LSAT success story I read on Can. Law forums

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flash21
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Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:56 pm

LSAT success story I read on Can. Law forums

Postby flash21 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:36 pm

I'll copy/paste it here:

Hi everyone! As a long time lurker I thought I finally had something to contribute to the forum. I find that there aren't enough inspirational stories of big points gains and while I was struggling I was always looking for success stories of those who started really crappy and worked their way to a respectable score. It's helpful to hear from people who had to work their way up for their score, and not just from those lucky individuals who get 165 their first try.

Some background info - I have a 3.88 GPA with a BA in Criminology. I wrote the lsat in Dec 2009 and Feb 2010, scoring 148 and 149 respectively. I just recently wrote the Feb 2011 test and got a 163. So how did I do it? With advice from this forum (my user name used to be big mac) I made the difficult decision to drop one of my varsity sports. I played both b-ball and soccer for my university. I dropped the more time consuming one (bball) and quit my other extracurriculars such as volunteering. I kept soccer however which was a good choice as my teammates were so supportive of me. I graduated this past summer from my BA and started my MA in Criminal Justice which was a huge relief as it's only once a month and is designed for working professionals. So basically not having undergrad courses was a huge advantage, I treated the lsat like a full time job, with nothing else except soccer practice and the occasional work shift. The rest of my strategy:

The first thing I did was realize that using fake LSAT questions was a huge mistake. I got rid of all my crappy prep books from Kaplan, Barrons, Princeton etc and bought the Powerscore Trilogy (ie the logic games bible, reading comprehension bible, and logical reasoning bible) I also got the Next 10 Actual Official LSATs and LSAT Superprep which I highly recommend. Basically I collected as many real tests as possible starting from about preptest 20.

I then went to Staples and made 3 copies of every single logic game from every single test. When you photocopy make sure you label at the top what preptest it came from! Then using a list in the back of the powerscore games bible/LSAT blog resources I categorized every game into Linear, Grouping, Pattern, Hybrid etc. Do this, but don't get too specific with the names, just generally categorize.

Every day I would do at least 4 games. The biggest thing for me was getting rid of the "all or nothing" approach. It's like when people don't go to the gym at all just because they can't invest 2 hours every day, no, you should still exercise even if its for 15 min, it still helps! The same thing applies to the LSAT, chip away at it, do a couple games everyday it doesn't have to be a big daunting 5 hour a day schedule.

BUY THE SIMUGATOR DVD - yes it's nerdy, and overpriced but this was the most valuable tool for me. On the real test the proctor would call 5 minutes and I would freak and was completly obsolete for the remaining time. Practice with the lady in the dvd made the 5 minute call seem so natural, i could complete a whole reading passage or a whole game in those last 5 minutes (and I did on the feb 2011 lsat!)

I'm sure you are familiar with the LSAT blog by Steve Shwartz.....it is an invaluable resource. I purchased his day by day 3 month study plan and it was the best 9.99$ I ever spent in my life. I started it in mid-November to gear up for Feb 11' and I followed it to a T. He asks for the same resources you should already have ie powerscore books, superprep etc. There is nothing more you will need except for recent tests like 52-62. You should purchase the most recent 10 preptests and save them for the end, don't photocopy these or download them, you need the hardcopy booklets to get a feel for the real thing.

For these 3 months I would do my daily assignments at the school (convieniently my school) where the test would be. I rotated rooms each day to get a feel for the different rooms the test could be in. I would book the classrooms and play my proctor DVD on the huge projector. People thought I was nuts especially when you could hear the fake coughing from the dvd from down the hall haha. Sometimes I would even get some of my soccer teammates to sit in the room and silently do hw because it somehow creates more pressure. When I wrote preptests in the last month, I went all out, ziplock bag and everything. Used the same pencils, ate the same thing at break, filled out the certifying statement and the response sheet, etc.

Oh yes also, you have to control everything outside of the lsat. I completely changed my lifestyle. For 3 months I got up at 5am so that by 8:30am my brain would be fully functioning. At 5am I got up, worked out for an hour, showered, ate, drove to school, got there around 8:30 and did LSAT prep until 12:30. Then I had soccer practice until about 2:30. then I would review my work/preptest from the morning and drive home and be in bed by 9pm. I actually managed to complete P90x during these 3 months which was a nice side effect of the lsat I guess? Now that I think about it I can't believe I did this everyday, it's sick, I could not get up at 5am now to save my life.

I also did all the weird visualization stuff that I never thought worked but apparently it does:/ I made sticky notes with 160+ on them and put them all over my room. I made a poster with the logos of all the law schools I wanted acceptance to and put that in my room. I also envisioned myself succeeding and opening my email to an amazing score.

I also made up a Game Plan sheet and read it before every preptest and before the actual LSAT. I related alot of my prep to sports, as if I were preparing for a big game ie eating right, warm up exercises, visualization, and the game plan strategy. I'll copy and paste my game plan, yours will be different, it's supposed to include the strategies that work for you. It's been adjusted many times over the course of my prep and it was ever-evolving/improving:

LSAT GAME PLAN - this is the final one i used for feb 2011

LOGIC GAMES:
1) Calm down and don’t panic, you know how to do every type of game
2) Start the 1st game 1st
3) Asses other games quickly based on size
4) Lay out the names and spaces like always
5) Games that seem hard often have easy questions
6) If it’s not coming together, adjust diagram
7) Utilize the highlighter to stabilize original diagram
8) Identify free floating entities
9) Identify valid hypotheticals for future questions
10) If running out of time, do specified questions first
11) Skip substitution questions

READING COMPREHENSION:
1) Biggest one first
2) Parallel passage second
3) Save the lowest numbered passage for last
4) COMPLETE FOCUS
5) Maintain pace
6) Do NOT zone out
7) Stay engaged and interested
8) Identify the viewpoints
9) If you’re not getting it, don’t keep reading without figuring it out!

