Took a practice test cold and scored a 175. Now what?

609d
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Took a practice test cold and scored a 175. Now what?

Postby 609d » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:32 pm

First of all, just to head off some of the replies, I'm not a troll, and not trying to brag or stroke my ego. I'd like to hope that I realize how little the LSAT matters in the grand scheme of things.


That said, I took a timed, practice LSAT a few days ago without any sort of preparation and scored a 175. Obviously, I'm pretty fortunate, and this is a very 1% "problem" to have, but I'm now not sure what the best way to prep is (with the goal of taking the test in December, then applying in the 2013 cycle for 2014 start). In particular:

--Are there any books or other materials that focus on getting up the last part of the curve from a score in the lower 170s to one in the upper 170s? HYS would be the goal, but with a GPA that's only decent, I feel like I'd need that big LSAT score in order to get in.

--Is there a risk that if I prep using the "standard" books that I'll re-learn how to do problems in a way that might hurt me in the long-term? I don't want to get into a place where I'm overthinking problems and hurting myself in terms of timing, but I don't know enough about the LSAT to know if this is a real issue.

More broadly, if anyone here has had a similar experience, I'd be interested to know what you did and how things ultimately turned out. I've lurked a little bit on TLS, but as the post count indicates, I'm definitely still a neophyte here. Thanks!

JDeezy
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Re: Took a practice test cold and scored a 175. Now what?

Postby JDeezy » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:45 pm

I didn't get a 175 without any prep but I scored 175-178 on a couple of my first four or five tests (after only prepping logic games.)

I'll say that while the 175 is certainly indicative of your potential and that your target should be very high, it doesn't mean you won't ever get a 167. From here to December take a lot of tests and work on consistency. Test day will be different than the library so you want to feel very comfortable with time and confident overall. Doing a ton of problems also helps you get into the mode where a weird question won't trip you up to the point of ruining your entire section.

I took 25ish tests, I averaged similarly all the way through, but my range was much narrower at the end, which is a good feeling to have.

Cambridge's Difficult LR questions packet might be a good buy.

EDIT: I chose not to worry too much about identifying the different types of LR questions (strengthen, justify, etc) because I was getting -0 to -2s and it seemed that whenever I got one wrong, it wasn't because I was mis-identifying. In short, worry less about fundamentals, more about repetition and consistency.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Took a practice test cold and scored a 175. Now what?

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:55 pm

1) Make sure you're consistently getting -0 on the logic games sections.
2) Practice for endurance. Do a lot of full, timed practice tests.

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DSman
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Re: Took a practice test cold and scored a 175. Now what?

Postby DSman » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:13 pm

Take more tests. Make sure you can actually get this high of a score consistently. Then I would carefully review every single question you get wrong and see why you made the mistake.

Also, as the poster above said, make sure none of your wrong answers are in LG. Someone like you should be able to easily get a -0 on that everytime.

Ioannis
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Re: Took a practice test cold and scored a 175. Now what?

Postby Ioannis » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:18 pm

How can someone take the LSAT cold and score so high? What major were you? It seems like most of LSAT concepts are learned, no?

RickyDnwhyc
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Re: Took a practice test cold and scored a 175. Now what?

Postby RickyDnwhyc » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:22 pm

^ I'm guessing he majored in "LSAT Studies" with a minor in Logical Games. He just doesn't wanna say.

aroquentin
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Re: Took a practice test cold and scored a 175. Now what?

Postby aroquentin » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:29 pm

609d wrote:[1]--Are there any books or other materials that focus on getting up the last part of the curve from a score in the lower 170s to one in the upper 170s? HYS would be the goal, but with a GPA that's only decent, I feel like I'd need that big LSAT score in order to get in.

[2]--Is there a risk that if I prep using the "standard" books that I'll re-learn how to do problems in a way that might hurt me in the long-term? I don't want to get into a place where I'm overthinking problems and hurting myself in terms of timing, but I don't know enough about the LSAT to know if this is a real issue.

Is there any advantage to taking in December rather than later? I'm also applying next cycle, but I graduate in December and am going to study until the June test before starting some WE. I'm a potential super splitter, so I want to get deep in the 99th on my first try. If I epically fail like my freshman GPA, then there's still October LSAT.

1) There are more variables at play than what books can cover. Your practice test could have been a fluke and you shit your pants at the actual test. You won't learn how to fix that even in a prep course. The last part of the curve is being comfortable with your watch, not being distracted by other assholes testing around you, being familiar with using the bubble sheet on a tiny desk, being a champion, etc.

