Low score. Taking December LSAT Need Advice

Coffeejunkie88
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Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:05 pm

Low score. Taking December LSAT Need Advice

Postby Coffeejunkie88 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:31 pm

Okay, after spending many hours reading the posts of other hopeful law school students I have personally decided to seek some advice.

Here is what I have done:
Read Logic Games Bible (Twice)
(Read Sequencing, and Linear Sections in Manhattan LG Bible)
Read Logic Reasoning Bible
(Read Assumption sections in Mahattan LR bible)
Currently taking a Kaplan Course
Have taken 5 practice tests

I started studying casually in late August, early September, primarily focusing on games then revved up my studies in October with mostly Logical Reasoning, and mixed review.

I usually study from about 8:30AM to 1:30PM in the college library near my house 5-6 days a week, except on days that I have to do my online kaplan coursework at home since the library doesn't allow non-students to use the internet.

My diagnostic was about a 140, and a test that I took after that was 145 then 148. Since the last test, I have neglected practice tests for about a month and only focused on the core elements that make up the questions.

Recently, I took a practice test and scored a 141, my lowest ever. However, on un-timed section work I usually only miss anywhere between 4 and 8, and the same goes for games. On the most recent test I took, I bombed the games section only getting 8 correct, when I have been averaging about 16 correct (it's probably one of my stronger areas). Another strange part about the diagnostic was that I got most of the challenging questions right (12-19) and the easy ones wrong.

Realistically, I don't know if I can hit my target range of 168-172 by December 7th. However, my goal is to go in with a strong sense that I can get at least a 163, so that I can apply to schools before the year is up, then re-take in February and sway any law schools that may be on the fence.

I feel so far from this goal at the moment and I don't know what is wrong. Could it be over studying? Timing also screwed me up a lot, as I have been practicing with a clock.

Here are a few other factors:
I studied for a few hours before I took test because I wanted to stick to my routine. Also, I am the kind of person who goes to bed early and gets up early, and I generally feel mentally depleted around 6pm. However, I was just going to keep plugging away and hoping that at some point everything would click and I would suddenly increase by a lot. Does this happen?

I can confidently identify the question types for pretty much every argument at this point, and am fairly good at the "Must Be True" category. The assumption questions trip me up, so I tend to practice these the most in my free time, compiling assumption, flaw, and strengthen and weaken questions.

Anyway, I got up today, and during my studies I couldn't even figure out some of the simplest assumption questions. Everything was so challenging, so I don't know if it is burnout or if I am actually letting everything I learned fall through the cracks. I feel like I have been going at this for so long now, I would have liked to see better improvement by this point. Before the exam I felt really good about what I was doing, now I feel like I may be screwed.

Please, any help is useful.

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Adelei
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Re: Low score. Taking December LSAT Need Advice

Postby Adelei » Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:03 am

Realistically? You're not going to hit a 168 in December if you've not even made it to 150 yet. And don't compare untimed work to timed. Anyone can do well on untimed sections. I'd score a 180 every single time if I had just 5-10 minutes extra on each section. But that doesn't matter, it's what you can do within that 35 minutes that matters.

I've taught multiple students and while I have seen a few jump as much as 20-25 points from their diagnostic to their final score, most don't see that kind of increase. Not only that, but those who did increase that much regularly saw good-size increases on each test, rather than bouncing around in the same low score range for multiple tests. In addition, you're aiming for a top 5% score. If it were easy to get that score, then more than 5% of the people who took the LSAT would get it. Out of my students who took the June or Oct test this year (about 30), only one scored above a 168 (173). His diagnostic was a 167, though. I did have one other from June/Oct. that scored a 167 on the real LSAT - he started w/ a 155 I believe. Most of my students come in with goal scores in the 160s. Few, however, actually make it there.

My honest opinion, which I am offering to you here partially because I can't always be totally honest with my own students and have to constantly reassure them, is that you should wait until June, using the time between now and then to study your butt off. Postponing law school a year is no big deal, especially if it means you'll have to settle for a 151 in December vs. at least giving yourself the chance to score 160+. I can't promise that you'll get 160+ in June, but I can promise you that you'll not get it in December. And I don't recommend that you try to fit 6 months of practice into the next month either. I've had students who tried studying 10 hours a day for a month and then went into the LSAT completely burnt out, bombed it, then had to come to me for help w/ their second attempt. Just postpone and study diligently until June.

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IgosduIkana
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Re: Low score. Taking December LSAT Need Advice

Postby IgosduIkana » Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:48 am

Your scores seem similar to mine. My cold diagnostic was a 137 July of 2012, a couple months before the October 2012 test. I only increased it to 148 that test. I spent six rock-solid months before this October's administration and scored a 161 on the real thing. My increases came in small spurts throughout the six months, and I was busting my *** pretty hard during that time period.

You are most likely not going to be scoring in the desired range this December, but, judging from your work ethic, you can definitely make it happen if you take in June, maybe even February. Don't give up, it's totally doable.

