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*5* weeks until Nov Exam, Nov takers: what's your study plan?

_iamnw96_iamnw96 Alum Member
edited October 2020 in General 437 karma

HEY Nov takers!

Now that we're at the T minus 6 weeks mark, I was just wondering what everyone's study plans are to get in their best shape for November.

Personally, I struggle the most with RC (consistently -7 or -8); do fine with LG and LR (-3 to -5). Therefore, I'm going to try to drill historically difficult RC passages, drill historically difficult LG games, and then hopefully take 12-15 Full Practice Tests before Nov 7.

I feel like I'm still lacking a bit of structure. Curious as to what others are doing to gear up for Nov 7 to see if I can get a bit of inspo. Happy studying & best of luck to all!

Comments

  • ceatherton1ceatherton1 Alum Member
    39 karma

    For me taking the exam under time conditions is the most helpful tool to be prepared for the exam. So, it might be a lot, but I take a PT MWF, then blind review it and then Tue Thur drill anything I felt weak on the days before. I also struggle with RC as my logical games and LR range from 0-3 I have tended to emphasize RC a lot. Hope this bit of structure helps!

  • xtinextinextinextine Alum Member
    856 karma

    I work full time so my realistic schedule is 2 PTs a week with lots of time dedicated to BR. I'm also drilling logic games! lol unfortunately I'm not "safe" in any particular section, but I'm going to focus on LR and LG for the most part.

  • dhw010dhw010 Monthly Member
    21 karma

    Doing a practice test (almost) every day, most of them under timed conditions!! When I don't have the energy for that, taking a PT with unlimited time or at least completing 2 sections of an exam. I'm also taking the October one a week from now. Main overall goal is getting my accuracy with LG and RC up under timed conditions.

  • lilpinglinglilpingling Alum Member
    638 karma

    I find White Claw and junk food to be particularly helpful.

    But seriously, I found that I was having a lot of trouble with a stagnant score and lack of improvement, so I decided to give the Loophole in LSAT Reasoning a try. I was a little hesitant because I interpreted the term "loophole" to imply a "cheat" of some kind, but I'm actually finding it's been pretty beneficial. It's really more about strategy and test taking than it is concepts. (In fact, I probably wouldn't recommend it to someone who doesn't have the concepts down pretty well already.) I burned through all 450+ pages in about a week and completed every last exercise with my full effort. I've yet to take another test, so I can't say how much it's helped, but there were a few areas in which I think I've gained some serious insight. In any case, I think breaking the cycle and trying something new can be helpful for a fresh viewpoint. If I don't see much improvement in the next few days though, I may seriously consider moving my test up to January even though I REALLY don't want to.

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm struggling with some serious COVID fatigue. I'm having a tough time being stuck inside, feeling depressed and lethargic. I work full time from my house and rarely go out. Plus, I keep talking myself into accepting that I'm a 41 year old loser who doesn't deserve a life change. It's a difficult cycle to break and it's having a profound impact on my studying. 2020 is the worst.

  • TeamCeel5boiiiiiTeamCeel5boiiiii Monthly Member
    29 karma

    Nonsense about the loser stuff and negative self-talk! But i feel ya on the adverse mental health effects of COVID, staying inside and 2020.. after some hours of studying i take a walk, or go out and skateboard for a few hours. Running, walking, movement and music is always a great help.

  • mbmeowwwmbmeowww Monthly Member
    58 karma

    I worry about structure too. I think one of the biggest reasons I failed so hard on the August LSAT was because I was trying to self-direct my studying too much. 7sage is helping a lot. Thank God for fee waivers.

    Other than that, the only aggravatingly persistent problem I have is STILL with logic games. I average around -2 on RC and -5 on LR, and - fucking 9-12 on LG (nope, not joking). Everyone on earth talks about how LG are the easiest to improve on, but I just cannot wrap my head around them. I've been studying for six months, and it's just not happening.

    Does anybody else have this issue or am I just completely useless with LG?

    Favorited this post, nice to have a cohort of people taking the exam same month.

  • mbmeowwwmbmeowww Monthly Member
    58 karma

    @lilpingling said:
    I find White Claw and junk food to be particularly helpful.

