Retake Advice trying to score in the 170's

Tiger123
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Retake Advice trying to score in the 170's

Postby Tiger123 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:35 am

So I took 3 months off of work to study for this June LSAT aiming to get a 175+. I took the Kaplan online course so I would have the answer explanations and the stratosphere lessons. I've read both Powerscore books in their entirety and the Manhattan LSAT RC. I probably took over 50 practice tests trying to mimic them all with timed conditions at the actual test center where I would be taking it and studied for about 6-8 hours a day consistently. I don't think I scored below a 170 in the last month of studying and was averaging in the mid-high 170's. That being said come test day I thought I was ready and calm expecting to breeze through the exam like I've done so many times and on the first section which was LR at about question 9 I completely froze I couldn't even read the question I just panicked. I sat there for a good 20 minutes not even looking at the other questions in the section and decided to cancel. I decided to go through the rest of the test as a practice and I breezed through it finishing each section well ahead of time. (There was obviously no stress at this point)

Now I have the dreaded task of having to retake this in October. I don't know what I should do for studying I know all the material and I don't really have any more tests to take. I just panicked on test day I think I set my expectations too high and just studied too hard and it psyched me out.

Would appreciate any advice.

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marcdagr8
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Re: Retake Advice trying to score in the 170's

Postby marcdagr8 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:37 pm

are you normally prone to test anxiety?

See a doctor and get a Rx, perhaps you should specifically inquire about propranolol.

B-Brav0
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Re: Retake Advice trying to score in the 170's

Postby B-Brav0 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:25 am

Wow.

6-8 hours per day is great but a bit much and although there is a such thing as a "studying burnout," the fact that you were doing so well right up to the exam kind of negates that this was the issue. If you were so burned out, you probably would've been tripping up on the PTs toward the end-- making silly mistakes, wide fluctuations in your scores, etc.

It's normal for people who studied hard to expect to do extremely well, and while this mindset DOES have to be kept in check, it doesn't really hinder individuals in a huge capacity-- at least, not in the way that it did you (you're not the only one who has gone through this but I wouldn't say this is very common). After you had that episode you released yourself of the pressure and was able to glide right through the remainder of the test. That's a huge red flag.

I mean part of it could've been you thinking TOO MUCH about applying your studying techniques, which can slow everything down. But this was def a mind thing. Have you gone through this before? Or been through something similar? If so, you probably need to figure out some relaxation techniques or take something. Whatever that something may be, not sure.

Um, as far as the retake... there's always room for improvement. You did cover most of the studying material but that's okay. Perfect it. But study in moderation-- not hard core like you had been, because that'll be overkill. 3 months of instense studying is enough for long-term skill, a positive you can take out of this whole thing. Just keep refreshing yourself until October. I'd say do 1/3 of what you had been doing. Do a PT a week or something. Gloss over some of the other materials weekly as well.

And when you take the Oct test, don't think of it as "the real deal." You had tackled frickin 50 PTs of REAL material scoring in the 170s, so what makes you think that this one test is dominant? It's not. Not after ripping apart 40-50 others. That's the mindset many people should have.

Tiger123
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Re: Retake Advice trying to score in the 170's

Postby Tiger123 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:54 pm

Thanks for the great advice.

I think a major problem for me was that I studied so much and had such high expectations from myself and the people around me that I literally psyched myself out.

When I opened the first page it was like wow this actually happening I spent the last months of my life just studying for this and now I need to perform. I've never had this happen to me ever before I went to a HYP for undergrad (Graduated '10) and always performed at the top of my game, but I think other things were going on as well. I think I literally focused too much on the LSAT and had that as my sole goal and that really hurt me.

I was planning on doing a JD/MBA at one of the top schools so now I'm studying for the GMAT, which is definitely the LSAT lite and plan to take it in July. I guess I'll just keep up with studying and take from Ptest 40 and up and do 1 or 2 preptests a week and then a month before the exam kick up the studying a bit.

After I realized I was canceling it about 20 minutes into the first section I decided to take it as a practice test and wouldn't be surprised if I got -0 on the rest of the test including the hard RC section, the problem was I didn't even fill out about 10 questions on the 1st section.

