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So I’ve decided to retake, course recommendation to get me started? I sucked at self studying

_oshun1__oshun1_ Alum Member
edited December 2017 in General 3652 karma

I wanna get into a t14 with a 3.82 gpa and a 170 score. Improved from my 158. TLS scare posts have gotten to me and I don’t think it’s just bougie pretentious nonsense when people push how important it is to go to a t14.
Honestly I think I’m just one of those stupid smart people who kind of self sabotage so I don’t think I can self study. My diagnostic score was the same as what I got on the exam after really isolating from friends and fam and studying like 30+ hours a week for months. I was kind of just trying to memorize without really understanding and once I figured out what I did wrong I was just like okay I get it now and moved on and made the same mistakes again.
I have a year before the December LSAT. I know that everyone says don’t do a prep course bc it just goes over the basics but I don’t think I understand the basics. I think I might need it just to get me going and force me to study smarter for a few months and then I’ll self study for the remainder of time. Is this a totally awful idea? Which course should I do?

Comments

  • goingfor99thgoingfor99th Member
    edited December 2017 3072 karma

    That's not a totally awful idea, but you may be able to derive more benefit from a tutor than a prep course if you're struggling to grasp the subtleties of the test.

    What do you consider the 'basics' of the LSAT, if you had to say?

  • _oshun1__oshun1_ Alum Member
    3652 karma

    @goingfor99th said:
    That's not a totally awful idea, but you may be able to derive more benefit from a tutor than a prep course if you're struggling to grasp the subtleties of the test.

    What do you consider the 'basics' of the LSAT, if you had to say?

    I’m not sure I can afford a tutor? And I wouldn’t know who to use as a tutor? I took the LSAT 6 months ago in June I barely remember it. I never noticed a trend in the types of LR questions I got wrong so I think I just don’t understand the different types of questions. LG was hit and miss for me sometimes I couldn’t even answer the questions at all and other times i’d go back and get them all right.

  • akistotleakistotle Member 🍌🍌
    9366 karma

    I don't know if they are available now but hiring a 7Sage tutor might be cheaper than enrolling in in-person LSAT courses:
    https://7sage.com/discussion/#/discussion/4760/7sages-approved-tutors/p1

  • goingfor99thgoingfor99th Member
    edited December 2017 3072 karma

    @"surfy surf" said:

    @goingfor99th said:
    That's not a totally awful idea, but you may be able to derive more benefit from a tutor than a prep course if you're struggling to grasp the subtleties of the test.

    What do you consider the 'basics' of the LSAT, if you had to say?

    I’m not sure I can afford a tutor? And I wouldn’t know who to use as a tutor? I took the LSAT 6 months ago in June I barely remember it. I never noticed a trend in the types of LR questions I got wrong so I think I just don’t understand the different types of questions. LG was hit and miss for me sometimes I couldn’t even answer the questions at all and other times i’d go back and get them all right.

    Oh, I misunderstood. I thought you meant you wanted to take an in-person prep course. If you're looking for a curriculum, 7sage is a good value. The Powerscore materials are inexpensive and useful, too.

    First, you will want to flash card question stems, indicator words, and argument forms. You should probably then study LG/LR by game/question type. Unfortunately, self-study is a huge part of the LSAT, regardless of who you are or where you begin.

  • _oshun1__oshun1_ Alum Member
    3652 karma

    @goingfor99th I do want an in person course. I went through 7sage already

  • goingfor99thgoingfor99th Member
    3072 karma

    @"surfy surf" said:
    @goingfor99th I do want an in person course. I went through 7sage already

    Well, then you should have money for a few hours with a tutor, I'd imagine. In-person courses are expensive.

  • OhnoeshalpmeOhnoeshalpme Alum Member
    2531 karma

    If you already paid for it, go through the 7sage curriculum again. Even with an in-person class, you still have to do most of the work at home, outside of class. Based on everything I have heard, the value of an in-person class is extremely hit or miss. You could roll the dice and pay for one, but there's a good chance that it just wont be useful at all - especially given the fact that you've done a decent amount of preparation already.

    tldr: My advice would be to work through the curriculum again, slowly and for deep understanding of the core lsat concepts. If your practice test and blind review are still inconsistent and lower than your target score, hire a tutor online.

  • _oshun1__oshun1_ Alum Member
    edited December 2017 3652 karma

    I found a small local prep course taught by an attorney who went to a t5 school with great reviews (students going from 150 to 170+). Starts in early spring. I think until then I’m gonna focus on LGs and if I master it I’ll go on to LR. I think my problem originally was I was trying to do everything at once bc I was aiming to take an earlier test date. Gonna really focus on mastering each section and not jump into prep tests.

