Successful Re-takers: How did you do it?

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SA1928
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Successful Re-takers: How did you do it?

Postby SA1928 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:31 am

There are many successful re-takers here on TLS and having spoke with a few, I think the information they can provide for future re-takers is really helpful to other people considering a re-take, so I am starting a thread where people who took the LSAT more than once and improved on their score can share their story or people who canceled their score and then scored well on their next try. Here is a basic template of information I thought would be helpful (feel free to add any other information!):

Original Score:
Re-Take Score:
Length of time studied:
What did you do differently in preparation for the re-take (courses, new materials, different method etc.):
Anything else you would tell people considering a re-take or want to share:



Also, the guide on TLS under LSAT Preparation is really helpful for potential re-takers so here is the link to that: http://www.top-law-schools.com/retaking-the-lsat.html
Last edited by SA1928 on Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SA1928
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Re: Successful Re-takers: How did you do it?

Postby SA1928 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:50 pm

anybody want to share??

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Successful Re-takers: How did you do it?

Postby JamMasterJ » Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:58 pm

Uh sure.
I got a 166 in October 2010 and a 166 in Feb 2011 after studying for a month each times (I only had one of the most recent 20 tests during these two study sessions)
I got a 176 in October 2011 after studying for about 4 months. I think the biggest thing was that I was able to formulate an approach to every single type of question that I was going to encounter on the real test, and I could use questions I had seen in the past as a reference for stuff on the actual test. I also found little quirks, such as doing LR 11-25 before doing 1-10 and coming up with a a very regimented reading comp approach. I also used the Manhattan study guides, which I think are the next step for people who have done and understand the Powerscore stuff. I also talked to people a lot in the October study group thread, and believe that the solidarity was helpful.

I sort of put together a retakers study guide that I'm considering posting on TLS, but a lot of it is specific to my situation and fairly similar to the Pithypike method. The biggest thing is to know how your brain works and to approach the test in a way that maximizes your unique intellect and makes you comfortable.

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CorkBoard
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Re: Successful Re-takers: How did you do it?

Postby CorkBoard » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:12 pm

JamMasterJ wrote:Uh sure.
I got a 166 in October 2010 and a 166 in Feb 2011 after studying for a month each times (I only had one of the most recent 20 tests during these two study sessions)
I got a 176 in October 2011 after studying for about 4 months. I think the biggest thing was that I was able to formulate an approach to every single type of question that I was going to encounter on the real test, and I could use questions I had seen in the past as a reference for stuff on the actual test. I also found little quirks, such as doing LR 11-25 before doing 1-10 and coming up with a a very regimented reading comp approach. I also used the Manhattan study guides, which I think are the next step for people who have done and understand the Powerscore stuff. I also talked to people a lot in the October study group thread, and believe that the solidarity was helpful.

I sort of put together a retakers study guide that I'm considering posting on TLS, but a lot of it is specific to my situation and fairly similar to the Pithypike method. The biggest thing is to know how your brain works and to approach the test in a way that maximizes your unique intellect and makes you comfortable.


Did you use all of the study guides from Manhattan? Which did you find the most helpful?

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Successful Re-takers: How did you do it?

Postby JamMasterJ » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:23 pm

CorkBoard wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:Uh sure.
I got a 166 in October 2010 and a 166 in Feb 2011 after studying for a month each times (I only had one of the most recent 20 tests during these two study sessions)
I got a 176 in October 2011 after studying for about 4 months. I think the biggest thing was that I was able to formulate an approach to every single type of question that I was going to encounter on the real test, and I could use questions I had seen in the past as a reference for stuff on the actual test. I also found little quirks, such as doing LR 11-25 before doing 1-10 and coming up with a a very regimented reading comp approach. I also used the Manhattan study guides, which I think are the next step for people who have done and understand the Powerscore stuff. I also talked to people a lot in the October study group thread, and believe that the solidarity was helpful.

