3-month Timeline: What's good studying and what's a waste of time?

in General 20 karma

Hey guys, I'm very new to 7Sage, but have found the discussion and resources to be a invaluable supplement to my LSAT studies. I apologize if something like this has been asked before, but I couldn't find it in a search, so please forgive me if I'm being redundant.

To be short, I'm graduating college in May and looking to take a gap year before attending law school, meaning my goal is to be part of the next (Fall 2019) admissions cycle. I'm planning on taking the June LSAT, since it's the last disclosed test on the schedule. I began studying at the beginning of March using the LSAT Trainer (I was totally clueless and had read that 12-weeks was a solid amount of time), and had been feeling fairly confident about my progression/habits until I stumbled upon a 7Sage podcast. You guys do some incredibly airtight review and in-depth studying, and I've begun incorporating a lot of these habits into my process (blind review, fool-proofing, etc).

What I've noticed, though, is that the time horizons for 7Sagers are generally longer than what I am looking at (3-months for June LSAT, potentially up to 6-months if I retake in September). I also sort of shocked myself and got a 167 diagnostic. I didn't want to put too much weight into that score in case it was a fluke, but I do seem to be testing at around a 166 - 171 level right now. Given my limited time and the fact that I feel fairly confident with my progression, is it wise for me to go the whole 9 yards and ensure that I'm fool-proofing everything ten times and blind-reviewing for hours on end, or should I only do these things for the question types I've identified as problematic? I don't want to half-ass this process, but I also spent 5 or 6 hours yesterday fool-proofing ten or so questions and worry that perhaps I could have cut that in half and used my energy on another problem area.

I understand this is a unique situation, and I anticipate a lot of the responses to be something along the lines of "extend your time frame," but please treat this like a logic game ... given THESE conditions, what do you guys suggest?

(That being said, I'm certainly not opposed to treating June like a trial and taking again in September, but I'll have more limited time once I start working in mid-June).

Thanks so much!

Comments

  • Better every dayBetter every day Legacy Member
    246 karma

    @football17 said:
    Hey guys, I'm very new to 7Sage, but have found the discussion and resources to be a invaluable supplement to my LSAT studies. I apologize if something like this has been asked before, but I couldn't find it in a search, so please forgive me if I'm being redundant.

    To be short, I'm graduating college in May and looking to take a gap year before attending law school, meaning my goal is to be part of the next (Fall 2019) admissions cycle. I'm planning on taking the June LSAT, since it's the last disclosed test on the schedule. I began studying at the beginning of March using the LSAT Trainer (I was totally clueless and had read that 12-weeks was a solid amount of time), and had been feeling fairly confident about my progression/habits until I stumbled upon a 7Sage podcast. You guys do some incredibly airtight review and in-depth studying, and I've begun incorporating a lot of these habits into my process (blind review, fool-proofing, etc).

    What I've noticed, though, is that the time horizons for 7Sagers are generally longer than what I am looking at (3-months for June LSAT, potentially up to 6-months if I retake in September). I also sort of shocked myself and got a 167 diagnostic. I didn't want to put too much weight into that score in case it was a fluke, but I do seem to be testing at around a 166 - 171 level right now. Given my limited time and the fact that I feel fairly confident with my progression, is it wise for me to go the whole 9 yards and ensure that I'm fool-proofing everything ten times and blind-reviewing for hours on end, or should I only do these things for the question types I've identified as problematic? I don't want to half-ass this process, but I also spent 5 or 6 hours yesterday fool-proofing ten or so questions and worry that perhaps I could have cut that in half and used my energy on another problem area.

    I understand this is a unique situation, and I anticipate a lot of the responses to be something along the lines of "extend your time frame," but please treat this like a logic game ... given THESE conditions, what do you guys suggest?

    (That being said, I'm certainly not opposed to treating June like a trial and taking again in September, but I'll have more limited time once I start working in mid-June).

    Thanks

    Normally, I would say it takes more than 3 months but if you are already PTing that high you could definitely hit 172+ this summer. I think we could use a little more information before giving advice.

    What part of the test are you struggling the most with? What’s your typical breakdown per section like?

    Do you feel like you have a solid grasp of the fundamentals or is something really tripping you up? (If you are hitting high 160s I would think ou probably have a good grasp on what most of the CC covers.)

