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

astrosag
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:26 pm

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

Postby astrosag » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:06 pm

I'm in the process of studying and I would recommend that you go through the LG Bible before attempting full tests.

Unless your skills at solving these problems come naturally, its better that you understand them, develop a couple strategies and then take prep tests. From my experience, LG is unique in that, by working outside of preptests (i.e.: LG Bible), you can develop a strong strategy to attack problems. With the reading comprehension and LR (to a lesser extent) I think simply taking preptests will hone-in your skills.

There are a limited number of preptests. I think learning LG through preptests will cost you a lot of time and wasted preptests.

Dripworx
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:12 pm

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

Postby Dripworx » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:09 am

Hey guys its my first post! just have a few questions about getting up to the 160+ marker on the LSAT.

I took a kaplan course summer of my junior year in college, didnt really apply myself in it because of work and other situations, and my last diagnostic read 140. Now, I have this summer to dedicate myself entirely to the LSAT no work, no bullshit. I looked through this thread and bought the PS LGB+LRB, and still have my old kaplan books from last summer. I also bought the LSAC "10 test" series (3 books: 30 tests). I want to essentially condition myself over the next 4 months to bring my score up from 140 to 160+...

my question: is it a reasonable goal to set? or am I setting myself up for failure driving for a 20+ point jump?

Thanks,

User avatar
TLS1776
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 3:23 am

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

Postby TLS1776 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:39 am

Dripworx wrote:Hey guys its my first post! just have a few questions about getting up to the 160+ marker on the LSAT.
[...]
my question: is it a reasonable goal to set? or am I setting myself up for failure driving for a 20+ point jump?

Yes, it's reasonable if you work hard enough. But you should have started a new thread; this thread is only supposed to be posted in by those who have already gotten a 160+ and want to tell others how they did it.

User avatar
Close Diamond
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:40 pm

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

Postby Close Diamond » Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:57 pm

1) What score did you get?

Mid 160's

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

PowerScore LGB, PowerScore LRB

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

Full PowerScore, though my extended curriculum was The LSAT Blog's 5-Month schedule (http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/ls ... edule.html)

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

5 Months while working part time.

5) How many preptests did you do?

20+

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

Try to relax better and not be a burden to my friends and family. As test day grew closer I grew increasingly irritable and frazzled which led to a downward spiral.

I'll be retaking.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

I believe that any college-educated English speaker can get 160. Getting a score in the 160's is a skill that can be learned with effort and patience. My practice scores went from 151 to 171 by the end of my prep. Be encouraged.

kacee
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:01 pm

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

Postby kacee » Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:15 am

1) 175, Feb 2010

2) Powerscore LGB & LRB

3) Internet prep course IE this forum! Best around and free to boot.

4) Took Feb 2010 test. Senior year of undergrad. Started studying in October and was pretty steady thru November. Quit my job in December but slacked off a bunch too, picked up the pace again in January when my last semester was just starting.

5) 15-20 altogether, but only a few of those all at once.

6) Avoid lapses in studying (I missed almost all of December), focus a little more on my problem areas instead of just taking PTs again and again and seeing what I got wrong but not really focusing on those question types. I spent too much time on logic games (I thought they were really fun) and didn't even glance at RC until January because I thought I'd be fine at it. I was "fine" but I could have learned a lot more by doing a bunch more practice sections, really looking at what I was doing wrong and learning the types of questions they used, which I didn't know as well since I only did the LGB and LRB. I was only a little bit of practice between my score and one two or three points higher. If you're shooting for a 175+, there is really no margin for error.

Oh also I would NOT have taken the Feb test. WTF with non-disclosure. Talk about torture. I'll never know where I went wrong. The only thing I got was my score, no raw score, no section breakdown.

7) Quite a few things! I went into even more detail here if you're interested, a few people found it very helpful: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=106656

* Practice with your analog watch!! Get used to resetting it to 35 mins before every section. No point in wasting seconds doing head math. Also practice w/ scantrons in the last month.
* Practice with individual PT sections, not necessarily whole PTs every time. Focus on one type or another each night you study, correcting the mistakes you're making & reviewing the advice in the Bibles. Focus more on the ones you're doing bad at. Sprinkle timed full-length tests in, espec. close to test date.
* Do the oldest as well as newest Logic Game sections. Some of the hardest ones are old. Otherwise do the newest material you can.
* Keep up with an interesting, semi-challenging book while you're practicing. Take some days off studying and just read instead!
* If that's your kind of thing, really phase out the ganja while you're studying and quit completely at least a month before the exam. Beware the fog!!
* Don't stress on the big day. If you really practiced, when you walk into that classroom and look around, you can be completely confident that you are better prepared than every other person in that classroom, almost guaranteed. It is exactly like doing a PT except you have this nice little adrenaline rush to keep you focused and no little distractions everywhere.
* Get really good sleep the week leading up to the test. Cramming probably isn't going to help, especially the last few days. Take Friday off. Don't stress too much if you can't fall asleep the night before. Read a book or a magazine until you can - don't lay awake in bed agonizing. I only got less than two hrs the night before but I was still well rested from the rest of the week so I felt fine and alert when my alarm went off.

Player21
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:39 pm

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

Postby Player21 » Sat May 01, 2010 6:42 pm

Question, where exactly do you purchase the actual real LSAT tests? And, how current are they? I want the most current as possible.

User avatar
Close Diamond
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:40 pm

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

Postby Close Diamond » Sat May 01, 2010 11:10 pm

Player21 wrote:Question, where exactly do you purchase the actual real LSAT tests? And, how current are they? I want the most current as possible.

You can get almost every test - including the most recent - from Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss? ... st&x=0&y=0). Or you can buy digital versions from Cambridge LSAT (http://www.cambridgelsat.com/).

ChewbaccaDefense
Posts: 70
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:03 am

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

Postby ChewbaccaDefense » Wed May 05, 2010 10:21 pm

1) What score did you get?

First score was 156, re-took three months later and got a 165.

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

PS LG and LR bibles. LSAC SuperPrep, all 3 books of ten, and all available individual preptests. Also checked out Ace the LSAT, Kaplan Orange Book, and the 180 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)

I studied from January 2009 through to December 2009. I work full time, hit the books hard from January - April, took a break, then studied hard again from May through December.

5) How many preptests did you do?

All of them.

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

In January of this year, after my 165, I realized how much diet can have on my mental performance. After cutting grains, beans, dairy, processed food, and added sugar from my regular diet, I noticed how much clearer I was able to think. For kicks, I took a new PT and scored a 172. ::palmface::

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

Make no mistake; this is going to be the most important test you will ever take. EVER. Your law school exams, your state's bar exam, the law review competition; they will ALL pale in comparison to the LSAT. If you ever find yourself slipping or losing motivation, just think that several points can make the difference of millions of dollars of lifetime earnings.

