How to go from low 170's to high 170's/180?

sanghyunp2004
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How to go from low 170's to high 170's/180?

Postby sanghyunp2004 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:10 am

Hi guys, I've currently been studying the LSAT since mid may (so its been about 10 weeks of studying so far!). I'm aiming for the September test and I've been on a plateau for the past 3 weeks or so with literally no improvement in scoring. I've wanted to hear your thoughts on how you guys went from low 170 (170-172) to 175+!

I currently score LG: 0/-1 RC:-2/3, now for LR its weird because usually one section I go -4/5 and the other -2 to usually combine to -6/7 total on LR. Anyone know whats up with that? And usually its the first section of LR that I miss more and the second section I do quiet well.

Also, does anyone know a good way to review RC? I feel like my current method (albeit got me to where I am) could always use some improvement! Any tips on how you personally went from -1 on each passage to 0 would be great! I feel like I have a tought time with inferences (the author would infer type)

For LR about 70% of the questions I miss lately have been inferences usually MSS, Conclusion type questions. And parallel reasoning (or flawed parallel reasoning). Looking for how you guys tackled that!

Timing isn't an issue as I usually have 5 minutes or so left for the sections so any suggestions with that would be appreciated if necessary.

tl;dr pls help me miss 6 less questions

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Platopus
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Re: How to go from low 170's to high 170's/180?

Postby Platopus » Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:22 am

Not a 175+ scorer, but still did pretty well (-6 on the real test). At this point, I think it's really a mental game. You clearly know what you're doing, now you just need to amp up the consistency a bit.

-More review. Really identify patterns in the questions you miss. Are they in the beginning of the section? End of the section? Etc.
-When you have extra time, are you using it effectively? As in, do you go back and actually get questions right, or do you just double check questions you already have the correct answer for? If the later, consider slowly down a bit and hitting the harder questions with a little more time. Alternatively, maybe consider skipping and coming back if that's not a problem.
-Parallel reasoning used to be a weak point until I drilled the hell out of them. I also stopped panicking when I saw them. I used to freak out and didn't methodically eliminate answers. Once I started to relax I started to improve.
-0 on LG, EVERYTIME is almost a must if you want to crack 175+.
-RC, I didn't really review "methodically", but got much better again when I relaxed and started reading at a more comfortable pace.

The low 170's are a common plateau. IMO cracking that 175+ comes from intense review and a little bit of confidence

sanghyunp2004
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Re: How to go from low 170's to high 170's/180?

Postby sanghyunp2004 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:10 am

Platopus wrote:
-More review. Really identify patterns in the questions you miss. Are they in the beginning of the section? End of the section? Etc.
-When you have extra time, are you using it effectively? As in, do you go back and actually get questions right, or do you just double check questions you already have the correct answer for? If the later, consider slowly down a bit and hitting the harder questions with a little more time. Alternatively, maybe consider skipping and coming back if that's not a problem.
-Parallel reasoning used to be a weak point until I drilled the hell out of them. I also stopped panicking when I saw them. I used to freak out and didn't methodically eliminate answers. Once I started to relax I started to improve.
-0 on LG, EVERYTIME is almost a must if you want to crack 175+.
-RC, I didn't really review "methodically", but got much better again when I relaxed and started reading at a more comfortable pace.

The low 170's are a common plateau. IMO cracking that 175+ comes from intense review and a little bit of confidence


Hey man thanks for the responses really do appreciate it. For parallel reasoning you mentioned you methodically eliminated answers. Was there a sort of process you used or just approached it like how you do other questions (eliminate clearly wrong answer narrow it down to two etc).

Also, I generally miss I suppose -4 on LR 1 is usually a dumb question 1 is a hard one that I wasn't sure and the next 2 were ones that I was 50/50 on so I guess I'm getting there with accuracy just have to nail it.

Any tips with MSS questions and how you personally tackled inference questions? :)

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MrAdultman
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Re: How to go from low 170's to high 170's/180?

Postby MrAdultman » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:38 am

You'll get there on LG - just some more practice. Not sure how much help I can give with LR (never studied or improved for those sections, was always -1 to 3 combined from day one to the actual test) other than the really obvious thing: make sure you're marking which questions you're unsure of and review them after you finish the section.

For RC, I was around -4/5 consistently for a long time before finally breaking into -1/2 the month or two before the exam. What did it for me was simply grinding away. I plugged away at RC sections (timed of course!) for a few hours a week on top of my weekly PT. Use a tracer (follow with a pencil as you read), push your speed, and establish a comfortable and consistent pace that allows you to finish the questions. Once my pace became consistent, I knew I would have enough time to finish and was able to calm down and focus more on the questions. (I also went through the Manhattan RC book, which was highly praised on this forum, but don't feel it did much for me).

