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

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

Postby emoryfan » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:13 pm

To be clear, I own the Blueprint full length LSAT books, the full length Testmasters180 books, and the full length Powerscore books. In the end, I am unsure about which system to trust. Above all else, I own the Powerscore Bibles, the Deconstructed series, and moreover, the Powerscore Training Type Trilogy.

I have gone through the Testmasters180 books and the Powerscore Bibles (LRB, LGB, RCB). Clearly, then, I should expect a 160, at the very least.

What is more, I do indeed plan on taking the February LSAT.

If indeed I own all of these books, then, in my case, what should my study plan be?

At any rate, I wish you all a Happy New Year.

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

Postby Chimica » Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:47 pm

I've been waiting a while to post on this thread. I wanted to see if I actually did better before I added to this.

June 2010: 166
Dec 2010: 171

There is some great advice on this thread and I used a lot of it the first time round. However, I want to share my secret when I went from 166--->171 and I can sum it up in 1 word.

Sleep

I'm not talking about a good nights sleep the night before the test. I'm talking about avoiding chronic sleep deprivation. I have a delightful young baby who was 1 1/2 at the time of the June test and waking up 4-6 times a night. By the time December rolled around she was only up 2-3 times and I could count on a solid 5 hours of sleep if I got to bed early.

When I started studying for my retake, I didn't really study as much as round one. I read the Powerscore Logic Games, redid all the logic games (prep tests 30-60) at least once and the difficult games a couple times. I did 4 or 5 full tests. But from the beginning, I was just better. I was faster. I made less mistakes. I finished with time left over. In short, I was smarter. I then protected my sleep and went to bed early most nights to get the solid sleep while baby was asleep.

I spent the last two nights before the LSAT in a seperate floor of the house and let my husband have full baby duty (but I did that in June as well).
I know the vast majority of LSAT writers do not have kids, but likely have other factors leading to sleep deprivation. This doesn't hurt so much in knowledge based tests, but LSAT is pure logic.


So sleep tight!
Last edited by Chimica on Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby mottainai » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:46 am

1) What score did you get?
160/170

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
I took a TM course, but felt that I wasn't ready. So I waited...and waited...studied...and studied with Powerscore books and PTs.

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend?
Like I said above, self-study and a TM course. The TM course taught me the basics, but I had less of an incentive to work hard. To be honest, seeing how other people did on this forum really lit a fire underneath my behind and gave me the motivation to keep studying.

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc)
I work in Japan at the moment as an instructor. After work, I would study 2 or 3 hours a day, while taking PTs on the weekend or on days where I felt that I had enough energy. Taking a PT when you're exhausted doesn't help much.

5) How many preptests did you do?
I probably took about 25 PTs as tests and studied around 20 more as practice material.


6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
Drill, drill, drill. It should be almost second nature to spot out the shell game/answers that look right at first glance, but wrong after closer inspection. I suspect I could have scored higher if I had drilled more.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.
As a previous poster mentioned, sleep is very important, but more importantly, RELAX. The first time I took the LSAT, I was PTing in the mid 160s. I had a series of things go wrong on test day and it screwed me up during the real thing. I forgot to set my watch in one section, and it spiraled down from there. The second time I took it, I knew the test center, what to do, how to warm up, knew the protocol, and got a good night's rest.

Another thing - don't study so hard the last week. It IS tempting to take one last PT to gauge how well you're going to do right before the test, but it isn't worth it. You need to have things down pat. You need confidence. Realize that there is an interval you're going to score in - if you hit the low end of that before your test, you might psych yourself out.

Hope this helps. If anyone has any questions, feel free to PM me.

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

Postby ElvisAaron » Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:25 am

1) What score did you get?
167/171

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
Powerscore LRB, LGB, Lsac SuperPrep, Cambridge by-type LG and LR

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 time I allotted 2 months. Second time I barely did anything at all in comparison.

