Plateau

calvin.t.roberts
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:39 pm

Plateau

Postby calvin.t.roberts » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:54 pm

First time poster. I have studied since the end of January for the June test. Since, I have studied consistently a few hours a day. I have taken 14 actual LSAT prep tests. My initial diagnostic was a 160. I have reached a high of 168 since (a low of 157 immediately proceeding my first test), but seem to be stuck between 166-168 (my last 5 preptests).

Frankly I am a bit discouraged as I am sure most feel at some point during LSAT studying.

My goal is to jump into the 172-175 range for the June test. My weakest section is Logic Games (I have completed LGB). I miss between 4-7 every time for the past 8 practice tests. Logical Reasoning varies, but generally I miss a total 6. Reading comprehension is my strongest sections where I miss between 1 and 3.

I am lucky because my weakest section is Logic Games....

1. What has worked for people in the past to overcome a "plateau?"
2. How do I jump from missing around 3 a LR section to just 1 or 2? It seems I am capable of getting every question right on its own with adequate time, but during practice tests I invariably miss questions I should be getting right! Also there seems to be no pattern to the questions I miss... any advice.
3. Logic games...everyone says you can get to -0 with enough practice...I have cut out games, made 3 copies and done tons of games...any other advice?


Thank you very much for any suggestions or advice to help me overcome this plateau!

User avatar
Verity
Posts: 1253
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:26 pm

Re: Plateau

Postby Verity » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:00 pm

You may just need more practice. Maybe you'd want to wait until October? You just need to do practice test after practice test, and go back and analyze your mistakes (and even analyze answers you got right but weren't totally sure). And you have to get into a rhythm and be totally cool under pressure, and meet the time limits. It's definitely do-able, but it took me close to a year to go from a cold 151 to a 176. I thought I'd reached a plateau, then started relaxing and doing these practice tests as part of my daily routine. The methods and patterns became second-nature.

Now: I profffffffit.

tittsburghfeelers
Posts: 108
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:03 am

Re: Plateau

Postby tittsburghfeelers » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:11 pm

Verity wrote:You may just need more practice. Maybe you'd want to wait until October? You just need to do practice test after practice test, and go back and analyze your mistakes (and even analyze answers you got right but weren't totally sure). And you have to get into a rhythm and be totally cool under pressure, and meet the time limits. It's definitely do-able, but it took me close to a year to go from a cold 151 to a 176. I thought I'd reached a plateau, then started relaxing and doing these practice tests as part of my daily routine. The methods and patterns became second-nature.

Now: I profffffffit.


Did you only use practice tests? If not, what else did you use? A 25 point leap is very impressive, congrats.

User avatar
fastforward
Posts: 181
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:31 pm

Re: Plateau

Postby fastforward » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:14 pm

Are you missing a particular type of LG game, or a particular type of question? Do you run out of time on LGs?

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mottainai
Posts: 211
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 12:17 am

Re: Plateau

Postby mottainai » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:41 pm

calvin.t.roberts wrote:First time poster. I have studied since the end of January for the June test. Since, I have studied consistently a few hours a day. I have taken 14 actual LSAT prep tests. My initial diagnostic was a 160. I have reached a high of 168 since (a low of 157 immediately proceeding my first test), but seem to be stuck between 166-168 (my last 5 preptests).

Frankly I am a bit discouraged as I am sure most feel at some point during LSAT studying.

My goal is to jump into the 172-175 range for the June test. My weakest section is Logic Games (I have completed LGB). I miss between 4-7 every time for the past 8 practice tests. Logical Reasoning varies, but generally I miss a total 6. Reading comprehension is my strongest sections where I miss between 1 and 3.

I am lucky because my weakest section is Logic Games....

1. What has worked for people in the past to overcome a "plateau?"
2. How do I jump from missing around 3 a LR section to just 1 or 2? It seems I am capable of getting every question right on its own with adequate time, but during practice tests I invariably miss questions I should be getting right! Also there seems to be no pattern to the questions I miss... any advice.
3. Logic games...everyone says you can get to -0 with enough practice...I have cut out games, made 3 copies and done tons of games...any other advice?


Thank you very much for any suggestions or advice to help me overcome this plateau!


1. If you literally have been practicing everyday, one thing I recommend is taking a break. I found that when I hit the proverbial wall, my mind needed time to recover and process all of the LSAT training I had undergone. It was like working out at the gym - you need days off. I took a 2 week break and it helped immensely. A word of caution though; this may not work for you.

2. What exactly is adequate time? If you're not timing each question you do, especially since your accuracy seems alright, you're not simulating test conditions. The LSAT tests your ability to reason under a certain time limit. Remove that time limit, and the stress of that situation evaporates. Time your self properly. Be diligent. Don't allow time for guessing or cut yourself any breaks - cause on the real test, you won't be able to.

