10 weeks to a 180

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180asBreath
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Wed Oct 05, 2011 5:19 pm

So, there are a couple of things at play; first, let me address the "1. Mastery, 2. Speed, 3. Endurance" comment.

I completely agree; it's foolish to relegate yourself to a time limit when you don't have the basic skills required to finish in time.

But let's break it down like this:

1. Whole tests - unless someone can explain why it is necessarily a bad thing, I don't see why I should discontinue doing them; I am not claiming that they are the best use of my time, I just think spending 7 hours a week on full tests is a really good use of my time. I'm over the test anxiety, I don't get tired during the tests, it keeps me motivated to try to improve on the next one, etc.
2. Logical Reasoning - I definitely have to start drilling each question by type so I can start to recognize patterns and get automaticity working for me; there isn't a single question that I am weak on, but I have not yet developed the proficiency on each type to even sniff at a 180.
3. Logic Games - Again, I don't have a sense of how I do on certain types of games - I just roll with them as they come. I am going to do all games by type.
4. Reading Comprehension - I'm really in a bad way; I am going to work with my tutor and do everything necessary to get where I need to be. From now on, on PT's, I will spend adequate time on 3 of the passages and just guess on the 4th until my timing improves; I'm not doing myself any favors by practicing bad habits and trying to get through all 4 in 35 minutes. As for RC sections, I am still a bit intimidated by them; I feel an RC a day is in order.
5. Books - I am going to continue working through velocity; he has great insight into the test and I can use all of the positive influence from him that I can. I wouldn't feel like I was preparing to the best of my abilities if I didn't complete the course.

So, stuff to do:

M: AM - Tutor, RC Section, LR by type, LG by type; PM - Velocity
T: AM - RC Section, LR by type, LG by type; PM - Velocity
W: AM - PT; PM - PT Review
R: AM - RC Section, LR by type, LG by type; PM - Velocity
F: AM - Tutor, RC Section, LR by type, LG by type; PM - Velocity
S: AM - PT; PM - PT Review
U: COOL IT! Haha

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glucose101
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby glucose101 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:46 pm

180asBreath wrote:I completely agree; it's foolish to relegate yourself to a time limit when you don't have the basic skills required to finish in time.


If you're shooting for a 180, it's more than the "basic skills," which's why I think if you drill it's better than taking full PTs.

180asBreath wrote:I'm over the test anxiety, I don't get tired during the tests, it keeps me motivated to try to improve on the next one, etc.


Anyone can get through them and alleviate test anxiety, but if you're missing a lot, then you really shouldn't be experiencing anxiety to begin with. Again, you may not see it now, and this is partly coming from experience, but I feel that you may be wasting exams.

180asBreath wrote:there isn't a single question that I am weak on, but I have not yet developed the proficiency on each type to even sniff at a 180.


If you're missing something, you have a weakness. The sooner you find that out, you can drill that question type, and then find a new weakness to fix.

180asBreath wrote:Again, I don't have a sense of how I do on certain types of games - I just roll with them as they come.


If you want a 180, how's that possible that you just "roll with them?"

I know I sound overly critical, but if you want a 180, you're def going to need to alter some of your thinking.

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hyakku
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby hyakku » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:05 pm

Stop now and review all 22 pages of the 'Ive got three 180s and I'm taking your questions"

All of them. Everyone's already told you that you are wasting PTs, time, etc., but not telling you why.

Ill tell you: at roughly 165 brute forcing by repetition is woefully inefficient. At that point every point matters, and thus, not having mastered the elements that comprise the underpinnings of the test, you will always be at the mercy of fate. Perhaps you will get that perfect test, with no undefined games, more than three PR questions and no science or legal passages (my nightmare test), but it's absolutely stupid to bank on this if you are serious about a 180. More importantly, it is almost certain that in the midst of a test your confidence and concentration will be broken from anything that deviates from what you generally encounter.

However, these aren't the primary reasons for you needing to stop pting. The true reason is that you are ingratiating improper techniques into your LSAT paradigm. The more you continue to repeat the same mistakes (and you are, trust me.) the more ingrained this technique becomes. once you finally do get around to trying to "rewire" your thinking, it will be a far more onerous task then if you stop now.

