Law School Discussion

Need some advice/honest criticism, etc.....

dcgirl

Need some advice/honest criticism, etc.....
« on: January 07, 2007, 02:35:17 PM »
I've been studying for the LSAT w/a friend & we've been giving each other advice on our weaknesses/strengths & things of that nature.

I can make this a really long & detailed thread here but I'll try not to.  My question basically boils down to this:  I've noticed more than anything that she struggles w/comprehension & understanding what it's saying (having to read the LR stimulus 2-3x, re-reading the RC passages, etc.)  Logic Games is her best section.  She's been studying for the LSAT for almost 2 years now. It's just that past couple months where the negative attitude she's ALWAYS had has changed to positive & that obviously makes a BIG difference.  February will mark her 3rd time taking this exam. She's pretty comfortable w/the concepts (necessary vs. sufficient, logical flaws, etc.,) but we were both trying to diagnose her problem (the problem being no improvement in her score & so forth) & I think it's comprehension.

I told her the only 2 remedies for this are: Get on prescription drugs such as adderall, ritalin, etc., to help you focus better OR just keep practicing. She is most definitely against getting on those drugs & frankly I don't blame her.  She has taken testmasters twice already.

So I guess my question to you guys is what's her problem? Is it comprehension? I know she's not stupid.  In fact she's one of the brightest people I know. She's just not improving on this damn test. I told her to keep at it & never give up if this is what she really wants.  I've never met anyone so persistent & strong-willed.

I recommend that she start reading Scientific American & The Economist everyday to improve her reading comprehenshion.  And she has.  She's taking the exam in Feb & again in June if she has to.


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Re: Need some advice/honest criticism, etc.....
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2007, 02:43:30 PM »
I think concentration is the cause of her problem, and poor comprehension is the effect.  If she's praciced this much and understands the fundamental logic, 2-3 of the RC passages should be relatively easy and the majority of the LRs should come easily.  Constantly re-reading probably means she's not focusing when she reads the first time.  Concentration isn't something most people just have.  When I take these tests I have to concentrate on concentration, because they're designed to be long and boring.  As I go thru, I have to constantly remind myself to focus on the questions.

dcgirl

Re: Need some advice/honest criticism, etc.....
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2007, 02:57:30 PM »
I totally agree w/you (as does she) that concentration is the cause and RC is the effect.  Makes for a great LR question, huh?  Lol.  So what can she do to fix this? I really think ritalin would help her but like I said she refuses to ever rely on drugs to help her succeed.

Is there a fix for lack of concentration?  I really want to help her.  It's people like her that don't give up & keep persevering that actually deserve a chance at law school. 


I think concentration is the cause of her problem, and poor comprehension is the effect.  If she's praciced this much and understands the fundamental logic, 2-3 of the RC passages should be relatively easy and the majority of the LRs should come easily.  Constantly re-reading probably means she's not focusing when she reads the first time.  Concentration isn't something most people just have.  When I take these tests I have to concentrate on concentration, because they're designed to be long and boring.  As I go thru, I have to constantly remind myself to focus on the questions.

dcgirl

Re: Need some advice/honest criticism, etc.....
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2007, 03:09:07 PM »
She just started taking Ginko about 2 weeks ago.

No, she didn't have problems in school. Nothing like that at all. She says it's just this test.


There was talk around here at one point about a regiment of Ginko Biloba in the weeks/months leading up to the test.  Some people found that they were able to more easily concentrate after regular usage.  Whether or not this is a real improvement, or just a placebo effect doesn't much matter if it makes a difference.

So much of this test is psychological...  it's worth a shot.

Does your "friend" also have problems concentrating on reading in general?  Or on schoolwork?  Or is it unique to this test?

Re: Need some advice/honest criticism, etc.....
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2007, 03:52:00 PM »
I respect your friend's tenacity, but I think there's got to come a point where she stops taking the test.  LSAC only lets you take three every two years anyway, and if your friend is applying to law school, a load of repeated scores that are mostly the same will hurt her more than help her.  Sure, the scores will disappear after five years, but that's a long time.

