What should I do to push beyond the threshold (156-158)?

shubster
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:57 am

What should I do to push beyond the threshold (156-158)?

Postby shubster » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:12 pm

Hello Fellow LSAT taker!

I am stuck and need your help. I am preparing for Dec 2012 LSAT and aiming for T20 schools. My score is averaging between 156-158 with -2 on LG, -9 on RC, and -19 (-8/-9) on LR. I joined testmasters with the plan to take Oct LSAT but decided against giving the Oct exam as I didn't want to ruin my chances by getting a low score (I presume T20 -> 165+?). I know I have come a long way from my initial diagnostic, which was 140. But, still it is not good enough for the schools I would like to go to. I have given numerous LSATs and analyzed them like crazy. I guess that is why I have improved by 15+ points. Additionally, in an effort to rule out the time factor, I have also given myself 45 mins to complete LR sections but I still keep missing atleast -8/-9. I am feeling disheartened lately as I just don't know how to push beyond the 160 mark. I just CAN NOT figure out why I am doing so poorly on LR. I usually miss the assumption, weaken and formal logic questions. Most of the times I am stuck on 2 choices and end up choosing the wrong one.

I am really dedicated and am ready to work as hard as required to achieve 165+.

Has anyone been in a similar situation? I would appreciate any advice that you guys might think would be helpful.

Thank you!
PS: I started my prep in June, took testmasters (which was really helpful) and completed the HWs religiously. I have a full time job (40+ hours/week) but took past 3 weeks off to study for LSAT. I will be going back to work next week but can dedicate 3+hrs, if needed. I just want to make this happen!

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RCinDNA
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:55 pm

Re: What should I do to push beyond the threshold (156-158)?

Postby RCinDNA » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:29 am

Wow, congratulations on your improvement! I see that you definitely ruled out whether time was affecting the score. Given your results, it seems to me that you need to perfect or improve your approach to studying for those 3 question types. There are two types of assumption questions (sufficient & necessary) with at least 2 ways to attack each and weaken questions are more common than other types, as well - that would explain why you have so many LR incorrect...these questions are simply more frequent than more uncommon types, so your issue reflects the basic fact that these questions/concepts are tested more frequently than types like 'role in the argument'. I classify formal and conditional logic in different categories because they generally help you solve or understand various question types or argument structures (especially conditional logic and sufficient assumption questions) while identifying the conclusion and it's role in the argument can help you solve weaken questions. Just so you feel a little more comfort, assumption questions, per PowerScore, are considered among the most difficult question types to master.

Technically, if you are able to consistently answer at least the easy and medium difficulty questions of each of those types, you should be able to push into the mid 160s.

What I suggest is drilling the PowerScore and/or Manhattan Bibles' approach to those questions. I think that your issue may simply be that you require more familiarity to internalize some of the strategies. When you look at a stimulus, certain skills should be so second nature that you no longer need to think about them (that much - you should always be thinking on the LSAT :P ). Seeing sufficient and necessary conditions clearly laid out is one thing, but knowing how to break down a statement to its fundamental logical underpinning is another. Once you are more familiar with the approaches, work on improving your accuracy and your time should fall as a result. The Cambridge Bibles helped me with this; they sell books that basically collect all of the LR, RC and LG problems from tests 1-20, 21-40. Then they are categorized by type and separated in order of difficulty, so in their LR compendium, you can flip to the section on Weaken questions, start practicing on the Easy/Level 1 questions and work through the Very Hard/Level 3+ questions. I found these very helpful.

drive4showLSAT4dough
Posts: 304
Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 10:19 am

Re: What should I do to push beyond the threshold (156-158)?

Postby drive4showLSAT4dough » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:36 am

shubster wrote:Hello Fellow LSAT taker!

