DD's Thoughts on the LSAT

socraticmethod
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Re: DD's Thoughts on the LSAT

Postby socraticmethod » Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:34 pm

This is the most compelling advice I have read on this site. Thank you. While most of the advice is usually targeted towards a 17x +, I like that this guide is mostly about the test and getting better on it. I guess that far too often, we fall into the trap of mistaking our pt scores for the real thing. While they may no doubt be indicative, the sole purpose is to help you get better at the test. It is true that the easiest and most gratifying part of prep is PT. This definitely helped to dispel some assumptions.

meegee
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Re: DD's Thoughts on the LSAT

Postby meegee » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:09 am

Great guide man. Very detailed and informative. This should be in the TLS guides stickied thread.

I just wanted to say, you are an inspiration. I was perusing through TLS during my earlier days of prep and I came cross this in the June 2013 thread:

"You know what I saw today? Today I was in the library. I was plugged into my proctor app by 11:00 AM and I took two full PTs. But you know what, someone was there before me, this dude, I was impressed, I mean, I woke up on Sunday early, I ran, then I did work, and still, somebody still beat me to progress. So I left the library around 5:00 PM. When I left, I saw the same guy, in the same seat, and you know what he was doing? I know you know this book. He was bubbling answers from one of the PTs in the green LSAC book containing the 50s. And I thought to myself, I don't know who this guy is, I don't know how well he's scoring, but damn, that man is hungry. What I'm getting at here is that you are not alone. Now I know you know, and I know too, that tens of thousands of people take this test and apply to law schools, probably the same ones you're applying to, during the same cycle as we will. But for me, this hit home. And what I'm saying is that people, this guy included, are trying to do better than me, better than you.

So I'm telling you what I'm going to do, I'm going to wake up earlier tomorrow, run earlier, review earlier, and work harder. And I suggest you do the same. Because remember, to use an analogy, I may be that guy that you see working through the green LSAC book before you even crack it open.”

Spoken by none other than OP, Daily_Double.

Thank you very much.

Daily_Double
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Re: DD's Thoughts on the LSAT

Postby Daily_Double » Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:11 pm

It is now November 29, 2013. I have been teaching/tutoring this test since July and I strongly endorse this guide.

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nothingtosee
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Re: DD's Thoughts on the LSAT

Postby nothingtosee » Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:58 am

Hey DD - just wondering how the retake went. With all the time and thought uve put in I'm really hoping you were satisfied with the retake!

Daily_Double
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Re: DD's Thoughts on the LSAT

Postby Daily_Double » Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:52 pm

It went very well, I even increased my score by a couple points, but compared to my first take the effort I put in was subpar. Still, I'm satisfied with it, and definitely done retaking :D .

Once I finish teaching/tutoring in June I'll update the OP with some more tips and links that I send students. Until then I doubt I'll post much more, but if anyone has any questions, feel free to PM me.

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nothingtosee
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Re: DD's Thoughts on the LSAT

Postby nothingtosee » Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:12 pm

Daily_Double wrote:It went very well, I even increased my score by a couple points, but compared to my first take the effort I put in was subpar. Still, I'm satisfied with it, and definitely done retaking :D .

Once I finish teaching/tutoring in June I'll update the OP with some more tips and links that I send students. Until then I doubt I'll post much more, but if anyone has any questions, feel free to PM me.


Wooo! congrats. Nice when those who help others have things work out for them.

Syncia
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Re: DD's Thoughts on the LSAT

Postby Syncia » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:29 pm

Thank u very much.

Daily_Double
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Re: DD's Thoughts on the LSAT

Postby Daily_Double » Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:03 pm

I made a few minor updates (added a link to an interesting free thing Graeme is doing, edited a few paragraphs, and that's about it). I'll do one more revision so to speak and then call it quits. But before I wrap this thing up, I thought I'd ask if there's anything you guys simply want more information on. I have an entire folder on my gmail account full of emails between students and I that probably address most of your concerns (specifically Conditional Logic, Ordering Games, the Assumption family, a bit on RC, and some more large emails that I can't remember off the top of my head, the rest were mostly responses to specific concerns).

