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

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

Postby CodyRuegger » Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:41 pm

I figure I will add my story to the pile, as this thread got me started on my study plan.

1) What score did you get?
176

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
All 3 Powerscore Bibles, the logic games workbook, and the Cambridge LSAT 'LSAT Challenge.'

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

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc)
5 months, out of school. I did not work during that time.

5) How many preptests did you do?
54, to be precise. Basically 7-60.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
I'd have volunteered at a nonprofit while I was studying. What I actually did was to wait until I took the test before volunteering. I wasn't spending the 30-40 hours a week I thought I'd need, it was more like 20. I'd also have taken a more organized approach to reviewing wrong answers. Also, the Powerscore RC Bible wasn't great, and it shows in that I went -3 RC on my actual LSAT and had trouble all around with this section no matter how much I drilled it. Maybe it's just me, though.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.
If you are serious about scoring 170+, self study is the way to go. I knew nothing about logic and had no knack for the questions on the LSAT when I began studying, but I was able to take it nice and easy and think about questions for as long as I needed, without any classroom pressure. Then, once I was ready for it, I was free to take as many tests as I wanted, which really seems to be the key to a high score. I never took a cold diagnostic, it probably would have been really pathetic and would have only demoralized me.

I spent 5 months studying, which is on the long side. I don't regret it, and I feel my score would have been markedly worse with 4 months of preparation instead. Give yourself plenty of time, it can only benefit you.

Don't time yourself when you start doing practice tests. Hell, you don't even need to do 'practice tests,' you can just take one section at a time and analyze it when you finish. The most important thing is to be capable of getting everything right, and in my opinion, I had no business instituting time limits until I had achieved this. Work in the test-day stresses like time limits and the testing center environment gradually.

And, it's been said a million times before, but analyze all of your mistakes deeply.
Last edited by CodyRuegger on Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby bruss » Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:01 pm

CodyRuegger wrote:I figure I will add my story to the pile, as this thread got me started on my study plan.

1) What score did you get?
176

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
All 3 Powerscore Bibles, the logic games workbook, and the Cambridge LSAT 'LSAT Challenge.'

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

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc)
5 months, out of school. I did not work during that time.

5) How many preptests did you do?
54, to be precise. Basically 7-60.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
I'd have volunteered at a nonprofit while I was studying. What I actually did was to wait until I took the test before volunteering. I wasn't spending the 30-40 hours a week I thought I'd need, it was more like 20. I'd also have taken a more organized approach to reviewing wrong answers. Also, the Powerscore RC Bible wasn't great, and it shows in that I went -3 RC on my actual LSAT and had trouble all around with this section no matter how much I drilled it. Maybe it's just me, though.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.
If you are serious about scoring 170+, self study is the way to go. I knew nothing about logic and had no knack for the questions on the LSAT when I began studying, but I was able to take it nice and easy and think about questions for as long as I needed, without any classroom pressure. Then, once I was ready for it, I was free to take as many tests as I wanted, which really seems to be the key to a high score.

I spent 5 months studying, which is on the long side. I don't regret it, and I feel my score would have been markedly worse with 4 months of preparation instead. Give yourself plenty of time, it can only benefit you.

Don't time yourself when you start doing practice tests. Hell, you don't even need to 'practice tests,' you can just take one section at a time and analyze it when you finish. The most important thing is to be capable of getting everything right, and in my opinion, I had no business instituting time limits until I had achieved this. Work in the test-day stresses like time limits and the testing center environment gradually.

And, it's been said a million times before, but analyze all of your mistakes deeply.



Congrats bro..was waiting for Oct updates of this thread

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

Postby Lily Pad » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:33 am

This thread was the most useful thing I came across in planning my studying, so I'll throw my two cents into the ring.

1) What score did you get?

171 (diagnostic was 159)

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

The Next 10 and 10 New Actual Official LSAT Preptests, several newer individual official preptests, Powerscore's LR Bible, LSAT SuperPrep, Nova's LSAT (semi-useful), Grouped by Passage Type/Grouped by LR Question Type (helpful for drilling problem areas near the end), McGraw Hill (total crap, do not buy this book)

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

None, self-study

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

2.5 months while working full-time, including a major job change about a month before the actual test (in retrospect, this was probably not the best idea I've ever had). I put in about 3 hours, 4 days a week during the work week wherever I could find time (usually during lunch and immediately after work) and about 8-10 hours every day on the weekend, with the occasional weekend day off to mentally recharge.

5) How many preptests did you do?

33 full-length tests, and sections/questions from about 15-20 more tests

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

I would have started earlier - when I took the test, I felt like I was on the verge of a breakthrough in LR (my hardest section), and another 2 weeks probably would have pushed my score up a few more points.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

Take as many full-length tests as you can, and make sure to put time into reviewing every single question you got wrong or were questioning your answer to. I used newer tests for my full-length practice, and older tests to drill question types and I felt like that worked really well.

I started off taking timed tests to get a feel for my timing and ability with the different question types. For about 3 weeks after that, I took all my tests untimed so I could really understand the questions and learn how to get every single one of them right. From there, I worked my way back into full-length timed tests, and added sections from older tests to make 5-section tests that looked more like the real thing.

Last thing, and I know it sounds cliche, but you need to have faith in yourself. I started with a 159 diagnostic and only 2.5 months to study, I was really unsure that I could get where I needed to be by the test date. Some practice tests went horribly (I had a 167 less than a week before the test) and some were great (I had a 177 the next day after my 167), but you can't let a bad test get you down. Just take a breath and a few hours off, and go back and review what you got wrong and why.

Good luck to everyone!

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

Postby basketball law guy » Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:32 pm

First time posting and I may be in the wrong forum so please forgive... I understand that I want to get 160+ on my LSAT but my question/seeking advice is this:

I am a junior and I play basketball at a mid-level school. My season runs from September (conditioning) thru mid-March. During the heart of the season I will spend 30-40 hours a week with practices, games and travel. This will continue until March 15-20. Second semester will end May 15th. With these conditions- what would be the best date for me to take the LSAT? June- out of school and practice but limited prep time. October- summer to help study but I will be in practices for a month before the test? I am leaning toward June but I will be stretched for prep time. I have a full load both semesters, this semester being slightly tougher than next semester. Business/accounting degree. Working hard and time management are my strengths, I am not sure how well I will do on the LSAT.

I have a 4.0 GPA but I anticipate this going down a little as my time commitment grows. I have only done a little studying using the Princeton book I got for Christmas. Thanks for any advice or suggestions.

My preferred choice for law schools: Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin. Thanks

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

Postby Strange » Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:35 pm

This thread was a great resource for me, along with Pithypikes study guide, and people have been PMing me for tips so I'll do my part as well

1) What score did you get?

