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How I got a perfect score on the LSAT.

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 2:09 pm
by JDewey
Thought I would give my bit of advice. I took a more holistic than most people I think.

Here are my top three bits of advice.

1) Read all different kinds of information. I would read The Economist, The Smithsonian, and Scientific American, daily. I think this is what helped the most, and reading should be a top priority. You can re-wire the neurons in your brain to better handle written words if you read all the time. Most people's brains are probably set in "T.V. Mode" and unfortunately there is no video section on the LSAT. Turn off the television, start reading dense material, this will help you across the board not just on the reading comprehension section.

2) Pick up a good book on INFORMAL logic. I hear people saying that formal logic important, believe me, for this test INFORMAL logic is actually what you want to study. I think people are confusing the two. I am particularly fond of "Informal Logic: A handbook for critical argument" by Douglas N. Walton.

3) When you are studying, figure out why each answer choice was wrong, as well as why the correct one was in fact correct. This is kind of common sense but the tediousness of doing this causes it to be often ignored.

Cheers

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 2:59 pm
by blhblahblah
Solid advice.

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:13 pm
by brokendowncar
1. While somewhat good advice, it would only be well advised if you start heeding this advice incredibly early. A month or two of reading isn't going to be as beneficial as putting that extra time into actual LSAT practice would be.

2. Again, decent advice for sophomore year or something, but I think actual LSAT prep should be more focused.

3. I strongly agree with this point.

While the first two points might help someone go from a 176 to a 180 if they read it two years prior to the test, I doubt it is the information that would be most helpful for general exam prep. Just my two cents.

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:21 pm
by ihatelaw
great advice. sophmore year i got by with very little reading, when i started studying for the lsat, reading everyday like that for 2 or 3 months provided me with a big boost. people always underestimate how quickly your speed and comprehension improves if you read even 15 to 30 minutes a day.

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:22 pm
by rucoach
As a fellow 180, I strongly endorse this, most especially point 3. Nothing will help you beat the test as much as coming to understand it.

Re: How I got a perfect score on the LSAT.

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:15 pm
by Bangalmafia
Maybe you were just born with it?

To be honest, I don't think everyone is capable of getting a 180...some are just smarter than others & in this case, much smarter than others.


What a horrible way to kill off self-potential

Re: How I got a perfect score on the LSAT.

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:26 pm
by LoseItToMe
What a horrible way to kill off self-potential


it's actually a very good way to kill self-potential.

Re: How I got a perfect score on the LSAT.

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:28 pm
by JS1986
LoseItToMe wrote:
What a horrible way to kill off self-potential


it's actually a very good way to kill self-potential.


It's like reading an LSAT problem.

Whether it's horrible or very good, it is still a way to kill self-potential.

Re: How I got a perfect score on the LSAT.

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:29 pm
by prelaw76
It seems like everyone on these forums gets a 180 these days :roll:

Re: How I got a perfect score on the LSAT.

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:56 pm
by Alf14997
This is a self-selecting forum. There is bound to be a large number of extremely high scorers.

Re: How I got a perfect score on the LSAT.

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:28 pm
by USCtrojan86
To be honest, I don't think everyone is capable of getting a 180...some are just smarter than others & in this case, much smarter than others.


I completely agree....

For example, my first diag was 162...there's no way I can ever get 180. Goal is 170, upper 160s more feasible. But 180? No way.


...and suddenly, I completely disagree. How can we go from complete agreement to complete disagreement in literally two posts, JS?!

(Note: I cold tested on my first diag last July at a respectable but far from impressive 159. At the end of September, I was regularly testing 175+ (although I admit that I never actually got a hard 180), and even with the usual "performance dip" on game day I came out with a 173.)

I am far from a genius. Going from high 150's to 170's is definitely not unheard of, and you cold tested 3 points higher than I did, which means you are probably good at Logic Games (which is what continually haunted me and ultimately "did me in", if you can call it that, on the real thing.)

If you really cold tested on a real LSAT at 162, I think 175+ is probably very much within your grasp if you work for it, and you are in a better position than most to luck out and hit a 180 on game day.

Re: How I got a perfect score on the LSAT.

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:24 am
by JS1986
USCtrojan86 wrote:...and suddenly, I completely disagree. How can we go from complete agreement to complete disagreement in literally two posts, JS?!

(Note: I cold tested on my first diag last July at a respectable but far from impressive 159. At the end of September, I was regularly testing 175+ (although I admit that I never actually got a hard 180), and even with the usual "performance dip" on game day I came out with a 173.)

I am far from a genius. Going from high 150's to 170's is definitely not unheard of, and you cold tested 3 points higher than I did, which means you are probably good at Logic Games (which is what continually haunted me and ultimately "did me in", if you can call it that, on the real thing.)

If you really cold tested on a real LSAT at 162, I think 175+ is probably very much within your grasp if you work for it, and you are in a better position than most to luck out and hit a 180 on game day.


Actually games are my worst section, which is ironic considering my major. I'm a turd at games. Reading Comp is my best section by far. (This is reflective of my past testing experience. On the ACT back in the day I rocked the English & Reading Comp sections (36/36) but did garbage in math (28?29))

But supposedly games are the easiest to master after work. It's a shame they suck.

The reason why I'm skeptical about huge increases is because the max increase I know of in person is 10 points, and they tested in the 140s on their diagnostic so it's a lot easier for them to gain points than someone testing in high 150s or early 160s.

