142 Diagnostic LSAT...How much can I realistically improve?

bdm261
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142 Diagnostic LSAT...How much can I realistically improve?

Postby bdm261 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:32 pm

I started a Kaplan LSAT Advantage on-site course and took the Diagnostic last Saturday. It was the first timed LSAT I ever took and my first real experience with the LSAT material. I didn't do any real prep besides just glancing over some of the questions on an old practice test I printed out from LSAC and trying to figure them out while eating dinner.

I didn't finish any section completely. I didn't even really know about the skipping ahead tactic and that all the tough questions are usually in the middle sections. My score breakdown was:
LG: 13%
LR: 54%
RC: 48%

I have a 3.59 GPA right now and I need at least a 155 just to get into the TTT regional school in my city, though my goal is 160. If I spend a few hours everyday trying to learn the material, how much can I really improve my score?

I've read somewhere that on average people only improve 10 points even with an intense LSAT prep course, and that would mean I'm limited to the bottom of the fourth tier schools if I can only get a 152.

I'm taking the LSAT on June 11...I don't intend to cancel and delay it. Since most schools I would apply to accept the highest score, if I really bomb it, I'll take again in September.

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Nestico87
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Re: 142 Diagnostic LSAT...How much can I realistically improve?

Postby Nestico87 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:38 pm

I think it is very realistic for you to hit 160 or higher. The trick is to get and do as many previously administered LSAT's as you can. Buy them on Amazon; the more recently administered the better. And make sure you get the Logic Games Power Score Bible: that is a must.

I went from a 149 to a 169, you can totally do it.

Fyo'Couch
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Re: 142 Diagnostic LSAT...How much can I realistically improve?

Postby Fyo'Couch » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:38 pm

I went from a 141 diagnostic to a 166 after an insane amount of work. I've heard of people going from the low 140's to the 170's but this is probably pretty rare. Ultimately, your work ethic and natural ability will dictate your potential on this test. June is a little close in my opinion for you to even break the 160's. I would give it until at least September/October and really learn the nuances and fundamentals of the test.

bdm261
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Re: 142 Diagnostic LSAT...How much can I realistically improve?

Postby bdm261 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:45 pm

Fyo'Couch wrote:I went from a 141 diagnostic to a 166 after an insane amount of work. I've heard of people going from the low 140's to the 170's but this is probably pretty rare. Ultimately, your work ethic and natural ability will dictate your potential on this test. June is a little close in my opinion for you to even break the 160's. I would give it until at least September/October and really learn the nuances and fundamentals of the test.


Thanks, about how long did it take you to jump 25 points? Is three months really not enough time?

Also, even if I don't feel ready is there any harm in taking the June LSAT anyway since the schools I am looking at have a policy of accepting the highest score?

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hoos89
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Re: 142 Diagnostic LSAT...How much can I realistically improve?

Postby hoos89 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:01 pm

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Last edited by hoos89 on Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MLBrandow
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Re: 142 Diagnostic LSAT...How much can I realistically improve?

Postby MLBrandow » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:13 pm

bdm261,

My cold diagnostic was 141 and my last PT was 176. I don't consider myself particularly brilliant, and I do believe anyone can prep into the 99th percentile. Work hard but more importantly work smart. That statistic you're referring to probably comes from a test prep company trying to advertise that you can realize a 10 point gain if you take their course.

Also, if you took a Kaplan test rather than a real test, I'd completely discard it because the Kaplan PT (at least the one I took) was optimized to get the lowest scores possible from prospective students. I remember the first question on the Kaplan test I took actually had a parallel flaw question as a first question on the first section of the test. That's essentially six questions in one, and something that would never appear that early in any setting. I remember something similar in their games section as well.

Good luck! This forum is a cauldron of advice (both good and bad, but it's easy to differentiate with some diligence).

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Mr.Binks
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Re: 142 Diagnostic LSAT...How much can I realistically improve?