5) How many preptests did you do?
All of them from 35-60, but mostly broken up as sections at a time due to time issues. I would do 2 sections at lunch, one after work, and the last one the following day etc. I work a C-level, 60 hour a week job so my study was very late nights and weekends. I only took about 10 of them as full one-sitting tests. Never took a 5 section test.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
I would have focused more on LG from the start, which was always a weak point. I hit a -1 once before October and then assumed I had gotten it and moved on to heavy LR study, which in retrospect I did not need. I firmly believe anyone can become a -0,-1 LG scorer. Having a -0,-1 section in your back pocket going into a test is priceless and should be a goal.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.
Honestly I think the retake concept is where its at. I should have planned on the retake the whole time, might have reduced stress. I worked through October full of anxiety. Some family medical issues led to even more time constraints that didn't help either. Studying in the hospital waiting room twice a week is not ideal.
Got tunnel vision during the exam I was so adrenalized. I might add that the peer pressure inherent in TLS contributes to the stress, no doubt. I've never questioned my intelligence so much or was so afraid of getting a sped bus score as I was in October.
By signing up for the retake I was able to relax, realize "Hey,I KNOW this stuff", and do well with minimal study. It was liberating. I focused solely on obvious weak points and ONLY studied during my lunch hour, for 4 weeks in November. Laid back...and did much better.
Do not underestimate the benefits of relaxation.

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

Postby ATR » Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:12 am

1) 164 (October 2010), 169 (December 2010)

2) Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, practice exams

3) No prep courses

4) October: studied for 2 months, off-and-on. For the three weeks before the exam, I would study ~3 hours/day after class. December: 2 weeks, but only because I studied a lot for October and messed up one game to bring me down from a 167 to 164.

5) About 20 prep-tests (15 before October, 5 between receiving October score and December exam. Also did focused work for both exams).

6) I would spend more time studying for the first exam (retaking is not fun).

7) Find your weaknesses and drill them. I was good at LR and RC, but LG gave me problems. Thus, I worked focused sets of them in between PTs.

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

Postby Jerkovsky » Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:45 am

Was told this is a better location to place my advice:

Score: 178
Prep Books used: All three powerscore bibles
Prep Courses taken: none
How long did you study: 6 months, at about 3 - 10 (avg = ~5) hours per week
How many preptests: 10 - 40, 50 - 61
What would you do differently:
- I would have focused more on time management. I never ran out of time during practice tests on sections, so I never worried about it, but on the real thing I did run out of time on LG. Had I ever learned to pace myself or at least to skip ahead when stuck on a problem, I would be sitting on a 180.

Any other comments or suggestions:

General:
- Others have mentioned it before, but I want to re-iterate that this was the most important lesson of my studying: Out of the 5 answer choices, one is 100% correct and the other four are 100% wrong. If you don't see this, you are doing it wrong. When reviewing, make sure you see this!
- Even if you are a high-scorer whose results can be ruined by skipping only a few questions, GET USED TO SKIPPING QUESTIONS! I never learned this, and if I had looked ahead at game 4 of LG instead of banging my head against the wall on the 3rd game, I would have done even better.
- Never look back: if you are unsure about a question, answer it or skip it, but don't keep thinking about it when you move on to the next one.

LR:
- In the test booklet, I crossed out every single wrong answer choice. It forced me to consider them all and made a huge difference.
- Parallel Reasoning questions suck and are time consuming.

RC:
- This is actually exactly like LR, except the setup of the question is a page long instead of a few sentences. Everything you practice for LR still applies here.
- READ FAST! It's fine to re-consult the passage if you forget something, but taking too long to read it can kill you.
- Unless explicitly stated, don't look past the words on the page for what the author may imply. Once you get past the smoke and mirrors, almost all answers can be found directly in the passage.

LG:
- Be flexible in your diagramming and answering of the questions. For example, some lend themselves to looking for the right answer, others are easier solved by eliminating the wrong.
- No matter how much of a natural knack you have for this section, go through the Powerscore bible. It will give you a steady framework to go back to in cases of panic (saved my life).
- Be aware which variable is the most constrained and which one is the most flexible. Not having to go back to make sure that X can go anywhere saves time, and keeping track of this helps in figuring out which answers to try first in cases where you simply have to try every one of them.

Thank you TLS!

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

Postby delusional » Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:55 pm

1) What score did you get? 178

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc) The only book I really, really used was the Logic Games Bible. LG is a skill and it needs to be learned, unless you grew up with books of puzzles in your house, the way you did with articles (RC) and arguments (LG). The other sections are not as learnable; for LG and RC practice, practice, practice.

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend? n/a I would leave this as n/a except I want to put to rest the idea that rich people have an advantage on the LSAT. That may be true for people trying to get from 154 to 162. But from my perspective, diagnosing in the low 160s and aspiring for a 180, the courses would not have done what dedication did.

