Fourth retake- how do I prepare now?

NightmanCometh
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Fourth retake- how do I prepare now?

Postby NightmanCometh » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:55 pm

Took the test for the third time in October, ended up with 166, which makes it unlikely for me to get accepted into a T14. After hearing so many horror stories and reading statistics about legal employment, I decided that I would rather suck it up and retake my fourth time next October (which starts a new 2 year LSAT cycle) than go to a non-T14 school since my other stats/softs are good enough.

But the question is: how do I prepare?? In the hundreds of cumulative hours that I have spent studying thus far, I have done every PT released, many of them twice. I have done all the bibles, all of the Manhattan guides, and even a full-length prep course for my last test. I have practiced every game ever released multiple times. My PT average going into the last test was around a 175, but I got killed by the zones (didn't understand any of the rules so got all 6 incorrect, -7 LG total). -9 on all of the other sections combined.

Given that I am so familiar with the existing material, how do I even go about studying anymore? Should I just erase the slate and not touch an LSAT prep book until, say, next July? Or should I press on little by little over the next year or so? I think I am mentally strong enough to study some more, but I just don't know how to approach it...

Anybody in a situation like mine before?

Kurst
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Re: Fourth retake- how do I prepare now?

Postby Kurst » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:05 pm

NightmanCometh wrote:how do I prepare?? I have done every PT released, many of them twice.

Reusing PrepTests Will Not Hurt You!
The NoodleyOne's Foolproof Guide to a 179 for Retakers

Bernie wrote:So you've run out of material and now don't know what to do? This post is for you.

Logical Reasoning: Approach the question as you normally would. When it comes to finding the answers, you're probably going to remember the correct one. So take the time to prove why each answer is correct/incorrect. If you tend toward the lazy side, make yourself write out the reasons (in fact, this is a great idea for everyone, even if you're not lazy. Forcing yourself to verbalize your explanations forces you to find the tiny gaps in your reasoning and fill them in.) Make sure that the reasons are REAL and SUBSTANTIVE. Don't let yourself fly with any "irrelevant" or "outside the scope". Write explanations like "the fact that young akabe drink the tea in only weak form isn't inconsistent with the idea that the tea contains lots of caffeine (wouldn't want the infants hopped up on caffeine and crying all night). Thus, this answer does not call the explanation of the high caffeine amount into question."

Logic Games: Take a game and redo it 10 times in a row, different ways. Find the fastest way to do each question. Figure out what questions you can ask up front to make the big deductions. Figure out what makes the game tick. Does it remind you of another game? Go find that game and compare the two to find the patterns/similar questions.

For an extra dose of fun and understanding, try writing your own logic game. The correct answers are so easy to write; it's the wrong answers that are tricky to create. Give it a go and see what makes a game 'tick'.

Reading Comp: Read a passage and then go to the questions. (You'll probably remember fewer of these questions that with LR). Force yourself to justify each right and wrong answer based on the passage (again, writing out the justification is hugely helpful.) After you've finished, go back and reread the passage again. Were there any important pieces to the argument that you missed the first time around? What could you have looked for in order to understand the passage even better the first time. Does this passage remind you of any other passage you've done? (Structurally, not by content). Pull that passage out and compare them. Look for similar questions. Create strategies for what to look for when asked those types of questions.

For all sections:

Aim for 100% accuracy. If you miss a question, let it bother you for days until you understand it.

Teach the LSAT to others. It'll force you to understand things in a new and more solid way.

Keep a "mistake log", for both substantive mistakes and silly mistakes. Don't brush off the 'silly mistakes'; they're real and can be avoided. Devise strategies, checkpoints, and questions that you can ask to help yourself avoid them. For example, I tend to mix up my right and left. But instead of kicking myself for being stupid, if I have a game that involves right and left, I just label them in the picture. Keeping a log will help you identify your own silly mistakes. Just make sure you devise strategies to overcome them. Simply saying "oh, I won't do that again" won't keep a silly mistake from happening again.

If you have ANY prep tests left that you haven't touched, keep them for the end and have faith that your studying is improving your score. You'll need to keep those tests for the end for a final run-through or if you need to gauge whether to take or postpone. Listen, you're going to want to use them halfway through, but that's just because you don't have enough faith in yourself. If you're worried that your not studying enough/improving enough, then WORK HARDER. Don't waste 3 hours of study time and one of those few remaining practice exams to test whether you're studying enough. You're going to need them for far more important things down the line.

Do NOT, under ANY circumstances, touch the fake stuff. Guys, it is awful, awful, awful. I can't emphasize that enough. There are so many flaws running through the fake stuff, and it can actually endanger your score by making you believe that certain rules apply when they don't (go find the thread on the fake Kaplan question to get a good example). It's far better to have nothing new than to have new questions that could harm your prep.

NightmanCometh
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Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:03 pm

Re: Fourth retake- how do I prepare now?

Postby NightmanCometh » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:11 pm

Thanks!

Yeah I already took a look at Noodley's guide. Thank you for linking the other info, I think it is a bit more relevant to my situation.

So, should I just not do any studying until next summer? Or little by little over the next year?

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catholicgirl
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Re: Fourth retake- how do I prepare now?

Postby catholicgirl » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:15 pm

What was your GPA?

And false, a 166 will not keep you out of the T-14. Not anymore.

NightmanCometh
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Re: Fourth retake- how do I prepare now?

Postby NightmanCometh » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:18 pm

My GPA is 3.64(ivy), good work experience and recs.

Hmm, I guess I was just looking at law school numbers and just saw basically rejections across the board with a 166...do you think this year will be that different?

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boblawlob
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Re: Fourth retake- how do I prepare now?

Postby boblawlob » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:36 pm

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Last edited by boblawlob on Sat May 11, 2013 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NightmanCometh
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Re: Fourth retake- how do I prepare now?

Postby NightmanCometh » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:49 pm

boblawlob wrote:I am exactly in your shoes, except a slightly lower LSAT score.

Why have you decided to wait a cycle instead of retaking in December? Just wondering.


Because I have to...the last October test was my third test, and per LSAC rules you are only allowed to take it 3 times in 2 years (my first test in Oct 2011). I would totally have retaken in December if I had the opportunity. But as it stands now the earliest time I can take the next test is next October.

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timeandspace11
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Re: Fourth retake- how do I prepare now?

Postby timeandspace11 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:53 pm

catholicgirl wrote:What was your GPA?

And false, a 166 will not keep you out of the T-14. Not anymore.


really which t-14 could you get into with a 166. Cornell Maybe? NU if you have work experience?

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catholicgirl
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Re: Fourth retake- how do I prepare now?

Postby catholicgirl » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:19 pm

If the cycles of the people at my school were any indication, you can get into the lower T-14 if not higher.

snowbrost
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Re: Fourth retake- how do I prepare now?

Postby snowbrost » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:48 am

Very similar situation as OP. Waiting for a 4th retake in June, similar GPA, 166 LSAT. I was PTing around 172 and blew it on test day. I have done almost all the PTs and the Bibles.

I think I'm going to stay away from prepping until 3-4 months before the test. Not sure of my prepping plan yet but I think Noodley guide is a good place to start.




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