This is a really hard test, and I think that everyone has a score-ceiling that they can't break through, as frustrating as it might be.  It might be time to work on accepting that.  There's no shame in letting the score she's got stand after the Feb. test.  Any reason she doesn't just wait until June when she can at least get her score report back to see where she went wrong?

I'm not trying to be offensive here -- I certainly don't know your friend, only she can know what is best for her, and I'm not trying to presume to know her abilities -- but you asked for honest advice and criticism. Feel free to disregard what I've said, but I truly think your friend's time might be better spent applying that dedication and drive to a cause in life that really matters.  Taking her passion for doing well on the LSAT and turning it into a passion to provide legal assistant services to Legalaid or some other advocacy organization could not only help her get into law school, but could also make some real change in the world.

dcgirl

Re: Need some advice/honest criticism, etc.....
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2007, 04:05:17 PM »
Not to be rude, but she would stop reading your post right after this sentence- "I respect your friend's tenacity, but..." so I should have pointed out when I started my thread to not waste time w/comments like this.

All of what you have just said has been said to her by many people (family, friends, strangers, etc.,) and she doesn't listen to people like you. No pun intended.

I'm looking for advice on how to help her not advice on how to be negative & tell she can't do it.



I respect your friend's tenacity, but I think there's got to come a point where she stops taking the test.  LSAC only lets you take three every two years anyway, and if your friend is applying to law school, a load of repeated scores that are mostly the same will hurt her more than help her.  Sure, the scores will disappear after five years, but that's a long time.

This is a really hard test, and I think that everyone has a score-ceiling that they can't break through, as frustrating as it might be.  It might be time to work on accepting that.  There's no shame in letting the score she's got stand after the Feb. test.  Any reason she doesn't just wait until June when she can at least get her score report back to see where she went wrong?

I'm not trying to be offensive here -- I certainly don't know your friend, only she can know what is best for her, and I'm not trying to presume to know her abilities -- but you asked for honest advice and criticism. Feel free to disregard what I've said, but I truly think your friend's time might be better spent applying that dedication and drive to a cause in life that really matters.  Taking her passion for doing well on the LSAT and turning it into a passion to provide legal assistant services to Legalaid or some other advocacy organization could not only help her get into law school, but could also make some real change in the world.

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Re: Need some advice/honest criticism, etc.....
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2007, 04:12:32 PM »
What are her scores on both her real tests and practice tests?  Is there a major descrepency that justifies taking the LSAT over and over?  If she was scoring 10 points better on her PTs compared to the real Ts then there is a legitimate reason to continue scoring.

If her scores are in the 150+ range and I were her, I would just cut my losses and apply to a mid or low level law school

If they are below the 150 or 140 range... then I would just give up and try grad school or something.

Re: Need some advice/honest criticism, etc.....
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2007, 04:15:12 PM »
Not to be rude, but she would stop reading your post right after this sentence- "I respect your friend's tenacity, but..." so I should have pointed out when I started my thread to not waste time w/comments like this.

All of what you have just said has been said to her by many people (family, friends, strangers, etc.,) and she doesn't listen to people like you. No pun intended.

I'm looking for advice on how to help her not advice on how to be negative & tell she can't do it.



Okay, it's obviously up to her.  I'm just adding one more voice to the choir of "move on, already!"  I wish her the best of luck...keep us posted!

Re: Need some advice/honest criticism, etc.....
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2007, 04:16:59 PM »
Does she have trouble comprehending things normally or is it just related to the LSAT? If that's the case, a beta blocker may be helpful since it will stop the physical symptoms of anxiety and may allow her to calm down and focus more.

dcgirl

Re: Need some advice/honest criticism, etc.....
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2007, 04:21:48 PM »
Yeah, I would never tell anyone to give up on their dreams.  Especially after seeing The Pursuit of happiness yesterday.  Lol.

Not to be rude, but she would stop reading your post right after this sentence- "I respect your friend's tenacity, but..." so I should have pointed out when I started my thread to not waste time w/comments like this.

All of what you have just said has been said to her by many people (family, friends, strangers, etc.,) and she doesn't listen to people like you. No pun intended.

I'm looking for advice on how to help her not advice on how to be negative & tell she can't do it.



Okay, it's obviously up to her.  I'm just adding one more voice to the choir of "move on, already!"  I wish her the best of luck...keep us posted!