Reply To: Building Automaticity & Accuracy in LG

March 3, 2016 at 10:09 am #1581
Mike Kim

Oh I see — okay —

First the answers to your q’s —

1) I do think it’s better to shift more time and problems to drilling than to pt’s, but that’s just per the way I teach the test, and the caveat is that plenty of people have prepped just fine doing way more drilling than PT’s — so, know that this more of a choice than a set rule, and feel free to split up however you’d like best. Just as importantly, make sure to build in and allow for flexibility, so that, for example, if you find the drilling really helpful or find you need to drill a certain game type more than you had initially planned, you won’t have to stress about falling behind and you’ll have some extra resources/time to give yourself as needed (or, on the flip side, if you aren’t finding the drilling as helpful as you’d thought, you can choose to move on to full tests earlier).

2) Here I do have a stronger opinion – I think it’s important and helpful to expose yourself to more recent developments in the test during your drilling stage. If you don’t, I think you’ll just make things maybe 3% harder for yourself, because you’ll have to make subtle changes to your instincts when you get to the newer exams.

I definitely understand and agree with the instinct to keep most new tests fresh for PT’s, and to keep some “unseen” in case you want to retake —

If we think of tests 52 and on as being the most recent modern era of exams, you’ve got 26 published tests (and the June test will, I believe be out for you as well) — I think if you, say, give yourself 6 of those for drilling, save 6 for retake, and use 14 for full pts, that might be a smart allocation.

Now some extra thoughts —

1) Just to over-clarify — when I discuss drilling, I also include, in my mind at least, drilling mixed sets which basically end up being full sections.

For example, the way the Trainer schedules are designed, students are assigned 3 “rounds” of drills, and each time the questions get more and more mixed up — so you go from focusing just on one q type to having to apply a variety of your skills.

2) Speaking of the above, you may want to check out the free schedules on the trainer site — in particular the 16 week one using exams 29-71 might fit you well. The schedules are very easy to adjust, so if you want to switch out certain tests for others, or add in extra work here or there, it’ll be very easy for you to.

The trainer schedules account for work in the book, drilling, and full PT’s, so they are a good starting point, even if you want to personalize your schedule more (and you can also just start w/the DIY Trainer schedule if you’d like as well).

3) Just want to mention that I definitely support your instinct to keep tests fresh in case of retake. A retake is not a bad thing at all — imagine being at an NBA game, getting called to the court at halftime, and getting 3 chances, instead of just one chance, to make a half-court shot to win a million bucks.

You certainly want to give it your best with each shot, but at the same time, you want take full advantage of being given multiple opportunities and shouldn’t feel bad about using them.

So, on a more practical level, you do definitely want to make sure to keep some tests fresh for drilling and pt’ing should you need to study again — again, I know you are already thinking this, but just wanted to support you on it. And the great news is that you really don’t need to use 70 pts worth of q’s to get yourself fully ready (in fact, having to use so many, if anything, is a sign that your study process isn’t as efficient as it could be).

Related to that —

4) The last point I want to make is just to emphasize again the importance of maxing out the use of each exam.

Every LSAT is very, very much like every other LSAT, and if you have the capacity to be absolutely perfect on just one exam, then you have the capacity to be absolutely perfect on the next. So, especially when you are at the stage of your prep where you feel you know most of everything there is to know and you expect a high level of performance from yourself, make sure not to keep moving on and taking new exams without fully taking control of all the ones you have already worked on.

HTH clarify things — if you have any follow up just let me know, and, as always, don’t hesitate to reach out if you need me — MK