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LSAT Score 156
Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:26 pm
I took the September LSAT and scored a 156. My initial score was a 146, and I took a bunch of tests and scored anywhere from 156-163.
My score seemed very inconsistent...I went anywhere from perfect R.C. one day to missing 10 the next day, perfect Games to missing 7 on the actual exam. I know I'm a bright girl, but why am I so all over the place? Why couldn't I just score a 163 consistently and be done with it?
I panicked on L.G. on the actual exam, so I know that really effected my score. Outside of "relaxing" on the actual test, can anyone offer suggestions on how to have a steady score? My L.R. is also really all over the place, I'll miss anywhere from 2-8 on a section! (and I usually miss an easy one, which REALLY pisses me off) I am shooting for the June test.
I haven't touched the LSAT since the exam, since I was considering a career change, but I really want to retake it. I feel a bit more relaxed now that i've done it once, but I would really like my LSAT to be comparable to my 3.8 at a top 20 undergrad school.
One more thing: I took Kaplan's Extreme LSAT course and will retake it for the June test...fun times for me.
Any suggestions? Thanks guys!
Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:30 pm
What do you mean when you say "a bunch of tests"? I don't know about others' experiences, but once I had taken ten or twelve tests, my scores on subsequent tests stayed within a range of four points. If you are capable of acing individual sections on good days, I suspect you have the latent ability to do better than a 163 on the exam... provided you practice to the point of consistency.
Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:33 pm
Have you taken a prep course? What kind of materials are you working with? Panicking on the LG is normal at first- the same thing used to happen to me. I redid every LG I could find and you start seeing patterns in how the test takers are trying to trip you up. From test 40 onwards, there are very similar patterns to the LG questions. I would suggest the Powerscore LG bible and making sure you do all the tests from 20-53. You will definitely see improvement.
Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:36 pm
First things first, don't waste your money on Kaplan. Almost everyone on this board will agree with that suggestion. If you're looking for a preparation company that will help you, look into testmasters180.com, powerscore.com, or blueprintprep.com .
Taking a bunch've practice tests alone will not help improve your score. You need to first focus on individual question types and develop skills necessary for each. The Powerscore Logical Reasoning Bible and Logic Games Bible are by far considered the best in this area.
When you're taking your practice tests, you need to be concious of every type of question you get wrong and you must go over every wrong answer you had. Simply taking practice test after practice test will not improve your accuracy because you'll never know what types of questions your getting wrong and why you get them wrong. For every wrong answer choice you should categorize them into a question type (from the Powerscore Bibles or w/e) then redo the whole question with the right answer in mind. Yes, you know the other 4 are wrong, but you need to be sure to know WHY they are wrong. Only doing this tedious process will you improve your accuracy enough to get consistent section scores.
For more on preparation tactics, visit Voyager's awesome study guide:
Also be sure to scroll down and review his RC strategy. It's much better than most things you'll find on RC strategy.
Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:45 pm
Thank you all for your comments:
First, since I already paid for Kaplan, I don't really feel like shelling out another 1500 for another test prep course. Second, I took about 12 full length timed tests proctored at the Kaplan center. I figured that I'll go to class when I can, or when I think it might be useful, but I think I'm going to do more on my own -- like you said, I definitely think I need to focus more on why I got certain questions wrong, especially in the L.R. section.
I used the powerscore logic games bible after learning that kaplan was CRAP and wasn't helping at all. I will definitely try the powerscore L.R., thank you.
Thank you for the study outline, also. Any other advice ?
Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:08 pm
After taking a Kaplan class, my score went down 7 points! Here's how I brought it back up (and gained an additional 5 points on my average):
1) abandon everything I learned through Kaplan (roadmapping- gone; identifying the conclusion- gone; redrawing the set-up on "if" questions- gone). I found all these to be time-wasters.
2) invoke new methods:
RC: start with the passages with the most questions first-- less guessing if time runs out. Read the passage carefully and slowly-- trying to absorb it. Answer the question based on 1st instinct (but read all choices). Try not to look back and "find" the answer-- trust your short term memory. If time runs out before you finish the 4th passage, "look-up" the questions with line references, and take an educated guess on the main point question- usually has "all encompassing" language... ex. "While some say that Indians are this, recent scholars have shown..."
LR: the more I practiced the easier these got... not sure what kind of method I used other than reading the stem slowly, reading all the choices and going with my 1st instinct.
LG: redrawing is stupid-- that's what erasers are for. This was always my strongest section-- didn't need any special method.
3) take 2 timed sections every Monday-Friday-- reviewing errors.
4) Saturday- have fun- do nothing related to the LSAT
5) Sunday- 5-section full-length exam-- reviewing errors
After 2 months of this, I had gone from a horrible 150 (thanks, Kaplan) to a 162 (for 3 consecutive tests).
