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Author Topic: Im having trouble putting it all together (for June 11 test)  (Read 1766 times)

John1990

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Im having trouble putting it all together (for June 11 test)
« on: February 24, 2011, 08:54:20 PM »
Backround (JUNE PREP)
I had a diagnostic of 150 3 months ago and since then i have read all 3 logic bibles.  In the bibles i noticed a huge increase in my performance.  While taking timed 7 question passages in the books i would usually get 5-7 right throughout all 3 books while staying under 8:45 for my time.  Even when the books threw 2-4 passages in a row i would complete them in time with this kind of success ration (5.5/7). 
At the end of the logic games bible i scored 22/24 on the sample section and finished with a minute to go.  I then took a real LG section from an exam and scored a 22/25.  I was excited and while approaching my first prep test since my diagnostic i anticipated a score around 164.  But, i got a 158.  I have taken 3 exams including that first 158 in 6 days and have scored 157-158 every time.  I usually get between 15-20 on all sections, and have yet to break 18 on a LG section.  I think the added time transfering answer selection to the scantron might be adding some pressure, even though i use the logical grouping approach.  I was only able to finish 3/4 games on the last exam and scored a 15 for the section.  On the 3 other sections i scored 7/18 combined for the last 6 questions of each passage and i wasn't guessing.  I feel much more rushed on the full exam and comonly exhausted at one point or another.  This is dissapointing since with a UGPA of 3.30 i need an LSAT of 160+ to get into a respectable law school.
My question is, how should i go foward in studying for the June LSAT?  Should i keep on taking practice tests to fine tune my skills, or should i return to the bibles?  Has anyone else had trouble making this transition and overcome it, or is it typical to perform much better in the bibles then on the much longer exam?

MikePing

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Re: Im having trouble putting it all together (for June 11 test)
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2011, 01:31:45 PM »
My experience with the LSAT is that the first 30 hours or so of study are going to give you a significant boost.  Your next score bump comes after about 150 hours of study.  The writers of the LSAT have stated that a person needs to study for 6 months to do well. 

The good news is that you have plenty of time left.  The LSAT is so important that I would recommend that you take a live prep class.  I know it is a lot of money.  But, isn't getting into a tier 1 school worth that money?  I think the 160's are within reach for you, whether or not you take the live class.  The live classes tend to avg. +3-5 points.  I think it's because you will get an experienced coach who can watch what you are doing and help you to tweak it.   

Regardless, take a bunch more practice tests.  Good luck, and let us know what happens!

Jeffort

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Re: Im having trouble putting it all together (for June 11 test)
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2011, 07:33:45 PM »
My experience with the LSAT is that the first 30 hours or so of study are going to give you a significant boost.  Your next score bump comes after about 150 hours of study. 

The writers of the LSAT have stated that a person needs to study for 6 months to do well.

The good news is that you have plenty of time left.  The LSAT is so important that I would recommend that you take a live prep class.  I know it is a lot of money.  But, isn't getting into a tier 1 school worth that money?  I think the 160's are within reach for you, whether or not you take the live class.  The live classes tend to avg. +3-5 points.  I think it's because you will get an experienced coach who can watch what you are doing and help you to tweak it.   

Regardless, take a bunch more practice tests.  Good luck, and let us know what happens!

Obviously the OP needs to put in additional quality prep/study time to further improve his/her score, that is a given.

However, I take issue with your generalizations and the supposed statistics you claim to be true (especially the above bolded parts).

If you have reference sources that support your claims and stats I'd love to see where you got your info from, since I'm pretty sure none exist.  To my knowledge LSAC has never taken a position about how long it takes to adequately prepare for the test or made any specific 'how to' or 'how long' LSAT prep recommendations aside from the study guides and test question explanations included in their SuperPrep book.

How did you come up with the idea that live prep class students average 3-5 points improvement?  From my many years experience teaching classes and tutoring students I think your figure is low.  However, since outside of the internal stats prep companies keep about their students (which they don't make available to the public) there is no available large empirical data source of students first practice test score + final reported score, which makes your claimed statistic merely a guess. 

Please don't guess/make up generalizations or numbers and try to pass them off as facts/statistics to students. 

There is no "One size fits all" formula to successfully prepare for the LSAT and significantly improve ones score.   Skilled experienced LSAT teachers/tutors generally do not/will not make claims along the lines of:  X # of hours per day/week of study/prep, Y # of weeks/months of prep, or taking X# of timed practice tests should or will or are needed to achieve Z # of points improvement or whatever scaled score, since no such formula/metric exists.     



To the OP John1990:

You have plenty of time ahead of you before the June 2011 LSAT, so you should not be worrying about timing (finishing sections in 35 minutes) and taking timed practice tests now.  Instead you should spend your study time working and analyzing the questions in slow motion, reviewing the concepts and applicable strategies and techniques, reviewing the concepts, questions you missed, mistakes you made, areas/concepts/question types that are giving you more trouble than others, etc.

Simply doing the "churn and burn" routine of taking a bunch of timed sections/full tests does not do much to improve your understanding of the concepts tested and your resulting analytical/reasoning skills that you need to apply to the questions in order to answer more of them correctly.  You should spend a good portion of your study time reviewing everything and balance that in with practice/working problems time. 
 
Focus more on accuracy and understanding right now instead of simply trying to work on your timing.  Timing improves naturally with better understanding of how to analyze and go about approaching each question/section type (meaning improved skills = improved accuracy and less time needed to solve each question correctly). 

