December LSAT Study Diary (formerly October)

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Anaconda
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby Anaconda » Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:02 pm

Tuesday-Wednesday, August 24th-25th


Summary: I was lazy as Hell. Reviewed a LR section m my last PT I didn't get to on Monday, and read about RC in Superprep. Also did ONE RC passage - took me a whopping 11 minutes and only got 5/7. Missed one question I should have gotten right though (basically didn't read the question carefully).

I really wished they would give us 45 minutes for RC. My score would be so much better. :D

Taking PT 39 tomorrow with an experimental section. Haven't decided what kind of experimental yet. Leaning towards LR since the test format is LG - LR - RC -LR. So basically I'll do LG - LR - Experimental LR - break - RC - LR.

I'm not expecting a 164 since it will be my first 5 section test, and I'll probably be exhausted at the end. Expecting a little dip in the last LR section, so I'm not going to panic if my score falls from 164 in the next few PTs. A 162 or above would make me happy. And I couldn't resist the temptation, but it looks like the curve for PT 39 is mighty generous, so a little dip in my raw score won't necessarily translate to a lower LSAT score, so I have some breathing room assuming the questions aren't that much harder.

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3|ink
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby 3|ink » Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:20 pm

Anaconda wrote:Tuesday-Wednesday, August 24th-25th


Summary: I was lazy as Hell. Reviewed a LR section m my last PT I didn't get to on Monday, and read about RC in Superprep. Also did ONE RC passage - took me a whopping 11 minutes and only got 5/7. Missed one question I should have gotten right though (basically didn't read the question carefully).

I really wished they would give us 45 minutes for RC. My score would be so much better. :D

Taking PT 39 tomorrow with an experimental section. Haven't decided what kind of experimental yet. Leaning towards LR since the test format is LG - LR - RC -LR. So basically I'll do LG - LR - Experimental LR - break - RC - LR.

I'm not expecting a 164 since it will be my first 5 section test, and I'll probably be exhausted at the end. Expecting a little dip in the last LR section, so I'm not going to panic if my score falls from 164 in the next few PTs. A 162 or above would make me happy. And I couldn't resist the temptation, but it looks like the curve for PT 39 is mighty generous, so a little dip in my raw score won't necessarily translate to a lower LSAT score, so I have some breathing room assuming the questions aren't that much harder.


How are you timing yourself?

If you do 5 sections, make sure to take a 15 minute break. I recommend eating or drinking something in that time.

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Anaconda
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby Anaconda » Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:30 pm

3|ink wrote:
Anaconda wrote:Tuesday-Wednesday, August 24th-25th


Summary: I was lazy as Hell. Reviewed a LR section m my last PT I didn't get to on Monday, and read about RC in Superprep. Also did ONE RC passage - took me a whopping 11 minutes and only got 5/7. Missed one question I should have gotten right though (basically didn't read the question carefully).

I really wished they would give us 45 minutes for RC. My score would be so much better. :D

Taking PT 39 tomorrow with an experimental section. Haven't decided what kind of experimental yet. Leaning towards LR since the test format is LG - LR - RC -LR. So basically I'll do LG - LR - Experimental LR - break - RC - LR.

I'm not expecting a 164 since it will be my first 5 section test, and I'll probably be exhausted at the end. Expecting a little dip in the last LR section, so I'm not going to panic if my score falls from 164 in the next few PTs. A 162 or above would make me happy. And I couldn't resist the temptation, but it looks like the curve for PT 39 is mighty generous, so a little dip in my raw score won't necessarily translate to a lower LSAT score, so I have some breathing room assuming the questions aren't that much harder.


How are you timing yourself?

If you do 5 sections, make sure to take a 15 minute break. I recommend eating or drinking something in that time.


I might have a cup of espresso an hour or two before tomorrow's PT to try to give me a little extra boost.

I'm going to take the 15 minute break and have a handful of nuts and some water. Last exam (unlike all my previous PTs) I only used my watch to keep track of time which I think was way more helpful then cheating by peeking at my timer or cell phone stopwatch since I wouldn't peek at the time as often as I normally would, and for some reason looking at the analog watch isn't as nerve racking as the digital timer.

