136 cold turkey, looking for 156 by Jan.

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slandholm

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136 cold turkey, looking for 156 by Jan.

Postby slandholm » Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:26 pm

Took the Sept. test cold-turkey (no studying). Scored 136 without opening a book and not being familiar with any question types, only went in knowing the structure of the test.

Registered for no. 2 in January, looking for score of 155.

Is 20 points plausible by then? What studying should I avoid (besides not studying at all)? Just purchased all PS bibles and 7Sage and am getting fundamentals down quickly.

QContinuum

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Re: 136 cold turkey, looking for 156 by Jan.

Postby QContinuum » Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:06 pm

Depends on what you need to improve. If your weakest section is logic games, you should be able to improve that in relatively short order with hard work and the right tools (the PS bibles). If your main weakness is the other sections, those are more difficult to improve quickly.

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UBETutoring

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Re: 136 cold turkey, looking for 156 by Jan.

Postby UBETutoring » Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:23 pm

It's plausible, but 18 points is a very large improvement. That said, that score is so low that by learning the fundamentals, you should be able to improve dramatically as odds are that while you get the structure, you have no idea what the individual questions are asking of you. For those gunning for a 170+, the test is about near perfection and not missing anything. For those just trying to be above average, it's a game of tallying up points and simply being adequate at a few concepts will enable you to tally up quite a bit of points.

The 2 fundamental skills that are both sufficient and necessary to cracking a 156 (assuming you speak and read English at a college level) are formal logic and conclusion recognition. If you are very good at identifying conclusions, and using formal logic to your advantage, and speak English as a first language, you have to make a concerted effort to not score above a 156. What you want to avoid is just taking full test after full test without learning the concepts behind them, and pushing it off for a month.

I think with drive and consistency, you should hit that score. In my experience, people who diag at >150 also tend to give themselves more time to study so those that start off with higher scores also tend to improve more. Those with very low starting scores tend to have unrealistic expectations, and every test, I field frantic calls from people 2 or 3 weeks out who state that they need to improve by 20+ points in less than a month (sometimes in a week or 2). It's great that you're not following that trend, and are giving yourself sufficient time to study.

5571

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Re: 136 cold turkey, looking for 156 by Jan.

Postby 5571 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:15 pm

I went up by 17 points from my cold turkey score on a practice test over the course of a few months by taking about 10 more practice tests and working my way through the majority of a logic games book. Some people will need to do more than that, some people will need to do less, but yes, it is definitely doable

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BeeTeeZ

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Re: 136 cold turkey, looking for 156 by Jan.

Postby BeeTeeZ » Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:39 pm

slandholm wrote:Took the Sept. test cold-turkey (no studying). Scored 136 without opening a book and not being familiar with any question types, only went in knowing the structure of the test.

Registered for no. 2 in January, looking for score of 155.

Is 20 points plausible by then? What studying should I avoid (besides not studying at all)? Just purchased all PS bibles and 7Sage and am getting fundamentals down quickly.


I improved my score by 23 points in 8 weeks. It can be done.

Ehurley2

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Re: 136 cold turkey, looking for 156 by Jan.

Postby Ehurley2 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:13 am

3 months is definitely enough time to score in the mid 150s for sure! My advise is to do TONS of practice tests, try to do at least 2 sections per day TIMED!

albanach

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Re: 136 cold turkey, looking for 156 by Jan.

Postby albanach » Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:06 am

Isn't the bigger question here why someone with no idea how well they are capable of performing would set such a low goal.

There's probably few things a lawyer will do in their life that have a greater potential return on investment than time spent mastering the LSAT.

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UBETutoring

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Re: 136 cold turkey, looking for 156 by Jan.

Postby UBETutoring » Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:24 pm

albanach wrote:Isn't the bigger question here why someone with no idea how well they are capable of performing would set such a low goal.

There's probably few things a lawyer will do in their life that have a greater potential return on investment than time spent mastering the LSAT.

Agreed, but as someone who has been teaching the LSAT for nearly a decade and is damn good at teaching it, the 136 to 176 jump in 2.5 months is a white whale. It happens, but it's very rare. I would say that starting score provides some measure of realistic potential in that most people that score over a 170 scored in the 150s cold turkey.

Obviously, there are anecdotal exceptions to this but there is a big difference between scoring a 150 and a 136. A 150 requires a score of roughly 60%, and increasing that to 90% is a monumental achievement that deserves applause. Still, it only requires learning approaches to the questions, and starting with that score suggests that the baseline skill set (ability to read and process information, exert some cognitive reasoning, think on your feet, etc.) are all there. A 136 requires a score of roughly 33%, and bringing that up 67 percentage points requires a wholesale change not only in the student's approach to the test but how they are processing information more generally. It essentially means the test taker got 13 more questions correct (about 3 per section) than your pet dog would if it just put a #2 pencil in its mouth and picked C on everything. You're insinuating that someone go from essentially getting through 3 questions correctly per section to getting through 23 questions correct per section in less than 80 days.

