Improving on a 160 for the Dec LSAT

thestork7
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Improving on a 160 for the Dec LSAT

Postby thestork7 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:07 pm

I got a 160 on the October LSAT, which I was pleased with...80% percentile takes a lot of hard work. But I've been getting a lot of advice to retake and wanted to get some more feedback on whether or not that's worth doing at the point (with only a month left) for the Dec LSAT.

I took a Kaplan on-site course which I felt helped me. I also was allowed to take the online class as well for free. My diagnostic was a 151, so I did improve nine points. I did pretty well with LG and LR, but the strategy for RC was awful. I went through the powerscore RC bible a week or so before the test and changed my strategy a bit, after giving up faith in the Kaplan RC Method. That helped a lot. With the Kaplan method, I was scoring a startling 53.8% on RC (mostly a timing issue). I got 70% right on RC on test day. For my worst section, I was quite happy with a 70%. On test day, I performed about normal for LR, but dropped about 10-15% on my LG.

I'm leaning towards giving it another shot in Dec. Even if it's just a 2-3 point increase, from what I've read it would be worth it. I feel like I have a solid foundation, especially on LR which was mostly intuitive for me. Does anyone have any advice on where to go from here? With just a month and one day until the next administration, I've got to work quickly. I've got a few apps completed and turned in, so I can shift my focus to the LSAT completely. I have the RC and LG bibles...should I spend my time working through those? I've also heard a lot of positive feedback on the Manhattan books. I hate buying more books, when I already have a 3 foot tall stack of them...but if it's worth doing, I'll do it. :?

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TheLawrax
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Re: Improving on a 160 for the Dec LSAT

Postby TheLawrax » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:25 pm

If you have the time, I (along with most ppl on TLS) would recommend a retake. A higher score will increase your chances of getting into a better school, and/or improve your chances of getting a merit scholarship.

December is a good time to retake, since the curve is generally easier than for other test dates: if you get above a 160, the number of answers you need to get the same score is, on average, two or three less for the December date than other dates (confused? http://www.powerscore.com/lsat/help/scale.cfm for an explanation). That's not to say it's always that way--apparently last year's December test was pretty hard--but it could help.

If you're waiting to send in applications for this cycle I can't advise you on that. But there's a significant benefit to getting a higher score; and since most schools only really care about the higher test score if you take it more than once, I don't think that it'll hurt you much if you don't manage to raise your score in the next few weeks.

I'm in the same boat as you: I already took the test and am planning on retaking for a higher score. There are lots of tips on TLS for retakers, check out thenoodleyone's guide for retakers (http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=195603 for more advice.

Good luck!

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altoid99
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Re: Improving on a 160 for the Dec LSAT

Postby altoid99 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:05 am

TheLawrax wrote:If you have the time, I (along with most ppl on TLS) would recommend a retake. A higher score will increase your chances of getting into a better school, and/or improve your chances of getting a merit scholarship.

December is a good time to retake, since the curve is generally easier than for other test dates: if you get above a 160, the number of answers you need to get the same score is, on average, two or three less for the December date than other dates (confused? http://www.powerscore.com/lsat/help/scale.cfm for an explanation). That's not to say it's always that way--apparently last year's December test was pretty hard--but it could help.

If you're waiting to send in applications for this cycle I can't advise you on that. But there's a significant benefit to getting a higher score; and since most schools only really care about the higher test score if you take it more than once, I don't think that it'll hurt you much if you don't manage to raise your score in the next few weeks.

I'm in the same boat as you: I already took the test and am planning on retaking for a higher score. There are lots of tips on TLS for retakers, check out thenoodleyone's guide for retakers (http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=195603 for more advice.

Good luck!


A more generous curve means a more difficult test. Don't expect to magically see a higher score on a test with a lenient curve.

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05062014
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Re: Improving on a 160 for the Dec LSAT

Postby 05062014 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:26 am

160--> 172 jump here and i only studied for 1.5 months for my final go around this oct. i'd drop caffeine and all stimulants starting now. if you are indeed on stimulants, i believe doing this alone would get you that three point jump. also, try to carve out points for yourself by trying to patch up your weaknesses. you will not lose the skills you possess, so hyper focusing on figuring out ways to get yourself a point here and there will pay big time in the end.

maybe look into focusing on three passages for december instead of attempting all 4.

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Jeffort
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Re: Improving on a 160 for the Dec LSAT

Postby Jeffort » Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:08 am

You should re-take, but only if you are going to study as much as you can for the next four weeks starting now, you don't have time to waste and need to do a lot of work to see an improvement. To get a better score you need to change and improve the approaches you are using in ways to fix flaws and weaknesses you currently have with how you are approaching questions and making answer choice decisions.

