How long did it take you before...

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Geetar Man
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How long did it take you before...

Postby Geetar Man » Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:30 pm

How long did it take for you to see improvements on your lsat scores?
Meaning, from your diagnostic, to tests with studying, how long was it before you saw your scores increasing?

For me, I have been studying lightly (a few hours daily) for about 3 months and have only seen my scores range from my 148 (diagnostic) to 162, averaging 155.

I'm not exactly sure on what kind of gains I should be seeing. A 153 today was really disheartening, but gives me the motivation to try harder.

What is even more frustrating is that every time I go over the questions I got wrong and try to answer them a second time, I get them right about 95% of the time I go over it.
The second time around the answer just pops out at me. Usually, the answer I chose originally seems blatantly wrong.


My practice test scores have been: 148, 148, 150, 156, 161, 154, 154, 152, 162,161,161, and 153.


Is this normal? What did your practice test scores look like? and in what time frame were they increasing..

Thanks!!!!

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MachineLemon
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Re: How long did it take you before...

Postby MachineLemon » Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:38 pm

I plateaued for a few months during my studying too. Assuming that you're taking in June or October 2012, you shouldn't be worried. I broke this cycle, I think, when I started doubling back to older tests. The effect is subtle and hard to quantify, but the familiarity allowed me to experience that elusive "sense" of which answer has to be correct.

Surprisingly, this actually carried over into tests I hadn't taken and, fortunately, into the real test. Since you have the time (I hope you are not shooting for Feb!), I'd stop and retake all the tests you've taken so far. Then start back up on the newer tests. Good luck!

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breadbucket
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Re: How long did it take you before...

Postby breadbucket » Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:40 pm

I may be mistaken, but the biggest problem with people whose scores fluctuate as much as yours, is that they think mastery of a concept means they don't have to study it ever again. Review your tests and see if some things your missing are things you had thought you had mastered previously. it is important to constantly review concepts you have already become comfortable with so that they remain fresh. If you do review alongside new material and take a pt after you master each new piece of material, you should see you're scores increase steadily.

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willwash
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Re: How long did it take you before...

Postby willwash » Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:52 pm

Geetar Man wrote:How long did it take for you to see improvements on your lsat scores?
Meaning, from your diagnostic, to tests with studying, how long was it before you saw your scores increasing?

For me, I have been studying lightly (a few hours daily) for about 3 months and have only seen my scores range from my 148 (diagnostic) to 162, averaging 155.

I'm not exactly sure on what kind of gains I should be seeing. A 153 today was really disheartening, but gives me the motivation to try harder.

What is even more frustrating is that every time I go over the questions I got wrong and try to answer them a second time, I get them right about 95% of the time I go over it.
The second time around the answer just pops out at me. Usually, the answer I chose originally seems blatantly wrong.


My practice test scores have been: 148, 148, 150, 156, 161, 154, 154, 152, 162,161,161, and 153.


Is this normal? What did your practice test scores look like? and in what time frame were they increasing..

Thanks!!!!


That's actually a pretty solid upward trend. Your score today is a statistical outlier. Keep hitting the books and try another PT in a day or 2. If you get below 160 again, then you can worry.

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Geetar Man
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Re: How long did it take you before...

Postby Geetar Man » Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:56 pm

TylerM wrote:I plateaued for a few months during my studying too. Assuming that you're taking in June or October 2012, you shouldn't be worried. I broke this cycle, I think, when I started doubling back to older tests. The effect is subtle and hard to quantify, but the familiarity allowed me to experience that elusive "sense" of which answer has to be correct.

Surprisingly, this actually carried over into tests I hadn't taken and, fortunately, into the real test. Since you have the time (I hope you are not shooting for Feb!), I'd stop and retake all the tests you've taken so far. Then start back up on the newer tests. Good luck!



Yeah, I'm definitely shooting for June. February would be way too soon.
The reason I started early was because of my low diagnostic. I want to prep into the high 160s low 170s.

I guess I can go over the tests I have done so far. I've been using the Kaplan practice tests that I printed out a while back when i was enrolled in the course (though, I stopped going because I felt like Kaplan was a hunk of crap). I did, however, print all of their practice tests. I have close to 70 of them.

