10 weeks to a 180

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180asBreath
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10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:59 am

Long time lurker, first time poster.

On December 3rd, I will give my best effort in hopes of scoring a 180 on the LSAT. I've never done so on a PT, nor have I been close. However, I have realized that one should always aim for past their target in all goal-setting attempts. Let's just say I need a 7 in the tens column to get into the school I want (T6), and this will be my earnest effort to do so. If I had to guess, I would probably have an average of 163-165 if I took 10 full tests. I have only taken <10 full PT's, and they ranged from 155-166 with most of them before I did any prep.

I will spend the next 10 weeks going through the Velocity LSAT training course (that I found on TLS), daily LG and RC sections, and semiweekly PT's. I have spent the last year tinkering around the edges (i.e. practicing LG, learning some LR question types, practicing with LR by question type, etc), but I have not put in even a respectable effort. I am so impressed by all of you who were able to train for several months and improve by 10+ points; it really is quite admirable. Well, I'm at the last house on the block and I will do my best to continue in the proud tradition of TLS LSAT takers.

Please feel free to comment, critique, or advise on this thread. I am not a prideful man, so I always take advice as valuable information to draw from; further, I'm not easily rattled and I have a thick skin.

I look forward to this journey and will update this thread daily, in hopes that others can draw from my experiences as I have benefited from all of yours.

Updated PT's:

09/24/11 - PT 63 - LR1: -4. LR2: -4, RC: -8, LG: -4, LRexp: -4, 81/101, 163
09/28/11 - PT 43 - LR1: -5. LR2: -6, RC: -8, LG: -3, LGexp: -7, 79/101, 163
10/01/11 - PT 44 - LR1: -3. LR2: -6, RC: -7, LG: -5, RCexp: -8, 79/100, 161
10/05/11 - PT 45 - LR1: -4, LR2: -1, RC-13, LG: -0, LRexp: -6, 81/099, 165
10/08/11 - PT 46 - LR1: -1, LR2: -2, RC: -9, LG: -0, LRexp: -5, 87/099, 167
10/12/11 - PT 47 - LR1: -2, LR2-11, RC: -2, LG: -0, LRexp: -5, 86/101, 166
10/15/11 - PT 48 - LR1: -6, LR2: -2, RC: -5, LG: -0, LGexp: -4, 88/101, 166
10/19/11 - PT 49 - LR1: -7, LR2: -2, RC: -7, LG: -1, RCexp: -9, 83/100, 164
10/23/11 - PT 50 - LR1: -5, LR2: -3, RC: -7, LG: -4, LRexp: -10, 81/100, 163
10/26/11 - PT 51 - LR1: -4, LR2: -6, RC: -4, LG: -1, LGexp: -3, 85/100, 167
10/29/11 - PT 52 - LR1: -4, LR2: -0, RC: -2, LG: -0, RCexp: -6, 93/99, 174
11/02/11 - PT 53 - LR1: -4, LR2: -6, RC: -6, LG: -0, LRexp: -6, 84/100, 166
11/05/11 - PT 54 - LR1: -1, LR2: -5, RC: -5, LG: -1, RCexp: -2, 89/101, 168
11/09/11 - PT 55 - LR1: -5, LR2: -2, RC: -5, LG: -0, LGexp: -0, 88/100, 167
11/12/11 - PT 56 - LR1: -4, LR2: -2, RC: -4, LG: -1, LGexp: -0, 89/100, 170
11/14/11 - PT 57 - LR1: -4, LR2: -1, RC: -4, LG: -1, LRexp: -6, 91/101, 171
11/16/11 - PT 58 - LR1: -2, LR2: -7, RC: -6, LG: -2, LRexp: -5, 84/101, 165
11/19/11 - PT 59 - LR1: -3, LR2: -2, RC: -7, LG: -1, RCexp: -2, 88/101, 170
11/21/11 - PT 60 - LR1: -5, LR2: -4, RC: -6, LG: -3, LGexp: -4, 81/99, 165
11/23/11 - PT 61 - LR1: -4, LR2: -4, RC: -4, LG: -0, LRexp: -4, 89/101, 170
11/26/11 - PT 62 - LR1: -5, LR2: -3, RC: -1, LG: -1, RCexp: -4, 92/102, 173
11/28/11 - PT 63 - LR1: -2, LR2: -4, RC: -6, LG: -1, LRexp: -3, 88/101, 168
11/30/11 - PT 64 - LR1: -6, LR2: -4, RC: -6, LG: -3, RCexp: -7, 82/101, 166

