95%+ scorers, please describe how you practice

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chewdak
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95%+ scorers, please describe how you practice

Postby chewdak » Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:35 pm

Based on CUNY's Barry Zimmerman's research into self-regulated learning ( Daniel Coyle, 'The Talent Code', 2009, p.86), it
might be interesting to compare your individual approaches and see how they correlate to your score.

If you would, please describe how you practice and take tests in terms of:

1) goals
2) planning
3) strategy choices
4) self-monitoring
5) adaptation
Overall, and also for individual LSAT sections.

Please do not post your LSAT score in your comment, instead put it into your profile, or later comment.
The idea is to check whether one's relative score can be predicted in terms of her description.

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custom_concern
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Re: 95%+ scorers, please describe how you practice

Postby custom_concern » Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:52 pm

chewdak wrote:Based on CUNY's Barry Zimmerman's research into self-regulated learning ( Daniel Coyle, 'The Talent Code', 2009, p.86), it
might be interesting to compare your individual approaches and see how they correlate to your score.

If you would, please describe how you practice and take tests in terms of:

1) goals - 180. Always shoot for 180.
2) planning - I self-studied, so this was important. I planned everything 4 months out from the test. I had a period for learning the basics, going through the bibles, doing timed sections, and then a period for full, timed PTs and review.
3) strategy choices - Started with the Powerscore LR and LG Bible methods, adapted them a bit. Went through several different RC strategies, from intensive passage marking to mo marking at all, to somewhere in between. I made it a point, though, to always focus on my timing. I did 50+ individual LR sections and 25+ individual RC sections. I started out at 35 min./section, dropped down to 33, 31, 31, and finally to 28 min./section. This was key.
4) self-monitoring - Made a huge Excel spreadsheet. Tracked everything. PM me if you want to see exactly what I tracked. (Not sure whether this is what you mean by "self-monitoring."
5) adaptation - See above comments about reducing allowed time. I gradually forced myself to adapt to incresingly stringent time restraints. Forcing your brain to get used to doing individual sections in 28 minutes really helps on PTs. I think one problem for me, though, was that I did all those 28 minute PTs early on in my study plan, then did PTs w/35 min sections for a couple months before the test. Probably lost that edge.
Overall, and also for individual LSAT sections.

Please do not post your LSAT score in your comment, instead put it into your profile, or later comment.
The idea is to check whether one's relative score can be predicted in terms of her description.

0L Hoping for 1
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Re: 95%+ scorers, please describe how you practice

Postby 0L Hoping for 1 » Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:03 pm

chewdak wrote:Based on CUNY's Barry Zimmerman's research into self-regulated learning ( Daniel Coyle, 'The Talent Code', 2009, p.86), it
might be interesting to compare your individual approaches and see how they correlate to your score.

If you would, please describe how you practice and take tests in terms of:

1) goals Shoot for 180, my goal was 172 and I hit it right on the head, so I started thinking, what if my goal was 173?
2) planning I started with self-study and did that for about 5 months. I then took a Kaplan Advanced Class for two months before my exam mainly to get a lot of proctored tests. I think that making sure you are doing at least 1 practice a week, then a whole day or more to go over test and then focus your studying that week, doing at minimum 1 section per day.
3) strategy choices As said above
4) self-monitoring Just keep making yourself do it. I would have a calendar that I counted down the days to make sure I stayed on track. Also told my S.O. to force me to study. If you cant, take a class for sure.
5) adaptation I made myself do games in 5 minutes and then I would time myself for 30 minutes for LR. I also would read many passages of RC every week. Sometimes not even timed to keep my reading up.
Overall, and also for individual LSAT sections.

Please do not post your LSAT score in your comment, instead put it into your profile, or later comment.
The idea is to check whether one's relative score can be predicted in terms of her description.

1000bmr
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Re: 95%+ scorers, please describe how you practice

