I do not know where to start with self study ...

M.M.
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I do not know where to start with self study ...

Postby M.M. » Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:21 am

I finished my Princeton Review LiveOnline course a little while ago, reviewed some of the online materials and some of the live courses, and took some notes. But from here, I am having a lot of trouble getting a game plan together and deciding what to do next. I want to develop my own version of the Princeton Review strategy, using the 30 pages of notes and tips and tricks I've sloppily put together in word, and I want to start doing timed sections and practice tests and doing self analyzing, but as I spend more time on the LSAT I find it even more and more complex and daunting and it's really getting to me.

I guess a lot of it might be just from the fact that I'm now on my own with this.. I want to do it in the best possibly way but have no idea where to even start (e.g. do I work on mastering one type of logic game at a time? Do I make flash cards for args types, or take PTs and identify the ones I struggle with? Do I work on getting better at annotations for RC by reading passages and trying my best to implement the symbols and stuff I've come up with, or do I worry about focusing on questions I get wrong on RC sections? Or does it matter?

It just seems like I need a study guide. But I need to make it myself and am really intimidated and my brain feels all over the place. Does anyone have any tips to help me just get started? I've looked at PithyPike's guide and it looks like it could be helpful, but I can't spend the money on all those materials, and it seems it will take some work translating his guide into one that is compatible with what I've learned at Princeton Review.


Thanks, and the usual disclaimed required when I post here ... sorry if I'm an idiot. My brain feels pretty scattered right now. :|
Last edited by M.M. on Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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tmon
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Re: I do not know where to start with self study ...

Postby tmon » Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:31 am

This isn't going to be what you want to hear. Sorry, but it's for the best.


The PR stuff you learned, while maybe not the absolute worst, is definitely not the best material. I wouldn't go as far as saying it was a waste of your time/money, but you could've been using a much better source. The Pithy guide is a great outline, and you should really reconsider finding the materials it recommends. Do you already have full tests available from PR? If so, you've got a solid start. You should try to find another guide, preferably from Powerscore or Manhattan because they're the best options these days. With those and practice tests you can get by, but having some questions broken down by type can be really helpful. You can always do that yourself though with practice tests. But seriously, this test is a HUGE factor in your admissions decision. Saying a few books are too expensive when you're prepare to potentially drop six figures on three years of your life is downright foolish.


Also, not to shill my own stuff here, but I have a good deal of the materials I'm mentioning, and they're just collecting dust as I've been unable to unload them. I posted a thread here about it quite a while back, feel free to check it out and PM if interested.

Whatever you do, get your hands on some other materials though. It'll make a huge difference.

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cc.celina
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Re: I do not know where to start with self study ...

Postby cc.celina » Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:40 am

Like tmon said, if you have all the PTs from your princeton class already, then you're in good shape to start.

Above all I think that your study plan should be driven by improving your weaknesses. If you haven't done so recently, take a PT as a sort of rough diagnostic to see which sections are your best and which ones you really need to work on. A great PT tracker is LSAT QA (LinkRemoved), I used this extensively during my prep and it kept track of my score averages, my section scores, which question types I was missing most often.

You should aim to take as many PTs in a meaningful way (that means, timed, and will FULL AND THOROUGH review afterwards) as possible. I sat down one day at the beginning of my prep and made a calendar of what days I would take which PT leading up till the test, and I pretty much followed it. Remember - if you're not thoroughly reviewing EVERY question you weren't sure of, you're not doing it right.

As you start to see which sections and which question types you need to work on, you should start drilling those. You don't need to start out with a really well-developed study plan just yet. I built my study plan as I went, working on things that I felt like I was missing a lot, and that worked a lot better for me.

Definitely check out pithy's guide, though, while I personally didn't use it I hear it has worked for people. And I second tmon on shelling out prep materials now. A few LSAT points here can be a big difference in scholarship money in the future.

ryanfaro
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Re: I do not know where to start with self study ...

Postby ryanfaro » Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:49 am

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Last edited by ryanfaro on Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

M.M.
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Re: I do not know where to start with self study ...

Postby M.M. » Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:06 am

tmon wrote:This isn't going to be what you want to hear. Sorry, but it's for the best.


