Officially freaking out... it seems I've hit a score ceiling

homer1
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Officially freaking out... it seems I've hit a score ceiling

Postby homer1 » Mon May 23, 2011 8:16 pm

Hi everybody. I was just wondering if anyone has any advice for me. As soon as school got out, I started intense LSAT studying. After several practice tests however, it looks like I just can't do any better. Let me explain what I've done so far...

Last summer I thought it would be a good idea to start studying for the June 2011 LSAT since I predicted correctly that I wouldn't have any time during the school year to study for it. So I bought the Princeton Review's 'Cracking the LSAT 2010 Edition.' It definitely helped introduce me to the LSAT.

For the 3 weeks in between the end of this school year and the June 2011 LSAT, I got a book of 10 past LSATs, numbers 29-38. It seems these aren't the newest tests. Oh well. In any case, the plan is to take a PT under timed and similar conditions every other day and then on the off days go back and check over all the missed answers and to do any other studying I feel I need to do. The idea is to study about 3 hours a day. From what I've read online, this seems like a lot. Is that true?

Back in 2010 I took one of the Princeton Review PT's just to see my score without any studying at all. It was around a 145.
Here in 2011, the shitty results I've gotten on the 4 PTs I've taken so far: 151, 152, 151, and 150. So essentially the same shitty score.

I think the reason I can't do better is just that: I can't do better. Stated differently, as far as this test goes, I'm too stupid to hit 160.

I know what's killing me: the time and my inability to read. A problem that affects me on each test is when I approach some questions, I'll read it, not know what the hell I just read, and then I'll reread it multiple times. I'll then read the answers and they don't make any sense, so I'll have to reread them again and again. So all in all, I'll end up spending way too much time on a question. It doesn't seem like this is related to any question TYPE. It's just some questions have sentences and language that is clear to me, and others which I just can't read. This all at least applies to the reasoning sections.

For the games and RC sections, I seem to do adequately on the problems I do... I'll miss a problem here and there but those are always wrong because I read something wrong or glazed over something. What kills me is my apparent slowness. On a good test I'll be able to do 3 of the 4 games problems and RC passages. Especially with the RC, there's always a passage I just never have time to read and work. Just like as I stated before, this is mainly from finding myself having to reread stuff because I didn't get it the first time.

So to summarize, it seems the simple skill of reading is what's killing me on the LSAT, and not necessarily the questions types (although I do need to work on them too). Thoughts? Am I screwed? Should I go forth and take the June LSAT? Not take it? What do you recommend? Thanks in advance!

071816
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Re: Officially freaking out... it seems I've hit a score ceiling

Postby 071816 » Mon May 23, 2011 8:19 pm

Take a few days off and re-evaluate your study strategy. Possibly postpone until October.

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coldshoulder
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Re: Officially freaking out... it seems I've hit a score ceiling

Postby coldshoulder » Mon May 23, 2011 8:27 pm

chimp wrote:Take a few days off and re-evaluate your study strategy. Possibly postpone until October.

+1. Let the things you've been studying sink in without pounding them in with a hammer. Then come back to the test fresh, and if you're not ready in two weeks postpone til October.

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thecilent
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Re: Officially freaking out... it seems I've hit a score ceiling

Postby thecilent » Mon May 23, 2011 8:30 pm

If you don't know how to read well, you prob shouldn't try to become a lawyer. In all seriousness, if you keep practicing and still are scoring where you are now, I would not go to law school.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Officially freaking out... it seems I've hit a score ceiling

Postby crumpetsandtea » Mon May 23, 2011 8:44 pm

Have you done any prepwork other than the PR book? FWIW, I don't think doing 5 PTs counts as 'hitting a score ceiling,' or as 'intense studying'. :? Unless you legitimately cannot process the words you read (in which case, trust me, LS will be fucking hellish for you and you should NOT try to apply).

First off--definitely do not plan on taking the June test. You haven't done enough work to make that worth your while. Secondly, if you are indeed set on taking the LSAT after your few days of reflection (as the other posters have suggested), then invest in the Powerscore Bibles. Go through them all and do the practice problems and a bunch of drills. Then do 2 PTs - one untimed and one timed. If you're scoring 150-ish for both of them, then yeah, the 150s might be your ceiling. But if you score considerably better on the untimed one, then you simply need to get more accustomed to the test.

