LSAT Self Study Guide by Power Score
LSAT Self Study Guide by Power Score
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Date Created: 03/06/14
TIIE PIIWEIISGIIIIE LSAT SELFSTIIIIY EIIIIIE VIIIIII WWWPOWERSBOREBOM Copyright 20102013 by PowerScore Incorporated All Rights Reserved No part of this publication may be reproduced stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic mechanical photocopying recording scanning or otherwise Without the prior Written permission of the Publisher Parts of this book have been previously published in other PowerScore publications and on the poWerscorecom Website LSAT PrepTest 10 Actual Oj cial LSAT PIepTests I 0 More Actual Oj cial LSAT PIepTests The Next I 0 Actual Oj cial LSAT P1epTests and The Oj cial LSAT SuperPrep are a registered trademarks of the Law School Admission Council Inc PoWerScore is a registered trademark The LSAT Bible SeriesTM The Logic Games BibleTM The Games BibleTM The Logical Reasoning BibleTM The Reading Comprehension BibleTM The LSATs DeconstructedTM The LSAT Training Type SeriesTM The Not LaWTM and its visual representation Not BlocksTM The Separation PrincipleTM The Uni ed Grouping TheoryTM De nedUnde ned Partially De nedTM UniformSubdividedTM BalancedUnbalancedTM OverloadedUnderfundedTM MovingFixedTM Hurdle the UncertaintyTM the Double NOtAYIOWTM and its visual representation the Hierarchy of Game POWCITM Identify the PossibilitiesTM and Identify the TemplatesTM are the exclusive service marked property of PowerScore The entire Logic Games classi cation and game representation systems used Within this book were created by PowerScore and are the exclusive service marked property of PowerScore Any use of these terms or of these systems Without the express Written consent of PowerScore is prohibited Published by PowerScore Publishing a division of PowerScore Incorporated 57 Hasell Street Charleston SC 29401 Author David M Killoran Published in the United States July 201 3 3 TIIE PDWEIISBIIIIE LSAT SELFSTIIIIY EIIIIIE The PowerScore LSAT SelfStudy Guide Okay you39ve made the decision to prepare for the LSAT on your own This guide will help you get started help collect the materials you need and set up a basic study plan First we39ll quickly outline the steps you need to take and ifyou have already completed any of these steps just skip ahead to the next item on the list I 1 Take a practice LSAT I 2 Analyze your results and begin by focusing on areas of weakness I 3 Collect relevant study materials I 4 Set up a study plan I 5 Stick to your study plan I 6 Review your progress and make changes as needed I 7 Take the LSAT and destroy it THE POWERSCORE LSAT SELFSTUDY GUIDE 1 1 Take a Practice LSAT Your First step should be to take an actual released LSAT and establish a baseline score Taking an actual LSAT will give you several bene ts A You will become familiar with the types ofquestions presented on the exam and the language patterns the test makers use B You will get a sense of the endurance and concentration required to complete the exam C You will get a starting score and a sense ofwhere your strengths and weaknesses lie Fortunately you can get started with this process immediately and for free LSAC the company that administers the LSAT makes one exam available on their site for free download The June 2oo7 LSAT Not released as a PrepTest httlozwwwsacorgidDdfssamoeIotiuneodf To take the exam follow these guidelines According to LSAC the four section tests should be taken back to back which will require approximately 2 hours and 2o minutes A scoresheet is included the test download le so that you can record your answers Per LSAC protocol here are the directions for taking a four section test under timed conditions Section I 35 minutes Section II 35 minutes Section III 35 minutes Section IV 35 minutes l ll l iliiz ll X l x 2 POWERSCORE TEST PREPARATION During the test you are allowed to work only on the section being timed You cannot go back or forward to work on any other section ofthe test You may not use any scratch paper while working on the test only the test pages themselves are available for your use Please use a number 2 pencil for your answer sheetYou may use an eraser and a highlighter if needed You may not eat or drink during a timed section You can also use our Free Virtual LSAT Proctor modules we have in our Free LSAT Help Area The Virtual LSAT Proctor can time your exam and provide you the verbal warnings given during the actual LSAT PWERCRE VIRTUAL PROCTOR WWW POWERSCORE COM Regardless ofwhat proctoring method you use follow the guidelines rigidly and put in your best effort The more realistic your results the better decisions you can make later when setting up a study plan Finally no matter what your result do not overemphasize the score you receive You take an initial practice LSAT in order to establish a baseline and you should expect to signi cantly improve over this first