Based on your score and other info you supplied I'm going to take a guess at your performance profile, tell me if I'm in the ball park.

I bet that in LR sections you get most of the first 10 correct, but usually miss one or two in 1-10, you probably miss at least one or two questions between 10-14, usually including a #10 or 11 and/or a #13 or 14, and have a cluster with most of the questions you missed of the ones that you actually did fully attempt (rather than got wrong cuz not enough time ones) between 15-22. I also bet that your missed LR Qs typically include one or more each of strengthen, weaken, assumption, and flawed method of reasoning types.

If your timed test section performance is pretty similar to that profile, you need to focus on analyzing the arguments better before going into the answer choices so that you clearly see the full reasoning structure being used to support the conclusion and also see the main assumption/flaw in the reasoning. That is a crucial step to success you must take with each of those LR types listed above.

The harder questions that appear in the later zones of LR sections have correct answers that are only apparent to test takers that analyzed the reasoning of the argument carefully and identified the gap/assumption/flaw in the reasoning BEFORE diving into analyzing the answer choices. If you don't know what the flaw/assumption of the argument is, the correct answer choice will not register on your radar screen, but the trap answer will jump right out and scream pick me!

People eliminate or just decide not to go with the correct answers for many of those higher difficulty questions because they don't recognize that what the answer says is related to the argument/conclusion and therefore relevant to the question being asked BECAUSE you have to have the flaw/assumption in mind in order to see how the correct AC relates to it, and therefore to the conclusion/reasoning. If you don't have the flaw/assumption in mind you just end up failing to recognize how the CR relates to the argument and end up selecting the trap because it says something that you can see does somehow relate to the conclusion so it feels like a safer choice when making the final decision once you've gotten it down to the last two contenders. That's what is going on with those harder questions you usually get down to two answers and almost always end up picking the trap, you aren't recognizing the correct answer because you didn't figure out what was wrong with the reasoning/the assumption.

Mahone Shore
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Re: Improving on a 160 for the Dec LSAT

Postby Mahone Shore » Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:24 am

That's a great jump! Are you focusing on three passage on your final LSAT?

Burnning out by RC. Sometimes will finish whole four passage, but most time will rush in last one and usually got only 1-2 correct in this passage.
There are only one month left for me, are there any chances for me to attempt all. Your advices will be deeply appreciated!

abdistotle wrote:160--> 172 jump here and i only studied for 1.5 months for my final go around this oct. i'd drop caffeine and all stimulants starting now. if you are indeed on stimulants, i believe doing this alone would get you that three point jump. also, try to carve out points for yourself by trying to patch up your weaknesses. you will not lose the skills you possess, so hyper focusing on figuring out ways to get yourself a point here and there will pay big time in the end.

maybe look into focusing on three passages for december instead of attempting all 4.

Mahone Shore
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Re: Improving on a 160 for the Dec LSAT

Postby Mahone Shore » Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:23 am

Exactly!

My timed LR section performance is just that profile. Usually my pace was disturbed by 14~16(around there). I do can figure out what is going on in the argument if I can keep hyper-focused, but more often I need to reread it and feel very nervous about doing that.(cuz it was at the middle of section and time pressure is so harsh) So I may stay in calm for 2 or 3 those kind of questions, but will skip to answers choice to eliminate the wrong one in the following others.

So please give some of insightful opinions, I will really appreciate it!(You must have been through the similar situation)

Jeffort wrote:You should re-take, but only if you are going to study as much as you can for the next four weeks starting now, you don't have time to waste and need to do a lot of work to see an improvement. To get a better score you need to change and improve the approaches you are using in ways to fix flaws and weaknesses you currently have with how you are approaching questions and making answer choice decisions.

Based on your score and other info you supplied I'm going to take a guess at your performance profile, tell me if I'm in the ball park.

I bet that in LR sections you get most of the first 10 correct, but usually miss one or two in 1-10, you probably miss at least one or two questions between 10-14, usually including a #10 or 11 and/or a #13 or 14, and have a cluster with most of the questions you missed of the ones that you actually did fully attempt (rather than got wrong cuz not enough time ones) between 15-22. I also bet that your missed LR Qs typically include one or more each of strengthen, weaken, assumption, and flawed method of reasoning types.

If your timed test section performance is pretty similar to that profile, you need to focus on analyzing the arguments better before going into the answer choices so that you clearly see the full reasoning structure being used to support the conclusion and also see the main assumption/flaw in the reasoning. That is a crucial step to success you must take with each of those LR types listed above.

