October 2013 (re)take Thread

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the_pakalypse
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Re: October 2013 (re)take Thread

Postby the_pakalypse » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:16 pm

mvonh001 wrote:
objection_your_honor wrote:
the_pakalypse wrote:
objection_your_honor wrote:I know a lot of you June takers are jumping right back into PTs. I'm debating either doing that, or running the full Noodley guide again and really refining my process (which, ultimately, was not up to snuff or I wouldn't be here).

I'm the type of person that needs an overarching plan. I can't just wing it and drill sometimes, PT sometimes. Your thoughts?


I would encourage you to work on process. You really really have to spend time looking for patterns in the stimulus types, answer choices, and the answers you chose incorrectly.

Most 170 scorers know some basic patterns (e.g. causation, how to weaken/strengthen an analogy) but there are tons of other things out there that may be useful.

I can't even begin to explain how many weaken/strengthen questions rely on a comparison between two entities (e.g. one group gets a treatment and the other doesn't). Or how many difficult weaken/strengthen/assumption questions rely on one answer choice that is SUPER close but not completely relevant to the stimulus (i.e it's somehow accounted for, excluded, or not relevant). In fact this same pattern saved me on PT 69 for that lotto question.

You also have to optimize your process (i.e. become lazy and find the easiest way to your answer).

An example of optimizing your time (aka finding the easiest way to an answer) is becoming really fluent with formal logic. I trusted my instincts to a point where I could mentally follow the logic "train" -- this allowed me to go through the questions much faster. If I couldn't follow the "train" (aka connecting conditionals) completely in my head, I would eliminate answer choices very quickly by eliminating any answer choice that mentioned a necessary condition in a sufficient condition or vice versa.

For easier questions, I realized the Manhattan strategy for MBT/MBF questions in LG (look at all answer choices, defer judgement, see if one pops out -- if not, then test hypos) applied to LR as well. I realized in my retake prep the reason I struggled through LR was because I over-thought each question. Instead of thinking why each answer could potentially work, you have to think this is why its wrong OR defer judgement. Deferring judgement is an awesome, awesome tool. You have to refine your instincts so that you can figure out when an answer is sufficiently good. Become efficient.

The BIGGEST and by far the easiest thing most people overlook is a change in terms (i.e. you are strong, therefore you must be athletic). This is so, so prevalent in the LSAT and once you can see this change consistently, you'll find that questions go over quickly. (Whenever I found a change in terms for an assumption/strengthen/weaken question, I immediately looked in the answer choices for a corresponding answer choice). Oh god most SA questions are so so easy once you start doing this -- especially those ones that deal with abstract topics. I actually started looking forward to them.

Anyways I hope this helps. If it does, let me know. I have a bunch of these thoughts but I'm not sure it would be helpful/easily understood.


Very helpful, thanks. From a practical standpoint would I do these things (initially) by returning to basics (ie Manhattan chapters and drilling), or by taking and reviewing PTs?


Drill until you feel confident in your abilities, then PT... Or intersperse your drilling with PT'ing - that is what I am doing. I am drilling LR LG and RC everyday (30 LR questions, 5 LG games, and 1 RC section) on the weekdays and doing PT's on the weekends.


I wouldn't recommend that. You have too much variety for one day. 30 LR questions won't be enough for you to get the most out of your drilling and see all the patterns. Same with doing 1 RC section. This early in the game I think it would be most beneficial to do a few days/week of LR drilling, followed by RC, then LR. LG, of course, is the exception in that you can be always drilling that.

It might even be beneficial to drill similar types of LR questions consistently (see DD's posts for his categorization, which I like quite a bit). So, for example, you'd drill all available strengthen/weaken/assumption questions, do a week of RC, and then do must be true/point of agreement/most strongly supported... just a thought. I think it would allow you to see how similar things can be on the LSAT.

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Ambitious1
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Re: October 2013 (re)take Thread

Postby Ambitious1 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:41 pm

johmica wrote:
Ambitious1 wrote:Got back into it today. Did the first 10 relative ordering games in the Cambridge 41-60 set. Essentially did them back to back, now I'm tired. Might do an RC passage or two later today. Hoping/praying that the LSAT Trainer arrives tomorrow in the mail.


I think I will do a diagnostic on Friday. I haven't started studying again yet, other than kind of flipping through the first couple of sections of the Manhattan LR guide. I'm curious to see if my PT score is more similar to what I was scoring on PTs prior to June, or if it's closer to my June score. Basically, assessing the effects of the test environment. I've asked this before on this forum, Ambitious1, but since you've already made the leap, I'll ask you specifically. Have you heard much positive about the LSAT Trainer book, or did you buy it just because of Mike's reputation in general? Curious to know how much his method deviates from the Manhattan series. Gotta pay the rent, you know . . . .


A little bit of both. I have heard that the strength of the LSAT Trainer is LR, which I could very much sharpen. I thought I had turned the corner in LR before June and was consistently hitting -2 max per section..and then boom, I get -9 on that last LR section. Maybe it was the pressure, anxiety, or whatever, but I definitely missed a lot of questions I shouldn't have.

I read one person on this forum describe LSAT as combining the best aspects of Powerscore LR bible and Manhattan. I heard it is easy to read, despite being 600+ pages long. Along with these tidbits, and of course Mike's reputation, I think it is an investment we won't regret.