User avatar
TLS1776
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 3:23 am

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

Postby TLS1776 » Tue May 11, 2010 1:38 pm

This was posted as a thread in the LSAT Prep Forum; I am NOT quoting an earlier post in this thread:
ConsideringLawSchool wrote:Hi everyone--

I used this board a lot when I was studying for the LSAT, and I definitely would not have done very well without all the advice and tips from folks on here (thanks to everyone who patiently addressed all the individual questions I posted). I was fortunate to get a 177 on my first attempt. I do not claim that the advice below is original, but I have tried to collect the strategies that helped me the most as a way to give back for all the help I received :-)

I think that this approach may be particularly helpful to the following folks:
  • People who score 160+ with limited prep and are trying to get 175+
  • People who are very busy with work/school/life and have limited study time
  • People who have a limited budget to spend on prep

Below are the materials that I would recommend using:

The total cost here, assuming that you have access to free printing on a campus, at a workplace, or elsewhere is $250.

I also recommend taking advantage of the following free resources:

General advice for taking practice tests:
  • Go to a location other than your home that is fairly similar to (or a bit more hectic than) a test center. I alternated between the reading room at the local public library and the tables at a busy urban train station.
  • Set a countdown timer with a low beep for each section (if you have a smartphone, you probably have one built in). Put this timer out of view (just upside down on your desk is fine). You won't be able to see the proctor's timer during the real thing.
  • For your reference during the test, use the same large-faced watch that you will use during the real thing. Set it to 11:25 before each section. Use your watch as a guide the way you will during the real thing, but time is up when your out-of-sight timer beeps.
  • Always use a bubble sheet.
  • Mark any question where you don't feel 90+% confident. These marks will be useful in reviewing later--and in helping you to learn when your uncertainty suggests you are wrong and when it doesn't.
.
General advice for reviewing PTs:
  • Carefully review each question that you got wrong or that you got right but marked as uncertain. Many people like to write out why each wrong answer was wrong and why the right answer was right. I was a bit too lazy to do this consistently, but I do think that it would be very helpful. Someone on here gave the great advice that the ability to see why wrong answers are wrong is just as helpful as the ability to see why the right answer is right. If you can effectively eliminate 4 wrong answers, you're all set.
    .
  • If you're not completely sure that you understand why the right answer is right and the other 4 are wrong, look for posted explanations on TLS, on the Atlas forum, or on the Wiki. You can always post the question here or on Atlas, and folks are generally very kind in explaining.
    .
  • Use a simple spreadsheet to track how you many you miss on each section on each test. Also keep track of your raw and scaled scores. There are some much more complex tracking spreadsheets that have been shared on here. I personally did not use one, but I imagine they might be very helpful to certain people.
    .
  • Keep track of every single question where you were incorrect or uncertain. I just kept all my PTs together and highlighted in yellow each question that was wrong. You could also clip the questions. Do whatever seems easiest to you to keep track, but you will definitely want to revisit these questions in the future.

Here is the basic study plan that I would recommend. I think that you could follow this plan in as little as 2-3 months, but starting earlier is obviously better:

  • Begin by reading the LG Bible cover to cover, doing all the practice problems. I do not personally think that doing a PT before you begin the LG Bible is particularly helpful. If you want to get a baseline score, go for it. As far as I'm concerned, though, you just risk beginning to get into bad habits with the logic games (and getting frustrated with a low score since you won't know the basic strategies for the games). If there are any questions that you don't understand, come on here to find explanations. Go though each and every game until you can do it in under 8.5 minutes. You may find it helpful to make a photocopy of the games before you begin so you can redo them as many times as needed.

    I personally think the LG Bible is great for all game types other than Pure Sequencing/Relative Ordering and In-and-Out games. For those two game types, I prefer the Atlas strategies. One of their teachers has been kind enough to post their approach in the past. For copyright reasons, I don't want to repost his links, but I'm sure you can find them if you search the forums. Their pure sequencing strategy involves a tree format that I think is much easier than the PS Bible's complex series of arrows and lines. Their in-and-out strategy involves two columns with all the variables that I find much simpler than the PS method.
    .
  • Read through the written portion of SuperPrep. The first 100 pages (as I recall) offer a great analysis of question types and how to approach each section. There are also some practice questions. I really like this resource since it is written by the testmakers and is concise but effective. The reading is dense, but it's worth it, in my opinion.
    .
  • After you have finished the LG bible and the SuperPrep reading material, take a practice test under strictly timed conditions. If you live in a city where Kaplan offers free proctored tests, I'd recommend taking the test there (just being in a room with other test-takers and a proctor with a precise timer is very different from sitting in your living room with your cat on your lap and the chips and salsa nearby). After you review this test, you will know what your strengths and weaknesses are. If you ran out of time on sections (other than LG), that's not a huge problem at this point. This score is just a baseline of sorts.
    .
  • Do each PT from SuperPrep under untimed conditions. The goal here is to come to understand each question and answer. This book offers the wonderful resource of explanations written by LSAC. I would read every word of these explanations--whether you get the questions right or wrong. They really helped me to appreciate what sorts of reasoning the testmakers have in mind. Go back and revisit questions as many times as needed until you have them mastered.
    .
  • Depending upon how much time you have to study, your next goal is to master doing hard questions effectively. Ideally, you would have a month to dedicate to this phase of your studying. I would next go through the "Difficult Questions" LR set from CambridgeLSAT (again, this advice is primarily for folks who are doing well on most LR questions and want to get into the mid-to-high 170s) and the Logic Games from PTs 1-39. You may want to incorporate into this stage some RC sections too. I did not, and I somewhat regretted that. There are RC sections by type on CambridgeLSAT, so you may wish to download some sections that tend to be challenging for you.
    .
    • There are 400 questions in the LR "Difficult Questions" set. If you have a busy schedule, you can just do these questions a few at a time when you have down time. I took them with me wherever I went and did them whenever I was sitting on a bus, waiting for a friend, on a boring conference call, or on my lunch break from work. Time doesn't matter for these questions (within reason). All that matters is that you are able to figure out these hardest questions correctly. As with the PTs, mark and set aside any questions that you got wrong.
      .
    • Many people will tell you that the LGs from PTs 1-39 are difficult and funky. They are. Once you can master them, you will not be thrown by any LG that you encounter, even if they do not fit in the PowerScore mold. If you are able to do so, I would do all of these LG sections under timed conditions. Set aside 35 minutes whenever you can to do these sections. I did them primarily on the train to and from work each day (so it took me about 3 weeks to get through all of them). As with the PTs, mark and set aside any games you got wrong or could not complete during the allotted time.
    .
  • You are now ready to tackle full tests under timed conditions. You want to dedicate at least the final month of your prep to this objective.
    • There are many people on here who will tell you that you should do every single preptest (1-59). For those who are already doing well and have busy schedules, I recommend at least doing PTs 39-59. I decided to set aside 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM each weekday for studying during the final week. During 4-5 weeks, do 4-5 preptests each week.
    • Whether you do 4-section or 5-section preptests is up to you. If you do 5-section, add as the extra section a section from PTs 1-39. Generally add whatever type of section is most difficult for you to get the extra practice. If endurance is an issue for you, definitely do 5-section (or even 6). If you don't feel endurance is a concern and you are very busy, you may prefer to stick with 4-section. If you do 4-section, don't take any breaks between the sections (you'll build up endurance--and each PT will only take 2 hrs, 20 minutes).
    • Review each PT right after you finish it as described above.
    .
  • 1-2 weeks before the test, go back and review every question you have marked as problematic since you started studying. Redo these questions until you are getting them right.
    .
  • During the final week, do a couple new PTs. If you're going to be stressed out by the scores, don't score them. (Correct the answer sheet, but don't calculate the score.)
    .
  • Do a few familiar practice questions on your way to the test.
    .
  • Relax, do your best, have a drink!