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Kaziende
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Re: How to go from low 170's to high 170's/180?

Postby Kaziende » Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:13 am

I got into the upper 170s by doing back to back PTs (10 sections in a row) and retaking PTs that I had seen earlier in my prep. The back to back PTing was mostly for stamina, so that I was totally sharp through the entire test and made none of those small misreading errors that would cause me to lose points. The retaking old PTs was for muscle memory and confidence. These were tests that I had reviewed in the past, so I was aiming to get -0 180s on all of them. Going through a test and getting all of the questions right in time over and over got me into the headspace of doing that on the real test. My real score was right at my average for these retake PTs, so I'm convinced that the muscle memory you develop from retaking old tests is totally transferable and relevant to fresh tests.

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JazzOne
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Re: How to go from low 170's to high 170's/180?

Postby JazzOne » Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:20 pm

sanghyunp2004 wrote:
Platopus wrote:
-More review. Really identify patterns in the questions you miss. Are they in the beginning of the section? End of the section? Etc.
-When you have extra time, are you using it effectively? As in, do you go back and actually get questions right, or do you just double check questions you already have the correct answer for? If the later, consider slowly down a bit and hitting the harder questions with a little more time. Alternatively, maybe consider skipping and coming back if that's not a problem.
-Parallel reasoning used to be a weak point until I drilled the hell out of them. I also stopped panicking when I saw them. I used to freak out and didn't methodically eliminate answers. Once I started to relax I started to improve.
-0 on LG, EVERYTIME is almost a must if you want to crack 175+.
-RC, I didn't really review "methodically", but got much better again when I relaxed and started reading at a more comfortable pace.

The low 170's are a common plateau. IMO cracking that 175+ comes from intense review and a little bit of confidence


Hey man thanks for the responses really do appreciate it. For parallel reasoning you mentioned you methodically eliminated answers. Was there a sort of process you used or just approached it like how you do other questions (eliminate clearly wrong answer narrow it down to two etc).

Also, I generally miss I suppose -4 on LR 1 is usually a dumb question 1 is a hard one that I wasn't sure and the next 2 were ones that I was 50/50 on so I guess I'm getting there with accuracy just have to nail it.

Any tips with MSS questions and how you personally tackled inference questions? :)

For parallel reasoning questions, I like to compare all the conclusions first. I can usually eliminate a few answers based on the conclusions alone. Once I've compared the conclusions, then I start comparing the premises. Those questions were hit or miss until I started approaching them more methodically. I rarely miss one now.

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JazzOne
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Re: How to go from low 170's to high 170's/180?

Postby JazzOne » Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:22 pm

Kaziende wrote:I got into the upper 170s by doing back to back PTs (10 sections in a row) and retaking PTs that I had seen earlier in my prep. The back to back PTing was mostly for stamina, so that I was totally sharp through the entire test and made none of those small misreading errors that would cause me to lose points. The retaking old PTs was for muscle memory and confidence. These were tests that I had reviewed in the past, so I was aiming to get -0 180s on all of them. Going through a test and getting all of the questions right in time over and over got me into the headspace of doing that on the real test. My real score was right at my average for these retake PTs, so I'm convinced that the muscle memory you develop from retaking old tests is totally transferable and relevant to fresh tests.

+1, good advice

I've developed a test prep method that emphasizes repetition of completed materials. I believe repeating materials is the best way to learn process. Once you're familiar with the logic of all the questions, you can pay attention to some of the subtleties that elude your attention the first time around.

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creed
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Re: How to go from low 170's to high 170's/180?

Postby creed » Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:13 am

Haven't taken the test yet and I'm scoring around where you are, but there are a couple things you flagged here that I've employed advice from others on and seen success.

Parallel reasoning: first, don't panic. If you see a big block of text and freak out, it's going to throw you off.

I personally like to read the stimulus twice. It gives me a better feel for the relationship of the premises and conclusions. I then skim each answer and eliminate the obviously wrong ones (only one variable when the stimulus had two, "should" rather than "is" verbage, etc). Then I read the remaining, usually two, closer and one becomes pretty clearly correct. I've heard the conclusion to premise strategy and I use it as a backup-- for some reason, it's less intuitive to me. Whatever works for you is best.