So what do you want more of? I don't want to turn this into an "Ask the Instructor," thread, but if you ask, I'll throw it in the guide later this week----as well as some more pictures and maybe even a few subtle Seinfeld references to reduce the effect of a wall of text :lol:

Also, if you want to ask me questions about applying to, and working for, a major prep company, just send me a PM and I'll get back to you.

Side Note: Unless you become an Instructor, which I highly recommend if you have the chance and are cut out for it, the LSAT is an extremely temporary concern. A lot of time, energy, and anxiety for some, goes into it, but once you're done, it really doesn't matter anymore. I guess what I'm saying is that there's a light at the end of the tunnel, it's bright, and you won't worry about the test again, nor will anyone else care about it, once you get there.

joeisreallycool
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Re: DD's Thoughts on the LSAT

Postby joeisreallycool » Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:06 am

Hey DD, just wanted to thank you on your very informative guide. I just started to study this week for the late Sept. LSAT, and thus far have been gathering information from various threads and basically taking into advice everything that high scorers have said on how to prep.

While I do still plan on browsing other guides and other book recommendations to make the appropriate changes on what applies to me, I seem to keep coming back to your guide on what exactly to do. It is also the most up to date.

So a few questions for you, if you get the time. As of now I have all of the powerscore bibles, the two most recent "10 new actual lsat" books, and the superprep. I have already started the LGB.

Now from what you're saying I should get BP LG, stick with the LRB, toss the RCB, and pick up all three of the manhattan books, correct? Do I scratch what i've done on the LGB so far(1/3 complete), start on the LRB, and start on the BP LG when I get it? Also, what do I do with the Superprep?

Daily_Double
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Re: DD's Thoughts on the LSAT

Postby Daily_Double » Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:19 am

joeisreallycool wrote:Hey DD, just wanted to thank you on your very informative guide. I just started to study this week for the late Sept. LSAT, and thus far have been gathering information from various threads and basically taking into advice everything that high scorers have said on how to prep.

While I do still plan on browsing other guides and other book recommendations to make the appropriate changes on what applies to me, I seem to keep coming back to your guide on what exactly to do. It is also the most up to date.

So a few questions for you, if you get the time. As of now I have all of the powerscore bibles, the two most recent "10 new actual lsat" books, and the superprep. I have already started the LGB.

Now from what you're saying I should get BP LG, stick with the LRB, toss the RCB, and pick up all three of the manhattan books, correct? Do I scratch what i've done on the LGB so far(1/3 complete), start on the LRB, and start on the BP LG when I get it? Also, what do I do with the Superprep?


Yep. I'd suggest working through BPLG, the LRB, then the Manhattan books. So you'd end up tossing the RCB and the LGB. But this is just a recommendation, I find that these books complement each other in terms of their approaches, their diagramming methods, and difficulty. Mix in the Superprep book after you drill specific question/game types using the Cambridge bundles. I'd suggest working through Superprep untimed as sort of a transition to full length timed tests.

You definitely don't have to do this though, the LGB and the RCB are fine books, but I recommend following this approach because the other books fill in gaps to a greater extent than do these two Bibles.

I'm glad you found this post helpful. Good luck with the LSAT.

joeisreallycool
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Re: DD's Thoughts on the LSAT

Postby joeisreallycool » Sat Jun 21, 2014 12:04 am

I figure that I only have three months, and with my low gpa (3.2) and all the advice on splitters (hopefully that is what I become) applying early, it seems to me like I only have one real shot at this if I want to go to good school right after UG. I'm not going to mess around really, and if you say that manhattan and bp and better than that is what I am going to go with.

