10 weeks to a 180

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suspicious android
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby suspicious android » Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:26 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:I'd stop with the practice tests for at least another month.


Definitely.

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180asBreath
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:30 am

May I ask why you both think I should stop taking full practice tests? I have my reasons for taking them, but I would definitely be amenable to a good argument against doing so.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:19 am

You should develop a mastery of the question types first. This can be done through repeated drilling of the same question types over and over. Once you can consistently get questions right during drilling, take PTs to work on your stamina and pacing.

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calexhg88
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby calexhg88 » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:38 am

180asbreath - great video.

I´m gonna join you on this journey dude. I´m almost in the same situation as you. I´m low 160s with a high outlier here and there, but I´ve also had a two month course and daily practice. I´m perfect on games and missing a few on LR and RC, usually leaving a few blank in each.

I signed up for the October LSAT but I am withdrawing. It´s mostly my fault, drinking most nights, too much coffee, roommates. I did have some beef with the Kaplan course though. For any 180 seekers considering taking a Kaplan course, I highly recommend that you stay away from any Kaplan class besides the Advanced one (the one specifically designed for top-tier seekers). Sure the basic fundamental concepts can carry you to a 180 by themselves, but there IS more to learn. For example, the difference between the two Assumption question types were never discussed. The instructor/instruction was great, but the overall environment was not conducive to the high 170s score I wanted.

Excuses aside, the fact is I know I can do better than low 160s and I know I'm not going to go in there and do that tomorrow, so I'm not going to take it. Spending an additional two months, really taking this test apart, sounds like it is undoubtedly the good decision.

Someone said earlier in this thread that the 180 depends on a certain amount of luck. Having never scored one myself, I wouldn't know :) but this certainly seems to be the case. While 180 is my goal at this point, I would be happy with a 178, because even HYS will recognize that the difference between a 178 and a 180 can be based entirely on luck. Sure, 180 IS perfect, but a 179 almost sounds even better to me :)

Anyway, I'm gonna take a few days off. Let´s get this 180 man. It's gonna be nice to go at this with someone else.

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180asBreath
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:48 am

calexh88, great post. Yeah, there's just no reason to take it if you aren't at the point where you need to be. Sure, we can have a 1/50 day where we get a score in the low 170's, but it isn't worth the risks (e.g. over-confidence which stops you from preparing, having a low score make your future high score look bad, etc.)

Tiago, I do agree that I should spend more time prepping on question type specific questions. However, I want to get a sense of what my weaknesses are - first. After next week, I'll have two weeks worth of data - so I can see where I'm weak. From there, I will drill certain LR types. I'm happy to say that I'm at the point where parallel reasoning doesn't trip me up.

In all honesty, I feel like I'd be in the 170's - right now - if I had 40 minutes per section. The biggest thing is really drilling so it becomes second nature, and I can find the correct AC's sooner.

But I really do agree that I am focusing way too much on practice, and not nearly enough on learning. I will right the ship, post haste.

tronredo
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby tronredo » Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:16 pm

calexhg88 wrote:180asbreath - great video.

I´m gonna join you on this journey dude. I´m almost in the same situation as you. I´m low 160s with a high outlier here and there, but I´ve also had a two month course and daily practice. I´m perfect on games and missing a few on LR and RC, usually leaving a few blank in each.

I signed up for the October LSAT but I am withdrawing. It´s mostly my fault, drinking most nights, too much coffee, roommates. I did have some beef with the Kaplan course though. For any 180 seekers considering taking a Kaplan course, I highly recommend that you stay away from any Kaplan class besides the Advanced one (the one specifically designed for top-tier seekers). Sure the basic fundamental concepts can carry you to a 180 by themselves, but there IS more to learn. For example, the difference between the two Assumption question types were never discussed. The instructor/instruction was great, but the overall environment was not conducive to the high 170s score I wanted.

