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Looking for tips for how to improve to170 from low 160s

crogaticrogati Legacy Member
edited July 2015 in General 29 karma
Looking for how I can gain these points! My raw score needs about 15 points to do so. I would like to take the October 2015 test but could bear through until December 2015 if need be! If anyone has achieved this gain, please post your experience. If anyone is at the same point in their studies but hasn't figured it out yet, please chime in as well! Anything to keep my endurance and momentum going!

Comments

  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    Most people will likely say we need more information to help you in a more effective manner. Was 160 your diagnostic or is that where you're plateauing after six months? What did you use to study? How many PTs have you taken? How much do you study per day and how many days per week? What's the breakdown between sections? If you're not -0 to -2 consistently on LG that's usually the best place to start just to give yourself the confidence boost of mastering a section. Then just get your LR game on point because if you do it properly you will improve your RC as a byproduct of your improved logic and reasoning skills.
  • crogaticrogati Legacy Member
    29 karma
    I'm very grateful for your advice!

    I work full time and study 1/2 hours on each weeknight; and aim for 5-6 each day on the weekend. Sometimes I crash and have to take a session off.

    161 is what I scored in June when I started the 7sage curriculum using a 5 section test. I took another PT in July and scored 160. I worked toward the 160 since I took a course and have done some independent study. Those tests include guesses (about 10 per test).

    I took an LSAT course with Powerscore so I definitely am familiar with the basics; though I am reviewing them w/ 7sage. The course had about four PTs. I hope I'm not plateauing; I would rather think I lack the knowledge of the steps needed for mastery; but, have a better idea of that given your feedback: since, LG is minus 3 to 5; RC is minus 4-9 and LR is minus 5-6. I tend to 'bomb' fourth section because of stamina (I need to get my mental game together). How?!

    Ok, so I am not scoring -0 -2 on LG; so sounds like that's my point of focus. Yeah, I really need to feel I can power through one of the sections. I make LR index cards and will keep drilling the toughies; RC is challenging! Timing issues there.

    Question about the frequently of PTs: I've been drilling and reviewing those two, recent PTs; particularly my weaknesses. I may take another fresh PT tomorrow; though I wonder how I would improve much more than I have, because what new or refined skills have I gained since a few weeks ago in early July? For ex, I'm not scoring -0 on LG sections. It's hard to gauge if a PT is a time sucker or worthy exercise.

    This is how I think about my timing guidelines; though it rarely pans out perfectly when I take an exam or a section.

    RC/LG (I try to stay flexible; depends on order of challenges)
    - 7 min easy passage/game
    - 7 min other easy medium/game
    - 10 toughie passage/game
    - 10 other toughie passage/game

    LR
    - 1- 15 20 min on clock
    - 15 - 19 25 min on clock
    - 20 - 25/6 35 min, done
  • c.janson35c.janson35 Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    2398 karma
    If you're scoring a 160 you need to pick up at least 15 raw points to get you into 170 territory. Assuming you max out games, that still leaves you with 10 more questions you have to get out of LR and RC, which is definitely doable.

    Do all the LG lessons and you'll get there or close; games are definitely most learnable and 7sage does them best, so definitely take advantage of that.

    As for LR: if you want to get in the 170s, you need to nail the first 10. Lately there's been a harder question or two snuck in here, but these questions are generally the easiest. Aim for 10/10 or 9/10 on these for sure. Also, the more practice you get and the better you get at analyzing arguments, the faster you'll go through these 10. This gives you more time for the tougher questions in the middle and end.

    The best way to get good at LR is timed practice. You've already been through a powerscore course so you have probably have a good base of the fundamentals, but you said only 4 PT were included there. The top priority should be more exposure to questions and, in my opinion, timed practice. 4 tests isn't close to being sufficient if you want to get into the 170s. Hammer out sections and do you blind review, look at your analytics, and go back over lessons for questions that are especially difficult for you. But you need to devote as much time (and I would argue much more) to practice as you do to fundamentals/theory.

