nothingtosee wrote:IMO if you have 80 days you should take more than 20 PTs.
I'll try to take as many as I can!
NonTradLawHopeful wrote:Not sure I would call a 167 for your third PT a setback...do you blind review the tests afterwards? If not you are missing out on a critical part of improving.
I'm not blind reviewing right now because I think spending my time drilling by question type would be more efficient. Once I begin taking practice tests regularly, I'll try blind reviewing.
BP Ben wrote:
JustShowingUp wrote:The whole point of practice is to challenge yourself so much that the real test feels like a cakewalk. This is why I don’t plan on using a watch for the LSAT. If I prepare correctly, I should be finishing almost every section before the five minute warning. Instead of looking at my watch on the test, I should be looking at the questions. Instead of adjusting my watch during breaks, I should be meditating for a more effective mindset. This is the level of preparedness I hope to be by the test date.
First of all, I love this thread. I think this is an amazing idea, despite the flak you've taken from some posters here. It's a great motivational tool for you, and regardless of how your test turns out, it will be a useful resource for newcomers. I wish I had done something like this when I was studying.
But yeah, let's talk about timing:
Not using a watch is a nice thought in theory. I get where you're coming from. The idea is that you should be so automatic with your internal sense of timing that you won't need it. Awesome. You should aspire to reach that level, and with enough practice, I have no doubt that you'll get there. But not using a watch a terrible idea in practice. On game day, your internal sense of timing is the first thing to go. Nerves will
cause you to stumble at least a little bit, even if you're the coolest, calmest test taker in the universe. That doesn't mean you can't 180. But you're definitely going to want a watch, just to make sure you're on pace.
Also, the bolded: ABSOLUTELY NOT! You should never practice finishing the sections with a severe time handicap. Seriously, don't do this. Internalizing a 30 minute pace will cause you to sacrifice points on test day. As you get better with timing, your goal should be to finish as close to 35 as possible without going over. Even if you think you can go -0 in 30 minutes every time, you shouldn't. Aim to reallocate all of the time you save on the easy questions to the hard questions. Your remaining time at the end of the section is never as well spent as it would have been if you allotted it to working more slowly on the toughest questions the first time through
. If you're finishing in 30 minutes with great accuracy, then you should finish in 34:59 with perfect accuracy. As you get faster, you earn the luxury of slowing down. Slowing down is the thing that makes you better. Don't be a hero. Use the full 35 every time, even if you don't think you need it.
Thanks for the support Ben, I appreciate your insight! I'm definitely not stubborn and I will adjust if I'm hitting timing issues towards the end of my preparation process.
Would you happen to know if testing rooms have a timer in the front of the classroom? That would make all of this timing business a lot easier!
JFO1833 wrote:I would definitely bring a watch to the test, however I think it's a good idea to practice so you don't need it. During the test you could get completely thrown off on time and need to know to get readjusted.
The other use of a watch is to make sure you have all answers in before pencils down. Based on the five minute warning I tried to guesstimate the second that the section would end. Within roughly 20 seconds of that estimated end time I stopped all work because, assuming I was waffling between two answers at the very end, I would not want to be between erasure and bubbling when time was called.
Good point!Week 4: Drilling Logic GamesDay 1
I took the day off from studying.
I’ve already made some mistakes in my preparation process. The most obvious mistake I’ve made so far is spending time on practice tests. I’m way too early in the process for tests, and I could have spent that test taking time on studying/drilling instead.
Taking a second test before doing any drilling is definitely a mistake, but it’s debatable if taking a diagnostic test is. I think it depends on your personality. If you are the type who gets motivated when you get your butt kicked, then taking a diagnostic test will do that for you. However, if you are the type who gets discouraged by a poor score, then you should take the more efficient studying path of avoiding tests until you’re done with your readings and drills. I think even if you are motivated by poor scores, you should still skip the diagnostic because it’s just not an efficient way of spending your time and you can always find other sources of motivation to keep you going until you get to the testing stage of your preparation.
I can see how this thread may get a bit boring without regular updates on practice test scores, so I'll take a day off every two weeks or so to take a practice test. However, if you are on your own, you definitely do not (probably should not) take practice tests until you are at least finished with drilling.Day 2
I was really happy when I woke up this morning because I had my first uninterrupted night of sleep in a while. I was trying to figure out what I did differently that allowed me to sleep so well but it turns out I’m just catching a cold. I’m looking forward to getting better sleep for the next few days.
I began drilling balanced linear/sequencing games.