Postby 1000bmr » Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:17 pm

1) GOALS: i didn't set score goals. what's the point? you want to get every question right. however, i did consider "acceptable sections." for me, i considered an acceptable section -3 LR (total), -3 LG, -3 RC. this wasn't really a targeting system as much as it was a binary way of pacing myself (did i do well on this section? yes/no. if i saw a no answer i knew i needed more drilling.)
2) PLANNING: blueprint course. during the course, i just did the in-class and about 80% of the homework. after, i planned study study time, generally focusing on something specific. this was almost always drilling. prep testing i think is REALLY overrated unless you're having timing problems or you have bad test anxiety. after the first couple, i found prep testing completely worthless. i think the occasional one is good to keep your timing in check, but that's about it. and really, if you're good at the questions the timing should come pretty naturally.
3) STRATEGY: drill sections until i'm good. if anyone could call themselves an LR master, i suppose i could. that was all from drilling blueprint methods. after i got really good at LR, i moved on to drilling LG. all this really did was help me practice recognizing patterns to diagram and get down my timing. it's still up to your brain to make connections and inferences in real time during the test, and i didn't think practice helped much with that. RC i put very little work into, and it went from my best section in diagnostic to my worst on real tests. probably would have been 175+ on two real tests if i'd practiced this section. :? ewps.
4) MONITORING: i printed out all my prep tests. i actually broke them down not only into section type, but also into question type (made a table in MS Word). this helped me, because i could see for example that i was getting 100% right on flaw questions and 60% right on "'soft' must be true" questions. so i only drilled what i needed to.
5) ADAPTATION: in some ways i did a good job (as in my example above on adapting my LR study per question type), and in some ways i didn't (as in not ever switching my focus to RC).

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iminlstrick
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Re: 95%+ scorers, please describe how you practice

Postby iminlstrick » Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:22 pm

I did every PT, every problem twice. Checked each answer to make sure I understood why it was right/wrong. Checked game diagram against Powerscore game diagrams to make sure I applied the correct diagram. Practiced fake games to increase mental flexibility (Ace the Logic Games is pretty good for realistic fake games). Always aimed for 180. Practiced in public places to get used to noise. Practiced with 28-32 minutes per section (28 games, 30 LR, 32 RC). Practiced with an analog wristwatch. Learned how to stop, breathe, and continue when I felt panicky during a test. Took anti-stress supplements for three months prior to the test (unsure if they worked, but whatever). Always aimed for 180. Studied only three hours a day, max. Took Saturday off. When I felt like taking it easy, I'd remind myself of the scholarships and career opportunities on the line. Made flashcards as a little "to-go" kit whenever I was on public transport; cards included sufficient/necessary indicators, lists of things to look for in RC passages, quantifier/probability indicators, and conclusion/premise indicators. Learned to respect and enjoy the test as a game, more than a test.
Last edited by iminlstrick on Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Headybrah
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Re: 95%+ scorers, please describe how you practice

Postby Headybrah » Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:24 pm

what anti stress supplements ?

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toolshed
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Re: 95%+ scorers, please describe how you practice

Postby toolshed » Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:25 pm

chewdak wrote:Based on CUNY's Barry Zimmerman's research into self-regulated learning ( Daniel Coyle, 'The Talent Code', 2009, p.86), it
might be interesting to compare your individual approaches and see how they correlate to your score.

If you would, please describe how you practice and take tests in terms of:

1) goals--as above, 180. Definitely wanted to make sure that if I missed questions, it was spread evenly across sections and not missing whole logic games or RC passages. If you have to miss, only miss the hard ones....

2) planning--I was not a good example to follow. I didn't take a cold diagnostic, just worked through a few PT's at my own pace starting in late January 09. Bought some more, started taking them with a mind of the time but not in a crunch to finish in 35. Finally wised up and bought the LG Bible and that made a huge difference in my scores. But it was all a slow build and I didn't initially plan to take in June. About 30 days out, started restricting time to 30 minutes per section and doing 3 PTs per week.

3) strategy choices--starting with the LG Bible as a platform for LGs was a beneficial choice, though I ended up adapting it to diagram a lot less. Restricting time per section really helped with the timing and the ability to re-check questionable answers. Read RC passages with medium intensity, not too much detail but not skimming, and marked very minimally (circling words for author's opinion, marking contrasting opinions, etc.) In LR, left all "pattern of reasoning" questions for last, since they often killed me on time.

4) self-monitoring--again, not a good example to follow. I didn't make spreadsheets or cut out questions I missed, both of which I think are good ideas. I based how I did on each PT by raw number missed instead of scaled score. Reviewed all questions I missed or wasn't 75% sure about. Recycled and retook all sections in full where I missed more than 3 questions.

5) adaptation--restricting time as I got closer to the test, and I tinkered with a few strategies in LG and RC until I settled into a groove. Also, had to recognize and respond to burnout (I work about 10 hours per day, and would do LSAT about 3 hours per night, so too many ON days in a row and I would see some definite changes in attention/concentration).

Score in profile.

Please do not post your LSAT score in your comment, instead put it into your profile, or later comment.
The idea is to check whether one's relative score can be predicted in terms of her description.

