Dynamic Reviews on LSAT Material: Trainer, Manhattan, Cambridge, Powerscore

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JazzyMac

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Dynamic Reviews on LSAT Material: Trainer, Manhattan, Cambridge, Powerscore

Postby JazzyMac » Thu Jul 16, 2015 6:25 am

So I've got other threads where I've confessed to maniacal investments in all this study material. You can judge, but it's my own cross to bear.

LSAT Trainer: I started with this book first since it's all the rave everywhere (Amazon, TLS, 7Sage, etc.). I got to about Ch. 13 before work burned me out and I had to pause. I felt I was learning with the Trainer, but at the slowest pace. The reviews insinuate that you will instantly understand every single concept, but it's not the case. It does have you thinking differently...it just takes a while for you to realize what you will end up doing with those new thoughts. The Trainer is very verbose.

Who needs it: The student who needs this book cannot just take a "do this problem" concept. He needs to know the Five Ws, along with the Three Blind Mice, and the History of Cats. In that order. The Trainer provides all those answers and then some.

Who doesn't need it: 1) Someone with "forest" mindset. This person might get a bit tired of the constant problem drills inside the Trainer. 2) Someone testing "any day now". The drills might make a student feel as if he's not learning much (even though he is!).

Powerscore Bibles/Logic Games: I transitioned to this book after getting to about Ch. 15 of the Trainer. First thing I loved was how quick I went through the chapters. Thanks to the Trainer of course! The LG Bible has less words, and more "real world" drills, so finishing a chapter was a short order. It took me a week to get through the LG Bible...still haven't finished the Trainer.

Who Needs It: Did you go +5 on your diagnostic? Not a puzzles person? Feel that the LG section was made only for smart people? Go ahead and grab this book. I felt the LG Bible made the games less scary, where the Trainer doesn't. I think the Trainer even references wax on-wax off from "The Karate Kid". That's my point. Wax for what? I'm tired of waxing!!!

Who doesn't need it: Folks whom have a more than elementary skill level for the Games need a different book. Getting the Bible will (IMO) just delay your advancement to what you truly need.

Cambridge Drills LG & LR by Type, 1-38: Problem sets sectioned by types and difficulty levels. Sold via PDF to allow ample printing and drilling opportunities. I got these drills because 180 or bust, right? I printed it off and put a blank cover over the sheets. I can do these problems anywhere without someone asking me what it is. Working these problems this way let me focus specifically on the types of games and sections. I wasn't worried about difficulty level as much as just doing the same types of problems over and over. Cambridge allows that. And it also lets you save your real games for the tests.

Who Needs It: Anyone who's scoring in the 150s or lower during diagnostics. How do you get into Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.

Who Doesn't Need It: Those already advanced in their studying that could either use a refresher bootcamp such as the Trainer, or straight Prep Tests such as 52 - 74.

Manhattan Prep LSAT LR: I didn't feel confident after completing the LG Bible and LR Bible was...boring. I purchased both the Manhattan and Cambridge Drills at about the same time since it's highly recommended in the threads. I DEFINITELY should have purchased Manhattan first and foremost! I can't believe I'm actually excited about working in this book. It gives the Five Ws immediately and tests you and your new skills right away. It's also less verbose than the Trainer, while still keeping some of the personable conversation and humor within the book.

Who Needs It: Everybody does. If you feel you were always a good student, and yet the LSAT kind of stumps you, this book will clear up any confusion. Again, this is for the student beginning his studies.

Who Doesn't Need It: The advanced student. If you've already gone through the Bibles or other materials, and need to push your levels from 170 and up, you would probably need the trainer to fine tune what it is you're missing.

These are just my opinions, which hopefully I'll come back to update periodically. If you're just starting your studies for the December LSAT, go ahead and get the Manhattan Prep, along with drills and newer tests. In my opinion, that will be all you need.

LawA818

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Re: Dynamic Reviews on LSAT Material: Trainer, Manhattan, Cambridge, Powerscore

Postby LawA818 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:47 pm

Thanks for the post.

Although you have only done the book, given the content, do you think the manhattan LR online course has a hand up over 7sage?

I really need a video tutorial to cover the material, and although I was considering Manhattan, I have heard a lot of recent, good stuff about 7sage.

Can you share any experience or thoughts between the two.

Also, the drills, where did you order them from?

Thanks in advance

JazzyMac

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Re: Dynamic Reviews on LSAT Material: Trainer, Manhattan, Cambridge, Powerscore

Postby JazzyMac » Thu Jul 16, 2015 7:29 pm

If the book is anything like the course, then I would go for Manhattan Prep. I will caveat that with the fact that after reading so much here on TLS, I checked out a few 7Sage videos and I was highly impressed.

A lot of posts here insist that all you need are the drills/prep tests and 7Sage videos and you will do great.

I purchased the drills from the Cambridge LSAT website. I think I paid via PayPal, and I received the links to download the PDFs.

JazzyMac

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Re: Dynamic Reviews on LSAT Material: Trainer, Manhattan, Cambridge, Powerscore

Postby JazzyMac » Wed Sep 30, 2015 4:20 am

Just wanted t give a quick update on some study material. I ended up never fully using the SuperPreps...only because I just didn't have the time in between work and everything else. However, if you're awesome at studying, scored 170 on ten diagnostics, or just finished graduating from "Logic University", the SuperPrep is an awesome refresher to help you home in.