So, after 23 tests, my averages were:

LR1: -3.9
LR2: -3.8
RC: -5.7
LG: -1.4
Total: -14.8
Overall: 166.9

We shall see how I did!
Last edited by 180asBreath on Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:13 pm, edited 27 times in total.

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BackToTheOldHouse
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby BackToTheOldHouse » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:05 am

Cool

tng11
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby tng11 » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:30 pm

...
Last edited by tng11 on Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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suspicious android
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby suspicious android » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:48 pm

This "rah, rah, positive attitude" stuff is good up to a point, but research shows that people perform better when they set small achievable short term goals rather than extremely ambitious long term goals. You're looking to go from 80% accuracy to 99% accuracy. Focus one something specific, not "just get them all right!".

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glucose101
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby glucose101 » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:29 pm

suspicious android wrote:This "rah, rah, positive attitude" stuff is good up to a point, but research shows that people perform better when they set small achievable short term goals rather than extremely ambitious long term goals. You're looking to go from 80% accuracy to 99% accuracy. Focus one something specific, not "just get them all right!".


Agreed. Work on major weaknesses first.

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BackToTheOldHouse
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby BackToTheOldHouse » Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:57 pm

story

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kwais
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby kwais » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:07 pm

Brother

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SisterRayVU
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby SisterRayVU » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:28 pm

You need to work very hard. A 180 will either be luck or absolute confidence in not being wrong. A 170+ requires a SIGNIFICANTLY smaller degree of confidence. Aim for that and then work to move up. :)

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180asBreath
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:20 am

Thank you all for your advice. I do agree that the focus should be on more realistic, concrete goals. My point is that I do not want to aim for a 170, fall a little short, and be out of luck. I'd rather aim for 180, fall very short, and be in a good position.

I read this great book about a wrestler who tried to make all-american in college; that was his goal, he wanted to be top 8 in the country. He ended up finishing no. 8 two years in a row. While it was a fantastic achievement, who's to say he couldn't have finished no. 3 if his goal was to finish in the top 3?

I take my first test tomorrow morning, so I'll update the thread after it. At the end of the day, I only have the time that is in front of me; it doesn't matter if 12 weeks, 3 months, or a year would be optimal. I'm going to dedicate these next 10 weeks to making as much progress as I can, only time will tell if that's good enough. All I know is that my mind is on learning the test and practicing until I get to the point where no question escapes my grasp.

I'm excited!

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180asBreath
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:52 pm

Day 1: Fully Timed 5-Section June 2011 Test

Hey all. Well, it seems like my notion of the "power of suggestion" reared its ugly head. I said, in the last post, that my average would be a 163 - and that's exactly what I scored.

LR1: -4
LG: -4
LRX: -4
LR2: -4
RC: -8

Truly, I feel like I could have easily gotten -15 (if I would have had better focus, so I wouldn't have guessed on so many) and could have gotten -10 if the stars perfectly aligned. I actually think that 167 is about where my ability level is, after seeing how poorly it went. However, I'll just say that I want to get to the point where I can score a -10 when it went poorly and a -0 when it went as well as it could have. This has to be the goal that will ensure I get the score I need to.

