Best LSAT Books? By section?

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dancer566

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Best LSAT Books? By section?

Post by dancer566 » Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:29 pm

I have 8 months to go from a 161 to a 175. If anyone could provide me with advice, that would be amazing. Don't worry, I didn't buy all this stuff. A-lot of it was passed down from my older siblings friends!
These are the resources I have
*LR- Powerscore Bibles, LSAT Trainer, The Loophole in LSAT LR, Nathan Fox The Fox LSAT Logical Reasoning, Manhattan Prep Logical Reasoning
*LG- Powerscore Bibles, LSAT Trainer, LSAT Logic Games For Dumbies
*RC-PowerScore Bibles, LSAT Trainer, Manhattan Prep, The BluePrint for LSAT RC
Along with every single Prep Test out there. On the diagnostic, which was the June test I found online I score a 161. (-1 RG, -6 on each LR, and -7 on RC).

I'd love suggestions on what to use, what order to use it, what to avoid, etc. Should I look into buying 7sage?

Thank you all <3

IntellectualMode

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Re: Best LSAT Books? By section?

Post by IntellectualMode » Tue Apr 28, 2020 6:17 am

Wowsa, that's a lot of resources.

Tutoring

I can't advise you on tutoring. I'm not using one and I've never really thought about using one either.

If you want my opinion on the matter, I think tutoring can be helpful if it helps you to better understand where you're going wrong in PTs and how you can adjust, but I think all of us to some extent can reflect upon where we go wrong and actively adjust to avoid making the same mistakes.
Take that opinion however you like.

Resources

For me, I've relied upon the Powerscore LG and LR Bibles as my soul guides for getting through the respective sections. I found it helpful to go through every single one of the practice questions / practice sets that are featured in both of these books too.

From my understanding, different companies have different ways of setting out the LSAT questions and how to go about answering them. Based on this, you may find it helpful to rely on the Powerscore Bibles but then refer to the other resources you have, or this forum if you have any other questions.

You've probably noticed that I haven't talked about RC resources, something of key importance to you after getting a -7. The truth is that the resources for RC provide you with a basic approach which you should then use in all the passages. Powerscore's RC Bible has VIEWSTAMP, but I found this approach more of a detriment than anything else, severely affecting my times.

With RC, you need an approach of your own, one in which you're actively reading and enthused in each passage. By the end of reading a passage, you should know:

what the main point of the passage is,
what arguments are given in favour of views,
what arguments are given against views,
how the passage is structured and
what position (if any) the author takes

When getting to the questions, you should be selective and answer questions that don't require a deeper understanding first, and then move onto inferences etc. later.

To do all of this, you're going to need to go through some of the RC sections in PTs, doing so timed.
Start with the first 10 book but when you're a bit more confident, and having gone through another full timed test, move onto some of the more recent ones and do RC sections in them.

Truthfully, timed PTs or even just timed sections are your best means of improving your abilities. The resources help you by providing the means to tackle questions, but when you start apply those means in PTs, it becomes second nature.
Also, make a good point of self-reviewing these PTs, keeping a spreadsheet for your scores. It's important for you to isolate where you're falling short and then work on these.

Planning

I'm basing this off of Pithypike's guide, which can find on the compendium forum.

LR and RC are your main concerns, accordingly you should spend most your time reviewing these sections.
I would divide up LR topics, and do the sections in the book, followed by timed questions.
For RC, do timed sections with a strategy and review after.
Aim to take another fully timed PT by the end of the month.

In the second month, cover the rest of the LR sections with timed question appropriately and continue to do more RC timed sections. Again, take another fully timed PT, or two timed PTs, by the end of the month.

In the third month, work exclusively on timed PTs, reviewing and isolating areas for improvement after each test.

I hope this is somewhat helpful.

BrainsyK

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Re: Best LSAT Books? By section?

Post by BrainsyK » Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:52 am

My knowledge is based on the 2015-2016 versions of the books. They may all have been updated since then so my understanding is pretty out of date.

LG: PS Bible, but I would read it for the theoretical understanding and not try to apply their methods. They are way, way too optimistic as to how much time there really is to apply their techniques, which tend to be elaborate. I think LG is the least conducive to book learning, but PS Bibles give the best theoretical foundation. For more practical and applicable methods, I would say try the LSAT Trainer, and surprisingly, Kaplan. I don't think that Kaplan is excellent in any regard. I ended up developing my own method, but if someone were to approach the test for the first time and just wanted a method that accounted for needing a decent theoretical understanding and the practical time constraints of the test, Kaplan does a pretty decent job.

LR: Manhattan. They were hands down the best. It's hard for me to describe why, but it just was for me. There were also those Cambridge LSAT books of assorted questions. Those things are selling for like $500 on Amazon, but man, those things are worth their weight in gold. I don't know that I'd shell out $500 for them, but I'd definitely try to find a PDF of them. I actually threw mine out because I had to emergency move due to the 'Rona, but I probably should've kept them in case I ever wanted to teach the LSAT again.

RC: Manhattan. See LR. I also think that RC isn't not that conducive to book learning either. What's more helpful is maybe just printing out really dense articles on your weak topic areas and try to mark them up like you would an RC passage. I bounced between -2 to -8 erratically for months until I consistently did this first thing in the mornings for like 2 months straight. That led me to consistent -1 to -3 on RC, but you have to be brutal on yourself and really go for the densest, most confusing material you can find really make your best effort to both understand them and treat them like a real RC passage. PS Bible is terrible for RC.

LSAT Trainer I think generally does a great job in all three sections, but not as good as PS Bible and Manhattan will do for each individual section.

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