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Messages - Miami88

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121
Studying for the LSAT / Oct. 5 Test
« on: October 06, 2013, 03:25:25 PM »
Just wanted to see how it went for everyone... :)


122
Well that is a different and honest situation. If you are extremely concerned about having the time to study for the Dec. test and are thus almost certain you will not take it., then yea - take it now.

Good luck on Sat.! Remember that when it rains - it rains on everybody. Just keep moving on the test, be confident, and happy that you are one step closer to your goals.

123
Hi Razireem,

As a preface, always consult a pre-law advisor before making any significant decisions, like taking the LSAT. Use advice from these online boards as a tool, not a guide. That being said, here are some of my thoughts.



I know it may initially seem like a good idea... to take the LSAT now, hope for the best, get some more practice in during the real test, continue to rock the studying afterwards, and dominate the test in a few months. However...

This kind of thinking is generally frowned upon by adcoms (at least, from what they say at seminars, forums, etc.). Think about it from their perspective, what does that process tell you about an applicant. If, as stated above, they walked in on test day and knew they weren't prepared, and knew the imporatnce of the LSAT (which is why they took it again), then the only logical reason for the apparent scenario is that they attacked the LSAT haphazardly and without much foresight. This is not the early signs of a strong lawyer.

So... unless you feel prepared for the real test, do not take it.



Now, here are some other direct comments on your LSAT prep/practice:

There is no way you could complete a full un-timed test in one sitting. To do an un-timed test correctly, it could easily take up to 20 hours. Why? Un-timed practice is far different than timed practice. Just because it is un-timed does not mean it is leisurely practice. You must stay engaged with the content at all times.

Why do you not practice with the clock if you are supposed to be engaged as though you are taking a timed test? Because you are doing faaarrr more work per un-timed question than in timed practice. You need to, via an efficient method (like powerscore), understand each moving part in the question. You need to have specific reasons why 4 answer choice are 100% incorrect and why 1 answer choice is 100% correct. Each of those reasons must match your prep material's reasons (or come really close). Write down those specific reasons. Dissect the answer to find general structures that were similiar to prior questions, even questions in different section types. This is un-timed practice. By the end of this kind of practice - once you are answering all of the questions correctly - your time will have naturally settled in a good spot.

Once you have that under your belt, you gradually transition into full timed tests. So, you would first start taking half a section under timed conditions, re-do it un-timed, address any issues, and move to the next half section. Once you have a strong accuracy and timing pace, you bump that up to 3/4 of a section, then a full section, then two sections back to back. After two sections back to back, drop the un-timed re-do of the sections and start tacking on sections. So now you are doing 3 sections back to back, then 4 sections back to back (maybe a 10 min. break after section 3). Then you are ready for full test practice: 3 sections, a break, then 2 sections.

By building your practice from the bottom up, you will slowly fold in section management skills, bubbling techniques, guessing strategies, etc. Do not be afraid to re-vist old tests/questions. Especially during un-timed tests, this is how you will lay down the mental bridges from concept to concept that the LSAT tests. This is what it takes to score in the 165+ range - especially if you are coming out of the low 150s.



Good luck my friend. It is a long journey, but one that will expand upon your natural talents. I thought of it as year 0 of law school, the conditioned training to take on high level reasoning.

<3

124
A few questions:

1) When are you taking the test?

If Oct. ... there's not a whole lot that can be done within a week. If Dec./Feb., then you have a shot!

2) How have you been practicing?

It sounds as though you have been timing yourself. Timing really should only come into play once you are scoring 175+ on un-timed practice (or at the very least 10+ points above your target). Un-timed practice is all about establishing the fundamentals (i.e. answering the questions correctly and efficiently). If you jump the gun on timing, you are robbing yourself from truly understanding how the LSAT works.

3) Where are you losing points?

You said you are completing more questions in the same amount of time, however, are getting the same score. This means, as a percentage of the total questions you attempted, you are answering less questions correctly. Pin-point exactly where/when this happens and slow down. You would probably be much better off with attempting less questions, snagging more of them correct, and guessing on the remaining.

Examaple:

Scenario 1: 35 min.; 16/24 questions attempted.; 75% accuracy; 12/24 correct
Scenario 2: 35 min.; 24/24 questions attempted,; 50% accuracy; 12/24 correct

Thus, its not really just about how many questions you attempt, but how accurately you attempt each question.

