One month left and still trying to get to 160....

DrBrady829
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One month left and still trying to get to 160....

Postby DrBrady829 » Fri May 08, 2015 9:20 pm

Hi everyone, as the topic states my goal has been to get a 160 or higher on my LSAT. Unfortunately my studying has not necessarily improved me to where I want to be. My first diagnostic with no prior studying was a 143. Since then I've taken two more at a 152, and a 148. I have put in at least a 100 (Probably more like 150) hours studying for this test. With the June testing date coming up I am getting a little nervous because I do not think I will even reach a 155. I have read both the Logic reasoning & game bibles. I do not see much worth in reading the comprehension at this point due to the limited amount of time and I will most likely just come up with a strategy to approach that section. With this in mind I plan on taking at least 8 more prep test as well as trying to get another 40 hours of studying on top if my Job(Full time night shift)/ obligations allow me to do so.

What made me reach out to this community is that it appears I have lost much of my logic games increase due to rustiness. I plan on devoting another 20 hours of my time to the logic games to get that part of my score back up. While I do have time to brush up on this section I wanted to see what other people on this forum have to think about my situation. Some notes about my problems regarding this test:

1.) When I was at the top of my Logic Game I still only scored about a raw score of 15-19 under timed conditions.
2.) My reasoning and Comprehension where at about a 12-14. Now my reasoning has increased to at least 14 but, I will still generally get somewhere between 5-7 wrong even on un timed prep tests.
3.) I consistently run out of time on each section and when I am timed I do much worse than when I am not. I must admit my judgement is slow but usually solid. It appears when I am untimed the amount of questions i get wrong on both logic and reasoning goes down by a lot.

Does anyone have any tips on how to raise my score?

I understand Logical Reasoning makes up about half the test and have spent the last month or two really studying this section for a chance to increase my score. I did bump it up a few but I am still just not there. I have even made a pie chart of my documented my wrong answers. I have identified most of my weak points on Logical reasoning (In essence I am aware of my incompetence especially on Parallel questions).

What bothers me most though is that a large amount of the questions I get wrong have been Assumption(16%), and Must be true/Most strongly(17%) supported questions. After the 17th question the questions I get the parallel questions wrong a lot to(23% of the time). At this point I believe my analysis and understanding of conditional reasoning must be screwed up for me to be getting must be true and assumption questions wrong since the percentage of the questions I do get wrong is similar even if its later on in the test. This is because even after the 16th question ( I say 16 because it seems to me that around that number I start getting more questions wrong.)

With one month left, what do you think I should do to try and reach my goal?

As of now I plan on taking:
8 Prep Tests under timed conditions.
Recover lost ground on the logic games section
Come up with a strategy for my Reading comprehension
Come up with a better strategy for Logical Reasoning Analysis since I cannot crack the above mentioned questions.
Try harder to implement the techniques from the reasoning bible I have learned.

Any tips or things that I have missed in evaluating myself? Again my raw score is between 53-61. I really have a passion for law & justice but, cannot afford to go without assistance so I am hoping that if I can get a high enough score a school will reduce my tuition. Thanks for any words of wisdom.

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nlee10
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Re: One month left and still trying to get to 160....

Postby nlee10 » Fri May 08, 2015 9:24 pm

What's your score if you took a PT untimed?
Either way, it doesn't sound like you have all the fundamentals down. I'd look into other prep materials like Manhattan LR/7Sage LG.

ryangreenspan
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Re: One month left and still trying to get to 160....

Postby ryangreenspan » Fri May 08, 2015 10:19 pm

Read a book on Aristotelian logic. Or consider postponing the LSAT and taking a logic class or an introduction to mathematical proofs at a local university/online. As a math major I can tell you that a familiarity with mathematical proofs will do wonders for your LR score.

I can try to give you some pointers for the LR though. Sorry if I don't make sense.

Parallel questions need to be boiled down to their structure. What I do is diagram the argument using logic symbols. For instance, a question might include a logical progression like: "Quinton cries when Pam dances, and Rick sings only if Pam dances. Rick sang. Therefore Quinton cried." I'd diagram it like "P->Q. R->P. R. Therefore Q."

