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AllanRC

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About AllanRC

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  1. I agree with the above posters who say that you should NOT cancel. It’s almost universal for test takers to feel that they did poorly walking out of the exam; that is even true for high scorers! The only time that cancelling might make sense, IMHO, is when something terrible / out of the ordinary happened. For example, you normally finish 4 games but only finished 2, or you had to use the restroom for a prolonged period of time during a section, etc. These are times when cancelling may make sense. But even then, when applying to schools that only take your highest LSAT it may not even make sense in those cases!
  2. The report indicates that of the 3,789 people in 2016-2017 who requested accommodations, 3000 people were granted accommodations (79%). This compares to 2012-1013 where 729 people were granted accommodations out of 1,581 who requested (46%). To be fair to Lawstudent97, this represents a rather stark increase in the amount of requested / granted accommodations. Moreover, according to LSAC 109,354 people wrote the LSAT in the 2016-2017 cycle (https://www.lsac.org/data-research/data/lsat-trends-total-lsats-administered-admin-year), which means that each cycle the amount of people being granted accommodation (mostly in the form of extra time / breaks per the same report) is approximately 3% of the test taking population. That’s nothing huge but it’s not trivial either. For comparison, in the 2012-2013 cycle only 0.64% of the test taking population received some form of accommodation. I personally don’t think it’s a big issue. But it’s an interesting trend to be sure.
  3. In general, the advice given in this thread is quite good. The length of your study will depend on your goals, your raw diagnostic, and your work/life schedule. However, 7 months is certainly more than adequate and I would caution you to space out your studying as to not burn out / rip through too many PTs too quickly. Also since most law schools in Canada take your highest LSAT you really don't have too much to worry about taking too soon. Go for it! In addition, as Deadpool mentioned The TLS forum has several good threads / guides to self-study and I would recommend that you peruse them! As an instructor I agree that there are diminishing returns once a certain number of study hours have been reached. However, improvement once that point is reached is not at all unlikely. While improvement on the margin tends to be tough after a substantial amount of studying; a sudden, massive improvement is not at all rare. This can be counter intuitive but sometimes all it takes is the material to be presented in a slightly different way for it to really click / sink-in. And of course, this is true mostly for students at the lower range of the spectrum with lots of headroom (e.g. a dramatic jump from 155 to 165 is more likely than from 168 to 178).
  4. I’ll offer a slightly different perspective! I personally preferred the combination of rigorous self-study with subsequent enrollment in a course. The self-study provided a good handle on the basics, which really allowed me during the course to focus on areas I was sub-par; and to lean on the instructor in those areas (e.g. ask questions during/after class, ask for specific recommendations, etc.). If you don’t have exposure to the exam prior to enrollment in a course, they can go quite fast, and you might spend more of your time just trying to learn the basics as opposed to really drilling on the areas you need assistance – which you won’t be able to identify until you’ve actually done quite a bit of the course! I also preferred the self-study / course combination to the self-study / tutoring combination. The reason for this is that sometimes I didn’t really know I had a faulty understanding of the material until the instructor verbalized their line of thinking in front of the class / answered questions from my classmates. I wasn't aware of my errors because I was performing reasonably well on those question types; and in a tutoring scenario, I feel I would have been more likely to focus on question types I was getting consistently wrong. As opposed to correcting my understanding of the base logic that effected my performance on all areas of the exam. That said, a tutor can definitely be beneficial for drilling your weaknesses, whereas a class is more general and relies more heavily on you to identify / address those areas. In either case, self-study prior to a class or tutoring is what I would definitely recommend. But what journey is ultimately best for you is entirely dependent on your learning style. I know some students struggle with self-study but learn much better in groups. Others are the opposite. Go with what you think is best for your own needs! Best of luck!
