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LSAT AMA w/ 7Sage Tutors – Starting Now (Thurs, Nov 17, 7PM EDT)

RaphaelPRaphaelP Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
edited November 2021 in General 851 karma

Hi everyone! I'm Raphael, a manager with 7Sage's tutoring program. I'm joined by manager Scott, and tutors Nick and Aastha. We'll be answering questions about the LSAT for the next two hours, so ask away!

EDIT: And that's a wrap! Thanks everyone for coming. Stay tuned in the next few days for info on our subsequent AMA on November 17 (which will be a live Zoom call)!

I (Raphael) am a 2020 graduate of Georgetown University. I’m involved in running a debate tutoring company that has worked with hundreds of students. I currently live in Taiwan, where I teach debate and am working to build up a debate circuit as a Fulbright scholar. I scored a 174 in October 2020.

Scott has spent the past 12 years in the classroom. He decided to go to law school and made a 180 on the LSAT on his first try in June.

Aastha is a junior at the University of Florida. She is involved at her University’s Mock Trial team, does research in criminology, and is planning on applying to law school in the 2022 cycle. She scored a 173 in June 2021.

After earning his degree in philosophy, Nick hopped around South America for a few years before diving into the world of the LSAT. With targeted studying and practice Nick ultimately scored a 176 on the LSAT (an increase of 15 points from his initial practice test score) and Nick believes that anyone can improve in a big way with a proper approach to studying. When he's not teaching the LSAT, Nick is either building fun computer apps, watching sci-fi movies, running, or long-distance trekking through the mountains.

Comments

  • WinningHereWinningHere Monthly Member
    edited November 2021 355 karma

    Hi! Thanks for doing this. I consistently score -6 to -8 in LR and RC. I now need to break into the 170’s. I study one section per day over the course of 4 days. Any suggestions with this perhaps unique scenario?

  • raincoastgirlraincoastgirl Alum Member
    26 karma

    Hi, thanks for doing this, how does scheduling work. I.e. I live in the Pacific timezone, do you have tutors that work pacific time?

  • RaphaelPRaphaelP Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
    851 karma

    @raincoastgirl said:
    Hi, thanks for doing this, how does scheduling work. I.e. I live in the Pacific timezone, do you have tutors that work pacific time?

    Great question! Yes, we have tutors who work in all time zones and have taken clients from all over. We'll always work around your schedule.

  • AJamal22AJamal22 Alum Member
    132 karma

    What do you think test takers can do to cut down on RC in the last week of studying? My scores range from -6 to -10, but I would like a -5 or below. Is untimed an idea that is worth doing in the last week, or just timed practice and review?

  • Aastha SAastha S Yearly Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
    edited November 2021 65 karma

    @WinningHere said:
    Hi! Thanks for doing this. I consistently score -6 to -8 in LR and RC. I now need to break into the 170’s. I study one section per day over the course of 4 days. Any suggestions with this perhaps unique scenario?

    Hi! I want to start out by saying I think these results just mean that some extra time needs to be spent on LR and RC. What I would recommend is drilling those sections a little more heavily and paying close attention to what question/passage types you are weaker in. I do have a few questions based on your comment. Are you getting these scores on LR and RC when taking full length tests or when you are drilling over the course of a few days? And also, are you taking the LSAT in November? If so, I would give yourself a little bit more time if your goal is to get to the 170's. It's a relatively big jump to make in just a week!

  • kwood14kwood14 Alum Member
    19 karma

    Do you have any words of wisdom for maintaining momentum during the test? While doing the LR section, I usually spend an average of one minute per question...until I finish about 2/3 of the questions (when I start wasting time second-guessing myself). Also, do you have any general timing advice when it comes to RC?

  • MattLaP323MattLaP323 Monthly Member
    32 karma

    Q1: What should we expect for the writing portion that is now available to take?

    Q2: With respect to the Reading Comp section being digital, it's a little harder/less clear to mark up the passages b/c we can only highlight as a pose to jotting notes next to key portions of the text.

    Do you recommend keeping the highlighting to a minimum? It seems to be a little more time consuming & distracting.

    Thanks!!

