13 point drop from PTs to actual LSAT?

PetitBonaparte
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13 point drop from PTs to actual LSAT?

Postby PetitBonaparte » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:28 pm

Does anyone have any suggestions for someone who had a 13-point drop from PTs to the actual LSAT? I was PT-ing at around 167-170 and really felt like things were "clicking" for me, but on the actual test, I scored a 154. It was my third time (cancel and 159 previous two times), so I was frustrated. I know that I freaked out a little bit during LG, but I felt like I had it together for the rest of the test and didn't think nerves had affected me, but apparently they did.

Does anyone have suggestions or explanations for this much of a drop?

dk8
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Re: 13 point drop from PTs to actual LSAT?

Postby dk8 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:33 pm

Are you sure you were timing yourself correctly? Was the 170 PT average from tests you already took? A drop from PT avg. is very common but 13 points is huge. I haven't looked at an LSAT question in a year and I"d bet my right nut I wouldn't score 13 below average.

The only thing I could think of would be nerves. You really felt calm throughout the test?

modestsquirrel
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Re: 13 point drop from PTs to actual LSAT?

Postby modestsquirrel » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:37 pm

PetitBonaparte wrote:Does anyone have any suggestions for someone who had a 13-point drop from PTs to the actual LSAT? I was PT-ing at around 167-170 and really felt like things were "clicking" for me, but on the actual test, I scored a 154. It was my third time (cancel and 159 previous two times), so I was frustrated. I know that I freaked out a little bit during LG, but I felt like I had it together for the rest of the test and didn't think nerves had affected me, but apparently they did.

Does anyone have suggestions or explanations for this much of a drop?



Sorry to have to ask, were you using the most recent PT's to prep with?

sluguy14
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Re: 13 point drop from PTs to actual LSAT?

Postby sluguy14 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:41 pm

Have you reviewed the questions you missed? If the answers seem obvious to you now, it's gotta be nerves and/or timing.

dukelawguy144
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Re: 13 point drop from PTs to actual LSAT?

Postby dukelawguy144 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:50 pm

you had an anxiety attack....reconsider law school. First year exams are far worse. If you are bent up on going to law school (which you probably wont get into a program worth going in debt for) then retake after you deal with your anxiety.

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3|ink
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Re: 13 point drop from PTs to actual LSAT?

Postby 3|ink » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:59 pm

dukelawguy144 wrote:you had an anxiety attack....reconsider law school. First year exams are far worse. If you are bent up on going to law school (which you probably wont get into a program worth going in debt for) then retake after you deal with your anxiety.


I had a similar attack. However, I think law school exams would be different. There is considerably more room for variable on the LSAT than law school exams, right? I think variables are what got me.

jarofsoup
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Re: 13 point drop from PTs to actual LSAT?

Postby jarofsoup » Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:06 pm

Logic games was my undoing. If I got my average on games I would have gotton a 164 not a 157.

dk8
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Re: 13 point drop from PTs to actual LSAT?

Postby dk8 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:07 pm

jarofsoup wrote:Logic games was my undoing. If I got my average on games I would have gotton a 164 not a 157.


you'd be insane to not retake.

jarofsoup
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Re: 13 point drop from PTs to actual LSAT?

Postby jarofsoup » Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:20 pm

dk8 wrote:
jarofsoup wrote:Logic games was my undoing. If I got my average on games I would have gotton a 164 not a 157.


you'd be insane to not retake.



Ive taken it four times. I cant sleep before the test. I am im burned out. I cant retake until December, and I already used up my fourth test petition.

vampy
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Re: 13 point drop from PTs to actual LSAT?

Postby vampy » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:02 pm

If indeed you were honest with yourself about how you were doing in PT Tests, sounds like you need to spend some time in meditation. 13 Point drop is really huge.

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Kurama
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Re: 13 point drop from PTs to actual LSAT?

Postby Kurama » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:11 pm

I had the exact same thing happen. I will warn you, you can get away with being a bit nervous on RC and on LR, but on LG nervousness will destroy you. Meditate and practice doing games with only 30 minutes. This should help you to get past it.