I'll also provide a more in depth review of it when it arrives, should be tomorrow hopefully! :)

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Re: October 2013 (re)take Thread

Postby the_pakalypse » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:01 pm

TheMostDangerousLG wrote:Between your score and your avatar, you're sort of my hero. And this is all great advice.

Have any advice for RC? If I haven't said it 80 times (today alone), that's where I lost all of my points but one. I hear it's supposed to be very similar to LR, particularly these days, and yet I still struggle with it, despite LR being my strong suit. I don't know what I'm doing wrong.. How do you personally approach RC questions?


:lol:

RC, RC, RC. The bane of our existence. There are no magic bullets here. I can describe my process a bit, and hopefully you get something out of it.

First, a little bit of a disclaimer: I like to read. I think this is important. You can't go into the RC section dreading it or hating or whatever. You have to be a bit curious -- it's cool to learn about something new. Sometimes I think the author is an idiot, sometimes I think it's kinda cool, sometimes I'm pretty neutral about the passage. The one consistent part is that I don't think I've ever been bored. Maybe that's me being lucky because I have such varied interests (science undergrad, took anthro, econ and some other humanities as electives), but I definitely do think you can become more interested in things by exposing yourselves to them more. I used to hate enviro sci passages -- then I read "The World Without Us" and I realized nature is awesome (PS totally recommend this book). Before everything, you have to be curious - you have to believe the author has something valuable to say. If you're active on reddit, maybe spend some more time on r/truereddit/ and r/foodforthought than r/adviceanimals.

I know some people like to have a completely mechanical approach in RC (only focus on structure), but I think if you can understand where the author is coming from, it helps a ton. Using PT69 as an example, I got extremely lucky because those passages were more interesting than usual for me. I remember having the following thoughts during the passage (Oh cool, co-ops.. I learned about this kind of stuff in high school. I'm familiar with this), 2 (haha, silly hipsters and their photography), 3 (Oh didn't Google buy Motorola just to get that patent deterrent) and 4 (Oh animal needs to digest seed before it germinate. That reminds me of that expensive-ass coffee which requires an animal to shit it out). All of these were kind of involuntary, fleeting thoughts and I definitely didn't spend more than a second on them - they just kind of happened - but that's what I mean by being engaged with the passage. If you're sufficiently engaged, then this kind of stuff CAN happen.. not always, but when it does you're in a good place. It gives you confidence as well.

But WHAT IF this doesn't happen? What if you get to the end of the passage and you're like WTF. This definitely has happened to me as well. A few times I was expecting the passage to develop in a certain way, and I get something out of left field. What can you do to fix this?

1) Read slower! Try varying your reading speed and see how it affects your comprehension. I don't know where the hell I got this ridiculous idea that I needed to finish my passages ASAP (I'm a fast reader and I pushed myself for under 1:30), but it was terrible. Absolutely terrible. I would skim the passage and then spend forever on questions. Ultimately I slowed the hell down, making sure I got at least WHY the paragraph was there (Even if I couldn't get what the paragraph meant).

2) Become systematic in your approach. We all would love passages that fit with our interests and that we understand completely, but more often than not, it simply doesn't happen. To combat this, you need to develop an approach which allows you to take away the major points -- something which you can rely on as a tool in case reading straight through doesn't work. I used a form of notation. I think it was Voyager's method, combined with something else.. but basically you underline some essential things. Honestly you just have to be flexible with it and develop your own rhythm. Underlining just allows you to become more active and be like "yeah, I acknowledge this is important". Here is what I thought was important:

Author's attitude (which can be as small as the author using the word "obviously" somewhere): so, so freaking important. It allows you to answer those attitude questions relatively quickly if they pop up. Even if they don't, they really help with main point questions and primary purpose questions as well. The best part about underlining this is that it saves you a shit-ton of time later on.

Any comparisons/analogies/long quotations: There is almost always a question on these if they show up.

Characteristics of something being described: Ripe material for analogies and/or application questions.

Different people being mentioned: Helps keep them distinct in your head

ANY strong relationships or language (conditional, causation etc): This is important! For those general types of inference questions, it can be really helpful to look at the underlined relationships and see if anything is pertinent. Right off the bat I can remember PT69 agriculture passage, I remember struggling with an inference question.. and realizing, holy crap, it's just a combination of those two relationships I underlined before.

I might be forgetting something else.. but experiment with it and see what works for you. Remember, use the notation as a TOOL. Don't become a slave to notating and don't stress if you don't notate some things. It's all good.

I'd also recommend pausing after paragraphs and understanding the purpose of the paragraph and doing a very quick summary. Again, this helps with the active reading part.

People love asking about how to tackle RC questions, but often overlook how to approach the passages -- which is just as important. Even when reviewing, let me emphasize this, LOOK AT HOW YOU READ THE PASSAGE. LOOK AT HOW YOU NOTATED. WHAT SHOULD YOU HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY? This way you can understand what to notate next time, or what you need to notate less. It can also give you a wake-up call if your mental paragraph summaries are shitty.

