How many PTs per week while avoiding burnout?

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pattymac

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How many PTs per week while avoiding burnout?

Postby pattymac » Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:20 pm

Hey guys,
The title says it all. I've done roughly 15 pts...was around 155-160 range, took a couple months off and trying to work my way back up. I write in October. Trying for 160+ at least. Thanks!

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Atlas LSAT Teacher

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Re: How many PTs per week while avoiding burnout?

Postby Atlas LSAT Teacher » Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:29 pm

Obviously this really depends on your brain, but in general, 1 a week is good for the summer, and then bump it to 2x per week in September. The key is to also do review, and then re-do sections later on.

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TheLuckyOne

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Re: How many PTs per week while avoiding burnout?

Postby TheLuckyOne » Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:07 pm

Atlas LSAT Teacher wrote:The key is to also do review, and then re-do sections later on.


Elaborate, please ))

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F458JE

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Re: How many PTs per week while avoiding burnout?

Postby F458JE » Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:21 pm

I plan on doing two per week starting in a couple weeks.

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Atlas LSAT Teacher

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Re: How many PTs per week while avoiding burnout?

Postby Atlas LSAT Teacher » Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:37 am

TheLuckyOne wrote:
Atlas LSAT Teacher wrote:The key is to also do review, and then re-do sections later on.


Elaborate, please ))

Here's a blog post I wrote on this: http://www.atlaslsat.com/blog/index.php ... lanations/

The big thing that folks ignore is reviewing tempting answers in LR and RC - the ones that are wrong but were not quickly eliminated. Categorize and explain their wrongness until a 15 year old could understand.

Re-doing hard games until you can do them like you're waltzing is a pretty well-known idea I think.

bofaem

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Re: How many PTs per week while avoiding burnout?

Postby bofaem » Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:44 am

3-4 weeks before testday you should be doing one a day, at the very least five a week--after about 5 or 6 in a row you will get your first big bump in scores and then likely plateau until you get really serious about small details you miss

marklg89

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Re: How many PTs per week while avoiding burnout?

Postby marklg89 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:53 am

I personally followed the same regimen that my Testmasters proctor did -- 2 tests a day during the 3-4 weeks leading up to game day. Before I started taking the two tests I would take three sections of the same type (ie 3LR one day, 3LG the other, etc...) to really familiarize myself with them, so that when I had to only do one it was a breeze.

I was already in my summer break when I had three weeks left 'till D-Day, so I had all the time I needed to study. For the first test of the day I would simulate real conditions, such as take it at the same time as the real thing, coordinate my eating/bathroom routine for game day etc. Second test of the day was to mostly work on my fatigue and reinforce familiarization. It was also a good indicator to see if I had learned from the last test's mistakes.

That's what worked for me. It was a gruelling three-week study project, but in the end it was def. worth it.

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F458JE

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Re: How many PTs per week while avoiding burnout?

Postby F458JE » Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:08 am

bofaem wrote:3-4 weeks before testday you should be doing one a day, at the very least five a week--after about 5 or 6 in a row you will get your first big bump in scores and then likely plateau until you get really serious about small details you miss



This is horrible advice... There absolutely no need or benefit from doing one per day! This can hinder performance and will likely cause burnout.

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LSAT Blog

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Re: How many PTs per week while avoiding burnout?

Postby LSAT Blog » Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:13 am

F458JE wrote:
bofaem wrote:3-4 weeks before testday you should be doing one a day, at the very least five a week--after about 5 or 6 in a row you will get your first big bump in scores and then likely plateau until you get really serious about small details you miss



This is horrible advice... There absolutely no need or benefit from doing one per day! This can hinder performance and will likely cause burnout.


+1

5/week is far too many. Aside from burnout, not enough time to review or do much else.

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gdane

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Re: How many PTs per week while avoiding burnout?

Postby gdane » Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:44 pm

bofaem wrote:3-4 weeks before testday you should be doing one a day, at the very least five a week--after about 5 or 6 in a row you will get your first big bump in scores and then likely plateau until you get really serious about small details you miss


Take it from someone that used this method and ended up scoring poorly on the LSAT, Dont do this. This person either doesnt know what he/she is talking and is just rehashing some of the false advice that clutters TLS or he/she got lucky and was able to increase his/her score using this method.

What you want to do is get the basics down. Understand the games, understand the arguments, understand what the test and questions ask of you. Simply taking PT after PT is not the way to prep. If you were scoring in the 155-160 range this tells me that you dont have the fundamentals down, like me. I was scoring in that range and after taking 32 practice tests I never went higher than a 158.

Use the bibles, use Pithypike and LSAT blogs study guides. Once you have all that stuff down, then start taking tests. I finished the LGB, did all the games that corresponded to each type (linear, grouping, etc) and now Im doing the same with LR using the LRB and Kaplan Mastery. I dont plan on taking a PT until late August at the earliest.

Get the basics down first and then move on to practice tests. I'd say a month before the test you want to be doing 3 a week, preferably in the morning and in a semi noisy setting (library, book store, etc).

Good luck!

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TheLuckyOne

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Re: How many PTs per week while avoiding burnout?

Postby TheLuckyOne » Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:57 pm

Atlas LSAT Teacher wrote:
TheLuckyOne wrote:
Atlas LSAT Teacher wrote:The key is to also do review, and then re-do sections later on.


Elaborate, please ))



Re-doing hard games until you can do them like you're waltzing is a pretty well-known idea I think.


Oh, I thought you were talking about all the sections, not only games.

marklg89 wrote:I personally followed the same regimen that my Testmasters proctor did -- 2 tests a day during the 3-4 weeks leading up to game day.


Doesn't sound like a good advice. Really. :|

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KibblesAndVick

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Re: How many PTs per week while avoiding burnout?