My strategy is to do the problems one by one and review by watching 7sage’s explanation. I’ll do each problem again after watching 7sage’s explanations. I’ll also create flash cards for each game. I think flashcards are important for making the most out of your study time. They are especially crucial if you are studying while working or going to school. You can look at your flashcards whenever you have some downtime and these tiny study sessions add up quickly when you can’t commit long hours to studying. The best part is you can make flashcards using your “exhausted” hours so you can save your “good” hours for studying.
I did a total of 10 balanced linear game today, there’s 12 left so I will push up my pace and finish those tomorrow.Day 3
I was stomped by PT 32 Game 3 because I misread the at least x spaces rule.
Finishing the drills much faster despite the questions getting harder. Originally it was looking like it would take me 3 weeks to finish all the LG drills, but now, I’m confident I can finish in 2 weeks.
The cold is still developing, I’m looking forward to another few nights of good sleep. I’m starting to think that getting sick on the day before the LSAT would be more of a blessing than a curse because it helps so much with falling and staying asleep. I’m curious if anyone has any experience with this.Day 4
It’s amazing how warm 36 degrees can feel when you’ve gotten used to -15 degrees wind chill.
I’m starting the advanced linear/sequencing question type today.
Writing on the master set up may be okay if it saves a lot of time. Erasing is much faster than redrawing the set up and all the inferences.
I misread PT 7 game 4’s rule and assumed the second rule required F to be before G. This caused me to miss the board splitting opportunity. Note: 7sage uses “board” instead of “setup” so I will be using the two interchangeably.
I’m starting to notice a trend in the mistake of my approach: not splitting the board enough. I avoid splitting to save time but I waste so much more time when I’m doing the questions without the splits. I also increase the chances of making mistakes by not splitting. It seems that over-splitting is usually better than under-splitting.
I’m on the 11th question and I’m starting to feel tired. It’s hard to gauge how far I can push myself because of the cold so I’ll do one more after this and call it a day.
For some reason, drilling questions isn’t as satisfying as reading the LG and LR bibles. It’s a lot easier to measure progress when I’m reading chapter after chapter of the bibles, but it’s a lot harder to measure my skill gain when drilling questions.Day 5
Prep Test (PT) 25 – Game (G) 4 I spent a good bit of time splitting the board using the V-S rule. Turns out 7sage doesn’t. I think splitting is a better strategy for this question because there’s only 7 total boards and four of the questions ask you to fill out pretty much entire boards anyway so you aren’t saving that much time by skipping it.
PT26 – G1 In order to save time and also because I feel more comfortable with setups now, I’ve decided to skip making a flashcard for this question because the setup is relatively straightforward. Hopefully I’ll be able to make fewer and fewer flashcards as I gain competency.
PT28 – G3 This is the second game I am not making a flash card for. My sequencing setups are becoming automatic. Hopefully this trend will continue so I can pick up the speed of my drilling.
PT28 – G4 I should have known I set up my board incorrectly when I solved the whole thing with just the beginning rules. I redid the question. 3 possible board setups.
7sage says there’s 4 possible boards but two of them are repeats. I can’t believe I’m correcting 7sage videos! If this isn’t a sign of progress, I don’t know what is! No flashcard!
PT30 – G3 I’m pretty much setting my boards up exactly the same way 7sage does. I’m going to shift my strategy to only making flashcards for hard setups from now on.
I have 8 questions left, I thought this would take a full study session to complete but it looks like I can finish in half the time. I’ll go print out a few more games for later.
PT36 – G2 Went through this question really quickly. Becoming much more effective at setting up boards. Hitting these easy games during drilling is like hitting one of those speed boosters in racing games. Vroom!
PT36 – G3 What a mess. The rules are almost all conditionals! I’m going to need to take a break after this.
Good to hear that even 7sage said this is a ridiculously hard question. He said if you don’t have a good foundation, don’t even try this. This is confirmation that my foundation is good!
There’s a lot to learn from this question. Giving a large number of conditional rules is one of the most effective ways of making a LG hard, so I have to work on games with a lot of conditional rules to become comfortable with this.
I split the board 3 times with one of the boards completely solved, 7sage went straight to the questions. I think splitting may be wise for this game but it’s a gamble. If you try to split and find out there’s too many possibilities to split effectively, then you’ve just wasted a lot of time. But if you do manage to get a handful of splits, then a lot of the hard questions become really simple.
This was a really hard question, if I run into a few more of these, I’m going to have to change my plan of doing more questions after I finish this set.
PT36 – G4 Another speed booster. I don’t need to check 7sage for this question.
I’m going to take a break and reread a book I’ve found helpful for increasing reading skills. The book is called How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading http://smile.amazon.com/dp/0671212095
If you are on a short study schedule and haven’t read this book before, then you might want to skip it to save time. But I highly recommend everyone read this book at some point. The skills taught in this book are invaluable.