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? I work full time (9-6) and I have two kids. Mornings and days were out. I tried to do two sections on weeknights and a full test on weekends. I usually succeeded three nights out of four. If you're working/have kids, etc. and you think it's impossible, do yourself a favor - try it. You don't have the flexibility that college kids have, but you can make up for it with consistency. I never in my life approached anything with the same dedication that I approached the LSAT. I would come home tired and want to relax after a tough day at a glorified entry-level, and I'd use it as motivation - here I am stuck in this dead end job, and I can get out if I do well on this one test.

5) How many preptests did you do? I thought I did all of them, more or less - I kept at the two section weeknights, one test weekends with maybe 70% success from June - October, and then again from November until the December test. But I do still come across sections that i must have inadvertently skipped.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again? I probably wouldn't start it if I knew how involved it would be. Like I alluded to, I have a tendency to get lazy, and I figured I could get a 170 without much work, and then I got pulled in by the TLS gunning, which may turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to me (thanks guys!). If I wasn't a little lazy, I would have done everything exactly the same.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions. I think that preparing for a 173ish - 180 is a totally different process than preparing for a 163ish to 170ish. I do not know the definitions of half the words that hard-core preparers use, like stimulus, question stem, etc. I do not and never did classify questions as weaken, flaw, etc. There were two main parts of my studying - Logic games, and familiarity with everything else. Like a few people have mentioned (one of whom got a 180) - you know you're getting close when you start to say "I've seen this question before" when you're halfway through the argument. For me, there was one rule that helped for LR - identify the conclusion. Once you know the conclusion, almost any question is 80% answered. On particularly tough conclusion pinpointing, it helps to flip the argument and the conclusion, i.e. when it's unclear if a or b is the conclusion, you say if a, does b follow? If b, does a follow?

Within the area of familiarity, there are a number of tricks that the LSAT throws at you that you notice and file away. One that comes to mind is arguments that are eclectic - the passage consists of four or five sentences which don't seem related, and you struggle to figure it out, only it turns out that all the necessary information is in sentences 2,3, and 5, and sentenced one and four are utterly unrelated. Another is sneaky degree changes. A good rule to remember is that the LSAT language is incredibly precise. If a word doesn't fit perfectly, without trying to bend the meaning a little - it's the wrong answer.

Another trick is hiding part of the conclusion - saying something like "high-fat diets, rather than high cholesterol, have an effect of heart health." It's not very noticeable, but that just said that high cholesterol does not have an effect on heart health. If the test asked you what weakens the argument, evidence that high cholesterol affects heart health would weaken the argument.

The last major hurdle for me was focus. I had to build up mental stamina. At first, I refused to admit it to myself, but I realized after canceling October that I needed to be prepared for a FULL test without a second between sections, etc. And then I pushed myself to practice. At first, it was really hard. I tried to get through a section with no thoughts other than the questions in front of me. It was frustrating, especially in Barnes and Noble with a holiday crowd and holiday songs in my ears. But it opens everything up - if you're like me, you don't realize how much time you waste noticing the song that's playing, or the kids sitting next to you, but when you can focus, you finish everything much faster. By the time I got to the test, which fortunately was not in Barnes and Noble, I had gained a couple minutes on everything except LG, which gave me time to cure my misbubblephobia, and to rethink a couple toughies. And I only found out after the test that someone in the room had been escorted out for working on another section.

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

Postby neeko » Sun Jan 09, 2011 3:26 pm

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

Postby lackadaisy » Sun Jan 09, 2011 6:28 pm

I really like delusional's post above.

I studied very minimally (maybe 20 hours total investment) and am considering retaking, but I guess my experience might help as last-2-weeks cram strategies:

1) What score did you get? 175

2) What books did you use? PowerScore LR and LG. I didn't finish either, though -- made it through first 1/3 of each. But even from that minimal exposure, I gained the key skill of diagramming -- without which I was not finishing LG sections in time.

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? No courses. LOL at the idea.

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? During school, during on-campus recruiting, while writing a thesis and dealing with personal crap... BAD idea.

5) How many preptests did you do? Three. 176/175/176.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again? Study for three months instead of three weeks; finish the books; take public transportation (I arrived late to the exam bc of a horrible cabdriver).

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.MAKE SURE YOUR CABDRIVER SPEAKS ENGLISH.

