Worrying if I am smart enough

adil91
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Worrying if I am smart enough

Postby adil91 » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:41 am

This has been bugging me for sometime know. I've been wondering if I am smart enough to get a high score(170+) on the LSAT. I scored a paltry 1230/1600 on the SAT(though it was with limited studying). I'm having this philosophical argument with myself as to whether I can study my way up to a 170 or that there is a certain ceiling for me that's a below a 170. I know that it may be illogical to think about this even before I've taken an LSAT diagnostic but I can't help but continue pondering this. Is there such a thing as innate intelligence? Can I consume myself with reading material to improve my ability to score higher on reading comprehension? Will taking classes on logic improve my innate ability to reason? Discus :mrgreen:

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jigglebottom
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Re: Worrying if I am smart enough

Postby jigglebottom » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:47 am

Where are your balls man/woman? Do we need to break out the Tupac quotes again? I think most will tell u that the exam is learnable..take a diagnostic and figure out how much you need to improve... research classes, books, forums... you'll be fine.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Worrying if I am smart enough

Postby acrossthelake » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:48 am

adil91 wrote:This has been bugging me for sometime know. I've been wondering if I am smart enough to get a high score(170+) on the LSAT. I scored a paltry 1230/1600 on the SAT(though it was with limited studying). I'm having this philosophical argument with myself as to whether I can study my way up to a 170 or that there is a certain ceiling for me that's a below a 170. I know that it may be illogical to think about this even before I've taken an LSAT diagnostic but I can't help but continue pondering this. Is there such a thing as innate intelligence? Can I consume myself with reading material to improve my ability to score higher on reading comprehension? Will taking classes on logic improve my innate ability to reason? Discus :mrgreen:


???
Though 1230 isn't like fantastic, it's still above average.
I'd understand your concern a lot more if you got an 800 on the SAT.

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Worrying if I am smart enough

Postby moneybagsphd » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:55 am

acrossthelake wrote:
adil91 wrote:This has been bugging me for sometime know. I've been wondering if I am smart enough to get a high score(170+) on the LSAT. I scored a paltry 1230/1600 on the SAT(though it was with limited studying). I'm having this philosophical argument with myself as to whether I can study my way up to a 170 or that there is a certain ceiling for me that's a below a 170. I know that it may be illogical to think about this even before I've taken an LSAT diagnostic but I can't help but continue pondering this. Is there such a thing as innate intelligence? Can I consume myself with reading material to improve my ability to score higher on reading comprehension? Will taking classes on logic improve my innate ability to reason? Discus :mrgreen:


???
Though 1230 isn't like fantastic, it's still above average.
I'd understand your concern a lot more if you got an 800 on the SAT.

Also LSAT =/= SAT. Although, the LSAT is probably harder (but if you study a 170 is definitely attainable)

adil91
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Re: Worrying if I am smart enough

Postby adil91 » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:59 am

Do you think engorging my self with intelligible reading materials would help me increase my reading comprehension?

fosterp
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Re: Worrying if I am smart enough

Postby fosterp » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:01 am

SAT is probably a lot more dependent on knowledge than the LSAT, so I wouldn't really use the SAT as a gauge of your intellectual horsepower.

FWIW I scored 1200 on the SAT (I don't know what the different score scales are now but this was back in 2002), and got a 170 on the LSAT. But I did not study one bit for the SAT, and only took math classes up to basic trig.

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Tom Joad
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Re: Worrying if I am smart enough

Postby Tom Joad » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:04 am

I got a 170 and I am an idiot. Look through my post history if you don't believe me.

Lots of people can do it if they put in the work and study smart.

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jigglebottom
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Re: Worrying if I am smart enough

Postby jigglebottom » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:06 am

adil91 wrote:Do you think engorging my self with intelligible reading materials would help me increase my reading comprehension?


