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Messages - Jeffort

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: Retake Testmasters or try Blueprint?
« on: September 27, 2010, 12:05:31 PM »
Why do you think you need to re-take the course or take another one right away or at all? You said you went to all the classes but that your main problem was being able to complete all the homework as the class went along due to 'life explosion' issues you had. Life explosion/implosion issues or not, most people that take live prep courses do not/are not able to complete all the homework problems lesson by lesson from one class session to the next. That is pretty normal.

If you gained a good foundation from the class you attended and took good notes, since you are not taking the October test, why not just use your available time to study, practice and review what you were taught in the class, do that a lot before classes designed for the December test begin to see how it goes.  Then decide whether to re-take the class.  If $$ and time to put into prep is not an issue right now, sure, jump in and re-take the class and/or get private tutoring right away.

It takes a while to fully ingrain all the concepts, techniques, strategies, what have you, that are taught in a full length course. A ton of stuff is thrown at you really fast in 4 hour sessions over the course of about 9 weeks. At the end of those ~9 weeks you cannot be an expert of it all and have it all ingrained and down pat. To master it you need to review your notes, the lessons, HW problems, etc. and study and practice more to make it all 'stick' and become second nature.

I think switching to another course would be a mistake. You may not even need a repeat of the course you already took, but if you think taking another class would really help and are going to do that, take TM again so that you get the same curriculum and methodologies you already learned presented again and reinforced. Unless you found a serious systemic problem with the TM course, curriculum, methods, etc. there is no reason to switch companies and have to learn and adapt to a different prep method from a different source. Plus, if you re-take the TM course you pay a lower re-taker fee to enroll.

The goal here is to get you to achieve your maximum possible score on test day. 

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Are mechanical erasers allowed?
« on: September 23, 2010, 02:56:53 PM »
You're right; probably best to play it safe.  But you'd think LSAC would be more clear and unambiguous...

You'd think, but then again they are old people that are familiar with and used to using old fashioned tools like wooden pencils, slide rulers, an abacus for math, spears and torches to chase enemies away from the village and to suppress native uprisings , etc.  If they walked into an Office depot or a computer store to check out new things they could risk going into some sort of culture shock and get really confused trying to figure out how to use the 'fancy new fangled' devil devices! 

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Are mechanical erasers allowed?
« on: September 23, 2010, 02:15:56 PM »
Yeah, the kind that you click.


Simply to avoid any potential trouble at the test center (you don't want that, you'll already be under enough pressure/stressful circumstances) I say play it safe and go with a standard eraser to avoid having an extra distracting thing to stress and worry about.  While worrying/stressing about the test while waiting in line and checking in I sure as $hit wouldn't want to also have the extra worry of 'are they going to take my eraser away'.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Are mechanical erasers allowed?
« on: September 23, 2010, 01:23:54 PM »
I know mechanical pencils are prohibited, but what about mechanical erasers?  I prefer them over block erasers because they're more precise.

Are you talking about one where you click it to make more eraser come out of the end?  Other than that I'm not sure what you could mean by 'mechanical eraser'.  The language of the LSAC rules just says that erasers are allowed but does not define what types.  I would guess that since they banned mechanical pencils (for whatever reason, why is still a mystery to me!), and that since a 'mechanical' stick eraser is similar to and resembles a mechanical pencil, that it would qualify as a banned item. 

Play it safe and get used to using a block eraser.  Hello Kitty ones are kinda cool still!  :D


Studying for the LSAT / Re: Just wanted to confirm testing regulations...
« on: September 23, 2010, 01:12:33 PM »
Thank you for your informative help. My first test was taken in Feb. 2009 so I would have no problem signing up for the June 2011 LSAT right? I just don't want to study again for the test and find out that I am unable to take it again.

Correct.  Without getting a LS waiver letter giving you permission to take it again sooner, with the first of the 3 reported times you took the test being February 2009, you are clear to register for and take the June 2011 LSAT.

More importantly for Law School admissions purposes, what has been the problem holding you back from scoring high enough to have a good chance of admission to your LS's of choice?   If you are going to take another bite at the apple you really need to figure out what held you back from scoring up to your potential the previous times you sat for the test and prep better to make sure taking it a fourth time will be worthwhile to improve your admission chances.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Just wanted to confirm testing regulations...
« on: September 22, 2010, 09:50:49 PM »
No, you would be allowed to take it again before February 2012.  The LSAC policy is that you are only allowed to take the LSAT 3 times within any given 2 year time window.  That means that if your 3rd take was February 2010, you would count the two years from the date of the first of your three takes, not the last one.  As soon as it has been 2 years since the first of the 3 takes you can take it again since then you would only have taken it twice within the previous 2 year period.