If you can't currently answer the following questions for almost all of your LR and something similar for your RC questions you arent doing it right:

In regards to the question stem:

"what exactly is the question demanding of me?
What can I expect the right answer to do and sound like?"
What is one wrong answer likely to do and sound like?"

In regards to the prompt:
"what's the main conclusion of the argument?(if there's one)
What's the flaw in the argument, if present (which is likely)
How is this flaw similar to another problem you've seen in the past?
What words are likely to be important in contributing to the answer (scope, attitudinal cues, etc.)"


This type of thinking needs to be second nature to you if you're gonna break that 177 mark. Good luck man, I'm gunning for you, but from someone that was on the same journey and (hopefully) just fell short, I wish someone had told me this a month earlier.

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180asBreath
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:03 pm

Let me start by saying this: I couldn't appreciate the advice any more; I had a feeling that I could get this kind of meaningful direction and guidance if I put myself out there, like I have.

1. May I ask for further clarification on how it is "wasting exams"? I don't want to belabor the point, but I want to truly understand how you all feel about me PT'ing.
2. "If (I am) missing something, (I) have a weakness." You are right; this is my old thinking, where I see a weakness as a missing many of a type. I remember a TLS'er saying that he does 25 Parallel Reasoning questions if he misses 1 on a PT, and 25 Flaw questions if he misses 1, etc. I need to have this sense of not being willing to surrender a single point; it's crazy, I'm still getting used to answering most LR correctly - it's like I'm shocked when I find a correct AC. I need to get to the point where a -1 crushes me.
3. "How's that possible..." It isn't; that's why I need to drill specific games. I'm at the point where I diagram games correctly, and I've watched enough videos of Dave where I know all of the tricks (e.g. having an out column on in/out games) but I do not have the explicit sense that I should.
4. 3 180's thread: I've followed it and that's how I found Velocity; I was intending to re-read everything to glean everything I could. I will do that soon.
5. I hear you on not wanting to make bad habits permanent; it's that same sentiment which has stopped me from rushing through RC and allowing myself to skip a passage.
6. When I set out to get better at the test, a couple months ago, it was my intent to truly learn the test; not to practice and get "good" at it, but for me to truly understand what each question asks and to really abstract the structure of the argumentation.

I think I am starting to see the underlying sentiment in most of the posts from the initiated posters; the most important thing is that I go deep. You know, instead of this overload method that I've been thinking of subscribing to - I think I should be more focused on learning one thing at a time, and learning it on a deep level.

I think I should see every day as a chance to master something. Instead of practicing a section of games and a LR section, I should master parallel reasoning (flaw). I should read about the question, answer questions to myself about the deeper structure of the questions and answer choices, watch Dave's videos, and drill a good number of them. At the end of the day, I should feel like I have mastered that question type; if I haven't, then I'll spend a bit more time on them later. However, I think I am at the point where a few hours would certainly push me from a solid grasp to mastery (rarely missing one and then having to drill some when I do).

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glucose101
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby glucose101 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:28 pm

Not to be pessimistic, but I'm being a realist here: I highly doubt you'll be ready by Dec if you're really that serious about the 180/near it. I've been prepping since the summer started (was going to take in Oct but knew I wouldn't be able to walk in and walk out with the score I wanted) and the summer before that almost exclusively on LGs, and I don't even think I could get near a 180.

If you were prepping @ 170s by now, ya, sure I'd say go for it. But I think if you really want a 180, I would slow down and do it right. I think you're so caught up in a 180 and putting your all into it, which is good, but I think you're missing the point of what everyone's saying. You can't expect to only spend like a day on drilling a question type and expect to be done and over with it forever. Perhaps others can do it, but that's out of the norm. It takes time and repetition to predict what you'll be asked and how to adapt to novel situations. And to do otherwise, is only wasting time, resources, and effort.