    My gut is to tell you to mainly focus on taking full length PTs under timed conditions and then thoroughly blind review them and focus on anything that is giving you particular trouble.

  • 20 karma

    @"Better every day" Thanks for your response!

    I've still got a couple of chapters left in LSAT Trainer, but for the most part I feel I've got a grasp of LSAT basics and modes of thought. No one section stands out as problematic, although RC has shown the least "improvement" - I go anywhere from -2 to -4 usually and can't seem to figure out a way to systematically avoid this. In LR, I think my path forward is developing question specific strategies and figuring out my timing. LG is similar, right now I'm just trying to get experience with as diverse an array of scenarios as possible and figure out the subtle nuances that seem to crop up over and over again. I'm never really at a loss for how to approach a game, it's just a matter of how exhaustive I can make the diagram.

    So you're thinking as many timed PTs with blind review and fool-proofing as possible?

  • Better every dayBetter every day Legacy Member
    246 karma

    @football17 said:
    @"Better every day" Thanks for your response!

    I've still got a couple of chapters left in LSAT Trainer, but for the most part I feel I've got a grasp of LSAT basics and modes of thought. No one section stands out as problematic, although RC has shown the least "improvement" - I go anywhere from -2 to -4 usually and can't seem to figure out a way to systematically avoid this. In LR, I think my path forward is developing question specific strategies and figuring out my timing. LG is similar, right now I'm just trying to get experience with as diverse an array of scenarios as possible and figure out the subtle nuances that seem to crop up over and over again. I'm never really at a loss for how to approach a game, it's just a matter of how exhaustive I can make the diagram.

    So you're thinking as many timed PTs with blind review and fool-proofing as possible?

    Yeah I would say that’s a solid approach and maybe keep track of how many questions you got wrong per type so you can hone in on your weakest spots. If you are struggling at all with Logic Games I would just recommend watching the video explanations after the game and then redoing it a few times. I started with the PowerScore LG bible and I used to spend way too much time on the diagram trying to make inferences up front. I didn’t start crushing LG until I learned how to balance the set up with just attacking games by using hypotheticals and making some inferences after starting the game. I’m pretty much in the same PT range as you now and this is basically what I plan to do. It’s been my experience that RC is hardest to bump up but seems like you are already pretty solid on that at least.

  • 20 karma

    @"Better every day" Awesome, I really appreciate your advice. Best of luck!

  • TheRach3TheRach3 Alum Member
    35 karma

    Your trajectory seems to be similar to mine, so I'll share what I did in case it helps you. I should precede this with the disclaimer of "NOT generally recommended" -- however, it worked for me, suited my goals beautifully, and I'm glad I took this approach.

    Here was my basic timeline, starting last fall:

    Oct. 3:
    I've been idly considering law school but not sure if I'm capable due to a very nontraditional background. I take a practice test cold -- mostly on a dare from my brother. I score 155 but am shell-shocked on LG's and only manage to answer a few questions there before running out of time. I take another 20 minutes, do my own version of BR on LG's, and come up with a 171 BR score. I'm shocked.

    I decide I want to go to law school and sign up for LSAT Premium on 7Sage immediately (my brother had done the research on prep companies which was a huge advantage). I also sign up for the Nov. 17 LSAT.

    Oct. 4 thru Nov. 4:
    I go through the entire core curriculum and work nearly all the exercises. I listen to videos on 2-3x speed unless I'm having trouble understanding. Most of my study is on the go (often in the car) since I work full-time and drive a ton for work.

    Nov. 1-15:
    I do 8 practice tests (36-40 and 54-46). Scores are 165-169, plus one 171. I BR as much as possible -- BR scores are 167-171 with one 174.

    I use 7Sage analytics like crazy -- I review CC videos for question categories, prioritizing the categories I miss most. I focus on low-hanging fruit -- the work that will raise my scores the most with the least amount of time. This includes questions / areas that I was able to narrow down to 2 choices, question categories in which I got the answer correct but wasn't positive of the answer, and questions ranked "easy" that I missed.

    I review most of the questions I missed and go over them until I understand why I missed them.

    I review LOTS of LG's because I'm still struggling most with that. I print a ton of LG sections, work and re-work them every spare moment, and watch videos repeatedly to ingrain the process.

