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

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

Postby bruss » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:09 am

chris9152 wrote: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.


Bro wtf. Without a real score this is just Princeton review spam.

chris9152
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby chris9152 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:26 am

bruss wrote:
chris9152 wrote: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.


Bro wtf. Without a real score this is just Princeton review spam.


Even with a "real" score, this would still qualify as what you call "Princeton Review spam." Their program worked well for me, but I did go above and beyond what the course required. I do think that a lot depends on the teacher, maybe even more so than the organization. I've never attended any other classes, so I wouldn't be able to offer a good comparison to other test prep companies.

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UDFlyers90
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby UDFlyers90 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:23 pm

chris9152 wrote:
bruss wrote:
chris9152 wrote: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.
Last edited by UDFlyers90 on Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

k5220
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby k5220 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:54 pm

1) What score did you get?
175

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
Just the materials provided by TestMasters

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

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc)
3 months. Starting to study in the summer when my other commitments were light was beneficial because it gave me time to really digest the most important/foundational material. I did most of my independent studying the few weeks before the test to crack the areas where I was still having problems (timing on RC, mostly).

5) How many preptests did you do?
Lots of practice questions, practice passages, practice sections, but only 5 full-length strictly-timed practice tests. (All my full-length tests were proctored by TestMasters; I didn't trust myself to administer my own and having the proctor was actually a really good experience).

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
More independent studying and definitely preptests on my own in addition to proctored preptests. I would've tried the suggestion I've seen around here to do preptests with reduced time.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.
> Take the day fefore the test off. Putting down any study materials the day before the test prevents burn-out and helps you go into the test fresh. You get a day for everything to just sink in.
> Get a good night's sleep. I ran 10 miles the day before the test and drank tea with valerian root so that I could fall asleep and avoid being kept awake by stress.
> Practice using your analog watch. I would always set mine to 12:25 at the beginning of each section, so that the minute hand was 35 minutes away from 12:00 and I knew time was up once the minute hand hit the 12.
> One thing that helped me with RC timing was doing the comparative passages last. Because they're so short, each passage is less dense and they're much easier to rush through.
> A final note: I'm really glad I took a class. I saved up for it myself and paying for it was a pain in the butt, but there is no way I would've been disciplined enough to do all the necessary work. Just try to be honest with yourself when you make this decision.

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

Postby EvelynS » Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:15 am

1) 166 (my 1st diagnostic was 142)

2) I used LSAC books with actual tests

3) Took 2 prep courses simultaneously. One with Test Masters (2 days a week, and diagnostics on Saturdays) and another one provided at my school (2 days a week, and diagnostics on Sundays)...Yes, I know...it was probably too much, but 4 hours a day 4 days a week worked for me;-)

4) Studied during the summer, while working part-time. Also, did some studying in September when my school started on top of my p/t job.

5) I do not remember the exact number, but I did around 20 full tests under real-time conditions, i.e. starting at 9 am and throwing an experimental section from other tests.

6) I would probably dedicate my full time to studying for LSAT, no job & no school.

7) I did not like my TM instructor, but the one at my school was amazing. That is why I am glad that I took 2 courses simultaneously. So, it does not really matter which prep course you choose as long as the instructor CAN TEACH.

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

Postby NoodleyOne » Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:55 pm

1) 169 up from a diag of 158 (was PTing in mid 170s)

2) Used the LRB, didn't touch the LGB that I bought because I was getting -0 without it (regret that decision)

3) No course, self-study

4) Started studying early May for the June test

5) 13 in total

6) I am doing it again... I would study more, drill more, and use Manhattan guides. Take more PTs and take more time to study (didn't really have a choice in the time I had to study, just wish I had more the first time around)

7) Review each PT thoroughly, and after a few (3-5) review them as a group to find patterns. Use a PT tracker of some sort to see if there are any weaknesses that you need to drill more than others. And don't get cocky.

eth810
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby eth810 » Sat Sep 01, 2012 1:52 pm

Hi,

I'm kind of getting discouraged in my studying for the LSAT and I guess I'm looking for some advice. I started with a diag of 161 in late June. I studied throughout the summer and took a Kaplan course, and after taking 4 practice exams, my score has only gone up to 165. Granted, I didn't study every day, but I took timed sections about 3 times a week and I went through all of Kaplan's "Mastery" books. My goal was to get my practice test score up around 170.