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180asBreath
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:01 pm

So, here's the thing, it should be clear that I am aiming at a 180 so as not to limit myself; it's a common goal-setting tactic to aim beyond your target so - if you come up short, you may still hit your target. If I get a 173 in December I will be upset (as I was aiming for a 180), but I would really be ecstatic that I scored in the 170's - my true goal.

I'll just leave it at that; I kind of have to guard myself against those who would limit me because they limit themselves.

LR: I miss 4 on each LR, on average, and I have had to guess on 2 in each section. By no means is it a waste of time to go through the question types to ensure that I can reliably get -1, but let's keep it in proper perspective; I don't have to spend weeks on learning flaw questions when I already answer 90%+ of them correctly - and I do have a deep understanding of the flaw, and the correct/incorrect AC's, when I see it. I didn't say that I'll be done with it forever, after a few hours of reading about it and practicing it, but I will have mastered it.
LG: If I do everything that I'm capable of doing, I don't miss any. I know I need to get faster, which can come from refined techniques and better inference recognition; this will come from drilling specific game types and reinforcing my method.
RC: I'm totally lost. We're talking about my LR when I am leaving ~8 points on the table - each time. This is where I have huge room for improvement and this will come with more comfortability, solidifying my method, and learning how to be more optimal with my time.

Doubt it if you'd like, it's still going to happen; I will have 180 PT's and I will walk into the testing room, on December 3rd, with supreme confidence.

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glucose101
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby glucose101 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:04 pm

I totally understand the reason for your goal. But I'm saying things that would help you achieve any score you want (even if you "shoot for the moon, and don't get it, you'll be amongst the stars"). Take my advice as you wish.

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calexhg88
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby calexhg88 » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:53 am

Your endurance will come, and your anxiety will ease as you starting seeing scores that you are happy with. 180, take our advice man. Stop taking tests for awhile and hone your skills.

The more mastery practice you do, the better you will get at them obviously, but most importantly, the FASTER you will do them. I have the same timing problems as you. On LR and RC I don´t get to at least 1 problem each. With mastery practice you´ll be able to pick up seconds here and there from pattern recognition and by your enhanced abilities that will be invaluable once you are on the last questions.

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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby CHIJAMES11 » Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:36 pm

Can you share the insights your tutor friends provided about RC? I have tried many different techniques when it comes to RC and I am finally around a consistent -5. Any advice would be great even if I have already heard it before : ) I am in the same boat (as it seems many who have posted on this thread are) for I am scoring low-mid 160's on PT's but I want to take it to the next level. I am also like you because I like to take PT's as motivation to do better but in the same token what people are saying is a valid point about ingraining bad technique early without learning the appropriate way first.

I have always been the type to get something (ex: some new electronic gizmo toy :) and I will try and figure out how it works without reading the directions and I feel the same thing kind of applies here. I want it all to just 'click' in my mind at some point and voila I figured it out without reading the directions (loose analogy here haha stick with me) but I need to realize that if it were to just 'click' it would have by now and repetitive PT'ing is not the best means to achieving my goal if at all. Since you like doing the PTs and you feel there is a benefit from it, maybe you should try doing 1 PT a week (for now) with the mindset that this is your one chance this week to make an improvement from your old score (or whatever gets you pumped up to do well on it). Also, I learned a method from LSATPINGU who had all his very informative videos taken down due to copyright issues (IF ANYONE HAS THEM SEND THEM TO ME!!! :). And that is to NOT immediately jump to the answer key and see how many you get right or wrong. Instead circle all the ones that you are not confident on and BEFORE going to the answer key go to those questions and find the right answer or find why you actually did choose the right answer. After this then go to the answer key and score your LR section. It makes you realize how you actually went about answering the question and why you chose what you did. This method is also really helpful for the questions you got wrong that you did not circle because you realize the small errors that everyone is susceptible to.