Excuses aside, the fact is I know I can do better than low 160s and I know I'm not going to go in there and do that tomorrow, so I'm not going to take it. Spending an additional two months, really taking this test apart, sounds like it is undoubtedly the good decision.

Someone said earlier in this thread that the 180 depends on a certain amount of luck. Having never scored one myself, I wouldn't know :) but this certainly seems to be the case. While 180 is my goal at this point, I would be happy with a 178, because even HYS will recognize that the difference between a 178 and a 180 can be based entirely on luck. Sure, 180 IS perfect, but a 179 almost sounds even better to me :)

Anyway, I'm gonna take a few days off. Let´s get this 180 man. It's gonna be nice to go at this with someone else.


I am joining both of you. Taking the december LSAT as well and i really need that 180.

Been prepping for the past 2 months.

Right now i just finished reading the powerscore logic game and logical reasoning bibles. I also finished the McGraw Hill test prep book. Starting tomorrow i must finish the Kaplan and LSAC prep books.

I have taken 4 practise tests already. scoring between 147 and 158. I know i can do this.

Lets track each other's progress.

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calexhg88
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby calexhg88 » Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:17 pm

awesome Tronredo :D let´s do this.

As for me, I´m going to take a few days to recharge.

One question though, I´m guessing you can find these ´bibles´ in bookstores? Is there a way to get some cheaper access to them?

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Ocean64
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby Ocean64 » Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:20 am

calexhg88 wrote:awesome Tronredo :D let´s do this.

As for me, I´m going to take a few days to recharge.

One question though, I´m guessing you can find these ´bibles´ in bookstores? Is there a way to get some cheaper access to them?



some people download those in PDF format from online torrents and other direct DL sites by searching google for them. however that's illegal and bad.

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SA1928
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby SA1928 » Sat Oct 01, 2011 8:45 am

calexhg88 wrote:awesome Tronredo :D let´s do this.

As for me, I´m going to take a few days to recharge.

One question though, I´m guessing you can find these ´bibles´ in bookstores? Is there a way to get some cheaper access to them?


I'm not sure how cheap you're looking for, but amazon sells them for like $30-$35. You only really need the LR and LG bible, I have the RC one and it isn't terribly helpful.

I also started using the Manhattan LSAT books and found them really helpful too and they aren't that expensive either.

I withdrew from the Oct test to wait for December too, confident I can get my score where I want it by then! I've been following your thread for motivation...keep up the hard work!

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ngogirl
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby ngogirl » Sat Oct 01, 2011 3:48 pm

Ocean64 wrote:
calexhg88 wrote:awesome Tronredo :D let´s do this.

As for me, I´m going to take a few days to recharge.

One question though, I´m guessing you can find these ´bibles´ in bookstores? Is there a way to get some cheaper access to them?



some people download those in PDF format from online torrents and other direct DL sites by searching google for them. however that's illegal and bad.


what a beautiful owl!

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naillsat
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby naillsat » Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:27 pm

all I want to say to OP is: nothing is possible without hard work and an effective plan. (using LSAT logic to understand this: things are possible (sufficient condition) --> hard work and effective plan (necessary)

good luck

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180asBreath
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:33 pm

Day 7:
I took a LR section and got -4. My tutor kind of canceled, so we're meeting Monday.

Day 8:
I took PT #44. I was pretty sick, but I figured it would be good practice; I also took a 5 hour energy drink, beforehand. I don't drink coffee, energy drinks, or any other stimulants (save soda); I wanted to experiment with energy drinks, in case they could help me focus on long tests. I took it about an hour before the test and it didn't serve me too well; during the first section, which turned out to be an RC experimental, I literally lost all comprehension - nothing made sense. I wanted to quit right then and there, but I stuck it out. I got over it, but then I was hit with another RC. I somehow blew an inference on the last logic game and missed 4 on the one game, alone. It went okay, about par for the course.

