3 passage/game strategy

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cahwc12
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3 passage/game strategy

Postby cahwc12 » Wed May 01, 2013 1:11 pm

I understand this is pretty much panned as a bad idea (and for very good reason), but I am working with a student and her situation is exceedingly rare. The reason I say her situation is exceedingly rare is because she has a guaranteed job, and needs to go to a specific school that will be paid for. That school told her she needs to get 156 or greater on the June LSAT to start in the fall. Because of her circumstances, scoring much beyond 156 won't affect her financial situation, nor will it affect her job outcome probability (which is 100% for her very specific situation).

She finally has the ability to commit full-time to studying for the LSAT and has exactly one month to make a 156. Her initial LSAT was in the low 130s and after working with her for a couple weeks before the december LSAT, her score went up to 145. She is bright, but her issue is time, and she only gets about halfway through each section under normal conditions.

I know that if she dedicates herself over this next month she can really improve her score, but I'm curious if it wouldn't be the worst idea in the world to advocate for her focusing on perhaps just three of four passages/games.

Given that, and given that she can miss about 30 questions and make a 156, would it be in her best interest if I advocate practicing three games/passages and then just guessing 'B' for remaining game/passage? Should I only advocate this if it gets nearer to test day and she is still having difficulty with timing?

Thanks for any input. I've never really had to deal with this specific situation and I want her to have the best chance to reach that score given only a one month prep schedule. Especially from other tutors who have had similar predicaments before I would value your input.

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tuffyjohnson
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Re: 3 passage/game strategy

Postby tuffyjohnson » Wed May 01, 2013 2:24 pm

Some people have an LG weakness. If she can get through 3 games and answer the first easy Q. on the last game she could go around -6 maybe -5 for the section. BTW, this is also my strategy as LG is my weakest section.

Mik Ekim
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Re: 3 passage/game strategy

Postby Mik Ekim » Wed May 01, 2013 8:49 pm

I would not suggest you advocate skipping an entire passage or section -- I can pretty much guarantee that it will be very difficult for that student to get anything better than -10 in a section using that strategy --

Timing is based on a lot of factors, but most directly it's based on ability -- if you are good at the lsat you tend to go faster, and when you are not good, when you waste time thinking about things that aren't relevant to the right answer, you go slower --

I've yet to meet the person who simultaneously a) feels strong enough at games or rc passages to pretty much guarantee -2 or less on 3 of them in test-like conditions while b) not being able to go fast enough to get to the fourth game/passage.

Skipping a passage or game, in my professional opinion, causes you to leave a lot of potential points on the table --

For the person in that situation, I think a much better strategy is to take 20-second educated guesses on the toughest questions --

If possible, have the student take a timed exam in which she times every single question. I guarantee that a) there will be many questions for which she spent an excessive amount of time -- 1:45+ -- and b) her % accuracy on these questions will be low. If she can get practiced at recognizing early on that a particular question (or series of questions) is challenging, and take educated guesses on those questions that would have taken her lots of time and likely yielded very little return, I think that's a much better way to ensure she invests time efficiently.

I wrote that in a bit of a rush -- hope that makes sense and I hope it helps -- Mike Kim

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nyjets2090
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Re: 3 passage/game strategy

Postby nyjets2090 » Wed May 01, 2013 9:56 pm

Not only do I think that some students should aim for 3 games perfectly, I think that most should, but (huge caveat here), if she's aiming for 3 games, she better make sure that she gets every single question on those 3 games. I have the BP LG book, they recommend that if you're going for 3 to nail the first 2, quickly look at the last 2, pick the easier one and go for it.

Disclaimer: I'm trying for a 180 in June, so I'm aiming for -0 on the section. My first time around I had the mentality of aiming for 170 as my goal, which is horrible. You're going for a 180 or you're going home.

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Pneumonia
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Re: 3 passage/game strategy

Postby Pneumonia » Wed May 01, 2013 10:01 pm

nyjets2090 wrote:Not only do I think that some students should aim for 3 games perfectly, I think that most should, but (huge caveat here), if she's aiming for 3 games, she better make sure that she gets every single question on those 3 games.


Are you saying everyone should aim for 3 perfect in the course of aiming for 4 perfect? If so what you've said is confusing. If not then what you've said is bad advice. It's actually confusing either way, but perhaps I'm misreading.

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Clearly
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Re: 3 passage/game strategy

Postby Clearly » Wed May 01, 2013 10:30 pm

Wormfather wrote:focus on games like a mother fucker, get her to do similar games over and over.

