« on: September 30, 2013, 05:19:28 PM »
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.