Heading into last month...

kaseyb002
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Heading into last month...

Postby kaseyb002 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:53 am

I would like to hear advice about the final month, especially from the June 2012 test takers -- things they wish they would have done or things they did that worked out well for them.

Let me go over my study progress so far:
Went through LGB and LRB, and most of MLSAT LR
Went through Velocity LR and currently 70% through Velocity RC
Done all of Kaplan Mastery LR except for Paradox questions
Taken four 5-section PT's so far (54-57) and have done thorough review for each (every single question explanation for why right/wrong)
And a boatload of general drilling, along with timed and untimed sections

Yesterday I got a 172(PT 57). This is a score I would certainly be happy with on game day; however, I feel the best way to ensure that score would be to get my average up to 175 or so. For this month here is what I plan to do:

Take proctored 5-section PT at local testing place each Saturday. Then the next two or three days continue to do a thorough review (reviewing has seemed to help me more than anything).
Take a self-proctored 5-section PT about every Wednesday (assuming I can manage to find the time) and review that as well.
Finish up Velocity RC.

Is there anything else you would suggest doing in the final stretch?

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manofjustice
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Re: Heading into last month...

Postby manofjustice » Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:26 am

I would say, don't underestimate the "free" score bump you can get by being in the right frame of mind. What worked for me was a "death-ground" strategy. You know how you can lift a car to save your baby, or some shit like that...same principle for your mind. When you feel threatened, adrenaline will increase your attention, increase blood flow to your brain, improve your short term memory. So I scared the shit out of myself and told myself if I didn't get a good score my life was ruined. And I believed it, because I had been obsessing over how poor my GPA was and how bad the legal market is. Worked for me...after the test I felt almost dazed. I was drained. Somewhat shaken. Scored above my PT range.

bp shinners
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Re: Heading into last month...

Postby bp shinners » Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:40 am

If you're trying to steady yourself in the mid-170s, I'd probably add another PT each week, for 3. At that point, it's all about minimizing mistakes and building confidence. Both of which are easier to do with full practice tests.

kaseyb002
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Re: Heading into last month...

Postby kaseyb002 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:00 pm

bp shinners wrote:If you're trying to steady yourself in the mid-170s, I'd probably add another PT each week, for 3. At that point, it's all about minimizing mistakes and building confidence. Both of which are easier to do with full practice tests.


I don't think I have enough time to do 3 PT's a week along with adequate review. When I review, I do about an hour or so per section (except LG's). Am I overdoing it? So far review has seemed to be the biggest factor in my improvement. Does review become less important as I get closer to the test? Should I start focusing instead just on pacing and more of the actual "execution" kind of stuff?
Last edited by kaseyb002 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Lear22
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Re: Heading into last month...

Postby Lear22 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:49 pm

Hey, I was wondering the same.

Can you talk more about your review method? I also believe it's a huge factor and I'm trying to get better and make the most out of it.


Thanks!!

shntn
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Re: Heading into last month...

Postby shntn » Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:15 pm

kaseyb002 wrote:
bp shinners wrote:If you're trying to steady yourself in the mid-170s, I'd probably add another PT each week, for 3. At that point, it's all about minimizing mistakes and building confidence. Both of which are easier to do with full practice tests.


I don't think I have enough time to do 3 PT's a week along with adequate review. When I review, I do about an hour or so per section (except LG's). Am I overdoing it? So far review has seemed to be the biggest factor in my prep. Does review become less important as I get closer to the test? Should I start focusing instead just on pacing and more of the actual "execution" kind of stuff?

An hour per section of review seems like overkill. Depending on your timing issues (whether or not you're rushed at the end of a section), I'd say put relatively more focus on that. In these reviews, have you noticed any improvement in your weak areas?

kaseyb002
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Re: Heading into last month...

Postby kaseyb002 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:35 pm

Lear22 wrote:Hey, I was wondering the same.

Can you talk more about your review method? I also believe it's a huge factor and I'm trying to get better and make the most out of it.


Thanks!!


This by no means the best way; there are more experienced users/professionals on here who could probably give you a more complete answer but with that being said...

I go through each and every question and write out a phrase by each answer choice why it is right or wrong. I do not settle. I do not get a general feeling about why it is right, or why it is wrong and kind of let it mush away in my head. For example, in the beginning I would look at an answer choice and say, "uhh I can't see why it's not exactly right but hey there's a word in it that doesn't seem like it fits so that must be it.....move on...". In other words I would look for superficial reasons why an answer choice was wrong.

