HELP: How to get from mid 160s to 170+

Prepare for the LSAT or discuss it with others in this forum.
griffinz

Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:35 am

HELP: How to get from mid 160s to 170+

I've been studying the LSAT off and on for over a year. On my first diagnostic, I got a 155. On my first real administered LSAT, I got a 161.

I've been studying again since late May to prepare for the upcoming September LSAT. My average score on timed PTs is 164 - (163 - low; 166 - high). Averaged, the breakdown looks something like this:

LR1 - (-4.75)
LR2 - (-4.25)
LG - (-6.25)
RC - (-3.75)

Logical Reasoning: I've been able to snag a point or two extra by using a strategy I read online a while back... I do the first 15, then skip to the end and do the last 3. After that, I skip around and do each question according to their perceived difficulty from a quick read. I usually don't miss any in the first 15. My errors come from the second half of the section, usually in the 16-22 range. I attribute that to 1) some are more difficult in that area and 2) I'm having to guess on a couple in that range due to my strategy. Ideally, I want to be able to finish the whole section without guessing but maintain accuracy. Any suggestions moving forward? I analyzed the questions I've missed in LR as a whole, and I found that I'm missing mostly (but not exclusively) inference and flaw questions. So, I've been drilling those lately.

Logic Games: This is mostly a speed issue. I try to tackle the easiest games first. Usually, I miss few if any on those, but end up having to guess on one game. That's where the bulk of my missed questions come from. I realize the answer to this problem is probably drilling like crazy, and I continue to do that - but any additional advice here is much appreciated.

Reading Comp: This has consistently been my best section since I started (thankfully). I incorporate it into my practice to stay on my toes, but I focus the least on this section.

I have a 3.75 GPA and want to get into somewhere in the UVA/UMi range, so a 169+ is imperative for me. As of this posting, there's about 1 month and 10 days left to study/practice for September. I want to use that time as efficiently as possible, so I appreciate any strategy/practice tips you guys have.

pointplace

Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:18 pm

Re: HELP: How to get from mid 160s to 170+

Credentials - LSAT Instructor, attending a t13 this fall
My advice would be to spend the next month drilling LG in all of your spare time. Get every LG problem and do them all. Review with 7sage's free youtube videos. LG is the easiest way to improve and you shouldn't sit for the LSAT until you can consistently go -0 on the section.

Walliums

Posts: 626
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 1:39 pm

Re: HELP: How to get from mid 160s to 170+

griffinz wrote:LG - (-6.25)

Shoring up Logic Games is likely what will get you there. What prep materials have you used so far for this section?

griffinz

Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:35 am

Re: HELP: How to get from mid 160s to 170+

Thanks for the advice. I believe you're both right.

I've gone through the LGB and watched tons of 7sage videos. I have the basics down. I just need to make inferences quicker to finish on time. I usually only miss the ones I have to guess on, with an exception here and there. When I BR, I go -0 - which is usually the case for the whole test.

Any particular advice outside of continually taking LG sections to improve speed?

Experiment626

Posts: 812
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 9:43 am

Re: HELP: How to get from mid 160s to 170+

on the LG side, basically drilling is how you get faster so that you can get the -0 that you're getting in BR. The more you do games, the more you'll get used to things, and then you'll be making inferences faster which is where the time saving comes.

griffinz

Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:35 am

Re: HELP: How to get from mid 160s to 170+

OP UPDATE:

I have spent most of the intervening time drilling LG sections and watching 7sage videos. I have felt some improvement, but I haven't gotten it down to -0 yet. However, I took PT 71 this afternoon and got a 170/175BR... breakdown as follows:

PT (-14):
-2 LR
-2 LG
-7 LR
-3 RC

BR (-5):
-0 LR
-0 LG
-5 LR
-0 RC

I don't know why, but the 2nd LR section killed me during the timed PT and in BR. Also wondering if people have found this particular PT slightly easier than others (seems like a generous curve for one thing), or if my practice has just started to pay off. I'm going to take PT 72 tomorrow to see.

As you all know, there are 20 days left until the real thing. Any advice for where I'm at this close to test day?

Thanks!

griffinz

Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:35 am

Re: HELP: How to get from mid 160s to 170+

OP UPDATE (2):

I haven't been able to hit 170 again since PT 71. With just under 11 days to go, I'm trying desperately to break my plateau. Here's the breakdown since PT 71:

PT 72: 164 (RC killed me)

-6 LR
-2 LR
-3 LG
-10 RC

PT 73: 166

-6 LR
-4 LR
-4 LG
-4 RC

PT 74: 164

-4 LR
-2 LR
-7 LG (misunderstood critical inference)
-7 RC

PT 75: 166

-1 LR
-6 LR
-3 LG
-6 RC

PT 76: 168

-3 LR
-3 LR
-5 LG
-4 RC

On PT 76, I changed my timing strategies a little bit. LG stayed the same (finish 3, do as much of 4 as possible). LR I shot through quicker in general, relying more on initial intuition than spending extra time on harder questions up front. Seemed to help a little, maybe cut down on wrongly second-guessing. Going to test that again on PT 77. RC I did the same thing pretty much. Shot through quicker but still came up short on time at the end.

