How Quickly Should My Scores Improve?

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RamTitan
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How Quickly Should My Scores Improve?

Postby RamTitan » Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:42 pm

So, my scores are super low right now:

Diagnostic Test (Early May) - 146
Then, I barely studied over the next two weeks (maybe 10-15 hours total); second test was 157
Then, I barely studied over the next two weeks (maybe less than 10 hours total); third test was 154
Then, I studied more over the next week (10-15 hours); fourth test was 156
Then, I studied exactly 10.5 hours over the next 5 days; fifth test was 154

If I'm trying to get my scores into the 165-170 range by the October LSAT, am I on track, or are these pretty low to get into that range? Since the beginning of last week (so about 1.5 weeks) I have been studying 3 hours a day for 6 days a week. If I maintain that schedule until September, and then taper off during that month (I'll be starting full-time employment during that month), will that schedule be enough to get me to where I want to be by October?

Lawdood
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Re: How Quickly Should My Scores Improve?

Postby Lawdood » Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:46 pm

bump

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Oskosh
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Re: How Quickly Should My Scores Improve?

Postby Oskosh » Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:47 pm

In my opinion, you should see an increase in your score from your first, cold diagnostic in about two week's time. That gives you the opportunity to be exposed to the different types of questions, to some logic games, etc. Then, the gains in your score aren't nearly as dramatic, but that is what sets the best test takers apart (being able to get THOSE five questions right).

There is no science to the time it should take for your score to reflect the studying you've been doing. If you are studying right and consistently, you should be seeing a score increase.

Focus on mastering the skill you are practicing (i.e, weaken questions), and not on the score you are getting on your practice tests. Then, you can move on to timed practices and timed tests, where you will focus on the nuances of the questions you are getting wrong.

I think you should be studying more than 15 hours a week if you want a 170+ on the LSAT by October, btw.

ETA: The board has a variety of resources on scoring in the high 160s and above. Please, please take the time to consult those. I also encourage you not to limit yourself in your desired score. ALWAYS shoot for a 180. Even if you start PTing in the high 160s/low 170s, this won't necessarily predict your performance on test day. Maintain a concerted, consistent pace of study from now until October (where you study correctly!) and a high 160 and above is certainly possible.

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RamTitan
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Re: How Quickly Should My Scores Improve?

Postby RamTitan » Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:14 pm

Oskosh wrote:In my opinion, you should see an increase in your score from your first, cold diagnostic in about two week's time. That gives you the opportunity to be exposed to the different types of questions, to some logic games, etc. Then, the gains in your score aren't nearly as dramatic, but that is what sets the best test takers apart (being able to get THOSE five questions right).

There is no science to the time it should take for your score to reflect the studying you've been doing. If you are studying right and consistently, you should be seeing a score increase.

Focus on mastering the skill you are practicing (i.e, weaken questions), and not on the score you are getting on your practice tests. Then, you can move on to timed practices and timed tests, where you will focus on the nuances of the questions you are getting wrong.

I think you should be studying more than 15 hours a week if you want a 170+ on the LSAT by October, btw.

ETA: The board has a variety of resources on scoring in the high 160s and above. Please, please take the time to consult those. I also encourage you not to limit yourself in your desired score. ALWAYS shoot for a 180. Even if you start PTing in the high 160s/low 170s, this won't necessarily predict your performance on test day. Maintain a concerted, consistent pace of study from now until October (where you study correctly!) and a high 160 and above is certainly possible.

Thanks for the detailed response!

Two questions:

1. If I should focus on the types of questions I am getting wrong, should I avoid taking full practice tests until I feel I have mastered those, or just supplement those in between tests?
2. By more than 15 hours, would my schedule (18 hours a week) be sufficient (I know it's more than 15 lol), or are you insinuating that it should be considerably more than 15?

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Oskosh
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Re: How Quickly Should My Scores Improve?

Postby Oskosh » Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:31 pm

RamTitan wrote:
Oskosh wrote:In my opinion, you should see an increase in your score from your first, cold diagnostic in about two week's time. That gives you the opportunity to be exposed to the different types of questions, to some logic games, etc. Then, the gains in your score aren't nearly as dramatic, but that is what sets the best test takers apart (being able to get THOSE five questions right).

There is no science to the time it should take for your score to reflect the studying you've been doing. If you are studying right and consistently, you should be seeing a score increase.

Focus on mastering the skill you are practicing (i.e, weaken questions), and not on the score you are getting on your practice tests. Then, you can move on to timed practices and timed tests, where you will focus on the nuances of the questions you are getting wrong.

