170'er Looking for Final Push

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NickO
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:38 pm

170'er Looking for Final Push

Postby NickO » Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:17 pm

Good evening everyone,

I'm looking for a way to push past my 170 plateau. I've already prepped once, took the test last year, and am looking to retake in June 2013. I'd like to become a 1%'er, at least. I self-prepped using Power Score books and the LSAT blog study guides. Also to stay fresh at the materials, I teach for a prep company. I'd greatly appreciate any recommendations for learning new methods, self-data tracking, common bad habits, or general advice on tactics for breaking the plateau. I'm a poor boy from West Virginia, so there is only one prep company in the area (me!) and tutoring may be a little too expensive, even online skyping.

Thank you very much for helping this kid get to his dream score and be the first of his family to attend a major university!

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sabanist
Posts: 573
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:48 pm

Re: 170'er Looking for Final Push

Postby sabanist » Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:20 pm

I was in the same situation as you. Manhattan LR and drilling Cambridge packets for LR and LG pushed me over the 170 plateau.
lsatqa.com is what I used for tracking commonly missed question types.
Good luck!

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cc.celina
Posts: 602
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: 170'er Looking for Final Push

Postby cc.celina » Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:50 am

+1 to both Cambridge packets and LSAT QA. Used in combination they are really powerful - you can see exactly which question or game type you're missing most often and drill them till you're not missing them anymore.

Also, you'll want to pay attention to whether you're missing questions because of time constraints or because of mistakes in your thought pattern. It's a time constraint issue if you don't get to questions, or you're rushing by the end and you find yourself skimming, half-guessing or not reading all the answer choices. But if you finish with plenty of time and you are finding that a lot of the questions you got wrong you answered with relative confidence, it's a thought pattern issue. Time issues can be fixed with lots and lots of drilling and PT taking, even if you're retaking PTs - eventually, you will start to recognize question types so quickly that answering them will be a piece of cake. Thought pattern issues are going to require a really careful analysis of questions that you got wrong after the fact.

One thing that I did when I wanted to breach that plateau was to start boxing questions I wasn't completely sure about as I took each PT. At the end, whether I had gotten the question right or not, I would take it and compile into a big document that I later went through, untimed, trying to answer each question and justify why that was the answer. (If your prep company gives you PDF versions of PTs, it's really easy to do - I just screenshotted the question and pasted it into a Word doc. If not, you can just go through your book redoing the boxed questions.)

Finally, even though you're pretty far along, it's always worth it to go over basic prinicples. A few weeks into my prep, I rediscovered the negation rule for must-be-true questions, which I had COMPLETELY forgotten about, and it turned out to be a really fast shortcut for a lot of questions.

Good luck! Sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders, you got this.

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NickO
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Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:38 pm

Re: 170'er Looking for Final Push

Postby NickO » Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:32 pm

Thanks so much both of you! I plan on getting those packets this week. Also, that strategy with LSATQA sounds awesome. I never *knock on wood* have a problem with timing, so much as between genuine mess-ups (example: misunderstanding the point at issue) and familiarity-induced sloppiness (missing an LG Acceptability Q), I miss between 10 and 12.

Did you find that the drill packets help fix that? Also, do they require a whole new way to do LR? I'm not sure if I can unlearn then relearn LR at this point. Obviously, I plan on using them, but I'd like to know what they are or do before I drop some dough. Thanks!

Also, anyone ever use the online study groups on TLS? I saw those but am not sure what they're all about/worth the time.

Finally, CC.Celina, I love the storage of wrong Q's in a word doc. As I expand my LSAT PT data (about 1 every three days) I would like to see what there is to learn from that, but what is the negation rule for must-be-true Q's? Is that like eliminating false things in the LG Q's?

Thank you all!

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cc.celina
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Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: 170'er Looking for Final Push

Postby cc.celina » Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:53 pm

The Cambridge packets are just questions from PT's organized by what type of question they are. I bought the Parallel Reasoning and the Weaken packets because I found myself missing a lot of those types of questions, so I just bought the packets and drilled them until I wasn't getting a bunch of them wrong anymore. I'd suggest starting with your weakest question type, drilling it for a few days, taking a couple PTs and seeing if it improves - then you can decide whether to buy more. At the very least, doing so many of one question type helps you be acutely aware of them when they pop up, so you'll be extra-careful when doing them and hopefully avoid some of those sloppy mistakes.

I didn't really study with anyone on TLS, but I know some people did and it helped them. I think it's more about the companionship aspect than anything else. I sort of lurked and occasionally posted a question when I needed help, which worked for me.

The negation rule is fairly simple - if the question asks "which of the following must be true," the rule is to use process of elimination by negating the opposite of each answer choice and seeing if it could be true. For example, change "All bananas are yellow" to "Not all bananas are yellow." If not all bananas can be yellow, that's the credited response. It's not anything groundbreaking, just a shortcut that makes it really easy for you to find your answer without thinking too much about it, and made MBT questions much easier for me. There's a lot of tips and tricks on this board if you look at them. When I was prepping I would read every thread in this forum that asked about a specific LSAT question or strategy, because it's easy to pick stuff up from there.

chrisjoemart
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:07 am

Re: 170'er Looking for Final Push

Postby chrisjoemart » Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:12 am

Hey There-

I was in a similar boat, scoring mid 170s looking for 180. The one thing that really helped me was when I stopped arguing with the prep tests. So I accepted that there was always one right answer and the wrong answers were wrong for a specific reason. If I couldn't see it, I just kept looking to find it. So, as someone else put it, for every question, don't just find why the right answer is right, find out why the wrong answers are wrong.

Worked for me... found out why all 101 were right and got a 180.

Best of luck.

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NickO
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Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:38 pm

Re: 170'er Looking for Final Push

Postby NickO » Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:20 pm

Thanks everybody! Putting this all to practice today.




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