Postby Mr.Binks » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:28 pm

MLBrandow wrote:bdm261,

My cold diagnostic was 141 and my last PT was 176. I don't consider myself particularly brilliant, and I do believe anyone can prep into the 99th percentile. Work hard but more importantly work smart. That statistic you're referring to probably comes from a test prep company trying to advertise that you can realize a 10 point gain if you take their course.

Also, if you took a Kaplan test rather than a real test, I'd completely discard it because the Kaplan PT (at least the one I took) was optimized to get the lowest scores possible from prospective students. I remember the first question on the Kaplan test I took actually had a parallel flaw question as a first question on the first section of the test. That's essentially six questions in one, and something that would never appear that early in any setting. I remember something similar in their games section as well.

Good luck! This forum is a cauldron of advice (both good and bad, but it's easy to differentiate with some diligence).


Although I wouldn't advocate using Kaplan as a prep system, I think they use actual PTs from LSAC--at least in my experience. I took a PT from Kaplan as my diagnostic and they used an official prep test.

bdm261
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Re: 142 Diagnostic LSAT...How much can I realistically improve?

Postby bdm261 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:24 am

Mr.Binks wrote:
MLBrandow wrote:bdm261,

My cold diagnostic was 141 and my last PT was 176. I don't consider myself particularly brilliant, and I do believe anyone can prep into the 99th percentile. Work hard but more importantly work smart. That statistic you're referring to probably comes from a test prep company trying to advertise that you can realize a 10 point gain if you take their course.

Also, if you took a Kaplan test rather than a real test, I'd completely discard it because the Kaplan PT (at least the one I took) was optimized to get the lowest scores possible from prospective students. I remember the first question on the Kaplan test I took actually had a parallel flaw question as a first question on the first section of the test. That's essentially six questions in one, and something that would never appear that early in any setting. I remember something similar in their games section as well.

Good luck! This forum is a cauldron of advice (both good and bad, but it's easy to differentiate with some diligence).


Although I wouldn't advocate using Kaplan as a prep system, I think they use actual PTs from LSAC--at least in my experience. I took a PT from Kaplan as my diagnostic and they used an official prep test.


True, the Diagnostic I took was the 'December 2008 Exam + Experimental from June 2000 Exam.'

Fyo'Couch
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Re: 142 Diagnostic LSAT...How much can I realistically improve?

Postby Fyo'Couch » Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:57 pm

bdm261 wrote:
Fyo'Couch wrote:I went from a 141 diagnostic to a 166 after an insane amount of work. I've heard of people going from the low 140's to the 170's but this is probably pretty rare. Ultimately, your work ethic and natural ability will dictate your potential on this test. June is a little close in my opinion for you to even break the 160's. I would give it until at least September/October and really learn the nuances and fundamentals of the test.


Thanks, about how long did it take you to jump 25 points? Is three months really not enough time?

Also, even if I don't feel ready is there any harm in taking the June LSAT anyway since the schools I am looking at have a policy of accepting the highest score?


It took me about 6 months of intense prep during the week (20-25 hours per week, always in the morning to get my mind used to LSAT mode at that time), while working part time during weekends. I would advise against thinking that you can merely increase the workload and shorten the time span. It is very easy to burn out in your studying, and your brain needs time to internalize many of these concepts. You will start to see your most significant gains when your thought processes because automatic and this will only come with time and familiarity.

Despite schools taking your best score, I would advise on writing when you are absolutely ready. Save your retakes for test-day mishaps or under-performances.

bp shinners
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Re: 142 Diagnostic LSAT...How much can I realistically improve?

Postby bp shinners » Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:57 pm

bdm261 wrote:I've read somewhere that on average people only improve 10 points even with an intense LSAT prep course, and that would mean I'm limited to the bottom of the fourth tier schools if I can only get a 152.


As a teacher in one of those 'intense LSAT prep courses', I can tell you that that 'average' of 10 points (11 for us at Blueprint, I'm obligated to say) has a very wide variance.

There are people who don't put any effort into the class and go up 2-3 points.

There are people who start at 168 and end up at 173.

There are people who start at 142 and end up at 170 (my biggest jump).

