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AllanRC

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  1. I think others have covered the OP’s circumstance better than I could, but I do have a general observation from my experience as an employer (non-legal field) that I thought worth sharing. It seems to me that in these situations – vying for an interview or job opportunity or even with generic networking – people often lose site of the fact that they are trying to connect with a real-life person on the other end of the conversation / phone / email / etc. Something very strange goes on and instead of thinking of the other party as a person, they think of them as some sort of category or thing: a partner, a firm, an entrepreneur, the head of HR, etc. The mentality underlying the exchange then devolves into something like “how should I address a partner”, “this is the head of HR I better make sure to not offend”, or “let me address some sort of other trait that I have associated with a position of this nature” To be sure, it is important to know the rules of the game and depending on the position of the person you are addressing, the etiquette of the exchange may vary across contexts. However, this is really a secondary consideration to the fact that you are speaking with / emailing with / whatever with a person. This is a person who gets bored. This is a person who finds certain things interesting. This is a person who may be an arrogant SOB. This is a person who may be the nicest individual on the planet. This is a person who may take family life seriously, or not. Why is it important to stress that the person you are engaging with is well, a person? Because it crystallizes the interconvertible fact that their preferences will largely be dependent on them, as an individual, not their place in the organization. IMHO the best approach is to think long and hard about what you would like to see from a person emailing / phoning about a position if the roles were reversed. Would you like them to establish a rapport before having someone ask you for an opportunity? Would you like a prospective candidate to be blunt about what they are looking for and put it out there? I guarantee if you think hard enough about this, when you land a gig it will be with people you are likely to jive with. Trying to tailor your approach based on what you think someone else would want is not only a fools errand (due to the individualistic nature of our preferences) but if you land a gig, it may be with a crew that you really don’t get along with. All that said, I would generally endorse canuckfanatic’s approach for cold emailing (targeting individuals with similar backgrounds, interests, etc.) but not for any objective reason. I say that simply because my preference is to have a shared connection to discuss / bond over; and I like talking to interesting people (…and I am going to think people who have similar interests are, well, interesting. Remember the fact that I am human!) Best of luck!
  2. A couple things! The admissions process is heavily school dependent. As a result, the only people able to adequately answer your question (re: how many offers are extended prior to the January write) are the schools themselves. Contact them directly! Some are nice enough to put info about this in their FAQs (see here and here). That said, my impression (someone feel free to jump in if I am wrong on this @Luckycharm) is that if you are a highly competitive applicant you won't be significantly disadvantaged by having a January LSAT. If you are marginal you may be effected. For some basis of comparison go to the past "Accepted" threads for the schools you are intending to apply, and see how many applicants are accepted in months prior to when the January score would be released. Not a publishable scientific methodology to be sure, but at least it'll give you some idea! As for the LSAT itself, you should take it when you feel ready. You should not take it if you feel uneasy; unless you plan to write both times, which means the first time is a throwaway anyways. But you would need to inform schools of your intent to write in January prior to the application deadline if that was the case, which if memory serves is Nov 1st for Ontario schools.
  3. I generally leave these threads to others - I am no doubt biased as a result of being an instructor at HarvardReady - but seeing as responses are lacking I will do my best to objectively present some options: GTA Area Tara LSAT Tutors: Tara has been discussed on this forum before (also here). She is based out of Markham but has online tutoring options. Rates depend on whether she tutors you or one of her instructors. HarvardReady: This is my home! I took the course at its inception nearly 10 years ago. Yoni is the founder and is still very much around. Reviews of Yoni and HR in general are available on this forum and google. Other Tutors Graeme: Creator of LSATHacks and moderator of the Reddit LSAT subforum. His rates are some of the highest I've seen in the business ($400 / HRS) but he does know his stuff and offers a satisfaction guarantee on your first session. ManhattanLSAT: These guys are my favourite mass market prep company. Their materials are fantastic and their instructors are unique in that not only is a high score a prerequisite to teach but they also need 2+ years of other teaching experience (e.g. college instruction, highschool, etc). Although I have never worked with Noah his advice on TLS is always spot on and if he is available he would be a good choice. Downside is Manhattan is $245 USD / HRS if you buy the 10 HRS package. Hopefully others will chime in with tutors they've enjoyed working with!
