Score fluctuation fustration.

FlamingCow
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:41 pm

Score fluctuation fustration.

Postby FlamingCow » Tue May 18, 2010 4:38 pm

The last seven tests I've taken have gone like this: 172, 172, 175, 171, 175, 171, 171. I'm starting to get really frustrated with how widely they seem to be swinging, more so in the last five. There doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason to the questions I miss, either. On the test I took today, I missed enough questions across the test (-3 LR, -2 LR, -4 RC, -3 LG) to knock me down to a 171, whereas the 171 before it I missed 4 questions combined between the LR and RC sections, only to completely bomb (-8!) the games. To boot, on the last two tests I've straight up run out of time on the RC and LG sections, which I haven't been doing up until now.

On reviewing all of these tests, the mistakes are generally immediately apparent, especially with the logic games, which has me thinking I'm capable of consistently scoring higher. Even on the 175s I was kicking myself more than a few times for points I left hanging. I realize there are going to be a couple questions on each test that legitimately stump me; I just need to figure out how to cut out the stupid, avoidable mistakes. I'd like to be consistent enough I can know where to focus my efforts these last few weeks before the test, and have a general idea of what to expect on the real thing. I'd feel a lot more comfortable with a lower, tighter cluster (ie, 172-174) than my current wild swings.

I hope that rant makes some sort of sense. Anyone have any ideas as to how I can get more consistent? I've been keeping track of my scores and successes/failures by question type, especially the LR questions, and reviewing the bibles when I identify a problem. I'm still in the late 30's practice tests -- are the games really that much easier later? Do the LR/RC sections get harder to compensate?

Thanks for reading that mess.

User avatar
Dr. Strangelove
Posts: 557
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:59 pm

Re: Score fluctuation fustration.

Postby Dr. Strangelove » Tue May 18, 2010 4:43 pm

Two things
1.) 175 to 171 is not a very large fluctuation.
2.) You might want to take a day off from LSAT, then see if you can get back in the swing of things.

User avatar
puppleberry finn
Posts: 1036
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:03 pm

Re: Score fluctuation fustration.

Postby puppleberry finn » Tue May 18, 2010 4:47 pm

each test is a little different. based on your personal strengths and weaknesses, there are going to be some that are a little bit easier for you, and some that are a little bit harder. 171 v 175 is not a big enough difference to be considered "wild fluctuations." just take a deep breath, calm down, take a day or two off, and then go back to it. worry about not making the same mistakes over and over rather than obsessing over what your actual score on a given PT is.

FlamingCow
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:41 pm

Re: Score fluctuation fustration.

Postby FlamingCow » Tue May 18, 2010 6:20 pm

Maybe you guys are right. I should take a day off and decompress.

puppleberry finn wrote:worry about not making the same mistakes over and over rather than obsessing over what your actual score on a given PT is.


This is what I'm most worried about, though. My mistakes don't seem to be following much of a pattern. Most of the answers I get wrong are of the "oh yeah, duh" variety (not counting the several that really do trip me up). Is this any better or worse than having a section or problem type that I consistently get wrong?

JasonR
Posts: 421
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:09 am

Re: Score fluctuation fustration.

Postby JasonR » Tue May 18, 2010 6:47 pm

FlamingCow wrote:my current wild swings


These swings are not wild at all.

jman77
Posts: 510
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:33 pm

Re: Score fluctuation fustration.

Postby jman77 » Tue May 18, 2010 7:03 pm

JasonR wrote:
FlamingCow wrote:my current wild swings


These swings are not wild at all.


+1. The "true score" band is 6 points. Hence any fluctuation within 170-176 would not be a wild swing.

I have pretty much the same issue as you when I make mistakes on the LR and RC sections (the "duh" mistakes). I miss one word here or there that totally changes the complexion of the statement in relation to the question. I have addressed this by first of all recognizing that these are the types of mistakes I'm making (carelessness, not paying attention to detail), then making sure do the opposite as I'm working through the questions (stay aware/alert the whole time, be careful, pay attention to subtle nuances, etc.). Once you work through enough questions/tests, it becomes second nature to you.

