Law School Discussion

HOW? So much frustration.

nooyyllib

HOW? So much frustration.
« on: January 12, 2009, 02:15:25 PM »
Hey guys,

I've been prepping for the June 09 test and am going to extreme frustration.  I completed the LRB by powerscore, went over the methods about three times.  I've solved all the LRs the 10 real lsat book, 10 more real lsat book, the superprep and just finished one section of LR in the 10 next real lsat book.  I've been in the range of getting 6-10 wrong on each section CONSTANTLY.  Of course at the beginning I was at 10-16 wrong per section.  This is beginning to be extremely frustrating and SCARY.  The test is so close by (5 months) and I am not at where I want to be! Plus, to make things even worst, I haven't been timing all those sections I've been working on because working on accuracy is supposedly more important.  I know there are up to test number 59 available to purchase (I plan on doing so).  I am afraid I won't improve and I will run out of material.  PLEASE GIVE ME ANY ADVICE ON HOW TO IMPROVE ON LR.  What am I doing wrong? This is REALLY REALLY frustrating. 

Lara

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Re: HOW? So much frustration.
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2009, 06:50:55 PM »

Let's give a gracious tribute to ManhattanLSAT and HYSHopeful for their repeated posts of links to available prep books that amazon pulls up with one search ::books -> LSAT:: that are also referenced in the top sticky thread. Arming competitors with proper weapons to find the cradle of life is important.

Congrats boys for your good work. It is appreciated and nice to have servants stock the arsenal for others that can wield the weapons. Now please prepare some tea and get ready to clean the premises after nightly practice ends. I believe dinner is scheduled for 11 and is expected to be served on time, please do that.

The competitors bed time is scheduled for midnight and it would be nice if you could have the sheets clean and turned down by then.  You can retreat to your quarters upon completion. 

Cheers.

Re: HOW? So much frustration.
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2009, 11:48:56 AM »
First, let me give you the link to Pithpike's LSAT study guide. It's for 3 months but you can ajdust as necessary.

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,4014467.0.html

Also check out HYSHopeful's list of supplies. Stick with PowerScore, official PrepTests, and maybe some Princeton Review.  Kaplan is decent.  Everything else is a waste of your money.

Next, don't panic.  You have plenty of time. You're probably not approaching this the right way.   Right now you're scoring in the 150s range I would assume, based on your missed numbers.

Go back through the olde tests you've already completed, especially LR sections and starta  tally of missed question types. Then go back and review those sections.  For example, I'm currently going to be reviewing assumptions because they were a pretty weak section for me.  Actually I should probably be LSATing right now instead of being on here haha...Anyway, figure out your weak types and review that.  Then go back and re-take a few tests from the beginning of your studies.  You forget more than you think, I promise.
Read PithyPikes plan for LG study. It's really good and gives you the chance to time yourself without timing yourself (see how long it takes but don't constrain yourself to the 8:45). Some people can't get through all 4 games and it might be better for you to firgure out if you can do 3 and get them all right, thereby scoring better than if you rush through 4.  With his plan you do each game 3 times (not in a row obviously), ideally decreasing your time without decreasing your accuracy.
RC is tough.  Basically develop your own system and see what works and doesn't work for you.  Try to categorize questions if you can to see where you're going wrong.

As far as timing goes, start timing yourself to see where you are timewise and in a few weeks start constraining yourself to the 35 minutes.  Again, don't be afraid to reuse questions and sections. That just reinforces concepts in your head! Also practice with a bubble sheet because that actually adds time to your work.  You don't want to go into the real test thinking that you have enough time only to find out you hadn't practiced bubbling.

Go through several later full-length tests.  Oh and practice/study in loud or distracting places sometimes, because you never know if homeboy beside you in the exam will be tapping his feet and chewing his gum really loudly. My personal favorite place for this is the treadmill, or somewhere like Barnes & Noble.
Good luck!

nooyyllib

Re: HOW? So much frustration.
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2009, 03:30:31 PM »
Hey guys thanks.  I went through 11 past exams (22 sections of LR) and tallied the types of questions I got wrong.  Here's the result.

My weakest types are "must be true", "weaken", "strengthen", and "assumption"

My weak types are "method of reasoning", "flaw", "parallel reasoning", and "principle"

I plan on going over the weakest types on LRB really really thoroughly.  After that I'll continue to my weak types.  Hopefully after that improvements will show. 