  4. Tips are contained in this very forum!
  5. Hi team! Due to an unexpected stay in quarantine (that I wanted to make useful in some way) I've amalgamated a list of resources for those studying for the LSAT! I've taken the time to do so because a number of questions (e.g. how do I get faster at reading comp) reoccur with a relatively non-trivial degree of frequency. The thing is, there are usually resources that already exist for these kinds of questions (and some are very, very good). It is a shame that test takers are missing out on some of the excellent (free) pieces of advice that already exist, only because they are buried on these forums and/or other websites! And to orient test takers in the right direction I thought it might be helpful to compile a list of these resources, at least for what appear to be some of the more common questions. The way I've done it is I've broken the Resource List into 8 major headings (General Info, LSAT Flex, Canadian Law Schools, Self-Prep, LR, RC, LG, Courses vs Tutoring). Under each major heading I have listed a number of common questions (e.g. "when should I take the LSAT", "what are good resources for self-study", etc). Each question will either have links to various resources (often to threads on this very forum as well as other forums and websites) as well as a personal commentary by myself if I believe the links are not entirely self-sufficient or if no links (or no good links) are available to answer some important questions; my commentary will be prefaced by an AC just so you know what you are reading is from myself (and to take it with the requisite amount of salt). It is important to note that neither my employer nor myself necessarily endorse the information contained in the links I share here. In fact, I am likely to downright disagree with a good amount of what I have linked to here! Why am I linking to these resources if I disagree with what they have to say? Because except for very few things about the LSAT - such as how many sections are in the exam or what the correct answer choice is - there are no objectively right or wrong things to do especially when it comes to how to study, how long it takes, or how to approach various sections. Studying for the LSAT is an inherently individualistic process and what works for some may not work for others. In the extreme, what works for most may not work for you. I've taught hundreds of students and on that basis I have a certain belief about what works best for most. But even still, sometimes I encounter students who do better utilizing a vastly different approach; and you know what, the approach that optimizes their score is fundamentally the best approach for them! I want test takers to be exposed to as many vantage points as possible to maximize their probability of finding something that works. In other words, I do not want to bias the resources contained here by only including those that I agree with. I have gone to some length to catalog a variety of perspectives. Though, I have tried to not include anything I think is completely devoid of merit (if you find anything like that in the list please let me know). Tips on using these resources: As noted above some of the resources will have conflicting information. I mean, if I link to more than one guide on how to study for Reading Comp then almost by construction that'll be the case! So, be discerning. I have presented resources here to guide you in your LSAT journey; not to provide an authority on what to do. Look at what is out there (on this list and other places) and pick and choose what you think might work best for you. Best of Luck! P.S. If I have made an error such as I have provided an incorrect link (I mean, there are a lot of them here) please let me know! I am sure we can get the mods to help us out to correct the original post. In addition, if you have some resources that I have not linked to please post them and I'll see if I can get a mod to consolidate them into the resource list. P.P.S. A list of prefaces used in the links (LS) lawstudents.ca (TLS) https://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/index.php (TLS is generally a place for people aiming for high (170+) scores. Their advice is tailored towards that crowd but it is generally useful for us Canadians who do not necessarily need to obtain such scores. I very highly recommend you make an account if only so you can read the threads in their entirety.) (Reddit) Well....reddit (LSATHacks) https://lsathacks.com/blog/ The links will be prefaced by the source (except for links direct from LSAC). For example, "(LS) Is the LSAT Learnable" is a link to a thread on the lawstudent.ca forums discussing whether or not the LSAT is learnable. So if you happen to want to disregard all pieces from a particular source (not recommended but hey, some people really hate reddit) then you can do so without having to click through the link! Resource List LSAT General Information Is there a free real LSAT exam that I can peak at to see what I am getting myself into LSAC Free Exam How do I sign up to take the LSAT LSAT Registration How long is an LSAT score good for LSAT Expiry Date How many times can I take the LSAT in a given year / How many times can I take the LSAT in a lifetime LSAT FAQ (LS) LSAT Limits How many times a year is the LSAT offered LSAT Test Dates How hard is the LSAT and is the LSAT learnable (LS) Is the LSAT Learnable (LS) Is the LSAT Learnable redux (PowerScore) How Hard is the LSAT LSAT Flex What is the LSAT Flex and what do I need to know about taking and scheduling it LSAT Flex Information Where can I write the LSAT Flex See above link from LSAC on LSAT Flex Information (LS) What is a private room and where can I write the Flex Do I need to schedule a specific time to write the writing sample (LS) Scheduling the Writing Sample Do schools consider the LSAT Flex the same as the Traditional LSAT AC: Realistically speaking they don't have a choice. Most applicants take the exam the same year in which they submit their applications and schools would be unlikely to fill all the seats in the room (at least not to their standards for entrance stats) by relying solely on exams administered in the traditional format from years past. LSAT Flex FAQ (Western Law) Covid19 and admissions Is the LSAT Flex less or more difficult than the regular LSAT AC: There has been much chatter about this! On the one hand, the scores are scaled so it shouldn't really matter because your score will (read: should) be relative to all other test takers. On the other hand, the scale is not relative to the exam day cohort but rather to previous administrations where the sections were used as experimentals; and it is not at all clear how the psychometricians at LSAC could recalibrate those past results to the new test in a clean way. My take is this: it will be easier for some and harder for others (....useful eh!). Since the LR section