    All around a great post, thank you. However, the above ^ is some of the most useful advice on this web site XD

  • lilpinglinglilpingling Alum Member
    638 karma

    You know you're in a really weird place in life when you map out: CLAW --> /LAW

  • kilgoretroutkilgoretrout Alum Member
    795 karma

    @lilpingling said:
    I find White Claw and junk food to be particularly helpful.

    But seriously, I found that I was having a lot of trouble with a stagnant score and lack of improvement, so I decided to give the Loophole in LSAT Reasoning a try. I was a little hesitant because I interpreted the term "loophole" to imply a "cheat" of some kind, but I'm actually finding it's been pretty beneficial. It's really more about strategy and test taking than it is concepts. (In fact, I probably wouldn't recommend it to someone who doesn't have the concepts down pretty well already.) I burned through all 450+ pages in about a week and completed every last exercise with my full effort. I've yet to take another test, so I can't say how much it's helped, but there were a few areas in which I think I've gained some serious insight. In any case, I think breaking the cycle and trying something new can be helpful for a fresh viewpoint. If I don't see much improvement in the next few days though, I may seriously consider moving my test up to January even though I REALLY don't want to.

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm struggling with some serious COVID fatigue. I'm having a tough time being stuck inside, feeling depressed and lethargic. I work full time from my house and rarely go out. Plus, I keep talking myself into accepting that I'm a 41 year old loser who doesn't deserve a life change. It's a difficult cycle to break and it's having a profound impact on my studying. 2020 is the worst.

    I've been studying full time for six months and the COVID and LSAT fatigue is sooooo real. You are not at all a loser. You can change your life now when you're 41 or you can change it later, when you're older, but you deserve to go after what you want either way. The sooner the better!!

  • kilgoretroutkilgoretrout Alum Member
    795 karma

    @mbmeowww said:
    I worry about structure too. I think one of the biggest reasons I failed so hard on the August LSAT was because I was trying to self-direct my studying too much. 7sage is helping a lot. Thank God for fee waivers.

    Other than that, the only aggravatingly persistent problem I have is STILL with logic games. I average around -2 on RC and -5 on LR, and - fucking 9-12 on LG (nope, not joking). Everyone on earth talks about how LG are the easiest to improve on, but I just cannot wrap my head around them. I've been studying for six months, and it's just not happening.

    Does anybody else have this issue or am I just completely useless with LG?

    Favorited this post, nice to have a cohort of people taking the exam same month.

    Me too! I am just all over the place with LG.

  • _iamnw96_iamnw96 Alum Member
    437 karma

    @ceatherton1 Awesome - that's also what I was thinking. Are you taking 3 section exams, or the full 4 at one time, or...? I don't really see the advantage of taking the 5-section exam because it might stress me out more, even though I know it's supposed to "toughen" me lol. Best of luck !!!!

  • _iamnw96_iamnw96 Alum Member
    437 karma

    @xtinextine @dhw010 GOOD LUCK GUYS!!!!

  • _iamnw96_iamnw96 Alum Member
    437 karma

    @lilpingling I drink mango white claws like it's water.

    Thanks for the suggestion!

    I feel you on the COVID fatigue - I personally try to get outside for at least 45-60 minutes a day. Being outside near grass and trees really does make a difference. I also do weekly Zoom calls with friends. Please take care of your mental health! I definitely understand though - it's all temporary and things will be better in time is what I keep saying to myself. So sick of living through ~major historical events~.

    And also, you DO DESERVE A LIFE CHANGE! You've worked hard and you deserve every good thing that's coming to you - Manifest!

  • _iamnw96_iamnw96 Alum Member
    437 karma

    @mbmeowww Hey, don't listen to everyone else, everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses! I had a friend who scored a perfect LG score on his DIAGNOSTIC. I was like bro....

    When I was first struggling with LG, I literally did 1 LG section every single day, and foolproofed until I got almost every question right (22/23 was fine). I did that for like, at least 20 days straight. It worked, but it definitely took some time. I consistently score 21-22/23 on LG now (rarely do I get perfect, but whatever). Keep going at it! Hold yourself accountable! Best of luck to you.

