Study Plan: Any suggestions?

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niederbomb
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Study Plan: Any suggestions?

Postby niederbomb » Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:23 pm

Currently, I'm taking 4 PT's per week as 30-minute sections and about 50% of the time finishing LR and, usually, leaving about 4 RC questions and 2-6 LG blank or else rushing through them and missing most of them. I then go through and finish the sections [as part of the review] after I compute the score, leaving them out.

43: 162
44: 162
45: 170
46: 166
47: 165 (2nd time)
48: 162 (2nd time)
49: 163 (2nd time)
50: 166
51: 172 (2nd time)
52: 168 (2nd time)
20: 175
33: 171
42: 173

AVG (excluding 20): 166

I review the incorrect answers once using the Kaplan Explanations or posting on TLS; then, I redo games (I don't usually miss any on games, just run out of time) periodically to find inferences and, every 5 PT's, use snip tool to make test sections out of the RC and LR questions I missed to review.

The one thing I'm NOT doing is reviewing all the answers I got correct as well as the incorrect ones. Should I?

Weaknesses: Inference questions (RC), finishing RC in 30 minutes, subtle distortions in "correct sounding" choices
Weaknesses: Missing correct answers that "don't look like the right answer" in LR
Weaknesses: Advanced linear games, or any games with complex diagrams that require lots of writing, applying the rules adeptly, making some inferences, finishing LG outside the early 50's on time

Strengths: Understanding main point, author's tone, synthesis questions on RC
Strengths: Quickness, parallel reasoning, consistency on LR
Strengths: curveball games and rare games not noticeably more difficult than other games, some inferences

Anything anyone would add?

I'm trying to get 169+ in December for MPV since these are the top schools that don't average LSAT scores. Thus, I want to raise my PT average (with curtailed sections) 4 points in 3 weeks.
Last edited by niederbomb on Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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gdane
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Re: Study Plan: Any suggestions?

Postby gdane » Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:48 pm

niederbomb wrote:Currently, I'm taking 4 PT's per week as 30-minute sections and about 50% of the time finishing LR and, usually, leaving about 4 RC questions and 2-6 LG blank or else rushing through them and missing most of them. I then go through and finish the sections after I compute the score.

43: 162
44: 162
45: 170
46: 166
47: 165 (2nd time)
48: 162 (2nd time)
49: 163 (2nd time)
50: 166
51: 172 (2nd time)
52: 168 (2nd time)
20: 175
33: 171

AVG (excluding 20): 166

I review the incorrect answers once using the Kaplan Explanations or posting on TLS; then, I redo games (I don't usually miss any on games, just run out of time) periodically to find inferences and, every 5 PT's, use snip tool to make test sections out of the RC and LR questions I missed to review.

The one thing I'm NOT doing is reviewing all the answers I got correct as well as the incorrect ones. Should I?

Weaknesses: Inference questions (RC), finishing RC in 30 minutes, subtle distortions in "correct sounding" choices
Weaknesses: Missing correct answers that "don't look like the right answer" in LR
Weaknesses: Advanced linear games, or any games with complex diagrams that require lots of writing, applying the rules adeptly, making some inferences, finishing LG outside the early 50's on time

Strengths: Understanding main point, author's tone, synthesis questions on RC
Strengths: Quickness, parallel reasoning, consistency on LR
Strengths: curveball games and rare games not noticeably more difficult than other games, some inferences

Anything anyone would add?

I'm trying to get 169+ in December for MPV since these are the top schools that don't average LSAT scores. Thus, I want to raise my PT average (with curtailed sections) 4 points in 3 weeks.


Your scores mean nothing because you're not doing full tests under actual LSAT timing conditions. Youre not going to get time to go back and finish what you didnt do on test day. Why arent you finishing? To be honest, if you cant finish sections you have a big problem on your hands. At this point in time you should be able to finish all the sections within the time limit.