has been reduced in weight from 50% of the exam (2/4 sections) to 33% (1/3 sections) you are likely to do better if LR was not your strong suit and likely to do worse if LR was your best section. Of course to say by how much is difficult and will, like all things on the LSAT, depend on the individual. See LSAT Flex FAQ linked above (Reddit) Is the LSAT Flex Harder (LS) What do you think about the LSAT Flex LSAT Flex sometimes has (some) technical issues AC: Unfortunately, like most other mass technical endeavors the LSAT Flex has had some problems, some of the time. It is unfortunate but not unexpected given the sheer number of test takers. However, the incidence rate appears to be relatively low. And if there is a screw up on your exam you do have some recourse; LSAC will generally offer you a free retake if you reach out to them and lodge a complaint (kind of sucks given all the prep you put in but it's really all that can happen). (Reddit) Some technical problems with the FLEX (LS) Proctor problems with the FLEX Canadian Schools Do I need to take the LSAT to get into Canadian Law Schools AC: For most common law schools you need an LSAT (every common law school other than McGill requires the LSAT). For civil law schools you do not. LSAC Affiliated Canadian Schools (7sage) Overview of Canadian law school admissions (PowerScore) Canadian law school admissions When should I take the LSAT AC: There is no "right" time to take the LSAT. Generally speaking you should take the LSAT when you are confident you will achieve a score that is reflective of your abilities. Sometimes that means delaying writing even if you have already studied for a given exam date. From my perspective the July or August administrations prior to your intended year of application are probably good ones to aim for. The reason for this is two fold. One, if you are still in school it gives you a few months of time to dedicate towards LSAT studying without the hassle of other coursework. And two, if you don't get the score you want or think you are capable of (shit sometimes happens!) then you have a few more opportunities to write the exam (such as October or December) and apply within the same cycle. Note: LSAC has increased the number of administrations as of late but that could change at any time. Please look to see what administrations are available for the year in which you plan to write the exam (it used to be only 4). (BestSchoolValues) When should you take the LSAT (LS) When should you take the LSAT (uMass Law School) When should you take the LSAT (Reddit) When should you take the LSAT What is the last available LSAT sitting that Canadian schools will accept for admission that same cycle AC: The answer depends on the schools to which you apply. In general it seems that most will accept January scores and some will accept February scores. However, always check directly with the schools to which you are applying to get the latest information as these dates sometimes change. (UofC) (UBC) (UofT) (UofM) (UNB) (Osgood) (USask) (UVic) (TRU) (UofA) (Windsor) (UWO) (Ottawa) (Queens) (Dalhousie) What is considered a "good" LSAT score for Canadian Schools (Oxford Sem) Canadian school admissions profiles (LS) Chance predictor based on stats (LS) UBC predictor (LS) Canadian law school gpa and admissions information How do schools get a copy of my LSAT score AC: Simply provide an LSAC file number on your application to Canadian schools and the schools will request directly from LSAC (e.g. UBC https://allard.ubc.ca/programs/juris-doctor-jd-program/admissions/how-apply). You do NOT need to go through LSAC's system unless you are applying to US law schools (e.g. OUAC requests directly from LSAC). Do Canadian schools care how many times i've taken the LSAT AC: Nobody cares! Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration but mostly, nobody cares. At the time of this post, only UofA and UofC are known to average LSAT scores for final admissions decisions. Queens has been known to average for queuing purposes but for final admissions they are like every other school in that they take your highest. Yes, even if you've written the maximum allowable times (a 155,156,153,160 is the SAME as a student who scored a 160 on the first go). In other words, if you intend to apply to schools other than UofC or UofA and you are considering writing again, are eligible to do so (check the latest on LSAC's rewrite policies), and think that you can achieve a better score that will assist you greatly in admissions, please do not hesitate to rewrite due to a perception of "writing too many times." The decision is yours (duh!) but generally speaking if a rewrite may help you and you are eligible to do it, then rewrite. (7Sage) Multiple attempts at the LSAT (LS) Do not cancel a 154 schools only look at your highest score (LS) Schools really only factor your highest score (LS) Schools really only factor your highest score redux Self-Preparation What is a Diagnostic test, when should I take it, how much prep should I do before the test, and what is a good diagnostic score AC: The quick and dirty is that a Diagnostic test is a full LSAT exam that you take under timed conditions before you have studied any significant amount (see above for a link to a free LSAT exam). It is okay to be somewhat familiar with what is going to be asked of you (you don't have to go in completely blind) but generally speaking a diagnostic should be taken before you've spent a significant amount of time studying. The reason isn't so much that the Diagnostic is overly important as a study tool itself so much as it tells you where you stand and what sections to focus on. For example, someone with a true 165 diagnostic probably doesn't need to spend the same amount of time or energy on studying as someone who obtained a 150 diagnostic. Moreover, a Diagnostic helps diagnose your weak areas and naturally, that's where you want to focus more of your time studying (and it is helpful to know that sooner rather than later)! Diagnostic scores do not pigeonhole you into a particular score bracket. That is, if you get a lower diagnostic score, say a 140 for example, do not mistake that for indicating that you are unable to obtain a score that will get you into law school. Having said that, there is a definite correlation between a diagnostic score and where people end up on their final write. So if you do score lower on your diagnostic you are likely going to have to dedicate a good amount of time to this exam if you hope to achieve a competitive score. (ResolutionLSAT) Do NOT skip the diagnostic (Reddit) Diagnostic test results and what that means (LS) Correlating a diagnostic to a final score (LS) Guys, a 152 is a good diagnostic (LS) Guys, a 151 is still a good diagnostic I got a terrible diagnostic result and don't know what to do AC: See above discussion about how a lower Diagnostic score does not necessarily mean you