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

Postby Pooja » Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:44 pm

Hello Everyone!

I have joined kaplan and looking forward to it. I have taken some prep test and did not do that great. Kind of disappointed at myself as it seems so hard especially Logical Games and logical reasoning section. Any suggestions as to how to study and understand games. need some motivation and encourgement. I know i can do it its just that being a single mom it gets so hard to find time with my job and other stuff.

I wish lots of luck to all of you. :)

JKill01
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby JKill01 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:09 pm

Thought I'd chime in here since this board has been incredibly helpful.

Score: 166

Prep Books Used: Kaplan, Princeton Review, Princeton Review Logic Games Bible

Prep Courses: None

How long did you study: Two and a Half Months

How Many preptests: Around 15 but I can't remember for sure...

What would you do differently: Start taking prep tests earlier in my preparation so I wasn't tired and burned out from doing test after test in the week before. I didn't start really getting into it until about two weeks out, and wish I would've used the time I had more efficently and just dug into what the test is and how to do well. One time, under severe exhaustion, I did badly on one test and thought I had somehow lost all the progress I had been making, and it was tough to keep going, knowing the big day was just around the corner.

Eventually, I got the feeling down of taking the test so it didn't seem that daunting time-wise, which was very helpful, but I would've liked to focus more on my weakness, in my case the logic games. The more time, I think, you give yourself to prepare the less mythical the test becomes, the stress level lowers, and you can really attack it in an efficent, targeted way. My main tip would be to seriously start taking the tests in advance, so you figure out where to focus your time without a too soon deadline to freak you out.

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

Postby jerrymander » Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:01 pm

I have benefited tremendously from this forum, so I thought I should make a contribution as well. Enjoy!

1) What score did you get? 172

2) What books did you use? Powerscore bibles - logic games, logical reasoning, reading comp. Also, full set of Cambridge LG solutions. And Superprep.

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Powerscore advanced games online course

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? Studied full-time for four months

5) How many preptests did you do? Did about 20 total

6) What would you change if you were to do it again? Prepare early to take the June test. In my case, my first test was October, didn't go well, had to retake in December and apply late.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

Logic games - I fell into the category of people who thought they would never get logic games. I eventually did. But it took forever. I copied every game from PT 1-60, organized by game type, and worked through them multiple times over the course of a month. Wow. Things finally started to click. Started hitting -0s in PTs, finally. But that's really not enough. I still got beat up badly on December LG. The new LG is of a higher order of difficulty. Rules are slightly more complex, setups are more undefined, and most importantly, each question requires a greater amount of work to reach the correct answer, so games take longer. If you realize this going in, then your strategy is obvious - kill the easy games and bank time on the tough ones, and don't get frustrated when you aren't seeing huge inferences. The new sections can be aced, but they require an adjustment in mindset, and this is why so many people who are rocking PTs are still getting tripped up on recent LG sections, I think.

I found the Cambridge LSAT solutions to be very helpful when going through the games. I don't like a lot of their setups, but its helpful to see how they work through the logic of each problem, they show you shortcuts that you didn't think of. I still used Powerscore system, but this was nice supplement.

Powerscore advanced games course was helpful. If you struggle with games, I highly recommend it. About 75% of the course content is fairly uninteresting, but about 25% of it is extremely helpful and reinforces key strategies you need for the toughest games.

Logical reasoning - Bible helps here. I reviewed every problem on PTs, right and wrong. I was having trouble finishing sections on time, so I did three things - 1) get really good at easy problems so save time for tougher ones 2) never get bogged down on a tough one, take an educated guess and come back at end 3) save time by not reading every answer for certain questions (parallels, justify the conclusion, and identify the conclusion, specifically). this last point many disagree with, but if you aren't a super fast reader then you need to take some shortcuts. I ended up -2 on december LR.

I found after a ton of practice that LR intuition gets really sharp. Even when you are struggling with a stimulus, you can sometimes sniff out the answer by doing a quick skim of the choices.

Reading comp - Also struggled with time here, especially on recent PTs. RC bible is pretty much worthless, save your money. I used pithypike guide on TLS, very helpful. I always started with longest question set first, saved shortest for end. It's a psychological trick so that when you get to that last passage and time is short, there is not as much pressure. Also, don't get bogged down on any one Q.

