Free Live Event Nov 30 – Dec 2

    • November 28, 2015 at 8:32 pm #870
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      Hi everyone — I will be hosting live office hours this Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, Nov. 30 – Dec. 2, 10 a.m. to noon and again 4 – 6 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

      I’m happy to help with anything you’d like to ask about, but first priority will be given to questions from students preparing for the December exam. I hope you’ll come back then and join us, and I hope you’ll find my advice to be of use on test day.

    • November 30, 2015 at 5:18 pm #874
      v-nelson723
      Participant

      Good morning Mike,
      Is this where the live office hours will be?

      Thank you,
      Victoria Nelson

    • November 30, 2015 at 5:21 pm #875
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      Hi Victoria — yes it is! Nice to have you, and if you have any q’s feel free to post them before we get started.

    • November 30, 2015 at 5:57 pm #876
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      Thanks for stopping by! — we are now live and I’ll be here for the next couple of hours to help in any way I can with anything LSAT-related —

      I figured I’d get kick us off w/some tips for your final pt(s) —

      Let’s start by thinking a bit about test day — a few points —

      1) Your test day score matters, your practice scores don’t (duh).

      2) Whether you are easily excitable or calm by nature, the importance of the exam will, in good and bad ways, impact how your brain works during the exam.

      3) Having better expectations about this “intensity” and being better prepared for it makes it easier for you to gain more of the positive benefits, such as increased focus.

      4) Being surprised by this intensity and less prepared for it makes it easier for you to fall prey to the negative consequences.

      So, with all that said, I recommend that you use your final pt(s) to get as prepared for the test day experience as you possibly can —

      Some suggestions for this:

      1) Make sure to take the exams as realistically as you possibly can. Try to convince yourself as much as possible that the practice test is the real thing (and then, on test day, some people like to pretend the real thing is just another practice test, as well). Get in a location where you will absolutely not be interrupted, insert an extra dummy section, don’t give yourself extra breaks, and so on — whatever you can do to make it as much like the real thing as possible.

      2) Before the pt, take a bit of time (max 30 mins) to remind yourself of the most important strategies — your basic approach to each LR q (and perhaps common traps you know you tend to get tempted by), your big picture understanding of what can happen in games, how you plan to read the RC passages, and so on.

      Make sure to, as part of this, consider backup strategies and your overall section strategies — remind yourself of how you can tell you ought to take a best shot on an RC q and move on, what you will do if you find yourself running out of the time in a certain section, etc. Think back through your past p.t.’s, consider the challenges you’ve had, and consider how you’d now best approach these challenges if you were to see them again.

      3) Do your best to not just evaluate your performance based on whether you found the test easy or hard, but, rather, on how well you dealt with challenges. If you started running out of time in a section, did you invest your remaining time wisely, or did you waste it on the wrong problems? Did you allow yourself to get stuck on certain q’s, games, or passages, and end up not having the time you needed for other problems (that you could have more easily gotten right), or did you consistently make good decisions about when to keep working on a problem and when to stop?

      You may have different methods of evaluating your performance that fit you better, but regardless, the important point is that —

      a) it’s human nature to want our final pt’s to go smoothly, because of what we think that means for test day

      but

      b) one of the most important functions of pt’s is to expose you to challenges and help you get prepare for them/get used to them.

      Remember — your test day score matters, and your pt scores don’t.

      So, as you take and review your final pt(s), make sure to focus on the factors that you feel will be most important for success on test day.

      Hope that helps and if you have any questions or comments please type below!

    • November 30, 2015 at 5:59 pm #877
      manchas
      Participant

      Hi Mike -Congratulations on the new forum and thank you for the office hours!! Here’s my dilemma: I signed up to take the December exam but know that if I took it, I likely would not be able to achieve my desired score. I say this because I have spent 95% of my time just learning the concepts, micro-analyzing questions, and doing drills and sections at a time. I have NOT done practically any timed full tests. Just to give you some context – when I first took a timed exam during a one-day freebie offered by a test prep company two years ago, I scored abysmally. So I had a pretty steep hill to climb. I would do sets of LR questions and get half of them wrong. Now, when I do an LR section – untimed – i usually get one or two wrong. Similarly, with LG, I used to spend the entire morning stuck on one game. Now, i am usually able to complete three out of the four games successfully under timed conditions. So I have made progress. However, it’s still a steeper climb to the 167+ range. And the few times that I have taken a timed exam, I am unable to finish and feel so demoralized after that I end up avoiding doing them altogehter.
      I’m leaning towards taking the exam but then cancelling the day after – if only to subject myself to real conditions and also because I already forked over the $$.
      Do you have any thoughts on the wisdom of this strategy and any suggestions on how I can get over my fear of timed tests?

    • November 30, 2015 at 6:07 pm #879
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      Hi Manchas — thanks for the well wishes and happy to try to help — a few q’s for you before I give my thoughts —

      1) have you taken the real thing before?
      2) is it that you need to climb into that range to have a chance with your goal schools? realistically speaking, how far away from that score are you now?
      3) is there a pressing need to go to law school next year? Or is it more important for you to attend a better school, to the point that you would be willing to wait an extra year if you had to? —

      — MK

    • November 30, 2015 at 6:08 pm #880
      v-nelson723
      Participant

      I have a question pertaining to the LG questions. A question that I have noticed to come up frequently is: “Of the 5 choices, which are limited to only 2 spots” or something similar to that. I am unable to answer these questions in a timely manner and end up guessing on them. Do you have a good strategy for how to solve these in real time on the exam?

      Thank you,

      Victoria Nelson

      • November 30, 2015 at 6:19 pm #883
        manchas
        Participant

        Hi Mike –
        My responses to your three questions:
        1. Yes, I have taken a proctored LSAT exam (offered by a preptest company in my city) but not one administered officially by LSAC. So if I took it, the December exam would be my first official one.
        2. Realistically, I would say I’m 10-12 points away from my goal score of 167-169.
        3. No, there is no pressing need to go to law school next year. It’s more important for me to attend a better school to the point that yes, I would be willing to wait an extra year if I had to.
        Thanks…

    • November 30, 2015 at 6:12 pm #881
      alighassemi
      Participant

      Hi Mike – Thank you for taking the time to do this office hours for us! I’m having 2 big issues right now that are bringing my score down. 1) My timing with LG has plummeted for some reason and I can’t seem to get it back up. I used to be able to finish an entire section with no more than 1 or 2 questions wrong and for some reason, I’m now finding myself running out of time as I enter my last game. And even with that, I’m missing one or two of the questions from the games that I have completed. I’m not sure if it’s the nerves getting to me or if it’s something else. 2) I’m having a hard time with my accuracy in the RC section. My timing is fine with the passages, but I can’t seem to score above a 21/22. I’ve tried slowing my reading down and getting a broad understanding of the passages I go through, but I’m still having trouble with getting a higher score. Do you have any advice that you think will help me get through these challenges?

