Need Advice for Retake: Got 165 Want 169+

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Seamus5

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Need Advice for Retake: Got 165 Want 169+

Postby Seamus5 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:19 pm

Hello,

I scored a 165 on the June 2018 LSAT and at first was happy to pair that with my 3.94, but after reading TLS realized I ought to retake. No point to waste 4 years on that score. Even just 3 points higher (168) could make a huge difference. Hence, I'm retaking in November and was hoping someone might be able to provide some pointers with improving RC & LR score. It got me on the June 2018 LSAT. To explain my situation and provide context:

Started studying in January for June 2018 LSAT with weekly study plan. Out of college- work full-time so limited time to study each week.
Read, annotated, and reviewed Powerscore Bibles. After reading the Bibles and taking my first PT, I hit 162
I then focused for a whole month on drilling LG with 7Sage and consistently started to hit -0/1. I
After mastering LG and then isolating the LR Question Types that I kept missing (Flaw of Reasoning+PR Qs), I started to hit 169 regularly from May-June on practice tests.
Come June 2018 LSAT, I received a 165. I bombed the Scientific Reading passage and ran out of time on the Comparative Reading passage. Also, on each LR section two of the problems I missed were one of the first six problems. Interestingly, I never miss a problem in the 20s.

Any advice for improving on RC and those early LR questions? Any strategies that work for you particularly well? I do plan to switch to 7Sage for RC and LR prep this retake since it helped me reach -0/-1 on LG.

My path to success, as I see it, is to get RC down to -2, keep LG down to -0/-1, and get each LR section down to -3 then I'm golden. My goal score would be 169. Dream schools are Northwestern, Cornell, or Notre Dame with a large scholarship. Thank you in advance for the advice!

JoblessAndHopeless

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Re: Need Advice for Retake: Got 165 Want 169+

Postby JoblessAndHopeless » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:01 pm

Sorry I can't answer your question, I'm studying myself. I'm aiming for 165+, which you have achieved. My question is, did you use 7Sage and Powerscore bibles only? Did you go through all 3 of the bibles, and all of 7sage curriculum? And how many total PT did you take? Thanks in advance.

ShirokaneTakanawa18

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Re: Need Advice for Retake: Got 165 Want 169+

Postby ShirokaneTakanawa18 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:54 pm

I got a 166 first time and a 169 second time (slipped on logic games). Shooting for a 170+ this fall. My improvement came from having a specific, go-to-strategy for every single time of problem. Sufficient assumption? Look for the logic gap. Parallel reasoning? Abstract the logic and use variables to represent the entities. ID the Conclusion? Diagram a hierarchy of support. Also, have an idea of what potential trap answers there might be in advance.

This isn't to say that you should do exactly what I, or anyone else specifically does for each problem, but only that you are able to:

1) Discriminate between different problems
2) Devise your own specific strategy for each problem.

One last thing that screwed me in the last test:

Have a ready-made Plan B maneuver in case you get stuck on a question. It will be hard to know in real-time how much time you're spending on each question, so have an actionable list of techniques (ex. re-read, re-diagram, check off blatantly wrong answers and guess) that you can use to MINIMIZE THE TIME WASTED ON QUESTIONS YOU WILL NOT UNDERSTAND NO MATTER WHAT. This is important because you're probably not going to understand a problem more if you sink a ton of time in it.

Seamus5

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Re: Need Advice for Retake: Got 165 Want 169+

Postby Seamus5 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:32 pm

JoblessAndHopeless wrote:Sorry I can't answer your question, I'm studying myself. I'm aiming for 165+, which you have achieved. My question is, did you use 7Sage and Powerscore bibles only? Did you go through all 3 of the bibles, and all of 7sage curriculum? And how many total PT did you take? Thanks in advance.


No worries! Yes. I used all three bibles and I only went used 7Sage's free youtube Logic Game Explanations. I would start by doing the specific game, then watching the video explanation twice, then doing the game again. Then the next morning before work, I'd do the same game to make sure the 7Sage method really stuck. After doing that for a month, it is almost impossible not to get your score down to 0/-1 on LG section. I took 8 PT in total.

In my experience, don't waste your time taking timed practice tests until you have a solid foundation in the Games and other areas. Then use the practice tests to understand your weaknesses (e.g. Parallel Flaws or Science Passages) and then drill those. Hope this is helpful. Best of luck in destroying the LSAT!

Seamus5

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Re: Need Advice for Retake: Got 165 Want 169+

Postby Seamus5 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:35 pm

ShirokaneTakanawa18 wrote:I got a 166 first time and a 169 second time (slipped on logic games). Shooting for a 170+ this fall. My improvement came from having a specific, go-to-strategy for every single time of problem. Sufficient assumption? Look for the logic gap. Parallel reasoning? Abstract the logic and use variables to represent the entities. ID the Conclusion? Diagram a hierarchy of support. Also, have an idea of what potential trap answers there might be in advance.

