Advice Needed From High-Scorers: Am I Missing Something?

mezzcudi
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Advice Needed From High-Scorers: Am I Missing Something?

Postby mezzcudi » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:15 pm

To those who have scored at least a 160 on an administered LSAT:

With the October sitting of the LSAT rapidly approaching, many will-be test takers (such as myself) are working endlessly to insure a positive performance on test day. Through all the studying though, nagging questions of frustration still remain: Is there something that I am missing here? Is there something that highly competitive LSAT takers know that I do not?

I pose these questions hoping that the missing link I am searching for will come to light. I also believe that such information will help others in situations similar to my own. I will attempt to address this issue as concisely as possible; however I apologize for the lengthiness in advance, as a certain degree of detail and background information is necessary to encapsulate my main point.

I have studied for the LSAT for approximately seven solid months. I made some fatal flaws in preparation at the beginning of that time (namely, a very poor course instructor and a mediocre text), but have since recovered by purchasing, reading, and outlining Powerscore’s logical reasoning, logic games, and reading comprehension bibles in addition to a few of their "LSATs deconstructed" (they’re great).

On the PrepTest I took yesterday (Dec. 2004), I scored a 154 (65% roughly). However, my goal is a 165, higher if possible of course. The highest I have ever scored is 154. The worst I have ever scored is 140 which occurred on my first ever attempt. I have taken an administered LSAT once (June 2012) and scored five points below my average of 151, earning me a dismal 146.

Believing that I have truly taken all the right steps, I cannot help but wonder what it is that I don’t know that people scoring 165’s or 175’s do? I have examined strategies of these test takers and have found that most score high initially. How could it be possible that someone who has never even looked at an LSAT before could outscore someone like me who has (trust me) put in the necessary work? If I were the one reading this post, I would have two immediate answers: 1) Well, you just aren’t that smart, or 2) You aren’t cut out for what you are trying to do. These are fair, logical, and obvious assessments, yet allow me to get at the heart of this issue and explain why I believe my case (and that of many others) is different.

I have never been the type of student who things have come “easy” for. I recognized very early on that if I was to succeed academically and realize my potential, it would require a great deal of work. With complete, 100% confidence, I can honestly say I have never encountered someone who studies more than I do. Period. I do not doubt the existence of that individual, yet let’s just say I might as well have a mailing address at the library. I am in no way intending to “brag” or “place myself on a pedestal" and hope I will not be interpreted in such a way. I am simply trying to make a compelling point that I should be doing much better on the LSAT (a common problem I'm sure). Further, I cannot deny that my studying habits do “pay-off” (clearly, excluding LSAT efforts): I have been accustomed to the Dean’s list at a, let’s realistically say, universally “respectable” university; I have completed my four-year degree in political science in just three years by way of accelerated pace; I have completed two internships under the guidance of fairly high-ranking, respected public officials, and have even somehow landed a letter of recommendation from a Dean of a TLS ranked top 25 law school. Certainly, there are individuals out there who far surpass my modest accomplishments, yet the sole point I make is that I should be scoring higher on the law school admission test.

Some of you might be thinking, “Well, you may not even need a higher LSAT score.” Again, a valid claim (but I actually do). Yet, the LSAT is truly a great test in my opinion and I appreciate the opportunity and burden it imposes. I want to do well on the test because I can. I truly believe something different is taking place in the mind of an individual scoring a 165 or 175 when they look at a question compared to myself. My goal is to figure out what that is and to gain insight into these approaches.

I once again apologize for the length of this post but hope those of you that made it through can offer some sort of knowledge/alternative way of thinking that perhaps people like me are overlooking (By the way, I am fully aware there are no "magical secrets" to instantly scoring high on the LSAT besides diligent studying. Because I feel that I have satisfied that requirement, I am searching outward.). Best of luck to everyone taking the upcoming test and thank you to anyone willing to help; it is much appreciated.

Sincerely,

Mezzcudi

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TripTrip
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Re: Advice Needed From High-Scorers: Am I Missing Something?

Postby TripTrip » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:41 pm

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Last edited by TripTrip on Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

tectonic
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Re: Advice Needed From High-Scorers: Am I Missing Something?

