Stuck at 153, no improvement after prep class

barksdale
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:17 am

Stuck at 153, no improvement after prep class

Postby barksdale » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:27 am

Hello,

I'm inquiring for any help about my current situation. I'm currently taking the testmasters prep class and I got a 153 on my first diagnostic. I was actually pretty happy with this considering I'm aiming for a 163-165 and thought that would be a reasonable improvement to achieve.

Since then, Ive taken five more practice tests (3 proctored, 2 by myself) and I have not improved my score at all. I'm not sure why I'm not grasping the concepts. I usually do poorly in reading comprehension, with my next worse section being logical reasoning. Time hasn't been a huge concern with logical reasoning but is a problem for reading comp.

I'm not sure what to do now, I think I need to go back to the basics because clearly I didn't grasp early concepts. I bought the PowerScore logical reasoning bible as a start. This has been a very frustrating process to say the least, I'm a very good student, 3.65 GPA at a somewhat prestigious university, if only I could take tests!

Any help is appreciated.

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gdane
Posts: 12384
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2009 2:41 pm

Re: Stuck at 153, no improvement after prep class

Postby gdane » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:53 am

barksdale wrote:Hello,

I'm inquiring for any help about my current situation. I'm currently taking the testmasters prep class and I got a 153 on my first diagnostic. I was actually pretty happy with this considering I'm aiming for a 163-165 and thought that would be a reasonable improvement to achieve.

Since then, Ive taken five more practice tests (3 proctored, 2 by myself) and I have not improved my score at all. I'm not sure why I'm not grasping the concepts. I usually do poorly in reading comprehension, with my next worse section being logical reasoning. Time hasn't been a huge concern with logical reasoning but is a problem for reading comp.

I'm not sure what to do now, I think I need to go back to the basics because clearly I didn't grasp early concepts. I bought the PowerScore logical reasoning bible as a start. This has been a very frustrating process to say the least, I'm a very good student, 3.65 GPA at a somewhat prestigious university, if only I could take tests!

Any help is appreciated.


I felt compassion toward you until you said this. Understand that going to a "somewhat prestigious" university doesnt guarantee that youre going to do well in everything related to academics. Youre seeing that firsthand now.

To answer your question: If youre scoring in that range that means youre not grasping the concepts. I dont know what the Testmasters method is so Im not sure what youve done, but the Powerscore method really helped me. I used the bibles and Ive seen great improvement across the board. Understand the concepts. Understand what it is youre supposed to do. There are what seems to be a million different flaws and reasoning errors that show up on the LSAT. Learn them. Learn how to identify them and learn how to fix these errors in reasoning. Learn how to properly strengthen and weaken questions.

I know this all sounds very vague, but its the most straightforward and uncomplicated thing you can do. I worked through the Logical Reasoning Bible, drilled the concepts and question types in Kaplan Mastery and Im now averaging roughly -5 on every LR section on my PT's, -5 isnt perfect, but Im getting there.

When it comes to RC I would suggest reading more in your spare time. Get your mind in text processing mode. It seems that with an improvement in LR there is also an improvement in RC.

One last thing, focus on your course. Presumably you paid a lot of money for this thing, right? So, let the course guide you. Dont do things on your own just yet.

Good luck!

hijodehombre
Posts: 251
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:29 pm

Re: Stuck at 153, no improvement after prep class

Postby hijodehombre » Sat Sep 18, 2010 7:52 pm

I understand your concern, but I don't think you should expect to see a huge increase after only 5 PTs.

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Columbia Law
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Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:51 pm

Re: Stuck at 153, no improvement after prep class

Postby Columbia Law » Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:00 pm

153 Won't get you anywhere. If you take into consideration of the pressures of the actual test, you are looking at about 3 points lower. Plus, you seem to have maxed out your resources. Good luck. Powerscore?

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

Re: Stuck at 153, no improvement after prep class

Postby Anaconda » Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:31 pm

Columbia Law wrote:153 Won't get you anywhere. If you take into consideration of the pressures of the actual test, you are looking at about 3 points lower. Plus, you seem to have maxed out your resources. Good luck. Powerscore?


WTF? He took 5 PTs...