125
Unless you have scored 175+s in addition to that 160, a 170 is not going to realistically happen in a week.

As far as holding off until a later date... sadly the decision is going to be based on an honest conversation with yourself, not us.

If you honestly KNOW that you can score 10+ more points within two months, then go for it. Know that these 10 points will be far more difficult than the prior 10. Heck, if you can score over 6 points more (thats 2 standard deviations away from whatever your current average is), then it would be worth it.

If you feel yourself plateauing, that you would be lucky to score another 3 or 4 points by December... then there are two other options. Post-pone until Feb. or June and make sure you stay committed to the cause and apply early next cycle (understanding that you will probably only score a few more points)... OR... go for the test now.


As a side note, 160 is an amazing score. That is the 80th percentile. You have scored higher than 80 percent of college grads. This is an amazing feat! You will have several options with a 160, not to mention money from some schools. Will a 160 get you into Harvard?... probably not (although you never know - maybe your softs are just out of this world and you present them in the perfect way). But if the only reason you are taking the LSAT is to get into Harvard, then you may be taking the test for the wrong reasons.

Good luck my friend. :)




126
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Time to allot for studying
« on: September 08, 2013, 11:00:18 PM »
Going from 147 to over 170 is ambitious to say the least. I'm not saying its impossible - but you may find a month to be a little bit of a time crunch. If you truly think you can do it - id consider post-poning the test until February, or even June. If you don't think that is realistic, then take the test when you feel completely ready...

Good luck!

127
Law School Applications / Re: Law school and engineering undergrad?
« on: September 08, 2013, 10:54:59 AM »
A lot of these questions are, sadly, entirely on your shoulders. I would be skeptical on basing huge decisions like these on anonymous internet posters.

That said, basically every law schools - particularly the T14 - say to follow the major you most enjoy. Augment it with logic, research, writing-based courses if you can, but follow what you are passionate about. If that is engineering, do it. If that is music, do it. Do not follow a path just because of "job security." That may be a legitimate factor in your ultimate decision, however, is a rotten one to argue on your Personal Statement.

I would go over to your school's pre-law advisor to get their perspective. They will be able to offer much more detailed advice on how to navigate this whole thing than any of us.

Good luck!

128
Law School Applications / Re: Major Study Advice
« on: September 08, 2013, 10:45:37 AM »
Not sure, but here are a few considerations:

1) You entrance will primarily be dependent on your LSAC reported GPA and your LSAT score. Soft factors, such as your major, will have an impact on your file, but not nearly as much as your numbers. I've read that law schools (at least the top schools) give ABOUT 1/3 weight to GPA, 1/3 to LSAT, and 1/3 to personal statement and other soft factors. If your numbers are borderline for a school, it will come down to how your soft factors rank with other applicants.

2) You will have to explain why you switched majors. This is not inherently bad, but note that if you do not explain it well, law schools could take it as a sign that you can't finish what you start, you may not finish law school, and thus you are risky to accept. So, if you do want to switch, have strong and defensible reasons for it.

3) The nice thing about unusual majors is that they are typically under-represented. The scary thing about unusual majors is that they are typically under-represented. Again, it will all depend on how you portray it. What about your coursework puts you in a unique and strong position to study and practice law?

4) If you maintain that GPA and your LSAT score is at or above a school's median... you are gold. If your LSAT is below a median, your only hope is on your soft factors and, more importantly, how you portray them.

Good luck!

129
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Time to allot for studying
« on: September 08, 2013, 10:21:35 AM »
I'd say you take the test whenever you feel most prepared - no sooner. That will probably be, in terms of practice time, very different for each person. I'm not sure where lawschooli.com got their info from, but there are plenty of people - myself included - who have continued to score higher, more consistently with more time. I actually read somewhere that some LSAC rep said he recommends at least 6 months of study.

I spent about 2 months drilling technique/method until I was consistently scoring 180s on un-timed tests. I did not plan that, it just so happened to take me that long to get there. I then took 2-3 months to transition into timed tests and then another 2 months to transition to exact test conditions. By test day, I had taken just about every single test available and did not run out of tests. Remember, you MUST review every single test - in some cases multiple times.

I ended up scoring within my average LSAT PT band - albeit in the lower end of it.

Good luck!

130
General Board / Re: LSD Needs to Modernize Site
« on: September 05, 2013, 07:16:00 PM »
<3 Julie lots. Cryptic fun indeed.

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