Postby tectonic » Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:01 am

Is there a particular section that you are consistently more successful on? A section that you are consistently extraordinarily weak on?

What did your 7 months of studying entail? Daily practice tests? Reading through the PowerScore books and other similar texts? Some combination of the two? Something else?

Do you have some intuitive sense of what your mental "blocks" are? What questions hang you up? What part of the problem-solving process you hit a wall at?

I think it's difficult to give advice without more insight.

I noticed you mentioned that you suffered through a poor course instructor. It might be possible that they ingrained some bad habits in you, or trained you in a methodology that your "learning style" really isn't suited for. I know that the prep course I took taught me to mentally categorize each Logical Reasoning question into one of something like a dozen categories. I found that to be an enormous waste of mental energy, as well as time. It works for many people, but it didn't for me. When I "let go" of that taxonomy and worked on developing an intuitive understanding of each question on its own individual merits, I found that my performance on LR radically improved. Conversely, the traditional diagramming methods that they teach in a lot of the famous prep books did indeed work well for me on the logic games. You have to be willing to try different methods out and see what works for you. Be a bit creative. Don't be afraid to try a method that doesn't work, and if it doesn't work don't be afraid to ditch it for something else. Just a thought ...

Also, I don't think success in your undergraduate academic career necessarily correlates with success on the LSAT. That's why there is an entire population of "splitters" with low GPAs (2.5-3.0, or even lower in some extreme cases) who have very high LSAT scores (170+). To some degree, there is a particular kind of aptitude that is necessary for success on the LSAT. It's tricky though. While I don't think anyone can master the exam (by which I mean, consistently score 175+), I do think anyone can improve their performance over time.

My 2 cents, as someone else grappling with this exam.

tectonic
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Re: Advice Needed From High-Scorers: Am I Missing Something?

Postby tectonic » Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:06 am

TripTrip wrote:The only course I have ever taken that I used in the LSAT was Propositional Logic, which allowed me to pick apart the arguments much easier.


I'll second that. I'm pretty sure I would have done worse on the LSAT if I hadn't taken a course in Symbolic Logic prior. Likewise, I've found that a background in computer programming can help. It introduces you to conditional logic and allows you to identify the meaning of operators like "and", "or", "if ... then", and so on.

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Cerebro
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Re: Advice Needed From High-Scorers: Am I Missing Something?

Postby Cerebro » Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:52 am

Answer more questions correctly, and your score will go up. There's no magic.

Have you looked inside yourself to understand the stumbling blocks that are holding you back? What questions are taking too long to answer, what types of questions are you missing? What kind of answer traps are you falling for?

Also, putting in the necessary work for a high score can be quite different from putting in sufficient work for a high score... As you probably realize.

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arcanecircle
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Re: Advice Needed From High-Scorers: Am I Missing Something?

Postby arcanecircle » Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:38 am

Unfortunately there is no one "correct" way to study for the LSAT.

It is not a measure of innate skill, but rather cultural skills. For this reason some people will naturally be at a higher level than others. Don't take my word for it though, check out http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/be ... rview.html for an interview with a former LSAT writer who says this.

Having said that, the test is learn-able, but that is entirely dependent on how you are studying. If, after seven months, you have seen limited to no improvement from your diagnostic, there is something you are doing wrong. 140 to 154 is a 14 point improvement, however you look at it though. Focus on how you were studying and what weaknesses your PTs have exposed, and from there build a new study-plan.

Cerebro wrote:Have you looked inside yourself to understand the stumbling blocks that are holding you back?


I think you've said it well here, if anything, your wrong answers (especially in LR) are snapshots of how you reason. If you can step outside yourself and analyze each step of your thinking process for a particular wrong answer, that in itself is the most useful thing for improving your skills.

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CalAlumni
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Re: Advice Needed From High-Scorers: Am I Missing Something?

Postby CalAlumni » Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:53 am

It's easy to get discouraged browsing TLS when you see everyone scoring 170+. This site is self-selecting; a 170 is a 98-percentile score--not everyone will have the cognitive ability to score in that range. We do, however, all have the ability to improve our LSAT score.