I do notice that a lot of my prep is revolved around taking individual sections and then analyzing the questions I got wrong. Its at this point when I feel like I can see why the wrong answers are wrong and why the right answer is right.

I really do feel as if I'm getting that "sense" of wrong answers, but my scores don't seem to agree. I used to get -1 to -3 on logic games but the 153 today was with a -9 on logic games.

Thanks for your insight and I'll definitely try what both of you recommended.


Can anyone else talk about their experiences?

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ADks
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Re: How long did it take you before...

Postby ADks » Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:06 pm

If something is broke, then fix it.

I started seeing great improvement after switching up how I studied. It helped to take less PTs and focus on the content. No need to start putting the added pressure of actually taking the test on yourself when you don't even get the questions right. Take all of those tests that you did poopy on, note the questions that you had particular problems with (for example: LG section - ordering problems, or LR section - justify questions, etc.) in each section...then drill them until they are your most favorite thing in the world. It will help you not only with your speed but also with your accuracy. I took timed PTs every so often but didn't actually start to take multiple full PTs until a month out.

So, in summary, kinda what breadbucket said.

Cheers!

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Geetar Man
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Re: How long did it take you before...

Postby Geetar Man » Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:51 pm

ADks wrote:If something is broke, then fix it.

I started seeing great improvement after switching up how I studied. It helped to take less PTs and focus on the content. No need to start putting the added pressure of actually taking the test on yourself when you don't even get the questions right. Take all of those tests that you did poopy on, note the questions that you had particular problems with (for example: LG section - ordering problems, or LR section - justify questions, etc.) in each section...then drill them until they are your most favorite thing in the world. It will help you not only with your speed but also with your accuracy. I took timed PTs every so often but didn't actually start to take multiple full PTs until a month out.

So, in summary, kinda what breadbucket said.

Cheers!



I can do this. However, I feel as if the questions that give me problems vary from test to test; there is not a specific type of question that I have problems with. I seem to get questions wrong from all over the place. So when I add up the questions I'm missing, it's pretty even across the board minus three or so question types. IF I could pin point the problem, then yes, I would be drilling on them. But I don't have ONE specific question type that gives me problems.

My main goal is to drive my raw score up. I just don't know what to do at this point when I'm all over the dam place! Helppppp!

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Geetar Man
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Re: How long did it take you before...

Postby Geetar Man » Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:29 pm

Bump. Looking to hear other people's experiences!

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Shiraz
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Re: How long did it take you before...

Postby Shiraz » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:00 pm

Took my first cold PT in July and scored 154. By mid-September I hadn't improved much; after completing a Testmasters course, I PT'd at 158.

I started studying MUCH more seriously after that disheartening score. I felt like I knew the fundamentals from the course (which, in my opinion, is what you need to get down before you move on to actual PTs), so I moved on to doing PT after PT. I reached about an average of about 164 before I plateaued again around mid-October, at which point I stepped away from taking practice tests and began drilling what I felt were my weakest areas: namely, reading comprehension as a whole (especially science passages), in/out logic games, and certain logical reasoning questions (especially parallel reasoning). I took a week off to focus on these areas, and when I started taking practice tests again, I was averaging around 167/168.

I kept at this strategy - drilling when I began to plateau and taking PTs to track my progress - and was averaging at about 172 by the time the December test rolled around. I took around 25 PTs in all.

A lot of people think that taking numerous PTs are the best way to improve, whereas others (such as the infamous Dave Hall) believe that PTs are a better for tracking your progress than improving on the exam itself. I think what worked for me was a healthy combination of both. PTs were useful for getting the feel for a whole test down and perfecting my timing, whereas drilling was where the actual learning occurred: I was able to focus on individual errors in individual sections, whereas with PTs, I was more prone to just looking at the overall score of the test.

My advice is if you're plateauing, back away from PTs for a week or a week and a half, and just drill. By your next PT, you will be refreshed, and you will likely approach the test with a rejuvenated mindset and a new strategy on how to do certain problems, based on mistakes you made in your drills.

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Geetar Man
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Re: How long did it take you before...

Postby Geetar Man » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:07 pm

Shiraz wrote:Took my first cold PT in July and scored 154. By mid-September I hadn't improved much; after completing a Testmasters course, I PT'd at 158.

