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If you have had improvement in your LSAT score in practice and/or official LSAT tests, please share your story. Please only talk about practice tests if they are under real, timed conditions.

How do you practice? PowerScore, Khan, 7sage, taking a whole bunch of practice LSATs, etc? How many hours have you put in practicing? Is there something about your LSAT improvement that is noteworthy? What are your plans for continuing to improve your score?

Maybe you tried to improve your score but didn't get the results you wanted. Please share.

My Story: I first became interested in law school 10 years ago while I was in my last year of undergrad. I scored in the mid 150s in practice (2-3 attempts).  I studied maybe 20-30 hours using a PowerScore Logic Games Bible. Scored 152 (1st official test) and 155 (second official test). I postponed my law school application with the intent of working harder and getting better some day. Life happened -- family, kids, and work. I was laid off from a job as a technical writer for an engineering company due to COVID19, and I now work as a laborer on a construction site. I started studying using 7Sage, and I scored 160 on my first proper practice attempt in 10 years. I am hoping to solidify that 160 (or more) into an official score on October 3rd, and then finally go to law school. 

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I started an in-person course at 159 and scored 169 on my first/only write. In addition to the course-prescribed practice/preptests/etc I did a lot of recreational reading to practice my RC technique.

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My diagnostic score was a 151. My friends had much higher diagnostics and I was discouraged for a bit. I self studied while working full-time over the summer using Mike Kim's LSAT Trainer and the LG Bible. I would study 4-5 days a week after work. I was feeling super discouraged a couple weeks before the test because of the games section, so I drilled LG only for the 2 weeks leading up to it. My last PT before the test was a 162, which was the lowest of my PTs for that past month. On test day, I scored a 169 which I never once got on a practice test. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones who did better in actual test conditions. Overall, went from 151 to 169 and never thought about the LSAT again. 

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Not many people would try to beat a 169 IMO, Notnotadog. That's awesome.

Pete, how many hours and months would you say you dedicated to LSAT studying?

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I did my first diagnostic in early March and scored a 159. I scheduled two days of exercise, an hour each, doing the Khan Academy LSAT prep course. I watched all their explanation videos for questions that I got wrong or hesitated. I stopped at mid-May since I started recognising the limited question bank on Khan and could get -1 on RC without reading the passage. I switched to doing two timed PT a week. I wrote about 20 prep tests before writing LSAT-flex in July. Got a 175.

Speaking only from my experience, I found the lesson section of the Khan prep course to be sufficient for preparing for the LSAT. I spent money only on prep tests and registering for the actual test.

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Did my first cold diagnostic and scored a 132. Did a course with Princeton review but didn't take it as seriously as I should have and couldn't crack 150. Took 7 sage and started taking the LSAT very seriously. Scored a 150 on my first attempt. Hired a private tutor and took the LSAT even more seriously and scored a 158 on my second attempt. Was going to write a third time but got accepted in the interim. By the end of my prep I'd done nearly every LG and RC section that existed and drilled hundreds of arguments. I also wrote every PT from 150+.  The LSAT was a damn grind. It did not come naturally to me and I had to put in the time and money. But it all worked out in the end! 

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With PT's, I spent 3 hours blind reviewing each test, trying to see where I went wrong or why I chose the answer I did. For questions that I struggled with (for example, necessary assumption) I would do the Cambridge drilling packets for that specific question type. They offer levels in the packets (level 1-4). If you answer 8/10 correct you move up a level. When you fail to reach 8 you move back down. Then I drilled timed sections and blind reviewed those as well. I only wrote PT's once a week to gauge progress and to work on timing and skipping strategies. 

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Got a score high in the 140s on my diagnostic test. I self-studied using lots of different LSAT methods (the Bibles, Mike Kim's trainer, LSAT superprep, a Barron's textbook, 7Sage, and probably a few others I'm forgetting). Learning different methods was sorta helpful but the biggest thing for me was to just hammer out lots and lots of practice tests and to blind review them thoroughly. I eventually did every practice LSAT available. I committed about 8 hours per day for four months to studying btw. Eventually, I was averaging a 172-175 on PTs with the odd outlier. My highest PT score was a 179. I ended up with a 167 on test day. 

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8 hours ago, RickyBubbles01 said:

Got a score high in the 140s on my diagnostic test. I self-studied using lots of different LSAT methods (the Bibles, Mike Kim's trainer, LSAT superprep, a Barron's textbook, 7Sage, and probably a few others I'm forgetting). Learning different methods was sorta helpful but the biggest thing for me was to just hammer out lots and lots of practice tests and to blind review them thoroughly. I eventually did every practice LSAT available. I committed about 8 hours per day for four months to studying btw. Eventually, I was averaging a 172-175 on PTs with the odd outlier. My highest PT score was a 179. I ended up with a 167 on test day. 

Holy smokes, that's very intense. You should be very proud of yourself. 167 is an amazing score! Did Mike Kim's Trainer help you?

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12 hours ago, SimmmiSS said:

Holy smokes, that's very intense. You should be very proud of yourself. 167 is an amazing score! Did Mike Kim's Trainer help you?

Yeah it was really, really helpful for logical reasoning. I highly recommend it. 

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Also wanted to note that after getting my 169, I e-mailed Mike Kim to thank him for the great book and study schedule and he sent me a personal response. Lovely guy.

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I started out in the low 130s. After studying for about 5months, 4-5 hours each day (mostly over the summer), I was able to bring my score up into the mid 160s during practice tests. 

Eventually, on the real test, I scored a 163 and achieved admissions into my goal school. DO NOT believe the common notion that you can only raise your score roughly 10 points. 