I hope this advice is helpful. Pick what might be useful, and throw out the rest. Good luck!
Last edited by TLS1776 on Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

doublefocus4
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:05 am

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

Postby doublefocus4 » Mon May 24, 2010 7:35 pm

kacee wrote:1) 175, Feb 2010

2) Powerscore LGB & LRB

3) Internet prep course IE this forum! Best around and free to boot.

4) Took Feb 2010 test. Senior year of undergrad. Started studying in October and was pretty steady thru November. Quit my job in December but slacked off a bunch too, picked up the pace again in January when my last semester was just starting.

5) 15-20 altogether, but only a few of those all at once.

6) Avoid lapses in studying (I missed almost all of December), focus a little more on my problem areas instead of just taking PTs again and again and seeing what I got wrong but not really focusing on those question types. I spent too much time on logic games (I thought they were really fun) and didn't even glance at RC until January because I thought I'd be fine at it. I was "fine" but I could have learned a lot more by doing a bunch more practice sections, really looking at what I was doing wrong and learning the types of questions they used, which I didn't know as well since I only did the LGB and LRB. I was only a little bit of practice between my score and one two or three points higher. If you're shooting for a 175+, there is really no margin for error.

Oh also I would NOT have taken the Feb test. WTF with non-disclosure. Talk about torture. I'll never know where I went wrong. The only thing I got was my score, no raw score, no section breakdown.

7) Quite a few things! I went into even more detail here if you're interested, a few people found it very helpful: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=106656

* Practice with your analog watch!! Get used to resetting it to 35 mins before every section. No point in wasting seconds doing head math. Also practice w/ scantrons in the last month.
* Practice with individual PT sections, not necessarily whole PTs every time. Focus on one type or another each night you study, correcting the mistakes you're making & reviewing the advice in the Bibles. Focus more on the ones you're doing bad at. Sprinkle timed full-length tests in, espec. close to test date.
* Do the oldest as well as newest Logic Game sections. Some of the hardest ones are old. Otherwise do the newest material you can.
* Keep up with an interesting, semi-challenging book while you're practicing. Take some days off studying and just read instead!
* If that's your kind of thing, really phase out the ganja while you're studying and quit completely at least a month before the exam. Beware the fog!!
* Don't stress on the big day. If you really practiced, when you walk into that classroom and look around, you can be completely confident that you are better prepared than every other person in that classroom, almost guaranteed. It is exactly like doing a PT except you have this nice little adrenaline rush to keep you focused and no little distractions everywhere.
* Get really good sleep the week leading up to the test. Cramming probably isn't going to help, especially the last few days. Take Friday off. Don't stress too much if you can't fall asleep the night before. Read a book or a magazine until you can - don't lay awake in bed agonizing. I only got less than two hrs the night before but I was still well rested from the rest of the week so I felt fine and alert when my alarm went off.



Very helpful and funny too.

erudite.2010
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:40 pm

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

Postby erudite.2010 » Thu May 27, 2010 7:28 pm

I started my studying Monday for the Oct. LSAT. I'm aiming for atleast a 160.

I have the Atlas Self-Study program.

Has anyone used Atlas books for prep?

wrichcirw
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:48 pm

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

Postby wrichcirw » Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:37 pm

Great thread, thanks for all who posted.

I just took the Jun 2010 test, and after reading the posts here and doing a self-evaluation of my results, more than likely I'm going to cancel and retake in October. Here's the skinny:

1) What score did you get? I walked into Kaplan without any preparation three months ago, and scored a 150. After taking their class, my highest score on a prep test was a 163. I believe I scored substantially lower on the actual LSAT.

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc) None, outside of what was provided by Kaplan.

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend? Kaplan standard class, 2 months, one class per week in the evenings.

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc) Their class includes 10 3 1/2 hour sessions for 35 hours class time, I did about 1-2 hours homework per class, and spent about 30 hours in the final week, not including prep tests. I was taking a full load undergrad at the time, had finals in mid-May and missed two classes in April due to scheduling conflicts. So, probably about 60 hours total over 3 months - including prep tests, about 100 hours.

5) How many preptests did you do? 10 total over 3 months, all proctored by Kaplan. (side note - the prep tests proctored by Kaplan that were not part of the actual course were done in what were IMHO atrocious conditions - Kaplan's study room had two exits but only one door, and the exit without the door led to the break room. My last three prep tests before the 'big one' were taken under these conditions, and I saw my score steadily slip below 160 again.)

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

I am doing it again. After reading the thread here, and having the unfortunate circumstance of guessing on 7 questions on the sole logic game section (I had been averaging 90-100% over the last 5 prep tests at Kaplan), I'm more than likely going to cancel my score today or tomorrow. Kaplan was great - as you can see, it raised my score by around 10 points. However, I was gunning for a 170, and came about 10 questions short of that goal on my best attempt.

Pros and cons of Kaplan - you have to keep in mind that their standard class is open to anyone. There were undergrad students from Berkeley, two people working part-time jobs, and a couple working full time. Some were aiming for a 160. Others were aiming for higher. My point is that it's a bit difficult for Kaplan to focus on one type of goal during class time (in my case it was to reach 170). Also, it's bad business to scare people, and some of the questions on the LSAT are quite scary. This means that you get a very nice happy-cheery experience at Kaplan, and a potential nightmare on the actual LSAT if you don't grill yourself on harder material.

Their logic game prep was excellent, but as you can see, not perfect. I thought the Jun LSAT had games with little or no inferable points, which made for a most difficult section even in simple sequencing. Perhaps I was just having a bad day. I am still recovering from what feels like food poisoning (and this considering that I had monitored my exact diet for the past 3 days). I nearly crapped in my pants when I saw that there was an accident on the Bay Bridge...even though I still made it 45 minutes early to the testing room.

Their formal logic prep was atrocious, IMHO, when pertaining to the more difficult parts of the logical reasoning portion. Makes sense, right? After all, formal logic is scary, which is bad for business. This is the bulk of what I am going to do differently. They had some scattered formal logic throughout the course, an appendix that offered only key words without the correlating logical constructs (the full if-then statement), and some 'stratosphere' lessons which again, just offered a couple more key words to look for. One of the first things I will do is to find a good Formal logic reference (someone here mentioned a book by Gensler) and memorize it, apply it to the LSAT, and get it so that I can recognize and take apart formal logic stimuli within one minute.

