Why can't I improve my LSAT Score?

What should I do?

Poll ended at Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:43 pm

Continue to take the June Test.
4
9%
No-Show the June test and simply study for the October Test.
9
20%
Take a prep course through PS before the October Test.
14
32%
Keep studying 4+ hrs/day until the June test.
4
9%
Take a break from studying for a couple days.
9
20%
Give up on the idea of going to Law school altogether.
4
9%
 
Total votes: 44

User avatar
fmacaluso
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:32 pm

Why can't I improve my LSAT Score?

Postby fmacaluso » Mon May 24, 2010 11:43 pm

I'm an engineer working in my field for 5 years. I'm now 27 and want to go to Law School for Fall 2010 enrollment. I've registerd for and have been studying for the June test for 5 solid weeks now, not scoring any higher than a 150 on my practice tests. With my 3.2GPA, I don't think I have a shot at many schools and I am beyond discouraged at my stagnant, depressing score.

WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?!? I'm taking practice test after practice test. I've been studying minimum 4hrs per day on top of my 45hr/week job. I'm familiar with the question types and the sections and timing...etc. I've tried different strategies. I've purchased/read the LGB & LRB, but I simply can't grasp the concepts.

It seems that I'm reading questions & passages 3x to understand them and then apply it to the correct answer choice. I've tried adderall to gain concentration, but it doesn't seem to be helping.

Logic Games are easy to me. I have been doing well with them, but my RC & LR SUCK. I feel like giving up and throwing in the towel with the attitude of, "It's not for me. If it takes this much work to get this score on the LSAT, then I'll never make it through the first year of Law School".

What am I doing wrong? Thanks for your help.

spark1330
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:22 am

Re: Why can't I improve my LSAT Score?

Postby spark1330 » Mon May 24, 2010 11:53 pm

How many PTs have you taken and how exactly are you reviewing them?

User avatar
Rikkugrrl
Posts: 210
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:30 pm

Re: Why can't I improve my LSAT Score?

Postby Rikkugrrl » Mon May 24, 2010 11:57 pm

Simple. You're cramming. Don't cram for the LSAT.

5 weeks isn't enough time to study for the LSAT. My first diagnostic was around 150, maybe even less. I attended a free class at my college twice a week, read the Bibles, enlisted the help of a few friends who had already taken the LSAT, took untimed and timed sections and then timed full tests. My score didn't improve for a good long while, but now I'm testing at the high 160s. But I started studying in October.

Not to say you need that long to prepare for the test, but you need more than 5 weeks. I think three months is a pretty good length of time. You're also probably stressing about trying to make the June deadline, and I doubt that's helping. I also don't think 4 hours a day every day with a full time job is a great idea; it's just a recipe for burnout. My advice? Push the test back to October and cut your weekly study time. That'll give you almost 5 months, more than enough time to study, work, and have a life. Take a look at Pithypike's study schedule too, I think that's a really reasonable schedule to follow.

The world won't stop spinning if you take the test in a few months instead of in a few weeks. Relax, work hard, and enjoy your summer. I've been in your shoes and trust me, it's definitely possible to work your way out of a score slump with enough time.

hellokitty
Posts: 630
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:43 pm

Re: Why can't I improve my LSAT Score?

Postby hellokitty » Mon May 24, 2010 11:59 pm

If that's a self-tar, you're pretty cute. Skip law school and move in with me. 8)

User avatar
fmacaluso
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:32 pm

Re: Why can't I improve my LSAT Score?

Postby fmacaluso » Tue May 25, 2010 12:05 am

I've taken approximately 5 formal full length tests from the early 2000's, but I don't have explained answers. However, I review all the answers I get wrong and subsequently, I do understand them. Only a small fraction of the questions that I get wrong, I don't understand.

When I'm not taking a formal sit down 3hr preptest, the rest of my prep on a weekly basis is taking a couple sections, here and there, from the older 1990's tests and doing them in 35 minute increments and analyzing my incorrect answers.

Rikkurrl - Just got your post. Thanks so much for the advice. It's good to hear stories of people in similar situations. I think I may just eat the registration fee and take the June test and immediately cancel the scores. This way, I'll have a feel on how it will be in October when I take it for real. I'll take a closer look at Pithypike's study schedule.

It just sucks that if you want something so bad and just can't achieve it, it gets incredibly frustrating. Oftentimes, what you do to help the situation only you ends up working against you.

I'm just trying to train my brain into the LSAT mode-of-thinking by subjecting myself with it the information as often as possible.

jjlaw
Posts: 299
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:43 pm

Re: Why can't I improve my LSAT Score?