I have oh so many observations from my experience, and I learned many valuable lessons - though. I really wouldn't say it went that well; I had 3 moments where I lost focus and spent ~5 minutes on a single question because I got caught up in my head after noticing how much time I had left in a section; this resulted in me guessing on 5-7 questions, throughout the test. I was totally lost on the 3rd RC section because I was trying out a different reading technique and I wasn't able to glean anything from it. On LR2, I only missed 1 out of the first 22 and missed the last 3 because of guessing. I had one LG question where I ruled out all 5 of a could be true, because I had misapplied a rule; I spent like 7 minutes on it, which caused me to speed through the last game and miss a few.

In all honesty, I am optimistic after the result; it didn't feel like it went well, but I had a respectable score for my first full test in over a year (and on one with all new material, I had never seen any of those questions before). I was SO tired during the test; I didn't realize how poor my stamina was. There were times that I could barely focus on the words in front of me; I will definitely have to work on stamina. From now on, I'd like to do 3 timed sections in a row - on some practice days - so I can get used to that hellacious 1:15 before the mandatory break.

Lessons for the future:
1. If you rule out all 5 AC's, come back to it after doing another question; a fresh perspective is required to get past your erroneous initial thought process.
2. Don't look at the watch too often; I was making good time, so it wasn't that the watch stressed me out - it just distracted me and made me think that I was making good time. So much so that I stopped making good time!
3. When you find the correct AC in a must be true question in LG, put it in the diagram! I completely forgot this Velocity rule and it would have probably helped.
4. While it is okay to gloss over some of the technical, scientific language - since you can always come back to it - still try to get a good sense of it; I didn't and I paid the price.
5. Practice, practice, practice RC; this is really the only way we are going to get where we need to be!

Okay, a -20 wasn't terrible but it was still 20 less correct AC's than I need. I am most excited to get to it, tomorrow, and to continue on this journey to 180!

caminante
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby caminante » Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:18 pm

Concentrate on learning the test before you start practicing, then practice all. the. time.

My two cents.

Good luck!
Last edited by caminante on Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bjsesq
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby bjsesq » Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:18 pm

Now just realized you are a UG poster. Come at me, bro.

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glucose101
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby glucose101 » Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:46 pm

caminante, love your avatar!

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SisterRayVU
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby SisterRayVU » Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:31 pm

bjsesq wrote:Now just realized you are a UG poster. Come at me, bro.

umad? ujelly?

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180asBreath
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:49 pm

caminante wrote:Concentrate on learning the test before you start practicing, then practice all. the. time.
My two cents.
Good luck!


I definitely agree with this; it's part of the reason I haven't taken a test in a long while.

I feel I have a good understanding of what every question is asking on LR, I am able to properly diagram all games and get most inferences, and I have a solid RC technique that just needs to be fine tuned and practiced.

My plan is the following:

Monday - Chapter of Velocity LR, 1 full section of RC, 1 full section of LG
Tuesday - Chapter of Velocity RC, 1 full section of RC, 1 full section of LG
Wednesday - 5 section PT
Thursday - Chapter of Velocity LG, 1 full section of RC, 1 full section of LG
Friday - Chapter of Velocity LR, 1 full section of RC, 1 full section of LG
Saturday - 5 section PT
Sunday - Chapter of Velocity RC, 1 full section of RC, 1 full section of LG

Once I'm done with the book, I may switch to 3 PT's a week. I just feel that I really need a ton of experience on RC, fine tuning my method and gaining a sense of what kinds of questions are asked - as well as practicing deciphering the main point of the passage. As far as LG goes, I have gotten many -0's on single sections - I just need to practice to the point that I am consistently -1. With LR, there is plenty more studying to do on question types; further, I'd like to identify my weaker question types and drill them with my Cambridge LSAT LR by Type package.

Areas that need work:
1. Consistency on LG
2. Identifying weaknesses on LR
3. Stamina in a full 5-section test
4. Having enough time in each section
5. RC!!!

