The Official September 2014 Study Group

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churrochi
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby churrochi » Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:24 pm

I'm trying to think of ways to intensify my study schedule, as I'm currently unemployed and have a LOT of time on my hands to study. I'm also a retaker, if that counts for anything.

Here's what I'm doing so far:
Going through The LSAT Trainer's 8-week study schedule from 6/2-7/27. Supplementing any concepts I don't understand with PowerScore. Drills are included in the study schedule.
7/28-onward: 3PTs minimum a week, and on the days I'm not PTing and reviewing, drilling various Cambridge packets/sections of older tests and reviewing.

Suggestions? I want to take time to create a good understanding of how the various sections of the LSAT generally work because I don't think I did that the first time around (Diag: 154, PTing: 158-161, Actual: 151). It's also been almost a year since I studied (Did BP, but practically no review on my own time aside from some assigned HW), so I've forgotten quite a bit since then.

should-i-do-it
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby should-i-do-it » Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:42 pm

For people who have scored 170+

I haven't studied for this test in two years, got a 162 my first time. I'll be retaking in Sept. I'm going to get LSAT Trainer, already have powerscore lr and lg, and all the pt's. Do I need/do you suggest anything else to get 170+? Reading screwed me over last time (-12)
Thanks

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papercut
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby papercut » Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:43 pm

should-i-do-it wrote:For people who have scored 170+

I haven't studied for this test in two years, got a 162 my first time. I'll be retaking in Sept. I'm going to get LSAT Trainer, already have powerscore lr and lg, and all the pt's. Do I need/do you suggest anything else to get 170+?
Thanks


I don't like the PS LR method. They make you read the stim first, which is beyond silly.

berkeleynick
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby berkeleynick » Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:45 pm

papercut wrote:
should-i-do-it wrote:For people who have scored 170+

I haven't studied for this test in two years, got a 162 my first time. I'll be retaking in Sept. I'm going to get LSAT Trainer, already have powerscore lr and lg, and all the pt's. Do I need/do you suggest anything else to get 170+?
Thanks


I don't like the PS LR method. They make you read the stim first, which is beyond silly.


Just curious, what's your method if not reading the stimulus first? I didn't start doing that until after I read the LSAT Trainer.

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bondja
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby bondja » Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:52 pm

berkeleynick wrote:
Just curious, what's your method if not reading the stimulus first? I didn't start doing that until after I read the LSAT Trainer.


Read the question first to figure out what type of question you will be answering. For example, I read the question stem first and it states "Blah blah blah assumes blah blah blah." I know that it's an Assumption Family Question and I can read the squib knowing what I'll be answering for and can negotiate a likely answer while reading.

Sorry, poorly written and thought out as I'm at work.

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papercut
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby papercut » Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:14 pm

berkeleynick wrote:
papercut wrote:
should-i-do-it wrote:For people who have scored 170+

I haven't studied for this test in two years, got a 162 my first time. I'll be retaking in Sept. I'm going to get LSAT Trainer, already have powerscore lr and lg, and all the pt's. Do I need/do you suggest anything else to get 170+?
Thanks


I don't like the PS LR method. They make you read the stim first, which is beyond silly.


Just curious, what's your method if not reading the stimulus first? I didn't start doing that until after I read the LSAT Trainer.


Yeah read the question first (some call this the "prompt" or the "question stem").

Look at it this way:

If you're reading the stimulus first, you're looking for EVERYTHING. The main point, the flaw, thinking about how to fix or make it worse, etc.

Then you read the question stem and find out it's a must be true question and so the main point, the flaw, etc none if it matters.

If you had read the question stem first, you could have focused your attention on the only thing that does matter: how can I combine these claims into an inference.

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Afterthought
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Afterthought » Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:12 pm

Hello everyone~

Guess this counts as me checking in. Originally signed up for June but decided to postpone for September.