One thing to always keep in mind with the LSAT is that NOT ALL THINGS ARE EQUAL PRIORITY! Just like not all logic games are of the same difficulty, neither are all the passages! Some are easier than others. What this means is that if you get the feeling a passage is (relatively) straightforward, you HAVE to press on and get that sense of urgency to finish it (don't rush though!). If you can snap up these opportunities, you'll have more time to digest and work through more difficult passages/questions.

God this post is already long as hell. I think I'll make another one for some RC question specific advice.
Last edited by the_pakalypse on Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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tke1600
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Re: October 2013 (re)take Thread

Postby tke1600 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:05 pm

First timer here getting ready for the October test. I'm going to go the 100% self study route using that new LSAT trainer along with pt's 29+ as my material. TLS has been very helpful in the month or so I've been lurking. Good luck to those taking the upcoming test.

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RuleSubstitution
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Re: October 2013 (re)take Thread

Postby RuleSubstitution » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:11 pm

Is your personal statement going to read, "Watch out (H/Y/S), the fucking pakalypse is here", or are you going to teach the LSAT at this point? We'd all love to read your LSAT biography and perhaps a guide. Any ideas you have seem to be very helpful. You're a fuckin baller!

the_pakalypse wrote:
objection_your_honor wrote:I know a lot of you June takers are jumping right back into PTs. I'm debating either doing that, or running the full Noodley guide again and really refining my process (which, ultimately, was not up to snuff or I wouldn't be here).

I'm the type of person that needs an overarching plan. I can't just wing it and drill sometimes, PT sometimes. Your thoughts?


I would encourage you to work on process. You really really have to spend time looking for patterns in the stimulus types, answer choices, and the answers you chose incorrectly.

Most 170 scorers know some basic patterns (e.g. causation, how to weaken/strengthen an analogy) but there are tons of other things out there that may be useful.

I can't even begin to explain how many weaken/strengthen questions rely on a comparison between two entities (e.g. one group gets a treatment and the other doesn't). Or how many difficult weaken/strengthen/assumption questions rely on one answer choice that is SUPER close but not completely relevant to the stimulus (i.e it's somehow accounted for, excluded, or not relevant). In fact this same pattern saved me on PT 69 for that lotto question.

You also have to optimize your process (i.e. become lazy and find the easiest way to your answer).

An example of optimizing your time (aka finding the easiest way to an answer) is becoming really fluent with formal logic. I trusted my instincts to a point where I could mentally follow the logic "train" -- this allowed me to go through the questions much faster. If I couldn't follow the "train" (aka connecting conditionals) completely in my head, I would eliminate answer choices very quickly by eliminating any answer choice that mentioned a necessary condition in a sufficient condition or vice versa.

For easier questions, I realized the Manhattan strategy for MBT/MBF questions in LG (look at all answer choices, defer judgement, see if one pops out -- if not, then test hypos) applied to LR as well. I realized in my retake prep the reason I struggled through LR was because I over-thought each question. Instead of thinking why each answer could potentially work, you have to think this is why its wrong OR defer judgement. Deferring judgement is an awesome, awesome tool. You have to refine your instincts so that you can figure out when an answer is sufficiently good. Become efficient.

The BIGGEST and by far the easiest thing most people overlook is a change in terms (i.e. you are strong, therefore you must be athletic). This is so, so prevalent in the LSAT and once you can see this change consistently, you'll find that questions go over quickly. (Whenever I found a change in terms for an assumption/strengthen/weaken question, I immediately looked in the answer choices for a corresponding answer choice). Oh god most SA questions are so so easy once you start doing this -- especially those ones that deal with abstract topics. I actually started looking forward to them.

Anyways I hope this helps. If it does, let me know. I have a bunch of these thoughts but I'm not sure it would be helpful/easily understood.

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Ambitious1
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Re: October 2013 (re)take Thread

Postby Ambitious1 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:21 pm

the_pakalypse wrote:I wouldn't recommend that. You have too much variety for one day. 30 LR questions won't be enough for you to get the most out of your drilling and see all the patterns. Same with doing 1 RC section. This early in the game I think it would be most beneficial to do a few days/week of LR drilling, followed by RC, then LR. LG, of course, is the exception in that you can be always drilling that.

It might even be beneficial to drill similar types of LR questions consistently (see DD's posts for his categorization, which I like quite a bit). So, for example, you'd drill all available strengthen/weaken/assumption questions, do a week of RC, and then do must be true/point of agreement/most strongly supported... just a thought. I think it would allow you to see how similar things can be on the LSAT.


You have offered some great advice in this thread. Would you mind critiquing my general approach over the next few weeks? I would very much appreciate :)

My plan is, basically, after obtaining the LSAT Trainer tomorrow I will utilize it in supplement to the Manhattan LR guide. For example, I will read a chapter in the Trainer on assumption questions and then drill about 25 NA questions, and then read the corresponding chapter in the Manhattan book and drill 25 more questions. I'll then move on to the next chapter (lets say flaw) do the same thing for 50 flaw questions, and then go back and do 50 NA questions to reinforce what I previously learned. I also have the Manhattan online Interact program (which is great, especially for LR) and I'll use their lessons and HW after drilling for more reinforcement.

