Have you ever wondered what it takes to study for the LSAT? Check out our latest series, A Day in the Life of a PowerScore LSAT Student, which chronicles the journey of an actual PowerScore student studying for the LSAT. Candace, a student in one of our Full-Length LSAT Courses, will share with you her experiences as she attends class and prepares for her future life as a law school student. Be sure to check it out!
Full-length Course, Lesson 1. Lesson 1 began on a Sunday night at 6:00PM and lasted until 10:00PM. Since this was the first lesson, the instructor waited to begin, awaiting the arrival of all of the students in the class. The instructor discussed the practice exam that we took the day before. If we are happy with our scores then that is good since we can work toward making that score even higher throughout the course. If we are unhappy with our scores, however, it is ok because it was only the first practice test and we will each have tons of practice in every lesson to increase our score before test day.
The first lesson proceeded unlike what I had expected...
When I saw that each lesson was 4 hours long, I anticipated a lecture-style lesson in which the instructor speaks most of the time and each student scribbles down notes. Instead, the lesson was very interactive. We opened our Powerscore Lesson 1-4 books to the first page of Lesson 1 and read through each page aloud, each student taking their turn reading and answering any questions that the instructor threw at us. Not only did the instructor get to know the students by name very quickly, but I also got to know the other students in the class as well. I found this style of teaching to be much more captivating than a 4 hour-long lecture!
The first section of Lesson 1 went over Logical Reasoning since Logical Reasoning makes up about half of the LSAT, therefore greatly affecting our scores. The instructor taught us how to approach Logical Reasoning questions: read the stimulus (information that comes before the questions) first, then read the questions. Some students felt that reading the question first was helpful as it gave the student the information to look for in the stimulus, however this technique might not actually prove to be helpful on the LSAT. Many questions refer to information that can only be found in the stimulus, so to understand the question, one must read the stimulus first. Also, reading the questions first wastes time because one would have to read the questions, then the stimulus, then reread the questions all over again. Time is of the essence on the LSAT and no time should be wasted on unnecessary reading.
Lesson 1 also went over Logic Games, specifically pure sequencing games. As I have mentioned previously, logic games present the biggest challenge for me out of all of the sections on the LSAT, so I was eager to learn more about approaching the games in an effective and successful manner.
One of the most important lessons that I gained from the logic games section was to “Maintain a positive attitude”. Maintaining a positive attitude allows one to perform better overall than if one had a negative attitude and believed that one would not do well on the LSAT. If you believe that you will do well, then you will most likely succeed. However, if you believe that you are going to fail, then fail you will. Maintaining a positive attitude is key under pressure, and I will keep this is mind when approaching the logic games on test day. Maintaining a positive attitude will be much easier now that I have learned how to approach the logic games in a successful manner. Lesson 1 taught me how to diagram, memorize rules, and establish limits for each logic game – all bringing me to a greater awareness of how to approach the games.
The instructor taught us how to read each logic game question and pull out the appropriate variables in each game in order to enter those variables in a diagram that illustrates exactly what the logic game states, clearly and easy to see. For example, if there are 7 women involved in the logic game problem - Mary, Jodi, Carrie, Kelsey, Roberta, Tess, and Frieda – I will write down MJCKRTF7 on my test booklet. This allows me to easily see not only the variables involved in the problem, but also the number of variables as well. Using these variables, the instructor taught us how to build sequencing chains which diagram out the rules of the logic games. For example, if the logic game states that “Mary is taller than Jodi but shorter than Carrie”, the diagram would look like the following: “C > M > J”. This diagram allows me to easily see and understand what the constraints of the problem are without having to reread the many words in the stimulus, wasting time and increasing my nervousness.
After this lesson, I answered 34 out of 35 answers correctly on the logic games practice problems for homework! I only answered 1 question incorrectly out of 35, and I no longer struggled with the problems because the questions were easy to answer following the variable and diagram method. The diagram method allows the eye to easily grasp what is going on in the problem because it lays the problem out on the page in a way that you can intuitively understand. I even volunteered first in class to go up to the board to do a pure sequencing diagram problem because I was so proud of my newfound ability to master these problems. No longer do I fret logic games, now I accept the challenge excitedly!
Next up: Lesson 2! I am looking forward to even greater achievements ahead!