get into it there's more to learn than just the basic structure.

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tmon
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Re: What is all this study garbage anyway?

Postby tmon » Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:58 pm

soj wrote:Image

EDIT: Bils :evil:


LMAO

notsureiftrollin...

But yeah, I think the people who the plateau bit really applies to are few and far between--those who get like, mid 170s, plateau and just can't get to 180. If that's what you're talking about, maybe you're right. I'm not even convinced of that though. But for those who diag low (like me, at 149) a shit ton of work can do wonders. I just PTed at 172, and the amount of work I've put in is probably more than most: a testmaster's course in 09 and some self studying, picking it back up in January of this year and basically self-studying intensively through today.

lawgod
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Re: What is all this study garbage anyway?

Postby lawgod » Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:59 pm

KibblesAndVick wrote:You're setting up this false dichotomy between natural ability accounting for all variance in LSAT scores and studying accounting for all the variance. It's a mix of the two.

Once you learn the basics you should see a significant jump from your diagnostic. Once you learn the basics you should be able to identify specific types of games and LR questions that give you trouble. If you can figure out those question types you should see another jump. Once you've worked on your specific weaknesses you can practice time management. Learning how much time to spend on difficult questions versus easy questions can improve your average score. You can improve your ability to focus and concentrate. That should make you more consistent and help prevent stupid mistakes on test day. Another possible jump.

If you really get into it there's more to learn than just the basic structure.


Ok. that is fair.
I suppose my question then is only: "Is there a necessary plateau?"

bhan87
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Re: What is all this study garbage anyway?

Postby bhan87 » Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:04 pm

lawgod wrote:Why are you going to regret a response?

I have seen the people here who improved on retake. I want to know if there is a definite plateau when you know how to do it, and then it is just a question of how well you can.


It's not that the universal advice of retaking guarantees anyone a better score, but rather, not taking the chance to retake is a foolish move for many students. There are a whole host of reasons why a retake could improve one's score, and just a handful of points could lead to vastly different admissions cycles. If there is a 20% chance that you could improve your score enough to get into a school a whole tier higher (or to get a full ride scholarship), why would you not want to try retaking? It could be worth a few hundred thousand dollars to you.

People on these boards aren't arguing that everyone can reach a 170+, but the sacrifice necessary to try again is tiny compared to the rewards of a few more points.

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incompetentia
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Re: What is all this study garbage anyway?

Postby incompetentia » Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:10 pm

I think that plateaus exist, but for the most part only inasmuch as the person is unaware of or unreceptive to effective study methods.

There are some people whose minds just aren't set up for the way the LSAT works...but I think you'd know that pretty early in the process.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: What is all this study garbage anyway?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:12 pm

lawgod wrote:
KibblesAndVick wrote:You're setting up this false dichotomy between natural ability accounting for all variance in LSAT scores and studying accounting for all the variance. It's a mix of the two.

Once you learn the basics you should see a significant jump from your diagnostic. Once you learn the basics you should be able to identify specific types of games and LR questions that give you trouble. If you can figure out those question types you should see another jump. Once you've worked on your specific weaknesses you can practice time management. Learning how much time to spend on difficult questions versus easy questions can improve your average score. You can improve your ability to focus and concentrate. That should make you more consistent and help prevent stupid mistakes on test day. Another possible jump.

If you really get into it there's more to learn than just the basic structure.


Ok. that is fair.
I suppose my question then is only: "Is there a necessary plateau?"



I improved from a 155 diagnostic to a 174 on my third take. My first plateau was at low to mid 160's, which I was stuck at for awhile (through most of the LSAT class I took before my first take). I was able to get into the consistent mid to high 160's by self-study for my second take. Then I took a break from the LSAT for a bit, and then started tutoring and teaching. After I decided to take the LSAT for a third time I was pretty consistent in scoring above 170, but never got higher than 175. I bet if I had continued teaching for another few months and done some consistent practice on my own I could have gotten my score into the mid to high 170s.

I've had students have double digit increases in score from diagnostic. Maybe some people do have some sort of plateau that they will never be able to get past. I think its worth it to put in as much study time as possible to put yourself in the best position in terms of choice of law schools and scholarship money.

I actually asked a similar question to the multiple 180 LSAT guy who just started posting on here: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=161914&start=25

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KibblesAndVick
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Re: What is all this study garbage anyway?