  • _iamnw96_iamnw96 Alum Member
    437 karma

    @kilgoretrout ^^ Just responded to @mbmeowww

  • _iamnw96_iamnw96 Alum Member
    437 karma

    Thanks for all of the solidarity, everyone!

  • ceatherton1ceatherton1 Alum Member
    39 karma

    @nw_39796 said:
    @ceatherton1 Awesome - that's also what I was thinking. Are you taking 3 section exams, or the full 4 at one time, or...? I don't really see the advantage of taking the 5-section exam because it might stress me out more, even though I know it's supposed to "toughen" me lol. Best of luck !!!!

    I just take the 3 sections, doing them so much you are going to build up the stamina for the exam anyways. Also taking the 4 sections could potentially give a misconception on your scoring since its split evenly into third rather then having LR twice!

  • adimanm1adimanm1 Monthly Member
    55 karma

    Overall hit 164 on my most recent back to back PTs, which is my highest score to date. My goal score by this Thursday for October is 162-166 but am wary that it can fluctuate lower on test day. As for studying, it took me super long to figure out what works for me but I'll write it out below.

    For November: Trying to hit 170 - Starting to really pinpoint weaknesses and I have focused on more targeted studying than full PTs because I am not effective at reviewing them. I have the sense that I am on the verge of a score leap considering all studying I've done on my weaker areas...just need to get more consistent at studying all three sections every session now.

    LG: Pretty much -2/-3
    -Have been fool-proofing some of the hardest games of all time + every game section I do in a PT
    -It's my strongest section so I often just do games untimed (and still end up doing them all correct within the goal time) to just maintain my LG skills, keeps studying fun as well
    -Consistently get Rule-Substitution Questions wrong, so I have been drilling some games w/those
    -Consistently make 1-2 stupid mistakes, trying to keep my work more organized. I now circle all solutions I diagram to refer back to for future questions and ALWAYS write the new rules for new-rule questions neatly.

    LR: -3/-4 lately
    -Have been returning a lot to old sections I've done, especially where I got a lot of questions wrong
    -Re-do them untimed, and write out Premises/Conclusion + how each AC affects the argument/premise set then watch explanation videos if I am still confused
    -Will do 10-15 questions from old PTs I haven't done, then BR, then return in a few days for a third review with explanations written out as I see fit
    -Doing a bunch of harder questions from each set as well + PF, NA,SA,MSS,MBT and Point of Disagreement because for some reason I such at those under timed conditions

    RC: -6 average, (Hit -3 once and -9 once, but mostly consistent at -6 - RC has the biggest room for improvement and thus is the easiest path to a higher score for me)
    -Going back to fundamentals and trying them out untimed, i.e, refining my low resolution summaries and applying a better approach than I did on my last PT ( Went -9.. Ouch .. prevented me from hitting 164+ for the first time) - been using Manhattan Prep
    -Emphasizing a review plan similar to LR/LG - Take an RC section and do 1-2 passage(s) at a time (started this untimed, but mixing in timed now), Blind Review, Do it again a few days later untimed
    -Constantly returning to old passages I did poorly on - this has been the key to improvement for both LR and LG for me. Can definitely foolproof for RC as well.

    Overall:
    -Focusing on my weak areas has been the most helpful
    -I stick to what works - I only do PTs to measure where I am at and to get new data points on where my weaknesses are/what to prioritize
    -Have hit -3 or -2 on all sections in different PTs, just need to put this together in PTs and on the real LSAT. I am now studying all three sections consistently instead of one section at the expense of another now as test date approaches. Focusing on LG and LR so much took some points off for RC for me
    -Going to take some timed more PTs under test day conditions just so I get over the nerves of getting a bad score before November. Sometimes I get too worried that if I do poorly, I'll ruin my confidence.
    -My progression has been super positive, but not precisely linear.

    Cold Diagnostic:151
    152,158, 153 (after months off), 154, 153, 157, 153, 160, 160, 158, 164, 164

    +11 up from early July, still much more room to grow! Wish I really studied more for RC, I just tend to put it off because it's so tedious. I will no doubt make sure I study the hell out of it before November.

