Best way to prep for the LSAT for all you lucky top scorers?

abg591
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:24 pm

Best way to prep for the LSAT for all you lucky top scorers?

Postby abg591 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:07 pm

Curious to hear what generally worked best for you successful 170+ LSAT scorers. Few specific questions I have:

- The LSAT Trainer vs. PowerScore Bible vs. 7Sage vs. other self-prep courses?
- Private tutoring/coaching - is it a waste of money or helpful?
- How long did you prep for?
- How many times did you re-take?

Thanks in advance :)

sparkytrainer
Posts: 456
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:32 am

Re: Best way to prep for the LSAT for all you lucky top scorers?

Postby sparkytrainer » Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:09 pm

Took me a year. Did each lsat from 1-72 twice under best possible simulated testing conditions, and at least half of those a third time. Something like 200 practice tests. Scored over 170.

Anon-e-miss
Posts: 293
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 8:05 pm

Re: Best way to prep for the LSAT for all you lucky top scorers?

Postby Anon-e-miss » Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:33 pm

I scored a 174 on the September 2017 exam on my first attempt.

I took a diagnostic in October 2016 and score a 163 or 164.
I didn't start studying until late April 2017, and I studied about 20 hrs/week in May while working full-time. I self-studied using the PS Bibles and old Pos that I purchased on Amazon for pretty cheap (I couldn't afford a tutor or class). I also used the free 7Sage videos for the more challenging logic games

I plowed through the LG and LR Bibles (with intermittent drilling of each section type) in May in ~2 weeks each, and then started drilling LG and LR heavily by late May.

I started PTing in June (while continuing to drill) and took 18-20 full PTs (all in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s) prior to the test, and I blind reviewed half of them and just casually reviewed the other half.

By July, my studying decreased to about 8-10 hrs/week due to a bit of burnout and the feeling that quality > quantity in terms of my later prep. I already had a strong understanding of the material at this point and was more focused on strategies for avoiding reading mistakes, timing on LG, and consistency on full PTs

In August, I was doing 3 PTs every 2 weeks with review and occasional drilling of LG and problematic LR question types (Flaw; NA; Weaken)

I was averaging a 172 overall and a 173 on my month of PTs before the test, so the 174 actual score was slightly above my PT average, but only by one question. My PT range during my time studying was 169 - 179.

I think that my strategy is most effective for those who start off with a high (155+) diagnostic because it is a bit lower intensity and more focused on quickly understanding the material and refining your skills while PTing pretty consistently. Ymmv
Last edited by Anon-e-miss on Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

abg591
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:24 pm

Re: Best way to prep for the LSAT for all you lucky top scorers?

Postby abg591 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:32 pm

Anon-e-miss wrote:I scored a 174 on the September 2017 exam on my first attempt.

I took a diagnostic in October 2016 and score a 163 or 164.
I didn't start studying until late April 2017, and I studied about 20 hrs/week in May while working full-time. I self-studied using the PS Bibles and old Pos that I purchased on Amazon for pretty cheap (I couldn't afford a tutor or class). I also used the free 7Sage videos for the more challenging logic games

I plowed through the LG and LR Bibles (with intermittent drilling of each section type) in May in ~2 weeks each, and then started drilling LG and LR heavily by late May.

I started PTing in June (while continuing to drill) and took 18-20 full PTs (all in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s) prior to the test, and I blind reviewed half of them and just casually reviewed the other half.

By July, my studying decreased to about 8-10 hrs/week due to a bit of burnout and the feeling that quality > quantity in terms of my later prep. I already had a strong understanding of the material at this point and was more focused on strategies for avoiding reading mistakes, timing on LG, and consistency on full PTs

In August, I was doing 3 PTs every 2 weeks with review and occasional drilling of LG and problematic LR question types (Flaw; NA; Weaken)

I was averaging a 172 overall and a 173 on my month of PTs before the test, so the 174 actual score was slightly above my PT average, but only by one question. My PT range during my time studying was 169 - 179.

I think that my strategy is most effective for those who start off with a high (155+) diagnostic because it is a bit lower intensity and more focused on quickly understanding the material and refining your skills while PTing pretty consistently. Ymmv


Thanks, that's super helpful. So you'd recommend the PowerScore bibles for self study?

Anon-e-miss
Posts: 293
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 8:05 pm

Re: Best way to prep for the LSAT for all you lucky top scorers?

Postby Anon-e-miss » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:52 pm

abg591 wrote:
Anon-e-miss wrote:I scored a 174 on the September 2017 exam on my first attempt.

