Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi guys.

I wanted to come on here in hopes to get some advice. I started studying for the LSAT in 2018, on and off, and the first diagnostic score I got was a 141. I was able to increase that to a 147 a year later (used Powerscore Bibles, Khan Academy, and took a Oxford Seminars course - which by the way, did NOT help much). I took a break from studying (I was unmotivated and disheartened as my score was so low), and I decided to get back to studying 4 months ago. I gave the May LSAT flex and scored a 145. I'm not sure where I am going wrong!!! I am doing everything that I can to study for this test. -- doing timed and untimed practice tests, going over why answers are right and/or wrong, etc. I do, however, feel like when I am giving a practice test, my anxiety severely interferes and I am not able to fully concentrate on the material. But I feel like the amount of studying that I have done so far should be building my endurance by now...I do feel like I have improved on logic games, but I still struggle with LR and RC. 

I am so disheartened. I know law is really what I want to do. I have a CGPA of 3.5 and my last (best) two years is 3.8. The LSAT is really killing my motivation.

Can someone please recommend any other strategies that I can try? I JUST CANNOT BREAK OUT OF THE 140s!!! 

I've seen a lot of people talk about hiring a private tutor, but I've spent so much money on courses that do not actually help me. Plus, with this whole situation we are in right now, I wouldn't be able to afford to hire one. 

I've heard a lot about 7sage. But I really want to get my money's worth this time. 

Also what is more stressful is that I see so many posts on here of people stating that they went from a 140 diagnostic to a 160 in ___ amount of weeks. Clearly, the LSAT is not my cup of tea, but I just feel like I am doing something wrong while studying for this test as I am not seeing the same results. I don't think studying for this test should be as frustrating as it is for me right now.

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

It sounds like you've spent a lot of time wandering from prep book to prep book without methodically refining your skills to prepare for the test. 

Could you elaborate on how you studied? What led you to take full-length practice tests and the real thing while scoring in the 140s? Did you build up to taking those tests by working on problem sets and drilling individual sections? You said you reviewed your answers, but if you were still scoring in that range, you must have had considerable room for improvement there, too. 

Edited by Tagger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you're in a score in the 140s, I think you're missing fundamental ideas about what the test is about. This might sound rude, but it's actually a good thing... those fundamental ideas are the easiest to get if you work on them. The hard question to ask yourself is that this material has worked for a great deal of people (particularly Khan and Powerscore), so why isn't it working for you? Is it a problem with the material, or perhaps a problem with your approach? 

You talk about how you used multiple sources to try and study on and off. You have to be getting around 50% of the questions wrong to get a raw score that would lead to a score in the 140s, which is around 50... that's basically 2 entire sections worth you're getting wrong. Fundamentally speaking, there is likely some sort of disconnect between the material and how you're digesting it. 

For LG: Are you foolproofing? Can you read a sequencing chain back and forth fluently (ie. you can immediately see what's before what, what's after what, where the floaters are)? Do you know Not Both vs Or vs If and Only If vs If but not otherwise? What are some important recurring inferences you can make for in/out games? How do you deal with unorthodox games? If any of these questions other than the first one takes you more than a few seconds to think of an answer for, that's too slow already. 7sage drills this shit into you until you can read it like English. 

For RC: What's your current method? Are you struggling to finish the four passages, are you getting tricked by trap answers often, etc.

For LR: There are a great deal of different question types in this section. Inevitably you will be better at some types and you need to figure out where you're strong or weak. 

For BRing: Do you actively flag questions you had trouble with, and honestly review them BEFORE looking at answers? It's not just about going over why stuff is right or wrong, it's about whether or not you can get there. And even after you've reviewed them once, you should go back to them again after a while to see if you forgot the PROCESS to get to the right answer. It's not enough to know why something is right or wrong, but how you get to that point which you can only really work on by grinding it out with proper, honest BR. 