167 in June '11 and 180 in October '11

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

I had all released PT's, 1-62 as well as June 2007 and SPA and SPB and SPC. For prep texts, I had Powerscore LRB and LGB (2003 editions), Kaplan LR Mastery, all the Manhattan guides, and the Cambridge LR Bundle (which includes all LR questions for PT1-38 sorted by type).

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)

Been studying since the beginning of March. I've been employed full-time the entire way. For work reasons I had a gap after the June test where I didn't start studying again until July (only lightly) and then in August I really crammed, then PT'ed in September. I got lucky, I was able to sneak in a lot of drilling/LSAT stuff into work, if I hadn't been able to do that I might not have improved so much.

5) How many preptests did you do?

26 Prep tests, basically everything after PT42 as well as SPA-C

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

The night before I took the test in October I was so nervous I checked into a hotel next to the test center to make sure I could sleep peacefully (I Got roommates.) It didn't help much, I only managed to get around 5 hours of sleep, probably less. Luckily, it didn't matter, but I would definitely make sure you got a good sleep cycle going, and you start it a month in advance.

The other thing is staying in the section you're in. I had LR-LG-LR-LR-RC. After LG, I was so worried about one of the questions I had answered that as I started on the LR section I was still doing the game over and over again in my head. This made me forget to set my watch and because the proctors don't write the time on the board anymore, I had no idea how much time I had left. It messed up my whole timing on the section, and luckily it didn't matter, although my only missed question was in that LR section. I ended up going -0 on LG. Moral of the story don't stress over previous sections.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

I bought an LSAT watch off the net http://lsatwatch.webs.com/ which I recommend to everyone.

Here's how I studied, loosely based off Pithypikes guide which I recommend. As it turned out my studying was split up into two halves, one before June and one after.

I had a progress tracker I used here

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc ... E&hl=en_US

March - Took diagnostic, worked through LG Bible and used PT's 1-42 to drill each game type, chapter by chapter following the bible. I basically did this over and over, probably made 2-3 passes through all the games in that PT range. This is basically following Pithy's recommendation. For LR I used the Kaplan mastery which has a large collection of LR questions, organized by type. I did the same thing, using LR Bible as a guide and doing chapter by chapter, drilling using the Kaplan mastery. I did no RC work because it seemed to be a relative strength for me on the diag. By the time I started PTing in April I had gotten my LR misses down from the double digits to single digits, and LG misses down to -1 to -3.

April - Now I started PTing. Throughout this time I continued to work on drilling LG and LR, using the same materials, just doing it over and over again. I basically plateaued all month around the 168 range, with RC being my toughest section, missing 4 or 5 each go around. So, towards the end of April I changed tack a little, I ordered the Manhattan RC guide, worked through the chapters, and used some of their techniques (the PEAR method in particular I found really helpful). A lot of it is common sense, but still think it reinforces a different mindset. I started drilling individual RC passages, and since I hadn't done any I had plenty of fresh passages to choose from. I ended up drilling more than 25 passages, just to get used to timing, methods, and seemed to see improvement, going from -4/-5 to -1/-2 by the end of May. The caveat is that these were all old passages......

May - Continued PTing, doing RC drills, and doing LG practice. Towards the end of April and through May my LR practice really started to disappear, it's so boring that it's hard to focus on :lol: . But my PT scores finally started rising into the 170's by the end of the month. Unfortunately, when I took it in June I ended up with a 167 - disappointing, but well within my PT range (overall avg was 169), so not a shocker. Luckily, I still had about 9 fresh PT's left to take in full.

Sidenote: I definitely took October more seriously than June. My whole feeling going into the June test was "Shit, if I had another month or two, I could kill this test." Maybe I should have cancelled, because when you go in with that mindset it really hurts your performance IMO.

So after June, as a retaker, I had already picked the low-hanging fruit and gotten myself to the high 160's. Now comes the real tough part... and here's where it really took some dedication not to off myself :D (just a figure of speech... )

July-August - LR ended up killing me on that test, as I got a -11, which was my worst mark ever on LR besides my diagnostic. So, I think nerves had an effect, but I basically decided to just focus on that until October. I ordered the $70 Cambridge LR bundle which sorts all LR questions by type from PT's 1-38. Then for the rest of the PT's 38+, I pulled each LR section and printed them out (office laser printers FTW :D ) except for the fresh PT's I had not taken yet. I drilled through each of these from July-August, planning to finish them by the end of August and then PT in September. I managed to finish about half of Cambridge by the end of July and had to cram the rest into August, so by September I had seen, drilled every single released LR question in existence, which means more than 3000 questions. To keep this pace I had to basically do about 100 questions a day during the week in August since I only finished about 1000 in July. It sounds like a lot, but to be honest, it doesn't take that long - it just feels like forever when you're doing so many LR questions :lol: I also kept a record of all the hard questions so I could make another pass, and ended up with about 350 of them.

The key here was to keep a schedule - LR is so massive and there's so many questions, it's easy to just do a few then watch some TV and doze off.... you need to commit yourself to a certain # per day, and if you do that, it's actually really easy to get through and not burdensome at all. So for example I'd say "Ok, by end of today I'll finish Assumption LR bundle, then finish LR for PT's 44 and 45." But I'd have that planned out for the entire process

September - So here's the kicker - that shit was like magic. I've seen the analogy made here before on games, where if you drill them enough you start seeing the patterns like the Matrix. You can do the same thing with LR, even though a lot of people say LR isn't learnable. If anything, LR is the most consistent section throughout history. Same topics, same question types, same fake/trick answers. Assumption questions are always structured in the same way, and the fact that I could immediately find the answer in 3 seconds helped me a lot. I took 9 prep tests in September and averaged -3 total on LR. I was finishing my LR sections at least 5-7 minutes in advance of time called. Just a huge difference from pre-June. That record I had of the hard 350 or so LR questions from August, I tossed away because I didn't need it.

I had been doing light LG drilling to maintain a -0, and I did so well on SP games I figured that was unnecessary too. My biggest worry was RC, where I had seemed to regress from June, where I got a -3, whereas in September I was seeing -7's and -8's. It was too late, and I didn't really have an answer for how to address this. I was out of RC passages to drill and the Manhattan guide didn't help me much. On my last PT, PT50, I got -7 on RC and got a 169. Luckily for me, that RC section in October was ridiculously easy. RC is a wild card and I really don't have an answer for how to tackle that section.

Finally I think this forum is a great resource. Even if you don't actively participate in the study groups, which I didn't because I'm more of a self-study guy, just lurking and posting here periodically changes your entire mindset. When I first started this process I was aiming at a 165 so I could get into Temple or Villanova (I like Philly :D ). At the end of the day, you are surrounded by people here who are aiming for the 170's and you start wondering why you can't do the same.

