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LSAT Diaries: LSAT Retake Score Improvement

LSAT Blog LSAT Retake Score Improvement
This installment of LSAT Diaries comes from Jimmy, who improved from 153 to 161 on his June 2013 LSAT retake after using my 4-month day-by-day LSAT study plan!

If you want to be in LSAT Diaries, please email me at LSATUnplugged@gmail.com. (You can be in LSAT Diaries whether you've taken the exam already or not.)

Thanks to Jimmy for sharing his experience and advice!

Jimmy's LSAT Diary:

So, before I get started with my story, I wanna say I have sympathy for you all whether you’re a first-time taker or a retaker, and I say that because the LSAT is no joke. You’re going to have your highs and lows and even some moments where you laugh, and you don’t know if it’s a good, bad, or I’m driving myself crazy type laugh. Having said that all the resources you need to do well on this test are readily available right here on Steve’s blog.

I was an LSAT retaker. No shame in it. I’m actually kind of proud of it in a way. Anyways, if you’re like me, you got your score back, and for about 2 weeks you wanted to live under a rock and not speak to or see any human/living thing ever again. Probably boozed really hard also. You also spent a boatload of cash on a class that didn’t work for you. I was a Kaplan victim, and I’m convinced they make up ideas and trademark them just to make it seem like you’re getting your money's worth. Total nonsense.

Now you have to figure out whether or not you want to retake. It’s a personal decision, but for those of you who do want to retake I’m going to share some advice that hopefully will be insightful for you.

First things first, I highly suggest you purchase one of the study schedules on the blog. If you haven’t started studying for the October exam, don’t take it. Wait for the December exam. You need to give the LSAT the time it deserves. Purchase whatever you think you need, but I used the 4-month LSAT day-by-day study schedule and timed it right up to the June LSAT. Didn't have a job. All I did was eat right, sleep right, socialize enough, exercise, and study. Pretty much looked at everything I did to prepare for my first go around and visually threw it on the ground and stomped the s**t out of it. So bottom line is, get a schedule and follow every day of it exactly as it says.

Next, you gotta get your mind right. I scored a 153 my first time, and no beating around the bush that’s just a flat-out failure as far as I’m concerned. It's not easy to convince yourself that you can drastically improve. I think I saw somewhere that the average retake score increases by 3 or 4 points, which isn’t sexy at all. But you have to realize that you either went wrong in your studying techniques, didn’t prepare long enough, didn’t take it as seriously as you should have. Something along those lines. Essentially, there's a lot of room for improvement. Once that room is filled with the improvement, you’ll see the scores increase.

This may hurt some of you, but I crush logic games typically -0 or -1 never more than -3. Unfortunately I can’t say the same about RC. I absolutely suck at it. Some people can do it no problem they don’t even need to practice which makes me envious on the highest level. I missed -9 on the June test which wasn’t terrible because I didn’t even get to the last passage. What worked for me eventually was writing down the main point of each paragraph off to the side, and then before hitting the questions I would try and predict the main point of the entire thing and try and think what the other is getting at. Also make sure you have explanations of every passage you do because if you don’t know where you went wrong you won’t improve. Of course practice is going to take you as far as you can go with this section so that’s crucial.

For the logic games, the bottom line is mapping it out or having some kind of game plan for each type of game. Sequencing, grouping, hybrid games, whatever type of game it is, there is a type of diagramming for it. Abbreviate. Do not write out complete names and things. Again, just like the other sections, practice, practice, and more practice. Familiarity and knowing what type of game you're looking at is key. You need to get formal logic down, and if a game is taking you too long, you have to be disciplined enough to move on to potentially easier points. Watch the videos on the blog.

I went really hard on the studying and at times I definitely got LSAT burnout. Your mind needs the off days, and if you don’t give them to yourself, you’ll be in a fog when you’re trying to study and may see yourself regress. Another thing also is when you start taking tests: don’t get pissed off because you score lower on some than others. I bottomed out at 158 and peaked at 166 and scored a 161 on the real thing.

I’m saving the best for last. This is something that really calmed me down on test day. This past June LSAT is going to be LSAT PrepTest 69. What I mean by that is, the actual LSAT you take is not going to have a bunch of new crazy stuff you haven’t already seen. All it is at the end of the day is the next PrepTest, which is standardized just like all the other PrepTests you took and handled just fine. Do not psych yourself out! When I took it the first time, I totally psyched myself out and made it seem like a different language. It isn’t. Instead of looking at it as the October 2013 LSAT or December 2013 LSAT, look at it as PrepTest 70 or PrepTest 71, depending on which test you take.

I hope this helped some of you. Good luck to you all!

Photo by bobaubuchon



5 comments:

  1. grear tips. loved the last paragraph.

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  2. Congratulations, Jimmy. Your dedicated focus and positive attitude made all the difference. You've also come to recognize the value of Steve's instructional technique. Most of us can't expect to gain eight points on a retake, but I'm glad you did. I hope you earn acceptance to the top-tier law school of your choice.

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  3. "Instead of looking at it as the October 2013 LSAT or December 2013 LSAT, look at it as PrepTest 70 or PrepTest 71, depending on which test you take."

    This.

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  4. I have BOMBED logic games on every single test, practice and the real thing, I have taken. When I take the test again it will be my third time, please help!!

    ReplyDelete