    As for RC, check out these threads! They have some great tips about timing and strategies that would probably benefit you:

    http://7sage.com/forums/discussion/3345/poe-on-rc#latest

    http://7sage.com/forums/discussion/3278/how-to-improve-reading-speed-on-rc#latest

    You have a good timing guide, but you shouldn't be paying attention to this guide until you are answering a higher percentage of questions correctly. It's hard enough to analyze dense arguments and identify flaws--doing this while being preoccupied time is no bueno. You need to devote all your brainpower and focus to the task at hand. Once you have a better overall grasp, then you might benefit from considering timing strategies--but no sooner. After all, the best timing strategy is proficiency.
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    I'd agree with everything @c.janson35 said and just emphasize the importance of your BR. I would try to work quickly but carefully through the 7Sage curriculum in order to reinforce your fundamentals, and mix in some drilling and PTs along the way (I only recommend this since it sounds like you've already got a base to build upon). I would aim for at least two PTs a week if you can, though it does sounds like you're pretty limited on time. Unless you have problems with one or two specific LR question types and need more work on those specifically, I think drilling full LR sections with a lengthy, full BR would be best to shore up your LR skills.

    You might keep the drilling and curriculum work to the weekdays and take a PT or two on the weekends and do your BR. BR and analytics are your best friends that will help you climb the score bands, and definitely don't worry about such a rigid timing strategy. You want to develop that proficiency instead of rigid timing because I would argue that it's easier to cut 5 minutes off your time if you're getting 100% correct in 40 minutes than it is to get 5 more right in 35 minutes when you're sitting at ~20 correct. I hope that makes sense how I wrote that.

    Definitely check out those RC threads posted above, but again, especially given your short timeline, just master LG and then really focus on improving your LR on a fundamental level and RC will naturally improve along with it. Plus, LR is two sections so you really need to be sharp there to get a 170. Once you get your LR up high enough to get close to 170 then you can worry about advanced strategies for RC.

  • crogaticrogati Legacy Member
    29 karma
    @Pacifico can do one to two PTs a week. Proficiency instead of rigid timing sounds good; so I could take a whole PT with 40 minute timing for each sections a few times. That makes sense. That way my stamina builds up and I am seeing all the questions. 7sage is definitely the best for LG, agreed @c.janson35. The threads you linked me to were very helpful. The memory method has helped my understanding of the passages a lot. I need to translate my 7sage work into points! Blind review of LR is working well. I'm so appreciative of both comments!
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    Just to clarify, I used the 40 minutes to illustrate a point, though if you want to try that then I would only do it for drilling a section. Don't waste full PTs on non-test day conditions if you don't need to. Get in a solid BR and it's like taking an untimed test anyways.
  • crogaticrogati Legacy Member
    29 karma
    @Pacifico sounds great. Seems like there's plenty to do.

    I hope to not take too much of your valuable time and wisdom @pacifico and @c.janson35 c.janson35 (I'm aiming for this to be my last point): If you can weigh in on realistic time management and LSAT-life balance would you post your thoughts? Some people have encouraged me to quit my job and study full time.

    I'm concerned if my timeline seems short to you (@Pacifico you mentioned I am short on time, which is true, the LSAT is a part-time venture at about 20 hours per week). And, I thought gaining the last 15 points would be a down-hill ride! But sounds like there's a lot to do.

    I’m also concerned about keeping some boundaries with this exam. I’m not sure studying for 7 hours days 5 days a week is for me.

    I should mention my background is in art and fashion. Law school isn't what I would characterize as a life passion but I enjoy the intellectual rigor of the LSAT,and this path offers me a possibility for a solid and competitive career. I am much more clever now than I have ever been, and I am grateful for the growth the endeavor has provided. I live in New York and found it very difficult to find both a fulfilling and financially feasible career path in art and fashion; I started this law school adventure with that in mind.

    Of course I dream of attending a really competitive school by scoring a 175 plus. 170 is the major goal. And a minimum of 165 is the next goal in front of me.

    Finding a balance between dreams and practicality is difficult. Would either of you have experience with this?
  • crogaticrogati Legacy Member
    29 karma
    @Pacifico I found a thread about balance that you commented on. That pretty much explains what I was pondering. The takeaway is know thy self, and what I can handle. Also, I have not been taking a day off a week! I will start doing so. This could explain why I crash sometimes.
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