ADDENDUM: I wanted to add something I think will be helpful. It's been said before here but I truly believe LG mastery is the key to a 160-165+ score while LR mastery is the key to getting in the 170's. Not only is it half the test, but just because of how predictable LR is. I found after I did all my heavy LR drilling, when I was about to take a PT I was LOOKING FORWARD to every LR section. How many of you can say that you get a smile on your face when you see LR is next? Probably not many. I actually liked it more than LG, because with LG you could get some crazy mind numbing game like Dinos or stained glass. Same with RC - you could get a crazy passage like groupthink and mess up your entire section.

With LR, the most you'll get is 2-3 mind-numbingly difficult questions (PT64 would be alzheimers, PT63 would be the police-medal question). If you got your timing down right, you skip these and move on and come back to them later, use PoE and try to whittle down the right answer. But you can still get a great, -6 or -7 score if you do your timing right and get all the easier questions. After all the rest of the questions are going to be very standard format, same stupid topics and same stupid question structures and AC's. LR is very recycled. Master LR and you are well on your way to a 170+ score.

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

Postby pizzabrosauce » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:08 pm

Thanks Strange, I found that really helpful. Congrats on the 180!

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

Postby mauryballstein » Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:53 pm

Hope this helps!

1) What score did you get?

In the 170s. I scored a 160 on my first practice test.

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

Those supplied by my prep course.

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

PowerScore's full-length course. I definitely recommend PowerScore. If you have the resources, go for it.

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

A lot

5) How many preptests did you do?

Around 20.

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

I would study even harder. The LSAT seems to be what admissions is all about.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

I'm going to keep this short. These are three things I found extremely useful.

1. Read articles in The New Yorker.

Once I got the hang of LGs, RC was my worst section. I couldn't focus, especially when RC came third or fourth on a test. Once I was able to train my mind and body to be able to handle those brutal 10-page articles in The New Yorker, I found the passages on the LSAT to be a breeze. The great thing about The New Yorker is that they often use the same dense language. To me it was like reading eight or nine passages in a row.

2. Fill out your answer sheet page by page.

I found myself misbubbling when I was answering one by one. I was thinking ahead to the next question and not paying attention to the answer sheet. By compartmentalizing "answering the questions" and "bubbling them in," I was able to give both my complete attention. The best part about this strategy was that I was completely unfazed when I found out I would be taking the LSAT on an incredibly small desk that didn't have room for me to put my test booklet and answer sheet side by side. It saved me a lot of time, not having to go back and forth 25 or 26 times. Instead I was able to bubble in five or six in a row about four or five times.

3. Believe in yourself.

And anything is possible. Good luck.
Last edited by mauryballstein on Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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

Postby caminante » Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:05 pm

I got a PM asking about my LSAT study technique, so I thought I would post it here for general info. This thread was quite helpful to me. (Sorry this turned out to be a novel)

1) What score did you get?

-176

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

-All 3 Powerscore Bibles, Superprep, Various books of official LSAT exams

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 on and off for about 4 months averaging 12-15 hours/ week. I did take a couple weeks off here and there for travel/ social life. So, don't worry if you don't stick to your plan- just get back on it!

-I worked full time and I only really studied on the weekends. However, I have a compressed work schedule, so this was just the best plan for me. I work 10 hour days Monday-Thursday and have Fridays off. I broke down my schedule like this:

Monday- Thursday I would do a few LGs, LR Qs, or RC passages on public transit, but no "official" studying. I utilized my Friday off to study like a crazy person. I studied between 8 and 10 hours most Fridays throughout the 4 months. On Saturdays I studied for about 3-4 hours, and on Sundays I studied for about 3 hours. Once I was in the PT portion of my study schedule (see below) I used Saturday as my full length PT day and Sunday as my review day.


-I roughly followed the LSAT Blog weekly study plan for the first couple of months. I found it particularly helpful for Logic Games.

5) How many preptests did you do?

-Full length, strictly timed PTs = 13
-PTs done in sections as drills = most of them from 38-61 I saved about 5 of them in case I wanted to re-take.

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

-As a practical matter: I would buy the preptests as PDFs instead of books. I wasted sooooo much time copying those damn PTs.

-I would have used one of the spread sheets floating around to analyze my strengths/ weaknesses and keep track of my progress. I just used a spiral notebook, but I think I would have had a better understanding of my strengths/ weaknesses if I had used a better system.

-Also, I would have a more SPECIFIC timing plan for the real test. I got so concerned about not understanding 2 specific questions on the test, I had to rush at the end of 2 sections. 5 out of my 6 wrong answers were on those sections. I used a pretty crap-tastic timing strategy (5 minutes left! oh crap, go do that last reading comp section/ LG before you run out of time!). This is not recommended. I wish I would have had a plan such as "If you spend more than x amount of time on one question, move on. No matter what." I never had timing trouble before the real test, so I think that having a timing plan is important even if you normally do not struggle in that area.

-Somewhat unrelated to the LSAT: I recommend writing your personal statement before taking the test if you are taking it for the first time in October. I thought that the 3 weeks between the test and score release would be enough for me, and it was not. Write those statements as early as humanly possible!

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

Study plan advice:
I strongly encourage you to approach the LSAT like any other subject you would want to learn. Specifically- I suggest making a plan to LEARN the test before practicing the test at all. For me, that meant going through all of the Powerscore Bibles thoroughly and doing many drills. I timed myself on the drills, but only to be informed and get familiar with the time frame, not to rush myself. After I felt comfortable with all of the sections, I allowed myself to take PTs.

Then, once I had taken a few PTs and could pin-point my weaknesses, I went through the Powerscore Bibles for a second time and outlined them all by hand. The second time I went through the Bibles was crucial. The tips they have are much more understandable once you are very familiar with the test. Plus, by outlining them I had handy reference sheets that I could refer to without carrying the Bibles around with me. (I could maybe be persuaded to upload at least my LR Bible outline if you ask nicely).

Note on Logic Games:
I would also like to note that I started out being HORRIBLE at Logic Games. I hated them with a passion. They did not make any sense to me at all. If this sounds like you, have hope!!! Practice really does make a difference here. I did the games that gave me trouble countless times. For some reason I had a lot of trouble with the "Clowns" game when I started studying. I think I did that game at least 30 times by the end of my studying. I never got to a place where I was really a pro at the games. Most of the time I did go -0 in my PTs, but that was because I was very fast on certain types and quite slow on other types (many times the first 2 games would only take me about 5 minutes each and then I would spend up to 14 minutes on one of the other games). There are some very intelligent people who put the games sections together. Try to be calm in knowing that you will not get 4 extremely difficult games in any one section.

