Law School Discussion

Post Testmasters Opinions and what I did differently

Post Testmasters Opinions and what I did differently
« on: December 11, 2008, 08:17:56 PM »
I took the Testmasters course in San Francisco about 6-8 months ago and here are my opinions.

I scored 151 on the Dec 07 LSAT. I was very depressed and forked over the money for a class. My worst section was logic games, -18. The other sections were decent for a first try but certainly not good. I didn't really know how to study for the test.

I learned how to do logic games because of Testmasters. I have some negative things to say about TM in other areas but as for LG, the class was exceptional. Explanations on how to do set ups, how to identify game types, look for inferences and write out your work was done really well.

I guess it is hard to teach RC but they did a good job at describing the section and helping you understand patterns in questions and answers.

The LR was where I felt TM helped the least. Given that 50% of the test is made up of LR I was scared most by this section because it was easy for me to make stupid mistakes. Read a question or answer wrong, or fail to understand the stimulus and you are toast. The class spent hours and hours showing us how to diagram LR. A>B>C stuff. I found this sort of diagramming works well for a small fraction of LR but the time we spent diagramming LR was extreme. I wasn't learning anything except how to waste a lot of time in the LR section.

My 2nd and 3rd diagnostics were actually worse than my 151. I scored a 148 and 149 even hours after studying. I was doing better in LG and RC but I was bombing LR. I was wasting a lot of time and did not finish either LR section. I knew something was wrong with the way I was learning. I stopped diagramming any of the LR with exception to the most obvious and difficult A>B>C questions. I progressed better on LR by just doing hundreds of questions after questions, section after section. Eventually I just saw patterns and started doing better.

I had to postpone my test to later in the year due to personal and work related issues but TM gives you enough materials on the Website and in book form to keep going WELL after the class is over.

I never practiced under timed conditions and would break in the middle of a section if I got tired. I would generally to 10-15 LR Q's in a row than take a quick break and check my answers. For RC and LG I would do 2 passages/games in a row then stop and check. I didn't rush anything. I thought that understanding the material was more important than simulating the test. I could only complete a question as fast as it took the time to do.

The day of the test I finished all of the sections on time and had time to check a few answers. I even went to the restroom during the RC.

Anyway I score in the 165-170 range in simulated conditions, hope I scored this well on my Dec 08 LSAT. I owe my success in LG to the TM class but everything else was just repetition on my own time. Pick and choose from TM. If something doesn't work for you, than adapt and make it work.

Re: Post Testmasters Opinions and what I did differently
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2008, 12:16:11 AM »
It sounds like TM helped you with logic games; I hope you scored well on the December LSAT. I was scared of logic games after I took a cold diagnostic. I worked on them very hard, though, and it payed off (21/23 October 2008). I grew quite fond of them, and I'm almost sad I won't get to do them any more.

I didn't take a Prep Course, but I did prepare well on my own for my October 2008 LSAT. I think developing a strategy for the LSAT is a very personal subject, and everyone will need to develop his/her own strategy to maximize his/her potential. The best one can do, in my opinion, is experiment with several different established sources, such as Prep Courses and printed publications, and incorporate favorable elements from those sources into one's personal strategy.

Becoming prepared for the LSAT will not happen overnight; for most people it is a process that develops over a period of 3-36 months. The beauty of it is that as one is experimenting with different techniques, one is learning how to take the test. By the time one has reviewed 2 or more preparation aids, one should be familiar with the different question types on the LSAT and have an idea of which ones seem harder than others. At that point one should be developing a personal strategy, working on improving difficult question types, and learning to manage time during each section.

I think a solid way to prepare for the LSAT is to take previously administered LSATs, one at a time, and then review the results. This review should consist of examining each question, even the ones answered correctly. Instead of relying on a book to explain why the wrong answers were wrong, though, I think it is healthier to examine the answer choices and make one's own determinations. I believe this builds mental strength, as well as confidence, because one learns to explain the answers better than any book can. This also encourages one to think like the producers of the LSAT, not the makers of the 3rd-party preparation materials. This, perhaps, is why some prep materials/courses can actually hurt you; they may help you in one area, but then they teach a method that clashes with your learning style in another area. The trick is to recognize it and discard what doesn't work for you.

When it comes down to it, I say screw the prep materials. Look over them, then put them aside. Just buy all the previously administered LSATs, take them one at a time, and figure out how they work (and how you work with them). That's what a lawyer would do!

Re: Post Testmasters Opinions and what I did differently
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2008, 11:42:32 AM »
Thanks Baragon for the advice!


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Re: Post Testmasters Opinions and what I did differently
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2008, 10:21:10 AM »
Just buy all the previously administered LSATs, take them one at a time, and figure out how they work (and how you work with them). That's what a lawyer would do!

A lawyer would get an intern to figure it out and send him a memo.