Now I work through it till I can know exactly why the answer choice is wrong/right. Manhattan forum explanations are helpful for this as well. Ever since I started doing this my LR performance has really taken off. I didn't realize how deep the LSAT is until now. And recently (from bp shinner's advice) during review I also look at answer choices and ask, "so what trick are the test writers trying to pull here?" I think it is amazing what you will find. The test writers have really thought out this test, and when you do this kind of review I think you start to develop an appreciation for it.

shinton88 wrote:An hour per section of review seems like overkill. Depending on your timing issues (whether or not you're rushed at the end of a section), I'd say put relatively more focus on that. In these reviews, have you noticed any improvement in your weak areas?


Yes. Big time. I drilled like a mad dog with LR, but until I started doing review I didn't budge. Review I feel has been the real key to my improvement, at least for LR. RC I'm not sure if it's making a big dent or not. It was my weak spot but after doing A LOT of passages I've seen a good boost. So I can't tell if it's the review or just the practice. I've had LG down for a long time and am just maintaining that.

bp shinners
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Re: Heading into last month...

Postby bp shinners » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:51 pm

kaseyb002 wrote:Yes. Big time. I drilled like a mad dog with LR, but until I started doing review I didn't budge. Review I feel has been the real key to my improvement, at least for LR. RC I'm not sure if it's making a big dent or not. It was my weak spot but after doing A LOT of passages I've seen a good boost. So I can't tell if it's the review or just the practice. I've had LG down for a long time and am just maintaining that.


Temporal fallacy - just because review helped you get to where you are now doesn't mean the same amount of review will help you get to the next level. ;-)

You did the right thing to get to where you're at. You need to review that much when you're in the 150s and 160s.

However, once you're scoring in the 170s, you're getting very few questions wrong. You've got the material down, and you shouldn't be spending time reviewing stuff that you already know. You won't get rusty because you'll still be practicing.

So an hour/section is way too long at that point. If you're getting 10 or so questions wrong total, you shouldn't spend more than an hour or two, tops, going over those questions. Especially since it should be pretty obvious why you got a question wrong (I'd be shocked if at least 1/3 of the time you weren't between two answers, one of them being right).

Lear22
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Re: Heading into last month...

Postby Lear22 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:17 pm

I am wondering what is your advice for a comprehensive review? I am already doing the 'write a sentence why one is right and why one is wrong' but I feel like I could get more from my review.

Thanks!!

shntn
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Re: Heading into last month...

Postby shntn » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:04 pm

Lear22 wrote:I am wondering what is your advice for a comprehensive review? I am already doing the 'write a sentence why one is right and why one is wrong' but I feel like I could get more from my review.

Thanks!!

Um, I never did the writing of sentences. I kept a spreadsheet of all my missed questions (broken down by question type) so I knew where to focus from then on. Review was actually not a very big part of my overall prep, in terms of actual time spent.

kaseyb002
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Re: Heading into last month...

Postby kaseyb002 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:30 pm

bp shinners wrote:
kaseyb002 wrote:Yes. Big time. I drilled like a mad dog with LR, but until I started doing review I didn't budge. Review I feel has been the real key to my improvement, at least for LR. RC I'm not sure if it's making a big dent or not. It was my weak spot but after doing A LOT of passages I've seen a good boost. So I can't tell if it's the review or just the practice. I've had LG down for a long time and am just maintaining that.


Temporal fallacy - just because review helped you get to where you are now doesn't mean the same amount of review will help you get to the next level. ;-)

You did the right thing to get to where you're at. You need to review that much when you're in the 150s and 160s.

However, once you're scoring in the 170s, you're getting very few questions wrong. You've got the material down, and you shouldn't be spending time reviewing stuff that you already know. You won't get rusty because you'll still be practicing.

So an hour/section is way too long at that point. If you're getting 10 or so questions wrong total, you shouldn't spend more than an hour or two, tops, going over those questions. Especially since it should be pretty obvious why you got a question wrong (I'd be shocked if at least 1/3 of the time you weren't between two answers, one of them being right).


I'm sure you're right about the temporal fallacy...it's just hard to let go of the thing that took me past the 170 barrier.

While going through LR questions (where I'm getting about -2 or -3 wrong at this point) it more often tends to be missing a key word/dumb mistake (like forgetting it was an InferX question, not just an infer question - PT 57.2.23). In fact, PT 56 I got all -6 combined wrong on LR with SUPER easy questions from the first half of the section. I think that was mainly due to pace.