At this point, should I not take the October exam? Should I continue to take preptests and just hope my score improves? Getting really frustrated.

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

Postby NoodleyOne » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:33 pm

One month is enough time to boost up five points. I would recommend the Manhattan guides, although time is getting pretty short now. Still, they're excellent and I personally swear by them.

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

Postby francesfarmer » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:14 pm

indy wrote:1) What score did you get?
170 in December 2009 (-1 LG, -7 RC, -5 LR), 172 in June 2012 (-5 RC, -3 LR)

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
All three powerscore bibles the second time, also "A Rulebook for Arguments" and I religiously read a popular LSAT blog. Also all of the new real/actual/etc. PTs.

3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend?
None, but I bought a study guide off the aforementioned LSAT Blog the second time around.

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc)
First time: one month, 5-6 hours a day, with sub-par materials (older tests with easier RC, etc.). I was unemployed so I had a lot of free time.
Second time: four months, 2-3 hours a day, five days a week. I was working at the time so I would show up an hour early to work and study during my hour long lunch break. I would study for longer on the weekends when I started PTing.

5) How many preptests did you do?
In parts: probably 20.
As whole 4 or 5+ section tests: 20.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
I would get a tutor if I had the money, and I would spend way less time on games, which were my strength (but too fun to pass up!). If I did it again I would power through the LGB in a couple of weeks and spend the next 3.5 months on RC and LR.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.
My first untimed diagnostic (cold) was a 163. I really didn't improve much from that score, which disappoints me, though I'm convinced I would have gotten like a 175 if I hadn't had an experimental RC right before my real RC. My advice for high scorers who can't seem to break the 170+ barrier is to SLOW DOWN. I was going way too fast and making stupid mistakes out of laziness because I was relying on my test-taking intuition, which worked great in college and high school, but not when trying to break into the 99th percentile. I was PT-ing at 175-179 before the real thing both times I took it.


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

Postby francesfarmer » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:17 pm

eth810 wrote:Hi,

I'm kind of getting discouraged in my studying for the LSAT and I guess I'm looking for some advice. I started with a diag of 161 in late June. I studied throughout the summer and took a Kaplan course, and after taking 4 practice exams, my score has only gone up to 165. Granted, I didn't study every day, but I took timed sections about 3 times a week and I went through all of Kaplan's "Mastery" books. My goal was to get my practice test score up around 170.

At this point, should I not take the October exam? Should I continue to take preptests and just hope my score improves? Getting really frustrated.

If you had a 161 diagnostic you owe it to yourself to put a lot more time and effort into studying. I'd say forego the October exam and study a LOT until December using new materials. Either Kaplan sucks or it just doesn't click with your brain.

If you want a 170 on the exam your PT scores should be much higher than that.

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

Postby TripTrip » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:09 pm

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Last edited by TripTrip on Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

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

Postby mikechukwu » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:20 am

What's going on guys, I'm new to the forum but I really need advice on my LSAT prep. Right now, I'm preparing for the December test, and I've been taking a Testmasters Prep Course since June. The highest I've scored on a practice test has been a 155 and I'm really just looking for any help on what to do to improve my score. Any suggestions on books I should purchase, studying techniques. Any help is appreciated.

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

Postby NoodleyOne » Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:56 pm

Pithypike's guide on this page is a good foundation, although I would augment the Powerscore Bibles with the Manhattan Guides (especially for LR and RC). Other than that, drill and PT, review well and thoroughly, and use this forum. It helps.

