Why am I struggling so much with PTs in the 50s?

kpuc
Posts: 251
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:28 pm

Why am I struggling so much with PTs in the 50s?

Postby kpuc » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:50 pm

I'm starting to get a bit worried, because for some reason, I can't seem to do well on PTs in the 50s.

To give some background info, I took a cold diagnostic at Kaplan (PT 36) and got a 164. By my 10th PT, I was reliably hitting at least 175; these were PTs in the early 20s.

I then made the jump to the really new PTs. I did okay on PT 49 (172 with a -0 on LG), but was a little disappointed because I didn't hit 175. However, that would prove to be my high point for a while as I scored a 167 and a 168 on PTs 50 and 51, respectively. I got mentally hamstrung on the LGs of PT 52 and voided that PT (would've gotten something like 167ish, probably). I bounced back with a 173 on PT 53, but nosedived again with a 169 in PT 54 (due to a terrible -4 on LG).

Thinking that I was somehow snakebitten in the 50s, I took PT 47 and got a 178. I then took PT 55 and got a 171, and though that score wasn't that high, I was buoyed by a -2 on LR, especially since many people said that the LR in PT 55 was very tough.

So I was amped to take PT 56 (the latest one I've taken so far) and finally start scoring in the mid-170s again, when... I was stonewalled by the LG section, which was the first section. I got a -6 on LG, which is by far the worst I've ever done and even worse than my cold diagnostic. I knew that I had completely messed up the LG when I finished that section and stopped with the PT. The next day, I did the LR and RC, and got -6 and -3 respectively, which combined with the LG would've given me a 167.

I just don't get it. I had never scored below a 170 since my first 2 PTs, and now, it's becoming a regular occurrence! It's not as if the early 50s have a rep for being especially difficult. I got a 178 on PT 47, which I'd imagine wasn't too different from the early 50s. Yet I seem to average a sub-170 on PT 50s. At this point, I honestly think it's a mental block: I had a bad time with PTs 50-52 and I'm convinced that these tests are much harder than they really are.

I'm wondering if there's a substantive reason as to why there's been such a drastic drop in my score in the 50s, and if so, what are the new areas I need to quickly address before test day. Or is it all in my head?

User avatar
DearCan
Posts: 302
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:13 am

Re: Why am I struggling so much with PTs in the 50s?

Postby DearCan » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:26 pm

kpuc wrote:I'm starting to get a bit worried, because for some reason, I can't seem to do well on PTs in the 50s.

To give some background info, I took a cold diagnostic at Kaplan (PT 36) and got a 164. By my 10th PT, I was reliably hitting at least 175; these were PTs in the early 20s.

I then made the jump to the really new PTs. I did okay on PT 49 (172 with a -0 on LG), but was a little disappointed because I didn't hit 175. However, that would prove to be my high point for a while as I scored a 167 and a 168 on PTs 50 and 51, respectively. I got mentally hamstrung on the LGs of PT 52 and voided that PT (would've gotten something like 167ish, probably). I bounced back with a 173 on PT 53, but nosedived again with a 169 in PT 54 (due to a terrible -4 on LG).

Thinking that I was somehow snakebitten in the 50s, I took PT 47 and got a 178. I then took PT 55 and got a 171, and though that score wasn't that high, I was buoyed by a -2 on LR, especially since many people said that the LR in PT 55 was very tough.

So I was amped to take PT 56 (the latest one I've taken so far) and finally start scoring in the mid-170s again, when... I was stonewalled by the LG section, which was the first section. I got a -6 on LG, which is by far the worst I've ever done and even worse than my cold diagnostic. I knew that I had completely messed up the LG when I finished that section and stopped with the PT. The next day, I did the LR and RC, and got -6 and -3 respectively, which combined with the LG would've given me a 167.

I just don't get it. I had never scored below a 170 since my first 2 PTs, and now, it's becoming a regular occurrence! It's not as if the early 50s have a rep for being especially difficult. I got a 178 on PT 47, which I'd imagine wasn't too different from the early 50s. Yet I seem to average a sub-170 on PT 50s. At this point, I honestly think it's a mental block: I had a bad time with PTs 50-52 and I'm convinced that these tests are much harder than they really are.

I'm wondering if there's a substantive reason as to why there's been such a drastic drop in my score in the 50s, and if so, what are the new areas I need to quickly address before test day. Or is it all in my head?


My guess is burnout. This happened to me, and I had to take almost a week off before I could get my head back in the game. I would advise a day or two off...completely. It might seem unwise considering the test is near, but you'll probably be better for it.

Destined
Posts: 65
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: Why am I struggling so much with PTs in the 50s?