Currently planning to take and BR PTs 77-81 through next Thursday.

As always, I'm open to and thankful for any advice anyone might have as test day gets closer and closer!

sparkytrainer

Posts: 797
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:32 am

Re: HELP: How to get from mid 160s to 170+

You have SO many free points hanging in games. Stop doing anything else and go print out as many game sections as you can. DO THEM ALL. THEN DO THEM AGAIN.

You need to practice games OVER AND OVER. You have at least a week to go through the games. You could easily do 5 game sections a day right now for the next 7 days. You could get 35-40 sections in and you need to do that. Dont leave game points on the board. I guarantee you the vast majority of 170+ scorers had either super close to zero or zero wrong on games.

para219

Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:22 pm

Re: HELP: How to get from mid 160s to 170+

sparkytrainer wrote:You have SO many free points hanging in games. Stop doing anything else and go print out as many game sections as you can. DO THEM ALL. THEN DO THEM AGAIN.

You need to practice games OVER AND OVER. You have at least a week to go through the games. You could easily do 5 game sections a day right now for the next 7 days. You could get 35-40 sections in and you need to do that. Dont leave game points on the board. I guarantee you the vast majority of 170+ scorers had either super close to zero or zero wrong on games.

Just a point of clarification, do you mean 35-40 sections or 35-40 games?

sparkytrainer

Posts: 797
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:32 am

Re: HELP: How to get from mid 160s to 170+

para219 wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:You have SO many free points hanging in games. Stop doing anything else and go print out as many game sections as you can. DO THEM ALL. THEN DO THEM AGAIN.

You need to practice games OVER AND OVER. You have at least a week to go through the games. You could easily do 5 game sections a day right now for the next 7 days. You could get 35-40 sections in and you need to do that. Dont leave game points on the board. I guarantee you the vast majority of 170+ scorers had either super close to zero or zero wrong on games.

Just a point of clarification, do you mean 35-40 sections or 35-40 games?

Sections. So 120ish games.

abujabal

Posts: 291
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 1:32 pm

Re: HELP: How to get from mid 160s to 170+

griffinz wrote:
PT 72: 164 (RC killed me)

-6 LR
-2 LR
-3 LG
-10 RC

167 with -0 on LG

PT 73: 166

-6 LR
-4 LR
-4 LG
-4 RC

170 with -0 on LG

PT 74: 164

-4 LR
-2 LR
-7 LG (misunderstood critical inference)
-7 RC

171 with -0 on LG

PT 75: 166

-1 LR
-6 LR
-3 LG
-6 RC

169 with -0 on LG

PT 76: 168

-3 LR
-3 LR
-5 LG
-4 RC

173 with -0 on LG

Take a look at the bolded. I would not waste any time with forcing your way through 5 PTs in 7 days. At that point you're just liable to exhaust yourself and hurt your score more. Focus on LG and you can really help push your score. Plus spend some time on RC. That's really sinking you as well

Platopus

Posts: 1482
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:20 pm

Re: HELP: How to get from mid 160s to 170+

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Last edited by Platopus on Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

griffinz

Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:35 am

Re: HELP: How to get from mid 160s to 170+

I've spent all of my study time today working through LG sections. The only issue is that I'll be out of new LGs very soon, because I've played almost all of the games for every released PT - some multiple times. I guess it never hurts to redo some.

Agree on the note about RC too. I'm going to work through individual sections of those as well. RC always has been my easiest section, but the most recent PTs (72+) have caused me a lot of grief in RC. I used to average -3/4 per section. Any particular suggestions on how to get a better grasp on more recent RC sections? General RC tips?

Thanks again!

griffinz

Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:35 am

Re: HELP: How to get from mid 160s to 170+

Hi all,

First, good luck to everyone waiting for their Sept. scores! People have mixed feelings about this test - some good, some bad. I fall into the latter group. Easier LG, harder RC/LR with a tighter scale isn't my best case scenario for test composition. Based on my PT trends, this is the sort of test I score on the lower end of my average. Fingers crossed for a 165/6, already planning to retake in Dec.

During my last ~10 PTs, I hit 170 twice. My average was ~167. I'm determined to hit the 170+ mark. My problem is that I've taken all the recent PTs, and I've actually probably written every PT in part or whole through prep. So my stock of prep materials is running very thin.

Any prep advice moving forward considering my lack of materials and the info in this thread to snag a few more points in December?

PS: pretty sure I went -0 in LG barring any careless mistakes.

Thanks!

lsatlife

Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:24 pm

Re: HELP: How to get from mid 160s to 170+

Hey man I just posted a similar thread to this, I wish I would've read your thread before I posted lol! I think we're in a similar situation. I am currently planning on a dec take and am scoring around 165 with BR in high 170s. I also have only a few PTs left, with most of my missed points in RC and LG. I used to do well on RC (-3) but now I find it hard to be consistent(-7) with the new tests. Here is a thread I just found about improving RC to 170+: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=268204

I'll tell you what I plan to do. I plan to drill LG and RC sections/passages/games, during most/all of my free time. I'll be retaking all PTs 65+, so I can spend more time with the material. So I'm going through the drilling and thorough BR (why each answer is wrong and why the right answer is right) path.

