PT #11, 12, 13; 160, 160, 162 respectively. How to improve?

unattended bag
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PT #11, 12, 13; 160, 160, 162 respectively. How to improve?

Postby unattended bag » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:05 pm

These are the three practice tests I've taken since completing the LGB and LRB. I'll be taking PT's every other day until October, working my way up to the most recent. On my off days, I type out explanations for all my incorrect answers. I also purchased the 410 difficult LR questions bundle from Cambridge LSAT, which I have not started yet. I'm taking a Powerscore course that begins at the end of July as well.

On the PT's that I've taken, I've gotten -4 on all three LG sections (I made copies of these to insert as experimental sections in the future), between -5 and -8 on each LR section, and between -4 and -7 on RC. I'm shooting for a 170+ on the October LSAT (aren't we all, though). Is there anything I can do to improve that I'm not already doing? I'm open to any/all suggestions.

Thanks in advance.

Edit: I've gotten the same raw score on all 3 tests, if that matters (76/101). Thanks again.

Audio Technica Guy
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Re: PT #11, 12, 13; 160, 160, 162 respectively. How to improve?

Postby Audio Technica Guy » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:59 pm

unattended bag wrote:These are the three practice tests I've taken since completing the LGB and LRB. I'll be taking PT's every other day until October, working my way up to the most recent. On my off days, I type out explanations for all my incorrect answers. I also purchased the 410 difficult LR questions bundle from Cambridge LSAT, which I have not started yet. I'm taking a Powerscore course that begins at the end of July as well.

On the PT's that I've taken, I've gotten -4 on all three LG sections (I made copies of these to insert as experimental sections in the future), between -5 and -8 on each LR section, and between -4 and -7 on RC. I'm shooting for a 170+ on the October LSAT (aren't we all, though). Is there anything I can do to improve that I'm not already doing? I'm open to any/all suggestions.

Thanks in advance.

Edit: I've gotten the same raw score on all 3 tests, if that matters (76/101). Thanks again.


Seems like you've got a decent plan. One suggestion, every time you get a question wrong on LR, ask yourself 4 questions:
1) What about the wrong answer I chose did I like that made me want to choose it
2) What about the wrong answer made it wrong that I missed
3) What about the right answer that was right did I miss
4) What about the right answer did I think was wrong, that wasn't wrong

These seem kind of obvious, but making yourself write out answers to these four questions can make patterns in what you miss appear that you otherwise might not catch. Like you may often knock out irrelevant answer choices on "each of the following weaken except" questions, you may pick overly strong answers, you may shy away from wishy washy answers when you shouldn't, you make avoid very strong answers on sufficient assumption questions, etc.

Then breakdown your misses in two ways, by question type and by answer choice type (the four questions above) and drill that to death.

unattended bag
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Re: PT #11, 12, 13; 160, 160, 162 respectively. How to improve?

Postby unattended bag » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:25 pm

Good idea. Thanks for the tip. I think sometimes it's all about doing little things like that to improve your score.

Thanks again.

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Jack Smirks
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Re: PT #11, 12, 13; 160, 160, 162 respectively. How to improve?

Postby Jack Smirks » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:28 pm

Where are you taking your PT's?

unattended bag
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Re: PT #11, 12, 13; 160, 160, 162 respectively. How to improve?

Postby unattended bag » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:29 pm

naterj wrote:Where are you taking your PT's?


In my school library

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Jack Smirks
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Re: PT #11, 12, 13; 160, 160, 162 respectively. How to improve?

Postby Jack Smirks » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:40 pm

unattended bag wrote:
naterj wrote:Where are you taking your PT's?


In my school library

In September try taking them in more distracting places, maybe a coffee shop or something. Teach yourself to maintain concentration no matter what's going on around you. Also, maybe try doing timed tests with 30 min. sections to tighten your pacing up, and sometimes on game day the proctors fuck up the times so prepare yourself for the unexpected.

Audio Technica Guy
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Re: PT #11, 12, 13; 160, 160, 162 respectively. How to improve?

Postby Audio Technica Guy » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:46 pm

naterj wrote:
unattended bag wrote:
naterj wrote:Where are you taking your PT's?


In my school library

In September try taking them in more distracting places, maybe a coffee shop or something. Teach yourself to maintain concentration no matter what's going on around you. Also, maybe try doing timed tests with 30 min. sections to tighten your pacing up, and sometimes on game day the proctors fuck up the times so prepare yourself for the unexpected.


I kind of disagree with this, because you can somewhat get used to the constant noise of a coffee shop and then a quiet test room is distracting. I think a school library is a good median. It's kind of like an exceptionally noisy test room where occasional random stuff happens.

I also disagree with training yourself for 30 mins. proctors aren't going to actually short change you by five minutes, and if they do, I would just cancel and retake (let LSAC know as well, as that is a voidable offense, forgetting to call 5 minutes isn't though). Train yourself such that you comfortably finish while doing everything as well as you can. Cutting yourself five minutes short, when those five minutes could have meant two more right answers if used more wisely seems counter productive.

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Jack Smirks
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Re: PT #11, 12, 13; 160, 160, 162 respectively. How to improve?

Postby Jack Smirks » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:56 pm

Audio Technica Guy wrote:
naterj wrote:
unattended bag wrote:
naterj wrote:Where are you taking your PT's?


In my school library

In September try taking them in more distracting places, maybe a coffee shop or something. Teach yourself to maintain concentration no matter what's going on around you. Also, maybe try doing timed tests with 30 min. sections to tighten your pacing up, and sometimes on game day the proctors fuck up the times so prepare yourself for the unexpected.