For RC, tell her to do all but the comparative passage in 30 minutes and then read the two passages fast a fuck and try to get as many as she can off of that.

What's her LR like?

Frankly, without knowing her distribution we can't say much, but I'd go the opposite way. I was consistently in the 165 range only doing 3 games, and I know that strategy works well for students that can't get the harder games. It's sometimes better to spend that time being more thorough on easier questions then to rush up to the hard game if you're not in a good position to answer it correctly any way.

That said, LG makes up the least questions on the test, so this student needs to be working on getting her main skills up more then anything. It's possible to hit 155 being terrible at games, but impossible to do so being terrible at LR. You know the routine, find her weakest points, and attack them in order of importance (as in what will get the most points). Good luck to your student!

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Pneumonia
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Re: 3 passage/game strategy

Postby Pneumonia » Wed May 01, 2013 10:48 pm

Clearlynotstefan wrote: It's possible to hit 155 being terrible at games, but impossible to do so being terrible at LR.


yeah I agree. Anything in the mid 150's and strategies/drilling is going to pay off in multiple sections too. This may be true into higher score bands as well but I'm certain it is at 155. Conditional logic, time management, answer elimination, reading speed etc are common to all sections (not to mention comfort and confidence with the test) so it's conceivable that drilling LG will help LR and RC. I'm of the opinion that there is much more commonality between the sections then people typically realize, and that the skills you pick up in LG are fundamental to the correct approach in LR and RC. That's just me though.

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nyjets2090
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Re: 3 passage/game strategy

Postby nyjets2090 » Wed May 01, 2013 11:02 pm

Pneumonia wrote:
nyjets2090 wrote:Not only do I think that some students should aim for 3 games perfectly, I think that most should, but (huge caveat here), if she's aiming for 3 games, she better make sure that she gets every single question on those 3 games.


Are you saying everyone should aim for 3 perfect in the course of aiming for 4 perfect? If so what you've said is confusing. If not then what you've said is bad advice. It's actually confusing either way, but perhaps I'm misreading.


Sorry, I can see how that could be confusing.

I'm saying that everyone should aim to get at least 3 of the games perfect. For many people, this may require that they use nearly all of their time, which means they will have to use the remaining 3 or 4 minutes to try and knock out the elimination question and make a few intelligent guesses on the final game.

I'm also saying that if she is aiming for 3 games, she better get every question on those games right because she'll have no margin of error.

The ideal is to get -0 on the entire section. I think aiming for anything less than perfection is a mistake. My first time around I aimed for a 170; I never broke 170 on a PT and walked away from Oct with a 162. I'm aiming for a 180 now, I'm regularly PTing between 169-172 with a month to go. Attitude is important.

Aiming for 3 games done perfectly may be practical, but it is not ideal. However, for your student's situation where a 156 is OK, it may be different. She is an exception to the general rule.

According to lsatqa (http://www.lsatqa.com/charts/errors_and_scores) she can afford a -33 and still likely walk away with a 156. If she gets three games completely right she'll likely get a -5 or -6 for the LG section. She could still (theoretically) miss an entire LR section and still walk away with a 156. For LR I'd drill her on question types that show up the most (flaw, strengthen, weaken, most strongly supported). I'm sure that most college graduates (presumably all American LSAT takers are college grads or in their final year) can hit a 156 with minimal prep (if we're defining minimal prep as a month).
Last edited by nyjets2090 on Wed May 01, 2013 11:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Pneumonia
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Re: 3 passage/game strategy

Postby Pneumonia » Wed May 01, 2013 11:06 pm

nyjets2090 wrote:I'm saying that everyone should aim to get at least 3 of the games perfect. For many people, this may require that they use nearly all of their time, which means they will have to use the remaining 3 or 4 minutes to try and knock out the elimination question and make a few intelligent guesses on the final game.


ah yes that makes mores sense. good advice for OP's student.

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Jeffort
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Re: 3 passage/game strategy

Postby Jeffort » Wed May 01, 2013 11:17 pm

OP, I'm curious if you know more about the situation the student has on her hands. How does she have a guaranteed law job for after graduation before even getting accepted into law school and also a tuition free ride at whatever specific school she needs to go to? The situation sounds a bit fishy/weird, especially since she only needs a 156 at whatever school she is supposed to go to, and it therefore is probably not a well ranked school with good employed after graduation stats.

