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postpone to February

edited November 2014 in December 2014 LSAT 578 karma
OKAY EMERGENCY:
I started studying for the LSAT in July 2014 and I took a prep course with Testmasters. I am happy with the company I went but they had their weaknesses and strength like any other company. I was supposed to take the test September 2014 but I postponed it to December because I did not feel like 2 month prep was enough. Realistically , I am aiming for high 160s. I never took a practice test besides my cold diagnosis (133) because I wanted to learn everything first. I literally studied from 10AM to 4AM everyday until school started and some drama happened with my courses that I had to end up taking 20 units, which took a whole junk of my time away from LSAT even though I tried very hard to study for it at least three times a week for four hours. Time flew and November month came, I still had not taken a disagnosis. So, I woke up at 8am and took my first diagnosis. I HATE IT...TIMING KILLED EVERYTHING. I got the 13 logical reasoning questions I answered right (maybe missed 1 or 2 for careless mistake) and logic game? I could only manage to finish 1 even though I answered it all right. I got a 125 as my score which is lower than my cold diagnosis. I read LSAT blogs and people were saying your second diagnosis is typically going to be less than your cold one so I calmed down - Testmasters also said the same thing when I was enrolled in their course. So the third time I attempted to take it and once again I hated it....I know exactly how to find the right answer in no more than 1 minute but I AM A SLOW READER I LITERALLY have to go back to a sentence and read it at least twice to understand exactly what's going on....this is where my problem comes into play.....timing!!!! I can master the logical games (-0) reading comp (-3 max), logical reasoning (-8 max) but that's if I had all the time in the world to finish the test...or at least 1 hour for each section. I have taken only 4 diagnosis but graded 3 only because every time I do I get frustrated....I am in the high 140s right now...last time was 149. I just end up guessing on majority of the ones that I don't get to answer that's why it's so low. People and Testmaster instructor keep telling me to do practice tests...but I don't see how that's helping me with timing at all.... I am registered to take December 2014 lsat....should I postpone to February even though some law schools don't accept February score? I have to applying for fall 2015...

Comments

  • vanlsatstuvanlsatstu Alum Member
    edited November 2014 17 karma
    You have really backed yourself into a corner here unfortunately. The question, realistically, is not whether to take the December LSAT or postpone to February. Its whether you will be ready for February if you made studying # 1 priority.

    I made the mistake of taking the LSAT unprepared, and it was literally a waste of time. If you are not testing even close to your desired range at home, you are not going to pull off a miracle on test day. It is not worth it for you to throw away 2 tries this application cycle, to then spend months preparing and only have one crack for the next cycle. I hope you do not have to skip this cycle, because thats tough, but the last thing you want to do is come out of the test with a 155 in February and not get in anywhere (having spent the time and money on applications)

    You can be ready for February if you do everything right. My advice to you is to continue practicing, but do so methodically. Everyone can do this test with an hour per section. Your goal is to develop skills that will let you solve the test with a high degree of accuracy and then to become proficient enough with those skills (through repeated practice) to start scoring in the high 150s/low 160s on properly timed tests. Work on accuracy, then timing. The good news is that you seem to have accuracy down. So the question is, are you skills scaleable so that you can get to the right answers quicker, or are you just brute forcing everything. There is very little room for mental brute forcing for a score in the high 160s.

    Now some more specific advice. Before you take any more timed exams, you need to make sure that you are very comfortable with conditional logic, causal reasoning, and any other knowledge based skill (i.e. questions types, what they entail, types of logic games). It is a huge short cut to read about this stuff from courses like 7-sage or any others, as opposed to figuring it out on your own. I assume you know some kind of a curriculum that broke the test down for you.

    Then, I suggest you start taking timed sections of the LSAT, not the full test, which you blind review. Blind review is key, youtube 7 sage blind review method. For example, focus on LR for 2 weeks. Taking sections only can make it easier to process data (which is what timed tests really are). Take 2-4 of the older PTs, take the LR sections timed over the 2 weeks, blind review each section after you take it. This will familiarize you with the LR section. Then do something similar with RC and LG. Blind review and reflect on where your weakneses are.

    You should start scoring in the 150s once you do that. Once you get that far go back to taking timed PTs and reviewing them, start by taking 1-2 full tests per week at most. Be smart and methodical with your review. For example, if you lose 10 points on a LG section, do not just fold that test away and never come back to it. It really helps to retake logic games. You will have to develop a personlized system based on your own weakneses. That is really the hardest and most abstract part of the studying process.

    Once you get to about 3-4 weeks away from the actual February exam. Perhaps start taking a few more exams per week and still reviewing them. Dont burn too many in case you will need them for the long haul prep down the road. Also dont hesitate to take 1-2 days off per week to rest.