Another quick question for you though, what are your thoughts on improving scores when LG isn't your problem? I have yet to find my problem, as I have not yet taken a diagnostic (I'm nervous it will only discourage me, and I am not interested in a cold score). I keep reading how if LR or RC is the problem, you are pretty much in a far worse off position in terms of raising your score. Is this true? Or through repetition and practice RC and LR become second nature like LG would.

Again, thank you very much.

Daily_Double
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Re: DD's Thoughts on the LSAT

Postby Daily_Double » Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:12 am

joeisreallycool wrote:Another quick question for you though, what are your thoughts on improving scores when LG isn't your problem? I have yet to find my problem, as I have not yet taken a diagnostic (I'm nervous it will only discourage me, and I am not interested in a cold score). I keep reading how if LR or RC is the problem, you are pretty much in a far worse off position in terms of raising your score. Is this true? Or through repetition and practice RC and LR become second nature like LG would.

Again, thank you very much.


I want to point out a few things before I answer your question. First, don't make the mistake of taking this test too early. Second, don't make the mistake of speculating about issues that might arise in your LSAT prep before they even arise. Doing either will only increase your anxiety without providing any benefit. Both are easy to do, but try to avoid them.

I wouldn't say you're in a far worse position. LSAT scores are valid for five years after the administration date, so a test taker could conceivably apply with the same scores during the cycles of students who have taken different tests. Now pause and expand that thought----LSAC has to balance the difficulty and nature of each test within a time period (more than five years because this is an ongoing process) such that any one test doesn't provide an unfair advantage to students. In effect, the LSAT has to be extremely consistent. They've also released over 70 previous exams. Now I don't mean to imply that you must do all of them, but it's worth pointing out that the combination of these two facts (consistency and quantity of old tests) makes this a very learnable test if you approach it the right way.

You can resolve, or at least greatly reduce, any weaknesses you have if you use the right books, review, and are patient. So no, I don't think that an issue with LR or RC, or both, as opposed to LG, places you in a far worse position, or even a worse position, than you would be otherwise.

joeisreallycool
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Re: DD's Thoughts on the LSAT

Postby joeisreallycool » Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:48 pm

Well that certainly is encouraging, thank you. If you don't mind, I'm just going to fire away and hit you with all I've got.

Is there anything you have learned now from teaching the course for so long that you would have done differently in your own prep?

How long did you give yourself to prepare? I see that you had a full year between your two tests, but to get that initial 172(which is kickass on its own), how long did you study for?

Did you end up going to law school? Where?

In terms of learning the concepts, take the LRB for example. They outline 9 primary objectives for each question. Although I now know generally how to attack the questions that I've covered thus far, I definitely do not actively think about the 9 primary objectives when I do. Should I be answering while learning to practice these objectives? If something is a fact set, I don't say in my head "Okay, this is a fact set", rather I just see what the questions stem asks and answer.

Daily_Double
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Re: DD's Thoughts on the LSAT

Postby Daily_Double » Fri Jul 04, 2014 8:22 am

joeisreallycool wrote:Well that certainly is encouraging, thank you. If you don't mind, I'm just going to fire away and hit you with all I've got.

Is there anything you have learned now from teaching the course for so long that you would have done differently in your own prep?


A bunch of things. The most important thing that I've picked up is that the major companies (BP, Powerscore, Manhattan, etc.) are all suggesting the exact same thing. And it's really simple: understand the patterns in the categories of questions and games, identify which pattern is present based upon the facts at hand, anticipate the effect of the correct answers, stray away from patterns of incorrect answers. The key here is to ask yourself questions while you're working through the test. I've copied and pasted some questions you should ask yourself in LR below.

joeisreallycool wrote:How long did you give yourself to prepare? I see that you had a full year between your two tests, but to get that initial 172(which is kickass on its own), how long did you study for?