After a few PTs to see where you stand it's best to take some time and step back to look at each part of the test. I heard this (I think Samurai or something Eastern) tale about a young boy who wanted to be educated by his master and so the master throws a fish on the table and says tell me about this fish. The boy says it's a fish and it swims in the water etc etc (just basic generic info that everyone knows). The master kept saying he missed the point of the lesson over and over. Confused the boy finally pleads to the master to explain what it is that he is missing. The master emphasizes examining it closer (as opposed to the more generic big picture) and you will see the scales, oh how unique they are! As the boy starts examining the fish closer and closer he sees the intricacies and more importantly he sees just how much is really going on beneath the scales and a fish's ability to swim. He sees the things that actually allow the fish to swim and breath under water and how they work in conjunction with one another. Once you start focusing on a type of LR question you begin to realize how they are a world of their own (not to say they do not relate to other question types) and to finally make a point hehe when it comes down to a 180, on the hard questions you will need to fully understand that question type. Maybe excessive PT'ing has allowed you to see what is going on in that 'world' or allows you to get a few of the extremely difficult questions right (which is still a great accomplishment) but it seems that is not good enough for you - you (and we) want them all right! Personally, when I would get a tough question right I would think hell yeah I am getting better but now looking back on it I am not sure if that was really the case. I should have known the really hard questions upon seeing them and given a slight smirk at the fact that this will not be difficult for me not oh this is a toughie I hope I got it right and then end up spending more time on it than I should have. Likewise, some of these questions are purposefully designed to trick you. When you begin to master a question type that experience is applicable to other question types and you find yourself realizing the inherent patterns. The same way they tried to trick you on tough question #1 could be the same way they try to trick you on tough question #2 (or in similar respects). I'm starting to ramble so I am going to stop now :) On a side note, I probably completely butchered the story of the master/boy but you get the drift ;)

Oh, one more thing. I noticed you have a lot of structure to your studying. I think this is a very good thing to do and it helps to stay focused on what needs to be done. At the end of the week (or day) write down a list of things that you did bad on and that you did well on. Find your strengths and weaknesses and use that information to your advantage (as it seems you are doing :).

Best of luck to you!

In my humble opinion,

James

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hyakku
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby hyakku » Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:27 pm

180asBreath wrote:Let me start by saying this: I couldn't appreciate the advice any more; I had a feeling that I could get this kind of meaningful direction and guidance if I put myself out there, like I have.

1. May I ask for further clarification on how it is "wasting exams"? I don't want to belabor the point, but I want to truly understand how you all feel about me PT'ing.
2. "If (I am) missing something, (I) have a weakness." You are right; this is my old thinking, where I see a weakness as a missing many of a type. I remember a TLS'er saying that he does 25 Parallel Reasoning questions if he misses 1 on a PT, and 25 Flaw questions if he misses 1, etc. I need to have this sense of not being willing to surrender a single point; it's crazy, I'm still getting used to answering most LR correctly - it's like I'm shocked when I find a correct AC. I need to get to the point where a -1 crushes me.


Onto both of these points. For the first, to me it's not so much a waste of an exam as it is a waste of time. That 7 hours you spend over the next 4-6 weeks could instead be spent mastering question types, reviewing failures, and honing your skillset. I even got the difficult LR question guide (which even after improving to a matter -0-4 average on LR, I still find many of them difficult) which I found immensely more valuable when paired with a proper technique to review and internalize methods. You don't have to listen, but all I'm saying is, it seems utterly pointless to waste the time, especially because if you don't see jumps immediately it's only likely to discourage.

Two, I would actually suggest not falling into that mindset. Getting into such an overzealous state of mind is likely to make you stress over individual questions, which I often found was an issue when I was prepping PTs. Once you get comfortable skipping and returning, you'll find that it's much faster, and less stress inducing, which keeps you into the right frame of mind.

I think I am starting to see the underlying sentiment in most of the posts from the initiated posters; the most important thing is that I go deep. You know, instead of this overload method that I've been thinking of subscribing to - I think I should be more focused on learning one thing at a time, and learning it on a deep level.

I think I should see every day as a chance to master something. Instead of practicing a section of games and a LR section, I should master parallel reasoning (flaw). I should read about the question, answer questions to myself about the deeper structure of the questions and answer choices, watch Dave's videos, and drill a good number of them. At the end of the day, I should feel like I have mastered that question type; if I haven't, then I'll spend a bit more time on them later. However, I think I am at the point where a few hours would certainly push me from a solid grasp to mastery (rarely missing one and then having to drill some when I do).


