Rowdy's Guide to the LSAT

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Head
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Re: Rowdy's Guide to the LSAT

Post by Head » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:49 pm

For the 4 days, would you cycle through the sections rather than doing multiple in a row. For example: LR mon, RC tues , LG wed, LR Thursday, rinse and repeat?

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Rowdy
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Re: Rowdy's Guide to the LSAT

Post by Rowdy » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:07 pm

Head wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:49 pm
For the 4 days, would you cycle through the sections rather than doing multiple in a row. For example: LR mon, RC tues , LG wed, LR Thursday, rinse and repeat?
I'd pick one of the books of 10 official tests and start at the beginning. So at the end of the week, you have a full, valid test score.

Head
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Re: Rowdy's Guide to the LSAT

Post by Head » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:10 pm

Ah yeah, I remember reading that in the guide now. RC struggles shining through :D

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Re: Rowdy's Guide to the LSAT

Post by Head » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:17 pm

Rowdy wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:07 pm
Head wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:49 pm
For the 4 days, would you cycle through the sections rather than doing multiple in a row. For example: LR mon, RC tues , LG wed, LR Thursday, rinse and repeat?
I'd pick one of the books of 10 official tests and start at the beginning. So at the end of the week, you have a full, valid test score.
Actually, Idea. What do you think about doing 2 sections, not reviewing that night, then the next day reviewing the previous two, without new sections.

So, Monday sections 1-2 of test, tuesday review sections 1-2. Wednesday sections 3-4, Thursday review sections 3-4, rinse and repeat. I've heard good reviews on blind reviewing but I've never really done it.

I only have to hit the gym after I work, so have 3-4 hours to dedicate Mon-Thurs, so time constraint wont be an issue if I were to up it to 2.

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Rowdy
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Re: Rowdy's Guide to the LSAT

Post by Rowdy » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:21 pm

Head wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:17 pm
Rowdy wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:07 pm
Head wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:49 pm
For the 4 days, would you cycle through the sections rather than doing multiple in a row. For example: LR mon, RC tues , LG wed, LR Thursday, rinse and repeat?
I'd pick one of the books of 10 official tests and start at the beginning. So at the end of the week, you have a full, valid test score.
Actually, Idea. What do you think about doing 2 sections, not reviewing that night, then the next day reviewing the previous two, without new sections.

So, Monday sections 1-2 of test, tuesday review sections 1-2. Wednesday sections 3-4, Thursday review sections 3-4, rinse and repeat. I've heard good reviews on blind reviewing but I've never really done it.

I only have to hit the gym after I work, so have 3-4 hours to dedicate Mon-Thurs, so time constraint wont be an issue if I were to up it to 2.
I think a big argument for doing sections is the fact that you can review while it's fresh in your head. I don't really see why you would nerf that. It's important to be able to rewind your thoughts and examine what your thought process was when you were doing the questions.

Head
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Re: Rowdy's Guide to the LSAT

Post by Head » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:33 pm

Thanks man!

One last question and i'll stop bugging you (for today). For the last few weeks even when I finish with time left, i keep the answers I put, so when I review I get more out of the process of "Why did this answer seem appealing to me even though it was wrong" and "Why is the right answer right". So for example I just did section 1 RC of OCtober '15 going -6, and I had 9 minutes to spare. Instead of going back to look at the questions I notated as "Im not sure if this is right", i just call it there and mark what i got wrong. Any preference as to if someone should spend all of their 35mins when still trying to hone in skills, or is my method okay for another few weeks as I'm learning intuitively?

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Re: Rowdy's Guide to the LSAT

Post by Rowdy » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:42 pm

Head wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:33 pm
Thanks man!

One last question and i'll stop bugging you (for today). For the last few weeks even when I finish with time left, i keep the answers I put, so when I review I get more out of the process of "Why did this answer seem appealing to me even though it was wrong" and "Why is the right answer right". So for example I just did section 1 RC of OCtober '15 going -6, and I had 9 minutes to spare. Instead of going back to look at the questions I notated as "Im not sure if this is right", i just call it there and mark what i got wrong. Any preference as to if someone should spend all of their 35mins when still trying to hone in skills, or is my method okay for another few weeks as I'm learning intuitively?
If you're going -6 you should be spending all 35 minutes on the first three passages much more slowly, getting 100% on those, and not even reading the fourth one. Going -6 and doing all the passages with 9 minutes left means you went WAY too fast my friend. Your goal should be to go through the passages and the questions slowly enough that you never need to go back and check your answers, never touch a question twice, because you read for understanding and did it right the first time. Slow down and focus on accuracy, and speed will usually come with time. If you focus on speed, accuracy will rarely follow.

(Yes, you might occasionally have an extra couple minutes and go back and set fresh eyes on some very tough questions. Or you might get good enough to go -0 and finish in 15 minutes. But that's the exception to the rule.)

Head
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Re: Rowdy's Guide to the LSAT

Post by Head » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:48 pm

Perfect. Thank you.

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Purple Ranger
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Re: Rowdy's Guide to the LSAT

Post by Purple Ranger » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:18 am

Thanks for the post/thread Rowdy! In your opinion does the review period need to be immediately after finishing the section(s)?

