Law School Discussion

LSAT Preparation => Studying for the LSAT => Topic started by: thefaint on April 20, 2007, 03:16:27 PM

Title: for those scoring 170+
Post by: thefaint on April 20, 2007, 03:16:27 PM
I am currently stuck hovering around 169-172 for the last month and was wondering:

for those who pushed into the 175's how did you do it?

did it happen over night or was it incremental?

also what is your breakdown section by section? (I ask this because I want to know which section's I have the most room for improvement. I miss 1-2 on LR currently and tend to think that this is inevitable but am wondering are there people who consistentley miss 0?)

do you check every answer in LR? What I mean is sometimes I take sections and accept the first right answer I see in order to save time.. this way I finish 4 to 5 min early. However, this method sometimes causes me to miss 1 that I would have easily gotten had I considered all the answer choices. When I consider all the answer choices, however, i end up finishing with only a few seconds to spare and thus no time to check my answers.

Finally, how long does it take you to complete a parallel reasoning question? Can anyone do the difficult ones in under a minute and a half? These questions can take me up to 2 and a half minutes to complete, and I really feel if I could find some way to tackle these efficiently I will be able to save enough time in order to check my answers and maybe pick up another point. I characterize the conclusion, but often one must still analyze 3 or 4 choices that match. 

Thanks in Advance
Title: Re: for those scoring 170+
Post by: flyaway on April 21, 2007, 11:55:57 AM
For me it did sort of happen overnight, because for awhile I simply couldn't finish Games, and I was scoring low 170s.  I was really frustrated for awhile, when I didn't seem to be getting faster.  Then something clicked, and I was consistently finishing Games and scoring almost always 178-180.

But it sounds like LR is more of an issue for you than games.  LR is the section that came most easily for me from the start, so I don't have much advice to give there.  I did always read all answer choices, never stopping when an early choice seemed right.  Even when I was able to pre-phrase the correct answer, I still read the others quickly.
Title: Re: for those scoring 170+
Post by: Denny Crane on April 21, 2007, 05:19:46 PM
Lack of nervousness and a general apathy to whether I did well or not played a big role in my superior performance the second time I took the test (ie: I was relaxed!).

Clearly there's no universal formula for doing well on the test, but I do feel that not taking the test too seriously (ironic given its importance) did wonders for my mind on test day -- as did proper studying, etc, which you seem to already be doing anyway.
Title: Re: for those scoring 170+
Post by: bubDread on April 22, 2007, 10:30:33 AM
my real thing was only 174, but by the time i took the real thing my practice tests were generally 179-180.

For me, it was a gradual progression.  I got to the point where I would regularly miss 0-1 total in LR.  To get above 175 you really need to get your games scores perfect.
Title: Re: for those scoring 170+
Post by: thefaint on April 22, 2007, 05:53:02 PM
Games is my strongest section and I rarely miss any. LR i miss 1-2 in each section for a total of 2-4. What kills me though is the reading comp where i miss 2-5. Reading Comp has always been my weak spot, and I am doing everything from reading the economist everynight to looking over the NOVA book. I can finish the older preptest RC sections with a half-minute to spare and miss 1-2, but the new 28 question sections are killer for me. I have a very difficult time finishing. As such, I am starting to think I will never get better than -2 to -5 on the new RC. Anyone have any tips on how to finish RC on time?
Title: Re: for those scoring 170+
Post by: rebeccakay on April 22, 2007, 07:48:59 PM
Mine was fairly gradual but I did have one jump from the 160's into the 170's.  From that point, I never again scored in the 160's.  My progression upwards in the 170's was gradual.  I was scoring around 175-176 on practice tests and made a 174 on the real thing.  My strong point is the games; I think that helped me a TON!  I am a math major and love anything related to logic - I always have.  I think learning everything about logic is essential as is mastering your logic games skills.
Title: Re: for those scoring 170+
Post by: Pop Up Video on April 22, 2007, 10:17:34 PM
Here is a recent thread with some good information about people who have scored 172+:

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,84274.0.html
Title: Re: for those scoring 170+
Post by: themanwithnoname on April 23, 2007, 03:09:51 PM
I found I would just gradually gain a point or two every few tests I took, just kept going up. I think the key is not to check answers, but to pace yourself so that you know you can finish with about two minutes to spare.
Title: Re: for those scoring 170+
Post by: bubDread on April 23, 2007, 07:55:40 PM
I found I would just gradually gain a point or two every few tests I took, just kept going up. I think the key is not to check answers, but to pace yourself so that you know you can finish with about two minutes to spare.

