Please help me find a study system, and decide on retake

davidcasaletto
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:25 am

Please help me find a study system, and decide on retake

Postby davidcasaletto » Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:36 pm

I got a 169 on my first cold timed diagnostic. I then studied by taking about 40 practice lsats, reviewing, and thats about it. I ended up with a 169 on the LSAT. During my studying, I managed to up my score to be an average of 171 towards the end, but I never made significant progress. People keep telling me with a 169 cold diagnostic I could have 175+ with proper studying, and increase my offers and scholarships by a lot.

I waited out that cycle and studied for a retake for about 1.5 months, this time trying to incorporate drilling which I never did before. After studying for 1.5 months in that manner I took 2 practice tests, on 1 I got 169 and on the other 171, so I didn't retake.

If I decide to stay another year it will be a very hard choice for me, since I already have waited two years and I need to make sure I destroy the LSAT and that it actually makes an important difference in employment outcomes.

I have a 3.77 GPA. Please advise me in:

1. Will getting a higher LSAT matter that much? Isnt it how I preform in law school that is hte most important for job prospects? Lets say I get into U of M with 60k scholarship, even if I get 60k more with a retake, wouldn't I be better off going now and making 100k a year early, thus paying that extra 60k off and being up 40k?

2. how do i study properly to be sure I will do better.

I currently have been accepted to Cornell and Georgetown, full ride at WUSTL, 40k at fordham, denied from Pen and Berkeley, and waiting to hear from other T-10's.

Meursault
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Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:44 am

Re: Please help me find a study system, and decide on retake

Postby Meursault » Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:57 pm

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Last edited by Meursault on Tue Mar 29, 2016 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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RZ5646
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Re: Please help me find a study system, and decide on retake

Postby RZ5646 » Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:01 pm

How do you do on each section? Are there obvious weaknesses you need to work on? It's hard to believe that you did 40 PTs and only improved by 2 points.

Blueprint Ben
Posts: 195
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:47 pm

Re: Please help me find a study system, and decide on retake

Postby Blueprint Ben » Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:24 pm

This is a tough situation. But your case supports the position of many people in the test prep community (myself included): that just taking PTs alone isn't sufficient to improve your skill level.

A poster above mentioned that drilling is the way to improve. That's totally true, but the amount you improve will depend on your methods of drilling and review. If you spent 1.5 months drilling by question type and didn't see any progress at all, then you may have to adjust your prep methods. I would be happy to help you make those adjustments, but you'll have to give us more information.

What materials were you using to drill? How much were you drilling, on average, every day? How did you review missed questions? Did you attempt to time yourself?
As for your PTs: Where were you missing the bulk of your points? Can you post your section breakdown averages?

When you review a PT, you should be recording which types of questions are giving you the most difficulty, and you should target your drills from then until your next PT in order to address those weaknesses. A PT is a diagnostic tool more than anything else. Drilling and review are the things that will make you better. So don't give up! With a 169 diag, you should definitely be able to work your way comfortably into the mid 170s. You just need to make some adjustments.

davidcasaletto
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:25 am

Re: Please help me find a study system, and decide on retake

Postby davidcasaletto » Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:37 pm

RZ5646 wrote:How do you do on each section? Are there obvious weaknesses you need to work on? It's hard to believe that you did 40 PTs and only improved by 2 points.


I did pretty bad on the logical reasoning on the actual test, and the logic games i made improvement in. I did have some outliers, a couple 174's, and a handful of 172/173 scores, but the average of my last 10 PT's before the real deal was 171.

davidcasaletto
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:25 am

Re: Please help me find a study system, and decide on retake

Postby davidcasaletto » Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:45 pm

BP Ben wrote:This is a tough situation. But your case supports the position of many people in the test prep community (myself included): that just taking PTs alone isn't sufficient to improve your skill level.

A poster above mentioned that drilling is the way to improve. That's totally true, but the amount you improve will depend on your methods of drilling and review. If you spent 1.5 months drilling by question type and didn't see any progress at all, then you may have to adjust your prep methods. I would be happy to help you make those adjustments, but you'll have to give us more information.

What materials were you using to drill? How much were you drilling, on average, every day? How did you review missed questions? Did you attempt to time yourself?
As for your PTs: Where were you missing the bulk of your points? Can you post your section breakdown averages?