Postby KibblesAndVick » Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:14 pm

lawgod wrote:Ok. that is fair.
I suppose my question then is only: "Is there a necessary plateau?"


I think innate "intelligence", for lack of a better term, forces some people to plateau. Not to be a dick about it but some people just aren't smart enough to get better than a 170. But I honestly believe most people smart enough to graduate college could get a 170+ if they put their all into it. Being bright makes it easier and you pick it up quicker but I don't think it's necessary.

And even if intelligence is the limiting factor in the process you could still max out far above the score you'd get just by learning the basics of the LSAT.

lawgod
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Re: What is all this study garbage anyway?

Postby lawgod » Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:27 pm

Hmmm.
It looks like people don't really agree with me.
I don't know. I certainly see how learning the systems can give real improvement.
I just can't imagine that the schools would put so much investment in something which is learnable.

Here is a new theory: Maybe, there is innate ability to do it, and it can also be learned. And the schools assume you are not really studying that well, and you can beat the system by really studying like an animal.
Does that make more sense?

Berkeley13
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Re: What is all this study garbage anyway?

Postby Berkeley13 » Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:16 am

The way I see it, a consistent 170+ performance on the LSAT requires at least four things:

1. A strong understanding of how the test works (timing, question types, etc.) and methods for attacking the sections
2. Physical characteristics (being able to focus for hours on end, not having a panic attack, knowing your physical limitations like hunger and accounting for it)
3. Strong, purposeful reading skills
4. Understanding of (the LSAT's brand) of logic

They are all affected, to an extent, by genetic predisposition and other "innate" factors, but #1, 3 and 4 especially are highly learnable skills.

I think you need a certain level of each of these skills/abilities in order to perform well on the LSAT. Some people have been working on #2, 3, and 4 for their entire lives and think the LSAT's a breeze. Others have not worked on these skills enough or worked on them in a way that makes them useful for certain activities, but not the LSAT, and plateau when they aren't able to resolve their deficiencies. Because these are skills, I believe that anyone can get a 170+, but are limited by the amount of time and effort they'd need to put into getting it. Some people, for example, come into the test with such poor reading skills that they would need many months or years to improve them to the point where they could get a 170+. Nevertheless, it's still doable and they are not ultimately limited by their "innate" abilities, but rather by how they have spent the last 10+ years of their lives.

The type of intense studying done by many people on this forum and in classes are, in essence, gigantic cram sessions. People who go into the cram sessions unprepared will be limited in what they can take out of it in a limited amount of time. People who have been preparing all their lives don't need a cram session or need a relatively short and focused one to ace the LSAT.

bp shinners
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Re: What is all this study garbage anyway?

Postby bp shinners » Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:17 pm

I can't get into all of our internal numbers, but I would argue that, after the first practice test and a few lessons, most students have a good grasp of the basics of taking the test. The second practice test (given after 9 lessons, which includes the RC method, 2/3 of logical reasoning, and ordering/grouping games) sees our students all over the place with their improvements. For my classes, I think there's generally about a +3/+4 at that point, but with numbers all over the place. However, we end up with an average score increase of +11 by the end of the course. I'm not very good with statistics, but it seems to me that's a pretty good indicator that scores can improve by a significant amount after the basics have been nailed down. Practice on the LSAT really can help quite a bit.

lawgod
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Re: What is all this study garbage anyway?

Postby lawgod » Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:22 pm

bp shinners wrote:I can't get into all of our internal numbers, but I would argue that, after the first practice test and a few lessons, most students have a good grasp of the basics of taking the test. The second practice test (given after 9 lessons, which includes the RC method, 2/3 of logical reasoning, and ordering/grouping games) sees our students all over the place with their improvements. For my classes, I think there's generally about a +3/+4 at that point, but with numbers all over the place. However, we end up with an average score increase of +11 by the end of the course. I'm not very good with statistics, but it seems to me that's a pretty good indicator that scores can improve by a significant amount after the basics have been nailed down. Practice on the LSAT really can help quite a bit.


Ok. +11 by the end of the course.
How about after that? And why can't you get everyone up to 170?

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incompetentia
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Re: What is all this study garbage anyway?