Although the content is good, there’s a good amount of fluff in this book, you can pretty much skim chapters 1-3 for parts that talk about the structure of this book, skip everything else. I’ll be highlighting key points from the important chapters
Inspectional Reading: 2 types
1) Systematic skimming or pre-reading: aim is to find out if the book deserves to be read. Read:
1. Title + Preface
2. Table of Content
4. Publisher blurb
5. Chapters that look important to the central argument
6. First sentence or two of each page
7. Last pages/epilogue of the book for summary
2) Superficial Reading
1. If reading a tough book for the first time, read it through without stopping to check if you understand
2. Concentrate on things you do understand
Finished chapter 4, back to the games
PT37 – G1 Relatively easy. 7sage has a good tip for splitting the board.
PT37 – G2 I split the board 3 times but 7sage didn’t. I think I’ve fallen in love with splitting. Question 8 requires a full board, and another question requires partial boars, so I think it may be a better idea to just do the 3 board splits first since you’re doing almost the same amount of work anyway. The general trend seems to be over-splitting > under-splitting.
I’m going to take a break and see how many more games I can do today.
Kobe Bryant - The Vigorous Worker https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0fmMnicFNg
I’ve never been a fan of the Lakers but I have always admired Kobe Bryant. I can’t name 5 other players in the history of the NBA who has worked harder than Kobe Bryant. He has played through just about every injury you can think of. He pushed himself until his body broke down and then pushed some more. He exhausted himself in every way possible to accomplish his goals. His greatness is not an accident, and his work ethic is why he’ll be remembered as a legend.
PT37 – G4 3 board split, pretty straight forward. After reviewing 7sage, I realized I should have used a single layer sequence instead of a double layer. I missed the KL block inference that allowed K to be on 5 and L on 6.
2 more games and I’ll be done with this game set. Looks like the other games will have to wait until tomorrow, I’m reaching my limit.
PT 38 – G2 This is the first game that 7sage called hard but I found easy. Good sign of progress. I missed the initial inference that L always = 1. I think I missed enough inferences in this game to justify a flashcard: the first one in a while.
PT38 – G4 Question 21 was tricky to me. Glad I learned this inference for future games.
7sage’s video is a must watch for this game. I approached this by creating a 5x5 grid and writing a separate list of the relationships that share no links. 7sage shows how to use a more intuitive star set up. Flashcard.
I’m done for today, I’m finished with advanced balanced linear/sequencing games. Will move on to unbalanced games tomorrow.Day 6
Started unbalanced linear/sequencing games.
PT 2 – G2 is difficult to find a split for. My master board is a double layer sequence setup with only one spot x’d out. It’s inefficient to go through all the rules for each question, I hope 7sage has a helpful split. The split feels like it’s going to be the LX block rule because of how it restricts the MN block placement and the KP block placement. Going to redo this question with those splits.
Never mind, the LX block split wasn’t as restrictive as I thought. The questions themselves were relatively easy, the same inference got tested a few times. It’s just hard to feel comfortable going by the rules alone without any splits. Hopefully 7sage has some useful advice.
I don’t agree with 7sage’s approach of laying the setup horizontally because the vertical approach for an apartment building setup is more intuitive. 7sage had to retranslate each rule to fit the horizontal setup. This is an extra step that will introduce chances for error in my opinion.
Looks like 7sage doesn’t split neither. But I did notice that not-laws were really helpful for this game. Maybe the general rule for sequencing games is that not-laws will be tested more directly on games without splits. I noticed that this game’s questions tested not-law inferences that were only 1 or 2 steps deep. When boards are splittable, not-laws are usually tested a few steps deeper.
I’ve mostly stopped writing not-laws in the past few days because splitting made them redundant. But if this trend of non-splittable games continue, I’ll begin writing not-laws again.
I need to review this game in the future.
PT8 – G1 Another time consuming game. 7sage: “This is a simple game.” Agree to disagree! But hopefully with more practice, I’ll get a chance to agree the next time I do this game.
I’m going to do one more question and then read How to Read a Book. I’m not hitting a groove with these questions so it’s pretty taxing to try and absorb everything. I’m hoping that reading a book will help me switch gears and maximize how much preparation I can do today.
PT10 – G2 This game was very easy. I didn’t do a split but I think splitting may be helpful if I split using L. I hope this game is an indication of me hitting some kind of groove for this set. I’m also hoping to get a game like this on test day.
Break time. Videos, then book.
Prepare to Diehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pi7oqZ6ioU
Chapter 5 – How to Be a Demanding Reader
Ask these 4 questions:
1. What is the book about as a whole? Themes/topics
2. What is being said in detail, and how? Main ideas/arguments
3. Is the book true, in whole or part? Make up your own mind
4. What of it? Why did the author bother giving the info s/he did?
Reading a book should be a conversation between you and the author.
