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Author Topic: Will this study method work for 148 -> 160's?  (Read 2776 times)

GC_Chem_BU

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Re: Will this study method work for 148 -> 160's?
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2011, 02:47:36 PM »
Thanks so much for all of the replies. I'm enjoying the last week before school starts, so I haven't really been around.  :P

Both of you guys are right, actually, when it comes to BU. I did go to Belmont University for undergrad (chemistry), and now I'm going to Purdue University (chemistry, management minor) - so that's where the BU came from at first. I am, however, shooting for Boston University, Fordham, or UNH for pharmaceutical IP law or something of that nature - so that's what the BU means now! Haha.

As for all of the remarks regarding the Princeton Review "Cracking the LSAT" book - I had no idea. I honestly should have checked with the forum before getting the book, and even when I was planning out my study sessions in my calendar I noticed the severe lack of attention the book gave the critical reading section. Critical reading was what kept me out of most great undergrad schools for the LSAT; I definitely need to study more than 3 passages and need more tips on how to do well for the test that really matters.

Does anyone have a good idea as to how to prepare starting the first day of class up until December 5? I'm stumped on how I should divide up my time, though I would say that writing is by far my strongest, then comes logic games and arguments sort of neck-and-neck, then reading. I'm thinking I could take about 4-6 practice tests in the 12 weeks, but I won't if that doesn't prove effective.

Miami, I would greatly appreciate the Kaplan Outline. I'm between buying that or the Powerscore books - which look really good. I need to develop these fundamentals now so that I'm not still working on them when it's time to study for both my LSAT and Analytical Chemistry.

-Geoff
Purdue University '13
Major: Chemistry
Minor: Management
GPA: 3.0
Currently studying for December 2011 LSAT.

fortook

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Re: Will this study method work for 148 -> 160's?
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2011, 03:10:23 PM »
Do you mean your writing sample is your strongest section?  If so, ignore that.  Its not graded. I doubt any one really ends up reading those anyways. 

If your strong on LG you've got a leg up.  LGs are, by far the most difficult for most people.  LR is half the test so spend the most time on that. 

The Powerscore books are by far the best.  I'm not a big fan of Kaplan, personally.  I tried one of their books and thought is was way too underdeveloped.  Focusing on "tips" that are often common sense for anyone who has ever taken a multiple choice test.  But MiMi had a different experience, and I'm not saying she's wrong.  Her version may have been better than mine (I hope so for her sake :))

Outside the Powerscore books, Master the LSAT is the best I used that is all inclusive of the LSAT sections.  I'd take a baseline test if I were you, then the all inclusive prep book you choose, then a set of practice tests, then the PS Bible(s) where you are the weakest + LR (its half the test).  Good luck, Buddy.
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GC_Chem_BU

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Re: Will this study method work for 148 -> 160's?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2011, 06:05:50 PM »
It sounds like picking what to study is half the battle! I think I'm going in this general direction, though:

1. Take a legitimate, full practice exam. Whether I include the writing sample, because 1) I'm already good at writing, and 2) It's not counted, is debatable.
2. Work rather quickly through the Princeton Review book. It's all inclusive, I already bought it, and it has to have some good practice at the absolute least.
3. Take some more practice tests, whether they're through the Princeton Review book or something else I find. That way I'll see if there's a trend in what I'm good/bad at, as well as see if there's any improvement as a result of working through the book.
4. Buy / work through the Powerscore books for the sections at which I am weakest.
5. Take practice tests and review things accordingly up until December 5.

That sounds good to me! I greatly appreciate everyone's help, as I most definitely wouldn't be on the right track without you guys.
Purdue University '13
Major: Chemistry
Minor: Management
GPA: 3.0
Currently studying for December 2011 LSAT.

fortook

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Re: Will this study method work for 148 -> 160's?
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2011, 08:29:57 PM »
I was going to let it go and wish you good luck, I will still do the latter.......  But, the writing sample is NOT scored.  I'm sorry if you think its your greatest strength, but it still isn't scored.  If you get a 140 and write the best, most concise, most logically sound hand written argument ever made since 1990, you still get a 140 on the LSAT.  LR, LG and RC is all the is scored. The PR book should have explained that.  If they did not, they suck even more than I thought they did.

That said, I won't mention it again, good luck amigo.  I would have felt a little guilty not hammering the point home; the rest is up to you.
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GC_Chem_BU

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Re: Will this study method work for 148 -> 160's?
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2011, 09:30:14 AM »
That's honestly a bummer. Writing's definitely my strength as opposed to critical reading, LSAT aside. I'm over it, though - I'm just ready to get cracking on studying! I will enjoy these last few days of summer, then it's off to be books in 7 days. I will make sure to post my progress as well.
Purdue University '13
Major: Chemistry
Minor: Management
GPA: 3.0
Currently studying for December 2011 LSAT.

fortook

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Re: Will this study method work for 148 -> 160's?
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2011, 10:00:46 AM »
It shouldn't bother you too much.  Writing is still one of the most important skills you'll need in law school.  The LSAT is just a brief tool you have to use to get you there.  Like I said if your strong at LG you are already ahead of the game.

