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Messages - Jeffort

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: Add a section to PT's???
« on: May 23, 2010, 01:28:10 PM »
Since the real LSAT contains five sections (the four legitimate and one experimental) but the PrepTests contain only the four scored sections, would it be wise to add a random section from a different PrepTest when practicing to get used to taking five sections in one sitting?  Anybody try this?

Yes, you should do this with your timed practice tests.  When you take your final few timed practice tests leading up to test day you want to simulate test day as closely as possible, and that includes taking a 5 section test. 

I took it for four years in High School, so I have more than a fundamentally basic understanding of Latin. I plan on tutoring some students taking Latin in the college for the summer term. I can't wait to start though as this past semester was very dry and the summer semesters usually are more fun and the fall semesters, but the spring semesters are not too fun.

Study study study the LSAT and you can get yourself up into the 170s (and into a T14).

I started with a strikingly similar score and got a 3.3 in college. I studied and got up into the 170s, and now have $$$ at a T-14.

Now that is some good advice. Makes me even more optimistic about passing the LSATs. Tomorrow I will do a 5 hour study period after I do my daily exercise routine. Sadly, those will be the two high points of my day tomorrow, but I have to get some sleep now.

Ehh, there is nothing sad or to be ashamed about those being the high points of your day.  If spending time working to improve yourself and to move forward in life into a good career is sad and something to be ashamed of, our culture and country is in bad shape, and that would be something for us all the be ashamed of. 

Having a good fairly regimented study and daily life schedule is a good thing.  It's especially important to get into a stable regular routine while preparing for the LSAT in order to maximize your potential on test day.  Plus it can be enjoyable, motivating and keep you feeling good about yourself since you are putting in the work daily (hence no guilt/getting down on yourself for slacking off) and seeing incremental results (hopefully progressive improvement). 

I credit my biggest point gain/jump during prep and my ultimate near perfect score on test day to forcing myself to stick with a very strict daily regimen that covered everything.  For the last several weeks before test day stuck to the exact same daily routine, down to the minute.  Woke up at the same time each morning, ate the same thing for breakfast, took a practice test starting at the time the test would begin on test day, took a break and had lunch (I rotated 3 different lunch choices), scored the test, reviewed it, then focused on studying things about my weak areas, took a break and sometimes headed to the fitness center, had dinner, vegged in front of the TV for a while, and was in bed asleep at the same time every night.   Next day, lather rinse repeat. 

My test day score was 8 points higher than my running average practice test scores from the previous several weeks and higher than I had ever come close to scoring on practice tests.  I was averaging 168-169 in the last two weeks of practice.  Game day = 177

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Believe I am Ready now
« on: May 18, 2010, 09:55:00 PM »

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Need Study Tips...HELP!
« on: May 18, 2010, 07:03:09 PM »
This upcoming September I will be taking the LSAT for the second time. I took a Testmasters class last summer and took the LSAT in December, obtaining a 158. I was not satisfied at all as I was scoring in the upper 160s on most of my diags.

So I am taking it again in September this year. However, I am going to be a University senior and the mix of life, girlfriend, and responsibilities with a student org which I am president of (the largest on campus) is destroying my impetus to study. I feel like I can't push myself to be studying as much as my parents want me to (9 AM - 5 PM every day for the whole summer) and I have no motivation to lock myself up as when I am locked up in a room my mind starts to think about all my worries and such.

I was wondering if anyone has any advice for someone like me. What should I be doing to get into the groove of things? I have all of Testmasters books and a lot of practice exams. HELP before I go madd..

If you don't have the motivation and drive to put in the required work, nobody can give that to you.  If you really want to excel on the LSAT, gain admission to a good Law School and pursue a career in the law, the motivation should be there.
From your post it sounds like you are not really sure if you want to pursue Law School, otherwise, if you are seriously dedicated to that goal, you should be going gangbusters on the study routine to improve your admissions prospects. 