I am stuck and need your help. I am preparing for Dec 2012 LSAT and aiming for T20 schools. My score is averaging between 156-158 with -2 on LG, -9 on RC, and -19 (-8/-9) on LR. I joined testmasters with the plan to take Oct LSAT but decided against giving the Oct exam as I didn't want to ruin my chances by getting a low score (I presume T20 -> 165+?). I know I have come a long way from my initial diagnostic, which was 140. But, still it is not good enough for the schools I would like to go to. I have given numerous LSATs and analyzed them like crazy. I guess that is why I have improved by 15+ points. Additionally, in an effort to rule out the time factor, I have also given myself 45 mins to complete LR sections but I still keep missing atleast -8/-9. I am feeling disheartened lately as I just don't know how to push beyond the 160 mark. I just CAN NOT figure out why I am doing so poorly on LR. I usually miss the assumption, weaken and formal logic questions. Most of the times I am stuck on 2 choices and end up choosing the wrong one.

I am really dedicated and am ready to work as hard as required to achieve 165+.

Has anyone been in a similar situation? I would appreciate any advice that you guys might think would be helpful.

Thank you!
PS: I started my prep in June, took testmasters (which was really helpful) and completed the HWs religiously. I have a full time job (40+ hours/week) but took past 3 weeks off to study for LSAT. I will be going back to work next week but can dedicate 3+hrs, if needed. I just want to make this happen!


You can improve on your mastery of each LR question type. Here's how to do that:

1. Buy and read LRB
2. Buy and complete Cambridge LR Questions by Type

The additional effect of working on your mastery of each LR question type, is that you will inevitably get faster in answering the questions because (a) familiarity with common flaws and (b) a routinized, methodical approach to each question type.

Good luck!

crate2012
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:12 am

Re: What should I do to push beyond the threshold (156-158)?

Postby crate2012 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:25 am

I am reading MLSAT LR book. It is much better than LRB. Focus on your own weakness and practice.

shubster
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:57 am

Re: What should I do to push beyond the threshold (156-158)?

Postby shubster » Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:25 pm

RCinDNA wrote:Wow, congratulations on your improvement! I see that you definitely ruled out whether time was affecting the score. Given your results, it seems to me that you need to perfect or improve your approach to studying for those 3 question types. There are two types of assumption questions (sufficient & necessary) with at least 2 ways to attack each and weaken questions are more common than other types, as well - that would explain why you have so many LR incorrect...these questions are simply more frequent than more uncommon types, so your issue reflects the basic fact that these questions/concepts are tested more frequently than types like 'role in the argument'. I classify formal and conditional logic in different categories because they generally help you solve or understand various question types or argument structures (especially conditional logic and sufficient assumption questions) while identifying the conclusion and it's role in the argument can help you solve weaken questions. Just so you feel a little more comfort, assumption questions, per PowerScore, are considered among the most difficult question types to master.

Technically, if you are able to consistently answer at least the easy and medium difficulty questions of each of those types, you should be able to push into the mid 160s.

What I suggest is drilling the PowerScore and/or Manhattan Bibles' approach to those questions. I think that your issue may simply be that you require more familiarity to internalize some of the strategies. When you look at a stimulus, certain skills should be so second nature that you no longer need to think about them (that much - you should always be thinking on the LSAT :P ). Seeing sufficient and necessary conditions clearly laid out is one thing, but knowing how to break down a statement to its fundamental logical underpinning is another. Once you are more familiar with the approaches, work on improving your accuracy and your time should fall as a result. The Cambridge Bibles helped me with this; they sell books that basically collect all of the LR, RC and LG problems from tests 1-20, 21-40. Then they are categorized by type and separated in order of difficulty, so in their LR compendium, you can flip to the section on Weaken questions, start practicing on the Easy/Level 1 questions and work through the Very Hard/Level 3+ questions. I found these very helpful.


Thank you and awesome suggestions! :) Prior taking to testmasters, I did go over the LRB. But, as you suggested, I guess it is essential that I go back to it and re-read the concept related to assumption questions. BTW, great insight on type of assumption questions - suff & ness - i didn't catch that. I usually don't distinguish based on the type (i didn't even realize it existed!). I usually look for answer choices that contain the "new element" introduced only in the conclusion.

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boblawlob
Posts: 524
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:29 pm

Re: What should I do to push beyond the threshold (156-158)?

Postby boblawlob » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:57 pm

drive4showLSAT4dough wrote:
shubster wrote:Hello Fellow LSAT taker!