  • raincoastgirlraincoastgirl Alum Member
    26 karma

    Are there discounts on pricing for having the LSAT course? Also, if I pay for less hours ex. the 5 hour option, and discover I would like more hours can I upgrade for the discounted price?

  • RaphaelPRaphaelP Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
    851 karma

    @MattLaP323 said:
    Q1: What should we expect for the writing portion that is now available to take?

    Q2: With respect to the Reading Comp section being digital, it's a little harder/less clear to mark up the passages b/c we can only highlight as a pose to jotting notes next to key portions of the text.

    Do you recommend keeping the highlighting to a minimum? It seems to be a little more time consuming & distracting.

    Thanks!!

    Q1: What do you mean specifically by "now available?" Do you mean the writing portion of the exam? If so, it's just an essay prompt that you need to answer on some topic - you'll be asked to pick a side on something. This is a softball. It's not scored, nor does it count for your overall score. It's just a way for law schools to see your writing but many don't consider it at all (or only give it a perfunctory read to make sure your writing style on your app materials is the same as yours here).

    Q2: The digital test has definitely changed the highlighting process a bit. I'd practice with highlighting here (and on LawHub tests, which have the identical format of the LSAT online). You can approximate the note-taking process though on paper - what I did was highlight key words on the passage but have a "low-res" taken on paper, where I took notes about key points for each paragraph.

  • nick.placenick.place Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
    68 karma

    @CantHurtMe said:
    What do you think test takers can do to cut down on RC in the last week of studying? My scores range from -6 to -10, but I would like a -5 or below. Is untimed an idea that is worth doing in the last week, or just timed practice and review?

    What do you think is the thing that is holding you back the most? With RC? Is it that you fall for trap questions? Are you running out of time? It may help to do some untimed in my opinion, but in the last week in my mind it seems like taking some untimed sections would be good as a sort of warm-up for taking the real thing. This is what I did, in fact, and I also did some warm-up before the test itself. If you decide to do some untimed warm up, make sure you are understanding the structure of the argument well. Then carry that practice over to taking a timed section. But make sure you can see what is holding you up!

  • WinningHereWinningHere Monthly Member
    edited November 2021 355 karma

    @"Aastha S" great feedback and thank you for your questions. I practice one section a day or every other day with review in between. So I guess to answer your question, over the course of a few days. However, I usually take a whole section to try to mimic conditions, rather than just question type drilling or passage type drilling?
    I will sit for January 2022 to try to get into the 170’s.

  • RaphaelPRaphaelP Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
    851 karma

    @raincoastgirl said:
    Are there discounts on pricing for having the LSAT course? Also, if I pay for less hours ex. the 5 hour option, and discover I would like more hours can I upgrade for the discounted price?

    If you're considering purchasing, we'd love to hop on a call with you and discuss more about what our packages/prices entail, as well as answer questions about your specific situation with respect to alternate prices. You can find the link here (https://7sage.com/lsat-tutoring/).

  • Scott MilamScott Milam Member Administrator Sage 7Sage Tutor
    727 karma

    @kwood14 said:
    Do you have any words of wisdom for maintaining momentum during the test? While doing the LR section, I usually spend an average of one minute per question...until I finish about 2/3 of the questions (when I start wasting time second-guessing myself). Also, do you have any general timing advice when it comes to RC?

    One thing I tell my clients who struggle with timing and second guessing themselves is that their goal is not to get ALL the answers right, but to get as many right as possible. Any time you spend overthinking a hard question is time you can't spend answering easy ones correctly! If you are struggling with a question, mark and move on!

    Timing advice on RC depends on why you are struggling with it. However, the most common timing issues I see are clients that overuse underlining and highlighting. Generally marking the passage uses more time than it saves - it should be used sparingly. The same skipping advice applies here as well - if you are struggling, skip and move on!

  • Aastha SAastha S Yearly Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
    edited November 2021 65 karma

    @WinningHere said:
    @"Aastha S" great feedback and thank you for your questions. I practice one section a day or every other day with review in between. So I guess to answer your question, over the course of a few days. However, I usually take a whole section to try to mimic conditions, rather than just question type drilling or passage type drilling?
    I will sit for January 2022 to try to get into the 170’s.