  • VerdantZephyrVerdantZephyr Alum Member
    edited October 2020 2054 karma

    Just my two cents but it seems like several people here are thinking about taking more than 2 PTs a week. A lot of advise would caution against doing more than 2 a week. It is generally believed to be pretty draining and can lead to burnout. I'm also not sure if it leaves adequate time to review the PTs you take. If you're not working and have plenty of time it might be doable, but proceed with caution. I'm not saying you can't do it, just make sure that's it is the best course of action for you.

  • _iamnw96_iamnw96 Alum Member
    437 karma

    @ceatherton1 So what I've been doing is taking 3 sections at once, then taking the second LR another time (usually within the same week).
    Then, I record my "low" score and "high" score, so I understand the general range I'm in.
    What I've noticed is that one of my LR sections is consistently lower than the other, which is a bummer, but it keeps me grounded because sometimes I'll get like -2 on one LR section, then when I take the other one it's like -5 or something, and that's a difference in the final score.

  • _iamnw96_iamnw96 Alum Member
    437 karma

    @adimanm1 Thanks for explaining in such detail! I agree with you on RC, that's definitely where I have struggled to see the most improvement, whereas for LR and LG I've experienced near-perfect or perfect sections. If you're starting to hit early 160s already, that's awesome because that literally took me over six months to do. Seems like you're on a great track!

  • _iamnw96_iamnw96 Alum Member
    437 karma

    @VerdantZephyr Agree, 2 seems to be a good balance although I think 3 can be reasonable if you're not working a full time job or a parent lol (god bless yall)

  • detroit_suzukadetroit_suzuka Alum Member
    194 karma

    @lilpingling said:
    I find White Claw and junk food to be particularly helpful.

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm struggling with some serious COVID fatigue. I'm having a tough time being stuck inside, feeling depressed and lethargic. I work full time from my house and rarely go out. Plus, I keep talking myself into accepting that I'm a 41 year old loser who doesn't deserve a life change. It's a difficult cycle to break and it's having a profound impact on my studying. 2020 is the worst.

    Another 41 year old loser about to take the exam in less than 48 hours. the last few PT's have broke my confidence. I'm PTing much lesser than my average.. So I'm just waiting to get this over with and get back to my old life.

    Today I yelled at my 4 year old, because dude did not want to go to daycare. I was planning to the last PT (Pt 89) after dropping him off at daycare- but he wanted to hang out at home and spend time with his dad...

    .... And dad wanted to do a PT.
    I still have not started the PT yet, I feel bad ...

    Anyway Some points.
    I have given the holy trifecta of the masters GRE, GMAT & LSAT
    GRE I gave in 2007, and I was in the 90th percentile. I studied maybe 3 hours /day (3 months)
    GMAT I gave in 2019, 89th percentile, 2 hours /day and weekends off (3 months study)
    LSAT 2020, till now PT'ing in high 70percentiles, low 80. 5-6 hours per day. (9 months)

    This exam is really tough folks. I have great respect for the 170+ scorers out there. I wish I had it in me.

  • adimanm1adimanm1 Monthly Member
    55 karma

    @nw_39796 Of course, and hey it doesn't matter where you start it's all about where we finish. We both definitely got this! One bit of advice I'd give is maybe try taking one week off where instead of doing ANY PTs, you just heavily emphasize reviewing your most recent exams as well as past exams. I think this will set you up for a nice score leap come next PT. Let me know your thoughts!

    Also, has PTing twice a week been effective for you? I am thinking about mixing in more PTs myself.

  • DanielMacTavishDanielMacTavish Alum Member
    161 karma

    @mbmeowww said:
    I worry about structure too. I think one of the biggest reasons I failed so hard on the August LSAT was because I was trying to self-direct my studying too much. 7sage is helping a lot. Thank God for fee waivers.

    Other than that, the only aggravatingly persistent problem I have is STILL with logic games. I average around -2 on RC and -5 on LR, and - fucking 9-12 on LG (nope, not joking). Everyone on earth talks about how LG are the easiest to improve on, but I just cannot wrap my head around them. I've been studying for six months, and it's just not happening.

    Does anybody else have this issue or am I just completely useless with LG?

    Favorited this post, nice to have a cohort of people taking the exam same month.

