How Long Does it Take to Reach a High Score

cause8191
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How Long Does it Take to Reach a High Score

Postby cause8191 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:12 am

I took a diagnostic three weeks ago and scored 152 (it was from the Nathan Fox Cheating the LSAT PT61.) I read through every explanation, and I also worked through the PS LG Bible and the Manhattan LR and RC guides. I took another test Saturday and scored 155. Amazingly, I only missed 4 on the Logic Games, and those were the last few questions, which I ran out of time for. I somehow managed to miss all but two necessary assumption questions and the parallel reasoning questions screwed me just as badly. I still have horrible troubles understanding the language in LR and grasping what the stimuli are saying. I actually felt good while taking the RC - until I checked 8 wrong. I make stupid mistakes everywhere, like overlooking a simple word or misinterpreting the question or completely collapsing, which could be related to a lack of focus, time pressure, and rushing. I also noticed that I get into a mood when I know I get a few questions right consecutively in which I sort of tune out for a few seconds because I momentarily feel proud of myself.

I want to break 170 and get into a T6 law school. I would like to take the June LSAT. I am also really eager to prep and do nothing for 16 hours a day but study for the LSAT. I am going to go through the test I took yesterday and then take another test on Monday. This is probably why I have been up for 21 hours and am writing this post at 3 am.

Am I making any progress? Is the fact that this was only my second PT still an excuse for my inadequate score?

I am interested in hearing the experiences of other people who started as horrendously low as I did and worked their way up. How long did it take you to master the test - or even feel comfortable taking it?

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mg7
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Re: How Long Does it Take to Reach a High Score

Postby mg7 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:19 am

I would by no means say that I've mastered the test, but when I started I was in a similar situation as you with not really understanding the questions and whatnot. My first few PTs, I would miss anywhere from 6-9 RC questions. One thing that I definitely noticed however is that the more PTs you take, the more familiar the stimuli and question types become. For me, taking lots of PTs and looking at why I got questions wrong helped way more than the PS/Manhattan prep books did. By the time I was done studying, I was only getting 0-1 RC questions wrong on my PTs.

On related note, I also noticed that I would score higher on my PTs when I wasn't studying nonstop everyday. I would take time to actually have a life, and the reduced stress seemed to pay off. Every person will be different though, so you have to find a schedule and routine that works for you and stick with it. Hope that helps.

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suralin
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Re: How Long Does it Take to Reach a High Score

Postby suralin » Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:21 am

cause8191 wrote:I took a diagnostic three weeks ago and scored 152 (it was from the Nathan Fox Cheating the LSAT PT61.) I read through every explanation, and I also worked through the PS LG Bible and the Manhattan LR and RC guides. I took another test Saturday and scored 155. Amazingly, I only missed 4 on the Logic Games, and those were the last few questions, which I ran out of time for. I somehow managed to miss all but two necessary assumption questions and the parallel reasoning questions screwed me just as badly. I still have horrible troubles understanding the language in LR and grasping what the stimuli are saying. I actually felt good while taking the RC - until I checked 8 wrong. I make stupid mistakes everywhere, like overlooking a simple word or misinterpreting the question or completely collapsing, which could be related to a lack of focus, time pressure, and rushing. I also noticed that I get into a mood when I know I get a few questions right consecutively in which I sort of tune out for a few seconds because I momentarily feel proud of myself.

I want to break 170 and get into a T6 law school. I would like to take the June LSAT. I am also really eager to prep and do nothing for 16 hours a day but study for the LSAT. I am going to go through the test I took yesterday and then take another test on Monday. This is probably why I have been up for 21 hours and am writing this post at 3 am.

Am I making any progress? Is the fact that this was only my second PT still an excuse for my inadequate score?

I am interested in hearing the experiences of other people who started as horrendously low as I did and worked their way up. How long did it take you to master the test - or even feel comfortable taking it?


Don't continue taking PTs without drilling sections/specific question types. Work on mastering those (accuracy), then work on speed/timing, and then take PTs.

cause8191
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Re: How Long Does it Take to Reach a High Score

Postby cause8191 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:29 am

Suralin wrote:
Don't continue taking PTs without drilling sections/specific question types. Work on mastering those (accuracy), then work on speed/timing, and then take PTs.