Kaplan's online explanations for the more difficult LR questions were hit and miss. Some included a detailed formal logic structure for the entire stimulus and even for some of the answer choices. Others seemed to take the path that operated from first assuming you knew the correct answer choices, and then justifying why the others were wrong, many times without any sort of logical explanation - these were not at all worth the time or money spent on studying. All in all, it was my LR performance (my best so far has been 40/50 on this section) that convinced me that, especially given my performance on the games section, I will be cancelling and trying this again in October.

I will probably also buy the bibles; even a proctor at Kaplan admitted that he got his scores through self-study using the bibles (and not through Kaplan).

Lastly, nearly all of my prep was done under timed conditions. What I will probably try to emphasize in the future is to try to figure out the harder problems under untimed conditions first to see if I can eventually figure out the logic - THEN tighten the time constraints. Even during the last week I found myself guessing, or at the very least uncomfortable, with too many answers. On prep tests, sometimes this led to a 90% on a particular section...other times, it led to a 65%.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

It seems those that scored 10 points higher than I did did about 2x to 3x more actual tests. Luckily, Kaplan's course comes with over 50 real tests, so it looks like I'll be quite busy leading up to October with just LSAT prep. I recommend Kaplan if you need the interaction and a really good primer on the LSAT and a really good source of authentic test material, but otherwise, most of your fine-tuning (the main difference between a 160 and a 170, IMHO) will come from self study and strategies tailored to your specific needs.

Finally, on test day, this is a minor point - I tried resetting my watch for the top of the hour every section, and I forgot to do this during - you guessed it - the logic games section. Next time, I will probably just set the watch for noon at the start of the test, and just let it run so that I don't have to worry about resetting the watch after every section.

Cheers, and good luck! Oh, and wish me luck in October. :D

Eow
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:05 pm

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

Postby Eow » Sat Jun 12, 2010 9:26 pm

IT keeps being said to "Study old LSATs." Are there prep books that consist of nothing but old LSATs? Is the "10 More LSATs..." series an example of a good source of old LSATs to buy? If so, where is the best place to purchase it.

User avatar
LSAT Blog
Posts: 1262
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:24 pm

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

Postby LSAT Blog » Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:12 pm

Eow wrote:IT keeps being said to "Study old LSATs." Are there prep books that consist of nothing but old LSATs? Is the "10 More LSATs..." series an example of a good source of old LSATs to buy? If so, where is the best place to purchase it.


There most certainly are prep books with nothing but old LSATs, and the series you refer to is a good source of old LSATs.

There are 3 books of 10 exams each:

-10 Actual Official LSAT PrepTests contains 7, 9-16, and 18.
-10 More... contains 19-28.
-Next 10... contains 29-38.

PrepTests 39-60 are all sold individually. (There's no book of 10 for these.)

You can get the books of 10 for ~$20 on Amazon.

39-60 are normally $8/exam, but Amazon has a deal where you can get 4 of them for the price of 3.

Here's a list of the exams, and some other prep books, as well as where to get some of the oldest exams.

User avatar
TLS1776
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 3:23 am

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

Postby TLS1776 » Sat Jun 26, 2010 1:36 am

As Haribo put it, "Yay I've always wanted to post in this thread, and now I can!"

TLS1776's Thoughts on the LSAT

A little about me:
During my senior year of college I began looking into law school and discovered that my GPA would qualify me for HYS. However, my GPA was closer to their 25th percentiles than their 75th, and from an undergrad that was ranked around 75th in the nation (i.e. a good but not outstanding school). After reading about how the USA Today rankings work (and how influential they are in admissions decisions) I figured that with an LSAT score above the 75th percentile I would be a competitive applicant.

I also read that 1) law schools don’t typically care when you apply, 2) they prefer to see one LSAT score rather than a gradual increase over the course of several scores, and 3) a dramatic increase in your LSAT score is possible if you devote an immense amount of time to the test. All of this information suggested a particular ideal strategy for being accepted by HYS: focus completely on the LSAT until I thought I could get a score above the 75th percentile, and then spend as much time as necessary to get whatever work experience would make me an attractive applicant (assuming my numbers were still not sufficient). As time went on and I became better acquainted with the test, I learned that, because of frequent test-day drops in score, I could be PTing at the 176 level and end up with a 172 on test day from bad luck. So I dropped the “176+” mindset and started shooting instead for a perfect score.

My intended audience for this guide is people who are in a similar situation; people shooting for a perfect score. Certain things I label as “must-have” or “must-do” may not be necessary for someone who is just shooting for a 165 (or even a 175). I’m going to start the guide by following the format of the “How to Get a 160+ on the LSAT” thread, and then I’ll move on to some thoughts on various other aspects of prep that I consider important.

1) What score did you get?

A 180. However, I don’t think a person's score necessarily determines the usefulness of his experience; while prepping for the test I found that the best thing about advice on TLS was that it 1) motivated me to study harder, and 2) gave me study method ideas that I could use in my prep. I think this article is perfectly capable of meeting both of those criteria for others regardless of the fact that I got a 180.

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

I’m going to divide the material into three categories: “Phase 1”, “Phase 2”, and “Other Stuff”, to reflect a general trend I observed in my LSAT prep. In the first phase of LSAT prep I learned everything that the test-prep companies could teach me; in the second phase I had to move beyond test-prep material and learn things about the test that nobody had put in a prep book yet, or things that can’t really be taught but must be learned through lots of time spent with the test. Someone observing me would have seen me gradually shift from spending all of my time with test-prep books to all of my time with official preptests. “Other Stuff’ has material that doesn’t fit into the previous two categories, including supplementary material.

Phase 1 (“Learning the Ropes”)