I am currently redoing every LG from PT 49+, along side RC passages from 49+ again, with thorough BR.

I hope you scored well for Sept. We definitely have the potential to score into the 170s if the BR score is any indication. Let me know if you want to team up, we can do this!

griffinz

Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:35 am

Re: HELP: How to get from mid 160s to 170+

OP checking back in here.

Sept. results as follows:

-4 LR1
-0 LG
-5 LR2
-5 RC

(-14 = 167/94%)

I hit my PT average. Today is the deadline to sign up for December, and I can't think of a good reason not to take for a couple more points - despite having very few materials left.

Based on the above and the other posts in this thread, any specific prep advice between now and December? I haven't touched an LSAT question since Sept. 16 because I've found that a break does me more good than anything sometimes. Time to get back in the saddle though.

Thanks!

pricon

Posts: 162
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2017 4:05 pm

Re: HELP: How to get from mid 160s to 170+

griffinz, I'm optimistic about your potential and I like your attitude. Just keep grinding and taking breaks (listen to your body and mind). I was where you were for a long, disciplined three months (15 hours per week) before it crept higher. Just stick with it!

I can't give specific advice. Reaching your brain's potential is a personal thing, and the subtle tweaks that get you there are only things you can discover. Just keep grinding.

Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:14 pm

Re: HELP: How to get from mid 160s to 170+

griffinz wrote:I've been studying the LSAT off and on for over a year. On my first diagnostic, I got a 155. On my first real administered LSAT, I got a 161.

I've been studying again since late May to prepare for the upcoming September LSAT. My average score on timed PTs is 164 - (163 - low; 166 - high). Averaged, the breakdown looks something like this:

LR1 - (-4.75)
LR2 - (-4.25)
LG - (-6.25)
RC - (-3.75)

Logical Reasoning: I've been able to snag a point or two extra by using a strategy I read online a while back... I do the first 15, then skip to the end and do the last 3. After that, I skip around and do each question according to their perceived difficulty from a quick read. I usually don't miss any in the first 15. My errors come from the second half of the section, usually in the 16-22 range. I attribute that to 1) some are more difficult in that area and 2) I'm having to guess on a couple in that range due to my strategy. Ideally, I want to be able to finish the whole section without guessing but maintain accuracy. Any suggestions moving forward? I analyzed the questions I've missed in LR as a whole, and I found that I'm missing mostly (but not exclusively) inference and flaw questions. So, I've been drilling those lately.

Logic Games: This is mostly a speed issue. I try to tackle the easiest games first. Usually, I miss few if any on those, but end up having to guess on one game. That's where the bulk of my missed questions come from. I realize the answer to this problem is probably drilling like crazy, and I continue to do that - but any additional advice here is much appreciated.

Reading Comp: This has consistently been my best section since I started (thankfully). I incorporate it into my practice to stay on my toes, but I focus the least on this section.

I have a 3.75 GPA and want to get into somewhere in the UVA/UMi range, so a 169+ is imperative for me. As of this posting, there's about 1 month and 10 days left to study/practice for September. I want to use that time as efficiently as possible, so I appreciate any strategy/practice tips you guys have.

I started with a much lower Diag. I think the key for me has been discipline although I've had some slips. I would recommend studying consistently for at least a month without any big breaks and holding yourself accountable. Remove distractions if possible and study at a library for best results.

For LR, drilling question types really works. It comes down to not only understanding the structures of arguments, but being able to recognize patterns (sometimes even intuitively). I didn't start significantly improving on LR until I drilled all the question types from 1-20 twice. I started noticing things I hadn't before. I would advise you to drill heavily all the LR questions from 1-40 if you have time by type. This is 50% of the test and is well worth it after defeating Logic Games.

For LG, just keep doing the types of games you struggle with most. Try the 7sage method. Sometimes I get stuck on a question which throws me off, but I think with LG if you can finish the first two in less than 10 minutes, you have a solid chance of -0. So work on perfecting the easy games and doing them under 5 mins. This comes with lots of repetition.

For RC, if you find the answer please tell me as well. I am currently trying to work on this and find new ways of approaching passages. The problem here is that unlike LG and LR, RC has much much less patterns.

Good luck!

saffles

Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:46 pm

Re: HELP: How to get from mid 160s to 170+

griffinz wrote:OP checking back in here.

Sept. results as follows:

-4 LR1
-0 LG
-5 LR2
-5 RC

(-14 = 167/94%)

I hit my PT average. Today is the deadline to sign up for December, and I can't think of a good reason not to take for a couple more points - despite having very few materials left.

Based on the above and the other posts in this thread, any specific prep advice between now and December? I haven't touched an LSAT question since Sept. 16 because I've found that a break does me more good than anything sometimes. Time to get back in the saddle though.

Thanks!

Congratulations and you're amazing! I have no advice I can offer but speaking as a soon-to-be-first-time LSAT taker, this thread is very useful (documenting your progress and detailed breakdown). I hope to channel your passion in the forthcoming weeks. And good luck! You're gonna slay in December!