1. Master Logic Games--there is a great guide stickied at the top of the LSAT Prep forum which you should follow along with the Logic Games Bible form Powerscore. After you've done all of this, you should be getting no more than -3 on LG's.

2. Master Logical Reasoning, which can be done through studying the LRB or Manhattan LSAT guide. After this, along with copious drilling, you should be able to get yourself to AT LEAST -4-5 each LR section. Over time through more review, drilling, and PT review you will mitigate mistakes, learn predictable flaws, etc. and you can get your self in the -2-3 range for each LR.

3. Evaluate your Reading Comprehension scores and test different RC methods to find the best fit for you.

Do all of this and you'll be on your way to the score you desire.

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banjo
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Re: Advice Needed From High-Scorers: Am I Missing Something?

Postby banjo » Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:58 am

Start a stopwatch, work on a single question, and stop the stopwatch when you are 100% certain of the answer. Now, write a post-question analysis. What kind of question was it? How many times did you read the stimulus? What words did you misread? What was the structure of the logic? Could you predict the issue? Did you gloss over the right answer choice? Did you make inferences? Did you diagram efficiently? Did you read the passage carefully? Where did you lose time? Did you stress out and fall apart? So on and so forth. Print out your analyses and review them periodically. Compare them to previous sets of analyses. Are you making the same mistakes again and again? Internalize good thinking and reading habits; eschew poor ones. In short, catch yourself making mistakes and actively learn from them.

mezzcudi
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Re: Advice Needed From High-Scorers: Am I Missing Something?

Postby mezzcudi » Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:30 pm

Extremely thankful for all the insight here. This is exactly the type of information I have been seeking. I am actually quite shocked by how supportive and accurate the responses in this forum are having never used TLS before. Based on my own analysis and reflection though, I believe my primary problem is being distracted by wrong answer choices, as mentioned in the first comment. Below I have addressed some of the questions stated by posters but the information is relevant to the entire conversation, not just to that poster.

TripTrip: Truly incredible about your test taking abilities and thanks for the post; I am certainly the polar opposite (What exactly do you mean by subtitles anyways?). Also, when you say "reasoning abilities" and mention a course in propositional logic for "picking apart arguments," is there a specific place where I can find information about successfully doing this (I mean, I think I am at least competent at argumentation and reasoning, generally)? I think you are absolutely right about the the easiest way to get sucked into a poor score is being distracted by wrong answers. What would you suggest as remedies to such an ailment?

I also like this: "Getting a 160+ requires being able to break apart arguments. Getting 170+ means being able to anticipate what the questions will be and what flaws the answer will have," because it seems accurate. Would everyone agree that this is a fair evaluation?

My primary question is how do you go about doing each of the above? It is becoming overwhelmingly clear that I have taken an inappropriate mental approach to the LSAT. I wish I would have posted to this forum sooner than eight days before the administration of the test.

Ironically and very unfortunately, I admit that I withdrew from one course during my time as an undergrad: formal logic. Although I withdrew because my schedule was simply absurd with it, I admit that the lessons did not make a great deal of sense to me. Perceiving this as a clear red-flag, I have studied what I believed to be "logic" necessary for the LSAT extensively in the form of formal logic through McGraw-Hill's approach (would not recommend, confusing) and causal/casual reasoning through Powerscore.

Techtonic: Interestingly, no section is consistently worse than the others. I suppose I am consistently not very competitive all the way around. Though in the last PrepTest I took, I aced two of the four games and two of the four reading comp. passages. I proceeded to incorrectly answer every question associated with one game and one passage, however.

My seven months consisted of studying techniques, taking PrepTests, and looking at individual questions. I have definitely taken most of the PrepTests. I mainly studied individual concepts rather than broad sections and would study for between six and nine hours at a time. I am not aware of my mental blocks but seem to be hung up in the mental process at the step right before I discover what I actually need (solid understanding, solid inference made, miss what actually matters for the correct answer slightly). When I go back to review, I pretty clearly realize why the correct answer is the right one.

