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Somehow this thread got deleted after 6000 views... No clue why, so I thought I'd post it again for June LSAT takers...

HYSHopeful's Last Minute LSAT Tips & General LSAT Advice

RC Timing - 3 minutes  (+/- :30) to read each passage and approximately 45 seconds per question... +bubbling time. If one passage has 5 questions and another has 8 questions, attack the 8 question passage first and take a bit more time. It takes 3 minutes to read nearly any passage, regardless of the number of questions associated with it. Spend this time wisely by attacking passages with 7/8 questions first.

RC Order - I always flip through the section, write the number of questions per passage at the top of the page for each passage, and attack the longest passage first, the shortest passage last. If one passage has 5 questions and another has 8 questions, attack the 8 question passage first and take a bit more time. It takes 3 minutes to read nearly any passage, regardless of the number of questions associated with it. Spend this time wisely by attacking passages with 7/8 questions first.

RC Bubbling - Bubble after each passage

General RC Tips - It is important to have a general understanding about certain things that you can expect to see on the questions: Main point, organization, author's attitude & purpose, paragraph function, etc.

In addition, be aware of:
-shifts in point of view ("Despite," "however," "nevertheless," "on the other hand," "on the contrary," "proponents claim...," "critics claim...", etc.) [be sure to know which point of view the author subscribes to]
-lists ("first... second... third...", "one such... another...")

It is less important to know specific details (scientific nomenclature, definitions, etc.). It is, however, important to know WHERE these unfamiliar terms are so that you can quickly refer to them when you see a question regarding them.

Granted, it is always great if you can quickly read a passage and fully comprehend every detail... it simply isn't always possible to do so. If you cannot, then try and get the gist of the passage and move on to the questions without wasting too much time reading and re-reading. It is easy to refer back to the passage to answer questions on specific points, as long as you understand it well enough to know where to quickly find the

Personally, I usually feel like I've read a passage properly if I read it in 3:00 (+/- :30), and can easily answer the main point question.

After reading through hundreds of passages, you develop an intuitive sense of where the questions are likely to come from. Pay attention to developing that sense, and learn to anticipate what will be asked of you (but DON'T read the questions before reading the passage).

Underline key words and phrases: "First, Second, Third"; "Furthermore"; "On the other hand"; "for example"; "namely"; "for one thing"; "In addition"; "Nevertheless"; "For these reasons"; "proponents believe"; "critics believe"; "But"; "However"; "According to"; "In contrast"; ""; "...goes so far as to claim"; "others argue"; etc. This is far from a comprehensive list. As you work through more RC passages, you begin to develop a sense for where the testmakers are likely to draw questions from. The goal is to anticipate where questions are likely to be drawn from, and remember where that important information is located so that if you see it later then you will know exactly where to refer to.

More LSAT Reading Comprehension Strategies:
      Push through the passage. Don't allow yourself to get caught reading and re-reading.
      Keep a clear head and positive attitude to your approach. Getting frustrated/getting bored/zoning out is what the test makers WANT you to do. The material is intentionally dry and technical so that many readers lose focus. Don't allow yourself to fall into that trap.
      Don't be so afraid to skip a difficult question. Keep moving forward. Narrow the answer choices down to 2, circle one, move on. Come back later. Perhaps the fresh perspective will quickly lead you to the correct answer. If not, a 50/50 shot at a tough problem is ok, especially if it gives you sufficient time to attack 2 or 3 easier problems that you may not have gotten to if you remained stuck.

Logical Reasoning:

LR Timing - approximately 1 minute and 20 seconds per question... +bubbling time. I generally tried to move through the first 10-12 questions in around 1 minute per question. These questions are often the easiest, and if you can complete them under time then you will set yourself up with additional time to complete the more difficult questions in the later half of the section. If you are having timing issues, skip the lengthy parallel reasoning questions that always seem to appear toward the end, especially if these questions tend to slow you down.

LR Order - Front to back. Questions start off easy, so you get a chance to warm up before you run into the difficult questions that always seem to appear after question 12 (or so). I never felt that there was any benefit to be gained from jumping around the section. If anything, skipping around this section will hurt your bubbling accuracy. Just understand that the difficult questions appear in the second half of the section, and move through the first half with appropriate speed.