Do you mean something like this http://www.amazon.com/LSAT-Logical-Reas ... pd_sim_b_2 ?

Is there a cheaper way? I am not yet a lawyer.

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Nova
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Re: How Long Does it Take to Reach a High Score

Postby Nova » Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:32 am

cause8191 wrote:1. Am I making any progress?
2. Is the fact that this was only my second PT still an excuse for my inadequate score?

3.I am interested in hearing the experiences of other people who started as horrendously low as I did and worked their way up. How long did it take you to master the test - or even feel comfortable taking it?


1. yes.. you did better.
2. ....Its your SECOND PT. You dont have to make excuses for 150s scores. your already doing better than HALF of test takers, and you JUST STARTED

3. I never mastered the test. I never really cracked RC... But I was able to get from the 50th percentile to the 95th percentile though about 4 months of grinding. Dont worry about starting in the 150s. MANY high scorers start there. Getting better at the LSAT requires struggling. Most test takers HATE struggling. They give up because it sucks and is hard. Just keep grinding, and it will eventually click. The test is learnable and predictable. Do a few hundred games and all of a sudden nothing will suprise you.

Good luck

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Nova
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Re: How Long Does it Take to Reach a High Score

Postby Nova » Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:34 am

cause8191 wrote:
Suralin wrote:
Don't continue taking PTs without drilling sections/specific question types. Work on mastering those (accuracy), then work on speed/timing, and then take PTs.


Do you mean something like this http://www.amazon.com/LSAT-Logical-Reas ... pd_sim_b_2 ?

Yes.
Is there a cheaper way? I am not yet a lawyer

Not really.

PwnLaw
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Re: How Long Does it Take to Reach a High Score

Postby PwnLaw » Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:59 am

I taught the LSAT for a couple of years in college before I headed off to law school. During that time, I probably taught about a thousand students. Predicting a final score for a student was generally pretty rough based upon the information you have handy, but I can certainly say a few things: 1) the patterns and systems of the test are learnable, 2) they require a highly strategic approach to master, 3) they require significant time investment to master for people whose first diagnostic was beneath ~160.

My first suggestion is to get to a class. Places like Kaplan specialize in bringing people in the meat of the curve (145-150 ish) up 5-6 points. The real value though is that they have every test broken down to its constituent sub-categories of questions, which allow for targeted studying. You need to focus on question type by question type. Do not hop around.

If there is a type of question type you have an issue with, go through this process:
1) Answer the question.
2) Write out your explanation as to why that answer is correct.
3) Write out an explanation as to why each of the other answers is incorrect.

Most people screw up by not carefully documenting their reasoning and thoughts when answering a question. This means they can't isolate the flaws in their logic and begin to work through them. They just answer a question, look at the key and then mark it wrong. You need to force yourself to think exactly as the LSAT wants you to, which isn't particularly natural for most people.

This method of studying is inordinantly time consuming, but the students I had that went through the process saw solid gains.

Just for your edification, I went from ~165 on my practice tests to averaging in the upper 170's after I had finished teaching. Most of those gains came not from taking practice tests but in thinking about the systems of logic underlying the test and adjusting my thought to work within them.

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suralin
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Re: How Long Does it Take to Reach a High Score

Postby suralin » Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:34 am

PwnLaw wrote:I taught the LSAT for a couple of years in college before I headed off to law school. During that time, I probably taught about a thousand students. Predicting a final score for a student was generally pretty rough based upon the information you have handy, but I can certainly say a few things: 1) the patterns and systems of the test are learnable, 2) they require a highly strategic approach to master, 3) they require significant time investment to master for people whose first diagnostic was beneath ~160.

My first suggestion is to get to a class. Places like Kaplan specialize in bringing people in the meat of the curve (145-150 ish) up 5-6 points. The real value though is that they have every test broken down to its constituent sub-categories of questions, which allow for targeted studying. You need to focus on question type by question type. Do not hop around.

If there is a type of question type you have an issue with, go through this process:
1) Answer the question.
2) Write out your explanation as to why that answer is correct.
3) Write out an explanation as to why each of the other answers is incorrect.

Most people screw up by not carefully documenting their reasoning and thoughts when answering a question. This means they can't isolate the flaws in their logic and begin to work through them. They just answer a question, look at the key and then mark it wrong. You need to force yourself to think exactly as the LSAT wants you to, which isn't particularly natural for most people.