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Adjudicator
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby Adjudicator » Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:32 pm

Anaconda wrote:Last exam (unlike all my previous PTs) I only used my watch to keep track of time which I think was way more helpful then cheating by peeking at my timer or cell phone stopwatch since I wouldn't peek at the time as often as I normally would, and for some reason looking at the analog watch isn't as nerve racking as the digital timer.


+1 to this! I use an online stopwatch to count down the 35 minutes and I used to glance at it all the time, but I decided that I shouldn't get used to that. So now I run it in a hidden window so that it will buzz when time is up, but I can't see it, and I have been using an analog watch to time myself, and it makes a big difference.

I seem to be working faster and feeling less pressure.

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Anaconda
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby Anaconda » Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:47 pm

Adjudicator wrote:
Anaconda wrote:Last exam (unlike all my previous PTs) I only used my watch to keep track of time which I think was way more helpful then cheating by peeking at my timer or cell phone stopwatch since I wouldn't peek at the time as often as I normally would, and for some reason looking at the analog watch isn't as nerve racking as the digital timer.


+1 to this! I use an online stopwatch to count down the 35 minutes and I used to glance at it all the time, but I decided that I shouldn't get used to that. So now I run it in a hidden window so that it will buzz when time is up, but I can't see it, and I have been using an analog watch to time myself, and it makes a big difference.

I seem to be working faster and feeling less pressure.


This would make for a great paradox question.

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Anaconda
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby Anaconda » Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:49 pm

PT 39

What a fucking disaster. I gave up half-way through LG and did the last 2 games untimed. I would have probably gotten a -10 to -12 on LG had I tried to finish.

Went home from the library and started LR1. Stopped after 14 questions and graded: -7 (7/14 correct).

Looking over the wrong answers, I can't even read and concentrate, my mind is basically refusing to let me.

I don't know what the fuck is going on today.

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gdane
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby gdane » Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:59 pm

Anaconda wrote:PT 39

What a fucking disaster. I gave up half-way through LG and did the last 2 games untimed. I would have probably gotten a -10 to -12 on LG had I tried to finish.

Went home from the library and started LR1. Stopped after 14 questions and graded: -7 (7/14 correct).

Looking over the wrong answers, I can't even read and concentrate, my mind is basically refusing to let me.

I don't know what the fuck is going on today.


Why would you stop?! Keep going! Youre doing exactly what those LSAC bastards want you to do. They want to frustrate you to the point that you give up/dont take a section seriously. Dont let them beat you!

I bet that if you kept going you wouldve dont awesome!

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Anaconda
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby Anaconda » Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:02 pm

I just did the last 10 questions of the first LR section in 20 minutes, taking my time and I got 7/10 correct. I felt 2 of the wrong answers were totally avoidable (due to lack of attention to detail on my part). Also, 7/10 of those questions were 4 stars, and 2 were 3 stars (i got 6/7 4 stars correct, which is pretty good).

I'm going to do the RC and second LR sections now.

I seriously don't know what the fuck happened to me today - and it's happened before too. This might be the third PT that I haven't been able to take because my brain refuses to let me focus. I'm wondering if going to the library again had something to do with it.

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Anaconda
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby Anaconda » Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:49 pm

Guess all isn't lost from this PT.

Got 22/28 (-6) on the RC - strictly timed. That's actually pretty darn good for me. I got -1 from the first two sections (a solid 15/16), but the last two sections, especially the one about Max Planck were freaking hard. Disappointed I unraveled at the end, as I felt very confident on the first two passages but there was an evident spike in difficulty in the last two passages (There was also a wild question distribution of 16 for the first two passages and only 12 for the last two). A lot of the questions I got wrong were one of the last two answer choices I got it down to, so all in all, not too bad at all. -6 (especially in a 28 question section) is a heck of a lot better than the -10's I've been getting!

Hedwig
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby Hedwig » Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:16 pm

It sounds like you're burning out or have low blood sugar or didn't sleep well or something. All those make it hard to concentrate. You could focus on bringing up other factors of your performance (health, sleep, etc) before doing another PT.

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Anaconda
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby Anaconda » Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:40 pm

eit wrote:It sounds like you're burning out or have low blood sugar or didn't sleep well or something. All those make it hard to concentrate. You could focus on bringing up other factors of your performance (health, sleep, etc) before doing another PT.