LR Bubbling - bubble prior to turning the page, OR bubble if you run across a particularly difficult/frustrating problem and you need a few seconds to gather yourself prior to moving to the next question.

General LR Strategies - For me, this section was the most intuitive. Read CAREFULLY and DELIBERATELY. Misreading even one word in a stimulus or question stem could lead you to incorrectly answering the question. Unlike the RC section, it important that you thoroughly understand the entire stimulus. Even the smallest turn of phrase could through you off if you don't read it properly. In my experience, many errors are made simply out of carelessness when reading.

LSAT Logic Games:
LG Timing - 8 minutes and 45 seconds per game, including bubbling time. Slightly more for difficult games & slightly less for easier games. Game 1 is generally not going to be particularly difficult. ATTACK IT... finish in 7 minutes. You don't want to get in the mindset of "oh, I've got 8 minutes and 45 seconds per game, so I can take my time on this basic linear game and triple-check my answers even though in 99% sure I'm correct." Learn to recognize and CRUSH easy games in under 8 minutes if possible. If you can do this, then you will be able to use that extra time when you come across a more challenging LG.

LG Order - As soon as you open the section, make a note at the top of each game regarding the number of questions per game. As previously mentioned, Game 1 is easy, CRUSH IT. Move on.  Your decision regarding the order of the remaining three games should take the following variables into consideration:
-# of questions: much like RC, it takes a considerable amount of effort to properly set a game up, regardless of the number of questions. You should prefer games with more questions over games with fewer.
-Personal preference: if you are particularly good at grouping games, attack those first. (Basic Linear games are generally the easiest and should be given preference by most test takers.)
-Familiarity: If a particular game simply looks unfamiliar, save it for later. This would probably include any odd games such as mapping, circular linear, etc. While there is probably greater than a 95% chance that you won't see these games types on your LSAT, if you do... save them for last.

A quick read of the stimulus and rules for most games will give you a fairly good idea of how easily you will be able to set the game up. If there is an element in the game that you've run into before which has given you difficulty, save it for the end.=

LG Bubbling - bubble after each game

HYSHopeful's Last Minute LSAT tips - It's been a while since I've posted here since I've been busy with work, LSAT tutoring, and applying to law schools. With the October LSAT rapidly approaching, I thought I'd take some time to compile a comprehensive summary of my approach to the LSAT. I know that this comes a bit late... but hopefully someone benefits from it...

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / UChicago Visit
« on: November 21, 2008, 03:26:08 PM »
Last Friday I visited UChicago. I opted out of the standard open house events and, instead, followed a 2L around campus for the day.

I met up with a 2L student, went and got amazing thai food, brought the food back to the law school, and sat in the student lounge area with a table of 2L students. While eating, I spoke with two 2L students. One had a summer internship with Skadden, the other had a summer internship with Wachtell. Both students, despite their obvious intellect and insane job prospects, were very gracious and down-to-earth.

In fact, everyone I encountered at UChicago was outgoing, friendly, and left such a positive impact on me that I'm pretty sure, at this point,  I'd reject HYS for an opportunity to attend.

After lunch, I sat in on a Corporations class with Henderson. He was wickedly brilliant, witty, and entertaining. The class was fairly large, probably 130 or so, but it felt much smaller... no one was intimidated to speak... There were actually a few points throughout the lecture that I wanted to raise my hand and participate. Henderson had a great way of making the class fun, and had everyone laughing at least 4 or 5 times in the short 1:05 period that I spent with him.

After class...  both Jayme McKellop (Assistant Director of Admissions) and Sara Arimoto-Mercer ( Director of Financial Aid) somehow recognized me from the LSAC Chicago Law Forums, and both took the time to say Hello, which made me feel very welcome. Later, I met with Ann Perry (Assistant Dean for Admissions), with whom I spoke for 10-20 minutes. She was very gracious and helpful.

I've never felt so welcomed and comfortable at a school. It was truly a great experience that I won't forget throughout the app cycle.

Thought I'd share my experience...

Studying for the LSAT / LSAT SCORES ARE OUT
« on: July 03, 2008, 11:13:41 AM »
No Joke. They are out.

Of course, the official release date is July 7th...

But, I'm going to go ahead and guess that they will release scores early on July 3rd and let us relax and celebrate (or drink away our sorrows) over the holiday weekend.