One thing you might want to try that would be a good way to help you identify weak areas/concepts/etc. you need to work on/review/improve is to take a a full test you haven't seen before untimed in one sitting with the goal of getting as many questions as you can correct (try to get a 180 untimed without cheating and also without time pressure). 

Just you and a fresh preptest for a day.  Work through each section without ever checking the answer key or looking at other prep materials until you have selected what you believe to be the credited answer choice for each question.  Doesn't matter if you spend up to an hour or more per section and take some breaks as long as you do it all in one sitting/day without looking at/using anything else to help do it other than your pencils, eraser and maybe scratch paper.  When you are done and have made a firm decision for every question, then score it.  You will probably be surprised at the result since most people incorrectly believe that they or anybody else can/will get a 180 when not faced with the time pressure.   

The questions you answer incorrectly when you do this will highlight your current reasoning errors, concept mis-understandings/weaknesses and lots more stuff that is helpful to know in order to guide further directed study aimed at shoring up your weak areas/vulnerabilities.

EarlCat

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Re: Im having trouble putting it all together (for June 11 test)
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2011, 11:03:46 PM »
You have plenty of time ahead of you before the June 2011 LSAT, so you should not be worrying about timing (finishing sections in 35 minutes) and taking timed practice tests now.  Instead you should spend your study time working and analyzing the questions in slow motion, reviewing the concepts and applicable strategies and techniques, reviewing the concepts, questions you missed, mistakes you made, areas/concepts/question types that are giving you more trouble than others, etc.

Simply doing the "churn and burn" routine of taking a bunch of timed sections/full tests does not do much to improve your understanding of the concepts tested and your resulting analytical/reasoning skills that you need to apply to the questions in order to answer more of them correctly.  You should spend a good portion of your study time reviewing everything and balance that in with practice/working problems time. 
 
Focus more on accuracy and understanding right now instead of simply trying to work on your timing.  Timing improves naturally with better understanding of how to analyze and go about approaching each question/section type (meaning improved skills = improved accuracy and less time needed to solve each question correctly). 

One thing you might want to try that would be a good way to help you identify weak areas/concepts/etc. you need to work on/review/improve is to take a a full test you haven't seen before untimed in one sitting with the goal of getting as many questions as you can correct (try to get a 180 untimed without cheating and also without time pressure). 

Just you and a fresh preptest for a day.  Work through each section without ever checking the answer key or looking at other prep materials until you have selected what you believe to be the credited answer choice for each question.  Doesn't matter if you spend up to an hour or more per section and take some breaks as long as you do it all in one sitting/day without looking at/using anything else to help do it other than your pencils, eraser and maybe scratch paper.  When you are done and have made a firm decision for every question, then score it.  You will probably be surprised at the result since most people incorrectly believe that they or anybody else can/will get a 180 when not faced with the time pressure.   

The questions you answer incorrectly when you do this will highlight your current reasoning errors, concept mis-understandings/weaknesses and lots more stuff that is helpful to know in order to guide further directed study aimed at shoring up your weak areas/vulnerabilities.

Agree 100%.

John1990

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Re: Im having trouble putting it all together (for June 11 test)
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2011, 05:42:09 PM »
Thanks for the replys and some realy good advice.
Mike- im glad to hear that i still can improve, i was worried that i might have plateaued, im only 60 hours into studying so hopefully ill be over 160 for June.
Jeffort- great idea to take an untimed test i will take one tomorrow. 
I think i will scim through the bibles again, since i highlighted throughout them i can read them much faster this time through and focus on whats important.

MikePing

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Re: Im having trouble putting it all together (for June 11 test)
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2011, 07:21:06 PM »
LSAC statistics show a 2-3 points above average with various test prep methods, approaching 5 point spread versus those who didn't study for the test. (available at http://www.lsac.org/LSACResources/Research/TR/TR-05-01.pdf).  My experience is that there is usually an appreciable bump that comes from general test format and question familiarity, this measurable improvement comes quickly. 

As far as the six month quote, it comes from an article I read from one of the authors of the LSAT.  Unfortuanately, the URL is no longer active.  I did not mean to give the impression that LSAC suggests any specific amount of time to studay. 

As far as generalities, that's the point of one of these postings.  Hopefully more than just the person who asks a question can get useful information.  I don't disagree with any advice you gave. 

I stand by my recommendation that  OP consider taking a prep course. 

Julie Fern

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Re: Im having trouble putting it all together (for June 11 test)
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2011, 04:36:14 PM »
june test be hardest ever.

EarlCat

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Re: Im having trouble putting it all together (for June 11 test)
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2011, 12:58:46 AM »
The live classes tend to avg. +3-5 points.

LSAC statistics show a 2-3 points above average with various test prep methods, approaching 5 point spread versus those who didn't study for the test. (available at http://www.lsac.org/LSACResources/Research/TR/TR-05-01.pdf). 

LSAC's study is not saying what you think it does.

MikePing

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Re: Im having trouble putting it all together (for June 11 test)
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2011, 09:51:01 AM »
The bottom line is, and tell us if you disagree, prep courses will generally give a student a larger bump than self study. 

EarlCat

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Re: Im having trouble putting it all together (for June 11 test)
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2011, 12:01:08 PM »
The bottom line is, and tell us if you disagree, prep courses will generally give a student a larger bump than self study.

I agree with that, and I think that "bump" is larger than 3-5 points on average.  But LSAC's study doesn't touch the amount of improvement resulting from classes.  It merely says that people who use certain methods do better on average than people who use other methods or don't study at all.  They also, strangely enough, consider "self study" to be something different from using an LSAC Book or a non-LSAC book.