Downward trend in PT scores.. why?

lawnerd1
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Downward trend in PT scores.. why?

Postby lawnerd1 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:40 pm

So within the past week I've been markedly scoring worse and worse on practice tests. I'm trying to isolate why this is happening, so if someone can answer these questions I'd be very appreciative.

How much more difficult are PT's 51-60 compared to 45-50? (these are all the tests I've done, and did much better on the 40's than 50's). I know Saturday's test is going to be more similar to the most recent tests, but are the differences in the 40's and 50's that significant?

Also, within the past week I started focusing on my weaknesses to the neglect of my strengths. I'm doing worse on LG now, and a little worse on LR in areas I once did well on. I think I'm going to go back to what I was studying when I was at my peak (I found that when I was studying Most Strongly Supported I did better in Must Be True and similar types. Now I have declined in these areas).

Finally, I decided to stop smoking last week. It wasn't difficult to quit, and I'm thinking this might be a factor as well. Maybe I should pick it up again and quit after Saturday.

What are your opinions on my dilemma? I appreciate any advice y'all have to offer.

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sunlitstars
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Re: Downward trend in PT scores.. why?

Postby sunlitstars » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:19 pm

The same thing happened to me the week before the Dec. test. I was consistently in the mid to high 160s and then started to drop to the low 160s. I was taking 1 to 1 1/2 tests per day and honestly I think it had something to do with fatigue/nerves. I made sure to relax the night before, get some exercise and above all, just CALM down. If you keep thinking about how difficult the PTs are while you're taking them, it's going to destroy you. The day before and day of I focused on relaxing more than anything and ended up with my 165, which I'm thrilled with.

Also, if you feel you're struggling where you once were strong, just briefly go over the review in the corresponding bible. It's a nice refresher when everything just starts to mesh together.

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joebloe
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Re: Downward trend in PT scores.. why?

Postby joebloe » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:41 pm

Test Week Panic Syndrome. Take some time to relax; think about something else for a little while.

lawnerd1
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Re: Downward trend in PT scores.. why?

Postby lawnerd1 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:43 pm

Yeah I think my decrease in score is mainly attributable to fatigue and LSAT overload. Everything has started to mesh together, so I'll take another look at the LRB and hopefully that will clear a few things up.

Also, I did some searching and found out that PT's 55+ are slightly different than older ones. The LR have shifted to asking more questions from the end of the LRB than older tests, and LG have thrown in a new question type ("if you exclude rule X, which of the following will have the same effect?"). I'm going to practice these till Thursday and take PT 59 & 61. If I do horribly on those, I might take PT47 (I haven't taken it yet but I have it) on Thursday for a confidence boost going into the test. Think this is too much the week before?

Thanks for the tip. Nerves are a huge factor with this thing.

paulinaporizkova
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Re: Downward trend in PT scores.. why?

Postby paulinaporizkova » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:53 pm

either a) you've been studying forever, you're studying too much and getting burnt out or b) you just started studying and your brain is trying to incorporate the new things you've been learning about how to study, so your scores should go down until they (hopefully) start going up

after a reread of the OP, i think it's a

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sunlitstars
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Re: Downward trend in PT scores.. why?

Postby sunlitstars » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:04 pm

I don't think it's too much, no. But I'm not sure those "new" question types are worth spending a week on. Unless those are what you're bombing on the PTs. You may just want to do the practice in the LGB pertaining to them, but keep moving forward with the more recent PTs. Also, make sure you're reviewing what you're missing. Like I said, I was doing 1 - 1/2 PTs a day a week, including review, before, and this is with a full time job.

lawnerd1 wrote:Yeah I think my decrease in score is mainly attributable to fatigue and LSAT overload. Everything has started to mesh together, so I'll take another look at the LRB and hopefully that will clear a few things up.

Also, I did some searching and found out that PT's 55+ are slightly different than older ones. The LR have shifted to asking more questions from the end of the LRB than older tests, and LG have thrown in a new question type ("if you exclude rule X, which of the following will have the same effect?"). I'm going to practice these till Thursday and take PT 59 & 61. If I do horribly on those, I might take PT47 (I haven't taken it yet but I have it) on Thursday for a confidence boost going into the test. Think this is too much the week before?

Thanks for the tip. Nerves are a huge factor with this thing.

lawnerd1
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Re: Downward trend in PT scores.. why?