On LR generally, one thing to point out is your language: "50/50 on." One of the best pieces of advice I've found about the LSAT is to completely scrap the notion that you should ever be 50/50 or that two answers seem like they could both be right. If two answers seem equally correct, you've misread the stimulus and/or misread the answers. The test is designed to have exactly four incorrect answers and exactly one correct answer. If you keep this thought floating around in your head while testing, it'll likely boost your confidence and make swatting away deceptive answer choices much easier. At least, it did for me.

I'm also curious to hear from others on how to get RC passages from -1 to -0, especially on author inference questions. Those hold me up as well. MSS advice would be great too. I've improved on those by going through each answer and eliminating those that you can't really logically infer from the text, but I don't feel consistent on them yet.

Good luck!

AJordan
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Re: How to go from low 170's to high 170's/180?

Postby AJordan » Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:52 am

creed wrote:Haven't taken the test yet and I'm scoring around where you are, but there are a couple things you flagged here that I've employed advice from others on and seen success.

Parallel reasoning: first, don't panic. If you see a big block of text and freak out, it's going to throw you off.

I personally like to read the stimulus twice. It gives me a better feel for the relationship of the premises and conclusions. I then skim each answer and eliminate the obviously wrong ones (only one variable when the stimulus had two, "should" rather than "is" verbage, etc). Then I read the remaining, usually two, closer and one becomes pretty clearly correct. I've heard the conclusion to premise strategy and I use it as a backup-- for some reason, it's less intuitive to me. Whatever works for you is best.

On LR generally, one thing to point out is your language: "50/50 on." One of the best pieces of advice I've found about the LSAT is to completely scrap the notion that you should ever be 50/50 or that two answers seem like they could both be right. If two answers seem equally correct, you've misread the stimulus and/or misread the answers. The test is designed to have exactly four incorrect answers and exactly one correct answer. If you keep this thought floating around in your head while testing, it'll likely boost your confidence and make swatting away deceptive answer choices much easier. At least, it did for me.

I'm also curious to hear from others on how to get RC passages from -1 to -0, especially on author inference questions. Those hold me up as well. MSS advice would be great too. I've improved on those by going through each answer and eliminating those that you can't really logically infer from the text, but I don't feel consistent on them yet.

Good luck!


I am a big believer in the notion of scrapping the "50/50" idea as well. One of those answers is definitely right. One of them is definitely wrong. For a <165 scorer it's probably a waste of time to have them dig in, better to just guess and move on, but for someone building into the high 170s I think you can't risk these questions. Get fast enough on the easy stuff that you have time to go back and try these questions again with a fresh set of eyes. I didn't set a bunch of arbitrary limits on myself but I would absolutely try to make sure that I had 10/10 on the first 10 LR questions in under 8 minutes. It wasn't always possible, obviously, but that got me on the right track. Learning to do the easier LG faster will also help if you get stumped on something like Virus Game (pt78?)

Learn to love parallel reasoning questions. I think they're often the easiest types of LR questions, just an applied "the argument proceeds by..." question, or for parallel flaw "the flaw in the argument..." question. People get psyched out by walls of text, and if you're a slow reader I can understand why. Still, if you're moving toward 175+ I doubt you're a slow reader. Don't let it psych you out and make you feel like you have to read it quickly. Just get the stimulus outline the first time and you'll be alright.

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The_Pluviophile
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Re: How to go from low 170's to high 170's/180?

Postby The_Pluviophile » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:46 pm

There's a lot of solid advice here already, which I don't want to repeat. Instead I'll give a slightly more obscure (I think) piece of advice.

Stamina is super important (obviously) so as others have said doing full PTs is a solid strategy..., but so is preparing for the worst. For example, for much of my time doing full timed-PT's I used LG as my experimental section because that had been my lowest scoring section and what I'd been working on the most. But by the last month or so of my studying, when I was consistently going -0/-1 on LG, I realized I was using extra LG as experimentals because I liked them best - and that's not a good strategy. I thought to myself, what would be the worst type of test for me (in terms of experimental sections)? An extra RC for sure. Not because I'm bad at RC (I never had huge trouble with this section) but because it took a lot of energy out of me. So I started doing a lot of PTs with extra RC sections. I also noticed that I tended to not do as well on the test as a whole when I got an RC section as my first section. So I purposefully did tests with RC first. This strategy seriously boosted my confidence, which is super important I think for high scoring on actual test day.

So I guess this leads to several pieces of advice : prepare for the "worst" possible test (whatever that means for you), build up your confidence, especially right before test day, and spend time finding patterns in your testing, outside of just question types (which are also important, of course).




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