The PR stuff you learned, while maybe not the absolute worst, is definitely not the best material. I wouldn't go as far as saying it was a waste of your time/money, but you could've been using a much better source. The Pithy guide is a great outline, and you should really reconsider finding the materials it recommends. Do you already have full tests available from PR? If so, you've got a solid start. You should try to find another guide, preferably from Powerscore or Manhattan because they're the best options these days. With those and practice tests you can get by, but having some questions broken down by type can be really helpful. You can always do that yourself though with practice tests. But seriously, this test is a HUGE factor in your admissions decision. Saying a few books are too expensive when you're prepare to potentially drop six figures on three years of your life is downright foolish.


Also, not to shill my own stuff here, but I have a good deal of the materials I'm mentioning, and they're just collecting dust as I've been unable to unload them. I posted a thread here about it quite a while back, feel free to check it out and PM if interested.

Whatever you do, get your hands on some other materials though. It'll make a huge difference.


Ahhh terrible news ... I checked for quite a while on here and IIRC came to the conclusion that BluePrint, Testmasters, Princeton Review, and Powerscore were the best options ... I even made a spreadsheet based on Hours of lessons, whether they had a personal set of all available LSAT questions, whether they teach LSAT Exclusively, have High Quality Streaming Videos, methods of getting in contact with Tutors, whether there's a set of books included with purchase, the score of instructor who would be teaching, the experience of instructor who would be teaching, whether there's live interaction, and so on ... and Princeton Review came out on top (not definitively though). Is it really that bad? :(

The Princeton Review offers something like 60 full practice tests or something, I'm not sure exactly how much but I just remembered seeing it and despite being willing to take a TON of PTs I knew I probably wouldn't ever really be able to use all of them. As far as the "having questions broken down" point, PR has an explanation behind every question for every test, timed section, and individual question in their lessons ... so I felt like looking at those explanations would be helpful in analyzing my progress / weaknesses. Plus, it would help me easily categorize questions I'm getting wrong. Analyzing after tests / timed sections is my most hated part, and it seems like the Princeton Review explanations / labeling of question type for everything would make this easier ..

I will check out your materials.. but until this post I truly thought that what I had (4 Princeton Review books, access to 60 tests or so, explanations for everything, EMail correspondence with my teacher) would be quite enough if I could figure out how to just get started ;/

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theprophet89
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Re: I do not know where to start with self study ...

Postby theprophet89 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:12 am

ryanfaro wrote:I don't know if this will help, but, here it goes.

I, too, will be self studying. I have already set out my own plan.

1. Diagnostic (167 on diagnostic)
2. Games bible
3. Logical Reasoning bible
4. Manhattan LSAT Reading Comprehension
5. PT 1-66, after each PT, examine why I got each right and why I got each wrong.
(This is for a year of study, I would keep everything the same for three months study, except, do PTS 30-66

I understand you are hard out for money, I want everybody to have a fair chance, especially here.
Send me a PM and I will GIVE to you, preptests 1-60 and all the bibles via photocopy.

and by the way, just relax, you got this.


You're studying for a year from a 167 diagnostic?

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tmon
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Re: I do not know where to start with self study ...

Postby tmon » Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:13 am

If you have 60 real practice tests then you can do a lot with that. Do the tests have administration dates and/or are they numbered up to the early 60s? That about how many real released tests there are, so that's a big plus. Take what celina said and go with it at this point. If you find that you're not reaching your goals though, I'd really strongly considering getting some stuff from Manhattan or Powerscore as they have some of the best methods in books on the market. Maybe PR has improved a lot since I was considering classes, but last I heard their methods are geared more toward the basics, and while you'll improve, if your goals are mid-160s and up you're better suited using other methods.

M.M.
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Re: I do not know where to start with self study ...

Postby M.M. » Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:13 am

cc.celina wrote:Like tmon said, if you have all the PTs from your princeton class already, then you're in good shape to start.

Above all I think that your study plan should be driven by improving your weaknesses. If you haven't done so recently, take a PT as a sort of rough diagnostic to see which sections are your best and which ones you really need to work on. A great PT tracker is LSAT QA (LinkRemoved), I used this extensively during my prep and it kept track of my score averages, my section scores, which question types I was missing most often.