The intuition you speak of is what I am trying to establish. I believe my learning/memory style is not well tailored for the LSAT. I am quite rigid in mindset, I would honestly say and have trouble being creative or doing tasks spontaneously. I strive for 100% certainty and feel very uneasy when this is not the case. About my poor instructor/course, I do not mean to be overly critical and I am definitely not the best judge of what is considered sound or unsound advice on the LSAT. I will say that this instructor was blatantly incompetent and the approaches used were similar to the McGraw-Hill approaches at time, but also similar to something that was erroneously just made up from common sense. I sincerely appreciate the post and ideas.

Cerebro: I will work to address some of the question you set forth if I cant find a way to "look inside myself." Good advice and thanks for the post.

Arcanecircle: Unfortunately you are correct, there is not just one way to study for the LSAT. As with the question above, I am not quite sure how to go about "looking beyond myself." What aspects of my thinking process should I be alert toward? Thanks for the help arcanecircle.

CalAlumni: This is true, it does seem like most of the people on the forum score in the top percent or three (or report so at least), which definitely makes a score like 146 look pathetic. Good guide set forth and I am grateful for your specificity. Where can I find the guide you mentioned was stickied to the forum? I believe at this point my focus should be on "mitigating mistakes" and "learning predictable flaws." Any tips for this? Thanks again.

Banjo: I'll give it a go at assessing some of the questions you posed, they seem to be right on track for what I am struggling with. Thanks for the assistance.

Again, thank you to everybody as I attempt to piece this thing together. If (I mean when) I do successfully figure this stuff out sufficiently, I am sure it could not have been possible without the information I am discovering here. Thanks to everybody for your time and insight.

Sincerely,

Mezzcudi

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TripTrip
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Re: Advice Needed From High-Scorers: Am I Missing Something?

Postby TripTrip » Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:50 pm

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Last edited by TripTrip on Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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cahwc12
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Re: Advice Needed From High-Scorers: Am I Missing Something?

Postby cahwc12 » Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:07 pm

TripTrip wrote:Hi Mezzcudi.

I'm going to chat with someone in approximately the opposite position as you. I have done excellently in school, 4.0 and all, but I am horrible at studying. I haven't actually read a textbook in years. What I am good at is taking tests. I could take a multiple choice exam in a course I've never taken and do better than a good deal of the students who are in the course just because I have learned to recognize subtitles in tests. I took the LSAT in February with little prep and got a 168.

The point I am trying to make is that you may be looking at the LSAT wrong. The LSAT isn't something you study for. The PowerScore Bibles are not meant to increase your "LSAT knowledge," as if that's what you'll be tested on. The books are just designed to familiarize you with the questions and how to answer them. The only thing the LSAT tests is your reasoning abilities; that's it. The only course I have ever taken that I used in the LSAT was Propositional Logic, which allowed me to pick apart the arguments much easier.

Getting a 160+ requires being able to break apart arguments. Getting 170+ means being able to anticipate what the questions will be and what flaws the answer will have.

The easiest way to be sucked into a low score is to be distracted by a wrong answer. Most of the LSAT questions should be looked at backwards: don't try to find the correct answer, because often there is more than one correct answer. Instead, focus on eliminating all the incorrect answers.



Please show me a question on an official LSAT that has ever had two correct answers.

Thanks!

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052220151
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Re: Advice Needed From High-Scorers: Am I Missing Something?

Postby 052220151 » Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:13 pm

cahwc12 wrote:
TripTrip wrote:The easiest way to be sucked into a low score is to be distracted by a wrong answer. Most of the LSAT questions should be looked at backwards: don't try to find the correct answer, because often there is more than one correct answer. Instead, focus on eliminating all the incorrect answers.



Please show me a question on an official LSAT that has ever had two correct answers.

Thanks!


This.

That is some terrible advice. Right when I read this my BS detector went off. There has never been/will be a question with more than one correct answer.

Also, you should be trying to find the correct answer. Eliminating the wrong choices can be very helpful in finding it, but you should have an idea of what the correct answer will look like right after you read the stimulus. If you are going into the answers without a strong idea of what the correct answer choice will look like, then you aren't ready for the test. You should delay and take it at a later date when you are more prepared.