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sayruss11
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 5:47 pm

Re: Stuck at 153, no improvement after prep class

Postby sayruss11 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:55 pm

have you done any untimed sections? have you gone over every single question writing out why each answer choice is either right or wrong? have done everything you possible can? if not, umm do those things.

arewhyaen
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:56 pm

Re: Stuck at 153, no improvement after prep class

Postby arewhyaen » Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:19 am

I took testmasters this summer also. My first diag cold was in the mid 140s. I managed to get into the high 160s today after taking PT 51(dec 06), and my last 3 or 4 PTs have all been in the 160s. Honestly, testmasters gives you the opportunity to look at every question in existence, and lays down the groundwork pretty nicely. But those first 5 classes are ESSENTIAL to take anything away from the course. What I'm getting at is its possible to get your goal score if you use all the resources they give you

But a couple things I learned with the help of Testmasters that helped me break into the 160s, and might help you in a short amount of time--

LG--
-dont be afraid to draw out hypotheticals next to questions. Many of the questions later on in the game will actually refer back to the hypotheticals you may have made and will reward you for making them.
-I've never ran into a hard question on LG. If a question seems overly challenging, you are missing a deduction or misread a rule. So these should be the first two places you should look at if a question is troubling you. In terms of a missing deduction, look at contrapositives, shared variables, and conditional statements in relation to other rules.

LR--
-I'm not gonna lie I struggle myself with these. The best thing I could say is slow it down when you read a long stimulus and always remember to attack the question. Look out for different word usage that you would normally equate to each other, but shouldnt.
-You SHOULD be getting the first 10-13 questions right. If you find yourself struggling with these, go over the lessons again or call the hotline, cause that means youre not comprehending the core lr aspects.
-What helped me most was using the score reports cause they tell you what the sucker choices were, what type of question it was, and well...the right answer. When you go over your stuff, ask yourself why YOU got it wrong, not just why it was wrong. Then note why the correct answer was correct.
-Be very cautious of answers that take certain situations to extremes. These type of questions usually use "always" "impossible" "can never happen," etc. Although they are not always wrong, I am usually very wary of them. Especially for question types that ask what you could most accurately infer or conclude. It's a rare situation when you could conclude something "can never happen" from the stimulus they give you. In terms of conditional statement questions, just refer back to the "most" "some" and "transitive property" pages in our book. Memorize them, its worth it.

RC--
-Slow. It. Down. Just doing this and not thinking about the time crunch made me go through the questions more quickly because I understood it more, and changed my RC score from -10 to -4. Nothing to gawk at but it was an improvement nonetheless. I found that using my pencil as a guider to read rather than just reading with my eyes made me slow down.
-Testmasters is VERY good at organizing their RC passages. Take advantage of this. See how they organize it by categories and then notice what kind of questions usually follow these type of passages. They are almost the same time and time again. Youll get comfortable and make an improvement.
-Attack the passage. If a word is in quotes, underline it. If they present you with multiple theories, know each theory and why they are different. Know the main point of a passage. If they mention certain people, ask why they are mentioning them. And lastly, understand the organization of the passage. I know that these things are easier said than done. But it's better to attempt to do them and get 1 or 2 more correct answers rather than getting them wrong.

I hope this helps!

mst
Posts: 925
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:01 am

Re: Stuck at 153, no improvement after prep class

Postby mst » Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:34 am

You've only taken 5 PT's. I don't many people who improve more than 3-5 points at best after that, regardless of the methods. Get your hands on the other 55 practice tests. Use the most recent ones as test day approaches because they are more accurate. Do at least 20 prior to taking the test. Do another 5-10 in individualized sections broken up (timed as well). After each test, review the questions you got wrong. During tests, hold yourself accountable with an analog watch and some kind of warning timer.

You: But mst, there's no way to do 25 tests before test day! Your advice sucks!

Me: Sorry. That's how people improve on this test. Not by paying 1000 bucks to sit in a classroom with their head in their hands listening to a lot of strategies. It's like with a sport. You can understand everything about pitching, but you can't expect to pitch 5 times and strike out MLB allstars. Regardless of any bad analogy, take the test when you planned on it. Then keep practicing and sign up for the next test date when you will be fully prepared.




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