Hi I had a 144 my first time on the LSAT, then with a lot of intensive study (I read one review book and took a couple practice tests the first time), I scored 161, and that was on an empty stomach which was growling all through my worst section, reading comp.
I used all the items you are talking about too. But, I systematically took the practice tests. Be sure to note the practice tests that the practice questions in those books come from. You do not want to simulate a test if you have already seen those questions. I made a schedule for every Saturday to take a full length test. I started with the most recent one to be used about half way through my prep. I designated two recent ones, in the low 40's I think, to be the ones for the last two saturdays before the exam. All of my saturday tests were 6 sections (5 plus writing) to make sure that the length of the test was not a factor come exam time (what was a factor was not eating what I had planned!)
Now, the real key to my success was a database and a spreadsheet that I made so that I could track my progress. I could not afford the prepcourses, nor could I afford the computer assisted feedback. So I made these files (which I offer on ebay for $10) and if you enter your test results, observe your notations (eliminiating choices, changing answers, misreading, etc.) and then run the queries I made. You can recreate the charts in excel and easily identify the things you need to improve upon. For example, I identified a number of question types in LR that I was missing. But, I focues on the ones which made up a great proportion of the encountered question types. This meant that a little improvement on those types was most likely to lead to a visible improvement overall. And that is exactly what happened. Whatever you do, don't underestimate the test.
I don't think the September test is harder, by the way. I think the February ones are the toughest. Check the traditional scoring for the September test and you'll see.