Is it realistic to shoot for 170+ for October?

GospelLeague
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Is it realistic to shoot for 170+ for October?

Postby GospelLeague » Sat May 02, 2015 6:21 pm

Background:
Just had my strictly-timed, proctored cold diagnostic test. Totally cold for LG & RC, had read through the LR bible 7 months ago.

Total score is 154, -8 for RC, -16 for LR altogether, -13 for LG.

I plan to take LSAT in October, and have the entire summer (from June 1st to October 3rd) to study for LSAT full-time. I aim at 175+, but 170+ would also work for me. But now having seen the cold diagnostic score I'm not sure if I can reach that goal in four months. I am willing to work very hard to achieve my target score.

Now my concerns are:
I want to start from CAMBRIDGE BY TYPE bundle, and then full-time PT, and probably taking a prep course as well. Any other suggestions?

By the way, I feel extremely tired after the 15-min break, and I couldn't finish the 4th section today, nor did I finish the 5th. Anyone has any idea on how to overcome such exhaustion? Working out more frequently in the gym would be a good idea?

Thank you all :) New to this forum.

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Christine (MLSAT)
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Re: Is it realistic to shoot for 170+ for October?

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Sat May 02, 2015 6:52 pm

First, congrats on taking your first PT. Now, ignore that score. :mrgreen:

No, seriously. It's great to know where you're starting, and have a decent sense of the exam and what your natural strengths/weaknesses are, but please don't think that initial diagnostic limits you in any way. No one can predict for you whether you'll be ready by October, but it's 100% in the realm of possibility. You won't be able to make any sort of reasonable prediction until around 2-3 weeks out from the exam. At that point you should assess what's reasonable to focus on in 2-3 weeks, and decide whether you want to postpone until the December. All that decision-making is for September, not now!

Remember that people have a huge range of experiences when studying for the LSAT. Some people will have linear improvement bit-by-bit over the long haul. Others will see zero improvement for a month or more, then a sudden leap of 5 points, followed by another frustrating plateau. I've watched a number of students move from the mid 150s to 170+ in four months, though it's certainly not the 'average' experience, and it requires a great deal of work.

Are you not able to start studying before June 1? If you're not, then fine, but if you are able to I'd kick off at the first opportunity. If you take a prep class, don't wait until the first session to get cracking.

It's very normal to feel exhausted after the break on your first PT. Building up your endurance is a real issue. Working out will help some, indirectly, but you will also need to directly build up mental endurance, by mentally working out and stretching yourself to and past your limit.

I generally view LSAT preparation as existing in three overlapping phases: comprehension, efficiency, and endurance. These aren't attacked individually and consecutively; rather, the prioritization of these three items shifts throughout the course of LSAT prep. The beginning of LSAT prep is focused almost entirely on building comprehension foundation - how can you possibly hope to execute a logic game perfectly in 8 minutes if you can't get to the right answers even with unlimited time? :P As you build that foundation, you start thinking more and more about how to do the awesome breakdowns/diagrams/inferences/etc more and more efficiently - how to recognize common patterns faster, how to read in a way to zero in immediately on the conclusion, etc. Then, after you've got a solid framework for doing the right work (comprehension) and doing it efficiently, you'll start to focus on making sure you can do all that awesome stuff over the course of 5 sections: endurance!

You'll be building up your mental endurance just by studying, assuming you don't study in 15 minute bite-sized chunks the entire time. When you get closer to test day, and PTs become the centerpiece of your prep, you'll be actively building up precisely the endurance that you need. To make sure that you're stretching yourself, I often recommend that my students start doing 6-section exams near test day. It's a lot, but if you can get used to that, you're endurance should be great on test day.

All in all, you've got a nice chunk of time to do some serious damage. Make sure you pace yourself - find the balance between slacking off and burning out. You'll be a rockstar. 8)

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RunnerRunner
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Re: Is it realistic to shoot for 170+ for October?

Postby RunnerRunner » Sat May 02, 2015 7:12 pm

Basically what Christine said. You're actually in an ideal situation, since you have the entire summer to just focus on the LSAT. Certainly there are score ceilings for some people, but a 154 cold diagnostic is respectable and with that amount of time your goals are definitely within reach.

To add to advice regarding building endurance: I felt the same way when I started, I felt sluggish, kinda groggy by the 4th or 5th section. Consistently taking full, timed PTs will do away with that. I used to combine tests to make 6 section, 7 section, and occasionally 8 section tests. After that the regular 5 section tests felt like a breeze.

