Major drop in scores while prepping - what to do?

pineappledazzler
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Major drop in scores while prepping - what to do?

Postby pineappledazzler » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:38 am

I've been studying for about a month and a half - began at around a 163-5, steadily increasing through 168, 170, 169, 172, 173 - and then today I took a practice test and my score had dropped all the way to a 164! LG held steady, hot 2 wrong although I can usually limit that to -1 or even perfect. LR was a bit more problematic, and RC was the worst - I got -8 on RC. This is double what my highest amount of wrong answers usually is on RC, and spread across the different types of passages, not just natural sciences which is my weakest section. Does anyone have any suggestions for what to do? I know I have to go back and study specifically RC more - but I'm freaked out now. My LSAT is December 11th - I thought I'd been progressing steadily towards my goal of 175, but it seems not...

gambelda
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Re: Major drop in scores while prepping - what to do?

Postby gambelda » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:41 am

This is just a fluke more than likely. Take a day off and if your next two tests return to your normal progression of scores, then you're fine. It's hard to judge just 1 test as an overarching trend.

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LLB2JD
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Re: Major drop in scores while prepping - what to do?

Postby LLB2JD » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:42 am

I don't think it is that unusual to dip down like that. It might just be an anomaly. If you continue to average 164-165 for the next 3-4 PTs, then you just probably need to take a few days off and get your mind off the LSAT a little bit.

pineappledazzler
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Re: Major drop in scores while prepping - what to do?

Postby pineappledazzler » Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:02 am

Okay - I'm going to review what went wrong tonight and then take a day off, trying another PT on Tuesday or Wednesday.

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niederbomb
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Re: Major drop in scores while prepping - what to do?

Postby niederbomb » Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:37 am

I've been studying for about a month and a half - began at around a 163-5, steadily increasing through 168, 170, 169, 172, 173 - and then today I took a practice test and my score had dropped all the way to a 164! LG held steady, hot 2 wrong although I can usually limit that to -1 or even perfect. LR was a bit more problematic, and RC was the worst - I got -8 on RC. This is double what my highest amount of wrong answers usually is on RC, and spread across the different types of passages, not just natural sciences which is my weakest section. Does anyone have any suggestions for what to do? I know I have to go back and study specifically RC more - but I'm freaked out now. My LSAT is December 11th - I thought I'd been progressing steadily towards my goal of 175, but it seems not...


Also, RC was a joke before around 2005/2006. So if your high scores came from older tests, and your most recent, low score, came from a more recent test, that could explain a lot.

I used to consistently go -1 or -0 on RC before PT 49 or 50. Then, I went as bad as -6 before getting it together and ending with a more consistent -2/-3 RC immediately prior to the real thing (which I don't have the score for yet).

pineappledazzler
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Re: Major drop in scores while prepping - what to do?

Postby pineappledazzler » Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:52 pm

Wow, I had not thought about that. I've been working forward from the oldest practice tests and was using the ones from around 1999/2000 - but the one I took today was one of the most recent (Sept. 2009)...uh-oh, I'd better start some serious RC review!

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kkklick
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Re: Major drop in scores while prepping - what to do?

Postby kkklick » Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:33 pm

pineappledazzler wrote:Wow, I had not thought about that. I've been working forward from the oldest practice tests and was using the ones from around 1999/2000 - but the one I took today was one of the most recent (Sept. 2009)...uh-oh, I'd better start some serious RC review!


LOL, no wonder. The LSAT has changed since then. Most people would say not much, but people who have done every test would agree it has changed significantly especially since the early tests.

pineappledazzler
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Re: Major drop in scores while prepping - what to do?

Postby pineappledazzler » Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:55 pm

I didn't realize that it had changed so much. My most recent two scores prior to this disaster were on PrepTests 29 and 30 - which is about halfway through the backlog of practice tests I guess. From this point forward since I've got about seven weeks, I guess I should focus on PTs from the mid-40s onward only...

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incompetentia
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Re: Major drop in scores while prepping - what to do?

Postby incompetentia » Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:59 pm

The tests in the 50s are much more difficult RCwise (if not otherwise as well) and it is sort of a shock for everybody who crosses that line the first time. (My drop going from PT38 to a recent one was -16 points.)
It's definitely possible to adjust quickly, though, if you have a decent foundation already in place. A week (and 4 PTs) later, I'd recovered +16 points on my last practice test before the real thing.

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Blumpbeef
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Re: Major drop in scores while prepping - what to do?

Postby Blumpbeef » Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:24 pm

pineappledazzler wrote:I didn't realize that it had changed so much. My most recent two scores prior to this disaster were on PrepTests 29 and 30 - which is about halfway through the backlog of practice tests I guess. From this point forward since I've got about seven weeks, I guess I should focus on PTs from the mid-40s onward only...


