I got murdered on my first LSAT- Am I done for with T10?

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TheGreatJustice
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I got murdered on my first LSAT- Am I done for with T10?

Postby TheGreatJustice » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:14 pm

I was Pt'ing in the high 160s and even got to 171-172 a couple times. I don't know what happened during the actual test. I got a 158. I was in denial at first, but sure enough all my answers were there. I was so ashamed of myself, I didn't know how this could happen. I got -17 out of the LR (both together) when usually I get -2 to -4. I got -9 on the RC when usually I get -1 or -2. Where I usually do worst (LG), I did best, I got -6 which is acceptable. I rushed, I panicked, I was stupid. It's as if I forget all the tactics I used before.

I am a third year student in Canada and this was my first LSAT, and although I wanted to go to law school since high school, I didn't expect to apply until my forth, but I thought I'd put my hat in the ring and just get a general degree instead of finishing 4 years. I only studied for the LSAT for two months (since I didn't thing of applying this year till school started in Sept). I have decided to finish my honours (the fourth year) and apply again next cycle with a higher LSAT score.

Lately I've had thoughts about applying to Harvard, Stanford, and Columbia as well as in Canada after finishing my honours next year (my GPA is about 3.95), after retaking the LSAT and hopefully redeeming myself with a score in the mid 170s.

Two questions:

How screwed am I with Harvard, Stanford and Columbia because of the first LSAT? If it's relevant, I had parents leaving the country two days after the LSAT (to Iraq if that adds anything), I had to take an extra shift at work (family business, I had no choice). So I was under much more stress than usual.

Should I take the June or October LSAT? Taking it in June would allow me to have a month of nothing to do but study for the LSAT and the test would be at noon instead of 8:30. But taking it in October would give me the entire summer to study.

Let me just end this by again saying how ashamed I am of myself.

chingwoo
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Re: I got murdered on my first LSAT- Am I done for with T10?

Postby chingwoo » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:18 pm

If you browse TLS, retakes are almost always a good option. Also there are multiple threads of people being accepted to H with multiple retakes. So in short, no you aren't done. Also I like the June test since it allows you to apply in September, if you screw that up then you still have October.

If you think you can prep for June, then by all means take June.

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Nucky
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Re: I got murdered on my first LSAT- Am I done for with T10?

Postby Nucky » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:19 pm

TheGreatJustice wrote:I was Pt'ing in the high 160s and even got to 171-172 a couple times. I don't know what happened during the actual test. I got a 158. I was in denial at first, but sure enough all my answers were there. I was so ashamed of myself, I didn't know how this could happen. I got -17 out of the LR (both together) when usually I get -2 to -4. I got -9 on the RC when usually I get -1 or -2. Where I usually do worst (LG), I did best, I got -6 which is acceptable. I rushed, I panicked, I was stupid. It's as if I forget all the tactics I used before.

I am a third year student in Canada and this was my first LSAT, and although I wanted to go to law school since high school, I didn't expect to apply until my forth, but I thought I'd put my hat in the ring and just get a general degree instead of finishing 4 years. I only studied for the LSAT for two months (since I didn't thing of applying this year till school started in Sept). I have decided to finish my honours (the fourth year) and apply again next cycle with a higher LSAT score.

Lately I've had thoughts about applying to Harvard, Stanford, and Columbia as well as in Canada after finishing my honours next year (my GPA is about 3.95), after retaking the LSAT and hopefully redeeming myself with a score in the mid 170s.

Two questions:

How fucked am I with Harvard, Stanford and Columbia because of the first LSAT? If it's relevant, I had parents leaving the country two days after the LSAT (to Iraq if that adds anything), I had to take an extra shift at work (family business, I had no choice). So I was under much more stress than usual.

Should I take the June or October LSAT? Taking it in June would allow me to have a month of nothing to do but study for the LSAT and the test would be at noon instead of 8:30. But taking it in October would give me the entire summer to study.

Let me just end this by again saying how ashamed I am of myself.


I think the CW on TLS is that practically all schools take your highest score, and this site is full of people who scored lower than you, then studied, retook, and ended up at a t10.