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iminlstrick
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Re: 95%+ scorers, please describe how you practice

Postby iminlstrick » Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:26 pm

5-htp and kava kava. Make sure to check with your doctor before starting either of them. Kava kava should only be taken for a month max, as it can cause liver damage. 5-htp is great, still use it as an alternative to anxiety/anti-depressants.

Kretzy
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Re: 95%+ scorers, please describe how you practice

Postby Kretzy » Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:54 pm

Goals: I actually didn't aim for 180, which I think in retrospect was a mistake. I aimed for a certain number of questions wrong per section (1 each in RC and LG, 3 each section of LR). I definitely recognized my strengths in RC and LG early, so focused mostly on getting through the LR sections with a solid -6 total. I was only 1 off of this goal on test day.

Planning: Every Saturday morning for 2 months I took a practice test. I varied the start time between 10 and 2, and always worked at a relatively noisy coffee shop to get used to stress and noise. I would occasionally get distracted by friends, which essentially kept my practice section times at 32 minutes each rather than 35.

I took the last 4 days before the exam off completely. I read a new book. It was a smart decision, I believe.

Strategy: I can't do full setups for LGs, they just don't work for me. I modify set ups for each individual problem within the LG, and I don't use diagrams. This worked very well for me, and LG was by far my most consistent. I learned to finish 2-3 of the games very quickly (12-15 minutes total or so) and then spend an inordinate amount of time on hybrid games or particularly tough ones. This is the major reason I didn't panic on the Dinos during the June 09 test, and aced that section.

Self-Monitoring: I tracked progress in a normal notebook. Started at a 160, finished much higher. Nothing too crazy.

Adaptation: I broke my ankle 2 weeks before the exam. I had to wear a boot, couldn't drive to the test, etc. It was a bitch. I took several more tests right before the June 09 sitting with that condition, learned to take the boot off and that I performed better on one ibuprofen instead of two. I actually found the June test pretty easy, and wish I could have taken it under normal circumstances (missed 5 of the last 7 questions, e.g., because of the pain in my ankle and I couldn't concentrate).

Score in profile. Best of luck!

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toolshed
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Re: 95%+ scorers, please describe how you practice

Postby toolshed » Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:59 pm

+1 to taking off a few days before the test. I noticed that I always did better after a 2-3 day break in studying, so taking off Friday-Sunday before the June test was just right.

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iminlstrick
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Re: 95%+ scorers, please describe how you practice

Postby iminlstrick » Wed Jul 15, 2009 3:06 pm

toolshed wrote:+1 to taking off a few days before the test. I noticed that I always did better after a 2-3 day break in studying, so taking off Friday-Sunday before the June test was just right.


I think re: taking time off immediately before the test, you absolutely should do what works for you. Personally, I didn't take off at all before the test; I even reviewed a little right before it. I was in a zone, however, studying each day for a dedicated amount of time, and knew that if I took time off, it would just throw off that routine. If taking time off for you before other exams -- finals, other standardized tests -- worked, then do it. But don't feel like it's absolutely necessary one way or the other.

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toolshed
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Re: 95%+ scorers, please describe how you practice

Postby toolshed » Wed Jul 15, 2009 3:11 pm

iminlstrick wrote:I think re: taking time off immediately before the test, you absolutely should do what works for you. Personally, I didn't take off at all before the test; I even reviewed a little right before it. I was in a zone, however, studying each day for a dedicated amount of time, and knew that if I took time off, it would just throw off that routine. If taking time off for you before other exams -- finals, other standardized tests -- worked, then do it. But don't feel like it's absolutely necessary one way or the other.


I can agree with this. My PT scores the week before the test were plummeting from burnout. Mine was a gamble, but with a pattern of scoring high after a little break, I decided that was best. I can see for some people that breaking would only increase the anxiety, and not be beneficial at all.

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Kiana
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Re: 95%+ scorers, please describe how you practice

Postby Kiana » Wed Jul 15, 2009 3:17 pm

iminlstrick wrote:5-htp and kava kava. Make sure to check with your doctor before starting either of them. Kava kava should only be taken for a month max, as it can cause liver damage. 5-htp is great, still use it as an alternative to anxiety/anti-depressants.


+1
My testmasters instructor told us to use anti-stress supplements. But I didn't listen. And then I regretted it sorely.

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iminlstrick
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Re: 95%+ scorers, please describe how you practice

Postby iminlstrick » Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:40 pm

No, just wiki 5-htp.