  5. I concur with lookingaround about the line references for the various answer choices. One of the great things about “mentions” questions in RC is that the answer is either there or it is not! If you can’t exactly pin-point where the author mentions something (as lookingaround has done) then it just isn’t there! Now, this question is actually a little bit different. It’s not a straight “mentions” question it also allows for what might be suggested by the passage (since is asks for what “the author mentions or suggests”). In effect, this question is a hybrid between a straight up information question (what is mentioned and what is not) and an inference question (what does the passage suggest). So, because of the hybrid nature of this question you may be thinking “hey D isn’t exactly mentioned but it is suggested!” But is it? Let’s look at answer choice D. (D) Does the passage mention or suggest “the specific knowledge on which trades are based”? But wait a second. Wasn’t it professions that are based on knowledge gained at the academy (see lines 28-31) and not trades? What were trades based on? Let’s take a look. Upon re-reading we don't actually know what they were based on but it seems like professions are the only areas based on knowledge and other areas of work (including trades) are either based on know-how (line 32) or something entirely different! This is strongly suggested because being based on knowledge was put forward as a reason for a profession being a profession (lines 26-27); and if it's a sufficient condition for a profession to be called a profession, and a trade is not a profession, then trades cannot be based upon knowledge. Now we might ask…is “know-how” knowledge?! I mean it seems like it might be, right? But the passage gives us that answer because it CONTRASTS knowledge with know-how indicating that they are very different things. See where it says (lines 31-32): “professions…..are founded upon inquiry and knowledge rather than mere ‘know-how’”. From this contrast we can clearly see that the author is making a distinction between knowledge and know-how. Actually, to me also seems to be suggesting that know-how is somehow inferior (note the “mere”)! To summarize the above, it is strongly suggested around line 30 that trades are not based on knowledge! If the trades are not based knowledge how could the passage actually be suggesting what specific knowledge they are based on?! It would actually be a contradiction if it did that! Bingo, the passage does not do this. D is correct. Cool, right?! Here’s the thing: LSAC is usually nicer than we give them credit for. Most of the incorrect answer choices in a hybrid question of this type will be explicitly mentioned, and any inference type answer choice will either be contradicted by the stimulus, strongly suggested to be the opposite, or strongly suggested to be the case. Usually there is very little ambiguity about what the passage does / does not suggest (usually folks. Not always!) I say that is nice of them because if we know that inferences generally fall into those three categories then it becomes easier to identify which is which; as long as we have a good grasp of the stimulus! P.S. Next time when asking a question put the PT Number, Section, and Question # in the title of the post! Also, if this wasn't a question related to RC then just giving us the question number 25 may not help us figure of what section you are referring to (and we'd like to help!)
  6. Unfortunately, I cannot offer any guidance on your particular situation given that it is a situation I have never even tangentially experienced. However, I wanted to say that your questions / reservations do not at all seem anxious. In fact, everything you’ve mentioned in your post sounds prudent to this life altering decision. Good for you for acknowledging the complicating factors (as opposed to overlooking them, like most). The only general advice I can offer is that your instincts to maintain bridges are spot on. In my line of work, it’s called “playing nice in the sandbox.” And where possible I’ve found it of great benefit to leave places of employ on good terms. I wish you all the best and hope the council you receive (from this site or otherwise) leads you to the best decision for you and your family. Best of luck!
  7. I am undoubtedly biased since I work at HarvardReady but I would definitely recommend our tutoring services. Given the current market rates, the tutoring hours offer incredible value and Yoni (the founder) has assembled a pretty great team of instructors who have all come from his own course. That said, there are a number of great LSAT tutors out there. Not all of which necessarily work for a big named company (Manhattan, PowerScore, Princeton Review, etc.). Many are individuals or work for small outfits. In my opinion, the biggest thing when evaluating if a tutor will be a good fit for you is does your way of thinking stack up well against theirs? Someone can be a great tutor for some students but not for others only because of how people's brains are wired. You should also ask for a 30 minute consult (free of charge) with any prospective tutor; that way you can make sure you are aligned before signing up for hours or a package! Hopefully that helps some and good luck in your search!
  8. LSAC allows you to cancel 6 days after the exam (https://www.lsac.org/lsat/taking-lsat/lsat-scoring/canceling-scores). If I am not mistaken, the the 2019 November exam was administered on Nov 25th so tonight at midnight would be the deadline to cancel. To the OP: if you plan on attending a law school that utilizes your highest score in the admissions process (which is most of them) then I would take the score. The fact is most people think they bombed the exam coming out of it; and this is true even of high scorers. This is one case where listening to your gut may be a bad idea. Realistically, I would recommend cancelling only in the event that something really odd happened (e.g. you finished 2 games but usually get to all 4 with time, you had a very upset stomach and had to leave mid-section, etc.). Also, say your worst fears are correct and you score in the 140s on the Nov exam. But subsequently get 153+ on your next sitting. Do you think it's more likely that the admissions committee will look at your scores (the 140s and the 153+) and go "hey, emlaw isn't fit for law school!" or that they will go "hey, emlaw scored in the 140s but the jump to 153+ is clearly more than luck since the LSAC band is +/- 3. It also shows he/she has demonstrated resilience to keep going in face of less than ideal circumstances. Also, our policy is to take the highest score so lets do that." For the record, it's the latter!