    You are not alone =) My best LG section in the the last, say, 2 months or so has been -8. And only because it had the easiest sequencing game I have ever seen in my life. I suck at them, but trying. I usually do better on the tests when LG is the last section because I get way too mental when I have good reason to believe I just got cooked by an earlier Games section. Do you use any other materials to study games?

  • _iamnw96_iamnw96 Alum Member
    edited October 2020 437 karma

    @adimanm1

    So I took the digital LSAT a year ago in Sept 2019 (right when I started my masters -_-) and the month leading up the exam, I was aiming for 3 PTs a week. In practice, I think I ended up doing 2 PTs a week. But at the time, I was doing 5-section PTs (ah, pre-covid LSATs <3) The reason why I did 3 at a time was because I was REALLY trying to build up my stamina, as doing 5 sections for anyone is tough and I don't want to wane out toward the end.

    Since the exam has now been "reduced" to 3 sections, I think 2 PTs a week with thorough BR is great. I just did one today at noon, and I'm about to BR now. I don't feel nearly as fatigued when I take 3-section exams as I used to when I did 5-section exams (for obvious reasons) so it makes me think that my stamina is already up to speed.

    Here's what I'm thinking for my schedule this week:
    Mon - PT 80 (3 sections) + BR
    Tue - Drill hard RCs, complete second LR from PT 80 + BR everything
    Wed - PT 73 (3 sections) + BR
    Thu - Drill hard LGs, complete second LR from PT 73 + BR everything
    Friday - PT 81 (3 sections) + BR
    Saturday OR Sunday (because I'm gonna take at least one day break): Drill LR question types I've been getting wrong consistently

    Let's see if I can actually do it, lol. Also don't mind my random jumping around with PTs (I don't want to do them in order just to spice it up a little, especially since 70s and 80s are a bit different)

    --
    You gave a great tip, I think I might PT this week and next, and the third week, I'll solely drill and PT for the last two weeks. LMK if you want to keep in touch/have an accountability partner!

  • melonballermelonballer Alum Member
    24 karma

    @mbmeowww said:
    I worry about structure too. I think one of the biggest reasons I failed so hard on the August LSAT was because I was trying to self-direct my studying too much. 7sage is helping a lot. Thank God for fee waivers.

    Other than that, the only aggravatingly persistent problem I have is STILL with logic games. I average around -2 on RC and -5 on LR, and - fucking 9-12 on LG (nope, not joking). Everyone on earth talks about how LG are the easiest to improve on, but I just cannot wrap my head around them. I've been studying for six months, and it's just not happening.

    Does anybody else have this issue or am I just completely useless with LG?

    Favorited this post, nice to have a cohort of people taking the exam same month.

    I struggled a lot with LG at the beginning, and I found it extremely helpful to practice one game at a time with no time constraints. Once I could reliably complete all game types with 0 wrong, I started working to speed up. Can't say what will work for others, but for me I was freaking out with the timed pressure and needed to give myself permission to work through the problems stress-free.

  • adimanm1adimanm1 Monthly Member
    55 karma

    @nw_39796 Gotcha, that seems like a great approach because (obviously) by PTing you are covering all bases and studying every section in depth. That's great that it works for you. Personally I do very few PTs becuase it doesn't work so well for me in the middle of a college semester but I am still able to put the hours in and see relatively consistent improvement. If I had more time, I'd definitely do something similar because I believe PTing and the effective/in-depth review of those PTs are the best way to study.

    I'd definitely be interested in keeping in touch!

  • lilpinglinglilpingling Alum Member
    638 karma

    @detroit_suzuka I really feel for you. The LSAT has a way of taking highly intelligent people and stripping them of their comfort and skill. I'm generally a very fast learner and I get rattled when things don't come to me quickly. Kids are less than perceptive when we're frustrated and stressed. Actually, I think they go out of their way to make it worse at times. (Hence, the White Claw. Although I've since moved on to Boulevard Quirk because they sell it at the convenience store a few blocks away and I can go there in my pajamas.) The good news is, most times when I feel especially bad about a parenting fail, to the point of losing sleep, and I approach my daughter to apologize, she doesn't even know what I'm talking about and/or didn't even really notice it in the first place.

