Instructor for top company, AMA.

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Micdiddy
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Instructor for top company, AMA.

Postby Micdiddy » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:27 pm

Hello,

I got a 173 on the LSAT June of last year and have been an instructor for a top prep company you all know for about a year now (I'm not going to say which one).

I got lots of help from this forum last year when I started studying in March so I thought I'd return the favor a bit. AMA and even pm me if you want to get into more specifics.

Edit: I had feeling 30 minutes was way too short for an AMA, but this is not the end. Throughout the day I will still be able to check and answer questions, then tomorrow I will have plenty of time to answer again at rapid speed.
Last edited by Micdiddy on Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

brownmanthinks
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Re: Instructor for top company, AMA for 30 minutes.

Postby brownmanthinks » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:39 pm

what was your diagnostic and how much studying did you do in total?

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Micdiddy
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Re: Instructor for top company, AMA for 30 minutes.

Postby Micdiddy » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:44 pm

brownmanthinks wrote:what was your diagnostic and how much studying did you do in total?


I started prepping about mid-March last year and would say I averaged 15-20 hours a week from the point forward. My prep was solely the Powerscore LR and LG bible and preptests.
I took about 40 full preptests in total (substituting sections from other PTs as the experimental) and thoroughly reviewed each one making sure I found a satisfying answer to EVERY question (if I couldn't figure it out myself I would get help through TLS, the Manhattan boards, friends, etc. Again, let me emphasize I did this for EVERY SINGLE QUESTION I wasn't sure on. I would spend 45 minutes to an hour on one LR question scouring forums, discussing my objections, etc.).

Going into test day 5 of my last 10 diagnostics were 178+ and only was below 175.

So I definitely under performed those scores on test day, but seeing that every prep test I took was at home, with my dog, on my couch, the new setting and test-day nerves got me (only human...for now).
Last edited by Micdiddy on Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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tuffyjohnson
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Re: Instructor for top company, AMA for 30 minutes.

Postby tuffyjohnson » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:49 pm

How did you know when to transition your study into PT's?

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Micdiddy
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Re: Instructor for top company, AMA for 30 minutes.

Postby Micdiddy » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:56 pm

tuffyjohnson wrote:How did you know when to transition your study into PT's?


Great question.

I didn't "transition" my study into PTs, I used PTs throughout the studying process. The first LSAT thing I ever did was a PT, then I took at least one a week every week after that (then later in the studying this became 2 or 3 a week).
I think there are so many PTs out there and almost no one gets through them all, that it is not a waste to take some, even LOTS, while you are still learning new concepts/unsure of how to set up certain games, etc.
Simply getting the muscle memory and stamina of every preptest is important, and lots of times seeing new things on a preptest first can help you understand it later since you did a lot of groundwork with "fresh eyes."
Almost lastly, it's immensely rewarding to progress in your studying and notice that less and less of the PT has that unfamiliar feeling. The first time I took it, 100% was unfamilar, the second time 95%, etc. etc. Once I was taking it and going "Yeah I get this," or "I've seen a question/game/passage EXACTLY like this" it boosted my confidence.
Now lastly, I had no supplemental material. Beyond the books if I wanted to get practice with questions I would take a PT (also I would often section out PTs instead of sitting down for the whole 4 hours in one go). I would highly recommend supplemental material now, btw, so that you can do similar questions over and over and work that muscle, but for whatever reason I didn't invest in those (hindsight!).

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Re: Instructor for top company, AMA for 30 minutes.

Postby A.Taarabt7 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:36 pm

Micdiddy wrote:
tuffyjohnson wrote:How did you know when to transition your study into PT's?


Great question.

I didn't "transition" my study into PTs, I used PTs throughout the studying process. The first LSAT thing I ever did was a PT, then I took at least one a week every week after that (then later in the studying this became 2 or 3 a week).
I think there are so many PTs out there and almost no one gets through them all, that it is not a waste to take some, even LOTS, while you are still learning new concepts/unsure of how to set up certain games, etc.
Simply getting the muscle memory and stamina of every preptest is important, and lots of times seeing new things on a preptest first can help you understand it later since you did a lot of groundwork with "fresh eyes."
Almost lastly, it's immensely rewarding to progress in your studying and notice that less and less of the PT has that unfamiliar feeling. The first time I took it, 100% was unfamilar, the second time 95%, etc. etc. Once I was taking it and going "Yeah I get this," or "I've seen a question/game/passage EXACTLY like this" it boosted my confidence.
Now lastly, I had no supplemental material. Beyond the books if I wanted to get practice with questions I would take a PT (also I would often section out PTs instead of sitting down for the whole 4 hours in one go). I would highly recommend supplemental material now, btw, so that you can do similar questions over and over and work that muscle, but for whatever reason I didn't invest in those (hindsight!).



