Have I reached my ceiling?

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chrisnyoder
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Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 10:38 pm

Have I reached my ceiling?

Postby chrisnyoder » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:51 pm

Hey all, I am a long-time reader of the forums and a first time poster.
I've become frustrated with my lsat practice of late, and I am wondering if I have hit my ceiling. So I was wondering if others have gone through the same thing only to improve later, or there reaches a certain point where one's aptitude for the test is the limiting factor.

I have been studying since Jan. for the June LSAT test. So far I have taken a total of 16 4-section practice tests and a number of individual sections. My diagnostic was a 155 and after having gone through the Bibles I hit a 171 five PTs later (I was very excited about life at this point).

The issue is that I have not improved much since. My last tests since that steady continuous climb have leveled out to the mid/high 160s (164,166,167,164,168,172,169,165,168,165 last being most recent). I know consistently scoring above the 90th percentile is nothing to complain about. I just would like to know if anybody thinks agonizing over studying is a legitimate use of time at this point.

I still have some 25 tests that I haven't used (mix between old and new), but I don't see much point of continuing to take tests if I don't seem to improving from them. And yes, I go through every single test to carefully examine where I went wrong for each of my wrong answers. It just seems that I continue to make another mistake make every time I correct the last one.

Also, this is all through self-study. Does anybody think a class might do me good at this point?

If anybody has any advice, I would apprectiate it.
Thanks for your help,

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OnlyLivingBoyinNY
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Re: Have I reached my ceiling?

Postby OnlyLivingBoyinNY » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:00 pm

What are you doing to review your PTs? This might be your problem.

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bk1
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Re: Have I reached my ceiling?

Postby bk1 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:06 pm

Why are you so inconsistent?

You should keep taking PT's to ingrain the way the LSAT works into your mind. While improving is nice, even if you don't the practice is still worthwhile.

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chrisnyoder
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Re: Have I reached my ceiling?

Postby chrisnyoder » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:39 pm

Thanks for the responses,

OnlyLivingBoyinNY wrote:What are you doing to review your PTs? This might be your problem.


For the LR, which is my strongest sections, I go back through each of the questions that I got wrong (and the ones that I wasn't sure about if I feel extra motivated) to demonstrate why the correct answer is the right one and the why the wrong answers are simply bad. I try to create my own rationale first, and then go the corresponding explanations (although I almost always get the point just doing it myself). I then cut out the problematic questions and review them periodically, such as when I'm on the subway. Since plateauing I've been averaging a little worse thant -3 per section (I keep a spreadsheet :) ).

For the LG, which is my weakest section, I look at the sample set-ups and try to match it with the corresponding game type so I can try to attempt to implement similar ideas from the set-ups in the future. I seem to have time issues here. I generally get through 3 games with -1 or -2 with 5:00 left for the 4th game. I tend to get panicky and end up guess on the last 4 or 5. My average since plateauing has been a little worse than -6.

As for RC, not much to say here. I haven't done any section tests, so the only practice I have had has is through PTs. It doesn't seem to be that bad tho, and I figure I will improve this section simply through repetition. Since plateauing, I've been averaging a little worse than -4 (which isn't great, but I figure it will go to -3 or -2 by test day, which I can live with).

bk1 wrote:Why are you so inconsistent?


I think it has something to do with whether or not the guessing so my way on the last game of the AR section.

Thanks for helping. I know this is pretty intense analysis :)

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bk1
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Re: Have I reached my ceiling?

Postby bk1 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:42 pm

Focus on LG. Once you can get the timing down on them and do all of them in the time limit you will be much better off.

bhan87
Posts: 850
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Re: Have I reached my ceiling?

Postby bhan87 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:55 pm

If logic games is your weakest section, take a big PAUSE right now, and go back to the 16 PTs you've taken and photocopy each games section 3 times. Do the following:

1. Take it once under strict timed conditions
2. Take it again with unlimited time and make sure you spend a LOT of time making every possible deduction your brain can manage before looking at any of the questions. Before moving on, consult a guide that lists all the deductions you CAN make (Cambridge has a good set that covers all the logic games from PT 1-60)
3. Take it again under strict timed conditions.

I was also having trouble making breakthroughs on logic games, but I did the steps above and saw massive improvements. For instance, before the regimen I would get 6 or 7 wrong per LG section, but after doing all of the steps above I went -0 for my last 15 PTs straight with an average of 10-15 minutes leftover.

Logic games is all about drawing upon precedent (similar setups, similar deductions, etc.) By doing a game 3 times, you unconsciously build certain habits that are key to scoring key deductions in other games.

Best of luck to you! You have NOT hit your ceiling!!

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chrisnyoder
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Re: Have I reached my ceiling?

Postby chrisnyoder » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:48 pm

bhan87 wrote:If logic games is your weakest section, take a big PAUSE right now, and go back to the 16 PTs you've taken and photocopy each games section 3 times. Do the following:

1. Take it once under strict timed conditions
2. Take it again with unlimited time and make sure you spend a LOT of time making every possible deduction your brain can manage before looking at any of the questions. Before moving on, consult a guide that lists all the deductions you CAN make (Cambridge has a good set that covers all the logic games from PT 1-60)
3. Take it again under strict timed conditions.

I was also having trouble making breakthroughs on logic games, but I did the steps above and saw massive improvements. For instance, before the regimen I would get 6 or 7 wrong per LG section, but after doing all of the steps above I went -0 for my last 15 PTs straight with an average of 10-15 minutes leftover.

Logic games is all about drawing upon precedent (similar setups, similar deductions, etc.) By doing a game 3 times, you unconsciously build certain habits that are key to scoring key deductions in other games.

Best of luck to you! You have NOT hit your ceiling!!


Thank you so much for the help! I'm going to just be working on games for the next week or so I guess.

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CattyPake
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Re: Have I reached my ceiling?

Postby CattyPake » Sat Mar 26, 2011 4:30 pm

It seems more like a plateau than a ceiling :D . My practice test scores have been almost exactly the same as yours and my unofficial diagnostic was a 155 as well. I took a Kaplan class (before I learned that Kaplan classes actually suck) but I improved more through self-study.

I took the LSAT in Feb. and got a 166. I'm not saying this to discourage you or anything but our stats are similar and that is the score I got. I was hoping to get closer to the 170s but you can't expect to get your highest PT score. If you keep practicing and reviewing your mistakes, you'll be more familiar with the test and more confident on test day.

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tehrocstar
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Re: Have I reached my ceiling?

Postby tehrocstar » Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:29 pm

The only ceiling there is a 180! I agree with the above post, you have probably just hit a plateau. Continue searching for new ways to improve. Seek out more advice, search these forums, visit LSAT blogs, etc.

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incompetentia
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Re: Have I reached my ceiling?

Postby incompetentia » Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:52 pm

I second the sentiments about LG. As it's the most learnable section, that should be the first thing you hammer.


That being said, I scored a 176 on my second PT and then my score dropped on the next seven PTs. Sometimes, it just happens.

suzige
Posts: 307
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:10 pm

Re: Have I reached my ceiling?

Postby suzige » Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:08 pm

Make sure you give yourself a break in prep here and there for few days. Burn out can limit improvement.

2011Law
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Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:40 pm

Re: Have I reached my ceiling?

Postby 2011Law » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:06 pm

I plateaued about three times while studying with 30 PTs. I just wish I would have started earlier to maybe get over that last plateau (assuming it wasn't a limit).




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