  • Powerscore Logic Games Bible (LGB) – Must-have for those who start off weak in LG. Beware, though: I think it places far too much emphasis on making initial inferences. You will also need to be able to attack games by using hypothetical arrangements of the variables (hypos); Master the LSAT almost exclusively uses hypos, and thus is the Yin to the LGB’s Yang. I went through the LGB twice.
    .....Also: I tried and failed to memorize their categories (something they recommend doing). I wouldn’t worry about that; to use an analogy from my own life: you don’t need to be able to read music to be able to play a few particular piano pieces beautifully. In fact, when I’ve tried to play the same pieces by muscle-memory and then by referring to the music, I find that the latter makes me far less effective. To bring the analogy back: if you memorize the categories and then rely on them to decide on an approach to each game, you may end up taking longer and being less flexible than if you just learn what approach to take through repetition.
  • Powerscore Logical Reasoning Bible (LRB) – Must-have for the sections on conditional reasoning and what it calls “formal logic”. The rest of the book is recommended but not necessarily “must-have”. I went through the book twice.
  • Powerscore Reading Comprehension Bible (RCB) – Recommended. I never bought this; instead I went through part of my study partner’s copy. I also never went through the whole thing. Nevertheless I would recommend you go through it just so that you give RC the time it needs. If you’re shooting for a 180 you may end up in a situation similar to many others, in which you spend so much study time focusing on LR and LG that you neglect RC and lose a disproportionate number of points there.
  • Powerscore LGB Flash Cards (LinkRemoved) – Recommended. I went through the flash cards once, set aside the ones that I had trouble with, and then went through those difficult ones a few more times. I think it was helpful, but it was definitely one of the more expensive parts of my prep ($25 for not many hours’ worth of prep). My biggest problems with the cards are that 1) I found a lot of them too easy to be helpful, and 2) the deck doesn’t contain some things from the Bible that I was hoping to use the flash cards to learn. Nevertheless, I think it’s probably worth going through them once after your first or second pass through the LGB just to test yourself and make sure you’ve absorbed everything.
  • Powerscore LRB Flash Cards (LinkRemoved) – Recommended. I must warn you: I bought these but never really used them. However, I just flipped through a few and think it’s probably worth going through them once after your first or second pass through the LRB just to test yourself and make sure you’ve absorbed everything. My biggest problem with the cards is how much they cost ($25).
  • Master the LSAT – Must-have for those who start off weak in LG, for its emphasis on a hypo-centric approach to LG. Many games will require you to use hypos rather than make initial global inferences, so you can’t rely solely on the LGB’s approach. Just make sure you actually read his explanations if you want to get the benefit of seeing a different approach. I didn’t go through this book until well after I’d gone through the LGB twice.
    - I got this book on the recommendation of a 180er, but not specifically for its LG section. To be honest, I was instead interested in its RC section, which I’d heard good things about. In hindsight I don’t remember that section being helpful, but it was worth going through it anyway.
    - The book was written back in the ‘90s and uses fake questions to teach the material; I approached it as a supplementary text and would not recommend it as someone’s sole source of test-prep material.
    - According to Steve Schwartz of LSAT Blog, the preptests in the back of the book are 7, 8, and 9 respectively, while the split-up one is preptest 2. This book was the way I was able to take preptests 2 and 8.
  • Kaplan’s LSAT 180 – Not Recommended. This is the first LSAT test-prep book I looked at; I checked it out of my local library, did a few of the LG and LR sections, and then didn’t use it again because they were too hard for me at the time (it uses fake questions that are often more difficult than anything actually on the LSAT). I gave it a second look later on in my prep and decided not to use it because the fake questions seemed too dissimilar from those found on the LSAT. Nevertheless, if you’re shooting for a 180 I’d recommend you look at it at some point and decide for yourself whether to use it.
  • Informal Logic (Walton) – Not recommended. I got this because JDewey, a 180er, recommended it. I already had a good grasp of logical fallacies and so didn’t find this helpful (if you don't have a good grasp of logical fallacies, search Google for one of the many compilations of them). Nevertheless, if you’re shooting for a 180 you should probably check it out from a library anyway and see if it does anything for you.

Phase 2 (“You’re On Your Own Now”)

  • 10 Actual, Official LSAT Preptests – Must-have. Yes, the tests feel different (for new people: there is a common belief that PTs have changed a lot over the years). In hindsight I probably would have put them to better use as experimental sections for the next two books (see below).
  • 10 More Actual, Official LSAT Preptests – Must-have. I ended up buying two copies: One for an initial pass (many months before game-day), and a second copy for a second accelerated pass within weeks of game-day.
  • The Next 10 Actual, Official LSAT Preptests – Must-have. I bought two copies and went through this twice as well (see above).
  • The Official LSAT SuperPrep – Must-have. The long introductory section is well worth reading for insights into the test (the test-makers acknowledge that they try to trick you in certain ways); I didn’t end up reading most of the explanations for the questions because I didn’t find them especially helpful, although I probably should have read them all anyway just in case there was some nugget of wisdom I could’ve gleaned. The games sections from PTs B and C are the hardest official games sections I encountered in my prep.
  • Individual Preptests 39-59 – Must-have. I was able to get hard copies of every PT except 39, which I ended up printing out at Kinkos from a pdf I got off the Internet. Amazon has a 4-for-3 deal; I also got a bunch off craigslist.
  • ACE The LSAT Logic Games – Must-have. It contains 14 sections with explanations, and the games will make almost anything LSAC throws at you seem like a piece of cake. The trick is to get good enough that you can finish the section and fill in the answer sheet within 35 minutes (rather than just do each game individually and take as long as you want). It may not be a good idea to use this book until you’re already very good at LG. I had already gone through the LGB twice, Master the LSAT, and many PTs before I started using this. I got this book after hearing about it from bgc, who got a 179 and went to Yale. I ended up using the sections as my warm-up before each 5-section test I took, and it was a very, very good idea.
  • LSAT Proctor DVD – Must-have. It isn't perfect, but it's well worth the money. I used this DVD every time I took a PT, and even when I was taking individual sections (e.g. my warm-up ACE section before PTs). It will get you VERY comfortable with having a proctor announce time (rather than using a watch to keep track yourself). Aside from choosing the option to take a full 5-section test (with 10 minute break), the DVD also lets you jump in during any one of the sections (via a chapter menu), or lets you take the 5 sections in a noisy environment (sneezing, people entering and leaving the test room, people tapping on the desks, etc.).
    - I ended up being very happy that the DVD simulated a 10-minute break, because on the real LSAT I got a 15-minute break. A 10-minute break forces you to eat and use the bathroom about as fast as you can, which makes a 15-minute break feel like a lot of time. Had I been using my own timer and taking 20 minute breaks, though, that 15-minute break may have felt like no time at all. Remember this basic idea: your training should at least occasionally be tougher than the actual test.

Other Stuff:

