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Sorry if this is a stupid question I just haven't gotten a clear answer yet!!

I am planning to take the June (2019) LSAT, but I don't know where to start. I briefly spoke to someone who recently graduated law school and she recommends self-studying, with using the powerscore books. "My main tip is to keep practicing and make sure to understand the type of questions." BUT WHAT DO I DO FIRST?

Next semester I have a full course load (5 classes), I need to keep my marks up so what type of schedule should I follow. Also, how does a diagnostic work, if I don't have any knowledge about the type of questions what is the likelihood of getting a clear representation of my own abilities. 

I was debating about starting after my winter semester exams but I don't think that is enough time considering there is a religious month long holiday happening in May, that would really interrupt successful studying

How long did you study for before you took the LSAT? And what did you do that helped you be successful? if you had a full course lad how did you balance it?

ps. I'm in my third year and I would be applying in NOV 2019 

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You've asked a number of questions; I will try to help you as best as I can.

What do you do first: breathe. You need to relax; it sounds like you've already received sound advice on where to start. Get the Powerscore books and start reading: it's that simple. The books guide you through the types of questions to help you answer them. There are other books available so if you feel the need, obtain those books as well (sorry, can't remember the brand).

Asking what other people did is a good way to get ideas, but the best person to tell you what you should do is you. Everyone's experience was different, and everyone studied for a different amount of time using different techniques at different times in their lives. Basically, the answers to your questions range from no studying to years of studying; taking months off to study vs studying while balancing a full courseload and young family and job; what other people have done is not going to help you a whole lot, until, I think, you know where to start.

Diagnostics: LSAT measures your logical faculties in a word, so regardless if you don't know the type of questions, you should be able to at least work your way through the answers of a practice exam without cracking a book. You will get facts and be asked a series of questions based on those facts; i.e., if A = B and B = C, is it true that C = A... that sort of nonsense. Google LSAT practice exams and you will get the one that the regulating body puts out for practice (LSUC I think it is?). You can run this diagnostic with or without first reading your Powerscore books; it is nice to write the practice exam without having read the Powerscore books so that it gives you a measure of how far you've come, because honestly sometimes it feels like you're making no progress.

If you get a 180 on your diagnostic, you could probably through your books in the garbage; if you get a 120, you might want to crack those books sooner than later. And then there's everything in between.

For balancing workload and studying for the LSAT, again, it really depends on you. If you feel like you have extra time in a day, sit down and crack those Powerscore books. If you feel like you don't have a titch of time in a day, maybe hit the books hard over the holidays and then incorporate LSAT studying into your routine as you begin your next semester in January. But again, you know you and you know what you can and can't do.

 

Honestly though, you've already received the standard advice: get the books, run a diagnostic LSAT to gauge how far you need to go, then start studying and practice-writing.

Hope that helps.

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Have you considered waiting until later to study for the LSAT?

You mentioned in your previous thread that your cGPA in your first two years was a 2.4. If I were you, I'd forget about the LSAT for now and concentrate on getting a competitive L2/B2 GPA. 

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That's true,  but the UofA advisors suggest that it could help especially if my GPA isn't as great, based on their acceptance profile, it is possible to get in with an exceptionally good LSAT score. I'm just looking at my options!

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26 minutes ago, qwerty09 said:

That's true,  but the UofA advisors suggest that it could help especially if my GPA isn't as great, based on their acceptance profile, it is possible to get in with an exceptionally good LSAT score. I'm just looking at my options!

Right, but you could focus on your GPA right now and not apply next November. That way, you (hopefully) get the GPA up and then focus on the LSAT to achieve that exceptionally good score.

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1 hour ago, qwerty09 said:

That's true,  but the UofA advisors suggest that it could help especially if my GPA isn't as great, based on their acceptance profile, it is possible to get in with an exceptionally good LSAT score. I'm just looking at my options!

Yes, but there's a reason why exceptionally high LSAT scores are exceptionally rare. 

Here's my advice: take the free diagnostic LSAT (June '07?) that's available on LSAC's website under timed conditions and see how you do. If you score in the typical range (140s), that's alright, you'll have time to improve later. Put the LSAT on the back burner, focus on your GPA until you graduate, and study full-time for the LSAT then. 

There's no point in studying for the LSAT now if doing so will torpedo the L2 GPA that's your parachute into law school. Your cGPA may not preclude you from getting in, but it does mean that you'll need to be more strategic about prioritizing certain parts of your application at the right time. 

Edited by Tagger
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I recommend studying during the summer and focusing on your third year marks rather than spreading yourself thin. But some people can manage it and get accepted during their third year

Edited by Trew

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I don't know when the LSAT Trainer went out of style around here. I used it to get one of those exceptionally good scores, and it comes with training schedules of varying lengths. 