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Alex93
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Re: Is it realistic to shoot for 170+ for October?

Postby Alex93 » Sat May 02, 2015 11:19 pm

Hey! I'm going to be dedicating my entire summer for the October exam too and willing to do whatever it takes to go 170+. I'm trying to get a study group, through Slack (online chat), going with others who hoping to do the same thing. Pm me your email if you want an invite.

Also, you should look into meditation if you want to build some mental endurance. I've read some 180-scorers mentioning meditation being a contributing factor to their success.

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Christine (MLSAT)
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Re: Is it realistic to shoot for 170+ for October?

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Mon May 04, 2015 1:05 pm

RunnerRunner wrote:To add to advice regarding building endurance: I felt the same way when I started, I felt sluggish, kinda groggy by the 4th or 5th section. Consistently taking full, timed PTs will do away with that. I used to combine tests to make 6 section, 7 section, and occasionally 8 section tests. After that the regular 5 section tests felt like a breeze.


I thought I was the only crazy person that went that far! I tell my students that I did 7 and 8 section exams for the final two weeks before my exam, and they all look at me like I'm a complete lunatic.

I always compare it to one of the ways my brother used to train for swim meets - the team would put pantyhose on their arms and legs, to create drag/resistance. Of course, when you take them off, swimming through just water feels like a cakewalk! :mrgreen:

Blueprint Ben
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Re: Is it realistic to shoot for 170+ for October?

Postby Blueprint Ben » Mon May 04, 2015 6:57 pm

This was my strategy too! In between my first and second takes, I did 8 section tests back to back every Saturday and Sunday, so I got through 4 four section PTs per weekend, and reviewed them and drilled during the week. I jumped 11 points from my first to my second take, and I credit that at least in part to the endurance I built up by doing this kind of training. I never felt an ounce of fatigue on test day, and by section 5, I felt like I was just getting warmed up.

You might not notice it, but mental endurance training makes you a better test taker overall--not just in the sections at the end of the test when you feel the most fatigue, but also in the early sections. After my marathon weekends, my LSAT brain just felt like it had more horsepower. I could focus more intensely without backing down or restarting, so I wouldn't have to reread stimuli or check back through rules or passages too often. It made the whole process easier and more efficient. I think everyone can benefit from this kind of extreme endurance training--even if you don't think you have fatigue problems.

Also, seconding what Christine said: The number on your diagnostic doesn't matter! What matters is how much work you're willing to do between now and October.

Best of luck!

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RunnerRunner
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Re: Is it realistic to shoot for 170+ for October?

Postby RunnerRunner » Mon May 04, 2015 7:04 pm

Haha! This is why I love TLS: it's nice not to be the only neurotic one around :mrgreen:

Blueprint Ben
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Re: Is it realistic to shoot for 170+ for October?

Postby Blueprint Ben » Mon May 04, 2015 7:09 pm

RunnerRunner wrote:Haha! This is why I love TLS: it's nice not to be the only neurotic one around :mrgreen:

Gasp! Are you calling me neurotic? 8)

A little neuroticism goes a long way on the LSAT.


ETA: I deem this a worthy 180th post.

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RunnerRunner
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Re: Is it realistic to shoot for 170+ for October?

Postby RunnerRunner » Mon May 04, 2015 7:35 pm

BP Ben wrote:
RunnerRunner wrote:Haha! This is why I love TLS: it's nice not to be the only neurotic one around :mrgreen:

Gasp! Are you calling me neurotic? 8)

A little neuroticism goes a long way on the LSAT.


ETA: I deem this a worthy 180th post.


Haha, yes, you and Christine, but to me that word is the highest form of compliment :lol:

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koval
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Re: Is it realistic to shoot for 170+ for October?

Postby koval » Mon May 04, 2015 7:44 pm

100% do-able.

Diagnostic: 158
LSAT: 172

I did Powerscore, LSAT Trainer, and 7sage Youtube videos.

Good luck. Be diligent. Make it happen.

GospelLeague
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 3:58 pm

Re: Is it realistic to shoot for 170+ for October?

Postby GospelLeague » Tue May 05, 2015 5:28 pm

I was thinking of doing 2 PTs at one time (8 sections).

My LG sucks the most. I guess I wouldn't have feared LSAT so much if it weren't for the LG. All people say they are super learnable




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