For flaw/assumption/weaken/strengthen/MBT questions I plan on utilizing both Cambridge bundles for PT1-20 and 21-40. For everything else just 21-40 should be sufficient, and that should allot me enough time to hopefully move on to full PTs by around mid August.

On days where I focus on RC, I'll probably drill 4 individual passages and then do a timed section and review both. I plan on keeping these days generally light. And on LG days, I'll maybe do 3 or 4 timed sections.

For now, I think a 4 section PT every Saturday is enough. I plan to take 2 days off per week to prevent burnout too. What are your thoughts? Think I should adjust anything?

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the_pakalypse
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Re: October 2013 (re)take Thread

Postby the_pakalypse » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:35 pm

RC Part 2: The Questions!

"RC is sooooo subjective. RC is annoying. Blah, blah, blah."

Yes, we get it. RC is not as an exact of a science as the other sections. But there definitely is rhythm and reason within RC. Don't let your pursuit of some elusive exact understanding deter you from a more broader, flexible understanding.

There is always one correct answer in RC. And even if the text does not conclusively prove an answer choice, as long as it gives you to reason to believe that it more likely -- and no other answer choice is suitable -- then it's good enough. Knowing what "good enough" is important. And you have to take enough tests to understand the type of leeway you can give the LSAT for RC. Expecting too much or too little from the answer choices can be disastrous.

Having said that, here are some other things I found helpful to keep in mind when doing the questions:

Analogy questions: PREPHRASE. Oh for the love of god, PREPHRASE. It is so, so tempting to read the question stem, see it's an analogy q, get some shitty-intuitive description of what you want and go to the answer choices... only to find that, without a solid understanding of what you are looking for, EVERYTHING looks tempting! Prephrase, prephrase, prephrase. Get a solid description of what you are looking for. Again, analogies are all about relationships -- so focus on how entities relate to each other and then transfer that relationship onto something else. Answers may not always be perfect, but they fit more than anything else.

Inference questions: I touched on this before but if you underline strong language/relationships in the passage, it becomes easier to do SOME inference questions. Of course you are going to get some questions that draw some random-ass inference from the middle of nowhere. The best way to approach this is to do quick summaries of paragraphs while you read.. just so you have some vague recollection of where the information is mentioned. If not, try skimming the passage. Generally you want to rely on the first option -- see how important reading the passage in a systematic manner can be? Some shitty inference questions are quite broad and may not have specific in-text references -- in a few cases, it may make sense to look at the structure/primary purpose/main point of the passage and see if that lends any credibility to one of the answer choices. But this is rare. For the most part, you always want to base your answer choice off SOMETHING.

One mistake I kept making with inference questions was treating them like Must be True questions from LR instead of Most Strongly Supported. You have to be flexible. Just because X isn't mentioned doesn't mean its automatically out of scope (whereas this is almost always true for LR MBT questions!!). You have to see how X RELATES to things mentioned in the passage.

Author's attitude: Underline it when you see in the passage. Rinse, repeat.

Comparative passage questions: I used to hate these, but I love them now. When notating your passages, you want to underline anything that is mentioned in both passages. These passages are essentially testing is your ability to see how two passages interact. Thus, most of the questions revolve around understanding the similarities/differences in the positions taken. Be flexible in your approach though because not all comparative passages are one side pro, one side con -- they can be both on the same side... or one can be general and one can be that situation applied etc. Whenever you finish reading these passages, you want to think quickly of what the relationship between the passages is, and use that as a tool for answering questions.

Purpose/function of word/sentence questions: I don't know what the hell I was thinking but I made these questions way more complicated than they needed to be. They are actually probably some of the easiest questions out there. All you need to do is look around the word/sentence and understand the context. Almost always the line preceding it, or the line following it will have enough contextual cues for you to understand what the purpose of the phrase was. Prephrasing is also important here. My biggest confusion was that sometimes I'd think "oh well.. this phrase COULD be interpeted in a way as to support answer choice B".. guess what? It doesn't matter if it could be. Look at how it ACTUALLY was used through those contextual cues.

Developing an approach for each question type is important. It takes a while to get comfortable. One way I gauged my progress was to do a passage COMPLETELY untimed and type out ALL my thoughts while reading the passage and doing qs. Anything my mind said, I typed out. This allowed me to see where my time was being wasted, where I wasn't prephrasing and just generally work out any kinks and see what areas needed attention.

I was able to score consistently -2 or under with these methods.. not perfect, but hey RC is just like that. Game day, however, I was able to pull off that -0. I think a lot of it was due to the fact that I really trusted my process. I didn't have to do anything special, I didn't have to hope for an easy passage, I just had to do what I had been doing. Because I trusted my instincts so much, I think naturally the adrenaline on game day was beneficial.

Anyways, I hope this is helpful! Feel free to ask any questions.

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Re: October 2013 (re)take Thread

Postby TheMostDangerousLG » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:47 pm

Thanks so much, pakalypse! I'm going to print out your posts and sleep with them under my pillow under October. You should really copy and paste this RC advice to a new thread so it gets the attention it deserves.