ETA:
TripTrip wrote:The point I am trying to make is that you may be looking at the LSAT wrong. The LSAT isn't something you study for. The PowerScore Bibles are not meant to increase your "LSAT knowledge," as if that's what you'll be tested on. The books are just designed to familiarize you with the questions and how to answer them. The only thing the LSAT tests is your reasoning abilities; that's it. The only course I have ever taken that I used in the LSAT was Propositional Logic, which allowed me to pick apart the arguments much easier.


This is also objectively terrible advice. The LSAT most definitely is something you study for. Everything on the test is learnable and you should do your best to learn it. Whie Trip Trip may have magical 'reasoning abilities' that allowed him to get a good score with little prep, you are probably like the rest of us and require proper preparation to get the score you want.

Don't let someone tell you that this is something you can't do. All you need to do is put in the time and study in an effective and proper manner. No one is limited by innate abilities on this test.

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cahwc12
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Re: Advice Needed From High-Scorers: Am I Missing Something?

Postby cahwc12 » Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:05 pm

deputydog wrote:This is also objectively terrible advice. The LSAT most definitely is something you study for. Everything on the test is learnable and you should do your best to learn it. Whie Trip Trip may have magical 'reasoning abilities' that allowed him to get a good score with little prep, you are probably like the rest of us and require proper preparation to get the score you want.

Don't let someone tell you that this is something you can't do. All you need to do is put in the time and study in an effective and proper manner. No one is limited by innate abilities on this test.


TripTrip wrote:This is difficult. You also mentioned that you withdrew from a Logic course. Logic is hard. That course is like nothing I ever took before or have taken since. It was very abstract, and requires students to reduce common statements into a series of symbols. The idea of "logic" doesn't sound very difficult, but until you get into existential and universal quantification, you haven't really wrapped your mind all the way around what propositional logic is. Really diving in for a semester and going beyond (I tutored the course afterward) is what I'm talking about.

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052220151
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Re: Advice Needed From High-Scorers: Am I Missing Something?

Postby 052220151 » Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:13 pm

cahwc12 wrote:
deputydog wrote:This is also objectively terrible advice. The LSAT most definitely is something you study for. Everything on the test is learnable and you should do your best to learn it. Whie Trip Trip may have magical 'reasoning abilities' that allowed him to get a good score with little prep, you are probably like the rest of us and require proper preparation to get the score you want.

Don't let someone tell you that this is something you can't do. All you need to do is put in the time and study in an effective and proper manner. No one is limited by innate abilities on this test.


TripTrip wrote:This is difficult. You also mentioned that you withdrew from a Logic course. Logic is hard. That course is like nothing I ever took before or have taken since. It was very abstract, and requires students to reduce common statements into a series of symbols. The idea of "logic" doesn't sound very difficult, but until you get into existential and universal quantification, you haven't really wrapped your mind all the way around what propositional logic is. Really diving in for a semester and going beyond (I tutored the course afterward) is what I'm talking about.



My bad, I quit giving a shit after the reading his response and didn't read any subsequent responses. Still I'm not changing my advice to OP.

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TripTrip
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Re: Advice Needed From High-Scorers: Am I Missing Something?

Postby TripTrip » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:02 pm

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cahwc12
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Re: Advice Needed From High-Scorers: Am I Missing Something?

Postby cahwc12 » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:04 pm

TripTrip wrote:
cahwc12 wrote:Please show me a question on an official LSAT that has ever had two correct answers.

From the instructions to the LR section: "more than one of the answers could conceivably be correct." I didn't come up with the idea though; it's mentioned in most LSAT books. They reference the fact that you are looking for the best answer. Sometimes more than one answer will look right. On occasion if the correct answer were removed, a different answer would then be the best choice.


You do understand why they write that, yes?

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TripTrip
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Re: Advice Needed From High-Scorers: Am I Missing Something?

Postby TripTrip » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:10 pm

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Tuco Salamanca
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Re: Advice Needed From High-Scorers: Am I Missing Something?