Postby incompetentia » Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:11 pm

I feel like there are people who have brains that are simply not set up for LSAT-type logic. This has nothing to do with intelligence, but rather the way their brain makes associations. I would also argue that this subset is a tiny fraction of the population, and that the rest should eventually (given enough time, the right study methods, and an open mind) be able to reach that 170 range. I feel like most people who can't sniff 165 are either not studying intelligently, not receptive to the study methods that are really needed, or just haven't been studying long enough.

This is mostly just a restatement of what others have already said, though.

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Eichörnchen
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Re: What is all this study garbage anyway?

Postby Eichörnchen » Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:18 pm

lawgod wrote:I have been trolling* here off and on for a bit, and I get the impression that everyone thinks the LSAT is able to totally be studied for, and the difference between a 180 and a 130 is well you studied.

Is there really a basis for this idea?
Do we really know of legitimately large amounts of people who have significantly improved their average scores after having already learned the basic way of taking it? I know of no such people, and I bet there are few. To the contrary, people I know killed themselves for many months and didn't improve at all after the initial improvement.

Really, it doesn't even make sense. Schools heavily rely on the score, and consider it a good indicator of 1L performance. 1L performance is considered a good indicator of job performance by the employers (perhaps for lack of better indicators). If we assume that studying for the LSAT does not make one a better law student and lawyer, we need to say it is something more internal.

My personal opinion, is that LSAT taking skill is a rough indicator of lawyering skill, and UGPA is a rough indicator of ability to sit down and do your work and write reasonably well. And that's just what I think.

So perhaps I'm way wrong. Perhaps you will regale me with stories of many people whose diagnostic was 150, 3 months got them averaging 165, and 8 months got them averaging 180. And if that is normal, then I'm wrong.
But telling me of improvements over diagnostic is worthless-- that just means you need to somewhat learn the system. And telling me stories of your uncle's cousin who did it is also worthless. I want to hear about the masses.

* Yes trolling. I didn't mean to write lurking.

Read the first sentence and then just...
Image

Bilds that gif is so great. But seriously, another one of these posters? :|

lawgod
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Re: What is all this study garbage anyway?

Postby lawgod » Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:21 pm

Eichörnchen wrote:
lawgod wrote:I have been trolling* here off and on for a bit, and I get the impression that everyone thinks the LSAT is able to totally be studied for, and the difference between a 180 and a 130 is well you studied.

Is there really a basis for this idea?
Do we really know of legitimately large amounts of people who have significantly improved their average scores after having already learned the basic way of taking it? I know of no such people, and I bet there are few. To the contrary, people I know killed themselves for many months and didn't improve at all after the initial improvement.

Really, it doesn't even make sense. Schools heavily rely on the score, and consider it a good indicator of 1L performance. 1L performance is considered a good indicator of job performance by the employers (perhaps for lack of better indicators). If we assume that studying for the LSAT does not make one a better law student and lawyer, we need to say it is something more internal.

My personal opinion, is that LSAT taking skill is a rough indicator of lawyering skill, and UGPA is a rough indicator of ability to sit down and do your work and write reasonably well. And that's just what I think.

So perhaps I'm way wrong. Perhaps you will regale me with stories of many people whose diagnostic was 150, 3 months got them averaging 165, and 8 months got them averaging 180. And if that is normal, then I'm wrong.
But telling me of improvements over diagnostic is worthless-- that just means you need to somewhat learn the system. And telling me stories of your uncle's cousin who did it is also worthless. I want to hear about the masses.

* Yes trolling. I didn't mean to write lurking.

Read the first sentence and then just...
Image

Bilds that gif is so great. But seriously, another one of these posters? :|


I am not just another one of these posters.

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suspicious android
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Re: What is all this study garbage anyway?

Postby suspicious android » Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:28 pm

99% chance that all those wits who posted the pics actually did read the post and are checking for replies.

lawgod
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Re: What is all this study garbage anyway?

Postby lawgod » Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:36 pm

suspicious android wrote:99% chance that all those wits who posted the pics actually did read the post and are checking for replies.


I kinda figured that, since you don't usually see so many of those on one thread. And the OP wasn't quite that long.

Now, the pics are funny. And I think I'd like to do put one sometime. Maybe I'll do it here: http://menversus.com/images/obamahillaryjoedancing2.gif

Did that work?

EDIT: Well, the link works, but it isn't embedded. Hmmm.




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