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Messages - Jeffort

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: Any RC Tips or Tricks?
« on: September 21, 2010, 06:24:18 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, 06:14:15 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, 06:00:35 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, 03:11:51 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.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Writing the October 2010 lsat
« on: September 12, 2010, 12:11:02 PM »
Is there actually some sort of consensus on whether the October, December, and February tests are harder/ easier than one another?

As a general rule most people will agree that whatever date they they took the test will be the hardest ever... :)

I believe this has become known as Ferns Law!   :D

On a more serious note. From what I have been able to deduce, they really do seem to make a strong effort to ensure that the standardized test really is pretty close to standard. Good luck with preparation and test.

Which administration/test form you take doesn't effect your score.  How well you are prepared and your skill level when you take it DOES effect your score. 

It's kinda simple like that with standardized tests since they are designed to accurately rate/measure your skill/proficiency level at the time you take it regardless of the calendar month of the administration you sit for.

Whether you take the LSAT in February, June, October or December, to get a 170 you have to have 170 skills and perform at that skill level, to get a 160, have 160 skills and perform at that level, etc.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: prep test 13 section 4 #1
« on: September 03, 2010, 08:46:19 PM »
Either your answer key is wrong or you read it wrong, the credited answer choice is (A) like you thought it should be.
(some self study books with full tests in them have errors in the answer keys, most notably those from a big company with a name that starts with Ka...)

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Is one and half month prep realistic?
« on: August 31, 2010, 09:07:28 PM »
Unfortunately there is no one size fits all formula in terms of how much study time is necessary to be able to hit your maximum potential score.  The LSAT isn't a test you can reliably say X# of hours per week over Y# of weeks will equal Z# of point increase. 

Your mileage may vary.  Some people prep for it for 3 months, some for 6+ months etc. to get their performance up to a score they are happy with. 

Have you taken a timed practice test yet to get your starting off pre-prep/just started prepping baseline score?  Have you researched and figured out what score range you need with your UG GPA to be a competitive applicant to the Law Schools you are interested in attending?

It all depends on what your goal score is and where you start off.  If you are looking to break 170 and scored something in the 140's or below on your first timed practice test(s), expecting to break 170 with under 6 weeks of prep is a long shot. 

What is your target score and what are your target schools?  Not everyone needs or wants a 170+ to be satisfied and to get into a LS they will be happy with.  If you're talking about going from say mid to low 150's to 160+ or something like that in 5-6 weeks, that is reasonable and do-able with good dedicated prep.  If you are going for a 20+ point gain in 5-6 weeks, that is unrealistic.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: LSAT Freedom
« on: August 28, 2010, 06:21:54 PM »
I have no clue what you are talking about other than if want to be free of spending time dealing with and prepping for the LSAT you would have to decide not to pursue admission to Law School.  Nothing wrong with that if you have decided it is not for you and picked something else instead. 

But seriously, what are you talking about if you are a real person rather than a spam-bot?

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Improving On Difficult LR Questions
« on: August 27, 2010, 11:27:32 AM »
hey Jeffort, thanks for the reply.

I've taken about 10-15 prep tests now, fully timed, 4 sections, 35 each, break between 3rd-4th section (10 minutes), and filling in the answer sheet included. Also no scratch paper. The prep tests I've taken are select ones from 7-20 (roughly 10) and then 5 from 20-30. I don't want to burn out prep tests (plannin on October 2010 official) so I want to focus in on my errors a little closer before jumpin back in and taking preps again.

I go back and review my tests, by marking the questions I get wrong (but not marking the right answer), then I review these questions and try to figure out the right answer, 2 hours or so after initially taking the test. In my review time, I usually correct 90% of my errors and score in the 175-180 range. The key however is to get those correct the first time through! lol

Often my errors are located in the advanced assumption, logical flaw, and parallel reasoning questions. I usually get down to 2 contenders (powerscore) and choose the wrong one. Then when I come back and review, it's usually the other answer that's correct.

My biggest issue is untangling those last 2 contenders, and SOLIDLY knowing with full confidence that the answer I'm choosing is correct. Usually I choose one or the other because i feel it "could be the most correct" and go with it.

Should I suspend my prep tests, go back and focus on those question types, and then do something like a Kaplan mastery book and hammer away at them? Or should I slow down, do a completely untimed prep test, and really spend as much time as needed to feel 100% correct about answers before moving on?

Also sufficient necessary diagramming I believe I'm good with, however sometimes I'll just plain diagram something wrong, when it's a more difficult question. I feel like the wording throws me off.

Ok, sounds like you have thought about and analyzed your current performance pretty well. 

Yes, relax on the churning through a bunch more preptests right away idea.  That doesn't meant totally stop, but ease it up and use that time instead to focus more on slow motion detailed study/review/analysis of the types you are consistently missing the most of as well as figuring out even more specifically what your performance errors are.  Continuing to just do the taking lots of practice tests 'churn and burn' routine without focusing on and fixing your errors is not likely to home in on and fix your current weaknesses without detailed post-test review.

Since you mentioned Powercore I'm going to assume that you got and studied from their bibles.  If so, re-read/review the chapters on the question types you mentioned.

By advanced assumption questions do you mean necessary assumption ones (The argument depends on the assumption that...) or sufficient assumption/justify the conclusion questions?  They both are referred to as assumption questions (depending on whos terminology you use) but the two types are drastically different in many ways and typically give students trouble.  Some of the hardest LR questions on each test that help separate the 160's from the 170's are the assumption questions. 

You also mentioned flawed method of reasoning and parallel reasoning questions, which like assumption questions test you on recognition of various reasoning patterns including differentiating flawed from sound reasoning.  Based on that I would suggest that you go through a bunch of the hard questions that you missed and really dissect the argument structure and identify the method of reasoning (whether flawed or sound) used.  Take the time to break each argument into its pieces and carefully analyze the pattern of reasoning used to go from each of the pieces to the conclusion.  Try to come up with your own descriptions of the reasoning patterns and why each one is flawed or why not. 

Once you do that with a bunch of problems you should notice the pattern of repetition of the same set of common methods/flawed methods of reasoning that are staple on the LSAT.  Once you are clear on them you are better able to spot each one a mile away and the harder questions based on them become much easier.

The staple list of super commonly repeated patterns of reasoning that appear in some form over and over on pretty much every LSAT is not super huge.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: PT35-S3-Game4 (Oct, 2001)
« on: August 26, 2010, 12:27:50 PM »
well, i think the "common sense" eventually convinces me, unflawed, it is uncommon for a professor to be hired twice or so in the same univer..  I just never thought common sense can be tested in the game section as well.  maybe such kind tough question only appears in the last of the four games. 

i also googled brain fart.  hope my brain won't have a major brain f..t  when i take the test!

Yeah, the LG section does occasionally test reading comprehension and common sense thinking to some degree here and there.  Typically, even if stuff is phrased in wordy or awkward ways or whatever in a game, the parameters are still presented to leave no reasonable ambiguity about the elements and constraints.  I'm surprised they didn't include the phrase 'was hired in exactly one of the years...' like they typically do in order to avoid leaving any arguable possible ambiguity about whether you can re-use the professor variables. 

If and when you ever have confusion about a rule or major parameter of a game, evaluate which of the two interpretations works with the game and questions.  If one interpretation leads to multiple questions appearing to have no correct answer or multiple correct answers then it is clearly incompatible with the game and you go with the other interpretation since every question clearly has one correct and four clearly incorrect answer choices.  Like what Earlcat pointed out about question #22 having 5 correct answer choices if you can repeat professors. 

lol that you googled brain fart!   :D

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