NanaP
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Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:29 pm

Re: Low score. Taking December LSAT Need Advice

Postby NanaP » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:08 am

I seem to be in the same boat as OP. Was also in the same boat, I scored about 141 on my diagnostic. Currently scoring around 151. RC is killing me. I can't get more than 12 right and can't get to the last passage, so I end up guessing. I've read all the suggestions but can't seem to get it yet. I would probably score close to 160 if I could conquer RC. Do you have any recommendation on RC? I would greatly appreciate it.

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IgosduIkana
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Re: Low score. Taking December LSAT Need Advice

Postby IgosduIkana » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:08 am

Yeah RC was rough for me, I could never attain a grasp of the section and it was my weakest section even on test day. I just kept doing them, I drilled many sections a day. I found my information retention and speed both increasing with extra practice.

I suggested Powerscore RC but I actually I didn't end up reading the whole thing. But I did find some of the analogies they used to visualize the section very, very valuable, made it worth the purchase. For example, they talk about how when you're reading a book for leisure, you're reading it differently than if you were reading it for a book report - your radar is more sensitive to certain topics, themes, things that need to be in your report. You have to do something similar for RC and be sensitive to shifts in tone, major topics, opinions, critics' opinions, author's opinion, dadada. I suggest you pick up the book and check it out.

I never really fell in love with RC but you get used to it. Good luck, feel free to PM.

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Brettanomyces
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Re: Low score. Taking December LSAT Need Advice

Postby Brettanomyces » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:14 am

Honestly, I don't know that you can hit the 96th percentile by December. You do sound like this is getting to you a little bit and you may be a little burnt out. If you're not hitting at least 163 yet, then you would probably be best off waiting a cycle. The LSAT can be very challenging, but it's important to keep everything in perspective. Going through the LSAT Trainer gradually, PTing 30+ tests, and taking the time to drill each section could work wonders for you, but it's likely going to take more than 30 days.

Take a deep breath and realize that taking a year off may be better than rushing into a low score.

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jordan15
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Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:06 am

Re: Low score. Taking December LSAT Need Advice

Postby jordan15 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:49 am

Kaplan is not a good class to take. I also think that if your goal is a 170 and you're PTing below 160 (especially 150) then you should stop taking PT and focus on reading every section of Manhattan, LSAT Trainer, and the Bibles slowly. Watch youtube videos and listen to podcasts. Do practice problems slowly until you are getting every single one correct. Take time after each one to understand why the answer iw correct and why every other choice must be wrong. Then start drilling groups of questions.

NanaP
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Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:29 pm

Re: Low score. Taking December LSAT Need Advice

Postby NanaP » Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:51 am

IgosduIkana wrote:Yeah RC was rough for me, I could never attain a grasp of the section and it was my weakest section even on test day. I just kept doing them, I drilled many sections a day. I found my information retention and speed both increasing with extra practice.

I suggested Powerscore RC but I actually I didn't end up reading the whole thing. But I did find some of the analogies they used to visualize the section very, very valuable, made it worth the purchase. For example, they talk about how when you're reading a book for leisure, you're reading it differently than if you were reading it for a book report - your radar is more sensitive to certain topics, themes, things that need to be in your report. You have to do something similar for RC and be sensitive to shifts in tone, major topics, opinions, critics' opinions, author's opinion, dadada. I suggest you pick up the book and check it out.

I never really fell in love with RC but you get used to it. Good luck, feel free to PM.



Thanks, I'll give it a shot, I also just saw something on the web, where they say to skip those time sink questions (questions that take too long and you wont get right anyway), I'll give that shot. RC is holding me back from scoring decently on PT's, so hopefully i'll do better...

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toshiroh
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Re: Low score. Taking December LSAT Need Advice

Postby toshiroh » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:37 pm

Here's the truth, you likely won't hit that by your target date, and it'll probably be hard for you to score in the mid 150s by your target date. But here's the awesome part, it is possible for you to improve dramatically. My initial diagnostic was a 137, I took a test masters course and after just understanding the basics, my score rose to a 153. But of course, I still wasn't ready to take the test, but I took it in october 2012 and made 6 points higer than my peak score at test masters. I'm taking the test in December and I'm currently Pting consistently in the mid 160s, but I have scored 170s here and there. It took me a while to break into the 160s, but once you're there it's about fine tuning. Focusing on weak areas, etc. It can be done, but it takes hard work.

Every_LSAT
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Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:48 pm

Re: Low score. Taking December LSAT Need Advice

Postby Every_LSAT » Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:26 pm

The best way to improve your score is to start off using your resources to analyze the test and incorporate the strategies provided. Then practice those strategies as much possible. After understanding the types of questions and how to do the LSAT, then start taking practice tests. Remember though, after you take a practice test, analyze the mistakes you made, don't just move on to the next test. This is the best way for you to figure out what you are doing wrong, check your resources on how to improve in that area, which should then improve your score on your next practice test. Hope this helps, and good luck!




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