Law School Discussion

First LSAT practice test

First LSAT practice test
« on: April 24, 2011, 07:01:27 PM »
Hello everyone,

I am taking a review course starting at the end of May. On the first day, there is a practice LSAT test. I was wondering what people usually score on their first try. Between now and then, I do not have time to review any sections so I will be taking the test completely cold. I want to know if people did terrible their first time taking the test and if their score went up significantly with some practice. I don't want to get a bad score and feel discouraged. With some prep and practice, I think I could do fairly well. Any info or feedback would be great.

Thanks!

Re: First LSAT practice test
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2011, 09:14:00 PM »
I was wondering what people usually score on their first try.

I did the sample test on the LSAC website, casually, and mostly untimed. 

I didn't prepare other than that.  Got a 159.  So, that was basically my first try.

Other than that, I wish I'd done the powerscore logic games bible, but don't have any other insights I'd give.

Re: First LSAT practice test
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2011, 11:00:29 PM »
The initial test is largely irrelevant.  I would not review for it nor would I worry about your initial score.  What matters is when you begin to study for the test.  The first test I ever took resulted in a 145.  I ended up with a 172. 

Re: First LSAT practice test
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2011, 09:56:22 AM »
Just do your best on the initial test.  Hopefully, the course will identify any weaknesses you have and--with practice--you will get your score where you need it to be. 

arc87

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Re: First LSAT practice test
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2011, 05:44:41 PM »
I agree with Jimmy on this one.  The purpose of the initial test is to show your weaknesses.

Re: First LSAT practice test
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2011, 10:37:16 PM »
Check out my post here - http://www.onlawschool.com/39/what-should-i-know-before-taking-my-first-lsat-practice-test

I went from 151 to 177. I do not understand why anyone would tell you not to review your first exam. That is awful advice.

Why take the exam if you can't learn from it?  At the beginning stages, you should be much less worried about _how_ you do.... and much more worried about _how much_ you learn from the experience. If you don't review the exam, then you have just crushed your confidence and you have no reasonable idea WHY!

scenariosolver could not be more wrong. Sad that they are selling LSAT prep materials... scary.


Re: First LSAT practice test
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2011, 06:57:08 PM »
The initial test is largely irrelevant.  I would not review for it nor would I worry about your initial score.  What matters is when you begin to study for the test.  The first test I ever took resulted in a 145.  I ended up with a 172.

Wow, Scenariosolver! You're about where I started on my first diagnostic.  What prep course (if any) did you take and how long and how much studying were you doing on average to get to 172???

Re: First LSAT practice test
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2011, 11:54:58 AM »
I studied for the LSAT for approximately five months.  I worked through the PrepTests twice.  I was very good at reading comprehension but the rest of the test was difficult. 

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Re: First LSAT practice test
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2011, 09:02:10 AM »
I have taught the LSAT for over seven years - the initial test is one jsut to give you an idea of the hell you are about to face.  The purpose of the test is really to scare you into studying for it hardcore.

These are law students.  99% are already going to take the test seriously.  They're taking a practice test precisely because they take the test seriously.  They don't need to waste three hours of their time for nothing more than to be scared into studying.

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If you have never seen the LSAT before and you sit down cold and take it, it is really not that helpful to go through the test and figure out what you have done wrong as you have NO idea of any solution strategies at that point.  Once you begin preparation then you must absolutely go through the test and understand what you have done wrong.  I have taught for three of the major prep companies and I can tell you that a review is not in order for the "cold test".

So you shouldn't start learning about the test until you've started learning about the test??  I disagree.

And sorry, but review is not all about "solution strategies" as if beating the test was all about using some prep company's "tricks."  The initial review is about self-awareness and getting a general idea of one's own strengths and weaknesses right off the bat.

It would be useful to know, for instance, that the jumbled technique you used for the third logic game didn't work well or that answering RC questions without going back to the passage was a bad idea.  If you just take your 145 or whatever from the first practice test and fail to explore it further, you're giving up a whole lot of the payoff for spending 3+ hours taking the stupid test.

Re: First LSAT practice test
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2011, 02:47:27 PM »
Earl,

The LSAT is about solution strategies... i.e. understanding when to solve the scenarios and when to merely create scenario templates.. or understanding when to diagram conditional statements and what said statements actually mean.  As such I do not agree with you.  I do, however, agree with you on BS little tricks that are termed solution strategies such as pinning ones hope on getting a correct answer by solely determining the logical force of a conclusion and picking an answer choice with the same logical force -- that is one example of test taking strategy does not really get to the heart of the matter.

The very first test one takes if a one has never seen the LSAT would result in no real understanding of how to solve a logic game or how to even approach solving a logic game. 

I also firmly disagree with you regarding the prosepctive law students studying hard for the test.  I have taught literally hundreds of students and there is over confidence that permeates the air.  Most students think the LSAT is just a memory game that can be crammed for right before test time.  Most students that I have run across think that they are just going to ace the test because that has been their experience through undergraduate.  Student EGO is oen of the biggest hurdles to get through. 

There simply is no real review of prep tests when a student sits down COLD and takes the LSAT (the initial test diagnostic)  from the three major prep companies that I have taught for.  In a nutshell, 1) it is to break the student down with the hope that they will listen and apply proper technique later and 2) (which I find stupid) a way for major prep companies to get a low starting score so that the point upswing can be calculated -- the lower the better. 

I do agree with you if you are talking about handing the student a printout and letting them know where their intuitively weakest topics are.  I also think that the first test is not a real indicator of true test taker weaknesses on specific aspects of the LSAT.

Even from my own experience the VERY first LSAT I took without any preparation whatsoever - I was lost on that test.  It would have served no purpose to go through the test.  The idea is after that test the instructor can then take a look at everyone and say --- ok, we are dealing with a serious bitc** of a test here... now lets begin at the beginning.

I absolutely disagree that taking the test COLD and not reviewing it WHATSOEVER is a waste of time.  It puts students on notice of what they are dealing with.  Up to this point these ARE NOT LAW SCHOOL students at all -- they are undergrad and up.  Before you take the test you have no idea what you are dealing with.  The point of the COLD test is to put you on notice.