I really appreciate the advice

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seancris
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Re: Retake Advice trying to score in the 170's

Postby seancris » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:53 pm

I take it the first section wasn't experimental? I was under the impression that it was for everyone. :oops:

ejh22
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Re: Retake Advice trying to score in the 170's

Postby ejh22 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:31 pm

The same thing happened to me last October because I just kept thinking "omg, this test affects the rest of my life and my future, how much I might pay for school, how good of a job I can get afterwards, how long it will take for me to pay off my debt etc." The thoughts just kept snowballing. I am studying for a retake also this October and also hoping for 170+. This time around I am going to do 2 things to make the real test seem like just another practice test: 1) take some full-length PTs in a library so people are around me and there is some "studying noise" 2) sign up for as many free PT administrations as I can find - Kaplan and Princeton Review sometimes offers these, although less and less frequent now it seems. Kaplan offers an "LSAT experience" the week before the exam (at least they did this last week before the June test). It's only in some locations and it costs about 100 dollars (crazy, I know), but it is supposed to exactly mimic the day of the test so it can't hurt :wink: Good luck!

Kurst
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Re: Retake Advice trying to score in the 170's

Postby Kurst » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:43 pm

Anxiety: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=147078#p3993803
Studying after taking every preptest: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=144808#p3875368

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Cartman
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Re: Retake Advice trying to score in the 170's

Postby Cartman » Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:06 pm

Unfortunately, knowing the exam material and being able to score well on PT's is only half the battle. The other half is being able to perform on test day. What good is consistently scoring 175+ if it's not on the real deal? Just look to poor Coldshoulder's post on test day anxiety and asthma. I sympathize, I really do. It's an incredibly tough task to balance nerves when that test can determine so much of your future.

ejh22 wrote:The same thing happened to me last October because I just kept thinking "omg, this test affects the rest of my life and my future, how much I might pay for school, how good of a job I can get afterwards, how long it will take for me to pay off my debt etc." The thoughts just kept snowballing. I am studying for a retake also this October and also hoping for 170+. This time around I am going to do 2 things to make the real test seem like just another practice test: 1) take some full-length PTs in a library so people are around me and there is some "studying noise" 2) sign up for as many free PT administrations as I can find - Kaplan and Princeton Review sometimes offers these, although less and less frequent now it seems. Kaplan offers an "LSAT experience" the week before the exam (at least they did this last week before the June test). It's only in some locations and it costs about 100 dollars (crazy, I know), but it is supposed to exactly mimic the day of the test so it can't hurt :wink: Good luck!


I took a Testmasters course, and in it part of the course paid for 4 proctored exams that were meant to simulate the real test day situation, experimental section and all (they threw in an extra random section.) I can guarantee you that it was NOTHING like the real test day. This is the big issue with taking practice tests. No matter where you take it (at a library or at the site that you will be taking the real exam at) and no matter if you add an experimental section or not, you are simply not going to be able to get that actual test day feeling. And it's equally as difficult to go into the real test telling yourself it's just another practice test just like the 50 before you killed. While a few months down the line the exam will just be PrepTest XX, right then it's a massive deal.

When you take practice tests, it's impossible to simulate certain features of test day that you don't get. Do you have trouble sleeping before practice tests? The drive to the center that's filled with nervousness/anxiousness? Standing in line with 100 other people making nervous small talk? Being checked in and waiting patiently for everyone else to be checked in? Signing an honesty pledge? Bubbling in all your administration data? The last two are examples of something that IS within your control to do, however almost no one does them.

I've taken the test twice, and I've also taken my fair share of practice tests so I'm able to speak with some confidence. As much as I told myself that I need to just walk in thinking like it's another one of the 50 previous tests I've just taken, it's nearly impossible to actuate that on game day.

My best advice to you, Tiger123, is to sign up and take it again but don't go overboard with the studying. You know the material already - I saw another guy in a similar situation who was unhappy with the 171 he got on test day and signed up to retake 3 months later. He did almost no studying until a few weeks before hand and then did a few PT's. Went in and got the 176 he wanted. The material isn't really the hard part. It's handling the nerves, balancing the time, and being able to perform on game day.

Good luck.




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