LR and RC diagnostic went well, will a book complicate them?

NonTradFTW
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LR and RC diagnostic went well, will a book complicate them?

Postby NonTradFTW » Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:43 am

I'm starting to prep for October, and took a diagnostic today just to get a feel for the test and to see what to focus on initially. I ended up -2 total on the two LR sections, -2 in RC, and -6 in LG. Definitely going to jump into the Manhattan LG guide to work on ironing out the LG issues, as I was way too slow getting through those. My bigger concern is whether I should continue to work on LR and RC through practice on prep tests and review of any incorrect answers, or dive into those Manhattan books as well. My concern is that going through the books could unnecessarily complicate those sections and leave me second guessing myself, or slow me down in these sections from trying to employ their methods rather than what already makes sense to me. Input from anyone with similar experience would be greatly appreciated.

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TheMostDangerousLG
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Re: LR and RC diagnostic went well, will a book complicate them?

Postby TheMostDangerousLG » Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:50 am

NonTradFTW wrote:I'm starting to prep for October, and took a diagnostic today just to get a feel for the test and to see what to focus on initially. I ended up -2 total on the two LR sections, -2 in RC, and -6 in LG. Definitely going to jump into the Manhattan LG guide to work on ironing out the LG issues, as I was way too slow getting through those. My bigger concern is whether I should continue to work on LR and RC through practice on prep tests and review of any incorrect answers, or dive into those Manhattan books as well. My concern is that going through the books could unnecessarily complicate those sections and leave me second guessing myself, or slow me down in these sections from trying to employ their methods rather than what already makes sense to me. Input from anyone with similar experience would be greatly appreciated.


You should definitely work to improve them.

</thread>

Reframe
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Re: LR and RC diagnostic went well, will a book complicate them?

Postby Reframe » Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:05 am

I would say yes, a book will complicate them. Keep working through preptests and if you don't see any improvement at all, or if you find yourself doing worse with the more recent tests, or anything like that, then you can buy a book.

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Jeffort
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Re: LR and RC diagnostic went well, will a book complicate them?

Postby Jeffort » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:25 am

NonTradFTW wrote:I'm starting to prep for October, and took a diagnostic today just to get a feel for the test and to see what to focus on initially. I ended up -2 total on the two LR sections, -2 in RC, and -6 in LG. Definitely going to jump into the Manhattan LG guide to work on ironing out the LG issues, as I was way too slow getting through those. My bigger concern is whether I should continue to work on LR and RC through practice on prep tests and review of any incorrect answers, or dive into those Manhattan books as well. My concern is that going through the books could unnecessarily complicate those sections and leave me second guessing myself, or slow me down in these sections from trying to employ their methods rather than what already makes sense to me. Input from anyone with similar experience would be greatly appreciated.


Whether or not you should use that performance as an indication not to radically alter your current approach to LR and RC sections by studying and implementing methods taught in a prep book depends on how legitimate your practice test score is for purposes of assessing your current ability/the range you would likely score in if you took the test in your current state of skills/preparation.

If your diagnostic score is accurate/a legitimate indicator of your current LSAT skill level under test conditions it puts you in the ~167-173 range since you only missed 10 questions. If that is the case you shouldn't have to do much of anything except practice more and review all mistakes in order to prevent the few mistakes you make from happening again in order to insure a high 170s score on test day.

However, to me your score from only one single practice test is not sufficient to say that you are indeed one of the rare LSAT naturals that scores 170s right out of the gate without any prep and shouldn't worry much about the test other than some moderate practice and review. If you can duplicate your performance several more times honestly under strict test day type conditions with fresh tests then you are golden and one of the rare few LSAT naturals to have ever consistently been almost perfect from the very beginning.

While I'd love it to be true for you to be a natural 170+ test taker since that would be awesome and stuff, don't get too excited just yet, I'm not convinced. Many people every year claim to start off cold in the 98-99th percentile range, but, for many different reasons, few people that make the claim ever turn out to be legit in terms of able to keep scoring in that range on all subsequent tests right after the first without a period of significantly lower scores on full tests taken under STRICT Test Day conditions.

Chances are you didn't take the diagnostic test under strict test day conditions in all important ways. Just a little bit of extra time (as little as 30 seconds more per section), breaks between or during sections, not taking the whole test in one sitting, having creature comforts handy (food, drinks, phone, pillow, scratch paper, etc.) and other things can make a big difference and artificially inflate the score. I'll bet that you did some of those things. Nobody properly simulates true test day conditions for their first virgin run diagnostic test except students that sign up for a prep course where class meeting #1 is a timed proctored 5 section test in almost virtually identical to test day conditions.

If you didn't actually take the diagnostic under strict test day conditions in all important ways (timing! mostly) it's still a frigging awesome starting score even if you took 45 minutes per section. If that is the case, take another one properly to re-evaluate your true current ability/scoring range since that is important to know in order to make a study plan appropriate to your situation.