This is a better frame of reference to start from imo. You can even mix them up, I had days where I would wake up, start going through a PT using the A/B method reading all the stems and stimuli as I got ready for class, continued that through the beginning of class (school took a bit of a pause for the LSAT), and would be done with that relatively quickly (an hour - 2 hours depending of I had started it night before). Would have another one on me (these are all relatively older ones 30-40 or the difficult questions pack) and go through 25-30 of those in between work and other class. Then do another 50 or so later on. I wasn't even doing too much work and got through roughly 400 LR questions in about 4-5 days, which really helped to internalize the stems and language cues.


Anyway, hope you do well. I shouldn't be given all this damn advice without a score, I could've gotten a 150 :|

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ngogirl
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby ngogirl » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:34 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?


Hi thread lurker here.. hehe I am the master at TLS lurking!!

Anyhow, back to the point. Your having timing issues? That's where I was in June, I basically postponed June-October-December, but I am definitely taking December! Anyhow, in June, I was also having trouble with my timing with PT's. So, what I did was get the MLSAT books, I read on this thread that you did PR, that's great but the MLSAT LR guide is stellar, it is what helped me get out of the 160s and into the 170+ range. Prior to that, I had only utilized the TM and PS books. I think TM is great for games as is PS, but PS is great for LR. I went through all the MLSAT guides 2X each, except the LG guide because that is my strength..

Anyhow, in addition to that I drilled on my off days. Drilling helps you get in within a timed setting. Then when I started taking PT's I tried to test within 30 minutes instead of 35 minutes, that got me finishing sections within 32 and 33 minutes.. In addition, to the MLSAT books, (anyone can read a guide and get so much out of it, but reading and studying for perfection are two different things) when approaching LR I really look into the qualifiers (most, some, all, none etc.) and try not to make assumptions, also before hitting the question stem I always try to figure out what the arguments assumption is and what is wrong with it.. I also have made myself a preptest schedule to stay on target, when you are regularly testing yourself then your brain starts programming itself to be in that schedule (well at least mine does, it really thought it was taking the LSAT last Saturday even though I postponed LOL). I hope this helped, let me know if you need any other suggestions. Also, the thread "December LSAT Study Group" we have study sessions every Tuesday night where we review LR, RC, or LG (usually two in concert with one another), and we also are taking tests together according to the schedule, last night a bunch of us reviewed PT 54 and it was really helpful!

To the OP:

I know it has been said over and over again to you, but seriously try not to take tests right now. I know you really, really, REALLY feel it is requisite for your success (every test-taker feels that way), it is not going to help you until you have mastery of every LR type and LG type like other posters have said. I really think you should try to understand the intricacies of the types, practice them, explain them to yourself (sp?) each and every answer choice like Dave says in his Kung Fu/every testing company/every self studier out there, once you are a pro at that you will be ready to take tests. I understand your frustration with what the majority is saying, you want to take tests to see where you are scoring, how you can improve etc. This method is good for those who are already familiar with all the methodologies inside/out. Taking tests at this point are not going to be beneficial, because you may have gotten an answer wrong not because you don't understand the intricacy behind the reasoning but rather because you haven't approached that question type yet. Taking tests will not measure your level of success for aptitude of the LSAT in general, or even where you are, it will be at random and not be helpful in any significant way.

Take a look at any study guide, any poster from the I got a 160+ thread (yes, I lurked the hell out of the LSAT Prep forums before I began my study), and every single person who succeeded on this test first focused on mastering each question type (LR), RC, LG type before approaching the tests. There really is no point in taking tests unless you have a strong understanding of all these types. You can still do all this and take PT's afterwards. Don't worry about taking every single test out there, you will utilize those tests in your prep, the most important thing is that you can master the LSAT which means understanding the intricacies of every aspect of the test. (whoa, really long sentence!)