  • Will Shortz’ Ultra Easy Pocket Sudoku – Recommended. I found Sudoku boring but useful for learning certain lessons: First, the importance of double-checking your work: if you make a mistake in Sudoku and don’t immediately notice it you will have to start over again from the beginning. I eventually learned that the best way to prevent this from happening was to double-check every number I filled in; I carried this lesson over to the LSAT’s LG section by double-checking my hypos against the rules as frequently as time permitted. The second important lesson was that it is important to develop the ability to hold various bits of information in your mind at once. I discovered this after a 180er recommended that I do the puzzles without writing any notes down; eventually I got good enough with LG that I was able to visualize some hypos without having to draw them out (but this method can be very liable to mistakes, so be careful).
  • USA Today Everyday Logic: 200 Puzzles – Recommended. Like Sudoku, I found this book boring but useful. It includes a variety of puzzles that are very different from LSAT logic games, but the ones that are most similar to the LSAT games are useful for learning certain lessons. First, I learned the importance of paying close attention to details in the clues; USA Today puzzles will invariably try to sneak in bits of information without your noticing it, and learning to spot those tricks made me more likely to look back at the rules in an LSAT game to make sure I had a correct understanding of them. Second, I learned the importance of returning repeatedly to the clues to see what the next step is in the chain of inferences that will lead you to the solution. You’ll have to make many passes through all of the clues to solve an entire USA Today game; likewise, on the LSAT there are often times when you need to make multiple passes through the rules to see how a certain given piece of information eventually forces certain variables into certain positions. You can see an example of this in the scanned LG section later in this guide.
  • Kaplan LSAT Writing Workbook – Recommended. Most people advise that you not spend much (or any) time preparing for the writing sample portion of the LSAT; most people are also not going to get into HYS. Take the writing sample seriously. That said, I didn’t buy this book and I didn’t read most of it (the parts that focus on common errors in grammar, spelling, and composition); the book’s most useful advice is on what step-by-step method to follow when approaching the writing sample, and can be condensed to a page or two (which I copied into a word document and used to refresh my memory). The other useful part of this book is the collection of several prompts and completed writing samples they offer; I copied one prompt and sample response into a word document and used it as a stylistic comparison for my own practice samples (e.g. Did I spend too much space discussing the first criterion? Was my language too informal? Did I touch on all of the major issues?). I doubt my writing samples were outstanding examples of argumentation, but I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to walk into the LSAT without having practiced at least a few times to get the timing down and learn what basic elements to include.
  • The Economist & Scientific American – Recommended. The LSAT seems to take a lot of its RC passages and LR topics from articles in the Economist and Scientific American. Even the prose style of the LSAT seems to echo those magazines (especially the Economist). I probably read fewer than 10 magazines’ worth of articles during my prep, and wasn’t able to fulfill my goal of reading every current copy of the Economist from cover-to-cover leading up to the test (it simply took too long and I got bored). I instead tried to find books that I found interesting and would be excited to read.
  • Other Reading Material – Above all you should look for books that you find interesting (as long as they aren’t fluffy), but if you need recommendations then you might be able to make use of this list of books that I read while I was prepping: Guns Germs & Steel (very relevant to LR and RC passages about Native Americans and our evolutionary ancestors), Anna Karenina, Consider the Lobster and Other Essays (very engaging), Economics in One Lesson (a bit dry but very useful; its short chapters make it easier to stay motivated), essays in Chomsky’s For Reasons of State that caught my eye (his writing makes RC passages look like a joke), selections from Feinberg & Coleman’s Philosophy of Law that caught my eye (some of these, too, make RC passages look like a joke), Law’s Order, Ivy Briefs, The Monk and the Riddle (highly recommended), Good to Great, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Being an Entrepreneur, and probably others that I can’t remember.

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

None. It’s often asked whether taking a prep course a good idea. I think the answer probably depends on an individual’s situation. I must admit that, of all the people I’ve seen who’ve gotten a 178+, I can’t recall any who did it solely by attending a prep course. I have seen the instructor profile of a guy who works for Blueprint which says he got a 180 after taking a Blueprint course, but Blueprint sounded so excited about it in the profile that I can’t help but wonder how much of it was Blueprint’s doing and how much of it was a result of lots of individual time spent with the test. I think a prep course may be useful to move more quickly through the first phase of LSAT prep (“learning the ropes”), but if you’re serious about a 180 you’ll probably end up wanting to read the various test-prep books out there anyway to pick up any bits of advice that your prep course didn't include (or that they did include and you forgot about).

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

I sat for my first PT on a whim, without preparing at all, at a Kaplan event at my college in March 2009; I got a 161. I sat for the actual exam in June 2010. I studied intensely during my Spring break of ’09 and then almost not at all during the rest of the semester. I graduated in early May of that year and then basically centered my life around my LSAT prep. I had a one-day-a-week internship from June till November (of ’09) and then got a job as a substitute teacher in January of 2010, but otherwise had no commitments. This is not to suggest that I was studying 20+ hours a week for a full year; I was definitely more relaxed through most of the process than I would have been if I was operating on a 3 or even 6 month schedule. In fact, I often went for weeks in the summer without cracking any books. However, even using a relaxed schedule I was able to devote a larger total number of hours to my prep than people who study for 3 or even 6 months (see below for my estimate of total time spent prepping).

5) How many preptests did you do?

That depends on what you mean by “do”.
- If we’re talking about the number of PTs I saw, the answer is 57. I did almost every widely-available preptest. I did not do 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 17 because I didn’t know of an easy way to get my hands on them, but I did the rest from 2 to 59, including A, B, C, and 51.5 (June 2007).
- If we’re talking about the number of times I simulated the test-day experience (3 sections, break, then 2 sections, on a test I haven’t seen before), the answer is 37 times, at an average rate of about once a week.
- If we’re talking about the number of times I did 4 or more sections in a row (where “in a row” includes 5 or 8 section tests with a 10 minute break after section 3 or 4 respectively): the answer is 56. The 37 tests listed above plus the 19 I retook leading up to the test.

To get more general:
- If we’re talking about the number of times I did a full section at once, including full tests, individual sections, and repeats, I would estimate the answer would be 85+ PTs’ worth of sections (so 340+ sections). I’m getting this estimate by adding the 57 PTs I went through plus the 19 PTs I retook, plus the 14 sections from ACE The Logic Games book (about half of which I took twice), plus individual sections that I did with my study partner at Borders, plus a few other sections I can remember doing.
- If we’re using the question to get an idea of the total number of hours of my life that I’ve traded for my score on the LSAT, I would estimate the answer would be somewhere between 300 and 400 (hours). I’ll now explain how I came up with this range:

198 – The 340-section estimate above results in 198 hours’ worth of studying.
50 - I also went through the LGB twice, the LRB twice, and Master the LSAT once (if we estimate each takes an average of 10 hours to get through, that’s 50 hours total). So now we’re up to around 250 hours.
25 - I did ~150 sudoku puzzles, and if we estimate 10 minutes a puzzle that gives us another 25 hours, bringing it to 275 hours.
10 - I’d estimate I spent at least another 10 hours on the USA Today puzzle book, bringing it to 285.
5 - At least 5 hours going through typed-up LR questions that I’d gotten wrong, bringing it to 290.
10 – At least 10 hours (and almost certainly more) spent searching TLS for advice, compiling it, reading it, and rereading it (I’m not including time wasted on TLS perusing amusing-but-useless threads). That brings the estimate to at least 300 hours.

On top of all that there was a lot of miscellaneous studying (e.g. staring at a logic game, LR question, or RC passage for an hour to figure out how it worked), time spent traveling to and from various study locations (Borders, libraries, Kaplan centers for practice tests), time spent at Kinkos printing and cutting out dozens of LR questions, and probably other things that aren’t coming to me.


