2nd PT: 155 (no change from diag)

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modernoblomov

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2nd PT: 155 (no change from diag)

Postby modernoblomov » Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:30 pm

Long-time lurker, a bit panic-stricken, and looking for honest advice. My first diag on 09/13 was a 155 (via Testmaster's). I just took a 2nd PT yesterday and literally scored the same. I'm putting in 20+ hours of study time per week and working full-time. I know the LSAT demands devotion and a lot of PTs and it's hard to gather a lot from two tests a month apart. But... I'm just a bit surprised that my score hasn't budged considering that most of the time, I get the questions right untimed.

I'm aiming for a 170. The test is 11/17. I bank on taking 20PTs between now and then. I need to know if it's realistic to expect a 170 and/or if it's been done before. I know there's things to look out for (i.e. burnout). I'm just looking for some perspective. The idea of retaking it in January when it's deep into the application cycle is nauseating.

FWIW, I'm an AA male, Ivy masters.

AJordan

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Re: 2nd PT: 155 (no change from diag)

Postby AJordan » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:39 am

First of all, you're right. 2 tests isn't enough to know anything and, even so, it's tough to draw conclusions without score breakdowns. If you don't know anything about LG it's very possible you went like 13/23 on your diag an 8/23 on your second.

Furthermore, the June 2007 LSAT is one of the easier LSATs as far as LR/RC are concerned so you probably guessed better on that test. I find that student scores on that diag are usually on the high end of their range. As such, it's very possible that you were a 149-155 then and a 153-158 now. In fact, I'd say that's the likeliest reason for the stagnation. Impossible to tell, though, since you didn't do any PTs between then and now.

To answer your questions specifically, no, a 170 is not a reasonable outcome to expect on the November test. In fact, I'm not sure it's reasonable for January unless you're naturally adept at tests/puzzles/etc. I also caution you against blowing through 20 tests worth of finite material in an attempt to cram for this test. Ideas take time to root. If Testmasters isn't working you might want to look at Powerscore books or Mike Kim's LSAT Trainer or Nathan Fox' material. I have a feeling you're probably improving, you just don't have enough data to see it and that your expectations of improvement are unrealistic. For many people who diag at 155 a 170 is a reasonable goal. It's not for everyone or even most, however. You can take the test however many times you want so no need to withdraw from November. The best improvements I see come when students do an hour or two every day via timed sections with appropriate, focused review. Give this stuff time to take hold. If it takes six months, let it take six months. If it takes a year, let it take a year. I've spent over two years studying for, an then teaching, this test and I'm still refining my knowledge. No need to set artificial time limits on yourself. Law school isn't going anywhere.

modernoblomov

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Re: 2nd PT: 155 (no change from diag)

Postby modernoblomov » Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:59 pm

AJordan wrote:
In fact, I'm not sure it's reasonable for January unless you're naturally adept at tests/puzzles/etc.


Agree with much of your post but this is news. 5 and 6 months seems to be a kind of standard on TLS for those with a similar diag.

With a 1.5 months down, the way I’m viewing it for the next 4 months are: I know where my weakesses lie: LG and RC. If I’m Cambridge drilling those two alone (with LR sprinkled in to prevent heavy regression) for the next month I should be looking at the mid-to-high 160s.

After that, it’s a matter of tightening my understanding of certain LR types (particularly, Suff and Necc and Parallel Reasoning), which I also have the Cambridge drills packet for, and doing 20-30 PTs + BR between mid-Nov and late Jan when I sit.

But that doesn’t seem reasonable?

I should add, I studied pretty intensely for the LSAT 3 years ago so I have other materials you mentioned (including Mike Kim’s). I’ll be 30 in August. I get all the stuff about how law school’s ‘not going anywhere’ but it does feel a little like I’m putting my life on hold until I start law school...But I hear you, too. I have a 3.8 UG gpa so it would also stink to waste that on a school that’s not HYS or leave $$ on the table because of a lower score.

AJordan

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Re: 2nd PT: 155 (no change from diag)

Postby AJordan » Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:16 am

modernoblomov wrote:
AJordan wrote:
In fact, I'm not sure it's reasonable for January unless you're naturally adept at tests/puzzles/etc.


Agree with much of your post but this is news. 5 and 6 months seems to be a kind of standard on TLS for those with a similar diag.

With a 1.5 months down, the way I’m viewing it for the next 4 months are: I know where my weakesses lie: LG and RC. If I’m Cambridge drilling those two alone (with LR sprinkled in to prevent heavy regression) for the next month I should be looking at the mid-to-high 160s.

After that, it’s a matter of tightening my understanding of certain LR types (particularly, Suff and Necc and Parallel Reasoning), which I also have the Cambridge drills packet for, and doing 20-30 PTs + BR between mid-Nov and late Jan when I sit.

But that doesn’t seem reasonable?

I should add, I studied pretty intensely for the LSAT 3 years ago so I have other materials you mentioned (including Mike Kim’s). I’ll be 30 in August. I get all the stuff about how law school’s ‘not going anywhere’ but it does feel a little like I’m putting my life on hold until I start law school...But I hear you, too. I have a 3.8 UG gpa so it would also stink to waste that on a school that’s not HYS or leave $$ on the table because of a lower score.


Maybe we're talking around one another. Your process is not unreasonable, certainly. I think your ideas are good and as long as you keep that last bit about the money in the forefront you're going to be fine. I simply think that expecting a 170 to ever be reasonable without PTing consistently at that level is misguided. I've worked with some incredibly credentialed individuals who never hit 170, let alone in five/six months of studying. I agree that TLS creates a perceived standard of five/six months being "enough" but I don't think the TLS standard is realistic neither with regard to time or individual horsepower. If you can get your PT scores to a legit 164-168 range by Christmas than I'd say you have >25% chance to hit 170. Unless your PT scores are 170 on the low end of your range, though, by January I'd say you're a significant dog to hit 170 on test day.

I don't know you from Adam, though so I certainly can't say for sure. Like I said, being naturally adept at standardized tests/puzzles would be a point in your favor. I just quibble with the "reasonable" designator coupled with a 170 for just about everyone. If it was reasonable it wouldn't be the 97th percentile.

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UBETutoring

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Re: 2nd PT: 155 (no change from diag)

Postby UBETutoring » Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:03 pm

OP - People normally show improvement after a month of studying, but it's not uncommon for your first 2 prep tests to be the same. With the exception of logic games where students often have a breakthrough, improvement is very gradual. The best way to prepare for the LSAT is to master each individual game type/LR question type individually with sporadic practice tests to gauge your progress as you go and to get accumulated to the test structure.

If your goal is to get a 170 and you are not a standardized testing genius, you cannot expect to only take 10 or so practice tests and achieve this score. You should do 20-30 practice tests.

Finally, you should not stress. With a 155 diag, you have the capacity to score a 170+, no question about it. The burden of having to accomplish this in a month is self-imposed, and the LSAT is low stress in the sense that the worst case scenario is you retake the test. It is the only part of the process to becoming a lawyer that you can retake if things don't go as planned the first time. You cannot retake law school exams, and while you can retake the bar, you're likely to lose your job and/or struggle to find one and have that cloud hanging over your head for at least 6 months. Trust me when I say that in 5-years from now, you will regret not being more chillaxed during this time in your life.



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