Scoring low 150s after months of practice.

eggy
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Scoring low 150s after months of practice.

Postby eggy » Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:34 pm

I wasn't really sure what to think until I started reading about people on the board scoring in the 160s without any prep at all, or people in the 165-170 range after only studying for a month or two.

I took LSAT prep for about 2 months a few years ago, and then I spent last month refreshing my memory of the concepts, and now I'm in a prep course, and after 2 diagnostic tests I have scored a 153 and then 151.

It makes me wonder if some people are simply not programmed for tests like this. I am trying my absolute best and studying a few hours a day for this test, as well as going to 3 4-hour classes per week, but I'm just not seeing results.

I'm aiming for at least a 165 but in order to do that I'm gonna have to bump my score up by almost 20 points in most cases. Is this even possible?

Someone help me out here cause I'm actually getting genuinely upset after seeing the result of my efforts thusfar....

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Ginj
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Re: Scoring low 150s after months of practice.

Postby Ginj » Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:39 pm

STOP WASTING SO MUCH MONEY. Are they through the same prep course company?

eggy
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Re: Scoring low 150s after months of practice.

Postby eggy » Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:42 pm

Ginj wrote:STOP WASTING SO MUCH MONEY. Are they through the same prep course company?


First one was private tutoring through the Princeton Review.

The one I'm doing now is a privately owned company that uses its own books/methods.

Believe me if I didn't have to spend the money I wouldn't be doing it. Half of the reason I'm taking the courses is to get myself out of the house, and into a habit where I'm studying at least 4 hours a day, and acclimating my body to a different schedule. I tried studying on my own using powerscore books but saw very little improvement.

Why do I have to be the only person who gets owned by this test -_-

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Patriot1208
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Re: Scoring low 150s after months of practice.

Postby Patriot1208 » Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:47 pm

eggy wrote:Why do I have to be the only person who gets owned by this test -_-


You're not, TLS is a non representative sample.

Tsispilos
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Re: Scoring low 150s after months of practice.

Postby Tsispilos » Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:48 pm

i'd ask yourself why you want to be a lawyer.

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incompetentia
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Re: Scoring low 150s after months of practice.

Postby incompetentia » Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:48 pm

Regardless of whether the study helped, you've taken two tests according to your account of things.

Even if you know each type of question inside out, the actual testing experience itself is not something you're going to learn to account for in books.

Besides, if you'd studied without ever actually taking tests, how did you know where (what sections, what question types) to focus your study? Without diagnostics, I would have spent probably half my time on games (a section I have absolutely never had trouble with in testing).

AEDIT: Patriot is still correct. 153 is still roughly the 56th percentile among test takers.

eggy
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Re: Scoring low 150s after months of practice.

Postby eggy » Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:58 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:
eggy wrote:Why do I have to be the only person who gets owned by this test -_-


You're not, TLS is a non representative sample.


I know... But I still wonder if the way in which certain people think can act as a barrier that prevents them from scoring well on these tests.

For example, when I studied Japanese I did better than anyone in my classes because the material came almost like it was second nature to me. No matter how hard some of the kids tried they wouldn't do as well as I did, and I was putting arguably less effort in.

This seems very much like the reverse of what I'm experiencing now. I'm working my ass off and seeing 0 improvement, while the ones who started off with some kind of understanding of the test push right on into the 175-180 range.

Incompetentia: So if I'm going to get a better score I have to be analyzing each diagnostic? I'll make sure I do that... I guess I just figured after putting so much effort into studying the results would be there regardless.

Tsispilos: Because I want to one day establish a law firm in Japan that assists foreign individuals and business within the country.

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incompetentia
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Re: Scoring low 150s after months of practice.

Postby incompetentia » Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:01 pm

What improvement are you talking about?


What is your frame of reference for that improvement?

The 153/151 is your baseline. Work from there.
Even for those of us who start off at 130 or 140 or 170, that's just what it is - the start. Your ceiling is still 180, not 159, with those scores.

Not everything is going to be something that you can pick up immediately. I'm one of those who used to think the same way and learned the difficult way...

eggy
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Re: Scoring low 150s after months of practice.

Postby eggy » Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:06 pm

incompetentia wrote:What improvement are you talking about?


What is your frame of reference for that improvement?

The 153/151 is your baseline. Work from there.
Even for those of us who start off at 130 or 140 or 170, that's just what it is - the start. Your ceiling is still 180, not 159, with those scores.

Not everything is going to be something that you can pick up immediately. I'm one of those who used to think the same way and learned the difficult way...


The fact that in the 2 weeks that I studied after I got a 153 on my first diagnostic, I took another one only to score 2 points lower. That is my frame of reference right now. I guess I just assumed that more effort = better score, but I guess my approach must have been a mistaken one.