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

Postby stumpjumpertab » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:21 pm

I'm new to the forum. I'm finishing my last semester of undergrad, with hopes to attend law school in 2014. How should I start preparing for the LSAT? I have some money saved up, and could afford to take classes or maybe even a private tutor but I have no idea where to start. I am in Dallas, Texas.

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

Postby TripTrip » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:20 am

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b1650
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby b1650 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:55 am

Need motivation? Read this!!! :)

--LinkRemoved--

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

Postby cpamom » Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:25 pm

1) What score did you get?
166
2) What books did you use?
I used LRB and LGB, but later switched to Mahattan. The Bibles are too long :) Seriously, I just did not have time.

3) What prep courses did you take?
I bought a comprehensive course from Velocity, but I did not find their LR or RC terribly helpful. I did not devote much time to them, though. Tried, did not like it, moved on. I had to see someone doing Logic Games, would've takne me a lot longer to get it if I only used a book.

4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions?
I just studied whenever I could (mostly at work at the end of the month).

5) How many preptests did you do?
About 10

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
I am doing it again, devoting more time to my weak areas- RC (bought Manhattan guide and found it short, sweet and to the point) and logic games. I hate RC (English is not my native language) and I have to change my attitude to improve.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions. I was short of time, so I always kept a book in my car so I could study if I have a spare minute. I found this:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=36512
to be very helpful, especially if you have time to go every test twice.
Last edited by cpamom on Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:25 am, edited 3 times in total.

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

Postby cgood » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:21 am

Thanks for all the advice guys, this thread is gold.
I'm currently planning on rewriting in December and scored a 156 on the October one, I knew I wasn't very prepared but I'm determined to get my score up at least 5 points for December.
What's the best advice to increase my score? My current study plan is to do a PT every other day (or at least 2-3 a week) and review them on the days between, plug my answers into LSATQA.com to find my weaknesses, and also go through all the Powerscore Bibles along the way. Anything else I should do? My timing for LG seems to be my biggest weakness, and RC varies a lot (anywhere from -10 to -4).

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

Postby DavidHasselhoff » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:56 pm

NoodleyOne wrote:One month is enough time to boost up five points. I would recommend the Manhattan guides, although time is getting pretty short now. Still, they're excellent and I personally swear by them.


So I took NoodleyOne's advise and went with Manhattan Guides for the Dec. Test. I took Oct after studying twice w/ Kaplan's Extreme Course for 9 mos. I began w/ a diagnostics of 147 (really low for what I expected) and got a 153 (which I am almost embarrassed to state) on the Oct test after I had been PT'ing @ 164. I found out really quick that Kaplan was a joke.

Although they have all the tests and explanations for each question, Manhattan showed me the underlying concepts and structures of the arguments. I have a pretty good feeling about this Dec test, but we'll see. Unlike many of you who are smarter than I and delaying their retake for another year, I am hoping for a score sufficient enough to get me in the door to a top school and let my personal statement and GPA (3.75) do the rest. That stated, I would not go back to Kaplan nor recommend them because it was expensive ($1,700+) and their goal is to boost your score, even if by 1 point. If they have done that, then their job is done and they don't seem to care about your real progress. Manhattan LSAT seems to have some great material and if I were to do it again, I would seek out the best material from as many courses as possible and then self-study each of them until I have PT's of 175+. With enough of the right kind of practice, a 180 is attainable, I believe.

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

Postby cynthiad » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:57 pm

1) What score did you get?

180

2) What books did you use?

Preptests and free advice/study guide from LSATblog.

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)

3 months, during fall of senior year.

5) How many preptests did you do?

I drilled LR and LG from 29-38 and did about 10 full-length preptests.

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

I would take the preptests under more realistic conditions. I wasn't very vigilant about avoiding distractions, so I didn't focus as well.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

I did slightly better on the real thing than any of my preptests. I think the test conditions focused my mind and made me more alert to careless errors. I would recommend taking the preptests under conditions that are as realistic as possible. I found the logic games advice and week-by-week study guide from LSATblog to be very helpful, especially since it was free.

ncc5
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby ncc5 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:37 pm

1) What score did you get?