Also, I've found that consistently using the elimination approach, even when there's an "obvious" correct answer that jumps out at me, helps me avoid mistakes due to carelessness. It takes some discipline not to pick the obvious choice right away and go through the whole elimination process, but it certainly pays dividends to do so.

FlamingCow
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:41 pm

Re: Score fluctuation fustration.

Postby FlamingCow » Tue May 18, 2010 7:45 pm

Thanks for the perspective.

jman77 wrote:Also, I've found that consistently using the elimination approach, even when there's an "obvious" correct answer that jumps out at me, helps me avoid mistakes due to carelessness. It takes some discipline not to pick the obvious choice right away and go through the whole elimination process, but it certainly pays dividends to do so.


I like the elimination method, but is it so feasible on logic games? I could see running out of time examining A--E every question, and time's been an issue for me lately. Do you run into that problem?

jman77
Posts: 510
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:33 pm

Re: Score fluctuation fustration.

Postby jman77 » Tue May 18, 2010 7:53 pm

FlamingCow wrote:Thanks for the perspective.

jman77 wrote:Also, I've found that consistently using the elimination approach, even when there's an "obvious" correct answer that jumps out at me, helps me avoid mistakes due to carelessness. It takes some discipline not to pick the obvious choice right away and go through the whole elimination process, but it certainly pays dividends to do so.


I like the elimination method, but is it so feasible on logic games? I could see running out of time examining A--E every question, and time's been an issue for me lately. Do you run into that problem?


Ahh, I was thinking more within the context of LR and RC. However, elimination can also help immensely with LG, i.e., eliminate the choices that clearly violate the rules and narrow down to a few answer choices. For instance, if one rule says M must always follow T, then you can always automatically eliminate any answer choice that violates this rule. Or if it says M can never be 1st, M must be 2nd or 4th, etc...

And yes, time has been my major issue with LG. But eliminating answers that violate rules has helped me answer questions quicker in cases where my templates do not readily yield the correct answer. Also, the fewer the answer choices I'm considering, the less likely I pick the wrong answer carelessly.

User avatar
puppleberry finn
Posts: 1036
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:03 pm

Re: Score fluctuation fustration.

Postby puppleberry finn » Tue May 18, 2010 8:14 pm

FlamingCow wrote:Maybe you guys are right. I should take a day off and decompress.

puppleberry finn wrote:worry about not making the same mistakes over and over rather than obsessing over what your actual score on a given PT is.


This is what I'm most worried about, though. My mistakes don't seem to be following much of a pattern. Most of the answers I get wrong are of the "oh yeah, duh" variety (not counting the several that really do trip me up). Is this any better or worse than having a section or problem type that I consistently get wrong?


this means you are being too careless; I don't know how your timing is working out--are you finishing sections with enough time to go back and re-look at problems? if so, you need to slow down on the original take and try not to rush through so much.

FlamingCow
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:41 pm

Re: Score fluctuation fustration.

Postby FlamingCow » Tue May 18, 2010 8:20 pm

jman77 wrote:Ahh, I was thinking more within the context of LR and RC. However, elimination can also help immensely with LG, i.e., eliminate the choices that clearly violate the rules and narrow down to a few answer choices. For instance, if one rule says M must always follow T, then you can always automatically eliminate any answer choice that violates this rule. Or if it says M can never be 1st, M must be 2nd or 4th, etc...

And yes, time has been my major issue with LG. But eliminating answers that violate rules has helped me answer questions quicker in cases where my templates do not readily yield the correct answer. Also, the fewer the answer choices I'm considering, the less likely I pick the wrong answer carelessly.


Yeah, that's where I use it pretty liberally, too, and it really helps.