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Ginj
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Re: Scoring low 150s after months of practice.

Postby Ginj » Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:09 pm

eggy wrote:
incompetentia wrote:What improvement are you talking about?


What is your frame of reference for that improvement?

The 153/151 is your baseline. Work from there.
Even for those of us who start off at 130 or 140 or 170, that's just what it is - the start. Your ceiling is still 180, not 159, with those scores.

Not everything is going to be something that you can pick up immediately. I'm one of those who used to think the same way and learned the difficult way...


The fact that in the 2 weeks that I studied after I got a 153 on my first diagnostic, I took another one only to score 2 points lower. That is my frame of reference right now. I guess I just assumed that more effort = better score, but I guess my approach must have been a mistaken one.


It's two weeks, dude. This is a long process. Patience and perseverance are required.

My diagnostic was a 155. I scored 157 the next week. 166 two weeks later. Stick with it. Don't give up yet.

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incompetentia
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Re: Scoring low 150s after months of practice.

Postby incompetentia » Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:12 pm

Random variation in scores can reach as much as ten points (or more) between tests. You may have gotten a 153 first time around, but that could be luck-aided; a 151 doesn't mean that your comprehension is two points lower.

Day-to-day improvement does not mean consistent score improvement. The fact that you're not taking identical tests each time in identical settings also has something to do with it.

My first ten tests went something like this:
2nd test, relative to the diagnostic: +8
3rd test, relative to the 2nd test: -2
4th test, relative to the 3rd: -1
5th: -2
6th: -1
7th: -1
8th: -5
9th: +8
10th: +2

Progress is not linear. There's always some Brownian motion element in everything.
If you're so interested in becoming a lawyer, two tests shouldn't stop you in the first place.

eggy
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Re: Scoring low 150s after months of practice.

Postby eggy » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:04 pm

I'll keep working on it. There's nothing I want more right now than to go to law school, I guess I got a bit disenchanted after reading about some of the brainiac achievers on this forum :(

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Scoring low 150s after months of practice.

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:12 pm

I went up 19 points from my diagnostic.
Took prepcourse:
1st test- 155
2nd test -155
3rd test- Low 160s
4th test- mid 160's
1st Take in Oct: Low 160's
Retake in Dec after some self-study: mid 160's
Worked at a prep test company and pretty much got paid to study
Retake in June- 174

Big jumps can happen, but they take a lot of effort and usually a decent amount of time. If you really want to go to law school, don't settle for a score that will preclude you from attending a top school or the top school in your region.

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buckilaw
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Re: Scoring low 150s after months of practice.

Postby buckilaw » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:20 pm

My diagnostic was in the 140's. After 6-7 months of intensive prep I consistently scored in the low 170's on my practice tests. The test is very learnable, keep practicing and don't get discouraged.
Last edited by buckilaw on Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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omninode
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Re: Scoring low 150s after months of practice.

Postby omninode » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:51 pm

Here's what worked for me:

Took a couple of practice tests. Looked at the results and identified my biggest problem area. For me it was logic games (for you it could be reading comprehension, time management, whatever). Got a logic game book (I used PowerScore), studied hard (several hours a day) for two weeks. Took another practice test, and my score had increased 9 points.

My point is, it is very hard to try to study for the whole test all at once. My advice would be to attack your problem areas one at a time. Work hard on one until you're satisfied then move on to the next one.

Also, take plenty of practice tests in realistic conditions so you will be comfortable on test day.

eggy
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Re: Scoring low 150s after months of practice.

Postby eggy » Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:48 pm

Thanks a lot guys. I know it may not seem like much saying this over a forum, but I really appreciate the support.

I'm gonna do my absolute best, and I'll try to keep the complaining to a minimum until I've gone at least another month :P

If anyone is in Toronto and wants to mentor me.....

:D

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alex_cryp
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Re: Scoring low 150s after months of practice.

Postby alex_cryp » Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:00 pm

Study smart. Focus on your weak areas. Review your tests and find out why you are making the mistakes you are making.

This test didn't come easily to me either. It is hard to see other people score in the 160s first time out when you are dreaming of that number, but that's life. We all have strengths and weaknesses and some people have to work a lot harder, longer, and smarter to achieve the same results as the people who score 160+ right out of the gate. Make peace with it and work hard. I was able to make a 16 point jump from my abysmal first diagnostic and now I'm in at a t14.

You can do it!

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niederbomb
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Re: Scoring low 150s after months of practice.

Postby niederbomb » Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:40 am

75% of the test tests only your reading ability. So, work on improving that with magazines like the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Scientific American, etc. This should be part of a long-term strategy.