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Re: October 2013 (re)take Thread

Postby the_pakalypse » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:49 pm

Ambitious1 wrote:You have offered some great advice in this thread. Would you mind critiquing my general approach over the next few weeks? I would very much appreciate :)

My plan is, basically, after obtaining the LSAT Trainer tomorrow I will utilize it in supplement to the Manhattan LR guide. For example, I will read a chapter in the Trainer on assumption questions and then drill about 25 NA questions, and then read the corresponding chapter in the Manhattan book and drill 25 more questions. I'll then move on to the next chapter (lets say flaw) do the same thing for 50 flaw questions, and then go back and do 50 NA questions to reinforce what I previously learned. I also have the Manhattan online Interact program (which is great, especially for LR) and I'll use their lessons and HW after drilling for more reinforcement.

For flaw/assumption/weaken/strengthen/MBT questions I plan on utilizing both Cambridge bundles for PT1-20 and 21-40. For everything else just 21-40 should be sufficient, and that should allot me enough time to hopefully move on to full PTs by around mid August.

On days where I focus on RC, I'll probably drill 4 individual passages and then do a timed section and review both. I plan on keeping these days generally light. And on LG days, I'll maybe do 3 or 4 timed sections.

For now, I think a 4 section PT every Saturday is enough. I plan to take 2 days off per week to prevent burnout too. What are your thoughts? Think I should adjust anything?


I feel Trainer and Manhattan will be quite similar.. which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'd still recommend sticking with one guide initially, becoming fully comfortable with those methods, and using them to drill. After drilling if you have some areas of weakness, I'd use the other guide and see if they have anything special that deals with your weakness. I'd also use that second guide as sort of a review for everything in general (just to keep things fresh)... so while it wouldn't be done at the same time, by the end of your studying, you'll have gone through both guides.

As for going back to the 50 NA questions after you have already done them, if you have reviewed thoroughly enough (which you should do!) then it won't be immediately useful. Your best bet would be to revisit these questions later on in your prep (a month before the test maybe), and try to do the questions that gave you trouble.

For RC, I'd recommend throwing in some untimed sections for sure. Don't take RC too lightly either! You have to put in the most work into RC to see improvement.

I would breakdown LG by type and drill them as well, unless you are comfortably scoring -0 or -1 right now.

2 days off sounds good. 4 section tests.. meh.. I'd start with 5. You don't want to get comfortable with anything easier than the actual thing. Before the test I would definitely do at least a couple of 8-section tests (combining two tests in a row). It's brutal, but it helps.

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Re: October 2013 (re)take Thread

Postby the_pakalypse » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:52 pm

TheMostDangerousLG wrote:Thanks so much, pakalypse! I'm going to print out your posts and sleep with them under my pillow under October. You should really copy and paste this RC advice to a new thread so it gets the attention it deserves.


:lol:

No worries. It took a helluva long time to type out. I'm thinking I'll revise the posts a bit, add some more stuff and make it into a guide.. maybe.

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Re: October 2013 (re)take Thread

Postby TheMostDangerousLG » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:54 pm

the_pakalypse wrote:
TheMostDangerousLG wrote:Thanks so much, pakalypse! I'm going to print out your posts and sleep with them under my pillow under October. You should really copy and paste this RC advice to a new thread so it gets the attention it deserves.


:lol:

No worries. It took a helluva long time to type out. I'm thinking I'll revise the posts a bit, add some more stuff and make it into a guide.. maybe.


You really, really should. Really. Do it. For the love of your fellow test taker.

the_pakalypse wrote:Developing an approach for each question type is important. It takes a while to get comfortable. One way I gauged my progress was to do a passage COMPLETELY untimed and type out ALL my thoughts while reading the passage and doing qs. Anything my mind said, I typed out. This allowed me to see where my time was being wasted, where I wasn't prephrasing and just generally work out any kinks and see what areas needed attention.


This is a particularly brilliant idea I hadn't heard of before. Definitely giving this a try.

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Re: October 2013 (re)take Thread

Postby the_pakalypse » Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:03 am

RuleSubstitution wrote:Is your personal statement going to read, "Watch out (H/Y/S), the fucking pakalypse is here", or are you going to teach the LSAT at this point? We'd all love to read your LSAT biography and perhaps a guide. Any ideas you have seem to be very helpful. You're a fuckin baller!


:lol: Thanks. I'm addicted to the LSAT... weird. I think it happens when you have the misfortune of studying for so long.

Diag: 157. I studied for ~5 months for the LSAT after my freshman/during my sophomore year. I had a PT average of 174, took the test in Dec 2011 (PT 65), but ended up cancelling because I messed up an LG game and I found RC quite hard. I had run out of material, and I was really disappointed so I took a break from it all.

Came back the following year (Jan 2013). Studied ~6 months until June. I realized LR actually became easier after I came back (I attribute it to my laziness and lack of over-thinking). LG I had to learn all over again because I realized I was doing it completely wrong (but yet somehow finishing in time) -- I basically don't trust any hypos approaches anymore. It's all about inferences -- they are beautiful... BEAUTIFUL. RC was pretty similar, although I slowed the hell down so I could actually understand the passage. I tried to have a more structured approach as well, so nothing could throw me off on game day. I think it worked -- many people had trouble with the RC experimental I got (threw them off because it was weird apparently), but I didn't notice and so I was able to handle it pretty well.

