Law School Discussion

For those of you that scored 168+ on the LSAT...

For those of you that scored 168+ on the LSAT...
« on: December 20, 2010, 09:22:57 PM »
How did you prep? Did you find certain techniques more/less helpful than others? How much time (months, hours per day) did you devote to studying for the LSAT?

Thank you.

Re: For those of you that scored 168+ on the LSAT...
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2010, 09:30:23 PM »
I started out prepping between 30-35 hours per week for the first two or three weeks, much of it on games since I bombed that section on my diagnostic.  After that, I slowly winded down to where I was at between 10-12 hours per week, which included taking a test per week and then going over it to understand my errors.

The biggest key, IMO, is focusing on your weaknesses while not neglecting your strengths.  This means weakest section, as well as question types.    For example, I did well on LR from the start, but the flaw questions tended to be the type I would get wrong.  Learning the common flaws helped that weakness.  Games on the other hand, I struggled with everything at the start not just a single question type.

Finally, the difference between a 170 and a 165 I think is knowing formal logic.  Some people hated selection games which I found to be easiest.  Learn to understand that all, every, none, etc equals formal logic.  It got to the point I would read Every and formal logic diagrams started appearing in my head. 

So if I am rambling, it has been a long day

Re: For those of you that scored 168+ on the LSAT...
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2010, 09:51:38 PM »

Re: For those of you that scored 168+ on the LSAT...
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2010, 10:18:15 PM »
what have your practice scores been so far? Those aren't a promise of a simular score on the real exam, but a good place to start. How may practice ones have you done? What is your average score range? You can normally get a newer used one from a used book store for pretty cheap.

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Re: For those of you that scored 168+ on the LSAT...
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2010, 12:12:01 PM »
Some tips:

-3-4 hours per day is about the max that you should do.  After that, you lose effectiveness.

-Start studying well in advance.  If, for example, you're taking the June LSAT, I would start studying several months before.  The earlier, the better.  The LSAT is a very different exam, and it requires familiarity with its questions and concepts in order to do well.

-Practice, practice, practice!  The more questions you practice with, the more sections you do, and the more timed practice you do, the better off you will be.

Re: For those of you that scored 168+ on the LSAT...
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2011, 10:03:04 PM »
I prepped using a Kaplan book, worked through the exercises, and increased how many practice tests I did as test day grew nearer.  Logic games were my worst area, so a week and a half before the test I bought the Kaplan logic games book, and worked through those quite intensively.  It logic games score improved to the level of everything else, and I made a 12 point improvement overall.

That said, I wouldn't recommend you use the Kaplan books.  I only used them because I was living in a small town in Eastern Canada at the time, and they were what the bookstore had.  That was in 2007, I don't think it occurred to me to order books on Amazon.  Now I would recommend you use the LSAC books to prep.  They're pretty cheap.

First focus on understanding the questions, and doing them write with unlimited time.  Then focus on doing a section well in 35 minutes.  Then improve your stamina by writing full practice tests. 

As for how to learn to do them well....there are several options.  There seems to be a lot of free and useful info on the internet, but it takes some sifting through.  Any of the corporate prep books will give you a decent base, but don't take them as gospel.  The powerscore books seem pretty good.  If you've got the budget for it, you could hire a tutor for 1-2 sessions, to learn the following skills:

1.  How to diagram.  All dogs are cute becomes     D --> C, or      not C --> not D,

(meaning, if it's not cute, its not a dog.  That's called the contrapositive, and normally you would draw a line through the letter.  You should learn how to link diagrams together, and how to tell if something goes on the left or right of the diagram, using words like if, only if, etc.)

Diagramming is useful for both logical reasoning, and logic games.  If there's time, you could also ask to learn about statement negation (for assumption questions), quantifiers (words like most, many, some, all).

2.  How to set up a linear and a grouping logic game, and which symbols are the easiest to use.  How you should make sketches on your page.

3.  How to look for structure in a reading comp passage, and how to improve your understanding of a passage. 

4.  Lastly, you should have them watch you do a few questions, and see if they notice anything obvious to change. 

Any good tutor should be able to teach you those things.  You should be able to find a good one for about 50$ an hour on craigslist, and they should be able to teach you all of that in 2-3 hours.  The rest is practice, to master the skills you've learned, and you can do that on your own if you're motivated.

I did well somehow, without having mastered those things, but I'm better at the LSAT now that I know how to do all of that.  I scored a 177.  I recognize that the things I mentioned may sound very simple - that's because they are.  Yet not many people know how to do all of those things on the LSAT, so hopefully something in there will let you improve.  Good luck! - free half hour LSAT lesson

Re: For those of you that scored 168+ on the LSAT...
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2011, 03:15:12 PM »
First Diagnostic 151, improved to 169 in Dec.  I started studying around August and took the Testmasters online course.  It was intended for the Oct LSAT but I decided I wasn't ready, decided to wait until Dec.  From Aug - Oct I took the online course, which included 4 PTs, several practice sections, and practice problems for ~2 hrs / day, minimum of 5 days a week.  After Oct I stepped it up, and until Dec was spending 2+ hrs / day doing practice problems, PTs and sections. 

The key is to bring your books with you everywhere, so you get in the frame of mind where you can instantly snap in and out of "LSAT mode."  In between classes, during lunch breaks, while my prof was lecturing, these were all opportunities for me to pull out my books and bang out a set of 10 LR Qs. 

If you have issues with time, try doing one individual section at 35 minutes, then 34, then 33, and so on.  This is especially helpful with LG, where you can break it down even further and try and complete one game in 7:30, then 7, and so on. 

Re: For those of you that scored 168+ on the LSAT...
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2011, 10:27:16 PM »
thanks for the great advice!