are destined to an uncompetitive final score. Below are some links to let you know that you are not alone if this situation happens to describe you. And that there are people who have gone from lower Diagnostics to competitive final scores (again, see commentary above about what this means for studying). (LS) Discouraged by Diagnostic (LS) Discouraged by Diagnostic redux (LS) Discouraged by Diagnostic redux2 (TheLSATTrainer) Discouraging Diagnostic score What is an adequate amount of time to self-study AC: Per usual the answer is: it depends. Take a diagnostic and go from there. The below links provide examples of what certain test takers did and their ultimate score. In general, a few months with medium to hard studying is probably sufficient given a 150+ diagnostic (again see discussion above re: Diagnostic). (PrincetonReview) How long should you study for the LSAT (TLS) How long should one study for the LSAT (LS) How long should one study for the LSAT (LS) How long did you study for the LSAT (LS) How long does it take to prepare for the LSAT (LS) Is one month a reasonable amount of time to study for the LSAT How many hours a day or week should I spend studying (including if I have school and/or job) AC: Balancing various life commitments is always a struggle. You have to study, yes, but if you are studying at 2am before you have to wake up at 6am for work, you are probably not getting the most out of your efforts. That said, you typically need to be able to spend a least a few hours a day/night on the LSAT during your prime studying period. If you can't manage that you may need to put the LSAT on hold until you can afford the time to do so. In general, more time spent studying is better but be cognizant of your own mental and physical health. (TLS) Balancing work/school and the LSAT (TLS) How many hours do you spend studying (TLS) How many hours do you spend studying redux (TLS) How much time to dedicate to the LSAT vs school work (LS) How many hours a day did you study Do I study one section at a time or all at the same time (LS) Allan says study all sections at the same time (TLS) Do I study one section or all at the same time (Reddit) Do I study all sections at once or separately (Reddit) Do I study all sections at once of separately redux What are some good self-study materials and/or general guides (TLS) Pithypike's guide to the LSAT (TLS) DD's guide to the LSAT (TLS) Which self-prep books are the best (Reddit) Which self-prep books are the best (TLS) Manhattan vs PowerScore for self-prep (BestLSATPrep) Manhattan self-prep book reviews (LS) Allan recommends Manhattan self-prep books What are some cheaper resources for self-studying if I cannot afford books / courses (or just want to get my feet wet) (khanA) Free LSAT Prep at Khan Academy (velocity) Free LSAT explanations (LSATHacks) Free LSAT explanations Two-Free LSAT Practice Tests Should I study for the digital LSAT different than a paper LSAT LSAC on how to prepare for digital LSAT (PowerScore) Digital prep vs traditional prep (Reddit) Are you changing your studying for the digital exam (usNews) How to study for reading comp on the digital LSAT I am hitting a plateau what do I do (LS) Breaking through a plateau (LS) Breaking through a plateau redux (Reddit) Tips to combat a plateau (TLS) Help with a plateau (TLS) Help with a plateau redux (LS) Struggling to see improvement My score improved after first studying and now has gone down! Is this normal? AC: The answer is YES it is totally normal! What we have found is that early on in their prep test takers learn a lot about the exam, which gives them a pretty decent boost from their Diagnostic on their next few writes. However, as they continue studying they are introduced to more nuanced lines of reasoning and begin to start overthinking everything, and I mean everything, including the easy stuff! What happens then is that they start to get things wrong, even the things they were getting correct before. They trick themselves. They are looking for nuance under every rock and corner (now that they have been trained to do so...shame on us instructors!) and they start believing there is something clever behind a particular incorrect answer choice that they are missing, and so they pick it! This phase lasts for some time until test takers start to become better at sussing out what is actually an important nuance versus what is just, well, unimportant. Generally speaking, just continued studying is the key to get out of this rut (nothing fancy). Below are links to stories of people going from higher scores to lower scores mid-study (they should let you know that this is normal and that you are not alone)! (Manhattan) Going from a 168 to 157 during prep (TLS) Going from a 153 -> 163 -> 157 during prep (7Sage) Going from a 158 -> 163 -> 157 (PowerScore) My LSAT is getting worse with studying Can I take time off during studying AC: My philosophy is absolutely! It is not uncommon to reach a plateau during your LSAT prep, take a break, and come back and do better than before. As for why this happens, I like to talk about the university exam experience. Have you ever encountered an exam where you have no idea how to answer an early question and skip it only to find out that an answer has come to you while answering another question much later in the test? Your brain works in mysterious ways and sometimes it just takes time for things to sink in on a subconscious level. So yes, taking time is okay! Just be honest with yourself and make sure a "break" doesn't turn into an extended vacation! (7Sage) Is taking a break okay (7Sage) Is taking a break okay redux (PowerScore) What about breaks (Reddit) In support of taking a break (usNews) Taking a break when you plateau The LSAT is a grind and I feel like giving up. Is there any point to have hope? AC: The LSAT is absolutely a grind for most. Some take longer than others to accomplish their goal. Do not necessarily give up hope if you are not at the score you want or need. Perhaps take a break and try a different approach. Below are links to some people in a similar situation and the responses are quite encouraging. (LS) The LSAT is weighing on me mentally (7Sage) I want to give up after a year of studying (TLS) I want to give up before writing the exam Logical Reasoning What are some good study tips for Logical Reasoning (PowerScore) Logical Reasoning strategy (TLS) Mastering LR (TLS) Mastering LR redux (7Sage) LR tips What outside knowledge can I use when answering LR questions AC: If you struggle with this I highly recommend the Blueprint link below. It is a fabulous write-up on what one is allowed to bring into the exam with them (hint: it is more than you probably think). (BluePrint) Can I use outside information (Yes!) (PowerScore) What to trust and what to question Do I have to make assumptions on the LR section AC: YES! Sometimes test takers mistakenly believe that because the exam is