The LG is supposedly the easiest to improve. I started out with -18 on my diagnostic, and only got through 1.5 games, and eventually got up to -2 or -3 on the two PT's right before the real thing. The LG Bible is good for teaching you the basics on LG, so working on LG alone might be a 10 point increase for you.

nStiver
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Re: Scoring low 150s after months of practice.

Postby nStiver » Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:31 pm

Dude my first few tests were in the 147-153 range. It took months and months, but I eventually broke the 160 barrier. After studying for almost a year I can regularly break 170 in practice. I think I may have gotten a 170 on the real thing, but I won't know until the 1st.

From what it sounds like to me is that you are not taking responsibility for your own performance on the test. You seem to be relying on outside factors for motivation, like a course or a private tutor. I think people with this mentality tend to score poorly until they break out of it and gain internal motivation. I was in your shoes once. I first took a course because I thought that "I didn't have the motivation to do this on my own" or some other BS reason like that. I didn't start to see improvement until I essentially said screw the Kaplan course, bought a bunch of PTs, got the Bibles, and took matters into my own hands.

You can do the same thing. Do not blame your lack of improvement on factors that are out side of your control. This talk of your having some sort inherent inability to perform well on the LSAT is self sabotaging bull shit. I can tell you right now why you have not seen the improvement you desire: You have not studied in the manner that is necessary for you to see improvement. You can have a private tutor spoon feed you all of the LSAT info in the world, but but it will not do jack shit for you unless you put that knowledge to use by aggressively following a self study plan that includes timed tests and intensive review of numerous LSAT questions.

You have to sink your teeth into it and break down the individual questions on your own. I am convinced that without a confident and pro active attitude, you will never get your mind around the LSAT. It is a standardized test, not something that you can study for a little while and have it down. You need to train your brain to recognize the patterns inherent in the test at the most fundamental level. Because no two tests have the same questions, you need to be so comfortable with the various question types that it becomes automatic.

Have you reviewed hundreds of individual LR questions on your own? My guess is that you have not, and until you do, you will be stuck in the same spot you are today. Have you reviewed each and every question on those diagnostic tests you took? My guess is that you have not. This is why you are not seeing improvement. Use the tutor to answer questions that come up durring your review. The tutor can not make you better at the LSAT. Only you can do that.

Review every question on the LSATs that you have completed. Suck it up and work through the LGB and the LRB. I do not buy the excuse that it "didn't work for you". You just didn't put in enough effort. You are perfectly capable of understanding the material in those books. Of course it won't work right away. It takes lots of practice by implementing it on real PTs. I can guarantee that you did not work through the bibles from cover to cover. If you had, you would have seen improvement.

After you have reviewed every question on the tests that you have completed, and after you have worked through at least half of both of the bibles, come back and ask for advice. Only then will you start to get a handle on the test. It may take you 6 hours a day. This is what you have to do to get better. Until you put in the long, hard hours reviewing question after boring question, you will see no improvement. So take responsibility for your own fate and get out there and crush the test.

nStiver
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Re: Scoring low 150s after months of practice.

Postby nStiver » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:04 pm

I want you to fucking promise that you will no longer half-ass the LSAT. I'm not getting off you ass until you do.

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lakers3peat
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Re: Scoring low 150s after months of practice.

Postby lakers3peat » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:27 pm

^^ damn i see why federer is your icon. I got off get off this forum and get my ass to studying.

THIS FUCKER IS RIGHT!!!


I AM HALF ASSING!!!



BACK TO THE BOOKS!

:P

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penguin
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Re: Scoring low 150s after months of practice.

Postby penguin » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:36 pm

eggy wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:
eggy wrote:Why do I have to be the only person who gets owned by this test -_-


You're not, TLS is a non representative sample.


I know... But I still wonder if the way in which certain people think can act as a barrier that prevents them from scoring well on these tests.

For example, when I studied Japanese I did better than anyone in my classes because the material came almost like it was second nature to me. No matter how hard some of the kids tried they wouldn't do as well as I did, and I was putting arguably less effort in.

This seems very much like the reverse of what I'm experiencing now. I'm working my ass off and seeing 0 improvement, while the ones who started off with some kind of understanding of the test push right on into the 175-180 range.

Incompetentia: So if I'm going to get a better score I have to be analyzing each diagnostic? I'll make sure I do that... I guess I just figured after putting so much effort into studying the results would be there regardless.

Tsispilos: Because I want to one day establish a law firm in Japan that assists foreign individuals and business within the country.


Well, I'm flattered. It seems like you like my country, Japan. I hope you do well in your prep. Good luck.

BTW, I'm into this prep for about 2 months consistently and don't see that much progress yet either but I'm not giving up because I don't want to regret it later. So I just thought two weeks is a little too short to jump on to the conclusion.

edubs003
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Re: Scoring low 150s after months of practice.