LR is my biggest struggle, averaging at about -6/-9 for both LR sections combined. There is probably something wrong with my foundational understanding....going to go re-read (LRB/MLSAT/Trainer) and drill by types.

Recently purchased the Cambridge LR 1-38 bundle, how do you guys do/plan to do drilling with it?

Not sure whats a good way to drill with em. Should I just go through each type do all level 1's then move on the level 2's? Will that burn me out...or is it better to mix difficulties up....

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

DestroyingTheLSAT
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby DestroyingTheLSAT » Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:52 am

Afterthought wrote:Hello everyone~

Guess this counts as me checking in. Originally signed up for June but decided to postpone for September.

LR is my biggest struggle, averaging at about -6/-9 for both LR sections combined. There is probably something wrong with my foundational understanding....going to go re-read (LRB/MLSAT/Trainer) and drill by types.

Recently purchased the Cambridge LR 1-38 bundle, how do you guys do/plan to do drilling with it?

Not sure whats a good way to drill with em. Should I just go through each type do all level 1's then move on the level 2's? Will that burn me out...or is it better to mix difficulties up....

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


Hey welcome! Normally I do all the easy ones and get perfect on all of them (maybe like 1-2 silly mistakes). And I just progress up. Some people like to mix it etc... depends on you. Make sure you make a spreadsheet of the ones you get wrong to see what question type you are the worse at so you can redo all the questions like 4 times. I also try to aim to be 100% accurate before I move on to speed.... again depends on you.

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johmica
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby johmica » Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:26 pm

Pretty happy right now. Just scored my first 180 on a timed practice test. Missed one RC and one LR.

Working on a September re-take. I'm all-too-aware of how practice test scores translate into real test scores. Before my first take, I was consistently PT'ing four- to six points better than the score I eventually earned. Also, while I did time the test and work through the first three sections without a break, followed by a 15 minute break, I returned to only complete the final section in the PT. In other words, I didn't simulate an experimental.

Regardless of all that, though, I'm still pretty stoked.

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papercut
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby papercut » Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:28 pm

johmica wrote:Pretty happy right now. Just scored my first 180 on a timed practice test. Missed one RC and one LR.

Working on a September re-take. I'm all-too-aware of how practice test scores translate into real test scores. Before my first take, I was consistently PT'ing four- to six points better than the score I eventually earned. Also, while I did time the test and work through the first three sections without a break, followed by a 15 minute break, I returned to only complete the final section in the PT. In other words, I didn't simulate an experimental.

Regardless of all that, though, I'm still pretty stoked.


Congrats.

I had a similar experience between PTs and the actual test. My mistake was to only do 4 section PTs. I totally relaxed on section 5--started thinking about how easy the test was--and I missed 4 questions.

Try to do 5 section PTs if you're not already.

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Afterthought
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Afterthought » Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:38 pm

DestroyingTheLSAT wrote:
Afterthought wrote:Hello everyone~

Guess this counts as me checking in. Originally signed up for June but decided to postpone for September.

LR is my biggest struggle, averaging at about -6/-9 for both LR sections combined. There is probably something wrong with my foundational understanding....going to go re-read (LRB/MLSAT/Trainer) and drill by types.

Recently purchased the Cambridge LR 1-38 bundle, how do you guys do/plan to do drilling with it?

Not sure whats a good way to drill with em. Should I just go through each type do all level 1's then move on the level 2's? Will that burn me out...or is it better to mix difficulties up....

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


Hey welcome! Normally I do all the easy ones and get perfect on all of them (maybe like 1-2 silly mistakes). And I just progress up. Some people like to mix it etc... depends on you. Make sure you make a spreadsheet of the ones you get wrong to see what question type you are the worse at so you can redo all the questions like 4 times. I also try to aim to be 100% accurate before I move on to speed.... again depends on you.


Hey, thank you for your input! Appreciate it, just good to know its not like there's a secret clear cut method in which I might be doing backwards...

