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In the low 160s...how can I get to the mid-high 160s by the Nov test?

heanewbe18heanewbe18 Monthly Member
in General 38 karma

Hey 7Sage community,

I need some help. I really want to apply to law school this cycle and am going to take the November LSAT. For the past three PTs that I've taken I've scored between160-163 on the actual test and have gotten 173-175 on blind review for these same tests (breakdown of my scores below). I really want/need to bump my score up a few more points to be even within reaching distance for the law school that I really want to get into. I know it's a bit of a stretch, but I am particularly trying to get into Michigan for a variety of reasons, partly because I am currently a grad student here and have a pretty strong why Michigan essay as well as strength in my undergrad GPA (3.9) and other things that will help my application. I think that with this extra bump in my LSAT score I could have a shot of getting in.

So here's my problem: How can I raise my score by roughly five points or so in just under two months? Like I mentioned above, I'm a full time graduate student, plus I work part time, so I've found it hard to fit in time for anything more than a PT and a blind review of that test each week. Given the breakdown of my three PTs below, does anyone have any suggestions on how I can target specific areas or what I should focus on in my study time in order to improve before the November test? I really struggle with timing as well (as is exhibited by the difference between my actual and BR scores), so I am wondering if anyone has tips for improving timing? Also, if anyone is interested in dabbling in tutoring and is interested in helping me at all, please DM me!

Here is a breakdown of my three most recent PTs:

PT 1:

Actual Score: 163, -9 RC, -3 LG, -5 LR, -7, LR
BR Score: 175

PT 2:

Actual Score: 160, -7 RC, -8 LG, -4 LR, -7 LR
(*note: the high number of missed questions on LG for this test is unusual for me -- what happened here is I ran into a hard game that I had practiced before and I psyched myself out by remembering that it was really hard)
BR Score: 175

PT 3:

Actual Score: 162, -8 RC, -2 LG, -5 LR, -7 LR
BR Score: 173

Thank you to anyone who can provide some help! I appreciate any and all advice!

Best,
Heather

Comments

  • vinnyowenvinnyowen Alum Member
    79 karma

    I have the same issue. PTs in low-mid 160s, and BR average 173. My August-flex was 163. Would also appreciate any advice, especially in regards to closing gap between PT and BR score :D

  • emmorensemmorens Monthly Member
    1469 karma

    following this post as well!

  • geoffrey1987geoffrey1987 Alum Member
    25 karma

    I'm no expert so take this with a grain of salt, but you seem to be losing a lot of points on RC- and that happens to be my strongest section. What questions tend to trip you up there? Are particular passages, e.g. science, topics more difficult for you? Or is it a matter of running out of time?
    Either way, I would try to understand why you're dropping points in that area.
    And another thing that's worth looking into is where you're still getting questions wrong in BR.

    One 7Sager recommended some resources with texts similar to those you find in the RC section: https://7sage.com/discussion/#/discussion/24658

    Hope it helps!

  • heanewbe18heanewbe18 Monthly Member
    38 karma

    @"geoffrey.vendeville"

    Hi, thank you so much for the advice!

    My biggest problem in RC is honestly timing. I usually only get through 2.5 passages and on the third one I'm definitely always rushing. I always end up guessing on one entire passage and part of another one. However, for the passages that I do have time I will usually get all the questions right. And on BR for reading comp I usually get all of the questions correct or miss only like 1 or 2.

    In terms of particular types of passages, it's kind of random for me. I think law is technically my worst but I've also missed a few on science and art. I did take a look at my worst question types for reading comp though and here are my top five worst question types with the worst being first:

    1) Understanding and Analysis: Purpose of Paragraph in Context
    2) Understanding and Analysis: Describe Organization or Relationship
    3) Inference: Author's Perspective
    4) Recognition: Main Point
    5) Inference: Other's Perspective

    Do you have any advice for those specific question types or on how I can improve my timing?

    Thank you!
    Heather

  • emmacharleyemmacharley Alum Member
    88 karma

    @heanewbe18 said:

    Do you have any advice for those specific question types or on how I can improve my timing?

    Something I'd recommend is highlight key words as you read--sometimes even skip over the content at first. Look for words such as "some researchers," "hypothesis," "Thus,"etc. Anything that indicates a new thought, a conclusion, or a change in subject. It's an easier way to read for and highlight the structure.
    Similarly, you can also try to highlight and look out for any words that indicate the author's opinions. There are usually some adjectives that can help answer the inference questions quickly.
    Highlighting the types of words that indicate structure and opinions really helped me improve my reading comp from about -7/-8 to -3.

  • Heinz DoofenshmirtzHeinz Doofenshmirtz Alum Member
    edited September 2020 481 karma

    Cleaning up your LG is the fastest way to improve your score.
    Also, I think your LR misses are high enough that maybe it's a specific question type you need to drill? What would you say your weaknesses are ?

    Lastly, something that helped me in RC was to read a paragraph, and then highlight the main point from the paragraph only, and then move onto the next paragraph, and repeat. This is because before, I found myself highlighting random things because I thought they might show up on the questions. This detracted from my overall understanding of the passage and structure.