The key is to look for an answer that presents the EXACT same structure, or a LOGICALLY EQUIVALENT structure. The way the test tricks you is often by using logically equivalent structures, rather just repeating their original phrasing.

So since "P implies Q" is logically equivalent to "either Q happens or P doesn't happen," a parallel logical progression might look like "Either Alex cries or Christy doesn't dance. And either Christy dances or Daniel doesn't get drunk. Daniel got drunk. Therefore Alex cried." The structure may look different because the phrasing is different, but the structure is LOGCIALLY Equivalent. It can be diagrammed as "C->A. D->C. D. Therefore A."
What you need to do is get so comfortable with logical equivalences that you instantly realize equivalences when you see them. That sounds a lot harder than it is; you could get it down within the month.

But that's the key to unlocking parallel questions. And honestly, if you get a handle on logical structure, the must be true questions will follow.

The additional assumption questions are harder because they force you to critically think about the structure of the argument that is being presented to you, find where the gap in the argument is, and identify what you need to fill it. For an additional assumption example, consider the first example I wrote. Except instead of having "Rick sang", replace it with "Terry took a shit." Then "Quinton cries" would follow, if you had the additional assumption that "Rick sings whenever Terry takes a shit." To see this, you could diagram "P->Q. R->P. T. Therefore Q." It's clear that you need T->R to complete the chain.

Note that Powerscore describes my approach as "hopelessly flawed," since it "abstracts" the argument and increases the difficulty of the question. (I checked because I wanted to make sure I wasn't repeating something you could get out of a book.) But this is because Powerscore isn't written for test takers who are already familiar with logic. If you invest the time getting familiar with Aristotelian logic, the method of diagramming will work wonders. It doesn't abstract questions at all, but boils them down to their essential components and lets you focus on what really matters: the relationship between the variables. Practicing diagramming will also get you comfortable working with logical concepts, and eventually you won't need to diagram on many of the simpler questions.

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The Mixed Tape
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Re: One month left and still trying to get to 160....

Postby The Mixed Tape » Fri May 08, 2015 10:28 pm

plan for the october test

Yeezus
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Re: One month left and still trying to get to 160....

Postby Yeezus » Fri May 08, 2015 11:56 pm

The Mixed Tape wrote:plan for the october test


Doesn't sound like you have the fundamentals down. Take the test at a later date.

Nomo
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Re: One month left and still trying to get to 160....

Postby Nomo » Sat May 09, 2015 12:00 am

Don't take the test unless you've hit the point where you really don't think you can do any better. Don't waste one of your three attempts when you still feel like you have room to improve.

AReasonableMan
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Re: One month left and still trying to get to 160....

Postby AReasonableMan » Sat May 09, 2015 12:23 am

You should push the test back. While 160 is a baseline minimum, going from a 142-43 to there is a remarkable achievement. You shouldn't be bummed about getting reasoning questions wrong 17-25. Even people who get near perfect scores struggle with those, and can always get some of them wrong. All questions 1-12 should be automatic, so if you're missing those you have to drill the question type.

The best thing you can do is get assumptions and inferences down, and shoot for October. Those 2 question types test skills required on roughly 50 questions.

AReasonableMan
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Re: One month left and still trying to get to 160....

Postby AReasonableMan » Sat May 09, 2015 12:25 am

You should push the test back. While 160 is a baseline minimum, going from a 142-43 to there is a remarkable achievement. Even the 8 points you've done is a great achievement for 109 hours of study time. Your first expectation wasn't realistic. Improving 20 points is an improvement that should be measured in months, not hours.

You also shouldn't be bummed about getting reasoning questions wrong 17-25. Even people who get near perfect scores struggle with those, and can always get some of them wrong. All questions 1-12 should be automatic, so if you're missing those you have to drill the question type.

The best thing you can do is get assumptions and inferences down, and shoot for October. Those 2 question types test skills required on roughly 50 questions.

DrBrady829
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Re: One month left and still trying to get to 160....

Postby DrBrady829 » Mon May 11, 2015 3:43 am

nlee10 wrote:What's your score if you took a PT untimed?
Either way, it doesn't sound like you have all the fundamentals down. I'd look into other prep materials like Manhattan LR/7Sage LG.