LR1: -3
LR2: -6
LG: -5
RC: -7
RCX: -8
-21 for a 161

I need to regroup; I am spending far too much time practicing, and not nearly enough time learning. I need to get LG to a -0 real soon, I need to drill specific LR until I can't remember getting >-3 on a section, and I need to figure out this whole RC thing. I'm not panicking, but I am realizing that I need to refine my methods.

Above all, I'm just glad I broke my test anxiety. I'm pretty proud of myself for taking 3 full tests in a week, when I hadn't taken 1 in a year.

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suspicious android
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby suspicious android » Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:43 pm

Seriously man, you're completely wasting preptests at this pace. When you get as many wrong as you do, you need to work on fundamentals, not just doing test after test. You're pissing away your best shot at a good score. I don't know why this annoys me as it does.

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180asBreath
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:45 pm

naillsat wrote:all I want to say to OP is: nothing is possible without hard work and an effective plan. (using LSAT logic to understand this: things are possible (sufficient condition) --> hard work and effective plan (necessary)

good luck


Thanks, I appreciate it!

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180asBreath
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:51 pm

suspicious android wrote:Seriously man, you're completely wasting preptests at this pace. When you get as many wrong as you do, you need to work on fundamentals, not just doing test after test. You're pissing away your best shot at a good score. I don't know why this annoys me as it does.


Suspicious, while you may be perplexed as to why it annoys you - I couldn't be happier that it does. I am not optimally preparing and you are the voice of reason; you tried to warn me before, I didn't listen, and I just further proved that you and Tiago are most correct.

So, please engage me in a discussion - if you'd be so kind. December is my last wraps; this is the terminal test, so I won't need any practice materials after that date. I am planning on doing 2 a week for the next 6 weeks, and 3 a week for the last 3.

So, here's the deal: 5 section tests had me whooped for the better part of a year; I was literally terrified by them. I'm happy to finally be over that fear, and I am somewhat afraid of stopping the 2/week. Additionally, I feel like having a test every few days causes my prep to be more intense in-between the tests; it's like I want to get better from the last test, and do better on the next one.

While this is good in theory, obviously I am not either A) Getting better at the fundamentals, B) Getting better at timing, C) Getting better at my weaknesses. If I were, I think my tests every week would be fine.

It is my belief that the biggest thing is I should be focusing on how to get better, and this is not at odds with taking PT's (especially because I don't see it as "wasting PT's).

But please, point out the hole(s) in my thinking. I really feel that there is something I need to glean from your advice so please continue...

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180asBreath
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:55 pm

LG: I need to go back to doing game, after game, after game, after game as practice. There was once a time where I'd get -0 on nearly every section; I need to get back to that.
LR: I need to study all of the types, drill them incessantly, practice with full sections, and get to the point where -5 (combined) is my worst case scenario.
RC: I have to learn how to do well and speed the freak up. If I am given 40 minutes, I miss like 1-2. I need to refine my method and practice, practice, practice until I get faster.

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suspicious android
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby suspicious android » Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:39 pm

I don't really talk strategy, I mostly find it boring, and above all I am here for my own amusement. However, on LR, you should be able to analyze every argument, point out its relative strengths and weaknesses, plus any common patterns that it exhibits. To recognize strengths and weaknesses. For any argument at all, not just strengthen or weaken question, you should be able to articulate, in language that a reasonably bright 12 year old would understand, why the argument is flawed (the vast majority of LR arguments are bad). Similarly, you should be able to explain what task the question stem is assigning you, for any question type. Finally, you should be able to understand why every incorrect answer is ultimately a failure at the task the question stem gave you. Avoid bailing yourself out with explanations like "That's just obviously wrong" or "out of scope". To what kind of question would the incorrect answer actually be a good answer? What kind of mistake would someone who chose that answer choice be making? When you can do all that, you should be getting close to 100% accuracy untimed. Then you've done probably about half the work that you need to do. Speed comes first from technical proficiency, but secondly from pattern recognition. Most LR questions are variations on patterns that have been repeated dozens or hundreds of times. Getting a medium-high difficulty question right in 80 seconds versus getting it right in 50 seconds is usually a difference of pattern recognition, and also probably the difference between a 165 and a 170.

