Advice for studying?

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Advice for studying?

Postby mgp2675 » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:26 am

I'm studying for the June LSAT and I'm not making the progress I want. I read through the LGB in the Fall and I was pretty good with games. I just finished the LRB and I'm starting to time my LR Practice Tests. I did my first one and I only completed 19/26 questions in 35 minutes...and I didn't get all of them right. I realize this is my first timed portion of the LR and I know I have almost three months left to prepare, but I just have a lot riding on this test (like everyone else).

I'm just wondering if anyone has any study advice. Typically I study 2-3 hours a day. I'm finishing my undergrad this semester so it's a little hard to study while I have class, etc. but I'm trying my best. I'm aiming for a 170 to be realistic. A score in that range would get me into the schools I want to go to. My GPA will most likely be a 3.5 when I graduate.

I've heard Ginkgo Biloba supplements can help you concentrate. I drink a lot of coffee, but I always have to study early in the morning and maybe that's the problem. Again, any advice would be appreciated.

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Re: Advice for studying?

Postby Addicted to LSAT » Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:02 am

What kind of progress are you making? Your goal is 170, what's your starting point and where are you at now?
Often people hit plateaus but you can push through them.

Avoid the Ginkgo Biloba, there's enough evidence that it leads to aneurysms and other brain bleeding issues to stay well clear.

It sounds like you're looking for help mostly with the Logical Reasoning section. If you're only finishing 19/26 then you definitely need to push yourself to go faster.
A few things that might help are: try to identify the questions that cause you the most trouble or are most time consuming and skip them on the first go through, each question is worth the same so getting two easy ones right is much better than wasting 2.5 minutes on a hard one. That being said if you keep pushing the clock you won't have to skip as you progress, but try it for now to get the score up.
Since you're only getting 19 answered, you should also try pushing yourself to answer all questions. This means being a bit more disciplined with the clock. Keep moving even if it means you have to make a few educated guesses before moving to the next question. When you push yourself far enough that you are at least answering every question you can start to focus more on accuracy. Also, often you'll find that pushing the limits on your speed can come at little or no loss in accuracy.

How are you spending your 2-3 hours now?

One key element to learning anything, LSAT included, is proper review. Make sure that when you do a test or timed section that you actually review it to the point that you can explain the questions to someone else. It's often helpful to start by marking only that you got questions wrong but not note the correct answer and then go back and give yourself another shot at these questions. This will help you separate the ones you got wrong merely due to a lack of time (e.g. you figure them out quickly on the second go round) from the ones you really don't understand and need to spend more time reviewing.

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Re: Advice for studying?

Postby collegebum1989 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:52 pm

I had the same exact problem and am in a similar situation to you (full-time student studying ~3 hours a day).

I used to have trouble finishing sections because I would get distracted or bored by the stimuli material. What really helped me was to read The Economist, Bloomberg Businessweek, NY times on my leisure time to enhance my comfort with LSAT-type reading. Within 2-3 weeks, I was able to read faster and become less distracted during sections.

Another problem I had was, I had trouble moving on from questions I was unsure about. I would linger around for 2-3 minutes. When I became comfortable of "letting it go" by narrowing down choices, I was able to consistently finish early (~30 min) and consequently doing better.

LSAT is a long test, so you need to build up endurance and stamina. I started doing questions at a time, then one section at a time, them sections at a time, and will soon begin to do tests in one sitting. Like lifting weights, you need to start small and build your way up.

If you know your weaknesses (parallel reasoning for me), skip them on the first run and come back to them. For LR, drill question types to understand and develop an approach. Then just keep doing sections continuously.

Lastly, when I approach questions, I Initially prephrase an answer, then with that in mind, when reading each choice, I actually try to prove each wrong. So I look for the wrong answers.

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