  9. RC can be the hardest to improve on the margin for some people. It's definitely possible to improve, even quite a bit, but it's unlike LG where knowledge of a certain diagramming technique (for example) can take you from getting 1/6 to 5/6 on any given game. In other words, there is no magic trick to reading fast or finishing on time. However, there are some general things one can do while studying that will help them improve over time. First is to understand the stimulus. If you rush the stimulus, you will be absolutely lost of the questions. A good way to know if you are understanding things is to stop after each paragraph and ask yourself: "What argument / evidence was just introduced? How does it relate to everything I've read before? Does this make sense to me?" If you don't understand something it is much better to be honest with yourself while reading the stimulus. That way you can check your understanding on the spot as opposed to waiting until you hit the questions, which will result in a lot of wasted time due to flipping back and forth from question(s) to stimulus. Second thing is if you really understand the stimulus you are in a much better position to prephase the questions. In general, there are quite a few questions that can be prephased in RC. These are the kinds of questions that you can answer confidently in 20 seconds or so and bank some time for harder questions or passages. You should also be using a 2 pass approach to questions and not be overly concerned with knocking off the 4 incorrect answer choices. That is, it is quite okay to pick an answer choice that seems most appropriate without having to spend time completely disqualifying other answer choices. This is in contrast to LR where you really want to knock off all incorrect answer choices before moving on. There are definitely some good good resources available. The TLS forum has a number of threads with some pretty solid advice, and Manhattan LSAT has a good RC book for self learners. Although, I prefer my own company's approach but I may be a bit biased! At the end of the day, RC is much more individual then any other section, so feel free to try out different strategies Good luck!
  10. This is most assuredly true of games. Your goal should never be to commit the games to heart. Your goal should be to develop and understand a set of fundamental approaches to different game types that are deeply engrained. As long as you have done that, it will not go away. You will undoubtedly be rusty having taken some time off. But if you have the fundamentals down (e.g. elastic bands for sequencing, chained conditionals for in and out, etc.) they will come back to you relatively quickly.
  11. As MP mentioned, the LSAT is a logic-based test and this makes it less likely for one to “forget” what they need to know! Sure, consistent studying help keeps you sharp. But at some point, the trade-off between keeping sharp and burning yourself out becomes apparent and this is surely one of those cases. I can promise you that even if you took the entirety of December off to rediscover life, you will not lose/forget the skills you’ve learned to date. Take some time off to get yourself in the best possible frame of mind; and leading up to the January LSAT take a couple weeks to get back into the swing of things. Having said the above I very strongly endorse MP’s recommendation about waiting to see your score before studying again. You may be pleasantly surprised (almost everyone thinks they bombed it, even those in the highest of percentiles).
  12. If you are considering Skype tutoring sessions, I would recommend Yoni at HarvardReady. His rates are very reasonable and are posted on his website. There are a number of his former students on this forum and you can search for their reviews! Full Disclosure: I took Yoni’s course approximately 10 years ago and am currently a part-time instructor at his Downsview location.
  13. I run a business in a very different field then law and I could not agree more with realpseudonym about relationships. In my experience, developing relationships with good people (even competitors) and helping them out when you can, will offer many times the benefits back to you in a variety of ways. Although I am very far removed from this conversation (not being a lawyer nor having attended law school) I felt the need to chime in to let the OP know that developing relationships with competition that you respect, can be a very good thing. This is true in almost every line of work I can think of and is naturally true of graduate schooling where some of these relationships develop. Good luck. Share the knowledge. You will be better off.
  14. Since you haven’t taken the exam, I’m going to take it to mean that you’re PTing around the 155 mark when you say that you’re afraid that your score will remain there. In order to better assess your chances for a score increase we would need to know how much you’ve studied to date, what the 155 represents (consistent PTs at that range or your cold diagnostic), what sections are giving you the most trouble, etc. However, in general I would say that going from a 155 to a 160 in a couple months even under non-ideal conditions is not impossible. Actually, it could be a very likely score increase depending on your worst section (e.g. if it’s logic games, then it’ll be easier to get those points on the margin). Others can better comment on your admissions chances.
  15. It’s difficult to say if the schedule you’ve outlined will be sufficient for you to achieve your goals. On the other hand, it seems as reasonable as a study plan one could make this far out from your intended re-take. Here would be my general notes: The Manhattan series is excellent; good pick! Once you feel you have a solid grasp of the concepts, then PTing on a more frequent basis is probably a better course of action. As AJD19 mentioned, several PTs per week with full review would be ideal once you get to the stage where timing is the critical factor. If possible, always PT with 5 sections. Have a friend or family member insert a 5th section into the PTs so you don’t know which section is not from that exam. Make sure the sections aren’t placed in an order in which it’s obvious to tell (e.g. don’t place a section 4 as the first section of the exam…you will see the 4 at the top and know that’s not quite right). I’m unfamiliar with the “blind review method” you mention, but in my experience as both a student and an instructor, the best way to take-up questions is review why incorrect answer choices are incorrect and why correct answer choices are correct. Don’t just go for the correct answer choice; you have a lot of information / knowledge that you can glean by taking up the incorrect answer choices as well. Also, pay particular attention to answer choices that you identified as contenders (i.e. left open after the first pass) and why you spent more time on them than you should have; maybe you can make yourself aware of some systematic habits that cause you to get hung up on particular answer choices (e.g. sufficient language in necessary assumption questions).
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