Law School Discussion

LSAT Preparation => Studying for the LSAT => Topic started by: pross1492 on April 26, 2004, 08:42:02 AM

Title: I should start seeing results when...
Post by: pross1492 on April 26, 2004, 08:42:02 AM
I've been at this for a few weeks now.  taking practice sections and progressing through an lsat prep book (barrons).  like all of us (i'm assuming),  i'm looking to pick up 8-10 points from my original score (it was abysmal).  so far, i have seen no improvement in my performance.  i'll pick up a few points one day and lose a few the next.  but overall, i'm at the same place as when i started.  when should it start to come together?  what have your experiences been with score improvement?  over what period of time?
thanks. 
Title: Re: I should start seeing results when...
Post by: jgruber on April 26, 2004, 08:45:11 AM
Sounds like you might want to change your methods, but don't ask me to what.  My studying gained me nothing.
Title: Re: I should start seeing results when...
Post by: nathanielmark on April 26, 2004, 09:00:56 AM
why are you using barrons?  You better get yourself some real LSATs or you will get eaten alive! as for prep books i prefer Nova and the LG Bible.
Title: Re: I should start seeing results when...
Post by: Meltdown on April 26, 2004, 10:31:50 AM
Sadly, the Barrons book was one of the worst that I used (avoid Arco, too).

I strongly second nathanielmark's comments.
Title: Re: I should start seeing results when...
Post by: pross1492 on April 26, 2004, 11:42:40 AM
I've been through the princeton review book.  i have 15 real lsats (i've taken 3 full so far).  I have the bible on its way from amazon.  i'm looking at as many different resources as i can.  i'm just wondering, as you went along, when you first started to feel or see real progress.  maybe this is dumb question i'm asking.  i'm just curious because i'm a little frustrated.
Title: Re: I should start seeing results when...
Post by: midnight oil on April 26, 2004, 12:12:26 PM
Boy, do I know how you feel.  I went along for two months and a couple of study guides and a bunch of prep tests and made no improvement.  Suddenly I popped up 7-8 points over a few days.  I guess it kicks in at different times for people.  But, point is, keep plugging away.  I sure am!
Good luck! ;D
Title: Re: I should start seeing results when...
Post by: nathanielmark on April 26, 2004, 12:23:06 PM
I have seen real improvement in games.  i went thru the LG Bible, and took about 10 real LSATs before i realized a coherant approach to the varying games sections.  i seem to be getting around 6 wrong (average) per LG section, which is great for me.

i have seen very modest improvements for LR, but my timing has gotten very good with them.  RC also, not much in the way of questions, but timing has really gotten better.  i was pretty good at the LR/RC stuff off the bat.   

i dont know what to tell you other then my overall improvements have been very subtle.  my diag LSAT was a 162, my most recent was 167, i think 171 would probably be about the max for me on my best day.  ive done better then that, but only on older tests and i dont think they match up well to the newer ones.

some people may disagree, but i am of the school who believe that LSAT performance is primarily dictated by ability.  So, even the best preperation can only take you to a score within personal limits. 


I've been through the princeton review book.  i have 15 real lsats (i've taken 3 full so far).  I have the bible on its way from amazon.  i'm looking at as many different resources as i can.  i'm just wondering, as you went along, when you first started to feel or see real progress.  maybe this is dumb question i'm asking.  i'm just curious because i'm a little frustrated.
Title: Re: I should start seeing results when...
Post by: M2 on April 26, 2004, 12:34:45 PM
Nathaniel I definitely disagree...

So what if you had 1 years time to study for the lsat. you didn't have to work, and had no other responsibilities. dont you think that you could master all the concepts systematically  and end up with a 180 or at least close to it?
Title: Re: I should start seeing results when...
Post by: jgomez on April 26, 2004, 12:41:41 PM
i also believe what Nathanielmark is referring to about, in regards to lsat being dictated by personal ability. i mean, i studied and studied and studied like the original poster, and no matter what I did, I couldn't get it.  like as if my brain didn't work the way the lsat people did.  that said, i must NOT have much ability since I only got a 151.  Lol!
Title: Re: I should start seeing results when...
Post by: pross1492 on April 26, 2004, 12:43:22 PM
damn.  nova's prep book is the only one i havent looked at.  its worth going out and getting?  i just started barrons, after working through PR.  am i seriously wasting time with the barrons book?
Title: Re: I should start seeing results when...
Post by: nathanielmark on April 26, 2004, 12:54:08 PM
I don't think so.  I have always been a very good test taker.  I also think I know myself very well. 

