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What I wish somebody had told me on the journey for a 170+

mgzero2mgzero2 Alum Member
in General 86 karma

Started in or are sub 160: Get a course like 7sage, Manhattan, or some good resources like LSAT Trainer and LG bible, LR bible and self study(I'm all about quality>quantity). If you study that material well for a bit you should be able to hit 160 eventually. Criticism is worth more than compliments. Be thorough about why you suck and what you can do to improve. Didn't label something? Better label it next time. Mistook necessary for sufficient? Oldest trick in the book for a reason. People scoring better than you do not do it as often as you chances are. Drill problematic areas if needed so you do not repeat bad mistakes. Time isn't crucial but you should be doing some timed worked every so often depending on your needs.

Hitting 160+: Review fundamentals again. They honestly aren't as solid as you probably think. We have terrible bias about ourselves. We dislike knowing how much we suck. You will get some free speed even if you do not get more accuracy at least so it is NOT a waste of time as it can only help you. Do more practice tests(UNDER SIMULATED CONDITIONS) and BLIND REVIEW those mistakes you make. DO NOT cheat yourself. Spend a few mins on every question you got wrong and really dig on what got you to get it wrong.

Hitting 165+: You are going to start climbing the hill. Imagine yourself as a manual car and put yourself in the right gear. Don't put it on 4 at 10 mph and don't put it at 1 at 80mph. Here, it's about quality learning and not basic improvements. You have to thoroughly understand why the language, stimulus, etc is tripping you up. Start developing a methodology for approaching sections, questions, etc. I got stuck here like it was quick sand and I was helpless after quickly moving from 150s to 160s. I would not drill heavily here. I think drilling is great for sub 160 but not later. Have money? Get a tutor. Don't have money? You need to be VERY honest or you're going to be here stuck like me. Dismissing a question as a silly mistake? That is the STUPIDEST error in the book if the other is the oldest. That is going to HURT you. Hurt you very much.

Hitting 170+: Here it's about perfecting your methodology for things. If you forgot to put a not rule under sequential game treat it like you're a total newbie and be careful to not do that again. It's costing you time that you should have to review the tough questions, or spend in other questions in every section. Forgot to label a conclusion? Probably why you got it wrong or it cost you time. Forgot to translate language on an answer choice just because your gut told you? Got it wrong? Got it right? DOES NOT MATTER. Costed you time so you're making an error. That is why you do not have time left, didn't have time for a tough question, etc. Keep your methodology simple but effective. There is no ifs. You either did it right or didn't. It doesn't matter if you could have gotten it right but didn't if you want to improve. Be harsh but honest. No errors is the goal to aim for on the test taking. You should have things down to a mechanistic habit if you want to move up anywhere from 170 or be more consistent.

Hitting 175+: Don't know what you're doing wrong? I have no clue how you got here then. You should not need advice. Refer to 170 as maybe you're still having some problematic habits but have a very strong -0 section or two that is keeping you from doing better. Stop using your strong section as a crutch if that is what you are doing. Try to be a master of all.

Hit 180: Go celebrate your awesomeness. Do that at 175+ too. If you got here and didn't do that you probably should. What a feat. Heck, go celebrate every time you move up the ladder. Probably will keep you more sane.I just didn't want you to be complacent so I did not mention it earlier.

Things to do at EVERY step: have patience. Sorry, unless you scored a 165+ on your first test it will require some learning and practice. Patience. Things don't change overnight. Keep that in mind at every step of the process. I promise to you if you are honest and critical about your errors and studying you WILL improve. I can't tell you how fast, but I can confidently say you will.

Misc. notes: A tutor really can be helpful at moving up the hill once you hit 165+. They can see your pattern on approaching questions wrong, mention to you ways to improve speed, etc. If you can't afford one you need to be as I said HONEST and CRITICAL about your performance. I highlighted one word here in all of this post. See what that sentence said again. It wasn't a hyperbole; it was a fact.


  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    4423 karma

    A lot of this seems like good advice, but I don't think any of it should be as restricted to any one score level. In general, I think the same things that get someone to a 160 get you to a 170 or a 180.

  • mgzero2mgzero2 Alum Member
    86 karma

    @"Seeking Perfection" said:
    A lot of this seems like good advice, but I don't think any of it should be as restricted to any one score level. In general, I think the same things that get someone to a 160 get you to a 170 or a 180.

    I agree. It wasn't really meant to give people a strict guideline by numbers on how to improve. It was mainly to highlight my journey and hope people would take some of my hard lessons as things to be on the look out for while they studied and avoid those mistakes as well as to perhaps incorporate some of my lessons as things they could change to help themselves. Things like being dismissive of questions they got wrong because it seemed silly on the second look which actually turns out to be very bad although it might seem like an okay thing to do. Something to ponder if they are making those kinds of errors. It's really a reflection on my journey. I titled it as such because I did not want it to be strict advice. I could have titled it How to Get a 170+ instead if I was aiming at a rigid guideline chart. It has advice that I could definitely see as useful because I wanted to share back with the people here on my lessons, but it's in no way a guideline nor do I think it's exclusive by the numbers/steps. I think you can definitely benefit from blind review in 170, 165, etc. although I only stress it at one point,which I still think it probably is the most important point to do it in, I did not say you could not benefit from it later. Perhaps I made it too stylistic.

  • paulmv.benthempaulmv.benthem Alum Member
    1032 karma

    I enjoyed reading this post as I'm drilling away at the library! Thanks, @mgzero2! :smile:

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