Why can't I break down the 170+ barrier?

Madman
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:14 pm

Why can't I break down the 170+ barrier?

Postby Madman » Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:08 pm

I am about 20 PT's in and I have gotten a 175 only on one practice test thus far (PT 46) and the rest of the time seem stagnant in the mid 160's (162-167). Whats odd is on these newer tests my weaknesses seem to be all over the place.

PT: 49
LG -0
LR -12 (total)
RC -2

Score = 166

PT: 50
LG -7
LR -3 (total)
RC -5

Score = 166

I am getting super annoyed as I feel like I am almost about to break the 170 barrier but then the wheels fall off one of the sections.

I could use any advice. What can I do in the next week and a half as I write in Feb.

Cheers all.

User avatar
reasonabledoubt
Posts: 516
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:24 pm

Re: Why can't I break down the 170+ barrier?

Postby reasonabledoubt » Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:15 pm

Madman wrote:I am about 20 PT's in and I have gotten a 175 only on one practice test thus far (PT 46) and the rest of the time seem stagnant in the mid 160's (162-167). Whats odd is on these newer tests my weaknesses seem to be all over the place.

PT: 49
LG -0
LR -12 (total)
RC -2

Score = 166

PT: 50
LG -7
LR -3 (total)
RC -5

Score = 166

I am getting super annoyed as I feel like I am almost about to break the 170 barrier but then the wheels fall off one of the sections.

I could use any advice. What can I do in the next week and a half as I write in Feb.

Cheers all.



The fact that you missed 0 on one LG and the -7 on the other is a peculiar inconsistency.... I'd really study the types of questions that give you trouble. Really try to understand what you were thinking on the -7 section and you might expose your weakness/then be able to fix it.

User avatar
Nom Sawyer
Posts: 933
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:28 am

Re: Why can't I break down the 170+ barrier?

Postby Nom Sawyer » Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:15 pm

Madman wrote:I am about 20 PT's in and I have gotten a 175 only on one practice test thus far (PT 46) and the rest of the time seem stagnant in the mid 160's (162-167). Whats odd is on these newer tests my weaknesses seem to be all over the place.

PT: 49
LG -0
LR -12 (total)
RC -2

Score = 166

PT: 50
LG -7
LR -3 (total)
RC -5

Score = 166

I am getting super annoyed as I feel like I am almost about to break the 170 barrier but then the wheels fall off one of the sections.

I could use any advice. What can I do in the next week and a half as I write in Feb.

Cheers all.


Carefully review each question you got wrong until you know why you made the mistake and understand what the right answer is. Then type up the ones you found hardest or copy em or w/e, and save em all in a file so you can review ur mistakes in one easy package.

Then take the next PT. Rinse, repeat until your scores start to improve. Seeing as you only have a week and a half you probably want to do at least one PT every 1-2 days.

floppymex
Posts: 118
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:00 pm

Re: Why can't I break down the 170+ barrier?

Postby floppymex » Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:27 pm

The biggest leap I felt to get through 170 was that I was quickly paraphrasing in my mind why each AC was incorrect/correct. It's essentially like the explanations on publications like the Official LSAT SuperPrep, but after much practice you can internalize that analysis and do it quickly. If I were you, I would write a small explanation to why each AC is right/wrong with the problems you get wrong, as well as the problems you have difficulty with. Nothing too specific, but nothing too broad either. Write it out in language that you know comes up repeatedly in LSAT problems like flaws in reasoning, incorrect reversals/negations, part to whole~whole to part mistakes, etc...

rookhawk
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:44 am

Re: Why can't I break down the 170+ barrier?

Postby rookhawk » Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:33 pm

Also be aware that your PTs will net different results than the actual test. We rely on old PT to learn the LSAT but the older PTs have MUCH harder logic games and MUCH easier LR/RC.

If possible, try to take the newest practice tests as close representation of your actual score.