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180asBreath
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:31 pm

Day 9: -1 on LG 21 in 37:40. Not too bad, I just messed up on maintaining a rule in a hypo.

Day 10: I met with my RC tutor and it went pretty well; I really feel like the progress will come... hopefully!!! I spent a bunch of time printing out all LR by type and LG by type, so I'm excited to start tomorrow.

I think I have a good sense of how to proceed, just gotta put it into action!

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glucose101
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby glucose101 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:15 am

I TOTALLY agree w suspicious!! 180, it's good to be goal-driven, but do this smartly, not by brute force. I can easily see you burning out and staying in the same position.

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calexhg88
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby calexhg88 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:37 am

I agree with everyone else, 180. Do NOT take any more practice tests for a considerable amount of time. It is not all about the score at this point. Like someone above said, take the questions apart. Know why the other answer choices are wrong. Also, don´t worry about timing and endurance, it will come. What you need to work on now is mastery. (yes I took a Kaplan course). So 1. mastery, 2. timing, and 3. endurance. Seriously, stop taking tests! You may feel like you are an exception but you´re not, you need to fully understand the test and all of its questions before you can start approaching the 170s.

As for me, I´ve taken about a full week off of studying. I´m ready to get back into it though. Any idea where I should begin? I was scoring mid 160s with a high outlier here and there. My main problem was timing. Either I wouldn´t get to questions or I would miss them because I would read over an important word.

My instinct is start dissecting the questions, but then again I do feel like I already understand the test pretty well. Though it would help me a little in timing I suppose. Anyway, advice?

totaltest.milan
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby totaltest.milan » Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:14 pm

The general gist of the latest suggestions is on target. You're not being as effective as you can be with your time by taking prep tests. In order to do well on the test you need to be able to do well on the individual question types. And that doesn't happen through simply doing tests over and over. That happens when you've internalized the correct approach for each one.

For the games and reading comprehension it's a little different but specifically for the arguments you need to practice the question types in isolation (a bunch of say strengthen questions - 20 to 30 at a time) and you need to practice in such a way that you're not only getting the correct answers but you understand why they're correct and IMPORTANTLY why the incorrect ones are incorrect. Here's what I do with my students:

1. I give them a list for a particular question type, I have them do it untimed, I have them make notes for the questions (what they did/didn't understand etc), and I have them do it so that they're justifying the correct answer and the incorrect answers. Then they go over the ones they got wrong (I have lists of explanations for these questions, you can have your tutor make one or buy them from lsatblog) and see why they got it wrong, what the mistake they made was, how to not make that mistake in the future, why the correct answer is correct, and why the incorrect answer is incorrect.

2. Then they go through the questions they got wrong. They can generally remember the correct answer, BUT THAT'S NOT THE POINT. The point is for them to understand what they're doing and why the correct answers are correct and incorrect ones incorrect.

3. Repeat until they get all the questions right.


I found this strategy to work really well. For the games and RC it's a bit different because it's too time consuming to keep focusing on individual questions (we do that initially so as to get familiar with the question types) and my games approach is different from the standard one (though I think it's pretty similar to Velocity's) but you can do the above approach with individual passages for the RC. Dave also has other good advice about pre-phrasing the answers. The basic gist is that at this point you're aiming for understanding and that's best developed in isolation and not through doing preptests. Once you've got that down you can move on to doing sections untimed and then finally timed preptests. There's a schedules page on my site with a bit more info.

xChiTowNx
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby xChiTowNx » Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:28 pm

calexhg88 wrote:I agree with everyone else, 180. Do NOT take any more practice tests for a considerable amount of time. It is not all about the score at this point. Like someone above said, take the questions apart. Know why the other answer choices are wrong. Also, don´t worry about timing and endurance, it will come. What you need to work on now is mastery. (yes I took a Kaplan course). So 1. mastery, 2. timing, and 3. endurance. Seriously, stop taking tests! You may feel like you are an exception but you´re not, you need to fully understand the test and all of its questions before you can start approaching the 170s.