But... you should do as everyone else has said. Get the grades first. Then get the LSAT you need. There is nothing wrong with taking a year after undergrad to save some money and make your application that much stronger. 

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3 hours ago, easttowest said:

I don't know when the LSAT Trainer went out of style around here. I used it to get one of those exceptionally good scores, and it comes with training schedules of varying lengths. 

But... you should do as everyone else has said. Get the grades first. Then get the LSAT you need. There is nothing wrong with taking a year after undergrad to save some money and make your application that much stronger. 

i tried to use the lsat trainer this summer, but i really wish the layout of the book was different. the author went for aesthetic over readability and rather than squint at unbelievably small text i used powerscore instead. the content itself wasnt bad though 

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I agree with the gist of what is being said here. With a 2.4 cGPA you're going to need a 170+ LSAT to get in somewhere. To put that in perspective for you that is the 98th percentile. Meaning that only 2% of all test takers score a 170 or higher. Right now, you should not even be thinking about the LSAT. You need to focus 120% on getting a 4.0 GPA from now till you graduate. Get yourself the largest L2 GPA buffer that you possibly can. Eat, sleep and breathe your GPA. Bother your teachers about what you can do better. Once you've achieved that then you take on the LSAT. Yes, some people can balance LSAT study and a full course load. But those people are already getting around a 4.0 before taking on the LSAT.

When you do start study, I would highly recommend both Powerscore and 7sage. Particularly the free Logic Games explanations on the 7sage app are amazing. Write the June 2007 LSAT that LSAC puts up for free as a diagnostic, but take it with a grain of salt. Consider a prep course if you have a low diagnostic (under 150) because that is an indication that you need an introduction to the basics. If you score above a 150 then self study is good because prep courses are only designed to introduce the basic foundations of the test. 

Finally, the advice in the first post (do what works best for you) is probably the best advice you're going to get. Nobody has the "formula" for getting a great score. Be highly critical of your techniques and be open to changing them. Different levels (140-150 vs 150-160 vs 160-170) all require different strategies to overcome. Don't get stuck on one strategy, one question type or one method. Be dynamic and put in a lot of time. 

Good luck.

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If you're using powerscore books, I would especially recommend their (free) self-study plan based on the amount of time that you have to study (so I'm guessing around 6 months). While I thought the powerscore book contents were ok, it was really the schedule that kept me on track and also instructs me which chapters to read/which tests to do on what week. I studied for about 2.5 months with week long breaks dispersed within it because I was getting burned out from studying 6+ hours a day in the summer. I also took the LSAT in September which may be a better option for you since it still gave me enough time to receive the scores and apply in November. 

 

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On 11/28/2018 at 1:57 AM, Trew said:

I recommend studying during the summer and focusing on your third year marks rather than spreading yourself thin. But some people can manage it and get accepted during their third year

Agree wholeheartedly with this advice. Leave it for the summer, most people I know who tried to do both uni and study found it impossible. I don't see how it is possible. Maybe a few geniuses here and there can do it, but not the majority of people. I had a job while I studied but i had evenings off entirely to study and ONLY think about the LSAT. When my semester restarted, I did not show up for syllabus week because i needed to be writing full PTs every day. If you want to know the basics of the question types LSAC has partnered with Khan Academy to create lessons, after this free help, maybe take a diagnostic and start with powerscore, tutoring or whatever: 

https://www.khanacademy.org/prep/lsat

imo, diagnostics are only useful as a motivating factor because most people can't do LG without actually learning diagramming strategies. I never did one for this reason, but only did full practice tests after I studied all the material. Maybe some people view it as an objective way to measure their improvement but I think that is not really true. 

Edited by Megbean123

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I would also not reccommend studying for the LSAT while in full-time school.

I wrote the LSAT June 2018, and did not start studying until April. However, for April and May (once I was finished my classes), I took a full-time LSAT Prep course for 1.5 months, and was studying 9 hours a day 5/6 days a week. I ended up scoring a 164 on the lsat, and felt well-prepared.

My suggestion is to treat studying like it is a full-time job, and it should be your number one priority. Studying while your in full-time school will mean you will not be able to dedicate enough time to it. 

I know you mentioned that you have a religious holiday in may. I would suggest waiting to write the September LSAT, and dedicating June-August studying for it.

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Cold diagnostics are pretty much a waste of time. You’re much better off learning the basics and then taking a diagnostic 

Edited by Johnappleseed

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1 hour ago, Johnappleseed said:

Cold diagnostics are pretty much a waste of time. You’re much better off learning the basics and then taking a diagnostic 

Depends on what you mean.

Reading the basic official guide to what the LSAT is like (which I think has some example questions), and then doing the free sample test under test conditions (timed, phone off and no other interruptions, etc.) I think is a good idea to know where you're starting from.

