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Messages - Jeffort

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: What to study 2 weeks before the Test
« on: November 28, 2009, 01:43:34 AM »
Good to see you back, and leaving quality advice, as always!


Thanx for the kind words Sean.   :)

Hope you had a good Turkey day and I hope life is treating you well.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Please Help - retake test date
« on: November 19, 2009, 08:46:34 PM »
if you cancel the test after you take it, law schools are able to see it or it never goes on your record?

is there a way to see your result but not release it to schools? MCAT allowed that.

When one cancels after taking the test the 'would have achieved' score is not reported to or available to either the test taker or to Law Schools.  On the LSAC candidate report that is sent to schools it just lists the date of the test administration with a mark next to it that indicates that the score was canceled.  The LS's will see that and possibly take it into consideration.

Lol at your "decline."  Nobody gets the exact same thing on every test.  Everybody fluctuates to some extent.

There's no reason that you can't sit down right now and get a 162.  It's just that three separate cancellations looks totally weird.  I can't imagine there would ever be a good explanation for it. 

Three cancellations does look fishy to admissions committees, raises some eyebrows and should be addressed in an application addendum.  Doing that in order to attempt to persuade the adcomms to look past them and instead focus on and base their decision on the most recent and hopefully also highest reported LSAT score on record is important to mitigate the negative impact of multiple cancellations.

Multiple cancellations and/or multiple LSAT scores is not fatal to admissions chances but is certainly an obstacle that should be addressed with an explanation.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: What to study 2 weeks before the Test
« on: November 19, 2009, 03:35:43 AM »
Hi guys,

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.


you're back?

uhhm, Yeah.  Otherwise this must be the ghost of Jeffort past typing and it took the LSD server over a year for this post to go through!  :D

So did the test-prep company fire you and pull the plug?   Or did they just wipe out their server and call a sudden halt to everything, like you did when you shut down your website?   Most important, why should anyone pay any attention to you here when you've already proven yourself to be a big crybaby who deletes all his posts and runs away when he feels like it?


I do not appreciate your insulting abusive commentary about me.

If offering and posting my LSAT prep and Law School related advice for free is a sin, then I am a sinner.  I do regret having agreed to circumstances that required me to delete all my previous posts here and elsewhere over a year ago, it will not happen again. 

Please drop your hater attitude, it's not cool.

Thanx for the compliments Trev and Earlcat.  :)


you're back?

uhhm, Yeah.  Otherwise this must be the ghost of Jeffort past typing and it took the LSD server over a year for this post to go through!  :D

Wow, achieving a 163 having only prepped for less than one week is impressive.  It demonstrates that you already have a good 'natural' grasp of the types of logic, reasoning and reading skills that the LSAT measures.  It's pretty rare for people to score that high first time with little or no prep.

Given your high 'didn't really prep score', with some serious prep time you should be able to score even higher if you re-take and perhaps achieve a score in the 98th or 99th percentile range (170 or above).  That type of a score along with a 3.9 GPA would certainly put you in the range and make you a competitive applicant to pretty much any Law School.

Since you indicated that your preferred LS's depends on where your significant other (SO) gets accepted to and decides to attend medical school, it would be excellent to have a nice 170+ LSAT along with your 3.9 GPA in order to keep all options open. 

Any idea about the likely areas your SO will end up attending medical school?  Since you are following her wherever in the country to be with her (great combination BTW, a doctor and a lawyer as a couple, I love it!  You two could be a dangerous duo with both degrees!) you should research the GPA/LSAT admission index ranges of good LS's in the areas your SO might attend medical school.  That way you can figure out a list of the LS's you need to be a competitive applicant at. 

If it turns out that a 3.9/163 makes you a very strong applicant at all the LS's near all the possible places she may attend MS there would little point in re-taking the LSAT.  However, that scenario is unlikely.

I suggest you do some research about the factors I mentioned and use that as your guide and basis for your decision.  If you do re-take the LSAT, in order to significantly increase your score you MUST dedicate a LOT of time to doing quality preparation/studying/practicing/reviewing/etc., otherwise, without significant prep time, you would likely score close to the same as you did the first time and the re-take would end up being pointless.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: study help - June 2006 LSAT section 1
« on: October 18, 2009, 05:09:32 PM »
You seem to have overlooked the end part of the stimulus where it uses the words "known" and "unique".

That means that the test focuses on pollen types that current scientific knowledge indicates only exist/are only found (meaning not transported there from somewhere else) in one particular geographic region on the earth.  Being unique to a region means that you cannot find it anywhere other than there.

If a certain type of pollen can only be found in one place on earth and some of it is clinging to an object, then the object has to have been in that place.

Answer choice (A) is credited and weakens the statement because it points out the possibility that pollen could be moved from one place to another by humans or wind and THEN get transferred to and cling to an object that was never in the area the pollen originated from. 

For instance, you could wander some fields in Afghanistan, get some one of a kind poppy pollen on your clothes/shoes/on your hands or wherever, then board a flight before washing or changing clothes, land in the USA and transfer the pollen to another object in America that was never in Afghanistan.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Sept. '09 LSAT...TODAY IS THE DAY!!!!
« on: October 18, 2009, 02:46:16 PM »
171 ! Was scoring average of 176 on PrepTests  :-\

Missed 6 on Logic Games; I panicked even though they were so eeeeasssyy. And it could have been worse. I guessed on every question in the last game and got them all right!! I'm a lucky SOB i know. I left the test center completely distraught, thinking I missed them all. LG in December will definitely be harder, so I'm not taking the risk of panicking again.