    While taking whole sections is definitely important, if there is a weak point you are having in certain questions, it is important to spend some time drilling those specifically. 7sage has some great resources for each question type and then you can create problem sets based on that! I would also prioritize making sure you are not spending too much time on any one question so that you can spend enough time getting through each question!

  • AssumptionBattlesAssumptionBattles Monthly Member
    24 karma

    Hi, how important would you say the core curriculum is for those who have already finished it once? I read many comments in the discussion that we have to go back to CC from time to time. Do we go back to the theory part of it, or the actual question sets as well? I understand this would depend on the person but wanted to see what specific differences / needs there are between of going back to the thoery part only vs. the whole questions section. Also, what would be the “signs” in my studies that would show me, “hey you need to go back to the theory part only” vs. “you need to do the question sets again as well”?
    Hope my questions were clear. Thanks in advance for your time !

  • WinningHereWinningHere Monthly Member
    355 karma

    @"Aastha S" thanks! Generally, I will try mixing in some question type drills/sets that I am struggling with. When is the next tutor AMA? I will report my progress and it may then be time for a tutor boost.
    I already see that generally humanities and sometimes law/science give me the most trouble—particularly humanities, and sometimes the first passage too, if it is a humanities. That is my least favorite. I actually feel I do quite well at comparative, and I deploy J.Y.‘s read passage A only first technique—works well. As far as LR, I have noticed it is still kind of all over the place, but with perhaps most errors in strengthen, weaken, MOR, and some flaw. Surprisingly, I do quite well at principle and parallel questions as well as main point!

  • RaphaelPRaphaelP Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
    851 karma

    @AssumptionBattles said:
    Hi, how important would you say the core curriculum is for those who have already finished it once? I read many comments in the discussion that we have to go back to CC from time to time. Do we go back to the theory part of it, or the actual question sets as well? I understand this would depend on the person but wanted to see what specific differences / needs there are between of going back to the thoery part only vs. the whole questions section. Also, what would be the “signs” in my studies that would show me, “hey you need to go back to the theory part only” vs. “you need to do the question sets again as well”?
    Hope my questions were clear. Thanks in advance for your time !

    I think you should decide to go back to it depending on what you're struggling with. If your score isn't improving at all after CC, perhaps then you recognize that maybe you're not grasping logic/grammar fundamentals and you redo those "classes" (or even the entire introduction). If your non-improvement is mostly cabined to particular question types, I'd focus on redoing those portions of the CC. You can ascertain those strengths and weaknesses with the "Analytics" feature on 7Sage. And yeah, I'd merge the theory and question practice - if you're messing up a specific question type, maybe a quick refresher on the videos would be useful. The "signs" for going back to the videos would be "I'm not understanding what I need to do" or "I'm making this same type of conceptual error repeatedly" versus "I'm not doing this fast enough" or "I get it but it doesn't feel comfortable yet" being a sign to do more question practice. Hope this helps!

  • Aastha SAastha S Yearly Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
    65 karma

    @WinningHere said:
    @"Aastha S" thanks! Generally, I will try mixing in some question type drills/sets that I am struggling with. When is the next tutor AMA? I will report my progress and it may then be time for a tutor boost.
    I already see that generally humanities and sometimes law/science give me the most trouble—particularly humanities, and sometimes the first passage too, if it is a humanities. That is my least favorite. I actually feel I do quite well at comparative, and I deploy J.Y.‘s read passage A only first technique—works well. As far as LR, I have noticed it is still kind of all over the place, but with perhaps most errors in strengthen, weaken, MOR, and some flaw. Surprisingly, I do quite well at principle and parallel questions as well as main point!

    For reading comprehension, the 3 things I would suggest looking out for as you're reading through the passage are 1. What is the purpose of each paragraph, 2. How does each paragraph relate to each other, 3. And what is the author's opinion. If you are paying close attention to these 3 things, it will be much easier to sift through what is and isn't important in the passages.

    For LR, if you are missing strengthening and weakening questions, I would suggest spending some time on questions that you have missed in the past and mapping out what the premises are and what the conclusion is. Your job for these questions is to build up or exploit the relationship between the two, so it is important to make sure you can identify those!