Overall - I dropped four points from my PT average. Mainly because of test day nerves. I don't know if there's any easy solution for this, except to get your PT average as high as possible so if a drop happens you are still happy with your score.

I felt the biggest gains in my score came through meta-thinking. That is, thinking about how I process information and work through arguments. I realized on LG that I always jumped too quickly to making a hypo, when I should be spending 5 seconds to look at the answers, consider if there is an easy rule application that solves the question, for example. On LR I realized I was sometimes losing sight of the conclusion; for any medium or difficult problem, I ended up putting brackets on the conclusion to clarify what's happening. Countless other examples.

Lastly, I think people underestimate the effect of pressure and nerves. In my case, I found it much more difficult to process information in the final 5 minutes of a section, simply because of time pressure; the mind doesn't work as efficiently because it's worried and distracted. So to deal with this I forced myself to finish every section in 30 mins. (obviously losing some accuracy), then using last 5 mins. to clean up mistakes.

Oh, and Superprep is really useful. Finally started acing LR and RC once I saw how testmakers think about the toughest problems!

Hope this helps! Good luck to future takers...

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

Postby auntjulia » Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:35 pm

1) What score did you get?
169 (Oct. 2010) ....my practice median. although starting about a month before the test I began scoring in the 170s somewhat frequently. My diagnostic was 160 but that was after reading the LGB, without which my diag would have been closer to 150.

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
Powerscore LGB (a must)
Powerscore LRB (recommended)
All of the LSAC preptests
Oh, and I read Copi/Cohen's intro to logic before really getting into lsat prep, not essential but I do think it helped me. Plus I learned a bunch of interesting stuff.

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend?
None and I wouldn't recommend a prep course to anyone unless they: A.) won't take lsat prep seriously without it being assigned as homework B.) don't have the time to spend figuring out the right mode of study for themselves and want to be given a study plan and homework C.) are rich so why not, right? and even in that case I'd still stay away from Kaplan, (I've talked to many people who've taken Kaplan and the consensus is: it sucks really bad) I've heard good things about Blueprint and Powerscore.
Seriously though, if you have the time and motivation, no course is necessary, the Powerscore bibles and the preptests are all the study material you need, imo. I say this as a tutor for an lsat prep company (the name of which is not mentioned in this post)

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc)
I took the lsat Oct 2010. During the summer 2009 I did a few sections just to see what the test was like. I planned on taking the lsat in June 2010 so during spring '10, my senior year of undergrad, I started doing a section a day 3 times a week. My LR and RC scores were very solid but my LG was horrendous. The semester ended in late April, and as I began thinking about having only a month to prepare I panicked a little, because my LG scores were so bad and hadn't been improving. I decided I'd wait until October so that I'd have more time to prepare.
So most of my LSAT prep took place while working part-time (20-30 hrs) at a restaurant. In July, I read almost all of the 'Intro to Logic' text by Copi/Cohen about 20-50 pages at a time. August I got the Logic games bible and went through it, drastically improving my games performance, and late August I began taking practice tests. I'd do three or four a week, in my dining room, with a friend who was also preparing. We started off somewhat casually, timing ourselves with a digital watch but then we switched to a virtual proctor (free from Powerscore's website). We'd start the proctor and let in run for the whole four sections (3 sections, 10 minute break, 1 section). I didn't allow either of us to see the "proctor's" time. We each had our own analog watch, with which we'd attempt to follow the "proctor's" oral instructions as closely as possible. I think this was a very important part of my psychological preparation for the test. Having control of the time, versus following a proctor felt very different; not being able to regroup between sections or pause for bathroom breaks added mental stress that I was glad to be accustomed to well before test day.

5) How many preptests did you do?

Just about all of the released LSATs.

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

I would go over questions I missed more thoroughly, I didn't do this to the extent that I should've given the endorsements the strategy receives from many top scorers.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

Related to my recommendation to use a virtual proctor/analog watch during PTs. I'd say, in general, make PTs as similar as you can to the real thing (bubbling an answer sheet, not checking phone, etc.). I paid $100 to sit for a proctored practice LSAT through Kaplan and I think it was worth the money. A weak response to the mental pressure of test day hurts a lot of people's scores, so treat your PTs as if everything rides on them and you won't be caught off guard by the actual test.