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180asBreath
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:51 pm

bjsesq wrote:Now just realized you are a UG poster. Come at me, bro.


Dude, you minus well come on if your coming on!

That Jones win was inspiring, I hope to arrive at the testing center on December 3rd with the same confidence he entered the cage with.

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glucose101
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby glucose101 » Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:52 pm

I recommend that you don't take a section of RC after Velocity. He supplies appropriate passages for each lesson. I recommend that you double up on lessons instead, and keep the RC passages for later (take like 12 at once or save for experimental sections).

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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby caminante » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:04 am

glucose101 wrote:caminante, love your avatar!


Thanks 8)

OP- Looks like you have a very comprehensive plan. This is good. One other thing to note: you must find what works for you. I approach LG differently than any one system that I have come across. Why? Because I was able to tweak them to fit my thought process.

Similarly, I never write notes on my RC passages. This is generally seen as a bad idea. Yet, I found that I do much worse when I take notes- so I don't.

Being flexible, understanding that what works for you is not the same as what works for everyone, and testing out different strategies somewhat systematically is very helpful.

Best of luck and continued success!

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180asBreath
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:37 pm

Thanks caminante.

I do agree with tailoring approaches to your specific "skill-set". For RC, there was a point where I was convinced that my best approach was picking the test booklet up and sitting back so I could truly focus on reading the passages; it worked for awhile, but I ended up going back to marking the passage because - while the other approach yielded better comprehension - I wasn't able to locate specific information in the passages as well. I'm at the point where I feel the biggest thing is having a good understanding of the passage, but a great mental image of the structure of the passage - and sense of where every argument was located.

I actually approached a friend of mine (who has tutored for the GRE and the LSAT for years) about working on my reading comprehension. We're meeting tomorrow; I just felt that I could come a long way on my own, but I wouldn't develop the ability to get -0 on RC without a great coach. My friend scored in the 1500's on the GRE, a 176 on a practice LSAT without ever studying it, and spent a few years as a teacher; they're now getting their PhD in education, and when we previously spoke about RC on the GRE/LSAT - they demonstrated a true understanding of the underlying skills required to do well. With their help, I feel that I can become just as strong on RC as the other sections.

Day 2:
-2 on #15 LG in 40:55 - I made a mistake on a rule where three things had to be in order, but I had a temporary lapse and treated it as the three in order with no other ones in-between. I also made a mistake on this strange game with overlapping radar detection areas where I thought that an item that was in an overlapping area, was the overlapping area.
-0 on 1/4 of #15 RC in 8:00 - I notated different things, I sub-vocalized, and I MADE SURE TO PRE-PHRASE BEFORE GOING TO THE AC's. This is something I messed up on, when I took #63, so I got led around by my nose. I have to remember that I need to go to the answer choices with the answer already in my mind.

I'm about to spend a few hours working through Velocity's RC to get ready for my tutor. I'm actually not 100% sure how to work through the Velocity course and how to practice, but I'll try to figure it out today.

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Redzo
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby Redzo » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:44 pm

Not many people know this, but the secret to getting a 180 is wanting it really, really bad.

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180asBreath
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:00 pm

Redzo wrote:Not many people know this, but the secret to getting a 180 is wanting it really, really bad.


Watch this video and you'll understand my screen name: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aowB5wNP ... r_embedded

I don't want it, I need it.

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180asBreath
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:53 am

Day 3:
1-20 of Velocity RC: -1 on two passages (13 questions) in 21 minutes
-0 on the LG of PT #16 in 44:33; there were a couple of game types that I've never seen before, so it took a long time.

I don't know if it's the right move to do game types that won't be on the December test, but I feel it might be helpful in case they introduce a new game type; I'd like to gain such an intuitive mastery of games, where I'd still do well if the December test had 4 game types that have never been seen before.

