Best tips for improving 5+ pts. in 1 month?

theycallmefoes
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Best tips for improving 5+ pts. in 1 month?

Postby theycallmefoes » Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:07 am

Really struggling in deciding whether or not to retake in December. I had been anticipating ~168 for the October - and instead scored a 164. And it's partially because I ran out of time on zones and had to guess on most of them (only questions I missed on LG).

My hesitance is primarily because I'm skeptical about whether 1 month can make a difference. Is it even worth it? (Especially given that I'd be submitting my apps later?)

From looking over my October exam, it seems like the questions I missed were all over the place (i.e., not certain question types - well, excluding zones, but that was a timing issue more than anything else). Also, I missed about the same number of questions on each section (4-5).

If I do retake, I don't know where to begin with my review. How much time should I spend per week? How should I divide my study time? How do I decide what to emphasize, given that I just seemed to miss random questions (with respect to type and difficulty)? Do I just focus on doing as many PTs as I can?

tl;dr: I'm feeling really overwhelmed right now. As it says in the subject line, what are your best tips for improving 5 points in one month?

Thanks!

ETA: I self-studied using LGB and LRB (and Manhattan RC very briefly). With only a month until the retake, should I just stick with those books, or would I benefit from purchasing the Manhattan LG and LR books as well?
Last edited by theycallmefoes on Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

tino1317
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Re: Best tips for improving 5 pts. in 1 month?

Postby tino1317 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:06 pm

I'm in almost the exact same place as you. Scored lower than I was averaging and my incorrect answers have no pattern. I just bought the Manhattan LR and LG books since most people around here say they are very helpful in addition to the LRB and LGB. I'm starting over with the basics of LG and LR, reviewing the fundamentals and drilling. I only plan on taking 5-7 PT's from now until Dec so my focus will be on drilling by question type. Really going to try to break into the 170s. For what it's worth, the last month of my 3 month prep for Oct I spent almost exclusively on taking PT's and reviewing them. Maybe I did it wrong but I did not see any improvement in that month at all. It did help me increase my speed but I was still getting answers wrong and there was no pattern. This time im going to focus more on mastering the basics and each question type with a ton of drilling.

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Teflon_Don
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Re: Best tips for improving 5 pts. in 1 month?

Postby Teflon_Don » Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:24 pm

Buy the Manhattan guides. I went from -8 in June to -2 in Oct on LGs. You can definitely improve in a month, but the question is how MUCH.. What schools are you targeting?

theycallmefoes
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Re: Best tips for improving 5 pts. in 1 month?

Postby theycallmefoes » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:57 pm

tino1317 wrote:I'm in almost the exact same place as you. Scored lower than I was averaging and my incorrect answers have no pattern. I just bought the Manhattan LR and LG books since most people around here say they are very helpful in addition to the LRB and LGB. I'm starting over with the basics of LG and LR, reviewing the fundamentals and drilling.


I think the Powerscore books are excellent. I feel like I really have the fundamentals down but need to focus more on speed and keeping my nerves in check so I don't make stupid mistakes.

I'm still a little leery of starting new books with less than a month to prep. I'm worried that introducing new techniques might just muddy the waters, but I don't know. I did see in a few other posts that the Manhattan guides are pretty popular supplements, but do you, by any chance, know why it would be better than just sticking with LGB and LRB?

I only plan on taking 5-7 PT's from now until Dec so my focus will be on drilling by question type. Really going to try to break into the 170s. For what it's worth, the last month of my 3 month prep for Oct I spent almost exclusively on taking PT's and reviewing them. Maybe I did it wrong but I did not see any improvement in that month at all. It did help me increase my speed but I was still getting answers wrong and there was no pattern. This time im going to focus more on mastering the basics and each question type with a ton of drilling.


See, my strategy was pretty much the other way around. I focused my efforts pretty heavily on LGB and LRB, thinking that if I had a very strong understanding of the question types/formats and methods/techniques from the books, I would then be able to apply them to the exams. I spent a little bit of time drilling individual sections and very little time doing full PTs. Which, I think, worked insofar as it allowed me to get a semi-decent score but probably put me at a bit of disadvantage with respect to time constraints and the ability to respond to curveballs (hence, my accuracy in games leading up to zones and self-desruction on the zones questions themselves).