This is all my opinion, of course, but it just seems to me like you haven't really done enough to warrant a "OH MY GOD I HIT MY SCORE CEILING!!" freakout moment just yet. Do understand, though, that the LSAT is a commitment--if you want to do well, you need to put in the time.

homer1
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Re: Officially freaking out... it seems I've hit a score ceiling

Postby homer1 » Mon May 23, 2011 11:21 pm

chimp wrote:...re-evaluate your study strategy...

How so? I guess I'm just not sure what changes to make that would actually be beneficial

homer1
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Re: Officially freaking out... it seems I've hit a score ceiling

Postby homer1 » Mon May 23, 2011 11:37 pm

crumpetsandtea wrote:Have you done any prepwork other than the PR book? FWIW, I don't think doing 5 PTs counts as 'hitting a score ceiling,' or as 'intense studying'. :? Unless you legitimately cannot process the words you read (in which case, trust me, LS will be fucking hellish for you and you should NOT try to apply).

No other prepwork other than the PR book. The PR book has strategies for every question type, so I plan to look at it again. I haven't bought any other prep books because I doubt I could read them all and apply them all and practice them all in 3 weeks time.

This is all my opinion, of course, but it just seems to me like you haven't really done enough to warrant a "OH MY GOD I HIT MY SCORE CEILING!!" freakout moment just yet. Do understand, though, that the LSAT is a commitment--if you want to do well, you need to put in the time.

I understand what you're saying. So you wouldn't agree that 4 practice tests with the exact same score indicates a ceiling? Also, you think anyone (and I mean anyone) can get a 180 if they just work hard enough?

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coldshoulder
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Re: Officially freaking out... it seems I've hit a score ceiling

Postby coldshoulder » Mon May 23, 2011 11:40 pm

homer1 wrote:
crumpetsandtea wrote:Have you done any prepwork other than the PR book? FWIW, I don't think doing 5 PTs counts as 'hitting a score ceiling,' or as 'intense studying'. :? Unless you legitimately cannot process the words you read (in which case, trust me, LS will be fucking hellish for you and you should NOT try to apply).

No other prepwork other than the PR book. The PR book has strategies for every question type, so I plan to look at it again. I haven't bought any other prep books because I doubt I could read them all and apply them all and practice them all in 3 weeks time.

This is all my opinion, of course, but it just seems to me like you haven't really done enough to warrant a "OH MY GOD I HIT MY SCORE CEILING!!" freakout moment just yet. Do understand, though, that the LSAT is a commitment--if you want to do well, you need to put in the time.

I understand what you're saying. So you wouldn't agree that 4 practice tests with the exact same score indicates a ceiling? Also, you think anyone (and I mean anyone) can get a 180 if they just work hard enough?


4 tests definitely is not a score ceiling. I was around 165 for five tests in a row, then made a breakthrough and have scored higher than 170 for twenty tests in a row. Also, I don't think just anyone can score a 180 on the real thing, but I think almost anyone can score 170+.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Officially freaking out... it seems I've hit a score ceiling

Postby crumpetsandtea » Mon May 23, 2011 11:49 pm

homer1 wrote:No other prepwork other than the PR book. The PR book has strategies for every question type, so I plan to look at it again. I haven't bought any other prep books because I doubt I could read them all and apply them all and practice them all in 3 weeks time.

Do NOT take the june test. I'm telling you right now that it will not be worth the money you pay for it. I HIGHLY recommend that you extend to the October test, particularly if PR is the only prep you've done so far (I've heard PS >>>> PR). You still have plenty of room to improve, IMO.
homer1 wrote:I understand what you're saying. So you wouldn't agree that 4 practice tests with the exact same score indicates a ceiling? Also, you think anyone (and I mean anyone) can get a 180 if they just work hard enough?