A 158 wont get you into HYS but it is nothing to be ashamed of either. It is a decent score, though one you may be disappointed with.

Long story short, study, retake when you are ready, and you'll be fine.

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Nucky
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Re: I got murdered on my first LSAT- Am I done for with T10?

Postby Nucky » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:20 pm

chingwoo wrote:If you browse TLS, retakes are almost always a good option. Also there are multiple threads of people being accepted to H with multiple retakes. So in short, no you aren't done. Also I like the June test since it allows you to apply in September, if you screw that up then you still have October.

If you think you can prep for June, then by all means take June.


Agree with this. You have approx 5 months until June administration. I would aim for that. Especially if you've already PTed in the 170s. Sounds like you just need to iron out a few things and work on consistency.

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TheGreatJustice
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Re: I got murdered on my first LSAT- Am I done for with T10?

Postby TheGreatJustice » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:22 pm

Nucky wrote:
chingwoo wrote:If you browse TLS, retakes are almost always a good option. Also there are multiple threads of people being accepted to H with multiple retakes. So in short, no you aren't done. Also I like the June test since it allows you to apply in September, if you screw that up then you still have October.

If you think you can prep for June, then by all means take June.


Agree with this. You have approx 5 months until June administration. I would aim for that.


But I'll only have May in that case to dedicate my entire time of study.

Are October LSATs at noon? Because I feel, at least for me, that is a relevant factor. Being more awake and aware would help calm my nerves.

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RhymesLikeDimes
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Re: I got murdered on my first LSAT- Am I done for with T10?

Postby RhymesLikeDimes » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:35 pm

158 is bad, but it's not 'OMG WHAT A MORON!' bad. I'd say the majority of people who end up scoring in the 170s start out at around 150-160. If you pull a 170+ next time around, adcoms are just going to look at that 158 as what a lack of preparation got you. A 158 without much prep is nothing to be ashamed of, and neither is wetting the bed on your first go-around.

A 128 would probably kill you in the T6; a 158 is nothing to worry about.

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sandwich
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Re: I got murdered on my first LSAT- Am I done for with T10?

Postby sandwich » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:38 pm

it might sound silly, but:

usually, when people are testing in the 170s and then have a huge drop on test day, it's one of two things: either you weren't studying properly (I did lsat tutoring for a while, and you'd be amazed at the number of people who claim 170+ tests... WITHOUT A TIMER!), or, more likely, there is some kind of test anxiety issue going on.

If you're consistently testing where you want to be (or, ideally, just above), it would seem that the actual "intellectual" part is solid, so 5 months is plenty of study time. IF you're PTing at an acceptable level for you, I might focus a little on improvement, a good amount on maintenance, but then also a decent amount on like breath control and mental calming techniques to beat that anxiety. If a legit testing situation stresses you out, it really doesn't matter where you are PTing if you can't calm down enough to think clearly.

Of course, I might be totally off base here. but it's an often-overlooked part of testing for a good number of people. People who figure, "I'm testing in the high 170's, and sure, I have text anxiety, but that should knock 10 points max off my score" and get in there and faint. If i'm way off, my bad! But if there's even a chance that text anxiety played a part, maybe look into meditation techniques or (especially) breath control and mental calming exercises. Definitely won't hurt, and could help a ton.


And, also, as has been expressed already, a 158 isn't the end of the world by any means. just focus all your energy on your next attempt and don't dwell on the past! Good luck!

Trout et al
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Re: I got murdered on my first LSAT- Am I done for with T10?

Postby Trout et al » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:40 pm

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Last edited by Trout et al on Sun Apr 03, 2016 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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goldenflash19
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Re: I got murdered on my first LSAT- Am I done for with T10?

Postby goldenflash19 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:41 pm

I took the LSAT four times, my first being in the low 160s, and got into H this cycle. I had the exact same thoughts after I got back my first score. You'll be okay. Bust your ass for June, treat studying that last month like it's a full time job, and retake again in October if necessary. Good luck.

