Score jump from time off?

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LexLeon
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Score jump from time off?

Postby LexLeon » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:38 am

My friend took the October 2011 LSAT and cancelled his score; at that time he was scoring in the high 160's to low 170's. Then, he just took the December 2011 administration and scored a 179.

My friend informed me that for a whole month and change after the Oct. test, he didn't touch any LSAT material, but that upon returning to it shortly before the Dec. test he was considerably more apt (5+ points).

This makes intuitive sense to me. I'm wondering if anyone has had or heard of a similar experience, or would like to share an opinion on the matter.

rbkl
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Re: Score jump from time off?

Postby rbkl » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:09 am

I don't know from experience; however, I have taken a few weeks off from studying so I hope this is true! :)

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: Score jump from time off?

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:58 am

Highest PT was 162 and scored 169 on the administration. Sometimes the games are easier for some people, and the RC passages may be easier for people to get through if they are familiar with the topic. For example, on my PTs, I never had -0 on the games. On test day, I ended up getting -0 on two games (previous best was -2).

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PDaddy
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Re: Score jump from time off?

Postby PDaddy » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:03 am

LexLeon wrote:My friend took the October 2011 LSAT and cancelled his score; at that time he was scoring in the high 160's to low 170's. Then, he just took the December 2011 administration and scored a 179.

My friend informed me that for a whole month and change after the Oct. test, he didn't touch any LSAT material, but that upon returning to it shortly before the Dec. test he was considerably more apt (5+ points).

This makes intuitive sense to me. I'm wondering if anyone has had or heard of a similar experience, or would like to share an opinion on the matter.


It makes perfect sense. And I am surprised that more people haven't purposely incorporated such a strategy into their LSAT preparations. Let's say you plan to take the October 2012 exam. Sign up and prepare for the June 2012 exam, and then take it (or don't).

Let's assume you take it. Depending on how well you do, you can decide whether or not to cancel the score, but the real strategy part is getting away from any practice for a full 4-6 weeks following the date of the exam - whether you actually sat for the exam or not. Then return to casually intense study including full practice tests until 14 days before the October exam, during which you reduce your study time and take short, sectioned tests.

I know people who have done this, and they say it works. They claim the reason for the improvement is that we tend to fry our brains when preparing for the test without realizing it, and the short "break" many of us take before taking it the first time around isn't enough. That 4 weeks we take off apparently serves to rejuvenate our brains.

Somehow, when you return to the test, you are better prepared, and questions that give you trouble appear to be easy. You blaze through games and RC passages faster and with better comprehension. You break apart LR questions qmore quickly (i.e., identifying premises and conclusions, flaws, etc.). It all just comes together for some reason.

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Nulli Secundus
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Re: Score jump from time off?

Postby Nulli Secundus » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:53 am

I had the same experience.

Before October 2010 administration I went through a total of 42 PTs over 2 months. (15 full PTs over 17 days, during the worst part). I scored a 170.

I decided to retake but I did not touch a single PT until just one week before December administration. I took 2 PTs in that week with a day between them. I scored a 176.

Burnouts are worse than lack of prep.

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Blumpbeef
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Re: Score jump from time off?

Postby Blumpbeef » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:59 am

Same exact thing. 169 in October. Got depressed, didn't study, drank a lot. 176 in December.

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NoleMatt
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Re: Score jump from time off?

Postby NoleMatt » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:57 am

LexLeon wrote:Let's assume you take it. Depending on how well you do, you can decide whether or not to cancel the score, but the real strategy part is getting away from any practice for a full 4-6 weeks following the date of the exam - whether you actually sat for the exam or not. Then return to casually intense study including full practice tests until 14 days before the October exam, during which you reduce your study time and take short, sectioned tests.


This is so interesting and sort of makes sense to me. I may have to incorporate something like this into my plan.

nsbane
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Re: Score jump from time off?

Postby nsbane » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:00 pm

I heard about a guy who was scoring straight 160s in practice tests. then on the morning of the test he ate a granola bar. bam. 180.

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fashiongirl
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Re: Score jump from time off?

Postby fashiongirl » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:47 pm

nsbane wrote:I heard about a guy who was scoring straight 160s in practice tests. then on the morning of the test he ate a granola bar. bam. 180.


lol +1

heard of a girl who scored straight 155s on all PTs. decided to give up on law school, but took the test anyway. scored 170.

it'sjustme
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Re: Score jump from time off?

Postby it'sjustme » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:33 pm

Nulli Secundus wrote:Burnouts are worse than lack of prep.


Definitely agree, here.

I did around three months of uninterrupted preparation for the February 2011 LSAT, but the last two weeks were the worst. Foolishly, I took PT after PT, without reviewing any of the incorrect answers. Not surprisingly, as my brain was fried on test day, I scored a 150.

Four months went by without looking at any LSAT material. Took a timed PT, and scored a 156. Not great, but had I scored 156 in February, I likely would not be retaking; it would have been enough to get in to my only choice for law school (University at Buffalo).

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LexLeon
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Re: Score jump from time off?

Postby LexLeon » Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:10 pm

Disclaimer: I wish I had or could find some evidence in psychology to back up the following thoughts.

Your brain does innumerable things below the level of one's consciousness. I think when it comes to learning something like the LSAT, one's skills increase when they're not studying; this could be when they're sleeping, or have found an application for the skills in something such as every day reasoning, or at some other time.

I think this is what happens: the brain is processing, so to speak, the information that had been impressed on it while studying in the time after studying; and it takes an extended period for this information to be fully processed. Also, when studying, the brain cannot engage in this practice, for it is preoccupied by the aforementioned impressing.

Has anyone wrote a paper and then come back to it a month or more after for a reread? It sounds much different than it did when you read it a month prior, doesn't it? I also think that we're blind to many aspects of our own cognition during the fact, and it is only ex post that we can more clearly and fully appreciate the nature of our thought processes. In this case, it is this clearer and fuller appreciation that gives rise to greater scores and test comprehension.

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Liquox
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Re: Score jump from time off?

Postby Liquox » Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:50 pm

Yeah sure, I have a friend who went from 158 to 170 from this past october/december, respectively. I think it was just because this past october lsat was a bitch

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Scotusnerd
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Re: Score jump from time off?

Postby Scotusnerd » Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:34 pm

I think this strategy is risky. I thought something similar between my June and October LSATs, and took most of the time off, but I was distracted a lot by moving.

I scored 6 points lower than my previous test. Different people have different situations and their minds work differently.

I think that most people don't use this strategy because it could feasibly backfire and cause them to drop without noticing. Taking a break can indeed help, but it's only a possibility. I don't think it's worth relying on as a certainty.

nkp007
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Re: Score jump from time off?

Postby nkp007 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:45 pm

Taking a long break worked effectively for me. I went up 9 points by scaling back my studying 75%. I "ramped" back up (after my first LSAT sitting) by taking a practice test a week for about six weeks and reviewing my mistakes. I probably did 15 min of light review per day the week of the test. I felt much more fresh.




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