Dec 7 LSAT - Can I get a 170?

tnkim
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Dec 7 LSAT - Can I get a 170?

Postby tnkim » Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:40 pm

Hi guys,

I'm a senior at a top 50 undergraduate university and currently am a political science major and psych minor. I am still in school and currently taking a lighter load to compensate for studying the lsat (12 units). I have a 3.68 gpa.

I took a Powerscore course from August 7 to early October, and self-studied since. I use the course textbooks and the 3 bibles, an Ace the Games book, and all of the past lsat exams although I have not used all of them yet, and study for 5-6 hours a day.
My first diagnostic test I took cold and at the first class of Powerscore (August 7) was a disappointing 143. Since last week however, I've been hitting the low 160s (an 18-21) point increase. I was wondering if you guys think it is possible for me to break 170 by the upcoming dec 7 lsat?

Granted, whenever I take the preptests, I usually recognize 1-2 LR questions, none of the games, and 1-2 RC passages although remembering none of the questions. I recognize these things not because I've taken these tests before, but because I've seen them come up in the bibles and textbooks as examples or practice questions.

I usually miss 4-7 on LR, 4-8 on my LG, and 4-9 on RC. Is there any advice on how to improve on each?

Also, this is a digression, but if I were to score, let's say a 167, would I still be able to get into georgetown and cornell and ucla?

I acknowledge that it is later in the cycle, but I already submitted my Letters of Rec and official transcript to LSAC.

Thanks for your guys' anticipated response.

rebexness
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Re: Dec 7 LSAT - Can I get a 170?

Postby rebexness » Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:48 pm

You might be able to PT in the 170s, but the likelihood of actually earning your PT average on your first scored LSAT is not very good. My last LSAT I had a significant drop due to nerves, as has been the experience of several others (many of whom were PTing regularly above 175).

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CitrusFruit
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Re: Dec 7 LSAT - Can I get a 170?

Postby CitrusFruit » Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:09 pm

Depends on your disposition, I guess. If you are prone to test anxiety, I wouldn't expect a leap forward. Otherwise, there is no reason to expect a drop from PTs. The test is just another test.

dosto
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Re: Dec 7 LSAT - Can I get a 170?

Postby dosto » Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:15 pm

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Last edited by dosto on Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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CitrusFruit
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Re: Dec 7 LSAT - Can I get a 170?

Postby CitrusFruit » Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:17 pm

dosto5 wrote:It's tough to say, but if you're missing roughly 5 questions on each section with less than a month to go, it could be tough to get 170 on the real thing. Nerves aside, you need a certain level of consistency to reasonably expect 170, and I'm not sure one month is enough time to get there.


Yeah I'll qualify my earlier statement by saying that if you aren't breaking 170 now there is no reason you will on test day. Consistently score what you want to score (ideally more than you want to score) in practice and then take the test.

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snagglepuss
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Re: Dec 7 LSAT - Can I get a 170?

Postby snagglepuss » Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:19 pm

From what you're saying, I don't like your chances for scoring a 170 in December. I don't get the impression that you've mastered any of the sections considering that you miss 4+ on LG, LR, and RC. Scoring 170 usually requires a very strong level of understanding and ability in all 3 sections (and usually complete mastery of 1 or more sections). By this I mean that you should be dominating (-2, -1, or -0) at least one of the sections if not 2 or all 3.

Like citrus said not everyone who takes the LSAT scores below their PTs/PT average like some people may have you believe. But their is still a large degree of sagacity in the advice that you should go into test day PTing 5+ points over your minimum target score to make sure you get your money's worth (i.e. if you need 167+, you should probably be PTing 172+ in case you're not on your game on test day).

How are you currently preparing now that you're on your own post-Powerscore? 5-6 hours a day is a lot, but are you drilling?

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alecks
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Re: Dec 7 LSAT - Can I get a 170?

