Need advice. Trying to crack into that top 2%

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R86
Posts: 476
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:03 pm

Need advice. Trying to crack into that top 2%

Postby R86 » Thu May 17, 2012 11:35 am

Hello TLS,

I'm hoping someone can give me some advice. Please know that I don't mean this to come across as humblebraggartry, and that I could really use some advice.

I took the undisclosed February test before learning much about the LSAT or discovering TLS (my first mistake) and without much studying (my second mistake). I did the 5 most recent PT's before the test, brute forcing my way through them and figuring out some tricks/crude diagramming techniques that worked well enough. I was PTing in the 165-168 range before the test. My highest PT was a 170, and I managed to match that on the actual exam.

I am positive I can do better. I ran out of time on the games section, blindly guessing the last two questions on the last game. I had plenty of time on the other sections, but remember walking away feeling like they were fairly difficult.

I'm retaking in October, and desperately trying to formulate a really solid study plan to reach my goal of hitting the best score I am capable of. I'm shooting for a 180, and I need a little help.

How do I study effectively when I already seem to get most of the test?

I know that the Logic Games is my weakest section. Is the bible the best resource here? If not, what would you recommend?

Is there any advice like this out there that you know of? I found a few diaries on the LSATblog, one in particular is a really helpful success story of someone going from a 167 to a 179 – are there more accounts like that somewhere?

Thanks for any genuine advice you can offer.

TL;DR – Scored a 170 in February. Blank slate/No prior study materials used besides PTs. Need advice for cracking the top 2%.

bruss
Posts: 470
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 3:58 am

Re: Need advice. Trying to crack into that top 2%

Postby bruss » Thu May 17, 2012 11:56 am

Start with LG bible, work with that for a month, then move to Manhattan LG. Since you are already scoring high I suggest lsac's superprep for lr and rc.

Also make a spreadsheet/word document of the questions you miss and type why for each of them.

Ps: you shouldn't be missing any in the Damn LG section.

TheColonel
Posts: 99
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:44 pm

Re: Need advice. Trying to crack into that top 2%

Postby TheColonel » Thu May 17, 2012 12:55 pm

Peruse the June LSAT thread. Lots of folks in the high 170s aiming for a 180.

The vast majority of people (at least from what I can see) get to -0 on games and then work out the final kinks on LR and RC to get to the 175+ range. You should definitely read the LG Bible (disclaimer: I haven't, but it's highly touted round these parts) or something similar to get your LG to -0. The rest is most likely PTing heavily. Anyone who is making the final push to 180 should be comfortable with all the LR question types and really just honing their abilities through lots of practice.

RC strategies are very personal, but there is a growing contingent of us in the June LSAT thread that have given up notations and moved to a no-notations method that has been working for us.

BP Shinners gave good advice for reviewing PTs, if you're looking for an effective strategy. Basically, for every question you got wrong answer 1) Why you chose that answer. 2) Why you didn't chose the correct one. 3) Why the correct answer is correct. 4) Why the incorrect answer is incorrect. It should help figure out where you're making errors.

bp shinners
Posts: 3091
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: Need advice. Trying to crack into that top 2%

Postby bp shinners » Thu May 17, 2012 2:21 pm

TheColonel wrote:BP Shinners gave good advice for reviewing PTs, if you're looking for an effective strategy. Basically, for every question you got wrong answer 1) Why you chose that answer. 2) Why you didn't chose the correct one. 3) Why the correct answer is correct. 4) Why the incorrect answer is incorrect. It should help figure out where you're making errors.


I'm going to rephrase this a bit.

First, at the 170+ range, it's more important to figure out how the LSAT is tricking you than why the right answer is right and the wrong answer is wrong. At that point, you can usually figure it out pretty easily, and comprehension isn't the issue. The issue is that you're falling for the same trap, over and over.

So, to slightly adjust what TheColonel said, answer these questions:
1) Why is the right answer right? (basic review)
2) Why is the wrong answer wrong? (basic review)
3) What about the wrong answer made me think it was right? (helps you recognize what features of wrong answer commonly trick you)
4) What about the right answer made me think it was wrong? (helps you recognize what features of right answers they're masking behind a trick)

This is obviously not very helpful for LG, which is seemingly your worst section. So work on that first.

