October LSAT: If I study hard from now, is 168+ probable?

akotran
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October LSAT: If I study hard from now, is 168+ probable?

Postby akotran » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:18 am

I'm planning on jumping into the next admissions cycle. I'll able to guarantee that my next two quarters of class are easy and am going to dedicate 8-10 hours a week January through May and then dedicate 15-20 per week during the summer. During August I will hopefully be willing to bump it up to 25 per week. During September, when my senior year starts, I wil dial everything down to two practice tests a week.

My question is- If I am diligent and stick to this rather long and rigorous study schedule, can I count on getting a 168 or higher? (I have not done a diagnostic yet and don't really care to until I understand all the logic game types).

I'm a very avid reader so I don't foresee RC being the choke point for my score. Currently I feel very confident that I can master LR with practice and at least do above average at RC without much practice at all. I'm still working on linear games on the Logic Games Bible and they are kicking my butt. I'm slowly getting the hang of diagraming but I know that its a steep uphill after linear games.

Are low scores generally the results of bad studying (such as for people who work full time, or are in difficult majors) or a genuine lack of ability to learn the logical analysis necessary to master the test? They say it's a teachable skill - is this really true?

American_in_China
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Re: October LSAT: If I study hard from now, is 168+ probable?

Postby American_in_China » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:27 am

At no point did you indicate you current ability. If your diagnostic is a 130, I'd say no. If it's a 155, then yeah, it's possible. My diagnostic was a 162, and I got a 172 after 1 month of study, and a 179 after 3 more months.

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: October LSAT: If I study hard from now, is 168+ probable?

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:30 am

IMHO, studying now for an LSAT administration that is 10 months away is overkill, regardless of how much you are struggling. And I would also take a diagnostic test first before I went through any practice drills for any individual section. It's useful to see where your initial baseline and level of skill is and is also helpful to use as a comparison to where you are as you progress in your preparation.

The LSAT is very learnable through repetition because, as you will see, many of the questions test the same skills over and over again, but are just cloaked in different contexts.

If you want to start your study program now, more power to you. I couldn't have done LSAT-related work for 10 months, but if you can, go for it. People always learn better when they do work over time rather than trying to cram it in a short period of time. And if you are set on starting your work in January, I would consider a more rigorous schedule in preparation for the June administration. This offers you a couple advantages: (1) if you do well, you can get a head start on your applications and send them in immediately after cleaning up your resume and doing the personal statement over the summer; (2) if you don't do well, you can gauge your progress and retake in October and still be early enough to take advantage of rolling admissions for the 2012 cycle.

Best of luck. You sound motivated to do well. If you stick to your plan and are a person of above average intelligence, I see no reason as to why you can't score even higher than 168.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: October LSAT: If I study hard from now, is 168+ probable?

Postby JamMasterJ » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:32 am

what are you even asking? if it's possible to get a 168+ with that much studying? if you will be guaranteed it with that much studying?

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ADks
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Re: October LSAT: If I study hard from now, is 168+ probable?

Postby ADks » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:41 am

Yes, it is probable.

notaznguy
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Re: October LSAT: If I study hard from now, is 168+ probable?

Postby notaznguy » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:57 am

Really hard to say with no diagnostic score.

15-20 hours a week in the summer is pretty lightweight if you ask me. My diagnostic was a 138 and after taking Testmasters and studying 25-30 hours a week from July-September, I was only PTing at 158-159. I took a month off and started doing drills again in November and starting taking PTs again. My last PTs were 160 and 163.

Again, it really depends. If you have a high diagnostic and just have a good feel for the test overall, I think it is doable.

akotran
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Re: October LSAT: If I study hard from now, is 168+ probable?

Postby akotran » Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:31 am

I haven't taken a diagnostic because I would miss most of the LG questions at this point. I don't understand why people take a diagnostic before understanding how to approach the LG section...

Either way I appreciate the fact that it is tough to give a prediction without a starting score but I'm mostly just asking if there are people who study hard for 5 months+ that don't get above a 165.

notaznguy: what section is keeping you down? LG? RC?

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MachineLemon
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Re: October LSAT: If I study hard from now, is 168+ probable?

Postby MachineLemon » Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:39 am

akotran wrote:I haven't taken a diagnostic because I would miss most of the LG questions at this point. I don't understand why people take a diagnostic before understanding how to approach the LG section...


The reason is simple: You want to gauge your ability to answer the questions intuitively. Once you've started studying, you form new (and better) habits that may mask your inherent lack of ability. This may make a high score seem more possible than it actually is. Just stop studying and take a full, timed practice test.

Also, actually practicing games is the way to get better. The books help, but IMO mostly in the area of diagramming.