Based on the very limited improvements I have seen so far, in light of the pretty extensive preperation I have been doing, I think it is safe to say I have some mental limits that the LSAT exceeds. 

I doubt I am unique in this respect.  The fact is, every game is unique, every LR question is unique, every RC passage is unique.

I am finding that I am a little slow in jumping back and forth between rules and putting them together in my head. It is the lack of familiarity that gets me that is probably more due to short term memory then intelligence per se. 

Now if i had unlimited time to take the test,  i do think i could get a 180 or very close to it every time.  but my brain just does not work fast enough to reliably get 4 new games done in 35 minutes.  similarly, i never have enough time to fully decide the best answer for many RC/LR questions, i have to take the choice that seems the best given the information I have been able to process in the limited time i have and move on.

Maybe if i spent a year reading academic journals for 8 hours a day I would see more improvement in LG/RC, because i would presumably be able to process more information in less time. but I honestly don't believe that I would get there thru LSAT prep alone.  And I think my games ability is pretty limited.

there are probably some people out there who can score 175+ with a great deal of prep.  i dont think i am one of them, and i dont think very many other people are either.

 




Nathaniel I definitely disagree...

So what if you had 1 years time to study for the lsat. you didn't have to work, and had no other responsibilities. dont you think that you could master all the concepts systematically  and end up with a 180 or at least close to it?
Title: Re: I should start seeing results when...
Post by: nathanielmark on April 26, 2004, 12:55:08 PM
Novas was by far the best i have seen for LR/RC questions.  I think it is worth the 25 bux it costs on amazon.


damn.  nova's prep book is the only one i havent looked at.  its worth going out and getting?  i just started barrons, after working through PR.  am i seriously wasting time with the barrons book?
Title: Re: I should start seeing results when...
Post by: canuck on April 26, 2004, 01:14:45 PM
Hello.

I've read this thread and found it very interesting.  I'm extremely empathetic to the first poster's situation.  Like you, I truly bombed the LSAT the first two times (yes two times) I wrote it.  Scoring 152 and then 151.

Finally I hired an LSAT Tutor from PR.  We would meet weekly.  He made me ask myself soem hard questions that I feel would help anyone that is not scoring 170+ on their practice tests.  Here's some advice:

1.  Realistically, what score would the schools you're targetting want from you?  Some schools don't average your past scores if you score 7-10 pts higher.  But most take them all into consideration so project your average and see what you need to get into a school that is good for you.

2.  Based on your practice tests, you should generally have an inclination to do better on some sections than others.  Mine was games.  No matter how hard I tried, those damn games killed me.  My average before my tutor was 10-12 right out of 23-24 questions.  After my tutor I raised that to 14-16.  Still much less than I expected from myself.  I suggest concentrating on the section that hurts you the most.  Usually people say games are the section where you can improve the most (however that was not the case for me).

3.  You're probably doing this already if you're following the suggestions in the prep book...but don't do the questions in sequential order.  I hated turning back and forth, so if anything prioritize the 5 or so questions from each page.  Really, really stick to this.  Find the "type" of questions that give you the most problems and leave them to last.

4.  This last point, to an already overly long e-mail, is how you "put it all together" for me anyways. 
-Project the score you want. 
-Realistically average out the number of questions you require to get correct in each section.
-Allot time so that you can thoroughly answer these questions.  Example, if your goal is to get 18 questions right on the Games sections, than only do 3 games.  Sounds crazy, but then you have those 35 minutes to do all 3 games and you should see your score improve.  Then guess on the last game, and make sure you make that game the type of game that give you the most trouble.  Do this procedure with every section. 

IMHO, the reason why some people don't see significant improvement over their scores is because of time management.  The books say it, but increasing your accuracy and then guessing on the rest is better than trying to give each question the proper attention it deserves.

My practice LSATs after this method say me scoring in the mid 160's and I cracked 170 once (wish that happened on the day of the test).  I ended up scoring 158 on my third and final LSAT.  I still blew the games section but it was a 7 point increase from my last one. 

I guess that sort of hurts my credibility with this advice.  But my LSAT Tutor was teaching several of his students this way, and he was accepted to Harvard and will be attending this Fall.

Good luck and if you need any clarification or pointers, please feel free to e-mail me.