Postby Tuco Salamanca » Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:32 pm

deputydog wrote:
cahwc12 wrote:
TripTrip wrote:The easiest way to be sucked into a low score is to be distracted by a wrong answer. Most of the LSAT questions should be looked at backwards: don't try to find the correct answer, because often there is more than one correct answer. Instead, focus on eliminating all the incorrect answers.



Please show me a question on an official LSAT that has ever had two correct answers.

Thanks!


This.

That is some terrible advice. Right when I read this my BS detector went off. There has never been/will be a question with more than one correct answer.

Also, you should be trying to find the correct answer. Eliminating the wrong choices can be very helpful in finding it, but you should have an idea of what the correct answer will look like right after you read the stimulus. If you are going into the answers without a strong idea of what the correct answer choice will look like, then you aren't ready for the test. You should delay and take it at a later date when you are more prepared.

ETA:
TripTrip wrote:The point I am trying to make is that you may be looking at the LSAT wrong. The LSAT isn't something you study for. The PowerScore Bibles are not meant to increase your "LSAT knowledge," as if that's what you'll be tested on. The books are just designed to familiarize you with the questions and how to answer them. The only thing the LSAT tests is your reasoning abilities; that's it. The only course I have ever taken that I used in the LSAT was Propositional Logic, which allowed me to pick apart the arguments much easier.


This is also objectively terrible advice. The LSAT most definitely is something you study for. Everything on the test is learnable and you should do your best to learn it. Whie Trip Trip may have magical 'reasoning abilities' that allowed him to get a good score with little prep, you are probably like the rest of us and require proper preparation to get the score you want.


Don't let someone tell you that this is something you can't do. All you need to do is put in the time and study in an effective and proper manner. No one is limited by innate abilities on this test.


The test is most definitely learnable, but chances are the OP is interpreting this statement wrong. There are patterns of reasoning on the test that you come to recognize; similar logic game types, certain assumptions made in questions and answers, etc. It isn't "learnable" in the sense that you memorize definitions and then do well because of that memorization, a pattern on learning that has probably accounted for most of your success thus far in schooling OP. Your rigid mindset that requires 100% certainty will not do well with this test, and it's good that you recognize that.

My advice to you would be to cancel this test, or to view it as more of a learning experience. You're not going to score high enough to justify taking on the debt that going to law school will entail. Get a job for a year and study for the test. You can score 165+, 170+, but it's going to take a LOT of work. Good thing you seem comfortable with that.

Don't settle for a mediocre score that'll leave you at a 2nd or 3rd tier school with too much debt. Look on the bright side: you already have greatly boosted your score. You just have more work to do.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: Advice Needed From High-Scorers: Am I Missing Something?

Postby somewhatwayward » Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:48 pm

I don't have as much time to write as I would like, but I will give two pointers. First, after you are done with a practice test or even just a practice section, go through all the questions you got wrong and for each of the wrong answer choices, but especially the one you picked, write (write, not just think) down the reason it is wrong and for the correct answer write down why it was right. If you have extra time, you can also go through the questions you did get right, and write down why all the other answers are wrong. The reason you do this is it makes you realize the ways the LSAT tries to trick you by drawing you into the wrong answers and it also helps you see if there are patterns to why you are screwing up.

My other suggestion, which I believe someone else already mentioned but is worth reiterating...go about looking for the correct answer by eliminating wrong answers rather than by searching for the correct one. The last one left standing is "correct" even if it isn't the perfect most ideal answer. People who are naturally good at multiple choice tests and standardized exams often understand this intuitively. This is not a sure fire solution; of course there are many times you will be left with more than one and you can't eliminate further. Even if that happens, though, the good things about this strategy is that it prevents you from falling into the trap for the unwary of picking a seductively right answer without really thinking it through.

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Re: Advice Needed From High-Scorers: Am I Missing Something?

Postby mezzcudi » Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:16 am

Deputydog and TripTrip: Both of your points are valid and equally helpful. For the record though, your advice has not dissuaded me whatsoever and I firmly believe it was the correct advice for my situation, as proven today. I will post some logical reasoning problems tomorrow as well as elaborate on some points/questions that have emerged in the past 24 hours that I feel are especially valuable to this discussion (and my LSAT efforts).

