Law School Discussion

Question for those who bombed their first diagnostic

Question for those who bombed their first diagnostic
« on: May 19, 2007, 09:04:05 PM »
While Iím quite certain this has been talked to death, being a new member here i have to ask: So i plan to take the LSAT in Sept and just took my first diagnostic and scored a 153. Obviously I'm not happy with the results and am hoping to score somewhere in the mid 160's on the final product. I took the diagnostic about 2 weeks ago and am now in the process of doing sections by themselves, and then analyzing my mistakes. With that said, for those of you who found yourself scoring in the 150's on your first diagnostic, how long did it take to see real improvement? I can't say that over the past 2 weeks Iíve seen much, which of course bothers me to some extent. Also, even though the Sept test is over 4 months away, would you say i have adequate time to reach my goal? Thank you for your responses.

Re: Question for those who bombed their first diagnostic
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2007, 09:23:30 AM »
First off I wouldnít consider a 153 on your first diagnostic a failure. Itís a good starting point.

My first diagnostic was a 152; I wish I could give you some great story about how my score has shot up fifteen points since I started studying for the LSAT but it just hasnít happened yet. I keep grinding out practice tests and my score has finally begun to rise. So in answer to your question I would say it took me about two and a half weeks to see a consistent rise in score from my original diagnostic.

Re: Question for those who bombed their first diagnostic
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2007, 12:24:36 PM »
I think I may have been more encouraged by my diagnostic than I actually should have been. I took one of those free proctored practice tests that Kaplan puts on, and since the test was like 9 years old, it didn't have as much in common with the newer tests as I thought. The newer ones are much harder, and as a result I think my diagnostic may have been artificially high.

Don't know if this applies to you or not since you don't say how old the test was that you took. I just thought I'd share; I wish I had realized this earlier. :)

Re: Question for those who bombed their first diagnostic
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2007, 03:29:00 PM »
I took my first diagnostic of the year (I took a Princeton Review one over a year ago- got a 159) about a month and a half ago and got a 153. On my fourth diag, yesterday, I got a 164 and still have plenty of room to easily improve (stupid mistakes, correctable oversights).

The question I'm struggling with now is if I can do it again and again and again. I mean, of course I know I'm capable, but I had some awful days in the past 6 weeks that kind of keep my hopes in check. I need to be scoring in the mid to high 160s before I'm very confident test day.

Re: Question for those who bombed their first diagnostic
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2007, 07:01:58 PM »
While Iím quite certain this has been talked to death, being a new member here i have to ask: So i plan to take the LSAT in Sept and just took my first diagnostic and scored a 153. Obviously I'm not happy with the results and am hoping to score somewhere in the mid 160's on the final product. I took the diagnostic about 2 weeks ago and am now in the process of doing sections by themselves, and then analyzing my mistakes. With that said, for those of you who found yourself scoring in the 150's on your first diagnostic, how long did it take to see real improvement? I can't say that over the past 2 weeks Iíve seen much, which of course bothers me to some extent. Also, even though the Sept test is over 4 months away, would you say i have adequate time to reach my goal? Thank you for your responses.

I'm here to give you some hope (I think).  My initial diagnostic was a 152.  Like you, I was beyond devastated by the results of that test.  I kind of thought that it was hopeless.  Because of that I set the LSAT aside for about a month.  Then I came back and took another one... 154 and still disapointed.  Another test yielded about a 156.  Then I worked my way through the LG bible at superspeed.  In the next 6 weeks I went from about that 154 to scoring a 166 on the Feburary test.  Well, here's some more honesty.  When you get a score like that you won't be happy either because you'll look at it and think about what you could do with 2-6 more points.  Because of that I am retaking in June.  The ascent from the 150's to the 160's was quick for me after the LG and LR bibles.  But it has been a continual (3 month) struggle this time.  I don't want to be sure about anything but if my recent tests have been a decent indicator I should be in that 170-172 range.

What I'm saying is that whatever happens, you can probably do this if you take it seriously and study enough.  It takes work, and it can be very hard at times.  Especially in my case though that initial climb can be very quick.  If this is really what you want keep working on it.  I would say that 4 months is enough time to get you to the mid 160's and possibly higher given your diagnostic relative to mine.

Re: Question for those who bombed their first diagnostic
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2007, 06:20:21 AM »
I got a 154 the first time I took a test, without ever having looked at one.  On my diagnostic (without any prep except the familiarity from the first time I tried it) I got a 161.  My next test after some prep was a 166, and then after further prep I got a 176.  That was over a period of about 4-5 months, but I wasn't seriously prepping for 2-3 of those months because of the 73 page research paper I was consumed by. 

I think familiarity is one of the most important factors in doing well on the test.  Just keep working at it, and if you have the aptitude to improve you probably will.  And yes, 4 months is plenty of time if you don't have a million other things to do.  I am going to have to take the week off before the June test because I have three summer classes so I just don't have the time to devote to prep, but I am at the point where I am just trying to maintain my present level, so I am not too worried about it.  Good luck!

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Re: Question for those who bombed their first diagnostic
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2007, 02:20:48 PM »
On the upper end I had a guy who went from 152 to 170 in 2 weeks time.  Turns out all he needed was some formal instruction on how to set up games properly and think through the questions.  His classmate also went from the low 150s to 168.  I found both of these students to be very determined, disciplined, and intelligent which allowed them to increase so quickly.  They were the types that would stay after class and ask how else they could improve.  Most people take much longer, but substantial improvement is possible.  I recently took a girl from 133 to 164 in about three months of tutoring time.  Four months should be enough time for improvement if you know what you are doing and dependent on your skill level.  Certainly having someone knowledgable about the test coaching you will turbocharge any improvement.

I've had the same experience with students.  This past year I had a 154 end up with 174 and a 156 end up with 178.  Both of these guys were extremely determined and asked endless questions until they completely understood what they needed.

Re: Question for those who bombed their first diagnostic
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2007, 11:32:38 PM »
Also, even though the Sept test is over 4 months away, would you say i have adequate time to reach my goal? Thank you for your responses.

Four months is plenty of time if you can devote a reasonable amount to studying. That is, are you working a serious job? Don't fret about the 153. Take a look at the Logic Games and Logical Reasoning bibles, take 5-section, timed tests regularly, go over all your mistakes and you'll be fine.

Re: Question for those who bombed their first diagnostic
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2007, 10:56:01 AM »
Thanks for the insight everyone, i appreciate it  ;D

Re: Question for those who bombed their first diagnostic
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2007, 11:22:02 AM »
First off I wouldnít consider a 153 on your first diagnostic a failure. Itís a good starting point.

My first diagnostic was a 152; I wish I could give you some great story about how my score has shot up fifteen points since I started studying for the LSAT but it just hasnít happened yet. I keep grinding out practice tests and my score has finally begun to rise. So in answer to your question I would say it took me about two and a half weeks to see a consistent rise in score from my original diagnostic.



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