But when you get back to LR/RC, use this method to figure out the 2-3 tricks that the LSAT is using to mess with you. Usually, it has to do with logical force or equivocation. If you see yourself keep falling for a logical force trick (and not just some/most/all/might/should/will/etc...; they've also been using A vs. The; and regular words with strong force, such as independent), you'll start to look for it on the tougher questions and not mess it up as much. If you keep equivocating between really similar ideas (fat loss vs. weight loss being the most common one), you can stop getting tricked in that way.

Good luck!

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Micdiddy
Posts: 2189
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:38 pm

Re: Need advice. Trying to crack into that top 2%

Postby Micdiddy » Thu May 17, 2012 2:41 pm

TheColonel wrote:Peruse the June LSAT thread. Lots of folks in the high 170s aiming for a 180.

The vast majority of people (at least from what I can see) get to -0 on games and then work out the final kinks on LR and RC to get to the 175+ range. You should definitely read the LG Bible (disclaimer: I haven't, but it's highly touted round these parts) or something similar to get your LG to -0. The rest is most likely PTing heavily. Anyone who is making the final push to 180 should be comfortable with all the LR question types and really just honing their abilities through lots of practice.

RC strategies are very personal, but there is a growing contingent of us in the June LSAT thread that have given up notations and moved to a no-notations method that has been working for us.

BP Shinners gave good advice for reviewing PTs, if you're looking for an effective strategy. Basically, for every question you got wrong answer 1) Why you chose that answer. 2) Why you didn't chose the correct one. 3) Why the correct answer is correct. 4) Why the incorrect answer is incorrect. It should help figure out where you're making errors.


This is all fantastic advice^^^^

DEFINITELY shoot for -0 on LG, as has already been said a number of times, but it is very important because LG is the only section most people can CONSISTENTLY get -0 on, the others, while many have "mastered" them, are more incosistent and throw more curveballs. So no one should really expect -0 on RC or LR all the time, even if one is capable of it, whereas almost every top scorer I can think of fully expects -0 on every game section, period.

I would like to reiterate that RC strategies are very personal (I know I'm just parroting here but it's important). If you plan on doing 2-3 preptests a week until Oct. it may not even be necessary to get any RC prep material at all. It couldn't hurt (though some think it actually good), but it is unlikely to give you any secret to top scoring. Scoring a 170, you seem to have a basis for RC, I would recommend honing the skills that you personally like, getting lots of advice from the June study thread, and working on making sure you read the passage in under 3 minutes and as much as possible find the definitive evidence in the passage that proves your answer.
If you plan on drilling more and preptesting less (not recommended by this guy) than definitely get Manhattan RC or really any RC to see their approach of it, how they break down the passages and to keep you familiar with the type of passages you will be seeing. Ultimately, try different strategies and discover which works for you. Like already stated, many top scorers are not annotating at all, I tried that but found that my mind works better if I make little marks to keep myself engaged, even if it is just check-marking the end of each paragraph (please don't tell thetalksmore I do this, I don't want to be banned from the cult).

For LR, pattern recognition, pattern recognition, pattern recognition (see the pattern?). Just about every LR question you will see will be a cookie-cutter of some other one. It wasn't until after I did 25-30 preptests that I really got comfortable recognizing LR's right away. Now, I know halfway through the stimulus if an assumption question is coming, and I know exactly what type of wrong answers from strengthen/weaken to expect, I know every clue to look for for parallel reasoning (which the LR Bible does a pretty good job at). If I miss an LR, the stimulus had unusually tricky language that I wasn't familiar with, unusually similar answer choices that I mis-applied to the language of the stimulus, or I just had a brain-fart (mis-read something, needlessly eliminated something, fatigued and my eyes rolled back, etc.).

Ultimately, it comes down to practice, how comfortable you are and how hard you are willing to work (plus a little bit of natural smarts don't hurt neither).
If you started at the 167 range and with little practice you hit 170, you are WAY ahead of the pack, even many others in the 175+ range started PTing lower than you. So honestly just buy all the pt books, get at least the LR and LG Bible (oh, and yes the LG Bible is prob just the best) and do some research for more material if need be. GL, and become an active member of TLS 'cause it's pretty awesome!




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