You should aim to take as many PTs in a meaningful way (that means, timed, and will FULL AND THOROUGH review afterwards) as possible. I sat down one day at the beginning of my prep and made a calendar of what days I would take which PT leading up till the test, and I pretty much followed it. Remember - if you're not thoroughly reviewing EVERY question you weren't sure of, you're not doing it right.

As you start to see which sections and which question types you need to work on, you should start drilling those. You don't need to start out with a really well-developed study plan just yet. I built my study plan as I went, working on things that I felt like I was missing a lot, and that worked a lot better for me.

Definitely check out pithy's guide, though, while I personally didn't use it I hear it has worked for people. And I second tmon on shelling out prep materials now. A few LSAT points here can be a big difference in scholarship money in the future.



Thanks. One thing though, like I said, I want to implement new strategies ... I feel I could benefit from improving the complexity of my thinking, understanding, and approach on a lot of the LSAT. Here's an example: my annotation for RC up to date has been pretty elementary, underlining main points of paragraphs, underlining perceived key words, circling things, looking at question stems before reading and noticing some questions have "in lines 45-50" and marking lines 45-50 to give them extra attention. But upon reading through the Princeton Review books and some stuff on here I found that I could make my annotation more sophisticated and helpful, because honestly it hardly is right now. But do I do that while worrying about working on my weaknesses? Should I try just doing it on individual passages or timed sections instead of on PTs, then when I've perfected annotation examine weaknesses? These are the type of questions troubling me with the implementation of just one strategy and as I know you are all aware there is a plethora of new things I could learn and implement out there. I'm not complaining; I actually do like improving by looking at the LSAT a new way and using new methods ... but it's hard knowing where to start. I hope this post helps you guys understand what I mean a little more, as my first post was a little vague but I gave an example here.



(By the way, is there a way to multiquote?)

ryanfaro
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Re: I do not know where to start with self study ...

Postby ryanfaro » Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:36 am

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Last edited by ryanfaro on Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cc.celina
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Re: I do not know where to start with self study ...

Postby cc.celina » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:04 am

M.M. wrote:Thanks. One thing though, like I said, I want to implement new strategies ... I feel I could benefit from improving the complexity of my thinking, understanding, and approach on a lot of the LSAT. Here's an example: my annotation for RC up to date has been pretty elementary, underlining main points of paragraphs, underlining perceived key words, circling things, looking at question stems before reading and noticing some questions have "in lines 45-50" and marking lines 45-50 to give them extra attention. But upon reading through the Princeton Review books and some stuff on here I found that I could make my annotation more sophisticated and helpful, because honestly it hardly is right now. But do I do that while worrying about working on my weaknesses? Should I try just doing it on individual passages or timed sections instead of on PTs, then when I've perfected annotation examine weaknesses? These are the type of questions troubling me with the implementation of just one strategy and as I know you are all aware there is a plethora of new things I could learn and implement out there. I'm not complaining; I actually do like improving by looking at the LSAT a new way and using new methods ... but it's hard knowing where to start. I hope this post helps you guys understand what I mean a little more, as my first post was a little vague but I gave an example here.



(By the way, is there a way to multiquote?)

I understand what you mean. Disclaimer: I don't annotate in RC and never really set about learning how. But from what I understand, it is not that complicated. The ~10 pages of Manhattan RC I read told me to start off annotating everything that I thought was important, and that as I did more and more RC sections, I would learn to only take note of what was important. I did this mentally, but it worked for me.

If you want more strategies to put under your belt, step away from Princeton Review. I read their book, and it was fine to start, but there's something invaluale about learning a few different methods and taking bits and pieces of them that work for you. If you're having trouble with Logic Games, buy the Powerscore LG Bible. If you can't do RC, I suggest Manhattan. If you really, really want more information, try switching companies.

But I really suggest that you take a diagnostic PT and start working on your weaknesses right away. It seems like you have improved a bunch from familiarity with the test, and after a while, that sort of improvement levels off, and you plateau until you aggressively target your weaknesses.