Although I absolutely agree that attending law school with a 156 is a losing effort, you are basically telling someone who is currently getting almost everything wrong to get almost nothing wrong in 2.5 months. Even in 6 months or a year, the odds of accomplishing such a feat with the best tutor and the best resources are below 50/50 (for the average student).

I'd say the silver lining is that anecdotally (speaking only based on the 1200 or so students I've interacted with), starting LSAT score tends to positively correlate with the amount of time students are able to study. Those students who start with the best scores also tend to study more consistently, which is why it tends to be easier for someone with a 150 to break a 170 than for someone with a 130 to break a 150. TLS always encourages people to just study and retake, but anyone with experience teaching the LSAT would tell you that the ability to study is a skill. The fact that anyone is theoretically capable of studying doesn't mean that they are capable of studying any more than the fact anyone is capable of getting in great shape is capable of getting into great shape. If OP can simply apply themselves day in and day out, sure, the sky is the limit but the reality is that most people with that kind of starting score aren't able to consistently work on the LSAT for 10-15 hours a week, week in week out, which is why a 156 would itself be an impressive achievement and suggest OP has 166+ potential.

All this being said, because I'm the kind of tutor that insists students

albanach

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Re: 136 cold turkey, looking for 156 by Jan.

Postby albanach » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:48 pm

UBETutoring wrote:
Although I absolutely agree that attending law school with a 156 is a losing effort, you are basically telling someone who is currently getting almost everything wrong to get almost nothing wrong in 2.5 months.


Not at all. I am telling them that 156 isn't a wise target. If they reconsider that goal I think it's a given that they should also reconsider their timeline. I certainly didn't suggest they should aim higher for January.

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UBETutoring

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Re: 136 cold turkey, looking for 156 by Jan.

Postby UBETutoring » Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:19 pm

albanach wrote:
UBETutoring wrote:
Although I absolutely agree that attending law school with a 156 is a losing effort, you are basically telling someone who is currently getting almost everything wrong to get almost nothing wrong in 2.5 months.


Not at all. I am telling them that 156 isn't a wise target. If they reconsider that goal I think it's a given that they should also reconsider their timeline. I certainly didn't suggest they should aim higher for January.

Got it. Understood. It did seem like they were set on taking it in January, and I'm assuming they're looking to apply late this cycle. Would waiting a year possibly affect their happiness and well being for the next 40 years? Of course. However, if every law school applicant was capable of considering long-term consequences, it's unlikely many lower tiered law schools would be in business. The data is all out there, and anyone who visits this website is aware of the employment prospects of settling for a 156.

Go Nats!

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Re: 136 cold turkey, looking for 156 by Jan.

Postby Go Nats! » Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:28 am

I got a score in the mid-140's the first time I took an LSAT and it took six months for me to get it to a 156. I took me four more months to get it to a 165. Look, you have a ton of room to improve and you're going to see improvement fairly quickly. But it might be hard to get this result so quickly. It's possible though depending on your study schedule.

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UBETutoring

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Re: 136 cold turkey, looking for 156 by Jan.

Postby UBETutoring » Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:16 pm

Go Nats! wrote:I got a score in the mid-140's the first time I took an LSAT and it took six months for me to get it to a 156. I took me four more months to get it to a 165. Look, you have a ton of room to improve and you're going to see improvement fairly quickly. But it might be hard to get this result so quickly. It's possible though depending on your study schedule.

To supplement this note, I've had people go from the 130's to the 170's. At first, they sucked at everything (we're not using euphemisms here). Once they break the 150's, they are normally pretty good at many things, but still suck at others. At that point, it becomes a game of identifying your weak points - those question types you are getting wrong all of the time and doing targeted prep on each of those. When you're ready to take the LSAT, you should not have any weak points. If your strategy is, I'm going to punt on all of the parallel reasoning or hard assumption questions and hope to do well on inference questions because I'm good at formal logic, then you're not maximizing your score. No one question type is intrinsically harder than any other. It's all a matter of prep.

Go Nats!

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Re: 136 cold turkey, looking for 156 by Jan.

Postby Go Nats! » Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:50 pm

UBETutoring wrote:
Go Nats! wrote:I got a score in the mid-140's the first time I took an LSAT and it took six months for me to get it to a 156. I took me four more months to get it to a 165. Look, you have a ton of room to improve and you're going to see improvement fairly quickly. But it might be hard to get this result so quickly. It's possible though depending on your study schedule.

To supplement this note, I've had people go from the 130's to the 170's. At first, they sucked at everything (we're not using euphemisms here). Once they break the 150's, they are normally pretty good at many things, but still suck at others. At that point, it becomes a game of identifying your weak points - those question types you are getting wrong all of the time and doing targeted prep on each of those. When you're ready to take the LSAT, you should not have any weak points. If your strategy is, I'm going to punt on all of the parallel reasoning or hard assumption questions and hope to do well on inference questions because I'm good at formal logic, then you're not maximizing your score. No one question type is intrinsically harder than any other. It's all a matter of prep.


Yo, this advice is dynamite and so true to my experience.

OP, best of luck to you.



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