How quickly does timing "come" once I get the accuracy up? That is my main concern.  My exams on June and this is January. 

Also, ssilver, i will DEFINITELY e-mail you 2 or 3 questions along with how I think through them.  So you can possibly pick out my errors.

I can't thank you guys enough.

P.S. please post any more advice if you have them.  Also, I have 9 exams left on 10 next real lsats.  Will I run out of material? I plan on working constantly.  Should i focus on my past exams i worked on (in reviewing the wrong questions?) 

lastly, there is a testmasters course that is up for registration in april in preparation for the june exam.  if my practice scores don't go up to a point where i want it to (170+ hopefully), should i take it? do you think after going over all these materials by myself and taking a course will have a reverse negative effect?

Thanks.

Re: HOW? So much frustration.
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2009, 06:58:09 PM »
Princeton Review's LSAT workout is generally considered to be decent for people who are looking to score on the higher range of the LSAT because they won't necessarily read into the PR study strategies and the combination of questions in that book are conceptually harder (when combined with each other) than the actual LSAT even though they aren't actual questions. That being said, try to stick to REAL questions only. Manhattan is right about that.

As for the listing missed types, I should clarify. That is to help figure out which types you're thinking about wrong so you can go back and correct your thinking.

By the way, you CAN overprepare so don't burn yourself out.  That being said, work hard.
Again, Good luck!

Re: HOW? So much frustration.
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2009, 10:06:54 AM »
My weakest types are "must be true", "weaken", "strengthen", and "assumption"

My weak types are "method of reasoning", "flaw", "parallel reasoning", and "principle"

You're kinda all over the place, which is fine, because you don't really need to narrow anything down. Read through the entire Bible again, re-do all the questions and make sure you can explain to yourself why each answer is right, and why the other choices are wrong.

You can also try making flash-cards for each question type with POE strategies on the back.

Lastly, if Must Be True is one of your weakest, that's probably the biggest indicator of general misunderstanding. If you can't get Must Be True, which is the foundation for ALL the other question types, it means that you're having difficulty understanding argument and fact set structure. Work on these questions first. Once you can answer them consistently, move on.

Re: HOW? So much frustration.
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2009, 09:50:28 PM »
Hey guys thanks.  I went through 11 past exams (22 sections of LR) and tallied the types of questions I got wrong.  Here's the result.

My weakest types are "must be true", "weaken", "strengthen", and "assumption"

My weak types are "method of reasoning", "flaw", "parallel reasoning", and "principle"

I plan on going over the weakest types on LRB really really thoroughly.  After that I'll continue to my weak types.  Hopefully after that improvements will show. 

How quickly does timing "come" once I get the accuracy up? That is my main concern.  My exams on June and this is January. 

Also, ssilver, i will DEFINITELY e-mail you 2 or 3 questions along with how I think through them.  So you can possibly pick out my errors.

I can't thank you guys enough.

P.S. please post any more advice if you have them.  Also, I have 9 exams left on 10 next real lsats.  Will I run out of material? I plan on working constantly.  Should i focus on my past exams i worked on (in reviewing the wrong questions?) 

lastly, there is a testmasters course that is up for registration in april in preparation for the june exam.  if my practice scores don't go up to a point where i want it to (170+ hopefully), should i take it? do you think after going over all these materials by myself and taking a course will have a reverse negative effect?

Thanks.

I should be much more worried than you. I'm signed up for the Feb. 8 session, and have been getting approximately as many wrong as you have been getting under timed conditions (about 15-20 total untimed). I'm seriously thinking about postponing it, but that $33 tag really smells. But then again, it would smell if I did poorly and had to pay another $117 to retake it. Good luck on your preparation.

Re: HOW? So much frustration.
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2009, 12:37:54 AM »
I am also planning on taking the june 09 exam. I started prepping about 2 months ago. I have been a self learning all my life so I just bought prep books and starting doing preptests. I found that my weakest sections are the LR sections. I started by averaging about 6-10 wrong per section in the first 5 tests, timed or otherwise. I then started to do preptests untimed, trying to understand each questions carefully and completely, and improved to averaging 2-5 wrong per section. Then I timed myself and I am consistently about 2-5 minutes over at that point, so I adopted the practice of skipping certain question types for last consideraion, then it is coming together nicely.

