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Studying for the LSAT / Pithypike's Complete LSAT Study Guide
« on: September 22, 2008, 05:38:06 PM »
Edit: I guess I should say why I think this plan is effective.

My PT scores before using this plan: 166 163 166 167 167
My PT scores after following this guide: 172 176 180 176 174 176 177

I have been getting a lot of requests for my study plan, so I thought I would post a truncated version here.

You will need to have:
Kaplan Mastery or Kaplan's Big Orange Book
Powerscore Logic Games Bible
Powerscore Logical Reasoning Bible
All 3 of the '10 More LSAT" series
PTs 45-54 (10)
Official LSAT SuperPrep
3 months (more or less - adjust to your rate of progress but do not try to cram)

LG:
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.
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 ones and 3 old ones every day, but it doesn't matter as long as you get it done.

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.

LR:
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. Do up to 10 problems at each sitting and monitor which question types give you the most trouble. Review those questions heavily.

RC:
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.

Month 1:LG: (# of game type through PT 45)
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.

LR:
Follow the guide set out above for these question types

Assumption
Strengthen/Weaken
Flaw

RC:
Complete all 10 RC sections from the first (or second, if you didn't buy one) '10 LSAT' book you have (untimed)
Three-Day Cycle:
1) RC Section
2) Review
3) Review

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.

Month 2
LG:
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
Mapping (3)
Circular Linearity (2)

LR:
Inference
Principle
Parallel
Paradox
Method of Argument
Main Point
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. Don't use any of the SuperPrep tests or any test beyond 44, as you will be taking these in their entirety.

RC:
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.

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.

Month 3:
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 PTs 45-54, 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 both to provide you with extra material and to build up endurance for the real thing.
Repeat this cycle:

1) PT
2) Review
3) Review

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.

HTH


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