People don't mention it much, but games are that section where slipping up due to nerves can cause you to make the kind of drop you did easily. Let's say you get nervous on game one and end up missing a rule even though it's an easy game; you'll probably get about 3 of them wrong. Then since you are nervous when you get to the (usually) harder game 2 you freeze up and take 5 minutes longer than usual--you then miss 3 on this game. Now you are low on time and on game 3 you spend a lot of time trying to get them all right. By the time you reach game 4 you only have 5 minutes and you have to guess on all but one--you miss 3 again. You've now missed 9 questions on top of whatever you would normally miss on the other sections. You're effectively starting with a 170 before you even get to the other sections.

PetitBonaparte
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Re: 13 point drop from PTs to actual LSAT?

Postby PetitBonaparte » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:22 am

Before the June exam, I'd done all of the PTs at least twice, but with some breaks in between studying and I didn't really remember the questions (I don't think you can since there are so many). I took all the sections within 32-33 minutes or less, and I took 5-section practice tests in the 5 weeks leading up to the test. I hit 171 a couple of times but never went below 165. I was convinced I would at least break 160 this time around.

Kurama wrote:People don't mention it much, but games are that section where slipping up due to nerves can cause you to make the kind of drop you did easily. Let's say you get nervous on game one and end up missing a rule even though it's an easy game; you'll probably get about 3 of them wrong. Then since you are nervous when you get to the (usually) harder game 2 you freeze up and take 5 minutes longer than usual--you then miss 3 on this game. Now you are low on time and on game 3 you spend a lot of time trying to get them all right. By the time you reach game 4 you only have 5 minutes and you have to guess on all but one--you miss 3 again. You've now missed 9 questions on top of whatever you would normally miss on the other sections. You're effectively starting with a 170 before you even get to the other sections.


I think this is really what happened to me, but I'm nervous because what's to say it won't happen again the next time (fourth time)? I'm wondering if I just need to be in a more disciplined environment while taking PTs. Before I'd been taking them in my bedroom while listening to the LSAT Cacophony sound file, but maybe I should have tried taking them in a busy coffee shop? And maybe take 6 sections instead of 5?

What kind of meditation would you guys suggest, if you are serious? Because I would do anything to prevent this kind of drop next time around.

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Cosmo Kramer
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Re: 13 point drop from PTs to actual LSAT?

Postby Cosmo Kramer » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:26 am

dukelawguy144 wrote:you had an anxiety attack....reconsider law school. First year exams are far worse. If you are bent up on going to law school (which you probably wont get into a program worth going in debt for) then retake after you deal with your anxiety.


you're on a dumbass-statement-streak

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Cosmo Kramer
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Re: 13 point drop from PTs to actual LSAT?

Postby Cosmo Kramer » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:31 am

PetitBonaparte wrote:Before the June exam, I'd done all of the PTs at least twice, but with some breaks in between studying and I didn't really remember the questions (I don't think you can since there are so many). I took all the sections within 32-33 minutes or less, and I took 5-section practice tests in the 5 weeks leading up to the test. I hit 171 a couple of times but never went below 165. I was convinced I would at least break 160 this time around.

Kurama wrote:People don't mention it much, but games are that section where slipping up due to nerves can cause you to make the kind of drop you did easily. Let's say you get nervous on game one and end up missing a rule even though it's an easy game; you'll probably get about 3 of them wrong. Then since you are nervous when you get to the (usually) harder game 2 you freeze up and take 5 minutes longer than usual--you then miss 3 on this game. Now you are low on time and on game 3 you spend a lot of time trying to get them all right. By the time you reach game 4 you only have 5 minutes and you have to guess on all but one--you miss 3 again. You've now missed 9 questions on top of whatever you would normally miss on the other sections. You're effectively starting with a 170 before you even get to the other sections.


I think this is really what happened to me, but I'm nervous because what's to say it won't happen again the next time (fourth time)? I'm wondering if I just need to be in a more disciplined environment while taking PTs. Before I'd been taking them in my bedroom while listening to the LSAT Cacophony sound file, but maybe I should have tried taking them in a busy coffee shop? And maybe take 6 sections instead of 5?

What kind of meditation would you guys suggest, if you are serious? Because I would do anything to prevent this kind of drop next time around.