Postby Destined » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:31 pm

I had the same problem switching to PT's 50-57, except i had already gone through 7-49. I had worked up to averaging ~175 by about 36 but the difference with the newer PTs is youre working against a much rougher, less generous curve. This is on account of the fact that global warming has made law school hopefuls much smarter in the past 10 years. True story!

User avatar
gdane
Posts: 12295
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2009 2:41 pm

Re: Why am I struggling so much with PTs in the 50s?

Postby gdane » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:35 pm

They're different from the earlier tests. Not necessarily harder, just different. They ask different types of questions. Whereas the tests from the next 10 and 40's asked a LOT of weaken/strengthen question, the ones in the 50's ask a lot more role, assumption and flaw in argument questions. Its just a matter of getting used to these questions. You'll be fine.

I had a drop from 48-51. Since then Ive significantly improved, with my scores on 53-56 being super good.

Just keep working.

Good luck!

czelede
Posts: 689
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:54 pm

Re: Why am I struggling so much with PTs in the 50s?

Postby czelede » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:11 pm

I took a hit when I hit the mid-50s as well - for me, it was in the RC section (I felt like the questions became more ambiguous). It was stressful considering I had done them chronologically and was a mere few days away from the actual LSAT. I was hitting 175-178 consistently before then, and suddenly dropped to the low 170s. This held for at least 3 or 4 PTs, and though I recovered a little I slipped back on the very last PT I was prepared to take (it was on a Saturday before my LSAT, which was on a Monday). Naturally, this did terrible things to my confidence. Looking back, I attribute the drop to the change in RC format and also the burnout - I'd been doing 1 PT a day up until that point (didn't start studying seriously until ~3 weeks before the test).

My best advice for you is to take it in stride - review your mistakes, give your mind sometime to recover, and believe that you will.

kpuc
Posts: 251
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:28 pm

Re: Why am I struggling so much with PTs in the 50s?

Postby kpuc » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:44 pm

My guess is burnout. This happened to me, and I had to take almost a week off before I could get my head back in the game. I would advise a day or two off...completely. It might seem unwise considering the test is near, but you'll probably be better for it.


This problem has consisted for almost a month, so I don't think it's due to burnout. It could just indicate that I'm sick of taking PTs.

I had the same problem switching to PT's 50-57, except i had already gone through 7-49. I had worked up to averaging ~175 by about 36 but the difference with the newer PTs is youre working against a much rougher, less generous curve. This is on account of the fact that global warming has made law school hopefuls much smarter in the past 10 years. True story!


Yes, I have noticed the tougher scale, but it's not only that; I've also hit all-time lows in my raw scores as well.

They're different from the earlier tests. Not necessarily harder, just different. They ask different types of questions. Whereas the tests from the next 10 and 40's asked a LOT of weaken/strengthen question, the ones in the 50's ask a lot more role, assumption and flaw in argument questions. Its just a matter of getting used to these questions. You'll be fine.


This could be quite illuminating, though my main adjustment problem has been logic games. Thanks! I'll look into it.

User avatar
3|ink
Posts: 7331
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:23 pm

Re: Why am I struggling so much with PTs in the 50s?

Postby 3|ink » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:56 pm

Because they're hard IMO.

kpuc
Posts: 251
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:28 pm

Re: Why am I struggling so much with PTs in the 50s?

Postby kpuc » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:00 pm

3|ink wrote:Because they're hard IMO.


Are PTs 50-52 that much more difficult than PTs 47-49?

User avatar
Kabuo
Posts: 1114
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:53 am

Re: Why am I struggling so much with PTs in the 50s?

Postby Kabuo » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:45 pm

I'm similarly distraught. I was averaging about 174 from tests 30-38 and then 50-54, with lows of 170 and highs of 177. On PT55, I got a 170, and for logistical reasons had to take PT56 right afterward, which was a 169. Today I took 57, with my back killing me and a pretty girl talking loudly on her phone next to me through the whole first LR section. I can sort of understand the -5 on that, but that was my worst LR in ages. I also got -4 on RC which is a little worse than usual (my RC in the 50s ranges from -0 to -6). I got through the mauve dinos ok, but then only had 5 mins left for the last game and managed to miss a deduction and only get 1 right, for a -6 overall LG. Now, with the test getting closer, I've just hit my career low on PT 57, which ties what I got on the real thing in June: 165.

I don't think I can overemphasize how much I am freaking out right now. It seems like burnout, because I am misreading a lot of excepts and things like "counter" instead of "strengthen," but I feel like taking 3 days off at this point would be madness with the test looming. If I don't improve on my original 165 after all this studying and what I thought was progress, I don't know what I'll do.

thegrayman
Posts: 495
Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 5:56 pm

Re: Why am I struggling so much with PTs in the 50s?