Practicing in Test-like Conditions:
I found taking free proctored exams from test prep companies in my city the month before my exam to be incredibly helpful. I signed up for 3 of these exams with 3 separate test prep companies. I tested out my morning routines and felt more confident and comfortable in a room full of other test-takers. I had my morning routine programmed into my head by the day of the exam. I knew exactly how much coffee I could drink without needing to use the bathroom during the test (tmi? haha), how many warm up sections were too much/ not enough, and that taking a brisk walk/ jog really helped to get me in the zone.

Positive Thinking:
Finally, try to stay positive. No one is forcing you to do this; you have full control over the process. This is a step you are deciding to take in order to fulfill goals you have set for yourself. This thought was very comforting to me for some reason. I also comforted myself by repeating: "If the test doesn't go as well as I hope, I can re-take it! Even if I have to wait another year before applying, it will not make a big difference to my life in the long run." These positive thoughts helped me to feel much less stress about the situation.

I hope this helps some of you a bit! Good Luck!

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

Postby masked kavana » Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:30 am

1) What score did you get?

167 - Oct '11

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

Kaplan

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

Took a Kaplan course and found some stuff to be useful, but overall learned more by myself.

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

Had a baby in June so I was only able to dedicated about 30 min a day to studying and some days I wasn't able to study at all. In late August, school started and I had an hour break between classes that I used to study.

5) How many preptests did you do?

Was never able to do full preptests all at once, so over the course of a week I would finish one. Total I would say about 10

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

Definitely dedicate more time to studying. Also, would make sure to take full preptests. Endurance can really become a factor during the real test, by the time I hit the RC section at the end my brain was totally wasted and I ended up missing 5 questions that I should have easily answered.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

Definitely try to keep cool during the exam. I knew I bombed the first section of the test, which happened to be a non-experimental LR, but I rebounded back really well in all of the other sections.
Even royally messing up one part of the test does not preclude getting back in the game.

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

Postby Elston Gunn » Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:16 pm

1) 180

2) Started with a Kaplan book--it was terrible. Used the Powerscore LG and LR Bibles. As most say, loved the LGB, thought the LRB was pretty good.

3) None

4) About 4 months, including the whole summer where I had the luxury of not having to take a job. I mostly did 15-20 hrs a week, though I definitely relaxed during August. It wasn't especially intentional, but I think it was ultimately a good thing, as it stopped me from burning out.

5) I did 20-25 preptests, all timed. I also drilled all the LG and some LR from another 10 or so.

6) Not much, really. Obviously it turned out the way I hoped. I did have a major mishap on test day, where I broke the crappy $9 watch I bought specifically for the purpose about 10 seconds before the first section. So I would definitely get my hands on a nicer watch, but I'd taken so many PTs that I had a really good sense of timing. I also would have gotten some melatonin, or some other sleep supplement that puts you to sleep but wont make you groggy. I absolutely could not get to sleep the night before the test because I was so nervous. Luckily, the adrenaline carried me through, but if I had had to last another hour, I probably wouldn't have been able to stay focused.

Oh, and I would have made copies of LGs I drilled before doing them. I spent A LOT of time erasing :-).

7) I think the single thing that most contributed to my success was my undergraduate curriculum. I went to this crazy school that forced me to take classes where I had to read, discuss and write about things like Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, Newton's Principia and Einstein's papers on special relativity. After trying to unravel Newton, and then have to explain it to a class, LR and RC seemed easy. Obviously, not everyone can have nor would want that kind of UG experience, but I think the key to LR and (especially) RC is to be able to read and understand really difficult stuff. Not the Economist, not the New York Times, but Hegel or a scientific paper or an article from an obscure academic journal.

With RC, the key is to be able to read it and understand it. I didn't take a single note on RC. I just read the passages very closely and tried to understand them. This led me to sometimes be overconfident on a detail question, but I eventually learned to force myself to go back to the passage and check the answers. Even on those questions, however, you should only have to check two or three answers. If you've read the passage well, you should be able to eliminate the rest immediately. Otherwise, it just takes too long.

Also, I obviously took a TON of practice tests, but I'd only recommend that to people on the very high-end. Within about a month and half of studying I hit my first 180, and though I got a 171 and a 175 after that, I was almost always 178-180 from there on out. Thus, my main aim was to maintain where I was instead of trying to improve. The practice tests were very effective at this. I built up stamina and kept my head in an LSAT state of mind. If you're really looking to improve specific areas, however, drilling is undoubtedly more valuable. I started out pretty mediocre at LG, and I got up to consistently -0 to -2 by test day, mostly through drilling.

I also used as my baseline the LSATblog three month study plan. I highly recommend following his suggestions, which are basically to go through the PS Bibles a chapter at a time and drill the hell out of that question type. You do this for about a month/month and a half. Then you start taking and reviewing 3 PTs a week. I jumped earlier into the PTs than he suggested because I didn't think I needed to drill LR or RC much, but YMMV.

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john1990
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby john1990 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:47 pm

Glad to be a part of this thread

1) What score did you get?
166
2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
All 3 Power Score Bibles
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 for 15 months at different rates. In the summer before junior year i took my diagnostic (145) but most of my work came in the next summer. I got to 164 after about 80 hours of studying, and logged 150 hours in all. My highest prep-test was a 167
5) How many prep-tests did you do?
around 50
6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
I would focus more on my weak spots instead of just taking PT after PT. Drill your weaknesses until they are your strengths. 30 PT's would have been enough for me probably. I would have read the Manhattan RC book
7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.
Avoid the RCB, its pretty worthless. Don't waste money with a class. Stay active on TLS, especially in the study group threads
Last edited by john1990 on Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby breadbucket » Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:41 pm

1. 169

2. No books, tried a NOVA book but didn't care for it.

3. TestMasters, full length

4. Studied for three months. Really low intensity the first month, medium intensity the second month, and high intensity the last month. Tapered off the week before the test during the last month.

5. Around 18-20 preptests

6. focus with a high intensity across all three months, start sooner to get the "lazies" worked out.

7. Most people underestimate the external factors that play into the test. For instance, I scored a 160 in my TM diagnostic the week before the test because I had just switched to a mechanical watch and the ticking drove me nuts. Control everything. Learn exactly how many hours after waking up your mental alertness peaks. For instance, I need two hours to be fully alert, so I woke up 2 hours before the test to ensure this.

Caffeine or no caffeine? do not experiment with this on test day, you have practice tests to experiment. For me, 200mg of caffeine was perfect about 30 minutes before testing in order to carry me through the test.

Eat the right foods, i.e. not cereal, consume a sandwich with avocado, beef not turkey, as turkey has a particular type of amino acid that can make you sleepy (thus thanksgiving), whole wheat bread, palm antioxidant tea, and small fruit salad containing berries. This is the perfect, as it contains the perfect balances of fat, carbs, and proteins. Do not make protein your snack for the break, as it takes more energy for your body to use than carbs. Try a nature valley bar and a banana for the carb load and potassium spike to relax muscles. Do not leave these things to chance, try different foods during your PT's and learn what works for you.