I think you might need to take a step back to evaluate your approach. Perhaps instead of trying to focus on every section, you should work on each section in isolation for some time to figure out your problems. It also sounds like you lack a fundamental framework... with any activity, everything else is built on top of good basics. Whatever program you do end up using (some good recommendations generally include Harvard Ready, 7sage, and LSAT Demon), there's probably some sort of Core Curriculum that you should really spend time on to hone your processes before worrying about doing PrepTests. PrepTests are only one way to prepare for the LSAT. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Tagger said:

It sounds like you've spent a lot of time wandering from prep book to prep book without methodically refining your skills to prepare for the test. 

Could you elaborate on how you studied? What led you to take full-length practice tests and the real thing while scoring in the 140s? Did you build up to taking those tests by working on problem sets and drilling individual sections? You said you reviewed your answers, but if you were still scoring in that range, you must have had considerable room for improvement there, too. 

I drilled LR and AR sections the most because those two needed extreme studying on my part. I used the PowerScore Bibles for that and also watched some YouTube videos when it came to being stuck on certain logic games.

When I review a certain LR question, I try my best to get it down to two answers, which the correct answer is always a part of. But I always select the wrong answer. Currently, I am looking at Manhattan Prep for help with LR. What I feel I might be doing wrong is that I automatically go on to the Manhattan Prep forum to try and figure out why I got the answer wrong, whereas I should be trying to figure it out to the best of my capabilities first...

I am also running out of prep material. I cannot go over the material I have already reviewed because I always remember what the correct answers are out of memory.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, goodisgood said:

When you're in a score in the 140s, I think you're missing fundamental ideas about what the test is about. This might sound rude, but it's actually a good thing... those fundamental ideas are the easiest to get if you work on them. The hard question to ask yourself is that this material has worked for a great deal of people (particularly Khan and Powerscore), so why isn't it working for you? Is it a problem with the material, or perhaps a problem with your approach? 

You talk about how you used multiple sources to try and study on and off. You have to be getting around 50% of the questions wrong to get a raw score that would lead to a score in the 140s, which is around 50... that's basically 2 entire sections worth you're getting wrong. Fundamentally speaking, there is likely some sort of disconnect between the material and how you're digesting it. 

For LG: Are you foolproofing? Can you read a sequencing chain back and forth fluently (ie. you can immediately see what's before what, what's after what, where the floaters are)? Do you know Not Both vs Or vs If and Only If vs If but not otherwise? What are some important recurring inferences you can make for in/out games? How do you deal with unorthodox games? If any of these questions other than the first one takes you more than a few seconds to think of an answer for, that's too slow already. 7sage drills this shit into you until you can read it like English. 

For RC: What's your current method? Are you struggling to finish the four passages, are you getting tricked by trap answers often, etc.

For LR: There are a great deal of different question types in this section. Inevitably you will be better at some types and you need to figure out where you're strong or weak. 

For BRing: Do you actively flag questions you had trouble with, and honestly review them BEFORE looking at answers? It's not just about going over why stuff is right or wrong, it's about whether or not you can get there. And even after you've reviewed them once, you should go back to them again after a while to see if you forgot the PROCESS to get to the right answer. It's not enough to know why something is right or wrong, but how you get to that point which you can only really work on by grinding it out with proper, honest BR. 

I think you might need to take a step back to evaluate your approach. Perhaps instead of trying to focus on every section, you should work on each section in isolation for some time to figure out your problems. It also sounds like you lack a fundamental framework... with any activity, everything else is built on top of good basics. Whatever program you do end up using (some good recommendations generally include Harvard Ready, 7sage, and LSAT Demon), there's probably some sort of Core Curriculum that you should really spend time on to hone your processes before worrying about doing PrepTests. PrepTests are only one way to prepare for the LSAT. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to thoroughly reply back :) !

To refer back to your question about RC, I am both struggling to finish all 4 passages AND I am getting trapped by trick answers. Partly my fault though, because I didn't think RC would be a section I'd need improvement on as it's something we all have done throughout our lives... But, unfortunately it is a section that aggravates me. I know a lot of prep courses teach you to think of the mainpoint/POV/themes when reading the passage, but I still end up focusing too much on each passage and STILL get the answer wrong.

