Monday, February 1, 2010

Adapting Zen Calendar to Your Prep if Already Started

The following is an e-mail correspondence we received about adapting our Zen training calendar for someone who has taken a large amount of PrepTests in the past, for whatever reason. If you'd like some advice for how to adapt the diagnosing phase to fit your PrepTest history, read along.
To whom it may concern:

I'm thinking of using the calendar you provided on your site. That being said, I originally started studying for the Decemeber LSAT last September and took 6-7 full tests and used all LG's and some LR questions from tests 7-39. I'm wondering if you think it would be OK retaking these tests or reusing this material, which is what the calendar recommends. I'm afraid I would remember too much information from the questions to get an accurate reading of my problem areas. That said, if I use the latest LSAT's for prep I would probably run out of material before June.

Any tips would be great.
Thanks for writing to us with your question!

We advocate at least 10 full LSATs before moving into self-correcting. It sounds like if you are careful with choosing the timed, 5-full sections LSATs, you'll have enough left afterward for both self-correcting practice and endurance. If you throw in the June 2007, October 1996, and February PrepTests in the SuperPrep book, you should have plenty of data to guide your self-correction. Even if you only do 10 PrepTests, spread them out across the same amount of weeks that are part of the diagnosing phase on the calendar.

The more data you have the better, but 10 full PrepTests is sufficient to analyze mistakes for each of the more than 50 individual tasks across logical reasoning and reading comprehension. If you utilize the PrepTests mentioned above and save the newer individual PrepTests for endurance, you should still have plenty of practice material.

Part of the reason we suggest taking the full-length tests is because the LSAT is normed on that timeframe. We would be willing to bet that you will miss more questions while taking full tests rather than isolated sections, even if you've seen them before. So, even if you do retake the tests, you should be able to gather some relevant data from your mistakes. The logic games might be a different story, but in my experience it never hurts to do more of those.

Let us know if you have any further questions!