172

2) What books did you use?

LR and LG Bibles, Manhattan RC

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

None

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

I studied from June to October for the October test (165) and the month of November for the December test (172)

5) How many preptests did you do?

I would say about 10 full-length, though I drilled all the sections from PT's 40 up.

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

I would have studied more for RC before October, as I took it for granted and missed about 3 more on Oct than December. Overall, I would drill more LG. I hammered it over and over again but still missed -6 on Dec, which is a bummer considering that is worse than the majority of my PTs.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

First, I kind of disagree with some people on this site who have an LG -0 do or die attitude. I did quite well even doing poorly on LG and I found that LR and RC was much easier to improve than LG. Point being, it is good to isolate one of the three types as your best and really concentrate on going -0 in one of those sections (mine was LR, I missed -2 on the two LR sections combined). It doesn't really matter what it is, but it is pretty helpful to have one section you can blank.

That being said, I definitely left some points on the test that I could have avoided had I just slowed down a little. In October I panicked, rushed through LG and missed -8. I did a similar thing in Oct, but I was able to handle the pressure more because I trusted the system I had come up with. On test day, trust your training.

jackbauer10
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Re: Great Advice on How to get 160+ on the LSAT...

Postby jackbauer10 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:57 pm

1) What score did you get?

171

2) What books did you use?

PowerScore LR and LG Bibles, Manhattan RC

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

None

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

I studied from June to October for the October test (test-day anxiety = bomb) and the month of November for the December test.

5) How many preptests did you do?

20 full length, timed PTs from June to Oct. Twice I did 2 full-lengths back to back (4 PTs) for stamina
About 5 full lenght, timed from Nov to Dec

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

1. I would have started drilling my weaker areas more for the Oct Test instead of focusing on full-length tests.
2. I would have done several PROCTORED tests with only a 5 minute warning and 10-15 seconds in between each section, as well as using a tiny-ass desk. My testing conditions were sub-par and I should have been more prepared for that. Doesn't help to do some TLS research and find out what testing centers are the best in your area.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

For LR: Use LSATQA to track what questions you are missing. Get the Manhattan bundles for those types and drill them into the ground.
For RC: By far my hardest section. Worked on attacking the passages rather than reading passively. There's a few free videos at Velocity that will point you in the right direction. Drill, drill, drill.
For LG: get comfortable with different types of games and also get comfortable adjusting your diagrams on the fly. If you're starting with the PowerScore bible, don't be afraid to alter diagrams depending on how you see things visually. I started off too set in my ways and wasn't able to think on my feet in October (ZONES!)
Also, it's important to work LG in full sections, as you won't always have 8.5 minutes per game. Get used to doing easy games in sub-5 minutes to save yourself time for the harder ones.

Come test day, DO NOT PANIC & Trust your training.
Oct: -6 below my PT average
Nov: 171 -> -4RC; -5LR; -2LG

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

Postby jselson » Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:39 am

1) What score did you get?

177

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

Only official PTs, although I bought the Powerscore LGB Workbook for extra games, but it wasn't very useful. I wish I had gotten Manhattan's LR books, they seem very thorough.

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 late August through September, but missed the registration deadlines for October. Took October off (mostly), and started back up in November. LG was my weakness, so I drilled that a lot more, but early on, I was pretty unfocused. LR and RC, my strengths, I just developed through PTs and review. During November, I was really hard on myself about exact conditions, so perfect timing for everything, no drinking during tests, adding a fifth section for endurance training, analog watch, etc. But I didn't do PTs in the morning until 2 weeks out, and I only did one test where I didn't smoke during the "break."

During this time, I was teaching 4 days a week, about 20 hours/wk. Very flexible hours.

5) How many preptests did you do?

~30 whole ones, and ~50 LG sections total.

