This post is for those of you, who are depressed right now about your prep test scores,
I know many people on this board are gunners who land in the upper 160's or 170's the first time they take a prep test, but for those of you who are more like me (first diagnostic = 147) here are some pointers that may actually help.
1. Don't allow yourself to get discouraged
after a low initial score....all that means is you're going to have to work your ass off...but know that with hard work a high score is very possible.
2. Clear your schedule if you can
. I made studying the Lsat my full time job (about 8 hrs a day) for four months. Your goal should be to do every Lsat question in existence....and not just do them, but understand them...why you got them right and why you got them wrong.
3. Memorize the Powerscore Bibles
like the back of your hand. You should be at the place where you can glance at a question stem and in less than a second tell which question type it is (eg. weaken, assumption, justify, must be true etc). Then the part of the Bibles that pertains to that particular question type needs to be in your mind instantaneously. If you can't do that, you're not ready in my opinion. (As for any other books...don't bother...I bought a Princeton review and kaplan book just to see if there was anything in them...absolutely worthless in comparison. I saw some Testmasters books too, there is almost nothing in them...seriously they are mostly filled with working space.)
4. Take a full length course
(I did Powerscore's and took mine in Dallas...amazing teacher, I think he is one of their senior teachers or something...anyways, very smart (I think he has a 177), but more importantly, very easy to learn from)... I chose Powerscore over Test Masters because their terminology matched the Bibles...also, I saw a Test Masters booklet, and like I said above...doesn't even come close to the Powerscore stuff. Kaplan is terrible...at least that is what everyone who I've talked to has said. Their teachers only need a 163 or 164 to teach. Anyways, So as long as you can afford it you should take a course...actually even if you can't you should do this. Put it on credit or something...and here is why. Many of my friends decided to just buy the tests and study on their own to save money, but the highest among them was a 160. With a 169 I just landed a 100K scholarship at one of my target schools, so the price of the course (I think it was $1200.00 or something???) was a sweet investment for me. Think about it. Even an Lsat jump of 5 points can either be worth money to you, or admission to a better school. Another one of my friends who had a higher GPA than mine from my undergrad school scored in the high 150's and barely got accepted at the law school I received the scholarship from...ie. $0 scholarship money for him. So ya, taking a course....it's a no brainer for me….HAIL POWERSCORE!!! (Haha…:))…Oh, and do all the homework!!! I mean ALL of it. I had to postpone my test date in order to get it all done, but it was worth it.
5. Do many of the prep tests completely untimed
(I mean like 2 hrs/section kind of untimed…you should completely forget about the timed element initially). Save about 10-15 of the most recent tests for your final month of study to be done under actual conditions (not just timed, but use five sections with a 15 minute break after the third one…same time of day etc.), but other than that, I would do them all untimed. Some people disagree with this advice (and that is fine with me), but doing this allowed me to really master each type of question and understand it. By the end I was consistently between 175 and 180 on untimed tests...ie. I understood what I was doing. Then for the last month all I had to really work on was speed. Take it or leave it, but it worked for me.
6. IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING WITH GAMES...READ THIS
. I went from getting 7 correct on my first diagnostic to getting 100% on this section on my actual test. (This advice was given to my by Liz and Linbergh...thanx guys…also read all of Liz’s stuff when you get the chance…she is a sweety and if you read the material in her posts, your score will improve…period).
A) Ok, go to the back of the Games Bible and you'll see all the games up to about 2002 (I think) broken down by game type. Eg. Basic Linear - defined; Advanced Linear - overloaded, undefined etc.)
B) Take all the games and group them according to game type. (put all the basic linear games together...all the grouping games together etc. I made a list in Word and crossed the games off as I went along)
C) Then do all the games of one type and master it before you move on to the next type. Eg. Do each "basic linear – defined” one after the other. I would also recommend doing each game about 3 or 4 times before moving to the next one (my rule was one hour per game…maybe 45min for the easy ones). If you do this for every game type you will be a master at them. Also, follow the approach in the Bibles…I also bought the ultimate setup guide and sometimes it helped….once in a while I would miss an inference shown in it. Honestly, doing this while taking the course is absolute GOLD. If you ever get bogged down on a particular game type the teacher is there to walk you through it. So ya, this is the best way to attack the games in my opinion…hopefully that helps.
7. Pray a lot before the test…
Well, I know many people on this sight have a higher score than a 169, and for them this information may not be relevant. For those of you who aren't among the guaranteed 170+ group, though, hopefully this shows you that you too can get a descent score if you are willing to work for it...The path above is what worked for me.
Good luck and God bless.