I sort of put together a retakers study guide that I'm considering posting on TLS, but a lot of it is specific to my situation and fairly similar to the Pithypike method. The biggest thing is to know how your brain works and to approach the test in a way that maximizes your unique intellect and makes you comfortable.


Did you use all of the study guides from Manhattan? Which did you find the most helpful?


yes, and LR, easily. LG was good; it offers some differences from Powerscore's that I liked, but LR was just awesome. I ended up missing 1 LR question on the real test. RC was good, to the extent that an RC guide can be good, but it is obviously limited.

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QuincyWagstaff
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Re: Successful Re-takers: How did you do it?

Postby QuincyWagstaff » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:28 pm

JamMasterJ wrote:Uh sure.
I got a 166 in October 2010 and a 166 in Feb 2011 after studying for a month each times (I only had one of the most recent 20 tests during these two study sessions)
I got a 176 in October 2011 after studying for about 4 months. I think the biggest thing was that I was able to formulate an approach to every single type of question that I was going to encounter on the real test, and I could use questions I had seen in the past as a reference for stuff on the actual test. I also found little quirks, such as doing LR 11-25 before doing 1-10 and coming up with a a very regimented reading comp approach. I also used the Manhattan study guides, which I think are the next step for people who have done and understand the Powerscore stuff. I also talked to people a lot in the October study group thread, and believe that the solidarity was helpful.

I sort of put together a retakers study guide that I'm considering posting on TLS, but a lot of it is specific to my situation and fairly similar to the Pithypike method. The biggest thing is to know how your brain works and to approach the test in a way that maximizes your unique intellect and makes you comfortable.


Did you base your RC techniques on the Manhattan guide? What was your RC score in October 11?

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FlanAl
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Re: Successful Re-takers: How did you do it?

Postby FlanAl » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:42 pm

I had a cancel but took oct and the dec. I studied before oct for 1 1/2 to 2 months but not really seriously or effectively. I took like a week off after oct then hit it for at least 4hrs a day until the dec test and got a 170. I highly recommend the manhattan online video course thing that you can rewind, it costs less than their actual online classes. I didn't finish all of the homework's but did watch all the videos.

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minnbills
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Re: Successful Re-takers: How did you do it?

Postby minnbills » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:45 pm

Original Score: 162
Re-Take Score: 168
Length of time studied: 6 months prior to first take (about 35 pts) 3 months prior to retake.
What did you do differently in preparation for the re-take (courses, new materials, different method etc.): I actually studied less intensively. I felt that I knew the test pretty well. Confidence and being in the right mindset was the issue holding me back.
Anything else you would tell people considering a re-take or want to share: Identify problems and address them. Be thorough in review- if you don't understand why you got something right OR wrong there is still work to be done.

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CorkBoard
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Re: Successful Re-takers: How did you do it?

Postby CorkBoard » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:00 pm

JamMasterJ wrote:
CorkBoard wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:Uh sure.
I got a 166 in October 2010 and a 166 in Feb 2011 after studying for a month each times (I only had one of the most recent 20 tests during these two study sessions)
I got a 176 in October 2011 after studying for about 4 months. I think the biggest thing was that I was able to formulate an approach to every single type of question that I was going to encounter on the real test, and I could use questions I had seen in the past as a reference for stuff on the actual test. I also found little quirks, such as doing LR 11-25 before doing 1-10 and coming up with a a very regimented reading comp approach. I also used the Manhattan study guides, which I think are the next step for people who have done and understand the Powerscore stuff. I also talked to people a lot in the October study group thread, and believe that the solidarity was helpful.

I sort of put together a retakers study guide that I'm considering posting on TLS, but a lot of it is specific to my situation and fairly similar to the Pithypike method. The biggest thing is to know how your brain works and to approach the test in a way that maximizes your unique intellect and makes you comfortable.