LOGICAL REASONING:
1) Quickly glance at question stem
2) Don’t be speedy, don’t be greedy!
3) Focus on the conclusion
4) Prephrase answers where applicable
5) Read the stimulus properly the first time
6) Don’t be so quick to cross of answer choices, make certain that it’s truly wrong
7) Don’t just guess, be 100% confident!
8) Skip parallel reasoning, hard formal logic/conditional questions, and justify
9) BE ENGAGED and FOCUS
10) Be a critical reader, don’t make stupid mistakes
11) Don’t spend too long on questions that aren’t coming together
12) Watch out for absolute terms in the stimulus, stem, and answer choices
13) Never relax, always examine ALL answer choices
14) One answer is completely correct, the other 4 choices are completely wrong

GENERAL TEST DETAILS:
1) Remember to adjust analog watch before each section and be aware not to pull off markers
2) Remember to mark unfinished questions on bubble sheet, but also remember to erase after
3) Circle and star unfinished questions in booklet, star questions that you are unsure of
4) Don’t make careless errors in bubbling and marking the answers
5) Sharpen pencils at the break
6) Transfer answers one at a time for LR, transfer answers one game/passage at a time for AR/RC
7) Don’t get down because of a bad game or passage, you can still do good
8) Don’t dwell on past questions
9) Focus on the present and the task at hand, one question at a time
10) Don’t freak out when the proctor calls 5 minutes, but you should bubble in remaining blanks
11) Don’t be distracted by other test takers
12) Arrive at 7:45 and complete 3 games and a page of LR

BIG PICTURE:
1) You have prepared exceptionally well, there is nothing more you could have done to improve your score
2) Regardless of what score you get, you will get into at least one law school
3) This test is not a measure of your intelligence or aptitude for law school
4) Everything happens for a reason
5) Be positive, aggressive and confident. The LSAT rewards confidence
6) Think of how much more preparation and work you have put in as opposed to thousands of other test takers


Anyways hope this helps, if you didn't want to read all of it here's the short version: buy the Powerscore Bibles, buy Steve Shwartz's 3 month LSAT plan, and perfect practice makes perfect. If there's anything you'd like me to clarify ie about reviwing preptests, recreating prep conditions, burnout (which I suffered from) etc, then please don't hesitate to ask! Good luck to everyone and remember that it IS possible!


Read the post and thought it was good, anyone with a lower score aspiring for a higher one may enjoy it

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bizzybone1313
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Re: LSAT success story I read on Can. Law forums

Postby bizzybone1313 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:51 pm

So, where do you wish to attend school? ED Lower T-14 or apply RD to T-20 schools? I haven't looked at the lower T-14 very much and rarely do people suggest ED'ing to them, but I am assuming schools like Georgetown and Cornell allow people to ED.

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flash21
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Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:56 pm

Re: LSAT success story I read on Can. Law forums

Postby flash21 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:54 pm

bizzybone1313 wrote:So, where do you wish to attend school? ED Lower T-14 or apply RD to T-20 schools? I haven't looked at the lower T-14 very much and rarely do people suggest ED'ing to them, but I am assuming schools like Georgetown and Cornell allow people to ED.


what?

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northwood
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Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 7:29 pm

Re: LSAT success story I read on Can. Law forums

Postby northwood » Sat Oct 19, 2013 5:01 pm

flash21 wrote:
bizzybone1313 wrote:So, where do you wish to attend school? ED Lower T-14 or apply RD to T-20 schools? I haven't looked at the lower T-14 very much and rarely do people suggest ED'ing to them, but I am assuming schools like Georgetown and Cornell allow people to ED.


what?



ED means Early Decision. If you are accepted via Early Decision you agree to attend there the incoming semester, or not go to school, regardless if you were offered a scholarship at another school. RD means regular decision. IF you go this route, you can choose to accept any acceptances and matriculate, or go to another school. This option allows you to negotiate scholarship offers ( unless you go ED, and are accepted there).

Top 14 refers to the USNEWS Rankings top 14 law schools. Same for T-20 (but this includes top 20 schools). The Top 14 schools are considered the best, and consequentially are the most difficult to get into. Hope this helps

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Dr.Zer0
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Re: LSAT success story I read on Can. Law forums

Postby Dr.Zer0 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 5:10 pm

I don't think that's OP own story, just some story he found inspiring and wants to share.

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Ron Mexico
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Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:32 pm

Re: LSAT success story I read on Can. Law forums

Postby Ron Mexico » Sat Oct 19, 2013 5:15 pm

Dr.Zer0 wrote:I don't think that's OP own story, just some story he found inspiring and wants to share.


Yea. Learn to read, morons.

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Domke
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Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:47 pm

Re: LSAT success story I read on Can. Law forums

Postby Domke » Sat Oct 19, 2013 5:35 pm

This post makes me wish I had majored in something easy like criminology.

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flash21
Posts: 1536
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:56 pm

Re: LSAT success story I read on Can. Law forums

Postby flash21 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:11 pm

Yes , this story is NOT mine. Its just a success story I thought I'd share

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crestor
Posts: 324
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Re: LSAT success story I read on Can. Law forums

Postby crestor » Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:15 pm

interesting read




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