It could probably help. I doubt the test will throw anything at you that you can't comprehend to be honest. Have you checked out any sample RC passages?

ahnhub
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Re: Worrying if I am smart enough

Postby ahnhub » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:47 am

I generally am of the "people have natural limits" school, but getting a 1250 or whatever on the SAT means nothing. You have no idea at this point how good you will be at the LSAT. You may suck, or you may be awesome right off the bat.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Worrying if I am smart enough

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:37 am

Got a 1220 (I think?) on the SAT and a 155 on my initial LSAT diagnostic. Ended up with a 174. It's an incredibly learnable test. You don't have to be a genius to do well (I sure as hell am not), you just have to invest a lot of time and effort into mastering it.

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NoleinNY
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Re: Worrying if I am smart enough

Postby NoleinNY » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:39 am

acrossthelake wrote:
adil91 wrote:This has been bugging me for sometime know. I've been wondering if I am smart enough to get a high score(170+) on the LSAT. I scored a paltry 1230/1600 on the SAT(though it was with limited studying). I'm having this philosophical argument with myself as to whether I can study my way up to a 170 or that there is a certain ceiling for me that's a below a 170. I know that it may be illogical to think about this even before I've taken an LSAT diagnostic but I can't help but continue pondering this. Is there such a thing as innate intelligence? Can I consume myself with reading material to improve my ability to score higher on reading comprehension? Will taking classes on logic improve my innate ability to reason? Discus :mrgreen:


???
Though 1230 isn't like fantastic, it's still above average.
I'd understand your concern a lot more if you got an 800 on the SAT.


Truth. That said (and it is only an anecdotal coincidence), but the rule of thumb of "take your reading score from the LSAT, drop the last digit and add a 1 for an estimate of what you can get" was spot on for me. 660 SAT reading; 165 LSAT (would've been 166 but I accidentally double bubbled and ran out of time.)

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Ded Precedent
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Re: Worrying if I am smart enough

Postby Ded Precedent » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:52 am

adil91 wrote:This has been bugging me for sometime know.

Stop right there. I think I now the answer.

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Davidbentley
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Re: Worrying if I am smart enough

Postby Davidbentley » Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:42 am

NoleinNY wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:
adil91 wrote:This has been bugging me for sometime know. I've been wondering if I am smart enough to get a high score(170+) on the LSAT. I scored a paltry 1230/1600 on the SAT(though it was with limited studying). I'm having this philosophical argument with myself as to whether I can study my way up to a 170 or that there is a certain ceiling for me that's a below a 170. I know that it may be illogical to think about this even before I've taken an LSAT diagnostic but I can't help but continue pondering this. Is there such a thing as innate intelligence? Can I consume myself with reading material to improve my ability to score higher on reading comprehension? Will taking classes on logic improve my innate ability to reason? Discus :mrgreen:


???
Though 1230 isn't like fantastic, it's still above average.
I'd understand your concern a lot more if you got an 800 on the SAT.


Truth. That said (and it is only an anecdotal coincidence), but the rule of thumb of "take your reading score from the LSAT, drop the last digit and add a 1 for an estimate of what you can get" was spot on for me. 660 SAT reading; 165 LSAT (would've been 166 but I accidentally double bubbled and ran out of time.)


Hmm. Interesting. In my case I was 740 reading, and ended up with 171 (damn you Kate Chopin.) However, my PT average was 174. There might be some merit to this idea. But, as you note, the plural of anecdote is not evidence.

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FryBreadPower
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Re: Worrying if I am smart enough

Postby FryBreadPower » Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:17 am

NoleinNY wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:
adil91 wrote:This has been bugging me for sometime know. I've been wondering if I am smart enough to get a high score(170+) on the LSAT. I scored a paltry 1230/1600 on the SAT(though it was with limited studying). I'm having this philosophical argument with myself as to whether I can study my way up to a 170 or that there is a certain ceiling for me that's a below a 170. I know that it may be illogical to think about this even before I've taken an LSAT diagnostic but I can't help but continue pondering this. Is there such a thing as innate intelligence? Can I consume myself with reading material to improve my ability to score higher on reading comprehension? Will taking classes on logic improve my innate ability to reason? Discus :mrgreen:


???
Though 1230 isn't like fantastic, it's still above average.
I'd understand your concern a lot more if you got an 800 on the SAT.


