Strategy that worked for me, raising my score significantly

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fragged
Posts: 238
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:52 pm

Strategy that worked for me, raising my score significantly

Postby fragged » Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:27 am

Just thought I would chime in and give back to the community, since I have gotten so much helpful information from this forum.

I was obsessed with the LSAT. I took it 3 times (December 2009, February 2010, June 2010)

I cancelled my first one because I thought I could do better
I got a 151 on my second one
I got a 164 on my third one

The first two times I took it, I knew I did poorly. I did not cancel the second one because I didn't want to have 2 cancellations, and honestly didn't know if I was going to do any better. Perhaps I was just a poor test taker, or so I thought.

The interesting thing was that I did very well when I did not time myself. Clearly, I knew the material. I felt like I was letting the anxiety get to me. So I began looking into my strategy. What I realized is that I would either answer as many questions as I could in 35 minutes, and not finish the section, or I would finish all of the questions, but end up making stupid mistakes because I was focusing too much on the timer.

First, I looked over some patterns on previous exams and identified the questions that took me the longest to answer. Once I identified the types of questions that typically took me longer to answer, I simply started skipping those questions. I would fill in a blank - any blank - and just "sacrifice" that question. The result was that I was able to focus on the questions where I was strong, thus making fewer mistakes. For me, there were roughly 1-2 questions in each section that I would do this on. It might not seem like a lot, but it made all the difference in the world for me.

I understand this is common sense to a lot of you, but for me it was a major psychological hurdle to just throw perfectly good questions away. Some of you might argue that it would be better to at least skim through the answers and guess intelligently, but I argue that even looking at the answers could entice you to waste time that could be spent on other questions. If I had time at the end of the section to go back, I would. But most of the time I did not, because I knew myself, knew my limits and knew how I would be most effective.

I was able to do this on LR and RC. It doesn't really work on LG... On LG you just skip your weaker games and do them last...

Anyway, this strategy brought my practice scores up from averaging 158 to averaging 165 over the course of 3 months. It may not work for you - but hopefully it will work for someone out there.

Good luck everyone.

User avatar
Perch
Posts: 517
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:36 pm

Re: Strategy that worked for me, raising my score significantly

Postby Perch » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:00 am

Thanks for the post. I tend to skip Parallel and Parallel Flaw questions and try to come back to them at the end of the section, not necessarily "sacrifice" them...but same idea.

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sophia.olive
Posts: 885
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:38 pm

Re: Strategy that worked for me, raising my score significantly

Postby sophia.olive » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:38 am

fragged wrote:Just thought I would chime in and give back to the community, since I have gotten so much helpful information from this forum.

I was obsessed with the LSAT. I took it 3 times (December 2009, February 2010, June 2010)

I cancelled my first one because I thought I could do better
I got a 151 on my second one
I got a 164 on my third one

The first two times I took it, I knew I did poorly. I did not cancel the second one because I didn't want to have 2 cancellations, and honestly didn't know if I was going to do any better. Perhaps I was just a poor test taker, or so I thought.

The interesting thing was that I did very well when I did not time myself. Clearly, I knew the material. I felt like I was letting the anxiety get to me. So I began looking into my strategy. What I realized is that I would either answer as many questions as I could in 35 minutes, and not finish the section, or I would finish all of the questions, but end up making stupid mistakes because I was focusing too much on the timer.

First, I looked over some patterns on previous exams and identified the questions that took me the longest to answer. Once I identified the types of questions that typically took me longer to answer, I simply started skipping those questions. I would fill in a blank - any blank - and just "sacrifice" that question. The result was that I was able to focus on the questions where I was strong, thus making fewer mistakes. For me, there were roughly 1-2 questions in each section that I would do this on. It might not seem like a lot, but it made all the difference in the world for me.

I understand this is common sense to a lot of you, but for me it was a major psychological hurdle to just throw perfectly good questions away. Some of you might argue that it would be better to at least skim through the answers and guess intelligently, but I argue that even looking at the answers could entice you to waste time that could be spent on other questions. If I had time at the end of the section to go back, I would. But most of the time I did not, because I knew myself, knew my limits and knew how I would be most effective.

I was able to do this on LR and RC. It doesn't really work on LG... On LG you just skip your weaker games and do them last...

Anyway, this strategy brought my practice scores up from averaging 158 to averaging 165 over the course of 3 months. It may not work for you - but hopefully it will work for someone out there.