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

Postby fosterp » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:07 pm

1) What score did you get? 170

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc) Powerscore LRB, LGB, RCB, 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) Started around july, planned for Oct test, but I wasn't happy with my PT result and felt I could gain from more prep so I postponed till dec. My study wasn't too intense, though when I started I was working on the bibles/section drills every day for a few hours. A month before oct I was doing about two PT per week, and then took a break before test (once I had postponed) and picked it up again in november (since I didn't want to blow all my PTs).

5) How many preptests did you do? I did every section from the 7-38 series, and nearly every PT from 39-61 as full PTs.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again? Don't become complacent with LG performance. I started to slack on the practice because I was dominating the LG sections in the 30s 40s and early 50s. Games got noticeably harder after 55 and I didn't do so great on test day (-4).

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

Don't get discouraged by low PT or section performance in the early prep stages. So much of this test is about time and familiarity. Some people are just geniuses and score in 170s without a sweat, but it took me a lot of work and I didn't get my scores up there till the test was hammered into my head so strongly that everything in the test was instinctive. Being able to skip a hard problem and come back is important. Many times going back when you have time after you finish the section the answer just becomes glaringly obvious. It seems that when you get stuck on a problem sometimes nerves will kick in and blind your thought process because you know the time is ticking - thats a sign you need to just move on.

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

Postby MacDooley » Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:11 pm

I found a great resource that has helped me a lot. I used it after my first score was 155... I blame that on the nerves. :shock: doing the standard prep work. Good luck!

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

Postby WhoAmI » Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:40 am

1) What score did you get?
165 in Dec 2010, but I took it again this morning.

In Dec, my mistakes came from anxiety. I entered with an average of 168/169 on my most recent preptests, but my nerves took control of my brain and I didn't use the techniques I got used to in practice... Just like the kid who takes karate classes, but then starts biting when he gets into a fight.

This time around, I scored 170-179 on my 15 last preptests, and feel much better about my performance. Can't be sure exactly, but I'm expecting 170+.

2) What books did you use?
The Powerscore trilogy. Also bought some of their other logic games materials which were helpful, but not necessary.

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

Took the Powerscore weekend course before I started studying. It wasn't too helpful because I got bored in class and zoned out. I did, however, keep in touch with the instructor and he advised me on my applications and helped me devise a strategy for the test.

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

For the Dec 2010 test I studied for about 5 weeks. I'm in the entertainment biz, and have several projects going on, so it was seriously tough to make the time.

For Feb 2011, I studied for 4 more weeks, made the test a priority, and took about 5 tests per week. I photocopied every single question I missed and studied them.

5) How many preptests did you do?
About 30. I repeated some old ones when prepping for my second round, and the increase in my scores boosted my confidence tremendously.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
I would have procured a valium, ambien, or sledgehammer to knock myself out and get some rest the first time around. Other than that, I could have made wiser use of my study time by spending more time dissecting the problems I missed, as opposed to rushing to try and do better on yet another preptest. Rest is also very, very important. I got very burned out in the days leading up to the Dec 2010 test.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.
First, get in the habit of setting your watch for each section.

Second, practice your speed so that you can count on finishing in 33 minutes or less. If you do what I did, you may have skipped 2-3 questions, or at least guessed on them, and you need to make a second pass to try to get them right. For some reason they always seem clearer to me when I don't have to worry about answering the remaining 20 or so questions.

Here are some section specific strategies:

Logical Reasoning
• Finish your first 10 questions in the first 10 minutes. The first 10 are usually easy, but not always. If one seems tough, skip it and return later.
• Skip all parallel reasoning and return later. They can take sooo damn long.
• When any problem feels particularly tough, make a note of it and take your best shot. Then return at the end.
• When asked which would most undermine or weaken an argument, remember that finding the answer can be as simple as finding alternate causation for the conclusion, or casting doubt on a premise.
• If none of the answers seem right, SLOW DOWN and carefully read the question and answers again.
• If you are torn between two or three possible choices, ask yourself – depending on the type of question - “Which one most precisely (assumption) or comprehensively (principle) answers this question?”

Logic Games
• Take your first 20-30 sec to assess the difficulty of each game, and loosely rank from easiest to hardest. Start with the easiest game.
• After studying the rules, STOP before going on to the questions. Take 1 minute to search for inferences and map out the possibilities & templates.
• Ask yourself: can you visually split this game in two?
• Ask when placing one variable – where do I put the others?
• Search out the right answer and move on once you find it. Don't feel the need to check each answer choice if you can figure out what you're looking for.
• If one question seems too hard or it will take too long to solve, mark it and return at the end.

