Is 1.5 months enough time to make a significant improvement?

heyhowdyhey
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Is 1.5 months enough time to make a significant improvement?

Postby heyhowdyhey » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:16 pm

So I've gotten a bit lazy with my studying and although I have done quite a few drills, I've only taken 2 full-length practice tests to date.

The first one I took, I got a 154.

The second one I took recently, I got a 162.

I'm planning on studying very hard until October 1 (another 8-point jump would be freaking sweet), but I know that it's a lot easier to go from the 150s to 160s than it is to go from 160s to 170s...

But is, say, a score of 168ish possible for me by October 1 as long as I study hard? I really, really do not want to have to retake and wait yet another year to go to law school, even though I know it's common advice around here.

I'm just very mad at myself for wasting so much time already.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Is 1.5 months enough time to make a significant improvement?

Postby crumpetsandtea » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:47 pm

I just want to remind you that scores can fluctuate quite wildly between PTs if you don't take them consistently and you have a small sample size. I'd take more in order to feel secure that you've really made the jump into the 160s (as opposed to the upper 150s).

As for 168...you'll have to work for it. What is your GPA? Also, what is/are your worst sections and how many on average do you miss in each section? What have you done already to study and what are you planning your study schedule to look like?

heyhowdyhey
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Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 12:30 am

Re: Is 1.5 months enough time to make a significant improvement?

Postby heyhowdyhey » Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:55 pm

crumpetsandtea wrote:I just want to remind you that scores can fluctuate quite wildly between PTs if you don't take them consistently and you have a small sample size. I'd take more in order to feel secure that you've really made the jump into the 160s (as opposed to the upper 150s).

As for 168...you'll have to work for it. What is your GPA? Also, what is/are your worst sections and how many on average do you miss in each section? What have you done already to study and what are you planning your study schedule to look like?


My GPA is 3.9. My worst section is definitely LG because I just can't ever get them all done in 35 minutes. Umm... RC is actually probably my best section. I usually don't miss more than 2 or 3. LR kind of varies, but on average I miss around 3-4 for each section. On the last full-length test I took, I missed like 10 LG because I just ran out of time. I mostly just don't understand how anybody can go -0 on LG. I could get them all right if I had enough time, but I can't whip through the questions that fast.

I took a PS class and have been working my way through some of the homework. Not as much as I should, though. And I'm planning on just starting to take a lot of PTs soon. Ideally 2-3 per week and reviewing them a lot. My schedule for the month of September is pretty free, except for interning 9-5 one to two days a week. I'm gonna try to get it cut down to just one day.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Is 1.5 months enough time to make a significant improvement?

Postby crumpetsandtea » Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:24 pm

Oh MAN, you should not take the LSAT until you're sure you can hit the 170s. If you get a mid-170s score you're looking at most of the T14, some with lots of money. If you get a mid-160s score you'll get into maybe just a few reverse splitter friendly T14s...maybe some higher ones off the waitlist. Crossing that 170 threshold increases your chances of acceptance A LOT, and you might even have a shot at HYS with that GPA (or a full ride at a T6).

Anyway. LG is DEFINITELY LEARNABLE. I cannot stress that enough. It is by far the easiest section to improve on, which is AWESOME for you because it means if you put enough time into it, you can reach your goal (hopefully ^_^). Honestly, LG is just about practice. Practice will help you with timing because you'll be more familiar with the standard tactics you can resort to in LG. (ie: 'Oh, In/Out game, let me set up the rules as a chain and diagram it like this...'). This should help with your timing a LOT because you won't have to sit and think about the game. There are only a certain number of types of games--once you've seen a lot of all of them, you'll know the standard way of tackling them, and it'll be automatic.

Since you're going -0 on LG in an untimed setting, it's clearly NOT your understanding. It's just a matter of doing enough games to make the methods like second nature to you. So DO THAT HOMEWORK. It is the key to improving your score. I know it's time consuming and not that fun (yet) but I promise it will help you get closer to your goal. DON'T PT until you've done some LG drills and gotten your time down. PTing without getting the sections down first isn't useful. Maybe do like, 1 a week just to focus on getting endurance and stuff, but get your LG under time first.

My overarching advice? Prepare/study your ass off, but if you're not hitting your goal score by Oct, postpone to the December test. Preferably take a year off and apply early next cycle, but honestly, don't rush this. You have a great GPA and if you can improve your score you'll be looking at an awesome cycle. (also, taking a year off to get WE can only help your chances of admission at T14s).

Wow long post, sorry about that. I hope it was helpful.




ETA: anecdote (take it with a grain of salt) -- a friend of mine had a 171 and a 3.9. He was offered a full ride to U of Chi and is now going to be attending Harvard this fall. Hold out for that 170+ score, my friend. It's worth it.

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No13baby
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Re: Is 1.5 months enough time to make a significant improvement?

Postby No13baby » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:09 pm

heyhowdyhey wrote:The first one I took, I got a 154.

The second one I took recently, I got a 162.


Take more tests. It's hard to tell where you're starting from with such a small sample size.

That said, I started studying for the LSAT no more than two months before I took it (oops) and just used a Kaplan prep book and previous LSATs to practice on, and raised my score from a ~164 to a 171 on the real one. I worked through the Kaplan book by splitting each section into two or three days, then taking one of the ten practice LSATs every day. If you're motivated and work every day you can probably up your score significantly.




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