1 Year Prep Start: Hold off on the PT's??

kiyoku
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1 Year Prep Start: Hold off on the PT's??

Postby kiyoku » Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 pm

Hi,

My dia-test was in the 150's and I want to give myself 1 year+ of studying before I write my test. Of course, if I still suck after a year... somehow I would need to give myself some more time.
I'm worst at RC and I strongly believe that LG and LR can be completely conquered within this lengthy time period. I know everyone aims for a 180, and that 30 point jumps are unrealistic, but this is what I'm aiming for. (What's the point of aiming for 170+? In truth, I just want to try my best and accept the score that I get. If I feel it's nearly the best that I can do, then i'm happy with it. If not...then I try harder. But somehow it doesn't make sense for me to try to aim for less than perfect. You should be studying for the LSAT in an attempt to master the material and the performance aspect of the test, not to somewhat master it..)

I've read almost all the guides and articles on TLS and they've helped me a lot, but most people don't really plan this far out ahead, so I was thinking I might be able to get some help from the TLS community.

I'm thinking about holding off on picking up a book that uses actual test prep questions for the simple fact that if they were used in the actual test preps, then those test preps are now tainted and I wouldn't' be able to use them as a real simulated PT. Perhaps someone has a different perspective on this, but I want to be able to do roughly 1 PT a week. I don't see many people worrying about exhausting their PTs too early, when they are planning from the start of the LSAT learning journey. Yet, I do see people getting worried after a few months, seeing as how they have exhausted all of their PTs, and haven't learned enough during the PT's. It might be a fairly rough comparison but, if you're learning to play basketball for the first time, the optimal learning schedule really depends on what the objective is. For those who are aiming to play a game in a week, the coach might emphasize certain elements of the game to have the most amount of improvement in the shortest amount of time (for those aiming for 160+). At the same time, this might not be the same situation for someone who aspires to become a very good basketball player in the longer-run. In my high school team, for example, my coach spent the first 3 weeks purely on running and getting our stamina and physique to a excellent level. Only after that, did he get his olympic-athlete friend to come in a show us some techniques. Because we had the foundations down, we were able to extract as much as possible when the lessons started. However, if that olympic sub-coach came in on the first day and tried to teach techniques, yes it would have helped, but his lessons would have been not efficiently absorbed since we'd all be panting like dogs, half-way through the exercise. This is especially applicable when there's a very important learning source that is all the more scarce. If I decide to just dive into it, I will see immediate results faster, but I can't help but imagine that I might limiting my long-run growth, when I'm studying off the PTs and not juicing every single PTs for their value. What I'm trying to say is that if i'm not already strong with reading and basic logic, and I consider myself to have the commitment to see this as a long-run studying effort, perhaps I should stay away from the PTs and the books that use question from the PTs, until I first get my hands on doing my own "Economist readings" (and memory recall exercises while I read them), or perhaps doing some readings on logic (formal or informal), and doing some more readings on modes of reasoning (arguments and what not). Perhaps it's much more efficient to consult the resources that I listed above (which would help one's foundation skills) before moving into the PT's which is the only reliable testing source. If I was testing at 160's in my diagnosis test, then I would think about moving straight into the Bibles, for example. But since I'm starting low, since I have the commitment to study for a long time, and since PTs (and good study guides) are limited, I thought I should be using the most relevant material towards the latter half of my studying as opposed to using them right away, in an attempt to see some instant gains.

Now, before I go off with this strategy, I just wanted to know if there might be some other who would agree/disagree with what I'm trying to say. =)

itachiuchiha
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Re: 1 Year Prep Start: Hold off on the PT's??

Postby itachiuchiha » Wed May 29, 2013 6:19 pm

do 1 a week and start at 1

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Nova
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Re: 1 Year Prep Start: Hold off on the PT's??

Postby Nova » Wed May 29, 2013 6:27 pm

Paragraphs, OP.

kiyoku
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Re: 1 Year Prep Start: Hold off on the PT's??

Postby kiyoku » Wed May 29, 2013 6:30 pm

Nova wrote:Paragraphs, OP.


Okay. Okay i'm sorry about that, but my burger was getting cold. T_T

kiyoku
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Re: 1 Year Prep Start: Hold off on the PT's??

Postby kiyoku » Wed May 29, 2013 6:33 pm

itachiuchiha wrote:do 1 a week and start at 1


If this strategy is good enough in the long-run, then I have a question.

I want to practice by compartmentalizing (LR LG RC), but most books use real PT questions. That will heavily impact the PT scores once I arrive at the particular PTs that those books were taking the questions from. Is it good to just ignore this problem because 68 PTs = more than enough?

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Nova
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Re: 1 Year Prep Start: Hold off on the PT's??

Postby Nova » Wed May 29, 2013 6:38 pm

If I were you, I would just start with the bibles + Economist. Then read manhattan when you finish the bibles and start doing some drilling. Then do mostly drilling with an occasional PT. Then start doing more PTs as test day approaches.

You can probably get through every LSAT question pretty easily within a year. Youll probably end up doing several questions many times (which is ok, so long as you work through the logic in your head and dont just jump straight to the answer). Make sure to save all of like 52-68 for the last 2-3 months.

