Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Coming to a realization.... need validation.

edited May 2015 in June 2015 LSAT 66 karma
Hi All:

I've come to a realization that I am just simply not ready for the June LSAT. I'm still going to try my best, walk in there, and see what im going up against (given the more recent tests are WAY harder than the older PT's iv'e been taking), and retake in October.

After going through a Blueprint Prep Course, about 12 tutoring sessions, and drilling and taking multiple PT's, Iv'e come to the conclusion that iv'e been studying completely wrong... I just took PT62 and got a 151. My diagnostic, at the beginning of the blueprint course, was at 133 (never been exposed to any type of formal/symbolic logic). Since my cumulative LSAC GPA is pretty low (did poorly in undergrad, retook close to 40% of those classes and Aced them; unfortunately, LSAC doesn't count retakes), my aim for a 165+ is the only thing that is going to keep my dreams alive of going to school's in the T20's. When i saw that 151 for PT62, After studying for so long, and not getting the score increase iv'e been wanting, it was a rough moment to say the least... I walked outside of the library, washed my face with cold water, and just accepted the fact that a miracle is not going to happen in 14 days. It's just not. I am leaving on a month-long trip to southeast asia with my girlfriend that is going away to medical school (once we get back, july 10) a day after the June 2015 LSAT.

I need to make sure that first off, my saying "that's it, im done" it relative to my current standing point, and I am not just giving up for nothing. Second, I have 3 full months of studying when I get back, and I'm considering this the last push of all; after rescheduling the Feb 2015 LSAT, Deciding to sit out this cycle was really heartbreaking for my girlfriend... we both wanted to start our postgrad school at the same time, so she can start doing her rotations where ever I'll be in Law School. Now, due to sitting out + her Med School schedule, we'll be living apart for another extra year. it really sucks.

My questions are:
1. I'm planning on hitting the ground RUNNING when i get back; literally. Next day, I'll be in full-blown study mode. I've been hearing nothing but good things about 7Sage and the LSAT Trainer. I'm planning on getting both, although i've been using 7Sage's free account and i have been following the Fool-Proof method for the LG, the Memory-Retainment for RC. What are your thoughts everyone?

2. I need some SERIOUS advice, because honestly, my tutor was a sham; He praised himself and promised the world, and instead, we did several problems per session, and I felt like he was intentionally stretching out the time so he can bill more hours (he wanted 100$/hr, i got him down to 75$. The BIGGEST financial mistake iv'e made, combined with Blueprint's 1500$ bomb). I need someone to give it to me rough, nasty, and as real as possible; I know there are MANY of you on 7Sage that know what you are doing... and I need that input. I'll give you any information you need, just ask by replying here. What do i do for the 3 months that i get back? where do i begin? do i start over completely? do i just nitpick at where i completely suck? let me give you a small breakdown by section so you understand where i'm standing...

A. LG - horrible. I obviously haven't done enough to master it, I'm still getting between -5 & -13 per sections.
B. RC- i've tried everything; from tagging the passage according to Blueprint/Testmasters strategy, to reading just the GIST (General Idea, Structure, Tone) and then referring back, to trying 7Sage's memory-method. When I Drill the sections, i'm not bad... i'll go -6 & -8. but when i PT them, i just don't have enough time to get to all the passages, and I literally end up guessing on a whole one.
C. LR- oh my lord.. where do I begin? i went from drilling between 50-200 questions of every question type, learning the strategies, but for some reason.. when its PT time, i'm just not there. **I even tried going for the accuracy strategy (spending more time on each question, but obviously not getting to all of them) because I realized even then, I simply wasn't getting to all of them.. but nooooooooo, still no good. I even tried switching up the order of the questions (doing 1-12, then 20-25, then 13-19).. AND YES, IV'E BEEN BLIND REVIEWING ALL MY PT'S. it usually goes up by about 10-12 pts.

3. I took JYPING's (7Sage Founder) advice on NOT to burn through the PT's, so i stopped at 62. NO more PT's! How do I counter that? What do I replace PT's (since i'll obviously need to take more than 10 PT's for October)... Do I just reuse the ones I took?