Postby thegrayman » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:53 pm

I am onboard with this frustration as well, new PT's are killing me, just got a score on a PT (6/07) that rattled the hell out of me this close to the real deal...I've been knocking out constant 170+'s on tests as recent as the late 40's, then hit a brick wall around 50...

:shock:

User avatar
yzero1
Posts: 185
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 4:33 pm

Re: Why am I struggling so much with PTs in the 50s?

Postby yzero1 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:01 pm

PTs in the 50s had me freaking out too. I was averaging over 176 for the PTS from 7-49, but my scores became really inconsistent in the early 50s where for the first time since I started studying in June, I regressed to the mid-to-low 170s. After I got used to the new RC though, I've been doing better - hitting scores from 175-178.

I think a useful tip is to increase your accuracy on RC by reading more into the detail of the passages. You could get by skimming the passages before the 50s, but now some of the questions are really tricky if you don't know the specific details they refer to. Also, spend more time checking the answer with the passage and make sure you can find concrete support. This strategy will probably eat up a few minutes, so it may not work if you're already cutting it close on RC. However, if you find you have 5+ minutes to spare at the end of RC sections, try this out and see how it works.

Additionally, I find that I make a disproportionate amount of errors in the first 10 LR questions on modern PTs. I think I'm gonna try slowing down on the earlier questions and move only when I'm 100% sure of the answer.

User avatar
gdane
Posts: 12295
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2009 2:41 pm

Re: Why am I struggling so much with PTs in the 50s?

Postby gdane » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:10 pm

yzero1 wrote:PTs in the 50s had me freaking out too. I was averaging over 176 for the PTS from 7-49, but my scores became really inconsistent in the early 50s where for the first time since I started studying in June, I regressed to the mid-to-low 170s. After I got used to the new RC though, I've been doing better - hitting scores from 175-178.

I think a useful tip is to increase your accuracy on RC by reading more into the detail of the passages. You could get by skimming the passages before the 50s, but now some of the questions are really tricky if you don't know the specific details they refer to. Also, spend more time checking the answer with the passage and make sure you can find concrete support. This strategy will probably eat up a few minutes, so it may not work if you're already cutting it close on RC. However, if you find you have 5+ minutes to spare at the end of RC sections, try this out and see how it works.

Additionally, I find that I make a disproportionate amount of errors in the first 10 LR questions on modern PTs. I think I'm gonna try slowing down on the earlier questions and move only when I'm 100% sure of the answer.


Yees! Im finding that to be a tiny issue. Ill get most of the questions from 16-22 correct, but Ill miss 1 or 2 between 4-12. I think this is LSAC trying to trip people up a bit.

Saltqjibo
Posts: 271
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:47 pm

Re: Why am I struggling so much with PTs in the 50s?

Postby Saltqjibo » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:21 pm

A few data points does not correlation make, never mind causation. Sound like you test in the high 160s on a bad day, low to mid 170s on a good. Not a huge variation, but try working on consistency.

Saltqjibo
Posts: 271
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:47 pm

Re: Why am I struggling so much with PTs in the 50s?

Postby Saltqjibo » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:23 pm

also RC becomes a high stakes game in the 50s, make sure you have a strategy to get through all passages with enough time

kpuc
Posts: 251
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:28 pm

Re: Why am I struggling so much with PTs in the 50s?

Postby kpuc » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:35 pm

PTs in the 50s had me freaking out too. I was averaging over 176 for the PTS from 7-49, but my scores became really inconsistent in the early 50s where for the first time since I started studying in June, I regressed to the mid-to-low 170s. After I got used to the new RC though, I've been doing better - hitting scores from 175-178.

I think a useful tip is to increase your accuracy on RC by reading more into the detail of the passages. You could get by skimming the passages before the 50s, but now some of the questions are really tricky if you don't know the specific details they refer to. Also, spend more time checking the answer with the passage and make sure you can find concrete support. This strategy will probably eat up a few minutes, so it may not work if you're already cutting it close on RC. However, if you find you have 5+ minutes to spare at the end of RC sections, try this out and see how it works.

Additionally, I find that I make a disproportionate amount of errors in the first 10 LR questions on modern PTs. I think I'm gonna try slowing down on the earlier questions and move only when I'm 100% sure of the answer.


I agree that RCs have become harder, but at most, I've been getting 2 more wrong in the RC section than I used to in the older, easier RC sections. My LR has steadily improved. Strangely enough, my biggest hits have become from LGs, even though I used to have little problems with the tough LGs in the old LSATs.