In many of my PTs I was initially getting -15 on logic games. With study I was getting -8. On modern PTs and the actual I was getting -5 or less. The inverse was my RC/LR scores go down the newer the PT.

The theory is that people have studied so hard, and the availability of tools to improve LG scores is so readily available, they need to make the other sections harder to maintain their average score distributions.

melinda.corbin
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:35 am

Re: Why can't I break down the 170+ barrier?

Postby melinda.corbin » Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:40 pm

Madman wrote:I am about 20 PT's in and I have gotten a 175 only on one practice test thus far (PT 46) and the rest of the time seem stagnant in the mid 160's (162-167). Whats odd is on these newer tests my weaknesses seem to be all over the place.

PT: 49
LG -0
LR -12 (total)
RC -2

Score = 166

PT: 50
LG -7
LR -3 (total)
RC -5

Score = 166

I am getting super annoyed as I feel like I am almost about to break the 170 barrier but then the wheels fall off one of the sections.

I could use any advice. What can I do in the next week and a half as I write in Feb.

Cheers all.

Patience plays a great role in getting exceptional score in any exam. Anger, frustration and haste to score 100% are the reasons which are not letting you reach your peak goal. Work in Obama style and let the health bill pass patiently. Find out what questions you got wrong and revise the rules which you forgot during the test and still if mistakes are happening then write all rules which you most frequently forget, create a big chart and stick that chart on the ceiling and walls of your room so whenever you watch around you can remember the areas to focus. It worked out for me so I hope it should work for atleast some people.

keg411
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: Why can't I break down the 170+ barrier?

Postby keg411 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:32 pm

floppymex wrote:The biggest leap I felt to get through 170 was that I was quickly paraphrasing in my mind why each AC was incorrect/correct. It's essentially like the explanations on publications like the Official LSAT SuperPrep, but after much practice you can internalize that analysis and do it quickly. If I were you, I would write a small explanation to why each AC is right/wrong with the problems you get wrong, as well as the problems you have difficulty with. Nothing too specific, but nothing too broad either. Write it out in language that you know comes up repeatedly in LSAT problems like flaws in reasoning, incorrect reversals/negations, part to whole~whole to part mistakes, etc...


Going to attempt this on harder LR's. See if it makes a difference or not (I'm in a similar spot to the OP where I'm mostly in the mid-upper 160's). I could tell when I broke out of the low 160's (where I scored) and where I'm PT'ing now... just want one more break through :).

Flanker1067
Posts: 658
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:47 pm

Re: Why can't I break down the 170+ barrier?

Postby Flanker1067 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:39 pm

Don't know if this is you, but when I was taking PT's, I had a really hard time focusing for a full test. I would do great on some sections then as soon as the frustrating one came along I would go downhill. I know I am a pretty good test taker but I didn't feel like it till I sat down for the real one.

Jph408
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:19 pm

Re: Why can't I break down the 170+ barrier?

Postby Jph408 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:59 pm

This is what helped me

Logical Reasoning:
1. Look over your wrong answers to see what question types you are weak in and learn the strategies for them
2. Going over your incorrect answers will help out immensly, but only when you work review them to the point where you know 100% why each answer choice is correct and incorrect. Don't rush this process, it's better to spend a lot of time to do a few correctly than to try to review as many as possible.
3. Also, practice on maintaining your focus throughout the entire section. Meaning, you have to be actively reading each stimulus to understand the argument and how it's being made. If you don't understand the argument made in a stimulus then the tips everyone gave you won't help much.
4. Also, don't rush though the section. The first thing you should focus on is accuracy. When you rush, you will develop the bad habit of glazing over the stimulus. Take your time and you will gradually build speed as you improve. This was the biggest hurdle for me. I used to rush through sections and make dumb mistakes. Now I can go through an entire LR section in under 30 minutes while reading carefully w/o feeling rushed.