No. I think LRs from older tests are fine, and you would be doing yourself a huge disservice by not doing LGs from the 30s. It really is just RC that is very different, and unfortunately there isn't much you can do about it since it only starts in like PT53 or so, so you won't have too much to practice with anyway.

Also, and I'm not sure others will agree, RC on the October test was easier than the ones in the 50s, so maybe they are moving away from the super difficult RC sections. Of course, I still don't have my score and it is definitely possible that I did horribly on it, so it is pretty uncertain what the December test will be like.

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incompetentia
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Re: Major drop in scores while prepping - what to do?

Postby incompetentia » Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:36 pm

I felt it was not too difficult compared to recent RCs, based on how I felt at the test. That doesn't mean much, though...

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Blumpbeef
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Re: Major drop in scores while prepping - what to do?

Postby Blumpbeef » Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:41 pm

incompetentia wrote:That doesn't mean much, though...


Exactly.

Some of my worst sections are ones that I felt really good about.

Also, one datum does not make a trend. October RC, even if it truly was easier, might just be an outlier.

pineappledazzler
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Re: Major drop in scores while prepping - what to do?

Postby pineappledazzler » Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:44 pm

This is a lot to process - actually, the weirdest thing about the whole conundrum is that my first test ever taken, back in August (on which I got a 165) I scored perfectly on the RC - and it was the Feb 2009 test. What killed me then was LG. But ever since, I've been up to a consistent -1 or 0 on LG and RC has been a downward slide somewhat...in any event, I guess I just have to amp up the prep on all fronts to reach my goal of 175 on test day.

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kkklick
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Re: Major drop in scores while prepping - what to do?

Postby kkklick » Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:58 pm

pineappledazzler wrote:This is a lot to process - actually, the weirdest thing about the whole conundrum is that my first test ever taken, back in August (on which I got a 165) I scored perfectly on the RC - and it was the Feb 2009 test. What killed me then was LG. But ever since, I've been up to a consistent -1 or 0 on LG and RC has been a downward slide somewhat...in any event, I guess I just have to amp up the prep on all fronts to reach my goal of 175 on test day.


The new LG is very learnable, but very difficult if you haven't been exposed enough to it yet.

pineappledazzler
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Re: Major drop in scores while prepping - what to do?

Postby pineappledazzler » Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:30 pm

Update - I took another PT to check the theory that it's the new type of questions tripping me up, and I think it's been confirmed - I got another 173 on PT #33 (December 2000).
So from here on out I guess I should focus on later PTs...I guess the only issue is I don't know how to time myself so I'm taking PTs 60 and 61 the week or so before my actual test in December.

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alphagamma
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Re: Major drop in scores while prepping - what to do?

Postby alphagamma » Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:38 pm

pineappledazzler wrote:Update - I took another PT to check the theory that it's the new type of questions tripping me up, and I think it's been confirmed - I got another 173 on PT #33 (December 2000).
So from here on out I guess I should focus on later PTs...I guess the only issue is I don't know how to time myself so I'm taking PTs 60 and 61 the week or so before my actual test in December.

Do what I did: Pull out a calendar (Google calendar in my case) and work backwards. Mark test 61 down two days before the exam, test 60 two days before that, etc. (Or however often you take them.) Scheduling the tests really helps.

nStiver
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Re: Major drop in scores while prepping - what to do?

Postby nStiver » Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:57 pm

Suck it up and keep rolling! You will get there. These are only minor set backs.

pineappledazzler wrote:I've been studying for about a month and a half - began at around a 163-5, steadily increasing through 168, 170, 169, 172, 173 - and then today I took a practice test and my score had dropped all the way to a 164! LG held steady, hot 2 wrong although I can usually limit that to -1 or even perfect. LR was a bit more problematic, and RC was the worst - I got -8 on RC. This is double what my highest amount of wrong answers usually is on RC, and spread across the different types of passages, not just natural sciences which is my weakest section. Does anyone have any suggestions for what to do? I know I have to go back and study specifically RC more - but I'm freaked out now. My LSAT is December 11th - I thought I'd been progressing steadily towards my goal of 175, but it seems not...

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MysticalWheel
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Re: Major drop in scores while prepping - what to do?

Postby MysticalWheel » Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:47 pm

It definitely could be the difference in difficulty (alliteration win) between the tests. What's funny, though, is that preptests 40-50 gave me way more trouble than 51-60. From my progress chart, my average for the former was 169, while the latter was 173. I'm not sure if it is all due to simply acquiring the skill set because I saved some preptests from the 40 series for very late September.

MW




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