3. Do the games. Over and over. Note that recent games are different than older games, especially in the last couple years. Use the old ones to solidify your foundations (pre 2005 or so), then test yourself on the newer ones.

User avatar
Verity
Posts: 1253
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:26 pm

Re: Plateau

Postby Verity » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:55 am

tittsburghfeelers wrote:
Verity wrote:You may just need more practice. Maybe you'd want to wait until October? You just need to do practice test after practice test, and go back and analyze your mistakes (and even analyze answers you got right but weren't totally sure). And you have to get into a rhythm and be totally cool under pressure, and meet the time limits. It's definitely do-able, but it took me close to a year to go from a cold 151 to a 176. I thought I'd reached a plateau, then started relaxing and doing these practice tests as part of my daily routine. The methods and patterns became second-nature.

Now: I profffffffit.


Did you only use practice tests? If not, what else did you use? A 25 point leap is very impressive, congrats.



I used any commercial material I could find (Kaplan, Kaplan 180, Barrons, Powerscore, etc.), and went through dozens of practice tests. I didn't take any classes, because I think I learn better on my own and have the will to study until I get things right. 25 points may be impressive, but above all it's possible. If I didn't push myself and take the time necessary for preparation, I wouldn't have done that well.

I think a lot of LS applicants fail to appreciate just how much of an effect your LSAT score can have on the rest of your life. Getting into a great school, minimizing debt through scholarships, the ultimately improved job prospects, and most importantly, an improved way of thinking all will help lead to success.

Don't listen to weird suggestions about supplements or weird diets, or odd strategies that are convoluted and complicated. You just have to work hard, and figure out why you're making mistakes. I can't promise you a 99th percentile score, but I know luck probably won't get it for you either.

WhirledWorld
Posts: 331
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:04 am

Re: Plateau

Postby WhirledWorld » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:04 am

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Last edited by WhirledWorld on Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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incompetentia
Posts: 2307
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:57 pm

Re: Plateau

Postby incompetentia » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:59 am

mottainai wrote:
1. If you literally have been practicing everyday, one thing I recommend is taking a break. I found that when I hit the proverbial wall, my mind needed time to recover and process all of the LSAT training I had undergone. It was like working out at the gym - you need days off. I took a 2 week break and it helped immensely.

Primarily this, in my opinion. Constant study leads to burnout more quickly than people seem to think - I experienced my largest jumps after >4-day breaks.

calvin.t.roberts
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:39 pm

Re: Plateau

Postby calvin.t.roberts » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:15 pm

Wonderful advice. Thankx alot.

brandonNV
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 1:03 am

Re: Plateau

Postby brandonNV » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:08 pm

Logic games is a section that missing 1 question should be a dissapointment.

I know I'm saying this with a LSAT score of 161, and a whole lot of people have problems with logic games, but honestly it's my very best section and should be yours too.

Here is my advice:

As you short-hand the rules, check them off one by one. There is no room to forget to diagram a rule, and this makes sure that you actually went through them all.

When you draw out your master sketch, take a half a second to look at it and mentally think "Based on this sketch, what CANNOT be true" some of those are easy. If A is in spot 1, then you know B-E cannot be in spot one. Some of them are a little bit sneakier, but if you take a moment at the beginning to try to spot those, you will FLY through the game.

re-draw your master sketch for every single question (I know this is common, but a lot of people know this and still DON'T do it). Remember to include your entities in your re-drawn sketches. This will help to to cross off newly placed entities to keep confusion to a minimum.

go through every rule for every question. Again, seems totally obvious, especially on question 4 or 5 of the game and you know that If X then Y by heart, but go through them so that you don't accidently go too fast.

Lastly, if your sketch doesn't make sense to you when you first drew it, it never will. Don't be afraid to use a grid for everything, or a modified version of what ever you do best with. You are taking the test and so YOU need to understand your own artwork.

Good luck!

brandonNV
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 1:03 am

Re: Plateau

Postby brandonNV » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:10 pm

oh! And one last thing, remember to be careful with "MUST be false" and "MUST be true" questions. Some wrong answers will be a could be true, could be false decoy. take that extra second to double check the choice you made.

bp shinners
Posts: 3091
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: Plateau

Postby bp shinners » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:59 pm

incompetentia wrote:
mottainai wrote:
1. If you literally have been practicing everyday, one thing I recommend is taking a break. I found that when I hit the proverbial wall, my mind needed time to recover and process all of the LSAT training I had undergone. It was like working out at the gym - you need days off. I took a 2 week break and it helped immensely.

Primarily this, in my opinion. Constant study leads to burnout more quickly than people seem to think - I experienced my largest jumps after >4-day breaks.


Leaping on the 'take some time off' bandwagon. Your brain needs rest to put everything together and recuperate. Give it a couple days.

When you get back, look over what you've studied already with a fresh perspective and focus on what, specifically, is giving you issues. After you've divorced yourself from it a bit, it should be easier to self-diagnose.




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