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TheGreatJustice
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Re: I got murdered on my first LSAT- Am I done for with T10?

Postby TheGreatJustice » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:47 pm

sandwich wrote:it might sound silly, but:

usually, when people are testing in the 170s and then have a huge drop on test day, it's one of two things: either you weren't studying properly (I did lsat tutoring for a while, and you'd be amazed at the number of people who claim 170+ tests... WITHOUT A TIMER!), or, more likely, there is some kind of test anxiety issue going on.

If you're consistently testing where you want to be (or, ideally, just above), it would seem that the actual "intellectual" part is solid, so 5 months is plenty of study time. IF you're PTing at an acceptable level for you, I might focus a little on improvement, a good amount on maintenance, but then also a decent amount on like breath control and mental calming techniques to beat that anxiety. If a legit testing situation stresses you out, it really doesn't matter where you are PTing if you can't calm down enough to think clearly.

Of course, I might be totally off base here. but it's an often-overlooked part of testing for a good number of people. People who figure, "I'm testing in the high 170's, and sure, I have text anxiety, but that should knock 10 points max off my score" and get in there and faint. If i'm way off, my bad! But if there's even a chance that text anxiety played a part, maybe look into meditation techniques or (especially) breath control and mental calming exercises. Definitely won't hurt, and could help a ton.


And, also, as has been expressed already, a 158 isn't the end of the world by any means. just focus all your energy on your next attempt and don't dwell on the past! Good luck!


I think it was test anxiety. Like I said, I had a lot of stress at the time from family stuff and work. When I look back at the questions I missed, I see that it was mainly because I just went too quickly, I would look at my watch and say "wow, im making great time," little did I know all the stupid mistakes I made.

I was taking timed tests, but to be 100% honest, I may have given myself 36 minutes instead of 35 in a couple places here and there. That extra time I gave myself during prep was probably a factor.

I'm going to buy an actual timer this time instead of just using an analog watch. I'm also going to PT in some "louder" places than my room as well like in libraries or coffee shops just to condition myself further.

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Nucky
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Re: I got murdered on my first LSAT- Am I done for with T10?

Postby Nucky » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:55 pm

TheGreatJustice wrote:
sandwich wrote:it might sound silly, but:

usually, when people are testing in the 170s and then have a huge drop on test day, it's one of two things: either you weren't studying properly (I did lsat tutoring for a while, and you'd be amazed at the number of people who claim 170+ tests... WITHOUT A TIMER!), or, more likely, there is some kind of test anxiety issue going on.

If you're consistently testing where you want to be (or, ideally, just above), it would seem that the actual "intellectual" part is solid, so 5 months is plenty of study time. IF you're PTing at an acceptable level for you, I might focus a little on improvement, a good amount on maintenance, but then also a decent amount on like breath control and mental calming techniques to beat that anxiety. If a legit testing situation stresses you out, it really doesn't matter where you are PTing if you can't calm down enough to think clearly.

Of course, I might be totally off base here. but it's an often-overlooked part of testing for a good number of people. People who figure, "I'm testing in the high 170's, and sure, I have text anxiety, but that should knock 10 points max off my score" and get in there and faint. If i'm way off, my bad! But if there's even a chance that text anxiety played a part, maybe look into meditation techniques or (especially) breath control and mental calming exercises. Definitely won't hurt, and could help a ton.


And, also, as has been expressed already, a 158 isn't the end of the world by any means. just focus all your energy on your next attempt and don't dwell on the past! Good luck!


I think it was test anxiety. Like I said, I had a lot of stress at the time from family stuff and work. When I look back at the questions I missed, I see that it was mainly because I just went too quickly, I would look at my watch and say "wow, im making great time," little did I know all the stupid mistakes I made.

I was taking timed tests, but to be 100% honest, I may have given myself 36 minutes instead of 35 in a couple places here and there. That extra time I gave myself during prep was probably a factor.

I'm going to buy an actual timer this time instead of just using an analog watch. I'm also going to PT in some "louder" places than my room as well like in libraries or coffee shops just to condition myself further.


http://www.180watch.com

:lol:

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sandwich
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Re: I got murdered on my first LSAT- Am I done for with T10?