Did you use all of the study guides from Manhattan? Which did you find the most helpful?


yes, and LR, easily. LG was good; it offers some differences from Powerscore's that I liked, but LR was just awesome. I ended up missing 1 LR question on the real test. RC was good, to the extent that an RC guide can be good, but it is obviously limited.


How do you think the LR book from Manhattan compared with LRB? Like, substantially better? What differences does it offer from Powerscore?

charliep
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Re: Successful Re-takers: How did you do it?

Postby charliep » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:05 pm

original score: 156
retake score: 169
time studied: 2 months
materials used: the 20 most recent practice tests
thing i did differently: studied
advice: do your studying early in the morning, make sure you understand each incorrect answer before moving on, read dense material after completing a practice test to increase stamina (i've found this helps on cutting down the "chunks" of incorrect answers)

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Successful Re-takers: How did you do it?

Postby JamMasterJ » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:20 pm

QuincyWagstaff wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:Uh sure.
I got a 166 in October 2010 and a 166 in Feb 2011 after studying for a month each times (I only had one of the most recent 20 tests during these two study sessions)
I got a 176 in October 2011 after studying for about 4 months. I think the biggest thing was that I was able to formulate an approach to every single type of question that I was going to encounter on the real test, and I could use questions I had seen in the past as a reference for stuff on the actual test. I also found little quirks, such as doing LR 11-25 before doing 1-10 and coming up with a a very regimented reading comp approach. I also used the Manhattan study guides, which I think are the next step for people who have done and understand the Powerscore stuff. I also talked to people a lot in the October study group thread, and believe that the solidarity was helpful.

I sort of put together a retakers study guide that I'm considering posting on TLS, but a lot of it is specific to my situation and fairly similar to the Pithypike method. The biggest thing is to know how your brain works and to approach the test in a way that maximizes your unique intellect and makes you comfortable.


Did you base your RC techniques on the Manhattan guide? What was your RC score in October 11?

My RC approach was sort of my own thing, based off of the manhattan "approach." Manhattan doesn't push a specific approach the way that Powerscore does, but to the extent that they do, I used it. I got a -3 in October on RC, which was half of my missed questions, but that's really solid compared to what I was scoring early on and during prep for my first two tests.
CorkBoard wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:
CorkBoard wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:Uh sure.
I got a 166 in October 2010 and a 166 in Feb 2011 after studying for a month each times (I only had one of the most recent 20 tests during these two study sessions)
I got a 176 in October 2011 after studying for about 4 months. I think the biggest thing was that I was able to formulate an approach to every single type of question that I was going to encounter on the real test, and I could use questions I had seen in the past as a reference for stuff on the actual test. I also found little quirks, such as doing LR 11-25 before doing 1-10 and coming up with a a very regimented reading comp approach. I also used the Manhattan study guides, which I think are the next step for people who have done and understand the Powerscore stuff. I also talked to people a lot in the October study group thread, and believe that the solidarity was helpful.

I sort of put together a retakers study guide that I'm considering posting on TLS, but a lot of it is specific to my situation and fairly similar to the Pithypike method. The biggest thing is to know how your brain works and to approach the test in a way that maximizes your unique intellect and makes you comfortable.


Did you use all of the study guides from Manhattan? Which did you find the most helpful?


yes, and LR, easily. LG was good; it offers some differences from Powerscore's that I liked, but LR was just awesome. I ended up missing 1 LR question on the real test. RC was good, to the extent that an RC guide can be good, but it is obviously limited.


How do you think the LR book from Manhattan compared with LRB? Like, substantially better? What differences does it offer from Powerscore?

I personally felt like Manhattan was a bit better than Powerscore, but that may be a product of the fact that I did it second. I haven't seen the PS books in 10 months, so I don't remember exactly why.

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Re: Successful Re-takers: How did you do it?