There's no way I'm burned out, I've been taking it easy the past few weeks with the exception of taking a few PTs. If anything it's laziness. I barely have the motivation to study the day after taking a PT. All what I want to do now is take PTs, and it's unusual my mind was so unmotivated to take the PT today.

It could have possibly been low blood sugar, I felt so tired when I was taking the LG and LR sections. I'm really alert right now (as I was when I took the RC section) and would probably have no trouble taking a PT.

I'm going back to school this weekend, so I won't be opening up an LSAT book until at least Sunday or maybe early next week. Maybe the shift in environment will be beneficial.

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Anaconda
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby Anaconda » Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:39 pm

Got a -5 on the last LR section (21/26). Kind of pissed actually. The first 15 questions were all jokes, the last 11 were hard. Made some avoidable mistakes at the end, should have ideally ended up with a -3. I got #16 and #17, and upon further review the answer were fairly obvious. Granted Kaplan ranks these as 4 star questions, this is a good sign.

I didn't realize how generous the curve on PT 39 was (maybe reflecting the tough LG and very hard first LR section). A 80 on this test would have been a 165! A 70 was a 160! Had I stuck through with it, I would have probably gotten a 160+. Maybe I should pay a little attention to the curves before taking a PT so I won't flip a shit when I encounter a tough section and think I bombed it. This was tons of leeway in this test. You could have had a -10, -10, -5, -5 and end up with a 160. Given that I got -11 in the last two sections, I wouldn't have done too terribly.

EDIT: Just redid the LG section tonight. It was a total cake-walk! The notorious second game didn't even bother me. I breezed through every game in a couple of minutes. I really think this morning was a fluke. Need to step my game up from now on. Hopefully caffeine will prevent my brain from being mush when I start the first section from now on. Can't afford to have any more of these "let's take a PT - oh no, my brain isn't working right, let's just stop!" days.
Last edited by Anaconda on Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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brickman
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby brickman » Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:26 pm

I fear that you are allowing yourself to let your current downturn to become a self fulfilling prophecy. Your an intelligent person with enough sense to look into ever possibility to improve your situation. The fact that your allowing yourself to engage in negative thoughts is thus confusing. Maybe it makes sense for you to take at a later time simply because you didn't have enough time to prepare, but I think that you have the ability to do as well as you can, so long as you structure your thoughts in a focused manner and only allow yourself to be positive.

I know this may be blanket advice that isn't the easiest thing to engage, but based on our communications, I don't think you'll have a problem improving.

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Anaconda
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby Anaconda » Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:57 pm

brickman wrote:I fear that you are allowing yourself to let your current downturn to become a self fulfilling prophecy. Your an intelligent person with enough sense to look into ever possibility to improve your situation. The fact that your allowing yourself to engage in negative thoughts is thus confusing. Maybe it makes sense for you to take at a later time simply because you didn't have enough time to prepare, but I think that you have the ability to do as well as you can, so long as you structure your thoughts in a focused manner and only allow yourself to be positive.

I know this may be blanket advice that isn't the easiest thing to engage, but based on our communications, I don't think you'll have a problem improving.


Thanks for the encouragement. I guess the fact I didn't dramatically improve after 2 months deflated my morale. If I can sometime improve timing and not feel so rushed, I know I'm capable of reaching the high 160's. Just don't know if that will happen before October.

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Anaconda
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby Anaconda » Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:09 am

Took the past 2 days off.

Tomorrow I'm taking PT 41 (saving PT 40 in case I need to retake, as I will be doing for other random PTs). It will be a 5 section test with a LR experimental (LR 1 of PT 9).

Hoping to actually get through this PT unlike last time. :?

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Sh@keNb@ke
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby Sh@keNb@ke » Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:41 am

Anaconda, when did you move from untimed to timed PT's?

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Anaconda
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby Anaconda » Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:48 am

Sh@keNb@ke wrote:Anaconda, when did you move from untimed to timed PT's?


I never took untimed PTs, I only do untimed redos of every PT.

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Sh@keNb@ke
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby Sh@keNb@ke » Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:53 am

So if you're not able to finish the section due to the time, you'll just redo the entire pt either the same day or the next?

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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby Gemini » Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:59 am

Anaconda wrote:Took the past 2 days off.

Tomorrow I'm taking PT 41 (saving PT 40 in case I need to retake, as I will be doing for other random PTs). It will be a 5 section test with a LR experimental (LR 1 of PT 9).