supposed to test one's ability to evaluate logic - not knowledge - that no assumptions are required. This is untrue. In fact, LSAC goes out of their way to highlight at the beginning of every LR section that assumptions may be required. The biggest and most important assumption that one has to make is that the author of the stimulus (whether that is a political commentator, economist, concerned citizen, etc) actually believes their argument. That is, they are not trying to deceive you and actually believe their own conclusion even if it is quite terribly supported. You MUST assume that the argument is being put forward in good faith. Can you imagine trying to answer a necessary assumption question when it's unclear whether or not the author actually believes their own conclusion? If they don't believe it then nothing would be necessary! Are certain blocks of questions harder than others and what is the optimal pacing of questions (e.g. first 10 questions in 10 minutes, next 5 in 7, etc.) AC: There is no guarantee of question difficulty no matter where a question is placed in an LR set. The third question could be the hardest of the bunch or it could be the easiest. That said, it is typically the case that the first 10-12 questions are the easiest, the next 5-10 are medium to hard difficulty, and the last bunch are easy to medium (all on average). Because there is a slight change in difficulty between blocks of questions you will definitely have a different pace to answering them depending on what block (first, middle or last) you are in. I have generally found that a decent goal for time spent is as follows: 30% of your time on the first 10 questions, 40-50% of your time on the next 10, 20-30% on the remaining 5-6; if you don't get to all the questions then the proportion of time spent would still apply but to the number of questions attempted rather then the entire set. Note: The PowerScore link provided below disputes what I said above somewhat as it indicates that difficulty is more or less linear across the three section groupings discussed above (the first being the easiest and the last section said to be the hardest). However, as far as I can tell they do not appear to take into account test taking fatigue and if looked at as standalone questions, the last 5 or so are no more difficult, on average, than the proceeding 10; we've done our own logistic regressions and found this to be the case (but reasonable people will disagree I suppose)! (PowerScore) Question difficulty by place in LR section (PowerScore) Breakdown of graph in above PS link (Manhattan) Are the first 10 LR questions easier I am having a hard time with necessity and sufficiency what do I do (7Sage) Necessity vs Sufficiency help (khanA) Necessity vs Sufficiency help (Manhattan) Necessity vs Sufficiency help (Blueprint) Necessity vs Sufficiency help (LSATMarathon) Necessity vs Sufficiency help I am having a hard time with parallel reasoning questions what do I do (TLS) Tips for Parallel Reasoning questions (see Manhattan Noah's post) Do I need to disqualify every incorrect answer choice or can I just select the correct answer choice AC: I'm actually shocked that in my research for this post that I could not find a good link on this (if anyone has a resource please post and I will try to get the mods to add it here). But YES. In LR the answer choices can be incredibly nuanced. And given the speed and pressure you will be under on exam day it should not at all be taken for granted you will be able to identify the correct answer as such as soon as you see it and likewise for the incorrect answer choices. (who do you think you are, the guy that set the record for Jeopardy winnings or something?!). You are likely to make a number of sloppy mistakes if you simply look for the correct answer choice. High scoring test takers look for the incorrect answers and disqualify 4 before picking the remaining contender. Moreover, a two-pass approach is preferred. The first pass is where you disqualify definitely incorrect answer choices (usually 2-3 will be knocked off without having to do too much work). On the second pass, you really have to dive into the nuance of each potential contender and convince yourself that the incorrect answer choices are incorrect and the correct one is definitely correct. Essentially this entire process is there to protect you against sloppy mistakes. Remember, LSAC knows what your brain will gravitate towards if you are not thinking carefully and they will place many appealing looking answer choices amongst the incorrect pile just to succor you in (don't fall for their shenanigans)! How do I get faster at LR (LSATHacks) How to get faster at LR (ThoughtCo) General tips on LR What is a prephrase and is it really that important? Plus, how do I prephrase? AC: YES! Please prephrase as much as possible. (PowerScore) You. Yes You. PREPHRASE DUMMY (TLS) Tips on prephrasing in LR (LS) Tips on prephrasing in LR (Reddit) Prephasing in LR by question type Reading Comp What are some good study guides and/or tip sheets for Reading Comp (TLS) Voyager's guide to RC (LSATTrainer) RC review chapter (Reddit) Comprehensive RC guide (LS) Yoni's guide to RC How do I read faster and retain more information while reading the passage (LSATHacks) How to go faster on RC (LSATHacks) How to go faster on RC redux (7Sage) RC memory method What is the optimal time split for passage versus questions (7Sage) Time management for RC (TLS) LSATinator's guide to time management What is pre-phrasing an answer choice and is it really that important? See LR prephrase FAQ above I have a hard time with passages on particular subjects (e.g. science) can I skip these AC: If you generally have time to attempt all passages then the order doesn't really matter and you might as well answer them as they come. However, if you only get to three (or less) of four than you might be able to do better by actively selecting which passage to not attempt. Most people have trouble with particular subjects and if you find yourself staring down the barrel of a passage on a subject you generally dislike you may consider skipping it. That is a perfectly okay strategy as long as you don't do so ONLY because of the subject matter. Let me explain: while you might often struggle with a particular subject (say science) sometimes passages with subject matters you dislike are relatively accessible (are easy reads) and if you give up after reading the first line you may not see how accessible the passage really is. Our recommendation is this: try and do the first passage of the set no matter the subject matter (they tend to be easiest), and beyond that if you encounter a passage with a subject you dislike, read the first few lines (or first paragraph) and if it seems accessible then continue. If it does not then abandon it and move on to the next passage. A word of caution: once you have abandoned one passage you should