Always take your PT under test-like conditions. No movies, music, games, un-scheduled breaks, free-form timing, etc. Sections are 35 min, practice it. There is only one break, do not take more. Use a mechanical watch not a digital or a phone. Also, do not answer the phone. When you are practicing you are testing, treat it as such.

Do not do anything the week before the test, I went from a PT of 171 to a 167 to a 160 in three days because I was burning out. Do not let test day be that 160, go in fresh for the 171.

Finally, I scored a 152 on my first diagnostic and my PT average was only 164, but when it came time I planned for every single element of my body and every test condition within my control. I firmly believed this got me the extra five points.

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

Postby gingervallens » Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:40 pm

1) What score did you get?

173, October 2011

(initial p-test 160, p-test high 179, p-test avg. 176)

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

Powerscore RCB and the full Manhattan series

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

Manhattan Online (meh)

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

approximately 4 or 5 months while working a full time job that required significant overtime (think 60-90hr weeks)

5) How many preptests did you do?

Probably 10 timed in full w/an added experimental section. I also did the last 25 or 30 tests in timed segments, and did many of the more recent ones twice.

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

I would ALWAYS review my wrong answers thoroughly. I got lazy about it the last month and a half, since I was scoring so high, but solely doing repetition can lead to reinforcing bad habits. I also took for granted that I would always go -0 to -2 (total) in LR, but on test day, i was nervous/unfocused and went -7 (personal low), which could have easily been avoided had I spent more time on understanding my mistakes during my prep.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

Everyone is different, but I do not think for most, the notion that studying for the LSAT is a "full-time job" is true. Sure, some people do it and get 180s, but I know a LOT of people who took the LSAT and NONE of the "full-time" studiers got anywhere close to my score. Instead, study smart, and don't burn out. For me, I knew I was only guaranteed the difference between when I woke up and when I left for work as my study time, and this made me really focused during those 1-2 hours each day. However, you NEED to section off time for at LEAST 1 practice test every other week to gauge your progress. 1-2 per week would probably be ideal. I couldn't do that so I studied for a longer period of time. Also, REGISTER when you start studying so you feel financially committed to taking the test, BUT definitely POSTPONE if you're not ready when that day comes. Much easier than writing a multiple score addendum.

In terms of food/caffeine etc. experiment at first, but definitely establish a routine. I honestly think eating good food makes a difference.

My breakfast:

Black tea (not a coffee drinker); Oatmeal w/milk; 2 Nutrigrain waffles w/all natural peanut butter; Gatorade Prime

at 15min break: 5-hour-energy; protein bar

During the break I found it very helpful to talk/socialize with other people to get my mind cleared. Just don't talk about the LSAT.

Good luck!

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

Postby Geetar Man » Sun Dec 11, 2011 12:45 am

gingervallens wrote:1) What score did you get?

173, October 2011

(initial p-test 160, p-test high 179, p-test avg. 176)

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

Powerscore RCB and the full Manhattan series

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

Manhattan Online (meh)

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

approximately 4 or 5 months while working a full time job that required significant overtime (think 60-90hr weeks)

5) How many preptests did you do?

Probably 10 timed in full w/an added experimental section. I also did the last 25 or 30 tests in timed segments, and did many of the more recent ones twice.

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

I would ALWAYS review my wrong answers thoroughly. I got lazy about it the last month and a half, since I was scoring so high, but solely doing repetition can lead to reinforcing bad habits. I also took for granted that I would always go -0 to -2 (total) in LR, but on test day, i was nervous/unfocused and went -7 (personal low), which could have easily been avoided had I spent more time on understanding my mistakes during my prep.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

Everyone is different, but I do not think for most, the notion that studying for the LSAT is a "full-time job" is true. Sure, some people do it and get 180s, but I know a LOT of people who took the LSAT and NONE of the "full-time" studiers got anywhere close to my score. Instead, study smart, and don't burn out. For me, I knew I was only guaranteed the difference between when I woke up and when I left for work as my study time, and this made me really focused during those 1-2 hours each day. However, you NEED to section off time for at LEAST 1 practice test every other week to gauge your progress. 1-2 per week would probably be ideal. I couldn't do that so I studied for a longer period of time. Also, REGISTER when you start studying so you feel financially committed to taking the test, BUT definitely POSTPONE if you're not ready when that day comes. Much easier than writing a multiple score addendum.

In terms of food/caffeine etc. experiment at first, but definitely establish a routine. I honestly think eating good food makes a difference.

My breakfast:

Black tea (not a coffee drinker); Oatmeal w/milk; 2 Nutrigrain waffles w/all natural peanut butter; Gatorade Prime

at 15min break: 5-hour-energy; protein bar

During the break I found it very helpful to talk/socialize with other people to get my mind cleared. Just don't talk about the LSAT.

Good luck!



I work a lot too. Not as much as you did, but I feel that I study a lot compared to how many actual hours I work. You studied pretty rigourously it sounds like for 5 months so I just need to keep on lightly studying and then get into it a bit more come 4 months or so. Anywho, great job!!

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

Postby Legion » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:29 am

This is one is for us mere logic mortals, lurking amongst the logic gods of tls.
1) What score did you get?

-164 (141 diagnostic)

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

-logical reasoning bible, logic games bible, Manhattan Reading Comp, Testmasters course books, TLS thread lurking

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

Testmasters full length

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

-I studied on and off for about 5 months starting in June. My first month I studied lightly, reading the bibles sparingly and familiarizing myself with basic lsat concepts- conditional reasoning, game technique, etc.-for about 5 hours a week. I then started the testmaster course in July and started studying around 45 hours a week until September. I felt that I wasn’t ready to take October so I deferred till December. From September on I probably studied 24 hours a week.
-I worked full time the first month. During testmasters I only worked one day a week and volunteered once a month. Post testmasters, I worked twice a week, interned once a week, and volunteered once a month.

5) How many preptests did you do?

-Full length, strictly timed 5 section PTs with analog watch = 14 of the most recent
-PTs done in sections as drills = all of them up to pt 49

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

Several things

-I only would have done the testmasters online course or not at all. The live class was useless to me. It made me feel stupid and the teacher wasn’t that good imo. The videos with Robin Singh and lesson plans were 100 times more informative.

-done less drills. I probably could have done this regiment in 3 ½ months with the same score. I got serious lsat burnout like 3 times over the course of studying, which really hindered my prep test motivation. Towards the end, I was just going through the motions

-I also would have pm’d people on tls for lsat help. This site is a goldmine for preparation and all you need beside the bibles and actual lsat exams.