Any advice for RC? I want to master that section and LG to be guaranteed -0,maybe -1 at worst on those sections by the time I take the test(in fall).

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mindarmed
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Re: Instructor for top company, AMA.

Postby mindarmed » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:53 pm

is your company hiring 99th percentile scorers? i need something to do inbetween now and law school in fall '14

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Micdiddy
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Re: Instructor for top company, AMA for 30 minutes.

Postby Micdiddy » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:13 pm

A.Taarabt7 wrote:
Micdiddy wrote:
tuffyjohnson wrote:How did you know when to transition your study into PT's?


Great question.

I didn't "transition" my study into PTs, I used PTs throughout the studying process. The first LSAT thing I ever did was a PT, then I took at least one a week every week after that (then later in the studying this became 2 or 3 a week).
I think there are so many PTs out there and almost no one gets through them all, that it is not a waste to take some, even LOTS, while you are still learning new concepts/unsure of how to set up certain games, etc.
Simply getting the muscle memory and stamina of every preptest is important, and lots of times seeing new things on a preptest first can help you understand it later since you did a lot of groundwork with "fresh eyes."
Almost lastly, it's immensely rewarding to progress in your studying and notice that less and less of the PT has that unfamiliar feeling. The first time I took it, 100% was unfamilar, the second time 95%, etc. etc. Once I was taking it and going "Yeah I get this," or "I've seen a question/game/passage EXACTLY like this" it boosted my confidence.
Now lastly, I had no supplemental material. Beyond the books if I wanted to get practice with questions I would take a PT (also I would often section out PTs instead of sitting down for the whole 4 hours in one go). I would highly recommend supplemental material now, btw, so that you can do similar questions over and over and work that muscle, but for whatever reason I didn't invest in those (hindsight!).



Any advice for RC? I want to master that section and LG to be guaranteed -0,maybe -1 at worst on those sections by the time I take the test(in fall).


Tons of advice for RC. I think one of the most important ways to approach RC is to realize that the majority of the questions are really just must be true questions, or some slight variation thereof. I know it sounds obvious, but all those "what does author agree with," and "which statement is most supported by the passage," etc. etc. all is basically asking "what must be true/is strongly supported?"
Because of this, there is huge overlap between the strategy for a normal must be true LR question and these RC ones. Do not pick any answer with elements outside the umbrella of the passage. Do not pick answers that seem "along the same lines as" something the author states. Only pick those that have tangible, identifiable evidence attached to them. Again, sounds obvious, but when this really sinks in you'll realize so many well worded wrong answers make a simple quantifier error, or even just a normal mistaken reversal/negation. Lots of similar mistakes we expect from LR but for whatever reason aren't on our radar for RC.

Take some time on that passage. Often times work put into the passage is work saved on the questions, just like a main diagram set-up for LG. I don't really care for all the various note-taking strategies out there, I think you should just use whatever works for you (or nothing, is what I prefer), but whatever you use I think identifying the topic of each paragraph is important and saves time. Simply consciously remind yourself before moving to questions "if they ask me about X I can look in P1, about Y in P2, etc."

Anyway, I could talk vaguely about RC at greater length but I think that is good for now and i will leave some advice for more pointed questions. HTH.

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Micdiddy
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Re: Instructor for top company, AMA.

Postby Micdiddy » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:26 pm

armedwithamind wrote:is your company hiring 99th percentile scorers? i need something to do inbetween now and law school in fall '14


Probably. Do what everyone should do, look up every test prep company you can think of and send them your score and resume and hope that one bites. Worked for me!

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jrsbaseball5
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Re: Instructor for top company, AMA.

Postby jrsbaseball5 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:32 pm

You mentioned supplemental material in the post regarding transitioning into PT's. What kind of supplemental material do you believe would be helpful?

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Micdiddy
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Re: Instructor for top company, AMA.

Postby Micdiddy » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:53 pm

jrsbaseball5 wrote:You mentioned supplemental material in the post regarding transitioning into PT's. What kind of supplemental material do you believe would be helpful?