    • November 30, 2015 at 6:17 pm #882
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      Hey Victoria — happy to try and help — if u don’t mind, can you show me just one example of the type of q that is causing you trouble so that I can better help? Alternatively, if you have the trainer, you can scan through lessons 26-27 to see if the q type that causes you trouble matches any of the common types I discuss in those lessons.

    • November 30, 2015 at 6:22 pm #884
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      Hi Alighassemi — sure thing — happy to help — a could of quick q’s for u —

      1) can you tell me just a bit about how you start off logic games (that is, what you do before going into q’s) and 2)about your general approach to reading RC passages?

    • November 30, 2015 at 6:27 pm #885
      v-nelson723
      Participant

      The question that I came across yesterday was from “The Official LSAT Preptest #65” Section 2, Game 1, question 5: “How many of the students are there any one of whom could perform fourth”? (A) one (B) two (C) three (D) four (E) five.

      It is pertaining to an ordering game with exactly five spots and five choices.
      With my game drawn, I do not know how to effectively attempt the question without going through each individual choice. I do have the trainer and will look at those lessons, thank you!

    • November 30, 2015 at 6:28 pm #886
      alighassemi
      Participant

      1) can you tell me just a bit about how you start off logic games (that is, what you do before going into q’s) : First thing I do is draw a layout based on the kind of games, then I go through and write down the rules as they’re supposed to look and plug them into my layout if needed. Then I make my deductions and if necessary, draw out scenarios. Once I’ve done that and have seen that I can’t do anything else to my setup, I go into the questions.

      2)about your general approach to reading RC passages? My approach used to be to do a quick scan of the passage and make a note of what the main point was, the author’s attitude, and why the the author wrote the passage after reading. My current approach is to read a bit slower and after every paragraph, I write a very quick and short summary of the paragraph on the side. I do this for each paragraph and once I’m done with the passage, I give myself a quick breakdown of what I just read and why the passage was written.

    • November 30, 2015 at 6:45 pm #887
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      Hey — seems I’m having a bit of trouble nesting responses (the forum just launched and the all the tech is a bit over my head!) — my apologies but for now I’ll just quote the comments I’m responding to —

      Manchas — “Hi Mike –
      My responses to your three questions:
      1. Yes, I have taken a proctored LSAT exam (offered by a preptest company in my city) but not one administered officially by LSAC. So if I took it, the December exam would be my first official one.
      2. Realistically, I would say I’m 10-12 points away from my goal score of 167-169.
      3. No, there is no pressing need to go to law school next year. It’s more important for me to attend a better school to the point that yes, I would be willing to wait an extra year if I had to.
      Thanks…”

      Thanks for the additional info — I think your assessment of your situation and your options is pretty much right on — here are a few of my thoughts —

      1) It’s really hard to gauge whether we’ve prepared enough to perform at our best or not. It sounds to me like you know for sure that you haven’t, and if that’s the case you should certainly expect — especially if you haven’t gotten in as much practice work under your belt as you should — that there is plenty of room for your score to keep going up. However, if you need help evaluating whether you have done what you can, you may want to take a look at this — http://thelsattrainer.academy/the-logic-games-assessment-quiz/ — and see how you fare, or just ask about it more here and I’ll be happy to try and help.

      2) Even if it’s your first time, you only have 3 attempts at the test, and, the next time you take the test, you will likely feel better knowing you have 2 more tries than knowing you only have 1 more.

      If you feel that you have plenty of room for improvement, I think that is the crux of your decision — is the experience of taking, which is indeed very valuable, worth using up one of your three turns (which are also very valuable) — that’s your call.

      3) In terms of your next attempt, if going to school earlier is not a huge priority for you, you might want to consider June instead of February, which is going to creep up on you much faster than you’d like — the last thing you want to do is rush yourself to get ready for Feb, feel you didn’t do your best, rush yourself for June, etc. — instead, you want to give yourself the very best chance to study as best you can, and it may be that deciding to take again in June rather than Feb (per the limited amount I know — feel free to ignore my advice if it doesn’t apply) may give you a better shot at doing that.

      I have some thoughts about nerves as well — let me catch up on some of these other q’s and circle back.

    • November 30, 2015 at 7:04 pm #888
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      V-Nelson: “The question that I came across yesterday was from “The Official LSAT Preptest #65” Section 2, Game 1, question 5: “How many of the students are there any one of whom could perform fourth”? (A) one (B) two (C) three (D) four (E) five.

      It is pertaining to an ordering game with exactly five spots and five choices.
      With my game drawn, I do not know how to effectively attempt the question without going through each individual choice. I do have the trainer and will look at those lessons, thank you!”

      Hi Victoria —

      Those can be really tough, and those are classic time-suckers — a couple of general thoughts first —

      1) notice they asked it as the last q– for these types of q’s, it can be helpful to utilize some of the work you’ve done for previous q’s.

      2) it’s a question type I discuss on page. 385 as “consider all possibilities” in case you are interested (that lesson probably won’t make a whole lot of sense taken out of context/until you get there in your studies) —

      Now on to that specific q —

      if you combine the rules together for that game, what you figure out is that —

      The HF chunk (in either order) will take up 2 of the 5 spaces and

      Both G and K will have to go before this chunk.

      So, the HF pair will either go in slots 3 and 4, or 4 and 5.

      This severely limits who can go in slot 4 (which is why they asked about that slot).

      Hopefully, in a best case scenario, if you’ve played the game well up that point, you’ve either
      a) set up the game with two boards, one with the HF pair in slots 3/4 and the other with them in 4/5 (with all the subsequent inferences that yields) —
      or
      b) you feel comfortable enough w/the game to have a good sense of the possibilities for that slot.

      And so you won’t need to test out all possibilities to get to an answer (though you may want to test certain ones to confirm) —

      However, sometimes things won’t go as planned, and in these cases, when you can’t see inferences, you will need to test out options. When you need to do so, often, if your fundamentals are correct, trying just one or two will help you see an inference that you may have missed earlier on.