The harder questions that appear in the later zones of LR sections have correct answers that are only apparent to test takers that analyzed the reasoning of the argument carefully and identified the gap/assumption/flaw in the reasoning BEFORE diving into analyzing the answer choices. If you don't know what the flaw/assumption of the argument is, the correct answer choice will not register on your radar screen, but the trap answer will jump right out and scream pick me!

People eliminate or just decide not to go with the correct answers for many of those higher difficulty questions because they don't recognize that what the answer says is related to the argument/conclusion and therefore relevant to the question being asked BECAUSE you have to have the flaw/assumption in mind in order to see how the correct AC relates to it, and therefore to the conclusion/reasoning. If you don't have the flaw/assumption in mind you just end up failing to recognize how the CR relates to the argument and end up selecting the trap because it says something that you can see does somehow relate to the conclusion so it feels like a safer choice when making the final decision once you've gotten it down to the last two contenders. That's what is going on with those harder questions you usually get down to two answers and almost always end up picking the trap, you aren't recognizing the correct answer because you didn't figure out what was wrong with the reasoning/the assumption.

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Jeffort
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Re: Improving on a 160 for the Dec LSAT

Postby Jeffort » Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:58 am

Mahone Shore wrote:Exactly!

My timed LR section performance is just that profile. Usually my pace was disturbed by 14~16(around there). I do can figure out what is going on in the argument if I can keep hyper-focused, but more often I need to reread it and feel very nervous about doing that.(cuz it was at the middle of section and time pressure is so harsh) So I may stay in calm for 2 or 3 those kind of questions, but will skip to answers choice to eliminate the wrong one in the following others.

So please give some of insightful opinions, I will really appreciate it!(You must have been through the similar situation)



The advice is simple, don't let the time pressure push you to skip the most important step in your chances of getting the question correct, analyzing to figure out the flaw/assumption(s) BEFORE you dive into the answers. You are missing those ones BECAUSE you are skipping around with steps to try to save time! So stop doing that!

Skipping steps to save time is a bad habit you need to break. Saving time at the cost of points is stupid, many of the questions decent test takers get wrong are usually because they skipped steps of analysis or bounced around with it unsystematically because they thought it would save time.

Spending a small amount of time carefully analyzing the argument before heading to the answers actually saves you time BTW. It significantly cuts down the amount of time it takes you to analyze and make decisions about the answer choices since with the flaw/assumption in mind, you can quickly knock out wrong ones and easily see the correct answer due to your analysis and clear understanding of the argument.

When you jump into the answers with only a murky understanding of what is going on in the argument, the answers are much more confusing and take much longer to think about and figure out since you have to keep going back to the argument to see how each AC relates and to try to understand the arg better. Trying to figure the argument out better while also evaluating answer choices can be confusing since you are trying to multi-task and that takes a lot more time than simply analyzing the argument before the answers in the first place. That's where all the time gets wasted when you rush through the stimulus right into the answers, so don't be in such a hurry to attack the answers before you fully understand the argument.

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sashafierce
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Re: Improving on a 160 for the Dec LSAT

Postby sashafierce » Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:01 am

Jeffort wrote:
Mahone Shore wrote:Exactly!

My timed LR section performance is just that profile. Usually my pace was disturbed by 14~16(around there). I do can figure out what is going on in the argument if I can keep hyper-focused, but more often I need to reread it and feel very nervous about doing that.(cuz it was at the middle of section and time pressure is so harsh) So I may stay in calm for 2 or 3 those kind of questions, but will skip to answers choice to eliminate the wrong one in the following others.

So please give some of insightful opinions, I will really appreciate it!(You must have been through the similar situation)



The advice is simple, don't let the time pressure push you to skip the most important step in your chances of getting the question correct, analyzing to figure out the flaw/assumption(s) BEFORE you dive into the answers. You are missing those ones BECAUSE you are skipping around with steps to try to save time! So stop doing that!

Skipping steps to save time is a bad habit you need to break. Saving time at the cost of points is stupid, many of the questions decent test takers get wrong are usually because they skipped steps of analysis or bounced around with it unsystematically because they thought it would save time.

Spending a small amount of time carefully analyzing the argument before heading to the answers actually saves you time BTW. It significantly cuts down the amount of time it takes you to analyze and make decisions about the answer choices since with the flaw/assumption in mind, you can quickly knock out wrong ones and easily see the correct answer due to your analysis and clear understanding of the argument.

When you jump into the answers with only a murky understanding of what is going on in the argument, the answers are much more confusing and take much longer to think about and figure out since you have to keep going back to the argument to see how each AC relates and to try to understand the arg better. Trying to figure the argument out better while also evaluating answer choices can be confusing since you are trying to multi-task and that takes a lot more time than simply analyzing the argument before the answers in the first place. That's where all the time gets wasted when you rush through the stimulus right into the answers, so don't be in such a hurry to attack the answers before you fully understand the argument.