Postby KibblesAndVick » Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:03 pm

LSAT Blog wrote:
F458JE wrote:
bofaem wrote:3-4 weeks before testday you should be doing one a day, at the very least five a week--after about 5 or 6 in a row you will get your first big bump in scores and then likely plateau until you get really serious about small details you miss



This is horrible advice... There absolutely no need or benefit from doing one per day! This can hinder performance and will likely cause burnout.


+1

5/week is far too many. Aside from burnout, not enough time to review or do much else.


This. All of the progress you make comes from review not from literally taking a test. The tests are just measurements of where you stand. Taking 5 measurements a week is not any better than taking one or two measurements a week. Growth comes from adjustments and a fuller understanding of the material. You get that out of reviewing a test, not from taking it.

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TommyK

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Re: How many PTs per week while avoiding burnout?

Postby TommyK » Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:12 pm

KibblesAndVick wrote:
LSAT Blog wrote:
F458JE wrote:
bofaem wrote:3-4 weeks before testday you should be doing one a day, at the very least five a week--after about 5 or 6 in a row you will get your first big bump in scores and then likely plateau until you get really serious about small details you miss



This is horrible advice... There absolutely no need or benefit from doing one per day! This can hinder performance and will likely cause burnout.


+1

5/week is far too many. Aside from burnout, not enough time to review or do much else.


This. All of the progress you make comes from review not from literally taking a test. The tests are just measurements of where you stand. Taking 5 measurements a week is not any better than taking one or two measurements a week. Growth comes from adjustments and a fuller understanding of the material. You get that out of reviewing a test, not from taking it.


Can I +1 somebody else's +1?

If so, +1.

If there's one mistake reviewing old tests, it's that people don't dedicate enough time to them. To review a test, it should take you significantly longer than actually taking the test. Not only are you looking at the questions you got wrong to see where you went wrong, you're looking at all the questions you got right to see how you got the right answer, make sure you didn't luck into a point by guessing between two plausible answers. Also, see if you got to the right answer in the most efficient way. It will allow you to find ways to shave valuable seconds off some of the easier questions so you have time later to focus on more difficult questions.

If it takes you 3 hours to take a practice lsat, I could see spending 7 hours reviewing it, if you're doing it in full detail and making sure you're comprehending everything - every nuance, deducation, and flaw. This means that every practice LSAT could take 10 hours. Doing 5/week would be a ridonculous work load.

marklg89

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Re: How many PTs per week while avoiding burnout?

Postby marklg89 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:17 pm

Different strokes for different folks. For me, as long as I stay focused on my ultimate goal -- which is learning the test in order to do well on it -- I don't get burned out. Call me crazy, but I actually came to enjoy the challenge, and that pushed me forward. The repetition aspect helped me with spotting common traps and noticing general to miniscule similarities among the tests/question types.

Regardless of what path you choose (be it 1 test a day or two/three a week), it is absolutely paramount (and I really can't stress this enough) that you REVIEW and LEARN from your mistakes. I would spend three hours taking the test and then another hour/hour and a half going over it. Then, I would take an hour nap and repeat. After I finish going over the second test, I'll look over the first again and see if I can spot any similarities among the mistakes I made. This helped me detect the weak spots in my logic and address them. I highly recommend having a notebook and writing down by hand (I find that it's easier to remember things I write rather than type) the correct answer and wrong answer, why you got it wrong, and why the correct answer is in fact correct.

Again, to reiterate what I and earlier posters said -- learn from your mistakes. In the end, it's not how many tests you take but how much you get from each one. It's all about wrapping your mind around the logic of the test. Good luck!

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dub

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Re: How many PTs per week while avoiding burnout?

Postby dub » Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:47 pm

If you're feeling burnt out, you don't want it badly enough.

marklg89

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Re: How many PTs per week while avoiding burnout?

Postby marklg89 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:55 pm

dub wrote:If you're feeling burnt out, you don't want it badly enough.


QFT

I would spend an average of 11 hours a day studying in the three weeks leading up the test. Every shortcoming would drive me more and every gain only increased my appetite for a higher score. Get into a very, very hungry mentality -- don't smoke or drink starting a month before the test and exercise to recharge the mind with endorphins. Remember: you're not the first to be in your position. This test is doable, as evidenced by the many remarkable success stories on these boards.

Check out TLS if you get stuck as there are many helpful and friendly peeps here, as well as others who are in the same position as you.

czelede

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Re: How many PTs per week while avoiding burnout?

Postby czelede » Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:58 pm

As people have reiterated, you have to find out what works for you. Some people will always suffer from burnout and fatigue from doing tests too close to one another, and therefore it doesn't benefit them. Other people do better by more frequently doing tests because it "keeps their minds in the game" (probably a smaller percentage). It's hard to tell you how to study because it may not be the most effective for you, but I think most people are in the former category than the latter.

I did one to two tests a week for about weeks 5-3 before my test, about three tests a week during weeks 3-2, and pretty much one test every day for the 10 days leading up to my test. Common advice was to relax and not do anything the night before, but I personally felt my performance grew more consistent with frequency so I took one last PT the afternoon before my LSAT (58 or 59, I think). I am willing to bet this game plan would be disastrous for most people, but again, it's about understanding how YOU learn and study. Just make sure you actually have enough PTs to last you :)

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brickman

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Re: How many PTs per week while avoiding burnout?

Postby brickman » Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:39 pm

the only post/person of interest on this subject via:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=36512

SoS writes wonderful things. Go read through all of his articles. He is at the same time a brute force studier, inspiration machine, and result producer.

For those who want hope, view his thread on how he went from 154 to 179:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=83117

A mountain of a man is he.



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