      I hope that helps and let me know if you have any follow-up q’s — Mike

    • November 30, 2015 at 7:32 pm #889
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      “1) can you tell me just a bit about how you start off logic games (that is, what you do before going into q’s) : First thing I do is draw a layout based on the kind of games, then I go through and write down the rules as they’re supposed to look and plug them into my layout if needed. Then I make my deductions and if necessary, draw out scenarios. Once I’ve done that and have seen that I can’t do anything else to my setup, I go into the questions.

      2)about your general approach to reading RC passages? My approach used to be to do a quick scan of the passage and make a note of what the main point was, the author’s attitude, and why the the author wrote the passage after reading. My current approach is to read a bit slower and after every paragraph, I write a very quick and short summary of the paragraph on the side. I do this for each paragraph and once I’m done with the passage, I give myself a quick breakdown of what I just read and why the passage was written.”

      Hi Alighassemi —

      Thanks for the info — you know yourself best (and if you think the source of your issues is something else, happy to continue discussing) — but here are some thoughts that come to mind —

      1) It’s easier to play logic games when we are loose and relaxed, and, as it gets closer to test day, of course, it’s harder to stay loose and relaxed — when we “tighten up,” it makes it harder to develop overall instincts about a game and easier to miss key inferences.

      To combat this, if you aren’t doing any of this already, try —

      1) waiting until you are done reading through the stimulus and rules once before setting pencil to paper. Doing so will not cost you any time.

      2) as you are reading through the rules, decide which one (or which combination) is most important to the game (important = having greatest impact on overall layout of board) — use these to determine whether you ought to split game boards or not, and keep this in mind as you lay out your diagram. Diagram this most important rule(s) first then worry about diagramming everything else around it.

      3) once you are done with your set-up, make sure to take 5 secs to check your diagram back against the original rules as they were written to make sure
      a) you understand correctly what your notations mean and
      b) you haven’t missed something in the rules with how you drew things.

      In the same vein, for RC, (and obviously things are, in general, working very well for you so you don’t want to mess things up too much) — “tightening up” can cause us to have a harder time understanding the passage as a whole and it can make it easier to misinterpret the significance of certain portions —

      So, to combat this — a couple of suggestions are —

      1) don’t stress too much about getting your paragraph summaries right — remember that for the toughest passages it’s next to impossible to see why, exactly, the author said something, and what is most important about what is said in a paragraph, until after you’ve read on deeper into the text.

      2) when you pause, between paragraphs, also do your best to anticipate where the next paragraph may lead — this will help you more accurately gauge what does happen in the next paragraph, and it can also help you catch yourself when your understanding of the previous one was somehow way off —

      3) do make sure to double check your big picture understanding at the end of the passage (doing so always takes far less time than it might seem) and utilize the general passage q’s to confirm your understanding. If you are struggling with the general q’s, take that as a sign that you may not have read the passage as accurately as you could have and see if you can correct things.

      4) finally, for students at your score level, the final piece that isn’t getting fully utilized is the question stem itself — often, it’s easy to get so lost in thinking about the answers and the passage that we forget exactly what we are asked about, and some of the toughest q’s have some very subtle wording in the question stem itself that makes one answer right and another wrong. So, especially when you are stuck between answers, make sure you verify your choice against both text and task (both passage and question stem) —

      Just want to reiterate that your score already indicates that you are doing a whole lot right, so again, don’t worry about changing things up too much and please just utilize whatever you might find helpful — MK

    • November 30, 2015 at 7:49 pm #890
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      Okay — I think that’s it for now — thanks so much everyone for participating and I hope you found that helpful — I’ll be back on in 4 hours, so if you missed me this time, or if you have any follow-up, happy to talk then — Mike

    • November 30, 2015 at 7:53 pm #891
      manchas
      Participant

      >>>Thanks for the logic games assessment link Mike! I will definitely check it out.

      Mike said : “2) Even if it’s your first time, you only have 3 attempts at the test, and, the next time you take the test, you will likely feel better knowing you have 2 more tries than knowing you only have 1 more.

      If you feel that you have plenty of room for improvement, I think that is the crux of your decision — is the experience of taking, which is indeed very valuable, worth using up one of your three turns (which are also very valuable) — that’s your call.”

      >>> Two things: 1) Thanks for confirming my instincts on a retake date and yes, I absolutely was not planning on retake until June. And
      2) how flakey does it look if one cancels after taking the exam? I realize you’re not an admissions officer, but does it look flakey or do they make assumptions that you just scored sub-par??

      Thanks again for taking the time to do office hours! It’s coming up on the 12 noon hour, so this will be my last question for the session. Psyched for the new site.

    • November 30, 2015 at 8:13 pm #892
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      Hey Manchas — sure thing and glad to have you here! — You are right that I am definitely not an admissions expert, and if there is an admissions expert reading this that wants to correct me they should definitely feel free to do so – however, in my sense —

      a) it’s not a good thing, but it’s really not a big deal — in comparison to how important your actual score is, the fact that you canceled once is just a speck.
      b) whether you cancel before, during, or after is probably of roughly the same consequence
      c) they won’t know if u withdraw —

      Again, anyone can feel free to chime in if I”ve missed anything important, but to me the most important factor by far is that you use up one of your 3 chances —

      HTH — come back at 4 if you need anything else! — MK

    • November 30, 2015 at 8:23 pm #893
      mazen
      Participant

      Hey Mike! Love the new website.

      I was wondering if you had any advice for those of us who are taking the test this Saturday regarding studying, sleep schedule, nutrition ect..

      Thanks again for the referrals you sent me. I will be sure to give my 2 cents soon.

      Best, Mazen

    • November 30, 2015 at 11:56 pm #895
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      Hello everyone — I am back, and I’ll be here for the next two hours — haven’t figured out how to nest responses yet, but at least now we’ve got bold —  thanks for stopping by and if you have any questions just let me know — Mike

    • December 1, 2015 at 12:08 am #896
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      Hey Mike! Love the new website.

      I was wondering if you had any advice for those of us who are taking the test this Saturday regarding studying, sleep schedule, nutrition ect..

      Thanks again for the referrals you sent me. I will be sure to give my 2 cents soon.

