Multiyear LSAT Breakthroughs

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cantyoloforever

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Multiyear LSAT Breakthroughs

Postby cantyoloforever » Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:57 pm

Is there anyone on these boards who has spent an inordinate amount of time studying for the LSAT, and managed to acquire their goal score? Any late stage breakthroughs?

I studied for the LSAT for a year, and scored my test average (168-170). Spent three more months studying for a retake, and scored slightly lower. Applied, got waitlisted at most of the schools I applied to, started to feel like my options were bad and I needed to retake.

So I've been studying for about 3 more months now. Lots and lots of test retakes, went through the Manhattan LR book, feel like my understanding has improved, but it's hard to tell. Also just feel so tired of studying for this f'ing test lol. I was recently laid off, so I told myself it was a sign to push through.

Like I said, I'm looking for some advice from TLSers who spent a long time with this test, and were able to find some measure of success.

cantyoloforever

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Re: Multiyear LSAT Breakthroughs

Postby cantyoloforever » Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:09 pm

Relevant info:

Official Test Breakdown:
LR: -3 per section (hardest questions, occasionally will overthink an easy one)
AR: -1 (typically a dumb error)
RC: -5 (I can go perfect on some sections, but it's always a wild card. This is the one section I have never really been able to figure out, and I told myself for this final take I would just focus on perfecting games and reasoning, and let RC be as it is)

My study schedule went like this -

First 3 months - learned the test through the PowerScore bibles with the occasional prep test
Next 6 months - started working full-time, so I just did one section a day at lunch and went over it at night. Then did one prep test during the weekend. Saw tons of improvement during this time period. I'm starting to wonder if I should stop doing so many preptests if this is how I saw improvement initially?
Last 3 months - took 3 practice tests a week, BRed them, saw zero improvement

Took one month off after my first official test
For my second take, I did practice test retakes (scored 177-180 typically) since I had already burned through all of the prep tests. Also did the hardest LR questions and games from every test. This took about 2 1/2 months.
Started a new job, took a week off before the test, then did slightly worse.

Took 3 months off.
Started doing three 6-8 section prep tests every week. After two months of this, I was burned out, and took some time off to go through the Manhattan LR book for the first time. I feel like this really unlocked my understanding for LR.
Went back to doing 5 section tests this past month, and plan on doing one 8 section test and two 5 section tests a week from here on out. Also will continue to drill hard games and review LR problems I don't understand.

I've heard from several posters that using the Manhattan LR forums, 7sage game videos, and 8 section prep tests are game changers.

cantyoloforever

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Re: Multiyear LSAT Breakthroughs

Postby cantyoloforever » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:05 pm

Also, I feel torn about how I should proceed over the next 2 1/2 months. I could:

A. Focus on working more (whether that's freelance gigs, temp work, etc.) to raise money for school, while lightly studying to keep myself prepared for June. After spending such a huge span of time essentially in the same spot, I've probably reached my natural limit. Might be better to spend my time doing something else while keeping myself warmed up for a hail-mary shot on test day.

B. Forget working at all since I'm going to school regardless in the fall, and spend my time doing whatever it takes to crank out extra points on this test. After all, 2 1/2 months is a short time-span, and I can still work during the summer/get a full-time job if my score ends up being way higher and I need to sit out a cycle.

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appind

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Re: Multiyear LSAT Breakthroughs

Postby appind » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:12 pm

cantyoloforever wrote:Is there anyone on these boards who has spent an inordinate amount of time studying for the LSAT, and managed to acquire their goal score? Any late stage breakthroughs?

I studied for the LSAT for a year, and scored my test average (168-170). Spent three more months studying for a retake, and scored slightly lower. Applied, got waitlisted at most of the schools I applied to, started to feel like my options were bad and I needed to retake.

So I've been studying for about 3 more months now. Lots and lots of test retakes, went through the Manhattan LR book, feel like my understanding has improved, but it's hard to tell. Also just feel so tired of studying for this f'ing test lol. I was recently laid off, so I told myself it was a sign to push through.

Like I said, I'm looking for some advice from TLSers who spent a long time with this test, and were able to find some measure of success.


i prepped for the test several years, takes. as for the first question, i spent an extraordinary amount of time on this test. i began with a low diagnostic of around 130 and had never seen LSAT type of questions before.

you may already know this but focus on your weak areas and try to improve on them. if RC is a weakness then it's slightly harder to improve than others. i think most test takers can greatly improve in LR and LG. you seem to have taken the test only twice and have scored relatively well, so take my case for what's it worth.

i was stuck on mid-to-high 160s for a long time, possibly years. i also suffered from anxiety due to being out of academia for a while and had almost forgotten test taking. so i wasn't as nimble and fast as lsat demands you to be. i would do relatively well in strictly timed PT conditions but in actual test I'd either get a bit unlucky due to sudden onset of unusual games by LSAC in a couple of LSATs since 2014, or would just screw up a section due to anxiety. i always lost many valuable points on unusual games and i went almost perfect on LG of real LSATs that didn't have such games. on my final LSAT i got a low 170s with -0 in LR. hoped for higher but got killed by, again an unusual game.