-Relaxed and enjoyed life more during my early preparation. Life is too short to get livid and grumpy about the lsat.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

I used Cambridge lsat spreadsheet for score/weakness tracking. http://www.cambridgelsat.com/productdetail/free/test_tracking_spreadsheet/386

Take pithy pykes study guide and modify it to your schedule.
http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=41657

TLS 1776 thread is full of great information as is this threads entirety.
http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=120471

I used simugator for my prep tests, which I found useful
http://www.simugator.com/lsat-proctor-dvd.html

Distractions are good in doses; mine were fantasy football and some great friends.

Walk in like you’re a logic BOSS on test day. I watched Raging Bull the night before the test and went in feeling like Jack La Motta. I just wanted to beat the test to a pulp. I also did some warm ups in the car: I took notes on an rc passage, set up a logic game and did 4 lr questions (without the answers). I also watched the Any Given Sunday speech before driving to the test center http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO4tIrjBDkk

This test did not come easy for me; willpower and tls I owe EVERYTHING to. IT IS POSSIBLE TO BOOST YOUR SCORE DRASTICALLY IF YOU WORK HARD ENOUGH.

Pm me for anything and I will get back to you as promptly as possible. THIS TEST CAN BE BROKEN. WE ARE LEGION: FOR WE ARE MANY.

Back to lurking until I feel confident enough to post again. 8)

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

Postby chill » Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:20 pm

1) What score did you get? 179 (164, diagnostic)

2) What books did you use? The PS Bibles. All of 'em. After finishing the LG bible, I tested in the 170's until test day.

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) Did the three bibles in September, then took 3 PTs a week until the December test. Was working, but was able to review at work.

5) How many preptests did you do? Probably about 20? And then wrote out a 2-3 sentence explanation for every question I got wrong. I have a whole notebook full of my flawed logical thinking. I also realized I was misbubbling regularly in LR, so I developed an overwrought system to check myself. Basically, I rated each LR question from 1-4 in difficulty. I finished LR consistently in 20-25 minutes, so I'd take that last 10-15 minutes to go back through the questions, starting with the easiest (level 1). I'd just check to make sure that those were bubbled correctly and put a big star over the entire question once I checked it. Then I'd reread the level 2s, make sure I was cool with my answer, and star over the question. I'd rethink the 3's, star, and then look at the 4's. Those, I really analyzed again. Finally, I'd star over the whole page whenever I had starred all the questions on it. Ended up with two perfect LR sections on test day.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again? Honestly? Nothing. Maybe been faster at RC (I was -3 on test day in RC) or have checked my answers in LG (test day was the first time since October that I'd missed an LG question. Cost me the 180.). But I'm fine with the 179.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

I took 6-section tests, 30-minute sections, practice tests on busy trains, busses, at work (I was working a job that had a fluctuating workload, and sometimes, we'd have no customers in the morning, so I could PT). In other words, I made my PT sessions more difficult than they would be on test day. I also made sure to track my scores. By November, I was hitting at 176+ every time.

I did my hair and makeup on test day. I strongly believe you'll do better if you feel put-together. Do not wear sweat pants. I cannot stress this enough. You are not setting up for a day watching Real Housewives and eating chili straight out of the can.

I will likely come back and add more things as I think of them, but for now, that's that.

ETA: On test day, I thought back to my worst score within the past month and decided I'd be fine with that score (IIRC, it was around a 174?). I figured if I did the worst I had done recently, I'd still be okay. That took a lot of the pressure off of me and made it so I just had fun with the test. (I think this advice stands, whatever score you're shooting for. If you put too much pressure on yourself to match your high score, you'll focus on things other than the exam, driving down your score.)

Also, I warmed up with a LG section while my dad was driving me to the test. Got my brain up and active. And I told myself, repeatedly, that, whatever happened, I'd be happy with it, since I'd prepared all I could.
Last edited by chill on Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Scotusnerd » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:37 am

I'll add my name here.


1) What score did you get?
164.

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
Powerscore LG bible, LR bible and RC Bibles

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)
From April 2011 through December 2011

5) How many preptests did you do?
Approximately 30.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
I would never have bought those LSAT prep books from barnes and noble. Don't buy McGraw Hill! It's crap.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.
I wish I could explain this better to nonmusicians. This test is just like a performance. You must practice until you are confident in your material and it's almost as easy as breathing. What is important is constant, smart practice, not 'cramming' or 'intellectual stimulation'. Don't get caught up in the rush or panic if you have a bad practice test. Study smart and study hard, and you will do better than 90% of the other poor schmucks that try to take this test, no matter how talented they think they are.

Also, don't spend too much time putzing around on TLS forums right before testing. All the creepy people come out!

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

Postby krisi » Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:41 pm

Hey guys, I just retook the February 2012 LSAT and I think that I bombed the logic games. Still, I want to share what I have learned with other people from almost two years of intermittent studying.


1) What score did you get?

165

This was the second time I took it. The first time I cancelled because I panicked and had a blackout during some of the sections.

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

Powerscore all Bibles and Kaplan and Testmasters


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

I took the Kaplan Advanced LSAT course. If you going for Kaplan, I would recommend this one since people there have usually scored above 159 and they cover the advanced material. When deciding what class to take, I read post (it might have been here) and that it said that the teacher is the most important part of the class. I was lucky and had an awesome teacher who scored in the 99% and I was happy with my class.
However, one thing that I did not like was the Kaplan explanations. I printed out all of their explanations and when working on my own, I found sometimes mistakes (yes, even in formal logic!). One website that I really liked was the manhattan lsat blog. The way they explain things made a lot more sense to me and during my individual practice when not taking a class, I would often refer to this website. Do not get me wrong I contribute part of my score to Kaplan but I am honest about their strengths and weaknesses.



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

I did all of my studying after college after working full-time often more than 40 hours per week. I wish I was done with the LSAT while in college.

5) How many preptests did you do?

It is hard to say since I took Kaplan the first time around and I was just following their schedule. However, I think I managed to cover most of them. When I took the test the first time, I panicked. The second time I hardly studied, just went took it and scored in the 92%. Maybe I took 3 or 4 tests to remind myself of the structure.

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

I have always been good at taking standardized tests. This was not the case with the lsat. The logic and the way of thinking of the test appealed to me but I found it hard to master it. (Well, I am not one of these lucky people, who just studied for a month, took it and scored 170+). My biggest piece of advice is do not panic and do not let it get to you. I think that many people who are geared towards law are perfectionist. They have been straight A students and always successful in school and expecting to get the test done almost perfectly. This is the wrong way of thinking for this test. What I have learned during my preparation is that it is important to let go of your mistakes and just move on. You will never get everything right but if you keep a positive attitude and be like a warrior who never gives up and fights for every question no matter what has happened on the previous one, you are likely to do well.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions

I wish I had more structure and organization. I approached the lsat like most students. Let’s read all the books, take a couple of preptests and you will get it. This works but a more efficient approach is to have a plan and track your progress. Take a preptest. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and make a plan of addressing your weak spots. Take a preptest on a regular basis (I did once per week) and evaluate your progress, Record all of this information in spreadsheet and review on a regular basis.