Seriously, you should reflect on this deeply and talk to some academic guidance counselors and perhaps some LS students and students aiming for LS to get more of a feel for what it is all about so you can decide if it is something you would really be happy doing.  If you are having trouble getting yourself to sit down with LSAT books to prep for the test, you are likely going to have big problems in LS if you get there.  The volume of reading and study time for LSAT prep pales in comparison to the amount of dedicated solitary (yes, you by yourself in a room with mountains of books and papers) reading and study time required to do well in Law School. 

If you are not into that type of thing and prefer/are happier doing things that are more social in nature (like your student organization), being out and about with your GF and friends all the time, etc., LS may not be the right thing for you.  Seriously, LS = lots of time alone reading lots of books and writing lots of stuff.

its ok to guess, but honestly the LSAT gives you shittloads of time to finish each section, you shouldnt run out of time at all. Just hold your piss untill break and you'll be fine(unless you have a learning disability and then inform the proctors of that well in advance) Take a few timed practive ones if you need proof.

I disagree.  The LSAT is a highly time pressured exam and with 35 minutes per section you have very little time to thoroughly analyze and answer each question.  I would hardly say 35 minutes is a $hitload of time to complete each section.  If you go a little slow or get caught up by and stuck on a few time trap/difficult questions per section for 2min or more it is very easy to end up running out of time before completing the section and then having to bubble in some blind guesses before time is called.

One of the many skills the LSAT is designed to measure is time management and how well you can analyze and reason through new substance in a short period of time while under pressure.  I find your claim perplexing.  In all the years I've been teaching people how to perform well on this test I've never had a student say anything to the effect of being given more than enough time per section.  Rather, it is the opposite, students frequently complain about not having enough time and often say things like 'if I had a few more minutes per section I would score much higher'.

As for your comment about learning disabilities, it seems pretty insensitive and like you are implying that people who have trouble finishing sections in 35min must have a learning disability.  That's pretty insulting if it is what you meant. 

And to clarify it for others, if one has a legitimate disability that merits getting extra time or other test day special accommodations from LSAC, you don't tell the proctors about it/ask the proctors for it, you apply for special accommodations to the proper department of LSAC far in advance of your desired test date and have to supply all sorts of medical reports and stuff to justify the request. 

So i took a prep course and just wanted to know, is "D" still the best choice to fill in if you are in doubt or run out of time. Also, are the last 2 sections the one that alwyas count on the exam?


You should treat 'when in doubt' situations differently than 'running out of time and having to blind guess' situations.  If you have put some effort into a question and narrowed down the contender answer choices, going with (D) or some other letter by default would be silly, especially if you already rejected it.  In those situations go with an educated guess between the answers you have not already eliminated.

As for pure blind guessing on questions you are not able to attempt, it's really a matter of luck.  Historically, over all test forms, (D) has a slightly higher probability of being the answer than other letters (slightly above 20% chance), but we are talking about minuscule differences in answer choice probabilities. 

Keep it simple, pick one letter to use for blind guesses, stick with it and that it comes up just like people do when betting on roulette. 

Many books and big prep companies have been saying pick (D) for years and from my experience teaching I have noticed that most people that have to blind guess at the end of sections go with (D) due to that common recommendation.  Given that, and that LSAC does heavy number crunching statistical analysis on test day performance/results, I doubt they have not noticed that pattern.  It is not that hard to notice that on every test there are a bunch of answer sheets with several (D)'s bubbled in a row at the end of sections!  This is just my theory, but do you think LSAC wants a bunch of people getting inflated scores due to heavy prevalence of (D)'s at the end of sections?  I think not.  Don't waste time and energy worrying about this issue, decide on a letter and spend your mental power and time getting ready for the substance of the test.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: diagramming question
« on: May 17, 2010, 02:20:56 AM »
Hi All--I was wondering if we can diagram associations into if, then statements

for example can I diagram "a high level of cholesterol in the blood is associated with an increased risk of heart disease" into

+C ----> +H

Thanks guys

Technically you can diagram it as you did, which can be restated as "If one has a high level of cholesterol in the blood, then they have an increased risk of heart disease."