For BRing, I do review my answers (just once though) before checking the actual answer for each question. Once I figure out that it is the wrong answer, I quickly log on to the Manhattan Prep website and read through why the answer I've chosen is wrong - this, I think might be the wrong approach. I will definitely take your advice and review my answers more than once before I check the answer.

I do, in fact, focus on each section equally. But I think I should devote more time to each section individually, like you mentioned. 

Thank you again.

I just hope all these tears are worth it in the end lol !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, lawschool1011 said:

Hi guys.

I wanted to come on here in hopes to get some advice. I started studying for the LSAT in 2018, on and off, and the first diagnostic score I got was a 141. I was able to increase that to a 147 a year later (used Powerscore Bibles, Khan Academy, and took a Oxford Seminars course - which by the way, did NOT help much). I took a break from studying (I was unmotivated and disheartened as my score was so low), and I decided to get back to studying 4 months ago. I gave the May LSAT flex and scored a 145. I'm not sure where I am going wrong!!! I am doing everything that I can to study for this test. -- doing timed and untimed practice tests, going over why answers are right and/or wrong, etc. I do, however, feel like when I am giving a practice test, my anxiety severely interferes and I am not able to fully concentrate on the material. But I feel like the amount of studying that I have done so far should be building my endurance by now...I do feel like I have improved on logic games, but I still struggle with LR and RC. 

I am so disheartened. I know law is really what I want to do. I have a CGPA of 3.5 and my last (best) two years is 3.8. The LSAT is really killing my motivation.

Can someone please recommend any other strategies that I can try? I JUST CANNOT BREAK OUT OF THE 140s!!! 

I've seen a lot of people talk about hiring a private tutor, but I've spent so much money on courses that do not actually help me. Plus, with this whole situation we are in right now, I wouldn't be able to afford to hire one. 

I've heard a lot about 7sage. But I really want to get my money's worth this time. 

Also what is more stressful is that I see so many posts on here of people stating that they went from a 140 diagnostic to a 160 in ___ amount of weeks. Clearly, the LSAT is not my cup of tea, but I just feel like I am doing something wrong while studying for this test as I am not seeing the same results. I don't think studying for this test should be as frustrating as it is for me right now.

I spent $1500 to hire a private tutor and broke through 160. I was stuck in low 150s after taking the course twice.

Worth every penny...

Your GPA and L2 are better than mine. With a 160+ you will be competitive for a few schools.

Some tutor offers online arrangements

Edited by Luckycharm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, lawschool1011 said:

I drilled LR and AR sections the most because those two needed extreme studying on my part. I used the PowerScore Bibles for that and also watched some YouTube videos when it came to being stuck on certain logic games.

When I review a certain LR question, I try my best to get it down to two answers, which the correct answer is always a part of. But I always select the wrong answer. Currently, I am looking at Manhattan Prep for help with LR. What I feel I might be doing wrong is that I automatically go on to the Manhattan Prep forum to try and figure out why I got the answer wrong, whereas I should be trying to figure it out to the best of my capabilities first...

I am also running out of prep material. I cannot go over the material I have already reviewed because I always remember what the correct answers are out of memory.

Going through the PowerScore books isn't drilling; the books guide you through the basics so that you have the foundation to practice questions on your own. You should be gathering sets of similar questions from previous LSATs and working through them to increase your familiarity with each question type. 

Here's how you should study / review: 

  • Identify the premise(s) and conclusion(s) of each question.
  • Find the gap between the two (this is the core skill that the LSAT tests; if you can do this and build on it, you can answer 75% of the test correctly.) 
  • Pinpoint how the question stem is asking you to address this gap
  • Diagram the underlying logic out. (You won't need to eventually, but you need the practice)
  • Go through each and every answer choice and justify how each of them either does or doesn't address this gap.
  • Pick an answer - only then should you look at MP explanations. 
  • If you pick the wrong answer, repeat this process again. 

