Law School Discussion

Took my first, baseline practice test - tell me what you think...

Re: Took my first, baseline practice test - tell me what you think...
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2005, 06:44:32 AM »
I don't think it's impossible - I just think it's highly unlikely.  You just have to be realistic.  Some people go up by ten points; most people don't.  I know some people whose final score wasn't any different than their first practice test.  Mine was four points higher, but that was all I needed to get into the school I'm in.   
My opinion has nothing to do your personal situation.  Five months is a sufficient time to prepare. 
That being said, the 149 might not really represent your score.  That's why you should take an actual LSAT, under timed conditions, and see where you really stand.   


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Re: Took my first, baseline practice test - tell me what you think...
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2005, 07:28:22 AM »
Getting into the 160's from 149 will be tough, but it might be possible.  My first LSAT was 154 I think, and I ended up with a 161 after the Kaplan course.  My original score was largely due to a complete inability to do logic games - I think I got 5 correct on that first test.  But that was a godo thing because that section is the most "learnable" section of the test.  I was practicing in the mid 160's and would have scored a 165 if it wasn't for a missed rule that cost me 4 points on a SIMPLE game.  I'm not complaining; I'm just saying that if I retook, I think I'd be very likely to score a 164-165 (not worth a retake in my opinion, since 161+164/2=162.5 - not a big difference.  But I think a 10 point improvement is very possible if you're presently weak in logic games. 

If your weaknesses are spread around, it will probably be tough to improve 10-15 points.  I thought Kaplan did a great job of teaching the test and learning about the different types of LR and RC questions certainly helped, but once again, I'm not sure if it would help 10-15 points worth.  And to clarify, the Kaplan course I took used all REAL questions for their workbook and classroom work.  They also gave us EVERY published LSAT.  They did give us another supplimental book that contained "made-up" questions, but that was just additional, supplimental material.     

But I guess the bottom line here is that you should prepare as best as you can.  If you can afford a course, take one.  Because if you can get your score up to 165, you'll be in an enviable position.  If not, what have you lost?  A little time, maybe a grand if you took a course?  Not major losses.  And you'll certainly have a better grasp of logic . . .

Re: Took my first, baseline practice test - tell me what you think...
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2005, 07:47:52 AM »
First thing I'd say is analyze why you got the score you did. After teaching LSATs for a while, I'd look at two things.

Did you run out of time?  Maybe get through 2/3 of each section, and the questions you did get to you (mostly) got right?

Or, did you get through every question and have problems over all or with a particular type of question.

If it's mostly a timing issue, a lot of drills and practice on your own could bring about your desired score increase.  If it's a concept issue, you need to understand how to answer questions correctly before you work on timing and full practice tests.  Taking 20 LSATs in a row won't really help if you keep missing they same type of questions.

So, based on that, I have a few recommendations.

Go to a Kaplan Center and take one of their free LSAT practice tests.  These are real tests. Kaplan used to use fake questions, but a few years ago switched over to actual questions. This will approximate the testing conditions more realistically (someone else timing you, other people in the room, scantron bubbling). And they will give you a breakdown of what your problem areas are.

If you have the discipline to study on your own, you could.  Get the bibles, tackle the questions by question type (i.e. inference questions, sequencing games), while taking real LSATs on a weekly basis.  Making sure you go over ever wrong answer and every guess you made, even if it was correct. Heck, even going over correct answers is a good thing, just to make sure you were thinking correctly.

If not, a class is a good thing, esp. with a family.  You'll have to set some ground rules (find someone to watch the kids when you're in class, set aside a few hours a week at least to do the homework).  

A few more general suggestions:

Work first on question type. Drill through a few (at least) of a particular weak area without time constraints, then limit yourself to 2 min per LR or 8-9 min per game/passage

Take sections timed, get as far as you can in the allotted time, then mark where you stopped and continue on, just to get practice and see how long it takes. Then go back and grade the section.  

Keep in mind you have 8m 45 s for each RC passage and game, and about 1m 45s for each LR question.  But with the LG and RC, start with a game/passage you find easier, this will give you more time for a harder game/passage.  With LR, don't waste 5m on one question, if you don't get it, circle it and move on, come back after you've finished the section.  Questions arenít in order of difficulty.   Just keep your bubbling correct, usually bubbling after each page/game/passage

As for classes, Kaplan gets a lot of flack on this board, and I have taught for them.  Yes, there are some problems, BUT, as with any course, it is imperative that you do the homework.  You arenít going to improve your score just by sitting in class and following along in your lesson book.  


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Re: Took my first, baseline practice test - tell me what you think...
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2005, 11:01:50 AM »


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Re: Took my first, baseline practice test - tell me what you think...
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2005, 11:30:29 AM »
potato has some great advice.

one thing i used to do when i was practicing was to mark the questions where i was torn between two answers, or anything i wasn't sure i had right, while taking a timed test. then in review i would be able to clearly see how well i was guessing, and try to figure out why i was right and wrong (to reinforce the good logic, and fix the bad). and i could see if i was missing questions i was very confident in.

from what you said, i think it is very possible to raise your score to the mid 160's. you haven't studied or taken a test in years, and that is a big factor in it - the focus is learnable and improvable.


Re: Took my first, baseline practice test - tell me what you think...
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2005, 11:41:00 AM »
Candice - it is ABSOLUTELY possible to raise your score into the 160's.
Believing that you can is important, too. You're more likely to do the work required and improve if you know you will improve. Don't let anyone tell you it's not possible.
As I said before : I started with a baseline of 150, and ended with a 164. If I can do it, so can you.


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Re: Took my first, baseline practice test - tell me what you think...
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2005, 02:16:55 PM »
Its definitely possible to raise your score into the 160s, and into the 170s if you want.

When I took my first diagnostic I got a 157.  When I told people I wanted to go to CLS/HLS, they said I'd never improve enough to even apply to those places.

I didn't take a course (just self study), and was practicing in the 175-178 range up to the LSAT.  I took the June administration and got 6 wrong (which was a 173 - I still think I would have done better if the AR wasn't so easy on that test - by far my best section  :P)

Make no mistake, this is probably the toughest test you will ever take - but its still just a test; one which can be compartmentalized and attacked systematically.

A few important things to remember:

-Whether you self study or take a course, the only way to improve is by putting in a lot of hours, and taking it seriously
-Go through every problem you got wrong (and make sure you know why so it won't happen again), and if theres time through every problem you got right as well
-Do the LGB and LRB (I didn't know about these until after I took the test but they're awesome :))
-Use only real tests from LSAC (the fake Kaplan tests, they have in the backs of their books are horrible)
-Get the SuperPrep book from LSAC (really helpful)
-Confidence is half the battle: if you walk into the test room thinking you're only gonna get a 155-160, I don't care if you're Robin Singh, thats all you're gonna get
-Ignore people who tell you that "you can't do it", or "its too hard" - nothing's impossible