If you can email your instructuor with questions, consider shooting him a quick email asking him the same question - where do I start?

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: I do not know where to start with self study ...

Postby PeanutsNJam » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:06 am

I don't know about you but this is what seems to work for the people here (and me). It all stems from doing the practice tests. After you learn some strategies, it's 100% practice tests:

- Take timed sections. Allow yourself extra time to finish a section if necessary, but take note of how much extra time you took.

- Review thoroughly the questions you got wrong (and hard ones you lucked out on; I star all the "ehh..." questions and review them). Go through all the wrong answer choices, prove them wrong, and move on. Do not move on until you are 100% comfortable with a question. Do not rest until you can understand a question fully. Ask people here, make models out of clay, do whatever you need. ***Most important part IMO*** I would say that reviewing questions you "lucked out" on is just as important as reviewing the wrong ones.

- Document what you got wrong. How many LG wrong? How many RC wrong? What kind of LR questions do you get wrong the most? I get Method of Reasoning/Parallel Reasoning questions wrong the most. I obviously have trouble with identifying logical pathways clearly, so I need to work on that.

- Set goals. Do you want a 170? Try to get 180's on your PT come test time. Do you want a 165? Try to get 175's on your PT come test time. I can't imagine not shooting for 180 myself; you can't go wrong with trying to be awesome. You will do your best if you don't give yourself room for error.

- Do problems do problems do problems. There is a pattern to LR questions. Eventually it got to the point where I just knew an answer choice was right without having to read the rest of them. It's hard to explain but you can get into the heads of the test writers with enough practice.
Last edited by PeanutsNJam on Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

d0rklord
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Re: I do not know where to start with self study ...

Postby d0rklord » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:14 pm

Someone wrote something great somewhere on these boards about how they went about taking PTs and I found it to be genius... can't find to link but...:

They took a practice test under strict timed conditions (duh). But... Instead of grading it right away, they waited and took the exact same test under UNTIMED conditions.

Then they said they grade both the timed test and the untimed test. If they got a question wrong timed, but got it correctly untimed, they knew it was a time constraint issue. They said if they got it wrong both times, they knew it was a concept issue.

Pretty genius. I plan on utilizing this while I study :)

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LoveLife89
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Re: I do not know where to start with self study ...

Postby LoveLife89 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:35 pm

d0rklord wrote:Someone wrote something great somewhere on these boards about how they went about taking PTs and I found it to be genius... can't find to link but...:

They took a practice test under strict timed conditions (duh). But... Instead of grading it right away, they waited and took the exact same test under UNTIMED conditions.

Then they said they grade both the timed test and the untimed test. If they got a question wrong timed, but got it correctly untimed, they knew it was a time constraint issue. They said if they got it wrong both times, they knew it was a concept issue.

Pretty genius. I plan on utilizing this while I study :)



viewtopic.php?f=6&t=36512

JohnV
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Re: I do not know where to start with self study ...

Postby JohnV » Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:42 pm

ryanfaro wrote:I don't know if this will help, but, here it goes.

I, too, will be self studying. I have already set out my own plan.

1. Diagnostic (167 on diagnostic)


How is this possible?

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cc.celina
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Re: I do not know where to start with self study ...

Postby cc.celina » Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:45 pm

ryanfaro wrote:
theprophet89 wrote:
You're studying for a year from a 167 diagnostic?



Not rigorously twelve months out, but more hours as I go on while I finish my last year of UG and add some softs to my resume.

I know you are not soliciting advice, but I'm gonna give you some anyway: if you're testing high and you have the opportunity to take it earlier, consider doing so. A year is a fuckload of time and way longer than I would recommend prepping to most people. I took the LSAT more than a year before I plan on applying, and I am super happy I made that decision. If I hadn't done well, I would have had ample time to retake.

That is a ridic high diagnostic. Take advantage of your natural ability if you can.

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: I do not know where to start with self study ...

Postby PeanutsNJam » Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:53 pm

It's plausible that an engineering/philosophy double major can score a 167 diagnostic. Philosophy mostly; I know you learn sufficient/necessary and causation for sure. You probably learn a lot more. Philosophy will get you to -4 or -5 on LR/RC, and engineering gets you to around that on LG.