performance THE POWERSCORE LSAT SELFSTUDY GUIDE 3 2 Analyze Your Results Once you complete your practice LSAT download the free PowerScore LSAT Scoring and Tracking Spreadsheet This is an Excel le that allows you to enter your answers and receive a free breakdown of your performance Let39s discuss how to evaluate your performance What each person considers a good LSAT performance is to some degree relative to the range of schools one is considering If you are considering schools like Harvard Berkeley Michigan or Georgetown a good LSAT performance is in the upper 160s and 170s and you should simply shoot for the highest possible score you can achieve every point counts especially at the utra competitive top schools This is also an excellent general strategy for the typical student because sometimes a student who starts with a fairly modest target law school discovers that their LSAT score opens up many new attractive possibilities On the other hand if you have a particular school or set of schools in mind you may be able to determine that a certain score will be sufficient to gain admission For example forTexas Wesleyan Law a good score is somewhere in the 150s and with a 30 GPA for a score of 155 would probably come close to guaranteeing admission While we believe that every student should shoot for 180 because even ifyou fall short you still do extremely well it may be that you do not need to put in the time required to get a score in the upper range Only you can set your scoring goal and you should do that early in the process and after seriously considering the types of schools you are interested in attending Once you have a general idea in mind for a target score it is time to look carefully at your baseline LSAT results Take a look at the following areas and ask the following questions A Your overall score How far away are you from your target B Your score on each individual section What39s your best section Your weakest section Identifying your weakest section will give you a starting point for your studies C Within each section what question types or game types gave you the most difficulty Again this information can be used to focus your studies when drawing up your study plan 4 POWERSCORE TEST PREPARATION 3 Collect Relevant Study Materials There are a variety of LSAT books available to students and they fall into three categories A LSAT preparation guides containing strategies and techniques B Collections of complete LSATs or individual questions C Question explanation books To successfully sef prepare for the exam books from all three categories can be helpful Let39s discuss some ofthe available options LSAT Preparation Guides Quality LSAT study guides typically focus on individual sections ofthe LSAT and depending on your performance above select guides for each area giving you the most difficulty For example if Logic Games was your weakest section look to buy guides that specialize in Logic Games As far as individual books we are of course partial to our wellknown PowerScore LSAT Bibles but EggE1 JEIE don39t take our word for it we urge you to 393quotiquot nquot EE5 39 quot visit any LSAT discussion forum and see what others have to say There are some book options where you can buy a book that attempts to explain all three sections ofthe test We tend to be less impressed with these books because they usually cover each section very super cially The LSAT is not an easy or super cial test and a book that covers the entire LSAT in 4oo pages or so cannot go into each section very deeply 3 A 3 LCIIGEIEi L D iR AEEihIlHE quotT 1 new EHIFLIS c THE POWERSCORE LSAT SELFSTUDY GUIDE 5 LSAT Question Collections As you learn LSAT tips and techniques you will need to practice with them extensively The best source for practice materials are the LSAT PrepTests released by LSAC the administrators of the LSAT LSAT PrepTests are authentic previously administered LSATs and they provide the closest approximation to the exam you will ultimately take These are the best collections of LSATs with notes on each A 10 NewActual O cial LSAT PrepTests The Next 10 Actual O cial LSAT PrepTests 10 More Actual O cial LSAT PrepTests and 10 Actual O cial LSAT PrepTests These are collections of 10 LSATs each and they are the cheapest way to get a lot of LSATs They are listed in order of recency so if you only buy one or two get the First books on this list B Individual LSAT PrepTests There are a large number of individual LSATs available such as The O cial LSAT PrepTest 68 The December b WW1L WT 2012 LSAT Buying individual tests is currently the only way to get j the most recent exams The downside is that the individual exams I cost more per test than the collections of 10 LSATs above At the least get several ofthe most recent exams I Individual Question Type Collections In order to 3 directly attack speci c weaknesses some students G quotquotll39llE Tl lF39 E1 bu books focused 39ust