      Best, Mazen

       

      Hi Mazen! — Thanks so much and great to have you here –</span>

      I am probably the last person who should be giving any sort of advice about how to take care of oneself, but since you asked 🙂 — here are some thoughts that come to mind —

      1) In general, we tend to mostly notice or be distracted by our bodies when there is something wrong with them — our stomach hurts, head feels fuzzy, foot is broken, etc. — and while you can’t control everything, I think you want to do what you can to just mitigate the chances of something uncomfortable or unpleasant or otherwise physically distracting.

      No unique exercises, no unique diet, no crazy change in lifestyle (*just a small change that I’ll discuss in a sec), and, instead, I recommend that, outside of studying for the exam, you make yourself as comfortable as possible — eat the food you enjoy that you know won’t cause you stomach pain, don’t hang out with the people who will put you in a funk, exercise as you normally do (in your good weeks), and so on.

      2) I think the one small change I suggest is that if you are not used to waking up early, you want to start doing that now so that it doesn’t feel awful doing it on test day. I think that for a lot of people, and I know this is especially true of me, it takes a bit of time for our brains to fully wake up and be at their best — the early start time and the rush of signing in, etc. makes it harder to be as “ready” as you’d like when the first section starts– again, this is different for everyone and you know yourself best, but I think it’s generally to people’s benefit to wake up well before the exam, and, if you aren’t used to that, you may want to start working on that now.

    • December 1, 2015 at 5:51 pm #897
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      Hi everyone — I’m back and will be here for the next of couple of hours to answer any LSAT-related questions that any of you might have — if you are here just to browse, I hope you find the thread useful, and I encourage you to take a look around at some of the other contents of this brand new site.

    • December 1, 2015 at 8:14 pm #899
      manchas
      Participant

      Hi Mike – perhaps you can address this at the 4 p.m. hour…Yesterday you mentioned you had some pearls on the topic of Nerves and getting over one’s fear of performing under timed conditions. In order to avoid redundancy, is there a part in the Trainer where you talk about that?  I still have the first edition and thought that perhaps I could just re-read that chapter instead of making you regurgitate what’s already out there.

      Also, on a different topic, and apologies in advance if I’m being nosy, but do you have any plans to expand the site and teach an online course??

      Thanks in advance!

       

    • December 1, 2015 at 11:58 pm #900
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      I am back again and happy to answer any LSAT-related q’s for the next couple of hours — so, if you’ve got one, please join us!

    • December 2, 2015 at 12:12 am #901
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      Manchas asked;

      “Hi Mike – perhaps you can address this at the 4 p.m. hour…Yesterday you mentioned you had some pearls on the topic of Nerves and getting over one’s fear of performing under timed conditions. In order to avoid redundancy, is there a part in the Trainer where you talk about that?  I still have the first edition and thought that perhaps I could just re-read that chapter instead of making you regurgitate what’s already out there.

      Also, on a different topic, and apologies in advance if I’m being nosy, but do you have any plans to expand the site and teach an online course??

      Thanks in advance!”

      Hi Manchas —

      In terms of the online course q — I am intrigued by the idea, but it’s not in the plans at this time — sorry about that! — the good news is that there are some great online courses out there already (which wasn’t true even just a few years ago) — I talk about them a bit here —

      http://thelsattrainer.academy/how-to-study-for-the-lsat/

      I do plan on releasing a lot of new, free study material, including several new videos, over the coming weeks and months, so if you have any requests just let me know —

      In terms of nerves —

      Some pages in the Trainer that you might find most helpful and relevant are —

      — “Mantras” 2, 4, and 5 from Lesson 1
      — Signs of LR Mastery – Pg 39
      — Characteristics of Mastery LG – Pgs 50 – 51
      — RC — Characteristics of Top Scorers – Pg 60 – 61
      — Review timing strategies discussions from lessons 37, 39, and 40.

      To be honest, much of the information about nerves and such that is presented in the book focuses on the value of setting the right type of habits over a long period of time, and so it won’t necessarily be of much use this close to the test. I do think, and hope, it can be very valuable for you to consider the advice for your retake, should you end up needing one —

      But for now, I’d like to offer some specific suggestions for how to perform as best you can in just a few days — I’m working off the limited information I have about you, so, as I often say, please feel free to use what you might find helpful and to discard what you know is not —

      Before I get into it, picture yourself on test day, with an LR q in front of you — you read the stem, you read the stimulus, you feel good about your understanding of the argument and the flaw, you go into the answer choices — right away (A) seems like a great answer, but then (D) does too. Oh no. You try steps X, Y, and Z and select an answer.

      Afterward, it’s natural to think about the problem as being a difficult one because it presented two very attractive answer choices.

      However, it could just as well have been that your understanding and your priorities were slightly off, and that’s why the two answer choices were attractive to you — that is, it wasn’t the answers themselves, but rather what you thought about and focused on before you got there — the two answers being attractive could be a consequence, rather than a cause, of your troubles.

      So, to grossly oversimplify, you can split up the activities of your brain during the problem into two separate camps —

      1) it chooses what you ought to focus on / think about and in what way
      2) it considers, compares, and makes decisions about what it has chosen to think about.

      The second of these actions is far easier for us to notice, but, during the course of a standardized exam, especially a timed one, the first of these is critically important — top scorers don’t necessarily know a ton more — what differentiates them is that they think about the right things are the right time —

      So, I know that’s a lot of preamble but the last of those comments is the point I wanted to get to —

      In order to perform as well as you can, you want to put yourself in a position where you have the best chance to think about the right things at the right time.

      Okay, so, how, exactly, do you do this?

      You can’t just do it by wanting to or telling yourself to, or we’d all be a lot smarter than we are —

      Instead, you have to guide your thoughts, and you do this by having the right focus and the right mindset.

      Here are some do’s and don’ts for getting yourself there:

      1) Do, if you haven’t already, take a final practice test, as realistically as possible, and consider some of the suggestions I made about earlier in this thread (post #876). The more experience you get, the more comfortable you will feel.

      2) Don’t fall prey to any last minute get-good-quick schemes that cause you to drastically change up what you do.

      3) Don’t worry about thinking about a million things and covering every base possible — your success is not dependent on that — instead, go to the other extreme, and encourage yourself to be very careful about what you choose to focus on / care about.

      4) Do think very carefully about, and try to prioritize, the best tools you have — the important things you’ve learned, and the important skills and habits that you’ve noticed are the keys to getting questions right.

