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Gunnar Stahl
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Postby Gunnar Stahl » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:05 pm

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PDaddy
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Re: Initial Diagnostic?

Postby PDaddy » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:29 pm

Ghost93 wrote:I'm a college freshman, and I just took a practice LSAT online through Kaplan. I got a 149, with 26% correct on the logic games, 62% correct on logical reasoning, and 70% correct on reading comprehension. I know I'm several years away from the real test, but I feel incredibly stupid getting that low of a score.

Thanks in advance.


A diagnostic score is really not predictive of how you will wind up; it's just a statement of where you are right now. And 149, though not a competitive score for the top law schools, is still about 50th percentile. That's a good start. Lots of people have started at 149 (or even below) and gotten 170+.

Think of yourself as a weightlifter who has really done very little of it in the past. You need to build up to the point where you are lifting the big weights, but the time it takes to get there depends on a lot of things: your "foundation" or "experience", your muscle memory, your other activities and how you manage your time, your diet and overall health, the training and advice you get from "coaches" (and whether you follow it), your work ethic, your outside distractions, your confidence, and your ability to manage stress.

An even better analogy is the student who is learning a foreign language. Factors that might contribute to your learning curve would include your travel experience, what high schools and colleges you attended, what courses you have had, etc., in addition to the factors I listed above.

The LSAT is the exact same way. Your experiences with formal and informal logic, mathematics, English, and even the hard sciences can impact your learning curve, but it looks like you are capable of getting at least a 165 with a decent work ethic, and quite possibly a 170+.

If you were in the 130's I would say you have some serious, serious work cut out for you. If you were in the 120's, I would tell you to go do something else.

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bettercallsaul91
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Re: Initial Diagnostic?

Postby bettercallsaul91 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:32 pm

I went from a 146 to a 167. And I feel more confident on the Oct '12 LSAT today than any of my PTs.

I took TestMasters, didn't do all the practice Qs and tests, but worked really hard to wrap my head around 'flawed methods of reasoning' and LSAT vocab. My TM classmates who spent more time on Qs and tests and didn't make use of online resources didn't improve as much/to as high of a score. But, predictably, people who did both went up high into the 170s. I took one full month off, not doing anything else, to study for the LSAT. I never took a PT at 8am until the real deal today, and it was just fine. I took the advice of just getting plenty of sleep the week leading up the LSAT day than struggling to adjust my wake at 12:30, sleep at 2:30am schedule to waking up at 5am, sleeping at 9pm ... just a nocturnal creature with a nocturnal roommate.

All of my friends who took Kaplan saw little to no increase in score. Don't know what the deal is, but my friends have told me it was a waste of time and money.

I bought another random LSAT practice book (will edit post to say exactly which), but after taking TM classes and using TM books, I thought that book was useless because it didn't use real LSAT questions.

Don't practice with anything other than real LSAT questions/tests. Whether you buy old released practice tests from LSAC or enroll in Testmasters or any other prep course ... just make sure you are using real LSAT questions.

And more than anything, wrap your head around the logic and get exactly what the LSAT is asking by figuring out their vocab.

Remember that the LSAT is a very learnable test.

My friend told me he improved his score by 20 points through TestMasters. I believed him and improved 21. Found out later that actually, not everyone improves by 20 points ... let alone into the higher 160s. But it's doable! I also didn't even go to all the TM classes ... taking the online course without the lectures may be good enough ... I know that my instructor was really great, but the other one in my city wasn't as helpful ...

Good luck! Don't let that initial diag get you down! People make strides! You can get far with the right kind of practice, I'm sure.

M.M.
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Re: Initial Diagnostic?

Postby M.M. » Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:53 pm

Dude, don't worry at all. You can easily gain 10 points on logic games once you find out how to actually do them, and you can gain on LR and RC as well.

What makes me envy you is that you've found this site so early. Like another poster mentioned, if you do many of the things integral to success (math and philosophy are usually good for indirect prepping for the LSAT), you will have a considerable advantage. I wish I had known what I was doing when i was in your position, because you have a long time to prepare.

Take it easy and don't stress. If possible, take courses that'll help you on the LSAT (you'll find out which ones will by posting on here) and when the time comes, use the knowledge you've gained from here to study hard and smart. With a 149 starting score I feel like you could get 170+ relatively easy, if you use your significant time advantage wisely.

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gaud
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Re: Initial Diagnostic?

Postby gaud » Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:55 pm

Do not go through Kaplan! Please. You will almost certainly regret it.

I went from a 148 diagnostic to 170 on the real thing (third try).

bananashotgun
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Re: Initial Diagnostic?

Postby bananashotgun » Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:30 pm

i got a 149 after about a week of light study and i'm very firmly in the mid-160s after maybe 2 months of real studying.

plus you're still pretty much a baby and have a good 3-4 years to study. as a college freshman at this point you should 100% be worrying about your GPA because it's a lot harder to fix that then improve your lsat score

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Gunnar Stahl
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Postby Gunnar Stahl » Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:05 pm

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Gunnar Stahl
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Postby Gunnar Stahl » Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:14 pm

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gaud
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Re: Initial Diagnostic?

Postby gaud » Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:41 pm

Ghost93 wrote:
gaud wrote:Do not go through Kaplan! Please. You will almost certainly regret it.

I went from a 148 diagnostic to 170 on the real thing (third try).


Yeah, I've heard Kaplan is really bad, I just saw a flyer at my school about how they offer free practice tests using old LSAT's and I didn't have anything else to do today so I thought I'd try it out.


Nothing wrong with that. Can't beat free. Just take that advice moving forward. Please.

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Gunnar Stahl
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Re: Initial Diagnostic?

Postby Gunnar Stahl » Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:55 pm

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Gunnar Stahl
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Postby Gunnar Stahl » Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:33 am

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abcde12345
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Re: Initial Diagnostic?

Postby abcde12345 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:39 am

Ghost93 wrote:Is there anything that I should be doing now to prepare, or just focus on getting good grades?


You shouldn't be focused on the LSAT right now. You need to worry about getting as high as possible of a GPA. You won't be taking the LSAT until junior or senior year. If you start studying now, you'll just distract yourself from school. And studying now won't help very much, because you won't be studying consistently. In order to get good at the LSAT, you need to put in many hours a day for 6 or 7 days a week. You might think you can do that, but you'll lose focus quickly because the test is so far away. The most you can hope to do is gain familiarity with the test between now and junior year. I'd recommend this. But it's foolish to start seriously studying now.




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