    I'm going to wait until the eleventh hour to make up my mind as to whether or not to take the test in November or January. At this point, it's not looking good for November. I'm still struggling with time and breaking past the "stuck between two answers and always choosing the wrong one" phase. But hey, at least I was able to rationalize this new MacBook I couldn't really afford (I needed a bigger screen for RC!) and I have my weak alcohol spritzers and BFFs Ben and Jerry to keep me company in my times of stress.

  • adimanm1adimanm1 Monthly Member
    55 karma

    VerdantZephyr You make a very important point. Personally, I don't PT unless I am trying to replicate testing conditions, measure my progress, or get to analytics/data points to pin-point my weaknesses. It isn't that I think I'd get burnt out at 2 per week, but I honestly don't review my PTs effectively. I say I will, but then when the time comes for BR I don't follow through. It's especially hard now that I am about midway through the semester of my senior year of college. Great point and I think a lot of people need to take this advice. I have only taken 2-4 PTs per month over the last 3 and have jumped 10+ points. It isn't necessary.

  • VerdantZephyrVerdantZephyr Alum Member
    2054 karma

    @adimanm1 Exactly. It is not that I think that no one should do 3+ PTs a week, I have been doing two a week for about 6 weeks, but 2 is, at least for me, very different from 3. I also do not always review like I should when I finish my group BR. I do not remember if I mentioned this, but I strongly encourage people to take tests on their own and review with a partner (provided that partner is either significantly better than you or in the 160's) that means that you have committed to taking a PT by a certain date and time and committed to BRing it thoroughly. Your partner may help you to catch confidence errors in BR or to teach you a new trick. Back to my main point, I think that two PTs a week is sufficient material and stress to get on with in a week, you can always add additional study to supplement or redo old mistakes from past PTs.

  • _iamnw96_iamnw96 Alum Member
    437 karma

    @adimanm1 @VerdantZephyr I appreciate these perspectives!!! I actually think I'm gonna change my study schedule now and do less PTs...

  • VerdantZephyrVerdantZephyr Alum Member
    2054 karma

    Glad to be helpful

  • goforbrokegoforbroke Monthly Member
    edited October 2020 317 karma

    Thanks so much for starting this thread! I'm signed up for November too and I had a mini freakout last week since my scores had plateaued. Decided to step away from PT-ing and go in-depth section by section. Started in RC, did 6 sections and BRed and I'm feeling good. Started LR this week, will be 6 or so sections and see if I improve. Doing sections back to back and reviewing in-depth really helps me see what my weakest points are and how to address them.

    As for PTs, I don't want to burn through too many tests and I may have to test again (probably will have to, it seems most people take it more than once). That makes it kind of hard to decide how much to PT.

  • goforbrokegoforbroke Monthly Member
    317 karma

    @detroit_suzuka said:

    .... And dad wanted to do a PT.
    I still have not started the PT yet, I feel bad ...

    Wow can't imagine having to do intensive studying with a 4-year old around. And one that wants to play! Hats off to you...and all the parents out there studying!

  • _iamnw96_iamnw96 Alum Member
    437 karma

    @goforbroke I too am starting to see that PTing isn't the strategy to increasing my score. It increases stamina and endurance for sure, but honing in on weak spots and doing thorough blind reviews will be the most beneficial in the long run for me I think. Best of luck!

  • mariaye0604mariaye0604 Alum Member
    79 karma

    I work full time and sometimes a stressful job, especially now it's coming up to year end. I do approximately 3 sometimes 4 PTs each week. 1 whole PT + BR on each of the weekend, then 1~2 PTs during the week. If done with the set schedule (sometimes I get lazy and end up procrastinating...) I can have a day or two to drill my weak points which are identified by 7Sage. I've taken the test 2 times before, 161 and 166. Now for the past 5 PTs I did, I scored consistently between 170 - 174 with BR ranging from 173 - 178. So I think I finally found the right way to study this.
    And everyone here, covid fatigue is sooooooo real! So now I go workout for an hour everyday, and I have a 15-20min break in the evening to walk my dog and get some fresh air. They all help!

  • helmholtz99helmholtz99 Monthly Member
    71 karma

    I just did 2-3 PTs a day for the last four days - probably a mistake, scores got increasingly worse. Just a warning to everyone - fool proofing and drilling are better strategies. Pls write me if you have more to suggest.

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