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Honey_Badger
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Re: I do not know where to start with self study ...

Postby Honey_Badger » Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:07 pm

LoveLife89 wrote:
d0rklord wrote:Someone wrote something great somewhere on these boards about how they went about taking PTs and I found it to be genius... can't find to link but...:

They took a practice test under strict timed conditions (duh). But... Instead of grading it right away, they waited and took the exact same test under UNTIMED conditions.

Then they said they grade both the timed test and the untimed test. If they got a question wrong timed, but got it correctly untimed, they knew it was a time constraint issue. They said if they got it wrong both times, they knew it was a concept issue.

Pretty genius. I plan on utilizing this while I study :)



http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... =6&t=36512



How about doing the June test untimed (if you're a retaker)?

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Re: I do not know where to start with self study ...

Postby ryanfaro » Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:14 am

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Last edited by ryanfaro on Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

M.M.
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Re: I do not know where to start with self study ...

Postby M.M. » Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:27 am

cc.celina wrote:
M.M. wrote:Thanks. One thing though, like I said, I want to implement new strategies ... I feel I could benefit from improving the complexity of my thinking, understanding, and approach on a lot of the LSAT. Here's an example: my annotation for RC up to date has been pretty elementary, underlining main points of paragraphs, underlining perceived key words, circling things, looking at question stems before reading and noticing some questions have "in lines 45-50" and marking lines 45-50 to give them extra attention. But upon reading through the Princeton Review books and some stuff on here I found that I could make my annotation more sophisticated and helpful, because honestly it hardly is right now. But do I do that while worrying about working on my weaknesses? Should I try just doing it on individual passages or timed sections instead of on PTs, then when I've perfected annotation examine weaknesses? These are the type of questions troubling me with the implementation of just one strategy and as I know you are all aware there is a plethora of new things I could learn and implement out there. I'm not complaining; I actually do like improving by looking at the LSAT a new way and using new methods ... but it's hard knowing where to start. I hope this post helps you guys understand what I mean a little more, as my first post was a little vague but I gave an example here.



(By the way, is there a way to multiquote?)

I understand what you mean. Disclaimer: I don't annotate in RC and never really set about learning how. But from what I understand, it is not that complicated. The ~10 pages of Manhattan RC I read told me to start off annotating everything that I thought was important, and that as I did more and more RC sections, I would learn to only take note of what was important. I did this mentally, but it worked for me.

If you want more strategies to put under your belt, step away from Princeton Review. I read their book, and it was fine to start, but there's something invaluale about learning a few different methods and taking bits and pieces of them that work for you. If you're having trouble with Logic Games, buy the Powerscore LG Bible. If you can't do RC, I suggest Manhattan. If you really, really want more information, try switching companies.

But I really suggest that you take a diagnostic PT and start working on your weaknesses right away. It seems like you have improved a bunch from familiarity with the test, and after a while, that sort of improvement levels off, and you plateau until you aggressively target your weaknesses.

If you can email your instructuor with questions, consider shooting him a quick email asking him the same question - where do I start?


Honestly, I like this reply ... (not to imply anything about the others!) I am terrible at Logic Games, all right at reading comprehension, and seemingly naturally gifted at LR, though having read some of the replies in this thread, maybe it's because of my philosophy background. I think I might try the games bibles, as I learned familiarity with the games through Princeton Review but quite honestly don't feel like I learned that many strategies / useful ones ... not to fault them; I either could've been not smart enough and/or not working hard enough. I have been EMailing my teacher regularly, and I know this is petty, but he's been tremendously helpful and I would feel bad asking him how to start as if all his help had gone to waste. You know what I mean? (Chris H. from Princeton Review is a good guy. Props to him if anyone happens to see this). I was advised NOT to try the powerscore bibles as it would be confusing, but many people on here pick and choose strategies from different places, so it can't be that bad. Thanks.

M.M.
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Re: I do not know where to start with self study ...