You're putting the LSAT on a pedestal man. It's just a test. One thing that helped me was to not look at the clock more than once or twice. If you've taken enough PTs, you know when its time to move on from a tough question, but looking at the clock whenever you start to struggle and thinking "20 minutes left, ok 19 minutes left. SHIT! I gotta move on!" is only going to make you lose focus.

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pinkzeppelin
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Re: 13 point drop from PTs to actual LSAT?

Postby pinkzeppelin » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:33 am

Idk if you have any options besides law, but you might want to start thinking about them. And I'm not saying this to be a douche. Maybe I'm being presumptuous, but with the amount of nervousness you're experiencing, I'm feeling like your mentality right now is law school or bust. If you go out and seek meaningful employment AS IF law school were not an option, other doors might start to open. Once you've got other options, just take the LSAT with no strings attached. Maybe then you won't be so worried about bombing it that you make your worries a reality.

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Anaconda
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Re: 13 point drop from PTs to actual LSAT?

Postby Anaconda » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:36 am

A drop from a 171 to a 154 is roughly equivalent to a 27 point drop in your raw score - over 6 more questions wrong PER SECTION than you usually get. Were you having an anxiety attack during the test? It just doesn't seem right, we're not talking about getting 6-8 questions lower on the real deal than on your preptests - 27 is significant.

EDIT: apparently only logic games tripped you and you said you felt fine for the rest of the exam. So I don't know what to think.

PetitBonaparte
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Re: 13 point drop from PTs to actual LSAT?

Postby PetitBonaparte » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:47 am

Anaconda wrote:A drop from a 171 to a 154 is roughly equivalent to a 27 point drop in your raw score - over 6 more questions wrong PER SECTION than you usually get. Were you having an anxiety attack during the test? It just doesn't seem right, we're not talking about getting 6-8 questions lower on the real deal than on your preptests - 27 is significant.

EDIT: apparently only logic games tripped you and you said you felt fine for the rest of the exam. So I don't know what to think.


You and me both. I was averaging around -2/3 on each LR section and -5 on RC's before the test, but on the actual test, I got -19 on LR combined and -9 on RC. I got -10 on the first LR alone, which was before my LG section (which was 2nd), so that section can't even be attributed to the anxiety I supposedly felt after my LG section. I'm frustrated at myself because even though I felt like LR and RC were finally starting to "click" for me and I usually averaged -2 on LG, my raw score on test day did not reflect on this AT ALL. It's like I didn't learn anything through my prep this time around.

Fairchild660
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Re: 13 point drop from PTs to actual LSAT?

Postby Fairchild660 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:10 am

I just had a similar experience. PT's were several 168s, and as I continued studying, my scores kept increasing to 171s, and the last two PTs I took were both 173. Less than 24 hours later, my LSAT score was 161.

I remember sheer adrenaline surging through my veins and my brain going about 1000mph during the test, but I never would have believed a 12 point drop was possible. I took the LSAT 7 years ago and got a 160, almost identical testing experience, though I hadn't studied for it in months and barely slept the night before. I did feel on the verge of an anxiety attack that time. I also chalked it up to youthful arrogance. Could be my anxiety is still beyond my control. This time I was perfectly prepared. I practiced everywhere: trains, buses, crowded restaurants, outdoors, and different libraries. Feels pretty awful to have no clue what is going on here besides ADD and nerves.

Every standardized test I have taken besides AP Tests, which plays to my writing strengths, has turned out the same way, and my scores are frankly not low enough for people to have much sympathy. I have gone out in to the world, worked terrible jobs, and good jobs, accomplished artistic goals, made massive changes in my life, and I just feel trapped now. The world really looks at these scores as reflecting intelligence, and the standardized tests I have taken affected the college I attended and the jobs that I have been able to get, none of which have been very good matches to my skills or abilities. The economy sucks, and in my experience, employers do not have the time or imagination to go beyond quantifiable information, no matter how clearly one states facts. I already went to a very good school in Ohio that everyone on the East Coast thinks is in Florida, even though Florida was still owned by Spain when my alma mater was founded. There is no question that a big, recognizable name would have made things different, regardless of actual academic considerations.