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WorldsCollide
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby WorldsCollide » Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:48 pm

Hello all! Just postponed my June test to September (pretty last minute). I've done 22 PTs in the past three weeks (I don't recommend ANYONE do that!) and have been getting anywhere from mid-150s to low-160s. Now I just need to figure out how to get a 170+!

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haroldton86
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby haroldton86 » Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:10 pm

Took prep test 45 today and got a 168, my highest score yet. I'm very excited.

Score breakdown:
-14
LR: -4
RC: -6
LG: -0
LR: -4

The LG is going to have to be my bedrock as I continue to make mistakes in LR/RC. So far I've taken four tests and received: 161, 163, 166, and 168. I wish I could say it was in that order, but it's not. Nonetheless, I think I'm improving, but still disappointed in RC. I just spent about 3 days doing over 18 RC sections from the earlier tests and was getting -3, -4 consistently. That section just seems so volatile, I do not understand.

Anyway, I'm not sure where to go from here. I've been going over answers on Manhattan forums and on Kaplan's answer explanations and trying to make sure to internalize everything I can, but anyone have any further suggestions before I take my next PT? Thanks.

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johmica
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby johmica » Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:43 am

haroldton86 wrote:Took prep test 45 today and got a 168, my highest score yet. I'm very excited.

Score breakdown:
-14
LR: -4
RC: -6
LG: -0
LR: -4

The LG is going to have to be my bedrock as I continue to make mistakes in LR/RC. So far I've taken four tests and received: 161, 163, 166, and 168. I wish I could say it was in that order, but it's not. Nonetheless, I think I'm improving, but still disappointed in RC. I just spent about 3 days doing over 18 RC sections from the earlier tests and was getting -3, -4 consistently. That section just seems so volatile, I do not understand.

Anyway, I'm not sure where to go from here. I've been going over answers on Manhattan forums and on Kaplan's answer explanations and trying to make sure to internalize everything I can, but anyone have any further suggestions before I take my next PT? Thanks.



I'm sure you've already read this advice from others, if you've been scouring the forums like you say, but the single most important thing you can do right now is go over every question you miss, very carefully go through every possible answer choice on those questions, and articulate clearly to yourself both why the right answer is right and the wrong answers are wrong. It's very easy to glance at a wrong answer, for instance, and think that you recognize why it's wrong. Go through the exercise of articulating in complete sentences to yourself why that answer is wrong.

The writers of the LSAT are not wellsprings of endless fallacies. They have a limited number of ways to make answers right and wrong. The writers of the LSAT, however, are extremely effective at taking this limited number of fallacious patterns of reasoning and presenting them in freshly confusing presentations. The goal is to grow to recognize these few flawed patterns of reasoning, and the best way to develop this skill is to meticulously go through the questions and answers, one at a time and untimed, and completely understand how the answers work. If you do this over and over and over again, and you have plenty of time to do that, the process will get easier and faster.

I try to spend two hours a day studying. I first do a timed LG, and then I repeat the LG, this time untimed, and really flesh out the set up, look for implications in the rules that I might have missed, think about better ways to diagram, etc. Surprisingly, the second round really doesn't take much more time than the first, timed round, because I'm so familiar with the set up of the problems from the timed session, I can break the problems down the second time around pretty efficiently. I then take a little break, watch the Daily Show or something, and then I repeat the process, this time with either a LR or RC section. (I spend a lot more time of LR's myself; the RC sections seem a little easier to me, they count for less on the test than the LR's, and I kind of feel like the methods I'm trying to develop on the LR's translate pretty well to the RC sections.) I try to do a complete, timed PT once a week, but sometimes I wait two weeks. My primary concern there is that I don't want to run out of PT's too quickly. I want to have plenty of fresh tests leading into September.

That's my approach, anyway. Different things work for different people. It's been pretty effective for me. My first PT was a 169, and I just scored my first PT 180 Thursday morning. I'm pretty stoked.

Good luck, and I hope this helps.