4. I feel completely burnt out at the moment, but for obvious guilt reasons I feel like I should keep going.. I literally eat, sleep, dream, feel LSAT; That's how its been since December!!

If any of you can help by providing insight based on experience, that would be really helpful. Honestly, I just got to the point where I am so mentally broken and disappointed in myself due to the inadequate progress that I really don't even know what to say to myself anymore.

Thanks everyone, I R-E-A-L-L-Y appreciate it.


  • ddakjikingddakjiking Inactive ⭐
    edited May 2015 2116 karma
    First of all, I congratulate you on your decision to postpone. It most definitely is not an easy one and I had to do the same not too long ago. I had taken a Fall Blueprint course in preparation for the Dec 2014 LSAT. At the end of the course, I realized I simply wasn't ready enough and decided to postpone till Feb 2015. Those extra two months really helped me out.

    1) You should definitely try 7Sage and The Trainer. At this point, what is $179 + whatever the price is for The Trainer. These investments will be for your whole career.

    2) I actually took a live Blueprint Course (no private tutor) so I can sympathize with you on the price tag. I moved on to 7Sage after and went through the entire curriculum from start to finish.

    I honestly think that with proper time and instruction, you can get your -5 to -13 LG down to the -0 to -3 range. After going through Blueprint and most recently 7Sage, I am finally at that range.
    A -6 to -8 on a timed RC section isn't a bad place to start since this is a section where it's hard to improve greatly. I would continue to drill.
    I used to despise LR as much as RC because I simply sucked at LR (on my diagnostic, I got like 14 questions TOTAL from both LR's). Over time, you start to appreciate this section because it's definitely possible to improve on (after LG of course). In addition, half of your graded sections comes from LR so it definitely helps to be good at LR. I'm now scoring around 41-43/51.

    3) JY is right...Do not burn through any more fresh PT's for the time being! I made that mistake during the course of my BP class. I only have like 3 more fresh PT's left and have been forced to work with retakes.

    4) Postpone asap to Oct so you get your preferred Testing Center location and take a breather. From now until when you leave on your month-long vacation, work on going through some of the 7Sage Lessons. While I do think that it's necessary to take time off completely on vacation, a whole month is rather long so if possible, I'd try to bring a little bit of each section to drill. If anything, bring some copies of the Economist or any other hard newspaper prints.
  • smalone313smalone313 Alum Member
    28 karma
    You can do it! Keep on pushing and do 7sage when you get back from your trip. Don't start on the fresh PT's until you have gone through the whole program. Keep practicing with the old PT's you've already taken. I'm sure by the time you get back you'll have distanced yourself enough from them for it to be worthwhile.
  • sarkisp23sarkisp23 Alum Member
    374 karma
    Before you do anything, I would address the mindset you have for this test. After your vacation, you'll be more relaxed and you can sort of start fresh. But understand something, if this is truly what you want to do in your life, then you WILL find a way to make it happen no matter what. Find that internal burning desire where you just have NO CHOICE but to succeed. Then, learn to enjoy the LSAT. It can actually be pretty fun once you find your rhythm. Find that rhythm. And for some specific advice, READ MORE. Nothing LSAT-related; I'm talking the economist and so on. Reading, among other benefits, improves your short-term memory and that is vital to the LSAT. It might be the reason why you're not doing well on timed sections. Not only that, but on RC, knowing subject matter will improve your score so reading will also give you that benefit. Now go make it happen because you already know deep down you have no choice. This is your calling and no one, not even some random test is going to take that away from you.
  • kittyahmedkittyahmed Free Trial Member
    58 karma
    I'm tossing in my two cents here, with some caveats: first, I have not taken the LSAT yet (I take it next week) so there's no telling how my studying will pay off in terms of the actual test (my PT range is mid- to high-160s). Second, I did not take any courses or tutoring of any kind, so I can't say what is and isn't worth it in the end. What strikes me in what you write is that you might have tried to get to the finish line by a certain deadline, which I don't think is the best approach for dealing with this test. It is evident from your post, you are frustrated and I sense that you may be grasping at lots of different methods when you don't meet with expected success. Many, many people do this (I went through a phase of this a while ago, too). In this sense, the time off and the trip with your girlfriend will be invaluable in resetting your mindset (@sarkisp23 is very right here).