Re: How I got a perfect score on the LSAT.

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:03 pm
by Lyrrad
It's certainly possible to gain 10 points. I went from 171 (first diag, after reading Kaplan book) to 180 on the test (-2). This was over 5-6 weeks, so I didn't have too much time to prepare, but here is what I did:

1) Read PowerScore Logic Games/Logical Reasoning Bibles
2) Do PrepTests under timed conditions (Used the LSAT Proctor DVD)
3) For LR/RC, understand exactly why the correct response is right and the wrong responses are wrong for all questions you get wrong/are unsure about.
4) Practice LG until you get all of them right, every time.

I feel that these steps are essential to get the last few points out of the LSAT. You cannot just go with intuition to figure out the correct answers for the hardest questions, but rather instinctively analyze each question properly.

Re: How I got a perfect score on the LSAT.

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:38 pm
by JS1986
What is the LSAT proctor dvd? Some dude on video who times you ?

Re: How I got a perfect score on the LSAT.

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 8:43 pm
by Lyrrad
Yes. http://www.lsatproctor.com/

I found it helpful to get my timing down and to know what to expect on test day. Previous to that I was using an online stopwatch to time myself.

Re: How I got a perfect score on the LSAT.

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 9:15 pm
by commoner
I love Alf!

Re: How I got a perfect score on the LSAT.

Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:07 am
by brutus
LoseItToMe wrote:
What a horrible way to kill off self-potential


it's actually a very good way to kill self-potential.


Rather nerd of me to laugh at this, but it gave me quite a chuckle.

Re: How I got a perfect score on the LSAT.

Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:13 am
by Bangalmafia
What a horrible way to kill off self-potential


it's actually a very good way to kill self-potential.


You must be freakin kidding me.

Re: How I got a perfect score on the LSAT.

Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 5:58 pm
by prelaw76
Alf14997 wrote:This is a self-selecting forum. There is bound to be a large number of extremely high scorers.


That's true, but three 180's in a single thread?

Re: How I got a perfect score on the LSAT.

Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:17 pm
by JDewey
I have always been pretty good on tests luckily, and I don't think that being comfortable with tests is something that can be taught, learned or acquired maybe, but not taught.

The LSAT is concerned with a pretty specific group of skills, if you can narrow down your focus to just these skills, a 20-25 point increase is not impossible, and I would even consider it likely if you do things right.

Re: How I got a perfect score on the LSAT.

Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:38 pm
by prelaw76
The LSAT is concerned with a pretty specific group of skills, if you can narrow down your focus to just these skills, a 20-25 point increase is not impossible, and I would even consider it likely if you do things right.


This is a good point. If you can identify your weaknesses, you can easily fix them and significantly increase your score.

Re: How I got a perfect score on the LSAT.

Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:45 pm
by Lyrrad
prelaw76 wrote:
Alf14997 wrote:This is a self-selecting forum. There is bound to be a large number of extremely high scorers.


That's true, but three 180's in a single thread?


1) I'm sure that a significant proportion of the 180's (about 20-40/year) did so because of techniques from online boards such as these.
2) 180's are more likely to be attracted to threads about 180. (Especially if they're procrastinating about getting their applications done by the deadline...)
3) Personally I try to offer input where I can, if I think it can be helpful. As people's practice scores get closer to 180, it becomes harder to improve.

That said, there is a large element of luck involved in getting that high score. But if you are able to be relaxed during the test, and practice well you might be surprised at how well you can do.

Re: How I got a perfect score on the LSAT.

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:04 am
by gmmathers
It's a shame they suck.


I love logic games. It's where I look for my guaranteed -0 section. If the entire test were 101 points of LG, I'd bet the mortgage on a 180.

The best part is that when you select an answer choice, for the most part, you are positive it is correct. The rules are right in front of you. LR and RC have that underlying ambiguity in which meanings can be misinterpreted and answers could be right for different reasons

Seems like every other thread has someone saying how hard logic games are and that they're loosing massive points on that section. If this is you, feel free to PM me with any game that really trips you up and I'll advise on how to break that type easily.

Re: How I got a perfect score on the LSAT.

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 2:27 am
by SeekingHeight
For example, my first diag was 162...there's no way I can ever get 180.


I'm going to mimic Trojan here and disagree with you, if only in principle. I mean, maybe your diagnostic was wildly inaccurate and you should have scored a 140. However, a 162 is a very good initial diagnostic. Think about it: You're scoring around the 90th percentile cold. That's fantastic. It tells me that you have a very firm grip on many core LSAT concepts. Thus, with refinement and commitment, you should be able to push your score into the 99th percentile. Even a 180 cannot be considered unfeasible.

Like Trojan, I am not a genius, nor am I brilliant. Yet I scored a very high. I had to earn every single point from my initial 157 diagnostic. Did I doubt myself? Repeatedly. We like to justify our pessimism by dressing it as reality, but remember reality is that normal joes such as Trojan and I scored well. I don't know Trojan's LSAT story, but I'll tell you that hard work and a smart strategy are powerful tools in the hands of a determined individual.

Re: How I got a perfect score on the LSAT.

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 2:32 pm
by brokendowncar
My cold diag was only a few points higher than a 162, and I hit 180 several times in practice and was all of one question away from a 180 on the real thing. It is definitely doable, and you shouldn't settle for anything other than a 175+.