So, I was planning on using this month to build upon the foundation I already have by focusing primarily on PTs to become as familiar as possible with variations in the test, recognizing question types quickly, etc.

theycallmefoes
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Re: Best tips for improving 5 pts. in 1 month?

Postby theycallmefoes » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:04 pm

Teflon_Don wrote:Buy the Manhattan guides. I went from -8 in June to -2 in Oct on LGs.


Did you use the Powerscore books as well or only the Manhattan guides? Is there any particular reason you liked those books?

You can definitely improve in a month, but the question is how MUCH.. What schools are you targeting?


Maybe some of the lower T14, if possible, but I've pretty much written those off. I'm primarily targeting WUSTL and U of I (Urbana). (If I could get a partial scholarship at either of those, that would be spectacular, but I probably won't be able to improve enough for that.)

it'sjustme
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Re: Best tips for improving 5 pts. in 1 month?

Postby it'sjustme » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:15 am

I cannot recommend Manhattan Logic Games enough.

Went from -14 on June's games to -5 on October's games. Their other guides are fantastic, too.

theycallmefoes
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Re: Best tips for improving 5 pts. in 1 month?

Postby theycallmefoes » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:42 am

it'sjustme wrote:I cannot recommend Manhattan Logic Games enough.

Went from -14 on June's games to -5 on October's games. Their other guides are fantastic, too.


Impressive improvement! I decided to purchase the e-book versions of the Manhattan LG and LR guides to supplement the Powerscore books.

florida1949
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Re: Best tips for improving 5+ pts. in 1 month?

Postby florida1949 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:39 pm

You can definitely improve enough in one month. If you were PT'ing at 168, you are obviously capable of scoring higher.

In June, I scored much lower than I was PT'ing. I continued studying, and although I don't think I was necessarily "better", I was definitely more confident and got a score in line with my PTs.

Lear22
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Re: Best tips for improving 5+ pts. in 1 month?

Postby Lear22 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:12 pm

In the exact same boat. Was going to start a thread but I'll just jump on this one.

I did incredible and time consuming prep for oct. LSAT was my full time job and I did nothing else from July to Oct. I was PTing good, but test day was not so kind to me.

I am now beginning my Dec prep and I find it so hard. And I don't even know why. My first instinct was to get back to the bibles and do it together with the LSAT blog's 1 month study schedule, that breaks the prep to sections and then game/question types in LG and LR. But I'v been trying to do it for two days now and it's not going so well. I don't know if it's the fact that I mentally starting this all over again is hard for me. I gave my all in my Oct prep and feel I was robed out of a good score. And now I find it really hard to get back in the game.

I was thinking today to maybe change course and focuse on just PT and review until dec. I am not sure if drilling is the best way to go right now? getting more PTs is not really the issue for me, I'll gladly spend some money on fresh PTs if it will do good. Do you guys think that it will work in my favor better than just drilling for 2/2 and a half weeks and then starting to PT? I am really struggling.

At the end of the day, I understand that it's a lot about the mental state of mine. I am trying to suck it up and tell myself to just race to the finish line, since Dec is really around the corner,but the mental strugle is hard to overcome. Am I alone in this state of mind?

(sorry for the long post, I guess I am also venting my worries here)

theycallmefoes
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Re: Best tips for improving 5+ pts. in 1 month?

Postby theycallmefoes » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:33 pm

Lear22 wrote:In the exact same boat. Was going to start a thread but I'll just jump on this one.

The more the merrier! Sorry this thread hasn't gotten more activity. I had though that, with all the high-scorers on TLS, this thread would get a bunch of replies in a relatively short span of time. Clearly that hasn't happened. :cry:

I did incredible and time consuming prep for oct. LSAT was my full time job and I did nothing else from July to Oct. I was PTing good, but test day was not so kind to me.

I prepped for the month of July and the first 3 weeks of August. Then the fall semester began, so I focused solely on school for a week. Then I got strep throat the first week of September and fell off the LSAT wagon completely. Even after antibiotics, I had a godawful cold for most of the month. I felt a bit better towards the end before getting progressively worse again - Thursday before the exam I find out I have a sinus infection. I'd like to blame my underperformance on that, but I was actually feeling relatively decent by Saturday (aside from having to blow my nose a lot, about which I felt incredibly guilty). So, the only prep I did in September-October occurred while I was sick in the week or so leading up to the exam. :x (Sorry for the whining... :oops:)

I am now beginning my Dec prep and I find it so hard. And I don't even know why. My first instinct was to get back to the bibles and do it together with the LSAT blog's 1 month study schedule, that breaks the prep to sections and then game/question types in LG and LR. But I'v been trying to do it for two days now and it's not going so well.