Another possible explanation, which I hope is not the case, is that you didn't really only miss 10 questions on the first practice LSAT you ever took and are just pulling our legs like some people like to do to troll the TLS LSAT study board. If that is the case, then thanks a pant load for wasting my time typing out this post. Really though, I hope you are legit but I have to pay attention to reality that this is TLS and that it is super super rare to score 170+ on a virgin run first fully timed LSAT and that most people that make the claim are lying and/or didn't stick strictly to the time limits/test conditions.

kiyoku
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Re: LR and RC diagnostic went well, will a book complicate them?

Postby kiyoku » Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:07 am

ummm... i know that there are always exceptions but 170+ on a diag? Like the above poster has mentioned it's very rare and the chances are that something about that grade isnt quite reflecting your true expected value. If what you say is true and you had strict testing conditions... then i must say that you must have been practicing the same faculty of reasoning as required by the lsat, either in your studies or at work.

Daily_Double
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Re: LR and RC diagnostic went well, will a book complicate them?

Postby Daily_Double » Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:33 pm

Good work on the diagnostic. The answer to your question is no. I think the lack of books might actually over complicate things, meaning that while you scored well on one PT, you may still be using inefficient, incorrect, or overly complicated methods. The Manhattan books can, at the very least, reinforce what is working for you, and also introduce methods that will work for you. So I suggest them.

NonTradFTW
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Re: LR and RC diagnostic went well, will a book complicate them?

Postby NonTradFTW » Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:42 pm

Jeffort wrote:Whether or not you should use that performance as an indication not to radically alter your current approach to LR and RC sections by studying and implementing methods taught in a prep book depends on how legitimate your practice test score is for purposes of assessing your current ability/the range you would likely score in if you took the test in your current state of skills/preparation.

...

Chances are you didn't take the diagnostic test under strict test day conditions in all important ways. Just a little bit of extra time (as little as 30 seconds more per section), breaks between or during sections, not taking the whole test in one sitting, having creature comforts handy (food, drinks, phone, pillow, scratch paper, etc.) and other things can make a big difference and artificially inflate the score. I'll bet that you did some of those things. Nobody properly simulates true test day conditions for their first virgin run diagnostic test except students that sign up for a prep course where class meeting #1 is a timed proctored 5 section test in almost virtually identical to test day conditions.


Daily_Double wrote:Good work on the diagnostic. The answer to your question is no. I think the lack of books might actually over complicate things, meaning that while you scored well on one PT, you may still be using inefficient, incorrect, or overly complicated methods. The Manhattan books can, at the very least, reinforce what is working for you, and also introduce methods that will work for you. So I suggest them.


Thanks for your thoughts here. The post was not a troll (although I've read enough TLS to get why people are on the look out), but if anyone would rather discuss over PM I get it. This was a legit concern I had after taking that PT. I'm now getting the impression it was ridiculous concern.

To answer the test conditions questions, it certainly wasn't perfect, but was as close as I could come in my living room. The room was silent, but timing was strict and I took a 10 minute break after the third section. No creature comforts allowed. It was also only a 4 section test, as it came out of an LSAC prep test book.

Daily_Double, that was basically the evaluation I was looking for, so thanks. Didn't mean to give an impression that if this PT score meant anything I was going to kick my feet up until October, because the plan all along was to prep the whole way to maximize my score. My only question was if I'd be better off doing a ton of work with prep tests and the MLSAT LG book or doing a ton of work with prep tests and all three MLSAT books (I only reference the MLSAT books because those are the ones I bought based on the overall high reputation they seem to enjoy on this board). Looks like the consensus is the LR and RC books won't hurt anything.

kiyoku
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Re: LR and RC diagnostic went well, will a book complicate them?

Postby kiyoku » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:44 pm

The Manhattan series are definitely worth it, and regardless of your diagnostic, I don't see how reviewing different strategies would confuse you.

When I look at the books, it's clear to me which strategies are best for me and which are not, the ones that aren't, I discard after using it a few times, and it has never confused me.

If you have this much potential, I'd say you should definitely work at honing the skills you already have

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TheMostDangerousLG
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Re: LR and RC diagnostic went well, will a book complicate them?

Postby TheMostDangerousLG » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:48 pm

A single preptest is also a very small sample size. I went -0 or -1 on my first RC ever, and it turned out to be my worst section. You really can't tell where you need work, where you don't, and where you could benefit from a bit of study guide review until you've done some more testing. If you take another modern test and find that you are consistently going -0 to -2 in certain sections, sure, maybe you're good there, but I really wouldn't base my studying around what little info a single diagnostic test provides.

Reframe
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Re: LR and RC diagnostic went well, will a book complicate them?

Postby Reframe » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:55 pm

Which is why it's a good idea for OP to continue taking practice tests and table thinking about other prep methods for now.




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