Truth. That said (and it is only an anecdotal coincidence), but the rule of thumb of "take your reading score from the LSAT, drop the last digit and add a 1 for an estimate of what you can get" was spot on for me. 660 SAT reading; 165 LSAT (would've been 166 but I accidentally double bubbled and ran out of time.)


I have never heard this before in my life.

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jigglebottom
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Re: Worrying if I am smart enough

Postby jigglebottom » Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:33 am

the sat/lsat comparisons seem absurd

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kennethellenparcell
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Re: Worrying if I am smart enough

Postby kennethellenparcell » Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:53 am

Hey, I'm a colossal idiot and I scored a 175+.

The LSAT is an extremely learnable test. It is not an IQ test but one that tests a specific set of skills, particularly the ability to read quickly and pick up on small nuances and details. I won't deny that people who read a good amount and have a good amount of knowledge in their brain bank do have an advantage in reading comprehension. Think about it. If you have to read a dense passage on legal positivism - would someone who already had some knowledge of the subject work more quickly and just have a faster comprehension of the passage than someone who had never heard of legal positivism? I would argue that in most cases, the former would have an advantage and do better.

But going into test prep and frankly, test day without having faith that you can absolutely destroy the test is no good. There are already so many factors about the LSAT that kill your confidence, you really need to believe you can do it.

Stop worrying about if you are smart enough. Instead, go balls to the wall. Take every single preptest in existence and go over every single question you get wrong. Starting reading a book every two weeks. Watch some documentaries about the dinosaur apocalypse and honeybee dances. There's no confidence booster like knowing you went over every single question ever created by the testmakers and you couldn't possibly have done anything else to prepare. Worked for me. Also worked for this user named TLS1776 (furreal check his TLS guide). Now there's a guy who really went balls to the wall.

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Davidbentley
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Re: Worrying if I am smart enough

Postby Davidbentley » Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:59 am

kennethellenparcell wrote:Hey, I'm a colossal idiot and I scored a 175+.

The LSAT is an extremely learnable test. It is not an IQ test but one that tests a specific set of skills, particularly the ability to read quickly and pick up on small nuances and details. I won't deny that people who read a good amount and have a good amount of knowledge in their brain bank do have an advantage in reading comprehension. Think about it. If you have to read a dense passage on legal positivism - would someone who already had some knowledge of the subject work more quickly and just have a faster comprehension of the passage than someone who had never heard of legal positivism? I would argue that in most cases, the former would have an advantage and do better.

But going into test prep and frankly, test day without having faith that you can absolutely destroy the test is no good. There are already so many factors about the LSAT that kill your confidence, you really need to believe you can do it.

Stop worrying about if you are smart enough. Instead, go balls to the wall. Take every single preptest in existence and go over every single question you get wrong. Starting reading a book every two weeks. Watch some documentaries about the dinosaur apocalypse and honeybee dances. There's no confidence booster like knowing you went over every single question ever created by the testmakers and you couldn't possibly have done anything else to prepare. Worked for me. Also worked for this user named TLS1776 (furreal check his TLS guide). Now there's a guy who really went balls to the wall.

+1
This Lsat is one of the few pursuits where hard work almost always pays off.

MLBrandow
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Re: Worrying if I am smart enough

Postby MLBrandow » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:19 am

adil91 wrote:Do you think engorging my self with intelligible reading materials would help me increase my reading comprehension?


adil91,

I think people who advocate outside reading material are generally giving questionable advice. Five years ago there were only about 40 readily available tests, whereas today there are now 71 available tests to study from, each with four reading comprehension passages. While the most dated passages may not be the most accurate reflection of RC in its current format, I would rank every official passage firmly above almost any article from the Economist, New Yorker, or similar publication. And this does not give consideration to the accompanying questions you can do after reading these passages.

Just as the best practice for improving on any test is to actually practice test questions, so the best practice for improving your RC performance is to do actual RC passages. Now, if you already plan to cover all 288 available RC passages (four additional official passages can be found here), then perhaps delving into alternative reading sources would be justified.

But understand that there is no adequate substitute for actual passages in your LSAT practice.

Good luck in your prep!