Postby sandwich » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:58 pm

TheGreatJustice wrote:I think it was test anxiety. Like I said, I had a lot of stress at the time from family stuff and work. When I look back at the questions I missed, I see that it was mainly because I just went too quickly, I would look at my watch and say "wow, im making great time," little did I know all the stupid mistakes I made.

I was taking timed tests, but to be 100% honest, I may have given myself 36 minutes instead of 35 in a couple places here and there. That extra time I gave myself during prep was probably a factor.

I'm going to buy an actual timer this time instead of just using an analog watch. I'm also going to PT in some "louder" places than my room as well like in libraries or coffee shops just to condition myself further.


totally. all great ideas.

Also, without saying this is helpful or not, some people swear by working your way down to doing each section in 30 minutes. The idea behind this is to a) account for anxiety, b) give you more confidence on test day because you know you have PLENTY of time, and c) give you a cushion if the LSAT throws you a curveball. I'm also assuming that knocking out a section or two and checking all of your work and then sitting back and relaxing while everyone else is panicking for 5 more minutes only serves as a huge confidence boost and swings the momentum your way.

Again, without necessarily advocating for it, that's what I did and I think it contributed to my score in a VERY positive way. Your mileage may vary.

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TheGreatJustice
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Re: I got murdered on my first LSAT- Am I done for with T10?

Postby TheGreatJustice » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:59 pm

Nucky wrote:
TheGreatJustice wrote:
sandwich wrote:it might sound silly, but:

usually, when people are testing in the 170s and then have a huge drop on test day, it's one of two things: either you weren't studying properly (I did lsat tutoring for a while, and you'd be amazed at the number of people who claim 170+ tests... WITHOUT A TIMER!), or, more likely, there is some kind of test anxiety issue going on.

If you're consistently testing where you want to be (or, ideally, just above), it would seem that the actual "intellectual" part is solid, so 5 months is plenty of study time. IF you're PTing at an acceptable level for you, I might focus a little on improvement, a good amount on maintenance, but then also a decent amount on like breath control and mental calming techniques to beat that anxiety. If a legit testing situation stresses you out, it really doesn't matter where you are PTing if you can't calm down enough to think clearly.

Of course, I might be totally off base here. but it's an often-overlooked part of testing for a good number of people. People who figure, "I'm testing in the high 170's, and sure, I have text anxiety, but that should knock 10 points max off my score" and get in there and faint. If i'm way off, my bad! But if there's even a chance that text anxiety played a part, maybe look into meditation techniques or (especially) breath control and mental calming exercises. Definitely won't hurt, and could help a ton.


And, also, as has been expressed already, a 158 isn't the end of the world by any means. just focus all your energy on your next attempt and don't dwell on the past! Good luck!


I think it was test anxiety. Like I said, I had a lot of stress at the time from family stuff and work. When I look back at the questions I missed, I see that it was mainly because I just went too quickly, I would look at my watch and say "wow, im making great time," little did I know all the stupid mistakes I made.

I was taking timed tests, but to be 100% honest, I may have given myself 36 minutes instead of 35 in a couple places here and there. That extra time I gave myself during prep was probably a factor.

I'm going to buy an actual timer this time instead of just using an analog watch. I'm also going to PT in some "louder" places than my room as well like in libraries or coffee shops just to condition myself further.


http://www.180watch.com

:lol:
does it beep?

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TheGreatJustice
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Re: I got murdered on my first LSAT- Am I done for with T10?

Postby TheGreatJustice » Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:00 pm

sandwich wrote:
TheGreatJustice wrote:I think it was test anxiety. Like I said, I had a lot of stress at the time from family stuff and work. When I look back at the questions I missed, I see that it was mainly because I just went too quickly, I would look at my watch and say "wow, im making great time," little did I know all the stupid mistakes I made.

I was taking timed tests, but to be 100% honest, I may have given myself 36 minutes instead of 35 in a couple places here and there. That extra time I gave myself during prep was probably a factor.

