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anela00
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Postby anela00 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:16 pm

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Redzo
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Re: 500 hours of studying later, finally took my first PT

Postby Redzo » Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:20 pm

Almost anything is possible, but no one knows how probable it is. And in this case, as in so many, the question contains the answer:

I know I definitely need to practice taking the full exam to get my stamina up...


Get to it! First off, scores will vary a bit, and, so far, you have a sample size of one. It may be unrepresentative of your ability. The only way to find out is to do more. Second, you will get more comfortable with taking the tests after you do a few more. This may translate into an improvement.

notaznguy
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Re: 500 hours of studying later, finally took my first PT

Postby notaznguy » Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:23 pm

You have a wonderful boyfriend. I wonder what he would do with you if you married him and later got cancer or something. Must be lovely.

Anywho, it's obvious you need to practice taking timed tests. How many PTs have you taken? Endurance is something you need to develop over time and the only way to build that is via practice. Start doing 2 PTs a week and review the wrong and right answers on those PTs. Your LG section is concerning as you should be getting 0-2 on that. Why did you get -5? Dumb errors or because you didn't comprehend a game? If it's the latter, drill those game types.

LR seems okay. All you can do at that point is practice really. I've been getting 3-4 LR wrong per section and it's honestly a struggle to get -0 or -1 each. Keep at it.

As for RC...well, it seems like the issue is about endurance. You need to do more PTs under real conditions with experimental sections. Practice more and you'll eventually get used to it.

anela00
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Postby anela00 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:34 pm

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JasonR
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Re: 500 hours of studying later, finally took my first PT

Postby JasonR » Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:55 pm

anela00 wrote:It also probably wasn't a good idea to take the test after 4 hours of studying this morning.


Yeah, that wasn't a good idea at all. Try another PT as the first LSAT-related thing you do that day.

So TLSers, what do you think? Is it possible to raise my score to 170 by the February exam, while working full-time?


Possible, but unlikely. Then again, maybe the four hours of earlier studying had a huge impact on your score today.

You need to build up more endurance with more timed PTs, and you also still need to do careful review of your missed questions.

And before you say postpone until June -- I wish I could, but my boyfriend of 6 years says he will break up with me if I do that.


This is easy for me to say without being either of you, and you're probably not here for relationship advice, but I think you should tell him to shove it. This is a test that amounts to ~75% of your application to law school (far more important than your GPA) and will ultimately make a singularly enormous impact on your law school options, your scholarship offers, and your eventual career prospects. If after he understands those facts he still won't support you in doing what you can to get the best possible score, that's a sign that you ought to be looking for a new boyfriend anyway. Imagine how he'll be when more serious adversity comes.

slsplease
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Re: 500 hours of studying later, finally took my first PT

Postby slsplease » Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:00 am

I'd take another one and see if there are any trends. It's a small sample size but it seems like people vary widely in their PTs, especially early on.

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acrossthelake
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Re: 500 hours of studying later, finally took my first PT

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:02 am

No real way to know until you try. Start doing more practice tests. If you aren't PT'ing where you want when it comes time, absolutely postpone till June. It's not like you're taking the test in time for this cycle anyway, so Feb vs. June won't really make a difference there. You'll still have Sept/Oct(whichever it is this year) if you want to retake.


If your boyfriend breaks up with you over that, I think it's a net gain for you. I mean, I find the fact that he's making that threat at all pretty deplorable. Even if it's because he just doesn't understand the importance, it's still not really reasonable. And if he does understand, he's not wanting what's best for you. He sounds like a loser, tbh, and I don't think I need more context for that statement, no. Unless you were joking with your statement or something, in which case I retract mine.

anela00
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Postby anela00 » Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:32 am

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franklyscarlet
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Re: 500 hours of studying later, finally took my first PT

Postby franklyscarlet » Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:39 am

anela00 wrote:Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm definitely going to take more timed PTs, but I'm also worried that I won't get enough in before the February exam. I'll get at least 2-3 more in this week since I'm off, but after that, I don't think I can realistically do more than one per week (one each Saturday) since I work full-time. I also really, really need to continue working on LGs. I think I need to stop doing them one by one and start repeating them 4+ at a time.