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sunsheyen
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby sunsheyen » Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:07 am

How do you all set up 5 section PTs? All those that I have are 4 section...do you just randomly pick an extra from another test to add on at the end? Do you then just score the initial component, and use the fifth for endurance purposes??

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Toby Ziegler
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Toby Ziegler » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:50 pm

sunsheyen wrote:How do you all set up 5 section PTs? All those that I have are 4 section...do you just randomly pick an extra from another test to add on at the end? Do you then just score the initial component, and use the fifth for endurance purposes??

My plan is to add a RC section from the earlier PT's just to build endurance. And then add LR if I feel I need more practice.

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Toby Ziegler
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Toby Ziegler » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:50 pm

Had midterms this week, and only studied for about 3 hours total. Excited to get back at it.

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itsallinthesauce
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby itsallinthesauce » Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:51 pm

Anyone have any advice for temporary burn-out phases? I just finished rereading the Trainer's Necessary Assumption chapter in order to start drilling from Cambridge, finally delved into the questions themselves, and just couldn't formulate any constructive thought processes or get a tempo going. Despite having done close to a couple hundred of these questions in the past and knowing exactly how to approach them (I've read MLSAT & the Trainer's chapters and completed corresponding drill sets over and over in months prior), I was mentally drained.

I usually can't study for more than 4-5 hours straight at a time and even then, I usually end up zoning out during the tail end of a chunk like that -- which concerns me, as this is exactly the amount of time I'll need to stay focused during the actual exam. I take breaks but try and limit them in order to try and strengthen endurance but nothing seems to be clicking quite the way I'd like things to...

During these lackluster moments when I can't seem to muster even a semblance of mental rigidity, should I revert to games, perhaps one at a time to stay sharp during these temporary burn-out phases? I definitely odn't want to take too much time off, as we only have a few more months...

Thanks for any insight!

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flash21
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby flash21 » Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:07 pm

itsallinthesauce wrote:Anyone have any advice for temporary burn-out phases? I just finished rereading the Trainer's Necessary Assumption chapter in order to start drilling from Cambridge, finally delved into the questions themselves, and just couldn't formulate any constructive thought processes or get a tempo going. Despite having done close to a couple hundred of these questions in the past and knowing exactly how to approach them (I've read MLSAT & the Trainer's chapters and completed corresponding drill sets over and over in months prior), I was mentally drained.

I usually can't study for more than 4-5 hours straight at a time and even then, I usually end up zoning out during the tail end of a chunk like that -- which concerns me, as this is exactly the amount of time I'll need to stay focused during the actual exam. I take breaks but try and limit them in order to try and strengthen endurance but nothing seems to be clicking quite the way I'd like things to...

During these lackluster moments when I can't seem to muster even a semblance of mental rigidity, should I revert to games, perhaps one at a time to stay sharp during these temporary burn-out phases? I definitely odn't want to take too much time off, as we only have a few more months...

Thanks for any insight!


hey, I'm no LSAT pro but, I think an metaphor with working out could help illustrate my suggestion.

Consider this: you're a guy who is burnt out physically - and to continue to workout would actually detrimental to your health (you'd get in such a deep burnout, called adrenal fatigue which can take months or sometimes years to recover from). So, being the smart guy you are, you take a few days off. this few days off is exactly what you needed - not only did your muscles repair, but you also have came back much stronger than before, and your endurance has increased. Continue to do this, and your body will get used to the exercise, and push your limits - but not so much to the extent that it actually is simply detrimental. Rather, get very close to - or even slightly into this burnout phase, and soon enough you'll have more endurance. This incremental pushing of your comfort zone is exactly what I think is needed.

I would also suggest starting with some level one NA's. I am not in anyway saying you can't do the higher level ones, but sometimes it can be of benefit to you, because you can see how the gaps in the argument and it gets you into a rhythm , especially if you have just come from some time off, I'd really recomend starting with some lower level Q's. This is what I did when I resumed LSAT studying after taking a break to do some under grad classes.