Guide is probably inevitable now that I think about it. I think the DD, Noodley and TLS1776 guides are pretty good already.. I'll probably just add more question by question tips.
Last edited by the_pakalypse on Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: October 2013 (re)take Thread

Postby the_pakalypse » Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:08 am

TheMostDangerousLG wrote:
the_pakalypse wrote:Developing an approach for each question type is important. It takes a while to get comfortable. One way I gauged my progress was to do a passage COMPLETELY untimed and type out ALL my thoughts while reading the passage and doing qs. Anything my mind said, I typed out. This allowed me to see where my time was being wasted, where I wasn't prephrasing and just generally work out any kinks and see what areas needed attention.


This is a particularly brilliant idea I hadn't heard of before. Definitely giving this a try.


It's great because you are forced to articulate why each answer choice is right/wrong. It also allows you to see if you are going back to the passage too much, which is generally indicative of reading too quickly.

You also get some interesting reading material. Here is a gem from my untimed reading transcript:

2. WHY DIDN’T U UNDERLINE TONE


You can really see the desperation with the caps and the "U". :lol: . I think I never forgot to underline after that :lol:

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Re: October 2013 (re)take Thread

Postby Ambitious1 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:09 am

the_pakalypse wrote:
Ambitious1 wrote:You have offered some great advice in this thread. Would you mind critiquing my general approach over the next few weeks? I would very much appreciate :)

My plan is, basically, after obtaining the LSAT Trainer tomorrow I will utilize it in supplement to the Manhattan LR guide. For example, I will read a chapter in the Trainer on assumption questions and then drill about 25 NA questions, and then read the corresponding chapter in the Manhattan book and drill 25 more questions. I'll then move on to the next chapter (lets say flaw) do the same thing for 50 flaw questions, and then go back and do 50 NA questions to reinforce what I previously learned. I also have the Manhattan online Interact program (which is great, especially for LR) and I'll use their lessons and HW after drilling for more reinforcement.

For flaw/assumption/weaken/strengthen/MBT questions I plan on utilizing both Cambridge bundles for PT1-20 and 21-40. For everything else just 21-40 should be sufficient, and that should allot me enough time to hopefully move on to full PTs by around mid August.

On days where I focus on RC, I'll probably drill 4 individual passages and then do a timed section and review both. I plan on keeping these days generally light. And on LG days, I'll maybe do 3 or 4 timed sections.

For now, I think a 4 section PT every Saturday is enough. I plan to take 2 days off per week to prevent burnout too. What are your thoughts? Think I should adjust anything?


I feel Trainer and Manhattan will be quite similar.. which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'd still recommend sticking with one guide initially, becoming fully comfortable with those methods, and using them to drill. After drilling if you have some areas of weakness, I'd use the other guide and see if they have anything special that deals with your weakness. I'd also use that second guide as sort of a review for everything in general (just to keep things fresh)... so while it wouldn't be done at the same time, by the end of your studying, you'll have gone through both guides.

As for going back to the 50 NA questions after you have already done them, if you have reviewed thoroughly enough (which you should do!) then it won't be immediately useful. Your best bet would be to revisit these questions later on in your prep (a month before the test maybe), and try to do the questions that gave you trouble.

For RC, I'd recommend throwing in some untimed sections for sure. Don't take RC too lightly either! You have to put in the most work into RC to see improvement.

I would breakdown LG by type and drill them as well, unless you are comfortably scoring -0 or -1 right now.

2 days off sounds good. 4 section tests.. meh.. I'd start with 5. You don't want to get comfortable with anything easier than the actual thing. Before the test I would definitely do at least a couple of 8-section tests (combining two tests in a row). It's brutal, but it helps.


Thanks :)

Just wanted to clarify one thing, when I mentioned the 50 NA questions, and then moving on to 50 flaw questions and then returned to NA questions, I meant 50 new NA questions. So after reading the assumption chapter in Trainer, I would do level 1/2 NA questions. I would then read the flaw chapter, do level 1/2 flaw questions, and then return to NA level 3/4 assumption questions. Would this be a more sound approach then doing all level 1-4 questions right after reading the assumption chapter?

You are absolutely right about RC, I've always been brutal at it. I got -6 in RC in June, so if I could turn that to a -4 or -3 or better, I would be ecstatic.

With LG, I was a consistent -0 but I slipped up and got -2 in June. LG is one area I still feel super confident in but I can sharpen up a few things, such as a better approach to rule substitution questions and gaining confidence in myself to move on after I see the correct AC instead of checking the wrong ones to confirm.

This will be my 3rd time taking the LSAT, and the last time my PT ranges were almost 10 points higher than what I got in June. I have no explanation for it, but I think fatigue and deviating from my process were the two biggest reasons. But 8 section PTs :shock: that sounds crazy! If I could get my endurance to that point, I would be in much greater shape.

Thank you again for your help!

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the_pakalypse
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Re: October 2013 (re)take Thread

Postby the_pakalypse » Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:14 am

Ambitious1 wrote:
the_pakalypse wrote:
Ambitious1 wrote:You have offered some great advice in this thread. Would you mind critiquing my general approach over the next few weeks? I would very much appreciate :)

My plan is, basically, after obtaining the LSAT Trainer tomorrow I will utilize it in supplement to the Manhattan LR guide. For example, I will read a chapter in the Trainer on assumption questions and then drill about 25 NA questions, and then read the corresponding chapter in the Manhattan book and drill 25 more questions. I'll then move on to the next chapter (lets say flaw) do the same thing for 50 flaw questions, and then go back and do 50 NA questions to reinforce what I previously learned. I also have the Manhattan online Interact program (which is great, especially for LR) and I'll use their lessons and HW after drilling for more reinforcement.