  • Aastha SAastha S Yearly Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
    65 karma

    @WinningHere said:
    @"Aastha S" thanks! Generally, I will try mixing in some question type drills/sets that I am struggling with. When is the next tutor AMA? I will report my progress and it may then be time for a tutor boost.
    I already see that generally humanities and sometimes law/science give me the most trouble—particularly humanities, and sometimes the first passage too, if it is a humanities. That is my least favorite. I actually feel I do quite well at comparative, and I deploy J.Y.‘s read passage A only first technique—works well. As far as LR, I have noticed it is still kind of all over the place, but with perhaps most errors in strengthen, weaken, MOR, and some flaw. Surprisingly, I do quite well at principle and parallel questions as well as main point!

    Also, our next AMA will be on November 17th. We will be releasing more details soon!

  • BeLikeLedeckyBeLikeLedecky Monthly Member
    edited November 2021 46 karma

    Hi! How did you approach the order of the PTs? Did you save PTs intentionally knowing that you were probably going to take the test twice? I don’t want to burn through the PTs too quickly, but definitely hope to get sufficient practice and exposure before I go into the first real test AND save fresh ones in case I need to take the test again. Thank you in advance!!!

  • RaphaelPRaphaelP Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
    851 karma

    @BeLikeLedecky said:
    Hi! How did you approach the order of the PTs? Did you save PTs intentionally knowing that you were probably going to take the test twice? I don’t want to burn through the PTs too quickly, but definitely hope to get sufficient practice and exposure before I go into the first real test AND save fresh ones in case I need to take the test again. Thank you in advance!!!

    Great question! I tried to prepare for a contingency of a retake (or even two retakes, which I needed!) I started with PTs 35-45, and then mostly rotated through PTs 55-89 (I broke up 45-55 for drills). With 55-89, I tried to save some tests from each group of 10 under the belief that each group would be a bit different and that I'd want to pull from each when studying. For example, after my first take, I had maybe 5 tests in the 80s, 3 in the 70s, 6 in the 60s remaining. I'd try to leave some in each group if preparing for a retake (or even two). If I needed a fourth test, I was probably in trouble - I'd taken every PT and question! But, if I did take it again, I was planning on redoing tests, going in reverse chronological order from the ones I first took.

    General rule of thumb - shoot for 1-2 PTs a week and leave at least a couple tests from each group for a retake.

  • BeLikeLedeckyBeLikeLedecky Monthly Member
    46 karma

    Sorry for being annoying, but I have two follow-up questions :)

    1) After completing the CC, did you start PTs immediately, or did you drill to solidify knowledge and understanding before the PT phase? If so, how? I’d greatly appreciate some details in your study schedule!

    2) How was your test day experience? Any unexpected glitches? Did your proctor interrupt you? What are some things we can prepare for to make sure the test day goes as smoothly as we can?

    Big thank you!

  • RaphaelPRaphaelP Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
    851 karma

    @BeLikeLedecky said:
    Sorry for being annoying, but I have two follow-up questions :)

    1) After completing the CC, did you start PTs immediately, or did you drill to solidify knowledge and understanding before the PT phase? If so, how? I’d greatly appreciate some details in your study schedule!

    2) How was your test day experience? Any unexpected glitches? Did your proctor interrupt you? What are some things we can prepare for to make sure the test day goes as smoothly as we can?

    Big thank you!

    No worries! It's our job!

    1) I started PTs immediately, but it was because I felt solid with my problem sets. If I hadn't, my plan had been timed sections from PTs 1-16. You can check my post history for a (way too long) debrief on my study schedule.

    2) Pretty bad my first take (glitches, kicked out of the test, proctor interruptions) - second take was fine technically but I just had some nerves and didn't do well. Third take was smooth both technically and psychologically, and that was my final take. The biggest advice I'd give is to ask LSAC for a retake if you have technical issues - I've heard, anecdotally, that people with technical issues can retake in the next few days without using a cancel if they report technical issues. Don't take a score if you had deep technical issues - it really, really can throw you off in ways you didn't expect.

  • raincoastgirlraincoastgirl Alum Member
    26 karma

    I suffer from anxiety, particularly in the RC section. Do you have any top tricks to keep your mind engaged and not worried during RC? Thank you!

  • Aastha SAastha S Yearly Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
    65 karma

    @raincoastgirl said:
    I suffer from anxiety, particularly in the RC section. Do you have any top tricks to keep your mind engaged and not worried during RC? Thank you!

