159 again

159times2
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159 again

Postby 159times2 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:37 pm

Hey All,

Felt like posting about my misery.

Feb 2010: 159 (for some reason I can't view my answer sheet)
Dec 2013: 159 (LR1 -7, LG -3, LR2 -6, RC -14!!!, Raw score = 71)

Couldn't believe I scored 159 again as the result of yakking so hard on the RC section. I was averaging a raw score of 78 on PT's 60-69 heading into the exam. My LG score is the best I could have hoped for, my LR scores are lower than where I was practicing but probably in-line with test day performance BUT my RC score is ridiculous. Just so bad.

The RC section was section 5 of my Dec'13 exam. When writing practice exams I never added an additional 5th section - I would write 4 sections without a break as I was always in a hurry to mark, score and review. When I look back on the test day, I don't remember feeling all that tired for the 5th section, if anything I was excited to be done.

I've registered for the Feb'14 offering and am going to do the following (I work full time):
- Read RC bible
- PT 52 - 61 games review (keep them fresh in my mind)
- Drill RC (~10 sections) and LR (~10 sections)
- PT 65 - 71 timed conditions with 5th sections (RC + games) added from PT 62-64

Any input into what the heck I can do to improve my chances of cracking 160 is appreciated. Thanks

PalmBay
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Re: 159 again

Postby PalmBay » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:45 pm

You're working full time... you can't take some more time off? I'd wait till the later 2014 tests, probably the June one if I were you. It's not like you're jobless and without direction.

I don't know how much you can improve in a 2 month period. My guess is not that much. Either way you'd be applying pretty late in the cycle, putting you at a disadvantage.

I'm not an expert on these matters and my opinion is JUST my own opinion, but it would seem logical that barring any emergency reason to attend law school THIS FALL, since you have a full time job just prepare how you need/want and take in June. If you've been self studying and stuck at 159, hire a tutor or attend a class. I took an online one and it was very helpful.

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IgosduIkana
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Re: 159 again

Postby IgosduIkana » Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:12 pm

IIRC February exam is undisclosed and nobody can see them.

I cracked 160s just barely, and for most of my training I was in the mid to high 150s. My strengths and weaknesses seem to match yours. I only missed slightly fewer RC questions on my Oct 2013 exam.

For RC I did practice section after practice section after practice section. For most of my 7 months of training I couldn't finish all 4 passages in 35 minutes, so I would do 4 sections with a 10-minute time limit on each passage. I kept doing this until my brain wanted to throw up. After gradually tightening the time limit I was able to finish all 4.

Do you do a lot of leisure reading? I have never cared for it and that's probably why I was a bit slower. "Slower" at least in terms of the LSAT, which requires us to read and process at breakneck speeds. Do more reading of boring ish. I was reading the ol' economist on the web thanks to the TLS suggestions. But nothing is a replacement for more practice with real LSAT RC sections.

I imagine you've heard some of this already but at the very least I hope this will show you that the advice can work for you. My cold diag 2 years ago was a 137, my score on the Oct 2012 was in the high 140s, and my Oct 2013 broke 160. Keep up the good work, I hope things work out for you.

PalmBay
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Re: 159 again

Postby PalmBay » Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:16 pm

Again, I won't pretend to be an expert on the LSAT because I'm not, but from what I understand (and what worked for me) is that you don't HAVE to and really shouldn't try to read every RC section word for word. There are certain filler sections that are either irrelevant or needless explanations that after studying with a proper tutor/instructional service you'll learn to ignore and save yourself valuable time.

If the first thing you do on the RC section is read the entire passage word for word, you probably won't have enough time.

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d cooper
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Re: 159 again

Postby d cooper » Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:43 pm

Sit out another cycle. I took the LSAT three times, and the best decision I made concerning the test was to sit out a cycle after my first disappointing score and give myself another 6+ months to do it right. Since I was working full time, it really wasn't possible to cram in another test late in the cycle. You'll only be hurting your potential and your chances, especially since this is your third take.

Definitely work through LSAT-specific RC content, as you're planning on doing. I found the RC Bible less helpful than the LSAT Trainer and MLSAT's RC Strategy Guide in this regard, so consider picking those up. But what was especially helpful for me was being in "RC mode" all of the time, with whatever I was reading. During this period I stopped reading fiction entirely and read a bunch of nonfiction books that were interesting to me: science, history, philosophy, architecture, etc. I felt that this went a long way towards getting the most out of the material when it came time to face a section.

There are a lot of posts on this forum about reading for structure, and what that really means. That's the most important step in beating RC. For example, in a science passage you will come across an explanation of a particular experiment, and you should be able to read through it and understand it for the most part. But more importantly, you should be able to see how it relates to the passage overall, and be able to put it on a mental shelf to revisit more closely when there (inevitably) is a question about it. So in a sense I agree with PalmBay here that you should prioritize certain sections of the passage over others, but I disagree insofar as you still should be reading every single word. I wouldn't chalk anything up as filler. Be prepared to mentally map the passage as you go, so that you have a solid blueprint for the questions.

knicker
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Re: 159 again

Postby knicker » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:13 pm

Are you running out of time, or are you just getting answers wrong?

