Tips to increase focus?

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Tips to increase focus?

Postby zephyr36 » Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:17 am

I just did PT51 today and scored a 162. Out of the 6 or so full tests that I've taken so far, 3 of them have been in the 166-168 range. I really want a 170 on test day, but that seems unlikely at this point :( However, I'm seeing that my focus is really off. I bombed the first two sections -8 and -9, respectively, but going back over the tests it appears that I'm just not reading closely enough and missing key words and generally not reading closely enough. I try to study at a coffee shop nearby that is fairly loud in order to mitigate test day conditions, but I really need ideas on how to keep 100% focus for the whole test. I'd at least like to score in the high 160s, so that I can remain competitive in the T14 (I have a 4.0).

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Re: Tips to increase focus?

Postby ElvisAaron » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:38 am

I was having the same problem for a while, and I'm happy to say it doesn't seem to be an issue anymore. Never say never, but 4 PTs in a row I've felt much more focus doing this.
My methods FWIW-
1. I forget about the clock for PTs. Yeah its important but its distracting and can influence your approach. At this point in time you SHOULD be finishing under 35 each time anyways, so I just let it ride and work away. I set the timer, but I don't watch it actively. As a result I've realized that my comfortable working pace fits snugly in the limits of time, so I can confidently eliminate that distraction.
2. Don't see 25 questions to work through. See one question. Then the next. Feeling the enormity of the exam makes it easy for your mind to sort of zone out and go on autopilot. If you can strictly simplify it to a question at a time, 100 individual battles instead of a 4 hour war, it helps stay focused.
3. This is the biggest one for me-Don't answer questions off the top of your head (even though you know you're smart and the answer is RIGHT THERE). Identify the question type, follow the prescribed method of attack. For EVERY question. This is how I've eliminated the "dumb mistakes" everyone makes. If you let yourself start answering them just off instinct you will keep doing it throughout the test unintentionally and you lose that rigid focus. Ever look at a wrong answer and say "how the hell did I miss/choose that?" That's probably why.
Good luck!

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