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Micdiddy
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Re: Worrying if I am smart enough

Postby Micdiddy » Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:51 pm

NoleinNY wrote:
Truth. That said (and it is only an anecdotal coincidence), but the rule of thumb of "take your reading score from the LSAT, drop the last digit and add a 1 for an estimate of what you can get" was spot on for me. 660 SAT reading; 165 LSAT (would've been 166 but I accidentally double bubbled and ran out of time.)


Wow, I do not like this rule of thumb. I got like a 570 on the SAT reading and am getting 170+ on all my current LSAT diagnostics.
Like said before, the LSAT is extremely learnable. So is the SAT, but most people at that age do not have the will or capacity to study enough, whereas by now hopefully you do.

doclover
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Re: Worrying if I am smart enough

Postby doclover » Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:32 pm

adil91 wrote:This has been bugging me for sometime know. I've been wondering if I am smart enough to get a high score(170+) on the LSAT. I scored a paltry 1230/1600 on the SAT(though it was with limited studying). I'm having this philosophical argument with myself as to whether I can study my way up to a 170 or that there is a certain ceiling for me that's a below a 170. I know that it may be illogical to think about this even before I've taken an LSAT diagnostic but I can't help but continue pondering this. Is there such a thing as innate intelligence? Can I consume myself with reading material to improve my ability to score higher on reading comprehension? Will taking classes on logic improve my innate ability to reason? Discus :mrgreen:


I'm glad you posted this. I have been pondering the exact same question the past couple of days. I got a 28 on the ACT with zero studying (I think this is ~90th percentile) but I need to get a 170 (97th percentile) on the LSAT to go to any school that I'm half-way interested in attending. Obviously I plan on studying like mad, but there is still an underlying difference - every (almost every?) high school student takes the ACT and the LSAT is a self-selecting group of college graduates. SO... I'm wondering - is it even possible?

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Worrying if I am smart enough

Postby moneybagsphd » Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:43 pm

You said it yourself: you didn't study. So no, it's not a relevant point of comparison. Maybe if you had taken a SAT/ACT courses and spent every weekend studying and you got a mediocre score you'd have a point. Hopefully you're a smarter person now than you were in high school. Maybe if you had learned the material that the SAT tests in high school-- not necessarily even studied for the test, just learned the math/verbal skills in the course of your education-- you would have gotten a higher score. I recently decided to go back and look at the SAT and that test is a fucking joke (but i did really well in hs).
/self-doubt.

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LexLeon
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Re: Worrying if I am smart enough

Postby LexLeon » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:09 pm

If there is a Devil, your doubt is his work.

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GoldenGloves
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Re: Worrying if I am smart enough

Postby GoldenGloves » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:09 pm

LexLeon wrote:If there is a Devil, your doubt is his work.

This is it. The time you spend worrying should be spent studying.

enigmabk
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Re: Worrying if I am smart enough

Postby enigmabk » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:17 pm

I love posts like this because i was in the same spot a couple months back

Op,

I am pting at 176-178 after 3 months of studying and my SAT score was 1650/2400, thats roughly in the top 40th percentile, a sad statement.

Also, i was of average rank in my high school and my college rankings were roughly the same, I also went a TTT undergrad and did not graduate anywhere near the top of my class.


I am far from what anyone would consider "academically smart" or "intelligent"

Fortunately for people like me, the LSAT is EXTEMELY learnable. Although there are ceilings, colossal improvements seem to be available for EVERYONE.

I can't guarantee that you will score above 170+ but neither can i say you can't.

What i can say however is that although there are those with high innate intelligence to score very high early on, the majority seem to be people like me (diagnostic at 160) who make drastic improvements of 10-20 points.

Do not consume yourself with reading materials, a more efficient use of time would be to drill tests, PREP isn't necessary unless you are seriously lacking in discipline.

Powerscores bibles and drilling tests, thats all it took for me, that may work well for you too.

Best of luck to you, Believe! :)

roranoa
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Re: Worrying if I am smart enough

Postby roranoa » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:52 pm

Tom Joad wrote:I got a 170 and I am an idiot. Look through my post history if you don't believe me.

Lots of people can do it if they put in the work and study smart.


How did you study smart if you're an idiot?

You're probably smarter than you think.




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