Strategy to break score dropoff on recent tests?

schmohawkism
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Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:40 am

Strategy to break score dropoff on recent tests?

Postby schmohawkism » Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:43 am

Hey ya'll long time lurker here looking for advice on where to continue my studying/review.

I've been studying for six months and was previously happy with my pt scores (avg 172; my target score, incidentally)

However, I haven't broken 170 since pt53 (53-60 all 165-169)

I have lg on lock for the most part but lr and rc seem to be the wild cards

I've read through the bibles a few times each but the specifics are foggy.

I've been keeping track of my problem areas (thks to 3link's spreadsheet). Now I just need suggestions on how to attack these during my review

Whatta ya think?

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tyro
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Re: Strategy to break score dropoff on recent tests?

Postby tyro » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:04 am

I'm assuming you're preparing for this upcoming October test.

Well there's always the possibility of burnout. How often are you taking PT's and has there been any significant change in life stressors since the score drop?

Another question might be whether your timing on sections could have for some reason worsened with these modern tests. Are you generally finishing the LR and RC sections on time?

At this point it might not be a good idea to try the Manhattan RC and LR books or another respectable prep source but it could be worth a try if you can push through the material quickly.

Also, with RC and LR there of course trends. Have you noticed particular passage types (diversity, science, law, humanity) or LR question types (parallel the reasoning, assumption family, correlation/causation type, strengthen/weaken) questions that are giving you a hard time?

schmohawkism
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Re: Strategy to break score dropoff on recent tests?

Postby schmohawkism » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:47 am

I don't think burnout is the issue because i took significant time off between tests when my scores started to drop. Maybe i'm getting rusty after resting for 5 consecutive days?

Timing is definitely becoming an issue. Used to finish an lr section with 5-10min for review but lately i've only had 1-2min left over. I've always had trouble finishing rc but that's also gotten much worse.

My buddy is gonna send me his condensed notes for manhattan lr so hopefully i can gain some insight from it. I've read through manhattan rc but kinda gave up halfway because it seemed to be the same stuff i've heard ad nauseam (read for structure, keywords, viewpoints, et al.) Is there anything i should pay attention to on another read through?

As for trends in lr the majority of my misses come from assumption and inference questions but i'll get tripped up on anything that is dense and convoluted. Rc misses come from logic and inference questions (particularly from law and science passages)

Now i just need to know what to do with all this information.

Thks in advance for the help!

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tyro
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Re: Strategy to break score dropoff on recent tests?

Postby tyro » Sun Aug 28, 2011 2:43 am

schmohawkism wrote:I don't think burnout is the issue because i took significant time off between tests when my scores started to drop. Maybe i'm getting rusty after resting for 5 consecutive days?

Timing is definitely becoming an issue. Used to finish an lr section with 5-10min for review but lately i've only had 1-2min left over. I've always had trouble finishing rc but that's also gotten much worse.

My buddy is gonna send me his condensed notes for manhattan lr so hopefully i can gain some insight from it. I've read through manhattan rc but kinda gave up halfway because it seemed to be the same stuff i've heard ad nauseam (read for structure, keywords, viewpoints, et al.) Is there anything i should pay attention to on another read through?

As for trends in lr the majority of my misses come from assumption and inference questions but i'll get tripped up on anything that is dense and convoluted. Rc misses come from logic and inference questions (particularly from law and science passages)

Now i just need to know what to do with all this information.

Thks in advance for the help!

Before any further discussion I should probably admit that, according to your accounts, you are clearly above me by the measures of the psychometricians who construct this exam. So take my advice with this knowledge in mind. My overall average is close to a 165.

Yet your response here reminds me of my own experience in one way for certain. I find that the older LR sections are undeniably easier so your change here is not surprising. My concern is the decrease in your RC performance because I generally feel that RC sections have not gotten harder (subjective interpretation obviously though).