Hope this helps. I wanted to share with people my hard-lea

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

Postby ladeornmc » Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:19 pm

1) What score did you get?

177

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

All three Powerscore Bibles, the logic games workbook, few Kaplan books, and all PT's I could get.

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

None. Self-study.

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

During the summer of of my second year of undergrad I studied (few hours a day) and went through all the Bibles and did a few PTs. Was scoring at the end of it in the low 170s. Took a break once school started and then the next year studied June-December. 4-5 hours over the summer every day and then 2+ until December (while going through school).

5) How many preptests did you do?

All that I could get my hands on. Over 40.

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

Probably could have studied a bit more religiously for 4-5 months instead of spreading it out. Overall happy with the 177 although I was scoring a bit higher and was hoping that a 178/179 would really push me over the edge in HYS. Guess we'll see what happens (interview with Harvard coming up).

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

Have a few tips that I developed over the year or two of studying that really helped me go form low 170s to high 170s.

Tip #1: Don't start late. The key to doing well with the LSAT is to properly understand all of it's components. Just as it takes awhile to get used to a new car or software you have to just feel out a few practice tests and spend a few months reading TLS and your Bibles to get a feel for what the test is really about. Being able to do this, take a break for a few months, then go into more rigorous studying is really effective.

Tip #2: Stamina. Stamina is key. Just like practicing for a big race you shouldn't be accustomed to just going the distance of the race. If you want to be most effective the race should be less than you're used to doing. It should begin to feel effortless to sit down and concentrate for that long. Try doing practice tests then reading a chapter or two of one of the Bibles or doing another section so that you'll be sitting down and working for an hour or so more than just the LSAT will be.

Tip #3: Conditions. Nothing should come as a surprise prior to the test. I went a few days earlier to the testing locations and walked around. Knew the best route to the testing area, knew what door to enter, etc. I also had all my clothes I was going to wear laid out, woke up with lots of time to spare, and had a good sized breakfast. Making this as low stress (considering the inherent stress of what schools you get into directly relating to your score) is essential.

Tip #4: Focus. Focus is absolutely key. In the breaks I stood and thought about what was coming up on the test. What I mentally had to prepare to begin. I'm normally really social but I zoned completely out. Focus on each section before worrying about the next and you'll be fine.

Ultimately the test is predictable. If you can get used to sitting down and concentrating for longer periods of time than the test will be and work your way down to having at least a consistant few minute buffer on each section you should be fine. It's all about practice and it's all about technique.

Just remember that compared to the MCAT this is a piece of cake. :D

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

Postby beneal » Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:26 am

Hi everyone. My name is Brittany and I am currently a Junior and I took the LSAT for the first time this month. I don't think I did nearly as well as I wanted to do on it. I wasn't able to devote as much time as I wanted to on it (about an hour every day). I know I plan on taking it again, either the June or October test date. I don't know if I want to invest in taking one of the courses because I believe I do better when I self study. And by the looks of this forum, it seems as though people have done quite well with that method. I was wondering how you all stay motivated when going through this process, how long in advance I should study for the LSAT the 2nd time around what was everyone's favorite/best tools for prepping. Also, I've been told that I'm took the LSAT quite early, but I thought it was probably best to get as much experience as possible.

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

Postby Geetar Man » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:00 pm

beneal wrote:Hi everyone. My name is Brittany and I am currently a Junior and I took the LSAT for the first time this month. I don't think I did nearly as well as I wanted to do on it. I wasn't able to devote as much time as I wanted to on it (about an hour every day). I know I plan on taking it again, either the June or October test date. I don't know if I want to invest in taking one of the courses because I believe I do better when I self study. And by the looks of this forum, it seems as though people have done quite well with that method. I was wondering how you all stay motivated when going through this process, how long in advance I should study for the LSAT the 2nd time around what was everyone's favorite/best tools for prepping. Also, I've been told that I'm took the LSAT quite early, but I thought it was probably best to get as much experience as possible.


Hey Brittany. You should repost this as a new topic in this forum: viewforum.php?f=6 . There is a wealth of knowledge in this subforum, along with the ability to post a new topic, that will help answer any questions you may have. Good luck!

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

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:13 pm

Favorite prep thread.

1) What score did you get? 166, 169 from diag 151

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc) Powerscore LG/LR, Manhattan RC/LR, Kaplan's book of LR questions arranged by section, and Cambridge's LR/RC by type

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

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc) I started studying for June in late January as a FT student while working as well. It was rough at times but I knew I had a lot of ground to make up with my diagnostic and my goal. I purposely took my core courses earlier and saved some freshmen courses for LSAT study time so I wouldn't spread myself thin, and my job isn't too demanding. From January-June I was studying about 25 hrs/week (took me 6 months to learn I wasn't really studying the right way, at all). After a June cancel, I studied lightly until October (166 with 15 hrs/wk). From October-December, I didn't really study at all but retook about 8 old PTs and a couple other PTs I saved just in case I took December.

5) How many preptests did you do? Preptests 7-62, Superprep A-C, and a few from 1-7. Somewhere in the ballpark of 40 were timed with experimental sections, while I saved others to just spend time on individual sections.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again? I would be more cognizant about which methods were working for me and which were not. One thing I found difficult in LSAT prep was actually figuring out how the hell to do it. There are so many different schedules and strategies that it is at times hard to see the forest with all the trees. My first 6 months studying were obsessively compulsive in following a particular strategy and schedule and I would work myself up over being off on the schedule by a day. Create a legitimate study plan but don't be afraid to deviate if necessary. Pithypikes LG method was amazing, but I didn't glean too much from LR.

If I were to do it again, I wouldn't really take too much stock in LR strategy per PS/Manhattan's method. LR was my weakest section, but after gaining some perspective my scores literally changed overnight. Rather than memorizing rules for different questions I just started approaching the sections with the perspective that the goal for each question was to spot the error. Seems simple enough. Every stimulus has an error. If you spot it, you win. The only helpful strategy in LR was knowing the differences between sufficient/necessary assumptions. Because I was obsessively following the PS/Manhattan method I had to "detrain" my brain and just get back to the basics to get my scores right. Obviously, ymmv with that.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions. The most helpful substantive advice: follow pithypike's LG method. I had all of the PT's in pdf format and divided each into their particular game (linear basic, sequencing, etc.). I printed 3 copies of each, made a large table of contents, and bound them into 2 rather large books. At the front of each book, I had a page that kept track of the time each game took, as well as my score. This allowed me to track my process and was extremely helpful. It will take a full day or two but it was great. Obviously you'll want to save a few games for real PTs though.