However, for LSAT purposes, things can get a little dicey/confusing when doing that with premises that establish an association/correlation rather than a straight up conditional premise like A only if B. 

An association is the same as a correlation and such relationships are presented and used in LSAT questions designed to test you about causal/cause and effect reasoning much more than they are presented to test you about conditional - sufficient and necessary logic. 

The risk of diagramming correlations as S/N conditionals is that many people mistakenly think that the sufficient condition CAUSES the necessary condition (because it is on the left side of the right pointing arrow), when in fact it may not have.  The cause and effect relationship (if there really is one) may be the reverse, the association may be coincidental, or the two correlating elements may both be effects of some other cause they have in common.

Cause and effect reasoning, as tested on the LSAT, mainly revolves around analyzing and thinking about alternate causes, situations of cause without effect or effect without cause, etc.  LSAT questions designed to test conditional reasoning skills are not typically about causation.  That is simply a recurring pattern of the test.  When you see a correlation presented, analyze the question from C/E perspective rather than S/N perspective and the credited answer choice will likely be based on C/E reasoning rather than typical S/N arrow diagrams.   

Even though C/E logic and S/N logic are different types of reasoning, there is some overlap between them, which is what creates a lot of confusion for many students before they are able to differentiate them and clearly understand that the sufficient condition in a S/N relationship is NOT NECESSARILY the cause of the necessary condition.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Kaplan LSAT Mastery Practice Book...
« on: April 29, 2010, 01:32:41 AM »
mabey your simpelton ass needed to be spoon fed but I poop in the toilet like a big boy.

Thanx for letting us know that you made it through potty training.  That is very helpful and informative information, make sure to flush.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Kaplan LSAT Mastery Practice Book...
« on: April 29, 2010, 01:16:45 AM »
You can try it but people on average only go up 2 points.

What brand of glue are you sniffing dude?  Do you have a data reference for your absurd claim?  I can answer that question myself, NO you don't because it doesn't exist and your claim is false.  

Even LSAC themselves in some of their publications recommend prepping for the test in order to improve ones ultimate test day score.  Meaning that they acknowledge that a person can improve their score significantly by preparing for the test:

Preparing for the LSAT

Most law school applicants familiarize themselves with test directions and question types, practice on sample tests, and study the information available on test-taking techniques and strategies. Although it is difficult to say when examinees are sufficiently prepared, very few people achieve their full potential without some preparation.

You should be so familiar with the instructions and question types that nothing you see on the test can delay or distract you from thinking about how to answer a question. At a minimum, you should review the descriptions of the question types and simulate the day of the test by taking a practice test that includes a writing sample under actual time constraints. Taking a practice test under timed conditions helps you to estimate the amount of time you can afford to spend on each question in a section and to determine the question types for which you may need additional practice.

LSAC publishes a variety of free materials to help you prepare for the LSAT.

You may also purchase additional LSAT preparation materials. For more information, check out LSAC's test preparation publications and law school guides.

who told you that you "need" it and for what? The lsac provides FREE lsat study materials, and dosn't require ANY other preps.

Huh??  Please at least type out and post something that is decipherable.  Geeze...

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Studying for the LSAT....need tips
« on: April 29, 2010, 12:56:00 AM »
Thanks for the reply Jeffort, I am planning on taking one diagnostic exam just to see where I am, but then will start working through the books. 
As for the question, I have one more semester left, but due to a good job opportunity I am taking a year off to work, and then coming back in fall 2011 to finish my BA.  My thinking is that I will know where my LSAT is and can apply early in the cycle.

That sounds like a good plan that makes sense to balance everything.  Taking one timed practice test soon to get your current baseline score is a good idea to help you figure out your strengths and weaknesses in order to decide what to focus on more as you go through it all. 

Getting everything done well in advance and applying early in the cycle is also a very good thing with how rolling admissions works. 

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