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

I would've focused on LR a bit more, probably with the Manhattan books, and would have always taken tests in the morning, since when I was tired in the afternoons, it often hurt my timing, and since I often blamed my wrong answers on timing issues, it was hard to improve my speed. On the actual test, I had only 5 minutes left for both LR sections for the last 5 questions, and 5 minutes for the last RC passage. I only finished early with LG.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

Perform under exacting conditions, and make sure your LG sheets are pristine in terms of keeping them organized. Also, do the early LG sections, they take more creativity to diagram them correctly, and will prepare you for odder set-ups come the real thing.

Also, when people talk right before the test around you about how prepping was easy and this and that, know that 97% of the time, those people didn't study enough. Just stay calm, quiet, and focused during your test - it really is just another PT.

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

Postby bitsy » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:21 pm

dunno why this thead was unstickied, i found it very helpful during my prep. even the older posts are brimming with gold.

1) What score did you get?
173-->177


2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
first take: PR, Kaplan, PS LRB, PS LGB, PS LGB workbook
second take: Manhattan RC


3) What prep courses did you take (if any)? Full length, weekend?
none, though i did study with the dec retaker thread the second time. much more helpful than a room full of local students, imho.


4) How long did you study for, and under what conditions? (during school, during the summer, etc)
one month prior to each test. had approx zero other obligations at the time, which made cramming possible. everyone in my fam called me a schlepper for not jobbing up, but they changed their tune once they saw my scores.


5) How many preptests did you do?
~15 before each take, with full dress rehearsals a week before test date (went to the testing center, kept time, same breakfast and snack [spinach and cheese omelet + 2/3 of a 5 hr energy//peanut butter on celery + the rest of bottle], same lucky bra)


6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
i took morning administrations--should have aligned my sleep schedule earlier. there is a lot of anecdotal evidence on tls that sleep isn't totally necessary, but i am one of those monster people who fantasizes about stabbing the face of any creature who dares even to exist in my vicinity before 10am (kittens and turtles excluded). know thyself. i was super groggy my first take and ended up missing many questions on the first section. the second time around, i started waking up ~730 for two weeks prior.


7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.
i had a very easy time with LR and LG, mostly owing to math/phil courses. LG has a learning curve, though, so here's how i made the section my bitch:

LG: i would make three copies of each game before working it. i started off with PR, then the LGB. i liked learning different approaches to LG, because it kept me flexible. on test day, i ended up using a hybrid of the techniques i encountered.
first, i would try the game in the book, timing myself for every attempt. then, i would get out a pen, and copy the game solution as presented by the book. every diagram, every rule symbolization, every hypo necessary to answer all the questions. on the back of the solution sheet, i would keep track of each time i went through the game-- how long it took me, which ones i missed, and how well i remembered the game if it was a later take. i kept all the loose pages in a three ring binder, divided up by solutions, fresh games, and worked games. later on, i added two extra categories for fresh sections and worked sections.
by the time i finished the books, i was a beast at LG. i googled lists of the hardest games ever, and took their sections. i think its important to try the tough games within the context of a section, because thats how i learned to manage timing. much later, i put together super-sections of extremely tough LGs and took them in 35 minutes, but that part's unnecessary unless you're a self-flagellating lsat drudge like me.

LR: not much to say for this one. i can only regurgitate other's advice of going back through PTs immediately and figuring out why you're making mistakes. i would take a pen, circle the numbers i got wrong, then write out an explanation for why the right answer was right, and why the wrong answer i choose was SPS.