Yeah, I agree with this.  I think I may have gone a little too fast on the real thing.  I finished with more than 5 minutes left on every section.  I even had time on the first LR to go to the bathroom and get back with time to spare.  I think my speed may have been what hurt me.
Title: Re: for those scoring 170+
Post by: letylyf on April 23, 2007, 10:54:27 PM
I am currently stuck hovering around 169-172 for the last month and was wondering:

for those who pushed into the 175's how did you do it?

did it happen over night or was it incremental?

also what is your breakdown section by section? (I ask this because I want to know which section's I have the most room for improvement. I miss 1-2 on LR currently and tend to think that this is inevitable but am wondering are there people who consistentley miss 0?)

do you check every answer in LR? What I mean is sometimes I take sections and accept the first right answer I see in order to save time.. this way I finish 4 to 5 min early. However, this method sometimes causes me to miss 1 that I would have easily gotten had I considered all the answer choices. When I consider all the answer choices, however, i end up finishing with only a few seconds to spare and thus no time to check my answers.

Finally, how long does it take you to complete a parallel reasoning question? Can anyone do the difficult ones in under a minute and a half? These questions can take me up to 2 and a half minutes to complete, and I really feel if I could find some way to tackle these efficiently I will be able to save enough time in order to check my answers and maybe pick up another point. I characterize the conclusion, but often one must still analyze 3 or 4 choices that match.

Thanks in Advance

For me, it was incremental - no huge overnight jumps. I went from the lower 160s to the upper 170s in about two months just by taking practice tests and studying carefully. I guess some people might get a miracle, but you probably expect to perform according to your average practice test.

Also, as regards to the 'reading every answer thing' - don't do it the first time around, but star a few questions you think (from experience of the question type or subject matter, or just because you don't feel great about it while you're marking in the bubble) were trickier than the rest, and take your extra 4-5 minutes at the end to review those. Don't be afraid to change an answer, your first impulse is not always right and I changed about 4 on my test, ended up getting 3 of them right.

Parallel reasoning questions, I finally decided, had to be approached like the logic games. Diagram them any way you can (the logic always follows a patter. "A" is so, thus "b" is so, and "c" is not. The answer will follow the same pattern, just maybe in a different order. I just used arrows and letters, but if you want to devise something more complicated and more exact, it's probably worth taking the time to do so. Looking only at the conclusion doesn't help a bit - you have to look at the logic underlying the argument. It is definitely possible to do a parallel reasoning correctly if you get the answer in your head properly and skim the answer choices, quickly sketching each one out. That's what I did, anyway, it seemed to work since I didn't miss any pr questions on the test.

Lack of nervousness and a general apathy to whether I did well or not played a big role in my superior performance the second time I took the test (ie: I was relaxed!).

Clearly there's no universal formula for doing well on the test, but I do feel that not taking the test too seriously (ironic given its importance) did wonders for my mind on test day -- as did proper studying, etc, which you seem to already be doing anyway.
Ditto, ditto, and ditto. That's exactly what happened to me. Easier said than done, I know, but do your best to focus on relaxing and de-stressing just before the test instead of extra last-minute studying, it will be a much better use of your time.
Title: Re: for those scoring 170+
Post by: flyaway on April 24, 2007, 05:56:02 AM
I never had time issues with LR.  I mean... sometimes I would run into a little time pressure, but I never actually ran out of time.  But I agree with letylyf about saving certain hard ones for the end.  Because on a really hard PR, I could come up with an answer but still keep analyzing it for awhile, and that's not good.  I would put a star next to questions that were time-consuming or that I answered but was unsure of to remind myself to come back to them at the end.