  • m.i.rivasm.i.rivas Alum Member
    203 karma

    Hi! I'm a very similar same position as you. My average is a 162 and I want a 167. I also had a lot of trouble with RC specifically with time as well. What I've done that's helped me a lot is I took some time away (like two weeks) from taking full RC timed sections and drilled easy and medium passages individually to get comfortable with the allotted time per passage. Depending on how many questions per passage I need about 4.5 minutes per passage and 3.5 - 4.5 minutes for the questions). This distribution of timing is different for everyone but figure out a comfortable reading time, while still keeping in mind passage structure and author's perspective. Picturing the author as someone that's actually talking to you helped me to really figure out their position. And work on meticulously and quickly answering questions. I try to never spend more than 30 seconds on a question. It can feel super uncomfortable but has started to feel better. And I make sure to diligently blind review after taking each section. I know am able to finish all passage with at least 8 minutes per passage which is so helpful. I used to get -10 or -11 in RC and recently got -4 on a section!

    I'd also recommend perfecting games. Practicing and foolproofing a section almost everyday. This is a great place to perfect so you don't sacrifice points.

    Good luck! It's definitely achievable to get better at timing at RC. I used to not think it was possible. I'm currently struggling the most with LR so any advice on managing time there would be so appreciated!

  • isaaccccc03isaaccccc03 Alum Member
    75 karma

    following

  • ClevelonClevelon Monthly Member
    72 karma

    I'm in a very similar position to you, taking the October and November LSAT. My average is 162 and I want a 168. These are my issues and what I'm planning on doing in case you can relate to any of it:

    LG: Consistently -5 or -6. I think 2 to 3 of those missed questions can be chalked up to not being patient enough with diagramming and paying for it on the back end. So I'm focusing on taking the extra 30 seconds or one minute to push out inferences so I can 100% the three easiest games and can afford to miss 2-3 questions on the hardest game.

    RC: I range from -3 to -8 and I think that's due to being inconsistent with my strategy, sometimes writing out low res summaries sometimes not. Just like with LG, I'm working on being more patient and taking extra time on the passages and less time on the questions to limit the time suck that comes with having to revisit passages too frequently.

    LR: I range from -4 to -6. I think LR will be the most difficult to improve in the short term. I think I flag too many questions in my first round so I don't have enough time to focus on the questions that really deserve to be flagged in the second round. Going to drill the questions that kill time for me (parallel flaw/reasoning, must be true) and keep PTing to refine the flagging strategy.

    Hope this makes sense!

  • mauve_ultrasaurmauve_ultrasaur Legacy Member
    21 karma

    following

  • heanewbe18heanewbe18 Monthly Member
    38 karma

    @"Heinz Doofenshmirtz"

    Thank you for the tips! I will definitely test the RC method because it seems like my worst question types deal with structure and inference/opinion of the author or others in the passage.

    Also, for LR my worst question types are parallel flawed method of reasoning, argument part, MSS, PSA, and MBT/MBF. Do you have any strategies for any of these question types? I've found that I particularly take up soooo much time on parallel method questions and hate doing the MSS or MBT/MBF questions when they pop up on a section I'm doing.

    Thank you!
    Heather

  • heanewbe18heanewbe18 Monthly Member
    38 karma

    @emmacharley

    Thank you so much! I will definitely be trying that!

  • heanewbe18heanewbe18 Monthly Member
    38 karma

    Thank you @"m.i.rivas"!

    I'm really interested in trying your 30sec/question strategy for RC. What do you do if you can't answer the question in 30sec? Do you skip it and come back at the end?

  • heanewbe18heanewbe18 Monthly Member
    edited September 2020 38 karma

    @Clevelon

    Thank you! It sounds like we're in pretty similar situations with our overall and individual section scores! For LG I definitely suggest spending more time up front on inferences/diagramming. That has helped me so much and I've found that then the questions just go so quickly. Also if you have an LG question that kind of requires you to test each answer choice, my strategy is to sit and think for a few seconds before I start testing to think about which element might be the one that has the most restrictions/rules and test question choices with that element first. That has helped me save a lot of time!

    Also, what do you focus on while reading a passage in RC? I feel like I spend a lot of time up front reading but then still have to go back to the passage a lot while I'm answering the questions.

  • m.i.rivasm.i.rivas Alum Member
    203 karma

    @heanewbe18
    I hardly ever skip though maybe I should. But usually if I understood the passage well most questions will naturally take 20 - 30 seconds. Some might take around 40 seconds because they just have more words and that's fine too. But the main thing is getting used to answering questions fast, eliminating wrong ones fast and not dwelling between answer choices. If I follow that process and understood the passage well I tend to spend around 30 seconds per question which helps me have a lot of time to read the passage.

  • An_SkywalkerAn_Skywalker Alum Member
    160 karma

    For RC, try finishing the first two passages quicker so you could buy more time for the harder passages in the back. Guess and skip any question that you're unsure on. In other words, choose your fight, and know when to skip.
    For LG, you could try doing a timed section every two days (not sure what your schedule is like), and BR/watch Ex videos on the next day. LG should be the easiest section to improve on, so strategically, when you have only limited time to improve your LSAT performance, focusing more attention on LG is the way to go.

  • I would second @"Heinz Doofenshmirtz" on their comment about LG. Its definitely gonna be a lot easier drilling some linear, distribution, or multi-linear (maybe 5-10 of one type a day), and getting down to -0 there. (btw I would focus on those in that order since that order is organized in terms of how often you'll see those games). Reading Comp is really hard to improve on, especially on such a short time frame. The most helpful thing for me in improving my reading comp though, was definitely spending more time on the passage and less on the question. Like @m.i.rivas I probably spent around ~4minutes on the passages themselves, and tried to just go with my gut on the questions. I found early on that I lost time when I rushed through the passage only to come back to it for almost every question.

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