2) The best books carry that risk. The "standard" books for mere mortals tell you how to compensate for lack of preparation and might contain typos. The PowerScore bibles are the best for logic games and logical reasoning, but these might be risky depending on the type of symbolic logic you know. For example, LGB uses an arrow for material implication and I learned with the horseshoe (⊃) operator. This is fine until I use their "to the left of" symbol (>), in that if P is to the left of Q, then R is to the left of S would be P>Q⊃R>S. These symbols are hard to distinguish when written quickly. If you use their arrow, you have a similar problem (> looks very similar to → when written). For clarity, I think I'm going to use their arrow for implication and an ellipsis for sequencing.

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gyarados
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Re: Took a practice test cold and scored a 175. Now what?

Postby gyarados » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:31 pm

Ioannis wrote:How can someone take the LSAT cold and score so high? What major were you? It seems like most of LSAT concepts are learned, no?

The concepts only need to be learned if you don't "get" them. Compared to some of the more logically challenging disciplines out there (math, engineering, economics), the LSAT is actually pretty easy.

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gyarados
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Re: Took a practice test cold and scored a 175. Now what?

Postby gyarados » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:40 pm

609d wrote:More broadly, if anyone here has had a similar experience, I'd be interested to know what you did and how things ultimately turned out. I've lurked a little bit on TLS, but as the post count indicates, I'm definitely still a neophyte here. Thanks!

Mine was pretty similar. I didn't try to learn any of the methods out there. I thought (like you) that they would just mess with my brain. I'm really happy with that decision.

What I did do is take 30 or so of the most representative past practice tests over the 3 month period before my exam (more recent is better -- save the most recent ones for closest to the test). I printed them all out (they're all available online but I can't say how here or I'll get in trouble) and saved them when I was done. After each test, I would take a 30 minute break and then redo all the problems I missed. Then about a week before the exam, I took scissors and cut out every problem I missed, put them in a pile, and sorted them out by type. From that, I got a good diagnostic of what I was struggling with and really tried to hammer those problems on the last few exams before the test.

The other big thing I advocate is taking a solid break before the exam. Your brain really does need the rest. It differs from person to person, but I took 3 days where I did nothing but review problems lightly without straining my brain.

That all worked really well for me. I had a panic attack on my exam and still ended up with -3 raw.

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elterrible78
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Re: Took a practice test cold and scored a 175. Now what?

Postby elterrible78 » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:44 pm

609d wrote:First of all, just to head off some of the replies, I'm not a troll, and not trying to brag or stroke my ego. I'd like to hope that I realize how little the LSAT matters in the grand scheme of things.


That said, I took a timed, practice LSAT a few days ago without any sort of preparation and scored a 175. Obviously, I'm pretty fortunate, and this is a very 1% "problem" to have, but I'm now not sure what the best way to prep is (with the goal of taking the test in December, then applying in the 2013 cycle for 2014 start). In particular:

--Are there any books or other materials that focus on getting up the last part of the curve from a score in the lower 170s to one in the upper 170s? HYS would be the goal, but with a GPA that's only decent, I feel like I'd need that big LSAT score in order to get in.

--Is there a risk that if I prep using the "standard" books that I'll re-learn how to do problems in a way that might hurt me in the long-term? I don't want to get into a place where I'm overthinking problems and hurting myself in terms of timing, but I don't know enough about the LSAT to know if this is a real issue.

More broadly, if anyone here has had a similar experience, I'd be interested to know what you did and how things ultimately turned out. I've lurked a little bit on TLS, but as the post count indicates, I'm definitely still a neophyte here. Thanks!


I got a 166 cold, but a 175 by my 3rd (after prepping Logic Games a bit).

I'll echo other folks' sentiments here...if you're already this good with the concepts (and it seems like you are), concentrating on PTing and figuring out what weak spots you have is the way to go.

Ioannis
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Re: Took a practice test cold and scored a 175. Now what?

Postby Ioannis » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:48 pm

gyarados wrote:
Ioannis wrote:How can someone take the LSAT cold and score so high? What major were you? It seems like most of LSAT concepts are learned, no?

The concepts only need to be learned if you don't "get" them. Compared to some of the more logically challenging disciplines out there (math, engineering, economics), the LSAT is actually pretty easy.


There's nothing in economics and math that I've find can leave someone finding LSATs easy to take cold. It'll help you grasp concepts faster, yea. But easy LSAT? I call bullshit.