Postby alecks » Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:23 pm

It might be tough to break that 170 with a month to go, unless you go HAM 40 hours a week and even then it's not guaranteed.

take a year off from undergrad and apply next cycle, hit above the 170 range and rake in the scholarships. everyone I know that went straight into LS from undergrad regrets it.

but then there's also the possibility you could get into UCLA / Cornell / Georgetown with a 167/3.68 but before worrying about that I'd worry about scoring as high as possible on the LSAT in a month. good luck.

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retaking23
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Re: Dec 7 LSAT - Can I get a 170?

Postby retaking23 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:53 pm

tnkim wrote:Hi guys,
I was wondering if you guys think it is possible for me to break 170 by the upcoming dec 7 lsat?


Possible? Yes. But, unlikely. Breaking into the 170s consistently on PTs was especially hard for me, and I still fail occasionally. You have alreadymade great progress since your initial diag and it seems you are learning the test more and more. Perhaps you should consider applying next cycle (your LORs will not be stale in only a year) so you can study a lot more (in the summer perhaps for October 2014 LSAT or during spring term for June 2013) to get into 170s consistently. Trust me, you do not want to take this test, wind up under-performing, and then face the daunting task of studying for it again. It sucks and requires absolute commitment. I'm studying for my third LSAT and it's no fun, to say the least.

As far as your digression, it depends on your softs (strength of LOR, PS, extracurriculars) since a 167 would put you below the median for all of those schools with your GPA.

tnkim
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Re: Dec 7 LSAT - Can I get a 170?

Postby tnkim » Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:59 am

Thanks for the responses guys.
The responses were something I feared but it'll be denial to think it's likely that I'll be able to attain a 170.
However, I'll keep trying.

snagglepuss wrote:How are you currently preparing now that you're on your own post-Powerscore? 5-6 hours a day is a lot, but are you drilling?


I am PTing at least twice a week with a day spaced in between to review the questions wrong and the questions I got right but wasn't sure why the answer choice I picked was 100% right. Also on the off days, I review the bibles and make sure to adhere to its basic principles on each section.

I drill using 7sage's method for LG: if I go over on time for a game or if I get a question wrong, I print out around 5-7 copies of that game and do them until I'm able to confidently deduce all the inferences and get the questions right under 6 minutes.

With LR, I review past questions I've gotten wrong and everyday I'm doing at least 1 section.

With RC, I read consistently (NYtimes to the textbooks I read for school and literature that I read for fun) and do at least one sections worth of RC.

Do you think there is a better method or a way to improve my practicing?

Thanks.

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Brettanomyces
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Re: Dec 7 LSAT - Can I get a 170?

Postby Brettanomyces » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:53 am

tnkim wrote:Thanks for the responses guys.
The responses were something I feared but it'll be denial to think it's likely that I'll be able to attain a 170.
However, I'll keep trying.

snagglepuss wrote:How are you currently preparing now that you're on your own post-Powerscore? 5-6 hours a day is a lot, but are you drilling?


I am PTing at least twice a week with a day spaced in between to review the questions wrong and the questions I got right but wasn't sure why the answer choice I picked was 100% right. Also on the off days, I review the bibles and make sure to adhere to its basic principles on each section.

I drill using 7sage's method for LG: if I go over on time for a game or if I get a question wrong, I print out around 5-7 copies of that game and do them until I'm able to confidently deduce all the inferences and get the questions right under 6 minutes.

With LR, I review past questions I've gotten wrong and everyday I'm doing at least 1 section.

With RC, I read consistently (NYtimes to the textbooks I read for school and literature that I read for fun) and do at least one sections worth of RC.

Do you think there is a better method or a way to improve my practicing?

Thanks.


This is great! If only the test were a few months away. If you're looking to break into 167+ territory, you're probably going to have to go a little hardcore. Taking 4 PTs a week would be a good start. I don't know what Ace the LSAT is, but 7sage is credited. There are 70PTs, though, so there's so much material you can cover. In LR, after doing 100 or so questions of each type, you get a feel for the wrong answer. Most top scorers don't miss any more than 1 or 2 on the LG, but getting there isn't always easy.