I think you should be studying more than 15 hours a week if you want a 170+ on the LSAT by October, btw.

ETA: The board has a variety of resources on scoring in the high 160s and above. Please, please take the time to consult those. I also encourage you not to limit yourself in your desired score. ALWAYS shoot for a 180. Even if you start PTing in the high 160s/low 170s, this won't necessarily predict your performance on test day. Maintain a concerted, consistent pace of study from now until October (where you study correctly!) and a high 160 and above is certainly possible.

Thanks for the detailed response!

Two questions:

1. If I should focus on the types of questions I am getting wrong, should I avoid taking full practice tests until I feel I have mastered those, or just supplement those in between tests?
2. By more than 15 hours, would my schedule (18 hours a week) be sufficient (I know it's more than 15 lol), or are you insinuating that it should be considerably more than 15?


If you are getting a considerable number of them wrong, then yes, you should. Again, I am going to suggest that you look up the many testing "strategy guides" that are available on the board. They contain success stories from users who scored in the high 170s, and I think that emulating their strategies and study habits can help users to be sucessful, too.
I am going to suggest a good 20, although I was putting in more. I haven't received my June score, but I was more confident during the test.

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RamTitan
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Re: How Quickly Should My Scores Improve?

Postby RamTitan » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:00 pm

Oskosh wrote:
RamTitan wrote:
Oskosh wrote:In my opinion, you should see an increase in your score from your first, cold diagnostic in about two week's time. That gives you the opportunity to be exposed to the different types of questions, to some logic games, etc. Then, the gains in your score aren't nearly as dramatic, but that is what sets the best test takers apart (being able to get THOSE five questions right).

There is no science to the time it should take for your score to reflect the studying you've been doing. If you are studying right and consistently, you should be seeing a score increase.

Focus on mastering the skill you are practicing (i.e, weaken questions), and not on the score you are getting on your practice tests. Then, you can move on to timed practices and timed tests, where you will focus on the nuances of the questions you are getting wrong.

I think you should be studying more than 15 hours a week if you want a 170+ on the LSAT by October, btw.

ETA: The board has a variety of resources on scoring in the high 160s and above. Please, please take the time to consult those. I also encourage you not to limit yourself in your desired score. ALWAYS shoot for a 180. Even if you start PTing in the high 160s/low 170s, this won't necessarily predict your performance on test day. Maintain a concerted, consistent pace of study from now until October (where you study correctly!) and a high 160 and above is certainly possible.

Thanks for the detailed response!

Two questions:

1. If I should focus on the types of questions I am getting wrong, should I avoid taking full practice tests until I feel I have mastered those, or just supplement those in between tests?
2. By more than 15 hours, would my schedule (18 hours a week) be sufficient (I know it's more than 15 lol), or are you insinuating that it should be considerably more than 15?


If you are getting a considerable number of them wrong, then yes, you should. Again, I am going to suggest that you look up the many testing "strategy guides" that are available on the board. They contain success stories from users who scored in the high 170s, and I think that emulating their strategies and study habits can help users to be sucessful, too.
I am going to suggest a good 20, although I was putting in more. I haven't received my June score, but I was more confident during the test.

Not to dispute you or anything, but I've noticed most strategy guides suggest taking as many practice tests as possible (typically 3 a week). What you're saying makes sense though, so I'm not really sure what to believe.

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Oskosh
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Re: How Quickly Should My Scores Improve?

Postby Oskosh » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:09 pm

RamTitan wrote:
Oskosh wrote:
RamTitan wrote:
Oskosh wrote:In my opinion, you should see an increase in your score from your first, cold diagnostic in about two week's time. That gives you the opportunity to be exposed to the different types of questions, to some logic games, etc. Then, the gains in your score aren't nearly as dramatic, but that is what sets the best test takers apart (being able to get THOSE five questions right).

There is no science to the time it should take for your score to reflect the studying you've been doing. If you are studying right and consistently, you should be seeing a score increase.

Focus on mastering the skill you are practicing (i.e, weaken questions), and not on the score you are getting on your practice tests. Then, you can move on to timed practices and timed tests, where you will focus on the nuances of the questions you are getting wrong.

I think you should be studying more than 15 hours a week if you want a 170+ on the LSAT by October, btw.

ETA: The board has a variety of resources on scoring in the high 160s and above. Please, please take the time to consult those. I also encourage you not to limit yourself in your desired score. ALWAYS shoot for a 180. Even if you start PTing in the high 160s/low 170s, this won't necessarily predict your performance on test day. Maintain a concerted, consistent pace of study from now until October (where you study correctly!) and a high 160 and above is certainly possible.