    Nov. 17:
    I score a 171. Ironically (or perhaps according to strategy), I get my best score in LG.

    My bottom line: with my initial 155 / BR 171 I knew that I could succeed if I raised my general level of understanding and then worked surgically at the areas that both needed the most work and provided the greatest opportunity for extra points. 7Sage provided the on-point, solid instruction and guidelines I needed.

    Most of my problems were with RC and LG but I found it was imperative to do ALL the CC for the foundation of knowing how to think consciously the way you need to in order to ace the LSAT.

    While this process is arguably "wrong" and "much too rushed," it was the best choice for me, all things considered. I had decided (for personal reasons) that if I was going to do law school I wanted to start this year. Thus delaying for a better score would have yielded a net negative result -- no matter how high a retake score I received -- and I determined to just do the best I could on Nov. 17 (with the option of a Jan. 26 retake if needed).

    My advice, for what it's worth: go for it. Be surgical and smart about how you spend your time. Instead of half-assing all of it, make sure you have a solid overall understanding and then pick certain categories that you will completely master. I believe you'll score better (and move faster) if you are solid on most of the questions but completely lost on a few, rather than being somewhat sure on all of the questions but only being able to narrow them down to 2 choices.

    On the LSAT, you don't win by being almost right all of the time -- you win by being right almost all of the time.

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    Hi @how_do_you_badiou! First of all, congrats on having an awesome place to start from with the LSAT. I would normally say 3 months is way too short (I heard the same advice and then learned just how very wrong that was lol) but in your case, you have potential to score very high much faster than most. It took me about 9 months to hit a 168, but I started with a 155 diagnostic. So, you're definitely ahead of me already haha.

    I wasn't totally clear by your other post - can you say what your typical score break down is? How many questions are you usually getting wrong per section? And if you are doing BR, what's your usual BR score?

    I would say if you are regularly getting 3 or more wrong per LG section, foolproofing can definitely help. I don't think you need to necessarily repeat every game 10 times, or print 10 copies. Here is the method that many folks around here use to modify foolproofing, known as the "Pacifico method": https://7sage.com/discussion/#/discussion/2737/logic-games-attack-strategy/p1

    What you are really aiming for is to do the game while getting all answers correct in equal or less than JY's recommended time. If you hit that target on your first attempt, no need to repeat. It usually took me about 3 tries for each game, give or take depending on difficulty. But I do think there is something to gain from the repetition, you just need to do it in a way that maximizes your time.

    Many people will say that you should foolproof until you consistently go -0 for every LG section. I do think most people could do that, but since I was trying to beat the clock and take the LSAT, I only ever made it to between about -1 and -3 for each section. It's up to you of course, and depending on what score you are trying to reach, how much time you have, how well you're doing in other sections, etc.

    Some people also advocate BRing every question on every PT. I personally think that's a little overkill. I'm sure you learn a lot that way, but also doesn't strike me as the most efficient. I think you also learn a lot by thinking about which questions you were confident on or not. I think the best method is to circle questions you are unsure of while you take a PT, and then BR only those circled questions, then check your score. Then, re-review the ones you got wrong on BR, circled and not, and also process through why you were over- or under-confident on your answers.

    Hope some of that is helpful! It's rare that I think someone can crush the LSAT in 3 months, but you just might be one of those exceptions haha. Good luck!

  • 20 karma

    @TheRach3 Thanks for the in-depth personal anecdote! That timeline is really interesting and helpful. Congrats on the 171!

  • 20 karma

    @"Leah M B" First, thanks for your comment! I've seen a lot of you on the forums in my short time here, so I almost feel a little star struck haha.

    As far as PT scores go, I've only taken one other one (PT 73) since I started reviewing, because the LSAT Trainer curriculum has only prompted me to do that one (and 72 as well, but circumstances prevented me from having the time to do it that week). I believe I've got something like 5-6 actual lesson chapters left in the Trainer, but they seem to be getting more niche than the earlier ones, leading me to believe I've been exposed to most of the base knowledge. I'm just getting into the phase of studying where I'm doing almost exclusively sets and not conceptual work (although I'm not sure I like that the Trainer recommends sets by question type).

    The last four-ish weeks of study, I'll have no other obligations, so my plan has been to take 4-5 tests each week, as well as drill question types that have given me trouble.

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