I think you're overthinking this one a bit. Just get us a diagnostic and we can give you a better idea.

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thatkid
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Re: October LSAT: If I study hard from now, is 168+ probable?

Postby thatkid » Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:43 am

Take a diagnostic. Even some logic games are somewhat intuitive, and it's good to see where you're starting from.

Also, take the June LSAT. It gives you enough time to retake if you don't get the score you want, and you'll have enough time to study between now and then. Retaking in October won't delay your cycle to a considerable degree. Retaking in December makes it a lot harder, because so many seats have been given out before you have a score you're happy with.

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Mr.Binks
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Re: October LSAT: If I study hard from now, is 168+ probable?

Postby Mr.Binks » Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:25 pm

MrPapagiorgio wrote:IMHO, studying now for an LSAT administration that is 10 months away is overkill, regardless of how much you are struggling. And I would also take a diagnostic test first before I went through any practice drills for any individual section. It's useful to see where your initial baseline and level of skill is and is also helpful to use as a comparison to where you are as you progress in your preparation.

The LSAT is very learnable through repetition because, as you will see, many of the questions test the same skills over and over again, but are just cloaked in different contexts.

If you want to start your study program now, more power to you. I couldn't have done LSAT-related work for 10 months, but if you can, go for it. People always learn better when they do work over time rather than trying to cram it in a short period of time. And if you are set on starting your work in January, I would consider a more rigorous schedule in preparation for the June administration. This offers you a couple advantages: (1) if you do well, you can get a head start on your applications and send them in immediately after cleaning up your resume and doing the personal statement over the summer; (2) if you don't do well, you can gauge your progress and retake in October and still be early enough to take advantage of rolling admissions for the 2012 cycle.

Best of luck. You sound motivated to do well. If you stick to your plan and are a person of above average intelligence, I see no reason as to why you can't score even higher than 168.


I completely agree. 10 months is crazy over kill. I think 3-4 months of solid, full-time studying is more than enough.

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Re: October LSAT: If I study hard from now, is 168+ probable?

Postby bp shinners » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:06 pm

akotran wrote:Either way I appreciate the fact that it is tough to give a prediction without a starting score but I'm mostly just asking if there are people who study hard for 5 months+ that don't get above a 165.


There are plenty of people out there who study for 5+ months and don't get above a 165. If it was the case that studying for 5 months was sufficient to get a 165, then there would be a whole lot more 165s out there, a lot more people would prep for that long, and the LSAT would be ramped up in difficulty to account for the higher percentage of high-scoring individuals.

As others have said, it's hard to give you an idea without a diagnostic test. If your baseline understanding is a 138, it's going to take longer to get a 165+. If it's a 157, you can probably get there after a month or two.

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Gail
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Re: October LSAT: If I study hard from now, is 168+ probable?

Postby Gail » Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:53 pm

Different people learn different ways. Some people learn better at a slow and gradual pace. Besides, conventional wisdom will say that the longer that you're familiar with something the better you'll be.

I think I suffered from not starting early ; I didn't have the luxury of "full time studying" for 3 or 4 months. I studied for 3 months, but probably only did about 6 hours a week.

akotran
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Re: October LSAT: If I study hard from now, is 168+ probable?

Postby akotran » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:09 pm

Took my first diagnostic (December 2007).... 162 baby!!!!

one caveat: I went through the LG bible already, missed 6 on that section (frankly I wouldn't have been able to do any of it without the LGB) but have not done any drills beyond the couple problems that accompany each chapter. I'm positive I can totally ace this section by June.

There was one LR section where I was almost perfect (only missed one). I had between 3 and 7 minutes left by the time I finished each of my LR sections, and this is without studying any of the techniques for analyzing the questions, just going by intuition and some understanding of conditional reasoning (thanks to the LGB).

RC was a bitch and I missed 6. I see this as being the toughest to improve unless there is some discernable pattern to the question types.

This was admittedly not a true cold diag but given that it is my first test (out of about 30 planned before June) I feel good about where I'm starting out.

bp shinners
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Re: October LSAT: If I study hard from now, is 168+ probable?

Postby bp shinners » Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:40 pm

akotran wrote:RC was a bitch and I missed 6. I see this as being the toughest to improve unless there is some discernable pattern to the question types.


There is. When you're reviewing an RC passage, make sure to notice which features of the passage are being asked about. While there are some obvious ones (main point, different viewpoints, author's attitude, etc...), there are also some subtle areas that aren't obvious at first.

For instance, whenever a 'traditional' or 'widely-held' belief is mentioned, chances are there's going to be a questions about it. If a passage ever says, "This argument depends on the fact that...", expect that assumption to come up. If you notice these, you'll start to see an improvement on RC.