Postby Dr. Filth » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:34 pm

JMJ do you think the Manhattan LR guide helped you get over the hump from your previous two times? My LR sections would vary greatly on my PT's from 0 to -5 on bad sections. I just happened to have one of my bad sections on the Oct LSAT. I desperately need to find some consistency. And if the answer to that is yes, when I go start studying again should I go through the Powerscore LR Bible or just skip it and only use the Manhattan guide?

Thanks in advance

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Re: Successful Re-takers: How did you do it?

Postby CorkBoard » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:40 pm

Dr. Filth wrote:JMJ do you think the Manhattan LR guide helped you get over the hump from your previous two times? My LR sections would vary greatly on my PT's from 0 to -5 on bad sections. I just happened to have one of my bad sections on the Oct LSAT. I desperately need to find some consistency. And if the answer to that is yes, when I go start studying again should I go through the Powerscore LR Bible or just skip it and only use the Manhattan guide?

Thanks in advance


+1

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Successful Re-takers: How did you do it?

Postby JamMasterJ » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:33 am

Dr. Filth wrote:JMJ do you think the Manhattan LR guide helped you get over the hump from your previous two times? My LR sections would vary greatly on my PT's from 0 to -5 on bad sections. I just happened to have one of my bad sections on the Oct LSAT. I desperately need to find some consistency. And if the answer to that is yes, when I go start studying again should I go through the Powerscore LR Bible or just skip it and only use the Manhattan guide?

Thanks in advance

yes. I'm not sure if it was a product of using Manhattan, seeing a ton of LR questions, or both, but I really feel that the guide, when used with question type drilling, made it MUCH easier for me to break the test down to the point where I knew what I was looking for in almost every LR question. As far as doing PS first, then switching, I generally believe that PS is great for getting to the 160s, but Manhattan is better for getting past 170. The books assume a higher level of understanding, so if you're still having trouble with the basics, it may be necessary to do PS first or in conjunction, but if a -5 is a bad section for you, you're probably ready to use Manhattan exclusively. I think I missed like 8 or so on LR last Oct (obviously, I'll never know how many I missed in Feb), and I got down to -1 the last time.

Another thing about LR: a lot of my success seemed to be a result of having that solid plan of attack for the section as a whole, and more specifically for each question type. More than anything, getting to that point and "sticking to your guns" is the most important factor in getting -0 to -2 sections, in my opinion.

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Re: Successful Re-takers: How did you do it?

Postby crazeazn » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:51 am

Hi guys, this forum is fantastic! I just took the December LSAT but I just canceled it this evening. I started studying for the exam around September with the purchase of the Powerscore LR/LB Bibles. I trudged through them with great difficulty, in fact I remember it took me like 5 hours to finish a linear game :lol: . After those futile attempts with about 1/3 of each book done, I felt that I would be better off taking the PowerScore class. My initial diagnostic was a 138 (pretty pathetic compared to all you guys who start at like 165). I took around less than 10 fully timed exams with small and steady improvements. 138-145-150-151-153-156-153. In addition, I completed about 1/2 or more of the problem homework sets given by Powerscore (they like to lay it on thick). From a problem standpoint, I've probably done another 4-5 more tests. I'm at a crossroads because I know I need to take more exams, but I'm not sure the best way to approach this. Powerscore's class has a built in student section that tells you, your weaknesses but it seems that every test is something different. (I know I can bring up some significant points in the LG, b/c I'm barely completing 2 games) This evening I purchased, Steve's LSAT blog's 2 month schedule with the intent to retake it in February, but that schedule seems to be a relearn of everything. Should I take that avenue and try to take a second pass? Or would I be just better off continuing to test? I know there is not a one size fits all method but if anybody has any experience it would be greatly appreciated. My intended goal is to go a school ranked from 13-20ish school but I have an absolutely crummy undergrad gpa, so I have to make up for it with my LSAT score. Thanks for the help in advance.

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pupshaw
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Re: Successful Re-takers: How did you do it?

Postby pupshaw » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:30 am

I got a 168 in February '11 and a 177 in October.

