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Messages - Miami88
« on: May 19, 2013, 12:15:17 AM »
Thanks for the reply! I actually really don't have a typical question type that stumps me... I've been getting 180 untimed for a while now.
What I have realized is I have been warming up far too much prior to a full test. I would usually do 5 or 6 full sections before starting the test ( usually reviewing a previous test). I stopped that this week (as I'm obviously not going to do that test day) and have had better results (much more stable around 170). Only annoying part is every now and then ill get a 160 - but what can I do...
« on: May 19, 2013, 12:09:28 AM »
I'd just keep it simpler. If you want to negate something put a big NOT in front of it and be done. I.e. If that thing is green then it must be a frog turns into: it is NOT true that if that thing is green then it must be a frog.
Just my thoughts...
« on: May 18, 2013, 11:55:49 PM »
How are you doing untimed?
The best way to "speed" up is to get your untimed score up. Ideally you would want your untimed score to be 175+, however, this may not be that practical if you are taking the test in June. At the very least you should be able to get about 10-15 points above where you want to score. So if you want a 150, you are basically looking at a 165ish untimed. After all, if you cant answer the questions untimed you really won't be able to answer them timed. Note: When you are doing untimed practice make sure you are following a proven method (ie Kaplan, Powerscore, etc). Also - jot down specific reasons why each correct answer is 100% correct and, more importantly, why each incorrect answer is 100% incorrect.
Once you are in your target untimed range then you can start worrying about timing yourself.
Come test day you really don't want to have to "speed" up though, rather you want move at a heightened and focused pace. In many instances this may actually involve slowing down.
Finally, don't feel stressed over struggling with time. I've been studying for this thing for months and every now and then have to randomly guess on a handful of questions due to time constraints (and am scoring around the 98th percentile). The test is specifically designed so that the average taker will not come close to finishing on time.
So in sum - practice practice practice and more practice (smart practice that is).
« on: May 12, 2013, 10:24:14 AM »
So I have been very consistently scoring around 168-174 for the past few weeks. That is, until yesterday's whopping 161 on PT 54.
The weird thing is that, even though I did my usual warm-up prior to the test, I did far better in the second half than on the first. I got -4 on S3 (LR) and -0 on S4 (LG). Compared to -7 on S1 (LR) and -9 on S2 (RC). I bring it up because this has happened a few times before where I rock the second half and comparatively stink up the first half.
And yes, I used a 5th section that I placed between section 1 and 2 (PT 58 S2 RC) and ended up getting a -3 on it.
« on: March 16, 2013, 08:13:14 PM »
I've been pretty stuck in the low-mid 160s for the past few weeks and would appreciate some perspective...
Background Info: I have been studying quite a bit so far - I've gone through all the Kaplan, Princeton Review, PowerScore and LSAC (SuperPrep) prep books a few times. I got to the point where I was consistently getting 177+ in Untimed tests.
Prep Method Now: For the past three weeks now I have been tackling two sections a day under strict timed, loose timed and un-timed conditions. Strict = go until 35 min per section then guess on remaining questions; Loose = after 35 min. are up and you "guessed" on remaining questions, keep going to see how long it takes to finish the section at the same pace; Un-timed = before grading each section, review each question and answer choice, categorizing why a response is 100% correct and why each response is 100% incorrect. For the past three weeks, however, I have not been able to improve much. I am maintaining between a 163-166 Strict Timed score, 170 Loose Timed Score and a 177 Untimed Score.
What has improved has been my time. Before my times were LR: 45 min.; RC: 45 min.; LG: 45 min.; now my times are LR: 40 min.; RC: 42 min.; LG 35 min.. Also note that I started with PT 7 and am planning on going through all published PTs between now and the June test with the most recent closer to June.
Not sure if there is anything you guys recommend? Should I just keep what I'm doing up and eventually progress will show itself or what? I've debated dropping doing each section over again un-timed before checking my work so I could use that time doing more timed practice, but I feel like I could still benefit from the untimed work.
« on: August 19, 2011, 01:13:35 PM »
I'm currently in the low 170s UN-TIMED and low 160s TIMED. I'm in the early-mid stages of my fundamentals study. So that being said, give more weight to what others with more experience say.