    If your score improves on BR, then it sounds to me like the concepts are starting to take hold, but that you maybe dove into full PTs too soon. I've read (and agree) that you shouldn't start timed PTs until you have a high degree of accuracy without time constraints. There is no doubt that a fully timed, proctored LSAT is incredibly exhausting - especially when the concepts are still relatively new to you. Taking timed PTs is a way of seeing how you're doing and exposing weak points in your studying (if you can't do it quickly during the test, then for all intents and purposes you can't really do it). But I feel like it is only part of your studying (again, my opinion based on my experience) and can't entirely replace slow, focused work on questions, timed individual sections and drills. To be able to score really well on the test, the habits and thinking have to be deeply ingrained on a subconscious level and this comes about by repeatedly working through your reasoning again and again and again. I've been studying for more than a year (with occasional breaks of a few weeks) and I still feel like I have a long way to go before I get to the point that I can guarantee a certain score 95% of the time. Most importantly, I only started to feel like I had a really firm grasp on the questions and the ways of thinking after about a year of studying.

    Another poster (@kitkatbar) recently wrote about their scores taking a nosedive when they starting doing full, new PTs with strict time controls (I had the same problem). I think it's really important to know that this is a phase in your development and that you will learn to mitigate it over time - often subconsciously. Once you can answer questions correctly on blind review then you are halfway there. I really feel like in the end there is simply no substitute for time in internalizing these concepts...

    Honestly, there is a lot more I could say about this and you are more than welcome to PM me if you'd like. If I had to distill my advice into a few points, I'd say this:

    1. take a break from studying when you're burned out, even if that means multiple breaks over a long time. Rest time is critical to really learning these concepts.
    2. when you're doing LR, articulate out loud what each answer choice is saying and how it relates to the prompt and the question stem. It's slow and you don't need to do it forever, but it is the best way to hone your thinking and to be aware of your assumptions while you develop your thinking.
    3. with LG, try each game at least twice before going to the video explanation. Redo the game at least twice after watching the video. Repetition helps, I swear.
    4. For RC, pray. (and practice of course ;) I never found any method that helps more than just doing it again and again)
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    Some of this was mentioned before but I'll try to consolidate what I think is the best advice here:

    1. It sounds like you're leaning towards taking the June LSAT anyways, but I would say it seems like you know you shouldn't and are doing it just because. Postpone your test and be done with that, it's a difficult decision to make but at this point it needs to be done and good for you for realizing that even though you appear to want to sit for the test anyways. I think you'd be better off going back to square one and starting over with 7Sage and the Trainer and shooting for the October LSAT with December as a backup in case something crazy happens. To me the fact that you could post that you aren't ready to take the test at least shows you're not too far gone to be lacking in self awareness or anything, you just need some changes in technique.

    2. Order the LSAT Trainer so it will be there when you get back home from vacation. Mike Kim addresses a lot of the mentality issues and study approach issues that you wrote about and I think it will be good for you to have his voice guide you to a new approach. Between the Trainer and 7Sage I think you will come up with the best strategies available.

    3. Go on your vacation, have an awesome time, forget about the LSAT and everything else, leave that all behind and just enjoy yourself. Bring some books or an e-reader to do some reading for fun since you won't get to do that again for a long time.

    4. Buy 7Sage when you get back and get to work. You should be able to get through the curriculum in 4-6 weeks and then you can hit the PTs hard. I'd start over at PT 36 and work your way through them until October. Between the Trainer and 7Sage I think anyone is capable of at least a 160 if they work hard for it. This is not an intelligence test, so improvements can be made.

    5. It sounds like you may be a bit prone to burnout so take a day off every week and do absolutely nothing LSAT related. Try some yoga, meditation or at least some exercise at least 3 times a week.