not double back. At that point you are pot committed and you should continue to read all remaining passages even if they turn out to be difficult for you. Don't be the person at the grocery store hopping from line to line because it looks shortest and consequently spend double the amount of time you would have had you stuck with just one lane! (Reddit) Can I completely skip passages (Velocity) How to assess reading comp passage difficulty (LSAC) Suggested reading comp approach Why is reading comp so hard to improve See links and sections on how to improve (why it is hard to improve RC is inherently contained in the advice on how to improve!) Logic Games What are some good study guides/advice and/or books for Logic Games AC: I have nothing to add in terms of specific study strategies (please see links below) but on the point of book recommendations I highly suggest looking into the Manhattan LSAT LG book. It is the best self-prep book for LG I have seen and I would suggest it every day of the week over the PowerScore LG Bible. (TLS) Best LG books (7Sage) Foolproof LG method (Blueprint) Speeding up LG (LS) Advice on improving LG (LSATHacks) How to improve LG speed What is exhausting / templating and how do I know when to do it AC: I struggled to find any (decent) resources on this topic so if anyone knows of any please share in the comments! When someone says they "exhausted" a game it generally means one of two things: more often than not it means before tackling the questions they created a small number (say 2-4) base setups where it was possible to place most of the elements into given positions but some elements remain to be placed. It could also mean fully writing out every possible scenario in a given game. But the second meaning only refers to a situation that very rarely happens in practice. So for our purposes let's define "exhaustion" as the act of creating a small number of base setups ahead of tackling the questions. Let's talk about why one might do this? The answer is that it is easier to mentally juggle a handful of elements (in terms of possible placement) then it is to juggle the entire game board! Having a base scenario which places a good number of the possible elements in given spots helps facilitate this. For example, if elements A, B and C can each go into one of three possible locations (assume there are no restrictions on placement) there are 6 possible combinations total (3 factorial). But if you have even just two more elements to place (say you are working with a clean slate and no base to work from) you have to mentally struggle with 120 placements (5 factorial)! Holy smokes! Placing only two additional elements reduces the mental workload by more than a factor of 10! So now we have the why. Let's talk about how one knows to do this / how is it done? Unfortunately there is no golden rule or bulletproof heuristic. Instead, looking for possible exhaustive possibilities should be part of regular workflow. That is, after you have diagrammed the rules and have your game board setup you should always ask, IN EACH AND EVERY GAME, is there a possibility to exhaust? That includes sequencing games as well for those of you thinking those cannot be exhausted. When I say every game. I MEAN EVERY GAME (I DON'T KNOW WHY I AM SHOUTING...I GOT EXCITED)! Here is the workflow: 1. Look at restricted elements and mentally place them on the board (let's say you are mentally placing X in various spots); 2. If you are able to make inferences about placement of additional elements on the basis of the placement of X then proceed with diagramming out scenarios based on placing X onto the board; 3. If you cannot see too much on the basis of placing X then try another element until you've run through all good candidates Note: In step 2 you will generally be looking for having 40% of the board placed on the basis of your inferences. If you can only place one additional element and still lots remains uncertain then maybe consider picking another element to exhaust with. You generally will only need to place (or not place) one rule to exhaust a game (e.g. a certain bird is in the forest or it is not). Note 2: Exhausting is super helpful in many, many circumstances. The mantra is "you don't need a good reason to exhaust you just need an excuse!" Sometimes games seem intractable because you did not see the possibility to exhaust them. The Virus game on PT 79 is a good example. It is one of the easiest games if you exhaust the setup and it is brutally hard otherwise. Should I answer questions in the order that they appear (LS) DO NOT answer questions in order of appearance Do I need to disqualify every incorrect answer choice AC: Since the entire process of LG is deductive you DO NOT need to disqualify every incorrect answer choice. Let's assume a question asks: "What are possible positions of X if Y is in position 4" and you are presented with answer choices (A:1, B:2, C:3, D:5, E:6). Lets also say that in your past work you jotted down a scenario that has Y in position 4 and in that scenario X is in position 1. Do you need to go through the remaining answer choices after seeing A? Of course not. On the basis of your past work you KNOW that if Y is in 4 X could go in 1 because you already have a setup where that is the case! What's the rub? Well, you have to trust your previous work. But trust me on this, if you can't trust your previous work you are already screwed in LG. In LG you go slow but methodically; you trust your deductions and past work. If I set up a game wrong should I re-do it midway through AC: If you realize midway through a game that you have diagrammed the game in a suboptimal way I would recommend NOT changing your diagram as long as the way you set up the game does not betray the rules. My reasons are two-fold. One, rewriting setups is a time consuming affair and transcribing all your past work into the new format takes a lot of time as well. And two, once you think about a game in a certain orientation it is mind bogglingly difficult to think about it from a different direction. Trust me on this: when I set up a game for review in class and most of the students did it another way....sometimes I cannot even begin to comprehend inferences in their setup (at least not right away) because my mind is wired in a completely different direction at that point. So yup, we just take it up my way (sorry!) Note: You are likely, if not guaranteed, to write down at least one suboptimal setup on your exam. It's just going to happen. It is a pressure cooker of an environment and you can't expect yourself to be perfect on all things! Forge ahead with what you got and as long as the rules are not betrayed you will do fine (in most cases a sub optimal setup only costs you a minute or so in time which is not a big deal compared to the alternative)! Can I use past work to help answer other questions See link in "Should I answer questions in