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    4423 karma

    @"surfy surf"
    I don't really know much about many other options since like you, I decided 7 sage was my best choice. I will tell you the 7sage methods are sound(they got me to a 180).

    I would also say the biggest edge over the competition to my limited knowledge is the games techniques. I started with the Power Score Bibles(nearly universally regarded as the go to book for games) and felt 7 Sage was a noticeable boost. They also pushed foolproofing the games which I feel was the only reason I got as much better as I wanted on the games section which I had not originally finished. Even if you move on from 7 sage, I would recommend mainly foolproofing games using 7 sage's videos.

    That said, knowing nothing of this local prep course, I would say from what I have heard, don't do it if it is Kaplan; Powerscore and Testmasters have far better reputations. If it is just a local business or one of those more decent companies, you can try it, but keep in mind that knowing two systems to get to the correct answer incompletely is far worse than knowing one completely. So just make sure you get to complete understanding of at least one way.

    Further, you will PT again eventually and when you do, you need to do blind review right. If you don't know the correct answers to questions as you review and prove every right answer right and every wrong answer wrong on any questions you are not 100 percent confident of, you will learn more from the test. There is a video on proper blind review somewhere in the CC. Your description of memorizing without understanding sounds like you didn't quite do that.

    Last, but not least, you are probably not done with self study if you want to see a 12 point improvement. A good structured course may give you a small boost from getting better at the basics or learning new approaches which are easier for you, but it isn't likely to get you from a 158 to a 170. That isn't to say you can't get there, just that it will take serious work outside of any class or class assignments. This in person course is an in person version of the core curriculum which is better because you have the advantages of an in person teacher (being able to ask questions and feeling pressure to come prepared) and the disadvantages (rewinding, rewatching videos, and watching the parts where you are already a step ahead at 1.5 times won't be options). However, no matter how attentive people are during CC, no one says that is the end. Instead people go on to PTing or drilling weaknesses until they are scoring their target score or higher. You will have to do that to maximize your score too.

    Good luck

  • calcal101calcal101 Alum Member
    582 karma

    I second those who’ve recommended a review of the CC and working with a tutor. It sounds as though you need structure and accountability. Meeting with a tutor (some of whom just charge $10-50/hr) every two or three weeks could help keep you in track. I know test prep company tutors often avg around $200/hr, but that is by no means the norm here at 7Sage. Make a study schedule for youself (hopefully in partnership with an experienced mentor or tutor) and post it in your home — don’t play it by ear.

    I took a short in-person course before starting 7Sage. It was quite superficial—while “basicand seemed very much geared toward those who had low diagnostics and goal scores in the 150s or low 160s; that’s perfect for some people, but not a great fit for me (or you, from the sounds of it). The 7Sage community is fanatical in the best way possible :) so rely on it. It’s also well suited to long-term studying, while prep courses tend to max out at 3 or 4 months. It’s a very different sort of prep mentality.

    One last thing: check out the 7Sage webinars on study habits, testing strategies, etc

  • Legally_SpeakingLegally_Speaking Alum Member
    547 karma

    As someone who has tried other methods before finding 7sage (Powerscore and Kaplan) and has friends who took super-expensive prep courses, I can unequivocally say that 7sage is really the only serious option if you have/are willing to put in the time. The jumps in understanding and thus scoring that I've experienced and have seen from others is unlike any other LSAT prep course.

  • Aspiring1LAspiring1L Alum Member
    edited December 2017 159 karma

    Hey everyone. I'm registered for the Feb 2018 LSAT and was wondering if anyone recommends using 7Sage for 1.5 month prep. I took the Dec 2017 LSAT and self-studied for 4-months using Powerscore. The nerves took over on test day and adversely affected my score, mostly because I wasn't too confident in my preparation despite a floating 10-12 point increase on my PTs from my diagnostic. I feel like there's a limitation with Powerscore, especially when self-studying. Their private tutors are too far from me to travel to also.

  • calcal101calcal101 Alum Member
    582 karma

    @Aspiring1L said:
    Hey everyone. I'm registered for the Feb 2018 LSAT and was wondering if anyone recommends using 7Sage for 1.5 month prep. I took the Dec 2017 LSAT and self-studied for 4-months using Powerscore. The nerves took over on test day and adversely affected my score, mostly because I wasn't too confident in my preparation despite a floating 8-10 point increase on my PTs from my diagnostic. I feel like there's a limitation with Powerscore, especially when self-studying. Their private tutors are too far from me to travel to also.

    Well, I wouldn't recommend it, per se…I think virtually everyone on here will say you need at least 3 months (and probably more) to prep, and rushing through the CC in 1.5 won't be ideal. That said, if you aren't already acing LG, foolproof them completely. Take advantage of the webinars posted here. Participate in calls.