For now, I will drop some statistics and anyone that can make anything of them is more than welcome (if not, it's all good but the idea was requested). Those of you currently reading/tracking this discussion that are in a situation similar to my own will be delighted to know that I have made quite DRASTIC improvements in the last day. I know drastic LSAT improvements don't happen over night (basically ever) but I have clearly and definitely improved in fundamental ways in the past 24 hours. It isn't so hard to believe in actuality but it is the result of what I have been reading on this discussion. I duly considered all the comments before studying today and determined that the major thing I had to do was to place more trust in my intuition. In addition, I placed a heavy emphasis on what elements were necessary in correct and incorrect answer using the Powerscore approach.

I began the morning by reviewing Powerscore's information about correct and incorrect answers in all question types and completing a few timed RC and LG sets for about two and a half hours. After that, I completed the June 2004 PrepTest alongside Powerscore's Deconstructed analysis (complete question, read analysis, repeat), which took about three and half hours. Following that, I completed the October 2004 PrepTest timed and with no breaks in-between. Two and half hours later, I reviewed the test for about an hour and a half and called it a day.

As I mentioned in my initial post yesterday, two days ago I scored a 154 (roughly 65%) on the December 2004 PrepTest. Today on the October 2004 PrepTest, I scored a 157 (approx. 71%) and it was by far the best I have felt taking an LSAT in my life to this point. I even felt like I should have scored higher (and I was justified in thinking so, as I will explain. The most substantial improvements came in-between the lines:

Logical Reasoning
This is my primary concern yet and still but vast improvements have been made.

First LG section two days ago: 59%
First LG section today: 71%
Second LG section two days ago: 70%
Second LG section today: 61%

BUT, two days ago, I ELIMINATED the correct answer roughly 37% and 22% of the time, respectively.
Today, I eliminated the correct answer 5% and 20% of the time, respectively.

To generate these statistics, I simply always negate three choices when taking a PrepTest. That way I can track if I am X'ing the answer that is actually correct.

Two days ago, I narrowed the selection down to two choices but selected the wrong answer 0% and 4% of the time, respectively (not very good).
Today, I narrowed the selection down to two choices but selected the incorrect answer 18% and 4% of the time, respectively.

The main question types I am struggling with are Must Be True (not sure how, missing EIGHT MBT questions in the past two tests and Method of Reasoning, which I incorrectly answered six times in two tests. I'm not so great at Weaken of Flaw in Reasoning either. Finally, I missed EIGHT (yes, eight) questions involving CE or cause-effect reasoning and five involving Author's Perspective.

Reading Comprehension
Two days ago: 59% (eliminated the correct answer on 34% of the problems)
Today: 73% (eliminated the correct answer on only one problem)

Once again, I was setback by Must Be True questions, missing five between the two tests on RC. Again (once again), I missed six questions involving Author's Perspective.

Logic Games
Going incredibly well, actually (for me at least). It was like something just clicked today. I completed eight games today scoring 5/6, 6/7, 4/5, 3/5 and 6/6, 6/6, 2/5, 4/5. I was able to complete each set with five minutes remaining on the clock, too.

I'll post some problems tomorrow so that hopefully some people out there (besides me) can benefit from the discussion at hand. Truly great ideas all the way around, extremely grateful for the posts and insight.

Best,

Mezzcudi

b33eazy
Posts: 146
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Re: Advice Needed From High-Scorers: Am I Missing Something?

Postby b33eazy » Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:58 am

TripTrip wrote:
cahwc12 wrote:Please show me a question on an official LSAT that has ever had two correct answers.

From the instructions to the LR section: "more than one of the answers could conceivably be correct." I didn't come up with the idea though; it's mentioned in most LSAT books. They reference the fact that you are looking for the best answer. Sometimes more than one answer will look right. On occasion if the correct answer were removed, a different answer would then be the best choice.

deputydog wrote:
cahwc12 wrote:This is also objectively terrible advice. The LSAT most definitely is something you study for. Everything on the test is learnable and you should do your best to learn it. Whie Trip Trip may have magical 'reasoning abilities' that allowed him to get a good score with little prep, you are probably like the rest of us and require proper preparation to get the score you want.

