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LSAT Diary: Max on His LSAT Score Improvement to 176 (Part 1)

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This LSAT Diary comes from Max, who scored a 176 on the June LSAT using my 4-month LSAT study plan. His diagnostic LSAT score was a 155, making this a 21-point increase!

(This is Part 1 of his LSAT Diary. See Part 2 here.)

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 Max for sharing his experience and advice!

Max's LSAT Diary, Part 1:

As a young kid, when I'd argue with my mom, she would always tell me (backhandedly) how I'd make a good lawyer someday. So law as a profession was always somewhere in the back of my mind.

I studied science at a strong university in the West, but when the prelaw society announced a free LSAT exam, proctored and everything, I took the chance, never having studied before or even knowing what types of questions they'd ask. I got a 155.

Three years later, I had recently been laid off from a job and had money saved up, so I decided to study for the June LSAT, and train for the San Francisco marathon.

Having recently paid off my undergraduate student loans, I was (and still am) very debt averse. So I knew that, if law school was going to be an option, I was going to have to be a strong applicant and receive some serious amount of scholarship. I graduated from a very well-respected college, but with a fairly (for law school applicants...) average GPA. So I figured I would have to do exceptionally well on the LSAT to have a good chance at scholarship.

The money issue also meant that I wanted to try studying without an expensive study prep course. If I didn't do well, I was at least willing to consider getting a job, then taking it with the help of a prep course.

I had a few friends who had taken the LSAT in the last few years. I asked for their advice. Some of them had taken a prep course, some of them hadn't. Those that had always vehemently recommended a prep course. Those who hadn't always vehemently recommended taking lots and lots of practice tests. I wanted to create my own schedule.


Using this blog:

LSAT Blog was, for me, unique and extremely helpful. Especially:

1) As a resource showing how other people in a similar position to me approached the LSAT
2) It gave me sample LSAT study schedules to choose from
3) It had excellent logic games explanations
4) It was completely free


Studying for the test (in order of my focus on sections):

At first you are going to get a lot wrong, and that can be disheartening. Don't get discouraged. Think about "solving" the LSAT like a complex problem that you solve in pieces. Go section by section. Within each section, go weakness by weakness. First I worked on learning each section. Then I took practice tests. First I focused on Logic Games, then Logical Reasoning, then Reading Comprehension, because I heard that learning Logic Games yields the quickest results and is therefore the most rewarding.

Logic Games:

Basically everything I learned about identifying and solving the standard games (sequence, linear, in/out, grouping), I learned from this blog. I started at the beginning of the blog's LG section, and went straightforward to the end. To refine my skills and speed, I would work on LG sections from the earlier tests to preserve later tests as full practice tests.


Logical Reasoning:

For me it helped to a) know whether I was taking something from the argument and applying it to the stimulus question, or vice versa, and b) doing a bunch of problems over and over and going back and checking every single one.

Toward test day, I was getting 99% of all the questions I wasn't sure about right. That feels good. After that, the problem with LR was speed. I read a post on this blog (perhaps another LSAT diary) that recommended doing 5 problems in 5 minutes. Then 10 problems in 10 minutes. Then 15 in 15 minutes. By the end I could do around 20 in 20 minutes, and other than on what turned out to be the experimental section of the actual test, I never felt rushed on any LR section on test day.


Reading Comprehension:

Like Logical Reasoning, I made the most progress on RC, not from learning strategies, but from doing them over and over. As the test day approached, RC had gone from the easiest section for me at the beginning, to the most difficult (likely because I had gotten better at the LR and LG). Most of my troubles stemmed from being rushed and somehow not ever being able to understand what the writers of the LSAT claimed was the "main point" of the passage.

(This is Part 1 of Max's LSAT Diary. Read on for Part 2 of Max's LSAT Diary.)

Photo by bobaubuchon



2 comments:

  1. Impressed by this 21-point increase. Will pick up some tips for my retake.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Max, that is very impressive, could I email you with a specific questions, I'm a bit timid to post here...

    ReplyDelete