The work and understanding of I have of the LSAT is just not reflected in my score, and that is scary because I simply don't know why. Thinking about how to compensate for my lousy test-taking feels like a kick in the stomach right now. Transfer seems like my best option if I can get over my frustration and feel confident that my score is, in fact, inaccurate, and not an indication that law school is a bad choice. Right now I just feel like riding the rails with a bindlestiff and drinking moonshine from a mason jar to escape this nonsense...or maybe a cleansing dip in the waters of the Ganges.

thegrayman
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Re: 13 point drop from PTs to actual LSAT?

Postby thegrayman » Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:21 pm

Was your state of mind significantly worse when taking the real thing? Like was your mind wandering, etc?

Fairchild660
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Re: 13 point drop from PTs to actual LSAT?

Postby Fairchild660 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:58 pm

Yes, rapidly off on tangents about the room, the other students, fear of failure, racing heartbeat, etc. I was fueled with a level of adrenaline where I felt like I was floating. That's pretty much standard for any test I've taken since I was 9, I guess I'm trying to figure out ways now to reduce that. My test scores haven't been disastrous to anyone but me, so there was never much effort put into solving this, despite my going through the stages of grief when I get my test results. Might just mean retaking it after researching techniques to reduce stress and anxiety, maybe there are some tips from people here. I've been diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder and ADD in the past, but I don't think at a level that would earn me extended time.

Pastels
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Re: 13 point drop from PTs to actual LSAT?

Postby Pastels » Sat Oct 30, 2010 5:09 pm

I am in the exact same boat. I was pting in the high 160s low 170s and I got a dismal 160 again. That is 2 160s. I have my last shot in December. I see a doctor next week about my anxiety issue.

thegrayman
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Re: 13 point drop from PTs to actual LSAT?

Postby thegrayman » Sun Oct 31, 2010 12:48 pm

I can tell you from my experience with standardized tests (I took the CPA exam prior to the LSAT, which is 4 separate parts) that the more you take, the easier it becomes to deal with the stresses. I still remember my first section of the CPA, I was a train wreck. I didn't sleep at all the night before, was dry heaving the morning of, my mind was wandering the entire time. I was lucky to escape with a pass on that one. Each successive section I got better and better at controlling my mind-state going into it. By the 4th section, I got reasonable sleep the night before and was totally focused the whole time.

For the LSAT, I was able to sleep like a baby the night before and wasn't stressed at all. It was just another day, I stayed focused the entire time.

The real difference is that I was finally able to get over the fear of failing. You have to convince yourself unequivocally that it's just another day. It's the same damn test you've already taken over and over again leading up to the real thing. Your performance has already been determined by the months of studying you put in leading up to it.

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Agitprop
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Re: 13 point drop from PTs to actual LSAT?

Postby Agitprop » Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:42 pm

thegrayman wrote:I can tell you from my experience with standardized tests (I took the CPA exam prior to the LSAT, which is 4 separate parts) that the more you take, the easier it becomes to deal with the stresses. I still remember my first section of the CPA, I was a train wreck. I didn't sleep at all the night before, was dry heaving the morning of, my mind was wandering the entire time. I was lucky to escape with a pass on that one. Each successive section I got better and better at controlling my mind-state going into it. By the 4th section, I got reasonable sleep the night before and was totally focused the whole time.

For the LSAT, I was able to sleep like a baby the night before and wasn't stressed at all. It was just another day, I stayed focused the entire time.

The real difference is that I was finally able to get over the fear of failing. You have to convince yourself unequivocally that it's just another day. It's the same damn test you've already taken over and over again leading up to the real thing. Your performance has already been determined by the months of studying you put in leading up to it.


This is good advice. I had a ten point drop from my PT average. I could not sleep the night before and had to drink a little brandy just to calm my nerves. But, now that I have bombed the damn thing, and yet I can see that life is in fact continuing, I think sitting for the test at least purged some of my demons. I am even feeling more optimistic about next time. If you missed your PT average by a lot of points, the problem is more likely to be nerves than anything else. They can affect your performance in subtle ways. Keep practicing, OP, and take this time to work on any perceived weaknesses. Hopefully you and I will have better results after the retake.




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