Thanks for the replies, all.
I did ok on the test, so probably wouldnt improve that much, and probably won't bother. Guess i'm'a skip it this year, and try again. _really_ want that preferred school.
You have five months to prepare for October! Go for it. Work hard. You can do it. Sometimes it's enough to show the adcoms that you are trying to improve and that you really want to go. Think long and hard about waiting b/c you're still "warm" right now. It might be easier for you to improve your LSAT score now than after you've taken a year off. On the other hand, LSAC does have that three-in-two rule, so you don't want to use up your eligibility. Think it over. But consider that five months is enough time for a 10-15 point jump. People have done it.
Yeah, the OP should at the very least consider it. While I didn't jump 10-15 points, it was close to that. (At the same time, the statistics show that this is fairly rare. So the OP should see if he can improve his study techniques, etc.)
Yup. I can suggest some materials that would be a big help. My first official test was 145 (nerves and lack of concentration, alone, probably cost me 8-10 points). I now have a 163...an 18 point jump. And, even though I am already admitted to some top-notch schools, I am re-taking it next month to see if I can bring it up another five points or so.
Try some of these suggestions:
A) The Elements of Style, Strunk and White ($20). Your grammar and sentence structure will immediately improve
B) How to Get into the Top Law Schools, Richard Montauk ($25)
Get the following prep books/matrerials:
1) PowerScore Logic Games Bible ($40 new, Amazon.com)
2) PowerScore Logical Reasining Bible ($40 new, Amazon.com)
3) PowerScore Reading Comprehension Bible ($40 new, Amazon.com)
4) All Three Next 10 LSAT's ($20 each new, Books are Green, Purple and Red, Blue and Gold, Order at LSAC Website or Amazon.com)
5) McGraw Hills LSAT ($20 Barnes and Noble) Note: Good for Logic Games only, especially diagramming...the best!
6) LSAC SuperPrep (free through LCAS Law Services if you are approved for a fee waiver, otherwise, $20)
7) Kaplan Advanced (Use this during your final month of prep)
In addition, go to the LSAC website and Order tests #42-56. Take your proctored tests with these rather than the books b/c they physically resemble the real exams.
Read the Scientific American Magazine Regularly
Read the Wall Street Journal Regularly
Read The Smithsonian Magazine Regularly
Put in four-five hours per day every day, at least early on. Take at least three timed exams per week during your final two months of prep.
Start slowly. Lead off by reading the PowerScore books and doing all exercises thoroughly, studying the explanations. Begin with the Reading Comprehension Bible for three weeks. Everything on the LSAT, including LG rules, revolves around "comprehension"
. Read and re-read; repeat the lessons and study daily. Reading Comp is your foundation for the whole test.
The next two weeks do the Logical Reasoning Bible. Then in your final two weeks read the Logic Games Bible. Follow the approaches to the questions, but use the McGraw Hills Book to learn the most efficient diagramming techniques. Again...DO ALL EXERCISES and read all explanations. Note which questions give you the most trouble and devote extra time to them. Always concentrate on your weaknesses, not your strengths
Begin using your SuperPrep Book after about a month...read it at night for 15-20 minutes before bed and in the morning. Read the explanations for the answers. You will start to notice the subtle patterns in the wrong answers. For example, in necessary assumption questions, the wrong answers often have ambiguous words in them, such as most, some, many, often, etc. And you know how to use the reversal/negation test, I am sure. Learn to spot wrong answers quickly. There's almost always a single word that gives it away. And you can use negation in "inference" questions, as well.
During your third month, begin doing the Next-10 and start timing yourself. Learn pacing. Take advantage of the fact that you don't have to do questions in order. In LR, the questions generally get more difficult towards the end of the section (last 5-6 questions), but not always. in the other sections, you should scan the section and go for what looks attractive, but be wary of the fact that the test-makers will trick you with passages that look easy until the second paragraph, and vice versa.
Set aside a day for "Lab", where you work only on one section (LG, RC or LR) for that day (4-5 hours). Remember to work on your weaknesses more than you work on your strengths. That might seem redundant, but you'd be surprized; it takes discipline to do that.
Develop a schedule and stick to it. Don't worry about speed early on...worry about understanding the question types and how to approach them. Speed will come.
I promise you that buying the materials I recommended above will help you. I might have improved more had I worked on the LSAT for longer than 2.5 months last year.