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Should I do it?

MoosaderMoosader Alum Member
in General 234 karma
Confession: I am a free user, mooching off of this discussion forum.

I am going through the The LSAT Trainer and once I finish, I'll take 3 diagnostics. From there I will most likely go through the Power Score books in all of the sections I am missing more than 3-5 in. Finally, I will get a private tutor for 10-15 hours to help me identify specifically what I struggle with (either question types or time) and how to attack it (accepting offers for tutoring hah).

Questions:

1. Recently, I saw in a thread someone mention doing the Trainer with 7sages program. Do they compliment each other well? Can someone tell me if 7sage is worth investing in considering I already brought all these other books before I found out about 7sage? I am already on the fence considering the explanations of each PT may prove to be invaluable.

2. What Cambridge books should I get? (links appreciated) I only just saw these in a thread 5 minutes ago. Are they for helping with time. Tell me more about these please.

3. (Kind of dumb) I haven't started studying reading comprehension, but no one anywhere seems to be that concerned with it even though its 50% of the test. Is it really that much easier than the others?

Thanks and 180s for all!



Comments

  • MoosaderMoosader Alum Member
    234 karma
    Also, if anyone cares about my specific strategy. I plan on using the powerscore workbooks in coordination with the "bibles." Over the course of my studies (most in the latter portion), I will be taking the most recent 23 PTs (had to buy the last 3 individually), as I am cautious about testing anything earlier. I heard that were changes or at least significant refinements prior to these.
  • Jonathan WangJonathan Wang Yearly Sage
    6606 karma
    1. Trainer is an excellent resource and the only LSAT book I actively like. It complements 7Sage quite well, though the organization is somewhat different. It may actually be better to do one or the other first and then backfill your understanding as necessary. I personally find PowerScore's Bibles to be barely on the wrong side of acceptability (as in, I refuse to use them personally but I don't think their use is indefensible), but your mileage may vary. Very few LSAT resources out there are actively wrong - it's just a question of who explains the stuff in a way that clicks with you.

    2. The 'Cambridge packets' most people refer to are the individual question type drilling packets, where they break down and reorganize old LSATs (I believe 1-38, though I could be mistaken) into their respective question types. You should get them all, if you can, for practice purposes. There will be some overlap with your other resources, but that's not really worth worrying about.

    3. Nobody talks about RC because there's frankly not that much theory behind it. RC is, in my opinion, by far the hardest of the three sections, and people routinely underestimate it because everyone thinks they're good at reading. But if you lack one or more of the fundamental skills involved (parsing complicated grammar, having a good vocabulary, comfort with and ability to work with unfamiliar topics, synthesis skills, short-term recall, big-picture analysis coupled with detail orientation...really, this list could go on and on), well, three months of prep isn't going to fix 15 years of ingrained reading habits. This is not to say that you can't get some useful advice to guide you, mind you, but there's a reason why it's commonly known as the section hardest to improve on, and why the commercial resources (which, by their nature, have to be one-size-fits-all) are so utterly worthless compared to their LG and LR cousins.
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    RC is only 25% of the test, but that point aside, save your money on the private tutor and invest in 7Sage as it complements the Trainer very well. Between 7Sage and the Trainer you'll be good to go and you can use those Power Score books as kindling or potty training paper for a new puppy or something. You don't need a tutor to show you what you're struggling with, you should have somewhat of a grasp of that on your own, and then using 7Sage's analytics will help give you an even clearer picture of where you need to focus. Furthermore, you really can't beat the full PT explanations as it gives you a whole new perspective for questions you get wrong and helps you develop many more tools to overcome difficulties in your prep. If you do decide to get 7Sage, I'd only take one diagnostic after you finish the Trainer, so you have more clean, fresh PTs to study up until the test.

    As far as cambridge packets go, I've never used them, but here's the link Dillon made to consolidate PTs and testing materials:
    http://7sage.com/discussion/#/discussion/2770/list-of-affordable-pts-paperback-hard-copy

    Good luck!
  • tanes256tanes256 Alum Member
    2573 karma
    I started with 7Sage and then picked up The Trainer because of the positive reviews. Definitely a good decision. Which one to do first I can't really say, but I do know that what I was missing or what was unclear from 7Sage was understood after I went thru The Trainer. As stated above, save your money on Powerscore and the tutor. Powerscore was just too much for me and I think you can gain whatever info you need from all the LSAT forums. Read and ask away! If money is not an issue for you right now I would purchase the lowest 7Sage package and The Trainer. Pick one or the other to start then use the other for reinforcement. That's just what I did. I don't know how others feel about doing them both at the same time. Do you have all the previous tests? If not, I would get the Cambridge packages. Use those to drill each question type for LG and LR. Drilling will help you determine where you might be missing those few points. I would then go back to 7Sage and The Trainer and reread that section and post questions in forums if you still lack the understanding. I use the Manhattan forum a lot for LR questions. 90% of the time the question has already been asked and broken down by fellow students and admin, if not, ask and somebody will assist you. I know you've already spent money on the other stuff, I think we all did before stumbling across 7Sage somehow, but both would cost you less than $300. Or, purchase one and see if it does it for you. You might be able to flip through The Trainer at a bookstore to see the layout of the book and to determine if you think it would help you. I joined awhile ago so I don't remember if 7Sage offers a free trial period. Check out the main page to see if that's an option and go from there. Good luck!
  • AlejandroAlejandro Legacy Member Inactive ⭐
    2424 karma
    Don't do Power Score. Go with 7sage.
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    @alejoroarios brevity FTW!
  • nicole.hopkinsnicole.hopkins Legacy Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    7965 karma
    @Pacifico said:
    you can use those Power Score books as kindling or potty training paper for a new puppy or something.
    This tho. :'-)