I will usually get on average a 18/25. But with timed conditions I doubt that I will be able to do that well.

To ryangreenspan: It's funny I did start looking aristotles logic and it is seems to help with identitifying Parrel reasoning structure when you become familiar with the ideas. However, it seems unnecessary and probably too time consuming at this point to familiarize myself with the language.

I will more than likely at this point just take the test. I believe I just need to scrutinize more carefully and look more at the degree of certainty and logical force of my answers especially on parrarel question types.

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Clearly
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Re: One month left and still trying to get to 160....

Postby Clearly » Mon May 11, 2015 5:36 am

Why even ask us then? Not one person said you should just take the test, so it's clear you weren't asking for our advice. The reality is that you are a long way from an acceptable score right now, and its undoubtedly smarter to hold off and keep working. You seem to show the work ethic, and that is like half of the struggle in improving your score, it'd be a shame to waste that good work ethic on your sheer stubbornness. I started out with a score very close to yours, and ended up scoring very well. Don't give up on yourself. Also, there's very little advantage in taking the June over the October. It's not like you're going to start law school any sooner by taking June. If it were Oct->Dec or Dec->Feb I'd even consider the argument against waiting, but you have literally nothing to lose from pushing it back, but a lot to lose.

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victory
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Re: One month left and still trying to get to 160....

Postby victory » Mon May 11, 2015 10:23 am

Clearly wrote:Why even ask us then? Not one person said you should just take the test, so it's clear you weren't asking for our advice. The reality is that you are a long way from an acceptable score right now, and its undoubtedly smarter to hold off and keep working. You seem to show the work ethic, and that is like half of the struggle in improving your score, it'd be a shame to waste that good work ethic on your sheer stubbornness. I started out with a score very close to yours, and ended up scoring very well. Don't give up on yourself. Also, there's very little advantage in taking the June over the October. It's not like you're going to start law school any sooner by taking June. If it were Oct->Dec or Dec->Feb I'd even consider the argument against waiting, but you have literally nothing to lose from pushing it back, but a lot to lose.

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BasilHallward
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Re: One month left and still trying to get to 160....

Postby BasilHallward » Mon May 11, 2015 10:58 am

DrBrady829 wrote:Hi everyone, as the topic states my goal has been to get a 160 or higher on my LSAT. Unfortunately my studying has not necessarily improved me to where I want to be. My first diagnostic with no prior studying was a 143. Since then I've taken two more at a 152, and a 148. I have put in at least a 100 (Probably more like 150) hours studying for this test. With the June testing date coming up I am getting a little nervous because I do not think I will even reach a 155. I have read both the Logic reasoning & game bibles. I do not see much worth in reading the comprehension at this point due to the limited amount of time and I will most likely just come up with a strategy to approach that section. With this in mind I plan on taking at least 8 more prep test as well as trying to get another 40 hours of studying on top if my Job(Full time night shift)/ obligations allow me to do so.

What made me reach out to this community is that it appears I have lost much of my logic games increase due to rustiness. I plan on devoting another 20 hours of my time to the logic games to get that part of my score back up. While I do have time to brush up on this section I wanted to see what other people on this forum have to think about my situation. Some notes about my problems regarding this test:

1.) When I was at the top of my Logic Game I still only scored about a raw score of 15-19 under timed conditions.
2.) My reasoning and Comprehension where at about a 12-14. Now my reasoning has increased to at least 14 but, I will still generally get somewhere between 5-7 wrong even on un timed prep tests.
3.) I consistently run out of time on each section and when I am timed I do much worse than when I am not. I must admit my judgement is slow but usually solid. It appears when I am untimed the amount of questions i get wrong on both logic and reasoning goes down by a lot.

Does anyone have any tips on how to raise my score?

I understand Logical Reasoning makes up about half the test and have spent the last month or two really studying this section for a chance to increase my score. I did bump it up a few but I am still just not there. I have even made a pie chart of my documented my wrong answers. I have identified most of my weak points on Logical reasoning (In essence I am aware of my incompetence especially on Parallel questions).