I've actually tried to move away from investigating each answer choice on games, especially the ones that are pretty straightforward like you described. I've picked up some time on that, and accuracy is getting better, but not nearly perfect. I still get paranoid, though, that I've missed or messed up an inference and that's throwing my ability to find a right answer and move on. I actually missed an easy question doing that today (the "duh" variety).

Anything else you're doing to pick up time on the games?

FlamingCow
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:41 pm

Re: Score fluctuation fustration.

Postby FlamingCow » Tue May 18, 2010 8:23 pm

puppleberry finn wrote:this means you are being too careless; I don't know how your timing is working out--are you finishing sections with enough time to go back and re-look at problems? if so, you need to slow down on the original take and try not to rush through so much.


Carelessness is definitely a problem, one I'm trying to address. I generally finish the sections with a minute or two to spare, so pacing is still potentially an issue (especially on logic games).

I've been out of school for about three years now, so it's been a bit more difficult than I was expecting getting back into this mode of thinking. All the same, I'm making progress on reading for details and getting the feel of the language of questions.

dk8
Posts: 495
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:39 pm

Re: Score fluctuation fustration.

Postby dk8 » Tue May 18, 2010 8:40 pm

JasonR wrote:
FlamingCow wrote:my current wild swings


These swings are not wild at all.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Score fluctuation fustration.

Postby romothesavior » Tue May 18, 2010 8:43 pm

This thread is retarded.

Scores within the 171-175 range are not wild swings. There is a reason LSAC releases a score band along with your raw score.

User avatar
jdstl
Posts: 216
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 6:48 pm

Re: Score fluctuation fustration.

Postby jdstl » Tue May 18, 2010 9:26 pm

I'm with you man.

I'm running 171, 172, 176, 172, 174, 172 on my last tests. While such swings may be statistically un-avoidable, they can be psychologically brutal. Especially when the swing might be the difference between HLS or Stanford and the lower T10. That said, I think all we can do is keep practicing until test day.

I'm getting better on logic games (like you, have trouble finishing), but always make 2-3 careless mistakes on the LR/RC sections (vary from -0 to -3 on those).

User avatar
acrossthelake
Posts: 4432
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Score fluctuation fustration.

Postby acrossthelake » Tue May 18, 2010 10:09 pm

If it makes you feel any better, I also had (mild, your case is mild) fluctuation and actually scored my lowest practice LSAT ever as one of my last three practice exams before the actual exam--I was being careless during some practice exams(because they didn't actually count, and I was tired), but was able to zone in on the real thing, so make sure to get lots of sleep. :-)

User avatar
CryingMonkey
Posts: 150
Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 1:22 pm

Re: Score fluctuation fustration.

Postby CryingMonkey » Wed May 19, 2010 4:04 pm

I'd definitely go with the elimination method on the non-LG sections. If you're scoring in the 170s you're probably finishing with time to spare. I've found since I've started eliminating all the incorrect choices - even on easy questions - I've been more reliable, particularly on LR. On the games I'm having issues finishing on time as well, so that's out, but if you can get consistently -0/-1 on the LR sections, you can afford to drop a couple of questions on the games.

User avatar
TCScrutinizer
Posts: 497
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 11:01 pm

Re: Score fluctuation fustration.

Postby TCScrutinizer » Wed May 19, 2010 8:21 pm

FlamingCow wrote:Maybe you guys are right. I should take a day off and decompress.

puppleberry finn wrote:worry about not making the same mistakes over and over rather than obsessing over what your actual score on a given PT is.


This is what I'm most worried about, though. My mistakes don't seem to be following much of a pattern. Most of the answers I get wrong are of the "oh yeah, duh" variety (not counting the several that really do trip me up). Is this any better or worse than having a section or problem type that I consistently get wrong?


IMO, if your mistakes are duh-inducing and follow no pattern, you've hit your ceiling.




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests