150 diagnostic. Is 170+ attainable?

manu6926
Posts: 285
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:05 pm

...

Postby manu6926 » Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:05 pm

...
Last edited by manu6926 on Sun May 25, 2014 10:36 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
jk148706
Posts: 2499
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 11:14 am

Re: 150 diagnostic. Is 170+ attainable?

Postby jk148706 » Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:47 pm

Jeffort wrote:
WaltGrace83 wrote:One thing I will say is this: TLS is definitely a self-selected bunch. The people here are not normal and I mean that in the best way. Everyone will tell you that you can do it yet the statistics will say you cannot. However, you absolutely must realize that the statistics include everyone and, let's face it, the average LSAT score is a less-than-stellar 151. What that means most likely is that there is a huge majority of people that simply do not try very hard (this is of course assuming that trying hard is sufficient to guarantee a score raise). I have seen what some people consider "studying:" no reviewing, doing logic games with the TV on, guessing on gut feelings - getting the question right - and thinking "hey I got this," etc. etc. etc.

Take the statistics for what they are worth...aka not a whole lot.


Yeah, this really needs to be emphasized so that new users don't get false impressions and unrealistic expectations about their chances of achieving 170+ just because they decide to 'study hard and prep a lot' for the LSAT.

I don't think new TLS users/people new to the LSAT fully appreciate or understand what "It takes a lot of hard work and dedication" really means in reality when it comes to achieving a high LSAT score. Many people just assume it means similar types/amount of work/studying and dedication they had to put in to get As in hard undergrad classes and/or for other hard tests they've taken in the past because they don't know the LSAT is significantly different than all other tests they've faced before.

Maybe we should start balancing threads like this with more detailed descriptions of what is and isn't 'a lot of hard work/prep' for the LSAT in terms of what it takes to achieve 170+ from a much lower starting point so people don't think it just means reading the prep books back to back and taking 10+ practice tests or taking a class and keeping up with going to classes and doing all the homework. I think many people get the false impression that simply putting in the time to go through all the prep books at least once and working at least 20-30 tests worth of materials satisfies the 'worked hard enough to get 170+' requirement. That common type of misconception leads many people to form unrealistic expectations and to wasting a bunch of time prepping in ineffective ways.

The most important thing people need to understand at the very beginning is that the bulk of the prep time and hard work required to significantly improve and achieve a high LSAT score is NOT the initial time and effort spent reading, learning and memorizing the information/concepts/techniques/etc. taught in LSAT prep books and prep classes or time spent taking practice tests. Many people mistakenly think doing all that stuff, like reading and learning everything in the bibles, is the majority of the hard work before just focusing on practice tests to get faster. They also fail to realize that gaining LSAT knowledge/understanding is just phase 1, the shortest one of a long three phase process.

The bulk of the real hard work required to significantly improve is large amounts of time spent doing tedious focused drilling with thorough review and detailed analysis of everything including careful self analysis. People mistake the 'gaining LSAT knowledge' phase for the hard work required to learn how to and get good at effectively APPLYING everything they learned to be able to actually solve questions effectively, aka improve skill level.

Slow motion drilling focused on getting better and better at applying proper approaches, techniques, step by step processes, etc. to each Q type is the most important LSAT prep work that directly improves actual skills/abilities and score range. It's important to spend A LOT of time doing slow motion drilling before rushing into doing full sections/tests and focusing on timing, but most people shortchange this phase because they incorrectly think working on timing with practice tests right after learning the basics is more important. Developing good LSAT skills and habits through lots of tedious repetitive slow motion drilling is the key to raising score range. Taking timed practice tests doesn't improve skills, it just measures them and gives you a corresponding number. Drilling with quality review is what improves skills and score range.

Pretty much everyone that sets out with the intention of prepping hard for the LSAT completes phase 1 and jumps into phase 3 but few of them ever improve to 170+.

The majority of the time consuming work necessary to achieve a high score needs to be spent in phase 2. People that shortchange phase 2 and focus mainly on phase 3 hit score plateaus below their goal and typically don't break through the barriers without realizing the flaws in their prep approach and changing it.

Here's a basic breakdown of the main phases of LSAT prep. There is of course overlap between them as prep progresses with intermixing of phases. The length of the phases varies considerably per individual due to many different subjective variables involved. Phase 2 should last as long as it reasonably takes to improve ones skill level to being able to hit desired score range on a timed PT, making it impossible to estimate how long it needs to be for any particular person. Hopefully some of this will be helpful to new students thinking about prepping for the LSAT this year.

Phase 1: learn LSAT fundamentals, techniques, concepts, question types, strategies, etc., get familiar with how they relate to LSAT questions, get familiar with working through question types, etc.
This = reading prep books/taking a full length class

Phase 2: learn how to apply the knowledge gained during phase 1 effectively, practice and review that a lot to get really really good at properly applying everything when you are supposed to. Basically, get good at applying everything, review thoroughly and deeply with a focused approach. Constantly evaluate strengths and weaknesses through review to guide drilling and review of fundamentals. This is the phase where the work directly translates to improving skills and abilities and is thus the most important.
This = lots of focused and organized drilling and review, almost all untimed.

Phase 3: put it all together in section/full test format with lots of practice and detailed review including implementing time management strategies and making adjustments.
This = mainly timed practice tests and review with some drilling.