Always go over your tests. Right, wrong, easy, hard, it doesnt matter. Go over them. Go over every question. LSAT questions follow certain patterns and after a while you pick up on what kind of answers are usually wrong/right.

Good luck!

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s0ph1e2007
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Re: Study Plan: Any suggestions?

Postby s0ph1e2007 » Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:54 pm

Do 35 minute sections not 30, leave only 30 seconds between sections except between three and four, where you can give yourself five minutes.
In between doing PTs, you need to be doing specific section studying to work on your weaknesses. Feel free to take a break from PTing if you find that one section needs some serious work.
Make sure you get all of the most recent tests done except 60 and 61 done at least a week before the test so that you have time to adjust for newer testing elements.

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niederbomb
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Re: Study Plan: Any suggestions?

Postby niederbomb » Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:28 pm

Your scores mean nothing because you're not doing full tests under actual LSAT timing conditions. Youre not going to get time to go back and finish what you didnt do on test day.


I think you misunderstood.

Those scores do not count the questions I don't finish and/or rush through at the end and miss (hence the wide variation). I DO finish every section except sometimes LG in 35 minute sections. However, I'm doing 30 minute sections to simulate test day nerves and ensure I don't underperform my PT average. On 2/4 of the last PT's (51 and 20), I actually did finish every section before 30 minutes.

I go back and redo skipped questions as part of the review, usually that evening, not as part of the PT, which I do between 6:00-8:30.

s0ph1e2007 wrote:

Do 35 minute sections not 30, leave only 30 seconds between sections except between three and four, where you can give yourself five minutes.
In between doing PTs, you need to be doing specific section studying to work on your weaknesses. Feel free to take a break from PTing if you find that one section needs some serious wor


I've been doing extra game sections from the early days. LG is my big weakness. I've definitely seen huge improvement there, however. What do you suggest for RC? Previously, I averaged -3 on PT 53-59.

I don't usually take a break at all because, like I said, I'd have to get up earlier that 6:00 if I extend my PT length and continue to do them before work in the morning.

Always go over your tests. Right, wrong, easy, hard, it doesnt matter. Go over them. Go over every question. LSAT questions follow certain patterns and after a while you pick up on what kind of answers are usually wrong/right.


This is the one thing I haven't done, except with LG. I've only been reviewing and cutting out the ones I got wrong.

I will start today.

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gdane
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Re: Study Plan: Any suggestions?

Postby gdane » Mon Nov 22, 2010 12:46 am

DONT try to do the sections in 30 minutes. Unless youre scoring in the mid 170's, this is a stupid strategy. It's doing more harm than good. Focus on getting the questions right. Forget about "test day nerves". Those are for p*ssies. You're going to have 35 minutes on test day, not 30. So stop trying to do the sections in 30. Its obvious this isnt helping.

Go over your tests. Figure out your mistakes and fix them. Improvement doesnt come just by taking practice tests over and over. It comes from learning from your mistakes.

Good luck!

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niederbomb
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Re: Study Plan: Any suggestions?

Postby niederbomb » Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:03 am

DONT try to do the sections in 30 minutes. Unless youre scoring in the mid 170's, this is a stupid strategy. It's doing more harm than good. Focus on getting the questions right. Forget about "test day nerves". Those are for p*ssies. You're going to have 35 minutes on test day, not 30. So stop trying to do the sections in 30. Its obvious this isnt helping.


I'm open to suggestions.

I was scoring in the low 170's, high 160's before October (AVG 169) and got a 162 because, pussy or not, I was affected by test day nerves and froze on LG and RC, running out of time.

What do you suggest to make up for the difference between PT and test day, if 30 minute sections are such a terrible idea?

Go over your tests. Figure out your mistakes and fix them. Improvement doesnt come just by taking practice tests over and over. It comes from learning from your mistakes.


I've been making "PT's" from the questions (LR)/Passages (RC)/Games I miss every 1-2 weeks.

Problem is, I often remember the answers from review. 1-2 weeks isn't enough to forget ("A," "C" etc.). Do you think maybe switching up the order of the answer choices on Adobe Acrobat would help with this?