Thanks for the detailed response!

Two questions:

1. If I should focus on the types of questions I am getting wrong, should I avoid taking full practice tests until I feel I have mastered those, or just supplement those in between tests?
2. By more than 15 hours, would my schedule (18 hours a week) be sufficient (I know it's more than 15 lol), or are you insinuating that it should be considerably more than 15?


If you are getting a considerable number of them wrong, then yes, you should. Again, I am going to suggest that you look up the many testing "strategy guides" that are available on the board. They contain success stories from users who scored in the high 170s, and I think that emulating their strategies and study habits can help users to be sucessful, too.
I am going to suggest a good 20, although I was putting in more. I haven't received my June score, but I was more confident during the test.

Not to dispute you or anything, but I've noticed most strategy guides suggest taking as many practice tests as possible (typically 3 a week). What you're saying makes sense though, so I'm not really sure what to believe.

Sorry, I might have been unclear.

Your score increasing depends a lot on taking as many practice tests as you can. But the way I see it (and I thought strategy guys saw it this way, too) is, why take practice tests if you don't have the fundamentals down? I'm saying take 2-3 weeks to expose yourself to all concepts of the LSAT: all question types on the logical reasoning, all different kinds of logic games, all RC passages that the LSAT will throw at you. Understand what it is asking you. What is a premise, what is a conclusion, etc. Once you have a strong grasp of this subject matter, I think the focus should shift to taking timed sections/practice tests, and reviewing them correctly afterwards.

Does that make sense? That's how I studied for my test.

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RamTitan
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Re: How Quickly Should My Scores Improve?

Postby RamTitan » Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:39 pm

Oskosh wrote:
RamTitan wrote:
Oskosh wrote:
RamTitan wrote:
Oskosh wrote:In my opinion, you should see an increase in your score from your first, cold diagnostic in about two week's time. That gives you the opportunity to be exposed to the different types of questions, to some logic games, etc. Then, the gains in your score aren't nearly as dramatic, but that is what sets the best test takers apart (being able to get THOSE five questions right).

There is no science to the time it should take for your score to reflect the studying you've been doing. If you are studying right and consistently, you should be seeing a score increase.

Focus on mastering the skill you are practicing (i.e, weaken questions), and not on the score you are getting on your practice tests. Then, you can move on to timed practices and timed tests, where you will focus on the nuances of the questions you are getting wrong.

I think you should be studying more than 15 hours a week if you want a 170+ on the LSAT by October, btw.

ETA: The board has a variety of resources on scoring in the high 160s and above. Please, please take the time to consult those. I also encourage you not to limit yourself in your desired score. ALWAYS shoot for a 180. Even if you start PTing in the high 160s/low 170s, this won't necessarily predict your performance on test day. Maintain a concerted, consistent pace of study from now until October (where you study correctly!) and a high 160 and above is certainly possible.

Thanks for the detailed response!

Two questions:

1. If I should focus on the types of questions I am getting wrong, should I avoid taking full practice tests until I feel I have mastered those, or just supplement those in between tests?
2. By more than 15 hours, would my schedule (18 hours a week) be sufficient (I know it's more than 15 lol), or are you insinuating that it should be considerably more than 15?


If you are getting a considerable number of them wrong, then yes, you should. Again, I am going to suggest that you look up the many testing "strategy guides" that are available on the board. They contain success stories from users who scored in the high 170s, and I think that emulating their strategies and study habits can help users to be sucessful, too.
I am going to suggest a good 20, although I was putting in more. I haven't received my June score, but I was more confident during the test.

Not to dispute you or anything, but I've noticed most strategy guides suggest taking as many practice tests as possible (typically 3 a week). What you're saying makes sense though, so I'm not really sure what to believe.

Sorry, I might have been unclear.

Your score increasing depends a lot on taking as many practice tests as you can. But the way I see it (and I thought strategy guys saw it this way, too) is, why take practice tests if you don't have the fundamentals down? I'm saying take 2-3 weeks to expose yourself to all concepts of the LSAT: all question types on the logical reasoning, all different kinds of logic games, all RC passages that the LSAT will throw at you. Understand what it is asking you. What is a premise, what is a conclusion, etc. Once you have a strong grasp of this subject matter, I think the focus should shift to taking timed sections/practice tests, and reviewing them correctly afterwards.

Does that make sense? That's how I studied for my test.

That makes complete sense.

