Retake Advice Needed! Scored 15 pts less than PTing average

ramitia
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Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:55 pm

Retake Advice Needed! Scored 15 pts less than PTing average

Postby ramitia » Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:02 pm

The title pretty much says it all. The first practice test that I took I scored 165. I took several practice tests but my Oct. score was a 150. I have no idea what happened, besides possibly nerves, but I did consistently bad on every section.

I was using Princeton Review books, which I hear aren't the best, but they couldn't have been THAT off, right? Any advice? I am planning on buckling down and studying until I drop for the December test. I can't wait any longer than that, I have to go to school next year.

Edit: Just to be clear, I was consistently scoring at 163-165 during PTing.

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pizzabrosauce
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Re: Retake Advice Needed! Scored 15 pts less than PTing average

Postby pizzabrosauce » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:52 am

Are you PT'ing under strict timed conditions?

ramitia
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Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: Retake Advice Needed! Scored 15 pts less than PTing average

Postby ramitia » Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:45 pm

Yup. I time it just like the test and try to simulate test conditions as best as I possibly can.

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Retake Advice Needed! Scored 15 pts less than PTing average

Postby moneybagsphd » Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:41 pm

If you have the time and money, I would really advise you to enroll in an LSAT prep course. If you're going to study on your own, I highly suggest you diversify your study materials. Whatever you do, you need to walk into the LSAT with a well-rehearsed strategy for tackling any problem the test might throw at you. You will work more quickly/efficiently when you have a plan.

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happyshapy
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Re: Retake Advice Needed! Scored 15 pts less than PTing average

Postby happyshapy » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:38 pm

I scored about 10 points below my PT average and I can say for sure that it's because I strayed from my testing strategies when the pressure of the real thing set in.

I always make sure not to rush during PTs, and if I happen to guess on one or two questions at the end then I'm fine with it. During the real thing I agonized over hard questions in LR instead of moving on. Big mistake.

I diagramed too quickly during LG and mis-read a rule. During prep I usually break down games by 9, 9, 9, 6 minutes, and I know that I'm going to be guessing on two or three questions in the last game. During the real thing I panicked and went too fast. I was worried about running out of time even though I usually manage to get only -3 in games. I went -9 on October's LG because of this.

Study your strategies until they are second nature so you wont be tempted to push them aside during the real thing.

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cmob
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Re: Retake Advice Needed! Scored 15 pts less than PTing average

Postby cmob » Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:08 pm

I retook and improved from a 164 to a 171. Here's a basic version of what worked for me, take what you will from this -

Repetition of PTs only made me more consistent, but not necessarily better. Unless you're incredibly gifted you can't approach problems with a "let's see which one makes sense" mentality; therefore you need to develop extremely specific process to justify right and wrong answer. In this way, the test becomes learnable.

LG: Logic games exemplify this strategy best because the problems are easy to view mathematically. Logic Games Bible by Powerscore. It's endorsed on TLS forums for good reason because it is far and away the best LG book. When I took the time to go through it I would regularly perform at -0 to -2. It will give you the tools to set up games in a way that makes it easy to assess multiple rule changes and hypos.

RC: I used to subconsciously worry about time and skim through the passages to take the questions one at a time. This didn't work for me at all. I bought Manhattan Guide to RC which showed me how to completely understand the passage before I even hit the questions. This way, I paid attention to the small nuances and shifts of the passage because I wasn't thinking about finding a specific answer to a question. Finding the answers then took about 30 seconds each so I wasn't even worried on time.

LR: Never had a problem with it so I didn't buy a book. Just take notes in terms of premise-assumption-conclusion and try to reflect on the statement before skimming the answers.

Note every PT question you weren't 100% sure on to go back to - it's dangerous when you get them right because the problem is still there. For retakers, fixing what's wrong and taking 2 practice tests improves you more than not knowing what's wrong and taking 20, IMO.

Hope this helps -




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