    I had a major issue with nerves on the September test. I cannot recommend meditation enough. I know it sounds silly to some, but it truly helped me--I felt so calm and focused on the December LSAT. I highly recommend Headspace (an app).

  • _oshun1__oshun1_ Alum Member
    edited December 2017 3652 karma

    @"Seeking Perfection" so I plugged in my test date into the 7sage study schedule. If I follow the schedule they give me exactly, I'll be doing on avg 15 hrs a week on the curriculum until March when it gets to the PrepTest part of the cc.

    I was planning on studying 6pm-10pm after work on weekdays. Should I fill that entire time with the 7sage core curriculum and finish it more quickly, or should I just do 2 hrs/day of 7sage CC and then 2 hours of logic game blind review? Maybe I'll just thoroughly go over 4 games a day after CC? LG are my weakness for sure.

    I'm also not yet sure how to schedule my weekends...just do the same as my weekdays but 8am-noon?

    Then in March i'll do that in person course, taking proctored prep tests every Saturday with the course and BR the tests myself after.

    After the course, June - December I will follow Kimmy_m66's schedule of alternating between BR'ing 2 specific sections and BR'ing entire preptests.

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    4423 karma

    @"surfy surf" said:
    @"Seeking Perfection" so I plugged in my test date into the 7sage study schedule. If I follow the schedule they give me exactly, I'll be doing on avg 15 hrs a week on the curriculum.

    I was planning on studying 6pm-10pm after work. Should I fill that time with the 7sage core curriculum and finish it more quickly, or should I just do 2 hrs/day of 7sage CC and then 2 hours of logic game blind review? Maybe I'll just thoroughly go over 2 games a day after CC? LG are my weakness for sure.

    I'm also not yet sure how to schedule my weekends...maybe just going over what I didnt quite understand in CC and do LR/LG drills? like 8am-1pm...maybe this is overkill if I'm taking a year to study?

    Then in March i'll do that in person course, taking proctored prep tests every Saturday with the course and BR the tests myself after.

    After the course, June - December I will follow Kimmy_m66's schedule of alternating between BR'ing 2 specific sections and BR'ing entire preptests.

    I'm not sure if redoing the CC makes much sense if you are planning to learn a different method in the in person course. It might still help. However, if I were you and was definitely going to take the in person course I would just try to get one section down and understood before the course in March. I think 7sage is best suited to helping you get logic games down. So I would just foolproof logic games until the class in March or until you perfect the section whichever comes first.

    Foolproofing takes a lot of time. If you use the abbreviated Pacifico method that Kimmy and I used and choose to do one new section of games a day it takes about 35 minutes to do the section of 4 games the first time(more at first), then at least that long to watch the 4 video explanations, then 35 minutes to redo the section, then 35 minutes to redo the day before's section, and 35 minutes to redo the week before's section. That works out to about 3 hours of foolproofing. Mix in a couple breaks and the possibility you may want to redo a game an extra time or rewatch a video and I think games alone can fill in your 6-10 pm week day time. I recommend doing them in sections like this because it builds the right stamina for the test and because if you finish a section on time, you know that you could have finished it on the real test whenever it was offered.

    Since you have so much time before your take, I would recommend using the weekends as breaks from games although I didn't during my prep. You could try to review parts of the LR CC during any time you study on the weekends or just use it as a built in break time where you could relax or catch up on foolproofing if you fall behind your plan.

    It will take you 40 week days to foolproof the first 35 tests of games since you finish foolproofing a games section one week after you first take it. That will be 8 weeks. Once you have done that, see where you are. If you still need work on games start foolproofing the games from PT's you have already done. If you are completing the sections on time entirely correctly the first time, then you can move on and review the CC for LR and RC before the in person class instead of foolproofing.

    Either way, it is time for you to go buy a few large binders and 140 binder sleeves and begin printing. Printing 4 copies of 35 tests worth of games gives you a sense of the magnitude of the task of foolproofing. Each game is 2 pieces of paper, you print each game 4 times, and there are 140 (35×4) different games so if I'm not mistaken you end up using 1120 sheets of paper. Buy another ink cartridge too and print in black and white on a draft mode if your printer has one.

    Anyways, there is a reason foolproofing works. It is learning through repetition and it isn't for the light of heart. So you have to find your motivation and then hold onto it until it gradually gets easier and more bearable and you eventually get the score you want on the section.

    Good luck!

  • _oshun1__oshun1_ Alum Member
    edited December 2017 3652 karma

    @"Seeking Perfection" thank you! I'll get to printing soon

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