Good luck everyone.


Some of the worst advice i ever heard.

merc280
Posts: 627
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 2:52 am

Re: Strategy that worked for me, raising my score significantly

Postby merc280 » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:53 am

sophia.olive wrote:
fragged wrote:Just thought I would chime in and give back to the community, since I have gotten so much helpful information from this forum.

I was obsessed with the LSAT. I took it 3 times (December 2009, February 2010, June 2010)

I cancelled my first one because I thought I could do better
I got a 151 on my second one
I got a 164 on my third one

The first two times I took it, I knew I did poorly. I did not cancel the second one because I didn't want to have 2 cancellations, and honestly didn't know if I was going to do any better. Perhaps I was just a poor test taker, or so I thought.

The interesting thing was that I did very well when I did not time myself. Clearly, I knew the material. I felt like I was letting the anxiety get to me. So I began looking into my strategy. What I realized is that I would either answer as many questions as I could in 35 minutes, and not finish the section, or I would finish all of the questions, but end up making stupid mistakes because I was focusing too much on the timer.

First, I looked over some patterns on previous exams and identified the questions that took me the longest to answer. Once I identified the types of questions that typically took me longer to answer, I simply started skipping those questions. I would fill in a blank - any blank - and just "sacrifice" that question. The result was that I was able to focus on the questions where I was strong, thus making fewer mistakes. For me, there were roughly 1-2 questions in each section that I would do this on. It might not seem like a lot, but it made all the difference in the world for me.

I understand this is common sense to a lot of you, but for me it was a major psychological hurdle to just throw perfectly good questions away. Some of you might argue that it would be better to at least skim through the answers and guess intelligently, but I argue that even looking at the answers could entice you to waste time that could be spent on other questions. If I had time at the end of the section to go back, I would. But most of the time I did not, because I knew myself, knew my limits and knew how I would be most effective.

I was able to do this on LR and RC. It doesn't really work on LG... On LG you just skip your weaker games and do them last...

Anyway, this strategy brought my practice scores up from averaging 158 to averaging 165 over the course of 3 months. It may not work for you - but hopefully it will work for someone out there.

Good luck everyone.


Some of the worst advice i ever heard.



I don't know if its the lack of sleep or just me, but that made me laugh.

User avatar
F458JE
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:40 pm

Re: Strategy that worked for me, raising my score significantly

Postby F458JE » Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:54 pm

Skip the questions you are bad at and focus on those you do well at. That is an example of pure ignorance.

Here is an idea that works for everyone else, study and practice on the question types you have trouble with. Devote less time to those you naturally do well at. :roll:

User avatar
fragged
Posts: 238
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:52 pm

Re: Strategy that worked for me, raising my score significantly

Postby fragged » Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:40 am

Glad to see the flamers are out in force... I'm sure you all got 170's or higher..

Apparently I have to explain this a bit more. This is not a study strategy. This is a possible strategy to use on test day. If you are naturally weaker in certain types of questions, and you have practiced them but still have a little trouble with them, this is a strategy to use when you are taking the actual exam.

It is not for everyone (clearly not for those posters above) but for me it worked.

User avatar
Anaconda
Posts: 610
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:51 pm

Re: Strategy that worked for me, raising my score significantly

Postby Anaconda » Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:08 am

It gets you to a certain point (if you're in the 150's and low 160's), but you're going to need to abandon this strategy to get to the next level. Let's say you do this for 5 questions. We'll assume you maybe get 1 right. You're already at a -4. Add maybe a -2 or -3 from the ones you attempted, and you're looking at a -6 to -8 for each section. If you get a hard LG section, you're pretty much screwed.

This is a filler strategy, if anything. If you keep this up you'll essentially be putting a cap on your top score potential. For others whose goals are in the high 150's, this could work, and actually test prep companies recommend going for greater accuracy by attempting fewer questions if necessary. People on TLS reject this because everyone on here wants a 180.

I think you are having trouble with timing. Perhaps taking more timed PTs will help you out, as will drilling the types of LR questions you're struggling with.

PS. For LGs my strategy for very hard questions is to eliminate a few answer choices, take an educated guess and then move on. Everyone is capable of getting a -0, but the time constraint could destroy you if you waste 2 or 3 minutes on one question. You never know how difficult/time consuming the next game will be, which is why focusing lots of time on one question is potentially deadly.




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