Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

DrOctagon
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby DrOctagon » Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:09 pm

1. Read the Logic Games Bible
2. Do one Practice Test daily, under timed conditions, for a period of 6-12 weeks, as your schedule permits.

Worked for me.
Last edited by DrOctagon on Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

esmagalhaes
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby esmagalhaes » Sun Oct 18, 2009 5:50 pm

Having just taken the LSAT and scored at a level that I think is generally thought to be very good - 172 - and being a generally opinionated guy, I have a few thoughts on LSAT prep.

(1) In practice tests I suggest only taking the official LSAT practice tests that are available. Why bother with the faux tests available with Princeton or whatnot, when the real McCoy is available? You'll take the practice more seriously if you know you are answering actual (former) questions. Also make sure to take some from recent years. In fact, there were a few questions in this last LG that were fairly different.

(2) I strongly advise taking lots of practice tests under timed conditions. One can time onself at the actual test, but it is extremely advantageous to develop a rhythm that will allow you to do all the questions in roughly 35 minutes without looking constantly at your watch. You start to feel whether you're going slow or fast. Of course, I ended up messing up on the stupid RC and having to blind guess on the last two.

(3) Take tests in timed conditions in the presence of others. Have your significant other proctor the test in an actual classroom. There'll be more stress; more pressure to finish; less likelihood of cheating (letting yourself fill in answers after the time is up, etc.)

(4) I strongly recommend the LGB. That was a life-saver. The LRB I found much less helpful. But that probably just speaks to my strengths and weaknesses, although it appears LG are a pretty nearly universal weakness. The LGB categories are really helpful. There really are standard games and thus standard strategies for cracking them.

(5) On LG I struggled for several months and I think that what finally helped turn me around - I missed 1 on the test - was that I started going back to the games that I did previously. Particularly ones where I had trouble. Obviously doing lots of games is helpful, but you really should be learning from your mistakes. Becoming better at the ones that are harder. Although there were two games that I never could crack!! Teachers being hired in various years who had to have different specialties. And the construction crew! My God. I had no idea how to crack those.

(6) Test day is all about getting in the zone. Get the concentration entirely on the question. A good way to do this, again, is to replicate test conditions as much as possible before the real deal. Do a test where you take a break for lunch. I wish I'd done that. I got kind of distracted during the pre-lunch section.

RedactionAndy
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby RedactionAndy » Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:25 pm

Here are my responses.

1) What score did you get? 175 (after 163 in June)

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc). Powerscore Logic Games Bible (ESSENTIAL, can't say this enough. Didn't pick it up until July. It was a game changer. It teaches you the RIGHT way to play the games.), Next 10 Actual Official Prep Tests, Super Prep (mostly for three more prep tests), PrepTests 48-55 and the free one on LSAC.org

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend? Took a prep class before the first test at a local university. Wouldn't recommend it.

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc) 6 months, about 15 hours a week, at least. Worked full time during my studies.

5) How many preptests did you do? 23.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again? Get the Powerscore LGB before the first test. Spend more time here on TLS, but be careful to avoid the nasty, demoralizing trolls.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

Some suggestions:

a) Make sure you get almost ALL the prep tests from 2005 on that are available to purchase. They are not included in any bound books, but you can buy them at a 4 for 3 price ($24 for 4) on Amazon.com. Do not skimp here. The tone and character of the test has changed significantly in the past four years (not necessarily harder or easier, just different). If you don't practice with these recent PrepTests, you will feel like you are meeting an unfamiliar beast when you take the real thing. Also, don't bother with the old book, the "10 More Acutal, Official LSAT PrepTests," unless you are desperate for more prep material. The stuff in there feels a lot different than today's tests. The RC sections are fine, though.

b) As soon as you are decently comfortable with all the types of questions on the exam, start taking the sections under timed conditions. USE THREE TIMEPIECES. Set a stopwatch for 35 minutes, and another for 30 minutes. Don't look at either while you work, and use an analog wristwatch to keep time yourself. This process gets you ready for the shock of hearing the proctor give you the five minute warning and then calling time.

c) Before you take any PrepTest, scan or make a clean copy of the Games section. You need to play EVERY game repeatedly until you COMPLETELY understand how it works. The LGB will guide you through some of the most important games, but you have to understand LSAT gaming deeply before you take the test. I began my prep pretty bad on the games. On the September test, I was able to GUESS the last two questions correctly while I was running out of time because I was so familiar with the "character" of LSAT games. I could kind of feel what the right answer was. That understanding came by playing every game over and over until I had it mastered.

