Meet Deborah Saint-Vil

Quick Facts

 

  • Ivy-League Graduate - Brown University
  • Scored in the 96th Percentile of the LSAT
  • Over 10 years of teaching and mentorship experience
  • International teaching experience in South Korea, Japan, Thailand, in addition to the U.S.

My LSAT Journey

 

Hi! My name’s Deborah, or Deb for short. I would love to share my story with you about my LSAT journey. Let’s start with my background.

 

Now, I can’t lie and say I started off as a totally unmotivated student who suddenly found the secret to unlocking the LSAT. Nope, I’ve always been super studious, super ambitious, and just an all-around nerd.

 

Just ask any of my old classmates at Miramar High--I was the girl constantly walking around with a million heavy textbooks, who studied in the library during lunch breaks, and was always outspoken in class.

 

My nerdiness paid off, and I made it all the way to Brown University--an Ivy League university!

 

So after graduating from college, I decided to apply to law school. Of course, first I had to take on the LSAT.

 

I felt sure I’d hit it out the park on my first try. I had plenty of reasons to be cocky. I’d made it out of a very challenging undergraduate institution. I’d completed not one, but TWO majors at Brown--in International Relations and Africana Studies. I’d been a super-nerd all my life. Up to that point, most challenges were achievable in short order. And even if I didn’t score perfectly at first, I thought I’d at least start in the 160s. After all, I did pretty well on the SAT in high school without killing myself with study-time.

 

Most people would agree that my first shot at LSAT practice should be a piece of cake, right? Ivy League grads automatically score excellently at every academic challenge they take on, right??

 

 

Nope! I was shocked to discover how hard the LSAT was.

 

I was about to experience such a turn around from feeling on top of the world to the bottom of it all!

 

With fantasies of a perfect 180, I took my first practice test and scored around 148-149, which is at most at the 40th percentile (which means I would’ve only scored better than 40% of test-takers).

 

What a wake-up call! I realized that the LSAT wasn’t going to be as simple as I thought! In fact, this test become the biggest academic challenge I had ever faced.

 

I hadn’t majored in Philosophy; I’d never taken a logic course. I was a complete newbie to the LSAT.

 

Finally, consistently doing worse than I expected at practice tests forced me to realize I had to do something. I couldn’t do this alone--I needed help.

 

So, I did what any ambitious student would do--I sought out all the courses, tutors, and resources I could.

 

I went through two full LSAT courses, bought tons of LSAT books, and soaked up all the books I could buy.

 

As I dove deeper into the test, I understood just how many hundreds of concepts were required to reach the score I wanted. I came to respect the test for what it was and all it asked of me.

 

With those courses, while I definitely improved, I got really frustrated by the fact that my teacher would briefly go over an important concept, and then my homework would task me with almost literally 100 test questions that I wasn’t prepared to tackle.

 

And the issue with the LSAT is (apart from the Logic Games, which can be easily repeated forever), once you learn the answer to a question, especially on the Logical Reasoning section, you’ve used up that question for good. When you read the question and learn the answer--you’re always going to remember what the answer is. They’re just that memorable.

 

So if you see that question again, you will have lost your chance to test yourself on that skill--in some cases, FOREVER.

 

And while my LSAT courses had a few exercises to drill skills into my head, I knew that I needed more.

 

And from my experiences as an English and SAT teacher, I knew how valuable repetition could be to a student. Most of my students’ problems were improved by focusing only on their weaknesses and drilling them up to top levels.

 

For any student willing to do the work, I know drills are an excellent way to help them understand and execute something at 100% capacity.

 

This is why I started writing my own drills as I studied for the LSAT. This is how I cracked the code to the test.

 

And nope, this wasn’t overnight. It wasn’t even over a week. It took me a year and a half of study before I felt ready to sit for the test.

 

I can’t describe how many ups and downs I went through studying. I put notes all over my bedroom walls to motivate myself. I tracked every single practice test result. Every goal achieved, every goal failed. All of the insights I could make as I went through each and every LSAT.

 

But finally...finally...my efforts paid off. Slowly, over time, my practice test scores went from the 140s to the high 170s-as high as the 99th percentile. Ultimately, I scored in the 96th percentile on the official LSAT!!

 

After I reached my goal, I realized that I still love teaching. I love helping other people achieve their dreams--and I’m great at it, too. I postponed going to law school to finish writing 400 Foundational LSAT Drills and to start LSAT Made Easy. I am happy to uplift ambitious people (like you!) and help them achieve their greatness.

 

In the end, all this goes to show:

 

You can and WILL achieve on the LSAT  if you do two things: (1) Decide you won’t settle for less than excellence. (2) Commit to the consistent work needed to reach that goal.

 

You won’t always feel happy to study. You won’t always feel motivated. But if you push through and show up for yourself--if you work towards the gold that is yours to claim--it will be yours.

 

Sincerely,

 

Deb

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