To the first question - no, I don't think 4 practice tests after 1 book and what, 3 weeks of studying? is a good indicator of someone's potential, at all. People study for months for this test. I know people who have gone from 140s to 160s and from upper 150s to 170s. But NONE of them did that with one book and less than 5 practice tests. You need to WORK to see any sort of improvement--just blindly taking PTs is useless otherwise. Read supplementary materials, drill sections timed and untimed, thoroughly review the questions you get wrong: THAT is how you improve.

To the second question - no, I don't think just anyone can get a 180. I do think that natural 'ceilings' exist. But I don't think you've worked anywhere NEAR hard enough to be able to say you've hit yours. If you'd gone through all the bibles, 20-30 PTs, PR, reviewed all your wrong answers, drilled like crazy, etc etc etc, and you were STILL at 150? Yeah, then I'd tell you to give it up because you are clearly not meant to go over 150. But come on, you've been studying for less than a month. If you're honestly ready to call it quits after just a month of studying, then you have got to be spectacularly lazy (this is coming from a very lazy person, too XD)

AFS
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Re: Officially freaking out... it seems I've hit a score ceiling

Postby AFS » Mon May 23, 2011 11:51 pm

OP, I'd recommend you delay to October and use this summer to study. The PR book is a decent introduction to the testing material, but it is not good for anything other than that. Like other posters in this thread, I would recommend you invest in the Powerscore bibles. Studying 3 hours a day is not really that much, but it's more about consistent work over a longer period of time. It seems like you have underestimated the LSAT and started putting in the work too late in the game to take the June LSAT.

WayBryson
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Re: Officially freaking out... it seems I've hit a score ceiling

Postby WayBryson » Tue May 24, 2011 12:09 am

thecilent wrote:If you don't know how to read well, you prob shouldn't try to become a lawyer. In all seriousness, if you keep practicing and still are scoring where you are now, I would not go to law school.


I tend to agree. If you are serious about going to law school and reading is holding you back on the LSAT, then you should really focus on that. It isn't an accident that the LSAT tests these skills so heavily. You will need these to succeed in law school. Forget the practice tests for now. Start reading dense material. Read it often, and read it with a dictionary. Perhaps take a philosophy course or two (logic would serve a dual purpose). Subscribe to the economist. Read those big dusty books from the 19th century--Les Miserables is a personal favorite. The logic elements of the LSAT are skills that are pretty straight forward to train for. It is like shooting a basketball. Keep doing it and you get better. However, reading speed and comprehension are more fundamental. Taking the sports analogy, these are akin to overall physical conditioning.

homer1
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Re: Officially freaking out... it seems I've hit a score ceiling

Postby homer1 » Tue May 24, 2011 12:18 am

Ok, I accept the general consensus that I haven't studied enough at all and that 4 tests is not enough to establish a ceiling.

When is the latest I can de-register for the June LSAT? I'll keep studying as if I'm going to take it, but if a couple days before the test my score is 150-155, then I think it'll be obvious that I shouldn't take it.

Thanks everyone for the input!

homer1
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Re: Officially freaking out... it seems I've hit a score ceiling

Postby homer1 » Tue May 24, 2011 12:20 am

WayBryson wrote:
thecilent wrote:If you don't know how to read well, you prob shouldn't try to become a lawyer. In all seriousness, if you keep practicing and still are scoring where you are now, I would not go to law school.


I tend to agree. If you are serious about going to law school and reading is holding you back on the LSAT, then you should really focus on that. It isn't an accident that the LSAT tests these skills so heavily. You will need these to succeed in law school. Forget the practice tests for now. Start reading dense material. Read it often, and read it with a dictionary. Perhaps take a philosophy course or two (logic would serve a dual purpose). Subscribe to the economist. Read those big dusty books from the 19th century--Les Miserables is a personal favorite. The logic elements of the LSAT are skills that are pretty straight forward to train for. It is like shooting a basketball. Keep doing it and you get better. However, reading speed and comprehension are more fundamental. Taking the sports analogy, these are akin to overall physical conditioning.

Awesome analogy! I'll give it a shot

WayBryson
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Re: Officially freaking out... it seems I've hit a score ceiling

Postby WayBryson » Tue May 24, 2011 12:23 am

homer1 wrote: Awesome analogy! I'll give it a shot


Best of luck to you!

