A Real Time Line

Now that I have a definite deadline I can make a plan. Since there are so many of these available online and in print, it doesn’t make much sense for me to try to cook my own up. No need to reinvent the wheel.

However, the assumption (oh yes I used that word) of most or all of these is that the test-taker is new to LSAT material. This means that these schedules are created with the first several weeks introducing the user to the World of the LSAT: How to do the games, how to read the logical reasoning, the different types of questions and how to attack them, the mindset and assumptions of the logical reasoning question authors, and other things you need to know if you’re going to stand a fighting chance on this thing.

I’m not one of those. I’ve read the books and the blogs and the essays and watched the videos. I’ve heard pretty much all of it, so I don’t need to spend weeks studying up on it, taking the time again as though this is my first time seeing it. So far my best score is 171, untimed, so I am getting a lot of it. I just need reminders. These things, my months of studying already and the fact that it is at least to some degree working, mean that the pre-made schedules aren’t going to be quite right for my needs. They will work as a great starting place and way to figure out how to organize my time and practice.

Most of them seem to want you to study hard on a single thing for a few days or a week, with small pieces of the other sections spattered in there so you don’t forget those things while you’re intensely looking at the other. For example, many will have you doing only one type of logic game for several days, but to make sure you don’t lose what you’ve learned about the other things, to do a few of each type of logical reasoning and a couple reading comprehension passages. That seems like it should work for me, so I’m going to give it a try.

There are obstacles to this for me, things that make my schedule erratic and difficult to even really call a “schedule,” such as my kids, work, home, family, and husband, most of which I did not have five or more years ago (the age of most test-takers and the age group for whom many of the schedules are developed). So it’s going to take some doing.

I think it’s going to be worth it. At least it better be. It’s going to cost me around $100 in books by the time I’m done, and the test itself is $175, a lot of money for me.

On another note, I finished Grey’s a long time ago, then finished Scandal, and have moved on to Supernatural. This is yet another show people have been telling me to watch for years and I don’t know why I held out. It’s good. Even if it is scary and  I generally don’t care for scary, I can handle this one.

Rereading

I’m consistently struggling with the same logical reasoning problem type, so I’ve decided to suck it up and go back over a few chapters in the Logical Reasoning Bible. I’m reading all the text and doing all the exercises so I can get this down pat. I’ve gotten to the point where I can do the Reading Comprehension timed and score over 90% and the Games are getting faster and more accurate as well. It’s just the LR holding be back now and I’m not going to let it. I will win this thing!

My new book

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I finally got to the library to start on my new book, and it is a challenge.

It’s not a challenge like the first book was; it’s something different. With the logic “games” book, I more or less had no idea what I was doing when I went into it. I had to learn (or re-learn, because I’m pretty sure we did those games in TAG in elementary school) something new. All the processes of getting those things done and done (mostly) right was hard, but after a lot of work I think I was able to do it.

This new section, though, I think I mostly can do. I did well enough on it in my first preptest, probably better than many do on the real thing, but not well enough for what I need.  So I bought the book to help myself out. I need to know an efficient way to tackle this to ensure the best score I can possibly get. This means that although I probably am mostly capable of these things, I still have some work to do and need some help.

The approach to doing these things is not completely foreign to me. I have seen most of the language and logic ideas before in my ethics and religion classes (one of my minors and my major, respectively), but I’ve never applied it to constantly changing brief topics or in a timed setting. With enough study time, if I had nearly unlimited time to do the sections, I think I could do very well on the final test. But I don’t. I have 35 minutes, so I need to be efficient. Therefore, book.

What’s really different about this book is how much reading there is to it. It’s silly that it’s the first thing I noticed when I first opened the book, but there are a lot of words in this thing. The first book was full of diagrams and the pleasant white space around them. There aren’t so many diagrams in this one and nearly every page is grey with text. The writing is dense with complicated ideas spelled out in simple terms, so the going is slow. I appreciate that the writers took the time and words to slowly draw out all these complex ideas in a away that’s easy to follow, but, I know I already said it, it’s slow going.

Ultimately, though,  I think it will be worth it. I’m less than a hundred pages in and I already feel like I’m making progress. I’m getting the sense that I understand the construction of the questions better and by the time I finish I will be able to approach the sections confidently.

Let’s see how this goes.