I went through the Princeton Review (Cracking the LSAT... which I detested) and all three Kaplan books (which I am loving). I have also been using the Question Stem First method. I'm currently getting around 90% accuracy at around 1.5-2.5 min. (sometimes more, sometimes way less) in the LR section.
I think if you honestly followed the Stem 1st - Stimulus 2nd - Prediction - Evaluate Answers method exactly and efficiently you may be better off but ONLY if you follow it exactly. If you find you are reading everything twice, that rotation/method is breaking down and causing inefficiency. If this is your nature then it may be better to read Stimulus 1st. Note that just because your time is not currently ideal doesn't mean you won't bring it down - with more untimed practice and exposure to all things LSAT and your given method your time will naturally go down.
If you want I can share some examples where I really do think Stem first is, without a shadow a doubt, more efficient than reading stimulus first.
Regardless, if you do Stem first I would highly recommend the following (these things were not mentioned in the Kaplan books however I have found they are very helpful).
- When you ID the question, write a shorthand letter that helps remind you of what your task is. That is, if you ID the question to a Strengthen question I will write "S" next to the stem. This may help avoid re-reading the stem again and will also remind you of your task when reviewing answer choices. This should take less than 1 second of you time and may give back several seconds - especially if you tend to forget/get lost in the answer choices of your task.
- Depending on the question type (I usually do this only for questions types I tend to get wrong or are convoluted) I will write a shorthand of what the Correct answer will be AND what the Wrong answers MAY be (you should always be on the look out for common wrong answers so I don't bother writing those here). For instance, if you are in a "LEAST Strengthens" question type, I will shorthand by writing a Check Mark (for correct answer) and "W or Null Set" next to it (W for Weakening and Null set, a 0 with a slash through it, to indicate it has no affect on the argument). I will also write "X" (for incorrect answer) and "S" next to it. This, again, should not take more than 5 seconds to complete and will definitely pay off.
« on: August 17, 2011, 09:16:27 PM »
I'd probably question the way you approach un-timed sections though. You shouldn't treat them as "extended" timed sections. Lingering in not good timed or un-timed. You should be 200% sure that the answer is right AND 200% sure the other 4 answers are wrong. You should have reasons for each (why the answer is wrong and why the answer is right). In un-timed work you should, especially early on, write down these reasons. I normally do shorthand (if an answer is Weakening a Strengthen question I'll write W and then underline the word(s) that weaken it.) You should never guess in un-timed work. If you honestly cannot figure out the answer and you do guess in un-timed work its the same as having a wrong answer. Not having the same reasons for an answer being right/wrong (as compared to your study material) is, in most cases, the same as having a wrong answer. That means even if you answered correctly you may not have answered efficiently and may have to re-evaluate that particular question. Be methodical and efficient - even in un-timed work.
If you work like this early on then it will take you a long time to get through questions (which is why it is un-timed). The whole point of un-timed is so you can get so accustomed and familiar with this type of rigorous scrutiny that it becomes second nature. Your time will then naturally come down. By the time you really master un-timed work you should already have a pretty good time. The only new skills you should practice by the time you get to timed practice are question/game/passage ordering, bubbling techniques and section management.
Hopefully that helps?
« on: August 15, 2011, 11:40:50 PM »
My confusion still lies within timed vs. untimed. When do I move to timed? How much time is TOO MUCH TIME on untimed tests? I'm thinking about taking untimed tests once a week, since I don't have class on Tuesdays.
Also, where can I find full, legitimate practice tests for free as opposed to PR's? I noticed it wasn't full as soon as I started it, but I went with it anyway, figuring it would be a good benchmark. I really hope working through the PR book at all is worth it - I'm giving myself three weeks to get through the whole book (1 week per section). Then, it's moving on to Powerscore.
This may be best answered by someone with more experience, however, from my research it seems that early on there is no such thing as too much time. Of course, this is in an ideal world when you have all the time to devout to master the LSAT - which may not be realistic. Still, if you are using an EFFICIENT method do not worry that much. If the method really is efficient then with more exposure to that method and the LSAT your time will go down and your score will go up. Timing will come.
