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Impromptu

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Advice
« on: July 05, 2009, 09:38:10 PM »
Hello All,

Need some advice. I have been studying for the LSAT for about 3 months now, took a Testmasters class in April, which was good; lots of material, and really dug deep into the strategy of the test.  However, right now I'm still circling in the 140 - 142 range. I have been studying a lot.  Started doing practice tests, nailing down question types etc.
It's a bit frustrating at times.  I have a bachelors degree in music, masters degree in classical music from a prestigious conservatory, and worked on a doctorate for a year.  So, I know I have the intelligence, tenacity and discipline. Just have to nail down this test!

This is actually a first of mine; tackling a timed test such as the LSAT. My goal is at least 150.

Any advice, I would certainly appreciate.

r.

nooyyllib

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Re: Advice
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2009, 12:26:56 AM »
Look for patterns, and focus on the question types you got wrong. Also review the questions you got right - exactly know why you got them right. Be thorough and detailed.

Time yourself on almost everything. 1:20 for each question for LR; 8:30 for a game and RC passage.


'blueskies

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Re: Advice
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2009, 08:06:49 AM »
I disagree about timing...it doesn't matter if you can do problems in time if you can't get them right. I would focus on the patterns and why answers are right and the wrong ones are wrong before worrying about timing
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violaboy

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Re: Advice
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2009, 11:53:43 AM »
I'm usually all about timing, but blueskies is right.  If you have been studying this long and are still not scoring well, you need to be focusing on why you are getting questions wrong.  Analyze each question and all of the answers with the same tenacity as any passage of music.  And anyways, it's always great to see more musicians going to law school! :D

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Re: Advice
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2009, 08:34:18 AM »
I agree with blue on this. It seems that the difficulty you face stems from accuracy, rather than timing.

One could conceivably score much higher than 140-142 by slowing down and aiming to answer only 75% of the total answers, for example.

I would recommend that you stop doing timed practice tests and focus purely on improving your performance on each and every question type. Do this untimed. Come back when you're answering 95-100% of the answers correctly in this manner.

likewise

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Re: Advice
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2009, 09:28:30 AM »
I agree with blue on this. It seems that the difficulty you face stems from accuracy, rather than timing.

One could conceivably score much higher than 140-142 by slowing down and aiming to answer only 75% of the total answers, for example.

I would recommend that you stop doing timed practice tests and focus purely on improving your performance on each and every question type. Do this untimed. Come back when you're answering 95-100% of the answers correctly in this manner.

TITCR.

No need to even reach 95% in accuracy. Slow down for each question. Take as long as you need to get it correct, and if you get it wrong, read to understand why. Over time, you may see that there are question types, for example, that you shouldn't even be bothering with, because they take to long -- or you always get them wrong. Once you get comfortable with 6/8 of the question types, working on spotting those w/in practice tests and reducing your time spent on each.

I, for example, couldn't seem to get ANY games questions correct, no matter how many study methods / approaches I tried. [I probably have some sort of processing issue that makes it impossible.] I still scored 159, which was good enough to get me into a decent law school.I just focused on getting better at LR questions.

Just slow down, focus on developing strength areas not weakness areas. Once identified, speed up on those strength areas.

Tanrael

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Re: Advice
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2009, 11:58:03 AM »
What I have been doing is taking the test twice.  The first time is under timed conditions, usually at work where I have to answer phones and deal with any number of other distractions that randomly happen. 

The second time I go through is with unlimited time.  For the reading questions I review the work, see if I made a mistake and then compare to the answer key.  The logic games are also a lot easier if you don't have the time limit stressing you out.  Those ones I treat more like a sudoku puzzle and stick it out until I find the corrent answer without a hint from the book.

I really do think both ways are important.  Testing under timed conditions teaches time management and helps you recognize which problems can be solved and which ones should be passed on.  If anything the more stressful and distracting it is, the better.  Relatively quiet test conditions similar to an actual test don't simulate the stress of a 'real' test.  Taking the time to arrive at the correct answer is going to reinforce the ability to recognize important terms and phrases and develop the skills to set up the logic games quickly and accurately.

Like the real test, don't let you feelings of how you are doing on the test get in the way.  The last one I took felt absolutely horrible.  I guessed entirely on 2 of the logic games puzzles, becuase phones were ringing off the hook and I had no idea how to set one of the puzzles up.  I still improved my score by 5 points over the previous test.  Working on them without time limits I was able to properly set up the logic games and by figuring it out myself I should be able to apply that skill better in the future.

Matthies

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Re: Advice
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2009, 01:11:57 PM »
I agree with blue on this. It seems that the difficulty you face stems from accuracy, rather than timing.

One could conceivably score much higher than 140-142 by slowing down and aiming to answer only 75% of the total answers, for example.

I would recommend that you stop doing timed practice tests and focus purely on improving your performance on each and every question type. Do this untimed. Come back when you're answering 95-100% of the answers correctly in this manner.

TITCR.

Over time, you may see that there I, for example, couldn't seem to get ANY games questions correct, no matter how many study methods / approaches I tried. [I probably have some sort of processing issue that makes it impossible.] I still scored 159, which was good enough to get me into a decent law school.I just focused on getting better at LR questions.

Just slow down, focus on developing strength areas not weakness areas. Once identified, speed up on those strength areas.

I agree. Same ehere, and I do have a processing issue, asking a dyslexic who inverts letters and numbers to put eight people labeled A-h around a table numbered 1-8 on a scantron with lettered choices = doomsday. On the exam I missed every single games question, in large part because I actually tried to answer them when I would have been better off just guessing and I got a 150. So you can concialavbley get every question wrong on a section and still hit your 150 target. So focus on the things your good at if you canít possible improve on another part of the test. All that being said it was possible 5 years ago to get into a decent school with a 150, I donít think its that possible today. If you can, aim for at least a 155 to make things easier on you come application time. Good luck, and donít give up no matter how hard it seems!
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Impromptu

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Re: Advice
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2009, 10:16:34 PM »
Thanks to everyone that responded to my message. All the advice put forth here, is certainly wise and attainable. I am currently working on these techniques.

R.