Postby jjlaw » Tue May 25, 2010 12:06 am

Like Rikku said, the LSAT is not something you should cram for. It's as much a test of mental endurance as it is on formal logic in many ways. You will burn out at this rate. I would push the test back to October and try to take a prep course over the summer. It is not impossible to improve on this test, but you need to take it slow and try to let the material sink in, instead of attacking it with brute force. While RC is relatively difficult to improve on, LR is easier if you give yourself the time and make the effort to review effectively. Try to spot recurring patterns in stimuli and answer choices and study the LRB for common logical fallacies. Soon the answers will just pop out at you. If you need help with explanations, people on this forum are especially helpful and generous. I would be willing to help you with LR as well. :)

With 2-3 weeks left before the test, you should be PT-ing around your target range and working mostly on endurance, not strategies. I'd recommend October.

spark1330
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:22 am

Re: Why can't I improve my LSAT Score?

Postby spark1330 » Tue May 25, 2010 12:15 am

fmacaluso wrote:I've taken approximately 5 formal full length tests from the early 2000's, but I don't have explained answers. However, I review all the answers I get wrong and subsequently, I do understand them. Only a small fraction of the questions that I get wrong, I don't understand.

When I'm not taking a formal sit down 3hr preptest, the rest of my prep on a weekly basis is taking a couple sections, here and there, from the older 1990's tests and doing them in 35 minute increments and analyzing my incorrect answers.

Rikkurrl - Just got your post. Thanks so much for the advice. It's good to hear stories of people in similar situations. I think I may just eat the registration fee and take the June test and immediately cancel the scores. This way, I'll have a feel on how it will be in October when I take it for real. I'll take a closer look at Pithypike's study schedule.

It just sucks that if you want something so bad and just can't achieve it, it gets incredibly frustrating. Oftentimes, what you do to help the situation only you ends up working against you.

I'm just trying to train my brain into the LSAT mode-of-thinking by subjecting myself with it the information as often as possible.


Did you go through the Official LSAT Superprep book from LSAC? There are three PTs in there with an explanation for every single question in the tests. You should definitely work through this book to get a feel of why some answer choices are wrong and some are right.

If you need to make a substantial increase in your score, I agree with Rikkurrl that you just cancel/not show up to the June test and study for the Oct test. Maybe you could even take a prep course. I took testmasters and thought it was great. Like all TLSers say, the LSAT is a very learnable test. This is definitely something that I have seen firsthand since increasing 15+ points from my first diag. Don't give up!!!

am060459
Posts: 609
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:14 am

Re: Why can't I improve my LSAT Score?

Postby am060459 » Tue May 25, 2010 12:33 am

take the june lsat and cancel after. i mean you paid for it so might as well get the experience of test day so the second time around you'll be more comfortable.

revolution724
Posts: 255
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 2:16 am

Re: Why can't I improve my LSAT Score?

Postby revolution724 » Tue May 25, 2010 12:39 am

fmacaluso wrote:I'm an engineer working in my field for 5 years.


Law school is grueling, competitive, with a very high debt to job achievement ratio, and uses exactly the skills with which you're struggling on the LSAT, albeit in somewhat different ways. I think it would be wise to consider very, very seriously whether it's worth giving up even temporarily a career in the lucrative field in which you work for something that may very well not suit your skill set. It says nothing about how intelligent you are or aren't, it's just a rarefied field that is absolutely not for everyone.

I sincerely wish you luck whatever you decide to do.

User avatar
fmacaluso
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:32 pm

Re: Why can't I improve my LSAT Score?

Postby fmacaluso » Tue May 25, 2010 12:54 am

Thanks for the advice.

I am determined to improve on & enhance my career and become more versatile through the application of law. Couple that with my desire to think the way law school is intended to train you to think and I will be at a point in my career where I'm satisfied, happy, well rounded, and successful.

I think I will take the June test just to get familiarized with the test atmosphere, facility, and process. I will then elect not to publish my scores, that way the schools won't know that I took them (or will they know that I canceled them?).

I plan to take a course sometime this summer/fall before the test and am determined to get a 160, which I think is realistic. My mentality as of late for this test has been "too fast too soon", or the brute force method. I haven't had a chance to let the material sink in. There's no question about it. I'm serious about this. I need to take a prep course and sign up for the October Test.

Oh yeah, and live a little. haha

Thanks again for your help guys. And yes, it is a self-tar. :)

User avatar
tallboone
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 12:27 am

Re: Why can't I improve my LSAT Score?

Postby tallboone » Tue May 25, 2010 1:09 am

You are an engineer, so you most likely have the brain power to do well on the test, which means there is a problem with your preparation. If the Powerscore books are not working for you, take a prep course or get a private tutor, but do not take the test if you are not getting practice scores consistently where you want them.

flyingatoms
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 2:27 am

Re: Why can't I improve my LSAT Score?

Postby flyingatoms » Fri May 28, 2010 2:39 am

Amazing, I was just having a meltdown which caused me to google key words like "how to improve lsat score" etc., which brought me to this very page. I just took a practice exam a little while ago and am extremely disappointed with my score, and myself.