I wish I knew what it was about these 50s tests that throw off people who used to be really good in all the LSATs before. I think I can point to some trends:

Reading Comprehension

RC has become harder mainly because there are more questions that ask general questions about the passage without referring you to a line or paragraph. It gets very annoying when a question asks you to infer an author's opinion about something without the slightest hint of where to look in a 4-paragraph passage: sometimes it's in the first two sentences, sometimes it's in the middle of a heavily jargon-laden paragraph.

There are also some weird questions that ask you to analogize certain aspects of the passage with other things. An example is the cotton fibres question from the "Talk Story" passage from PT 55. Other examples can be found in the "Roma" passage and the "Women's education in France" passage in PT 56. These aren't necessarily difficult questions, but they're very new and most people haven't seen them before.

The amount of reading seems to have increased. The passages are longer and denser; the stimuli and A/Cs have gotten longer and denser too.

Logical Reasoning

I don't think LR has changed all that much. I think it's mainly more difficult now because the scale has gotten so damn stingy. I remember PTs where I could score 175s with -8; now, that'll barely keep you above 170. Mistakes in LR are more costly now than ever.

Logic Games

Most people seem to think that LG has gotten easier. For some reason, I had little trouble with the infamous old LGs; it's these new ones that trip me up. I think it's because I did those old LGs during a time when my mind was still free and I wasn't as determined to create the be-all and end-all of diagrams. I didn't freak out if I had to make side diagrams for almost every question, and I just resiliently kept my methods adaptable. Then I entered a rigid period where I thought I had to create a universally applicable diagram, and I think games in the 50s have made it difficult to create such diagrams. Or at least, it makes it difficult/impossible to create ONE such diagram; some games required you to make several template diagrams, which is something I haven't experienced before.

User avatar
Blindc1rca
Posts: 288
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 6:11 pm

Re: Why am I struggling so much with PTs in the 50s?

Postby Blindc1rca » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:53 pm

yzero1 wrote:Additionally, I find that I make a disproportionate amount of errors in the first 10 LR questions on modern PTs. I think I'm gonna try slowing down on the earlier questions and move only when I'm 100% sure of the answer.


this just happened to me today on PT56. I missed 2 in the first 10 on Section 2's LR. Whoa. They've been doing funky stuff with the question stems, like #2 that says "the dialogue provides the most support for the claim that Denise and Reshmi agree that" heh, I assumed that it was your standard-fare 'point at issue' question and attacked it at such. Whoops, they were looking for agreement!

Saltqjibo
Posts: 271
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:47 pm

Re: Why am I struggling so much with PTs in the 50s?

Postby Saltqjibo » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:17 pm

So LG in the 50s has a few new elements in it that you need to make sure you are familiar with. Most notable the conditional rule, such as a is either before b after c but not both... or if a is before b then b is before c but if b is before a the c is before b.

Make sure you know how to deal with those! also there is the replacement rule questions (less common) make sure you have an idea though

kpuc
Posts: 251
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:28 pm

Re: Why am I struggling so much with PTs in the 50s?

Postby kpuc » Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:35 pm

YES! 174 on the infamous PT 57: -2 LR, -4 LG, -0 (LG Exp), and -1 RC.

I found the Dino game surprisingly doable, and got every question right after having spent about 9 minutes on the game. But I crashed on the damn Grants game, making all 4 of my LG mistakes there. Hey LSAC, give us some space to write!

So happy to make it my third PT in a row to be have -2 LR.

So I did the LG from PT 19 as a experimental, and I found it ridiculously easy, even though it had some weird games that I've heard people complain about (Birds in a Cage, Supervisors/Employees). I finished with almost 10 minutes to spare and was able to double check every answer.

Something about those weird old games, including the Dino game, seem to agree with me. Bizarre.

So glad to be able to say that I got a 174 on PT 57 though, with one week left until the exam. My confidence was at an all-time low, but now, that's changed.

skippy1
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:56 am

Re: Why am I struggling so much with PTs in the 50s?

Postby skippy1 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 6:54 am

I was scoring consistently 5 to 6 wrong on LR till #57, then I dropped to -11. RC/LG stayed the same. I felt the tone on a few LR questions was different (for me anyway) and it tripped me up. I also had a much harder time staying within time limit. I'll be doing 58/59 this weekend so we'll see if this is a trend or a one time event. I don't know how to gauge my performance on LG because I've done each LG a million times and usually get -0. I just expect I'll get 5 more wrong on the real thing.

Does anyone have feedback on LG practicing? It used to be my worst section. I started re-doing each game PT30-60 at least 4-5 times each over the last few months. I usually get -0 to -2 now. But I don't take it seriously because I think it's because of the practice. I don't know how much is of the score is due to the familiarity with the games. How have others scored on the real thing if they've practiced the LG games on PT many times?




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: ArtistOfManliness, ellielaw, Yahoo [Bot] and 9 guests