I don't know if you will listen to any of what I said, like with the others, but just think if everyone on this forum is saying the same exact thing to you, there must be some truth in what is being said. Remember slow and steady wins the race.. The story between the rabbit and the turtle. The rabbit raced to win the race, but after awhile he ran out of energy, whereas the turtle kept going at his own pace, he didn't give up, but since he went at his pace he won the race. The rabbit ran out of energy and steam and lost. Don't be like the rabbit, be like the turtle. I'm not giving you this analogy to say slow down and do things really slowly, but I am saying what every single poster has stated, understand the material and then approach the tests. I haven't taken Velocity LSAT, but I'm pretty sure they (and every other test prep company and tutor in existence) would agree with this. Think about it this way: Will a person who has never played basketball just jump into a game? No. He will have a coach and team to practice with, he will learn about dribbling, shooting hoops, a free throw, running and stretching exercises, and the differences between the defense and offense strategies. After mastering these, he will begin to play fake games with his team, after that they will begin to have games with other teams. And finally, once he is a star player, he will have a shot at the NBA. However, he will not get to the NBA by playing in games with other teams without understanding the foundation of the game: offense, defense, running, dribbling, making shots, free throws etc. If he tried that, he would not be a good player and he would not be very likely to be picked for the NBA vs a player who went by the rules and effectively honed his skills and became a star player by practice and understanding the game essentials.

HTH

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180asBreath
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:05 pm

Great advice, I love it all!

I'll just say this with the tests: like with many other things, everyone is unique; some things work well for some, other things work well for others. I have taken a piece of advice about an unrelated life area, despite every fiber in my being telling me not to; it was the "correct" action, it was recommended by all experts and even the underlying science. However, it was a disaster; there was a crucial aspect that was unique to me. If anyone had taken it into consideration, they would not have advised me in that way.

With practice tests, if I don't take one tomorrow - I may not take the December test. I'm not kidding about my dedication being that fragile; I have A LOT going on in my life, right now, and if my prep takes even the slightest hit - I might be back on the board, next August, saying how I need to prep for the 12/12 test.

To me, the possible drawbacks of testing are: 1) I may reinforce bad habits, 2) I am wasting some tests, 3) I am wasting some time.
To me, the benefits of testing are: 1) It keeps me motivated, 2) It improves my stamina, 3) It makes me less anxious and better able to study.

At the end of the day, you'd all be recommending that I take tests in a couple of weeks - anyways. I'm only 8 weeks out; while I completely agree that I should be drilling by type, it's not like there is any one question that escapes me.

It's all good, you guys can try to persist on this topic; I just feel it's a real minor aspect. You should all be bitching at me for not making more ground on my LR by type, my LG by type, and on not practicing my RC method enough.

Like I said, it's all good. I have appreciated each byte that has been posted to this thread.

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suspicious android
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby suspicious android » Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:04 pm

You're a delicate unique snowflake, trust your instincts!

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180asBreath
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:21 pm

suspicious android wrote:You're a delicate unique snowflake, trust your instincts!


You know, I am; I really am!

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180asBreath
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:50 pm

PT # 46

LR1: -1
LG2: -2
LG: -0 (9 minutes to spare)
RC: -9 (-2 through first two sections where I had enough time)
LRX: -5

-12 for a 167. My newest best score!

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180asBreath
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:52 pm

Day 13: I didn't do anything :(

Day 14: I did 4 Relative ordering games and missed 2 due to a stupid mistake; I also met with my tutor.

Day 15: Took PT #46 for a 167.

I am still taking my Logic class; it's going pretty well, it's just making me a little bit more deliberate and methodical.

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calexhg88
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby calexhg88 » Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:54 am

:D Today I retook a test I took two months ago, untimed and not in test-like conditions, and got a 172.

-9
-1 LG (timed)
-0 RC (untimed, 45 minutes-ish, but I did the 2 passages I didn´t get to the first time)
-3 LR
-5 LR
-1 LR exp

I was practicing a new habit of not double-checking by evaluating the other answer choices, this only got me a handful of times. I did however go back to my old habit of NOT READING THE ENTIRE QUESTION STEM!! :D

My instructor says I should find ways to improve my confidence, so I figure the best way to do that is to redo previous tests. While most of the questions are familiar, I only remember the answers to a few, if any. Thoughts?