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

- I did not spend as much time preparing for the writing sample as I probably should have, mostly because I hated practicing for it: I’m a deliberate writer and don't like writing under extreme time constraints (obviously I’ll have to get over this when the time comes to prepare for law school exams). I was also worried about spending too much time focusing on the writing sample (to the detriment of my actual score). I should have been doing one practice writing sample each week from the very beginning of my prep, and I should have focused less on the timing at the beginning than on having good form (i.e. following the steps outlined in the Kaplan book, such as having an outline of all the ideas you will mention and then sticking to it). In that sense the writing sample can be approached a lot like the LG section of the test.

- I did not spend as much time preparing for RC as I probably should have, mostly because I was so concerned about LG and LR. If I could do it over again, I probably would have started using old RC sections to warm up before my 5-section PTs rather than ACE LG sections (once I got good enough at LG to tackle ACE sections without trouble).

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

I have quite a bit more to say about the LSAT. For the rest of my thoughts, see my guide at the link below:
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=120471
Last edited by TLS1776 on Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
TLS1776
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 3:23 am

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

Postby TLS1776 » Sat Jun 26, 2010 1:44 am

The following is advice from Bryan; you can find the original thread at the link below:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=121667

Bryan wrote:Hey, long time lurker, first time poster. Actually, this is my first time ever posting on an Internet forum.

I got a 180 (-1 on LR) on the June 2010 LSAT. I would like to thank all of you who post on this website; I really don't think I could have done it without your help. This post in particular was very helpful for me. I did not follow OP's study plan exactly, but it's great advice and the 400 most difficult LR questions was probably the most useful purchase I made-- I think it really helped me get over the hump. This site overall provided me with a lot of invaluable tips and strategies: for example, I doubt I would have ever heard about the PS Bibles if it was not for TLS. I scored fairly high (about a 170) on my diagnostic and was scoring in the mid 170s after reading the LG bible but I believe it was the guides and specific question explanations posted on here that allowed me to get 180. Beyond just substantive advice, TLS was also great for me because it is a place full of people who have similar concerns, neuroses and fears about the test. So, thank you to those who have posted on those huge long threads these past few months. I apologize for not contributing and I hope to fix that in the future.

For those who want to reach a 180 or close to it, I think it is a good idea to approach the LSAT like a sporting event. I have never been involved in music or theater but I imagine it is a similar process. So, nutrition, sleep, "tapering" and having a solid daily routine are incredible important parts of studying. I was lucky in this respect because I have a full time job so I was forced to abide by a pretty rigid schedule. On test day, you need to arrive at the center in a focussed zone. I was surprised by how many people at my center did not seem to do this. Everyone should believe they can get a 180 and that they can get each question right-- I think it was this attitude that allowed me to approach each question effectively and confidently. I personally thought about each question like I think about a 5 foot putt. I'm confident I can make it but I know that rushing or doubting myself is a recipe for disaster. Whenever I had to reread a stimulus or got frustrated by a game, I would take a few seconds to stretch or take a deep breath. I think this is similar to stepping back from the putt and rereading the green.

Anyway, I'd be happy to answer questions about my preparation or anything like that. I'd just rather not talk about my school or state because I figure only 20 - 30 people get 180 each year and I am from a fairly small state. Thanks.

katiem
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:32 pm

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

Postby katiem » Sat Jun 26, 2010 3:02 am

TLS1776, I doubt I could ever put that much effort into anything. Seriously impressive. Congrats, dude :mrgreen:

This probably isn't as helpful as some of the great posts above, but this was the first TLS thread I read and I'm just super-excited to post on it now.

1) What score did you get? 177

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

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend? None. I got a good score (low 170s) at a Kaplan event last year and was told that a prep course would be totally useless.

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc) Started studying in March, studied kind of off-and-on during school (finished LGB, the games in the Next 10 book, and LRB), then started doing full preptests after school ended in May.

5) How many preptests did you do? 15. 3 of those were split up to make 5th sections, so there were 12 actual sit-down-and-take-a-test tests.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again? More prep tests and more thorough review of prep tests. It seems like most people around here did more PTs than I did, wrote out analyses of the questions they got wrong, etc and basically you're just always going to wish you did more (unless of course you get a 180). I also probably should have started studying earlier, because finals and then getting settled after the end of school took a few weeks away from studying. And I shouldn't have slept until noon for weeks before the test, since I had to get up at 9 to drive to the test center.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions. It helped me a lot to drive to the test center a few days before. It was a pretty intimidating drive and location, so going there in advance meant one less thing to be freaked out about on test day. Also, if you're planning to do a warm-up section or anything, do that somewhere where you can't see the other test takers. It sounds dumb, but I totally failed at trying to do an LG section while watching all these people walking past with their ziploc bags (of course in my head they all looked smarter and more confident and better prepared than me :P ).

hopscotch
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:25 am

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

Postby hopscotch » Sat Jun 26, 2010 1:46 pm

1) What score did you get? 170

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc) Powerscore LGB, Powerscore LRB, 410 Most Difficult LR Questions by Cambridge LSAT

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) First considered the LSAT the beginning of my senior year, then took a Kaplan proctored LSAT and got a 163 on it. Light prep at the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year, virtually nothing for ~8 months until my 2010 graduation. After graduation/the end of exams, I hit the LSAT hard for the month until the June administration. This is obviously abbreviated, which is the main reason I'm typing this. I realize that a lot of people don't have the tons of time to prepare for the LSAT that others do. Obviously, in a perfect world, I would have spent a summer prepping. I do think, however, that with proper preparation, you can get 170+ in a month of studying.

5) How many preptests did you do? About 15, from 39-59.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again? Not too much. I would definitely have used my analog watch to time myself, as the first time I used it was during the actual test. This was pretty dumb in retrospect, and probably resulted in missing a question on the real thing. At the top margins, this obviously is a huge deal.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions. This forum is a goldmine. The vast majority of the posts here contain great advice. However, if you feel something doesn't work for you, then don't do it. This applies to all prep methods. For example, although I used Powerscore methods for most of my diagramming, for In/Out games, I found their methods lacking and switched to a slightly different style. Do whatever works for you.

Second, I think logic games require more prep than is currently thought on this forum. Gone are the days where you could learn LG in a few days and depend on -0/-1. The games in the 40s are a joke and will lure you into a false sense of security. Do the games in the 30s and the 50s over and over again. Atlas LSAT also makes their own logic games which are more challenging than the ones you will see on the test. I recommend doing some of these to test the exactness of your reasoning. You don't want to have to retake because you got confused on a logic games section.

Third, I recommend the use of a sleep aid the night before the LSAT, but only use it if you have used it before and taken a prep test the day after. I definitely have trouble sleeping before exciting events, and getting 8 hours of sleep the night before definitely helped me to feel refreshed on test day.

Fourth, realize that RC asks the exact same things over and over. Once I realized that it was virtually the same as LR/LG I did better on it.

Fifth, I'm convinced this test has become much harder in the last few years. LG/RC are noticeably more difficult in the 50s as opposed to the 40s. Prepare for a score dip after going through the 40s.

Sixth, really consider this law school decision. Despite my score and the effort I put into it, I am unlikely to go to law school. The economy is horrid and a ton of people are attending law school. This score stays on file for 5 years, law school is a decision you can easily put off.