RC: my nemesis. for some reason, i found myself interpreting passages in a way different from the test makers. i'm a good reader and was assigned dense papers in UG, so messing up this section made me Hulk. literally, i would yell at their stupid correct answers for being so stupid (while practicing, that is--i contained myself during the actual test). i went -5 on my first take in RC, and -2 on the rest of the test. it was obviously a weak spot.
i focused on this section almost exclusively for my second take. i still took full PTs, but i rigged every experimental so that it was an RC section.
i started out RC prep by looking at the Cambridge packets. i liked these guys because they arranged passages by difficulty, but if you already have PTs 1-38 this purchase isn't necessary.
although i could scrape by in the easier passages with -0 or -1, i still worked them all. there are patterns to answers that are easier to detect in simple passages, and the same skills come into play on the harder stuff. i worked every single passage except for those in natural science, because i was a little bit lazy and kicked ass in that subject anyway.
i also read manhattan RC. recommended. do this before drilling, so you can shape up your implementation of their techniques. i bought the book on kindle, but seriously bros, spring for the paper copies. the electronic formatting was whacked, and i had a hard time working problems on scratch paper.

part of what kept me going in this process was making the studying fun. i came up with weird places to take passages (during a parade, in a tree, while the previews were showing before Lincoln). checking in with my fellow retakers and competing with them also made the studying less suck.

if anyone in your life gives you shit about studying too much, either remind them that a few points on the LSAT can turn into thousands in scholly $$, or hand them a copy of a LG and start the timer.

good luck!!

dscgrant
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:03 pm

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

Postby dscgrant » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:34 am

1) What score did you get?
diagnostic at 155
tested at 169, 174

2) What books did you use? (Kaplan, Powerscore LRB, Powerscore LGB, etc)
I used Powerscore LGB and LRB, both very helpful. For RC I used Manhattan

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 three months up until the October test, then one month again before retaking in December

5) How many preptests did you do?
Too many to count, though I seriously do not believe the number really matters. Towards the end I was worried about running out of material, which is a position you never want to be in. Studying more does not always make for more effective studying.

6) What would you change if you were to do it again?
I would have definitely taken one of the administered practice tests, and anything else I could have done to prepare for the effects of nervousness on the actual test.

I was pretty damn confident going into the October test. My last three PTs were 177, 177 and 179 respectively, and I only needed a 172 to get where I wanted to go. I gathered from reading these forums that scores would drop on test day, but I didn't expect it to drop more than five points. I was always a naturally good tester, so I didn't really expect it to drop at all. If anything, I thought adrenaline would help me get a 180.

7) Any other misc comments/suggestions.

Know exactly what areas are vulnerable to nervousness for you. I knew I was solid for LR and LG, and wouldn't miss many points in those two sections. RC, on the other hand, was really inconsistent, swinging from -0 to -9. I've always had a focus problem when it comes to reading under timed conditions, and this is definitely something I should have prepped more for for that first test. Instead of doing PT after PT, I should have been doing full RC sections, as many as I could, and in distracting environments. I missed 12 questions in October - NINE of them were from my panic attack in RC.

You need to know yourself, and know where you will be vulnerable when nerves hit - because they will.

I think one thing that really helped me out in December was, ironically, getting only two hours of sleep the night before. My first section was LG, which I felt like I messed up on the last game. I thought if there was any section I could do on two hours of sleep, it was LG, so when I thought I messed it up, I essentially gave up on the test. It was the best thing I could have done. I was completely relaxed because I essentially had accepted that the test was already over for me. I approached it, not like test, not even like a practice test, but like a challenging puzzle. I did much better on that test, in spite of my horrid state, because I put no added value in it. Which brings me to my next sliver of wisdom:

Don't place any stakes on the test, just look at it as a game, a fun little competition you are having with other people in the room, a game of flag football in the park.

We choke only when we feel like we have something to lose. I think a lot of us on TLS really have that problem when it comes to LSATs. We put too much onto that one test. IT DOESN'T MATTER. Schools do not average your scores anymore, so no one test can determine your future. It really doesn't matter if you bomb it. You can always apply next cycle. Or if you reach your three test limit, you can wait two cycles. It's really not that long.

Do everything you can to prepare, but also do everything you can to remind yourself that this thing really isn't a big deal.

Oh, and I love this watch as a test timer:

http://lsatwatch.webs.com/

give it plenty of time to arrive though. The person who makes these is kind of a flake.




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