For flaw/assumption/weaken/strengthen/MBT questions I plan on utilizing both Cambridge bundles for PT1-20 and 21-40. For everything else just 21-40 should be sufficient, and that should allot me enough time to hopefully move on to full PTs by around mid August.

On days where I focus on RC, I'll probably drill 4 individual passages and then do a timed section and review both. I plan on keeping these days generally light. And on LG days, I'll maybe do 3 or 4 timed sections.

For now, I think a 4 section PT every Saturday is enough. I plan to take 2 days off per week to prevent burnout too. What are your thoughts? Think I should adjust anything?


I feel Trainer and Manhattan will be quite similar.. which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'd still recommend sticking with one guide initially, becoming fully comfortable with those methods, and using them to drill. After drilling if you have some areas of weakness, I'd use the other guide and see if they have anything special that deals with your weakness. I'd also use that second guide as sort of a review for everything in general (just to keep things fresh)... so while it wouldn't be done at the same time, by the end of your studying, you'll have gone through both guides.

As for going back to the 50 NA questions after you have already done them, if you have reviewed thoroughly enough (which you should do!) then it won't be immediately useful. Your best bet would be to revisit these questions later on in your prep (a month before the test maybe), and try to do the questions that gave you trouble.

For RC, I'd recommend throwing in some untimed sections for sure. Don't take RC too lightly either! You have to put in the most work into RC to see improvement.

I would breakdown LG by type and drill them as well, unless you are comfortably scoring -0 or -1 right now.

2 days off sounds good. 4 section tests.. meh.. I'd start with 5. You don't want to get comfortable with anything easier than the actual thing. Before the test I would definitely do at least a couple of 8-section tests (combining two tests in a row). It's brutal, but it helps.


Thanks :)

Just wanted to clarify one thing, when I mentioned the 50 NA questions, and then moving on to 50 flaw questions and then returned to NA questions, I meant 50 new NA questions. So after reading the assumption chapter in Trainer, I would do level 1/2 NA questions. I would then read the flaw chapter, do level 1/2 flaw questions, and then return to NA level 3/4 assumption questions. Would this be a more sound approach then doing all level 1-4 questions right after reading the assumption chapter?

You are absolutely right about RC, I've always been brutal at it. I got -6 in RC in June, so if I could turn that to a -4 or -3 or better, I would be ecstatic.

With LG, I was a consistent -0 but I slipped up and got -2 in June. LG is one area I still feel super confident in but I can sharpen up a few things, such as a better approach to rule substitution questions and gaining confidence in myself to move on after I see the correct AC instead of checking the wrong ones to confirm.

This will be my 3rd time taking the LSAT, and the last time my PT ranges were almost 10 points higher than what I got in June. I have no explanation for it, but I think fatigue and deviating from my process were the two biggest reasons. But 8 section PTs :shock: that sounds crazy! If I could get my endurance to that point, I would be in much greater shape.

Thank you again for your help!


Do the same question types together -- I wouldn't recommend the separation. It's helpful to see how the level 3/4 questions are essentially the same as level 1/2 questions but with some added twists.

Process is key. As soon as I finished my LG section (which I was afraid would screw me again), I knew that as long as I did what I had already been doing for RC and LR, I would be fine. I looked forward to LR the most.

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RuleSubstitution
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Re: October 2013 (re)take Thread

Postby RuleSubstitution » Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:15 am

Pakalypse, you are the TLS prodigal son. I have a feeling that your take on pattern recognition could help a lot of people. I look forward to your guide. I am a newcomer to the site, but I find what you have to say to be very motivating. Good luck man. TLSers are proud of you!

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TheMostDangerousLG
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Re: October 2013 (re)take Thread

Postby TheMostDangerousLG » Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:17 am

the_pakalypse wrote:
TheMostDangerousLG wrote:
the_pakalypse wrote:Developing an approach for each question type is important. It takes a while to get comfortable. One way I gauged my progress was to do a passage COMPLETELY untimed and type out ALL my thoughts while reading the passage and doing qs. Anything my mind said, I typed out. This allowed me to see where my time was being wasted, where I wasn't prephrasing and just generally work out any kinks and see what areas needed attention.


This is a particularly brilliant idea I hadn't heard of before. Definitely giving this a try.


It's great because you are forced to articulate why each answer choice is right/wrong. It also allows you to see if you are going back to the passage too much, which is generally indicative of reading too quickly.

You also get some interesting reading material. Here is a gem from my untimed reading transcript:

2. WHY DIDN’T U UNDERLINE TONE


You can really see the desperation with the caps and the "U". :lol: . I think I never forgot to underline after that :lol:


So you also typed up notes as you were reviewing your work? I tend to write mine out (though I never really review my written notes, so I often wonder if I'm forgetting some key thought or advice to myself that I've already covered.. heh).