      5) Don’t beat yourself up over finding the hardest questions impossibly hard — because they are hard for everyone, and more importantly, because they aren’t worth any more — chances are that harping on the harder q’s and allowing them to get your spirits down will prevent you from getting right q’s you could get right otherwise. When you notice a problem feels impossible, know that the smartest thing to do is do your best, not over-invest time, and make sure to move to the other problems that are more likely to give you points.

      6) Don’t worry about doing what you are supposed to do, or being as perfect as you can be — I think that these concerns can often underlie a lot of our nerves, but at this point it’s not about that — it’s about taking all that you’ve learned/developed and using it to be as smart as possible with your time and energy during the exam.

      #’s 2 – 6 involve a lot to remember, and thus, collectively, run completely counter to the idea of having the right focus — so, instead of thinking about all that, I simply suggest that before the test you —

      Remind yourself to be as aggressive as you can about focusing in on the right issues that will help you collect the easiest points you can find.

      I think that that pretty much encompasses everything and I feel that going into the test with that sort of mindset can help encourage all the do’s and mitigate the negative impact of all the don’ts —

      You are going to feel nervous — it’s an important test and you can’t change that — but those nerves can work in both good and bad ways — try to encourage yourself, in whatever ways you can, to focus on the above (as opposed to overinvesting in the hardest q’, worrying too much about the 1,000,000 you have to remember to do, and so on) and I think you can give yourself the best chance to positively utilize that extra energy.

      I hope that helps, and if you have any follow-up, I’m happy to discuss further — otherwise, I wish you the very best on Saturday!

    • December 2, 2015 at 1:35 am #902
      galenfoote
      Participant

      Hey is this still going on right now?

    • December 2, 2015 at 1:37 am #903
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      yes! let me know if you need anything.

    • December 2, 2015 at 2:15 am #904
      galenfoote
      Participant

      Thanks! So my question is around study prep time.

      I was thinking about taking the test in February to give myself the opportunity of applying next year (not totally sure on law school yet). February was ideal for me because my schedule may be different in June or October, whereas easier to visualize now, and there may be other things that come up then. Currently I get home from work at about 630 M-F, without any commitments outside of work. Not that June or October is prohibitive, just potentially less convenient or more of an opportunity cost.

      I took a practice test and scored well below where I would want to be on test day, much of it due to not finishing any of the sections, and nowhere close on the logic games. However, I performed very well on the SAT, and am a good standardized test taker, though am usually a slow one and would definitely need to focus on speed.  Other than the logic games the material came pretty naturally.

      I got my feet wet starting to study from a logic games book to get a head start on a testmasters course that starts Saturday I was thinking about taking. I realized a couple things though. 1) The course starts on Saturday and only runs for 2 months because it can’t start until the december LSAT  is done.  2) From what I’ve read/heard most people give themselves at least 3 months (3-4 months?) to prep.

      So, right now, I’m at trying to decide if I should go all in to prepare for the test or put it off until a later date. I want to get my best possible score, and have had doubts recently about whether I can feel totally prepared in this amount of time, and won’t be wishing I had more time to master it.

      Insights on how much time is usually needed to fully prepare, or anything specific to my situation would be helpful! Also, I’ve heard great things about your book, and like the flexibility it provides for self study, so any thoughts on that vs taking a course (price isn’t an issue) are helpful as well.

       

    • December 2, 2015 at 5:56 pm #906
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      Okay — I am back — sign ups for the site are really starting to take off, and I’m so happy that so many of you have decided to join us!

      I’ll be here for the next couple of hours, so if anyone has any q’s, just let me know — mike

    • December 2, 2015 at 6:05 pm #907
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      Galenfoote wrote:

      Thanks! So my question is around study prep time.

      I was thinking about taking the test in February to give myself the opportunity of applying next year (not totally sure on law school yet). February was ideal for me because my schedule may be different in June or October, whereas easier to visualize now, and there may be other things that come up then. Currently I get home from work at about 630 M-F, without any commitments outside of work. Not that June or October is prohibitive, just potentially less convenient or more of an opportunity cost.

      I took a practice test and scored well below where I would want to be on test day, much of it due to not finishing any of the sections, and nowhere close on the logic games. However, I performed very well on the SAT, and am a good standardized test taker, though am usually a slow one and would definitely need to focus on speed.  Other than the logic games the material came pretty naturally.

      I got my feet wet starting to study from a logic games book to get a head start on a testmasters course that starts Saturday I was thinking about taking. I realized a couple things though. 1) The course starts on Saturday and only runs for 2 months because it can’t start until the december LSAT  is done.  2) From what I’ve read/heard most people give themselves at least 3 months (3-4 months?) to prep.

      So, right now, I’m at trying to decide if I should go all in to prepare for the test or put it off until a later date. I want to get my best possible score, and have had doubts recently about whether I can feel totally prepared in this amount of time, and won’t be wishing I had more time to master it.

      Insights on how much time is usually needed to fully prepare, or anything specific to my situation would be helpful! Also, I’ve heard great things about your book, and like the flexibility it provides for self study, so any thoughts on that vs taking a course (price isn’t an issue) are helpful as well.

       

      Hi there! Thanks so much for joining and sorry I didn’t answer this last night — I signed off at 6 (pacific time) and didn’t know you’d be back —

      Here are some of my general thoughts — if you have questions about any of them, I’m happy to discuss further.

      1 If timing is not an issue, I would suggest you prepare for June rather than February.

      If the situation or this exam were different my advice might be as well, but —

      a) your LSAT score is the most important part of the admissions process — even more important than all the work you put in as an undergrad — since (I’m guessing) you gave yourself at least 4 years to get through undergrad, it makes sense to give yourself as many months as you need to get ready for the LSAT.

      b) the LSAT is very learnable, but to learn it right takes time. Trying to rush it is typically inefficient and can also hurt you for the long term as well — in my opinion, it’s much better to take a long term perspective, give yourself the best chance to succeed, and be very careful about setting the right foundation — picking the right study tools, and figuring out what’s most important to know about the test.

      c) most students who have made huge (dare I say, life-changing) sort of improvements will tell you that 3-4 months is probably a minimum — it may take longer than that for you to reach your potential, but if it does, it’s, in general, worth it to invest that time.

      So, with all that said, if you want to give yourself the best chance to succeed, I do think planning for June is better than planning for Feb (though, if you do decide on Feb, more than happy to help you figure out how to make that work out best as well).