Hoping to actually get through this PT unlike last time. :?


Good luck on the test! I find frame of mind very important. When I wake up I need to "get into the groove", eat, pump myself up a bit. By the time I sit down to take the test, my mind is running and active.

I dont know if this was mentioned or not, but make sure to take the experimental first. That way, all the later sections are the ones that count. It makes it harder on you but also more prepared.

I'm taking PT 33 on Monday.

How do you do the tests? I see a lot of people doing it out of order, and that's kinda hard to keep track, no? Plus, doing it in order will make you more accustomed to the gradual changes in the test (Hopefully). Thats my plan, anyway...

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Anaconda
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby Anaconda » Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:07 pm

Just got done taking PT 41 timed.

I couldn't resist grading it before taking it untimed, although I didn't refer to any specific questions so I don't think remembering specific question will be trouble at all when redoing it later tonight.

-Felt very confident on the first LR section - felt it was really easy.
-LG was ok up until the last game- circular reasoning. Jesus. This game was impossible. I
-LR2 was harder
-RC was EASY.

Here's how I did
LR1: -4
LG: -8 (YUCK!)
LR2: -7 (feeling I missed a lot of easy questions)
RC: -5 (not even sure what I got wrong on this)

I got a 161, which is kind of shitty, but the combined -16 on LR + RC isn't at all bad for me - it's actually rather good. Had I minimized mistakes in LG and was actually able to tackle to last game and not just make educated guess, I would have probably ended up with a 163-164. The curve on this test SUCKS. The curves on PT 38 + 39 were far more generous.

I'm really disappointed in my performance. The LG killed me, but I think most of my mistakes were probably stupid errors - I'll find out if that's true when I redo the test. I guess the 164 wasn't an indication of a breakout, necessarily.

Also, this was a 5 section test for me, so maybe that was a factor, although fatigue/concentration didn't seem to be a problem at all.

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gdane
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby gdane » Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:14 pm

My Sept 2009 LSAT score doesnt exactly make me an authority to give out LSAT prep advice, but Ill do so anyway. Refrain from doing 5 sections. Its worthless in my opinion. I know people say that it builds up your stamina/endurance, but I dont agree. I think doing 4 sections back to back to back to back with no breaks in between sections, other than a few seconds to catch your breath, is much more helpful. We get a break after section 3 on the actual LSAT and then come back to do 2 sections. Even with the 3 at the beginning, youre still doing one less section than you would normally do by doing 4 at a time. Also, that 15 minute break is incredibly helpful and theres no doubt that you go back into the testing room with a second wind.

I also find doing 5 sections to be a distraction. You know which section is "experimental" so you might not try hard enough. You might also rush through it in an effort to tabulate your results from the previous 4 "scored" sections.

Just my opinion. Whatever works for anyone is is fine.

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3|ink
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby 3|ink » Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:44 pm

I always know which section is experimental because it's always my first section. Regardless, I try just as hard as I would with any other section. Why? Because at the end of the day it isn't the scaled score alone that counts when you're practicing for the LSAT. I'm not going to try any less just because my performance on the experimental will not affect my scaled score on the prep. test I'm actually taking that day.

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gdane
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby gdane » Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:07 pm

3|ink wrote:I always know which section is experimental because it's always my first section. Regardless, I try just as hard as I would with any other section. Why? Because at the end of the day it isn't the scaled score alone that counts when you're practicing for the LSAT. I'm not going to try any less just because my performance on the experimental will not affect my scaled score on the prep. test I'm actually taking that day.


Ehh. I still dont think its the greatest idea. Plus, youre already scoring high and I'm sure fatigue/endurance isnt an issue for you. At this point in time its probably missing little minor details and possibly rushing.

ninjasrule
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby ninjasrule » Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:08 pm

I have been burned out before, and it usually takes me a good weekend of doing nothing but having fun, cooking, and spending time with my friends to recover. It works better if I don't even look at whatever caused me to burn out in the first place.

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Anaconda
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Re: October LSAT Study Diary

Postby Anaconda » Sun Aug 29, 2010 6:58 pm

PS. I absolutely got a -7 on my experimental LR section, but 6 out my 7 wrong came from the first 17 questions. I think that a fair indication I NEED to warmup before the test. I got 8 out of the last 9 questions right, go figure!




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