Marking a book is crucial to active reading. Some ways to do it:
1. Underlining/circling major points
2. Vertical lines in the margin to emphasize underlined section or to more efficiently underline a long passage
3. Numbers in the margin to indicate a sequence of points
4. Numbers of other pages in the margin to point to related information on other pages
5. Write in margins for 1) questions 2) summary 3) recording major points and sequencing them throughout the book.
Inspectional reading questions:
1. What kind of book is it?
2. What is it about as a whole?
3. What is the structure order used to develop the author’s thoughts?
Finished chapter 5, a lot of skippable stuff in the latter half of the chapter.
PT15 – G3 Time consuming game, no splits. I’m realizing the importance of earning extra time on easier games for games like this that requires you to brute force each question by going through the rules one by one.
PT21 – G2 Relatively easy game but still feels awkward because of the lack of splits. All the rules are conditional so I should review this with PT36 – G3 which also had a lot of conditional rules.
PT31 – G3 Again, a lot of brute forcing.
7sage review: I’ve gotten so used to not splitting that I didn’t even try to on this game. Seeing 7sage split the board made me really happy for some reason. Like seeing an old friend. On test day, I’m going to be doing a few games to warm up before the actual test. I will need to do one game that allows split and one game that has a lot of conditional rules so I won’t be caught off guard.
PT34 – G1 Not an easy game but it was fun to split the board again.
PT34 – G2 Easiest game I’ve ever done. Fun way to finish the set and the study session.Day 7
Started advanced unbalanced grouping games.
PT1 – G2 This was a very easy game. 7sage recommended splitting the board using a grid setup, but I used boxes and triangles to represent machines that were bought in the same year to avoid splitting. I think this game is simple enough that skipping board splitting will probably allow you to save more time than you lose.
Here’s the set up I used: http://i.imgur.com/491AsNs.png
PT1 – G4 Very simple game. 7sage’s board split is very good.
PT14 – G4 Very simple game.
PT16 – G3 Fairly simple game. I try to skip writing rules down if they can be represented on the board, but it may be better to write them down anyway because some questions suspend certain rules and it can get messy if the rules aren’t written down. I didn’t split this game but I should have, I may need to make a flashcard for this if I forget to split it again when I redo it.
PT17 – G3 Very easy game with the boards split up. I’m a bit confused about why 7sage chose a vertical setup here but didn’t go with a vertical setup for the apartment building game. 7sage’s reasoning for using a horizontal setup for the apartment building game was consistency. He wants to do each game horizontally. Yet, this game really doesn’t need to be vertical, but was done vertically anyway.
Break time: The Battle is Won Before It's Fought https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-J76J-rkpg
PT20 – G1 Relatively easy game. I missed the inference that P is always in the middle seat and I also missed that T was a floater until it showed up in a question.
PT21 – G3 Very simple game. It’s oddly gratifying to do a game that splits so well and has fun inferences.
PT21 – G4 Relatively simple game, I didn’t catch the HJ inference at first but one of the questions directly asked about the inference and the rest of the questions became really easy after the inference was made.
PT22 – G3 Simple game but wow, the first question was a tricky one. It’s a conditional relationship. I made the mistaken reversal error. I’m making a lot more errors in this question set than previous ones, I have to redo this set a few times.
PT31 – G1 I did this game on my practice test last week. I feel so much more confident and comfortable after all this drilling. The inferences are becoming automatic and I can anticipate some of the questions that will be asked. This is a really good sign.
PT32 – G4 Relatively simple game. I split the board up using the H rule but 7sage didn’t so it may not be necessary. At this point, I’m all for over-splitting as opposed to under-splitting. Any rule that has 6 or less splits is getting split. It takes just a few seconds to draw some lines, and the questions will usually require you to partially fill out splits anyway, so why not? At most you sacrifice a few seconds but gain a lot of clarity and accuracy. I did get question 23 wrong. I need to be more careful about conditionals in questions and answers.
PT33 – G4 This is a really really hard question. I must’ve missed an inference somewhere, because a lot of the problems just don’t make any sense. 7sage: “It’s kind of an easy game.” Yep, I missed something.
Okay, now this game is easy. I misread the exactly one Y on each side of the street rule. I thought it said one Y on each end of the street.
PT35 – G3 Very easy game with the board splits.
Done with this set.Next Week
I think I can finish all the grouping game types in about four days. The rest of the question types will take me at least 2 days, but more likely 3 days. So there is a chance I can finish all my LG drills by Day 6. If I do, I’ll take off Day 7 from studying to do a practice test.