Here's how you should work through the test materials: 

  • Drill questions by type by doing collections of similar questions from previous LSATs. 
  • Once you can complete drill sets with ~90% accuracy, move onto doing timed individual sections and blind review.
  • When you hit ~90% accuracy in timed sections, start stringing multiple / different sections together
  • Move onto full tests and blind review the full tests after you're done.
     
1 hour ago, lawschool1011 said:

I am also running out of prep material. I cannot go over the material I have already reviewed because I always remember what the correct answers are out of memory.

This will sound blunt, but you're getting half the test wrong, so there's still plenty of value in reviewing that material. Even if you remember the correct answer, you can still work through the process of getting to it.

Edited by Tagger
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Tagger said:

This will sound blunt, but you're getting half the test wrong, so there's still plenty of value in reviewing that material. Even if you remember the correct answer, you can still work through the process of getting to it.

@lawschool1011 Tagger is completely right. It's not really about the right answer, or the wrong answers. It's about your processes.

For example, that's why there's tons of value reviewing the same LG games over and over. It's pointless to just remember the right answer. How you get better is drilling how to create chains and how to read them, mistake tendencies, how to correctly focus on certain types of questions, seeing what happens when an in group is filled or an out group is filled, when to create subcategories, when to use a chart, when to use a double layer sequencing diagram, when to use an unorthodox diagram, etc...

LG is not the only place where this happens. In LR for example, the methodologies you use to solve a parallel reasoning, or to check a necessary assumption, or to find a valid Sufficient Assumption, the ways you figure out what role a certain piece of a stimulus plays in the argument, the same flaws in different contexts, etc... learning the LSAT is about learning to see the forest and not the trees, how to spot patterns and how to beat those patterns and what to do when things do not conform to said patterns. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Improving is not impossible but will be difficult. I started a thread on my journey with the LSAT years back. The links to the PDFs are dead now because I no longer run the website. If you PM me I can send you those PDFs.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/11/2020 at 12:14 AM, Luckycharm said:

I spent $1500 to hire a private tutor and broke through 160. I was stuck in low 150s after taking the course twice.

Worth every penny...

Your GPA and L2 are better than mine. With a 160+ you will be competitive for a few schools.

Some tutor offers online arrangements

I emailed my tutor and she is doing online tutoring due to Covid-19

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/11/2020 at 12:48 AM, Tagger said:

Here's how you should study / review: 

  • Identify the premise(s) and conclusion(s) of each question.
  • Find the gap between the two (this is the core skill that the LSAT tests; if you can do this and build on it, you can answer 75% of the test correctly.) 
  • Pinpoint how the question stem is asking you to address this gap
  • Diagram the underlying logic out. (You won't need to eventually, but you need the practice)
  • Go through each and every answer choice and justify how each of them either does or doesn't address this gap.
  • Pick an answer - only then should you look at MP explanations. 
  • If you pick the wrong answer, repeat this process again. 

Here's how you should work through the test materials: 

  • Drill questions by type by doing collections of similar questions from previous LSATs. 
  • Once you can complete drill sets with ~90% accuracy, move onto doing timed individual sections and blind review.
  • When you hit ~90% accuracy in timed sections, start stringing multiple / different sections together
  • Move onto full tests and blind review the full tests after you're done.

How long do you think all of this should take?

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, VitalGiraffe said:

How long do you think all of this should take?

Depends on the individual, but I'd say 2-4 months if you have a reasonable diagnostic score. 1-2 months to drill, 1 month to do sections and review, and the final month to do full tests. 

I laid it out step-by-step because OP took the real exam while scoring in the 140s, but not everyone needs to go through each step. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 6/10/2020 at 10:29 PM, lawschool1011 said:

I wanted to come on here in hopes to get some advice. I started studying for the LSAT in 2018, on and off, and the first diagnostic score I got was a 141. I was able to increase that to a 147 a year later (used Powerscore Bibles, Khan Academy, and took a Oxford Seminars course - which by the way, did NOT help much). I took a break from studying (I was unmotivated and disheartened as my score was so low), and I decided to get back to studying 4 months ago. I gave the May LSAT flex and scored a 145. I'm not sure where I am going wrong!!! I am doing everything that I can to study for this test. -- doing timed and untimed practice tests, going over why answers are right and/or wrong, etc. I do, however, feel like when I am giving a practice test, my anxiety severely interferes and I am not able to fully concentrate on the material. But I feel like the amount of studying that I have done so far should be building my endurance by now...I do feel like I have improved on logic games, but I still struggle with LR and RC. 