As for me, I´ve taken about a full week off of studying. I´m ready to get back into it though. Any idea where I should begin? I was scoring mid 160s with a high outlier here and there. My main problem was timing. Either I wouldn´t get to questions or I would miss them because I would read over an important word.

My instinct is start dissecting the questions, but then again I do feel like I already understand the test pretty well. Though it would help me a little in timing I suppose. Anyway, advice?


Was it a particular section you had issues with or was it timing overall? I know I broke my habit of thinking I had to do the questions in sequential order. I also adopted user JammasterJ's LR strategy: 11-25, 1-10. I noticed I completed a lot more LR questions, and the non-sequential starting point stopped me from feeling I had to spend time on a tricky question. It also helped me gauge my time a lot better. Give it a try.

For games, I just repeated long sets of games questions and worked through their explanations and remembered key set ups.

Another thing that might be beneficial to help get back into studying this week is to make copies of questions that you have gotten wrong in the past and try working through them -- attack them and figure out what patterns/key words/characteristics made you make mistakes on these questions. The week off should have given you plenty of time to forget most of these mistakes, and even if you remember them by muscle memory, that will tell you 1) you instinctively recognize what the issue is, and 2) you can easily articulate this issue on further questions that seem similar.

HTH

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equivocation
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby equivocation » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:24 pm

I was thinking about the LSAT at length last night after a monumental disaster on Saturday's test. I had studied for about 6 months - taken a full length PS course, went through all three of the PS Bibles and done ~30 PT's. I had a diagnostic of 150 - and by the end of my prep my PT average was about 167 - I was actually really confident I might be able to use adrenaline to laser focus my way to a ~170 by test day. I don't know if I put too much pressure on myself but anxiety got the best of me and I tanked on the first LG section - everything I had learned basically flew out the window. I cancelled my score because I KNOW I can do better - I think maybe its good that I had the actual LSAT experience under my belt so I won't crack under the pressure again. With that behind me, I am even more determined and motivated - I'm joining this 180-or-bust mentality.

tronredo
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby tronredo » Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:39 pm

180asBreath wrote:Day 9: -1 on LG 21 in 37:40. Not too bad, I just messed up on maintaining a rule in a hypo.

Day 10: I met with my RC tutor and it went pretty well; I really feel like the progress will come... hopefully!!! I spent a bunch of time printing out all LR by type and LG by type, so I'm excited to start tomorrow.

I think I have a good sense of how to proceed, just gotta put it into action!


Just purchased 50 practice tests. Will be taking one everyday starting tomorrow. I'm enjoying this LSAT preparation especially the logic games sections. In terms of accuracy, my easiest section is LR, followed by LG and lastly RC. Any tips on how to stay focused/improve on reading comprehension?

Lets keep Believing

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180asBreath
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:54 pm

A lot of good advice, I see. I just got back from taking another PT; I'll update you all and then I'll reply to the posts.

Day 11: Took the Dinosaur game and went -0 in 15 minutes. Did 12 on Most Strongly Supported and I only missed 1.

Day 12: Okay, just took PT 45 - minus 18 for a 165.

LR1: -4
LR2: -1
LG: -0
RC: -13 :'(''''''
LRX: -6

I don't think I've ever done so poorly on an RC; I had to guess on one whole passage, but I still blew the rest of the section. I texted my tutor, right after, and she said we will go over it Friday. I hope it's one of those, "Gotta get worse before it gets better".

I'm glad that I had my highest PT score, but I have a ton of work to do on RC; it was good that I never felt tired and I was focused the whole time.

The biggest thing with RC, right now, is getting some comfortability; I get so thrown off by the time.




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