I'm going to buy an actual timer this time instead of just using an analog watch. I'm also going to PT in some "louder" places than my room as well like in libraries or coffee shops just to condition myself further.


totally. all great ideas.

Also, without saying this is helpful or not, some people swear by working your way down to doing each section in 30 minutes. The idea behind this is to a) account for anxiety, b) give you more confidence on test day because you know you have PLENTY of time, and c) give you a cushion if the LSAT throws you a curveball. I'm also assuming that knocking out a section or two and checking all of your work and then sitting back and relaxing while everyone else is panicking for 5 more minutes only serves as a huge confidence boost and swings the momentum your way.

Again, without necessarily advocating for it, that's what I did and I think it contributed to my score in a VERY positive way. Your mileage may vary.
I was actually thinking the same thing, but 32 or 33 minutes instead. Those last 5 minutes are crucial for me in LG and RC.

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TheGreatJustice
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Re: I got murdered on my first LSAT- Am I done for with T10?

Postby TheGreatJustice » Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:06 pm

Well let me just say I truly do feel better after sharing my thoughts and concerns here.

Thanks.

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sandwich
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Re: I got murdered on my first LSAT- Am I done for with T10?

Postby sandwich » Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:14 pm

TheGreatJustice wrote:I was actually thinking the same thing, but 32 or 33 minutes instead. Those last 5 minutes are crucial for me in LG and RC.



Yeah, I feel it. This is why I kind of dance around saying things like "it's totally the best thing ever, you NEED to do it NOW!"... cause everyone's different! :)


But, I thought of one more thing that might help you. IF it's possible, do some actual PTing in the building where your lsat will be. Seriously. For example, mine was at a local college. So I went a few times in the days before test day and did a PT or two in the actual building.

This has several calming advantages. it familiarizes you with your testing environment. It makes sure you are familiar with the bus route/parking situation/other transportation considerations. you get experience with the typical ambient noise. These all build confidence on test day by making you feel more comfortable in a familiar environment and less like you're in a brand-new, stressful environment.

And really, these are all part of a larger strategy, which is basically based around familiarity and confidence. Do whatever you can to familiarize yourself with your testing environment, and do whatever you can to build confidence and reduce stress. Get there EARLY so you're not stressed and rushing. Establish a routine leading up to test day (get on the LSAT sleep schedule early, etc). I ate the same thing for breakfast for the week leading up to the test (probably overkill, but even such a simple routine can help to reduce stress that morning).

Familiarity and confidence. Good luck!

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Nucky
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Re: I got murdered on my first LSAT- Am I done for with T10?

Postby Nucky » Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:17 pm

TheGreatJustice wrote:
Nucky wrote:
TheGreatJustice wrote:
sandwich wrote:it might sound silly, but:

usually, when people are testing in the 170s and then have a huge drop on test day, it's one of two things: either you weren't studying properly (I did lsat tutoring for a while, and you'd be amazed at the number of people who claim 170+ tests... WITHOUT A TIMER!), or, more likely, there is some kind of test anxiety issue going on.

If you're consistently testing where you want to be (or, ideally, just above), it would seem that the actual "intellectual" part is solid, so 5 months is plenty of study time. IF you're PTing at an acceptable level for you, I might focus a little on improvement, a good amount on maintenance, but then also a decent amount on like breath control and mental calming techniques to beat that anxiety. If a legit testing situation stresses you out, it really doesn't matter where you are PTing if you can't calm down enough to think clearly.

Of course, I might be totally off base here. but it's an often-overlooked part of testing for a good number of people. People who figure, "I'm testing in the high 170's, and sure, I have text anxiety, but that should knock 10 points max off my score" and get in there and faint. If i'm way off, my bad! But if there's even a chance that text anxiety played a part, maybe look into meditation techniques or (especially) breath control and mental calming exercises. Definitely won't hurt, and could help a ton.


And, also, as has been expressed already, a 158 isn't the end of the world by any means. just focus all your energy on your next attempt and don't dwell on the past! Good luck!