Hope that helped. Good luck.

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kittenmittens
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby kittenmittens » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:43 pm

sunsheyen wrote:How do you all set up 5 section PTs? All those that I have are 4 section...do you just randomly pick an extra from another test to add on at the end? Do you then just score the initial component, and use the fifth for endurance purposes??

I have also thought about this! Ideally it would be great to not know which section is the "experimental" but I have no idea how someone would achieve that. To me it makes more sense to put the extra section up front so you see how the fatigue affects you on the later, scored sections. That would be like the worst case scenario on test day of having the experimental as first section.

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johmica
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby johmica » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:53 pm

itsallinthesauce wrote:Anyone have any advice for temporary burn-out phases? I just finished rereading the Trainer's Necessary Assumption chapter in order to start drilling from Cambridge, finally delved into the questions themselves, and just couldn't formulate any constructive thought processes or get a tempo going. Despite having done close to a couple hundred of these questions in the past and knowing exactly how to approach them (I've read MLSAT & the Trainer's chapters and completed corresponding drill sets over and over in months prior), I was mentally drained.

I usually can't study for more than 4-5 hours straight at a time and even then, I usually end up zoning out during the tail end of a chunk like that -- which concerns me, as this is exactly the amount of time I'll need to stay focused during the actual exam. I take breaks but try and limit them in order to try and strengthen endurance but nothing seems to be clicking quite the way I'd like things to...

During these lackluster moments when I can't seem to muster even a semblance of mental rigidity, should I revert to games, perhaps one at a time to stay sharp during these temporary burn-out phases? I definitely odn't want to take too much time off, as we only have a few more months...

Thanks for any insight!


My personal opinion is that it's way too early to be pulling 4- to 5 hours daily, if you are in fact in the right forum and intend to test in September. Quantity does not always equal quality. I would alternate timed and untimed practice sessions, making sure to go over carefully all problems that gave you troubles, understanding the ins and outs of both the right answers and all the wrong answers. Again, just my opinion, but I think that, this early in the game, even trying to complete a full PT daily is too much. I like to do two sections a day, one of which is always an LG. The rest of my study time is dedicated to reviewing those same two sections, carefully and untimed. I think the workout analogy is a propos. Marathon runners don't train by running a marathon a day. They tailor their training schedules to peak endurance on race day. I think you should be doing the same. Working on micro-adjustments to how you approach problem questions, building a solid base.

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kittenmittens
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby kittenmittens » Sun Jun 08, 2014 12:45 am

What are the rules in the forum about how much detail PT questions can be described and discussed?

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WaltGrace83
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby WaltGrace83 » Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:13 am

kittenmittens wrote:What are the rules in the forum about how much detail PT questions can be described and discussed?


No rules about PT questions as long as you don't type up the question verbatim.

NEVER discuss a test administration question before the test has officially come out - THAT is a big deal and will get you banned.

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bondja
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby bondja » Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:23 am

WaltGrace83 wrote:
No rules about PT questions as long as you don't type up the question verbatim.

NEVER discuss a test administration question before the test has officially come out - THAT is a big deal and will get you banned.


PT questions have some rules, just not as strict. Don't rewrite the whole question. Use "buzzwords" to fill us in. Always identify the question, "PT29, S1, Q11", then fill us in on the beginning, "Many species adapt to their environment, but...", and then tell us what you're thinking was, "(A) was confusing to me because it talked about P becoming E. I would never have guessed that (C) was correct! Can someone explain?"

cordless99
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby cordless99 » Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:04 pm

Checking in!

Going to read posts here starting from May to now later today just to catch up to speed with everyone. I've been studying a little here and there for some time but my plan right now prior to the 3 month mark reaches is to get going on Games so I can drill them for fun through the rest of the period. I'll be going over the Velocity program for this and supplement with the Trainer.

Shooting for a 167. Never took a "cold" diag but was prepping around a 160 with a month of Games review.




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