Odd (and disappointing) diagnostic experience -- where to go from here?

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Odd (and disappointing) diagnostic experience -- where to go from here?

Postby preamble » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:40 am

I took my first cold diagnostic (June 2007) today under strict time conditions. Prior to today, I had not really looked at any LSAT material whatsoever.

I got a 153. My breakdown:

LG: 13/23 -- I was actually doing ok in terms of accuracy, but I ran out of time and bubbled random answers for the last game.
LR: 16/26 + 17/25
RC: 19/27

What I find really disappointing about my diagnostic is that I actually finished RC and LR with a lot of time to spare. It felt far less foreign than LG and I thought I would end up doing better than I did. However, I didn't really have any "strategy" -- I just read through the LR and RC passages and answered questions in a way that I "believed" were correct.

My goal is 170+. I have a 3.99 GPA and I know that the conventional wisdom on TLS is to not waste high GPAs so I would really like to score as high as possible. I am worried that a 170 is not feasible given my diagnostic. I intend on taking the June test, with the possibility of retaking in September, so that I can apply this fall.

I have about 4.5 months between now and the June test. My plan is to study 4 hours every weekday. I am gonna start going through the PS Bible on LG and LR, and I have the Manhattan RC guide. I also have the LSAC Superprep but I'm probably gonna hold off on it until the end of my prep.

Is it worth taking a prep course? I was looking at the longer in-person March-June Testmasters course. At first I did not think I'd need it, but my diagnostic is making me question myself.

Any advice or insight would be much appreciated.


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Re: Odd (and disappointing) diagnostic experience -- where to go from here?

Postby rc8 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:50 am

153 is a very common and not bad diagnostic. lots of ppl raise their scores from 150s and even 140s to 170+. very doable...but lots of work.


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Re: Odd (and disappointing) diagnostic experience -- where to go from here?

Postby 38981928 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:55 am

I did Testmasters but I don't think it helped me beyond forcing me to stick to a study plan (to cover every problem type in each section). It was fine but my real gains came from my own self studying. Ended up doing not so great on the first LSAT because of random life circumstances (only got a couple points higher than my diagnostic), but with some regular but casual PT-ing + blind reviewing to keep me fresh I was able to bring my second LSAT score 170+, up to par with my late stage PT average (which I was hitting before my first take but before the crazy stuff happened). For reference, I started studying around January, hit 170s by April, dropped significantly during unfortunate life circumstances in May + around the June LSAT, resolved my problems and with a clear head got back up to 170s by late July-ish and maintained that.

Your 153 (with strict timed conditions) is not a bad place to start by any means. I know people who started at that point or lower and ended up with 170+ but everyone had a different study method. Some did their own thing and only spent money on books and PTs; others had private tutors and spent thousands. Just find a study plan that works best for you. I know this is vague but people learn so differently that it's hard to give specific advice without knowing what kind of learner you are.

I also initially finished sections with a lot of time left. As you start studying and learning what to look for / how to analyze the problems, you will initially probably run out of time then work back into finishing each section with greater accuracy and speed.

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Re: Odd (and disappointing) diagnostic experience -- where to go from here?

Postby Delano » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:56 am

153 is a very standard, even good, diagnostic. 170+ is definitely attainable. You have a solid plan as is. I don't think a course is at all necessary, but everyone learns differently.

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Re: Odd (and disappointing) diagnostic experience -- where to go from here?

Postby Experiment626 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:12 am

You're fine. Lots of people start in the high 140 to low 150 range and end up in the 170's. Just start studying and be careful of burnout.


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Re: Odd (and disappointing) diagnostic experience -- where to go from here?

Postby cuzzydunlop » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:53 am

Don’t sweat it. That’s a solid diagnostic. Get the LSAT Trainer and rip through it. Drill timed PT sections daily and review them. Watch 7Sage videos for LG.

I had the exact same diagnostic and got a 170+ a couple months later.

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Re: Odd (and disappointing) diagnostic experience -- where to go from here?

Postby MercW07 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:50 pm

As others have said, you're in a good starting position. LG was your worst section which is also good. Print 5 copies of every game from PT1-35 and go through them and the free 7Sage videos until you can do them in the time suggested in the video with 100% accuracy. It sounds like a daunting task, but its actually not. It took me about a month and a half to go from where you are at now to a -2 per section average. Once you have LG down you can move to the other, harder to learn, sections. Going from a 153 diag to 170s in 4 months wont be easy, but you can and probably should no matter what retake in September, at which time I think a 170s score will be entirely attainable. Good luck and beware of burn out!

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