I think it was test anxiety. Like I said, I had a lot of stress at the time from family stuff and work. When I look back at the questions I missed, I see that it was mainly because I just went too quickly, I would look at my watch and say "wow, im making great time," little did I know all the stupid mistakes I made.

I was taking timed tests, but to be 100% honest, I may have given myself 36 minutes instead of 35 in a couple places here and there. That extra time I gave myself during prep was probably a factor.

I'm going to buy an actual timer this time instead of just using an analog watch. I'm also going to PT in some "louder" places than my room as well like in libraries or coffee shops just to condition myself further.


http://www.180watch.com

:lol:
does it beep?


No, it doesn't. It is specifically designed for the LSAT, obviously.

Lots of people slam it on TLS but if cost isn't a concern I would recommend it. Makes the process easier.

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sandwich
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Re: I got murdered on my first LSAT- Am I done for with T10?

Postby sandwich » Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:27 pm

Nucky wrote:
No, it doesn't. It is specifically designed for the LSAT, obviously.

Lots of people slam it on TLS but if cost isn't a concern I would recommend it. Makes the process easier.



And, as another fun "familiarity and confidence" side note (and then I'll stop, I swear! :D):

It's kind of freakishly stressful to go from timing yourself with your cell phone or microwave or whatever to all of a sudden trying to figure out an analog watch in a high-pressure situation. Most people our age don't have to use an analog watch on a regular basis, and therefore are slower at figuring out the time. It often requires math, and this is just more time and more stress. It SUCKS to have the proctor start a section at 10:47 and have an analog watch. you have to riddle out the exact time, and then do some stupid math, and then figure out where the exact ending time is on your watch, and then remember that exact ending point for 35 stressful minutes.

The 180 watch is basically a 35 minute timer that resets to exactly 35 minutes instantaneously, and doesn't make you do math t figure out how much time you have left. Again, can't say it's appropriate for all people, but it's a neat idea that's specifically designed to reduce stress. Plus, if you practice using that watch beforehand (like, for all your PTs), that's just one more familiar thing that's in there with you on test day. These little things sound super stupid taken individually, but together, they really, really add up.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: I got murdered on my first LSAT- Am I done for with T10?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:12 am

It sounds like you just need to study a lot more and you'll score higher. With enough effort you should be able to consistently get down to -0 or -1 on games. If you thought -6 was acceptable on that section you were already dead in the water. Get games down, tighten up the other two sections (especially LR) and understand that the second time around is easier than the first.

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cron1834
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Re: I got murdered on my first LSAT- Am I done for with T10?

Postby cron1834 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:30 am

You shouldn't be ashamed of 158. You should want to do better, but you a) still beat 80+ % of testers and b) only took one crack at it. It's far from shameful.

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KatyMarie
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Re: I got murdered on my first LSAT- Am I done for with T10?

Postby KatyMarie » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:36 am

You're being way too hard on yourself, a 158 isn't shameful by any means. That means you can do better than most of the people in that room while rushing through and being stressed out. Take a deep breath and come up with a game plan. Don't ignore the external stresses you're facing either....if you can reduce your life stress overall, that'll help reduce test day stress.

If you can take that whole month to devote to study, you're in a great position to knock the June LSAT out of the park.

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lawschool22
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Re: I got murdered on my first LSAT- Am I done for with T10?

Postby lawschool22 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:06 pm

Just chiming in here to say that I used the 180 Watch (I know it gets ridiculed here all the time) and I'm so glad I did. It's one less thing to worry about on test day, and if you're already susceptible to anxiety, I would get it. Just order it well in advance, because close to the test date the run out. Or PM me, I have one for sale :D

Also, 158 is nothing to be ashamed of. Get involved in the LSAT Prep forum on this site, join the thread for June LSAT preppers, share your successes and failures, ask questions, etc. This place will steer you in the right direction and have you in the 170+ range by June.

Finally, most schools couldn't care less about multiple scores. The only ones I could see maybe caring are Y & S. But it has been well-documented/proven through anecdotal evidence on this site that H does not care.




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