I don't see how you could already know how to setup logic games effectively taking the LSAT cold. Or be so accurate with the logic reasoning.

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whatisthewhat
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Re: Took a practice test cold and scored a 175. Now what?

Postby whatisthewhat » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:52 pm

gyarados wrote:
609d wrote:More broadly, if anyone here has had a similar experience, I'd be interested to know what you did and how things ultimately turned out. I've lurked a little bit on TLS, but as the post count indicates, I'm definitely still a neophyte here. Thanks!

Mine was pretty similar. I didn't try to learn any of the methods out there. I thought (like you) that they would just mess with my brain. I'm really happy with that decision.

What I did do is take 30 or so of the most representative past practice tests over the 3 month period before my exam (more recent is better -- save the most recent ones for closest to the test). I printed them all out (they're all available online but I can't say how here or I'll get in trouble) and saved them when I was done. After each test, I would take a 30 minute break and then redo all the problems I missed. Then about a week before the exam, I took scissors and cut out every problem I missed, put them in a pile, and sorted them out by type. From that, I got a good diagnostic of what I was struggling with and really tried to hammer those problems on the last few exams before the test.

The other big thing I advocate is taking a solid break before the exam. Your brain really does need the rest. It differs from person to person, but I took 3 days where I did nothing but review problems lightly without straining my brain.

That all worked really well for me. I had a panic attack on my exam and still ended up with -3 raw.


I was in this boat too and did something similar. Bought pretty much all the tests that LSAC publishes and did a lot of them, saving the most recent tests for closest to the test. Something that helped me was carefully reviewing all the questions I wasn't sure of, including the ones I got right.

Took this October and still waiting for my score, but feel okay about it.

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chill
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Re: Took a practice test cold and scored a 175. Now what?

Postby chill » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:56 pm

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Last edited by chill on Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

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gyarados
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Re: Took a practice test cold and scored a 175. Now what?

Postby gyarados » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:57 pm

Ioannis wrote:
gyarados wrote:
Ioannis wrote:How can someone take the LSAT cold and score so high? What major were you? It seems like most of LSAT concepts are learned, no?

The concepts only need to be learned if you don't "get" them. Compared to some of the more logically challenging disciplines out there (math, engineering, economics), the LSAT is actually pretty easy.


There's nothing in economics and math that I've find can leave someone finding LSATs easy to take cold. It'll help you grasp concepts faster, yea. But easy LSAT? I call bullshit.

I don't see how you could already know how to setup logic games effectively taking the LSAT cold. Or be so accurate with the logic reasoning.

I didn't say they'll prepare you for the LSAT. I said they're harder. People who can actually do the hard stuff in those fields won't have a problem with the LSAT.

And your second point is what I mean by "getting" it. The people I'm talking about don't need to "know how to setup" logic games -- they can do them in their head.

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Borg
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Re: Took a practice test cold and scored a 175. Now what?

Postby Borg » Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:13 pm

I got a 171 on my first try, and never went below that. I studied regularly though, because I kept telling myself it was a fluke even though I knew it wasn't. Just keep taking tests like once a week for a month or two before the exam so that you stay fresh, and look over anything you get wrong to make sure you understand why it was wrong. Once you're comfortable with the fact that you can do it consistently, relax and take the real thing.

06162014123
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Postby 06162014123 » Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:13 pm

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Last edited by 06162014123 on Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

M.M.
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Re: Took a practice test cold and scored a 175. Now what?

Postby M.M. » Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:46 pm

This thread makes me want to kill myself. :evil:

609d
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Re: Took a practice test cold and scored a 175. Now what?

Postby 609d » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:23 pm

Thanks, much appreciated--it sounds like the basic idea is just to focus on practice tests, repetition and consistency. And also to make sure to simulate the real test environment as much as possible to try to minimize that element of randomness. That makes a lot of sense.


Also, for the people who asked, I was a psych major in college, graduated a few years ago and now work in management consulting. In terms of the LG stuff, I did used to do those nerdy logic puzzles in 1st grade, which may have helped. Beyond that, I just chalk it up to being lucky that my brain seems to naturally think in a way that the LSAT (and standardized tests generally) tests.

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abcde12345
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Re: Took a practice test cold and scored a 175. Now what?

Postby abcde12345 » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:34 pm

I'd recommend looking at a book just to get familiar with what every question is looking for. I don't know if you need this, but I say it because conceivably you might not recognize the distinction between necessary and sufficient assumption questions, and consequently simply knowing this difference would help you.