order that they appear" Is it okay to brute force some questions (and when should I brute force) AC: Some questions in the LG section can only be answered via a brute force approach and so of course it is okay to brute force SOME questions. Having said that, the vast majority of games and questions can be tackled (or at the very least most answer choices can be disqualified) without brute forcing. If you find yourself having to brute force every question of a game it is usually because you missed a key inference or quite commonly did not exhaust the game when it was otherwise possible to do so. Go back and review the game and see if there was anything you missed. I bet you there will be. Also, if you are worried that failing to make the proper inferences only happens because you don't know what you are doing: think again. Fortunately not often, but sometimes I encounter a game that I feel I need to brute force way too much and I feel downright dirty about it. I mean icky. And almost always when I review the game my ickyness was justified because there was a much simpler and less time consuming approach that I should have seen! LG are tough and they nip the best of us. (TLS) Is it okay that I generally brute force games (Reddit) Are new games more reliant on brute force I am not getting to all the games is it okay to skip a game AC: If you are not getting to all the games then it makes sense to skip particularly hard games. As with RC, make sure you give a game an honest go before you skip (i.e. read the rules) but if it looks like it'll be a tough one feel free to skip. But also like RC don't jump around. Once you skip a game don't return until you've completed all others. Note: the first game tends to be the easiest. What do I do if I am not seeing enough progress in the games (PowerScore) I am not seeing enough improvement in score despite training (Reddit) I am not improving my LG score (Blueprint) How to move past a plateau Tutoring and/or Courses Do courses and tutors really help (LS) Do tutors/courses really help (LS) Are courses really worth the money (Reddit) Are courses really worth the money (TLS) Are courses really worth the money (TLS) Courses vs self-prep Is a private tutor or a course a better option (LS) Classes vs private tutor (LS) Class vs private tutor depends on level of LSAT awareness (TLS) Classes vs private tutor (TLS) Classes vs private tutor vs self prep (Reddit) Classes vs private tutor vs self prep I am considering a course and/or tutor what are next steps AC: 100% of your experience (okay....98%!) will depend on whether or not you jive with your instructor. Someone can be a great instructor for some students but not for others only because of how people's brains are wired. For example, if I am your instructor you will hear anecdotes and references to cocaine, hockey, syphilis, among other key things in life (like backing up over Yoni in a parking garage...in reference to a stimulus regarding opportunity and financial motive); and this will either help make things stick or make you wonder how someone like me could ever get a decent score! On the other hand, Yoni (my employer!) is laser focused, armed with his own analogies but usually doesn't delve into the coke references too much. My other colleague Isaac has his own unique way of teaching as well! So here's the rub: if you are thinking of spending a ton of cash on tutoring or a course you should also ask for a 15-30 minute consult (free of charge) with any prospective instructor; that way you can make sure you are aligned before signing up and spending good money on something that may not be the best fit for you.
  6. Although I took this exam nearly a decade ago I currently instruct for a Toronto outfit and if you get this going I would be happy to drop in from time to time! Especially if the group had anything in particular they were struggling with.
  7. There are lots of nuggets in this post! Once one is comfortable with the mechanics of the LG section, speed becomes the name of the game. Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all solution. However, Syndicate03 has brought up some really good generic pieces of advice that I want to flesh out a little bit Exhaust or template as much as possible: Many games allow you to create a finite number of potential setups (in advance of tackling the questions) whereby restrictions on where elements can be placed become readily apparent. These setups are created by placing key elements into the diagram and seeing what results. The beauty of this is that it comes up in all game types. Yes, even straight up sequencing games! Take a look at PT 12 game 1 as an example. There are 6 slots for elements to go in a linear sequence but we have a rule where S is three spots after G (diagramed as G_ _S) that only allows two possible positions for this configuration given the other rules. This allows for three templates (potential setups where G_ _S can go in combination with other key rules) and the rest falls into place. The game is done before you even tackle the questions! Question order matters: We tackle LG questions in a very specific way (and it sure as hell is not based on order of appearance)! We tackle rule inclusion/exlcusion questions first. These are ones where getting the correct answer choice amounts to testing the rules, one at a time, against the given scenarios and seeing which one is not in violation of the rules. We do these first because it's relatively straightforward and we get a potential scenario out of the correct answer choice that we can put into our diagram for use in answering other questions! Second we tackle "local questions" which are those that provide additional information that restrict the gameboard. We do this because they are easier by virtue of providing us additional info. Third, we tackle "global" questions which are those that add no additional info but ask us instead about overall things (e.g. what is a complete accurate list of players who can all go in slot 2). And lastly, we tackle rule modification questions. Because, well, they are hard! Use past work to answer questions: Part of the reason for the particular order of answering questions is because we want to use our past work (that is in our chart / diagram) to answer future questions. For example, if a global question asks "out of a,b,c,x,y who can go in 3rd" and you have a scenario in your diagram with x in slot 3, then you circle x and move on without any hesitation! No thought required. Everything about games are finite: This is not just true of templates/setups. It is true of inferences in LG in general. LSAC only has so many things that they can do in this section. So, do games and do them again and then again...the more you do the better you will be. Drill games over and over and over again. There really is no substitute for helping you recognize the types of patterns you'll so in LG especially at speed.