Reading Comprehension
• Take 20 secs to order from most to fewest questions. Start with the passage with the most questions, and work towards the one with the least.
• Read each passage in 2:30 or less.
• If a question seems too hard or will take too long, mark it and return later.
• Remember – It’s all in the passage! Nothing is made up!


Remember, the key with skipping questions is that you don't commit 2 minutes and then give up and move on. You take 20 seconds to read it and find yourself thinking, "I have no fucking idea... Are they allowed to put trick questions on the LSAT?", then you move on. You should not do this more than 3-4 times in any given section, though, so skip wisely.

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

Postby DubPoker » Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:09 pm

1) What score did you get?
Took it three times!

September 26, 2009 149
December 05, 2009 159
December 11, 2010 167

2) What books did you use?
I took it cold in Sept 09.
I studied all of the Powerscore bibles for Dec 09
I took tons of practice tests and studied a combination of Powerscore and atlas techniques for Dec 10.

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend?
Non, all self study/TLS trollin

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc)
None the first time. Just enough to read the bibles twice for the second one during school. A lot for the third, mainly because of PT's taking so long and that was while working.

5) How many preptests did you do?
20 Full ones, but every single LG section ever lol. I actually really enjoyed them by the end.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
I WOULD NOT TAKE IT COLD, I was just misinformed/ignorant. I know I can score in the 170s now due to a couple PTs, but can't take it again. Although I'm definitely happy with my 167, mainly because of my previous LSATS.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.
Its good to read PS or Atlas for techniques especially for LG, with practice LG can be completely mastered, but TAKE A LOT OF PTs. PT's are the stone cold nuts for mastering the LSAT.

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

Postby TheFactor » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:47 pm

1) What score did you get?
159, 167

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
All of the Kaplan books, Logic Games Bible.

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 started studying for the June 2010 LSAT in late February. I bought all of the published tests and all of the Kaplan books and tried to go through one logical reasoning section and a couple games every day. During the summer, I took three full practice tests every week, spent 3 days reviewing games/sections/questions that were giving me trouble, and usually took Sat or Sun off. I was practicing in the mid-high 160s consistently (hit 170+ twice), but bombed the real thing in June.

The second time around, I really didn't study much at all. I didn't do a single practice test until about a month before the December 2010 LSAT. I ended taking only three full-length practice tests between June and December. The 159 in June was the result of a BOMBED LG section, so I spent nearly all of my prep time from June-December going through the Logic Games Bible. About a week before the test, I stopped practicing altogether. On the day of the test, I felt much more relaxed and confident and ended up with a score that was actually a point higher than my PT average.

5) How many preptests did you do?

All of them.

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

With the time I had, I probably wouldn't change anything about the way I prepped. For me, once I got comfortable with the LSAT, it was like riding a bike. My main concern was staying relaxed and confident during the real test.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

Go through the Logic Games Bible. By far, the best prep book out there. Do all of the practice tests, identify your weaknesses, and stay confident in your abilities. I went into the June LSAT wondering what I would do if I bombed the test and my fear became reality. The second time, I sat down knowing that I was probably one of only a handful of people in the testing center who had hit 170+ on a practice test. I kept reminding myself that I was in the top 5-10% of test-takers. In short, be arrogant - it worked for me.

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

Postby Easy-E » Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:59 pm

Subbed. Reading through from the start, don't want to quote posts but great information!

Boggs
Posts: 114
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby Boggs » Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:47 pm

Great thread. I used it extensively while I was studying.

1) 170

2) Blueprint books

3) Blueprint Prep online

4) I took the October 2010 LSAT. I started studying in August, but didn't get serious (daily) until early or mid September. At that point I was working full-time.

5) 5 practice tests.
1st PT- a year and a half prior to taking the test. It was administered by Kaplan as a free PT. I did not study at all and scored 164.
2nd PT- at the beginning of the Blueprint course (again without any studying) and scored 157.
3rd PT- slightly less than halfway through Blueprint (Sept 19)–165.
4th PT- 9 days before LSAT and three lessons to go in Blueprint-170
5th PT- 2 days before LSAT and Blueprint Complete-170

6) I'd probably give myself a little longer with the Blueprint materials before taking the test.

