LSAT Preparation > Studying for the LSAT

HYSHopeful's Last Minute LSAT Tips & General LSAT Advice (How I got a 177)

(1/5) > >>

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

Improving LSAT Reading Comprehension:
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...

LSAT Test Day Preparation
Walking into the testing center can be intimidating. I'd recommend driving there tomorrow, the day before your test, and checking it out. This will allow you to become a bit more familiar with the testing location and ensure that you know how to get there. Time yourself while driving to get an idea of how long it takes to get there.

Prepare your one gallon zip-lock bag the day before your exam. Include some nice new pencils, a snack, your wallet, keys, your ID, your admission ticket, some quarters for the vending machine, your analog wristwatch, and whatever else you might need, so long as it is allowed by the LSAC:

Wear layers so that you will be able to adjust and make yourself comfortable at any temperature.

Leave for the testing center 30 minutes before you think that you need to. You don't want to have to expend any mental or emotional energy just getting to the testing center. Allow yourself plenty of time so that if you happen to get stuck in traffic, pulled over, or otherwise delayed, you will still arrive on time.

Eat a light, healthful breakfast. You will need the energy. Don't eat anything too heavy or anything that might upset your stomach.

Don't drink too much water prior to the exam.

Be aware that you will be standing in line and then sitting in a room listening to instructions for up to an hour or two. Be mentally prepared to maintain your drive and focus throughout this period.

If you have a bad section, assume that it is the experimental section. Don't allow the consideration of any other possibility until AFTER the exam. Don't allow a difficult section to affect your performance on the rest of the exam.

Show up and attack the LSAT!

Should I Prep The Day Before The LSAT?
I think this question has to do with personal preference. Most people will tell you to take the day off and relax... While this is probably the best advice for the majority of test takers, I generally believe that such blanket statements as "Don't study the day prior to the exam" are intended for the average test taker. If you are trying to get a 175+, then you aren't the average test taker, and you should remember that. Taking a prep test the day before the exam might be a good practice for SOME people. Sure, you wont LEARN anything that day, but it may help calm your nerves and keep up your sense of pacing. I always noticed that if I took the weekend off, I'd never perform quite as well on Monday. My sense of pacing would get thrown off by a few seconds per question and I'd end up missing one or two questions near the end of the first section that I took. Sure, you don't want to be burnt-out, but you don't want to be rusty either. If you usually score a 175 on Monday after taking a couple of days off, then score a 177 on Tuesday, and a 178 on Wednesday... then perhaps taking a day off prior to the exam isn't such a great idea for you. If, however, you find that you get burnt-out taking exams on back-to-back days, then take the day off. Again, the important thing is doing what is right for YOU, not for the average test taker.

Personally, I took the day before the exam off, but then that freaked me out so I woke up early on the day of the exam and took 2 full LR sections to warm up.

Today is all about getting yourself mentally prepared to walk into the testing center tomorrow and CRUSH the LSAT. Make sure your head is in a good place, so to speak. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable and prepared. If you are comfortable taking the day to relax, by all means do so. If taking today off is going to cause anxiety, then don't be afraid to work some problems out. Either way, stay away from alcohol, television, and anything else that will stress you out or dull you down. Get your head in a good place today, whatever that may take.

Good Luck!

Great post.

I think doing 2-3 warm up sections the morning of your real LSAT is crucial.

On LR I bubble after I complete both open pages; on LG and RC I bubble after each game/passage.

HYS Hopeful. I am aware that you scored a 177, but i would like to know what was your initial score when you began prepping for the LSAT. Also, my most difficult section is RC. Do you have any supplemental advice with respect to the Rc section that can bring a person like myself from mediocrity(-12/-13) to Extaordinary(-5/-6). Any advice would be much appreciated.

HYSHopeful--u r the heart and soul of LSD, incredibly generous, hard working and one of the smartest guys here. It is always a pleasure reading your advice and I sincerely like to thank you for sticking it out here, and giving ur precious time to help someone out. If I can be one tenth as awesome as you, I would be happy. I wish you the very best of luck with everything in life. I believe you will be successful (an understatement)...proud of you my friend...proud of you


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version