Diagnostic (Cold) LSAT -- 147 (with results)

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Diagnostic (Cold) LSAT -- 147 (with results)

Postby Sackcrete » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:40 pm

Hello all,

Is a 147 an okay place to be for my first ever LSAT practice test, without yet studying? It is a little subjective most likely, as I work full-time, take classes full-time, and have a wife and two kids... however I am taking it as gospel anyway! I definitely noticed that my reading comprehension was lackluster as I was fading off while reading the passages. Is this something I should be able to overcome with proper rest, etc.? Are my weaknesses fixable in 3 months with a strong study-guide such as PowerScore? Thank you again! Here is what I was given:

LSAT Score 147
LSAT % Rank 32.9%
LSAT Raw Score 54

Logical Reasoning One 56
Reading Comprehension 40
Logic Games 56
Logical Reasoning Two 64

Average 54


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Re: Diagnostic (Cold) LSAT -- 147 (with results)

Postby PDuzzy » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:50 pm

It doesn't really mean much. It's like if a class gave the final on the first day, most would fail.

When taking a cold, diagnostic PT you have no idea what you're getting into, you're brain is going to be super fatigued on the 3rd and 4th section. You're probably thinking "WTF!" when you first see the logic games. You have absolutely no knowledge of the basic traps, etc.

What matters most it the ability to learn the material. Go through some books like PowerScore, Manhattan, etc. and familiarize yourself with the test. Then take a PT and you'll be able to see where your gaps in knowledge are.

Edit: But, if you're working and taking classes with a family, then you may want to consider taking more time than three months. It doesn't seem like you could reasonably commit more than 1-2 hours per day with your other obligations.

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Re: Diagnostic (Cold) LSAT -- 147 (with results)

Postby chasima » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:09 pm

Last edited by chasima on Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Diagnostic (Cold) LSAT -- 147 (with results)

Postby dm1683 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:45 am

What are you goals? If you want to get into the low 160s, then sure, it's possible to do that in 3.5 months with some work. If you want 170+, I doubt you'll be able to get there in time for June. In that case, iId probably study for September's exam.

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Re: Diagnostic (Cold) LSAT -- 147 (with results)

Postby Platopus » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:17 am

dm1683 wrote:What are you goals? If you want to get into the low 160s, then sure, it's possible to do that in 3.5 months with some work. If you want 170+, I doubt you'll be able to get there in time for June. In that case, iId probably study for September's exam.

I agree with the above, low-mid 160's seems reasonable, but a 170+ will probably need more time, especially considering your schedule.

Study hard for the next month or so and take a PT to see where you're at and what needs improvement. Evaluate your PT against your goals and consider postponing. Since you're already employed full-time you don't have the pressure of having to take the test at any particular time.


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Re: Diagnostic (Cold) LSAT -- 147 (with results)

Postby AJordan » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:25 am

BLUF: Wife, no kids. Nontrad. 30s. Started at 153 diag in September and improved more than 20 points on my first official test in February. I think 165 is extremely realistic but I think the process is more important than the score.

Step one for most people, imo, should be do games in the first 30 tests until you are consistently getting 0-2 wrong on every section. It should be a kick in the nuts if you miss more than 2 on an LG section. youtube "7Sage LSAT Prep Test (x) Game (y) for an explanation of every LG section. That should be all you need.

After that, doing LR questions 1-10 on a section, blind reviewing them, and then checking them is the one thing I don't see mentioned often but I think helps immensely. Those questions are on the easy end of the spectrum of question type, and they're a good introduction to crucial concepts such as necessary vs sufficient, conclusion identification, and assumptions. Learning these concepts in the relatively safe space of questions 1-10 builds confidence. When you are getting 9+ of those questions consistently I recommend moving to the next step.

Reading comprehension introduction would be third. Learning how to read RC passages is key. After that, the single biggest thing in RC for me was understanding that almost every RC question is, in most ways, a must be true question. The word "infer" is especially dangerous. It is not inviting you to take the argument further. It's simply asking for something that could reasonably be gleaned from the passage. Oftentimes it's explicitly stated. Never forget that.