I am currently registered for the June LSAT and am already anticipating taking it again in October. I must, however, take it in June because I may have a commitment for work in October and I can't risk missing the exam altogether. Anyway I'm enrolled in the PowerScore full length LSAT course; right before the class started I scored a 140-something (don't remember exactly). My 1st diagnostic I scored a 142 (having left out MANY answers and not even having guessed - which is why I had so much hope for improvement). My 2nd diagnostic I scored 148; my 3rd I scored a 148 and my 4th I scored a 151 - again, providing me much-needed confidence. As for the practice exam I just took tonight at home - I scored a 148. I was crying. Literally, crying. I am really pissed and I feel stupid, but I must say that I am comforted knowing I'm not the only one having difficulty improving an unsatisfactory score, though I really really wish I had more time to study.

I started studying at the beginning of this course (it's 6 weeks long and runs through June 5th). I've been tutored twice for 2 hours each time. I've definitely improved on the Games portion and I'm decent at RC - however, I seem to be scoring equally bad in all of these sections!! WTF??!!!! I am devastated, to say the least.

Unfortunately I need to take this in June so I'm kinda screwed. I didn't do much for 2 of the 5 weeks I've been studying because I was doing things incorrectly & saw no real purpose in practicing an incorrect way of taking the test - plus I was very discouraged after my 3rd diagnostic. I do believe PowerScore to be a great course, but I really just think I'm one of those people (and perhaps you, as some other people on this thread) who needs more than 5-6 weeks to make a great improvement.

You're in a better position than I, being able to cancel a June score; but I already know I'll be retaking it unless by some miracle I increase my score enough to feel good about myself again LOL

Good luck :) It's very frustrating, indeed. Try to go over what you're consistently doing wrong, or find a tutor who teaches LSAT prep to help.

Thane Messinger
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 7:54 pm

Re: Why can't I improve my LSAT Score?

Postby Thane Messinger » Fri May 28, 2010 2:51 am

Rikkugrrl is quite right. The LSAT is a marathon, not a sprint. Taking a few months more now can pay of handsomely. No one will care when you took the tests, or which year you started school; they will care only about the score and resulting law school.

The best way to know when you're getting good with the LSAT is not just the score, it's when working through its questions becomes fun. Seriously. Just as with an engineering problem, finding that solution--and knowing why it is the solution--that is magic.

Best of luck,

Thane.

Thane Messinger
Author of:
Law School: Getting In, Getting Good, Getting the Gold
The Young Lawyer's Jungle Book: A Survival Guide

fmacaluso wrote:I'm an engineer working in my field for 5 years. I'm now 27 and want to go to Law School for Fall 2010 enrollment. I've registerd for and have been studying for the June test for 5 solid weeks now, not scoring any higher than a 150 on my practice tests. With my 3.2GPA, I don't think I have a shot at many schools and I am beyond discouraged at my stagnant, depressing score.

WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?!? I'm taking practice test after practice test. I've been studying minimum 4hrs per day on top of my 45hr/week job. I'm familiar with the question types and the sections and timing...etc. I've tried different strategies. I've purchased/read the LGB & LRB, but I simply can't grasp the concepts.

It seems that I'm reading questions & passages 3x to understand them and then apply it to the correct answer choice. I've tried adderall to gain concentration, but it doesn't seem to be helping.

Logic Games are easy to me. I have been doing well with them, but my RC & LR SUCK. I feel like giving up and throwing in the towel with the attitude of, "It's not for me. If it takes this much work to get this score on the LSAT, then I'll never make it through the first year of Law School".

What am I doing wrong? Thanks for your help.

User avatar
MURPH
Posts: 856
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:20 am

Re: Why can't I improve my LSAT Score?

Postby MURPH » Fri May 28, 2010 6:30 am

If you cancel your score you will never know how you did. If you don't cancel the score will be sent, along with you improved October score to all of the schools you apply to.
5 Practice tests is not enough. 55 is better. I mean it. Do every test that you can get your hands on. Do it every day.
Watch the documentary/movie "Wordplay" about people who do the NYT crossword puzzle everyday. They have the right combination of love for the game, obsession and competitiveness that you need to develop for the LSAT. Pay attention to how much fun they have doing crossword puzzles. Make the LSAT your daily love and obsession. It is a game after all.

PS. Hey Thane, good to see you here. Thanks for the copy of PLS2.

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balzern
Posts: 347
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 2:27 pm

Re: Why can't I improve my LSAT Score?

Postby balzern » Fri May 28, 2010 11:32 am

I would def. push the test back. Spend about a week relaxing and not worrying, then start the battle. I started studying in Oct. for the test and took tons of PTs. The key is to take so many that you can see the patters and understand the type of questions. You are in a good spot if you take in October - plenty of time to improve and go over your mistakes. I did at least 1 PT a week (mostly weekends) and mixed timed sections throughout the week. Honestly, I was a wreck :shock: at first and then all of a sudden things started (and are continuing) to click. It was like a light turned on, hopefully this happens to you too! :D

Good luck my friend and remember that it is just a test - not a reflection of you or your intelligence.




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