September LSAT- Strategy to increase from 167 to 170+

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birdkin

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September LSAT- Strategy to increase from 167 to 170+

Postby birdkin » Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:44 am

Hi- I'm registered to take the September 24th LSAT. There's two weeks left of prep and I feel like I've hit a plateau. I started studying in June with an initial diagnostic of 160. I completed the Powerscore bibles and have done Preptests 19-38 and 52-62, scoring higher on old practice exams than on the new ones. I'm now scoring an average of 167, sometimes going as low as 165 and as high as 174. I've almost completed the first Powerscore game type training Logic Games book, and I've been working from their Game type training LR book and their LR workbook. I also have had 3 lessons with a private tutor.

I've been scoring around 167 for about a month with little success despite changing up my strategies. I am nearly perfect on Logic Games, getting no more than 2 wrong on a bad day. I get A LOT of logical reasoning questions wrong, about 6-10 per exam total. My reading comp section is usually 3-4 wrong.

I've tried to concentrate on the logical reasoning questions I get wrong, which are mostly Flaw, Weaken, Justify, and Assumption questions. I find that during 5 section practice exams, which I do 2x a week, I'm beginning to burn out. In addition to that I'm doing drills in LR to try to increase my LR score the days I'm not taking an exam.

I really want to take the exam in September, but I don't want to take it and risk scoring below a 170. I'm not sure what I can do in the next two weeks to increase my score by the amount I need to. I'm also worried about running out of materials/practice tests if I postpone to December.

If anyone has any advice, please, let me know quickly so I can maximize my studying in these next 2 weeks.

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RamTitan

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Re: September LSAT- Strategy to increase from 167 to 170+

Postby RamTitan » Thu Sep 08, 2016 4:28 pm

Sounds like you're burning out; I wouldn't sit for September to be honest. You have a juicy diagnostic, so you should be able to be a 170+ scorer. Take a week off and hit the books after that.

Btw, taking scheduled breaks can actually increase your score, as it lets the LSAT concepts marinate in your subconscious. This test takes time.

tskela

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Re: September LSAT- Strategy to increase from 167 to 170+

Postby tskela » Thu Sep 08, 2016 5:18 pm

I wouldn't be doing full, timed PTs if I were you. I'd focus on LR drilling from now up until the test. Get the Cambridge LR books off amazon if you don't have them already and just get through as much as you can.

But this is coming from someone who doesn't have test stamina issues so YMMV. Full PTs just haven't been part of my study strategy this time around, nor did I do any leading up to my first take (171)

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Barack O'Drama

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Re: September LSAT- Strategy to increase from 167 to 170+

Postby Barack O'Drama » Thu Sep 08, 2016 5:25 pm

RamTitan wrote:Sounds like you're burning out; I wouldn't sit for September to be honest. You have a juicy diagnostic, so you should be able to be a 170+ scorer. Take a week off and hit the books after that.

Btw, taking scheduled breaks can actually increase your score, as it lets the LSAT concepts marinate in your subconscious. This test takes time.



100% this.
Last edited by Barack O'Drama on Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Barack O'Drama

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Re: September LSAT- Strategy to increase from 167 to 170+

Postby Barack O'Drama » Thu Sep 08, 2016 5:33 pm

Also, as a corollary, I would say if you haven't scored your goal on at least a few tests from the 70s, do not take in September. Almost everyone I have talked to finds the 70s LR a great deal harder than the 50s and 60s. Some will say it isn't necessarily harder, but different.

in short, the 70s are a different breed of LSAT tests than the older ones and take some getting used to.

I fully back TitanRam that burnout is probably the case and postponing seems the prudent course of action here.

A personal aside: I have recently got pretty good at LR. I was missing about 8-10 per test. I took a break, as Ram says, and let the LSAT knowledge marinate. Came back after a week-ish break and had my first -0 on LR.
Last edited by Barack O'Drama on Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

birdkin

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Re: September LSAT- Strategy to increase from 167 to 170+

Postby birdkin » Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:50 pm

Barack O'Drama wrote:Also, as a corollary, I would say if you haven't scored your goal on at least a few tests from the 70s, do not take in September. Almost everyone I have talked to finds the 70s LR a great deal harder than the 50s and 60s. Some will say it isn't necessarily harder, but different.

in short, the 70s are a different breed of LSAT tests than the older ones and take some getting used to.

I fully back TitanRam that burnout is probably the case and postponing seems the prudent course of action here.

A personal aside: I have recently got pretty good at LR. I was missing about 8-10 per test. I took a break, as Ram says, and let the LSAT knowledge marinate. Came back after a week-ish break and had my first -0 on LR.


I haven't gotten to the 70s tests- how are they different? And seeing as I only really have 14 PTs left, how should I approach studying moving forward if I decide to take it in December?

Also- can you elaborate a bit about how you feel you improved on LR- as in, what changed?

