Downward Trend in Prep Tests

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CPM723
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Downward Trend in Prep Tests

Postby CPM723 » Tue May 31, 2011 5:59 pm

I have been preparing since January for the June test, and really stepped up my prep these past 2 weeks since school is done. I have taken prep tests twice a week and have consistently scored between 161 and 160. However, today I took a test and scored a 157. Is this a sign of things to come, or is it just an outlier in the overall scheme of things? With the test coming up in a little under a week I want to know what I need to do to make sure I at least get a 160 on the test. Any insight would be appreciated.

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incompetentia
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Re: Downward Trend in Prep Tests

Postby incompetentia » Tue May 31, 2011 6:02 pm

Dip in scores is probably a) something that caused a drop in focus, or b) burnout. Have you been reviewing heavily outside of your PT load (which at twice a week seems fairly reasonable)?

If evidence suggests the latter, I'd walk away from all LSAT-related study for a day or two and then go back and try again.



For what it's worth, I scored 9 points below my cold diagnostic 6 days before the test - took a break, went back for light study late in the week, and then scored +12 on my diagnostic (21 point jump) on test day.

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CPM723
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Re: Downward Trend in Prep Tests

Postby CPM723 » Tue May 31, 2011 6:05 pm

I have been taking 2 tests a week and reviewing them on the off days. Since last Monday I have only taken 2 days off. The other days I usually put in 2 hours of reviewing the test or doing other timed sections.

Should I put the prep on hold and take another prep test on Thursday, or just relax until Monday?

071816
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Re: Downward Trend in Prep Tests

Postby 071816 » Tue May 31, 2011 6:07 pm

Sounds like somebody needs to take a few days off.

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bk1
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Re: Downward Trend in Prep Tests

Postby bk1 » Tue May 31, 2011 6:09 pm

A single test a couple points below your average is not a "trend."

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CPM723
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Re: Downward Trend in Prep Tests

Postby CPM723 » Tue May 31, 2011 6:10 pm

I was scoring around 163 before.

SanDiegoJake
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Re: Downward Trend in Prep Tests

Postby SanDiegoJake » Tue May 31, 2011 6:13 pm

It's an outlier likely due to burnout. Take a full 2 days off this week (Wed/Thurs), then do some practice over the weekend (Fri/Sat) not exceeding 4 hrs per day, take the day before the test entirely off (Sunday), then do a single practice section on Monday as close as possible to the test time just to warm yourself up. This rest will prepare you to have your best day on test day. Good luck.

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CPM723
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Re: Downward Trend in Prep Tests

Postby CPM723 » Tue May 31, 2011 6:15 pm

Could I take a practice test on Friday, or should I just do some single timed sections?

Is it okay to review my test tonight?

justbubbles
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Re: Downward Trend in Prep Tests

Postby justbubbles » Tue May 31, 2011 6:22 pm

incompetentia wrote:Dip in scores is probably a) something that caused a drop in focus, or b) burnout.


I agree. A break is much needed, IMO.

Also, as an aside, I wouldn't necessarily look at a "downward trend" as indicative of poor performance.

As 'standardized' as the tests are, empirically speaking, some tests are actually harder than others.

For me personally:

-> PTs 19-39; score trend: 157 to 164
-> PTs 39-48; score trend: 161 to 169
-> PTs 49-52; score trend: 158 to 163 :shock: (the LR sections on PTs 48-52 are brutal; we discussed this already)
-> PTs 53-56; score trend; 164 to 172
-> PT 57; score 162 (10 point drop) :shock: :shock:
-> PTs 58-62; score trend; 166 to 177

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incompetentia
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Re: Downward Trend in Prep Tests

Postby incompetentia » Tue May 31, 2011 6:22 pm

Go ahead and review what you're doing, make a note of what still can improve, then take a day or two where you don't even touch LSAT material.


I wouldn't go cold turkey for an entire week, but a couple days can do wonders.

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CPM723
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Re: Downward Trend in Prep Tests

Postby CPM723 » Tue May 31, 2011 6:24 pm

Okay, I think I will relax tomorrow and Thursday. Then on Friday I will take a prep test.

I just took PT 52 and did okay on the LR, but some of the questions were insane. The worst part for me was my LG, which I usually only miss 2-3, but missed 8 on this section. Would burnout or stress explain this? (The test I took on Saturday I only missed 2 on the LG section).

bp shinners
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Re: Downward Trend in Prep Tests

Postby bp shinners » Tue May 31, 2011 6:29 pm

As others have said, a single dip in score could be the result of anything from construction going on in the background, to a particularly rough logic game, to burnout. Review the test, see where you went wrong, and spend a few days relaxing/doing light review instead of several hours of practice test/review.

Generally, the most damage done by a single low score is psychological and not the harbinger of something bad to come. Though the psychological effects lead to something bad if you completely freak out, so don't freak out and you'll be back at your average (or higher, hopefully).

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CPM723
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Re: Downward Trend in Prep Tests

Postby CPM723 » Tue May 31, 2011 6:33 pm

That sounds fair. I think a little bit of rest and relaxation would do wonders. I just lost track of time on this particular LG section and ended up having to quickly go through and try to find answers to about 5 questions. I usually dominate that section, and it would have brought my score to my avg if I had been able to correctly answer at least 4 of them.

My only question which hasn't been answered yet is: Can I take a PT on Friday?

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incompetentia
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Re: Downward Trend in Prep Tests

Postby incompetentia » Tue May 31, 2011 6:37 pm

I think there should be a PT that you take a couple days before the test - I'm not saying that you shouldn't test at all anymore until the real thing. I'm thinking that with the rest, you should score higher on the Fri test, and that'll give you some confidence going into test day.

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CPM723
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Re: Downward Trend in Prep Tests

Postby CPM723 » Tue May 31, 2011 6:41 pm

I agree. I think that a return to my average score on Friday will definitely have me feeling good going into Monday.

My Game Plan:

Take tomorrow off, review the test that I took today more heavily on Thursday. Friday I will take a PT and then review on Saturday and finish off by taking Sunday off with a quick glance at some problems in the morning on Monday. (My test center is about an hour away so I will take a LG to review in the car before I head into the center).




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