Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Study advice needed for my situation  (Read 937 times)

Pepperdine2010

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 52
    • View Profile
    • Email
Study advice needed for my situation
« on: July 19, 2010, 03:55:35 PM »
Hi everyone,

I've been studying for the LSAT for over a year (started studying back in January 09'). I own and have read through all 3 Powerscore Bibles several times. I've taken approx. 25 preptests and I my average score is a 165. I think I've grasped most of the major concepts/obstacles of the LSAT with the exception of timing. I normally go over the time limit by a minute or two, but on occasion have gone over as much as five minutes.

My question is, what can I do to improve my timing? Should I focus on a specific section (i.e. games) for a few months until I nail the time issue and move unto the next section? Or should I keep taking preptest after preptest?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time!

EarlCat

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 2533
  • i'm in ur LSAT blowin' ur curve
    • AOL Instant Messenger - EarlCat78
    • View Profile
    • EarlDoesLSAT.com
Re: Study advice needed for my situation
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2010, 01:00:55 PM »
Stop churning and burning preptests.  Focus on a section or even just a type of question or type of game and really lock it down.  Forget about the clock for a while and work on getting a better understanding.  See if you can get yourself to the point where you can get a 180 off the clock.  Then speed back up.

marcus-aurelius

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 352
    • View Profile
Re: Study advice needed for my situation
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2010, 02:26:04 PM »
Earlcat has a point.  I did something similar to help increase my speed.

Another option you have is as follows for the LR sections.  I recommend doing the first 3-4 pages, then flipping to the back of the section and work backwards.  There is evidence that the first 10 questions tend to be easier questions (although you may have a tougher question thrown in).  Somewhere near the end you will find an easy question or two as I feel LSAC beleives many people won't get to them.

Lastly, don't dwell on questions.  If you hit a question you struggle on for a minute, skip it.  Better to get points at the end and guess on the 1 rather than taking 3-4 minutes on 1 question and guessing on two at the end

Pepperdine2010

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 52
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Study advice needed for my situation
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2010, 10:18:12 PM »
I apologize for the delay in my response.

Stop churning and burning preptests.  Focus on a section or even just a type of question or type of game and really lock it down.  Forget about the clock for a while and work on getting a better understanding.  See if you can get yourself to the point where you can get a 180 off the clock.  Then speed back up.

Thank you very much for the advise! I've determined that I need to focus on parallel and assumption questions. Those two question types are the source of my point deduction. I'll start analyzing these questions in more detail to see what makes them tick. Thanks again for the advise, Earlcat!  8)

Earlcat has a point.  I did something similar to help increase my speed.

Another option you have is as follows for the LR sections.  I recommend doing the first 3-4 pages, then flipping to the back of the section and work backwards.  There is evidence that the first 10 questions tend to be easier questions (although you may have a tougher question thrown in).  Somewhere near the end you will find an easy question or two as I feel LSAC beleives many people won't get to them.

Lastly, don't dwell on questions.  If you hit a question you struggle on for a minute, skip it.  Better to get points at the end and guess on the 1 rather than taking 3-4 minutes on 1 question and guessing on two at the end

Thank you for the advise also! I have a tendency to dwell on the same question for a prolonged amount of time (which definitely costs me). I like your idea of answering the first half of the LR section then moving to the back portion. I'll see what occurs as a result of this new strategy. Thanks again for taking the time to help me.  ;D

Gameday

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
    • Gameday Tutoring and Personal Statement Review
    • Email
Re: Study advice needed for my situation
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2010, 11:51:58 AM »
Although this can be a risky strategy since it may get you going through questions TOO fast and lead to sloppy mistakes, when I was studying I gave myself 30 minutes for each section instead of 35.  I did this because I knew I would lose time time during the real LSAT to anxiety or whatever else.    In addition, because I used this strategy during the real LSAT I was confident I could get through every section with time to spare to review my answers.  That said, most prep books do not recommend you study this way.  In my personal opinion, it worked for me so if you think it could work for you go ahead and give it a shot, just be aware of the risks. 

MeganEW

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 68
    • View Profile
Re: Study advice needed for my situation
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2010, 01:26:30 PM »
Although this can be a risky strategy since it may get you going through questions TOO fast and lead to sloppy mistakes, when I was studying I gave myself 30 minutes for each section instead of 35.  I did this because I knew I would lose time time during the real LSAT to anxiety or whatever else.    In addition, because I used this strategy during the real LSAT I was confident I could get through every section with time to spare to review my answers.  That said, most prep books do not recommend you study this way.  In my personal opinion, it worked for me so if you think it could work for you go ahead and give it a shot, just be aware of the risks.
I practiced using shorter sections as well!  What reasoning do the prep books have against it?
FTR, I did 1 point higher on the real LSAT than my average practice tests.  I've been telling everyone I know since I got my results to also practice with 32 minute sections instead of 35 to adjust for the whole time-moving-faster-on-test-day thing. :)
Acceptances: UIUC, IUB, Fordham, W&L, OSU
WL: Notre Dame
Rejections: NYU, Northwestern

Gameday

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
    • Gameday Tutoring and Personal Statement Review
    • Email
Re: Study advice needed for my situation
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2010, 02:35:51 PM »
Well, if you use this strategy you are basically artificially inflating the difficulty in your practice sessions.  So the risk is that by making an already extraordinarily-difficult test even MORE difficult some students are either going to become discouraged or start using time-saving "tricks" that only cause them to make mistakes by being sloppy or not thorough enough or by skipping over important information while reading to compensate.

In addition, this strategy probably only offers real benefits to students are are shooting for an elite score, and know they can attain it.  If you aren't able to fully read through and finish a section in 30 minutes, this strategy probably isn't going to help your confidence or abilities in any worthwhile way.  So I actually agree with the prep books that the average LSAT-taker is probably better served by concentrating on getting more questions right, rather than focusing on speed.   

That said, as you allude to another benefit of doing this if you ARE able is that it usually means you won't suffer a big "test-day drop" in your score since the practice tests you are taking are "harder" than the real thing.  My real score matched my best practice score, and I know studying this way was part of that. 


A good analogy might be practicing 35-mile runs to prepare yourself for a marathon.  If you are just looking to finish, it doesn’t make much sense.  But if you already know what pace you need to go, are trying to win the whole shebang, and are just trying to build up strength and endurance by practicing under more difficult conditions, it might make sense.