But overall I feel lucky that LR is half the test, because that section was really natural for me.  I started out missing maybe 2-5 out of 50 at the very beginning of my studying, and I ended up missing 0-3.  The only ones I didn't like were PR, and LR Bible did help me with that.

LG I do think are really fun, and I was always really accurate, but I just wasn't fast enough.  That came with learning to diagram in a really consistent manner.  I did go through LG Bible, and it helped some, in teaching me to diagram, although I didn't go strictly by their system, because certain things they did seemed counterintuitive to me.

RC was the section that probably gave me the hardest time.  That one just took practice, practice, practice.  One aspect was simply getting used to buckling down and reading carefully through passages that are not interesting to me.  In real life, I tend to skim things like that.  The other aspect was getting used to the types of questions that are asked and learning what it is that they test-makers want in response.  So, that one was gradual improvement.  I don't remember what I was missing in the beginning, but it was probably 6-8.  In the end, I was missing 0-2, though I missed 4 on the real thing and only 1 other question on the entire test.  I was disappointed in my RC score, but overall it worked out.
Title: Re: for those scoring 170+
Post by: Jen2bJD on May 03, 2007, 06:55:50 PM
Hey flyaway, I was wondering what the LGB espouses that you think is counterintuitive? :) Thank you!
Title: Re: for those scoring 170+
Post by: flyaway on May 04, 2007, 05:57:48 AM
Hey flyaway, I was wondering what the LGB espouses that you think is counterintuitive? :) Thank you!

It's hard for me to remember exactly now, five months from having taken the LSAT.  I think the main thing was something about how they ordered things.  I didn't think it was consistent.  Like in certain games, they would have the slowest person being #1 and the fastest person being the highest number.  And I needed to think of it in terms of who actually arrived first.

Like I said, I don't really remember, but whatever it was, it felt to me like in certain instances they were doing it the way that seemed natural to me, and in other instances they were doing the opposite.   
Title: Re: for those scoring 170+
Post by: jr358 on May 04, 2007, 07:21:45 AM
The only jump I experienced was when I finally got faster on logic games. Once that happened, I consistently scored 175-179. I definitely would analyze all of the answer choices rather than only put the first correct appearing answer and have four or five minutes at the end. Mark the ones you feel you are lingering on (after selecting best possible) and return to those (hopefully between 1-3). Good luck!
Title: Re: for those scoring 170+
Post by: Ender Wiggin on May 04, 2007, 01:08:56 PM
I actually just broke 170 for the first time the other night--I got a 176, and my last score had been a 166.  For me, familiarity has been the key.  Like others have said, I am really confident on LR and LG, but RC gives me trouble (at least in the past).  On the 176, I got 4 wrong on the experimental RC, and only 1 wrong on the real one--5 wrong total (I reversed the question on one of the games).  I am still not even halfway through my preparation, so I think if I can maintain where I am now (or improve if I'm lucky) I should be fine.  I have been pretty consistent with the LR, so I just want to work on games until I am sure I won't get slammed with a crazy one that catches me off-guard, and get some more familiarity with the RC.
Title: Re: for those scoring 170+
Post by: Jen2bJD on May 05, 2007, 04:53:45 PM
Hey flyaway, I was wondering what the LGB espouses that you think is counterintuitive? :) Thank you!

It's hard for me to remember exactly now, five months from having taken the LSAT.  I think the main thing was something about how they ordered things.  I didn't think it was consistent.  Like in certain games, they would have the slowest person being #1 and the fastest person being the highest number.  And I needed to think of it in terms of who actually arrived first.

Like I said, I don't really remember, but whatever it was, it felt to me like in certain instances they were doing it the way that seemed natural to me, and in other instances they were doing the opposite.   

That makes sense. Thanks for the quick response. :)