Sigh, I wish I was joking about him threatening to break up with me over this. I've tried explaining the importance, but I'm a URM with a 4.01 from HYS (and will have 4 years of unique work experience by next cycle), so he just goes, "Oh you'll get in anyway. You've put in 6 months/this many hundreds of hours of studying, just get the damn thing over with." And then I think, is a high LSAT score/HLS/YLS/SLS worth throwing away 6 years of a great relationship?


Yes, if the guy is an asshole who doesn't care about your future.

But, TBF, I'm super FA. So take my advice as what it is.

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Tanicius
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Re: 500 hours of studying later, finally took my first PT

Postby Tanicius » Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:47 am

anela00 wrote:Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm definitely going to take more timed PTs, but I'm also worried that I won't get enough in before the February exam. I'll get at least 2-3 more in this week since I'm off, but after that, I don't think I can realistically do more than one per week (one each Saturday) since I work full-time. I also really, really need to continue working on LGs. I think I need to stop doing them one by one and start repeating them 4+ at a time.

Sigh, I wish I was joking about him threatening to break up with me over this. I've tried explaining the importance, but I'm a URM with a 4.01 from HYS (and will have 4 years of unique work experience by next cycle), so he just goes, "Oh you'll get in anyway. You've put in 6 months/this many hundreds of hours of studying, just get the damn thing over with." And then I think, is a high LSAT score/HLS/YLS/SLS worth throwing away 6 years of a great relationship?



Not attempting to justify your BF, but he does have somewhat of a point. Try not to stress out at this point. The URM bump is real, and it is substantial. A 4.0 from HYS and a ~165 puts you in excellent shape to get into HYS, not to mention great scholarship options at the rest of the T-14, especially since you'll be applying at the beginning of the cycle. You do have time to raise your score up a few points.

Here are some tips:

1.) Take timed practice tests in the morning without doing any prep before hand. You've clearly been studying for so long at this point that you don't quite feel comfortable getting off the "training wheels" of practice warm ups before jumping into the actual test. The only way to get over that is to just do timed tests without any prep before hand.

2.) Identify your weakest sections. If you've been studying for this long, you should be able to identify the types of problems/games/passages that are giving you trouble when you go through the test post-mortem.

3.) After identifying your weaknesses, on the days of the week that you don't do timed tests, work on individual timed sections using specific problem types that are your weak spots.

4.) Don't study too much. You're going to be staring down the barrel of a very wide-caliber burn out cannon in short time if you treat the LSAT like a 7am-6pm job. If you're finding yourself frazzled and unable to concentrate during the test, stop and don't touch anything about the LSAT for at least the rest of the day and the day after.

You will be okay. You've come a long way and you should see some improvement over this next month. It might not get to 170 in the end, but that's also okay. Keep it in mind as an end goal, but don't stress out if it doesn't happen. Shoot for the moon and enjoy the view on the way up.

09042014
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Re: 500 hours of studying later, finally took my first PT

Postby 09042014 » Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:49 am

anela00 wrote:Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm definitely going to take more timed PTs, but I'm also worried that I won't get enough in before the February exam. I'll get at least 2-3 more in this week since I'm off, but after that, I don't think I can realistically do more than one per week (one each Saturday) since I work full-time. I also really, really need to continue working on LGs. I think I need to stop doing them one by one and start repeating them 4+ at a time.

Sigh, I wish I was joking about him threatening to break up with me over this. I've tried explaining the importance, but I'm a URM with a 4.01 from HYS (and will have 4 years of unique work experience by next cycle), so he just goes, "Oh you'll get in anyway. You've put in 6 months/this many hundreds of hours of studying, just get the damn thing over with." And then I think, is a high LSAT score/HLS/YLS/SLS worth throwing away 6 years of a great relationship?