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northwood
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Re: Study Plan: Any suggestions?

Postby northwood » Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:25 am

that would help, but its going to be very time consuming.

if you scored that much lower in october, you should be focusing on working on test day nerves. Its nothing to be ashamed about, in fact its something that needs to be worked on. You will need this skill later in your studies.

keep working on timed sections and prep tests in actual testing conditions. You have gone through one actual test, so you know what to expect on game day. 12/9/10. Use this knowledge in your prep, and keep your confidence high, especially in the days leading up to the test. Try to practice at your actual testing environment, if possible

ams
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Re: Study Plan: Any suggestions?

Postby ams » Mon Nov 22, 2010 12:48 pm

30-minute sections can be a good idea, but I didn't start doing that until I was well into the 170's. I found it to be very helpful with test day nerves, but I was able to finish about 90% of the sections in 30 minutes. I'm torn as to whether this is a good idea for you or not. If you think it helps, I say keep doing it.

Also, are you taking 4 or 5 section tests? You really should be taking 5. I know you are taking tests early before work, but 4 just really isn't the same as 5. I really think you should do 6 sections, but you just have to do what is possible. Could you do a few 5 or 6 sections on the weekends?

Also, drill LG hard to boost your confidence for test day. Try to get to the point where you can do a simple linear game in under 5 minutes. It's extremely likely there will be at least one of these, so if you go in knowing you can do it in 5 minutes, you won't panic if you see a game that might take you 10-12.

Test-day anxiety is a legitimate problem that you should absolutely address. I practiced breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation for several weeks before the tests (links below). You might feel silly sitting there listening to the recordings but it seriously works. If you learn to control your breathing, it is physically impossible to have a panic attack or "choke." If you do yoga or meditation, you can also use some of the same strategies. Bottom line, I think you can still get to where you want to be!

http://students.georgiasouthern.edu/cou ... g%20II.mp3
http://students.georgiasouthern.edu/cou ... xation.mp3
Last edited by ams on Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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MrAdams
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Re: Study Plan: Any suggestions?

Postby MrAdams » Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:26 pm

gdane5 wrote:Forget about "test day nerves". Those are for p*ssies.


Glad someone has finally said it on this forum. Whatever happened to confidence? Seriously guys... this forum needs moar balls.

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niederbomb
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Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:07 pm

Re: Study Plan: Any suggestions?

Postby niederbomb » Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:04 pm

ams wrote:

30-minute sections can be a good idea, but I didn't start doing that until I was well into the 170's. I found it to be very helpful with test day nerves, but I was able to finish about 90% of the sections in 30 minutes. I'm torn as to whether this is a good idea for you or not. If you think it helps, I say keep doing it.


Thanks for the advice. I've changed a little bit. I'm now doing LG as a 34-minute section, allowing me to get mostly through the last game, and LR and RC as 30-minute sections. That way, I have a reasonable chance to finish every section on the test. Doing it this way, I scored "well into the 170's" on PT 42. So hopefully this is ok.

I don't exactly do 5-section PT's, but I throw in an extra LG section immediately prior to the test, at least on weekends, which is the same thing I guess.

Also, drill LG hard to boost your confidence for test day. Try to get to the point where you can do a simple linear game in under 5 minutes.


Unfortunately, these 5-minute games (see PT 43 delivery trucks) usually come at the end. Trying to work on these and sequencing games.

Test-day anxiety is a legitimate problem that you should absolutely address. I practiced breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation for several weeks before the tests (links below). You might feel silly sitting there listening to the recordings but it seriously works. If you learn to control your breathing, it is physically impossible to have a panic attack or "choke." If you do yoga or meditation, you can also use some of the same strategies. Bottom line, I think you can still get to where you want to be!


I just got some metoprolol (a beta blocker) and tried it out yesterday, and it didn't seem to affect my performance significantly, so I'm going to use this. Also, will try the exercises. Thanks!




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