In short, you'd probably have a better chance of scoring 170 next cycle. You have a good foundation and you've made progress, but there is much more material to cover--usually, by this time, top scorers are already taking full, 5-section PTs and nothing else--and most are averaging a bit above a score they'd be comfortable getting.

Read this for guidance:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=200917

Also, it's a great idea to grab a copy of the LSAT Trainer and Manhattan LR/LG and possibly RC.

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Dec 7 LSAT - Can I get a 170?

Postby iamgeorgebush » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:01 am

If I were you, I'd wait till Feb or June and apply next cycle. You're already disadvantaged applying this late in the cycle. Take a year off from school, get a job, get that 170, and profit.

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mhaas
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Re: Dec 7 LSAT - Can I get a 170?

Postby mhaas » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:44 am

Image

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JustHawkin
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Re: Dec 7 LSAT - Can I get a 170?

Postby JustHawkin » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:49 am

mhaas wrote:you-can-do-it-.gif

LOL I might need to personally higher this guy to get me to drill RC.

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toshiroh
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Re: Dec 7 LSAT - Can I get a 170?

Postby toshiroh » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:59 am

Who knows, you might, you might now. The way it's looking, you probably won't. Or you might score higher on test day, like I did on OCT 2012, scored 5 points higher than my highest PT. But every person is different.

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bobtheblob916
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Re: Dec 7 LSAT - Can I get a 170?

Postby bobtheblob916 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:59 am

From what you're saying, I don't like your chances for scoring a 170 in December. I don't get the impression that you've mastered any of the sections considering that you miss 4+ on LG, LR, and RC. Scoring 170 usually requires a very strong level of understanding and ability in all 3 sections (and usually complete mastery of 1 or more sections). By this I mean that you should be dominating (-2, -1, or -0) at least one of the sections if not 2 or all 3.


What he said. A 170 means you're only getting 10-12 questions wrong, which means anything above a -3 is bad. Unless you're balancing shaky skills in one section with mastery of another.

If you're still getting 4-9 wrong in any section, there are probably some strategies or ways of understanding the questions that you haven't mastered yet. For LR, I'd recommend the Manhattan LR book if you haven't used it yet. Since there isn't much time left, do the chapters on question types that you usually get wrong. Also, use Cambridge packets.

Make sure you do as many PTs as you can without burning out (there's no point in attempting a PT if you know you're not gonna be able to give it your all). But you also need to keep drilling, and I'd recommend focusing on one section at a time. As in drill and study just LR for 4 - 7 days, until you break new ground.

That's the hardest thing - it's hard to predict when you'll break new ground. You've probably noticed this already, but it's natural to plateau in your LSAT mastery, and hence, your score, from time to time. Breaking through takes a lot of effort, but it also takes time. You just might not have enough to hit 170, though if you're going through with it, might as well give it your best shot.

tnkim
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Re: Dec 7 LSAT - Can I get a 170?

Postby tnkim » Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:59 am

hey guys,

today, I hit a 171 on preptest 27, my first time breaking 170. I'm ridiculously overjoyed right now and because the LSAT is a month away still, how much more likely is it that I am able to achieve a 170+?

I scored -1 on LR, -5 on LR, -6 on LG, and -3 on RC. a total of -15, and converted my score was a 171.

Should I keep drilling LR and LG? and how should I do it?

thanks guys

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Jeffort
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Re: Dec 7 LSAT - Can I get a 170?

Postby Jeffort » Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:07 am

tnkim wrote:hey guys,

today, I hit a 171 on preptest 27, my first time breaking 170. I'm ridiculously overjoyed right now and because the LSAT is a month away still, how much more likely is it that I am able to achieve a 170+?

I scored -1 on LR, -5 on LR, -6 on LG, and -3 on RC. a total of -15, and converted my score was a 171.

Should I keep drilling LR and LG? and how should I do it?

thanks guys


Four days ago you said you just started hitting low 160s. A sudden 171 combined with some of the other things you said tells me the 171 is not an accurate fresh test full timed conditions score. How much of the contents of that PT had you seen before? What conditions did you take it in?