For me the biggest change was understanding which areas I needed to focus on. Before my first LSAT I signed up for a review class without knowing much about the test. (Obviously hadn't discovered TLS yet, either.) The class was fine, but I quickly discovered that I was pretty comfortable with LR and RC but needed more work on LG. So 2/3 of the class time was not really too useful to me, and as a result I didn't work on LG as much as I should have. Because of that I got a bit flustered when the real test came around and ended up scoring several points below my average.

Second time around I got the Powerscore LG Bible, and pretty much only focused on that. Had a lot more confidence going into the second test, and brought the score up by 9 points.

Obviously everyone is going to have different strengths and weaknesses, but I think my takeaway was that you need to find out what those are before you can study effectively.

roranoa
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Re: Successful Re-takers: How did you do it?

Postby roranoa » Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:11 am

cerealdan wrote:I got a 168 in February '11 and a 177 in October.

For me the biggest change was understanding which areas I needed to focus on. Before my first LSAT I signed up for a review class without knowing much about the test. (Obviously hadn't discovered TLS yet, either.) The class was fine, but I quickly discovered that I was pretty comfortable with LR and RC but needed more work on LG. So 2/3 of the class time was not really too useful to me, and as a result I didn't work on LG as much as I should have. Because of that I got a bit flustered when the real test came around and ended up scoring several points below my average.

Second time around I got the Powerscore LG Bible, and pretty much only focused on that. Had a lot more confidence going into the second test, and brought the score up by 9 points.

Obviously everyone is going to have different strengths and weaknesses, but I think my takeaway was that you need to find out what those are before you can study effectively.


Did you study full time? Were you a student or working while you prepared?

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Take Two
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Re: Successful Re-takers: How did you do it?

Postby Take Two » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:06 pm

164 june 11
176 oct 11

I took a Testmasters class, which I recommend, I definitely learned the logical principles that I would need by taking that class and the underachievement was on my part. I hadnt learned the test yet. I didnt spend enough time taking tests and working through my timing and getting familiar with the feel of the test. I studied from getting my score in late June tell the october test taking about 40 practice tests and studying the errors I made on those exams and finding patterns (which is really the most important part of PTing).

I dont know if this is helpful, but I really struggled with the decision to retake. I kept hearing how it didnt really make a difference and most people only increase their score within the range of their previous score band yielding little real benefit. This all clashed with my fairly strong sense that I had not demonstrated my potential and ultimately I decided to retake (I think we can agree it was the right choice haha :D ), so take away message believe in yourself! It was hard to admit I was unprepared but I knew that for my capabilities I was.

American_in_China
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Re: Successful Re-takers: How did you do it?

Postby American_in_China » Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:00 am

Original Score: 172
Re-Take Score: 179
Length of time studied: about 1 month for June, 3 months for October
What did you do differently in preparation for the re-take (courses, new materials, different method etc.):
Became an LSAT tutor for Kaplan. Did their entire LR mastery and LG mastery book, basically memorized all of the tendencies for LR, changed my RC strategy dramatically (heavy outlining based on how I outline my papers). Cannot emphasize enough how much Dave Hall's thread improved my score.
Anything else you would tell people considering a re-take or want to share: Don't be afraid to change your approach. If you have 3 months, spend the first changing approach (don't take PTs, it will only discourage you), spend the second month drilling question types, spend the last month doing PTs.

My own tip: Do double tests (8 sections, with a break after the 3rd and 6th). Do this two or three times and the real test will feel like like a breeze, energy wise.

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Take Two
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Re: Successful Re-takers: How did you do it?

Postby Take Two » Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:31 am

I agree with a lot of that tinkering with youre approach is definitely a good idea, if you have the time certainly dont be afraid to try different things, gotta find what works for you.

I also had a quirky way of taking my PTs. Simply because I had limited time I took my PTs four sections straight through no breaks and while that might not be as effective as the double test strategy, I do think it helped me at least.




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