Best Study Methods to Increase Speed/For Retake

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smashbash

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Best Study Methods to Increase Speed/For Retake

Postby smashbash » Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:49 pm

I just took the September 2016 LSAT and am not sure how to feel about it. I've decided to take the December 2016 test regardless, unless somehow I scored 160+ which is doubtful considering I only scored a 161 twice while PTing. When I was PTing before Sept I was averaging a 157. My last 5 PT (before the actual LSAT) average was a 158. I know that I can do so much better if I could just train myself to let go of those difficult questions instead of divulging a ridiculous amount of time into trying to complete them, it's like my pride won't let me lol. For example, for LR of the 20 questions that I typically get to I usually miss 1, at most 2, but then about 6 are left on the table (obviously I still guess, so they're not left completely blank... but still). With LG I get to 3 games and usually will have 100% accuracy, but with only 23 questions if the 3rd or 4th game (whichever is the more difficult one) ends up having 7 or 8 questions, that's only 16 or 17 questions I can be sure of. RC is a different story. It just sucks. I get about 1 question wrong a passage and I typically only get to 3 passages (sometimes I even have trouble getting to the last question or so of the 3rd passage). I know that it's the same as the other sections-- I spend too much time on unnecessary things, I reread things even though I'm pretty sure of the answer just to be 100%, and though I'll get the answer right I end up losing countless questions because I never get to them.

I know that this is a problem for countless test takers and probably is what differentiates the high 160s - 170s from the rest, but I'm hoping that someone can shed some light on their preferred study methods when trying to increase their speed. Should I work on doing sections of RC one day, sections of LR the next, etc or doing specific questions types one day another type the next? Or just keep on doing PT after PT? I feel that with doing PTs most of test is not particularly difficult and I'm not giving enough attention to the problem areas (those questions that kill me for time). Anyways, any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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Barack O'Drama

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Re: Best Study Methods to Increase Speed/For Retake

Postby Barack O'Drama » Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:53 pm

afrade wrote:I just took the September 2016 LSAT and am not sure how to feel about it. I've decided to take the December 2016 test regardless, unless somehow I scored 160+ which is doubtful considering I only scored a 161 twice while PTing. When I was PTing before Sept I was averaging a 157. My last 5 PT (before the actual LSAT) average was a 158. I know that I can do so much better if I could just train myself to let go of those difficult questions instead of divulging a ridiculous amount of time into trying to complete them, it's like my pride won't let me lol. For example, for LR of the 20 questions that I typically get to I usually miss 1, at most 2, but then about 6 are left on the table (obviously I still guess, so they're not left completely blank... but still). With LG I get to 3 games and usually will have 100% accuracy, but with only 23 questions if the 3rd or 4th game (whichever is the more difficult one) ends up having 7 or 8 questions, that's only 16 or 17 questions I can be sure of. RC is a different story. It just sucks. I get about 1 question wrong a passage and I typically only get to 3 passages (sometimes I even have trouble getting to the last question or so of the 3rd passage). I know that it's the same as the other sections-- I spend too much time on unnecessary things, I reread things even though I'm pretty sure of the answer just to be 100%, and though I'll get the answer right I end up losing countless questions because I never get to them.

I know that this is a problem for countless test takers and probably is what differentiates the high 160s - 170s from the rest, but I'm hoping that someone can shed some light on their preferred study methods when trying to increase their speed. Should I work on doing sections of RC one day, sections of LR the next, etc or doing specific questions types one day another type the next? Or just keep on doing PT after PT? I feel that with doing PTs most of test is not particularly difficult and I'm not giving enough attention to the problem areas (those questions that kill me for time). Anyways, any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!


I'm by no means an expert but I have comfortably broken into the 160s at this point and here is what I would recommend as far as speed, accuracy, and getting better overall.

I would dedicate the required time necessary to fool proofing every logic game you come across. (For new PTs be sure to fool proof them after)

If you are unfamiliar with this approach, it is essentially re-doing games until you get them -0 and beat a set time. I and many others can attest that it works great. Of course, be sure you understand the proper diagramming techniques. I recommend using the free 7Sage video explanations on YouTube. that and Manhattan LG / Bible is where I learned how to diagram mostly. Repetition is key with games. And because they are so learnable you'll want to make sure that you don't leave these points on the table. Getting LG consistently down to -3 or better is what I think broke me comfortably into the 160s.

For LR you need to learn the basics before you get your speed up. I would do targeted drilling and some mixed time review to get your speed up. The more I prepare for the LSAT myself the more I am realizing that the idea of "going faster" is kind of .... Je ne sais pas... A waste. Ultimately your goal is to get good at taking this timed exam, but you need to make sure you learn how to do the questions accurately and efficiently.

If there are questions you need more help on then others, focus on those for sure. I would grab a copy of the Manhattan Prep LR Book. I think it is great and better than the LR Bible if you are at the point where you know the bare bone basics but need to get those harder curve breaker questions. Read that and drill after every chapter.