Postby M.M. » Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:32 am

PeanutsNJam wrote:I don't know about you but this is what seems to work for the people here (and me). It all stems from doing the practice tests. After you learn some strategies, it's 100% practice tests:

- Take timed sections. Allow yourself extra time to finish a section if necessary, but take note of how much extra time you took.

- Review thoroughly the questions you got wrong (and hard ones you lucked out on; I star all the "ehh..." questions and review them). Go through all the wrong answer choices, prove them wrong, and move on. Do not move on until you are 100% comfortable with a question. Do not rest until you can understand a question fully. Ask people here, make models out of clay, do whatever you need. ***Most important part IMO*** I would say that reviewing questions you "lucked out" on is just as important as reviewing the wrong ones.

- Document what you got wrong. How many LG wrong? How many RC wrong? What kind of LR questions do you get wrong the most? I get Method of Reasoning/Parallel Reasoning questions wrong the most. I obviously have trouble with identifying logical pathways clearly, so I need to work on that.

- Set goals. Do you want a 170? Try to get 180's on your PT come test time. Do you want a 165? Try to get 175's on your PT come test time. I can't imagine not shooting for 180 myself; you can't go wrong with trying to be awesome. You will do your best if you don't give yourself room for error.

- Do problems do problems do problems. There is a pattern to LR questions. Eventually it got to the point where I just knew an answer choice was right without having to read the rest of them. It's hard to explain but you can get into the heads of the test writers with enough practice.


Excellent advice with specifics for me to act on. The part where you mentioned going over "ehh" questions and reviewing I will certainly implement. However, one question: As mentioned above, I'm terrible with logic games ... and I'd like to review them, but even after looking at Princeton Review's explanations on the questions I got wrong, it's hard for me to understand really how I get them wrong and turn that into something productive, something I can do differently next time. I can see how the process of proving other answer choices wrong can be helpful in training your mind to think in LSAT, but say for example, what if I just didn't get a deduction that was nearly required to get an answer choice? Or what if I can't extrapolate (correct usage?) that mistake / correction into a different game or don't really know how to start?

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Lyov Myshkin
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Re: I do not know where to start with self study ...

Postby Lyov Myshkin » Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:33 am

cc.celina wrote:A great PT tracker is LSAT QA (LinkRemoved)
:D

seriously, thank you for the kind words. it really means a lot to us (and me in particular!) as we've put a bit of sweat and blood into it. admittedly, it's not perfect, but we're always trying to work out any soft spots (if you find anything wrong or, in general, have any ideas, please let me know and i will do whatever i possibly can).

M.M.
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Re: I do not know where to start with self study ...

Postby M.M. » Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:36 am

ryanfaro wrote:
cc.celina wrote:
ryanfaro wrote:
theprophet89 wrote:
You're studying for a year from a 167 diagnostic?



Not rigorously twelve months out, but more hours as I go on while I finish my last year of UG and add some softs to my resume.

I know you are not soliciting advice, but I'm gonna give you some anyway: if you're testing high and you have the opportunity to take it earlier, consider doing so. A year is a fuckload of time and way longer than I would recommend prepping to most people. I took the LSAT more than a year before I plan on applying, and I am super happy I made that decision. If I hadn't done well, I would have had ample time to retake.

That is a ridic high diagnostic. Take advantage of your natural ability if you can.


I am always soliciting advice from anybody here. I have considered taking it earlier, I am applying for fall 2014. I don't want to hijack this thread, but I have a quick question. My goal is a 170 on the LSAT, of course I want higher but I am starting off with small goals. Should I vigorously study now for the December test, rather than for next June? What if I am not PTing above a 170?

Thank you, however, it's not so much natural ability. I majored in philosophy and took as many logic courses as I could :wink:

PeanutsNJam wrote:It's plausible that an engineering/philosophy double major can score a 167 diagnostic. Philosophy mostly; I know you learn sufficient/necessary and causation for sure. You probably learn a lot more. Philosophy will get you to -4 or -5 on LR/RC, and engineering gets you to around that on LG.


very interesting that you said this, I am a Philosophy major. My only wrong answers came on logic games, I was very prepared for LR and RC because of what the major required. I also have an engineering buddy who has more often than not -0 on LG. Since then, I bought the LG Bible and have been going through the diagramming and whatnot, I am horrible at diagramming. I am just optimistic I can heavily improve this section.


