Really starting to fall apart

darkatillam2
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Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:40 pm

Really starting to fall apart

Postby darkatillam2 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:32 pm

Someone please help.

Warning: Do not read if you feeling any anxiety about the upcoming test as this will not help.


The strain has demoralized me to the point where I don't want to even try because I know I'm just going to do terrible. My best section (LG: roughly -0 to -1) took a huge dive to -6 the last 2 PTs I took. One was even a retake of PT 52 which I took a month ago and got perfect on the first time I took it.

My LR scores and RC scores were improving but have since spiked back to January levels.

Honestly, it's become so hard to take PTs or individual sections anymore (I actually have almost 0 left, as I have done almost every available PT), because afterwards I feel so depressed and pissed off that I missed so many.

When I first started 7 months ago I was aiming for a 170. Now I'm praying for a 165 but have yet to even come close in the last month. There was a point where I felt my prep was going well (most of the 30s) and I was really motivated to destroy the test and I managed a couple of 165's, but after hitting all of the 50s my scores just went to shit.

I really don't know how to get out of this funk of depression/mental block. All I know is that I have one untouched PT (PT 61) to use before Monday, and all I can think about is how crappy I did on the first two sections of PT 60 before I just gave up. I'm trying to get back to that feeling of confidence and excitement I felt not too long ago. But every time I sit down to start a test a piece of me says what's the point.

Does anyone have any suggestions for what I can do to regain my mental edge before monday?

P.S.- I'm not going to postpone. I will cancel if I bomb the LG or feel I did a terrible job on multiple sections. If I felt I did well, I will retake Oct.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Really starting to fall apart

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:40 pm

Consider taking a break. You may be suffering from over-training or over-preparing for the test. Relax. It is not a cataclysmic event since you are permitted to take the LSAT at least two more times in a two year period. Of course, relaxing & not stressing may result in a strong score on Monday. Good luck !

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incompetentia
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Re: Really starting to fall apart

Postby incompetentia » Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:41 pm

I took Oct 2010. Took a PT 6 days before the test and scored 9 points below my cold diag.


It sounds like you've been trying to hit your head against a wall once you'd started to show signs of burnout. Take a minimum of two days off (and I'd really recommend three if this declining pattern has been happening for this long).


Take one more PT on Saturday or Sunday - I'd expect you to jump back up toward your maximum PT average from the past. I ended up with a score +12 on my cold diag (21 points higher than the test that I'd taken 6 days earlier).

rcatmullnv
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Re: Really starting to fall apart

Postby rcatmullnv » Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:43 pm

Breathe. I know it sounds silly, but deep breathing works at relaxing you body and quieting your mind. Before you take your next practice test, trying sitting quietly, think positively, and just take deep breaths for a couple of minutes.

I'd take a day's break right now. You're probably burnt out and repeated practice right now is likely going to stress you more. While your taking a break, think positively. Don't constantly put down yourself and don't set any limitations on yourself. If you constantly think you're not going to get anything higher than a 160, that will be your reality. All you need to do is aim for 100% focus and do the best you can do.

darkatillam2
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Re: Really starting to fall apart

Postby darkatillam2 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:12 pm

Thanks everyone.


I am a little worried about taking a break so close to test day. I've found that when I take a day or two off to rest my head, it seems my it takes me equally as long if not longer to get my head back into shape where I'm performing at an optimal level.

Who knows I guess. All I know is that I'm feeling numb and something needs to change. Break it is.

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incompetentia
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Re: Really starting to fall apart

Postby incompetentia » Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:13 pm

darkatillam2 wrote:Thanks everyone.


I am a little worried about taking a break so close to test day. I've found that when I take a day or two off to rest my head, it seems my it takes me equally as long if not longer to get my head back into shape where I'm performing at an optimal level.

Who knows I guess. All I know is that I'm feeling numb and something needs to change. Break it is.

When was the last break you took, and how long was it for?

darkatillam2
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Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:40 pm

Re: Really starting to fall apart

Postby darkatillam2 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:35 pm

The longest break I've taken in the last 3 months has been around 3 days (that's with zero studying). If I don't take a PT in 3+ days then I get rusty on the first test back. Takes me an additional day or two of testing to get rolling again. I think I've averaged around 1 day a week of less than 1 hour of studying (I consider this my break day). Other days my studying ranges between 2 to 6 hours depending on the day.

rcatmullnv
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Re: Really starting to fall apart

Postby rcatmullnv » Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:43 pm

Perhaps on your break, you can type up a list of things you need to improve or things that will help you perform better. For example, "For all LR questions, I will identify the conclusion and the related evidence when possible; I will not confuse necessary and sufficient conditions; I will stay calm and focused during the test." That way you are still aware of the test, but you aren't driving yourself mad with actual questions.

Good luck!!

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Magnolia
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Re: Really starting to fall apart

Postby Magnolia » Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:54 pm

Take a night off. Go drink some beers, see a movie, and then go to bed early. A little fun and a lot of sleep can do wonders for you.

I get why you don't want to take time off this close to the test, but taking the LSAT when you're burnt out is going to hurt your performance wayyy more than taking one or two fewer practice tests.

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leche
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Re: Really starting to fall apart

Postby leche » Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:43 pm

incompetentia wrote:I took Oct 2010. Took a PT 6 days before the test and scored 9 points below my cold diag.


It sounds like you've been trying to hit your head against a wall once you'd started to show signs of burnout. Take a minimum of two days off (and I'd really recommend three if this declining pattern has been happening for this long).


Take one more PT on Saturday or Sunday - I'd expect you to jump back up toward your maximum PT average from the past. I ended up with a score +12 on my cold diag (21 points higher than the test that I'd taken 6 days earlier).


I agree with all this advice except for the Sunday part. The first time I took the LSAT (Monday is take 2 for me) I was experiencing the exact same symptoms as you. I even had the same score goals and declining score patterns. I did NOT take a break. I took a PT the day before the exam, got a low score, and it totally messed with my confidence going in the next day. I would suggest doing nothing LSAT related on Sunday but packing your gallon ziploc bag.

Good luck!

darkatillam2
Posts: 207
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:40 pm

Re: Really starting to fall apart

Postby darkatillam2 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 2:10 pm

That is so amazing to hear! Thanks for the advice everyone. I took yesterday off (just reviewed the two sections I had done earlier in the day), and now I feel much better. I'm not tired, and I'm looking forward to trying to do well again. I have one more test (PT61) scheduled for Saturday, and after that I will just review and probably do some drills and/or leak finding. I will take the advice of another poster above and probably write out a "to do" list to remind myself of the important things I should always be doing when I take on Monday.

Good luck everyone, and thanks again




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