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gyarados
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Re: Took a practice test cold and scored a 175. Now what?

Postby gyarados » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:14 pm

abcde12345 wrote:I'd recommend looking at a book just to get familiar with what every question is looking for. I don't know if you need this, but I say it because conceivably you might not recognize the distinction between necessary and sufficient assumption questions, and consequently simply knowing this difference would help you.

The counterpoint to this is that if you understand the concepts but don't know which concept goes with which word, trying to learn the labels just confuses you.

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PDaddy
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Re: Took a practice test cold and scored a 175. Now what?

Postby PDaddy » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:04 pm

OP: Took a practice test cold and scored a 175. Now what?

You have some serious, serious work to do! Don't worry, I have seen people with diagnostics like yours raise their scores by 3-5 (or even 10) points. :roll: I know you're probably having doubts that you're even qualified for law school, but you just need to study diligently for six months. Lol.

Ioannis wrote:
There's nothing in economics and math that I've find can leave someone finding LSATs easy to take cold. It'll help you grasp concepts faster, yea. But easy LSAT? I call bullshit.

I don't see how you could already know how to setup logic games effectively taking the LSAT cold. Or be so accurate with the logic reasoning.


Some people just have freakish problem-solving ability. I know a woman who does logic games without setups. She does shit in her head.

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Re: Took a practice test cold and scored a 175. Now what?

Postby sinfiery » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:08 pm

gyarados wrote:And your second point is what I mean by "getting" it. The people I'm talking about don't need to "know how to setup" logic games -- they can do them in their head.

Everything was pretty believable until this part.


I highly doubt someone, whose never seen the logic games format(or know that it's on the test), able to do the questions in their head, in 35 minutes.

Sure, one can do the questions in their head. But cold, without any diagramming, and in 35 minutes? No way. It would require going over too many variables in your head that the time restraint would be too much to overcome.

That's the biggest bonus of diagramming. Time.


Considering OPs join date, I highly doubt this is a real cold test.

But none the less, he's in an excellent position.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Took a practice test cold and scored a 175. Now what?

Postby acrossthelake » Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:41 am

sinfiery wrote:Sure, one can do the questions in their head. But cold, without any diagramming, and in 35 minutes? No way. It would require going over too many variables in your head that the time restraint would be too much to overcome.

.


Eh I know a few people people who can do logic games in their head (I can't) and a few more people than that who also got 170+ cold. They're all good at math. If you're making the right logical deductions, there aren't actually very many variables to keep track of.

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gianna
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Re: Took a practice test cold and scored a 175. Now what?

Postby gianna » Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:47 am

acrossthelake wrote:
sinfiery wrote:Sure, one can do the questions in their head. But cold, without any diagramming, and in 35 minutes? No way. It would require going over too many variables in your head that the time restraint would be too much to overcome.

.


Eh I know a few people people who can do logic games in their head (I can't) and a few more people than that who also got 170+ cold. They're all good at math. If you're making the right logical deductions, there aren't actually very many variables to keep track of.


I typically diagram only the setup, and that's more of a safety measure if anything. Loved logic puzzles as a kid, so that probably helped. Also, I suck at math.

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sinfiery
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Re: Took a practice test cold and scored a 175. Now what?

Postby sinfiery » Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:50 am

acrossthelake wrote:
sinfiery wrote:Sure, one can do the questions in their head. But cold, without any diagramming, and in 35 minutes? No way. It would require going over too many variables in your head that the time restraint would be too much to overcome.

.


Eh I know a few people people who can do logic games in their head (I can't) and a few more people than that who also got 170+ cold. They're all good at math. If you're making the right logical deductions, there aren't actually very many variables to keep track of.

With practice, sure. Even in your head I can see it.


Do people really go -0 on LG, never having heard of what a logic game is, not knowing it exists on the section, finishing some 35 minute RC section then being thrown these LG scenarios they haven't seen in their entire life? Not knowing there are 4 different games beforehand?

The hardest part I don't believe is picking up the learning curve in 35 minutes and than acing the material.

I feel most of these people didn't take a truly 'cold' test but a mostly cold test.


Maybe I'm wrong, I just don't see it.

Each of these actions independently is whatever, but as a whole I become skeptical.


Edit: I can buy it if you practiced something similar as a kid or just out of passion that just so happened to be related to LG, I can buy it. But being "good at math" doesn't fit such a pre-requisite.




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