      2.In terms of learning products — obviously I’m fond of my book, but I really do believe that study success is highly dependent on fit — on how well the tool matches up with the student — I know my book is a great fit for some students, but not for others, and, in a more general sense, taking a course is a great fit for some students, and self-study is a better fit for others.

      Per all of that, here’s what I would suggest —

      a) Investigate as many learning products as you can, and try to dig into them a little bit — don’t just go off reputation — I offer ⅕ of my book for free online on the trainer website and you can check those out here — http://www.thelsattrainer.com/lsat-trainer-sample-chapters.html — and other learning products will offer similar views in — know that there are a lot of effective tools, and make it your goal to find the one that you feel most comfortable with and that you trust can help you the most.

      b) if you want to utilize multiple study tools, by all means go for it — in general, the benefit you get from utilizing multiple learning tools far outweighs the negatives — as long as the products you use are of high quality, I think you’ll appreciate having the different perspectives.

      c) the key mitigating factor is that learning from study products should just be one part of your study process (more on this later) — after you go through the majority of your learning, you want to move on to getting plenty of practice — so, whatever you go with, plan on studying in the first part of your prep, but leave time to move on to drilling and taking full pt’s.

      d) I don’t know anything specific about the Testmasters course — all I know is their reputation, which has been a very good one for many, many years. However, if you have the option of choosing amongst reputable companies, I believe that the quality of the particular instructor is arguably the most important factor you ought to consider — a high score doesn’t make one a good teacher, and there are a lot of bad LSAT teachers out there (and again, a lot of it has to do with “fit”). So, if at all possible, I suggest you try to sit in on a session or in some other way try to get a sense of the teacher before you commit.

      3.Finally, I suggest that you think of your LSAT prep as involving multiple, overlapping phases — learning, drilling, and practice exams — for other types of tests, the learning part is pretty much everything, but to improve at the LSAT, you need to get in lots of smart practice — so, keep that in mind — try to get in as much learning as you can early on, and then make sure you give yourself enough time to get as good as you can get —

      I hope that helps — please take a look around at some of the articles on the site, which go into more detail on some of the topics I mentioned — if you have any follow up questions, just let me know — good luck with your LSAT prep! — Mike

    • December 2, 2015 at 6:26 pm #908
      contrabergin
      Participant

      Hi Mike. This is totally a late question but I was wondering if you had any advice on whether or not I ought to postpone the Dec to Feb.

      I’m aiming for 175 but in the past two weeks or so my scores have been extremely variable, before that I was around 171-172 for the majority with some 174’s and the occasional 176-180’s (back when my RC was on point). My high last week was a 176 and then yesterday morning I actually got a 163 (one point below my diagnostic even) I knew I was doing poorly though and pretty much phoned in the last section, frankly during that section I was lucky if I could even read the stimulus and understand half of what it was saying.

      I freaked out last night though and retook PT 73 without reviewing it earlier (the 163) and ended up with a 171 but I’m thinking that it was probably inflated? Still felt like some of the LR were very subtle, uncertain, and difficult though.

      I’m not sure where I started going wrong with RC either. Starting around the 50’s I went from finishing RC sections 2-5 minutes ahead of the clock while getting 0 wrong to scrambling to finish the last passage in sometimes as little 4-5 minutes and getting on average 3-5 wrong.

      Basically I’m super nervous and don’t know what to do. I’m not sure if I’m not getting the material properly or if I’m just burned out. I’m trying to review LR sections right now but I feel really foggy and am procrastinating.

      That being said, if I were to postpone, I’ve only got PTs 74-76 as fresh ones (and was thinking of doing PT 74 as separate timed sections tomorrow or so, I guess I’d have 77 then too so still 3) and am not sure how I would go about studying for Feb in that case? How do you study without fresh PTs? Drilling old LR probably won’t help much considering I’d already reviewed them in depth right? Should I still try to do 74-76 in prep for Dec or should I just leave them alone in case I have to retake or end up postponing?

      Sorry this was so long, I’m just really nervous and unsure about what to do right now.

    • December 2, 2015 at 6:31 pm #909
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      Hey Contrabergin — quick q — is this your first, or a retake?

    • December 2, 2015 at 6:32 pm #910
      contrabergin
      Participant

      first take

    • December 2, 2015 at 6:51 pm #911
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      Hey Contrabergin — You know yourself best and I’m happy to discuss further, but here are my thoughts —

      I think you should absolutely take in December —

      It’s completely natural for you to feel nervous (and for this to cause your scores to fluctuate a bit) — but for you the situation is even worse because a) at your score level, you have a much smaller margin for error and b) let’s face it–that’s a pretty amazing range that you are currently in — it’s life changing — and even though it’s a good thing, it’s scary —

      But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for it — what’s far more important is that you’ve done an amazing job of putting yourself in position to do something great, and now you want to put yourself in the best position possible to take it to the test and show it everything you’ve got —

      I think the fact that schools now only care about your top score has really changed how students should think about the exam — so many students go into the test with the mindset that it’s something where  you can either a) feel you’ve survived or b) feel terrible — but, sorry for the sports analogy, the situation presented is much more like:

      The game is tied, and you have a chance to win it with some free throws — if you miss them, it’s just overtime (you get another chance), but if you make them, you win the freakin championship. (And you know what, you are better at shooting free throws than just about everyone else in the world — it’s what you are awesome at). All you have to do is trust yourself.

      In addition, it’s important to keep in mind that not every LSAT is exactly the same, and you can perform just as well on one and end up with a 172 and another and end up at 176 — so, with so much out of your hands, and with so much to gain and so little to lose, and with so much on  your side,

      Here’s what I think is perhaps what’s most important for you to hear —
      You have all the tools to do something awesome and you need to go for it — the only thing that can hold you back is being worried that something might go wrong or being worried when you face a challenge — you are amazingly good at the LSAT — trust in your talents, be aggressive, and see where you end up — I think you are very likely to be very happy with your results.

    • December 2, 2015 at 7:23 pm #912
      contrabergin
      Participant

      Thanks so much Mike. My parents would be extremely upset if I delayed a cycle (although I guess if I have to then I have to) so I prob will take this Saturday. Hopefully it’ll go well. Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, they made me feel better.

    • December 2, 2015 at 7:25 pm #913
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      Sure thing — wish you the best and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you ever need me.