I took a diagnostic in October 2016 and score a 163 or 164.
I didn't start studying until late April 2017, and I studied about 20 hrs/week in May while working full-time. I self-studied using the PS Bibles and old Pos that I purchased on Amazon for pretty cheap (I couldn't afford a tutor or class). I also used the free 7Sage videos for the more challenging logic games

I plowed through the LG and LR Bibles (with intermittent drilling of each section type) in May in ~2 weeks each, and then started drilling LG and LR heavily by late May.

I started PTing in June (while continuing to drill) and took 18-20 full PTs (all in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s) prior to the test, and I blind reviewed half of them and just casually reviewed the other half.

By July, my studying decreased to about 8-10 hrs/week due to a bit of burnout and the feeling that quality > quantity in terms of my later prep. I already had a strong understanding of the material at this point and was more focused on strategies for avoiding reading mistakes, timing on LG, and consistency on full PTs

In August, I was doing 3 PTs every 2 weeks with review and occasional drilling of LG and problematic LR question types (Flaw; NA; Weaken)

I was averaging a 172 overall and a 173 on my month of PTs before the test, so the 174 actual score was slightly above my PT average, but only by one question. My PT range during my time studying was 169 - 179.

I think that my strategy is most effective for those who start off with a high (155+) diagnostic because it is a bit lower intensity and more focused on quickly understanding the material and refining your skills while PTing pretty consistently. Ymmv


Thanks, that's super helpful. So you'd recommend the PowerScore bibles for self study?

Yes
Some people prefer other things (like the LSAT Trainer) but I thought PS was very effective, and others on this board have echoes that sentiment
That being said, their RC Bible was slightly less helpful than the LG and LR Bibles, so I found myself skimming most of it. That may have been due to my natural affinity for RC and the fact that I read that book third, but make of it what you will. Their LG book is absolutely fantastic imo
Last edited by Anon-e-miss on Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

albanach
Posts: 1342
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:05 pm

Re: Best way to prep for the LSAT for all you lucky top scorers?

Postby albanach » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:29 pm

You're going to hear a lot of different responses, because people are different and different techniques work for different people. A timed diagnostic would be helpful. Advice would be different if you have a diagnostic of 150 vs. one of 166.

If you're already scoring highly, a course might find you a couple of extra points to get into the 170s just by explaining some questions types you weren't familiar with.

If you score lower, i.e. below the mid 160s, a course (or self studied course) might be helpful in laying a foundation. Thereafter you can simply work through lots of tests.

The LSAT is learnable by almost anyone who has the time, patience and resolve. How much of each you will need is unknown.

sd812
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:26 am

Re: Best way to prep for the LSAT for all you lucky top scorers?

Postby sd812 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:49 pm

I cancelled my first take, got a high-160s score the second time, and high-170s on my most recent take (December 2017). I studied, on and off, for around 1.5 years. This included periods of several months where I didn't touch any LSAT materials, though. I studied the most intensely leading up to the September test (got a 169) and then not at all leading up to December, when my score increased significantly.

The #1 thing is to take lots and lots of PTs. Under real conditions (all the way through, timed, and with an experimental section) because test fatigue is a big hurdle to overcome. Once you practice enough, you get a feel for the questions and they all start to seem similar. I was lucky in that LR felt pretty intuitive to me, and I never had to study formal strategies for it. I thought the parallel flaw questions were hardest, and missed more of those than any other type of questions, so I did some conditional diagramming practice for the hard ones and found that to be helpful where I couldn't immediately see the answer.

LG was by far the toughest section for me and definitely didn't come naturally. I tried the LG Bible, since it was so highly recommended here, but I didn't personally love their diagramming methods. I clicked more with the 7Sage videos and watched a bunch of those to learn some of the basic diagramming tricks. I then purchased the course (the cheapest plan, which includes all the lessons, is more than enough) and did the LG portion of it. Drilling games, and then watching the 7Sage videos, was the way I made progress. I can't recommend 7Sage enough. I still am not great at games, but toward the end of my practice, I was able to limit my losses to -5 per section very consistently, and I went -5 on LG on the real test.

I hesitate to make recommendations on RC besides "drill" because I didn't have a strategy besides reading carefully. This was always the most variable of my sections, since I would get anywhere from a -0 to a -3/4 without any real pattern, but I would recommend reading the passage first, slowly, and then looking at the questions afterward. I didn't find that taking notes on the passage was helpful, and in fact when I tried it, it ate up time and I did worse.




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