Fellow philosophy major checking in; I am in a similar situation as you, but your initial diagnostic definitely destroys mine. Args and to a lesser extent RC I'm pleased with, LG is very difficult. It is interesting to note though that our ability at args seems to stem from philosophy; this seems common sense but I've often had thoughts that I haven't really learned much from my degree (as I'm sure most do at times) and have worried about that. It's good to notice that it may have at least influenced my thinking in a beneficial way. By the way, don't worry about going off topic. To me it's merely free bumps, and the more I read here the more ideas I'm getting. Again thanks all, and feel free to enlighten me more.

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: I do not know where to start with self study ...

Postby PeanutsNJam » Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:56 pm

M.M. wrote:
PeanutsNJam wrote:I don't know about you but this is what seems to work for the people here (and me). It all stems from doing the practice tests. After you learn some strategies, it's 100% practice tests:

- Take timed sections. Allow yourself extra time to finish a section if necessary, but take note of how much extra time you took.

- Review thoroughly the questions you got wrong (and hard ones you lucked out on; I star all the "ehh..." questions and review them). Go through all the wrong answer choices, prove them wrong, and move on. Do not move on until you are 100% comfortable with a question. Do not rest until you can understand a question fully. Ask people here, make models out of clay, do whatever you need. ***Most important part IMO*** I would say that reviewing questions you "lucked out" on is just as important as reviewing the wrong ones.

- Document what you got wrong. How many LG wrong? How many RC wrong? What kind of LR questions do you get wrong the most? I get Method of Reasoning/Parallel Reasoning questions wrong the most. I obviously have trouble with identifying logical pathways clearly, so I need to work on that.

- Set goals. Do you want a 170? Try to get 180's on your PT come test time. Do you want a 165? Try to get 175's on your PT come test time. I can't imagine not shooting for 180 myself; you can't go wrong with trying to be awesome. You will do your best if you don't give yourself room for error.

- Do problems do problems do problems. There is a pattern to LR questions. Eventually it got to the point where I just knew an answer choice was right without having to read the rest of them. It's hard to explain but you can get into the heads of the test writers with enough practice.


Excellent advice with specifics for me to act on. The part where you mentioned going over "ehh" questions and reviewing I will certainly implement. However, one question: As mentioned above, I'm terrible with logic games ... and I'd like to review them, but even after looking at Princeton Review's explanations on the questions I got wrong, it's hard for me to understand really how I get them wrong and turn that into something productive, something I can do differently next time. I can see how the process of proving other answer choices wrong can be helpful in training your mind to think in LSAT, but say for example, what if I just didn't get a deduction that was nearly required to get an answer choice? Or what if I can't extrapolate (correct usage?) that mistake / correction into a different game or don't really know how to start?


What works for me in LG (I do extremely well in this section) is to keep the following in mind:

- Before you even start on the first question, know that there will always, always, always be key deductions that are not obvious. Since the question is always "which one of the following is possible", you can use the first question in a game to help this process. Train yourself to spot the key deductions necessary. These deductions will carry you through the games and will help you eliminate 3 answer choices almost all of the time.

- There is always a right answer. It's not even debatable. Sometimes you get stuck and think: "This question is written wrong!" or "This is impossible!". It's not; it never is.

- Use the Logic Games Bible (don't remember if you said you did or didn't in the OP). It will teach you everything you need to know to make deductions before even starting a game.

- Numbers play a key role. If I said something like there are 5 Adults, 3 Children, and 2 Babies, and there are 8 seats on an airplane, and at least 1 of each age group is present on the airplane, you can immediately start the deduction process. How many combinations are possible with 4 adults, 2 children, and 1 baby in 5 seats? Apply the other rules, such as "For each two children there will be one adult" or something, and you will limit the possibilities down even further. Rely on the numbers.

I'm a visual thinker so LG come very easy to me, but LR/CR are much harder. (Diagramming is easy for me) Everybody has their strengths and weaknesses.

M.M.
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Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 5:16 pm

Re: I do not know where to start with self study ...