I am stuck and need your help. I am preparing for Dec 2012 LSAT and aiming for T20 schools. My score is averaging between 156-158 with -2 on LG, -9 on RC, and -19 (-8/-9) on LR. I joined testmasters with the plan to take Oct LSAT but decided against giving the Oct exam as I didn't want to ruin my chances by getting a low score (I presume T20 -> 165+?). I know I have come a long way from my initial diagnostic, which was 140. But, still it is not good enough for the schools I would like to go to. I have given numerous LSATs and analyzed them like crazy. I guess that is why I have improved by 15+ points. Additionally, in an effort to rule out the time factor, I have also given myself 45 mins to complete LR sections but I still keep missing atleast -8/-9. I am feeling disheartened lately as I just don't know how to push beyond the 160 mark. I just CAN NOT figure out why I am doing so poorly on LR. I usually miss the assumption, weaken and formal logic questions. Most of the times I am stuck on 2 choices and end up choosing the wrong one.

I am really dedicated and am ready to work as hard as required to achieve 165+.

Has anyone been in a similar situation? I would appreciate any advice that you guys might think would be helpful.

Thank you!
PS: I started my prep in June, took testmasters (which was really helpful) and completed the HWs religiously. I have a full time job (40+ hours/week) but took past 3 weeks off to study for LSAT. I will be going back to work next week but can dedicate 3+hrs, if needed. I just want to make this happen!


You can improve on your mastery of each LR question type. Here's how to do that:

1. Buy and read LRB
2. Buy and complete Cambridge LR Questions by Type

The additional effect of working on your mastery of each LR question type, is that you will inevitably get faster in answering the questions because (a) familiarity with common flaws and (b) a routinized, methodical approach to each question type.

Good luck!


This.

I also can't tell you how taking multiple PTs gets you adjusted to the same tricks and trends amongst each question type. By multiple, I mean at least more than 10.

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Br3v
Posts: 4174
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: What should I do to push beyond the threshold (156-158)?

Postby Br3v » Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:11 pm

keep up the positve attituted I cant stress how important that is combined with concentration on the test.

I would for sure by the Powerscore bibles, (there are 3, 1 for each section of the test) learn that method, and then just start taking practice tests. You are missing a lot on Logic games which surprisingly is GOOD news! It is the easiest to improve on so just think, if you can get to -1/-0 on LG, thats an 8 to 9 point jump already!

For LR, keep practicing and you will begin to see a type of pattern. For me the big breakthrough was noticing questions that allowed for "big" words or examples, and those that wanted "small" or severly limited words/examples.

Example:
big: The answer will be right if we assume John is an alien
small: We can assume John speaks english

THose are vague, but maybe you will come to know what I mean

RC: All the answers are on that paper, read carefully and good luck!

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RCinDNA
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:55 pm

Re: What should I do to push beyond the threshold (156-158)?

Postby RCinDNA » Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:56 pm

shubster wrote:Thank you and awesome suggestions! :) Prior taking to testmasters, I did go over the LRB. But, as you suggested, I guess it is essential that I go back to it and re-read the concept related to assumption questions. BTW, great insight on type of assumption questions - suff & ness - i didn't catch that. I usually don't distinguish based on the type (i didn't even realize it existed!). I usually look for answer choices that contain the "new element" introduced only in the conclusion.


It's just a terminology thing but I did find that knowing the terms other companies used helped me to understand both types better. I think PowerScore uses the terms 'Justify the Reasoning' to refer to 'Sufficient Assumption' questions and 'Assumption' to refer to 'Necessary Assumption' questions.

shubster
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:57 am

Re: What should I do to push beyond the threshold (156-158)?

Postby shubster » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:43 pm

Br3v wrote:For LR, keep practicing and you will begin to see a type of pattern. For me the big breakthrough was noticing questions that allowed for "big" words or examples, and those that wanted "small" or severly limited words/examples.

Example:
big: The answer will be right if we assume John is an alien
small: We can assume John speaks english

THose are vague, but maybe you will come to know what I mean


Not sure I understand what you mean by big/small words. Can you explain further?




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