Bryan
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:27 pm

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

Postby Bryan » Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:01 pm

My prep approach was very similar to what hopscotch just posted, but here goes anyway:

1) What score did you get? 180

2) What books did you use? Powerscore LGB, Powerscore LRB, 410 Most Difficult LR Questions by Cambridge LSAT

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend? None, but I did do a free proctored LSAT offered by Kaplan at my school.

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc) During the end of my junior year, I started to read through the logic games bible, then did a diagnostic and continued to practice games from early tests. I probably did around 10 or 15 hours of studying over the course of a month but I stopped because of finals. In the six weeks in between the end of school and the test, I studied around four times a week, with each session lasting three or four hours. I was working full time, so all my studying was after work or on the weekends at the local public library. I tried to study as little as possible in the weekend before the test.

5) How many preptests did you do? Around 15 or 20. These were pretty evenly spread from 1 - 59, though I made to sure to do all the tests from 54 onwards. I tried to always do them with experimental sections and in test conditions. (no eating, 10 minute break, not checking answers between sections, etc)

6) What would you change if you were to do it again? Probably nothing. Maybe I would have started emulating test conditions earlier. For the first few weeks, I wouldn't print off the PTs that I bought from Cambridge LSAT and I would just do the test on the computer, recording answers on Notepad. I became much more confident and efficient when I started printing off the PTs, using real bubbling sheets, and timing myself with an analog watch rather than my laptop or my cell phone.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions. Understand the intuition behind all the methods that you use. So, even if you use Powerscore, make sure you understand all the steps and that you could solve the games without diagrams if necessary. I found that helpful whenever I couldn't slot a game or LR question into a specific type. For example, I got a bit flustered and didn't diagram properly or use Powerscore methods during the mulch and intern games but I was still able to work my way through them quickly with hypotheticals and 'brute force.' Also, I think I saved time by not getting wrapped up in the proper ways to diagram or annotate. I know this doesn't work for everyone but I never wrote, underlined or highlighted on either RC or LR. (except to draw slashes through eliminated answer choices)

Also, really focus on maintaining a positive attitude towards the test. This forum is great, but it can also sometimes lead to doubt and negativism. Conquering nerves and being physically and emotionally ready on test day is crucial. I know this kind of advice can often sound corny but I really believe techniques like creative visualization are important. I don't think I know the test material any better than those who score in the high 160s or low 170s but I do think that I was able to stay very focussed and remain confident/upbeat throughout the test.

User avatar
quasi-stellar
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:14 pm

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

Postby quasi-stellar » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:37 pm

Thanks to all the contributors, but where are all the June high scorers? Really expected more activity in this all time greatest thread at this point :/

User avatar
theavrock
Posts: 601
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:52 pm

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

Postby theavrock » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:08 pm

Stoked to finally be able to post in this thread. I remember reading through most of this thread (yeah I am a total loser) and loving the contributions so hopefully I can give back.

I'll confine most of my advice to my retake, because I didn't do well at all the first time around. I will say this though that I thought I knew better and that I was a special flower and that is why I got a 155 the first time around. The second time around I took some of the most echoed/credited pieces of advice I could find by combing this forum and dedicated myself to it.

1) What score did you get? June 09: 155 June 2010: 166

2) What books did you use? Powerscore LGB, Powerscore LRB, LSAT Superprep, 10 Actual official LSAT etc.

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

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? Started in mid February. I basically did a slightly modified version of the PP study guide. Phases 1 and 2: drilled games and LR by question type with a RC passage with a full length test at the end of each month to gauge progress. Essentially I was getting the basics down at this point.

Started taking full length tests (5 sections) exclusively in Mid April. Did the test under strict time conditions. Did them in public places to increase concentration and with the watch I would use on test day. I basically tried to simulate test day conditions or worse.

5) How many preptests did you do? 22, all of the tests from the Superprep and then every test from 41-59.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again? Probably nothing. I would spend more time learning the conditional reasoning and the other "formal" types of logic and reasoning. I did well, but I couldn't tell you what a necessary and sufficient condition are. I just recognized them after doing a lot of problems. I could have probably saved myself some more time if I would have put some more of those rules in my head from the bibles.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions. In my opinion it is absolutely essential to test yourself under test like conditions. Analog watch, unfamiliar surroundings, one section directly after another with a 15 min break. This isn't the key to learning the LSAT, but it is the key to knowing where you are in prep and where you are likely to score on test day. The first time around, I fooled myself into thinking I was more prepared than I was and I bombed it.

Allow yourself some room to breath during studying. I studied for 2-3 hours every week night after work, but gave myself the weekends off to have fun and enjoy myself. There is no reason or need to study 6 hours a day 7 days a week. You'll burn out and who wants that. The key is not to study the most, but the most effectively.

Get your friends and family on board. Let them know what you are doing and tell them about it. My friends were bummed when I would turn them down to go out after work for a beer because I had to study, but the more I told them about my schedule the more support they gave me and really turned in to a fan in my corner. You need those.

Create a schedule and track everything. I literally figured out how many questions I wanted to do and then figured out how many days I had to study so I would know exactly what I needed to do to get everything I wanted done. I had an excel spreadsheet and graphs with trendlines and bar graphs showing me how I was trending and what types of questions I was missing the most of. My calendar has dates that I was taking each PT and what I scored. I love data, so maybe its just me, but it is really helpful to get a grasp of what is working and what isn't.

Hope this long thing helps some of you out there. Remember whenever anyone tells you good luck with the LSAT, just tell them that luck is simply the byproduct of putting yourself in a position to capitalize on opportunities placed in front of you. Make your own luck on this test by killing it with good preparation.

smithryan94
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:40 pm

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

Postby smithryan94 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:20 pm

Seems that a lot of you have used the Cambridge LSAT "410 Most Difficult LR Questions" guide. I am having trouble finding this in my usual spots. Anyone want to pawn off their copy or point me in the right direction?

Bryan
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:27 pm

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

Postby Bryan » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:02 am

smithryan94 wrote:Seems that a lot of you have used the Cambridge LSAT "410 Most Difficult LR Questions" guide. I am having trouble finding this in my usual spots. Anyone want to pawn off their copy or point me in the right direction?


http://www.cambridgelsat.com/productdet ... stions/336

I don't think there is a hard copy. But you can just save to PDF, and then print sections at your leisure.

TonyStarks
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:19 pm

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

Postby TonyStarks » Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:03 pm

Is anybody else planning on using the 3 month plan offered here on the lsat blog?

http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/3- ... edule.html

Norlan
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 8:45 pm

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

Postby Norlan » Fri Jul 09, 2010 2:54 pm

TonyStarks wrote:Is anybody else planning on using the 3 month plan offered here on the lsat blog?

http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/3- ... edule.html


how effective is it given that it was posted in 2009?




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bryzzo2016, kindofcanuck, Majestic-12 [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 11 guests