ITT I Seek Experienced Retakers: How Did You Study?

ant5do
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ITT I Seek Experienced Retakers: How Did You Study?

Postby ant5do » Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:34 pm

How do you study for a retake? Are there any methods specific to studying for a retake? I have already done every LSAT question up until 61 once. When doing practice tests, especially with difficult Qs, I remember some of the questions. I have not looked at LSAT material in roughly 5 months.

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Scotusnerd
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Re: ITT I Seek Experienced Retakers: How Did You Study?

Postby Scotusnerd » Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:57 pm

I may not be the best person to answer this (retook 2 times, scored a 164 at the end), but here's my .02:

I think you have a conundrum here. What are you PTing at? What is your goal?

Find a new LSAT, get it and take it under timed conditions. From there, I think you can isolate your weaknesses and improve on them. You probably have the stamina and timing down. It's just removing the errors from your performance.

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shifty_eyed
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Re: ITT I Seek Experienced Retakers: How Did You Study?

Postby shifty_eyed » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:03 pm

How did you study before? Did you take a class?

You've already covered more material than I have and I'm taking the LSAT for the 3rd time next week.

Did something happen on test day that prevented you from scoring in your typical range?

Why do you think you can improve? (I don't mean this rudely, but it's something everyone should consider before signing up for a retake IMO. If you got a 172 and want a 175+, is it really worth it? I had to ask myself a similar question.)

ant5do
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Re: ITT I Seek Experienced Retakers: How Did You Study?

Postby ant5do » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:28 pm

Scotusnerd wrote:
I think you have a conundrum here. What are you PTing at? What is your goal?



I'm not sure what I'm PTing at. I would assume in the lower to mid 160s. I could be completely wrong. I've forgotten all of the techniques by now. I took part of a PT and realized how slow I was.

shifty_eyed wrote:How did you study before? Did you take a class?

You've already covered more material than I have and I'm taking the LSAT for the 3rd time next week.

Did something happen on test day that prevented you from scoring in your typical range?

Why do you think you can improve? (I don't mean this rudely, but it's something everyone should consider before signing up for a retake IMO. If you got a 172 and want a 175+, is it really worth it? I had to ask myself a similar question.)


I took the BP online class. And I finished all of the coursework and all of the problems. I may not have taken a few PTs, but barring 3-4 I have taken all of them. At my best, I could definitely score in the upper 170s without timing. I never got to a point where I could finish an entire section in LR/RC/G with time.

I never actually ended up taking the test. About 2-3 weeks before the test I stopped studying. I quit because I was PTing in the 165 range. I did not think I could realistically break 170. My goal is to get in the upper 170s.

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Scotusnerd
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Re: ITT I Seek Experienced Retakers: How Did You Study?

Postby Scotusnerd » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:50 pm

If you lost the skills you learned, I doubt that you'll need to worry about knowing the questions a second time through. And if not, well, hey, you remember your skills...

Take a timed practice test, preferably something recent. Figure out what went right, and what went wrong, and what you can do to improve. That'll tell you more than we can. We have no way of knowing how far your skills have deteriorated (or if they even have at all), or what you needed to work on before.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: ITT I Seek Experienced Retakers: How Did You Study?

Postby crumpetsandtea » Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:08 pm

Damn bro, you burned through ALL the tests without ever getting to the point of being able to finish a section timed?

No offense, but that is not how you study the LSAT effectively. I've taken the LSAT 3 times as well (168, 169, 176) and this is my general recommendation for those taking the LSAT/retaking the LSAT:

1) Buy the Powerscore Bibles & acquire a bunch of practice tests (PTs), preferably all of them. Do ONE PT to gauge where you are starting from. This will give you a good idea of which section you need the most work in. Also, it's kind of cool to see where you started before studying and where you end up :D

2) DO NOT do any more PTs. Just work through the Bibles, make sure you understand the tricks and theories behind why certain answers are correct, what you should look for in diff sections, how to diagram LGs, etc etc.

3) Once you've worked through the Bibles, do ONE (1) PT to gauge where you stand. Based on that PT, you should have an idea of how you have improved after reading the PS bibles.

4) Drill, baby, drill! Do practice problems for the section/question types that trouble you. Begin by doing them untimed and shoot for 100% accuracy. Once you have the accuracy down, work on timing them.

5) Once you're done drilling, THEN move on to doing practice tests. The reason why you want to put this off is because you cannot improve without a good foundation for the LSAT: otherwise, you're just burning through PTs that you've paid for without really improving.

6) After every PT, analyze your incorrect answers and the qs that troubled you THOROUGHLY. This should include asking yourself these questions (keep a notebook/log if it helps you...here is mine: http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=146970#p3986201):
  • Why was my answer wrong?
  • Why was the right answer correct?
  • Did the writers of the LSAT use any 'tricks' to get me to pick the wrong answer?
  • Is there any methodology I can use to combat this sort of a trick on this question type in the future?
If you need an example of the above process, I can make one up, I'm just too lazy to type it up right now.

7) Once you are comfortable with PT-ing under testing conditions (early morning if possible, not in your bedroom, 35 min per section with no breaks except for 1 10 minute break between section 3 and 4) THEN you should try to move on to PT with less time. AKA, move from 35 min/section to 30 min per section.

Why should you do this? Because inevitably, time passes faster when you're taking the actual test. 35 minutes will feel like a lot less. If you're used to having 30 minutes though, you won't end up running out of time during the actual thing. In fact, you'll probably still have 2-3 minutes to look back over your answers for all of your sections. In a test where nerves can fuck you up badly, this can be a lifesaver. Even having 45 seconds at the end of a section to put your pencil down, take a deep breath, and relax will help you a lot during the test.


Notice how timing should be dealt with BEFORE doing a shit ton of PTs. Since you've already burnt through them, there's no point in crying over spilt milk, you'll just have to go through them again. I highly recommend working through your timing issues by DRILLING, not by doing senseless PTs. In addition, the fact that you're not sure what your PT average is despite having taken nearly 65 PTs indicates that you may not have been reviewing or tracking your inprovement. There's nothing worse than just taking a PT, scoring it, and then forgetting about it. You cannot improve if you don't go over the questions that gave you trouble and understand why you're getting them wrong and how you can improve. I highly recommend you start keeping a log of at least your basic breakdown (-# RC, -# LG, -#/-# LR) and your final score (## Raw / ### Scaled). At least then you'll be able to see if you're improving, which section is giving you trouble, how your new tactics are helping, etc.

DO NOT settle for an average of anything less than 3-4 points above what you want to score on the final test. That means if you want a 173, you should be averaging in the mid to upper 170s. If you want a 170, you should be averaging at least 173-174. If you want upper 170s, of course, you can't exactly score 183 or anything, so you'll just have to be solidly in the 177-179 range. This is even more important for you, because your PTs will be skewed higher because you've seen all the questions once before. Even if you don't exactly 'remember' them, having seen them before will give you a slight advantage that may skew your results while practicing.

DO NOT waste an LSAT you haven't taken to 'gauge where you are'. You'll just be burning through yet another test. Save the new tests that you haven't taken for closer to the test date, when presumably you've learned something and have improved and your score will be a better litmus test for your actual performance on the day of the test.




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