You can do a PT after a day of work. It only takes like 2 hours.

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acrossthelake
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Re: 500 hours of studying later, finally took my first PT

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:51 am

anela00 wrote:Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm definitely going to take more timed PTs, but I'm also worried that I won't get enough in before the February exam. I'll get at least 2-3 more in this week since I'm off, but after that, I don't think I can realistically do more than one per week (one each Saturday) since I work full-time. I also really, really need to continue working on LGs. I think I need to stop doing them one by one and start repeating them 4+ at a time.

Sigh, I wish I was joking about him threatening to break up with me over this. I've tried explaining the importance, but I'm a URM with a 4.01 from HYS (and will have 4 years of unique work experience by next cycle), so he just goes, "Oh you'll get in anyway. You've put in 6 months/this many hundreds of hours of studying, just get the damn thing over with." And then I think, is a high LSAT score/HLS/YLS/SLS worth throwing away 6 years of a great relationship?


Yeah, because I'm a little skeptical hippo of how great he is considering he's done that.

Also, isn't "Oh, you're an URM, so you don't have to achieve as high as others do, so why bother?" sort of a slap in your face, especially considering how hard you must have actually worked to achieve as you did at HYS? I think it's generally insulting that people undercut the achievement of URMs by saying "Ah, they got here on affirmative action", so isn't it sort of doubly insulting for him to tell you not to work so hard because you can just count on affirmative action? Jeezus is he going to say that to you during 1L exams, too? Oh don't worry hun, you're an URM with a HYS degree with work experience, no need for you to do well on your exams!

As I said earlier, though, keep going. I don't know when the deadline is to postpone, but if it comes, and you don't feel ready, then just don't. You won't have the luxury of knowing where you went wrong on the Feb. test (undisclosed), so you're best pushing off till June if necessary.

09042014
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Re: 500 hours of studying later, finally took my first PT

Postby 09042014 » Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:53 am

acrossthelake wrote:
As I said earlier, though, keep going. I don't know when the deadline is to postpone, but if it comes, and you don't feel ready, then just don't. You won't have the luxury of knowing where you went wrong on the Feb. test (undisclosed), so you're best pushing off till June if necessary.


Definitely postpone if you haven't peaked yet. June is a good test time because it allows for a Sept/Oct retake.

Younger Abstention
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Re: 500 hours of studying later, finally took my first PT

Postby Younger Abstention » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:03 am

Instead of postponing, you can repeat the test if necessary -- almost no school except the top three will care if you have multiple scores. But you're shooting for a 170, so you likely aren't aiming for HYS, so that's meaningless.

I can't help but think you studied too many hours before your first practice test. You might have learned the same in 200 hours as in 500 hours, and simply hit a plateau that cannot be overcome short of using the real tests. I would think you will now be able to improve several more points by simply taking seveal practice tests. I improved from a 142 to a 171. The final ten points were gained only after taking 20+ PTs. Best of luck. I know this process sucks, but the higher your LSAT score the less stressful the actual law school experience will be. But of course you already know this.
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MachineLemon
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Re: 500 hours of studying later, finally took my first PT

Postby MachineLemon » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:05 am

Definitely take more PTs. I'd say I spent 90% of my time on PTs, 7% on section practice, and 3% on the games bible. No need to go that PT-heavy, but I took a couple a week until the right before the test (nothing the week before). Developing mental endurance is a big factor here.

You've gotta postpone, especially since you clearly have the drive to master this. Tell your BF how important this is to you and apologize for the stress this causes. However, he should be willing to sacrifice for your best interest, and right now it is in your best interest to kill the LSAT. Try to work things out so two nights a week (maybe nights he's busy) you study. Make some accommodations to show him that he's important as well.

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DyingDeclaration
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Re: 500 hours of studying later, finally took my first PT

Postby DyingDeclaration » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:08 am

Keep in mind that this was your first practice test. Try again at a more reasonable time, and when you're at a rested level. In my neuroscience classes, I did a lot of research in memory and reaction time; I'd be willing to bet money that jumping straight into your first PT after 4 hours of study significantly impacted your performance. As you get more comfortable with the PT experience, I bet you'll start seeing all those study hours pay off.