    • December 2, 2015 at 7:36 pm #914
      manchas
      Participant

      Hi Mike – thanks for the page references and for the game day tips. I plan on revisiting those again and again in the coming weeks. Also thanks to the previous poster’s questions and your responses, which have helped me as well.  BTW,  after some consideration, I’ve decided to hold onto my three chances and take the actual exam when I ‘m 110% on board with my readiness level.  With that said, and if you have time, could you in a general way, address EITHER of two questions from the October exam of this year.  They are both from the first LR section, #18 and #24.  Seriously, in both instances, the elephant ( you know, the one you mention in the beginning chapters) completely took over and it felt like everything I learned in the last couple of months just fell out the window. Aside from moving on when encountering these types of quetison, can you tell me how to better “see” either of these questions.  It felt almost like I had never seen anything quite like them before.

    • December 2, 2015 at 7:42 pm #915
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      Hey Manchas — glad to hear that you’ve found the information useful — happy to take a look at the q’s and I’ll get you a response back by the evening session — MK

    • December 2, 2015 at 8:00 pm #916
      zsanchez
      Participant

      Hi Mike! I worked using the first edition of your text book. I am going at the exam again– should I use the 2015 version? What sections have been updated?

      Also- I understand that it is best to practice using the most recent exams. Do you recommend using some of  the newer exams for drills or only for full length simulated practice?

      I find it challenging to use the most recent exams because many LSAT resources don’t have explanations for the correct answers.

      Thanks!

       

    • December 2, 2015 at 10:02 pm #918
      lsatbound
      Participant

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks for hosting this! I’m 400+ pages into your LSAT Trainer. Stuck a bit and I hope you can clear it up.

      Game 3 | PT 32, G3 (page 420) of your book has the following rule:

      “At least one composition is performed either after O and before S, or after S and before O.” I thought I understood your explanation and notation:

      S _ …O, O_…S  Your explanation: “S and O can’t be next to each other.”, hence the “at least” wording.

      Game 4 | PT 35, GR (page 421) where I tried to apply that same concept to the following, it was incorrect. How is it different?

      “Paton and Sarkis were each hired at least one year before Madison and at least one year after Nilsson.” which I diagrammed as:

      N_…P_…M , N_…S_…M

      Your diagram is N – P , S – M

      I interpreted the rule to mean that P and S come before M and after N but also that P and S cannot be next to N or M – due to the “at least” wording like in the question above. But, i think your diagram says they can and the answers to the questions in that section reflect that they can. Specifically, you have P being able to go in 90, 91 or 92. And I didn’t think it could go in 90 b/c it would be next to N in 89 and furthermore I didn’t think it could go in 91 b/c it would be next to S in 92.

      I’m sure there’s a nuance that I’m missing – there usually is:( I think it may be the words “at least” threw me off.

      Can you help? Thanks:).

    • December 3, 2015 at 12:00 am #919
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      Okay — I am baaaack — Manchas, long story short, I am having trouble accessing my copy of that test, but I should be able to get it very shortly, and I’ll be responding back as soon as I can — everyone else, here we go —

    • December 3, 2015 at 12:04 am #920
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      ZSanchez wrote:

      Hi Mike! I worked using the first edition of your text book. I am going at the exam again– should I use the 2015 version? What sections have been updated?

      Also- I understand that it is best to practice using the most recent exams. Do you recommend using some of  the newer exams for drills or only for full length simulated practice?

      I find it challenging to use the most recent exams because many LSAT resources don’t have explanations for the correct answers.

      Thanks!

       

      Hi! Welcome to the site! —

      There have been no significant changes to the Trainer since its release (and there won’t be), and there is no need at all to buy a new copy — you can stick with the one with you’ve already got.

      In terms of using the exams, I do agree that the newer ones are slightly more useful than the older, and in general you want to utilize most if not all of the newest exams for PT’s, especially if you are limited in terms of fresh tests —

      A few caveats — if you have a ton of newer tests that you haven’t looked at yet, definitely feel free to use one or two of them for drilling, just so you don’t have to have any fear that the q’s on the newer tests will feel different to you in any way — additionally, I think it’s great to re-solve problems again and and again until you feel mastery, and, if you do plan on reusing q’s, it’s generally best to use them for pt’s first, then drilling next. Finally, I want to point out that differences between tests are very, very subtle — I don’t think that even a group of 170+ test takers, if given a bunch of exams from 7 years ago, 4 years ago, or 1 year ago, could (without prior knowledge of these exams) tell when they were from.

      Finally, in terms of solutions — check out this page of free resources to see if there are any that you may have missed on your own — http://thelsattrainer.academy/free-and-useful-lsat-prep-tools/ — it’s definitely useful to have high quality solutions and explanations, no question, but also keep in mind that, especially since you already have a lot of studying under your belt, ideally you want to reach for them as little and as late as possible — it has nothing to do with how helpful they can be, but rather it has to do with the fact that you want to build up your internal sense of right and wrong as much as possible, and reaching for some other authority later and less often can help with that.

      Hope that helps and if you have any follow up q’s just let me know — MK

    • December 3, 2015 at 12:18 am #921
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      Lsatbound wrote:

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks for hosting this! I’m 400+ pages into your LSAT Trainer. Stuck a bit and I hope you can clear it up.

      Game 3 | PT 32, G3 (page 420) of your book has the following rule:

      “At least one composition is performed either after O and before S, or after S and before O.” I thought I understood your explanation and notation:

      S _ …O, O_…S  Your explanation: “S and O can’t be next to each other.”, hence the “at least” wording.

      Game 4 | PT 35, GR (page 421) where I tried to apply that same concept to the following, it was incorrect. How is it different?

      “Paton and Sarkis were each hired at least one year before Madison and at least one year after Nilsson.” which I diagrammed as:

      N_…P_…M , N_…S_…M

      Your diagram is N – P , S – M

      I interpreted the rule to mean that P and S come before M and after N but also that P and S cannot be next to N or M – due to the “at least” wording like in the question above. But, i think your diagram says they can and the answers to the questions in that section reflect that they can. Specifically, you have P being able to go in 90, 91 or 92. And I didn’t think it could go in 90 b/c it would be next to N in 89 and furthermore I didn’t think it could go in 91 b/c it would be next to S in 92.

      I’m sure there’s a nuance that I’m missing – there usually is:( I think it may be the words “at least” threw me off.

