can aptitude really be taught????? (LSAT)

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aniston958

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can aptitude really be taught????? (LSAT)

Postby aniston958 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:51 pm

aptitude is defined as natural ability, and that is exactly what the lsat seeks to test. so i wanted to ask can aptitude really be taught?? I mean yes i know that new skills can be taught differently ,,and for undergrad ive always relied on studying the material so hard to where it does become natural..but learning information to where it becomes natural is a much different and easier task for me(scored 140 on diagnostic) than learning to change the way HOW you naturally think..kind of one of the reasons why lots of ppl dont succeed in therapy to begin with lol.

i actually like studying and learning this test....its kind of fun because i like thinking logically and learning to evaluate arguments..so the hard work seems worthwhile to me considering that im not a stranger to it.

my sole question relates to whether hard work would pay off? for instance, i find it hard to be able to study for the "right answer" if the only material you have to study are previous tests. but if each different exam tests the same logic skills but in different ways rather the only difference among each exam being the content of the questions rather the structure of the questions, it becomes significantly harder to study for.

however , i feel as if the only way the hard work will pay off is if the same concepts are applied from one test to the next; for instance, if i completely understood which each answer was right and each wrong answer was wrong for a single few tests, would that guarantee i would be able to understand each question on the other exams? i am sure it will, but i just wanted to ask because i know many of you who have aced the lsat probably have seen many tests, and would be more experienced in answering this question.

i am just asking because for instance, i feel that a math exam that is given with the same exact problems but just different numbers substituted is far more easier to study for than test that expects you to solve new problems that you see for the first time on actual exams instead of prior assignments. not that easier is better as i understand that part of being a competent lawyer is being able to solve new problems, i am just curious as i want to see what im getting myself into.

thx

AJordan

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Re: can aptitude really be taught????? (LSAT)

Postby AJordan » Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:46 am

So, first things first, you ask great questions about the LSAT and its applicability. Your questions leave out crucial information, however. Your bottom line question needs to be considered against some sort of goal. Can someone who did well in undergrad, who learns material well in one way, improve from a 140 diag to a score that will allow her to attend a local/regional law school on a significant scholarship? I believe so. More specifically, I think that the person who wrote this email, with enough time and energy, would be a favorite to score a 160. Is that a pay off for you?

To your question about understanding a single few tests leading to an understanding of the hypothetical next test, that's actually the premise of at least one set of LSAT books (Nathan Fox's earliest books) and I find merit in the idea. After being in the weeds with this thing for over a few years I find that I see MAYBE two or three things that surprise me on each new test. Everything else is a rehash of something I already know. The same concepts are tested, especially up to the ~160 level, over and over again. All it really takes is a realization of what's going on to find the answer. For example, after the NOV test there was significant bellyaching done about "the mining game" which was, at its core, a fairly simple sequencing game disguised in a moderately difficult way. Nothing new. Just a different presentation.

Some students have problems learning that cannot be overcome with just standard LSAT study. The biggest one I see is a general unfamiliarity with the level of English at which the test is written. Some students just don't have the experience reading at that level and, in my opinion, it takes longer than a few months to get comfortable with it.

This is always a personal decision. Set attainable goals. For instance, when I first started studying I read enough opinion that basically told me that if I couldn't master logic games I wouldn't hit the score I needed to achieve my goals. I set out to master them as a sort of necessary step in the process. I told myself if I didn't master them then my goals weren't attainable. Once I did that, I moved on to the next goal. I set no time limit on myself. Spacing it out like that eventually led to my success. Maybe a smaller goal-oriented process would help you as well.

nixy

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Re: can aptitude really be taught????? (LSAT)

Postby nixy » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:04 am

I think this is an overly complicated way to look at the test. Whatever it calls itself, it’s learnable; there are a gazillion success stories on this site of people improving their scores. There are also lots of suggestions here about the best resources for study. But yes, in a nutshell, enough study shows that the test is testing the same concepts over again. The wording varies, but the basic principles that are being tested don’t. If you learn how to handle (say) sequencing games, you recognize sequencing games, whether the question is about movie schedules or conference seating or whatever.

Npret

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Re: can aptitude really be taught????? (LSAT)

Postby Npret » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:02 am

The same question types are used over and over. People can learn to recognize the question type. People can learn to solve logic games quickly by understanding them, for example.

So yes the test is learnable. Some people have to work harder than others.

Not everyone can get a 180 obviously but everyone can improve if they study correctly.

You will also benefit from the hundreds of takers who refuse to study or won’t study correctly or refuse to retake the exam for a better score.

Kaziende

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Re: can aptitude really be taught????? (LSAT)

Postby Kaziende » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:35 am

Yes, you can absolutely train yourself to think the way the LSAT requires you to think. You can train reasoning skills. You can train focus, mental stamina, and efficiency. You can even train yourself to be less anxious under testing conditions.

Source: Someone who self-studied from a mid-140s diag into the upper 170s on the actual LSAT with about 15 months of hardcore prep.

The reason almost nobody makes real progress on this test is because almost nobody studies enough, studies the right way, or approaches it with the right mindset.

You're not cramming for your high school history final. You are not memorizing and regurgitating. This is not a spelling bee. It's a 10k.
This is not a content-based test. It is a performance based test. Train like an elite athlete.

QContinuum

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Re: can aptitude really be taught????? (LSAT)

Postby QContinuum » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:34 pm

Kaziende wrote:The reason almost nobody makes real progress on this test is because almost nobody studies enough, studies the right way, or approaches it with the right mindset.

You're not cramming for your high school history final. You are not memorizing and regurgitating. This is not a spelling bee. It's a 10k.
This is not a content-based test. It is a performance based test. Train like an elite athlete.

The above is one of the best LSAT posts I've ever seen. The LSAT is unlike any typical final exam or even any other standardized admissions exam. It's not about cramming - there is nothing to cram. It's not about brute force memorization - there is nothing to memorize. It's not even about regurgitating - there is no information to regurgitate. Prepping for it should differ accordingly. Someone taking the GRE might very well benefit from one last session of cramming obscure vocabulary the night before. There's nothing similar that'd help with the LSAT.

aniston958

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Re: can aptitude really be taught????? (LSAT)

Postby aniston958 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:04 am

Kaziende wrote:Yes, you can absolutely train yourself to think the way the LSAT requires you to think. You can train reasoning skills. You can train focus, mental stamina, and efficiency. You can even train yourself to be less anxious under testing conditions.

Source: Someone who self-studied from a mid-140s diag into the upper 170s on the actual LSAT with about 15 months of hardcore prep.

The reason almost nobody makes real progress on this test is because almost nobody studies enough, studies the right way, or approaches it with the right mindset.

You're not cramming for your high school history final. You are not memorizing and regurgitating. This is not a spelling bee. It's a 10k.
This is not a content-based test. It is a performance based test. Train like an elite athlete.



what a great improvement !! i was just asking because while i know that the question types for each section such as LG and LR appear on each test, i feel as if a similar question type does is not necessarily equivalent to a similar reasoning type.. there's like a pattern of reasoning that a person has to follow to arrive to the correct answer. my question was more geared towards asking if the reasoning patterns are the same for each test, which makes studying and drilling from previous practice tests much more useful than if the reasoning patterns are different despite the question types being the same.



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