d) Make sure you practice at least once with a five-section test. Randomly pick a section from another PrepTest and insert that section in one of your first three sections. Practice like you're really going to take it: go to a quite public place like a library, take the first three sections without a break (don't give yourself even a minute between sections, because you don't get one on the real test), take a 15-min break, then take the last two sections and the writing sample. Then you'll understand how exhausting the test really is.

e) On the day of the test, you will be nervous. Eat a protien-rich breakfast (Egg McMuffin is perfect), and take a filling snack with you. Also, go very light on the caffeine and other liquids. You don't want your bladder or your stomach distracting you. You don't have time to do ANYTHING but focus on the questions. Also, be aware that you will have 20-40 minutes of time between the time you are checked into the testing room and the time you actually start the test. You can't leave, and its the most nerve-wracking part of the whole LSAT experience. Prepare for it, and don't let it get to you.

Don't forget that LSAT prep take a LOT of time. I'd suggest 6 months of hard work, if you're starting cold. It's the hardest entrance exam out there, IMO. But you CAN get much, much better with practice. The test has a character and language all its own. You have to put in enough hours to know that character intimately. Good luck.

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Core
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby Core » Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:04 am

1) What score did you get?
168.
2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
The three Powerscore Bibles and the Kaplan Mastery Book.
3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend?
None.
4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc)
9 Months - during school and during the summer. 1-2 sections/day + a full PT every other weekend. Usually took 1-2 days off each week. I spent a couple weeks going through the Bibles and taking notes here and there. I worked through most of the Mastery Book over this 9-month period.
5) How many preptests did you do?
40.
6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
Nothing.
7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.
Simulate your practice sections/tests using the LSAT Proctor DVD. It'll get you used to what to expect on test day.
Also, cut out all the LR questions you get wrong, tape/glue them into a notebook, and write out the correct answer and an explanation under this cut-out. Review a couple pages of this book each day. This is key to improving in LR.

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Ragged
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby Ragged » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:01 pm

Adding to the pile.


1) What score did you get?

170

2) What books did you use?

Powerscore to get familiar with the test.
Then mostly Actual LSATs and read a few Kaplan and PR books, espessially on games.

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend?
None.

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc)

Started to get familiar with the test like 2 years before I took it, but seriously studied about 2 months before the test, 1 of which during school.

5) How many preptests did you do?

~25.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?

Study harder lol.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

I wish I had 175+ :P

Oh and... do as many timed tests as you can. Bubbling in the answers and everything. That is the best practice in my oppinion.

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daesonesb
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby daesonesb » Sun Nov 01, 2009 2:10 pm

got 167

Studied with the Princeton Review Cracking the LSAT book. Bought one of those practice test books and did all the LG's, plus about 4 timed tests.

Started studying about 1 1/2 months before the test. Studied about 2 hours a day the week before. Had school all during prep period.

No practice courses. (Philosophy minor, which helps alot with logic)

The best advice I can give is study smart, not hard. Do a couple diagnostic sections, and try and find out what you suck at. For me it was LG. I knew I couldn't get much better at reading comp or understanding arguments, so I zeroed in on LG. Every game which I couldn't do timed, I would come back to, walk through every question, and understand exactly why the answer was what it was.

I think to crack 170, I should've studied during the summer.

sticknbindle
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby sticknbindle » Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:52 pm

1) 161, 164

2) next 10 LSATs (or whatever its called)

3) Testmasters full length

4) I studied while going to school full time and working part time.

5) probably 18 or so

I wish I would have devoted more time to games... with enough prep you should be able to knock out games every time. I got a 143 on my cold diagnostic. Practice regularly and don't over think it. Both my scores were lower than I was expecting and I think a lot of it had to do with me stressing out and not relaxing.

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Cupidity
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby Cupidity » Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:06 am

Print out idividual games, keep them on you at all times. If you find 5-10 minutes between classes or at lunch, whip one out and do it. It keeps you sharp.

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daesonesb
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby daesonesb » Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:39 pm

Cupidity wrote:whip one out and do it.

:shock:

hopscotch
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby hopscotch » Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:17 pm

daesonesb wrote:
Cupidity wrote:whip one out and do it.

:shock:

we're deep into the lsat on this forum

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forza
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby forza » Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:49 pm

1) What score did you get?
173 on the September 2009 LSAT (raw score: 94)

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
LG Bible, some of the LR Bible, some of the Kaplan 2009 book, LSAC SuperPrep

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend?
None

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc)
I studied from July until right before the test. On off days, I'd review old preptests, look through the bibles, etc. During preptests, it was all business. Timed myself strictly with an analog watch. Added the extra fifth section, and factored in the 15-minute break.

5) How many preptests did you do?
Between 25-30.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
I would get one more freaking question right on the Sept 09 LSAT so I could have a 175 instead of a 173 :P

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.
Just study your ass off. This test can be beaten. I diag'ed at 161 and finished with a 173. +12 gain. It can be done.