In total, about six months for the first test. But, during that time I was in school and worked thirty hours a week, so I spaced it out over a long period of time to make sure I was prepared for the first test. For the second test, I really didn't prepare for the test, rather I just prepared to tutor people by doing whatever we would be going over. I also was accepted to my top choices by the second test, so there really wasn't any pressure.

joeisreallycool wrote:In terms of learning the concepts, take the LRB for example. They outline 9 primary objectives for each question. Although I now know generally how to attack the questions that I've covered thus far, I definitely do not actively think about the 9 primary objectives when I do. Should I be answering while learning to practice these objectives? If something is a fact set, I don't say in my head "Okay, this is a fact set", rather I just see what the questions stem asks and answer.


Yes. But I prefer a mixed approach from the books. Read the books, learn how each suggests you approach games, RC, and LR, then figure out how you want to approach those topics by combining your favorite points from each. Here's my approach:

You'll notice that each of these follow the intuitive ways you already work through questions---find what you're asked to do in the stem, do it in the stimulus by making a prephrase, then analyze the answers to find which one has the same effect. But you have to ingrain these habits, or else you might be misled by an answer choice.

1. Is the stem asking me to analyze an argument (Assumption Family), make a valid inference (Inference Family), or read the argument for structure (Structure Family)

2. If Assumption, then why is the conclusion not necessarily true (Flaw, Evaluate the Argument)? How could I make the conclusion more likely to be true, or completely true (strengthen, S/A, Principle Identify)? How could I make the conclusion less likely to be true, or make it false (weaken and N/A)?

3. If Inference, then which facts connect directly or indirectly in the stimulus? What can I infer from them (MBT, MSS, Complete the passage, Principle Apply)? If there are two views/speakers, then which facts relate to each other and how do they relate (Pt at Issue)? If there's an issue between two facts then what would resolve both sides of that issue (Paradox)?

4. If Structure, then how does the author reach his conclusion (Method Argument, Parallel, Parallel Flaw)? Which sentences are premises? What do they support? What is the main conclusion (Method Part, Main Conclusion)?

These are just guidelines, and you probably know everything I just typed, but consciously integrating them into how you think through each question ensures that you don't make errors which you later recognize to be obvious mistakes. Give it a shot, and good luck.

Daily_Double
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Re: DD's Thoughts on the LSAT

Postby Daily_Double » Fri Jul 04, 2014 8:31 am

I made one last addition to the original post. It is below. That's it for me here, I won't be checking my PMs or this thread for awhile, but there are a bunch of LSAT gurus on this site (Graeme, Mike Kim, Jeffort, the BP staff, the Manhattan staff, etc.). Don't hesitate to post questions in their threads because they give helpful advice all the time---even back when I was studying. Good luck with the test.

Expect the Unexpected

People have asked me a lot over the past year and a half "What do I do if there's a circle game? Or, what is the likelihood of a mapping game/difficult passage? IS LSAC OUT TO GET ME?"

This is an important test, but if you psych yourself out, if you convince yourself that there are types of games, or subjects in RC, or question types in LR that would ruin your test, then if you see anything that fits these qualities you will have a small or large mental breakdown during the test, and that's one of the worst things you can do to yourself. Now you may be a masochist and enjoy self loathing and defeat, but if you don't then what you should do is expect to be challenged on this test.

Anticipate something unusual, be it a game, passage type, or five parallel questions back to back, look forward to it. You've done the work, you can think on your feet, you should be confident that you can handle curveballs LSAC throws your way. So when something odd or unusual pops up on the test, recognize that this is the unexpected situation you thought would appear and instead of freaking out, give it your best shot----by doing so you've already separated yourself from the majority of test takers, and what's more, you avoided the pitfalls of a mid-test collapse.

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champv17
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Re: DD's Thoughts on the LSAT

Postby champv17 » Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:06 pm

Thanks for this. It is helping tremendously.

niceone7
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Re: DD's Thoughts on the LSAT

Postby niceone7 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:12 am

How would you all adjust this to a 3 month plan? Are there some prep test you would do over others?




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