I wouldnt spend time with other (in)formal logic books. I dont think that would be an efficient use of time. All that matters is LSAT logic, and everyhting you need to know about LSAT logic is in the PSBs/Manhattan guides.

kiyoku
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Re: 1 Year Prep Start: Hold off on the PT's??

Postby kiyoku » Wed May 29, 2013 6:42 pm

I have just found out that I am easily persuaded. I now feel like going with what you said Nova...

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Nova
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Re: 1 Year Prep Start: Hold off on the PT's??

Postby Nova » Wed May 29, 2013 6:46 pm

kiyoku wrote:
itachiuchiha wrote:do 1 a week and start at 1


If this strategy is good enough in the long-run, then I have a question.

I want to practice by compartmentalizing (LR LG RC), but most books use real PT questions. That will heavily impact the PT scores once I arrive at the particular PTs that those books were taking the questions from. Is it good to just ignore this problem because 68 PTs = more than enough?

I think you are worrying too much about precisely measuring your progress. Repeating questions makes you better too. Just accept some of your PT scores may be inflated a bit. There will only be a handful of problems per PT youve seen before. The books dont draw from the most recent PTs (i forget the cut of though), so those will be your best bench marks.Most of the questions in the PSBs/M will be from PTs 1-40, which are mostly used for drilling anyway.

kiyoku
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Re: 1 Year Prep Start: Hold off on the PT's??

Postby kiyoku » Wed May 29, 2013 6:52 pm

Nova wrote:
kiyoku wrote:
itachiuchiha wrote:do 1 a week and start at 1

There will only be a handful of problems per PT youve seen before. The books dont draw from the most recent PTs (i forget the cut of though), so those will be your best bench marks.Most of the questions in the PSBs/M will be from PTs 1-40, which are mostly used for drilling anyway.


If it's about 1-40, then I have more than enough PTs left over that are fresh. This sounds great. I thought that the practice books just take questions from everywhere. When I think about it again, running through the same technique does not necessarily mean that I'm not learning since it's the same exercise. In fact, I think it's the better learner, who goes through the same exercise multiple times, identifying his weaknesses to a more and more meticulous level, each time.

Btw I hear a lot of good things about the Bibles and Manhattan, but I haven't heard too much about Kaplan and TPR. It seems like people have mixed reviews.
What's your take on it?

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Nova
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Re: 1 Year Prep Start: Hold off on the PT's??

Postby Nova » Wed May 29, 2013 7:00 pm

I only did the Bibles and Manhattan and thought they were wonderful. Bibles are a bit more simplistic, so I think doing them first is best. Then when you do manhattan, you can pick and choose which strategies you prefer. There are some significant differences in strategy (I cant really recall details since I took the test 2 years ago), but I thought it was nice to see how to attack the questions from different angles.

Kaplan guides generally get very poor reviews on TLS. I hear their explanations and strategies are not up to par. IDK about TPR.

PSB + M are what TLS generally recommends and it seems to be a good mix to score high.

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Cicero76
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Re: 1 Year Prep Start: Hold off on the PT's??

Postby Cicero76 » Wed May 29, 2013 7:35 pm

There are enough PTs that doing the books should not adversely impact your scores. You can always use one of the most recent 15 PTs when you want a more accurate diagnostic. Not using good books with real questions right away when you have a whole year to study, however...that would be dumb.

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SteelPenguin
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Re: 1 Year Prep Start: Hold off on the PT's??

Postby SteelPenguin » Thu May 30, 2013 12:34 pm

150s isn't as low as a starting point as you think. It may not be the norm, but there are plenty of people on here that started with a 15X that jumped around 20 points into the 170s. With 6+ months of studying, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if you reached the mid 170s. That doesn't mean it's easy, guaranteed, or even expected though. Study like hell, and if you hit the 170s earlier than 1 year out, I would consider taking the test a little earlier than the year mark. One year is a long time for your first test, and I think it might be a bit overkill. Why not try for 6 months (still a very long, thorough study time), and just remain open to retakes or delaying if you are not at your target score?

EDIT: No matter the time period, I would definitely work on the Powerscore books first, and then Manhattan, with Cambridge drilling mixed in between the chapters. Manhattan seems to be more beneficial to people with a foundation of the LSAT. Best of luck to you, and continue to remain active on TLS. It has helped me stay focused and motivated.

kiyoku
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Re: 1 Year Prep Start: Hold off on the PT's??

Postby kiyoku » Thu May 30, 2013 6:54 pm

this is great... started with games and i just found out that i suck at group games.

time to learn =) many thanks.many thanks.

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Br3v
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Re: 1 Year Prep Start: Hold off on the PT's??

Postby Br3v » Thu May 30, 2013 7:00 pm

Read first few sentences only.

1 yr prob too long but if you must I'd do 3 months of learning each section in and out (1 mo each section using books like Manhattan or Powerscore). Then I'd start PTing, slow at first (like 1 a week) and picking up steam until you run ito a regular 3 mo or so PT plan.

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sublime
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Re: 1 Year Prep Start: Hold off on the PT's??

Postby sublime » Thu May 30, 2013 7:08 pm

..




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