If something isn't working in your strategy, change it. In addition, my biggest gains came when I chilled the hell out. I am a social type, and being shackled away every day for hours on end just didn't result in large gains. Obviously - for those with low diags like me - you'll need to do some extremely heavy lifting in the beginning. But don't be afraid to go out on a Friday night and have a few beers (or 12). And don't be afraid to go do it again on Saturday. My December test I went out 4 nights that week and I genuinely believe that I scored higher because I was chilled out.

Also, familiarize yourself with the newer games. I was consistently -0/-1 on my PTs in LG but suffered a bit from LG on test day(admittedly it was my lowest section in Dec., which resulted in a huge point loss).

waysidemadison180
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:43 pm

Re:

Postby waysidemadison180 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:47 pm

Lyrrad wrote:Figured I should post here. Hopefully it's helpful.

1) What score did you get?
180 (PrepTest Average: 175, 176 in the few days running up to the test)

2) What books did you use?
Regular Kaplan Book (Premiere), Powerscore LR/LG/LGSetups, Kaplan 180

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)
1 Month. Nothing else to do that month except study.

5) How many preptests did you do? 27

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
I wouldn't buy the LG Setups or Kaplan 180. I didn't use the LG Setups at all, and only looked at the tips in the Kaplan 180 book.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.
a) Get the LSAT Proctor DVD. It's helpful.
b) Don't worry about not getting much sleep the night before. Just make sure you get rest the few days before.
c) Never be satisfied with an almost perfect score when Practising. Look carefully at all mistakes you make on a PrepTest.
d) Don't over-study. I got burned out a couple weeks in.
e) Slow down studying the final week.
f) Understanding the Logic Games is more important than diagramming it the same way they do it in the PowerScore book. If you know you can remember a key rule, you may not need to write it out.
g) If there's an either-or in a Logic Game, consider two diagrams, one for each case and its implications. This was necessary to breeze through the Sept 07 LGs.


Thanks for the helpful post!

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Lovely Ludwig Van
Posts: 369
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:43 pm

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

Postby Lovely Ludwig Van » Thu May 24, 2012 12:10 pm

1. What score?

170, cancel, 173.

I am not a genius like some of the other folks on this website. I started out with a 160 diagnostic and had to slowly/methodically work my way up to what I ended up with. This test is absolutely learnable, it's just a matter of whether the given applicant is willing to put in the work.

2. What books?

PT's 1-60, LG Bible, LR Bible, and a shitload of copies.

3. What prep courses?

Self-study. IMHO, not only will prep courses waste your money, they will waste your time. Valuable time that should be spent immersed within the details of the test, you are instead spending in class amongst a group of people who may or may not have the same problems you have. This is not an efficient use of time. If you are going to spend money on anything, spend it on a private tutor who can meet with you once a week to go over the really nasty questions that you can't figure out on your own (though IMO, most people should be able to figure everything out on their own minus the questions LSAC comes up with to separate 175+ takers from non-175+ takers).

4. How long did you study?

3 months leading up to my first try, 4 weeks leading up to my second try, and 4 weeks leading up to my third try.

5. How many preptests?

60

6. What would you have done different?

Don't overanalyze things on logical reasoning. Sometimes, when you get stuff wrong on LR and don't understand why you got it wrong, you make the mistake of overanalyzing similar questions in the future, which only makes things worse. On most questions, your mistake will be clear and unequivocal once you know what it was, you just need to take the time to figure it out. Also, on test day, don't be afraid to pull the trigger when you are confident of the answer. Don't waste time on gimmes and let them take up more of your time than they should. 95% of the time when I double-check my answers, I end up deciding on the same answer, which only wastes my time. If you know it when you see it, don't double-check.

7. Miscellaneous comments/suggestions.

1) Do as many real practice tests (5 sections) under strictly timed conditions as possible. That sounds really simple but it is literally the best thing you can possibly do to improve your score. When you feel like you've gotten a good hang of pacing/endurance, take a test every once in a while with 6 sections and 32 minutes per section. This will improve your endurance and efficiency, and most importantly, you'll get used to finishing with a couple minutes to spare on each section, which did WONDERS for me in terms of reducing test day anxiety.

2) Repeat every logic game until you can beast through each one with 100% accuracy in under 8 minutes. It will suck at first, logic games always does. But when you've done every game 2-3 times, everything will become second nature to you. More so than any other section, LG is a battle of attrition: how long/hard are you willing to work to master this stuff? Are you willing to take and retake each game until you fully understand how everything works? With the way LG's are written nowadays (since PT 40 or so), the LG section of the LSAT should be a gimme to anyone who is willing to put in the work; RC is the real separator. LG is there for the taking if you want it badly enough.

3) On logical reasoning, make sure to underline every conclusion. It helps you create a mental map of the stimulus (which is half the work on parallel/assumption/conclusion/justify/etc.), and keeps the reasoning clear. This is a HUGE time saver.

4) On reading comprehension, get used to digesting complicated information (Scientific American, the Economist, NY Times, etc.) without having to re-read. Also, try to memorize as you read. I found that in UG, I got used to reading without retaining, since most of the assigned readings in social science courses were long and pointless, and thus only required skimming. Not so on the LSAT, you have to read and retain.

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Bottom line, what it really comes down to, is repetition. You've just got to do it over and over again until everything is second nature and there is no chance that your nerves/anxiety can interfere with that second nature on test day. Good luck.

chris9152
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:40 pm

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

Postby chris9152 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:21 am

1) What score did you get?

Don't have the June score yet. Games was rough. Hoping for a curve that reflects this. ~175 on practice tests.

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

Princeton Review course materials and "Logic Games Workout," the latter purchased separately.

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

Full-length Princeton Review course. The class had 3-5 students, met twice per week for 3.5 hours, and practice tests were given nearly every weekend. It was taught by a very experienced teacher (someone who typically teaches new Princeton Review teachers) who could not have been more knowledgeable or invested in our success.

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

3 months, and under good conditions — left a full-time job to study.

5) How many preptests did you do?

16. I had each of them scanned and graphed to compare results and properly direct my efforts.

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

I wouldn't.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

If you're going to take a class, the teacher is what matters. Having someone who knew what she was talking about and who was engaged in seeing improvement in her students made a huge difference. Also, I took extra practice tests. The Princeton Review licenses every LSAC practice test and staff will proctor them for you for free as long as you're signed up for a class/with a tutor.




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