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Platopus

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Re: Multiyear LSAT Breakthroughs

Postby Platopus » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:33 pm

I've haven't taken the test yet, so I have a very limited perspective. But, I wouldn't give up on RC just yet. At this point, you have nothing to lose by DRASTICALLY changing your approach to RC. Try everything from insane note taking to no note taking, spending forever reading the passage to rushing through to the questions and double checking each question against the passage. Worst case is that it didn't help much and you're in the same position you are now. However, there's a small chance you may find a strategy that does it for you.

For LR, try the same thing. Some people swear by typing up the question and detailed explanations for every answer choice. This may help.

If you can afford it, I say screw working for a couple months and put everything into the LSAT basket. Since you have a good background, and probably enough time, back off the PT's for a couple weeks and just drill, drill, drill. If you hold off picking up a job, you have time to drill like hell during April, and can then do 3-4 PT's a week for all of May.

Again, I have a very limited perspective, but that's just my $.02

cantyoloforever

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Re: Multiyear LSAT Breakthroughs

Postby cantyoloforever » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:07 pm

appind wrote:
cantyoloforever wrote:Is there anyone on these boards who has spent an inordinate amount of time studying for the LSAT, and managed to acquire their goal score? Any late stage breakthroughs?

I studied for the LSAT for a year, and scored my test average (168-170). Spent three more months studying for a retake, and scored slightly lower. Applied, got waitlisted at most of the schools I applied to, started to feel like my options were bad and I needed to retake.

So I've been studying for about 3 more months now. Lots and lots of test retakes, went through the Manhattan LR book, feel like my understanding has improved, but it's hard to tell. Also just feel so tired of studying for this f'ing test lol. I was recently laid off, so I told myself it was a sign to push through.

Like I said, I'm looking for some advice from TLSers who spent a long time with this test, and were able to find some measure of success.


i prepped for the test several years, takes. as for the first question, i spent an extraordinary amount of time on this test. i began with a low diagnostic of around 130 and had never seen LSAT type of questions before.

you may already know this but focus on your weak areas and try to improve on them. if RC is a weakness then it's slightly harder to improve than others. i think most test takers can greatly improve in LR and LG. you seem to have taken the test only twice and have scored relatively well, so take my case for what's it worth.

i was stuck on mid-to-high 160s for a long time, possibly years. i also suffered from anxiety due to being out of academia for a while and had almost forgotten test taking. so i wasn't as nimble and fast as lsat demands you to be. i would do relatively well in strictly timed PT conditions but in actual test I'd either get a bit unlucky due to sudden onset of unusual games by LSAC in a couple of LSATs since 2014, or would just screw up a section due to anxiety. i always lost many valuable points on unusual games and i went almost perfect on LG of real LSATs that didn't have such games. on my final LSAT i got a low 170s with -0 in LR. hoped for higher but got killed by, again an unusual game.

So doing problems over and over again obviously didn't prevent you from mastering LR.

At this point in the game, I'd be happy with even a one or two point improvement, just SOMETHING to show I haven't wasted my time and helps me get off waitlists/earn some scholarship money.

cantyoloforever

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Re: Multiyear LSAT Breakthroughs

Postby cantyoloforever » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:09 pm

Platopus wrote:I've haven't taken the test yet, so I have a very limited perspective. But, I wouldn't give up on RC just yet. At this point, you have nothing to lose by DRASTICALLY changing your approach to RC. Try everything from insane note taking to no note taking, spending forever reading the passage to rushing through to the questions and double checking each question against the passage. Worst case is that it didn't help much and you're in the same position you are now. However, there's a small chance you may find a strategy that does it for you.

For LR, try the same thing. Some people swear by typing up the question and detailed explanations for every answer choice. This may help.

If you can afford it, I say screw working for a couple months and put everything into the LSAT basket. Since you have a good background, and probably enough time, back off the PT's for a couple weeks and just drill, drill, drill. If you hold off picking up a job, you have time to drill like hell during April, and can then do 3-4 PT's a week for all of May.

Again, I have a very limited perspective, but that's just my $.02

I've done many different approaches on RC, and I think I have found my secret sauce. But I've also done these passages a few times already, and while I don't remember the answers to questions, I'm sure what I'm currently scoring is not a truly accurate indicator of my current capabilities.

For LR, I did the written explanation thing, and found it didn't translate into a score improvement. However, I do think it was a fruitful drill and helped me sharpen my reasoning. I internalize the reasoning process now, and I think I am making gains.

cantyoloforever

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Re: Multiyear LSAT Breakthroughs

Postby cantyoloforever » Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:27 pm

Just scored a 174 on my last fresh test available to me (PT 80, also the highest score I have ever gotten on a fresh test), so I am feeling more confident in my abilities. Thanks for the advice, and hopefully my work translates into a higher score come test day.

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twiix

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Re: Multiyear LSAT Breakthroughs

Postby twiix » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:27 pm

cantyoloforever wrote:
I've done many different approaches on RC, and I think I have found my secret sauce.



Care to share what your "secret sauce" consists of? I'm always curious to hear how everyone else handles the RC



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