Hope for big improvement?

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Hope for big improvement?

Post by nervousss » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:25 pm

I recently took my diagnostic (real past LSAT) and scored a 164, all timed. This is the breakdown:

LR 1: 21/25
LR 2: 23/24
RC: 22/27
LG: 14/24

So far I have no clue as to how to approach the Games section. My score there would have been 12/24 had I not guessed 2 right answers. I only got to 2 of the games, and they were just way too time-consuming. I can't imagine finishing 3, much less all 4 of them. What are some good Games pacing techniques, and ways to improve there? Right now I'm lost. I know I have to work on my pacing for LR and RC sections, because the accuracy is there, nearly every question I get to I answer correctly. But Games are just a mess for me right now. With this is as my diagnostic do you think it would be possible, through 4 months of hard work, to get between 170 and 172 on the real thing?

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Re: Hope for big improvement?

Post by incompetentia » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:29 pm

Luckily for you, LG is usually the easiest section to improve on given enough drilling/practice time. You should be more than fine going into December given that you study intelligently and take care of timing concerns - 164 to start, especially with that LG score, is well ahead of the game at this point.

As for the strategies themselves, I'll let somebody else take this one.

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Re: Hope for big improvement?

Post by Corwin » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:31 pm

The good news is that you are in a great position for improvement, as the LG section is the easiest to train for. The recommended book is the PowerScore LG Bible, which will teach you a system of diagramming that lets you answer LG questions quickly and accurately. And if pacing is your only problem for LR and RC, you're in awesome shape.


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Re: Hope for big improvement?

Post by bhan87 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:42 pm

Very fortunately for you, LG is your weakest section. That section alone may be able to get you into the 170 range if you can consistently keep your other scores up. What you'll need to do is first get the Powerscore LG Bible. Photocopy the games that it comes with 3 times. While going through the bible you'll want to go through the games included in the following manner:

1. Do the game with unlimited time, rack your mind for every deduction you can come up with. Don't move onto the questions until you can't think of ANY more deductions for the setup (this is key). After answering the questions check your answers. Try to figure out why you got certain ones wrong, and then cross-check it with Powerscore's explanation.
2. After a few days, do the game once more, but pick up the tempo. Your goal is to get through the game quickly, but get all the questions right. Record the time it took you to finish the game. Some games take longer than others, but a general rule of thumb is around 8.5 minutes each (exceptions for games like Used and New CDs of course)
3. After a few more days, do the game a last time. This time you want to hit the 8.5 minute mark, or at the very least, beat your previous time.

After you've finished the LG Bible games carefully, you'll want to go back to the LG games sections you've already finished and try taking those as a full set. Again, photocopy them 3 times and do the following:

1. Take the section timed for 35 minutes. Clearly label where you got to in 35 minutes, but go ahead and finished the section (you might want to also label how long in total you took to finish the section). Check your answers and try to figure out ON YOUR OWN the reasoning behind your wrong answers. Then, check your explanations with another source (Powerscore's LG setup book, Manhattan LSAT, etc.).
2. Take the section untimed, and try to make every deduction you can come up with, and try to incorporate what you remember from the explanations you got into your setups. Remember to make every deduction your mind can come up with before going to the questions.
3. Take the section one more time under timed conditions. You may want to challenge yourself and try to finish the section in 30 minutes instead of 35. Having extra time on the LG section might save you on the real deal because every few years a killer game takes up an inordinate amount of time on the LG section (i.e. New/Used CDs, Dinos, Stained glass windows *shudders*)

The ordering changes a bit because you'll want to practice under time-pressure. But remember, you can't start time-pressuring yourself UNTIL you've mastered how to do the games with unlimited time.

When you start taking full tests, you'll want to do the second ordering. #1 (timed conditions) would simply be taking the LG section as part of the full test. #2 and #3 would be when you're reviewing your mistakes.

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