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When to know when I'll know enough to begin Practice Tests?

gregory.ruane-1-1gregory.ruane-1-1 Alum Member
in General 37 karma
Hey Everybody--

At 43, I'm probably one of the older (oldest)? Sagers, from 1999-2013 I sold legal research and related products to hundreds of law firms. (Thx West!)

Anyway, my college years were back in the early-mid 90's grunge years. So it was a while since I took an exam. I took the LSAT diag test and got punched, kicked and humiliated. I've never suffered from 'smartest guy in the room' syndrome but I expected to score better. And I just felt defeated.

Over the last 18 months or so, I've gone through the course-- twice. Due to necessity. Sorry for sounding like a greeting card but life didn't really care about my time frames and I had to put down the books for stretches of time.

While my timing and consistency need improvement, my highest practice test was in the high 150's. But I'm still not comfortable opening an official test booklet and thinking that I can replicate or improve upon that score.

I've got 30 recent prep tests printed and ready to take. But I don't want to burn any until I feel more prepared.

My study/prep plan is as follows so please let me know if it's a good one:

-print out the roughly 100 logic games tests and take each one as many times as necessary until it fits JY's time constraints
-2-3 per day feels reasonable, or 90 minutes, whichever comes first.
-full review, again, my formal logic, intersections, rule triggers, premise/conclusion ID's, and valid/invalid arg's etc.
-use older tests (7-18)--simultaneously with everything above- to test time constraints. of course, blind review.
-i'll try to prep a max of 2-3 hours daily-- more than that, i think will lead to burnout
-this should take me through early-mid-summer and have me taking prep tests from then until december
-sit for the december test--

I think the above schedule will allow me to hit my goal of 80 correct questions.

If a different schedule makes more sense, please let me know. Thanks Sagers......



  • nicole.hopkinsnicole.hopkins Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    7965 karma
    Gregger—I dig it. I feel like anyone over the age of 25 in this forum feels like the oldest person in the room, but you're in more diverse (in experience and otherwise) company than you might expect.

    Your study plan sounds totally reasonable. One thing I'd say is don't be afraid to retake full PT's. Since you don't plan to take until December, I think you'd be fine taking tests in the 30's–40's (and joining our Skype blind review groups if you can!) and even 50's in the months to come, because by the time you get into the fall, there will be several months between when your eyes last laid on the tests, so you can cycle them into your PT-taking schedule.

    I'll probably invite plenty of controversy in making such a bold statement, but frankly, this is more or less what I'm doing and I know several top scorers who did likewise.

  • DumbHollywoodActorDumbHollywoodActor Alum Inactive ⭐
    7468 karma
    I’m 38. Right there with you. During my freshman year of college, the Information SuperHighway was all the rage. You could dial-up Prodigy at 4800bps.
  • gregory.ruane-1-1gregory.ruane-1-1 Alum Member
    37 karma
    Thanks for the support Nicole and Hollywood!

    In the past I've spent weeks focusing on the logic games, only to realize I was neglecting the args and reading comp. Then I'd spend a few weeks on args and reading comp. And neglect the games. And feel like I was behind.

    It's easy to practice the games and the RC, they just align easy/easier with repeated attacks. But the args are a little stickier. I find once I focus on a level 4/5 difficulty question and get it right, I tend to remember it when seeing it again. Not always, but enough.

    I've been using your idea Nicole-- it's really the only way to practice args repeatedly without burning through new tests.

    So, 3 hours daily - games, comp and args. Make sure I keep on top of all sections. Practice w/ already taken tests and older tests. I had a former NFL player as a regional manager at West and he would always remind us to "move the chains, every day." Outside of that advice he was useless but it WAS good advice!!
  • emli1000emli1000 Alum Member Inactive ⭐
    3462 karma
    If you feel as if you're not ready yet to start taking PTs try drilling different sections each week. Maybe start week1 with LG, week 2 LR and week 3 RC. I usually did a little of each each day but when I focused the most on my least favorite section, I would slowly see improvement. It's never too early to start taking PTs either. The Skype BR groups are very helpful there are many people taking the June and Oct/Dec LSAT. You could join once every 2 weeks if that would work for you.
  • nicole.hopkinsnicole.hopkins Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    7965 karma
    @"gregory.ruane-1-1" said:
    "move the chains, every day."
    Love that—great advice, and I second it especially for LSAT. Make sure you do all 3 sections each days, even if it's only 6-7 LR Q's, one game, and one RC passage.
  • lsatcommittedlsatcommitted Alum Member
    166 karma
    @gregory.ruane-1-1, sorry youngster, but you wont win the Old-Off in this forum...
  • gregory.ruane-1-1gregory.ruane-1-1 Alum Member
    37 karma
    I'll take it, committed!!

    Question Nicole:

    I understand the valid args and the invalid arg forms. But I still have to do a quick scribble, especially when doing parallel reasoning questions.

    Does this mean i don't really understand the args as well as I think or does everybody have to do a quick scribble?

  • emli1000emli1000 Alum Member Inactive ⭐
    3462 karma
    most people usually have to do a quick scribble :)
  • nicole.hopkinsnicole.hopkins Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    7965 karma
    @"gregory.ruane-1-1" I don't think doing versus not doing a brief scribble is enough of an indicator of your understanding. Do YOU think you understand arguments or is there still more to learn? I suppose this might in part be measured by how often you're missing those questions.
  • gregory.ruane-1-1gregory.ruane-1-1 Alum Member
    37 karma
    That is the best news I'll get all day....
  • mpits001mpits001 Alum Member
    938 karma
    @nicole.hopkins That's so true! I thought I was the only one who DIDN'T remember most of the question on a PT taking it again a month or so later!
  • gregory.ruane-1-1gregory.ruane-1-1 Alum Member
    37 karma
    I don't miss the questions but have to do a quick scribble of the structure. When I see an answer choice that doesn't match immediately, I can quickly move on.

    Just wanted to make sure that holding the structure in my head wasn't the 'best practice' for determining full understanding of the valid/invalid arg forms.
  • emli1000emli1000 Alum Member Inactive ⭐
    3462 karma
    @"gregory.ruane-1-1" that is great practice! I always do that, as soon as I realize that it's not the same as the stimulus I quickly move on to the next answer choice.
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