    Anyways, thats my advice. I would normally recommend a few more steps for each of the 3 sections types specifically. But thats a lot of info.

    FYI, after struggling for a while in the 150, i have been scoring in the high 160 for the past 3 weeks. My goal is mid 160s on test day.
  • ddakjikingddakjiking Legacy Inactive ⭐
    edited November 2014 2116 karma
    Take a step back and ask yourself "why law school in fall 2015?" Why do you HAVE start law school in 2015? Seeing that you're still in undergrad, I can understand the urge to transition into law school right after. I recently graduated back in June this year and I was hurt that I had to take a gap year because the lack of LSAT prep. A couple weeks ago, I decided to take another gap year so that I can postpone to the Feb LSAT in hopes of achieving my target score. Like you, I am also aiming for a high 160's and that is by no means an easy accomplishment. Even just a 165 is already the 91st percentile.

    On the upside, it appears that your so-called untimed score is only -11 which translates to a 170 on most PT's. This shows you have the potential to score well. So why waste a potential 170 LSAT score for say a low 150's so you can matriculate asap for the next school year. The difference in law schools you'll be accepted into is HUGE between a 170 and 150 LSAT score.

    FWIW, I started studying in July as well and scored a 136 diagnostic. I am now PT'ing in the low 160's with a target score of 170 on the Feb exam. If I have to retake in June, so be it. :P
  • Thanks guys for responding and giving me your 2 cent on it.

    I want to apply for this cycle because well...I have a "life timeline." I can't take a year off just studying for lsat. It just bothers me so much because I worked so hard and I feel like I did make it my #1 priority. Like today is thanksgiving but I stayed at school to study for lsat. I gave up my social life and my boyfriend almost broke up with me because I have become "too boring." When I hang out with him (stopped hanging out with friends) I do logic games with him....my life has become the LSAT. When I take untimed tests my score is mid 160s. That's why I feel like timing is the only problem.

    I also memorized all the question types and techniques to use for each one. I don't know I'm really upset honestly.

    Thanks for your advise though
  • harrismeganharrismegan Legacy Member
    2074 karma
    ^ our lives are the same lol
    Someone actually just called me boring the other day. Because I would rather stay in and study then get shit faced at the bar.
    Ahhh some people just don't understand.
  • It honestly bothers me when I see people partying...I'm thinking "what are you going to be in life?" At one point, you have to get your sh*t together and make something of yourself so if that means I will be boring...so be it.
  • gemandlightgemandlight Member
    81 karma
    I'm having the same problem... I can't seem to improve even though I have studied the theory, do the PTs and then do blind-review... Any tips anyone?
  • LSATCRACKERLSATCRACKER Legacy Member
    19 karma
    DOING BY TYPE EXERCISES
  • What is by type exercise
  • aavalone90-1aavalone90-1 Alum Member
    11 karma
    Hey @royaimani I definitely feel you with the life plan. I wanted to apply to last year but I had to pay off my school before I could. But what I found is that it gave me more time to study and solidify my school choices. I improved a lot my first diagonistic was a 142 with Powerscore. I'm now in the 160's but it took me a year worth of studying. What I did was use older practice tests to do timing drills. After I learned the methods with 7sage, I started doing timed drills. Then I moved on to doing practice tests every few days. After each practice test I thoroughly reviewed all of my errors. And the blind review definitely helps. Because it forces you to re-examine your work with no time constraints. It will take you about thirty tests before you see some real improvement.
  • jdawg113jdawg113 Alum Inactive ⭐
    2654 karma
    okay so having a timeline for your life is great, you have a plan, you know what you want to do and get there on schedule... but you have to be realistic too. so you HAVE to go right into law school, why? whats after in your timeline? is it achievable after going to a not so good school because it was all you could achieve without taking more time? what if you take the test, get a 145 and you go to school, try to move on to the next step but just can't, the job you wanted just isn't happening (very realistic scenario) and you have a huge debt without a job that help pay that debt off quickly and now instead of just not being able to move right to your next step but now you have to struggle everyday to pay off these ridiculous loans. OR you take a year off, bump your schedule, get a 169 or so, go to the school you wanted, get an internship and graduate with a well-paying job, one that you were hoping/planning on some level to get, and continue on your timeline only 1 year behind (also having an easier time while in school since you saved up some money and gained experience in your year off) Law School is a HUGE investment and not something that should be rushed without proper preparation. only about a third of incoming freshman are kjd(no gap years) and a huge portion of them regret not taking a year or so off... you wanna sit down and really look at what you want from this and whether or not you can achieve it now, in a year, or at all
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