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Author Topic: LSAT Studying: When & Where To Begin (One year to go...)  (Read 1315 times)

Adam

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LSAT Studying: When & Where To Begin (One year to go...)
« on: June 08, 2004, 03:49:05 AM »
Hey,

I am going to be a junior at Washington University in St. Louis in the fall and have aspirations of attending law school at either yale, harvard, stanford, chicago, or columbia. I realize that admission to these law schools is tremendously competitive. Accordingly, I want to spend this entire year studying for the LSAT as to pull a 170+ score. My GPA/extracurricular are sound, so I figure a 170+ would give me a competitive chance at these schools.

My question is, what would be the best way to start prepping a year in advance? I bought the 10 Actual LSATs book and scored a 158 on my first timed test. I have ordered Prepmasters Logic Games Bible and the Reasoning Bible because they are so highly regarded on these boards. Would it be best to start learning these books as soon as possible or would it be more effective to take a full course this summer?

Time and money are not limiting factors (within reason). I know some people might be thinking I should relax and wait a few months before getting really involved in LSAT prep. However, I've done my research and realize that the LSATs are going to make or break my application. I am willing to do whatever is necessary to maximize my score, and thus, improve my odds at the top law school. Thanks to everyone for your help!  :)

-Adam

Skittles

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Re: LSAT Studying: When & Where To Begin (One year to go...)
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2004, 08:00:09 AM »
For a year in advance read a lot of difficult material (someone suggested the Economist which is great!)  Reading the Economist everyday will not only help you read faster but it will make you a better person.  But don't read passively, ask yourself questions as you go, and try to paraphrase too.  (like you would do on LSAT reading comprehension) 

For games, many people say taking a higher math course helps.  That makes sense to me.  A lot of higher math (especially group theory or map theory) is more like games than any other subject.

For arguments, this may sound silly, but I think debating with really smart people who disagree with you can be very helpful.  I have this really smart friend who loves to debate things (anything)... even if you already agree with him, he likes know if you agree for the same reasons.  I have to think so quickly when I'm discussing anything with him.  He also enjoys pointing out whenever I make the error of assuming causation from association... or when I make a generalization, etc.  I really believe that debating with these kinds of people can really help you learn how to deconstruct an argument.  But make sure you don't bother to argue with people who get really emotional when they debate.

I wouldn't take any practice tests now.  You'll want to save those for 1-2 months before the test.

good luck ;)

jacy85

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Re: LSAT Studying: When & Where To Begin (One year to go...)
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2004, 08:43:56 AM »
If money is truly not a limiting factor, I'd take the full-length powerscore class.  The Logic Games Bible, and LR Bible will be great reinforcement.  If I'd had the time, and $1000, I definitely would've done it.

And I wouldn't bother getting into the nitty gritty studying and using practice tests now.  It's too far away.  Now is when you take Skittles' advice, and work on skills like analyzing information critically, which is necessary for Logical reasoning.  Don't assume that if you're good at RC you'll be good in arguments.  I suck at LR, but I ace all my RC sections.  So save your practice tests for next March/April for when you begin to study hardcore.  And look into Powerscore.

Skittles

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Re: LSAT Studying: When & Where To Begin (One year to go...)
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2004, 09:05:33 AM »
I think it also helps (for arguments) to constantly deconstruct your own opinions.  If you have an opinion about something (like abortion or whatever) you should thoroughly evaluate that opinion and try to find the flaws in all the opposing arguments. Ask yourself "what assumption is my argument based on?  why am I assuming that? can I assume that? does my argument logically follow from that assumption? what is the opposing argument assuming? can they assume that?, etc. etc." If you do this with all your opinions/beliefs you'll get into the habit of thinking critically and the arguments (half the test) will be much easier for you.

dsong02

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Re: LSAT Studying: When & Where To Begin (One year to go...)
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2004, 10:25:11 AM »
along with what everyone else is saying, i would just like to emphasize one thing.  READ.

read everything from scientific american, history, economist, op/ed pages of newspapers, national geographic, and the new yorker.  the more you read, the faster you read and the faster you will comprehend the text.  i cant stress this enough.  aside from the courses and the strategies, the key to this test is your ability to read at a fast pace while understanding the text.  all the other strategies, formulas, and setups can be learned within a given time.  however, reading will take a while to master, unless youve already mastered it.

again, just my 2 cents.
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TimZ

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Re: LSAT Studying: When & Where To Begin (One year to go...)
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2004, 01:01:41 PM »
You have the luxury to decide when to take the LSAT. It's good for 5 years. So pick the date that you have time to prepare for.

nathanielmark

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Re: LSAT Studying: When & Where To Begin (One year to go...)
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2004, 01:18:24 PM »
thats what i thought.  but some school (like GW) only will take it for 3 years.  if you are a year away follow DSONGs advice and read a lot of well-written material over the next year.  then i would start about 6 months away preperation.  i started in january (for june test) and i am running out of material.  i had to pace myself the whole way to keep from running out of prep material.  and i did most of the games sections twice.

You have the luxury to decide when to take the LSAT. It's good for 5 years. So pick the date that you have time to prepare for.