Stuck in the high 150's

nodummy
Posts: 179
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:20 pm

Stuck in the high 150's

Postby nodummy » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:08 am

I've been studying consistently for the October test since early June. I'm now getting into the routine of taking practice tests every 2 or 3 days but am not improving my score. My practice test scores are as follows...

PT-44 (with exp. section) - 159
PT-45 (with exp. section) - 155 (after work so I was pretty drained)
PT-46 (with exp. section) - 157
PT-48 (with exp. section) - 156

On average I'm missing between 4 to 8 questions per LR section, 2 to 6 questions on LG, and 9 to 13 questions on RC. I'm confident I can improve just not sure of the best method since the test is about a month away. I've read both bibles and spent weeks drilling individual question types from the Cambridge LSAT bundles...but no luck.

I'm aiming for at least a 165 on test day...what's your advice and do you think this is a realistic goal?

Thanks.

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TommyK
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Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:08 pm

Re: Stuck in the high 150's

Postby TommyK » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:38 am

When you take the test non-timed, are you doing significantly better? If so, it sounds like it's a timing issue and you need to focus on how you can get through the sections more quickly and efficiently. If not, it sounds like a mastery issue and you need to focus on that.

Your biggest yield will be on RC & LR.

RC - you're missing 1/3 - 1/2 of the questions. Sounds like time to slow down. Take a minute at the beginning to prioritize the passage based on the number of questions, type of questions, scope of material, obviousness of the voice of the author, level of interest in the topic, etc. If you're a slow reader, you may be sacrificing reading comprehension for speed to make sure you get to all four and that may be doing you a disservice.

LR - focus on the major question types and see which questions are causing you difficulty, but also causing you to take too much time. If you see a parallel flaw question, or a principle question on the third page that takes up an entire column of the page, it may be a good idea to just skip this right off the bat and save it for later. You may be spending 3 minutes on this question, causing you to spend insufficiently less time on a comparably easier strengthen/weaken question on the fourth page.

good luck.

lparker
Posts: 148
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:14 am

Re: Stuck in the high 150's

Postby lparker » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:41 am

Unless it's a timing issue, I'd probably take some time off from PTs. Reread the bibles and make certain you understand the concepts. Also, are you trying to complete all 4 of the passages in RC? If you're missing 9-13 you might be one to benefit from just doing 3 passages with great accuracy.

ly2010
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:30 pm

Re: Stuck in the high 150's

Postby ly2010 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:42 am

nodummy wrote:I've been studying consistently for the October test since early June. I'm now getting into the routine of taking practice tests every 2 or 3 days but am not improving my score. My practice test scores are as follows...

PT-44 (with exp. section) - 159
PT-45 (with exp. section) - 155 (after work so I was pretty drained)
PT-46 (with exp. section) - 157
PT-48 (with exp. section) - 156

On average I'm missing between 4 to 8 questions per LR section, 2 to 6 questions on LG, and 9 to 13 questions on RC. I'm confident I can improve just not sure of the best method since the test is about a month away. I've read both bibles and spent weeks drilling individual question types from the Cambridge LSAT bundles...but no luck.

I'm aiming for at least a 165 on test day...what's your advice and do you think this is a realistic goal?

Thanks.


I think you should focus on getting your LG to -0 first and then work from there. Most people say this is the easiest section to get some points!

Which type of individual question did you focus on?

I am kind of in your situation but I know my problem is timing. I don't have a firm grasp on how fast and how slow I need to go. I can finish LR with 10 minutes to spare and get -5. If I just slow down, I can easily miss 2 or 3. For me, I just need to find a balance between being more thorough versus finishing on time. If I don't miss any LG, I can probably get a 165 without improving my LR or RC. I don't think I can improve my RC substantially in a month.

nodummy
Posts: 179
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:20 pm

Re: Stuck in the high 150's

Postby nodummy » Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:01 pm

Thanks for the tips. I'm going to work on getting LG back down to -0 (it was there for a while but went up to -4 or -6 after improving on LR) and also try doing only 3 of 4 RC passages.

That said, should I continue taking PT's while also working on getting these down or take a week off from full pt's? If I take a week off I might not have time to complete them all before October 9th, however is getting the basics down more important than timing and taking full pt's?

Hedwig
Posts: 835
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:56 am

Re: Stuck in the high 150's

Postby Hedwig » Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:33 pm

nodummy wrote:Thanks for the tips. I'm going to work on getting LG back down to -0 (it was there for a while but went up to -4 or -6 after improving on LR) and also try doing only 3 of 4 RC passages.

That said, should I continue taking PT's while also working on getting these down or take a week off from full pt's? If I take a week off I might not have time to complete them all before October 9th, however is getting the basics down more important than timing and taking full pt's?


If doing full PTs does not increase your accuracy, there's no point in doing them all. If you do all the PTs and end up with 155-159 on all of them, that did not help you one bit!

However, if you take a break to really focus on coming up with a strategy for RC, keeping your LG at zero and honing your skills, eliminating a few more errors on LR - then you can go back to prep tests, apply your new skills/accuracy, and get more questions right, giving you a higher score on the prep tests you do.

I think in your situation if you're working hard on section work every day, a full week off from PTs is fine. You can judge your progress through individual sections as well.




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