  8. Can confirm undergrad is not necessarily awesome for everyone nor does finishing a program make one well rounded. That said, I would still suggest finishing the degree. The thing is the cost of completion is one additional year which, relatively speaking, is a small price tag right now (assuming the OP is in their early 20s). However, if the OP ever wanted to complete their undergrad degree later on (for one of a million unknown reasons that he/she may not foresee at this exact moment) it may be exponentially more difficult due to additional financial constraints, dependents, etc. As Mal said, life is not a race and in your early 20s unless you have compelling reasons to get the hell out of dodge, it would probably be wise to complete the degree. For context, I thought I wanted to go to law school and could have applied prior to completion of my degrees (I also took the LSAT early and did well) but ultimately decided against the entire enterprise. Completing my undergraduate education was a lifesaver (despite the fact that I did not particularly enjoy it). Getting back to the original intent of this thread: OP you will probably find acceptance somewhere with those stats degree or not.
  9. I substantially agree with this. Unfortunately, 6 days is just not enough time to make a dent. On the bright side, Yoni's details are widely available and are listed directly on the website! You can find his email & phone on the contact page. The one thing I want to make sure you know is that your anxiety is likely unwarranted. This is an important exam, yes. But unlike a final exam or something of the sort, you have options. You can always re-write if you don't get a score that you want. It's not like it's a job interview; well, maybe it is, but it's the best kind of interview because we can have it multiple times (and getting the job is largely up to us)! Best of luck OP .
  10. Negative. Remember, there are nearly an infinite number of ways that a bad score could have occurred (e.g. you were sick, health illness, family distraction, pet died, etc., etc.) but really only one way that a higher score could have occurred. None the less, it doesn't hurt to cancel either so if you feel better then go for it. My advice would be different if your score was one within the range for schools that you want to apply (even if on the low end), but a 153 is rather outside that range for most schools (with very few exceptions) so either way you will be in the same position; do what you think is best for your own mental health!
  11. If that's how it works thanks for letting me know! In that case, do whichever you feel is best. A low score on record is no issue for the vast majority of Canadian schools as they take your highest for admissions purposes.
  12. My response is the same as it is here for a 155: If you are not applying to schools that average then take the score! It's not detrimental to keep it and it's a waste of money to pay LSAC to remove it.
  13. I'm going to deviate from those above somewhat and say that the number of PTs you take in any given week will depend on how close you are to your target score and how well you generally understand the exam. If you are below your target or fail to answer questions with sufficient accuracy (depends on the section*) then your plan of attack should be to drill down on the fundamentals through a combination of review, untimed & timed sections, and drills with the occasional PT (maybe once per week or once every other week). PTs should NOT be used for learning. The bulk of your learning will happen via the drills and untimed sections. PTs are to be used for calibration and speed. Once you have sufficient accuracy per attempted question, the game shifts gears to a timing exercise. This is where PTs help considerably, and usually it's the more the better. Once you're into calibration 2-3 exams per week with as much time devoted to take up is usually ideal. You can do more, but the benefits may not materialize (burnout is a real thing). As an aside, the PowerScore bibles have been mentioned and they are okay. I was also reared on them when I took this exam, nearly a decade ago. However, these days I very strongly suggest for self-study books you consider looking into Manhattan LSAT. Their guides, at least to me, provide a much better approach (less verbose, greater flexibility in LG diagramming, etc.) *As a MINIMUM, for LG you should be targeting 95% accuracy on questions attempted. LR is slightly less. RC is slightly less than LR. If you attempt a lot of questions but only get say 70% or less in any section, take a beat and go back to the fundamentals. PTs are not the answer.
  14. My oh my gentlemen (ladies?) the poor OP just asked if they were in the ballpark of being admitted (one day) to a Canadian law school! The answer is unequivocally, yes! A 150 is a great diagnostic. Not perfect (duh). Not able to get you into a Canadian law school (except under very special circumstances). But as a starting point for studying? Absolutely in the ballpark. For context, a jump from the low 150s to the 160s happens regularly where I instruct (to be fair it takes any given student more/less time to do so even when comparing students with similar diagnostic scores and such a jump does not always materialize). Search the forums and create a study plan for yourself. Once you have an idea of what is available and you think you have a plan of attack, come back, and we will advise based on what you tell us!
  15. My usual advice is to always keep a score (even if it's relatively poor) under the pretense that a lower score has negligible effect on admissions and who needs to pay LSAC any more money than absolutely necessary! However, since 40% of the schools you plan on applying to average (or take into account multiple scores), and because this score was well below your average, I would cancel in a heartbeat. This is a circumstance where a non cancellation may actually hurt you at your choice schools.
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