This isn't to say that you should do exactly what I, or anyone else specifically does for each problem, but only that you are able to:

1) Discriminate between different problems
2) Devise your own specific strategy for each problem.

One last thing that screwed me in the last test:

Have a ready-made Plan B maneuver in case you get stuck on a question. It will be hard to know in real-time how much time you're spending on each question, so have an actionable list of techniques (ex. re-read, re-diagram, check off blatantly wrong answers and guess) that you can use to MINIMIZE THE TIME WASTED ON QUESTIONS YOU WILL NOT UNDERSTAND NO MATTER WHAT. This is important because you're probably not going to understand a problem more if you sink a ton of time in it.


Thank you! This is super helpful. Appreciate you taking the time to share your tips. I can totally relate to your last paragraph- I need to get better at selectively skipping questions!
Best of luck in the Fall! Your hard work and studying WILL pay off!

Seanathon

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Re: Need Advice for Retake: Got 165 Want 169+

Postby Seanathon » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:27 am

Hey guys! Just wanted to say thanks for this thread. I've been taking about 1 prep-test a week for the past 6 weeks and am starting to realize I'm wasting my time a little bit. The 7sage tactic you describe sounds really helpful. Good luck studying!!!

AJordan

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Re: Need Advice for Retake: Got 165 Want 169+

Postby AJordan » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:41 pm

For both me and the students I teach the 165-167 plateau is usually the hardest to break. There are a variety of explanations for that but the most common is that students at that point are usually very solid in their fundamentals and not missing easy questions. With that said, cutting your mistakes from ~16 to ~10 requires a few things.

1. A willingness to be honest with yourself in review. When you take a fresh section and you go back to the four questions you missed it's not enough to identify the error in your answer and the reason the correct answer is correct. You've got to start understanding WHY you chose the wrong answer. Are you reading too fast through the stimulus and not fully contemplating (the biggest flaw I see) or are you just not understanding some other base concept (definitions of words, question types, absolutist answers). The sooner you're willing to critically ask yourself why you continue to make similar mistakes the sooner you can start making some changes that will help you counter those mistakes.

2. A lack of will. Everyone has excuses as to WHY they can't get past a certain number. They all boil down, to an instructor, as "I just don't care enough to change what I'm doing". I'll be the first to admit that hard work isn't enough. I have seen plenty of students that will put in the hours. They just won't step outside what they find comfortable and spend the hours effectively. You need to set a goal number (2-3 per LR section, 3-5 per RC section is what I recommend for a 170) and you need to find a way to get there. Have you tried going slower? Have you tried doing the first 10 questions as quick as possible and then slowing WAY down from 11 onward? Depending on the student I've seen both of those strategies succeed. You've got to find a way to get easy questions right quickly and then find a way to efficiently use your excess time on the hard(er) questions.

Seamus5

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Re: Need Advice for Retake: Got 165 Want 169+

Postby Seamus5 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:42 am

Seanathon wrote:Hey guys! Just wanted to say thanks for this thread. I've been taking about 1 prep-test a week for the past 6 weeks and am starting to realize I'm wasting my time a little bit. The 7sage tactic you describe sounds really helpful. Good luck studying!!!

Definitely check out 7sage- they are awesome. Thanks, you as well!

Seamus5

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Re: Need Advice for Retake: Got 165 Want 169+

Postby Seamus5 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:45 am

AJordan wrote:For both me and the students I teach the 165-167 plateau is usually the hardest to break. There are a variety of explanations for that but the most common is that students at that point are usually very solid in their fundamentals and not missing easy questions. With that said, cutting your mistakes from ~16 to ~10 requires a few things.

1. A willingness to be honest with yourself in review. When you take a fresh section and you go back to the four questions you missed it's not enough to identify the error in your answer and the reason the correct answer is correct. You've got to start understanding WHY you chose the wrong answer. Are you reading too fast through the stimulus and not fully contemplating (the biggest flaw I see) or are you just not understanding some other base concept (definitions of words, question types, absolutist answers). The sooner you're willing to critically ask yourself why you continue to make similar mistakes the sooner you can start making some changes that will help you counter those mistakes.

2. A lack of will. Everyone has excuses as to WHY they can't get past a certain number. They all boil down, to an instructor, as "I just don't care enough to change what I'm doing". I'll be the first to admit that hard work isn't enough. I have seen plenty of students that will put in the hours. They just won't step outside what they find comfortable and spend the hours effectively. You need to set a goal number (2-3 per LR section, 3-5 per RC section is what I recommend for a 170) and you need to find a way to get there. Have you tried going slower? Have you tried doing the first 10 questions as quick as possible and then slowing WAY down from 11 onward? Depending on the student I've seen both of those strategies succeed. You've got to find a way to get easy questions right quickly and then find a way to efficiently use your excess time on the hard(er) questions.


Thanks for taking the time to respond, this is super helpful! II'll definitely try to implement a couple different methods when doing RC and LR on practice tests to see which method works the best!



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