Good luck, everybody!

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Lincoln
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby Lincoln » Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:13 pm

1) What score did you get?
168 (High score)

2) What books did you use?
Powerscore LGB (it's the most essential book out there, imo). every available practice test

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)?
None

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions?
Studied for 3 months while working full time. Went to library after work for 4 hrs 4 days a week, and took a simulated test (5 sections, lunch break, timer, quiet, etc.) every weekend. I also had a head start since it wasn't my first time.

5) How many preptests did you do?
30?

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
Make copies of every question I missed on PTs, see if I could find a pattern, and try to categorize my most commonly made mistakes. Also, get it right the first time!

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

Don't leave your hardest studying for the last week. The last time I took it, I tapered my study time after the last weekend, and did nothing the last two days. It really worked for me.

Good Luck!
Last edited by Lincoln on Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MC Southstar
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby MC Southstar » Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:17 pm

1) What score did you get?
171 - 1st take

2) What books did you use?
Powerscore LR book.

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)?
None

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions?
Studied for a little under a month while working full-time. ~2 hours a day on average I'd say.

5) How many preptests did you do?
A little over 10. maybe 15 at most.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
Study earlier.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.
Take a day or two off after intense studying to get the brain rolling again.

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solotee
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby solotee » Tue Nov 10, 2009 7:22 pm

1) What score did you get?
165 September 2009

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)

Powerscore LG/LR Bible, Kaplan Mastery, Superprep <--(didn't use much)

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend?

None, self-study

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc)

May 15th-September 15th (4 months). Diagnostic was 147 (improved 18 pts), took summer off, although I only studied 3-4 hours a day. Last month studied during full-time school.

5) How many preptests did you do?
25


6) What would you change if you were to do it again?

I wouldn't try to cram everything in right away, I burned out maybe 3-4 times. After reading all these testimonials, my goal was a 171. Had to lower my standards after I realized I hit a wall with RC.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

Read these testimonials as a motivation and realize that these individuals sacrificed a lot to get that score. It will not be easy, but it is there for those who really want it. Aim high, work hard and don't get discouraged by an off day, the LSAT does that to you sometimes.

uberzete
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby uberzete » Fri Nov 13, 2009 1:24 am

1) What score did you get? 163 (September 2009)

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc): Blueprint Test Prep Materials

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend? Blueprint, 3 month course

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc): I had just lost my job so I was able to focus on the LSAT. If you take a course don't treat it like an undergrad class, actually do the work. Before the test I was studying between 4-5 hours a day with a 10-15 minute break every hour or so. Do the work and you won't regret it.

5) How many preptests did you do? 4 proctored exams w/ Blueprint. 6-8 on my own.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again? Nothing really.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.: Sure it's possible to get a 170+ without a prep company but keep in mind those people are exceptionally talented when it comes to the LSAT. I think there are very few people who start off with an average score (let's say in the 150s) and just practice their way to a 180. Prep companies are expensive, but the investment is worth it whether you end up getting more scholarship money or getting into a higher ranked school.

Knittingwings
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby Knittingwings » Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:04 pm

1) What score did you get? 175 (first try- Sept 2009)

2) What books did you use? Kaplan, Powerscore LGB (a must!!)

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend? Kaplan 2 month class. it was a waste of time. The only good thing was I got a book full of old tests.

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc). While taking the class in the summer I didn't do much studying. I went to class twice a week and took 4 prep tests over the 2 month period. I also read through the powerscore LGB. Once September hit- I took 4 prep tests a week, graded them, and went through every question I got wrong.

5) How many preptests did you do? 25-30

6) What would you change if you were to do it again? Nothing really. I guess I wouldn't take the class.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions. I went from a 160 on my first diagnostic to a 175 on test day. Take as many practive tests as you can and you'll improve your score.

guardgrl2013
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby guardgrl2013 » Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:52 pm

1) 170

2) 10 more actual, official LSAT's, The Annotated LSAT (by REA), the 3 most recent PT's available online

3) no prep class

4) I studied for about 3 months, 2 seriously, while working 1 full time job and 1 part time job (so it was at most 1 section/study time per night and 1 PT per week on the weekends)

5) I would estimate I completed 8 timed PT's with 5 sections each

6) If I were to do it again, I wouldn't have bothered with the practice tests in the REA book. The explanations of different question types and strategies was a good intro to me, but you really can tell the difference from made up questions and the real deal

7) My random tips that worked for me:
-Once accuracy is developed, start timing sections at 30 min. each
-Learn time-saving techniques- circle tough questions, bubble in a guess, and come back to later
-Bubble in once per page turn to give yourself a mini mental break
-Walk around to get your blood flowing during the break, eat a light snack (and practice these techniques during your PT's) don't talk to anyone
-If you are NOT an early riser, do whatever you can to take the June test in the afternoon, take your PT's in the afternoon if this is your strategy
-Do your best to hype up every test, make wagers with a friend, or give yourself a reward if you hit your goal so you will take it more seriously

Also, I just wanted to throw out that my highest PT score was a 167 and I still pulled out a 170 on the June test. It is possible to do better than you think you will. Just knowing that (based on other TLS posters) helped me believe that I could do well the day of.