I started studying MUCH more seriously after that disheartening score. I felt like I knew the fundamentals from the course (which, in my opinion, is what you need to get down before you move on to actual PTs), so I moved on to doing PT after PT. I reached about an average of about 164 before I plateaued again around mid-October, at which point I stepped away from taking practice tests and began drilling what I felt were my weakest areas: namely, reading comprehension as a whole (especially science passages), in/out logic games, and certain logical reasoning questions (especially parallel reasoning). I took a week off to focus on these areas, and when I started taking practice tests again, I was averaging around 167/168.

I kept at this strategy - drilling when I began to plateau and taking PTs to track my progress - and was averaging at about 172 by the time the December test rolled around. I took around 25 PTs in all.

A lot of people think that taking numerous PTs are the best way to improve, whereas others (such as the infamous Dave Hall) believe that PTs are a better for tracking your progress than improving on the exam itself. I think what worked for me was a healthy combination of both. PTs were useful for getting the feel for a whole test down and perfecting my timing, whereas drilling was where the actual learning occurred: I was able to focus on individual errors in individual sections, whereas with PTs, I was more prone to just looking at the overall score of the test.

My advice is if you're plateauing, back away from PTs for a week or a week and a half, and just drill. By your next PT, you will be refreshed, and you will likely approach the test with a rejuvenated mindset and a new strategy on how to do certain problems, based on mistakes you made in your drills.








Hey, I appreciate the input! Sounds like your strategy worked out quite well for you.
My question is, if I am unable to pinpoint specific problems, how should I focus my studying? As of right now, I just take timed sections and then go over the questions I got wrong using a method I found on TLS. (to review the question ,why I missed it, why I chose the wrong answer, why I wont choose it again etc...)

However, I find that I am missing questions all over the place. Sometimes I get parallel reasoning questions wrong, sometimes I get them right. Do you know of any strategy for me so that I can address this issue?? Should I just keep drilling on practice sections?

Thanks!

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Shiraz
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Re: How long did it take you before...

Postby Shiraz » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:22 pm

Geetar Man wrote:
Shiraz wrote:Took my first cold PT in July and scored 154. By mid-September I hadn't improved much; after completing a Testmasters course, I PT'd at 158.

I started studying MUCH more seriously after that disheartening score. I felt like I knew the fundamentals from the course (which, in my opinion, is what you need to get down before you move on to actual PTs), so I moved on to doing PT after PT. I reached about an average of about 164 before I plateaued again around mid-October, at which point I stepped away from taking practice tests and began drilling what I felt were my weakest areas: namely, reading comprehension as a whole (especially science passages), in/out logic games, and certain logical reasoning questions (especially parallel reasoning). I took a week off to focus on these areas, and when I started taking practice tests again, I was averaging around 167/168.

I kept at this strategy - drilling when I began to plateau and taking PTs to track my progress - and was averaging at about 172 by the time the December test rolled around. I took around 25 PTs in all.

A lot of people think that taking numerous PTs are the best way to improve, whereas others (such as the infamous Dave Hall) believe that PTs are a better for tracking your progress than improving on the exam itself. I think what worked for me was a healthy combination of both. PTs were useful for getting the feel for a whole test down and perfecting my timing, whereas drilling was where the actual learning occurred: I was able to focus on individual errors in individual sections, whereas with PTs, I was more prone to just looking at the overall score of the test.

My advice is if you're plateauing, back away from PTs for a week or a week and a half, and just drill. By your next PT, you will be refreshed, and you will likely approach the test with a rejuvenated mindset and a new strategy on how to do certain problems, based on mistakes you made in your drills.








Hey, I appreciate the input! Sounds like your strategy worked out quite well for you.
My question is, if I am unable to pinpoint specific problems, how should I focus my studying? As of right now, I just take timed sections and then go over the questions I got wrong using a method I found on TLS. (to review the question ,why I missed it, why I chose the wrong answer, why I wont choose it again etc...)

However, I find that I am missing questions all over the place. Sometimes I get parallel reasoning questions wrong, sometimes I get them right. Do you know of any strategy for me so that I can address this issue?? Should I just keep drilling on practice sections?

Thanks!


I had this problem too - when I was PTing in the first months I found I sucked at just everything, haha.