The point of untimed is so you get extremely familiar with the test and how it looks/is set up (all the different question types and each one of their problems) AS WELL as with the method you are using. So long as you are actively thinking and don't stop that train of thought and are working diligently through the method - take as long as you need to to be 200% sure the answer is right AND the 4 others are wrong.
You will soon begin to realize how the test really repeats a lot of similar ways of thinking throughout the three sections. Ways of finding deductions in LGs will, oddly, begin to somehow creep into your LR section and inferences will get easier to spot. Its at this point when you will begin to realize the LSAT is not so much a test to get into law school as it is a self prep course for law school (year 0 of law school). The skills you are learning will help you later (at least I tell myself that - hah).
Once you are getting around a 175+ on your complete untimed section then you can start worrying about bringing your time down. You will notice, however, that your time will naturally go down as you work through untimed sections.
As for the real tests - I don't know of any legitimate ways of obtaining all the real tests for free. Heres a link that lists where to find all the tests and where to buy them. I would shop around on amazon for the different books.http://www.powerscore.com/lsat/help/pub_ident.cfm
« on: August 15, 2011, 11:18:41 PM »
Thanks... but it is important to note its still un-timed. The numbers I gave have been general averages (some have been lower some have been higher). My current avg. stats would, at best, allow for mid 160s timed. That is not taking into account fatigue and what not. Realistically I am probably high 150s low 160s. I have yet to take a full timed test so that is just speculation. I am hoping for the Dec. test, would settle for Feb. test but am prepared, if need be, for June test. I started studying June 1 2011 and am shooting for low-mid 170s.
I completely agree with the worry of mixing methods. I am making my own as I go anyways though. There are, surprisingly, some things from Princeton Review that I like better than Kaplan.
The Kaplan books are not that thin at all - RC and LR books are about 450 page each and the LG is about 600. That makes the Kaplan set about 1500 pages worth of material to cover. Of course the majority of that is practice questions and review. That being said my outline (which just covers methodology) is about 75 pages.
Also, as a side note, I really like how the RC book is written. Its very positive and semi-motivational - its subtle how they sneak it in but its uplifting. The other two try to match that tone, but aren't quite AS successful.
« on: August 15, 2011, 04:02:28 PM »
For the record - I am still in the midst of studying for the LSAT myself. So if others with more experience feel that, comparatively, the Kaplan books are not as good as Powerscore then take that with more weight. I can only compare Kaplan to Princeton Review and it is night and day better.
After Princeton Reivew book whenever I timed myself I was getting about: LG 80% at 15 minutes per game. LR 70% at 2-5 min. per question. and RC 60% at 10-15 min. per passage.
After Kaplan I'm getting: LG 100% at 5-11 min. per game. LR 90% at around 1.5-2.5 min. per question. and RC at 80% at around 10 min.
I still need a lot of work to get where I want but there certainly is a lot of improvement in a short amount of time. But who knows - maybe that would have been even better with powerscore?
As for Kaplan books, they are not so much "tip" or "trick" based as they are "method" based. They occasionally will make a "tip"/"note" on particular question/game types, such as common wrong answers, how to spot them etc. but they are really anal about tying everything back to their "method." I'll PM you my outlines.
Once you have a strong foundation with the fundamentals I would take as many real tests as you can. Julie Ferm mentioned this:
that fake test. take real one.
Thats because the Princeton Review is one of the few, if not only, major prep companies that make up their own test questions. Though these are okay for further drilling (often they may actually me harder then the real test) you should spend the bulk of your time on real LSAT tests/questions. After you get really comfortable (some say around 165) then you can use PR material for further drilling, but still understand those are fake and you should still base your practice scores on real LSAT tests.
Currently there are around 60 real LSAT tests out there you can buy. Once you are in that 175+ range, hit those hard - at least 1 or 2 a week. If you only have time for 10 or so tests I would start with test #52 which is when they added Comparative Reading and will be the test most resembling the one you will take. If you have time for more I would set it up so the last practice tests you take are after test 52 and ends with the most recent one.