Are you currently in school? Because if you are, the LSATblog schedule might not give you enough flexibility, given other academic commitments.
Also, even if you're not in school, that schedule still may not be for you: although it may give you a framework, it's designed for people who have not already prepped - you have, and you prepped extensively. With this in mind, it seems to me that you shouldn't use it for more than getting a basic idea of how you can divide your study time - use it as a foundation for devising your own schedule tailored to your own needs. Of course, the problem is figuring out how to do that, which seemed overwhelming to me at first (hence, this thread).

I don't know if it's the fact that I mentally starting this all over again is hard for me.

Okay, perhaps I'm not the best person to be giving advice on this topic, but I do think that I may be able to help with this (if you haven't already gotten back into the swing of things - I know it's already been over a week since your post). The thing is, don't let yourself feel like you're starting all over again. You're starting in a totally different place and on a great foundation: you've already prepped a lot, and you now know exactly what to expect on exam day, including your own reactions (anxiety, etc.). If the questions you missed seemed pretty random, and, especially, if you feel like you made careless mistakes, and the correct answer is now really obvious to you, then take comfort in knowing that your fundamental understanding of the material is solid. You just need to fine-tune it.

I gave my all in my Oct prep and feel I was robed out of a good score. And now I find it really hard to get back in the game.

Any time you feel like you're in a rut, I would suggest going back to basics (either the Powerscore or Manhattan guides). It won't take especially long, since you've already prepped quite a bit, and it'll refresh all the material in your mind. I went through the entire LRB, including answering all the questions, and then I went through the LGB primarily for content (I did all the drills, but I'm saving the games for after I finish MLG). Doing this review made me feel much calmer about the retake and increased my confidence tenfold.

Manhattan LSAT Noah
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Re: Best tips for improving 5 pts. in 1 month?

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:42 pm

theycallmefoes wrote:
it'sjustme wrote:I cannot recommend Manhattan Logic Games enough.

Went from -14 on June's games to -5 on October's games. Their other guides are fantastic, too.


Impressive improvement! I decided to purchase the e-book versions of the Manhattan LG and LR guides to supplement the Powerscore books.

I happened to notice this - unfortunately the 3rd edition of our LG guide isn't in an e-book version yet. I'd recommend picking up a print copy of that. Sorry :(

theycallmefoes
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Re: Best tips for improving 5 pts. in 1 month?

Postby theycallmefoes » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:00 pm

Manhattan LSAT Noah wrote:
theycallmefoes wrote:
it'sjustme wrote:I cannot recommend Manhattan Logic Games enough.

Went from -14 on June's games to -5 on October's games. Their other guides are fantastic, too.


Impressive improvement! I decided to purchase the e-book versions of the Manhattan LG and LR guides to supplement the Powerscore books.

I happened to notice this - unfortunately the 3rd edition of our LG guide isn't in an e-book version yet. I'd recommend picking up a print copy of that. Sorry :(


Oh, I didn't even look at the edition. The Kindle version is only from 2011, so I didn't realize there was a more recent print version. Are there significant differences?

Manhattan LSAT Noah
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Re: Best tips for improving 5 pts. in 1 month?

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:04 pm

theycallmefoes wrote:
Manhattan LSAT Noah wrote:
theycallmefoes wrote:
it'sjustme wrote:I cannot recommend Manhattan Logic Games enough.

Went from -14 on June's games to -5 on October's games. Their other guides are fantastic, too.


Impressive improvement! I decided to purchase the e-book versions of the Manhattan LG and LR guides to supplement the Powerscore books.

I happened to notice this - unfortunately the 3rd edition of our LG guide isn't in an e-book version yet. I'd recommend picking up a print copy of that. Sorry :(


Oh, I didn't even look at the edition. The Kindle version is only from 2011, so I didn't realize there was a more recent print version. Are there significant differences?

For LG, the 3rd edition is a serious step up. If the extra bucks isn't an issue, get the 3rd edition. People seemed to get a lot out of the 2nd edition, so don't sweat it if it's a problem. For LR and RC, there were no significant changes, so don't bother.




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