      Can you help? Thanks:).

      Terrific q — I love it when someone studies my book carefully enough to critically compare parts of it to other —

      And I think the issue you pointed out is a great example of why it’s important not to be overly dependent on “indicator words” and why it’s important to consider the meaning in context — “at least” always means equal to or greater than, but in the two examples you brought up this has differing consequences —

      In the first example, “At least one composition between O and S,” because it is talking about another actual element going in between the two, does prevent O and S from being next to each other.

      An easy way to test this is by imagining O being immediately before S (OS) and reading the rule — such a scenario would clearly violate the rule, and so you know the rule doesn’t allow it.

      In the second example, “P was hired at least one year before M,” notice that what is between X and Y isn’t another element, but rather a year. And so, in this case, P and M can be hired in consecutive years without violating the rule —

      An easy way to test this is by imagining P and M immediately next to each other in the diagram (PM) and see if it violates the rule — it doesn’t — even when they are next to each other, there is at least a year between them.

      It’s a sneaky issue but I hope that clears it up — if you have any follow up just let me know.

    • December 3, 2015 at 12:45 am #922
      lsatbound
      Participant

      OMG, it certainly is a “sneaky issue! But I think I get it now. So the difference is the rule for O and S says that there has to be at least one element (another composition) between them whereas the rule for P and M says that there has to be at least one YEAR between them and a year (in this scenario) is simply one placeholder in the diagram of 7 “placeholders”, is that right? So to go from 1990 to 1991 is one year but just one placeholder over. Therefore, P can be next to M.

      I want you to know I think your book is written very well. It’s easy to read and encourages you to stay interested / involved. However, even with a degree in Computer Science and 25 years in the industry, the LSAT is still very challenging, to me. I’ll continue on with book and hopefully at the end when I start taking PTs 100% of the study time, something magical will happen and all that I’ve learned through your book will “click”:)

      Thanks again! You are great!

    • December 3, 2015 at 1:23 am #924
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      OMG, it certainly is a “sneaky issue! But I think I get it now. So the difference is the rule for O and S says that there has to be at least one element (another composition) between them whereas the rule for P and M says that there has to be at least one YEAR between them and a year (in this scenario) is simply one placeholder in the diagram of 7 “placeholders”, is that right? So to go from 1990 to 1991 is one year but just one placeholder over. Therefore, P can be next to M.

      I want you to know I think your book is written very well. It’s easy to read and encourages you to stay interested / involved. However, even with a degree in Computer Science and 25 years in the industry, the LSAT is still very challenging, to me. I’ll continue on with book and hopefully at the end when I start taking PTs 100% of the study time, something magical will happen and all that I’ve learned through your book will “click”:)

      Thanks again! You are great!

       

      Yeah, I think you’ve got it — just to finalize things —  the “year” in discussion, to be exact, is actually the space in between placeholders — so, that’s why, in that situation, elements can be placed next to each other while still satisfying the rule that there is “at least a year” between them —

      And thank you so much for the nice comments — I really appreciate hearing that, and I definitely understand how hard it can be to study for this exam —

      I’ve taught it for a long time now, and in my professional opinion, starting off with a naturally high, med, or low score doesn’t, in general, say a whole lot of note about anyone  — I think that how much students are able to improve actually reveals a whole lot more —

      So, I definitely commend you for working hard and I want to support that — I’ll be here regularly moving forward — if you need anything please don’t hesitate to ask.

    • December 3, 2015 at 1:59 am #925
      lsatbound
      Participant

      Not to belabor the point, but just to make sure I’m clear…

      Isn’t each year a placeholder, e.g. 1990, 1991? And if P and M have to have one year between them then they can be next to each other and still have one “year” between them – there is 12 mos / 1 year between 1990 and 1991. Whereas if S and O have to have an element between them then they cannot be next to each other. Is that right?

      You are welcome for my comments. They were certainly sincere.

    • December 3, 2015 at 1:04 pm #929
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      Hey Lsatbound — that’s exactly right — I think we’re thinking the same thing but saying it differently — if you need further clarification I’m happy to discuss, but I think you are all set.

    • December 3, 2015 at 6:26 pm #932
      Mike Kim
      Keymaster

      Manchas Wrote:

      Hi Mike – thanks for the page references and for the game day tips. I plan on revisiting those again and again in the coming weeks. Also thanks to the previous poster’s questions and your responses, which have helped me as well. BTW, after some consideration, I’ve decided to hold onto my three chances and take the actual exam when I ‘m 110% on board with my readiness level. With that said, and if you have time, could you in a general way, address EITHER of two questions from the October exam of this year. They are both from the first LR section, #18 and #24. Seriously, in both instances, the elephant ( you know, the one you mention in the beginning chapters) completely took over and it felt like everything I learned in the last couple of months just fell out the window. Aside from moving on when encountering these types of quetison, can you tell me how to better “see” either of these questions. It felt almost like I had never seen anything quite like them before.

      Hey Manchas — here you go – hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to uploading the solutions under separate topic headings (so that others can find them later) —

      In terms of how those 2 q’s relate to one another, here’s what came to mind for me —

      The typical LR q requires us to read through a stimulus, identify a conclusion, understand it exactly and “hold it” in our heads, dig through for the support, identify and understand that correctly, then match that up to the conclusion in order to carefully evaluation the reasoning relationship.

      This is really hard, and requires us to use our brains at max capacity (for me at least) —

      Notice how the two questions you brought up are both specifically designed to make it unusually challenging to do all of the above (see how the conclusions are split up in parts, etc.) —

      That’s a huge part of what makes these problems so unusually difficult, and the ability to do all of the above better and better will be a big factor in your improvement —

      And the great news is that through careful work you can strengthen your ability to perform all of these steps over time, and make it easier and easier on yourself to perform them successfully on even the hardest q’s —

      Some tips for that —

      First, just be aware of how important the reading issues are and how important it is for you to continue to get better and better at reading the stimulus as you should.

      Second, recognize the importance of identifying the conclusion exactly and the support exactly — give yourself plenty of time to do this during problems, and think about how well you did this when you review your work.

      Third, know that, as long as your fundamentals are sound, and you are getting more and more experience at taking the right steps (as opposed to learning wrong steps or running through a million different strategies without really getting to know them), the better and better your brain will get at the task, and the easier it will become —

      I imagine you may already be focused on all that already, but that’s what came to mind for me — hth — mike

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