Note from Ken: Pithypike, thank you for the excellent summary. Other members should feel free to add their study tips or advice as posts to this thread or PM Pithypike to add something to his posts.
You will need:
Kaplan Mastery (Kaplan's Big Orange Book is no longer available)
Powerscore Logic Games Bible (LGB)
Powerscore Logical Reasoning Bible (LRB)
All 3 of the '10 More LSAT" series
The most recent 10 PTs
Official LSAT SuperPrep
3 months (more or less - adjust to your rate of progress but do not try to cram)
You will need to divide LG into specific types (Grouping, Linear, and various subtypes) and work on them one after another in order to master the game type.
1) Make 3 photocopies of every LG
2) Separate them using the classification method of choice - Blueprint, Kaplan, etc. will all work but I prefer PowerScore
3) Do each LGB section in order and work on the respective game types as you progress. For this I usually do 2-3 new games and 3 repeats every day, but it doesn't matter as long as you get it done. Try to keep some separation (24 hours+) between the first and second time you attempt a game.
Repetition is crucial - after you have done a lot of games a lot of times anything they throw at you will seem elementary and routine.
Pretty simple really. Do the appropriate LRB section and then work through the corresponding chapter in Kaplan Mastery/Big Orange Book. I generally reviewed the LRB section thoroughly the first time, and then just read the summary of points and strategies at the start of the question set to refresh myself after that. Do up to 10 problems at each sitting and monitor which question types give you the most trouble. Review those questions heavily. If you're really motivated, cut out particularly troublesome questions for later review. I found that writing out explanations for question types I struggled with helped immensely.
This is the most difficult section to improve on. You have to develop a feel for what the passage as a whole is conveying while making sure not to miss small details that you could be tested on. I suggest developing a set of symbols that help you refer to specific points in the passage. For example, I place a 'C' next to the line in which a critical viewpoint is mentioned and underline the part of the passage indicating this viewpoint is critical. It doesn't matter what you use, as long as it helps you refer back to the passage. Many people suggest writing short summaries at the end of each paragraph, which can also be effective.
The only surefire way to improve on RC is to do as many as possible and develop your own personal system as you progress. Reading dense material, like science journals, The Economist, etc. can help as well, but working through as many passages is possible is undoubtedly the most effective tool. I can't vouch for the RC Bible as I never used it, but if it is comparable in quality to the LG and LR Bibles I would imagine it is a useful tool.
LG: (# of game type through PT 44-Powerscore Classification)
Basic Linear - Balanced (23)
Basic Linear - Overloaded (5)
Basic Linear - Underfunded (5)
Advanced Linear - Balanced (25)
Advanced Linear - Overloaded (4)
Advanced Linear - Underfunded (7)
Write down the exact time and your score at the top of each LG. Push yourself to finish faster the next 2 times you complete that LG. DO NOT sacrifice speed for accuracy though.
Follow the guide set out above for these question types
Complete all 10 RC sections from the first '10 LSAT' book (untimed)
1) RC Section
Remember, you have to be focusing on developing your own method for identifying relevant sections of the passage. When reviewing wrong answers, focus on what referents or symbols would have helped you find the correct answer within the passage. When reviewing correct answers, look for what helped you pick that choice out and find out what strategies are effective. This is just as important as reviewing wrong answers.
At this end of this month take PrepTest 'A' from the SuperPrep series - timed. Review the test heavily and read the explanation for every single question, not just the ones you got wrong. Hearing it straight from the horse's mouth can often be very useful and helps you get in the test maker's head.
Grouping - Defined - Fixed - Balanced (10)
Grouping - Defined - Fixed - Overloaded (11)
Grouping - Defined - Fixed - Underfuned (5)
Grouping - Defined - Moving - Balanced (14)
Grouping - Defined - Moving - Overloaded (2)
Grouping - Partially Defined (9)
Grouping - Undefined (6)
Rare Game Types:
Grouping/Linear Combination (8)
Pattern Games (6)
Pure Sequencing (6) Note-much more common in modern games - pay attention
Circular Linearity (2)
Method of Argument
Role of a Statement
Point at Issue
You should take at least 10, maybe a few more, timed LR sections during this month to start getting comfortable with timing. Continue to develop endurance and pacing. By the end of this month you should have an established and effective pacing system, i.e. 15 mins/15 questions. Do not be complacent. If you are finishing the section within 35 minutes consistently, knock off a few minutes and see how you do under pressure. You will likely be feeling a bit of pressure and nerves on test day, and this (+ studying in noisy conditions) can help mitigate any test day drop.
Don't use any of the SuperPrep tests or any of the 10 most recent tests, as you will be taking these in their entirety.
10 timed sections from the most recent '10 LSAT' book you bought. Use the same three day routine for month 1. Continue to develop your style of marking passages. Same story for RC as LR-if you're finishing comfortably shave off a few minutes.
During this month you should take PrepTest 'B' and 'C' (both timed) and review them heavily. I suggest taking B in the middle of the month and C at the end.
During this month you will focus exclusively on full , 5-section PrepTests.
Make 3 photocopies of each LG type for these tests as well. The style of games changed significantly after the June 2005 exam, and it is beneficial to repeat these newer LGs to get a feel for the new ways of phrasing rules and various other differences versus older games. Note: while new LG are easier, it is best to practice with the older ones so that you can truly master the appropriate concepts and be prepared for whatever they throw at you on test day.
Take the 10 most recent PTs in whatever order you prefer. Since the real exam will be 5 sections, you should add a fifth section (whichever you are weakest on) from older exams to provide you with extra material and to build up endurance for the real thing.
Repeat this cycle:
until you have done all ten PTs. On the review days, redo the LGs and monitor which types of questions are tripping you up. Review the Bibles as needed.
Here's what another poster had to say on PT improvement and working toward test day:
lollypotter wrote:Rather than thinking of the LSAT as 30 prep tests to be gotten through, think of it as weaknesses to be eliminated. Every test is a snapshot of your weaknesses and you MUST address them. Going over the tests is crucial. DO NOT DO MULTIPLE TESTS without review. This is a waste of time and tests. The review is the part most people don't do. They rely on familiarity. They improve (on PTs) but in the cold light of the official test they panic, and then they start guessing. That's how people score crazily below their prep test average.
Lolly's right. Eliminate weaknesses, make everything second nature and let your instincts take over on test day. It's a rare tester who doesn't feel a bit of nerves during the real thing, so it is VITAL you hone these concepts until they are second nature.
T14's gametype classification (PS Method)
Voyager's RC Guide
LSATinator's Guide to Time Management
PowerScore Games Classification June 2003 -- Present