Only every once in awhile (like once every two or three tests) will I get an LR question wrong because I just couldn't grasp the logic/concept (like PT 57.2.22, can't wrap my head around (B)). Usually these are the ones where I get down to two answer choices.

Does this sound like a mere pacing issue? I usually have some time to spare at the end of LR sections now. Does this reinforce the original advice that I should be doing less review and more timed sections?

Thanks for all your suggestions in this and previous threads. It has had a significant effect on my prep.

kaseyb002
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Re: Heading into last month...

Postby kaseyb002 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:35 pm

Lear22 wrote:I am wondering what is your advice for a comprehensive review? I am already doing the 'write a sentence why one is right and why one is wrong' but I feel like I could get more from my review.

Thanks!!


I think the most important thing is that you have a totally concrete understanding of why an answer choice was right or wrong. Don't settle for easy answers.

Another thing to think about is, "why would this answer choice be attractive?" This starts to expose the tricks of the LSAT IMO. When I do this I constantly find myself saying, "wow...what a bunch of jerks..."

But then again this may not be the best advice for review. I would tend to go with the suggestions given by veterans, as opposed to someone like me who hasn't even take an actual test yet.

bp shinners
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Re: Heading into last month...

Postby bp shinners » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:26 pm

Lear22 wrote:I am wondering what is your advice for a comprehensive review? I am already doing the 'write a sentence why one is right and why one is wrong' but I feel like I could get more from my review.


That's the easy part of the review - figuring out why one answer is right and one is wrong. Once you know what's right, it's easy to justify.

The hard part, but the important part, is figuring out why you picked the wrong answer, and why you dismissed the right answer. The LSAT uses the same tricks over and over to get you to think the right answer is wrong, and they use similar tricks to make you think the wrong answer is right. Figure out how they're tricking you into crossing out the right and bubbling the wrong - that's the important part of review.

bp shinners
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Re: Heading into last month...

Postby bp shinners » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:28 pm

kaseyb002 wrote:While going through LR questions (where I'm getting about -2 or -3 wrong at this point) it more often tends to be missing a key word/dumb mistake (like forgetting it was an InferX question, not just an infer question - PT 57.2.23). In fact, PT 56 I got all -6 combined wrong on LR with SUPER easy questions from the first half of the section. I think that was mainly due to pace.

Does this sound like a mere pacing issue? I usually have some time to spare at the end of LR sections now. Does this reinforce the original advice that I should be doing less review and more timed sections?


If you have time to spare, and you're getting a disproportionate number of early/easy questions wrong because of dumb mistakes, definitely slow down on the early ones. Spend an extra second on the prompt. If it's an InferX question, I usually cross that out and rewrite it as the real question (e.g. "must be true EXCEPT" I'll cross out and write "Could Be False"). Circle logical force keywords to slow yourself down and focus on them. Take an extra second to check your answer. Use that time to stop the stupid mistakes.

JDeezy
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Re: Heading into last month...

Postby JDeezy » Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:36 pm

Thanks for the post, OP. I'm right with you.

I got a little crazy in July and took 13 PTs. Took a step back, chilled and have focused more on drilling in August (took 6 PTs in August.)

My July average was 170, but with a huge range (165-177.) My last 3 PTs have been 177, 177, 174.

Do you all think its better to continue with 1-2 PTs a week and ~hour of studying on off days? Or 3 PTs a week but not much studying during off days?

kaseyb002
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Re: Heading into last month...

Postby kaseyb002 » Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:52 pm

bp shinners wrote:
kaseyb002 wrote:While going through LR questions (where I'm getting about -2 or -3 wrong at this point) it more often tends to be missing a key word/dumb mistake (like forgetting it was an InferX question, not just an infer question - PT 57.2.23). In fact, PT 56 I got all -6 combined wrong on LR with SUPER easy questions from the first half of the section. I think that was mainly due to pace.

Does this sound like a mere pacing issue? I usually have some time to spare at the end of LR sections now. Does this reinforce the original advice that I should be doing less review and more timed sections?


If you have time to spare, and you're getting a disproportionate number of early/easy questions wrong because of dumb mistakes, definitely slow down on the early ones. Spend an extra second on the prompt. If it's an InferX question, I usually cross that out and rewrite it as the real question (e.g. "must be true EXCEPT" I'll cross out and write "Could Be False"). Circle logical force keywords to slow yourself down and focus on them. Take an extra second to check your answer. Use that time to stop the stupid mistakes.