    6. Don't worry about the time apart. My wife and I are dual military and have spent almost half of our marriage apart due to training and deployments. We know that the time apart now will mean more time together later. So think of the time apart as an investment in your future. You are both making decisions that will greatly influence the next 40+ years of your lives, so when you think about it, being apart for a year or even three is a drop in the bucket compared to what is to come later.

    I guess that's enough for now, but feel free to hit me up if you have any questions. Good luck with whatever you decide, and have fun on your trip!
  • Student76Student76 Alum Member
    324 karma
    JY mentions in one of the first lessons not to take the LSAT until you are ready. You are doing the right thing,what's the difference between June and Sept anyway? If you are not ready by Sept, take it in Dec, applications are still accepted. Give yourself time. I started 7Sage last June wanting to take Sept. I remember reading in one of the lessons you won't really be able to realize your true potential for a year. My date was Sept (thanks for the advice JY but I'm not waiting a year), then Dec, then Feb even after my application was due. I took Feb, wasn't happy, and my school agreed to hold my app until the June test before considering it. I know that most seats will be full, but I really needed that extra time and with a high enough score I could still be accepted in place of a waitlisted student. It has now been a year (seriously...) since I started studying. Turns out JY was right, who knew? The first time around I didn't take any prep tests until I finished the course. I was scoring between 158-160 for my first 11-12 tests, I was blind reviewing and redoing lessons on my mistakes, nothing was changing. I took the Feb test hoping I could get a 160. Didn't happen. I decided to push forward with June, I put my daughter in preschool and treat it like a job. I started going through the course again. I only began retaking the course in April, by May I felt like there was no way I would be prepared by June if I continued to go through all the lessons again. I started taking prep tests and it was like a light went on. The first 2 were slightly higher, but now on my last 10, my average has increased by 8 points. I remember reading that practice tests are key and you will start to recognize patterns. I thought I got it before, but I really do now. All the questions are the same with different words. Keep any test you haven't taken until the last few weeks. Also, now you will have a June test that will be fresh. Maybe even a Sept too. Take the course, do the packets in the lessons, redo the old pts learn the way the stimulus is phrased so you can quickly identify what you are going to be looking for. It was really helpful to only do questions of a certain category back to back initially rather than a prep test where they are mixed. I was able to master each question type individually. And see the different ways the same category of question would be presented.
    JY has a really great instruction method, I would recommend 7Sage to everyone. He keeps you interested, talks to you like a friend, and if you are into Star Wars you will like it even more. There were several times my husband would overhear a lesson I was watching and say, "Wait, did he just say that?" It was really nontraditional and perfect for my learning style.

    Not getting a 160 on Feb is the best thing that could happen to me. I would have accepted that, maybe even been pleased. But now, with the extra time I have had, I am really aiming for a 168, maybe even a 170 (fingers crossed!) and somehow, it is actually obtainable. Take your time. 1extra year won't make a difference. Your girlfriend will be there (or not and that will be ok too). I waited until my husband finished Pharmacy school before I even considered law school. The timing couldn't be more perfect. We have been able to support each other (and even have a child) rather than both of us going through hell at the same time. I was really nervous before the Feb test but now I can't wait for Monday. That is the difference of a couple months of preparation. Good luck, stay with 7Sage, you will get there.
  • nicole.hopkinsnicole.hopkins Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    7965 karma
    @Pacifico said:
    Don't worry about the time apart. My wife and I are dual military and have spent almost half of our marriage apart due to training and deployments. We know that the time apart now will mean more time together later. So think of the time apart as an investment in your future.
    All the wisdom, right here.
  • cindi1890cindi1890 Alum Member
    8 karma

    I read your comment and I can totally sympathize with the feeling of being burnt out. When I began my 3 month LSAT rigorous training last year I spent tons of hours taking notices, attending lectures, using multiple books/resources, and I was still scoring in the 140 range on all my practice tests (about10 in total)

    I was shooting for the December 2014 test but I changed my mind and decided to take the February 2015 exam but after studying again my scores just wouldn't change. I did very well as an undergrad in college and my suburb study habits served me well until I met the LSAT!!!

