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Messages - chucky

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1
Studying for the LSAT / Re: How to go from a 147 to a 169
« on: July 01, 2008, 11:34:16 PM »
Hi Chucky,

Nice post. I am a graduate student at SMU who wants to become a patent attorney. Last year, I took the LSAT w/o studying and got a 147. After I took some  practice tests and reviewed the Kaplan materials, I obtained a 157. Still I find the my LSAT scores are problematic. Now I am serious considering a full prep course either with TM or PS after careful review.

After talking reps from both companies, I am still undecided. Since you familiar with the local classes for both these companies in the Dallas area, what are your thoughts about Jeremy at PS? Why do you feel that he is effective? Does he allow ample time during class for specific student questions or problems?

I feel that constant practice on LSAC released questions is the key to a better score. I like both approaches by TM and PS. PS has a better approach for the Games. How many of the LSAC released tests has PS prepared solutions? How will PS fulfill my expectations for LSAT prep class? 

Well, in answer to your questions about Jeremy…all I have to say is he is the best! Obviously he is brilliant being that he got a 177, but FAR MORE importantly to someone like me (starting at a 147) is that his strength is in his ability to instruct. TM may have a kid who hit 180, but can he teach? Jeremy has been an Lsat teacher for 15-20yrs (he told us exactly how many years but I forget). For me, his instruction was more helpful than I can express in a post (so if I sound like a raving fan…that is why).

And for those who are still deciding on whether or not to take a course…hears another part to my story you might consider. I’m not from Dallas (I’m actually from the other side of the continent), but I have relatives there. During my investigation (after I decided on PScore based on the books as I stated in the original post) I talked to one of the girls at the PScore office. She mentioned that Jeremy was one of the best teachers PScore has (she said that Jeremy and the owner were probably the two best...or something like that...the conversation was a long time ago). So I decided to fly down and spend the summer in Dallas with my relatives so that I could be in his class. The cost was substantial, but the end result was worth it...

...So why am I writing all this? Simply to tell you this...Now that you’ve spent all the time and money to get to where you are at, don’t justify a mediocre effort in your prep because you are saving a few dollars in the process. Your Lsat score is arguably the most important factor in determining which school you’ll be at next year. Do you best, and know that you’ve done your best. If that means you need to take a course to ensure that…then take one. Then, no matter what your final score is, you can be proud of yourself and go forward without any nagging doubts of what might have been.


2
Studying for the LSAT / Re: How to go from a 147 to a 169
« on: June 19, 2008, 06:55:29 PM »
Well, I thought I better come back to this site and give the final outcome of what happened to me by following this study path...My hope is that this will encourage you will your Lsat hopes.

I was given a 66K scholarship from UT in Austin and will be attending there this fall. Being accepted to UT was my BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) two years ago. I really didn't want to go anywhere else. Getting a scholarship from UT was beyond anything I could have ever imagined at the beginning (especially after getting a 147 on my first diagnostic!)

So don't get discouraged no matter where you are at. Don't settle. You can break the Lsat barrier you are looking for. Right now I'm like a little kid waiting for Christmas as August 25th approaches. You will be too...just don't give up.

God bless :)


3
Studying for the LSAT / Re: How to go from a 147 to a 169
« on: January 25, 2008, 04:42:36 PM »
6. [....[/color]

This is great stuff...you should post it as a separate post so people can find it....My guess is this would solve anyone's game problems if they would actually do it all.



Alright...maybe tomorrow though, because I'm in a bit of a rush.

4
Studying for the LSAT / Re: How to go from a 147 to a 169
« on: January 25, 2008, 04:41:23 PM »
haha...you're exactly right. :D

Yeah, and a lot of those are the same people that whip out the credit card for last minute tutoring.  It is heartbreaking but good for biz I guess.  With people, First off I have to quickly assess "Is this a day care discipline case or a fine tuning case with someone that has been working the stuff?"  and then angle it from there.   

I've blown off a bunch of last minute and other people that wanted to pay and foregone income because they were clearly in the 'day care' group.  That type can be rather recalcitrant and I just don't feel right wasting my time and taking their $$ when I can see that it is going to go nowhere.    Those people also tend to be the ones that are really bitter about prep services they received once they get their score and just want to point the finger and shift blame in sometimes very angry ways and talk poo about it.  Oh well, such is life..


Ya, it is too bad you can't just buy a great lsat score...(maybe they should auction off a 175 or two every year...bidding starts at 100k...;)

5
Studying for the LSAT / Re: How to go from a 147 to a 169
« on: January 23, 2008, 11:41:15 PM »
I understand your criticism that you already know the answers for memory, but the point is not getting the answers. The point is getting to the place where you KNOW THAT YOU KNOW how to perfectly attack each game.