But I do agree, at least read what the test and questions are like first.

If however you mean, you think someone should do a lot of studying before taking a diagnostic, I disagree. The whole point of a diagnostic is to see, before you start prepping (other than reading the basics of the test and question types) is to figure out your starting point. And if one is one of the rare people who has a high diagnostic score to start with, great.

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34 minutes ago, epeeist said:

Depends on what you mean.

Reading the basic official guide to what the LSAT is like (which I think has some example questions), and then doing the free sample test under test conditions (timed, phone off and no other interruptions, etc.) I think is a good idea to know where you're starting from.

But I do agree, at least read what the test and questions are like first.

If however you mean, you think someone should do a lot of studying before taking a diagnostic, I disagree. The whole point of a diagnostic is to see, before you start prepping (other than reading the basics of the test and question types) is to figure out your starting point. And if one is one of the rare people who has a high diagnostic score to start with, great.

Cold diagnostic generally implies taking the test with no prior knowledge. In my opinion this strategy was designed by prep companies to ensure that you improve from the diagnostic to the final test of the course so that you feel like you are getting your money’s worth. I think that one should do about 1 week of studying and take a look at each section and the basic strategies before doing a diagnostic. 

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I am a former LSAT tutor and got a 179 on my own. I studied for 6 weeks or so while working 60 hours/week.

I highly recommend against treating it as a full time job. I also highly recommend against learning the pre-programmed approaches to answering questions before trying to build your own methodology. You are more than half a year out from the exam. You have time to sit down and slowly try to work out for yourself how the questions can be approached.

School has taught you to avoid self-reliance and seek someone else’s system. Reject this. You are capable of more.

As step one, sit down with an old LSAT (they are available for purchase) - not a prep book - and just start working through questions at whatever pace is natural. Do not attempt to speed run yet. Just sit down, read, and think about how to reason through the problems. Do that for a while then come back and check in and feel free to PM me. 

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8 hours ago, theycancallyouhoju said:

 I studied for 6 weeks 

I think I peaked at around 6-8 weeks and then started dropping off afterwards

8 hours ago, theycancallyouhoju said:

II also highly recommend against learning the pre-programmed approaches to answering questions ...

What don't you like about the pre-programmed approach? Logical reasoning is premise to conclusion almost always, probably 20 out of 25 questions, and then there's the occasional paradox, inference, and identify conclusion questions. Logic games is sequence, grouping, or hybrid. Reading comprehension is the only section where I can see a different approach working. Otherwise, it's all pretty standard

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18 minutes ago, Trew said:

I think I peaked at around 6-8 weeks and then started dropping off afterwards

What don't you like about the pre-programmed approach? Logical reasoning is premise to conclusion almost always, probably 20 out of 25 questions, and then there's the occasional paradox, inference, and identify conclusion questions. Logic games is sequence, grouping, or hybrid. Reading comprehension is the only section where I can see a different approach working. Otherwise, it's all pretty standard

A rudimentary understanding of logic is helpful, but it would be better to get that from a logic textbook than an LSAT prep book. When a student struggled with that section I would spend a couple hours teaching them the basics of symbolic/mathematical logic and only then look at a question.

I didn’t learn the set methods for logic games until I started tutoring. I did open a prep book and try, but found them slow and cumbersome. They ask you to do a lot of preliminary work that sets the ground to cut out options that should be almost immediately identified as impossible. It’s been a long time now, and I’m speaking too generally to be helpful for people prepping, but the approach I took relied heavily on being able to identify the obvious outcomes first, dismiss the impossible ones, and then actually think through the remaining 2-3 possibilities. It’s easier to explain with the examples in front of us.

For reading comprehension, I generally read the first question, then skimmed the text until a relevant word appeared and worked backward. Sometimes that required reading the whole 5 paragraphs or whatever it was, but rarely. I almost never read all five of the paragraphs, and never in order.

Edited by theycancallyouhoju
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13 minutes ago, theycancallyouhoju said:

 the approach I took relied heavily on being able to identify the obvious outcomes first, dismiss the impossible ones, and then actually think through the remaining 2-3 possibilities. It’s easier to explain with the examples in front of us.

agree with this approach

what I was getting at with premise to conclusion is that it's almost always about identifying the gap and then assessing what the question is asking (support it, weaken it, etc.). You did considerably better than I did, so maybe there is more to it than I went in with. 

16 minutes ago, theycancallyouhoju said:

For reading comprehension, I generally read the first question, then skimmed the text until a relevant word appeared and worked backward. Sometimes that required reading the whole 5 paragraphs or whatever it was, but rarely. I almost never read all five of the paragraphs, and never in order.

I like it. As you know, the first is always main point, so this makes a lot of sense. 

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