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babaghanouj
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Re: 95%+ scorers, please describe how you practice

Postby babaghanouj » Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:58 pm

chewdak wrote:Based on CUNY's Barry Zimmerman's research into self-regulated learning ( Daniel Coyle, 'The Talent Code', 2009, p.86), it
might be interesting to compare your individual approaches and see how they correlate to your score.

If you would, please describe how you practice and take tests in terms of:

1) goals
2) planning
3) strategy choices
4) self-monitoring
5) adaptation
Overall, and also for individual LSAT sections.

Please do not post your LSAT score in your comment, instead put it into your profile, or later comment.
The idea is to check whether one's relative score can be predicted in terms of her description.


1) Only one goal: as close to a perfect score as possible.
2) As many PTs as time permitted before the test (~3.5 months). I did 3/week for a while (~2 months) until I hit something I hadn't anticipated: burnout :(. Towards the end it was difficult doing 1 or 2 tests a week because I was so sick of it all.
3) I did not read LR questions before LR arguments like Kaplan suggests. The best strategy, though, is just practice, practice, practice.
4) I actually made a bar chart to track my progress. Silly? maybe, but it was encouraging to visually see those bars getting higher as I practiced.
5) Review all wrong or difficult questions thoroughly when checking your PT's. Look for patterns, focus on what gives you problems. This is the best way to adapt.

With the exception of completing a separate logic games workbook, I didn't really focus on individual sections. I just took whole PT's. This worked well for me.

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GeePee
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Re: 95%+ scorers, please describe how you practice

Postby GeePee » Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:22 pm

When I was first tackling the LSAT, the most helpful thing I did was to go find other people who I expected to do well on their test and study with them. Go through the problems thinking aloud, rationalizing wrong answers and correct answers and going through thought processes that it takes to consistently get the right answer. The most useful tool for tackling any of the LSAT sections is to be able to think about each problem from the most angles possible. And, getting the opinions of how as many people take the test as you can (granted that they are actually good at taking it) is very beneficial.

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gunners
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Re: 95%+ scorers, please describe how you practice

Postby gunners » Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:49 pm

1) goals

Always shooting for above 170, then shooting for 175+, then trying to minimize incorrect responses - worrying as much about %correct as scaled score.

2) planning

Studied five hours a week for five months and five/six hours a day for the month before the test. I intensely studied LGs, as this was my weakest section and high scores are achieve most easily if you go -0 on LG. Didn’t take many full length PTs until two/three weeks before the test. I was in a fairly isolated setting (hermitage) for the last month

3) strategy choices
Focused on LG since it was my weakest section. Followed the 3 copies per game advice. Tried to get as interested and focused on the tests, passages, and questions as possible. Tried to work through LR and RC quickly so I had time to review hard questions. On hard RC passages, I would read the passage twice or three times. I’m a fast reader so this didn’t hurt me much. Ordered more PTs than I used in full so I could have enough LGs. Tried to stay as relaxed as possible throughout the process while not denying it was the most important test of my life. . . tried to stay confident.


One more thing - when I did LR, except during full length PTs to prepare endurance, I would do a few questions at a time rather than an entire section. This kept the logical mistakes fresh in my mind. I would usually do 7 at a time (1 column in the answer key worth) and for RC I would do 1 passage at a time.


4) self-monitoring
Responded to the advice that LG is the easiest section to learn and followed advice on the forum regarding powerscore LG bible and 3 copies of each game. Obsessively tracked stats on everything test related in an excel spreadsheet ( I know my PT average, standard deviation, average per section, deviation per section, etc). Tried to spend ample time reviewing incorrect responses in LR but wish I had spent even more.

5) adaptation
Not sure how this is different from self-monitoring. The way I took my first PT wasn’t all that different from the ways I took my last ones. I got a lot better at LG diagrams. I got a little better at not ignoring answer choices in LR which at first seem ridiculous but actually end up correct. Kept reading quickly and pushing through it while trying to avoid silly mistakes.

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ruleser
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Re: 95%+ scorers, please describe how you practice

Postby ruleser » Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:57 pm

chewdak wrote:Based on CUNY's Barry Zimmerman's research into self-regulated learning ( Daniel Coyle, 'The Talent Code', 2009, p.86), it
might be interesting to compare your individual approaches and see how they correlate to your score.