7) I think people spend too much time taking PTs. You can fatigue yourself. Though I would point out that taking many of these has worked for some people here.

Make sure to give yourself a good rest day before the test, eat well, and get enough sleep. Understand the LSAT in the "big picture" of your life.

Don't listen to the talk at the test. They don't know what they're talking about. Be prepared and tune them out.

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Icculus
Posts: 1421
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby Icculus » Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:08 am

1) What score did you get?
165, 167, 173

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
Princeton Review LSAT, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, Kaplan LG

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

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions?
Total study time was probably about four months, though it was split because of the timing of the tests. I did all of my studying while working full time. I would take practice sections during downtime at work, and I set aside one day each weekend to do a full, timed practice test, usually somewhere in public (Starbicks, Borders, etc.) to teach myseld to deal with distractions.

5) How many preptests did you do?
40

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
I would have found this site earlier, skipped the Princeton Review and gone right to the bibles. I also would have not taken the first test after only three weeks of prep time. It also wasn't until after my 165 that I learned the importance of reviewing all of my wrong answers and understanding why they were wrong and this is the key to truly raising your score.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.
DO NOT PURCHASE McGRAW-HILL!!

rpopuch
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:20 am

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

Postby rpopuch » Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:30 pm

1) What score did you get? 167

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc) I took a TestMaster's course, so I used those books as practice (mainly, they're just Q's from real PrepTests). I also purchase the PowerScore books; to be honest, didn't use them much although they are a great resource.

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

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc) I studied for four months, while employed full time.

5) How many preptests did you do? Around 15; several of those were timed and proctored (via TM).

6) What would you change if you were to do it again? Nothing! I kinda hated my TestMasters course (and fellow classmates and instructor), and toward the end began to self-assess whether going to class was worth it, depending on what we'd be covering. Nonetheless, I benefited a lot from their materials, from the proctored Practice Tests, and generally from that structure. Classes are not just for the weak and undisciplined! I ended up meeting another person in her mid 20s studying with a full time job in the class, and we ended up doing a lot of work together outside of class, which was super helpful.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions. Give yourself plenty of time, more than you think you need. Slow but steady really does win the race; for those of us for whom these concepts don't come easily, remember that they sink in over time. And don't forget to STAY CALM! I scored around 5 points higher on the actual LSAT than I did on my best practice test-- I think it was because my fellow test-takers got (understandably) tripped out by pressure and stress. You can do it!!! :)

bountyxhunter
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:24 am

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

Postby bountyxhunter » Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:55 am

1) What score did you get?

168

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

Powerscore LGB, materials provided by Blueprint

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

Blueprint

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

From July through the end of November. Took a semester off.

5) How many preptests did you do?

All of them.

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

I would have spent more time reviewing my PTs

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

Study hard and don't get discouraged! Confidence is EVERYTHING on test day.

dstars823
Posts: 327
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:51 am

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

Postby dstars823 » Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:02 am

1) What score did you get?
170

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
Powerscore only and just went and bought all the recent tests from the LSAC at 8$ a pop, a pretty good investment

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)
2 months for about 1-2 hours a day from December till February. Generally, going to the undergraduate library and studied every night, then on Saturdays waking up early going to the library and taking timed exams under test taking conditions to make sure that I would be prepared for the actual exams, time and testing conditions

5) How many preptests did you do?
Every single one past 2006 after the new Reading Comprehension section was introduced with the dual passages.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
None I am pretty happy with a 170 and I dont think i can really much higher it was right about where i was scoring on practice tests (170-173)

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.
Generally, I don't think a class really ensures a high score or that it will help you in any way. I feel most of it is self motivation, the only good thing about a class is that it forces you to actually review the material in a classroom setting. Also, if you are doing any practice tests older than 5 years most likely the tests are considered "easier" because they are scaled kinder. It has been the general consensus that LSAT takers have become much more competitive so be wary of scoring really high on an old 2003 LSAT. For example, I generally would score 174-175 on an exam from one of the "10 real LSAT Exams" however, on newer exams i would be in the more standard 170-173 zone. Generally speaking, practice exams should always be the ones that the LSAC release. Kaplan's tests are way too easy because they don't have anyone vetting their tests.

se5896
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:13 pm

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

Postby se5896 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:08 pm

160. powerscore prep course. studied 5-6 nights/week, 2 hours/night, 6 months total including prep course.




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