I went through my Barron's book, and haven't really improved that much. The test I just took was an official LSAT from 2007, in a book that doesn't explain the answers. Do you think I'll be able to figure out why answers are right and why other choices are wrong on my own, or should I avoid prep test booklets of that nature for now?

Do you think I should take a class? I'm looking through the 160 and above thread right now, and I've noticed the people scoring in the 170s did most of their studying on their own; however, those people seem to be natural test takers with super high diagnostic scores. Since I'm on the lower end would it be advisable for me to take a class or get a tutor?

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Oskosh
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Re: How Quickly Should My Scores Improve?

Postby Oskosh » Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:54 am

A class isn't necessary, but it could help if you need the structure.

Do yourself a favor and throw out that Barron's book, though. Purchase the Manhattan Logical Reasoning Bible or the Powerscore Bible. Those resources will do wonders for your LSAT score if you use them appropriately.

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RamTitan
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Re: How Quickly Should My Scores Improve?

Postby RamTitan » Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:41 am

Oskosh wrote:A class isn't necessary, but it could help if you need the structure.

Do yourself a favor and throw out that Barron's book, though. Purchase the Manhattan Logical Reasoning Bible or the Powerscore Bible. Those resources will do wonders for your LSAT score if you use them appropriately.

I do have the Powerscore bible for logic games/analytical reasoning! Would the Manhattan Logical Reasoning Bible help me with the structure of arguments? I've found that the four categories I struggle with are; assumption (though on my last test I did much better with these now that I'm negating answer choices), flaw in an argument, conclusion questions, and role of a claim.

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jumbo2016
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Re: How Quickly Should My Scores Improve?

Postby jumbo2016 » Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:40 pm

I improved from a 159 diagnostic to pt average of 173 for the last month, with my highest PT at 177. I started studying in December and my scores improved pretty slowly over most of my studying and didn't get up to my first 170 until April. They then shot up and I never hit below 167 and was only below 170 twice between late April - June 8th. I wouldn't be discouraged by slow improvement.

But I haven't gotten my score yet so who knows. This could be bad advice.

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Oskosh
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Re: How Quickly Should My Scores Improve?

Postby Oskosh » Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:18 pm

jumbo2016 wrote:I improved from a 159 diagnostic to pt average of 173 for the last month, with my highest PT at 177. I started studying in December and my scores improved pretty slowly over most of my studying and didn't get up to my first 170 until April. They then shot up and I never hit below 167 and was only below 170 twice between late April - June 8th. I wouldn't be discouraged by slow improvement.

But I haven't gotten my score yet so who knows. This could be bad advice.

No, you're right. Some users go through gradual improvement and others see a huge jump and plateau. I was stuck in mid 160s, tested in 165 in December, and had to go back and focus on the nuances of the test in order to start breaking 170.

OP: Yes. Again, this is my opinion, but other users on this board would concur with me. Manhattan Logical Reasoning really helped me to understand assumption questions at a deeper level, because they present strengthen/weaken/assumption/flaw questions as variant of the "flaw" question in that they are all missing some component in reasoning that would otherwise influence the validity of the argument. So, I would tell you to purchase that one. It also helped me understand the difference between sufficient and necessary assumption questions, which were question types that I was struggling with when I got to LR 11-20.

If you can, and only if you can, I would suggest that you buy both. It's pretty expensive, but I exposed myself to a variety of resources, which came in handy on test day. In particular, I recall struggling mightily with a sufficient assumption question that just didn't make sense to me. Thanks to Powerscore's mechanistic approach to the sufficient (justify the conclusion questions), it didn't have to, because I solved the question mechanistically (it had more risk because I didn't have a conceptual understanding, but it was a strategy that I would quickly lean on if I had trouble).

If you're going to buy a book for LR, I'd say Manhattan. Here are the resources that I used to study:

PT 60-74 (please, please, please buy practice tests and take them under simulated time conditions, or otherwise you are doing yourself a disservice in studying for the LSAT)
Manhattan LR
Manhattan LG
Powerscore LG
Powerscore LR
Manhattan RC
The LSAT Trainer
Official LSAT tests that I acquired to practice on question types (1-60)

It can get pretty expensive, but I exhort you to look at the benefits that you gain by investing in your LSAT studies. The higher you score on the LSAT (even if it's 3 points), the more schools that are willing to accept you, and the better the scholarship offers that you'll receive.

There's data online that supports the correlation in score increase and schools that admit you/scholarship money you receive.

http://www.lawschoolpredictor.com/wp-co ... ograms.htm

Your GPA will be fixed, but look at how the numbers are altered when you increase/decrease your LSAT score.




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