I also really think it is really helpful to do the same type one after the other after the other....you'd be surprised how many similarities you'll see within the micro-categories. Many of the games have characteristics that are unique to that type.
Here are the categories...(source: Powerscore Logic Games Bible)

In regard to memory of past problems, it is not the memory of which answer is correct, but the path that I found the answer in the path.  If I struggle with a problem, I am much more likely to remember exactly how I overcame that problem, which is usually missing a critical deduction.  When I rework the problem, I remember "there's something that restricts this pair of variables," which prompts me to find that.  On a fresh game, I don't have that thought lingering in the back of my mind.  I do try to prove to myself that the wrong answers are wrong as well as definitively proving my selection is correct.

I will break the games down further, I think seeing the similarities may help me.  So far this week, I have done each of the grouping games twice.  My timing and accuracy have improved, even when I make sure to eliminate all the wrong answers, but I am not sure if that is because I am familiar with the questions. 

Thanks for sharing your experiences.

I think you'll be fine...you sound like you're on the right track.

Whatever you do, before you move on to the next game ask yourself this..."Do I own this game?" If you can say yes, then you're fine. For me it took me the 4 Step 1hr ish process I mentioned. Good luck.

6
Studying for the LSAT / Re: How to go from a 147 to a 169
« on: January 23, 2008, 11:19:58 PM »

In my class I think only myself and another girl actually did everything.


 I love those people. 


haha...this unbelievable...can you imagine :D....very funny to me.

he he,  those are just 2 of many stories.  At many times I have been thinking "Why are we even here, this is not a bar to pick up women at, why did you 'forget' to bring your books AGAIN? You figured out how to find the place, could you figure out how to bring the little book with you and try to time traffic too?"

Comfortably Numb-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=invo5D6SuBQ

Common mentality:  'I paid the $$ for the class and got here a few times, that should be enough'   :D



Haha...I love it. :D

7
Studying for the LSAT / Re: How to go from a 147 to a 169
« on: January 23, 2008, 11:16:05 PM »
This post is for those of you, who are depressed right now about your prep test scores,
Good luck and God bless.


Good stuff mainly, but for debate, reality, fun, whatever, I have to comment about a few things.

If you think you will have much time to use that 420hp car in your tar with a Big law job somewhere so you can rev it up and roll, you are in for a shock.  You just won't have much free time for recreation.  It's a nice fantasy though.

Doing all the homework?  Yep. Lot's of people flake out on that and think that because they paid the $ and show up for most of the classes that that is enough.  Oops.

I think your main point is that it takes motivation and dedication outside of class?  If so, YES!  That is a big key to it.  Just getting a class paid for and driving there and hanging out will not do it.  Doesn't matter what class anybody signs up for if they think that is all it takes and don't do the homework.

2hrs for a section is ok at first when everything is brand new, but is to much time for each one except for during the 'virgin' time.  A couple of weeks into it one should not be spending nearly that much time to just do one section, except for review/dissection purposes. 

You were obviously motivated to do the work and it sounds like that was a big part of your success, so let's focus on that part and emphasize it.

(there is not one catch all formula that will accomplish it for everyone without hard work /outside of class study and practice time if one needs to improve a score substantially)

That part is a huge part of it.   Congrats on your success.

I like the praying part too, it can help, or at the least it will comfort your soul!


I agree with everything you said....this definitely isn't a formula, as there are many different paths that people have taken and succeeded with this test. This is just what worked for me.

Also, "by 2hrs/ section" I meant completely forget about the time element..it just as well could have been "5hrs/section or whatever"...the point was to forget about the timed element all together until you have mastered each question type.....and yes, it does make sense that as you progress you will naturally become faster. I think many people have a hard time letting the time element go though (at least others in my class did)...so that is what I said 2hrs/section...now that I think about it though, for my first couple I probably took at least that or longer...when it was a month before the test though, it would have driven me crazy to spend that amount of time on each section....so ya, I agree with what you were saying about this too.

8
Studying for the LSAT / Re: How to go from a 147 to a 169
« on: January 23, 2008, 11:02:40 PM »

In my class I think only myself and another girl actually did everything.


As unfortunate as it is, that is typical and sad that sooo many people don't do the homework that sign up for classes and then blame the class for not producing the results they wanted.  A lot of those same people also spend a lot of time IN CLASS DURING lecture side talking and not paying full attention/show up late/leave early/stay out on break long after break is over, etc.

Seen it with HUNDREDS perhaps thousands of people over the years.  And they wonder why their score did not improve much.  Duh!  You didn't do the work!!

Jeffort, you're describing my class. Honestly, I couldn't believe how lazy many people were. There was this one group of girls who did absolutely nothing. Then they would whine and complain to the teacher after every diagnostic. (They were the spoiled rich kid types). In all fairness though, about half the class did try pretty hard. To my knowledge though, only myself and this other girl finished everthing. (all the lessons, both Bibles, and all the prep tests). It was worth it though...I think I have a descent shot at a lower t14 and a t20 for sure. We'll see.