Logic Games:
1. Get comfortable with all the different game types by practicing and reviewing them constantly. Even if you are familiar with the game, do it again to solidify the techniques in your head. You want your approach on test day to be second nature.
2. If you are running out of time, I would focusmostly on the game types that have been showing upp in recent tests.
3. Again, try not to rush. You want to develop a habit of doing things accurately and carefully. The speed will comewith practice.

Reading Comprehension:
1. This is the hardest section for me and I stil don't feel comfortable with it.
2. If you have to, take a bit longer to read. Power Score recommends taking no longer than 2 min 30 sec to read a passage, but I take 3 minutes just because I need it. You should adjust your strategy to what works best for you, but I think you shouldn't take more than 3 minutes if you want to complete all 4 passages since with my reading speed I barely finish under the 35 minute limit.
3. Don't worry about trying to remember every little detail in each passage. Just try to get down the main point and the main features supporting it and the structure of the passage (i.e. what is the point of each paragraph)

In general (I got this from another post somwhere on TLS):
1. Work on accuracy 1st
2. Once you got accuracy down, adjust your speed appropriately, but if you are good by then this will be moot.
3. Now work on endurance (being able to focus during the entire exam)

rookhawk
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:44 am

Re: Why can't I break down the 170+ barrier?

Postby rookhawk » Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:05 pm

An LSAT guru I spoke with added one more suggestion to the mix:

Add an additional section from another PT to your LSAT so you are taking an "experimental" during each session. Therefore, after every 4 exams you'll have completed 5 PTs that accurately represent your scores. Plus, you'll be coping with the actual test lengths.

I thought it wasn't a bad idea although I haven't implemented it yet myself.

keg411
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: Why can't I break down the 170+ barrier?

Postby keg411 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:28 pm

rookhawk wrote:An LSAT guru I spoke with added one more suggestion to the mix:

Add an additional section from another PT to your LSAT so you are taking an "experimental" during each session. Therefore, after every 4 exams you'll have completed 5 PTs that accurately represent your scores. Plus, you'll be coping with the actual test lengths.

I thought it wasn't a bad idea although I haven't implemented it yet myself.


That should be a given.

User avatar
Kiersten1985
Posts: 784
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 3:36 pm

Re: Why can't I break down the 170+ barrier?

Postby Kiersten1985 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:32 pm

You do realize that 99% of test takers are in your situation, right?

Madman
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:14 pm

Re: Why can't I break down the 170+ barrier?

Postby Madman » Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:58 pm

Kiersten1985 wrote:You do realize that 99% of test takers are in your situation, right?


I totally do. I think I may just be experiencing some frustration, as I have been at this for 6 months and cannot seem to nail any one part of the test completely down. I seemed to be nailing LG (-0) and then all of the sudden this -7 creeps around. I think I am just bothered by the fluctuations I experience from test to test in sections that I think I finally have under control. I was struggling with new LR and then I get -3 total. It's just weird.

I can't seem to hone in on one particular weakness, besides just being too darn slow and unable to finish most of the sections on time. Timing is what seems to hold me back on all sections.

keg411
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: Why can't I break down the 170+ barrier?

Postby keg411 » Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:20 pm

Just did it on PT51 :).

47/50-LR
21/22-LG
22/28-RC (ran out of time)
90/100; 170

So now my PT's (for my re-take) go: 167, 168, 165, 165, 170 (and unlike the last 170 I got this one did not feel flukey). Still have a couple more PT's to go before next week.

7ED
Posts: 276
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:26 pm

Re: Why can't I break down the 170+ barrier?

Postby 7ED » Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:34 pm

Its because the Reading comprehension is harder on the newer tests. I also noticed the LR questions are a bit more abstract than they usually are. Great for people who dig this stuff, for me it took a couple tests to adjust, im still adjusting in fact to the new RC styles. Practice practice practices I guess?

What I do is I do 2 sections of RC from similarly numbered tests i've already done in between days i do practice exams.




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: cianchetta0, jagerbom79, PantoroB, sakanaya, towel13661 and 4 guests