« on: November 19, 2009, 03:35:43 AM »
I just got done reviewing all the ? types. So what should I study now. Should I take a diag every 2 days and if so which ones the early 2000's or the 2007-08's.
Also when should be the last day to take a diag--and what games should I focus on studying?
Thank you guys and please pray for me! Ahhhh--the nerves!
Assuming you have thoroughly studied and learned the recurring logical concepts the LSAT tests as well as learning effective LOGICALLY BASED techniques/approaches to use to attack the questions, you should do a balanced blend of how you use your study and practice time.
First things first. DO NOT fall into the 'churn and burn' trap of the habit of just doing tons of practice tests over and over like many people do, mistakenly thinking that by doing a bunch of timed tests their score will improve substantially. That does not typically work, leads to burnout and you do not learn much of anything new except how it feels to be frustrated.
While and once having learned/studied all the basics you should mostly practice applying that knowledge and sound techniques you learned to LSAT questions in slow motion. Meaning that you thoroughly think through each question, making sure to read VERY carefully, get more familiar with the common recurring patterns in question types and types of answer choices offered and make sure that when you read a fresh question you know what approach to apply to it and what types of answer choices to expect.
After all, it's a standardized test. It tests the same set of acquired logical reasoning, analytical, and reading comprehension skills in the same ways test after test.
With the December test coming soon you should certainly be moving towards taking more timed sections or timed tests or at least putting some time pressure on yourself when doing homework problems. The essential part for improvement is after having worked some questions or a section or full test, whether timed or not, that you then spend time reviewing it and your mistakes while under no time pressure. You have to identify your weak areas so that you can study and practice them more to improve them.
After taking a timed section or timed full test you should definitely spend at LEAST double that amount of time closely reviewing the questions and your performance. Of course thoroughly review the questions you got incorrect, identify what errors you made that caused you to select a non credited answer choice. That way you know what your weaknesses are so that you can work to improve them. Also study and review -in slow motion- questions you took timed that you got correct that were difficult questions you were unsure about and might have gotten correct by a lucky guess.
The entire goal is for you to be very familiar with the format of the test and the limited types of logic it tests repeatedly and get good at applying logic based techniques you have learned and get all that so ingrained into your mind that you can then do it quickly under the time constraints.
It can be said very simply: Practice, Review, lather rinse repeat.
Taking several full timed tests in the weeks leading to the test date can be good to help you adjust to and get conditioned for the time pressure, but must also be accompanied with after timed practice slow motion review and dissection time like I described.
There is no magic number of how many full timed tests to take before the real thing. Balance taking a timed test or section here and there and then use your time to thoroughly review what went right and what went wrong and seek to correct for your errors.
With that said, for timing purposes alone, I say that taking at least two full length fresh practice tests per week in the two weeks before test date is good to help you get into the timed mode you face on test day to get conditioned. You should save the most recent LSAT test forms to use for timed practice in the last two weeks before the real thing. That is helpful because there have been subtle shifts/changes with the writing style and balance of difficulty and content in the full tests that has been slowly occurring over the last 5+ years.
I also think that taking a practice test or doing any type of LSAT practice the day/night before the exam (and especially the morning of the exam) is a giant mistake. Take the day before the test off from any LSAT prep and let your brain recover and rejuvenate so it will be ready in full form the next morning.