In short, achieving a high score/significantly improving requires a lot of hard work and dedication spent specifically in phase 2 until skills are solid. Phase 2 is where all the magic happens! People neglect it and think phase 3 is more important due to falsely believing that timing is their main problem rather than skills due to mistaking LSAT 'knowledge' gained in phase one for LSAT skills needed to hit a high score. Plenty of low scoring students know all the facts, concepts, details, strategies in the prep books inside and out with most of it memorized but cannot achieve a high score under test conditions despite their stellar set of LSAT knowledge.

Mistaking LSAT knowledge for skills and abilities actually applying it in action to fresh questions is a common pitfall for students that is good to avoid since it makes people think their problem is just speed, which is never the real problem holding scores back.


Jeffort got a question for you. I took the Oct lsat and did ok, but nowhere near my to scores. I hit 170, but was averaging about 174ish on PTs at the time. I know I should have retaken in Dec or Feb, but just didn't. I'm going to take in June, but I'm not really sure how to approach studying.

I took a PT a couple days ago just to see where I am and hit 170. Considering I haven't looked at any lsat stuff in five months, I was OK with the score.

But since I have a basic understanding of lsat concepts should I skip 'step one' as I study? Should I start from scratch? I know everyone is different but I'm wondering if you have any specific advice for a case like mine. Thanks in advance.

User avatar
Jeffort
Posts: 1896
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:43 pm

Re: 150 diagnostic. Is 170+ attainable?

Postby Jeffort » Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:23 pm

Since you're a re-taker you don't have to start from scratch like a new student. It's not like you forgot everything you learned about the LSAT because you haven't been prepping for a few months.

Just get back in the mode with some basic refresher work to bring back all your LSAT knowledge but you don't need to fully do phase 1 before starting phase 2. Just basically combine those phases. Maybe review your prep books briefly before starting drilling, and then while drilling as you find weaknesses/issues, go back and review the basics about whatever Q type/concept you are having trouble with to refresh that knowledge as needed.

Your main priority should be identifying your specific weaknesses/issues that held you back from a higher 170s range score so you can get right down to work focusing on fixing them rather than starting prep like a new student.

User avatar
jk148706
Posts: 2499
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 11:14 am

Re: 150 diagnostic. Is 170+ attainable?

Postby jk148706 » Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:52 pm

Jeffort wrote:Since you're a re-taker you don't have to start from scratch like a new student. It's not like you forgot everything you learned about the LSAT because you haven't been prepping for a few months.

Just get back in the mode with some basic refresher work to bring back all your LSAT knowledge but you don't need to fully do phase 1 before starting phase 2. Just basically combine those phases. Maybe review your prep books briefly before starting drilling, and then while drilling as you find weaknesses/issues, go back and review the basics about whatever Q type/concept you are having trouble with to refresh that knowledge as needed.

Your main priority should be identifying your specific weaknesses/issues that held you back from a higher 170s range score so you can get right down to work focusing on fixing them rather than starting prep like a new student.


Awesome, thanks for the advice

McBrunson
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:10 pm

Re: 150 diagnostic. Is 170+ attainable?

Postby McBrunson » Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:32 am

Really surprised by the amount of replies/ posts this thread got.

Anyway, I got a chance to blind review my diagnostic and here's the revised breakdown. Don't know if this means much since I reviewed it without any sort of time restraints. I spent HOURS on this exam.

LG: 21/24: Even after reviewing I still manage to get 3 wrong. I hate this damn section.
RC: 25/27: Felt like the passages were difficult so I'm pretty happy with the revised results
LR: 42/49: Four out of the seven I got wrong were from the first fifteen in each section. Also, some of the questions really stumped me. I spent 10 minutes on some questions and still got them wrong (S4-question about European music)

BLIND REVIEW SCORE: 170- I'll take it, now it's time to review wrong answers and hit the books.

Can anyone tell me if I should be happy about this? Or should every blind review result in a 180 since you have unlimited time. Sorry if this seems like a dumb question but I'm new to this whole thing.

User avatar
jk148706
Posts: 2499
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 11:14 am

Re: 150 diagnostic. Is 170+ attainable?

Postby jk148706 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:37 am

McBrunson wrote:Really surprised by the amount of replies/ posts this thread got.

Anyway, I got a chance to blind review my diagnostic and here's the revised breakdown. Don't know if this means much since I reviewed it without any sort of time restraints. I spent HOURS on this exam.

LG: 21/24: Even after reviewing I still manage to get 3 wrong. I hate this damn section.
RC: 25/27: Felt like the passages were difficult so I'm pretty happy with the revised results
LR: 42/49: Four out of the seven I got wrong were from the first fifteen in each section. Also, some of the questions really stumped me. I spent 10 minutes on some questions and still got them wrong (S4-question about European music)

BLIND REVIEW SCORE: 170- I'll take it, now it's time to review wrong answers and hit the books.

Can anyone tell me if I should be happy about this? Or should every blind review result in a 180 since you have unlimited time. Sorry if this seems like a dumb question but I'm new to this whole thing.


Without time constraints a score is pretty much useless, since much of lsat is specifically designed to test how u can perform under such constraints.

However, blind review -- even untimed -- is very valuable. It is important to take as much time as u need to understand the concepts, why answers are right/wrong etc. So while I wouldn't put much into the "170" score, I would consider the blind review a very important step. Just make sure u understand why things are right or wrong. Take as much time as needed to understand a question.




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Alexandros, dontsaywhatyoumean, laqueredup and 17 guests