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CardinalRules
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby CardinalRules » Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:53 am

TLS1776 asked me to write a post for this thread. I scored a 178 (99.8 %ile) on the September 2009 test, missing one question in reading comprehension, one in each of the two analytical sections, and none in the logic games section. In the month of November, I received 4 LS acceptances, including HLS and 2 other t14s.

Here are half a dozen points of advice that I consider crucial to my success. Please remember that every individual is different, so what worked for me may not necessarily work for you.

1) Put in the time on practice tests. I did 30-35 PTs this summer before taking the test this September; by the time that the day came, I was in such a smooth mental rhythm that I knew the answers to many of the questions before looking at the choices.

2) Use the official LSAC practice tests rather than Kaplan or Princeton Review. I did use Kaplan and PR, but they were much less helpful and (gasp!) occasionally used outdated question types.

3) Don't spend too much money or time on formal preparatory courses. By relying only on my individual practice, I was more confident when actually taking the exam.

4) Pick a comfortable testing center in a pleasant setting. I drove to my venue a few weeks ahead as well in order to familiarize myself with the specific building.

5) Start getting up early ahead of time so that you don't sleep through the first section. I moved my schedule back about a week ahead in order to make sure that my brain was functional at 9:30 AM. (I even did some practice tests soon after waking up, just to get used to the idea.)

6) Don't let yourself get mentally derailed over a single difficult question or question set. Go through the rest of the section and go back, reminding yourself that you don't need to get everything right, and just try to pick up what you can from the most challenging part. If you're only struggling with one question set in one section, you're in better shape than almost everyone else!

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CardinalRules
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby CardinalRules » Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:55 am

If you would like further information or have more specific questions, feel free to either PM me or respond to this post. I apologize for not using the conventional format of this thread, but I thought that my suggestions were more clearly and directly presented in the form that I chose.

Best of luck in your LSAT preparations!

dreamscometrue
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby dreamscometrue » Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:58 am

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to post these helpful suggestions!

LSATclincher
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby LSATclincher » Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:01 pm

I haven't gotten to reading this whole thread yet. I have a few questions. I'm hitting around 156 now after roughly 2 months of study. I feel I am right on the cusp of breaking 160. For LR, I usually can narrow down to two answer choices. If I am wrong, I am usually picking the "sucker choice." I am also having problem with consistency in the LG and RC sections. My RC scores vary from 15-24 correct. My LG scores vary at about the same rate.

Any advice on avoiding the sucker choice and building consistency?

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solotee
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby solotee » Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:22 pm

I think this thread is meant for as a reference as opposed to a discussion board. I think your best bet is starting a topic in the LSAT forum for any specific questions.

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PerfectionarySugar
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby PerfectionarySugar » Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:30 pm

would you all recommend studying hard core for the next two months leading up to the feb lsat, doing a 4-5 practice tests a week, or spreading them out doing 1-2 a week up to the june lsat?

lakerfanimal
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby lakerfanimal » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:31 pm

boo_pragmatism wrote:
PerfectionarySugar wrote:would you all recommend studying hard core for the next two months leading up to the feb lsat, doing a 4-5 practice tests a week, or spreading them out doing 1-2 a week up to the june lsat?

The latter.


+1 for the latter.

jamesieee
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby jamesieee » Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:45 pm

lakerfanimal wrote:
boo_pragmatism wrote:
PerfectionarySugar wrote:would you all recommend studying hard core for the next two months leading up to the feb lsat, doing a 4-5 practice tests a week, or spreading them out doing 1-2 a week up to the june lsat?

The latter.


+1 for the latter.


I will disagree and say the former, if you truly have the time to take 4-5 PTs a week and review every one of them thoroughly. I started studying mid-December and devoted anywhere from 4 to 8 hours every day to it in January for the February test. I could do that only because I had nothing else going on at that point in my life. The complete immersion really got me in the zone both in terms of skills and mindset and made taking the LSAT second nature to me - I really felt like I could take it while sleeping. The down side is that you can only do this if you have at least a month of free time and you need a lot of self-discipline.




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