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Messages - Miami88

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First off, if you haven't dived into LSAT Blog's website... do it, and do it now! Great advice and helped me a lot...

Second off, I did self study as well. Here is my review on the books I used, take what you will from it:

1) Princeton Review: yuck!!! just... no... stay away from it 100%...

2) Kaplan: My favorite - it lays out a very methodical approach to tackling the test and elaborates on that method in a very positive and uplifting way.

3) Powerscore: Very good material... however, a bit overkill. Kaplan groups things and elaborates, but in a more balanced way. Powerscore goes a bit too far for my taste. That being said, they certainly have great perspectives on things. I ended up basing my approach on Kaplan and supplemented it with tips, and tid-bits from powerscore.

As far as the october test, I'd echo what everyone else said. You should only take the test when you feel you are 100% prepared. If you don't, there is nothing wrong with the December test. If you do feel like you have a shot for october, I would say register for it just in case (if you have the $$). Feel it out the closer you get to test day, you should have a good idea of where your potential is by then. If you feel like you can easily score another 6+ points on the test in just a few months, then stick it out until December. If you feel like you'd at best score another 1-2 points on the test, then I'd go for the october test. At that marginal difference, you'll probably benefit more from applying earlier than maybe scoring a point more on your LSAT...

I ended up scoring 1 standard deviation below from my practice test average (my nerves got the best of me during the first half of the first section - after that it was smooth sailing). So if your practice tests are taken under real conditions, and you do this over and over and over again, you should have a decent idea of where you are. Just take whatever your average is and add/subtract 5 (about two standard deviations from your test score)... you will more than likely score somewhere in that range, and probably on the lower end of it...

Law School Applications / Resume - High School
« on: July 27, 2013, 08:45:38 PM »
Hi guys,

I know there has been a few threads regarding this topic, however, none on this question in specific.

My high school is highly ranked and is also a college. I completed several college credits there and LSAC will be reporting them.

I assume this warrants a place on my resume...What do you guys think?

Also, I of course have strong awards, activities and volunteer exp. here - if I do put my HS on my resume, should I also include a bullet referring to this as well?


Studying for the LSAT / Thanks!
« on: July 01, 2013, 06:05:45 PM »
Hi guys,

I just wanted to say thank you to all the LSD members who have been gracious enough to share their experience and tips on this board - in particular EarlCat. It was extremely helpful advice and led to me scoring in the top percentile! Hopefully I'll be able to pass along everything I learned to the next LSATers. :)

Again, thank you!

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Doing better on second half of test...
« 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).

Studying for the LSAT / Re: negation/logical opposites
« 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...

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Help with time constraint problems
« 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).

Studying for the LSAT / Doing better on second half of test...
« on: May 12, 2013, 10:24:14 AM »
Hi guys,

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.

Any advice?

Studying for the LSAT / Stuck at 165
« on: March 16, 2013, 08:13:14 PM »
Hi guys,

So I just picked up my LSAT study from a year and a half ago. (I studied on and off while I was in graduate school and then picked it back up while working a few weeks ago).

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.



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.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Timed/untimed tests
« 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?

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