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Rowdy
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Re: Rowdy's Guide to the LSAT

Post by Rowdy » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:20 pm

Purple Ranger wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:18 am
Thanks for the post/thread Rowdy! In your opinion does the review period need to be immediately after finishing the section(s)?
No, but it's so much more useful if it is. You are better able to "watch the tape" of your own thought process if it's immediately after. That's why I recommend a section a day as a baseline--it is easier to review.

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Re: Rowdy's Guide to the LSAT

Post by Stranger » Tue May 01, 2018 9:21 pm

Did anyone else try to use distracting and stressful environments to mimic test day nerves? I figured that I would never get the same experience alone in a quiet room as an actual test day, so I did about half of my PTs in public places. My favorite jam was a McDonald's full of screaming children, but I also used a public library, outside at a Starbucks, a pool hall, and once, in the basement of a coffee shop under a heat lamp. That last was the most frustratingly close to a 180 I ever got on a PT - the heat lamp made me dizzy in the LG section and I botched my timing, failing to reach four questions (enough to have hit 180 if I'd answered them correctly, which was a safe bet on LG by then).

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Re: Rowdy's Guide to the LSAT

Post by Rowdy » Tue May 01, 2018 9:50 pm

Stranger wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 9:21 pm
Did anyone else try to use distracting and stressful environments to mimic test day nerves? I figured that I would never get the same experience alone in a quiet room as an actual test day, so I did about half of my PTs in public places. My favorite jam was a McDonald's full of screaming children, but I also used a public library, outside at a Starbucks, a pool hall, and once, in the basement of a coffee shop under a heat lamp. That last was the most frustratingly close to a 180 I ever got on a PT - the heat lamp made me dizzy in the LG section and I botched my timing, failing to reach four questions (enough to have hit 180 if I'd answered them correctly, which was a safe bet on LG by then).
I never did this (maybe I should have) but the law school at which I actually tested held multiple practice tests in the months leading up to the test, which was really great because it was the same room and even some of the same people. If I had a nightmare distraction outside my testing center I don't know how I would have reacted.

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Re: Rowdy's Guide to the LSAT

Post by Stranger » Tue May 01, 2018 9:58 pm

Rowdy wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 9:50 pm
Stranger wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 9:21 pm
Did anyone else try to use distracting and stressful environments to mimic test day nerves? I figured that I would never get the same experience alone in a quiet room as an actual test day, so I did about half of my PTs in public places. My favorite jam was a McDonald's full of screaming children, but I also used a public library, outside at a Starbucks, a pool hall, and once, in the basement of a coffee shop under a heat lamp. That last was the most frustratingly close to a 180 I ever got on a PT - the heat lamp made me dizzy in the LG section and I botched my timing, failing to reach four questions (enough to have hit 180 if I'd answered them correctly, which was a safe bet on LG by then).
I never did this (maybe I should have) but the law school at which I actually tested held multiple practice tests in the months leading up to the test, which was really great because it was the same room and even some of the same people. If I had a nightmare distraction outside my testing center I don't know how I would have reacted.
Oh, I would have loved that level of simulation. My practice tactics were born of a lack of desk at home sweet tent, and a bit of Rocky IV improvisation.

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Re: Rowdy's Guide to the LSAT

Post by gymnastsplits » Wed May 02, 2018 12:57 am

Stranger wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 9:21 pm
Did anyone else try to use distracting and stressful environments to mimic test day nerves? I figured that I would never get the same experience alone in a quiet room as an actual test day, so I did about half of my PTs in public places. My favorite jam was a McDonald's full of screaming children, but I also used a public library, outside at a Starbucks, a pool hall, and once, in the basement of a coffee shop under a heat lamp. That last was the most frustratingly close to a 180 I ever got on a PT - the heat lamp made me dizzy in the LG section and I botched my timing, failing to reach four questions (enough to have hit 180 if I'd answered them correctly, which was a safe bet on LG by then).
I did, and I think it really helped give me mental confidence!

I was terrified of having one of those small high school desks (flashback to the SAT) where I'd have to fold my booklet in half AND put my scantron on top of the question booklet, so I practiced in a local coffee shop with really small tables. Of course, come test day, I took the test at a shiny new lecture hall in a law school where we were seated every other person and I had space to spread out my booklet, scantron, 18 pencils (that's not a joke), 2 watches, 3 erasers, and 2 sharpeners. But having that experience of working in an odd environment really helped with peace of mind, which I think Rowdy alludes to as a factor in the difference between a 170 and 180.

I also took untimed tests on my morning subway commute to work. Sometimes I got a seat, but sometimes I was actually standing.

In general, I think it also helped that I took the majority of my timed PTs under "duress" - I have a fulltime job and work (and was working while studying) 10-12 hour days at a tech startup, and I took my PTs after I came home from work, when I was already pretty drained. I arrive at work at 9am, leave at 7 or 8pm, then break out a full-length timed PT. I think being tired actually helped me focus more, because I was too tired to be distracted. All I wanted was to finish the PT as soon as possible, as efficiently as possible, so I could go to bed.

