themillsman22 wrote:1) What score did you get? 166
2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
LR Bible: Mildly recommend.
Kaplan LSAT 180: Eh, it's ok. The Logic Games are so ridiculous that it makes the actual ones seem easy, but the other sections are weak.
Barron's Passkey: Nothing special.
McGraw Hill: Nothing special either. Gets you acquainted with the test like any basic review book.
All 3 of the 10 actual LSATs books: Obviously, as many have said before, this is the key. (Especially if you review and learn from mistakes ACTIVELY)
That said, if I could do it all over, I'd still probably buy all the books. The non powerscore books are usually around 20 bucks (Passkey is only 8 bucks), and they all have more practice problems and tests.
3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend?
4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc)
I started about 2.5 months before, and spent about a month reading basic books and getting acquainted with the test. Then during finals and after school I probably took one preptest a day for a solid month. About 2 weeks before the test I broke my leg and didn't take as many preptests religiously, which probably affected my rhythm come test day.
5) How many preptests did you do?
~40 total, ~30 official preptests.
6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
I would have taken a few more tests with other people or done something to better mimic the pressure of the actual exam. It didn't factor in too much on the exam day, but anything can happen. I think I would have focused less on taking preptests everyday, and done more studying. I think that's the only way I could have improved my peak because I plateaued at the low 170s.
7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.
Before the test I was ranging from 169-172 or so on my prep tests. Test day, 166. Such is life.
My best advice is to actually read this thread, because I would have modified my study habits much earlier had I been a member of TLS then. I don't think a prep course is necessary if you have the dedication and self-discipline to study consistently by yourself, and if you can learn well from reading. The Powerscore books are definitely a good investment.
Good luck to everyone, and I hope my advice helped someone else like other people's advice helped me.
I'll post in about 3.5 months after I get my retake score and update how things went that time around.
THOSE WHO PLAN TO RETAKE AND STUDIED HARD THE FIRST TIME-PLEASE READ
Well it's been 3.5 months, and I've retaken.
1) Score: 172
2) Books: 3 Books of 10 preptests plus 8 individual ones
3) No class
4) Like the first time, I started studying about 2.5 months before. However, I did a lot of things differently. I spread out my studying. Rather than take complete tests, or take them every single day, I took a section or two (or perhaps the full thing if I had time). I aimed for 3 tests a week. This was a great pace as I did not get burned out. The week before the test I took one test everyday, and twice I took 2 tests in one day. My entire study method was strictly testing and seeing what I did wrong.
The problem at the start of my studying was that I had already taken all the practice tests for June (at least the 30 in the books). It really doesn't matter. I mean, some questions might be familiar, but it's really all about learning the test, and the more you take, the better you'll do. When I took each section, one thing I did was strive for fast times (i.e. 25-30 minutes). The benefit of practicing faster is that on the real test, you can go back to the 2 or 3 that are tricky and use your extra time to solve those.
5) The second time around I took 38 preptests.
6) Luckily, I actually had the chance to do it all again. The only thing I might change this time would be to find a way to relax before the test. I was actually more anxious the second time. I kept thinking " I underperformed once, what if I do it again. " You have to do everything possible to try to push those pesky negative thoughts away, because they'll drag you down (and destroy your intestines during the exam)
7) I was truly shocked by my score. After the test I truly thought I needed to cancel (that first lsat messed me up so bad...). Thankfully I decided not to cancel and just let it fly. I was praying I did not do worse than the first time. I put a lot of work into studying, and I advise anyone who thought/knew they could do better to give it a try. Even if you don't do any better, at least you don't have any regrets.
I practiced a lot better the second time around as well, (high 170s on the ones I already took-- I really didn't put much stock in those scores) but 170-180 on the few preptests I didn't. Even if your confidence is shot after the first one, seriously, don't give up. If you do better you can always write an addendum if you have a good reason, too. Best of luck to all, and I hope my post encourages someone to toss their hat in the LSAT ring one more time.
Thank you I'm almost certain I will re-take this September at this point and I intend to follow some of your methods. I had planned to read all the powerscore books, do prep tests 3 days a week and review each the day after, and give myself 30 minutes to finish sections in case I go blank for a few minutes on the actual day. I've already ordered the books, and I hope to have them done by mid-June and start running practice tests.