Obviously, I don't have my score yet, so I don't know how this all worked out on the real thing, but I feel pretty good about it. RC was rough, but I think I compensated with the other sections. We shall see...
Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:23 pm
Thanks for all your advice....I'm a little confused by the previous poster's R.C. strategy...the part about choosing the passage with the most questions makes sense, but you didn't like Kaplan's road map? I thought it was useful, sometimes, but my R.C. was inconsistent so I feel like I should get some more opinions..
How many of you power read/skim, highlight big words, shifts in argument, etc., thesis, the big stuff..
and how many of you read carefully?, and spend more time reading than answering questions?
How many of you are successful at either?
Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:34 pm
I circle proper nouns and try to think to myself in each paragraph: what is the point of this paragraph? How does it fit into the rest of the passage? What is the author's viewpoint?
If you can do that, RC should be easier. Other than that it is just finding the right balance of speed reading so that you actually understand what you are reading.
are an essential supplement to Kaplan. Taking preptests under the realistic conditions
is also key so you don't freeze/get distracted on test day.
156 is a good base score, but if you get above a 160 that will open many doors for you. Look on the scoring charts--the difference between a 160 and a 156 is NOT A LOT OF QUESTIONS! You can do it, just find your weaknesses and concentrate on them.
Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:48 pm
I found Voyager's RC plan to be very helpful to start with. The circling allowed me to read more actively. I circle or mark names, dates, definitions. I also mark words that indicate a shift/emphasis: however, but, ironically, moreover. My RC on the newer passages was -8 but after using the above methods I was able to get it down to between -1 and -3. The newer passages 35 - 52 are significantly harder than previous exams.
Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 2:00 pm
ninab, I did that on the December test. However, I found that it took a little longer to read the passages...Unless, I was just freaking out and anxiety set in..
Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 pm
To clarify on RC:
For some, roadmapping works as does reading "actively" with circling and such. For me, however, I found that I spent a solid 2-3 minutes per passage taking notes in the margins and trying to figure out what the "scope" and "main point" were and many times, these questions weren't even asked, so I was basically just wasting my time. The key is to do what works for you. In my case, I have a literature background, so I'm used to reading for content, not for structure/transition words, etc. Focusing on these structural "cues" with circling, kept pulling me out of the narrative and breaking my concentration. With roadmapping, I was sitting on a -12 pretty consistently. Once I switched to the "read and retain" method, I cut my losses down to -3. It's really just about whatever works for you. Trial and error is probably the way to go until you figure out your best method.
Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:08 pm
That's really interesting -- I'm a lit/history major and I thought that R.C. would be my best. On my first practice test I didn't even get to the fourth passage, but after kaplan's method I missed 5 on the next test.
However, then I started bouncing all over the place and I missed six on the actual test...Maybe I need to find a happy medium of critically reading AND roadmapping AND staying on target.
Also, I find that I ALWAYS miss my points on the science passage. I know they aren't supposed to be easier/harder based on content, but if the passage is about theory or literature or history I automatically retain the information...
Anytips on improving science scores specifically ?
English Major's Guide to Getting Through Science Passages
Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:40 pm
Science is also my weakest section of RC (for the most part). Now, if it's animal science or earth science, there tends to be more of a story involved and I do alright. BUT, those DNA passages or methods by which some discovery was found are BRUTAL! If that is the case, I save it for last, and believe it or not, try to answer as many questions as possible BEFORE I read the passage (sounds crazy I know). As I said previously, the main point correct answer choice tends to be a broad summarizing statement. Fictious Example: "What is the main point of this passage?"
A) Scientists discovered a new method to splitting an atom. B) Without recent discoveries, scientists might never have known how to split an atom. C) While previous scientists made great strides in their study of atoms, it was only in recent years that methods of splitting atoms became successful. D) In creating his particle balancing probe, Dr. Smith was able to pioneer the process of splitting atoms. Ok, so without reading any passage at all, you can kind of see which are the viable options. A is out-- too limiting. B is out-- "might never have known" is a little extreme. C looks good-- it references the past and present. D also looks good, but is a little specific. Now, do a 3 second scan of the passage. If there are other people mentioned besides Dr. Smith... we know it's C. After I pick up this global point, I move on to line references, because you only have to read a couple sentences around the quoted phrase to get a good sense of what's going on. For "tone" questions, it's best to read the entire passage, but if time is running out, just read the last paragraph-- the author usually drops a clue word as to his/her feelings there (but not always). That leaves about 2 or 3 inference questions-- this is where blind guessing comes in. (I always blind guess D, and usually hit at least 1). So, there you go: The English Major's Guide to Getting Through Science Passages.
Re: LSAT Score 156
Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:31 pm
I got a 156 as well. I'm going to start on applicatoins. If studying 6hs+ a day for a month leading up to the test didnt help. Then i dont think i'll be able to improve any more without help from someone i can bug all the time.