Anything that organizes a bunch of similar questions for you in one neat pile, like these: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_ ... y+practice

I think there are other, cheaper ways to do this, but if you are learning about strengthening or weakening questions, it is helpful to do 30 of them in a row and reviewing each one for what you did wrong, etc. Also, this helps you figure out what questions really are your weakness, which ones you can do quickly and accurately, etc.
The only real problem is that they will borrow questions from every PT, so occasionally you will take a PT and come across a question you've seen. This issue is rather negligible though.

When it comes to other prep books, I really can't speak for them. Lots of people have talked highly about lots of other books, but I wouldn't know 'cause I didn't use them. There are many different ways to get better at the LSAT and I took a smash-and-grab approach. PT after PT after PT after PT. But this is not necessarily best for everyone (though, more PTs NEVER hurt, imo).

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Re: Instructor for top company, AMA.

Postby Megstew » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:02 pm

What did you get on your first timed preptest before you started studying?

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Micdiddy
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Re: Instructor for top company, AMA.

Postby Micdiddy » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:43 pm

Megstew wrote:What did you get on your first timed preptest before you started studying?


Before I ever studied the LSAT I took a cold PT and got a 167. This is extremely rare. There are all sorts of reasons I could hypothesize for this, but it's not really anything someone can learn from. After that point I spent months studying and increasing my understanding for the test. After teaching it for a year I have again increased that understanding dramatically as well.
I also want to dispel any notion that "some people got it, and some people don't." There are many examples of people starting way, way lower than I and scoring better than I did. Practice, practice, practice.

lsatkid007
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Re: Instructor for top company, AMA.

Postby lsatkid007 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:54 pm

Hey MicDiddy
I have been having one hell of time with MBT questions. Any tips?

thanks

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Micdiddy
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Re: Instructor for top company, AMA.

Postby Micdiddy » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:43 pm

lsatkid007 wrote:Hey MicDiddy
I have been having one hell of time with MBT questions. Any tips?

thanks


I think the neat thing about MBT questions is that when you really think about it, all the LSAT is asking you to do is read this this little paragraph and then they basically ask, "get?" No analyzing, no strengthening/weakening, no parelleling, simply reading and comprehending and parroting back some of the info.
The cool thing about MBT questions is that the LSAC's hands are tied. They only have two options for a right answer, ONLY TWO! Either A: The answer can be deduced from the information given, or B: They can repeat a premise.
Let's think about that. Rarely do they repeat a premise (though it does happen!) because it is hard to make that answer difficult. They can dress it up with fancy synonyms, but likely most students will find "Hey, this answer says exactly what this sentence in the stimulus does!" and for a MBT question, that's golden.
So, most of the time they are doing A, something that can be deduced. For math geeks, this is fantastic, as all you need to do is follow the abstract logic and it must, 100% lead a deduction written in an answer choice. The 4 remaining ones cannot be proven, the 1 right one can, like a math problem.
Of course, most people taking the LSAT HATE math, and so they are not satisfied with this approach. Unfortunately for them, it is the best possible approach and the one that should be taken no matter what. Learn to diagram and practice it constantly. Learn the difference between "some" and "most" and how to manipulate the contrapositive. Learn to recognize mistake reversals/negations, etc. etc. This is a muscle that must be worked out thoroughly for LSAT success.

Do not be thrown off by subject matter! With abstract logic, the LSAT can make equate things we may normally find odd or unrelated (like shy extroverts!). Fortunately, the subject matter is the least important part of these (and all) LR questions. Follow the variables abstractly and the desired answer will be reached.

Also, DO NOT FILL IN THE BLANKS. One of the trickiest wrong answers the LSAT loves to employ is something along the lines of "Some women are super models. Which of the following must be true?
A: Some women are not super models"

Oh oh oh! That's it right? Nope. Just because we are explicitly told some women ARE super models, does not mean we can fill in the other side and say some are not. It can perfectly be true that ALL women are super models according to the premise. The LSAT does this constantly, but once you learn to watch out for it you can usually spot it.

Learn to diagram, focus on quantifiers, remain vigilant!

whereskyle
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Re: Instructor for top company, AMA.

Postby whereskyle » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:58 pm

I'm a pretty good tester. 1400+ on sat and 170 on my first LSAT. Thinking about retaking for $$$ at t14 or hys. Basically, i need one or two more questions correct in June. Something that i had done in all previous tests is "circle and skip" questions that I did not know. I did not do this on the LSAT and am considering it for this round. I haven't prep tested this theory. I wouldn't skip on LG, prolly just on LR. Any thoughts on this?

