Law School Discussion

High Test Scorers (165/170+) - Natural Ability or Hard Work

BAFF213

High Test Scorers (165/170+) - Natural Ability or Hard Work
« on: August 12, 2004, 12:56:43 AM »
How much did the high test scorers study for the LSAT?  Was it mostly based on natural ability or more so on hard work?  That would scare me if people come in right off the bat (without studying at all or having only studied a little) and get like a 177.

I initially (about a year ago) felt that standardized tests were more of a natural thing - either you have it or you don't.  I figured I wouldn't study much, if at all for the LSAT.  I didn't realize how important as well as how "highly learnable" (in the words of my pre-law advisor) it is.  I now realize that this was a pretty fatalistic view and that people such as myself with 150's MAY actually have the potential for a pretty high score.

Trevor

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Re: High Test Scorers (165/170+) - Natural Ability or Hard Work
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2004, 01:45:06 AM »
Natural ability.  I got a 176 on my first timed practice test, before I'd read anything or studied at all.  Just set the times on my watch, sat down and started filling in bubbles.

Now, it could be that I've just done all the hard work on the front end, since I've taken buttloads of formal logic and done scads of analytical reading for philosophy classes, but I've always been good at taking standardized tests.  I have a knack.

That said, going over the questions I missed (mostly ones like "the argument would most strongly support which of the following conclusions") did teach me about what the answers should look like, and to be careful with assumptions.  So even if your 'baseline' is determined by innate and immutable talent, you can still make significant improvement by studying.  In my case, it means trying to nail those last few tricky questions, so I can take the test and not miss a single one.  I know I can do it, and I think if I keep up the pace I'm at, I should be able to do it regularly.

Re: High Test Scorers (165/170+) - Natural Ability or Hard Work
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2004, 03:48:41 AM »
Natural ability.
I scored 177 on the June test and my preparation was taking a total of 12 actual test, three times a week a month before the June test ( I scored between 174 and 180 on them).
I do well on standardized test, 700 verbal on the SAT when I took it in 7th grade. When I took it again my junior year I scored 800.
I do believe however that one can maximize what natural ability one has by hard work.

buster

Re: High Test Scorers (165/170+) - Natural Ability or Hard Work
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2004, 04:16:20 AM »
Natural ability definitely plays a big role. I have always been good at the mechanics of standardized test-taking. Practice was still important for the LSAT, especially (at least in my case) in terms of learning the varieties of games. I went through two books and approximately 12 "actual" practice tests and raised my initial 165 (taken without knowing how many sections there were or of what the sections were constituted) almost immediately to a mid-170s average.

To me one of the most important standardized test-taking skills is just staying calm and focused. I know that's often easier said than done, but I think it makes a huge difference.

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Re: High Test Scorers (165/170+) - Natural Ability or Hard Work
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2004, 05:29:28 AM »
in order to get in the 170s you need some mad natural ability, even to get into the lower 160s.  however, with a lot of hard work, one can jump ten to twelve points.

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shaz

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Re: High Test Scorers (165/170+) - Natural Ability or Hard Work
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2004, 05:38:29 AM »
OMYGOD!

It's going to be all hard work for me. 800 verbal? That's impressive. Well, I'm STUDYING for this test. I can say that the only thing now keeping me from 165+ is the time. After studying for months this test 'seems' easy, but under the clock I still make dumbass mistakes. I am very happy to be where i am now though. I'm considering putting off the test for a while just to work on technique. I want to get faster and more efficient. I know I can score 170+. And with my GPA I'll need it.
shaz

p.s. forgive any typos.

nekko

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Re: High Test Scorers (165/170+) - Natural Ability or Hard Work
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2004, 09:39:00 AM »
Natural ability put me into the 160-165 range. Had to do a lot of studying to get into the 170+ range.

desmo

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Re: High Test Scorers (165/170+) - Natural Ability or Hard Work
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2004, 10:08:56 AM »
Natural ability.  It's highly unlikely for a 155 tester to study their butt off and score a 170+.  You can either handle the logic or you can't.  Boosting a mid/high 160 score to a low/mid 170 score is a timing issue and not a problem understanding the questions.

BTW, them high SAT scores get you squat once you're working.  Salary and intelligence have little to no correlation.  It's who you know not what you do.

Desmo  

Regal_Muse

Re: High Test Scorers (165/170+) - Natural Ability or Hard Work
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2004, 12:08:34 PM »
I think it's a mixture of both. On my first lsat diag I scored in the 120s. On the actual test I scored 173. It really depends on the individual. I believe that if you work hard, anything is possible.

lexylit

Re: High Test Scorers (165/170+) - Natural Ability or Hard Work
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2004, 12:10:54 PM »
no prep put me at 166; lots of hard work only bumped me up 2 pts. there was that 179 practice test but i'm beginning to think i hallucinated it  ::)