Test Day Tip- Stay in the moment!

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BrightLine
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Test Day Tip- Stay in the moment!

Postby BrightLine » Mon May 16, 2011 1:59 am

For those who are practicing at and expecting to get very high scores this may be worth reading. This is just a tip that I want to pass along that comes from personal experience. It is nothing groundbreaking or revolutionary but it may help.

When I took the LSAT for the 1st time, i was expecting to do really well because I always practiced really well. But on test day something really unexpected happened. In my first section i got to a question that I could not figure out so after a minute or two i did the smart thing and skipped it. However, this skipped question stayed in the back of my mind for the remainder of the section and it really distracted me from answering the questions that were in front of me and caused me to run out of time. After the section, all that I could think about was the blank answers and the missed section. During the next section, my mind kept wandering from the section in front of me to my overall score; how many did i miss? how many can i afford to miss? what is the experimental?

From there the thing snowballed and I ended up getting a score that was equal to my diagnostic (why i didn't cancel is not important). Of course, as it turns out the first section was experimental! And the question and then the section the I obsessed over did not even count.

The tip is STAY IN THE MOMENT. This sounds so obvious, and I would have thought so too going in. I am not a nervous person, I always had performed well on exams. But something about the magnitude of the test on my expectations got into my head the second something went wrong. Don't let that be you.

If you dont know the answer to a question, take a guess so you have something filled in and circle the question. Come back if you have time. But move on and move on MENTALLY. The one question you missed is not worth thinking about at the expense of the rest of the section or the exam. Stay in the moment and give your full concentration to the question that is in front of you. If you blow a section, ASSUME that it was experimental and move on. You can figure it out later. The best way that you can help yourself is to mentally move on.

Don't think about what section is experimental, how many questions you can miss, what section is experimental, what school you will go to, or any other big concerns. STAY in the moment.


Luckily for me, my story had a happy ending on my retake :D


Best of luck to the June 2011 crew!

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99.9luft
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Re: Test Day Tip- Stay in the moment!

Postby 99.9luft » Mon May 16, 2011 2:36 am

Thank you, excellent advice.

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mac35352
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Re: Test Day Tip- Stay in the moment!

Postby mac35352 » Mon May 16, 2011 8:21 am

Thank you

rubydandun
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Re: Test Day Tip- Stay in the moment!

Postby rubydandun » Tue May 17, 2011 1:10 am

Really good point - to counter this I did something interesting.

Sometimes during a PT I'll screw up 2-3 questions in a row or blow a game and be like OH WOW i just wasted a PT, I'm going to do really really poorly, god I'm an idiot, etc... - of course, it always turns out that I did not do NEARLY as poorly as I thought I did.

So, before grading a PT i write out how many I think I got wrong in each question - and EVERY SINGLE TIME - i overestimate how poorly i did. I always do better. Over time, this habit led me to never freak out after missing a question or two.

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soj
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Re: Test Day Tip- Stay in the moment!

Postby soj » Tue May 17, 2011 1:15 am

Brilliant. + a million. I feel like I did exactly this today, except it was a RC passage I kept lingering over.

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mac35352
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Re: Test Day Tip- Stay in the moment!

Postby mac35352 » Tue May 17, 2011 12:40 pm

rubydandun wrote:Really good point - to counter this I did something interesting.

Sometimes during a PT I'll screw up 2-3 questions in a row or blow a game and be like OH WOW i just wasted a PT, I'm going to do really really poorly, god I'm an idiot, etc... - of course, it always turns out that I did not do NEARLY as poorly as I thought I did.

So, before grading a PT i write out how many I think I got wrong in each question - and EVERY SINGLE TIME - i overestimate how poorly i did. I always do better. Over time, this habit led me to never freak out after missing a question or two.

I have been doing the exact same thing.
It's crazy how off I am sometimes.
Good Luck!

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davesmystery
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Re: Test Day Tip- Stay in the moment!

Postby davesmystery » Tue May 17, 2011 3:09 pm

Sometimes it's difficult for me to do this even in PTs as well. It seems as though most smart people have trouble with things they can't figure out and tend to dwell on them under the premise of "I'm smart and I should be able to do this". Now if I get to a question and the stimulus doesn't make sense on the first read through I skip it for later.

Ruby, I like the idea of trying to assess which ones you think you are going to get wrong before you grade the PT. I think I'll try that after my next PT.

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BrightLine
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Re: Test Day Tip- Stay in the moment!

Postby BrightLine » Sun Jun 05, 2011 7:18 pm

Bump for those taking tomorrow.

Tainted_Praise
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Re: Test Day Tip- Stay in the moment!

Postby Tainted_Praise » Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:09 pm

Thanks! Awesome advice. :)

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incompetentia
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Re: Test Day Tip- Stay in the moment!

Postby incompetentia » Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:20 pm

Credited. I'm a horrible horrible person in this regard (metagaming tests forever), so I focused specifically on breaking myself of this habit over about 3 weeks of PTing.

Extremely useful to have internalized.

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fltanglab
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Re: Test Day Tip- Stay in the moment!

Postby fltanglab » Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:26 pm

Thanks! :)

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pkrtbx
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Re: Test Day Tip- Stay in the moment!

Postby pkrtbx » Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:21 pm

Good advice. At least personally, I find it a lot easier to maintain focus when I am in a high pressure situation (like the real test administration) vs. a practice PT, so I am crossing my fingers that increased focus is going to help me out tomorrow. Good luck to everyone!!!

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RareAir
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Re: Test Day Tip- Stay in the moment!

Postby RareAir » Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:09 pm

+1 Great advice.

You can look at it this way. They only way ONE question is going to keep you from scoring 180 (or whatever your goal) is if you allow it to affect your other answers.




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