When you review a PT, you should be recording which types of questions are giving you the most difficulty, and you should target your drills from then until your next PT in order to address those weaknesses. A PT is a diagnostic tool more than anything else. Drilling and review are the things that will make you better. So don't give up! With a 169 diag, you should definitely be able to work your way comfortably into the mid 170s. You just need to make some adjustments.


I used the cambridge lsat logical reasoning by type and logic games by type books, as well as going through the manhattan books.

I probably drilled an hour a day, 5 days a week. I reviewed missed questions with relative brevity to be honest, assuring myself that I understood why I got it wrong relatively quickly and sloppily. I did time myself on drills sometimes, but not always, the drills in the Manhattan books ask you to time yourself, so I timed those. for the PTs: Logic games : -4 to -8 usually, logic reasoning sometimes id smash with like -2, -0, sometimes id bomb with -5, -3/4, there are a few particular ones that ALWAYS get me, and I never managed to master them (for instance, the analogous principle ones, and there are a few other types id always get wrong.) Reading comp is another mixed bag, normally I'd get -1 to -3 but occasionally id get -5 to -7, ruining my test if i did well on the other sections. I never did any studying for the reading comp outside of PTs.

You will be my personal god if you help me set up a solid study regime, I will stick to it 100% and retake the LSAT.

Blueprint Ben
Posts: 195
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:47 pm

Re: Please help me find a study system, and decide on retake

Postby Blueprint Ben » Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:08 pm

davidcasaletto wrote:I used the cambridge lsat logical reasoning by type and logic games by type books, as well as going through the manhattan books.

I probably drilled an hour a day, 5 days a week. I reviewed missed questions with relative brevity to be honest, assuring myself that I understood why I got it wrong relatively quickly and sloppily. I did time myself on drills sometimes, but not always, the drills in the Manhattan books ask you to time yourself, so I timed those. for the PTs: Logic games : -4 to -8 usually, logic reasoning sometimes id smash with like -2, -0, sometimes id bomb with -5, -3/4, there are a few particular ones that ALWAYS get me, and I never managed to master them (for instance, the analogous principle ones, and there are a few other types id always get wrong.) Reading comp is another mixed bag, normally I'd get -1 to -3 but occasionally id get -5 to -7, ruining my test if i did well on the other sections. I never did any studying for the reading comp outside of PTs.

You will be my personal god if you help me set up a solid study regime, I will stick to it 100% and retake the LSAT.

Alright, so you weren't solid enough on any of the sections to have consistent mastery, regardless of section difficulty. That kind of inconsistency might seem weird, but it isn't really unusual at all. Here's the thing: Tests are equated, obviously, so a 170 is a 170 is a 170. But the difficulty of the individual sections themselves will vary dramatically. So it looks like you're missing points on LR when LR contains the harder section(s) of the test, and same is happening with RC and LG. This makes things easier, in a way, because you don't have to worry about allocating your time strategically between the sections; just study them all equally.

One thing that jumped out at me: You say you're "usually" missing 4-8 on LG. Honestly, that's way too much. You'll see on this site, nearly everyone agrees that LG is the most "learnable" section. What people mean by that is: Once you've mastered games, you've mastered games. If you really drilled LG hard enough, and you've become totally automatic in your setups and deductions, no game LSAC throws at you--no matter how seemingly unusual--should phase you in the slightest. You want to be in a place where you can unflinchingly go -0 with enough time to hit the bathrooms before 35 minutes is up.

You can definitely get there. I recommend buying PDF versions of all of the games by type, so that you can reprint and redrill any game that gives you trouble. Don't be afraid to do all of the games in the history of the LSAT multiple times over. In fact, if you haven't done that, then you aren't drilling hard enough. Your #1 priority should be to get LG to a consistent -0.

While you're drilling games, you should be drilling roughly the same volume of LR and RC. In the beginning, don't discriminate between question types for LR. Just do all Level 1&2 questions for every type, then focus of targeting your weak spots with the harder questions. Take at least 1 or 2 PTs per week (but not more), just to track your progress and diagnose your weaknesses.

Also be sure to schedule appropriate recovery days when you need them. Drill as hard as you can, but keep in mind that your rest days are when you actually make progress.

Sorry for the length, but feel free to PM me or post in the BP thread if you have any questions at all.

Best of luck!




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