LSAT Diaries: LSAT Study, Logic Games, and Laziness

LSAT Study Logic Games Laziness
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Leave Jake some encouragement and advice below in the comments!

Jake's LSAT Diary:

When planning a summer of studying, there are usually two major possibilities: either you stick to your studying out of willpower, or you lose motivation and stop studying. This oddly cool and drizzly summer in Santa Cruz has introduced the third outcome: pain-induced laziness. Four bouts with illness taking out nearly a full month of studying made me think I'd be set back, but bursts of intense studying may have ended up unlocking more ability.

My initially breakneck pace of studying continued after my first LSAT diary, as I knocked out Logic Games, and the gears in my head were clicking. My first PrepTest afterwards resulted in a promising 172, with -3 on Logic Games questions. Whatever excitement I had would be tempered as I was either sick or out of town for the next two weeks straight, resulting in me writing about 11 different revisions of a personal statement. I also got in a few moments reading about Logical Reasoning when in the New Jersey hotel room or in the few hours before Iron Maiden. I was able to fit in a PrepTest while under the weather that resulted in a 168. Of course, I wrote it off to my illness.

Having finished all of the non-PrepTest material, I moved on to start the SuperPrep. At this point Logical Reasoning had become my least predictable area, and I had become scared silly of the SuperPrep logic games after reading horror stories. So when I counted my PrepTest A games score and got a -1, with a 174 total score. I got excited, and had my first "LSAT Zombie" conversation. "DUDE I think I figured out Logic Games! Now I can just hammer out logical reasoning and reading comprehension!" "...what the hell did you just say?"

The next two weeks would be mostly destroyed by an ear infection, followed with a second ear infection in the other ear. Constant ringing and stabbing pains took me out of the moment every time I tried to study, and I'd give up after a question or two. During the two-day gap between each ear's infection, I saddled up for PrepTest B which again had a killer logic game or two supposedly. I could feel that it was difficult, and at the end of that section I had to educated guess three question in the final minute. My minus 1 in the games section, coupled with a -1 on LR and RC, gave me a 180 with a question to spare.

Needless to say, I freaked out a little. I don't know if beer feeds ear infections, but the next ear infection was worse than the last. I didn't care that much, since I just scored a one-bleeping-eighty. I realized when looking over the 180 that there were many things that I do out of habit now that have greatly helped me.

One is something I read and had since forgotten: keep your pencil moving. This is best in regards to Logic Games questions when I feel like I'm missing an inference. I used to freeze and try to think it out, but now I'll do hypotheticals to try and find the inferences, or just the answer if there are none.

Another is to circle any successful hypothetical. I used to not use previous hypotheticals since I would find myself confused as to which one was based on what rules. Of course, that doesn't matter unless it was for a question that eliminated or added a rule. This was one of the best time-saving mechanics that I found for the LG sections.

In regards to logical reasoning, the SuperPrep is probably the best tool I've seen. Being able to see the machinery of the LSAC's decisions are good not only for the questions you missed and had trouble on, but for all of them. There are parts of the argument that you may not consider important, but the LSAC does. Just knowing this language has helped immensely. Also, I naturally make up a small character every time there's a speaker. For example, if there's a "Critic," I imagine a posh british guy smoking a pipe in front of a fireplace making the statement. If it's a "manager," it's a yuppie staring out a skyscraper window. It makes the stimulus more memorable.

Lastly, I realized that I felt completely comfortable in the 35 minute format. I have never taken an untimed PrepTest or an untimed section, so by now I know how much time I have left naturally. Feeling comfortable with the time I have left has cut down on stupid mistakes. I read the question carefully, then use process of elimination on all of the answers. If I don't have the answer yet, I read it carefully again. If it's still not clear, I skip it for later. With this strategy, I usually finish LR sections in under 30 minutes.

While my law school dreaming did take hold for a couple days of arrogance, I decided I would not give weight to any score other than the official LSAT. Still slightly under the weather, I took my first proctored LSAT, earning a 173. From here on it's a grind to October 9, as I hope to become more armored and solid, avoiding stupid mistakes.

Photo by drurydrama



5 comments:

  1. I think I will definitely adopt your technique of circling successful hypotheticals. I have the tendency to not look back over my work as suggested by the LG Bible, and I think a large part of that is due to the time it would take to figure out what I was doing in the hypothetical/figure out if it was successful.

    Best of luck!

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  2. Jake,

    So basically, you studied, then were lazy and then got sick? I am confused by the meaning of this article...Please explain...

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  3. There wasn't a real point other than to update the diary, and try to give some techniques I hoped would be useful to those that haven't seen them elsewhere.

    And I wasn't lazy so much as made unable to study (though that didn't stop me from trying)

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  4. Jake,
    Seems like your doing pretty well on your PT's, despite lack of time studying. You must be pretty smart (I'm not being sarcastic either).

    I begin my studying for the OCT 2010 LSAT today...I have 7 weeks. I could've started sooner, but I've always been a procrastinator.

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