My advice to anyone who hasn't taken the test yet is to put in the time. It's worth it. You'll thank yourself five years from now.

lol

Classes are filled with people like that and it's very frustrating for a teacher that is busting ass to go over everything as best as they can.  A lot of the time it feels like running day care.  'Sit down, shut up, eyes to the front, look at the book, listen'   ::)

Hence why I get pretty harsh and impatient with some people sometimes and sometimes feel like I am beating my head against a brick wall. 

I could share tons of stories.  For example, there was a girl that showed up to an early lesson (a really important foundational one) HALF WAY through the class right before I called break.  She ran up to me and stuck a little tape recorder in my face right when I called break and demanded that I quickly tell her and run her through what she missed (lesson 2, and she did not even come to lesson 1). 

That pissed me off big time.  Instead of strangling or female dog slapping her I rolled my eyes, told her she should actually come to class and went outside and had a smoke.  For the second half of class she only stayed for one hour when there was another hour to go.  Then she only showed up here and there for brief portions of only a few of the later lessons.

I think she even called the company later on down the road and demanded a refund and complained that the class did not work after scores came out. 

Then there was another guy that I had in class three times three years in a row.  He never came to the first lesson, always showed up VERY late when he actually did, and then ALWAYS followed me into the bathroom after classes he stayed to the end of and stood next to me at the urinal while I peed and tried to drill me with questions while I was trying to pee until I told him to leave me alone and get the 'F out of the bathroom while I do my personal biz in a very harsh way instead of just turning to the side and peeing on his leg.  (but I was very tempted to do that part! lol)

Out of the three times he enrolled he only showed up and took a total of two of the proctored diagnostic tests. 

But, for the people that payed attention in class and that I could tell were working, would I stay late after class and shoot the breeze and answer questions even though I wasn't getting paid for that time and it was late?  Hell yeah!  I love those people. 


haha...this unbelievable...can you imagine :D....very funny to me.

9
Studying for the LSAT / Re: How to go from a 147 to a 169
« on: January 23, 2008, 11:00:39 PM »
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.

I categorized all of the games according to the LGB in a spreadsheet and also separated all of the games into individual games and then sorted those according to type.  I just did the main categories: linear basic, linear advanced, grouping, grouping/linear, and then grouped the others together.  If you are looking at a single game for an hour, what are you doing in that time?  After you have found the missing rule/deduction that you were not applying, what else did you do to maintain productivity?  If I do the same game two or three times in a row, I am to the point where I am just working from memorization as to the steps to take.  Did you experience the same?

Here is what I did for each game (the breakdown of 1hr ish per game)

1. Timed: Do the game timed (6-10min)

2. Untimed: Erase and redo the game untimed, this time not only proving the correct answer, but also proving every incorrect answer wrong (20min+)

3. Explore: Erase and try using different set ups and approaching the game in ways you normally wouldn't. Also, use the Ultimate Setup Guide to ensure you didn't miss anything. Doing this may sound strange, but trust me...you'll begin to feel like you OWN the game, and you'll recognize patterns. Eg. After you draw out the rules, and you have a setup, try finding a few hypotheticals that would have helped with a number of the questions...try identifying the templates...in some cases try using a different set of variables as the base etc. If you do this, you'll absolutely rip through other games that are similar.  (20min+)

4. Perfectly Efficient timed (5-8min). Erase, and now that you know the game, redo it with perfect efficiency.


I understand your criticism that you already know the answers for memory, but the point is not getting the answers. The point is getting to the place where you KNOW THAT YOU KNOW how to perfectly attack each game.

I also really think it is really helpful to do the same type one after the other after the other....you'd be surprised how many similarities you'll see within the micro-categories. Many of the games have characteristics that are unique to that type.
Here are the categories...(source: Powerscore Logic Games Bible)

Basic Linear (Balanced)
Basic Linear (Unbalanced – Overloaded); big inferences in these
Basic Linear (Unbalanced – Underfunded)
Advanced Linear (Balanced)
Advanced Linear (Unbalanced – Overloaded)
Advanced Linear (Unbalanced – Underfunded)* key is to identify temps
Grouping/Linear Combo (Harder Category with less inferences)
Grouping (Defined-Fixed, Balanced) (Average Difficulty)
Grouping (Defined-Fixed, Unbalanced – Overloaded)
Grouping (Defined-Fixed, Unbalanced – Underfunded)
Grouping (Defined – Moving, Balanced)
Grouping (Defined – Moving, Unbalanced – Overloaded)
Grouping (Partially Defined)
Grouping (Undefined)


I think there are 125+ individual games that I did this with...anyways, by the end, I felt almost excited for the games section, (and this is coming from a guy who only got 7 correct in the games on my first diagnosic....

10
Studying for the LSAT / How to go from a 147 to a 169
« on: January 18, 2008, 06:01:34 PM »
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.





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