Good job on finding the bibles so cheap, btw.  You got a great deal and the LR and the LG bibles are great.  I never tried the RC bible, please tell me what you thin of it.
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Miami88

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Re: Will this study method work for 148 -> 160's?
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2011, 04:02:28 PM »
For the record - I am still in the midst of studying for the LSAT myself. So if others with more experience feel that, comparatively, the Kaplan books are not as good as Powerscore then take that with more weight. I can only compare Kaplan to Princeton Review and it is night and day better.

After Princeton Reivew book whenever I timed myself I was getting about: LG 80% at 15 minutes per game. LR 70% at 2-5 min. per question. and RC 60% at 10-15 min. per passage.

After Kaplan I'm getting: LG 100% at 5-11 min. per game. LR 90% at around 1.5-2.5 min. per question. and RC at 80% at around 10 min.

I still need a lot of work to get where I want but there certainly is a lot of improvement in a short amount of time. But who knows - maybe that would have been even better with powerscore?

As for Kaplan books, they are not so much "tip" or "trick" based as they are "method" based. They occasionally will make a "tip"/"note" on particular question/game types, such as common wrong answers, how to spot them etc. but they are really obsessed about tying everything back to their "method." I'll PM you my outlines.

Once you have a strong foundation with the fundamentals I would take as many real tests as you can. Julie Ferm mentioned this:

that fake test.  take real one.

Thats because the Princeton Review is one of the few, if not only, major prep companies that make up their own test questions. Though these are okay for further drilling (often they may actually me harder then the real test) you should spend the bulk of your time on real LSAT tests/questions. After you get really comfortable (some say around 165) then you can use PR material for further drilling, but still understand those are fake and you should still base your practice scores on real LSAT tests.

Currently there are around 60 real LSAT tests out there you can buy. Once you are in that 175+ range, hit those hard - at least 1 or 2 a week. If you only have time for 10 or so tests I would start with test #52 which is when they added Comparative Reading and will be the test most resembling the one you will take. If you have time for more I would set it up so the last practice tests you take are after test 52 and ends with the most recent one.

fortook

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Re: Will this study method work for 148 -> 160's?
« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2011, 09:33:12 PM »
Wow Miami, you seem way ahead of the curve.  I forget which Kaplan book I used, but it was thin and easy.  Sounds like you're fairing better.  I was going to say make sure you are testing with official former LSATs, but you seem to have that down too.

Only thing I can think to mention is be careful mixing methods.  People who have done that have said the contradictions hurt more than helped.  You're scoring better on your practice tests reaching 175, which is better than I did.  175 might even be in the top 1 percent, regardless its pretty awesome.

You might be the first person I've talked to that is doing that well with Kaplan.  Cheers.
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GC_Chem_BU

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Re: Will this study method work for 148 -> 160's?
« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2011, 10:53:17 PM »
Yeah Miami, that sounds like you're doing really well. Here's to you!

My confusion still lies within timed vs. untimed. When do I move to timed? How much time is TOO MUCH TIME on untimed tests? I'm thinking about taking untimed tests once a week, since I don't have class on Tuesdays.

Also, where can I find full, legitimate practice tests for free as opposed to PR's? I noticed it wasn't full as soon as I started it, but I went with it anyway, figuring it would be a good benchmark. I really hope working through the PR book at all is worth it - I'm giving myself three weeks to get through the whole book (1 week per section). Then, it's moving on to Powerscore.
Purdue University '13
Major: Chemistry
Minor: Management
GPA: 3.0
Currently studying for December 2011 LSAT.

Miami88

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Re: Will this study method work for 148 -> 160's?
« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2011, 11:18:41 PM »
Thanks... but it is important to note its still un-timed. The numbers I gave have been general averages (some have been lower some have been higher). My current avg. stats would, at best, allow for mid 160s timed. That is not taking into account fatigue and what not. Realistically I am probably high 150s low 160s. I have yet to take a full timed test so that is just speculation.

I completely agree with the worry of mixing methods. I am making my own as I go anyways though. There are, surprisingly, some things from Princeton Review that I like better than Kaplan.

The Kaplan books are not that thin at all - RC and LR books are about 450 page each and the LG is about 600. That makes the Kaplan set about 1500 pages worth of material to cover. Of course the majority of that is practice questions and review. That being said my outline (which just covers methodology) is about 75 pages.

Also, as a side note, I really like how the RC book is written. Its very positive and semi-motivational - its subtle how they sneak it in but its uplifting. The other two try to match that tone, but aren't quite AS successful.