This method of studying is inordinantly time consuming, but the students I had that went through the process saw solid gains.

Just for your edification, I went from ~165 on my practice tests to averaging in the upper 170's after I had finished teaching. Most of those gains came not from taking practice tests but in thinking about the systems of logic underlying the test and adjusting my thought to work within them.


+1

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Nova
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Re: How Long Does it Take to Reach a High Score

Postby Nova » Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:41 am

PwnLaw wrote:My first suggestion is to get to a class. Places like Kaplan specialize in bringing people in the meat of the curve (145-150 ish) up 5-6 points. The real value though is that they have every test broken down to its constituent sub-categories of questions, which allow for targeted studying. You need to focus on question type by question type. Do not hop around.

I think your advice is great, and I agree with everything you said except whats quoted. OP said theyre strapped for cash. As long as self motivation isnt an issue, Manhattan guides + drilling + PTing are all anyone really needs to break everything down... and its way more affordable than a class.

This is an amazing guide, and on the money with materials: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=195603

Also, viewtopic.php?f=6&t=396 has a ton of experiences and gameplans that led posters to success.

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suralin
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Re: How Long Does it Take to Reach a High Score

Postby suralin » Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:36 pm

Nova wrote:
PwnLaw wrote:My first suggestion is to get to a class. Places like Kaplan specialize in bringing people in the meat of the curve (145-150 ish) up 5-6 points. The real value though is that they have every test broken down to its constituent sub-categories of questions, which allow for targeted studying. You need to focus on question type by question type. Do not hop around.

I think your advice is great, and I agree with everything you said except whats quoted. OP said theyre strapped for cash. As long as self motivation isnt an issue, Manhattan guides + drilling + PTing are all anyone really needs to break everything down... and its way more affordable than a class.

This is an amazing guide, and on the money with materials: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=195603

Also, viewtopic.php?f=6&t=396 has a ton of experiences and gameplans that led posters to success.


+1 to this too. Re: the second link with TLSers advice, somebody compiled it into a word document and bolded/emphasized the parts that most helped them. It should be around somewhere.

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boblawlob
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Re: How Long Does it Take to Reach a High Score

Postby boblawlob » Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:11 pm

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Last edited by boblawlob on Sat May 11, 2013 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PwnLaw
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Re: How Long Does it Take to Reach a High Score

Postby PwnLaw » Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:57 pm

Nova wrote:
PwnLaw wrote:My first suggestion is to get to a class. Places like Kaplan specialize in bringing people in the meat of the curve (145-150 ish) up 5-6 points. The real value though is that they have every test broken down to its constituent sub-categories of questions, which allow for targeted studying. You need to focus on question type by question type. Do not hop around.

I think your advice is great, and I agree with everything you said except whats quoted. OP said theyre strapped for cash. As long as self motivation isnt an issue, Manhattan guides + drilling + PTing are all anyone really needs to break everything down... and its way more affordable than a class.

This is an amazing guide, and on the money with materials: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=195603

Also, viewtopic.php?f=6&t=396 has a ton of experiences and gameplans that led posters to success.


It's extraordinarily uncommon for people to have sufficient discipline to get from ~150's to 170's off of pure self study (though I admit it's been some time since I looked at the materials available for private sutdy). I do not think being cash strapped is an acceptable excuse, a few points on the LSAT is worth potentially millions over a lifetime of earning potential. It's preposterous, but those are the stakes.

I benefited from graduating from a top law school during the height of the economy. Things were easy then and they're a lot tougher now. Prospective law students should be doing everything in their power to get every conceivable edge they can. A person at 150 would typically benefit from a class. I wouldn't run risks.

That said, I self studied and positive results. After teaching and interacting with hundreds of students, I know these results were atypical. Get a fourth job if possible. 3 points on the LSAT can be the difference between a T14 with a scholarship and a much harder road.

