new strategy- thoughts?

hulahoop
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 11:29 pm

new strategy- thoughts?

Postby hulahoop » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:17 pm

So, my last timed PT scores have been 178 (45), 180 (48), 180 (51), 167 (55), 179 (53), 172 (58). It seems I am capable of a good score, but can also royally screw it up (55 and 58), when I stop paying as close attention as I need to be. Today on 58, I was doing great for the first half, then had trouble focusing after my break, and missed 6 questions in those two sections. I am at the point now where I feel like taking full PTs is no longer helping me, I do not have time to drill them and try to build up my stamina, but also do not want to get rusty before Oct 9. Has anyone experienced something like this? I feel like I was getting close to burnout my last time around, and do not want to repeat that mistake now that I know I can hit 180. I was planning to just take timed sections, about 1 a day at least, until the test to keep myself sharp (I almost always get -0 or -1 this way), but doing the PTs seems like a chore at this point, and I cant seem to make myself focus through the entire test when I know its just practice.

short version: at this point, how important to maintaining what I have do you guys think full PTs are? I am hoping the adrenaline of the real thing keeps me from getting too fatigued, and I dont think that it my underlying problem, more like I know I can do it now and I cant fool myself into giving it my all anymore.

DreamShake
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Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:03 pm

Re: new strategy- thoughts?

Postby DreamShake » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:40 pm

I would personally place a premium on trying to avoid burnout, but not at the cost of completely cutting out PT's. Maybe slow down to 1 PT a week with just a few sections sprinkled every few days. If a particular section type gives/has given you trouble in the past, you might do a couple of those every two days, plus a PT on the weekend.

hulahoop
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 11:29 pm

Re: new strategy- thoughts?

Postby hulahoop » Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:06 pm

At this point I have taken about 15-20 PTs all together (including my study the first time around). Do you think there is anything I can really gain from 5 section tests as opposed to 2-3 at a time? I think my issue is mental, since if I miss any they are near the end when I stop paying attention, but I am capable of going strong all the way through when I have my head in the game. I am just afraid that taking more and more PTs will make me even more sick of it, as well as totally psyching me out when I dont do as well as I should

tourdeforcex
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Re: new strategy- thoughts?

Postby tourdeforcex » Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:40 pm

agree with dreamshake: avoid burnout but try to do PTs

caveat: i'm not scoring anywhere near as high as you are but from what i've heard it's really good to take as many full PTs as possible. that it's all about how much focus you can muster and endure.

i do wonder about how the adrenaline of test day factors in

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sundance95
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Re: new strategy- thoughts?

Postby sundance95 » Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:49 pm

Was there anything different about those days where you burnt out? Did you eat between the third and fourth sections? If not, you may have had low blood sugar.

DreamShake
Posts: 366
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:03 pm

Re: new strategy- thoughts?

Postby DreamShake » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:15 pm

hulahoop wrote:At this point I have taken about 15-20 PTs all together (including my study the first time around). Do you think there is anything I can really gain from 5 section tests as opposed to 2-3 at a time? I think my issue is mental, since if I miss any they are near the end when I stop paying attention, but I am capable of going strong all the way through when I have my head in the game. I am just afraid that taking more and more PTs will make me even more sick of it, as well as totally psyching me out when I dont do as well as I should


I view it more as a matter of not losing the endurance you have, but if you feel confident in your ability to plow through a full 5-section test on exam day, I don't see how relaxing would hurt you. I would guess that if you've been hitting >177 for about 10 tests, you've probably learned all you're going to.

FWIW, I'm in a somewhat similar situation--my last few tests have been 178, 169, 170, 180, 173, 180, 175...and the primary reason for the huge fluctuations is difference in focus. When I'm bored/not on my game, I slack off. Personally, I'm going to keep hacking away, because I'm just neurotic like that (and am still adjusting my PT's to the morning).

hulahoop
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 11:29 pm

Re: new strategy- thoughts?

Postby hulahoop » Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:11 pm

dreamshake, does not scoring well psych you out completely? B/c that is exactly what happens to me, even though I can sort of tell while I am taking it. Its like if I score badly it completely kills my confidence until I pay attention and do well the next time around, then I stop caring again. So there is a yo-yo effect going on with my scored. I did eat between the 3rd and 4th section, last time I think I was just in 'almost done -stop caring' mode, and did worse in the 4th section than in the first 3 combined.

Sigh. If I had the time to take full-lengths in the morning and try to simulate test day conditions I would, but if I will be able to do any they will be at night, so that kind of leads me to try to just do as many sections as I can instead....




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