Postby lawnerd1 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:17 pm

paulinaporizkova wrote:either a) you've been studying forever, you're studying too much and getting burnt out or b) you just started studying and your brain is trying to incorporate the new things you've been learning about how to study, so your scores should go down until they (hopefully) start going up

after a reread of the OP, i think it's a


It's a combination of A and B, but mainly A. I've been going hard at this for 5 weeks now (graduated UG in December, so I've had free time) so I am kind of burnt out, but last week I tried to learn a whole bunch of new stuff I was doing bad on. I could tell today when I was taking PT58 that I had too much going on in my head and wasn't entirely sure of what I was looking for all the time. I'm going back to the basics and just reinforcing what I already know (just doing a whole bunch of problems, not timed, but making sure I have an understanding of them).

Sunlitstars- I have been reviewing what I miss, but usually that just entails looking back at the answer and I immediately see why I missed it. I'm pretty bad about eliminating all but 2 answer choices and then selecting the wrong one. Upon review I almost always instantly see what I've missed, I just think the time constraint forces me to buckle.

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sunlitstars
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Re: Downward trend in PT scores.. why?

Postby sunlitstars » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:26 pm

The best advice I got was just remember, that only one of the answers is 100% right and the other 4 are 100% wrong.
lawnerd1 wrote:
paulinaporizkova wrote:either a) you've been studying forever, you're studying too much and getting burnt out or b) you just started studying and your brain is trying to incorporate the new things you've been learning about how to study, so your scores should go down until they (hopefully) start going up

after a reread of the OP, i think it's a


It's a combination of A and B, but mainly A. I've been going hard at this for 5 weeks now (graduated UG in December, so I've had free time) so I am kind of burnt out, but last week I tried to learn a whole bunch of new stuff I was doing bad on. I could tell today when I was taking PT58 that I had too much going on in my head and wasn't entirely sure of what I was looking for all the time. I'm going back to the basics and just reinforcing what I already know (just doing a whole bunch of problems, not timed, but making sure I have an understanding of them).

Sunlitstars- I have been reviewing what I miss, but usually that just entails looking back at the answer and I immediately see why I missed it. I'm pretty bad about eliminating all but 2 answer choices and then selecting the wrong one. Upon review I almost always instantly see what I've missed, I just think the time constraint forces me to buckle.

83947368
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Re: Downward trend in PT scores.. why?

Postby 83947368 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:55 pm

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Last edited by 83947368 on Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lawnerd1
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Re: Downward trend in PT scores.. why?

Postby lawnerd1 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:29 pm

Adm.Doppleganger wrote:Hey I've encountered the same prob. I've dropped from 170-172 to 167 & 168's. I feel like the more recent ones being harder is the reason. I study alot but I don't stress it. I'm thinking if anything (other than harder tests in the 55-61 range) it's over confidence which has led to laziness.


Have you done PT62? I haven't yet and I was wondering if it continued the pattern of increasing difficulty. I wasn't scoring as high as you to begin with, but I think I may have been overconfident in certain areas and took them for granted as well. The funny thing is, I'm not upset like I used to get with a decrease in score, just annoyed that I'm can't pinpoint why.

fosterp
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Re: Downward trend in PT scores.. why?

Postby fosterp » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:02 pm

Could be burn out. My scores would suffer if I spent more than 2-3 days on LSAT related stuff in a week. Its mainly because it requires such a high amount of concentration when the subject material is shifting every minute on LR and every 9 minutes on RC. Constantly going back and forth between heart disease, town advertisements, school committees, dental caries, etc just makes the test start to blur after so long and I cannot keep focused on the subject.

Its very subjective, but in my opinion the tests in 50s and especially 55+ are harder than 40s era - BUT the curve on these tests have gone up as well so your scores should not be changing (though your raw scores may dip). I didn't think much changed in regards to RC but I always sort of sucked at that section - but LR has gone towards the more abstract question types, and has bumped up the difficulty in regards to choosing between two very attractive answer choices. One thing that really bugged me about newer LR is the strengthen and weaken questions were getting tricky because the correct answer will often barely strengthen or weaken making them a lot harder to differentiate between the wrong answers. They also got rid of the easy to prephrase justify and necessary assumption questions - older tests had obvious gaps in arguments and you knew exactly what was missing. Newer ones present arguments that seem fairly sound at first glance and you don't realize the flaws until you start reading the answer choices. That or the argument has huge flaws but the correct answer doesn't close the huge flaw but only barely touches on it.

83947368
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Re: Downward trend in PT scores.. why?

Postby 83947368 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:57 pm

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Last edited by 83947368 on Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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LLB2JD
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Re: Downward trend in PT scores.. why?

Postby LLB2JD » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:58 pm

Stay strong. It does get better.




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