Lots of advice on these forums one has to take with a grain of salt. However, I found that the Manhattan study books were not that. They are excellent for studying (beginner or experienced), to either get you started or get you finished. I'm proud to say that I increased greatly with one pass through of the book. If I had time to go through t a second time, I know I would be at -0.

I didn't have a chance to go through the Manhattan LG and--full disclosure--no time to finish all the drills. I did use the Bible for LG and felt it was an excellent study source. I'm to the point of hesitation on (paraphrased from 7Sage) one of the hardest games. Again, more study time would be great, but my lack of comprehension on this doesn't discount the effectiveness of the books.

Never went back to the Trainer. I remember at first enjoying the drills, but as I got closer to test time, I felt more and more nervous that I wasn't getting what I needed. The book is dense; don't always count on finishing one chapter a day with a full-time (with no kidding real responsibilities + nonstop managerial duties). Caveat that comment with, "increased maturity yields increased awareness in responsibilities." Aka, no excuses.

I would have loved to spend time with the Trainer because I feel that I wouldn't have needed all these other books (Manhattan included). But the Trainer's system requires TIME to ensure you capture all the elements. If you're too stressed because of your upcoming test, you Might be frustrated with the "compound investing" mentality that the author exhibits. This is where Manhattan breaks things down by holding your shoulders, slapping you across the face, and yelling "get it together!"

The drills are great, but honestly I would just go with Prep tests, see what areas comprise my weak links, and then just purchase the drills separated by type if able.

JazzyMac

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Re: Dynamic Reviews on LSAT Material: Trainer, Manhattan, Cambridge, Powerscore

Postby JazzyMac » Wed Sep 30, 2015 4:21 am

Wasn't really a quick update, but...

JazzyMac

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Re: Dynamic Reviews on LSAT Material: Trainer, Manhattan, Cambridge, Powerscore

Postby JazzyMac » Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:23 am

So, I'm back! Took the LSAT in the Fall and will be re-testing in the February LSAT. Everything above applies, except:

After reviewing my dismal score, I decided to take an entirely different approach to studying. Read into "dismal" how you would like. Read into "different approach" how you would like. The point is, I realized if I wanted to succeed, I needed to drop any and every excuse and just press.

This included re-attacking the oh, so ever-loved LSAT Trainer by Mike Kim. How I love thee, LSAT Trainer. My different approach included re-reading every single line in the book, and doing every single problem. I used the study schedules from Kim's website as a guide, but since I already had Cambridge Drills and practice tests, I only do the assigned "homework" here and there. For instance, I'll work a few chapters on LR, and then drill LR...but not necessarily the topic in question. This is also because I'd already worked some of the assigned problems when I previously worked through the Trainer chapters. Again, this is where time is a factor. More free time and more study time allows for ample opportunities to review all of the drills and problem sets. The LSAT Trainer is comprehensive...if you do the work!

I also perused the Manhattan Reading Comprehension guide, which I found decent. Without realizing it, the passages start reading more clearly, and (with the help of the Trainer and the Manhattan) I know what to look for and how to answer the question stems.

Now is the perfect time to invest in the Trainer and LSAC Prep Tests and begin your studying for June! :D

lawschoolgirl312

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Re: Dynamic Reviews on LSAT Material: Trainer, Manhattan, Cambridge, Powerscore

Postby lawschoolgirl312 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:57 am

For someone who is re-taking it, my scores move between a 168-170, but I got a 163 on the December test :( ... what do you recommend for me to practice on?

JazzyMac

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Re: Dynamic Reviews on LSAT Material: Trainer, Manhattan, Cambridge, Powerscore

Postby JazzyMac » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:28 am

lawschoolgirl312 wrote:For someone who is re-taking it, my scores move between a 168-170, but I got a 163 on the December test :( ... what do you recommend for me to practice on?


Hello! I'm sorry you didn't score as high as you wanted. If you get a chance to see where the majority of your dings came from, you could pick up the Manhattan of that particular subject.

If you have time before you retest, I also think the Trainer might be perfect to get you over the edge. I hope this helps. If not, perhaps others have better ideas. Keep your head up!

JazzyMac

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Re: Dynamic Reviews on LSAT Material: Trainer, Manhattan, Cambridge, Powerscore

Postby JazzyMac » Sun Dec 25, 2016 3:41 pm

Bump for 2017 testing seasons. Anyone have more to add to these?

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ws120

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Re: Dynamic Reviews on LSAT Material: Trainer, Manhattan, Cambridge, Powerscore

Postby ws120 » Sun Dec 25, 2016 4:48 pm

I swear by the Trainer. Best book on the market. If you feel it is verbose, you probably aren't really grasping the material. Kim is an excellent writer, and you will improve if you read the Trainer and do the accompanying exercises.

JazzyMac

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Re: Dynamic Reviews on LSAT Material: Trainer, Manhattan, Cambridge, Powerscore

Postby JazzyMac » Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:13 am

ws120 wrote:I swear by the Trainer. Best book on the market. If you feel it is verbose, you probably aren't really grasping the material. Kim is an excellent writer, and you will improve if you read the Trainer and do the accompanying exercises.


Oh there are definitely different opinions regarding it, and this was just mine. I think there can be a considerable amount of pages cut out of The Trainer that wouldn't take away from the quality. Manhattan Prep directs the attention a bit better, but of course doesn't start the "wax on, wax off" mentality either.



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