Just pick any random topic and go. Whatever section you missed the most on. If that was LR, do question drills by type (I believe your Kaplan books separate the question types for you), and that's how you'll identify what's hardest for you. Do sets of 10, check your answers, figure out why you thought the incorrect answer was correct and why the correct answer is right, and do it again for the next set of LR.

Same with RC. LG just takes repetition; take a morning or an afternoon to just do them over and over. I recommend redoing LG games after you know the right answers in order to figure out how to get to them. I know, it's tedious, but I swear that's the key to how I improved (and as soon as I started getting -0 in LG, that's when my scores improved the most dramatically). I'm sure other people will tell you similarly.

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Geetar Man
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Re: How long did it take you before...

Postby Geetar Man » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:20 pm

Shiraz wrote:
Geetar Man wrote:
Shiraz wrote:Took my first cold PT in July and scored 154. By mid-September I hadn't improved much; after completing a Testmasters course, I PT'd at 158.

I started studying MUCH more seriously after that disheartening score. I felt like I knew the fundamentals from the course (which, in my opinion, is what you need to get down before you move on to actual PTs), so I moved on to doing PT after PT. I reached about an average of about 164 before I plateaued again around mid-October, at which point I stepped away from taking practice tests and began drilling what I felt were my weakest areas: namely, reading comprehension as a whole (especially science passages), in/out logic games, and certain logical reasoning questions (especially parallel reasoning). I took a week off to focus on these areas, and when I started taking practice tests again, I was averaging around 167/168.

I kept at this strategy - drilling when I began to plateau and taking PTs to track my progress - and was averaging at about 172 by the time the December test rolled around. I took around 25 PTs in all.

A lot of people think that taking numerous PTs are the best way to improve, whereas others (such as the infamous Dave Hall) believe that PTs are a better for tracking your progress than improving on the exam itself. I think what worked for me was a healthy combination of both. PTs were useful for getting the feel for a whole test down and perfecting my timing, whereas drilling was where the actual learning occurred: I was able to focus on individual errors in individual sections, whereas with PTs, I was more prone to just looking at the overall score of the test.

My advice is if you're plateauing, back away from PTs for a week or a week and a half, and just drill. By your next PT, you will be refreshed, and you will likely approach the test with a rejuvenated mindset and a new strategy on how to do certain problems, based on mistakes you made in your drills.








Hey, I appreciate the input! Sounds like your strategy worked out quite well for you.
My question is, if I am unable to pinpoint specific problems, how should I focus my studying? As of right now, I just take timed sections and then go over the questions I got wrong using a method I found on TLS. (to review the question ,why I missed it, why I chose the wrong answer, why I wont choose it again etc...)

However, I find that I am missing questions all over the place. Sometimes I get parallel reasoning questions wrong, sometimes I get them right. Do you know of any strategy for me so that I can address this issue?? Should I just keep drilling on practice sections?

Thanks!


I had this problem too - when I was PTing in the first months I found I sucked at just everything, haha.

Just pick any random topic and go. Whatever section you missed the most on. If that was LR, do question drills by type (I believe your Kaplan books separate the question types for you), and that's how you'll identify what's hardest for you. Do sets of 10, check your answers, figure out why you thought the incorrect answer was correct and why the correct answer is right, and do it again for the next set of LR.

Same with RC. LG just takes repetition; take a morning or an afternoon to just do them over and over. I recommend redoing LG games after you know the right answers in order to figure out how to get to them. I know, it's tedious, but I swear that's the key to how I improved (and as soon as I started getting -0 in LG, that's when my scores improved the most dramatically). I'm sure other people will tell you similarly.


Yeah, the Kaplan books separate the questions by type. I'll probably just do every question in that book until my eyes are bleeding. That's a good way to find my weakness though!

I will definitely keep up on logic games. I read the LGB and was doing the games with no problem and then sure enough once I got cocky and didnt look at them, its coming back to bite me in the ass. Luckily, I am taking the test in June and can have a pretty familiar grasp with what I need to do going forward.


Will anyone else post what their practice test scores looked like from beginning to end, so I can get a look at how others are progressing????

akotran
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Re: How long did it take you before...

Postby akotran » Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:54 am

great thread

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Geetar Man
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Re: How long did it take you before...

Postby Geetar Man » Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:56 pm

akotran wrote:great thread


Thanks!




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