So tomorrow, I´ll analyze it all a little more, and try to formulate some better habits to avoid falling into traps in the future. I have a serious problem with misreads, other than its just basics, just basic applications or misunderstandings of exactly what the question is asking.

Thoughts going forward? Do you think its a good idea to retake the previous tests? I have at my disposal every LSAT question and explanation, in addition to all of the Kaplan LSAT lessons. How should I utilize my resources?

Congrats on the score, 180

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180asBreath
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:24 am

Thanks. Yeah, it was a real boost to my confidence; if I can get my RC to a decent place (<-6), then I will be comfortably in the 170's - something I thought was out of reach.

As for "meta-gaming", it actually hurts me; once I recognize a familiar question, my thoughts get clouded and I have actually been tricked into almost selecting the wrong answer.

Hmmm, I think the untimed idea is good but I'm not so sure about old material. I'm lucky that I haven't taken too many tests; I'm just in the process of doing 4x-64. I will probably see familiar questions, since most of Velocity is based on recent questions, but I'll just roll with it.

For me, I just need to master RC, keep up my LG practice through drilling, and spend more time on individual LR types so I can move from a minus 3-5 (combined) to a minus 0-2 (combined).

Man, I'm so excited to get to work on RC; I can't believe I am capable of missing only 3 on 72 LSAT questions! Just have to figure out how to get to missing only 3 on the other 27 ;)

But on some level, I feel RC can get to -0 like LG is. ALL OF THE INFO YOU NEED IS RIGHT THERE IN THE PASSAGE! I just need to master my retention and recognition of the info!

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calexhg88
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby calexhg88 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 12:16 am

Retook another test today that I did 2 months ago.

179

LG -0 (timed)
LG exp (-1 timed)
LR1 -2 (42 min)
LR2 -0 (41 min)
RC - 1 (41 min)

A pretty foolish mistake on RC and a 1 star on LR (about which I´m still not entirely convinced :D )

I´m not getting any help tackling dense texts, for on most occasions I am familiar with the stimulus or passage, but I am correcting some bad habits and getting some major encouragement going forward. Any thoughts on this approach?

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180asBreath
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:57 am

I am not the best person to give advice, but I see it as useful for bolstering your confidence; however, I think it actually could be overinflating your confidence - if you are truly meta-gaming (i.e. you are remembering much of the passages and question stems).

I would think the biggest thing is diagnosing yourself by taking a fully timed, brand new test. From there, you can get a sense of what you need to work on so you can to section-based practice. You are not trying to get better at the LSAT, you are trying to get better at LR, LG, and RC - if you catch my drift. The only way to do that is to get a true sense of where you are at, what your weaknesses are, and how you can improve. As for the timing issue, I would think that you should be doing timed sections - each and every day - to work on your timing.

But that's a great score to see on the ol' scantron!

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lsatprepguy
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby lsatprepguy » Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:41 pm

I didn't really read this entire thread, but the parts of it I read made me want to say this:

I think you really should listen to the advice of these people. Taking PTs, when you are where you are at right now, is the wrong approach. You have sort of ignored this advice 5 or 6 times by now, so I don't think that you will take mine any more seriously than you have taken the others. I just figured I would post this here to try one more time. :P

FWIW, I drilled for the first 3 months of my prep, studying individual question types and sections. When I took my first full practice test, I was scoring where I wanted to score on test day. You need to learn the test first, and then you can work on actually sitting down in one full swing and saying, "ok, i got this." We would all love to sit down and take practice tests and just kill them every time... but you probably won't see that happen unless you take the advice you have been given.

Anyways, good luck with your studying.

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180asBreath
Posts: 480
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:29 am

The reasons given for not taking PT's:

1. It's a waste of prep material... I don't care if I waste prep material
2. Reinforcing bad habits... Possibly on RC, only. But how do I "learn" RC any more than I'm doing now?
3. My time could be better spent drilling questions... If I intend on doing the drilling, all the while I'm taking PT's, what's the problem?