I don't know if you have noticed, but after 10 or so preptests, I started to see some patterns in the questions and most importantly the answers. I would pick an answer, then say "wait I seem to remember being tricked by this before" so I look again to find another answer that is also decent but I wouldn't have chosen, then I mark off BOTH answers. Guess what, I have been probably 90% right in second guessing those answers. So that is now bringing my scores down to average 2-3 wrong per section. I think after I do the next 40 tests it should really build a database of answers in my head of the answer patterns. Also being able to not dwell on the more confusing answers (Where there are 2 probables) will cut down on time as well.

aslo, I have been doing the preptests with the tv on, but at low volume to work "with distraction". when I do a test in complete silence I finish with 1-2 minutes to spare so it works for me. but maybe only me lol

let me ask you, when you check the answers, do you understand why your answer is wrong, or why the right answer is right, or both? if you understand the reason for the right answer as opposed to your choice, over time, you will be able to spot the same issues in future tests.

how are your other sections, can you improve on those? I am average about 2 wrongs in RC and games, so even getting 4 wrong per LR can still net me a 170. maybe you can maximize your performance on the other sections too so even if you do not so great on the LR maybe you can still get a decent score.

On timing, I really find skipping certain questions first would be the best practice. I skip all the questions where the answers are long passages. I do take a guess first, then go back to finish if there is time. because a lot of questions requires elimination, having to read the long answers really bogs you down and may prevent 2 questions to be answered in the end. Also I find reading the type of question first before reading the paragraph cuts down maybe 5-10 seconds per question...

feel free to pm me. I am doing 1 pretest every other night so I will alway be studying too lol

nooyyllib

Re: HOW? So much frustration.
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2009, 10:28:11 PM »
thanks guys for the inputs once again.

like i said before i solved 10 actual lsat, 10 more actual lsat and am heading into 10 next actual lsats.  i've only taken 2 timed exams EVER. and those ended up 155, 157.  yea not so hot. 

since then my LR is stuck at 6-10 wrong per section UNTIMED.  because of this huge HUMP, like i stated before went over the LRB on my weak sections and solved another section (prep test 30 section 2) untimed.  result? 12 wrong.  I went over the wrong questions and finally realized that i'm having hard time focusing and reading the stimulus carefully.  because when i go over the answers and try to figure out why the wrong question was wrong and right was right, i get more than half of them correct.  Is there any way for me to possibly improve on reading the stimulus with extreme care? I dont know what it is, maybe i was too tired today? But then again, that can't be an excuse. 

For my LG sections, I am fairly strong on that section (thank god).  When timed, i get about 3-4 questions wrong per section, when untimed 0-1 wrong.  I am not really worried about this because I feel like I can improve on that with plenty practice.  I do games here and there between my LR prep, timing myself 8 minutes and 30 seconds per game and usually finish right on time and get 0-1 wrong. 

Fro my RC sections, I get about 5-7 wrong per section timed.  untimed, I'm not really sure because I haven't really exclusively preparing for it - because I'm too paranoid about the LR section.  But same with LG, i feel like i can improve easily on the RC with plenty practice. 

back to LR sections.  I go over each wrong questions thoroughly (at least in my opinion) and i still tend to get questions wrong - this is where my frustration kicks in.

I am TERRIFIED, right now after solving a section untimed and getting 12 wrong AFTER going over the LRB for past 2 days.  AND unfortunately january is almost over.  that means four and a half months left. 

do any of you guys have this problem? the problem of not being able to carefully scrutinize the stimulus? and wander off? I know i dont have ADD...and i am not willing to take adderrall so that is out of question.  Anyone have any solution for this?

Please let me know. thanks.

Re: HOW? So much frustration.
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2009, 12:02:49 AM »
Can you define what a "stimulus" is? It sounds like it means the problem, but I'm a novice at this whole venture.

As regards my general sense of your problem, however, I think it may benefit you to be a more active reader. There are many ways to do this. You can underline important words, like the all important quantifiers (such as all, most, some, none) and mark obvious transitions to help you beware of possible logical gaps, and you may also try something like symbolizing the entire logical reasoning arguments. Taking a logic course will help here, and will significantly reduce your error proneness. The downside is you may develop an inclination to symbolize everything and rely on rules slavishly, thereby constricting the amount of time you have to devote to each problem, so ideally such a step will only be to increase your understanding to such a degree that you will have no need for them after a while, having developed an ability to visualize the problems.

Also, make sure to read and understand every answer choice. I know that there is a tendency to immediately mark off what seems obviously "wrong," but oftentimes, that just throws out a possible correct answer.

T