I am in a similar position and do the exact same thing--> SKIP STEPS, I think what is helping me is practicing over and over so that I develop good habits that become natural to me.

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Jeffort
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Re: Improving on a 160 for the Dec LSAT

Postby Jeffort » Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:18 am

sashafierce wrote:I am in a similar position and do the exact same thing--> SKIP STEPS,

I think what is helping me is practicing over and over so that I develop good habits that become natural to me.


Yes! That's a big part of what drilling is for, developing good habits that will carry on to test day.

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lgleye
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Re: Improving on a 160 for the Dec LSAT

Postby lgleye » Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:07 am

.
Last edited by lgleye on Sat Jul 05, 2014 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mahone Shore
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Re: Improving on a 160 for the Dec LSAT

Postby Mahone Shore » Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:06 am

ALREADY COPY THAT!
" Trying to figure the argument out better while also evaluating answer choices can be confusing since you are trying to multi-task and that takes a lot more time than simply analyzing the argument before the answers in the first place."

VERY INSIGHTFUL!

Lucky to meet you in TLS! I may break this bad condition or not!(of course I will try very effort to do that through drilling over and over) But will always grateful for your help!! Wish you will have your dream offer!

Jeffort wrote:
Mahone Shore wrote:Exactly!

My timed LR section performance is just that profile. Usually my pace was disturbed by 14~16(around there). I do can figure out what is going on in the argument if I can keep hyper-focused, but more often I need to reread it and feel very nervous about doing that.(cuz it was at the middle of section and time pressure is so harsh) So I may stay in calm for 2 or 3 those kind of questions, but will skip to answers choice to eliminate the wrong one in the following others.

So please give some of insightful opinions, I will really appreciate it!(You must have been through the similar situation)



The advice is simple, don't let the time pressure push you to skip the most important step in your chances of getting the question correct, analyzing to figure out the flaw/assumption(s) BEFORE you dive into the answers. You are missing those ones BECAUSE you are skipping around with steps to try to save time! So stop doing that!

Skipping steps to save time is a bad habit you need to break. Saving time at the cost of points is stupid, many of the questions decent test takers get wrong are usually because they skipped steps of analysis or bounced around with it unsystematically because they thought it would save time.

Spending a small amount of time carefully analyzing the argument before heading to the answers actually saves you time BTW. It significantly cuts down the amount of time it takes you to analyze and make decisions about the answer choices since with the flaw/assumption in mind, you can quickly knock out wrong ones and easily see the correct answer due to your analysis and clear understanding of the argument.

When you jump into the answers with only a murky understanding of what is going on in the argument, the answers are much more confusing and take much longer to think about and figure out since you have to keep going back to the argument to see how each AC relates and to try to understand the arg better. Trying to figure the argument out better while also evaluating answer choices can be confusing since you are trying to multi-task and that takes a lot more time than simply analyzing the argument before the answers in the first place. That's where all the time gets wasted when you rush through the stimulus right into the answers, so don't be in such a hurry to attack the answers before you fully understand the argument.

Mahone Shore
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Re: Improving on a 160 for the Dec LSAT

Postby Mahone Shore » Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:13 am

Wow! you are amazing! wish I can have such great jump!

Have you have any idea about RC? I just still cannot finish the whole section(sometimes a passage left, mostly 3-4 questions of last passage unseen) Should I start trainning skip one passage from now? or I need to drill more hard try to finish them all?

lgleye wrote:My 2 Cents: Unless you plan on go to law school just to get the degree and are willing to pay tuition out-of-pocket (can run up to $250k), and ultimately make $40K, you definitely need to retake. The following equation is your best motivator factor:

Higher LSAT = better school = better job prospects & salary

As far as improving score, the LSAT is an incredibly learnable test....Key is familiarity and conditioning for time pressure. The answr is drill, baby, drill. Download the last 10-15 "real" LSAT's and do them all, making sure to note down the questions you had trouble with. After, you've finish, go back to the first one, and re-do only the questions you noted in the first time. After completing the 2nd round, repeat for the 3rd round.

All this has to be done in REAL time of 35 minutes per section (for the 2nd & 3rd rounds, do 24 questions for each time cycle.
Finally, and this is super-helpful.......... condition yourself by practicing in a shortened time cycle of 28-30 minutes.

By the time I took the test, I could almost anticipate the questions before completing reading the passage or argument. Went from a practice starting score of 160 to an actual 175 when I took the LSAT.




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