If you would, please describe how you practice and take tests in terms of:

1) goals
Initial goal was to bump to at least 165, ideally 166 or so - as I practiced I upped that to shooting for 170 or 170+ I don't know about setting the goal at 180 - I think I did what I could initially, estimated a reasonable bump, then tried and saw where I was, and then estimated a realistic push - and aimed above that - that was key I think. In the end, my goal was a hopeful 167 - but I shot for 173 as my goal - test day had some issues, so missed my new goal of 173 but still hit above my real goal, and nicely above my original goal of 165...
2) planning
Prepare - I'd taken it already, so it was just studying/Prep course (PowerScore full-length)
3) strategy choices
Do many PT's - learn what different types of problems feel like in the context of a full test - was sooo important test day. When things went wrong, I didn't fluster, I'd been there and pulled through. Only do timed sections - and full sections mainly - anything less isn't helpful, I can get 180 everytime if you give me enough time, and do LG fine if it's 1 prob at a time saparately timed - full sections are unique
4) self-monitoring
Just kept going, relentless (as work/schedule allowed)
5) adaptation
Improved in an area I didn't think was a prob and that became more of a focus (LR) Good strategy because it's the most questions, but I considered it easiest so wasn't planning on working on at all - that would have been a big fail
Overall, and also for individual LSAT sections.

Please do not post your LSAT score in your comment, instead put it into your profile, or later comment.
The idea is to check whether one's relative score can be predicted in terms of her description.

oneforship
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Re: 95%+ scorers, please describe how you practice

Postby oneforship » Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:12 pm

1) goals
- Personally, 175, but I had 180 in the back of my mind the whole time. Shoot for perfection.

2) planning
- Beat the games first. If the games are minus zero early, you can focus your time on mastering the nuance of LR and spend less time on the games just to stay sharp. This was the key for me. I did very few games in the two weeks leading up to the test, and was able to bring my LR from a -3 to -4 each to a consistent -1 or -2 with the -0 mixed in. Was able to really burn on RC in the last week as well without worrying that my LG performance would slip.

3) strategy choices
- I followed the Powerscore method for games, although I didn't get too wrapped up in things if I couldn't figure out how to diagram a game. I'm a fast worker, so brute force and hypotheticals could help me beat a game if it came down to it. But the Powerscore method is what really changed the games from a -3 to a -0 for me.
- I read the LR Bible, and it helped me mostly by giving me a system of classification. Honestly, if you want to master LR, do as many as possible. Find patterns in the ones you are missing, and figure out why you are missing them. Read the LR Bible, but don't marry the methods if you don't need them. After a while, you start to spot right and wrong answers just because you have done so many real problems.
- RC I am weird, I didn't have a strategy. I got my best results when I took the passage, read it, and answered the questions by referring back to the text. Find what works for you, that's the key to this [and every] section on the test. You've been [presumably] reading your whole life, don't change your style for one test because it will throw you off. Find a way to adapt your style to answering LSAT questions and you can be successful in this section IMO.

4) self-monitoring
- I made myself do 2 timed sections every night after work, and 1 full test on the weekend (occasionally 2). I used the other weekend day to go over missed questions, and review them and try to answer them over again but correctly. If I felt like doing 2 sections was going to kill me that night, I skipped them. You will know when you need a day off, don't be afraid to take it. It is so refreshing your scores will jump almost immediately when you give your mind a day off.

5) adaptation
- I touched on it a bit already, but I tried not to marry any of the methods. If I wasn't getting questions right one way, I tried new things, tried mixing and matching what I had learned in the Bibles and what I had been doing forever in terms of logical thinking. Don't be afraid to try new strategies, and at the same time, don't be afraid to reject them if they aren't working. That is key.

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GATORTIM
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Re: 95%+ scorers, please describe how you practice

Postby GATORTIM » Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:20 pm

thanks all

jco
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Re: 95%+ scorers, please describe how you practice

Postby jco » Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:29 pm

I think that these things alone are of little predictive value. Some people are just good test takers, and some will just struggle with the kind of material on the LSAT. I was lucky enough to do well taking the test cold and without any goals or planning.

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rayiner
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Re: 95%+ scorers, please describe how you practice

Postby rayiner » Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:30 pm

It is key to do your PTs naked.

Leeroy Jenkins
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Re: 95%+ scorers, please describe how you practice

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:30 pm

Took lots of practice tests!

Leeroy Jenkins
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Re: 95%+ scorers, please describe how you practice

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:30 pm

rayiner wrote:It is key to do your PTs naked.

this

lsb
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Re: 95%+ scorers, please describe how you practice

Postby lsb » Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:08 pm

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