Discouraged: Stuck at 155

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Discouraged: Stuck at 155

Postby TheThriller » Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:34 pm

As you can probably tell, this is my first post here. I will give you all a little background and how I am preparing for the upcoming LSAT in June. I am currently a Junior attending Indiana University majoring in Classics and Latin.

About 3 weeks ago I took a cold diagnostic exam and scored a 149. I had no prior knowledge of the exam except that 180 is the best and 120 is answering every question wrong. Therefor, after my diagnostic, I figured I was somewhere right below the median Lsat score.

After scoring a 149 I decided to check out TLS and use the advice found here to formulate my own study plan. I then took the next two weeks to read both the LG and the LR bibles. Here is a detailed explanation of what I am doing.

WEEK 1: Read LG Bible
Saturday: PT- Score: 155

Week 2: Read LR
Saturday: PT -Score: 155 (No improvement)


Saturday: Take a PT
Sunday: Review LR sections, focusing on missed questions
Monday: Review Logic Games and Reading Comp, focusing on missed questions
Tuesday: Take both LR sections of a PT
Wednesday: Review LR sections of the PT, focusing on missed questions
Thursday: Take LG and RC sections of a PT
Friday: Review LG and RC sections, focusing on missed questions

Restart cycle again...

This comes down to 2 full Lsats a week, one full length and one broken up. I think over the course of the next 3.5 months, this comes out to about 35 some PTs not counting some intensive studying a month before.

My main issue is, after getting through both the LG and the LR bibles, I didn't see an increase in score and scored a 155 both times. I know I am early in my Lsat prep (i started early because I figure this test is probably the most important one I'll ever take) but I can't help but be nervous that I will never improve above this. By looking at my study schedule, do you guys believe that i have the right mindset and approach to achieve a better score? I would like to know if people who have scored in the 165-170+ range have to feel about this. It's is really intimidating coming to TLS and reading about everyone's stellar scores and their stellar law schools.

I would like any and all advice, including those that think my self study may be aided by the use of an online/live lsat class, or those that advocate an intense restudying of the bibles. I am taking this test very seriously and I believe my potential is far above a 155.

Hope I didn't come off as a turd,..

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Sloth Hero
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Re: Discouraged: Stuck at 155

Postby Sloth Hero » Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:56 pm

If you are doing two tests a week, I'd recommend taking them both as full tests. Endurance is important.
But as you are aiming for June, in order to exhaust all test materials you should be taking 4 tests per week (like me, and I'm prepping in the lower 170s).

The reason for lack of improvement, hopefully, is that you encountered different/new material on the tests. You need to do/give a breakdown of what types of questions you are getting wrong (use powerscore classification or w/e)

You've taken 2 pts. If 5 weeks and 20 PTs later you are still scoring 155, then your concern has warrant. Take some time to actually learn the test. The LRB/LGB do not magically increase your score. They construct a framework with which you can improve your own score through practice.

So go take 20 tests. Do extensive review. Be able to explain to a retarded chimp why all the 'right' answers are right, and why all the 'wrong' answers are wrong. If you are still struggling, then there is room to be concerned.

This board is pretty elitist regarding scores -- don't be intimidated, be encouraged that people with experience are wanting to help you out.

future liar
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Re: Discouraged: Stuck at 155

Postby future liar » Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:02 pm

Here's a few facts everyone will agree with on LSAT preperation:

1. Practice makes perfect in the Logic Games.
- when you start off, they're pretty hard. It comes down to diagramming and understanding basic concepts and traps that the writers set. Once you do enough, you should be able to finish the section with close to 100% accuracy.

2. Understand Logic
- if you've ever taken a university logic class (basic logic class), they'll teach you inductive and deductive logic. LSAT is all deductive logic. Read-up on basic deductive logic, about premises, conclusions etc. If you learn how to dissect arguments, that is, break them down into premises and conclusions, the logical reasoning sections are much easier to conquer.