Don't let statistics get in the way of what you can accomplish. Just go into your prep knowing that you'll learn the material. Do the homework, spend the time reviewing the lessons, and you'll see improvement. Don't worry about how much until you get much closer to test day, and then only worry about it to figure out if you need to postpone or if you're ready to go.

bdm261
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Re: 142 Diagnostic LSAT...How much can I realistically improve?

Postby bdm261 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:18 pm

Thanks for all the advice everyone. I know that the only way I will improve is by reviewing the material over and over everyday and understanding why my wrong answers are wrong, etc., but between going to class for 6 hours everyday and then working another 6 afterward, I am completely burned out by the time I get home and the last thing I want to do is look at LSAT questions. How do you manage to study while juggling various responsibilities? I'm trying to work out a study plan.

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luuma
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Re: 142 Diagnostic LSAT...How much can I realistically improve?

Postby luuma » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:32 pm

Wow. Inspiring. If my FEB '12 scores are horrid.. I'm seriously going to get those Powerscore bibles I hear everyone raving about.

Nestico87 wrote:I went from a 149 to a 169, you can totally do it.

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luuma
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Re: 142 Diagnostic LSAT...How much can I realistically improve?

Postby luuma » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:34 pm

hoos89 wrote:Good news is that your weakest section, Logic games, are probably the easiest to learn section.


Yep. Very true. Logic Games are all about practicing your timing. They're actually kind of fun once you get them.. like crossword puzzles.

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ColtsFan88
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Re: 142 Diagnostic LSAT...How much can I realistically improve?

Postby ColtsFan88 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:33 am

I would say you can improve anywhere from zero to 38 points.

mgp2675
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Re: 142 Diagnostic LSAT...How much can I realistically improve?

Postby mgp2675 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:24 pm

Don't let this get you down! I just started studying again and I also am taking the LSAT in June. I wouldn't even score as well as you did right now if I had to take it. Calm down, and study. Have some confidence in yourself and you'll do fine. Doesn't seem like you're aiming for Yale here, set a goal for yourself and set it high. You and I have more than enough time to prepare before June, so cheer up.

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fashiongirl
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Re: 142 Diagnostic LSAT...How much can I realistically improve?

Postby fashiongirl » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:48 pm

142 to 160 with Blueprint. BP FTW. Took 5 months while I was working FT. Would have improved had I put MORE time into it but I put in a lot of time and effort so just live, think and breathe LSAT and you will be in the zone.

bdm261
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Re: 142 Diagnostic LSAT...How much can I realistically improve?

Postby bdm261 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:03 pm

I had my first full Kaplan lesson today. I understood a lot of the RC and LR concepts but I was completely blank when it came to LG. I felt like I learned nothing from that segment. There's gotta be an easier way to grasp it.

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yngblkgifted
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Re: 142 Diagnostic LSAT...How much can I realistically improve?

Postby yngblkgifted » Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:09 pm

Just wanted to reinforce the sentiment in this thread: it's definitely doable, OP. I went from mid 140's to 160+ on the real thing. Good LucK and Work Hard!

bdm261
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Re: 142 Diagnostic LSAT...How much can I realistically improve?

Postby bdm261 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:37 pm

yngblkgifted wrote:Just wanted to reinforce the sentiment in this thread: it's definitely doable, OP. I went from mid 140's to 160+ on the real thing. Good LucK and Work Hard!


Thanks, I am absolutely not getting the LG. I am watching the Kaplan videos over and over, I pay attention in class and jot down all of the notes. I just can't grasp the LG. I'm beginning to worry my mind just isn't wired in an such a way of analytical thinking. I feel like the unfortunate student in 'paper chase' with the photographic memory but lacking the deductive reasoning skills.

bananashotgun
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Re: 142 Diagnostic LSAT...How much can I realistically improve?

Postby bananashotgun » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:43 pm

bdm261 wrote:
yngblkgifted wrote:Just wanted to reinforce the sentiment in this thread: it's definitely doable, OP. I went from mid 140's to 160+ on the real thing. Good LucK and Work Hard!