Right here. After using the Powerscore, Khan and Oxford materials, you should be PTing around 160. Otherwise, you did not actually learn the content. These materials have helped everyone get past this test, so don't think that you have a "unique way of learning" or their way of teaching just "doesn't suit you". There may be individual preferences among them, but to dismiss them all is a red flag. There is a very specific and regimented way of doing the LG, LR, and RC sections. 

After your study break, you decided to get back to studying by doing timed and untimed  practice tests, despite never having learned the fundamental skills for each section. It makes sense that you would continue to score low. Passively going over the wrong answers is not how you learn the core content - it's how you refine the specifics. 

Your practice test anxiety, assuming it exists, has nothing to do with this. You just have a bad study strategy and are not effectively using your time. 

 

Edited by Trew
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 6/10/2020 at 10:29 PM, lawschool1011 said:

I've heard a lot about 7sage. But I really want to get my money's worth this time. 

Can't you pick this up at the public library for free?

Edited by Trew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/11/2020 at 12:48 AM, Tagger said:

Here's how you should study / review: 

  • Identify the premise(s) and conclusion(s) of each question.
  • Find the gap between the two (this is the core skill that the LSAT tests; if you can do this and build on it, you can answer 75% of the test correctly.) 
  • Pinpoint how the question stem is asking you to address this gap
  • Diagram the underlying logic out. (You won't need to eventually, but you need the practice)
  • Go through each and every answer choice and justify how each of them either does or doesn't address this gap.
  • Pick an answer - only then should you look at MP explanations. 
  • If you pick the wrong answer, repeat this process again. 

Here's how you should work through the test materials: 

  • Drill questions by type by doing collections of similar questions from previous LSATs. 
  • Once you can complete drill sets with ~90% accuracy, move onto doing timed individual sections and blind review.
  • When you hit ~90% accuracy in timed sections, start stringing multiple / different sections together
  • Move onto full tests and blind review the full tests after you're done.
     

This will sound blunt, but you're getting half the test wrong, so there's still plenty of value in reviewing that material. Even if you remember the correct answer, you can still work through the process of getting to it.

💯

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Tagger said:

Depends on the individual, but I'd say 2-4 months if you have a reasonable diagnostic score. 1-2 months to drill, 1 month to do sections and review, and the final month to do full tests. 

I laid it out step-by-step because OP took the real exam while scoring in the 140s, but not everyone needs to go through each step. 

I'm planning to write in August and started studying in early May. I've already finished the LG and LR Bibles and am halfway through the RC Bible (should be finished in ~4 days). How would you prioritize this schedule if you were me. Maybe ~3 weeks drilling, ~3 sections and review, ~3 weeks full tests (probably full tests through the remaining time, maybe 1 a week until this point)?

Diagnostic was 154 btw.

Edited by VitalGiraffe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, VitalGiraffe said:

I'm planning to write in August and started studying in early May. I've already finished the LG and LR Bibles and am halfway through the RC Bible (should be finished in ~4 days). How would you prioritize this schedule if you were me. Maybe ~3 weeks drilling, ~3 sections and review, ~3 weeks full tests (probably full tests through the remaining time, maybe 1 a week until this point)?

The honest answer is that I'm not you, so I don't know - it depends on your own aptitude for the test. Move onto the next step when you're ready, not based on a timeline you've set for yourself. 

That said, your diagnostic is a 154, so you may not need to spend as much time drilling. Your accuracy should tell you when you're ready to move onto the next step. 

Edited by Tagger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Tagger said:

Your accuracy should tell you when you're ready to move onto the next step. 

That's exactly what I'll do. I feel like I will be on the shorter end of those time frames so August may very well be doable for my goals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...