    Hey! My advice for anxiety during RC has mostly to do with knowing what to look for throughout the passage. If you are paying pretty close attention to the structure of the passage as opposed to the details, it is much less nerve racking since you are not expecting yourself to catch every little thing. Another piece of advice I have is to go into the passage with the highest level of fake enthusiasm you can muster. While this may seems silly, even pretending that you are interested in the material you are about to read will do wonders for your engagement levels. Lastly, have confidence in yourself! If you have spent hours and hours preparing, you have to trust that your brain knows what to do when it comes to going through a passage, regardless of how foreign the topic is.

  • MattLaP323MattLaP323 Monthly Member
    32 karma

    @RaphaelP so you took the LSAT 3 times? How long was your prep time before your first take? I've been studying since March 2021 and will be taking the November 2021 next week. I feel slightly behind from where I ultimately want to be, but I still plan on taking the November test to see where I stand. My goal is to be in law school for Fall 2022.

    So my question is, based on my score and possible need for a retake in Jan. 2022, do you believe that I will still have enough time to get my applications out to be eligible for Fall 2022 assuming I get the score I'm looking for?

  • fayezou99fayezou99 Member
    4 karma

    Hi! Thank you so much for doing this. I signed up for both the October and November LSAT a while ago and received a 170 on the October one, which I'm really grateful for and was better than most of my PT scores. I'm hoping to apply to some T14 schools including NYU and UPenn, but I'm a bit unsure if I would be able to score higher in the upcoming test due to fluctuating performances. Any suggestions on whether or not I should retake or what I may be able to focus on for the next ten days or so if I do retake would be super appreciated :)

  • RaphaelPRaphaelP Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
    851 karma

    @MattLaP323 said:
    @RaphaelP so you took the LSAT 3 times? How long was your prep time before your first take? I've been studying since March 2021 and will be taking the November 2021 next week. I feel slightly behind from where I ultimately want to be, but I still plan on taking the November test to see where I stand. My goal is to be in law school for Fall 2022.

    So my question is, based on my score and possible need for a retake in Jan. 2022, do you believe that I will still have enough time to get my applications out to be eligible for Fall 2022 assuming I get the score I'm looking for?

    Yes, I took it 3 times. I prepped from March 2020 until July 2020 (my first take was in July) but I was studying close to full-time because of the coronavirus situation and activities being canceled/school shifting to being online. I wouldn't sit for a test to see where you stand, tbh. You get a finite number of takes and, all things being equal, you'd prefer to nail it on your first try. I would not sit for November if you're not PTing around your goal score (ideally 3 points higher).

    The timeline part makes this tricky. You want to apply no later than December if you want to optimize chances (September-October is early, November-December is on time, anything after is late). I don't know your personal reasons for wanting to go this year - if it's very important to you, then sit for November and have your apps ready to send for when you get your score back. I would not apply any later than December if you want optimized outcomes and money.

  • nick.placenick.place Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
    68 karma

    @fayezou99 said:
    Hi! Thank you so much for doing this. I signed up for both the October and November LSAT a while ago and received a 170 on the October one, which I'm really grateful for and was better than most of my PT scores. I'm hoping to apply to some T14 schools including NYU and UPenn, but I'm a bit unsure if I would be able to score higher in the upcoming test due to fluctuating performances. Any suggestions on whether or not I should retake or what I may be able to focus on for the next ten days or so if I do retake would be super appreciated :)

    Hey! First off congratulations on the great score! You should definitely be proud of it. I think the consensus here is that if your PT's have been consistently lower, you might not be able to reasonably expect getting a higher score. If, on the other hand, you dedicated more time to studying (past the November test) and were able to get your PT's up to a higher level, then go for it! But since the November test doesn't allow for much more studying time, it might be a good idea to just stick with the (very good) score you've gotten.

  • RaphaelPRaphaelP Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
    851 karma

    5 more minutes!

  • fayezou99fayezou99 Member
    4 karma

    @nick.place Thank you so much for your input and kind words! I really appreciate it.

  • BeLikeLedeckyBeLikeLedecky Monthly Member
    46 karma

    @RaphaelP Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Raphael!!!

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