Postby M.M. » Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:11 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:
M.M. wrote:
PeanutsNJam wrote:I don't know about you but this is what seems to work for the people here (and me). It all stems from doing the practice tests. After you learn some strategies, it's 100% practice tests:

- Take timed sections. Allow yourself extra time to finish a section if necessary, but take note of how much extra time you took.

- Review thoroughly the questions you got wrong (and hard ones you lucked out on; I star all the "ehh..." questions and review them). Go through all the wrong answer choices, prove them wrong, and move on. Do not move on until you are 100% comfortable with a question. Do not rest until you can understand a question fully. Ask people here, make models out of clay, do whatever you need. ***Most important part IMO*** I would say that reviewing questions you "lucked out" on is just as important as reviewing the wrong ones.

- Document what you got wrong. How many LG wrong? How many RC wrong? What kind of LR questions do you get wrong the most? I get Method of Reasoning/Parallel Reasoning questions wrong the most. I obviously have trouble with identifying logical pathways clearly, so I need to work on that.

- Set goals. Do you want a 170? Try to get 180's on your PT come test time. Do you want a 165? Try to get 175's on your PT come test time. I can't imagine not shooting for 180 myself; you can't go wrong with trying to be awesome. You will do your best if you don't give yourself room for error.

- Do problems do problems do problems. There is a pattern to LR questions. Eventually it got to the point where I just knew an answer choice was right without having to read the rest of them. It's hard to explain but you can get into the heads of the test writers with enough practice.


Excellent advice with specifics for me to act on. The part where you mentioned going over "ehh" questions and reviewing I will certainly implement. However, one question: As mentioned above, I'm terrible with logic games ... and I'd like to review them, but even after looking at Princeton Review's explanations on the questions I got wrong, it's hard for me to understand really how I get them wrong and turn that into something productive, something I can do differently next time. I can see how the process of proving other answer choices wrong can be helpful in training your mind to think in LSAT, but say for example, what if I just didn't get a deduction that was nearly required to get an answer choice? Or what if I can't extrapolate (correct usage?) that mistake / correction into a different game or don't really know how to start?


What works for me in LG (I do extremely well in this section) is to keep the following in mind:

- Before you even start on the first question, know that there will always, always, always be key deductions that are not obvious. Since the question is always "which one of the following is possible", you can use the first question in a game to help this process. Train yourself to spot the key deductions necessary. These deductions will carry you through the games and will help you eliminate 3 answer choices almost all of the time.

- There is always a right answer. It's not even debatable. Sometimes you get stuck and think: "This question is written wrong!" or "This is impossible!". It's not; it never is.

- Use the Logic Games Bible (don't remember if you said you did or didn't in the OP). It will teach you everything you need to know to make deductions before even starting a game.

- Numbers play a key role. If I said something like there are 5 Adults, 3 Children, and 2 Babies, and there are 8 seats on an airplane, and at least 1 of each age group is present on the airplane, you can immediately start the deduction process. How many combinations are possible with 4 adults, 2 children, and 1 baby in 5 seats? Apply the other rules, such as "For each two children there will be one adult" or something, and you will limit the possibilities down even further. Rely on the numbers.

I'm a visual thinker so LG come very easy to me, but LR/CR are much harder. (Diagramming is easy for me) Everybody has their strengths and weaknesses.


Will keep this in mind. Thanks.

One quick question for everyone else: I just found out the Princeton Review materials I had access to (the 60 tests) were all real LSAT questions with explanations.

I'm probably going to renew my course subscription with them for $99.00 and buy the Manhattan or Powerscore LGB ... in terms of purchasing materials, do you think I'll be set from there, and is that a good idea to do in the first place? I really just like how I'll have explanations for all the real LSAT problems for every test ...

sama
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:52 pm

Re: I do not know where to start with self study ...

Postby sama » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:56 pm

I'd try mastering things first. Start with your strongest section so its encouraging going forward, then your weakest, then the last remaining section. Flashcards can be time consuming. Figure out a method and write it down and stick to it til exam day. When you put it on paper you see whats missing. But first, do a practice exam and see where you are starting from, then go from there and pinpoint your weaknesses




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