    I decided not to take the February test either (was a fantastic decision on my part) and took an LSAT break.About three weeks into April I decided to try again but use a different tactic: a tutor (never had a tutor before so I didn't know what to expect). Apparently just about everyone in the world decided to take the June 2015 test so I had to wait until the second week of May to begin my tutoring sessions.

    My tutor is nice very knowledgeable but I do find some of his explanations confusing lol. Take it from someone who has used multiple resources (Kaplan, Powerscore, Next Step, Manhattan Prep and of course 7 Sage), while it may be worth while to get to know the LSAT using multiple resources can get quite confusing lol!

    First piece of advice: take the test when you are RELAXED MENTALLY, PHYSICALLY, AND EMOTIONALLY. There have been times in the past when I've taken tests that I didn't feel particularly 100% ready for but I did well because I was relaxed and able to think clearly and concisely.

    Second piece of advice: set realistic goals! I would love to get 170+ but given my history lol I am currently shooting for 154+ next week. Why? Because that's a manageable goal, as long as I go higher it's an improvement!

    Third piece of advice: the BEST time to take the LSAT is when you are not only relaxed but also ready to begin your journey into law. Essentially ask yourself, do I want to go to law school next Fall of 2016? If yes then make preparing for the October or December 2015 test your priority.

    Fourth piece of advice: whatever material/resource you use to study MAKE IT YOUR OWN.
    What? No, I don't mean copyright infringement lol, I mean PUT THINGS/CONCEPTS IN YOUR OWN WORDS. I can't stress the importance of this!!! When I began describing LSAT's logical concepts in my own words I discovered that I not only remembered BETTER but I understood what I was doing.

    There are 3 phases of the learning process:
    1. Knowledge: when you become acquainted with a new piece of information (ex like meeting a stranger)

    2. Understanding: when you start connecting the new piece of information with what you already know about the world (ex stranger likes to carry an umbrella when its raining...common knowledge: people generally don't like to get wet unless they're in the shower, pool, lake/river, ocean or disaster movie).

    3. Apply: when you understand something you can solve it (ex if you understand that 1+1=2 then of course you can solve the math problem). ALL THAT IS LEFT IS TO PRACTICE

    MOST (equates to more than 50% on the LSAT lol) people have trouble in phase 2, and you can't apply something that you don't fully understand.

    My problem wasn't that I didn't know the LSAT (question types, concepts, terminology etc), my problem has been until now that I couldn't understand the relationships (similarities) between various concepts, and relationships are very important/repetitive on the LSAT!! I think that's where you're struggling as well, my advice don't stress about the terminology, focus on the relationships between various question types and concepts

    Ex) Principle questions are closely related/similar to Sufficient Assumptions and Strengthen questions (if you know how to answer sufficient assumption questions or strengthen questions, chances are that you'll be able to answer these as well)

    Ex) as J.Y pointed out strengthen questions are very similar to weaken question in the sense that you are task with finding the assumption and the assumption will either help or hurt the argument

    Ex) Weaken questions are very similar to flaw questions in the sense that you are task with finding the assumption and the difference being in flaw question is that you are naming/identifying the flaw in the assumption

    I would recommend doing as many timed practice exercises as possible in addition to tests. Or you can start with timed practice exercises (just to get used to the fast pace) and move into taking the full prep tests...Essentially find what works for you and stick to it. There's really no one size fits all to study prep.

    REMEMBER HAVE FUN! One way to look at the logical reasoning section is this, ask yourself "if someone in the real world made this claim what would be my response?"

    While a claim may be reasonable, it isn't perfect and your job (as a future awesome attorney) is to find fault with it in any way you can. Don't be passive!

    I hope that this helps! You've received a lot of great advice! Good luck I know you can do it!

    "If you hit the target every time, it's too near or to big." Tom H. :)

Sign In or Register to comment.