on certain uestion t es Y J CI YP THAI H IIHG at p D For example PowerScore publishes LSATGame Type Training which allows students to workjust on certain will rm types of Logic Games The books above are available from LSAC directly at wwwsatcom PowerScoreorAmazon Question Explanation Books Although any good study guide will explain the questions contained in the text no study guide explains questions not in the book For that you need to purchase some books that contain questions andor corresponding explanations These are the best out there A The O cial LSATSuperPrep This book contains three previously unreleased LSATs with complete explanations for each question from j I v V LSAC Although they don39t always provide explanations that clearly explain the correct strategy for attacking a question think about it do they really want you to know exactly what they are thinking reading the explanations gives you a sense of how they think about the questions And because understanding their mindset is critical to LSAT success this is a book you should have in your collection 6 POWERSCORE TEST PREPARATION iinuar 39 IA ilIiIiI LSAT ll 0 LEE IE l B The PowerScore LSAT Workbook Series This series E s lm l presents drills and questions from particular JLE f section types and then provides complete in i39niiTiT ii explanations for each problem This IS a great L l l tool if you want to practice in a particular section l and then see how the techniques apply to each question C The PowerScore LSATs Deconstructed series These books contain one to three complete LSATs followed by comprehensive explanations of each question including Logic Game setups etc These are useful for taking practice tests and then reviewing the question you missed and to check whether you are applying the strategies you are learning correctly 5 5E1r 91 Tquotnuampi 3 39 1 Pfir ErhI1Tll39H1b39r up Il4ip hmw D The PowerScore LSAT Encyclopedia Series With expansive discussions of 60 full game sections for a total of 240 logic games explained from LSAT PrepTests 1 60 the Setups Encyclopedia Trilogy provides the most complete and effective solutions available These books include complete game setups ft z p T and detailed analyses ofthe rules and inferences for each game Q S PDwEHgt5EquotWEquot l Every single question is clearly explained v quot1j39 q lfl Finally aside from the books above you will need a good timer and a healthy set of pencils The timer a standard kitchen timer watch stopwatch or test timer will do is an important tool in helping you become comfortable with the time constraints ofthe LSAT More on this in the next section THE POWERSCORE LSAT SELFSTUDY GUIDE 7 4 Set Up a Study Plan Once you have completed the rst few steps above it is time to make a plan To a great extent your plan is affected by how much time you have until you take the LSAT see When to Take the LSAT for more information Because the LSAT is not a test that lends itself well to cramming the basic rule is this the more time you have to prepare the better off you will be So if possible start early All study plans should follow some variation ofthe following stepsguidelines A Begin by reading LSAT preparation guides focusing on the areas of greatest weakness rst Ifyou have plenty oftime read each chapter in sequence stopping to review any concepts that you nd dif cult If you do not have much time go immediately to the chapters that cover your areas of greatest concern Ifyou are using the PowerScore LSAT Bibles the book websites contains detailed notes on which chapters you should attack rst iftime is ofthe essence B At regular intervals take full practice tests Take as many tests as possible over the course of your preparation For students with several months we recommend taking at least one test a week typically on Saturday morning three ofthe four LSATs administered every year are given on Saturday morning If you are nding test fatigue a factor try this trick take one and a half LSATs in a sitting taking a break between the third and fourth section Because the real LSAT is ve full sections plus Writing Sample taking six sections overdrives your system and makes ve sections seem easier To take a six section test take one full test and then take the rst two sections of another testYou can then use the remaining two sections when you take your next practice exam C Review your test results thoroughly carefully tracking improvement and continuing areas of dif culty This portion of your preparation is criticaYou must closely examine every question on each test you take both the questions you answered correctly Lg L a V i i 7 8 POWERSCORE TEST PREPARATION could you have been faster or more certain and the questions you answered incorrectly to see where you went wrong and to learn how to avoid those issues next time Use our LSAT results tracker to keep a log of your performance and when you see continuing areas ofdif culty return to