If you legit got 171 on a full test you've never seen any of the questions from before and took in under strict test day conditions, then you are in great shape for December and should keep doing whatever you've been doing in the last few weeks since it's making your score suddenly go way up.

However, I doubt your 171 is an honest accurate timed PT score, so I think your chances of hitting 170 are about the same as people already told you, possible but not likely unless you can consistently hit 170+ on fresh fully timed PTs, at least 5 or more times. Keep prepping as hard as you can and don't waste any more time trying to make probability predictions. Your chances of hitting 170+ are directly tied to the efforts you put in between now and test day, not to one probably unrepresentative PT score.

Just keep working and stop asking people to make probability predictions about your future. its kinda dumb, we know nothing about you, you could be a stress case and totally freak out on test day for all we know.

tnkim
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Re: Dec 7 LSAT - Can I get a 170?

Postby tnkim » Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:33 pm

Jeffort wrote:Four days ago you said you just started hitting low 160s. A sudden 171 combined with some of the other things you said tells me the 171 is not an accurate fresh test full timed conditions

Just keep working and stop asking people to make probability predictions about your future. its kinda dumb, we know nothing about you, you could be a stress case and totally freak out on test day for all we know.


It was fully timed and I added two experimental sections from pt 23 and gave myself a 7 minute break between the third and fourth section (out of 6). I've seen the 2 games on the LG section before (although I could not recollect any of the questions) and maybe 2-3 questions on each LR section (although again I could not recollect the question stems and the answer choices), and for the first time none of the passages on the RC section.
About the score, I was taken aback myself. Because I've seen two of the games, I tried to make it "fair" by using 23's LG section as my score (I missed 6 on this because I couldn't finish the last game - also I've never seen any of these games) instead of 27's LG (I missed 1). If I used 27's Lg, i would've scored a 175.

It's definitely dumb to seek advice solely for clairvoyance, but I'm trying to get a better understanding of the nature of my expectations for myself compared to the average test taker's results of the lsats.
Sorry if my questions irritate you, but it something I'm very concerned with and like to get knowledgable of.

Anyways thanks for the comment. Inadvertently, I think it made me a little more confident.

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Re: Dec 7 LSAT - Can I get a 170?

Postby 062914123 » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:45 pm

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Jeffort
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Re: Dec 7 LSAT - Can I get a 170?

Postby Jeffort » Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:32 pm

tnkim wrote:
Jeffort wrote:Four days ago you said you just started hitting low 160s. A sudden 171 combined with some of the other things you said tells me the 171 is not an accurate fresh test full timed conditions

Just keep working and stop asking people to make probability predictions about your future. its kinda dumb, we know nothing about you, you could be a stress case and totally freak out on test day for all we know.


It was fully timed and I added two experimental sections from pt 23 and gave myself a 7 minute break between the third and fourth section (out of 6). I've seen the 2 games on the LG section before (although I could not recollect any of the questions) and maybe 2-3 questions on each LR section (although again I could not recollect the question stems and the answer choices), and for the first time none of the passages on the RC section.
About the score, I was taken aback myself. Because I've seen two of the games, I tried to make it "fair" by using 23's LG section as my score (I missed 6 on this because I couldn't finish the last game - also I've never seen any of these games) instead of 27's LG (I missed 1). If I used 27's Lg, i would've scored a 175.

It's definitely dumb to seek advice solely for clairvoyance, but I'm trying to get a better understanding of the nature of my expectations for myself compared to the average test taker's results of the lsats.
Sorry if my questions irritate you, but it something I'm very concerned with and like to get knowledgable of.

Anyways thanks for the comment. Inadvertently, I think it made me a little more confident.


Congrats on the score, that does show improvement, but don't let it create unrealistic beliefs. It doesn't equal a 171 performance on a new fresh test though so don't think you just improved by 10 points.

The score should help you feel more confident since it is very good. However, you should not use it as an indicator of the score range you are currently capable of achieving on a modern fresh never before seen LSAT under test day conditions since it is not a proper representative timed practice test for score range evaluation purposes.

