Cold diagnostic

tstarkyy
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Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:49 pm

Cold diagnostic

Postby tstarkyy » Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:02 pm

I just took my first cold diagnostic LSAT- literally the first time I've cracked open these books. I got a 159- untimed, though i did set a stop watch to see how long it took me. I averaged about 50 minutes for each section. (I wrote everything down just so I know where I stand). I know I probably should have only done the 35 minutes but I didn't realize till after.

What did you get on your cold diagnostic timed/untimed?

I know picking up my speed will be the biggest thing to work on over the next months. (taking the June LSAT) I'm an OCD obsessive answer-checker! that definitely slows me down a bit...

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drawstring
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Re: Cold diagnostic

Postby drawstring » Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:16 pm

I got 160 timed and then scored a 173, which was a bit below my PT average. You will likely get much faster with studying.

One of my biggest problems in the beginning was spending far too much time debating between two choices, and I'd end up having to blitz through the last 5 questions or so. Come test day I finished each section with at least 5 minutes left and nearly 10 minutes for LR.

What helped me improve my speed was a lot of drilling and instead of trying to be absolutely sure about an answer I'd just go with the choice I was leaning toward. In the overwhelming majority of cases my choice would be correct. It's important not to sacrifice accuracy for speed though, so try to find a balance.
Last edited by drawstring on Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

karateandfriendship
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Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:47 pm

Re: Cold diagnostic

Postby karateandfriendship » Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:22 pm

Last edited by karateandfriendship on Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Nonconsecutive
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Re: Cold diagnostic

Postby Nonconsecutive » Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:27 pm

I scored lower than that on my cold diagnostic (under actual time constraints), and scored 175+ on the real thing, so I wouldn't read too much into it. You'll definitely want to practice timed sections though, however you have lots of studying/learning/drilling to do before you worry about that.

tstarkyy
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Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:49 pm

Re: Cold diagnostic

Postby tstarkyy » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:43 am

i definitely find myself debating between two answers- something I will have to work on. anyway... back to more studying
thanks for the tips

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drawstring
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Re: Cold diagnostic

Postby drawstring » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:48 am

tstarkyy wrote:i definitely find myself debating between two answers- something I will have to work on. anyway... back to more studying
thanks for the tips


I found that it would almost always come down to two choices, but the key for me was to avoid trying to be absolutely certain about which one was correct. It sounds like we're both the type who will keep checking something if we're not completely sure about it, but that can be very detrimental in a test where speed is crucial. When it comes down to working on speed, do some tests or drills in which you force yourself to move on once you're leaning toward an answer, and see how accurate you are.

You're just starting too, so you're going to get much better at understanding the questions and that will help you move more quickly and be more confident about what to choose. At this point you should probably be focusing more on mastering the basics than on speed anyway.

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Jeffort
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Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:43 pm

Re: Cold diagnostic

Postby Jeffort » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:07 am

tstarkyy wrote:i definitely find myself debating between two answers- something I will have to work on. anyway... back to more studying
thanks for the tips


The most important thing you should be focusing on is learning the logical reasons behind why each CR is correct and why the attractive incorrect answers are logically incorrect. Learning the exact logic underlying questions and CRs as well as why wrong answers are 100% incorrect (as opposed to being second best, they are not, they are 100% wrong even though they sound good) is how you improve speed as well as accuracy. It's the main goal behind prep.

For prep/study purposes, you haven't completed your work with any particular question until you understand 100% the logical reasons why the correct answer is correct and the same thing for the wrong answers. Gaining this level of understanding = improving your skills = improving your score range.

Don't just focus on getting questions correct, focus more on full understanding of the entire set of logic the question and answers revolve around, especially the logic of the attractive trap answers since they are responsible for suckering you somehow on every question you answer incorrectly. Learning why common attractive traps answers are incorrect is as, if not more important than understanding why correct answers are correct so that you can recognize and avoid selecting them!

How are you prepping? Books? A class?

Quality prep involves a lot more than just working a lot of LSAT questions trying to get them correct.

tstarkyy
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:49 pm

Re: Cold diagnostic

Postby tstarkyy » Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:04 pm

I got the powerscore bibles and then tons of practice tests. I'm going to dive into the logical reasoning bible first. I did the worst on those sections. I did the best on the logic games (only got 2 wrong) but it took me the longest to do that section.

I know I have a lot of studying to do before I can really focus on picking up my speed. I'm going to work through the bibles and take a few more untimed practice tests first.

Another hard thing for me is trying not to get distracted. When I was taking the test all I could hear was my dad outside shoveling snow! I find it especially hard to read the long passages without losing focus.

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Jeffort
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Re: Cold diagnostic

Postby Jeffort » Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:03 am

Ok, you're just getting started.

There's no point in taking more practice tests before starting with the bibles. Just jump right into the books and start learning about the logic that underlies all the questions, you'll be working plenty of questions as you study the books while also learning proper ways to analyze them.

Everyone wants to focus on speed and full test endurance with practice tests at first since the first thing you figure out that is hard about the test is the time pressure and length, but that's not the important part to focus on at the beginning. Speed comes from understanding how to approach questions and from practicing enough to get good at doing it correctly with focused per type drilling as you learn about different question types/game types. Slow motion learning and practice comes before timed practice is important in your prep routine.




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