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Officially freaking out... it seems I've hit a score ceiling

Postby crumpetsandtea » Tue May 24, 2011 12:23 am

homer1 wrote:When is the latest I can de-register for the June LSAT? I'll keep studying as if I'm going to take it, but if a couple days before the test my score is 150-155, then I think it'll be obvious that I shouldn't take it.


You should have gotten this in an email from LSAC a while ago:

TEST DATE CHANGE, PARTIAL REFUND, AND WITHDRAW REQUESTS

If you are unable to take the June 2011 LSAT, you have three options that will remove the test date from your file.

You may request a change to another date within the current testing year, which runs from June 2011 through February 2012.
You may withdraw your registration before the refund-request deadline and obtain a partial refund.
You may withdraw your registration after the refund-request deadline—there will be no refund for this option.

The test-date change deadline and the partial-refund deadline are approximately three weeks prior to each LSAT administration date. If you do not request a partial refund, change your test date, or withdraw your registration by the stated deadlines, and you do not take the test, your LSAC file will note "absent." If you received a fee waiver, you must request withdrawal of your test registration by the withdrawal deadline.

If you are registered to take the LSAT within the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean, on Monday, June 6, 2011 the following deadline dates apply:

Deadline for test date change via mail, phone, or fax is May 13, 2011 (receipt deadline).
Deadline for test date change online is May 15, 2011 (midnight ET).
Deadline for partial refund request via mail or fax is May 13, 2011 (receipt deadline).
Deadline for withdraw request online is June 5, 2011 (midnight ET)

... Note—these deadlines apply to all registrants including those whose test fee was covered by an LSAC Fee Waiver. LSAC must receive your request to cancel your registration by the stated withdrawal deadline.

Partial refund requests should contain your LSAC candidate ID number and your signature. The request may be faxed to 215.968.1277, attached to an e-mail and sent to LSACinfo@LSAC.org, or mailed to LSAC, Box 2000-T, Newtown, PA 18940. The requests MUST be received by the deadlines listed above.


Sooo basically you can only withdraw now, but you have till the day before the test. You will lose the test application fee and will have to repay it for the October test, though.

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TheFutureLawyer
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Re: Officially freaking out... it seems I've hit a score ceiling

Postby TheFutureLawyer » Tue May 24, 2011 12:29 am

Only skimmed the thread, but I'll say this: if OP only did 5 PTs, s/he should come back after doing 10 more with review.

homer1
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Re: Officially freaking out... it seems I've hit a score ceiling

Postby homer1 » Tue May 24, 2011 3:06 am

crumpetsandtea wrote:You should have gotten this in an email from LSAC a while ago:

...

Sooo basically you can only withdraw now, but you have till the day before the test. You will lose the test application fee and will have to repay it for the October test, though.

Thank you for finding that, I forgot they sent that out. Looks like now I have a financial reason to cut the crap and get ready to take this test.

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tdicks
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Re: Officially freaking out... it seems I've hit a score ceiling

Postby tdicks » Tue May 24, 2011 5:35 am

homer1 wrote:Thank you for finding that, I forgot they sent that out. Looks like now I have a financial reason to cut the crap and get ready to take this test.


isn't this test in like, a week? obviously losing the 140 bucks would really suck, but if you take the test that score goes on your report. if you haven't improved by then instead of just losing the money, you're basically paying to have a bad score on your report. if you feel like you can improve to a like a 160ish by october it seems like it would be worth the 140 bucks not to have a 150 included on your score report.

as mentioned above, you should definitely get the logic games bible and really pound it out and drill all the games you can find. i bumped my LG score from -14 to -0/-1 in about a week and a half with that book. LG is the easiest to make improvements, so you'll probably get the highest score bump by focusing on that section.

i don't know what your strategy for reading through the test is, but it helps me stay focused by underlining as i read and bracketing off important information. if you could find something like that to help you retain a little more information, you might be able to get to an extra question or two.

good luck!!

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seancris
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Re: Officially freaking out... it seems I've hit a score ceiling

Postby seancris » Wed May 25, 2011 2:41 pm

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