RC is also a big pain in the ass for me. Granted, I haven't dedicated really any time to solely prepping RC, it is still my worse section and I miss between 5-8 and it sucks. What has been helping me is just going through the RC sections of PTs 1-35 and doing them over and over. I'm getting better at reading for structure; at finding the answers; and pre-phrasing answers too. Find a notation system that works for you and stick with it. And much like LG, you just need to do a lot before they click. the passages I have redone 2-3 times have been very illuminating.... Remember, the answers are all in the passage. You just need to get good at remembering the important stuff (Main point, authors attitude, tone) and get better and faster and searching for contextual evidence for the specific shit. You'll get there, though...



https://7sage.com/how-to-get-a-perfect- ... gic-games/
Last edited by Barack O'Drama on Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kindofcanuck

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Re: Best Study Methods to Increase Speed/For Retake

Postby kindofcanuck » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:00 am

afrade wrote:I just took the September 2016 LSAT and am not sure how to feel about it. I've decided to take the December 2016 test regardless, unless somehow I scored 160+ which is doubtful considering I only scored a 161 twice while PTing. When I was PTing before Sept I was averaging a 157. My last 5 PT (before the actual LSAT) average was a 158. I know that I can do so much better if I could just train myself to let go of those difficult questions instead of divulging a ridiculous amount of time into trying to complete them, it's like my pride won't let me lol. For example, for LR of the 20 questions that I typically get to I usually miss 1, at most 2, but then about 6 are left on the table (obviously I still guess, so they're not left completely blank... but still). With LG I get to 3 games and usually will have 100% accuracy, but with only 23 questions if the 3rd or 4th game (whichever is the more difficult one) ends up having 7 or 8 questions, that's only 16 or 17 questions I can be sure of. RC is a different story. It just sucks. I get about 1 question wrong a passage and I typically only get to 3 passages (sometimes I even have trouble getting to the last question or so of the 3rd passage). I know that it's the same as the other sections-- I spend too much time on unnecessary things, I reread things even though I'm pretty sure of the answer just to be 100%, and though I'll get the answer right I end up losing countless questions because I never get to them.

I know that this is a problem for countless test takers and probably is what differentiates the high 160s - 170s from the rest, but I'm hoping that someone can shed some light on their preferred study methods when trying to increase their speed. Should I work on doing sections of RC one day, sections of LR the next, etc or doing specific questions types one day another type the next? Or just keep on doing PT after PT? I feel that with doing PTs most of test is not particularly difficult and I'm not giving enough attention to the problem areas (those questions that kill me for time). Anyways, any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!


Don't focus on speed. I'd say it comes automatically when you're comfortable with the test. Unless you have difficulty reading (e.g. dyslexia) in which case you should seek accommodation time, your loss of time is coming because you're spending longer than you should thinking about the questions.

When you've done enough sections, you should be comfortable knowing out several answer choices instantly. Questions like 'illustrate this proposition', or 'most similar reasoning' they need to have all the same structures. Lacking that means they cannot be right. LR, you should be doing the first 10 Qs in 9-10 minutes, leaving 25 for the last 16-18. Remember, most of the time four of the answers are wrong and can be knocked out because they violate a combination of stim and q. (A limited number, four may not be wrong, but one will always be 'most right'. A few may be removed from scoring because they weren't, these are in single figures across all published tests).

Games, you've got 8 minutes per game. You're taking 12, 50% too slow. Go back through your old ones and re-do them. Focus on not merely reading and re-writing the rules, but interpreting them. The rules and the board will build on each other to necessarily force in or out some unstated combinations. Finding these makes your job much easier - and therefore quicker.

That said, sometimes games are just horror. I did mauve dinosaurs for the first time in months yesterday, on its own. Got it all right, but in 15 minutes. You can afford that *if* you've sped through the others, not if you've done straightforward ones at full 8-minute time.

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smashbash

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Re: Best Study Methods to Increase Speed/For Retake

Postby smashbash » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:26 am

Thanks for the replies. I actually haven't redone games/passages. I typically do them once, look over them when checking my answers to make sure I did them correctly, and then call it a day. I'm definitely going to heed both your advice and start redoing them (especially since I'm running out of PTs). I thought I knew the material pretty well this time around, but it obviously isn't second nature yet or I would be able to get through it faster. I feel even more certain that I want to retake now in December though for sure. Drilling here I come!

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kindofcanuck

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Re: Best Study Methods to Increase Speed/For Retake

Postby kindofcanuck » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:44 am

afrade wrote:Thanks for the replies. I actually haven't redone games/passages. I typically do them once, look over them when checking my answers to make sure I did them correctly, and then call it a day. I'm definitely going to heed both your advice and start redoing them (especially since I'm running out of PTs). I thought I knew the material pretty well this time around, but it obviously isn't second nature yet or I would be able to get through it faster. I feel even more certain that I want to retake now in December though for sure. Drilling here I come!


Good review is crucial for score improvement. For every question you got wrong, and all the ones you got right but weren't sure about, don't merely look them over and call it a day. Explain every single answer choice, five explanations per q. Four of them, you can explain why they're wrong. One, yopu explain why they're right. To force yourself to actually think about it, write them out, by hand. It will be time consuming and annoying, but you will definitely get better as a result, and that means quicker. There's a lot of mileage left in those tests you've already done.



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