« on: February 25, 2006, 12:34:44 PM »
I don't typically post much on the forums here but I have seen a lot of posts from disappointed people over the last 24 hours and having experienced what they experienced back in December I thought I might tell you about my experience. It might resonate with you, it might not...
In December I took the LSAT and scored a 155 and was absolutely shocked when I received the email. Turned out I had bombed the logic games and a good portion of the RC on the exam. I felt like a complete fool afterwards because I had been telling people that I had probably gotten a score in the Mid-160's (where my diags had been). I had been so sure in my abilities that I had already sent out a bunch of applications to top schools. After a couple days of feeling depressed and sorry for myself I gathered myself together and decided I would give it another go.
I'm glad I did, I scored a 164 the second time around. (From 65th to 91st percentile).
Here is what helped me the second time around:
- I kept balance in my life. For the december test I was so focused on the test that I had blotted out other important parts of my usual routine (exercise, faith-based activities, and just getting out and having fun). For the February test I kept my studying to 2-3 hrs/day about 3 days a week. That seemed to give me time to focus on studying, let the material soak in, and then I'd continue a day or two later and do better.
- I realized I don't like Testmasters. I took testmasters before the december test. Though it may work great for some people, I think you can get most (if not all) of what they teach in the Powerscore Bibles. I only used the Logic Games Bible for the February test and it was easier to understand then the testmasters lectures. Testmasters overwhelms you with so much material and the lectures are so compressed with so much information that I remembered the class was just moving too fast for my tastes. The bibles allow you to pace yourself which is really invaluable and while they lack in the overall quantity of problems, I think you can pick up some sample LSAT's and drill yourself on problem areas. Last but not least, did i mention you can get both bibles for 100 bucks vs 1000 for the testmasters class?
- I made sure I GOT Logic Games. I did every single freaking type of logic game I could get my hands on. The testmasters material had a good number of these but again its quality not quantity. Ideally, you want to get yourself to a point where you can read the rules for a game and see the structure... I wasn't there in December but I did cross this point between December and February and I have a feeling thats a big part of what helped with my score.
- Invest in one of those Silent Timers. These things were great for letting me pace myself on my practice exams before the test. I did use it on the first test day, but not on the second test day (LSAC supposedly barred them and I didnt want to deal with any suspicion from the proctors). Regardless, they are helpful at making you a faster test-taker but a word of caution: remember its all about the number you get RIGHT not the number of questions you answer. On my December exam I got through every single question, on every single section, thus leading to my overconfidence. On the second exam I had to guess on at least 6 questions, but I got a greater number of questions right.
- I learned that Test Location is big. I took the first test at UCLA --> very small desks that I could barely fit the test booklets on. My second test was at the USC law school--> taken in a moot court classroom with huge desks, comfy chairs, and a visible clock that told us exactly how much time was left. Kaplan has a site where students rate the different testing locations. I hope someone can post it on here, because its a great tool to find the right testing location.
- Lastly remember its just a test and not a measure of how "smart" or "intelligent" you or anyone else is. Regardless of what they say, this test can be "learned", it just takes the time and effort to do it. Don't put undo pressure on yourself, don't let it break you-- your better than that.
Thats all for now. I hope other people can post some of their own study strategies in this thread. Best of luck to those who have applied and those was are taking the exam in June!