    I would say, only throw down that giant wad of cash you apparently have on a tutor after doing what you can via self-study. Only when you've exhausted 7sage, LSAT Trainer, and maybe those $80 Cambridge packets should you spend the $1,500+ you're considering on a tutor. It will be money better spent once you have done more on your own and have some habits/blindspots that may have emerged. Or, you might not need a tutor after all.
  • DumbHollywoodActorDumbHollywoodActor Alum Inactive ⭐
    7468 karma
    @"Jonathan Wang" I think there are a lot of people on this forum who'd love to hear what other fundamental RC skills are on that list. More importantly, I’m sure they’d love to learn some exercises to fix them.

    I agree with everything you say, but I'm not sure exactly sure how to go about remedying my "average -10 on RC” situation. I’ve done the memory Method, reading for reasoning structure, reading for the scale, reading through the scale, working wrong-to-right with answer choices, and finding the author’s opinion. I’ve practiced diagramming sentences. I've even read Mortimer Adler's How to Read A Book (not terribly helpful for the LSAT, I’m afraid).

    In my opinion, I feel it's a processing problem (The LSAT requires one to have an Intel Xeon processor, but I’m still using my 1993 pentium processor) because when I BR RC, I usually get down to -1 or even 0. In other words, on the second read, I totally get it. Outside of inventing a TARDIS, how would one fix a problem like that?

    I have a feeling that the answer is going to be, “Practice more.”
  • MoosaderMoosader Alum Member
    234 karma
    Thanks for the advice friends, especially @"Jonathan Wang" :) If I can remember, I'll let you know what I decide after I finish the Trainer (which I've already purchased). I'm definitely leaning towards 7sage---those PT explanations doe.

    I thought RC was 50 but LR is 50. My whole life is a lie, thanks @Pacifico.
  • nicole.hopkinsnicole.hopkins Legacy Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    edited June 2015 7965 karma
    @DumbHollywoodActor said:
    @"Jonathan Wang" I think there are a lot of people on this forum who'd love to hear what other fundamental RC skills are on that list. More importantly, I’m sure they’d love to learn some exercises to fix them.
    Yesh :) Sage Advice! Sage Advice! Special Post! We are hungry for J. Wang's wisdom.
    @DumbHollywoodActor said:
    I have a feeling that the answer is going to be, “Practice more.”
    HAHA. I literally pre-phrased my answer to your comment in so many words.
    @mheannarino said:
    I thought RC was 50 but LR is 50. My whole life is a lie, thanks @Pacifico.
    This alternate universe in which you have been living is horrifying.
  • mpits001mpits001 Alum Member
    938 karma
    I guess I can't add much more to this thread than the previous posters, but as someone who has utilized both the Trainer and 7Sage I can say that you definitely have the materials to do extremely well on the LSAT. J.Y. himself is sort of like a private tutor, since it's all in video form. However, if you can afford a tutor (because the Trainer and 7Sage are generously priced) I'd get one as well, but see where you are after going through both. You may realize you don't need a tutor, or you may realize having a tutor will help a lot! BR is key.
  • 7sagelsatstudent1807sagelsatstudent180 Legacy Member
    926 karma
    It make to sense to get a tutor if you absolutely are struggling with a particular type of question. I sometimes struggle with conditional logic diagramming which makes PF and Parallel Reasoning questions difficult. I'm trying to work through this by drilling on my own, but finding a proficient tutor would likely help me get 3-4 more questions right per test. At the op's point in the process, it is too early to truly know his/her major weaknesses (unless they diagnose 165+) because it's likely that Logical reasoning is an area where you have a reasonable amount to improve. Save tutors until you know exactly what you are lacking. If a tutor asks you, "What do you need help on" and you say "everything", they will waste unnecessary time in areas that you could probably improve on by yourself. Save your money until you maxed out on your own so that you can tailor help accordingly.
  • blueyayfreeblueyayfree Alum Member
    edited June 2015 164 karma
    I asked almost exactly the same question about three months ago, with the exception of not being invested in Power Score at all and having already read 90% of The Trainer.

    And I'll just say this: I feel now the way I felt after, say, my first couple years of undergrad; that is, I didn't even know before that there was so much that I didn't know that I now do know. If that doesn't make sense, or comes across as a little too Rumsfeld-ish for you, I'll simplify: 7Sage taught me things about the LSAT that I didn't even know I needed to know. And it provides a framework for you to build up that knowledge (a lot of which is very basic but very foreign to most of us) until that new knowledge becomes second nature; until you become LSAT-literate. And I think that's really the key to this whole thing. LSAT literacy.
  • DumbHollywoodActorDumbHollywoodActor Alum Inactive ⭐
    edited June 2015 7468 karma
    That's Socrates, man. He knew that he knew nothing, and that made him the smartest man in Athens. :)
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    Rumsfeld's middle name is Socrates ;)
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