This is all stuff you guys already know, but I wanted to underscore it.

acrossthelake
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Re: How Long Does it Take to Reach a High Score

Postby acrossthelake » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:07 am

cause8191 wrote:I took a diagnostic three weeks ago and scored 152 (it was from the Nathan Fox Cheating the LSAT PT61.) I read through every explanation, and I also worked through the PS LG Bible and the Manhattan LR and RC guides. I took another test Saturday and scored 155. Amazingly, I only missed 4 on the Logic Games, and those were the last few questions, which I ran out of time for. I somehow managed to miss all but two necessary assumption questions and the parallel reasoning questions screwed me just as badly. I still have horrible troubles understanding the language in LR and grasping what the stimuli are saying. I actually felt good while taking the RC - until I checked 8 wrong. I make stupid mistakes everywhere, like overlooking a simple word or misinterpreting the question or completely collapsing, which could be related to a lack of focus, time pressure, and rushing. I also noticed that I get into a mood when I know I get a few questions right consecutively in which I sort of tune out for a few seconds because I momentarily feel proud of myself.

I want to break 170 and get into a T6 law school. I would like to take the June LSAT. I am also really eager to prep and do nothing for 16 hours a day but study for the LSAT. I am going to go through the test I took yesterday and then take another test on Monday. This is probably why I have been up for 21 hours and am writing this post at 3 am.

Am I making any progress? Is the fact that this was only my second PT still an excuse for my inadequate score?

I am interested in hearing the experiences of other people who started as horrendously low as I did and worked their way up. How long did it take you to master the test - or even feel comfortable taking it?


Don't treat this like people do their New Years Resolution to go to the gym. People tend to start out with lofty goals that require way too much willpower (that you aren't going to have enough of). That's why you see people suddenly hitting the gym daily after New Years, only to fade out one life gets rough. Most 1Ls don't even study 16 hours a day for finals during finals period. Try to break it down into a more manageable schedule or you're going to burn out.

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PickMe!
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Re: How Long Does it Take to Reach a High Score

Postby PickMe! » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:28 am

acrossthelake wrote:
cause8191 wrote:I took a diagnostic three weeks ago and scored 152 (it was from the Nathan Fox Cheating the LSAT PT61.) I read through every explanation, and I also worked through the PS LG Bible and the Manhattan LR and RC guides. I took another test Saturday and scored 155. Amazingly, I only missed 4 on the Logic Games, and those were the last few questions, which I ran out of time for. I somehow managed to miss all but two necessary assumption questions and the parallel reasoning questions screwed me just as badly. I still have horrible troubles understanding the language in LR and grasping what the stimuli are saying. I actually felt good while taking the RC - until I checked 8 wrong. I make stupid mistakes everywhere, like overlooking a simple word or misinterpreting the question or completely collapsing, which could be related to a lack of focus, time pressure, and rushing. I also noticed that I get into a mood when I know I get a few questions right consecutively in which I sort of tune out for a few seconds because I momentarily feel proud of myself.

I want to break 170 and get into a T6 law school. I would like to take the June LSAT. I am also really eager to prep and do nothing for 16 hours a day but study for the LSAT. I am going to go through the test I took yesterday and then take another test on Monday. This is probably why I have been up for 21 hours and am writing this post at 3 am.

Am I making any progress? Is the fact that this was only my second PT still an excuse for my inadequate score?

I am interested in hearing the experiences of other people who started as horrendously low as I did and worked their way up. How long did it take you to master the test - or even feel comfortable taking it?


Don't treat this like people do their New Years Resolution to go to the gym. People tend to start out with lofty goals that require way too much willpower (that you aren't going to have enough of). That's why you see people suddenly hitting the gym daily after New Years, only to fade out one life gets rough. Most 1Ls don't even study 16 hours a day for finals during finals period. Try to break it down into a more manageable schedule or you're going to burn out.


This is the best advice so far. For LR focus on timed sections/ specific question type. You have got to find a way to make your process productive without killing yourself. For me, it was a matter of trying to answer all X type questions, accurately, in under 1:20. Then I moved to all Y type questions accurately in under a minute 1:20. I made a game of it. If you don't find a way to make your process "enjoyable," you'll burn out.