Coming back to the peace of mind - I was paranoid that my pencil would break and I'd waste time sharpening, my watch battery would magically run out, I'd have to pee, etc. I brought a set of 12 brand-new, pre-sharpened pencils, along with the 6 pencils I'd been practicing with, and I calculated that I could actually afford to switch pencils and never have to sharpen. I also brought two sharpeners and two watches and three erasers. I knew it was overkill, but it was also a way of reassuring myself. I would totally do it again, and I think it's a really easy way to provide some illusion of stability on test day - I kept telling myself, "You have so many pencils. You are totally prepared for whatever comes."

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Re: Rowdy's Guide to the LSAT

Post by icechicken » Tue May 08, 2018 12:42 pm

Stranger wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 9:21 pm
Did anyone else try to use distracting and stressful environments to mimic test day nerves? I figured that I would never get the same experience alone in a quiet room as an actual test day, so I did about half of my PTs in public places. My favorite jam was a McDonald's full of screaming children, but I also used a public library, outside at a Starbucks, a pool hall, and once, in the basement of a coffee shop under a heat lamp. That last was the most frustratingly close to a 180 I ever got on a PT - the heat lamp made me dizzy in the LG section and I botched my timing, failing to reach four questions (enough to have hit 180 if I'd answered them correctly, which was a safe bet on LG by then).
Yeah, I think this is essential.

In addition to building mental resilience to the actual stressors, there's an important thing about confidence going on here. When you postpone your PT or tell yourself "this isn't a real one" and half-ass it because the construction workers outside are shouting at each other in between jackhammer bursts, you're teaching yourself to avoid that kind of stress. When the actual test day comes, the knowledge that you now can't back out if something goes wrong (e.g. the horror stories we've all heard about the marching band practicing outside or air-conditioning breaking) leads to a lot of unneeded anxiety.

Plowing through distractions in practice teaches the heart otherwise: instead of fretting about potential problems, I found myself looking forward about the (more likely) possibility that things go smoothly. "This is going to be easy - the person sitting next to me might tap her pencil a lot, but at least I won't have my cousin's dog barking my ear off for 3 hours because I'm not paying attention to him."

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Re: Rowdy's Guide to the LSAT

Post by Lankhs » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:25 am

Just took the July exam. I went from a 172 to 177. I can confirm that rowdy’s help was super useful and helped me achieve my score.

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Re: Rowdy's Guide to the LSAT

Post by Guile » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:37 pm

Lankhs wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:25 am
Just took the July exam. I went from a 172 to 177. I can confirm that rowdy’s help was super useful and helped me achieve my score.
Scored 173 on first ever exam w/ Rowdy's help as well on July 2018

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Re: Rowdy's Guide to the LSAT

Post by Leesajohnson » Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:54 am

Spam

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Re: Rowdy's Guide to the LSAT

Post by ottoman » Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:44 am

Hi Rowdy,

thanks for the wonderful guide! I miss from -3 to -7 on RC, and it kept me from getting 175+ consistently. Do you recommend that I should drill some sections from 40s and 30s? After reading a paragraph, I always bracket the main idea; but sometimes my time management is bad so it could affect my performance; meanwhile, should I drill more individual LR questions (RRE and PF are my weakness)?

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Re: Rowdy's Guide to the LSAT

Post by lil_nitwit » Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:27 am

Thanks for this

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Re: Rowdy's Guide to the LSAT

Post by DreamBrother » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:55 am

Great advice, Rowdy.

What process would you recommend for the questions that you cannot get to in 35 minutes. Say I am doing an LR section and I can't get to the last 2-3 questions in the time allotted. Should I continue on to those questions and make note of the additional time it took me to finish the section. Or, would it be more beneficial not to finish those questions and instead do them during my review?

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Rowdy
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Re: Rowdy's Guide to the LSAT

Post by Rowdy » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:49 pm

DreamBrother wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:55 am
Great advice, Rowdy.

What process would you recommend for the questions that you cannot get to in 35 minutes. Say I am doing an LR section and I can't get to the last 2-3 questions in the time allotted. Should I continue on to those questions and make note of the additional time it took me to finish the section. Or, would it be more beneficial not to finish those questions and instead do them during my review?
Mark random answers for those questions within your time limit and grade your score. It doesn't matter whether you do the remaining questions for practice before or after you review the other questions, just don't kid yourself by saying "but I really got X right, I just ran out of time." - you got what you got within the time limit. But yes I think it's useful to do the remaining questions as practice, unless you're just beginning. If someone is only finishing, say, half the section, or getting a lot wrong, those last questions may not be worth the effort because they might be so hard it's not worth spending time on them until you master the earlier stuff.

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Re: Rowdy's Guide to the LSAT

Post by Boxer189 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:33 am

Thanks for the information! This has been really helpful.

Curiosity question: How much of someone's LSAT score is a result of innate intelligence? i.e.; Do you believe there is a "score cap", a maximum score that someone cannot break just due to their inherent intellect, or can anyone achieve a top score with proper study methods and time?

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