What bothers me most though is that a large amount of the questions I get wrong have been Assumption(16%), and Must be true/Most strongly(17%) supported questions. After the 17th question the questions I get the parallel questions wrong a lot to(23% of the time). At this point I believe my analysis and understanding of conditional reasoning must be screwed up for me to be getting must be true and assumption questions wrong since the percentage of the questions I do get wrong is similar even if its later on in the test. This is because even after the 16th question ( I say 16 because it seems to me that around that number I start getting more questions wrong.)

With one month left, what do you think I should do to try and reach my goal?

As of now I plan on taking:
8 Prep Tests under timed conditions.
Recover lost ground on the logic games section
Come up with a strategy for my Reading comprehension
Come up with a better strategy for Logical Reasoning Analysis since I cannot crack the above mentioned questions.
Try harder to implement the techniques from the reasoning bible I have learned.

Any tips or things that I have missed in evaluating myself? Again my raw score is between 53-61. I really have a passion for law & justice but, cannot afford to go without assistance so I am hoping that if I can get a high enough score a school will reduce my tuition. Thanks for any words of wisdom.


Honestly, you seem to be running into a too-little-too-late problem. You will most likely not crack 155 on June 8. I think you are putting too much pressure on yourself. Although you have made improvements from your initial diagnostic, you still require a thorough polishing of the fundamentals. If you desire a 160+, you need to be consistently scoring in the mid-160s on your PTs. You are very far from that right now. Having a raw score of 53-61 is an improvement, but getting 77-83 is another ballgame. You seem well on your way, given your motivation. Don't waste a test. You will thank yourself later.

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OhBoyOhBortles
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Re: One month left and still trying to get to 160....

Postby OhBoyOhBortles » Mon May 11, 2015 11:00 am

Nomo wrote:Don't take the test unless you've hit the point where you really don't think you can do any better. Don't waste one of your three attempts when you still feel like you have room to improve.

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Cochran
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Re: One month left and still trying to get to 160....

Postby Cochran » Mon May 11, 2015 11:51 am

.
Last edited by Cochran on Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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OhBoyOhBortles
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Re: One month left and still trying to get to 160....

Postby OhBoyOhBortles » Mon May 11, 2015 11:54 am

Cochran wrote:
victory wrote:
Clearly wrote:Why even ask us then? Not one person said you should just take the test, so it's clear you weren't asking for our advice. The reality is that you are a long way from an acceptable score right now, and its undoubtedly smarter to hold off and keep working. You seem to show the work ethic, and that is like half of the struggle in improving your score, it'd be a shame to waste that good work ethic on your sheer stubbornness. I started out with a score very close to yours, and ended up scoring very well. Don't give up on yourself. Also, there's very little advantage in taking the June over the October. It's not like you're going to start law school any sooner by taking June. If it were Oct->Dec or Dec->Feb I'd even consider the argument against waiting, but you have literally nothing to lose from pushing it back, but a lot to lose.


I'm in a very similar situation as yourself, and completely understand your frustrations. Instead of asking in a separate post, I'll just tag onto this if that's cool: Is there really no advantage to taking October vs June? Just like the OP, I had my heart set on June too (but this is after inadequately preparing for last october and pushing back to this june). While I still have room to grow, I still feel I can get 160+ on the test in June. The only problem is I didn't register early enough and will have to drive 3 hrs to take it (still might). But long story short, I wanted to have everything submitted into schools in September when apps open. The earliest Oct. takers can get their scores would be early november, almost two months after apps open. Doesn't this 2 month span have a considerable amount of weight on admissions? While obviously a 165 oct. vs a 160 june makes oct. more advantageous, wouldn't an applicant lose quite a bit in a 160 june (sept. applicant) vs. a 160 oct. (nov. applicant) senario?


No. And a 165+ nov applicant gains a lot over a 160 sep applicant. Don't take the test until you're positive you're consistently PTing at your best levels.

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Clearly
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Re: One month left and still trying to get to 160....

Postby Clearly » Mon May 11, 2015 12:15 pm

There is literally no evidence to suggest applying in Sept and applying in Nov ever mattered, and it matters even less so now. Applying early is still credited, but applying in early november is still and always has been considered applying early.




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