My general advice for you is to experiment. I do not use a strict prep company outline or approach to RC and tend to be somewhat consistent with outcomes. My approach for marking passages is to circle all words/names/dates, etc that I feel will likely come up in the questions and to additionally underline the subsequent points of view or definitions that follow. This works for me. Find what works for you and do not rely on the passage marking strategies that you see in prep books. They tend to involve too much marking in my opinion and unnecessary diagramming. I will occassionally diagram an "EX" for example or "AUTH" for author's POV but notations generally don't work well for me. So, experiment with your technique!

If you're finishing LR sections with two minutes left over and still getting more than four wrong, it sounds like you're rushing. Also, assumption questions become one of the easiest types with practice. Anyway, I'll probably write more later, good luck and HTH.

bp shinners
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Re: Strategy to break score dropoff on recent tests?

Postby bp shinners » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:56 pm

tyro wrote:My concern is the decrease in your RC performance because I generally feel that RC sections have not gotten harder (subjective interpretation obviously though).


While I agree that they haven't become 'harder', they have, recently, shifted focus (in my opinion, anyway). The newer passages have questions that parallel Logical Reasoning even moreso than the old tests do, and that requires a shift in strategy in answering the questions (not in the markups). While the older tests were more about straight comprehension, the newer ones seem to focus on using the passage as a stimulus for a bunch of LR questions.

Try approaching the questions a little differently than you have been for the older tests. Relate the question to an LR question type (MBT, Parallel being two of the more common ones, outside of MP of course). Make sure you understand through whose viewpoint the question is being asked. And treat the answer choices as having the same logical requirements as logical reasoning; the requirements for a correct answer choice in RC aren't 'softer' than LR (unless the question's asking you to infer something).

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clouds101
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Re: Strategy to break score dropoff on recent tests?

Postby clouds101 » Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:54 pm

bp shinners wrote:
tyro wrote:My concern is the decrease in your RC performance because I generally feel that RC sections have not gotten harder (subjective interpretation obviously though).


While I agree that they haven't become 'harder', they have, recently, shifted focus (in my opinion, anyway). The newer passages have questions that parallel Logical Reasoning even moreso than the old tests do, and that requires a shift in strategy in answering the questions (not in the markups). While the older tests were more about straight comprehension, the newer ones seem to focus on using the passage as a stimulus for a bunch of LR questions.

Try approaching the questions a little differently than you have been for the older tests. Relate the question to an LR question type (MBT, Parallel being two of the more common ones, outside of MP of course). Make sure you understand through whose viewpoint the question is being asked. And treat the answer choices as having the same logical requirements as logical reasoning; the requirements for a correct answer choice in RC aren't 'softer' than LR (unless the question's asking you to infer something).


That's really interesting; I'm glad I saw this today!! I'm going to start PTing with the recent tests (PT50 to PT 63) so I'll be sure to consider your RC advice. Thanks for sharing.

schmohawkism
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Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:40 am

Re: Strategy to break score dropoff on recent tests?

Postby schmohawkism » Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:36 am

thanks for the insight guys. you definitely gave me some new things to consider

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Bobeo
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Re: Strategy to break score dropoff on recent tests?

Postby Bobeo » Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:18 pm

schmohawkism wrote:I don't think burnout is the issue because i took significant time off between tests when my scores started to drop. Maybe i'm getting rusty after resting for 5 consecutive days?

Timing is definitely becoming an issue. Used to finish an lr section with 5-10min for review but lately i've only had 1-2min left over. I've always had trouble finishing rc but that's also gotten much worse.



I've noticed almost the exact same thing. I used to have trouble with LG and LR were an absolute breeze. Since I started doing the test from the New 10 LSAT book, I've been destroying LG and having a lot more trouble on LR. I have much less time at the end of LR sections (individual questions are taking much longer) and I'm getting 1-2 more wrong. For example I used to be a solid -1/2 on LR and the last test I went -4,-5 on the LR sections. I'm guessing it just goes to what people said in other threads: LR just gets harder while LG gets easier in newer LSATs. I'm hoping that with review and more tests I'll get acclimated to the new difficulty of LR.

EDIT: RC seems harder while doing the sections (kind of "denser" I guess, harder to fully comprehend) but my scores seem steady. It's discomforting because I felt so confident with the older tests, hit the newer LSATs and I've gotten much shakier.




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