3. Be interested in Reading Section
- this was the hardest thing for me to get over. The reading materials in the reading comprehension section are terribly boring, and the more you read, the less interesting the topics seem to be. Learn to be interested in what you're reading, as you start reading, really try and be curious about what is being said. When you come to the questions, a lot of the questions you devised while reading will actually be asked and you can quickly find the answer with minimal effort.

- you MUST time yourself. In fact, if you want to make your life easier for the actual test day, time yourself for 32 mins per section instead of 35. That way, your body will be adjusted to the quicker speed and if you find yourself struggling with some questions you can come back and quickly re-evaluate the answers.

Another tip I would use is forget those bibles. If anything, buy the LSAT superprep and read through the explanations it offers for the three tests. This gives you a good idea about how the writers think, and little traps they set in making the questions. Take your time going through sections. Remember: you're timed by section, so when you're starting off your LSAT prep, time yourself for a section, and then go through each incorrect answer and try to understand where you went wrong. One of the biggest misconceptions is that you can't "study" for the LSAT. That's a complete lie. The LSAT is very predictable in a lot of ways, and if you can understand why some answers are favored over others, you gain a big advantage in working through the material and reducing your time.

All in all, just keep at it. Once you have gone through about 20 prep tests, you should be up to max performance. But go slow in the beginning, and take time to understand how answers are chosen. Hope this helps.

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Re: Discouraged: Stuck at 155

Postby mickeyD » Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:05 pm

Go back to the Bibles and work through them again. Too many people speed through them hoping for some magical score increase afterwards. Those two books essentially represent the content of an entire full-length course. Don't be naive and think that you have truly mastered all of the concepts in those books.

Your plan is too focused on mixed practice- to get better, you must isolate each question type and work on them over and over again. If you were a boxer, it would be like spending an entire week on your footwork, then another week on your punches, another week blocking punches, then conditioning, etc. It's much more effective than trying to do it all at once.

How do you do this? Pithypike has a great study guide stickied at the top of the forum. Open up the LG Bible and reread the Basic Linear Games chapter. Then do every basic linear game out there, until you really feel good about them. REDO THE GAMES YOU HAD TROUBLE WITH. Then move on to Overloaded/Underfunded games. Open up the LR Bible and reread the chapter on Must Be True questions. Then do 100 Must Be True questions (you can buy books that group the questions by type). Review.

Repeat this and continue to move on through the next game type/logical reasoning type. Don't fall into the typical TLS trap of getting addicted to practice test scores. Too many people on here take practice tests all the time and don't realize that drilling is what makes your score go up. Does a boxer fight a full 12 round fight every few days in order to train? I think that 3 practice tests in a month is plenty.

Full disclosure: I improved from a 155 to a 174.
Last edited by mickeyD on Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Discouraged: Stuck at 155

Postby mickeyD » Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:09 pm

And I don't think "everyone will agree" with what future liar said at all. I think all of your drilling practice should be untimed. Time yourself only when simulating practice tests. Think about it- if you can't do it slow, how will you possibly be able to do it fast?

And I wouldn't say "forget those Bibles" either. People have used those books time and time again to make huge score improvements. Myself included. The SuperPrep is great for giving you explanations for the questions on the test, but teaches you no methods that you can carry over to future problems.

bp shinners
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Re: Discouraged: Stuck at 155

Postby bp shinners » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:21 pm

mickeyD wrote:Go back to the Bibles and work through them again. Too many people speed through them hoping for some magical score increase afterwards. Those two books essentially represent the content of an entire full-length course. Don't be naive and think that you have truly mastered all of the concepts in those books.

Exactly this. They're not magic bullets. They're teaching you methods. You have to practice those methods a lot to see improvement.

Instead of rushing through the books, you should spend time learning a concept and then applying it (by either buying packs of questions that are of the type you just learned, or going through old practice tests and picking out the questions for which you just learned methods). Don't move on until you have it down pat.

Then, do the same for the next concept.

It should take much longer than a week to get through a book if you're taking enough time to practice, because that's the important part of the process.

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