158 may be as good as it gets

flounder
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158 may be as good as it gets

Postby flounder » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:00 am

I have been studying really hard and I can't seem to break through 158. I am taking in October and studying my but off. If I don’t get a good score, I will postpone and think about next cycle. However, I may be one of those people that just can not get a good score on the LSAT. That depresses the hell out of me. It makes you feel like a failure.

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tmon
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Re: 158 may be as good as it gets

Postby tmon » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:02 am

Quality of studying is vastly more important that quantity. How have you been studying?

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thecilent
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Re: 158 may be as good as it gets

Postby thecilent » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:03 am

Yeah tell us how you have been studying.

It is in my opinion that anyone get can 165+ on the lsat. But not everyone learns how to study in a way that will get them that kind of score.

So let's hear it

flounder
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Re: 158 may be as good as it gets

Postby flounder » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:07 am

I am basically following Pithy's format.

LG Bible
LR Bible
Manhattan LG

Drill, Review, Repeat. I have posted a few times about this. I am just at a low point right now because I have not had that major breakthrough. When studying and going over questions from the books, I understand the answers and follow them. I pick up the concept etc. However, when I take a timed practice test, I NEVER seem to improve.

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tmon
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Re: 158 may be as good as it gets

Postby tmon » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:15 am

Yeah, those are the right sources. How long have you been studying, and how much material do you have left that you haven't already used?

You don't need to be taking tests consistently if you're missing that many, but you're running out of time for October. If you haven't been at it for months now you have a lot of work you can do before you reach your ceiling. Honestly, if you're aiming for a higher score (and I think just about everyone should) then postponing is going to start becoming a wise choice as these last weeks slip away.

flounder
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Re: 158 may be as good as it gets

Postby flounder » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:29 am

I studied for June and postponed because I was not ready. I probably put in 2 months of off and on studying for that. This time around I have been going 2-3 hours a night, 4-6 nights a week for the last month and a half. I am going to take the test because I need to experience it.
The problem is I am married, I work a full time job and can only spend a couple hours a night studying.

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tmon
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Re: 158 may be as good as it gets

Postby tmon » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:49 am

I had to study with some similar time constraints before I postponed from June to October. I started in February and put in similar time (maybe just a bit more per week) through April and some of May. I also fit some practice into my lunch breaks and really slow time at work. In that time, going by the Pithy guide, I did around 100 logic games three times each, the kaplan mastery LR drilling while going over relevant LR Bible sections, and a good amount (but not enough) of RC drilling. It increased me from probably around mid 150s to mid-low 160s and then mid-high 160s with some timing work.

I postponed because I want 170s and did tons more LR and RC drilling, and now a bunch of practice tests. I'm into the 170s often, though not always. The summer period has been sans job though, just pointing that out for clarity's sake. A lot of people go around saying that "if you study for X number of days you'll reach your potential" but the problem is X is wildly variant based on the time you can put in each day and how long it takes you to pick things up and internalize them.

I'm not sure if me doing much more work would really improve me too much farther after the October test. There's a point everyone gets to where the time you put in just isn't worth it anymore. But if you're really set on doing this, just know that it's entirely possible that you can make further gains. It's annoying, takes a lot of work and time, but it's possible.

flounder
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Re: 158 may be as good as it gets

Postby flounder » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:58 am

Thanks Tmon. The other concern is that I am 39. I am up against the clock as far as getting into law school. I dont want to graduate when I am 50. Applying when I am 39 seems better than 40

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tmon
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Re: 158 may be as good as it gets

Postby tmon » Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:16 am

No problem. Yeah, you definitely have to factor in how this all fits into your life plans. I'm at a much different stage, having more recently graduated from college, so a year here or there is worth it knowing this is absolutely what I want to do. It would be a tougher situation at a later age, but considering the debt you can take on, you want to be as sure as possible to land a decent job. And with distance between you now and your GPA, LSAT is a huge factor. Good luck though, I hope things work out for you :)

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Re: 158 may be as good as it gets

Postby msuz » Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:32 pm

Im kind of in the same boat as you, but more optimistic. I got a 159 on my last PT, which isnt where I thought I would be by now. But looking at the questions I miss in drilling and on my PTs, there are obvious questions that I need to work on in order to get my score to improve.

For example, for a certain type of "Grouping" game, it consistently takes me over 15 minutes to do in drills and I often get at least 1 wrong. On my PT, this is why I also did bad in the LG section. So, this week I plan on reviewing the grouping section in the LGB and then re-doing all of the Grouping Logic Games that I did bad on in drilling.

In LR, I consistently miss paralell reasoning questions, with randoms sprinkled in. Not much I can do with the randoms, but at least I can try to figure out why Im missing PR questions.

And for RC, I just need to do more sections so that I have more time to finish them - I am a slow reader, but I have good comprehension.

I haven't improved to near 170 yet like I want to, but I'm optimistic that it is very possible for me to peak at just the right time (Oct 1st) if I put the work in, analyze my mistakes, and correct them.

flounder
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Re: 158 may be as good as it gets

Postby flounder » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:32 pm

Grouping really made sense once I bought the Manhattan LSAT book.