You guys say I am "ignoring" the advice; I'm saying that you guys really haven't given good justification for why I should follow your advice.

I would more than welcome a proper justification and, if it outweighed the reason why I do take PT's, would heed the advice.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:36 am

180asBreath wrote:
3. My time could be better spent drilling questions... If I intend on doing the drilling, all the while I'm taking PT's, what's the problem?


You need to drill the same question types over and over. Just doing a few strengthen questions, out of 50 or more on the PT, won't help you reach your goal of -0 on that question type. Time constraints during a PT make things even worse.

While the same process for drilling RC doesn't exist like it does for LR, the timing constraints of the practice test remain. Make sure you spend at least some time working through those passages without timing yourself just to make sure you have the fundamentals down. Glancing through this thread it sounds like you've developed a comfortable strategy for RC, but use the drilling process to experiment with any new ideas.

Protip for RC: Try ripping through a few of the passages in five minutes. Don't worry about getting them all right, but you may be surprised at how well you end up doing. This method should help you speed up on all of the passages, but it also can be necessary on the real test. During my PTs I typically finished RC with time to spare. On the real thing I was just getting through passage number 2 (Kate Chopin) when more than 20 minutes had passed. Having prepared to motor through an RC passage or two proved invaluable.

I really don't think your PT schedule is a big problem as long as you are spending the appropriate time on other days drilling specific LR question types, game types, and RC passages. If you are PTing two days a week, reviewing those PTs two other days, and taking one rest day, then you need to change your schedule. But if you can do all that and still get lots of drilling in then go for it.

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SA1928
Posts: 182
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:10 pm

Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby SA1928 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:18 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:
180asBreath wrote:
3. My time could be better spent drilling questions... If I intend on doing the drilling, all the while I'm taking PT's, what's the problem?


You need to drill the same question types over and over. Just doing a few strengthen questions, out of 50 or more on the PT, won't help you reach your goal of -0 on that question type. Time constraints during a PT make things even worse.

While the same process for drilling RC doesn't exist like it does for LR, the timing constraints of the practice test remain. Make sure you spend at least some time working through those passages without timing yourself just to make sure you have the fundamentals down. Glancing through this thread it sounds like you've developed a comfortable strategy for RC, but use the drilling process to experiment with any new ideas.

Protip for RC: Try ripping through a few of the passages in five minutes. Don't worry about getting them all right, but you may be surprised at how well you end up doing. This method should help you speed up on all of the passages, but it also can be necessary on the real test. During my PTs I typically finished RC with time to spare. On the real thing I was just getting through passage number 2 (Kate Chopin) when more than 20 minutes had passed. Having prepared to motor through an RC passage or two proved invaluable.

I really don't think your PT schedule is a big problem as long as you are spending the appropriate time on other days drilling specific LR question types, game types, and RC passages. If you are PTing two days a week, reviewing those PTs two other days, and taking one rest day, then you need to change your schedule. But if you can do all that and still get lots of drilling in then go for it.


I had a question about how you drill LR...did you just go through a bunch of tests and make a list of 25-30 problems or did you order like the Cambridge books? Also, did you time yourself while drilling question types or just go through them to nail down your process of answering them? I'm having some problems with timing, so I'm hoping drilling will help.

Sorry to hijack your thread! :)

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ExecDirect
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:52 pm

Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby ExecDirect » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:27 am

I started studing late for Oct, early mid Sept, and took 10 PT in 10 days. After the ten days I was all over the place in terms of scores, 152-160. Finally I started reading about drilling rather than than just PTing and started consistently scoring in the 163-164 area. I ran out of time to keep getting better and will probably retake in Dec unless the LSAT gods looked favorably on me and I have 4-6 point jump from my average. I turned my ability to work 5-7 hours a day on LSAT prep into a more rewarding study stategy because after the 6th hour most of my prep became meaningless and I just don't understand how you would have to much more in the tank after taking a PT, going over missed questions and also drilling. Good Luck.




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