How's my study plan? (diagnostic: 170, goal: 177+)

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J Eazy

Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:25 am

How's my study plan? (diagnostic: 170, goal: 177+)

Postby J Eazy » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:54 pm

Hi everyone,

I scored a 170 on a cold timed diagnostic. My LG was better than my LR which was better than my RC, but I didn't struggle particularly with any section. I'm taking the June 2018 LSAT, I plan to start studying next week, and my goal is a 177 or higher.

Reading through the guides by McGruff, NoodleyOne, TLS1776, and pithypike, and consulting various other TLS threads, I'm putting together a study plan that I'd appreciate any feedback on.

General: LSAT Trainer
LG: PowerScore & 7Sage
LR: Manhattan Prep
RC: Manhattan Prep
Tests: 52-61, 62-71, 72-81, 82

January 1-21: Order and study resources.
January 22-June 10: Run a 4 week cycle that looks like this:
Weeks 1-3: Do 4 timed sections each week M-Th and 1 timed 5-section PT each weekend. Review after completing each section/test.
Week 4: Take it easy. Review, study resources, relax.
June 11: Test

* How does this plan look, generally?
* I'd like to spend on average 10-15 hours per week studying. Is my plan realistic in terms of time? How can I make the most of my time? I'm currently working part-time but am applying for full-time jobs. I just interviewed for a job that would be 55-60 hours/week, so really the more efficiently I can study, the better.
* How should I review sections and PTs? Should I be blind-reviewing everything, or just the problems I found difficult?
* Since I already have a good foundation for the test, I'm worried that reading through prep books will be a waste of time, and may actually muddle my thinking. Is this a well-founded concern? Is there anything I should be doing differently with my diagnostic and goals?
* I've heard logic games have been getting weirder lately, so people are suggesting drilling all the older logic games. Is this a good use of time? I was a strong "mathlete" through middle school and high school, and a math (and English) major in college, so logic games come pretty easily for me. And where can I find these old logic games at a reasonable price?
* All other advice or feedback is appreciated.

Thanks all.


Posts: 491
Joined: Mon May 08, 2017 1:16 pm

Re: How's my study plan? (diagnostic: 170, goal: 177+)

Postby rowdy » Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:52 pm

I had the same diagnostic, similar goals, & a slightly shorter timeline. I hit my target score in June on my first take.

My first recommendation is don't waste all of January studying without touching another practice test. I would start with your "section a day" plan now, with the idea that you spend about an hour a day most days--a 35 minute section with careful review. If you feel weak on one section or need some extra studying, do that instead of your extra test on the weekends. For example, if you want to really get to -0 on games, you could do an old games section or two a couple times on the weekend and practice attacking the games in different ways. So you would do one section a day M-Th, with careful review immediately after, and either a full 4-5 section test OR a few sections/games/passages of a section on which you want to focus on the weekend.

LSAT prep materials can be good tools, but take them with a grain of salt. If you are hitting 170 cold, that means you are reading the paragraphs and understanding them. A lot of LSAT resources are designed to get the low 130s candidate to 140s or 150s, so they often have a lot of special strategies and gimmicks that are, frankly, unnecessary at your level. If you try too hard to employ their strategies I would not be surprised if your score dropped because you're no longer focusing on reading carefully and understanding the questions. Where those resources WILL help is in guiding you through some of the quirks of LSAT questions that can be difficult to figure out on your own. But you will probably go further by focusing on just carefully reviewing your mistakes and looking up guides to questions you get wrong and do not truly understand.

ETA: "Blind Review" is necessary if you trick yourself into thinking you understand the problem after you see the answer. If you can remember what your thought process was and correct it, you don't necessarily need to do a full blind review every time. It can be useful or a waste of time, just make sure you're honest with yourself.

J Eazy

Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:25 am

Re: How's my study plan? (diagnostic: 170, goal: 177+)

Postby J Eazy » Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:40 pm

Sweet, thanks. That's all really helpful. I'll start doing practice sections and tests in early January. Your prep materials comment confirms my suspicion, so I'll just use those as a supplement. And I'll compare blind review and regular review as I start prepping and see which I prefer.

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