Postby edubs003 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:07 pm

I took my first PT without studying and scored a 147. After taking the powerscore prepcourse, my score got up to 158 right before the test. I took the test and got a 150! That really sucked, I had studied for 6-8 weeks and only scored 3 points higher than my diagnostic. This was the June 2010 test.

I started studying in August for the October LSAT, giving myself 6-8 weeks. I took another diagnostic before prepping again and scored a 155. It was all uphill from there and by the end, I was scoring in the mid 160s.

Sometimes it just takes longer for people to grasp the concepts on the LSAT. My second round of studying, things just seemed to click. I wasn't struggling with all sorts of question types anymore. Two weeks isn't enough time, you need to evaluate yourself after about 4-6 weeks. You could be a late bloomer like myself and have everything come together in week 8, who knows.

eggy
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:11 am

Re: Scoring low 150s after months of practice.

Postby eggy » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:37 am

Alex and Nieder: Thanks for the tips. I will add both of those to my routine!!!

nStiver wrote:Dude my first few tests were in the 147-153 range. It took months and months, but I eventually broke the 160 barrier. After studying for almost a year I can regularly break 170 in practice. I think I may have gotten a 170 on the real thing, but I won't know until the 1st.

From what it sounds like to me is that you are not taking responsibility for your own performance on the test. You seem to be relying on outside factors for motivation, like a course or a private tutor. I think people with this mentality tend to score poorly until they break out of it and gain internal motivation. I was in your shoes once. I first took a course because I thought that "I didn't have the motivation to do this on my own" or some other BS reason like that. I didn't start to see improvement until I essentially said screw the Kaplan course, bought a bunch of PTs, got the Bibles, and took matters into my own hands.

You can do the same thing. Do not blame your lack of improvement on factors that are out side of your control. This talk of your having some sort inherent inability to perform well on the LSAT is self sabotaging bull shit. I can tell you right now why you have not seen the improvement you desire: You have not studied in the manner that is necessary for you to see improvement. You can have a private tutor spoon feed you all of the LSAT info in the world, but but it will not do jack shit for you unless you put that knowledge to use by aggressively following a self study plan that includes timed tests and intensive review of numerous LSAT questions.

You have to sink your teeth into it and break down the individual questions on your own. I am convinced that without a confident and pro active attitude, you will never get your mind around the LSAT. It is a standardized test, not something that you can study for a little while and have it down. You need to train your brain to recognize the patterns inherent in the test at the most fundamental level. Because no two tests have the same questions, you need to be so comfortable with the various question types that it becomes automatic.

Have you reviewed hundreds of individual LR questions on your own? My guess is that you have not, and until you do, you will be stuck in the same spot you are today. Have you reviewed each and every question on those diagnostic tests you took? My guess is that you have not. This is why you are not seeing improvement. Use the tutor to answer questions that come up durring your review. The tutor can not make you better at the LSAT. Only you can do that.

Review every question on the LSATs that you have completed. Suck it up and work through the LGB and the LRB. I do not buy the excuse that it "didn't work for you". You just didn't put in enough effort. You are perfectly capable of understanding the material in those books. Of course it won't work right away. It takes lots of practice by implementing it on real PTs. I can guarantee that you did not work through the bibles from cover to cover. If you had, you would have seen improvement.

After you have reviewed every question on the tests that you have completed, and after you have worked through at least half of both of the bibles, come back and ask for advice. Only then will you start to get a handle on the test. It may take you 6 hours a day. This is what you have to do to get better. Until you put in the long, hard hours reviewing question after boring question, you will see no improvement. So take responsibility for your own fate and get out there and crush the test.



HOLY SHIT!!! :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
Why do we not have a "I'm not worthy" smily. That was an epic post man. Since I read this message I have:
1. Cancelled my enrollment in the course I was taking. I was lying to myself about it's effectiveness and the course itself was terrible.
2. Set out my own study plan and pulled out my 3 bibles and practice test books.
3. Punched myself in the face.

I think I'm ready.
Thanks man.

eggy
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:11 am

Re: Scoring low 150s after months of practice.

Postby eggy » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:39 am

penguin wrote:
Well, I'm flattered. It seems like you like my country, Japan. I hope you do well in your prep. Good luck.

BTW, I'm into this prep for about 2 months consistently and don't see that much progress yet either but I'm not giving up because I don't want to regret it later. So I just thought two weeks is a little too short to jump on to the conclusion.


Like is an understatement. There's no where I love more in the world than Japan (well, Kyoto to be exact).


Edubs: I'll let you guys know how things are going a few weeks down the road.




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