If you can consistently choose the correct answers with a bit of extra time, just skip one of the passages. With the extra time on the three remaining passages, you should get 18-20 right. On the remaining six or seven questions from the skipped passage, guessing is worth +1 or +2. That means you could you improve your RC score by +6 to +8 right off the bat.

OTOH, if you have time but you're missing questions, you've got a lot more work to do.

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wealtheow
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Re: 159 again

Postby wealtheow » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:35 pm

+1 to what everyone else as said, but will add this: I have heard the RC Bible is kind of crappy/useless. I'd recommend the Manhattan RC book (incredible and short!) and the Trainer. Also, Cambridge's "Difficult (Hardest? cant remember) Passages" helped me a out a lot with getting over the initial "I can't do this" response I used to have when I'd see a complex science/psychology/legal/anything not art. Just my .02!

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IgosduIkana
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Re: 159 again

Postby IgosduIkana » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:38 pm

wealtheow wrote:+1 to what everyone else as said, but will add this: I have heard the RC Bible is kind of crappy/useless. I'd recommend the Manhattan RC book (incredible and short!) and the Trainer. Also, Cambridge's "Difficult (Hardest? cant remember) Passages" helped me a out a lot with getting over the initial "I can't do this" response I used to have when I'd see a complex science/psychology/legal/anything not art. Just my .02!


I liked the Manhattan RC book as well.

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d cooper
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Re: 159 again

Postby d cooper » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:38 pm

knicker wrote:Are you running out of time, or are you just getting answers wrong?

If you can consistently choose the correct answers with a bit of extra time, just skip one of the passages. With the extra time on the three remaining passages, you should get 18-20 right. On the remaining six or seven questions from the skipped passage, guessing is worth +1 or +2. That means you could you improve your RC score by +6 to +8 right off the bat.

OTOH, if you have time but you're missing questions, you've got a lot more work to do.


Don't do this, OP. Hold yourself to a higher standard and keep working at it until you can finish within the time limit, answering all of the questions confidently.

knicker
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Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:08 am

Re: 159 again

Postby knicker » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:07 pm

d cooper wrote:
knicker wrote:Are you running out of time, or are you just getting answers wrong?

If you can consistently choose the correct answers with a bit of extra time, just skip one of the passages. With the extra time on the three remaining passages, you should get 18-20 right. On the remaining six or seven questions from the skipped passage, guessing is worth +1 or +2. That means you could you improve your RC score by +6 to +8 right off the bat.

OTOH, if you have time but you're missing questions, you've got a lot more work to do.


Don't do this, OP. Hold yourself to a higher standard and keep working at it until you can finish within the time limit, answering all of the questions confidently.


Well yeah, that's obviously the optimal strategy. But OP has already posted 159 twice and worked through most of the prep materials already. Eventually you have to cut your losses.

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d cooper
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Re: 159 again

Postby d cooper » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:11 pm

OP, I just noticed that your LSAT scores are over three years apart, and that you were averaging a ~161 on PTs 60-69 for this most recent take. A 159 is the expected score with that kind of prep, given the test day drop.

How long did you study this time around? How seriously did you take the review portion of your prep?

159times2
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Re: 159 again

Postby 159times2 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:07 pm

Thank you for all the comments.

Leading up to the Dec'13 offering, I studied outside of work for 3.5 months about 15 to 20 hrs a week.

Review - I take it seriously, but I could probably do it better and spend more time on it. I spent most of my time reviewing LR and very little reviewing RC. I didn't think I could get much better than -8ish...

On test day I was expecting a drop, but I actually performed roughly as I was practicing on the first 3 sections, but then completely missed the RC section. The worst I'd ever gotten on RC was -12 (months ago), and I average -8 within a tight range.

So I'm going to review RC a tonne after PT's, see if that helps...thanks again.

159times2
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Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:02 pm

Re: 159 again

Postby 159times2 » Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:39 am

162. never writing again. thanks to this website and all the peeps who post advice. here's hoping we go somewhere dece, good luck and thanks again.

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IgosduIkana
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Re: 159 again

Postby IgosduIkana » Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:39 pm

159times2 wrote:162. never writing again. thanks to this website and all the peeps who post advice. here's hoping we go somewhere dece, good luck and thanks again.


That's really great to hear!!! Good work!! :D

Yanky91
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Re: 159 again

Postby Yanky91 » Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:53 pm

159times2 wrote:162. never writing again. thanks to this website and all the peeps who post advice. here's hoping we go somewhere dece, good luck and thanks again.

Congrats!

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Nova
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Re: 159 again

Postby Nova » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:03 pm

159times2 wrote:162. never writing again. thanks to this website and all the peeps who post advice. here's hoping we go somewhere dece, good luck and thanks again.

Congrats. should make a legit difference at a lot of solid regional schools. Especially at schools with medians of 160,161, & 162.

consider taking another stab at it in June/Sept. nothing to lose, really.




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