Also, don't let anyone but you define how and when you're going to take this test. If you feel you need to post-pone until June, don't be afraid to give your boyfriend a reality check.

If he's the one, he'll stick around and support you.
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ngogirl
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Re: 500 hours of studying later, finally took my first PT

Postby ngogirl » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:15 am

The URM bump may be there, but consider this, all the URM's applying with fantastic numbers and softs. You want to do everything you can to push your application closer to the yes pile.

Regarding the boyfriend, I always say the LSAT is my full time boyfriend. Seriously though, you can definitely make considerable gains by June. Don't push your horses away though, see what your PT range is within the next two weeks and go from there.

Going back to the boyfriend issue, please don't let this affect your decisionmaking with the LSAT. I was overseas the last two years, and got out of a serious relationship because my ex wasn't mature enough to take the field I was in. It was really hard at first, but I got over it. 6 years is a long time, so hopefully your bf will be understanding and if not, then he is not worth it. People say the LSAT is incredibly minor compared to law school, the bar etc.

Good Luck!!

In terms of prep, I recommend drilling coupled with preptests and intense review.

FloridaCoastalorbust
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Re: 500 hours of studying later, finally took my first PT

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:41 am

take as many PTs as you can. you'll make it

run26.2
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Re: 500 hours of studying later, finally took my first PT

Postby run26.2 » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:43 am

The comments in this thread are surprising to me. I may take heat for this but oh well.

OP, if you really have a great relationship, and aren't just saying that, it doesn't necessarily follow that your b/f is a jerk based on what he said. I'm not condoning his behavior but rather suggesting another line of thinking about this that hasn't really been suggested. Is there more here, i.e. are you obsessing over the test too much? 500 hours spent preparing without taking a prep test makes me think you might be. Not saying you are, just offering food for thought.

I mean with GPA > 4.0 and URM status, you do stand a legitimately good chance of getting into HYS with even *only* with an LSAT north of 160 (not sure exactly what you'd need, but 170 might not even be necessary). So maybe you want to weigh whether it is worth it IF you are making the test more of a priority than other things that are important to you, such as your relationship.

With the praise people heap on the holy trinity here, no one would think twice if you decided not to let anyone hold you back and followed your dream. But it's not the end of the world to end up at NYU, for instance, instead of HLS, because you cared about a relationship. Perhaps your bf is feeling neglected--in which case, perhaps his method of delivering that message to you isn't ideal, but he may be trying to indicate the test is getting between you. All that said, if he has a pattern of issuing ultimatums, however, then maybe this is your opportunity to move in another direction.

Good luck in your prep. I hope you and your boyfriend can have a meaningful talk about your plans, any concerns he has, and that he is willing to support you as you go forward.

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DonnaDraper
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Re: 500 hours of studying later, finally took my first PT

Postby DonnaDraper » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:48 am

Don't postpone until you take a few more PTs. Yes you have drilled, but you need to get used to the timing and endurance factors. On the flip side, don't go overboard with the PTs because you don't want to pointlessly burn through them. I recommend using the SOS method where you take your PT timed and then take it again un-timed without checking your answers to give more insight into your weaknesses.

Also, drop your bf like its hot. After 6 years, it gets to the point where he is either marriage material or he is not. Based on his attitude towards the lsat I am going to go with the latter.

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acrossthelake
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Re: 500 hours of studying later, finally took my first PT

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:48 am

run26.2 has a point. Why, exactly, is he discouraging you? Are you overdoing it? You don't need to do that, particularly for the June exam. If that is the problem, the solution should not be for you to not take it, but to try to make your studying a bit more reasonable. Test burnout happens, too, when people overstudy. You see it on here on TLS, where people suddenly hit this wall and see their test scores plunge because they're worn out.