Don't let someone tell you that this is something you can't do. All you need to do is put in the time and study in an effective and proper manner. No one is limited by innate abilities on this test.

I appreciate your cynicism. I did not meant to imply that one cannot improve on the LSAT or should not study question methodologies or take prep tests. The reason I wrote that specifically for Mezzcudi is because it looks like he is treating the LSAT like a traditional exam and studying for content instead of for structure. Studying specifically for the LSAT should mean spending time learning how the questions work and how arguments and reasoning works.

I don't have any magical reasoning abilities, as mentioned, they were from studying logic. Which I recommended.

And Mezzcudi, of course you can improve your score. If anything I said dissuaded you from that, I most certainly apologize!


What do you mean exactly when you say "read for structure"? I have been having problems with that. I especially have been having that problem with any kind of science related problem for LR and RC.. I just don't know how to look past the science and read for structure. Are there any tips you could give me?

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2012Lsatscore
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Re: Advice Needed From High-Scorers: Am I Missing Something?

Postby 2012Lsatscore » Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:44 am

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Last edited by 2012Lsatscore on Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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TripTrip
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Re: Advice Needed From High-Scorers: Am I Missing Something?

Postby TripTrip » Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:50 am

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Last edited by TripTrip on Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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relevantfactor
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Re: Advice Needed From High-Scorers: Am I Missing Something?

Postby relevantfactor » Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:19 am

I haven't read all the posts since I don't have time for that. But from what I read from your initial post I can confidently give you some good advice.

yet let’s just say I might as well have a mailing address at the library.

1. LSAT is both a physical and mental test. If you spend all day in the library, it's very likely that you are not in great shape. I would suggest hitting the gym, or jogging, or even getting one of those dvd workouts. A good diet is necessary as well. But hey, don't take my word for it, do yourself a favor and use your google skills to see if there is any correlation between the two.

but have since recovered by purchasing, reading, and outlining Powerscore’s logical reasoning, logic games, and reading comprehension bibles in addition to a few of their "LSATs deconstructed" (they’re great).

2. While Powerscore is a very good resource, it's not the only resource that is good out there. In fact, I tend to believe that the right approach is your own, after having sufficient knowledge of the material at hand, and attempting different approaches to the same problem. Finding the most efficient way to solve the questions is your goal. These are some of the better resources out there: Manhattan LSAT(Both class and self-study), Testmasters, Velocity, and obviously Powerscore(which should have a very similar method compared to Testmasters), and BP(which I heard that is also similar to both PS and TM). You obviously went through PS and thought it was great, time to hit a different set and keep a clear mind of what may be a more efficient method for some of the questions. Also following a TLS study guide is highly recommended.

I could go over some of the reasons as to why you haven't improved so much yet, but there is no reason to talk about spilled milk.

b33eazy
Posts: 146
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:43 pm

Re: Advice Needed From High-Scorers: Am I Missing Something?

Postby b33eazy » Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:38 pm

TripTrip wrote:
b33eazy wrote:What do you mean exactly when you say "read for structure"? I have been having problems with that. I especially have been having that problem with any kind of science related problem for LR and RC.. I just don't know how to look past the science and read for structure. Are there any tips you could give me?

The best explanation I have seen of this specific to the LSAT is in the PowerScore bible.

I don't want to oversimplify it, because it takes practice. The first step is recognizing the role of particular words ("because," "thus," "therefore," etc.), and the second step is being able to insert them mentally into arguments that don't have them. Those of us who have taken propositional logic will reduce the argument to its logical form, and that often makes the more difficult LR questions relatively easy.


Ok, I can easily find conclusions in arguments because it is essentially just the opinion of the argument. So, basically, I should just find the conclusion and premises and just link them together like that?

For example: The ampotoed, the scientific term for scatotisous, is in the aquarium of natural wonders, most ampotoed live in Jersey, so ampotoed must live in Jersey.

Something like that? Or could you give me a better example of figuring the argument structure for a difficult LR question.




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