I kind of disagree with this, because you can somewhat get used to the constant noise of a coffee shop and then a quiet test room is distracting. I think a school library is a good median. It's kind of like an exceptionally noisy test room where occasional random stuff happens.

I also disagree with training yourself for 30 mins. proctors aren't going to actually short change you by five minutes, and if they do, I would just cancel and retake (let LSAC know as well, as that is a voidable offense, forgetting to call 5 minutes isn't though). Train yourself such that you comfortably finish while doing everything as well as you can. Cutting yourself five minutes short, when those five minutes could have meant two more right answers if used more wisely seems counter productive.

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Jack Smirks
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Re: PT #11, 12, 13; 160, 160, 162 respectively. How to improve?

Postby Jack Smirks » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:57 pm

Yeah, those were my initial reactions when I was given that advice but I think it helped. Don't consistently practice at 30 min. but try it once in awhile, I know with my own experience sometimes I would get stuck on a game and then only have like five minutes to finish the last one. It helped because I was somewhat used to the additional time constraints and didnt feel as panicked and knew what I was and was not capable of with the 5 minute warning.

Audio Technica Guy
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Re: PT #11, 12, 13; 160, 160, 162 respectively. How to improve?

Postby Audio Technica Guy » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:59 pm

naterj wrote:Yeah, those were my initial reactions when I was given that advice but I think it helped. Don't consistently practice at 30 min. but try it once in awhile, I know with my own experience sometimes I would get stuck on a game and then only have like five minutes to finish the last one. It helped because I was somewhat used to the additional time constraints and didnt feel as panicked and knew what I was and was not capable of with the 5 minute warning.


yeah, I agree that it's useful as an occasional drill. But I would never advise using it for full tests.

toptwin
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Re: PT #11, 12, 13; 160, 160, 162 respectively. How to improve?

Postby toptwin » Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:17 pm

I was in a similar situation, I could not break past the low 160's. What helped me is taking the test somewhere quite - you are trying to be in an environment where you will do your best. First get your initial expertise up and then you can try out various environments.

After a practice test take a day off. Then come back to it and see
1) the questions you got right - how could you have gotten them faster/eliminated wrong choices faster
2) Why did you have difficulty with some quesitons (i usually circle questions as I go that I find challenging)
3) Why did you get a question wrong and how could you have gotten it right.
4) and most importantly - write down the types of questions you got wrong (main point, parallel, strengthen etc.) Then see how many of those types of questions were on the test, and how many of those types you missed.
For me I realized that Strengthen and Main point questions I was doing about 50% on, so I went back to my LSAT Prep book (Powerscore) and restudied those sections and wrote out the strategies. It kind of recharged my batteries and within a week or so I was scoring 172-174 on PT's.
You need to start thinking about what the test makers are looking for. What pit falls they are going to create. Take the test to beat the test, not to pass it or get a score. I think that is Key.
You want to try to get to a state of mind where when you read the question, you know the answer, before you look for it.

And as for actual test day, shit happens. I could have easily got a 172 on June LSAT 2010 - but got stuck on LG and ended u with 167. eh.

Audio Technica Guy
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Re: PT #11, 12, 13; 160, 160, 162 respectively. How to improve?

Postby Audio Technica Guy » Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:22 pm

toptwin wrote:
After a practice test take a day off. Then come back to it and see
1) the questions you got right - how could you have gotten them faster/eliminated wrong choices faster

2) You want to try to get to a state of mind where when you read the question, you know the answer, before you look for it.


1) is often overlooked, but great advice. More often than not, the difference between 168-172 scorers and 175+ scorers isn't how quickly they can do hard questions, but how quickly they can do easy questions, which gives them more time for harder questions. It's really nice to know on a complicated parallel question you can take 4 minutes to diagram it if you need to.

Be really careful of point 2 (wasn't your original 2, but I called it that for clarity's sake), as it sometimes causes you to overly look for something that just isn't an answer choice for certain question types. Then you turn an answer choice into that and get it wrong. Like on a strengthen, there might be many ways to strengthen and if you get overly wrapped up in one way you'll talk yourself into a wrong answer sometimes. It can be a great help to have an idea of what you think the answer will do, especially on easier questions, but be really careful, especially in the middle of a LR section.

toptwin
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Re: PT #11, 12, 13; 160, 160, 162 respectively. How to improve?

Postby toptwin » Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:53 pm

Audio Technica Guy wrote:
toptwin wrote:
After a practice test take a day off. Then come back to it and see
1) the questions you got right - how could you have gotten them faster/eliminated wrong choices faster

2) You want to try to get to a state of mind where when you read the question, you know the answer, before you look for it.


1) is often overlooked, but great advice. More often than not, the difference between 168-172 scorers and 175+ scorers isn't how quickly they can do hard questions, but how quickly they can do easy questions, which gives them more time for harder questions. It's really nice to know on a complicated parallel question you can take 4 minutes to diagram it if you need to.

Be really careful of point 2 (wasn't your original 2, but I called it that for clarity's sake), as it sometimes causes you to overly look for something that just isn't an answer choice for certain question types. Then you turn an answer choice into that and get it wrong. Like on a strengthen, there might be many ways to strengthen and if you get overly wrapped up in one way you'll talk yourself into a wrong answer sometimes. It can be a great help to have an idea of what you think the answer will do, especially on easier questions, but be really careful, especially in the middle of a LR section.



Yea Sorry when I said what the answer will be, I meant more so, a general understanding of what the answer choice should function as i.e., linking two concepts together, making a hole through a particular argument.
And yea, if you do get caught up in it, you will waste a lot of time trying to figure out why its not on there. So take it for what it is, I guess.




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