Thanks, I am absolutely not getting the LG. I am watching the Kaplan videos over and over, I pay attention in class and jot down all of the notes. I just can't grasp the LG. I'm beginning to worry my mind just isn't wired in an such a way of analytical thinking. I feel like the unfortunate student in 'paper chase' with the photographic memory but lacking the deductive reasoning skills.


I time diagnostic'ed at 152 but then a few days later pulled a 149, it was awful. However I used the LGB and drilled the hell out of logic games for a good week and went from going at least -10 to an average of -1/2.

I also reviewed the games that gave me trouble on the preptests with the youtube user "lsatpingu" and felt that that really helped me. Maybe it's because the LGB is a little dry and someone explaining it orally reached me on a different level. I combined the LGB and lsatpingu methods until I had my own method that worked for me.

bdm261
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Re: 142 Diagnostic LSAT...How much can I realistically improve?

Postby bdm261 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:30 pm

Ok, so I took PT52, and PT53 and I scored a 146 and 150 respectively. I found someone to take tests together with once per week and that is really working out. However, the PTs don't include the experimental or WS, so I'm wondering if the fatigue from additional time will have a negative impact on my score come test day.

I still don't get LG. I can get the first question right of each LG because those are typically extremely easy and just involve looking at the rules and comparing to the potential answers, however, I just stare at the other questions and my brain shuts off. Should I just forget about LG if I can't do it, and concentrate on doing better on the stuff I'm already skilled at?

I scheduled my Fall classes and since I got all the required crap out of the way, I can take easy classes now til graduation. I did schedule Introduction to Logic though strictly for LSAT prep because I am sure I will retake it in October, although semester runs til December, I hope the couple of months in Logic will rub off.

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Psib337
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Re: 142 Diagnostic LSAT...How much can I realistically improve?

Postby Psib337 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:21 am

bdm261 wrote:Ok, so I took PT52, and PT53 and I scored a 146 and 150 respectively. I found someone to take tests together with once per week and that is really working out. However, the PTs don't include the experimental or WS, so I'm wondering if the fatigue from additional time will have a negative impact on my score come test day.

I still don't get LG. I can get the first question right of each LG because those are typically extremely easy and just involve looking at the rules and comparing to the potential answers, however, I just stare at the other questions and my brain shuts off. Should I just forget about LG if I can't do it, and concentrate on doing better on the stuff I'm already skilled at?

I scheduled my Fall classes and since I got all the required crap out of the way, I can take easy classes now til graduation. I did schedule Introduction to Logic though strictly for LSAT prep because I am sure I will retake it in October, although semester runs til December, I hope the couple of months in Logic will rub off.


I wouldn't forget about LG completely. I'm in kinda the same boat as you (my PTs went from 148-160 and then fell to 141-144 right before I started taking a prep class). Since I started taking a class LG make so much more sense, going over them with someone else really helps. I know it goes over LG in a bunch of books but when I read them nothing stuck so having someone explain it and go over it slowly (and being around a bunch of people who seem just as confused as I am) helps. I feel like LG is the one section you can learn pretty easily especially if you focus on specific types of games one at a time (something class has helped me to do). It becomes way easier to see where you make mistakes if you're doing a bunch of games that are similar, by the 5th or 6th one it becomes easy (sometimes it's almost fun). And since you're working with someone you two can probably work them all out together.

As far as fatigue goes you could kind of create your own LSAT by just taking a section of a different test and the LSAC official test books also have the writing sections in them. Taking another section from another test and a writing sample would put you as close to test conditions as you're likely to get.

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Rawlberto
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Re: 142 Diagnostic LSAT...How much can I realistically improve?

Postby Rawlberto » Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:05 pm

142 Diagnostic to 167 in December.

djchach
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Re: 142 Diagnostic LSAT...How much can I realistically improve?

Postby djchach » Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:16 pm

Rawlberto wrote:142 Diagnostic to 167 in December.

Congrats, How long did you study for?

e_mac7
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Re: 142 Diagnostic LSAT...How much can I realistically improve?

Postby e_mac7 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:28 pm

djchach wrote:
Rawlberto wrote:142 Diagnostic to 167 in December.

Congrats, How long did you study for?


Yes, how long did you study?




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