Is it some sort of a government job promotion thing where she gets a better job in the same agency once she gets a law degree? I've never heard of anyone having a job guaranteed for them 3-4 years down the road before even getting accepted into LS and would not expect such a sweet LS incentive deal being offered to someone currently unable to break a 150 that started in the low 130s.

Is she famous or something and just needs a JD for some random famous person reason? Does she want to make and star in a reality TV show about lawyers and being in LS? Tell the truth, are you tutoring Kim Kardashian and is she making a new reality TV show?

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nyjets2090
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Re: 3 passage/game strategy

Postby nyjets2090 » Wed May 01, 2013 11:32 pm

Jeffort wrote:
Is she famous or something and just needs a JD for some random famous person reason? Does she want to make and star in a reality TV show about lawyers and being in LS? Tell the truth, are you tutoring Kim Kardashian and is she making a new reality TV show?


The Kardashian family can't even lie correctly about law school (http://radaronline.com/exclusives/2012/ ... aw-school/).

Seriously, if you're going to lie about what school you're going to, go for broke and say one of YHS.

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cahwc12
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Re: 3 passage/game strategy

Postby cahwc12 » Thu May 02, 2013 8:19 am

Jeffort wrote:OP, I'm curious if you know more about the situation the student has on her hands. How does she have a guaranteed law job for after graduation before even getting accepted into law school and also a tuition free ride at whatever specific school she needs to go to? The situation sounds a bit fishy/weird, especially since she only needs a 156 at whatever school she is supposed to go to, and it therefore is probably not a well ranked school with good employed after graduation stats.

Is it some sort of a government job promotion thing where she gets a better job in the same agency once she gets a law degree? I've never heard of anyone having a job guaranteed for them 3-4 years down the road before even getting accepted into LS and would not expect such a sweet LS incentive deal being offered to someone currently unable to break a 150 that started in the low 130s.

Is she famous or something and just needs a JD for some random famous person reason? Does she want to make and star in a reality TV show about lawyers and being in LS? Tell the truth, are you tutoring Kim Kardashian and is she making a new reality TV show?


I do know more but intentionally left it general.

I like Mik's advice and may try that. At least I'll hold off on advocating the 3 idea immediately. I honestly think that if I can get her to just take multiple PTs and get more exposure to the test, she may easily eclipse the 156 she needs. Her spread across LR, RG, LG is roughly even. She's getting most of the questions right but just spending way too long on the questions.

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cahwc12
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Re: 3 passage/game strategy

Postby cahwc12 » Thu May 02, 2013 12:28 pm

Wormfather wrote:
cahwc12 wrote:
I like Mik's advice and may try that. At least I'll hold off on advocating the 3 idea immediately. I honestly think that if I can get her to just take multiple PTs and get more exposure to the test, she may easily eclipse the 156 she needs. Her spread across LR, RG, LG is roughly even. She's getting most of the questions right but just spending way too long on the questions.


If that's the case then she just needs to drill like a mofo. She'll get to a point where 15/26 questions on LR are cake.

You may want to try the velocity (Brute Force) method for games. I dont think she has enough time to learn LG in a way where inferences become second nature.


Yeah when I met with her today we did some drilling and she is getting about 80-90% of the questions right, which is good. It's just that nothing is rote. It's weird because I know what it takes to get a top score (not that I got a top score myself), and it's just awkward trying to think of the best way to spend one's time to get a 156.

I'm thinking maybe just drilling/practice questions with the 52-61 book, repeating games and then PTing with 60-69 (2-3x per week) with review will probably get her there if not beyond.

I'm also a bit torn because I'd like for her to practice more questions by type, but i'd rather her not work on the cambridge packets because the questions are older (and we also went through a lot of them during the first time around). Since she only has a month, 52-69 seems like enough material.


Someone should start a Q&A thread for tutors. It seems like a lot of active posters here are also private tutors... we should share tips/etc since most of us don't actually compete with one another. It could also help those who can't necessarily afford tutoring to still benefit. (Just an offtopic thought)

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Pneumonia
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Re: 3 passage/game strategy

Postby Pneumonia » Thu May 02, 2013 12:32 pm

Wormfather wrote:Someone should start a Q&A thread for tutors. It seems like a lot of active posters here are also private tutors... we should share tips/etc since most of us don't actually compete with one another. It could also help those who can't necessarily afford tutoring to still benefit. (Just an offtopic thought)


+1




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