With RC, I made a ton of flash cards and I am trying to learn the intricacies of Dave's method. More than doing well in practice, I want to hone my skills to the point that I perform each step (bracket thesis, sum up paragraphs into one word, mark all question indicators, etc.) every single time. Once that becomes second nature, I feel I will start crushing RC. So, for now, scores are secondary to my need to master the RC method.

Well, I'm on day 4 and I am excited to take another practice test tomorrow! Whereas before I used to dread having to take a PT (often making excuses to not even do it, as shown by the fact that I've only done 1 in a year), I can't wait to take the next one. Also, I started a formal logic class at my school; we will spend the entire semester learning deductive logic and proper argumentation, so I hope this will refine me a bit. Lastly, I meet with my RC tutor.

But more than anything, I can already feel my thought process changing. A week ago, I conceptualized 172 as a miracle; like I'd do a backflip if I got that score. Now, I see 172 as a weak score; why miss that many? Why not get LG to -0, combined LR to between -0 and -4, and RC to between -0 and -3. Why not? I am going to put my all into it and leave no stone unturned, why should it be that I'm still missing LG? Why should it be that I miss a few LR's in each section when I know how to solve each one? Why should it be that I miss several RC's when all of the information is in the passage when I can learn how to retain and find that information?

Good things, good things.

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180asBreath
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:34 am

Day 4:
-1 on LG #14 in 40 minutes.
-1 (27 out of 28) on the next 4 in the Velocity RC, in 50 minutes (yikes!). 3 of them were 8-11 minutes and one was 20 minutes.
As I mentioned, I took my first Logic class and I met with my fantastic tutor; I explained my attack plan for RC, to her, and she said it was all inline with what she teaches. She even went a step further and asked me what the question types are; I was caught off-guard, as I was not aware there were question types. But I took a stab at it and said, "Inference, Purpose, Main Point, Fetch/Find, Next Logical...". Okay, I didn't get all 5 but I did get 4 of them and the 5th made perfect sense when she mentioned it!

We're going to meet twice a week until she feels I only need to meet once a week; people act like it is hard to improve on RC, but I disagree. YOU CAN FIND ALL OF THE INFORMATION YOU NEED IN THE PASSAGE. It isn't rocket science; I just need to be able to effectively and efficiently learn how to glean the information, have a sense of where the information is, and how to find it in a timely manner.

I have a strong feeling that there are many -0's on RC in my future! I'm going to take my second full test today - good times!

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180asBreath
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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby 180asBreath » Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:00 am

Day 5:
I took PT43 and I got a 163, again (-5 on LR1, -6 on LR2, -3 on LG, -8 on RC, -7 on LGEXP). Time was a huge factor, but I didn't get nearly as tired as last time; I probably guessed on at least 10 of them, so I'm not too unhappy with my score. My notation strategy went well on the first three passages until I ran out of time on the fourth.

I was going to take the test on Saturday but I canceled my registration. I have a lot of work to do and I don't want to let anything get in my way (e.g. feeling like I did really well on Saturday, slacking on my prep, and waking up in November with a 166).

I'm definitely not where I need to be, but I am very optimistic and trying to work hard!

Day 6:
I had my second logic class where we learned about truth tables; I really feel like this class will pay off huge.

I only had time for one logic game (#18) and I got -7 in 40 minutes. I gotta say, these earlier games are so confusing; I'd like to stop prepping with them, but part of me feels like it is good practice for new, novel games. I did take it dead tired, just a few minutes ago, but I won't be doing that any more.

I meet with my RC tutor tomorrow; also, I will begin with my 3-section practice tests every day that I don't take a full test. I'll do a RC, LR, and LG in a row so I can build up my "pre-break" stamina. 3 sections straight is a bit rough, so I want to get as much experience under my belt as possible.

I still have to make Velocity a bigger priority; I feel it's slipping a bit.

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Re: 10 weeks to a 180

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:11 am

I'd stop with the practice tests for at least another month.




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