Once you are feeling relatively confident with those three things It's time to start PTing. I recommend saving 52-79 at a minimum and taking no more than one a week. Carve out three hours and take one timed test on Saturday. Don't score it as hard as it may seem. Drink a few beers/relax and don't look at it until Sunday. On Sunday just read through it again at your own pace and see if you can duplicate your thinking that led you to choose a certain answer. If you can't do it, circle it. If you feel like you want to change an answer, notate that. At the end, score it. Then, and this is the important part, keep a database of the questions you circled, the answer you chose, the correct answer, and both the reason why your answer is wrong and why the correct answer is correct. Save these questions. There were approximately five LR questions I came across, and I did them all, that I still believe are ambiguous. More than likely my brain just isn't designed to understand them. The test is not wrong. You are. Write down why this is the case.

Once you have taken 5 PTs in full you need to start reviewing the questions from back in the long, long ago that you missed. but I think it's important to give them time to ferment and the explanations be strengthened by mistakes of a similar kind. For instance, when I was ~5ish in LRs I was missing fucking flaw questions like I got free candy for missing them. As I missed more I realized that I needed to get into the minutiae of flaw questions before I could score where I wanted. I could no longer half-ass sufficient/necessary flaws, inferring whole from part, causation/correlation and the like. I also needed to learn to make sure that the flaw was not only tangentially related to the question but also that the description of the flaw matched the description of the question. This was key for me and after gaining this knowledge my scores shot up. By identifying a weakness of a specific type I made myself a far better LSAT taker. This is one example. There are ways to dive into almost every type of question on LR that may make more sense to you. I can only speak specifically to myself but I believe this is effective.

After you've taken all the tests in the 50s you should want to be at the ~20+ for each section in a PT. If you can get there you're to the point where most can reasonably expect just about anybody with some ability and tenacity to get. Randomness is still a thing, but as you understand more your raw score randomness will narrow. If you're not there, GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING AND START OVER... or find another strat. Don't keep pressing on because you don't want to waste fresh material while you're still a relative neophyte.

At that point it's going to be person specific. You can look for a program to teach you the basics, or even beyond this point, but I believe most can, with the 7Sage LG videos on youtube, and this strat, get to 163ish for just the cost of a few test books. If you need more prep you've likely identified where and why you need help and can then weigh the pros and cons of online courses vs private tutors vs in person classes. Each have their plusses and minuses and one size definitely does not fit all. In the end, I used 7Sage and it was worth it if only for their explanations of the more difficult questions and, especially, their tracking of trends in your questions. This guidance was worth $1000 bucks, but I think if I had a good tutor I could've halved my costs.

I won't speak too much to the ancillary skills necessary to perform well on standardized tests. You do you, boo boo. I will say that I used exactly that strategy for 4.5 months and I improved into the 170s on my first go. My last ten PTs were 170-174 with a median of 171. I determined the minimum score I needed to make my goals happen and I got there. This cost me, from my life, 10-15 hours a week. I think the slow burn is beneficial but, again, ymmv. Some go at it like hyenas on a carcass and kill it. For me, one hour or 90 minutes a day during the week, every day, was optimal. It gave me time for my 8-5 job, quality time with my wife, my undergrad school work, and even a few deep dives into video games when I was feeling caught up. The balance worked.
Last edited by AJordan on Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Diagnostic (Cold) LSAT -- 147 (with results)

Postby tanes25 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:34 pm

AJordan said all that needs to be said, imo. I too use 7Sage and would've recommended if it had not been already. The price was good for me and they have a 14 day money back guarantee so there was nothing to lose for me. Everything mentioned will be explained thoroughly in the 7Sage curriculum. There is also a forum where you can post anything you're having issues with and someone from the community will assist. I would stay away from PowerScore but that's just my opinion. If you're looking for a book go with The LSAT Trainer. Lots of folks use it as a supplement with 7Sage. If I hadn't purchased 7Sage I think The LSAT Trainer would've been sufficient on its own. I haven't taken the test yet but my diagnostic was a 141 and my highest PT is a 171.

P.S. Grammar plays a huge part in the test especially for the curve breaker questions. I never would've thought but yeah. Also, you need to be familiar with logic. 7Sage does not skimp on these and neither should you. And don't worry about your diagnostic score. You see mine, right?! :lol:

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