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the_pakalypse
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Re: October 2013 (re)take Thread

Postby the_pakalypse » Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:20 am

TheMostDangerousLG wrote:
the_pakalypse wrote:
TheMostDangerousLG wrote:
the_pakalypse wrote:Developing an approach for each question type is important. It takes a while to get comfortable. One way I gauged my progress was to do a passage COMPLETELY untimed and type out ALL my thoughts while reading the passage and doing qs. Anything my mind said, I typed out. This allowed me to see where my time was being wasted, where I wasn't prephrasing and just generally work out any kinks and see what areas needed attention.


This is a particularly brilliant idea I hadn't heard of before. Definitely giving this a try.


It's great because you are forced to articulate why each answer choice is right/wrong. It also allows you to see if you are going back to the passage too much, which is generally indicative of reading too quickly.

You also get some interesting reading material. Here is a gem from my untimed reading transcript:

2. WHY DIDN’T U UNDERLINE TONE


You can really see the desperation with the caps and the "U". :lol: . I think I never forgot to underline after that :lol:


So you also typed up notes as you were reviewing your work? I tend to write mine out (though I never really review my written notes, so I often wonder if I'm forgetting some key thought or advice to myself that I've already covered.. heh).


That transcript was written WHILE I was doing the section untimed. I saw the tone question, and my heart sank, and I yelled at myself "WHY DIDNT U UNDERLINE TONE".. and I typed it out :P

But yes reviewing your notes and synthesizing any lessons from them is important too.

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the_pakalypse
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Re: October 2013 (re)take Thread

Postby the_pakalypse » Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:26 am

RuleSubstitution wrote:Pakalypse, you are the TLS prodigal son. I have a feeling that your take on pattern recognition could help a lot of people. I look forward to your guide. I am a newcomer to the site, but I find what you have to say to be very motivating. Good luck man. TLSers are proud of you!


Thanks! I can't take really credit for much of this.. it has really come from the site. There are lots of helpful people here (both tutors and students) as long as you are willing to learn. LSAT Trainer (Mike Kim) was super helpful, so were bpshinners, Graeme (Hacking the LSAT), Noah (from Manhattan LSAT -> I loveeeeed their forums.. I asked so many questions it was ridiculous. Nicest people ever. Plus books are great), Dave from Velocity LSAT (I'd encourage you to check out some of the resources on his website as well.. really helpful stuff and gets you thinking about the LSAT in terms of patterns).

But I'm glad you find it helpful!

cantthinkofgoodname
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Re: October 2013 (re)take Thread

Postby cantthinkofgoodname » Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:00 am

Hi all,

so I just recently made this TLS account and am hoping to benefit from the smart, resourceful, and knowledgeable people on here.

I'll basically get right to it, I recently took my diagnostic and did not score the best (only a 148) but I am planning to study hard and learn the test well. I have also learned that study groups and partners can also be highly effective to allow improvement.

That being said, I am looking to either start or join a study group (I'm thinking maybe of 4-6 people in total). I'm hoping that in this group we can take regular PTs at set times and review together as well as being in constant touch for how we can help each other to improve. Also, I think it would be good if there were at least a couple people in the group that are scoring in the high 160s or 170s, this way they can provide guidance up front.

Just a note, I am not necessarily planning on taking the LSAT in October, but I figure that this is a good area in which to look for Study partners/groups.

So if anyone is looking to start a group or would be wiling to let me join (or is a high scoring taker and would be willing to work with me), please PRIVATE MESSAGE me.

Thanks!!

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objection_your_honor
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Re: October 2013 (re)take Thread

Postby objection_your_honor » Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:19 pm

Adding my appreciation and thanks for your posts, pakalypse. Lots to think about and bring to this prep cycle.

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Ambitious1
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Re: October 2013 (re)take Thread

Postby Ambitious1 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:55 pm

I just finished 46-section 4-game 1 in 3 minutes 49 seconds. Fastest I've ever completed an LG game, I think.

How do you guys approach method statement questions? I'll read the stem to get the general idea that it is a method statement question, but the rest of the question stem is too much to juggle in your mind before approaching the stimulus. "the statement that burglar alarms are effective in deterring burglaries plays which one of the following roles?" I think for these types, it is ideal to identify the question type but not the specific sentence you are looking for. By carefully reading the stem and then returning to the sentence, it seems to be going better for me.

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ScottRiqui
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Re: October 2013 (re)take Thread

Postby ScottRiqui » Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:15 pm

Ambitious1 wrote:I just finished 46-section 4-game 1 in 3 minutes 49 seconds. Fastest I've ever completed an LG game, I think.


Isn't that a great feeling? And even though you'll likely never be able to finish *every* game that quickly, anything shorter than 8:45 means you have "time in the bank" for another question in the section.

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TheMostDangerousLG
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Re: October 2013 (re)take Thread

Postby TheMostDangerousLG » Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:32 pm

Welp, finally ready to start studying again. And by "ready to start studying again" I mean "bored and want to see if I can still do logic games". Going to dig through all of my old supplies and see if I can find some uncompleted games (don't have a printer on me, sadly).

What can I say, I like to party hard on holidays.

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isuperserial
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Re: October 2013 (re)take Thread

Postby isuperserial » Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:49 pm

Thank you, Pakalypse! You are a gentleman and a scholar.




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