Yes, you are correct, it doesn't look great to LS's to have taken the LSAT several times rather than just once or say twice with one cancellation and one reported score.  How it is viewed would of course also depend on what is on your score report in terms of whether you have multiple reported scores or which combo of scores, cancellations, and/or no-shows you have. 

BTW, there is an easy way get an exception to the 3 times in two years limit.  All you have to do is get the admissions office of any LS to write LSAC a letter saying they grant you permission to take the LSAT again and the limit is waived.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Any RC Tips or Tricks?
« on: September 21, 2010, 09:24:18 PM »
For one thing, focus on careful critical 'active' reading of the content, meaning that you really engage your mind in thinking about it as you go rather than trying to read it all really fast.  Basically, slow down to speed up.

Do you find yourself reading stuff really fast and then having to re-read things multiple times along the way because it didn't sink in/click well enough on first read to confidently answer questions?  If so, slow down your reading pace so that you understand and process the content better on the first read so that you don't have to bounce around re-reading things frequently. 

Studying for the LSAT / Re: LR: speed or skill?
« on: September 21, 2010, 09:14:15 PM »
OP:  Given that your highest score so far is 146 after some practice/study time I don't think your major problem or best solution is to do the questions in a different order.  You are missing far too many for your current score range to be based on the order you do them. 

You need to do something to significantly improve your understanding of what is going on with LR questions, what concepts are involved and being tested, and to change/improve your approach and skills at solving each of the questions/question types, etc.

Timing is NOT your main problem, your underlying skills are.  Speed comes with/improves with better understanding of and skills with the materials.  When you know what is going on with, how to properly approach the various question types, and know/understand what techniques and methods of analysis to apply to each you will be able to solve each of them in less time with better accuracy.

Other than churning through a bunch of practice tests/sections as fast as you can timed, what else have you been doing to improve your LR problem solving skills?

Studying for the LSAT / Re: LSAT Logic Reasoning
« on: September 21, 2010, 09:00:35 PM »

Sounds like you need to do a lot of work on the LR sections.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I don't think it is realistic to cut down the amount of LR questions you miss per test from ~30 to minus 15 or less in the less than 3 weeks left before the October test.  There are only about 50-52 LR questions per test and according to your info you are missing an overwhelming majority of them. 

What have you done so far to prep over the last 3 months other than working questions off and on for practice?

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Is one and half month prep realistic?
« on: September 12, 2010, 06:11:51 PM »
Not without a prep course and some meaningful way to gauge your progress. This is about what I put in, and I can tell you that it's not enough if you want to clear the 160 mark, which is what I hoped to do. Look, the benefits of taking a test prep course far outway the costs. If you have the time and the ability, taking an LSAT prep course and getting the nuts and bolts of the test down pat will probably improve your scores considerably. The cost is 3000 dollars (last time looked), and you will reap the benefits in terms of better tuition and better options. If i had it to do over again, I would take Kaplan or something comparable.

That said, sounds like you don't have time to change your mind on that one so make sure you are timing your answers. You need to be able to do all the questions in the allotted time, and in my first section I ran out with three questions to go. It set me up for what I can only describe as an awful testing experience for the remainder. So time yourself, or have someone time you. and take 2 practice tests under timed conditions per day.

$3000 for a prep course??   That's double or more the price of most available quality full length prep courses. 

Also, taking 2 timed practice tests a day to try to improve your score is well beyond foolish.  Doing that would be counter productive and waste tons of time that could otherwise be spent doing the study & review stuff that actually helps improve your skill/performance level.  It would almost be the worst possible way of doing the stupid churn and burn routine.

Slow motion study, analysis and review of test content, concepts, strategies, techniques, approaches, mistakes you make along the way, etc. is critical in order to raise your scoring ability.  Burning through a bunch of tests as fast as possible expecting it to help improve your score is silly. 

The only study plan I can think of that would be a worse formula for disaster would be doing 2 timed practice tests a day and starting to take/getting hooked on adderall to do it.

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