I think that (checking answers) is the key. I have noticed that sometimes I have a little unnerving feeling when I get done with a question and I'll usually look back and see why I felt that way. Even if I don't change the answer it at least gives me a confidence boost. I will try doing this will all the early questions and see how much time that sacrifices. I will make sure to try the other suggestions as well. Thanks again.

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cloudhidden
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Re: Heading into last month...

Postby cloudhidden » Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:47 pm

bp shinners wrote:
kaseyb002 wrote:Yes. Big time. I drilled like a mad dog with LR, but until I started doing review I didn't budge. Review I feel has been the real key to my improvement, at least for LR. RC I'm not sure if it's making a big dent or not. It was my weak spot but after doing A LOT of passages I've seen a good boost. So I can't tell if it's the review or just the practice. I've had LG down for a long time and am just maintaining that.


Temporal fallacy - just because review helped you get to where you are now doesn't mean the same amount of review will help you get to the next level. ;-)

You did the right thing to get to where you're at. You need to review that much when you're in the 150s and 160s.

However, once you're scoring in the 170s, you're getting very few questions wrong. You've got the material down, and you shouldn't be spending time reviewing stuff that you already know. You won't get rusty because you'll still be practicing.

So an hour/section is way too long at that point. If you're getting 10 or so questions wrong total, you shouldn't spend more than an hour or two, tops, going over those questions. Especially since it should be pretty obvious why you got a question wrong (I'd be shocked if at least 1/3 of the time you weren't between two answers, one of them being right).


Should we review the questions we correctly answered at all? I'm worried that my ability to see through questions as quickly and clearly might diminish without a comprehensive review.

bates2013
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Re: Heading into last month...

Postby bates2013 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:41 am

This has been a very helpful thread. Thanks!

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LoveLife89
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Re: Heading into last month...

Postby LoveLife89 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:15 am

bates2013 wrote:This has been a very helpful thread. Thanks!


+1

Lear22
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Re: Heading into last month...

Postby Lear22 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:32 pm

bp shinners wrote:
Lear22 wrote:I am wondering what is your advice for a comprehensive review? I am already doing the 'write a sentence why one is right and why one is wrong' but I feel like I could get more from my review.


That's the easy part of the review - figuring out why one answer is right and one is wrong. Once you know what's right, it's easy to justify.

The hard part, but the important part, is figuring out why you picked the wrong answer, and why you dismissed the right answer. The LSAT uses the same tricks over and over to get you to think the right answer is wrong, and they use similar tricks to make you think the wrong answer is right. Figure out how they're tricking you into crossing out the right and bubbling the wrong - that's the important part of review.


I get what you're saying and agree that it's easier to realize once you have the right one in front of you.. However I am not succeeding in getting over the hurdle of understanding why I chose the wrong answer, and even if I do, what to do about it. Do you have any advice on how to step up to this point? I have put in countless hours in prep for Oct and I am deferment to get it right

bp shinners
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Re: Heading into last month...

Postby bp shinners » Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:32 pm

cloudhidden wrote:Should we review the questions we correctly answered at all? I'm worried that my ability to see through questions as quickly and clearly might diminish without a comprehensive review.


If you had trouble with it, and weren't sure of your correct answer, spend some time with it. However, for the most part, I wouldn't spend a lot of time reviewing those questions. You're scoring 170+ - you understand why you're getting stuff right.

bp shinners
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Re: Heading into last month...

Postby bp shinners » Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:34 pm

Lear22 wrote:However I am not succeeding in getting over the hurdle of understanding why I chose the wrong answer, and even if I do, what to do about it. Do you have any advice on how to step up to this point? I have put in countless hours in prep for Oct and I am deferment to get it right


When you pick a wrong answer, the writer has tricked you into making some type of logical fallacy. Figure out which fallacy that is (most of the time, it's equivocation - you treat two terms that don't mean the same as equivalent; logical force - you pick an answer choice that's too strong/weak) and figure out how that fallacy can be used against you (by shifting language, or throwing in small words that completely change the logical force). When you notice which tricks you're falling for, start reviewing your wrong answers with that in mind, and start taking a second to ask yourself if you're falling for that trick before bubbling in an answer.

Lear22
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Re: Heading into last month...

Postby Lear22 » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:22 pm

Much appriciated!! This helps a lot

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Br3v
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Re: Heading into last month...

Postby Br3v » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:07 pm

My prep as of now is pretty much just PT UNTIL THE DEATH OF ME.




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