What is everyone else guessing?


Studying for the LSAT / LSAT Analog Watch Tip
« on: June 09, 2008, 11:39:51 AM »
SUMMARY: For the best LSAT watch, get an analog watch with a rotating bezel (like this one)... then all you have to do is line the 0 on the bezel up with the minute hand when each section begins, and you have an easy, visual, reference to see exactly where you are within the 35 minutes.

I thought I'd share a tip that I've found to be very helpful.

When I first began studying for the LSAT, I used a cheap analog wristwatch that I had lying around the house.

I would start my LSAT timer, make a mental note of the time that the test would be up (or would write down the start/stop times on the first page of the section) and would refer to my watch at various points throughout the test to ensure that I was properly pacing myself.

Unfortunately, there were times during the test when (in the heat of things) I would forget exactly when the test would be ending. At that point, I either had to take a few seconds and recall when it began, or take a moment to flip back to the front of the section where I often recorded the start and stop times. Either way, I would have to break my concentration for at least 5 or 10 seconds in order to regain a sense of timing.

In addition, It always took a few seconds for me to get a sense of where, on my watch, the 8:45, 17:30, 26:15 marks were.

Serendipitously, I lost the watch that I had been using, and borrowed my girlfriend's watch to take a test. I may have felt a bit emasculated using such a girly watch, but I immediately fell in love with a feature that this watch had: The bezel turns, and all you have to do is line the 0 on the bezel up with the minute hand at the point that the test begins, and you have an easy, visual, reference to see exactly where you are within the 35 minutes.

Since I didn't want to take a pink watch with me to the testing center on test day, I purchased a Casio for around $20 with the same turning bezel feature as my new LSAT watch:

This LSAT watch has been my best friend ever since. I was able to make marks at the 8:45, 17:30, 26:15 for additional reference points on the bezel. I've found it be to very helpful. It is one less thing that I have to think about during the test, and helps me make sure that I never lose a sense of proper pacing.

If you don't own a watch with a turning bezel, I would highly suggest finding one ASAP, and getting used to using it before test day.

More LSAT watch tips here.

Studying for the LSAT / LSAT superstitions
« on: June 08, 2008, 11:41:35 PM »
I'm not a superstitious guy, but LSAT prep has got me developing some very odd superstitions:

1) I take every PT (and intend to take the real test) in the same shirt that I first broke the 170s while wearing. It happened to be a vintage Harvard tee, which I originally purchased on eBay as a motivational aid to inspire me to do well on the LSAT in the first place.

2) I never use the same pencil on more than one test, and always use a fresh pencil to begin each AR section. While this habit is admittedly founded in superstition, it nevertheless has proven to be utilitarian as well (although I am acquiring a large collection of dull pencils in my desk).

3) I purchased a new analog watch specifically for the LSAT a couple of weeks ago. During the first test that I took using the new watch, I wore it on my wrist... I scored around 4 points below what I had been averaging over the previous five or six PT's (with a standard deviation of around 1 point)... I have never worn the watch again.

4) I ate chineese food yesterday and my fortune cookie read:

"You will pass a difficult test that will make you happier.
Lucky # 10, 23, 32, 33, 40, 43
Learn Chinese: Dan-Gao, [Chinese characters], Cake"

It was clear enough to me what 'test' the cookie was referring to, so I began to read further into it: Adding my "lucky numbers" yields 181. Which... is close enough to 180 to be symbolic of the LSAT (at least when viewed by an LSAT-addled mind). In fact, I now think of an LSAT score of "181" in much the same way that I am giving "110%" effort to achieve as high a score as possible. I also am happy to know that the LSAT will be "cake."

5) I generally wear flip-flops in the summer, but tonight I happened to be wearing socks while taking PT 39. I was finally able to get over a three week long plateau and score a 176. I doubt that I will ever test sock-less again.

Does anyone else have any LSAT superstitions?

I honestly believe that they are helpful (not becuase of any magical LSAT-aiding power inherent in my shirt or socks, but simply because I've created a routine around taking an LSAT which is familiar and comfortable for me. In addition, whenever I put on that shirt now, I begin to mentally prepare myself to think in the specific way which is required by the LSAT.)

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