LSAT Diary: Retake Improvement

LSAT Diary Retake ImprovementIlya took the June 2010 LSAT and scored a 154. He retook in October 2010 and scored a 163. In this diary, he explains how he improved.

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Ilya's LSAT Diary:

I began studying for the LSAT in the spring semester of last year. I attended the University of Virginia and graduated in December 2009, so I lived in Charlottesville until my peers graduated in May and used my downtime (as I did not have classes to take) to study for the June 2010 LSAT. On my initial diagnostic, which I took before every looking at a LSAT problem, I scored a 143.

Results: I got a 154 on the June 2010 test. On the full tests I took prior to the real one, I scored in the mid to high 150's, never getting higher than a 162. I remember feeling like I was not keeping up with my usual speed on the day of the test, and the experimental section really threw off my next section because I felt I did so poorly on it.

October 2010: I took 2 months off of studying and did not resume until August. I felt that my poorest section was logic games, and committed one full month (half of my remaining study time before the October test) to doing only logic games. I felt that a big mistake I made in my preparation for the June test was not paying enough attention to the errors I made. Instead of reviewing my logic errors on a Logic Game or a Logical Reasoning problem, I sometimes just figured that this problem would not repeat and thus I didn't have to worry about it. How wrong I was. This time around, I re-did logic games I hadn't initially accurately completed multiple times before I moved on, and this was a huge help (I ended up acing the LG section on the October test).

With the remaining month, I only worked on full timed sections or exams. I did 4 exams on Saturday mornings, and probably around 6 after work, so somewhere around 10 exams in total. I felt that really pushing myself to sit through all of these full tests was very important, as it improved my endurance for test day.

Time spent: Since this was all done after I started my first full-time job, I was only able to study about 2-2.5 hours each night after work, Monday through Friday (plus a few Saturdays of test taking). However, I did not want to push myself too hard and burn out, especially because I had a strong foundation. The point of my strategy this time around was to refine my skills, which helped tremendously. This time around, my full-length tests were averaging in the low to mid 160's.

Result: I ended up with a 163 on the October test, and aced the logic games. I did a little worse on the Logical Reasoning sections, but I attributed this to the stress of test day. The test location was also in my favor as it was a 3 minute drive from my girlfriend's house, and I was on a big desk with ample room as opposed to before when I had a tiny desk and needed to move papers around in order for them to fit.

Advice: My advice to anyone studying for the LSAT is: review the logical errors you make immediately, and repeat the question until your brain can do it on autopilot (this is especially true for Logic Games). As well, do as many recent, timed PrepTests as you can, replicating the conditions. This will improve your stamina and give you a better feel for test day. Finally, on the day of the test, if you have a particularly difficult time with a section, know that it's probably the experimental! Stressing about it after the fact can only hurt your score. Try to get it out of your mind and just move on.

Photo by bobaubuchon

1 comment:

  1. I got a 149 in October and 165 in December. There is hope folks! I would say the most important part is staying positive after a disappointing score. You are officially allowed to mope and wallow in self-pity for one weekend, and then you've got to begrudgingly get back to work.