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9 minutes ago, LetMeIn2020 said:

I started out in the low 130s. After studying for about 5months, 4-5 hours each day (mostly over the summer), I was able to bring my score up into the mid 160s during practice tests. 

Eventually, on the real test, I scored a 163 and achieved admissions into my goal school. DO NOT believe the common notion that you can only raise your score roughly 10 points. 

Half a year of studying nearly full-time for the LSAT is completely insane to me.

Congrats on your score and admission to UofT. But I do think your experience is anomalous and wouldn't want it to give applicants with terrible LSAT scores false hope.

As an aside, I'd be very curious to hear how you perform in law school, because that might say something either way about the predictive value of the LSAT.

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1 hour ago, CleanHands said:

Half a year of studying nearly full-time for the LSAT is completely insane to me.

Congrats on your score and admission to UofT. But I do think your experience is anomalous and wouldn't want it to give applicants with terrible LSAT scores false hope.

As an aside, I'd be very curious to hear how you perform in law school, because that might say something either way about the predictive value of the LSAT.

how so? As far as I am aware, the predictive value of the LSAT rests with the end result of your score.

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4 hours ago, LetMeIn2020 said:

how so? As far as I am aware, the predictive value of the LSAT rests with the end result of your score.

The LSAT at least purports to assess a bunch of intellectual abilities that are--to a large extent--innate: reading comprehension, logical reasoning, ability to parse and accurately interpret information under time constraints, etc.

Law school involving taking in a large amount of information within a limited time from and then being assessed through speeded exams. Legal practice involves having to comb through potentially nearly endless amounts of information, discern what is relevant and apply this in a way that is accurate, relatively complete, and persuasive.

Is it not obvious to you why one might hypothesize there is a difference in abilities (that are relevant to the study and practice of law) between someone who can score a 163 in a blind diagnostic LSAT, and someone who has to study for 35 hours a week for 5 months to achieve the same score (even if ultimately their results are identical)?

Again, I don't say this to knock you. Once you get admitted, your LSAT score itself is irrelevant. I say that I'm curious about this, as a hypothesis, in terms of what the LSAT actually represents. Because you studied very long and hard, which is absolutely to your credit, but in law school and legal practice everyone has the same amount of lead time to complete tasks.

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13 minutes ago, CleanHands said:

The LSAT at least purports to assess a bunch of intellectual abilities that are--to a large extent--innate: reading comprehension, logical reasoning, ability to parse and accurately interpret information under time constraints, etc.

Law school involving taking in a large amount of information within a limited time from and then being assessed through speeded exams. Legal practice involves having to comb through potentially nearly endless amounts of information, discern what is relevant and apply this in a way that is accurate, relatively complete, and persuasive.

Is it not obvious to you why one might hypothesize there is a difference in abilities (that are relevant to the study and practice of law) between someone who can score a 163 in a blind diagnostic LSAT, and someone who has to study for 35 hours a week for 5 months to achieve the same score (even if ultimately their results are identical)?

Again, I don't say this to knock you. Once you get admitted, your LSAT score itself is irrelevant. I say that I'm curious about this, as a hypothesis, in terms of what the LSAT actually represents. Because you studied very long and hard, which is absolutely to your credit, but in law school and legal practice everyone has the same amount of lead time to complete tasks.

Interesting...

You raise a good point. However, I think the simple 30+ point increase itself can help give you an answer to your hypothesis. 

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Didn't do a diagnostic, but started out in the mid 150's. First time taking the exam, I scored a 164, second time 169. The only change I made between the tests was to implement a skipping strategy and work on timing.

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On 8/9/2020 at 11:12 PM, Aschenbach said:

Didn't do a diagnostic, but started out in the mid 150's. First time taking the exam, I scored a 164, second time 169. The only change I made between the tests was to implement a skipping strategy and work on timing.

What's your skipping strategy?

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2 hours ago, castlepie said:

What's your skipping strategy?

For LR: I tried to answer all questions within 20 minutes, skipping any that seem difficult. Which questions fall into this category requires a bit of fine-tuning, but after a few practice exams, you can figure out when you're spending too much time on a question. I would dedicate the remaining 15 minutes to go back and work on the questions I skipped. In any given LR section, I would skip anywhere from 4-6 questions to go back to later.

For LG: I'd split the game board as much as possible. Answer specific questions first as opposed to general (these are the ones that ask if x is in slot 3, which of the following could/must be true). This has the benefit of creating more possible scenarios that may help you answer general questions faster. I also did weird games last (newer LSATs usually have one game where the setup is kind of strange). I divided my time so that easy games had a time limit of 7.5 minutes each and hard games had a time limit of 10 minutes each. 

For RC: I always did the double passages last as those took the most time and I got the most wrong with them. I also allotted more time for double passages than regular passages.

Basically my strategy was try to get as many of the low-hanging fruit as possible first before attempting hard questions. I think this had the overall effect of getting 7-8 more questions right that pushed my score up by five points between my first and second take. Again, this was what worked for me, but may not work for someone else. I think you need to try a few different things to see what works for you. Don't be afraid to try new things. It involves a lot of repetition and minute changes that will hopefully lead to a better score.

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On 8/9/2020 at 2:05 PM, LetMeIn2020 said:

I started out in the low 130s. After studying for about 5months, 4-5 hours each day (mostly over the summer), I was able to bring my score up into the mid 160s during practice tests. 

Eventually, on the real test, I scored a 163 and achieved admissions into my goal school. DO NOT believe the common notion that you can only raise your score roughly 10 points. 

That's an incredible improvement! Congratulations! I think that experience would be valuable as it teaches you not to give up and seek improvement when things aren't going your way. Best of luck in law school! 

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