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Scotusnerd
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Re: 500 hours of studying later, finally took my first PT

Postby Scotusnerd » Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:00 am

I wanna chime in with others.

Burnout is absolutely real. I cannot tell you whether or not you should keep your bf. Frankly, I don't think this website will give you very good relationship advice. We're a buncha ambitious S.O.Bs with a sizable minority of 'biglaw or bust' types. But I CAN tell you this is a bit like running a marathon or performing.

You have to work your way up to it, bit by bit. You cannot rush this if you're going to do the absolute best you can. Take about five or six practice tests, just like a real LSAT test. Bring a watch, and I even would take a snack with me to the library to munch on at the 15-minute break mark. When the real test came, everything was a breeze. Once you've taken 5 or 6, you'll have ironed out those kinks.

Also, and I cannot emphasize this enough: You must be in positive competition with yourself, and cannot and must not beat yourself up for not being good at something you haven't practiced for. That is how burnout happens. Instead of saying 'Oh my gosh I failed and its close to time!!!!', say 'ok, why did that happen? ok, this is why, I'll work on it.' Remember, you're preparing for a marathon, not a sprint. Doing that reading comprehension and practicing it over and over is good, but sometimes you need to see it in perspective and realize that it's one part of a big whole.

I wish you the absolute best, and I think you're going to do wonderfully. I hope that you get the boyfriend thing figured out :) Don't take our advice! Work it out on your own!

bp shinners
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Re: 500 hours of studying later, finally took my first PT

Postby bp shinners » Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:03 pm

Matt and Trent are great, but I don't know if spending 500 hours with them is good for your health...

As other have said, burnout is an issue, and practicing in real conditions is necessary to build up endurance. If you've spent that much time reviewing the videos and homework explanations, you're more than ready for practice tests. If you're feeling sick after a few sections, you need to work a lot on your stamina.

I would take a few days off (it's New Year's, after all), then start to take practice tests. Review them intensely using the materials, and maybe go back and review the videos of areas in which you're having problems (though, honestly, after 500 hours I'd be surprised if you didn't have everything pretty much memorized). But definitely focus more on PTs.

And if you run into any questions about our methods/materials, and how they apply to a specific question (and the video/audio explanation online just doesn't cut it) (or you're sick of Matt and Trent, and sometimes Jay), feel free to shoot me a PM and I'll send you an explanation using our methods.

anela00
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Postby anela00 » Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:38 pm

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Jeffort
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Re: 500 hours of studying later, finally took my first PT

Postby Jeffort » Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:56 pm

bp shinners wrote:
...but I don't know if spending 500 hours with them is good for your health...



This part really made me laugh since I've worked with both of them in the past.

Shinners, is Trent still saying obnoxious things that cause some girls to actually cry and need a bunch of tissues?

OP:

500 hours is a lot of time, far more than most students put into preparing for the LSAT. Clearly something(s) about the logical concepts and skills tested by the LSAT and appropriate strategies for solving the questions haven't clicked properly for you yet and become part of your regular/habitual methods of reading, analyzing and answering the questions. An experienced skilled tutor could diagnose your problems/help figure out what is going wrong, what needs to be fixed/re-learned/adjusted/which concepts and strategies you may be misunderstanding/etc.

I cannot recommend what to do about your boyfriend other than telling you to continue pursuing your aspirations and goal to do well on the LSAT and get into a good law school. If he is not cool with you working hard to achieve your goals and is serious about his ultimatum, that is a relationship red flag, the type that could mean he is looking for a way to break up and claim it was because of you not him.

Don't let him hold you back from pursuing your goals.

If he is not willing to be understanding about and tolerate the time commitments required to study for the LSAT and apply to law schools, he will probably be even less tolerant and understanding of your lack of free time to spend together once you start law school.

Sometimes relationships get stale/have run their course but the couple sticks together because of how long it has been going on and because of not wanting to be alone and then having to do the mingling/dating routine again, but those are bad reasons to stay together if that is the case.




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