The score certainly shows excellent performance, but does not equate to 171 ability level on a fresh current test since it was not from one, so don't let it fool you into thinking you are now at that level. Having seen two of the games and several LR questions before biased the score even though you didn't specifically remember the answers. Prior exposure to the material makes it easier to properly process and breakdown the second time even when you don't remember specific deductions or answers. The familiarity from prior exposure is enough to help you perform better on questions second time around.

Keep working hard prepping, you are heading in the right direction, but you need to be honest with yourself with evaluations, expectations and predictions. Don't fool yourself about your current score range and create false expectations going into the test. The worst thing you can do is fool yourself into believing you are in the 170 range heading into test day with artificially inflated/unrepresentative PT scores and take the test that way with 170+ expectations since you'll get really shocking bad news when scores are released.

PT scores for true score range evaluation and skill level performance assessment must be from a completely unseen recent test from within the last 3-5 years. Test forms from way back when the PT you took were administered were easier overall than current tests and different in many ways, so a 171 on a really old test doesn't give accurate results for how you would do on a modern test form other than to just show general improvement, not a precise score range estimator.

I'm not irritated by you wanting predictions, I'm amused that you are thinking that way while also trying to break 170 since it's clearly illogical thinking. To score 170+ you have to be a very logical thinker and think purely logically for three hours straight without making any illogical reasoning errors. Using clearly flawed reasoning in some of your thinking about the LSAT and self evaluation process shows that you still have a lot of room for improvement with your reasoning skills and logical thinking abilities to get them to the 170+ level.

Keep prepping, you are going in the right direction, but just be honest with yourself when making score range assessments so we don't end up seeing a thread from you after scores are released with a story of scoring 10 points lower on test day than your practice scores. We get enough of those threads here already and it sucks when people go into the test with unrealistic expectations based on inflated practice results. Don't be one of those people, hopefully you'll thank us later for being the voice of LSAT reality to point you in the right direction to hit your goal, which is more likely on a later administration than December.

tnkim
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Re: Dec 7 LSAT - Can I get a 170?

Postby tnkim » Sat Nov 09, 2013 10:25 pm

Jeffort wrote:I'm not irritated by you wanting predictions, I'm amused that you are thinking that way while also trying to break 170 since it's clearly illogical thinking. To score 170+ you have to be a very logical thinker and think purely logically for three hours straight without making any illogical reasoning errors. Using clearly flawed reasoning in some of your thinking about the LSAT and self evaluation process shows that you still have a lot of room for improvement with your reasoning skills and logical thinking abilities to get them to the 170+ level.


holy shit, this just mind-fucked me. You're right - it probably wasn't a good method of reasoning to infer irritation, and the LSAT definitely does require the test-taker to stay logically sharp for 3 hours.
Anyways, thanks for the advice. I do have to take into consideration the changing nature of the LSAT's and although my 171 is a good indication of improvement, it is not a good indication of where I am at in terms of score.

I heard that the LG sections in more contemporary LSATs are easier, but that the RC section is harder. I keep hearing mixed reviews about the LR section, but to me, it seems a little harder.

Although it is pretty unrealistic to achieve a 170 at this point, what do you recommend my daily regiment be in terms of studying? What helped you the most?

I want to mentally condition myself so that I can avoid this (no offense):
bee wrote:my personal experience: about a month out, my pt average was hovering at 173 and my final average before the test was 175. i scored 3 180s in a row right before test day. i ended up scoring 170 on test day due to sheer anxiety, and i'd *never* experienced test anxiety before. it's impossible to know whether or not you will freak out the day of. the only thing you can do to mentally prepare yourself for this is intense familiarity with the test, which it seems like you haven't quite developed yet
as much as possible.

Bee, thanks for the comment btw. It really illuminated that anxiety is very much a factor in test taking even for a person who has "never" experienced it before. I never experienced test anxiety as well, so I'm wondering how to confront this dilemma most effectively.




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