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wtrc
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Re: Instructor for top company, AMA.

Postby wtrc » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:31 pm

You did well on the LSAT. You didn't take a class.

I did okay on a diagnostic. I took a class and did decently but disappointingly on the LSAT. I'm performing much better now that I am doing only self-study.

In all honesty, is a class worth it? Or does it give people a false sense of security when really they have a lot more work to do?

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Micdiddy
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Re: Instructor for top company, AMA.

Postby Micdiddy » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:02 pm

whereskyle wrote:I'm a pretty good tester. 1400+ on sat and 170 on my first LSAT. Thinking about retaking for $$$ at t14 or hys. Basically, i need one or two more questions correct in June. Something that i had done in all previous tests is "circle and skip" questions that I did not know. I did not do this on the LSAT and am considering it for this round. I haven't prep tested this theory. I wouldn't skip on LG, prolly just on LR. Any thoughts on this?


I'm assuming timing is an issue? Time specific strategies like this are difficult to judge. On one hand, for such a good score I feel like you have plenty of time to give each question its due, on the other, "sacrificing" one very difficult question to have more time on two more seems like An appealing proposition. Ultimately, I think the statistics are against this. Circling and skippig a tough questions give you a 20% of getting that point. Now, lets say we don't know the right answer, but we can eliminate one, now we have a 25% chance, or can eliminate two=33% chance, eliminate 3=50%. Often times, even on the most difficult questions, we're eliminating 2 or 3. The time it may take to do this is 90 seconds, whereas spending that 90 seconds elsewhere will have to make up for the statistical advantages we relinquish by not eliminating any choice. I just don't think it often does.
This is even ignoring the fact that your initial assessment of a stimulus may not be the right one. Many times we have all come across a stimulus that sounds dense, but giving that little bit of extra thought the logic becomes clear. Circle and skipping gives us no option to discover it might have been an easy (or easier) point all along.
Lastly, often time those next questions you gave yourself more time in will be even harder! And you should have circle and skipped them instead, but it's too late, now deciding which ones to skip and which ones to attack is taking up the precious time we were suppose to be saving.

I think getting those last few points is tricky, and likely has less to do with time than with understanding. I have not found one single person who understood all the question types, knows the strategies to tackle them, but still had to use a time-saver approach (there are probably such people out there, but thy likely just read slowly).
Last edited by Micdiddy on Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:21 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Micdiddy
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Re: Instructor for top company, AMA.

Postby Micdiddy » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:12 pm

wtrcoins3 wrote:You did well on the LSAT. You didn't take a class.

I did okay on a diagnostic. I took a class and did decently but disappointingly on the LSAT. I'm performing much better now that I am doing only self-study.

In all honesty, is a class worth it? Or does it give people a false sense of security when really they have a lot more work to do?


BOTH!
The question of whether to take a class is very specific to an individual, but the absolutely worst thing about a class is that false sense of security you speak of. I tell all my classes there is no Matrix-injection into your head for the LSAT. Lots of people who take classes have their parents paying for it, or tune out like it's a college course, or feel just attending class is enough, and these people get little out of it.
Now, there are people who can benefit greatly from a class. Those are the people who are already capable of devoting a large amount of time to self study, and who still decide to devote the same amount of time even when in class. They do not use class as a "substitute" but as a "supplement." Without a class, it's true these people will have likely increaed their score a lot on their own, but without question there are concepts they never would have figured out without help and explanation and the extra a class offers will likely make their inevitable improvement just that much better.

I understand it's not a very satisfying answer, that those who are already more committed are the ones more likely to gain, but it's just as true here as in any other facet of life. The more you put into a class the more you get out. And these extra points can make a huge difference (I mean, a 168 vs. 172 can be the difference between UCLA and Harvard, gpa willing).

whereskyle
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Re: Instructor for top company, AMA.

Postby whereskyle » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:09 pm

Thanks for the advice on skippin' questions. On test day, I just went slowly through an LR section and missed five. Spent most of my time studying LG. I think if I give LR more thought, I'll get those points.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Instructor for top company, AMA.

Postby Dr. Dre » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:34 pm

don't go to law school

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Micdiddy
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Re: Instructor for top company, AMA.

Postby Micdiddy » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:24 am

Dr. Dre wrote:don't go to law school


Not prep related, but yes this is the best advice for almost everyone.




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