I think I panic when I take the PT's. I have made up a schedule. I have done 4 full timed practice tests. I am scheduling 3 more before October. The rest of the time I am going to drill like crazy.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: 158 may be as good as it gets

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:34 pm

There really isn't a difference between 39 and 40, so forget about that.

Are you finishing the sections or is time a problem for you?

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lakers3peat
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Re: 158 may be as good as it gets

Postby lakers3peat » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:43 am

flounder wrote:I have done 4 full timed practice tests. I am scheduling 3 more before October. The rest of the time I am going to drill like crazy.



lol @ OP taking 3 practice tests and concluding they cant improve past a 158 :roll:


i've taken 50+ practice tests and still believe theres room for improvement.


think of the lsat like driving or riding a bike or surfing or skateboarding.... the first few times, you arent so good, you study from your mistakes from where you went wrong, what you could do better etc. then after enough practice, it becomes second nature to you. every test should feel the same because they all test the same material. once you are able to pick up a test and know exactly whats going on in every question, what flaws are in the LR, what kind of game it is, how to diagram the game, what the sucker answer choice is, what the correct answer is, what distinguishes the correct answer from the wrong answer, etc. etc. can you start to say that you are prepared and have reached your plateau for scoring.....



onto reality now: you're 39 going on 40; surely, you have life commitments that may preclude you from studying all day every day, i understand that but you have to ask yourself this: do you want to get into law school or do you want to get into a REALLY REALLY GOOD LAW SCHOOL? 158 is a very good score, better then 70% of people who take the test--it will get you into plenty of law schools(assuming that you score the same way you practice test). are you satisfied with getting into a t2 law school? if so, take it in october and apply this cycle. if you want to shoot for the upper end of t2/t1, take it in december and study for the next 2 months, doing at least another 10-15 tests with review. if you feel too time curnched, shoot for June 2012, giving yourself 8 months to slowly take all 50 practice tests + review then you will be able to get your score late june, prepare your peersonal statement, and then have your apps in Sept 1st for next cycle and you will increase your chances at admission + scholarship money. taking in october/december already puts you at a slight disadvantage relative to the testers who have their scores from June ready and their applications ready but like you said, you are 39 so it's up to you what you want to do.

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lakers3peat
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Re: 158 may be as good as it gets

Postby lakers3peat » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:46 am

i know i sound overly harsh but it's ridiculous to me that people study for two or three months then say, "hey i cant get any better!!" well i've been studying on and off for a year and there are still aspects of the test I can improve on. unless you are getting a 180 every single time, you are making mistakes that you can improve from.

flounder
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Re: 158 may be as good as it gets

Postby flounder » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:59 am

Lakers,
I am frustrated because I am not getting into the 160's like I want to. The question is more like,

"What if this is good as it gets"

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maru
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Re: 158 may be as good as it gets

Postby maru » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:38 am

I can understand your frustration at the seeming plateau in your scores, but I definitely think you can improve. I was stuck around 158-160 in my first 7 or so PTs but when I finally broke my plateau, the jump was rather sudden and by about 5 points. It was mostly cutting down on mistakes that I shouldn't have been making in the first place. If you understand why the correct answers are correct, then I think it's just a matter of more practice. Good luck!

flounder
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Re: 158 may be as good as it gets

Postby flounder » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:16 am

That is what I am hoping for. That one breakthrough

msuz
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Re: 158 may be as good as it gets

Postby msuz » Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:09 am

flounder wrote:I think I panic when I take the PT's. I have made up a schedule. I have done 4 full timed practice tests. I am scheduling 3 more before October. The rest of the time I am going to drill like crazy.


I use to panic when I took PTs too, because 1) I couldn't focus/didnt have the mental stamina, and 2) I didn't have the technique down for all of the Qs.

As I said before, I have been keeping track of my mistakes to target problem areas - for LG, Grouping games, and for LR, Paralell Reasoning and Strengthen/except and Weaken/except qeustions, among a few other hard ones.

What I did was, re-read the PSLGB section for grouping, and looked up the LGs online that I was having trouble with. On LSAT Superprep Test B, I was having serious trouble with the 2nd and 4th games - the one about Trees in the Park, and the one with Zeno's Unfinished Furniture. So I sat in the library for hours, and after three days, I feel much more confident on these types of grouping games and can finally finish these games in a good amount of time. This really helps my score, because on Test B timed I got -11 on LG, all from those two games. If I would have gotten even -5, I would have scored in the mid 160's. Now I am confident that if ANY type of game besides these types are given to me, I can get -0 or close to it, and if these types of games are given to me, I can get at least -5 or better on any LG section.

For LR, I also panicked during the PTs. However, I saw my weak Qs from previous tests, and the next timed test I took I skipped those hard ones- it ended up being about 3 paralell reasoning and 1-2 other hard questions. I was very surprised to find that I finished the whole section within 30 minutes, and had lots of time to go over the hard ones slowly, with 5 mintues left. I got -3 on that LR section.

I am still trying to improve my mental stamina, but the only way to do that is to do timed PTs as many as you can, from what I hear.

What I am trying to say is, be optimistic, focus on your weaknesses, and find ways to eliminate them.

EDIT: and maybe schedule more timed PTs before Oct. I am planning on doing 8-10 over the next two weeks




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