Also, most of the questions are what we at Blueprint call "Soft Must Be True" questions - one's that say something like, "Which of the following viewpoints is the author most likely to agree with?" This question type likes weak answer choices in LR, and the same is true in RC. If you're stuck between a stronger and weaker answer choice, go with the weaker one unless you have a specific reason for going with the other (such as a sentence you can point out in the passage that uses very strong language).

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Redzo
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Re: October LSAT: If I study hard from now, is 168+ probable?

Postby Redzo » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:03 pm

Statistically, no. A 168 is never "probable." Studying hard will help but I don't think anyone can say it is "probable."

Probable for you, possibly; but we don't know you.

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LexLeon
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Re: October LSAT: If I study hard from now, is 168+ probable?

Postby LexLeon » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:37 pm

Regardless of you diagnostic, I think it is possible for you to achieve scores in the 180 range by October. For one to assert that a diagnostic sets some ceiling for your performance is to assert a falsehood. It simply indicates your weaknesses; and weaknesses, of course, can be improved upon by focused practice.

I have faith in you, friend, and believe that you can achieve well above 168 if you treat your spirit, mind and body well, in addition to, of course, dedicating the necessary amount of time and effort to the test.

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ben4847
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Re: October LSAT: If I study hard from now, is 168+ probable?

Postby ben4847 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:44 pm

To assert that anyone can learn the test and get a 170+ is absurd.
And highly insulting to the people who go to all those schools and pay all that money, while they could have just scored a 180.

While I don't doubt there are people who have improved their scores markedly, it is impossible that everyone can do it.

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LexLeon
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Re: October LSAT: If I study hard from now, is 168+ probable?

Postby LexLeon » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:49 pm

TylerM wrote:The reason is simple: You want to gauge your ability to answer the questions intuitively. Once you've started studying, you form new (and better) habits that may mask your inherent lack of ability. This may make a high score seem more possible than it actually is. Just stop studying and take a full, timed practice test.


This, akotran, is mistaken. Inherent adroitness for the LSAT is a huge advantage, but not the only way to achieve a high score. The test is completely learnable. Thus a high score will always be possible, regardless of inherent ability, and presupposing a few things like average cognitive capacities (your capacities are above average) and sufficient time (like 10 months--the amount of time you have). Don't let the philosophy that "you're either good at it or you're not: it can't be learned" get inside your head. A contrario, I learned from a creator of the test at the LSAC forum this past October in New York what I now relay to you.

Another thing to consider is that many people will view you as their competition, subconsciously or consciously, and then act in ways, consciously or subconsciously, meant to atrophy your performance. Not even just Pre-Law's but others in the world might view you in an envious light because you're on the path to a top law school, and they're not.

Keep up the good work; you've definitely got well above a 168 in the bag.

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180asBreath
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Re: October LSAT: If I study hard from now, is 168+ probable?

Postby 180asBreath » Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:01 pm

ben4847 wrote:To assert that anyone can learn the test and get a 170+ is absurd.
And highly insulting to the people who go to all those schools and pay all that money, while they could have just scored a 180.

While I don't doubt there are people who have improved their scores markedly, it is impossible that everyone can do it.


I, personally, feel that "everyone" (say 90% of college graduates who didn't buy their degree and do not have learning disabilities) can score a 160; even if this means studying full-time for a year and taking it 3-4 times.

To say that everyone can score a 170 is ludicrous; however, saying that any one person (barring exceptional cases) can get a 170 - or at least a 166-167 - is true.

akotran
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Re: October LSAT: If I study hard from now, is 168+ probable?

Postby akotran » Fri Dec 23, 2011 7:58 pm

After taking my diagnostic which was also my first test, I think I have a better understanding of where people's suposed ceilings come from. Mine will almost certainly be from RC and LG - I'm sure I can improve both sections but as far as consistency is concerned I'd bet that I still miss 4-5 between these two sections. I didn't have a chance to finish LG (and stupidly did not guess on the last three questions) and also only barely finished RC.

I think that I will be able to totally ace LR given that I finished all three sections with an average of -5. On future practice tests I'll set a 27/28 minute limit and see what I can do with that.

At this point I'm working on the LR bible (lots of people seem to be suggesting the Manhattan book, but I already had the LRB and I suppose there is something to be said for consistency) before I start hitting drills. Basically, I took a Powerscore class last summer, totally blew it off (slept through two classes, skipped one, didn't show up for any of the practice tests). It is what it is, but I have a lot of study material and the books go through each question type for all three sections accompanied with TONS of practice problems from old tests. But I figured I'd get the foundation for games and LR before I hit the staggered drills. My goal is to essentially drill through March with two or three PTs and then hit the 20 most recent tests from April through June.




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