With RC, you've got to push yourself to a place in your mind where you love reading EVERYTHING, I mean everything. I know it sounds crazy, but it works. Whenever there is an opportunity for you to read, read. Put the CC on your television and read a program. Find a novel and read it nightly. Read articles in The Economist, on NPR, the BBC, the Times. Focus on diversifying your reading as well. Read a Science article from one site, a Global article on another, a Business one on the third, then a Law or Political one on the last. As you're reading, smile and tell yourself you love to read. Also, go back to doing what we learned to do in grade school; put your finger under each word, only now focus on quickly moving your finger from left to right as a means of increasing speed, yes, even on the computer screen. It works. Before you know it, the LSAT readings will be like reading grade 2 stuff. Moreover, you'll find yourself saying, " I've read about this before," and you become all the more engaged in the readings.

I started in the mid 40's. All-in-all, it took me about three months of "enjoyable" prep before I was able to touch anything near the high 60's low 70's. Good Luck!

Edit: AR... what worked for me was taking the time to make an accurate diagram before attacking the game, even if it takes three of the eight minutes, this is key. Also, get a good understanding of the game rules before you answer a question. This helped me with making sound inferences (not laws).
Last edited by PickMe! on Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

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suralin
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Re: How Long Does it Take to Reach a High Score

Postby suralin » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:47 am

PickMe! wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:
cause8191 wrote:I took a diagnostic three weeks ago and scored 152 (it was from the Nathan Fox Cheating the LSAT PT61.) I read through every explanation, and I also worked through the PS LG Bible and the Manhattan LR and RC guides. I took another test Saturday and scored 155. Amazingly, I only missed 4 on the Logic Games, and those were the last few questions, which I ran out of time for. I somehow managed to miss all but two necessary assumption questions and the parallel reasoning questions screwed me just as badly. I still have horrible troubles understanding the language in LR and grasping what the stimuli are saying. I actually felt good while taking the RC - until I checked 8 wrong. I make stupid mistakes everywhere, like overlooking a simple word or misinterpreting the question or completely collapsing, which could be related to a lack of focus, time pressure, and rushing. I also noticed that I get into a mood when I know I get a few questions right consecutively in which I sort of tune out for a few seconds because I momentarily feel proud of myself.

I want to break 170 and get into a T6 law school. I would like to take the June LSAT. I am also really eager to prep and do nothing for 16 hours a day but study for the LSAT. I am going to go through the test I took yesterday and then take another test on Monday. This is probably why I have been up for 21 hours and am writing this post at 3 am.

Am I making any progress? Is the fact that this was only my second PT still an excuse for my inadequate score?

I am interested in hearing the experiences of other people who started as horrendously low as I did and worked their way up. How long did it take you to master the test - or even feel comfortable taking it?


Don't treat this like people do their New Years Resolution to go to the gym. People tend to start out with lofty goals that require way too much willpower (that you aren't going to have enough of). That's why you see people suddenly hitting the gym daily after New Years, only to fade out one life gets rough. Most 1Ls don't even study 16 hours a day for finals during finals period. Try to break it down into a more manageable schedule or you're going to burn out.


This is the best advice so far. For LR focus on timed sections/ specific question type. You have got to find a way to make your process productive without killing yourself. For me, it was a matter of trying to answer all X type questions, accurately, in under 1:20. Then I moved to all Y type questions accurately in under a minute 1:20. I made a game of it. If you don't find a way to make your process "enjoyable," you'll burn out.

With RC, you've got to push yourself to a place in your mind where you love reading EVERYTHING, I mean everything. I know it sounds crazy, but it works. Whenever there is an opportunity for you to read, read. Put the CC on your television and read a program. Find a novel and read it nightly. Read articles in The Economist, on NPR, the BBC, the Times. Focus on diversifying your reading as well. Read a Science article from one site, a Global article on another, a Business one on the third, then a Law or Political one on the last. As you're reading, smile and tell yourself you love to read. Also, go back to doing what we learned to do in grade school; put your finger under each word, only now focus on quickly moving your finger from left to right as a means of increasing speed, yes, even on the computer screen. It works. Before you know it, the LSAT readings will be like reading grade 2 stuff. Moreover, you'll find yourself saying, " I've read about this before," and you become all the more engaged in the readings.

I started in the 140s. All-in-all, it took me about three months of "enjoyable" prep before I was able to touch anything near the high 60's low 70's. Good Luck!


Good posts. I know I'm lucky that I grew up loving to read everything, but that tendency can be learned, and as pointed out, it'll help in both staying motivated and scoring higher. (Reading fast pays huge dividends with timing issues not just on RC.)




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