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Bread and butter of studying

spinosanspinosan Alum Member
in General 187 karma

Hey guys,

I've got a question for anybody who has made some significant increases in their scores. Previously, i thought taking pts and doing extensive BR would lead to consistent score increases alone. Now that i'm 4 pts in, and have only stayed in the 157-159 territory, i'm wondering if there's more virtue in spending days drilling instead?

Looking for perspectives because i was originally planning on taking august, but might be considering October instead. really hoping to be in the high 160s/low 170s.

What do you guys think helped you the most in your prep when you were around these scores? problem sets and drills or full practices tests with extensive BR? Thank you in advance!


  • The Great White SharkThe Great White Shark Alum Member
    1058 karma

    LR: Working through untimed drills and sections with the focus of understanding argument structure and how to reason is where I saw the most improvement. After that, developing section strategy helped my score.

    LG: Continuously fool proofing. Don't stop even once you have made it to -0.

    RC: Most people will tell you to focus on LGs first since you can usually see the quickest improvement in that section. While that is true, I would recommend practicing RC everyday as early as possible because it usually takes the longest time to see improvements. Look for argument structure and keep practicing the memory method.

  • spinosanspinosan Alum Member
    187 karma

    Really good to know - thank you! sounds like doing more drilling between pts would be more helpful for me then with each section. really appreciate the input

  • This_is_HardThis_is_Hard Alum Member
    815 karma

    Definitely agree with Great White Shark on working on RC everyday. I have been doing at least one RC passage a day for the past month. Last week I did a PT, I improved dramatically by over 10 points, although I started at a score much lower than yours. I'd also suggest googling unfamiliar words you see often in passages, understanding the common passage terms will pay dividends in understanding what is being said.

  • grahamallamgrahamallam Alum Member
    edited July 2020 75 karma

    Untimed questions are the absolute bread and butter of learning on this test. I find that my study is more effective when I do untimed problem sets and fully understand the material than doing it timed and BRing. I had a tendency not to be fully engaged with BR and found this to work better for me.

    Same with PTs and sections. Unless you're in late-stage prep, sections>PTs.

    In my opinion, all PTs should be considered as primarily diagnostic tools, and although they should be thoroughly reviewed, the bulk of your time should be spent on timed sections and untimed problem sets.

  • okkkkkkkkkkkokkkkkkkkkkk Alum Member
    edited July 2020 135 karma

    LSAT is a test of whether you know it 100% or you got the question wrong. Ofcourse luck can play a role sometimes, but generally this is the rule because, unlike a typical test, theres no "educated guess". This is because incorrect question answers are intentionally framed in ways that aim to provoke your 'educated guess' instinct, and if you are not 100% sure of the correct answer, you're likely to select the wrong one.

    In this light, rampaging through PT's and with a consisten 157-159 is indiccative that you have not fully understood some section/ section-question of the LSAT, and thus you continously keep getting those particular questions wrong.

    So stop PT'ing and start strengthening your LSAT knowledge for whichever relevant section.

    The only reason PT's are useful is for simulating testing (pressure) conditions and stamina practice.
    Time isn't even the focal point of a PT, you can do seperately timed sections to ensure your speed is adequate.

    1) Knowledge : know what youre doing entirely and always.
    2) Speed : Practice to be faster and improve speed

    (1 and 2 usually go hand in hand and you work on those interchangeable)

    3) PT : Once you have the above two nailed, bring them together in a simulated setting. Get used to pressure and build stamina.

    In my opinion, and this ofcourse depends on your LSAT goals, but if youre aiming for 170 +, dont bother pting unless you can get 170 + equivalent scores in each section, timed but seperately done. Once you can get every LSAT section at -0 to -3 on a timed basis start pting.

  • spinosanspinosan Alum Member
    edited July 2020 187 karma

    @rrmradi Thank you! i really like that idea of focusing on timed sections instead of just full pts.

    For context, my BRs usually take me about a full day to do and i'm usually scoring in the mid 170s on them, so that makes me think that speed is what's lacking. Timed sections might be the trick i needed here. Thank you!

    @grahamallam Thank you! Personally i've been able to really focus a lot on my BR, and used it kind of for my untimed learning sessions, but i see what you're saying and it could be helpful for me to try to do more of them, outside of my BR time. Really appreciate the input here!

  • spinosanspinosan Alum Member
    187 karma

    @"Richard N" I actually had a very similar mindset. since RC takes so long to improve on, implementing strategies for improvement on it earlier seems logical, but i have really fallen behind on my RC problem sets so i'm gonna give that a try. Thank you!

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