your test preparation guides and review the chapters on those topicsYour goal when reviewing questions should be to learn them so well that you could teach them to other students if possible D Use your practice test results to revise your general study plan to account for changes and improvements As you progress through your course of study you will improve in some areas and nd other areas that still need more work Use your practice test results to identify these areas For example ifyou keep running into dif culty with Logic Games you can slant your study time to allow you to do more games and review more material about gamesThe old saying that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link applies to your testing as well Ifyou have a weakness nd it and work relentlessly to eliminate it Of course the amount oftime you spend on each step and the number oftimes you can repeat each step depend greatly on how many weeks or months you have until your LSAT date For example a student who has 5 months to prepare can read a number of LSAT preparation guides take a large number of practice tests and review each guide and exam thoroughly On the other hand a test taker with 3 weeks to prepare will not have the same opportunity to take as many tests or read as much preparation material THE POWERSCORE LSAT SELFSTUDY GUIDE 9 One question that frequently comes up concerns timing and using a timer while studying Timing while always important on the LSAT should not be a primary concern for you when you begin your studies and the further out you begin preparing the less time should concern you As you go through more material however you should begin to make timing a regular part of your preparation For example when you begin your studies you should keep an eye on the amount oftime you take to complete each question but you should not obsess over it If you are taking longer than desired make note ofthat fact but focus more on understanding the concepts in the questions and the methods to solve them Practice is not about starting at full speed it is about understanding the fundamental steps and slowly working your way up to full speed To keep things interesting while studying you can use different timing strategies such as timing yourself on a set oftwo or three questions and then reviewing your performance Or you could time yourself on a set offive or ten questions and then go back and review each question carefully after you complete the set The goal of timing yourself is for you to gain a clear understanding of how fast you can move through questions as well as to develop an internal clock that gives you a general idea of your pacing The further you proceed into your studies the more you should time yourself but remember when you encounter a new concept especiay one that you nd dif cut set aside the timer until you are comfortable with the ideas under examination iiiiyiiy quot 4 if Q Q 39 iii I ii i POWERSCORE TEST PREPARATION 5 Stick to Your Study Plan Getting the materials together and making a study plan are the easy parts Sticking to the plan is much more dif cut When you initially set up your plan do not generalize For example don39t say I want to study at least 5 hours a week or I want to take a practice test once a week Instead be speci c Say I want to every day except Monday and Friday for at least 2 hours a day or I m going to take a practice test every Saturday morning at 9 AM Creating a speci c schedule will help you stick to it more easily and it will give you an ironclad guide for knowing whether you are following your plan 6 Review Your Progress and Make Changes as Needed In war a battle plan changes and adjustments have to be made as the campaign continues The same holds true for your LSAT preparation At the outset you may draw certain conclusions about your test performance or your study schedule that subsequently change over time Constantly revisit your progress and use your practice test results to revise your estimations of needed study time and your areas of strength and weakness What happens if you nd yourself in trouble or if you can39t keep up with your schedule If so you have a few options A Postpone your LSAT date Depending on when you are sitting for the LSAT you may have the option of delaying your test while still not losing out on the current application cycle B Seek professional assistance No we don39t mean psychological help We mean professional LSAT help Ifyou feel that self studying isn39t giving you the results you want or if you simply need a jump start to your studies you can avail yourself of several different options For example you can work with an LSAT tutor for a few hours attend a Weekend LSAT Course or sign up for a Virtual LSAT Course 7 Take the LSAT and Destroy It This is your ultimate goal and ifyou are dedicated and diligent you can achieve it Study hard and good luck
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