Congrats to everyone that did well, and to those who didn't, don't give up if Law School is something you really want. Keep up the hard work.

Wait, what?  You missed 6 total on the 3 LG's you attempted but got them all correct by blind guessing on the last game?  That's impressive/super lucky and beats statistical odds by a long way.  Was there a certain lucky charm you were wearing?

I hope by mentioning the December test you are saying that you are NOT retaking!  Take that 171 and run with it.  Get them applications polished and complete and if possible submitted for EA/ED as appropriate.

I too am disappointed with my score. I got a 158 and this is the second time doing it. I was expecting 165+ as my average score on timed preptests (with an extra section included) was 164. I was wondering whether I should rewrite or keep the score with my cumulative gpa which is around 3.0-3.1, and my last gpa for my last 60 credits is ~3.2. Like what type of schools can I get into in Canada and in the states?

It depends on which schools you are willing to consider.  Your GPA is certainly on the low end and will probably impair your ability to get accepted into highly ranked schools.  The main workaround for that is a stellar LSAT score.  Otherwise, you need to do some serious research about the numbers game/index stats for various Law Schools to get an idea of which schools in whichever region you qualify for admission to.

US News and World reports publishes an annual ranking of Law Schools that contains many detailed admission statistics.

You can also find similar useful data as well as tons of other sobering LS related info from a different source here:

Your 159 is not a terrible score by any means with its corresponding percentile rank if you are not seeking admission to a first tier Law School.  How it bodes for your admission chances to wherever greatly depends on the Law Schools you are seeking admission to.

An LSAT score of 164, had you achieved that, is significantly (by large amounts) higher in percentile rank than a 159 and would dramatically change the range of LS's you have a chance of admission to.

Since it seems that you have decided to re-take, the prep method to choose greatly depends on your learning style and time availability.  Some people learn better in a classroom environment, others do better by hibernating alone with a bunch of books. 

If you sign up for a classroom course and miss classes and/or do not keep up on doing the homework to put it all together you likely will not benefit as much.

You have to decide which of those ways works best for you or if a combination is appropriate, all things considered.  There is no 'one size fits all' strategy for achieving a highly ranked score on the LSAT.

No matter the way you do it the most important part for your future re-take score is you spending time reviewing the substance of the instruction you are given, applying it to the sections of the test, identifying your errors as you go, working to correct for them, and then lather rinse repeat.

Well I am not looking at going to any school below a tier 1 law school. Thus my interest in retaking the test. My number one choice law school is UCLA. Which has a 25th-75th of 164-168. My GPA is kind of strong (currently 3.56), so it is my LSAT score I am more concerned about. I was also looking at Loyola Law School which has a 25th-75th of 159-163, since I was hoping to get around 164 I wasn't that worried about it, but now that I am down at 159, I am concerned.

The main reason I am considering taking a class is because my first time around I self-studied and didn't do as well as I wanted. Perhaps I was missing something with it. I used the SuperPrep Book, individual prep tests, and a third party LSAT study book that had decent reviews. I studied for 3 months.

I'm in class or work all day Monday-Thursday and am unavailable until 8pm at night. So I'm wondering if paying for a class will also keep me on track as well as give me reason to study at night. Do you feel that just buying the powerscore or testmakers books can give me the same experience? I am usually very good at self-study so classroom vs. books is pretty much the same to me.

My main hope is to increase my score to the 164 minimum.

Ok, with tier 1 schools as your goal, especially UCLA and others in the Socal area, you definitely need a higher LSAT score to be competitive in the admissions race.  As a USC LS grad I will try to refrain from commenting about those silly Bruins that like to wear blue!   ;)  :D

Since you are looking at good Socal LS's, your GPA is pretty good and in range for UCLA, Loyola, or USC.

To prep properly for your December re-take, since you sound pretty busy, you need to have available and commit a good amount of time for prep many days and hours each week both for class time and homework/study time

I cannot emphasize this enough:  Time spent in an LSAT prep course receiving instruction is typically not enough.  You need to and should spend at least double that amount of time doing outside of class LSAT homework.  That entails applying, practicing, reviewing, and refining your understanding of what a course taught you about how to do well on the test.  Many students that take a prep class mistakenly think that just attending class is enough.  It is not.  Class and/or books supply you with the concepts of what is tested and techniques to use when attacking the questions, then it's up to the student to apply the knowledge and practice it by working and reviewing questions. 

With your busy schedule/time constraints I'm wondering how you would be able to fit in the necessary homework/practice time. 

Which 3rd party book did you use before?  On this board and from various other sources, the Powerscore Bibles are renowned as the best affordable commercially available LSAT prep books.  The Superprep book from LSAC is also very good but not nearly as comprehensive in terms of providing detailed strategies and such. 

Given your busy schedule, if you decide to take a class instead of doing self study again, with your two options I would go with the Powerscore Virtual course.  You can review each lesson anytime you want at will as well as access the other included online resources whenever you want.

* No-Shill disclaimer * :  I have been teaching LSAT prep courses and tutoring students seeking Law School Admission for about 9 years and currently work for Powerscore.

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