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Barack O'Drama

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Re: September LSAT- Strategy to increase from 167 to 170+

Postby Barack O'Drama » Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:19 pm

birdkin wrote:
Barack O'Drama wrote:Also, as a corollary, I would say if you haven't scored your goal on at least a few tests from the 70s, do not take in September. Almost everyone I have talked to finds the 70s LR a great deal harder than the 50s and 60s. Some will say it isn't necessarily harder, but different.

in short, the 70s are a different breed of LSAT tests than the older ones and take some getting used to.

I fully back TitanRam that burnout is probably the case and postponing seems the prudent course of action here.

A personal aside: I have recently got pretty good at LR. I was missing about 8-10 per test. I took a break, as Ram says, and let the LSAT knowledge marinate. Came back after a week-ish break and had my first -0 on LR.


I haven't gotten to the 70s tests- how are they different? And seeing as I only really have 14 PTs left, how should I approach studying moving forward if I decide to take it in December?

Also- can you elaborate a bit about how you feel you improved on LR- as in, what changed?


In the 70s the LR seems to be harder. The stims seem to be longer; more words per question in general.
Also, the answer choices seem trickier and more convoluted.

If you postpone until December just keep drilling and working on your weaknesses. The more PTs you do the more you are going to experience diminishing returns. Once you have the bulk of your timing and strategy down PTs aren't very useful beyond a barometer of your progress. Your improvements will come from thorough blind review and targeted drilling. Maybe do one a week or something with good, thorough BR.

I feel I improved in my ability to confidently eliminate answer choices.
I see a wrong answer and in my head, I know exactly why it is wrong. The 10-20 seconds a question this saves me adds up big time.

I rarely find myself caught between 2 answer choices.
I used to almost ALWAYS get stuck between 2 answer choices in LR when I was missing 6 per section. It sucked! Now for whatever reason (maybe the reason above) is why this doesn't happen as often. It still happens, but usually, I can figure out why one is wrong fairly quickly compared to months back.

I have just gotten quicker... I'm simply faster than I was. I actually was drilling a section the other day and wasn't even rushing; ended up finishing in 30 minutes.

And lastly, I think there is something I can't really put my finger on. I just feel like I am on to the LSAC'S bullshit, lol. I kind of understand the common ways they are going to try to "trick me" and I am wise enough now not to fall for those tempting wrong answer choices.



You'll be good if you wait until December I think. You had a good diagnostic and are going to kill it.

Good luck!
Last edited by Barack O'Drama on Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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RamTitan

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Re: September LSAT- Strategy to increase from 167 to 170+

Postby RamTitan » Fri Sep 09, 2016 11:17 am

birdkin wrote:
Barack O'Drama wrote:Also, as a corollary, I would say if you haven't scored your goal on at least a few tests from the 70s, do not take in September. Almost everyone I have talked to finds the 70s LR a great deal harder than the 50s and 60s. Some will say it isn't necessarily harder, but different.

in short, the 70s are a different breed of LSAT tests than the older ones and take some getting used to.

I fully back TitanRam that burnout is probably the case and postponing seems the prudent course of action here.

A personal aside: I have recently got pretty good at LR. I was missing about 8-10 per test. I took a break, as Ram says, and let the LSAT knowledge marinate. Came back after a week-ish break and had my first -0 on LR.


I haven't gotten to the 70s tests- how are they different? And seeing as I only really have 14 PTs left, how should I approach studying moving forward if I decide to take it in December?

Also- can you elaborate a bit about how you feel you improved on LR- as in, what changed?

PT retakes are a great learning tool

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Deardevil

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Re: September LSAT- Strategy to increase from 167 to 170+

Postby Deardevil » Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:31 pm

Echoing what Barack is saying about obvious wrong ACs, I also used to get stuck between two,
but I typically only just get stuck on difficult questions; for others, they are very apparently incorrect.
You will realize it as you go through a bunch of questions (as of today, I've seen perhaps over 900; so close to 9000).

As for your problem areas, flaws and necessary assumptions are (to me, at least) extremely easy to spot.
Get familiar with all the types of flaws the test makers can throw at you; there is not a whole lot, and many of them are usually wrong,
such as ACs that deal with circular reasoning, subjective vs. objective, and anything out of the blue.
NA used to be a struggle for me until I noticed how ridiculously simple the process is: go for the least obvious, least extreme type of answer.
Essentially, NA is a MBT question.
For example, if I say I will be late unless the first thing I do after leaving the house is getting in and starting my car,
then conclude I will arive on time, what needs to be true?
Heavy traffic? No. Will I stop to help an old lady cross the street? Not necessarily. The sky suddenly turns green? Maybe...
What about if I have gas in the vehicle? Well, yeah! If not, that violates a condition, and I'd have to steal my neighbor's Porsche for a day.



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