How to Approach the Feb LSAT as a consistent high scorer?

cruxisfalcon
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:00 pm

How to Approach the Feb LSAT as a consistent high scorer?

Postby cruxisfalcon » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:12 pm

Hey everyone,

I've consistently been scoring in the mid 170s on my practice tests from August to September. I ended up getting a 169 on my October test (due to a variety of stupid factors, including 4 instances where I got the right answer and changed it) and want to retake. I haven't looked at any LSAT material since. How would you guys recommend studying to get ready for February?

I completely self-prepped the first test and mostly just took a bunch of practice tests (up to PT #61). I was thinking about picking up PTs #62-present and investing in the Manhattan LSAT online self-study course (the one that's ~$400). What's everyone's feedback on that?

thanks

efeinste
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:32 pm

Re: How to Approach the Feb LSAT as a consistent high scorer?

Postby efeinste » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:11 pm

Honestly, I cannot give you an outstanding response - or, more precisely, a tailored response - seeing as you haven't detailed your study habits, methods, etc. I can tell you what has worked for me (not that I've scored that much higher than you; got a 171, retaking in February).

This is by no means an exhaustive list (that is, jointly sufficient). It isn't even a list of necessary conditions (what's necessary for me may not be necessary for you). That said, here we go:

(1) After taking a section, review every question, not only the questions you got wrong but the ones you got right, too. This is important. You may have chosen the correct answer but for the wrong reason. Pay special attention to questions you struggled with but answered correctly. If you don't drill into your brain why such-and-such is the right answer, you may very well get a similar/analogous question wrong the next time.

(2) Test in a variety of different environments. In the weeks leading up to the test, I tested in libraries, coffee shops, cafeterias, classrooms, etc. I once tested next to a construction site. A lot of people leave the actual test complaining that the proctor was noisy or that someone was sneezing and that, as a result, they couldn't concentrate. They're probably right. They probably did lose a handful of points due to their lack of focus. I may have lost points here and there for other reasons but certainly not because I couldn't focus.

(3) Make sure you're taking the most recent prep tests before you take the actual exam. As you probably know, the actual test is much more likely to resemble recently administered exams.

(4) Make sure you're physically and mentally healthy. Mental health is especially important. Confidence is key. Not believing in yourself creates a lot of problems, including but definitely not limited to: (a) you don't believe you're capable of a perfect score, which in turn means you're not genuinely trying to understand every nuance of every question, which essentially means you're not genuinely trying to understand anything you see on the test (I'm distinguishing between genuine or true understanding and superficial understanding); and (b) you focus on the seeming chaos in front of you rather than the underlying order (that is, a confident person starts not with what he doesn't know but what he does know and works from there; a nervous person does the opposite, focusing primarily with what he doesn't know and simply hopes that the logical structure finds him rather than he it).

(5) In a perfect world, you would never cross out an answer choice you already selected. Doing so means simply that you either chose an answer you weren't all that confident in selecting or eliminated an answer choice you weren't all that confident in eliminating. One way around this is to make sure you can always articulate your justification for choosing or eliminating an answer. Don't just go based on intuition or gut feeling (even if you can score decently with this "method"). Instead, ask yourself at every step "On what grounds am I choosing B? And can I justify getting rid of B through D?" It might help to imagine that you are making this argument to someone other than yourself - that is, someone who might very well not share your intuitions.

(6) Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, try to identify any patterns. Look back at all the sections you took (in the order you took them), identify trends, weak points, etc. Spend extra time reviewing these types of questions. If there isn't much of a pattern, review them anyway. Keep in mind, however, that getting, say, a weaken question wrong doesn't necessarily mean you need to enhance your conceptual understanding. It might simply mean you need to drill the concept into your brain a little deeper. It might also mean you need to take better care of your health or take a break from studying.

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Cobretti
Posts: 2560
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:45 am

Re: How to Approach the Feb LSAT as a consistent high scorer?

Postby Cobretti » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:36 pm

cruxisfalcon wrote:Hey everyone,

I've consistently been scoring in the mid 170s on my practice tests from August to September. I ended up getting a 169 on my October test (due to a variety of stupid factors, including 4 instances where I got the right answer and changed it) and want to retake. I haven't looked at any LSAT material since. How would you guys recommend studying to get ready for February?

I completely self-prepped the first test and mostly just took a bunch of practice tests (up to PT #61). I was thinking about picking up PTs #62-present and investing in the Manhattan LSAT online self-study course (the one that's ~$400). What's everyone's feedback on that?

thanks


I was in the same boat for Oct, wound up scoring lower than my lowest PT. Just retook in Dec, so can't say definitively that I did much better, but I'm pretty sure I did. The key, I think, is to just drill so much that you go into auto pilot on test day. It has to become such a normal routine for you to go through sections that there is no room in your brain to think of the real deal any differently from a PT. Just drill and drill until it becomes a habit and you'll have a much easier time reproducing your PT results on test day. This second time around felt much more automatic, and I attribute it all to much more drilling.

Going over your answers is still really important of course, but if you're scoring 175+ and just looking to focus on your consistency for gameday, I think its more important to drill, and you should probably spend a little less time going over your answers than most people. But don'to switch to this mindset until you're definitely already in your ideal range.

good luck.

ETA: I used cambridge bundles, powerscore bibles, manhattan RC and all but 8 PTs. Don't have any advice on the manhattan package you're talking about, but I know their RC guide seemed much more helpful than the powerscore RC bible.




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