162 Diagnostic and 5 Months To Go

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162 Diagnostic and 5 Months To Go

Postby minisoda » Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:50 am

Hi all!

Long time lurker, first time poster. I'm planning on writing my official LSAT in January. I took my very first diagnostic LSAT on Sunday - I got a 162!

21/23 on Section I (Games)
20/25 on Section II (Reasoning)
18/25 Section III (Reasoning)
23/27 Section IV (Reading Comprehension)

I only have about 20 hours a week to study and I'm planning on writing in January (I work full-time in policy, and I'm also helping write a research publication).

Do you think the areas I'm suffering in can be massively improved between now and January 26?

How much did your score improve from diagnostic to official? Any helpful pointers for my situation?



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Re: 162 Diagnostic and 5 Months To Go

Postby TrashSplitter » Sat Sep 08, 2018 4:21 pm

For reference. I took the LSAT today and back in July. In July I got a 168. In the interest of disclosure, I also took it once 7 years ago and got a 162 (several points lower than any of my PTs before I took it and my lowest score besides my diag I will mention). I took a new diag in May and got a 160. I missed 6 on logic games. The consensus is that is the easiest to improve on, but I honestly think I bombed that section on the LSAT in July (don't know for sure because it was not disclosed) and I'm sure I improved my score across the board compared to the diagnostic.

Anyway, I say that because we were in similar starting positions and I improved by 8 points in less than two months, though some of this I attribute to leaving a terrible job. Getting a 162 on a timed diagnostic shows that you understand logic and what the test is trying to examine much better than the average person. You start in the 86th percentile of test takers. That's awesome. Improving your score is entirely possible in 4 months, especially given your strong start.

LR is your biggest area for improvement. That's harder to improve than if you got the same score and bombed logic games, but it's not that much harder. If you can find a pattern to the questions you miss (perhaps you miss a certain type of question stem more than the others), just focus on those questions for a while and then start practice sections. The best thing you can do is familiarize yourself with the test and learn the ways LSAC is trying to "trick" your brain. I put "trick" in quotation marks because "tricking" you is just a careful use of language to try to get your mind to make logical leaps that either aren't there or obfuscate a logical deduction that is obvious when you break down the constituent parts of the prompt.

Anyway, I'd just focus on LR at first and once you have that up to par with the others, have a balanced approach where you rotate practice sections and take full practice tests. Deal with any other weaknesses in RC and LG as they appear.

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Re: 162 Diagnostic and 5 Months To Go

Postby Pneumonia » Sat Sep 08, 2018 4:58 pm

If your 162 was a true diagnostic (i.e., you'd never studied the LSAT before and you timed your attempt), then 20 hours a week should be enough to massively improve your score. It is extremely rare to have a diagnostic that high.

Obviously you understand conditional reasoning. To improve your score, you'll want to formalize it. If you haven't already, learn conditional diagramming, contrapositives, etc. Learn to diagram the games. Look at a few dozen each of LR by type. From there, it will just be pattern-recognition.

All three sections test the same skill. The difference between them lies in the level of obfuscation between you and the rules. LG spoon feeds the rules. LR disguises them a little bit. And RC disguises them really well. But at the end of the day it's all the same thing. RC is usually the hardest to improve on because there is no way to quickly acquire the read and understand the kind of passages they throw at you. 23/27 is a great start, so I wouldn't worry too much about RC beyond getting further exposure to the passage and question types.

With holidays etc. you've got about 16 weeks. I'd spend weeks 1-3 drilling games, weeks 3-8 drilling LR (with a few games to stay fresh), and weeks 9-16 doing full-length practice tests under tests conditions (don't forget to add a fifth "experimental" section).

Good luck!


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Re: 162 Diagnostic and 5 Months To Go

Postby lawdude31 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:34 pm

You are in excellent shape. The fact that you got as many LR questions wrong as you did shows that there are definitely many LSAT points for you to gain as you really start to master the test. Almost misses in the games are also things that can be rectified with studying.

I believe that 3 hours a day is generally the most for studying anyway, so your allotment of time is fine, especially for 5 months. I prepared for my first LSAT in 3 months. So you will be fine, especially with a 162 on the diagnostic.


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Re: 162 Diagnostic and 5 Months To Go

Postby sadgrl » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:05 am

I started with a diagnostic of 162 as well. With a couple months (if I remember correctly, I think I took about 2-3 months preparing) reading through the Bibles, I ended up scoring 169. But, I'm a huge procrastinator and I was studying at the time and waylaid by finals so I'm sure you could do better. I only seriously practiced for about the last month. I ended up getting into a couple of the schools I applied to, but if I hadn't, I think I could've taken a couple more months and taken it again and done solidly in the 170s. I used the Bibles and of course tested using all previous exams. If you end up getting the Bibles, I suggest actually reading through them instead of just doing the problems. It takes a little while to adjust your intuition in tackling the problems, but I think the strategies they teach you are really helpful in becoming faster and more efficient. At first, I only used them for practice questions but once I started reading the strategies as well, I found that I could go through questions much more quickly.

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