162 --> ? By September

DNarmi53DNarmi53 Core Member
edited June 2022 in General 13 karma

Hello, I recently took my first LSAT diagnostic. I took the June 2007 PrepTest (timed, under test like conditions), scoring a 162. I missed 5 on LG (-2 that I didn't finish, -3 incorrect), 9 on the two LR sections combined (was rushing toward the end, but I actually got the easier questions wrong more often than the harder ones), and 4 on the RC (again, tended to get easier questions wrong more than the hardest ones).

I've started studying with 7Sage, aiming for 15-20 hours a week for 12 weeks with at least 9-10 more timed practice tests. How much score improvement is reasonable to expect in this case? What are some of the strategies I can use to ensure that I'm maximizing my increase and not just hovering around this diagnostic score? Planning on taking the September administration. Thanks!


  • Matt SorrMatt Sorr Alum Member
    edited June 2022 2239 karma

    Let me preface by saying that my answer is speculative and could be totally wrong. Obviously, everyone learns concepts differently and at different speeds, so it’s impossible to predict, with any certainty, how much you can improve in a given time frame. With that being said:

    With a 162 diagnostic, you clearly have an innate knack for the LSAT. It’s a great diagnostic score. As such, it is absolutely possible for your to break into the 170s with three months of committed studying. It is by no means guaranteed, but it’s not unreasonable. I have a friend with a 154 diagnostic that scored a 171 on his first attempt after about 3.5 months of studying.

    It is also totally possible that you don’t break into the 170s, though. With a diagnostic like yours, I believe you could 100% break into the 170s with a longer study window, but three months is too short to guarantee it. Unless your diagnostic was a fluke, I don’t think there’s much of a chance you’ll score lower than a, say, 167 with three months of studying, but I also don’t believe a 170 is a lock.

    As for what strategies you should employ to maximize your improvement, I’d recommend a couple of things. First, I’d recommend you become a logic games savant (meaning you almost always score -0 or -1 on LG). The conventional wisdom is that LG is the most learnable section, and it sounds like you’re very good at it naturally. To become a LG wiz, I’d recommend you check out the “fool proofing method” from the CC. It’s gold. Second, I’d recommend that you go through the core curriculum relatively quickly and really focus on the areas you’re struggling with the most. If three months of studying is a firm time frame, I don’t think you have time to really pore over each lesson in the CC. Additionally, with a 162 diagnostic, I don’t think you need to.

    I hope my answer helps a bit! Again, predicting score improvement in a given time frame is an impossible task, but with a diagnostic like yours the sky is the limit. Also, if you’re at all interested, I am starting a studying discord with another guy that’s aiming to take the exam in September or October. He is currently averaging a 170 on PTs so I’m sure he’s got some great tips. Just private message me if you’d like to join. Good luck with your studies!

  • T14babyT14baby Core Member
    82 karma

    My advice, take another two or three PT's and see if your results are repeatable. That will give you a more accurate representation of where you're at. Per my LSAT tutor, "most 170+ LSAT scorers study for over one-year."

  • hotranchsaucehotranchsauce Member
    288 karma

    Official 140 scorer two years ago.
    Official 163 scorer from this FEB.

    Taking into account your score, the fact that we have a sample size of 1 practice test, and the fact that you scored approximately the same in each section, if I were you, then I'd choose the section that feels most natural to me and just hone it in even more. The past consensus seemed to point towards LG being the easiest to improve upon in the least amount of time, but that might not be true for your case since you're basically just trying to nail down the finer details. Furthermore, LGs are seemingly becoming harder, if not at least more unpredictable.

    From what I've been reading over the past few months from self reporters who have taken the official test, and furthermore reading forums and listening to podcasts, it seems like LGs sections are seeing changes compared to historical practice tests. From what I've gleaned, recent LG sections seem less reliant on up-front deductions and inferences to therefore bang out the questions with filled or quasi-filled game boards and more reliant on per question scenarios. Basically, fewer upfront deductions and a more "freestyle" type game. Furthermore basically, less of the time spent on particular logic games is done upfront before the questions, and therefore the time is more even split up on a per question basis due to the nature of how the game is formatted. You could call these games more questions-focused rather than more stimulus and deduction-focused games. These questions-focused games can be tricky if you catch yourself in a situation where you're trying to link together inferences or put together split board or filled-in board scenarios that lead to no meaningful information or that won't have a function in answering the questions correctly.

    Finally, each practice and official test can either be extremely similar to each other in terms or content, structure, and question types or they can be extremely different. For example, for your individual skillset, perhaps the practice test you took was a poor matchup. As in, maybe that practice test was your hypothetical worst-case scenario, and if you were to have taken any other practice then, then you would have scored 175+. Maybe it's also true that the practice test you took was your ultimate match, and if you were to have taken any other practice test, then you would have scored in the 140s. Some practice tests have 4 LR main conclusion questions, some have 0. If your jam is main conclusion questions, then you can probably expect to underperform on that certain test that has 0 of them.

    You did not specify what your grades were on each specific LR section. I'd say, given all the brainstorming and experience I've done thus far, that if one of your LR sections had a -6 or -7, then your efforts are best placed on training LR. If that were to be the case, and time in scarce, then just do practice sections to get a good sample size of what questions you get wrong more frequently and what questions you spend too much time on compared to the rest. With that knowledge in mind, I'd then further hone your studies to doing practice sets with only those question types.

    However, if a perfect world, you'd just continue to do practice tests at a healthy pace while reviewing each test while paying closer attention to question types that keep trending as wrong. Rinse and repeat until your practice testing at your goal score or until your time is up and you have to take the real test.

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