Hitting the wall on LSAT Practice tests.

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uconjak
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Hitting the wall on LSAT Practice tests.

Postby uconjak » Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:28 pm

I have been hitting the books on the LSAT prep programs...the run down. I started studing while in school in April....couple hours a day. My first timed test was a 162, I took one two weeks later and i got a 157. I signed up for the June test. I have been studing for about 3 weeks for about 4-6 hours a day taking PT every couple of days I have increased to consistantly 165-168 but have hit a wall and have not impoved in the last week. I am debating on not taking the test on June 11 and studying all summer to get my score up. I want to get to the 170-175 range and Columbia....that is my goal. I have been looking at the test. No real pattern just missing the same amount on each section give or take one or two....

any help for breaking the wall and getting that higher score.

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Br3v
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Re: Hitting the wall on LSAT Practice tests.

Postby Br3v » Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:31 pm

Probably don't want to hear it but wait till Oct. Most of us have been studying at least 3 full moths if not more. I remember being at a sort of plateau like you describe a month ago before finally breaking it. Put your head down and push through and you'll kill it in Oct

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uconjak
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Re: Hitting the wall on LSAT Practice tests.

Postby uconjak » Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:50 pm

Thanks, I probably will....but I am going to continue to study....I am already in Colorado near the test site staying with friends. Kinda house sitting during the day. It I break thru all the better.

msquaredb
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Re: Hitting the wall on LSAT Practice tests.

Postby msquaredb » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:26 am

I am having the same exact problem. My recent scores have been 165-170. Sometimes I will get a perfect on a LR and miss 3 on RC but then sometimes I will get a perfect on RC and miss 3 on a LR. Maybe I will miss one one both LRs and RC. Like you said...I have found no pattern.

I am banking on my GPA and science background to make me attractive to lower T14 schools, but if you are thinking Columbia I would wait.

I have a question to everybody though. What would be wrong with the poster (or perhaps myself) taking the exam and then just retaking? Is that detrimental to your application?

bp shinners
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Re: Hitting the wall on LSAT Practice tests.

Postby bp shinners » Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:11 pm

msquaredb wrote:I have a question to everybody though. What would be wrong with the poster (or perhaps myself) taking the exam and then just retaking? Is that detrimental to your application?


Having a second lower score is (marginally) worse than just having the high score. Additionally, there's not much of a benefit to taking the exam when you know you won't hit your target score.

As far as how to break out of that high-160 plateau, at that point it becomes more about figuring out what mistakes you're making than figuring out specific questions.

When reviewing any question you answer, go through the following additional two steps:
1) What about the right answer made me think it was wrong?
2) What about the wrong answer made me think it was right?

If you can catch yourself always falling into the same trap (messing up the logical force, equivocating similar terms, not realizing cause and effect), you can start to train yourself to watch for and avoid those traps. Up until now, you've improved by figuring out how to answer more questions. Now, you need to figure out how to get less questions wrong.

wlees
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Re: Hitting the wall on LSAT Practice tests.

Postby wlees » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:29 pm

bp shinners wrote:
msquaredb wrote:I have a question to everybody though. What would be wrong with the poster (or perhaps myself) taking the exam and then just retaking? Is that detrimental to your application?


Having a second lower score is (marginally) worse than just having the high score. Additionally, there's not much of a benefit to taking the exam when you know you won't hit your target score.

As far as how to break out of that high-160 plateau, at that point it becomes more about figuring out what mistakes you're making than figuring out specific questions.

When reviewing any question you answer, go through the following additional two steps:
1) What about the right answer made me think it was wrong?
2) What about the wrong answer made me think it was right?

If you can catch yourself always falling into the same trap (messing up the logical force, equivocating similar terms, not realizing cause and effect), you can start to train yourself to watch for and avoid those traps. Up until now, you've improved by figuring out how to answer more questions. Now, you need to figure out how to get less questions wrong.


I really like this advice.

It's similar to the idea someone proposed (SOS or crumpets maybe) that when you start getting up there, you really need to critically analyze your mistakes because, really, you're making two: choosing an AC that's entirely wrong as well as eliminating one that's entirely correct.

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uconjak
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Re: Hitting the wall on LSAT Practice tests.

Postby uconjak » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:52 pm

Today I nailed a 171 on my PT .......I have been studying all morning then take the test in the afternoon. I changed it up, didn't look at the books all morning. Took test in afternoon, my dad told me I needed to step away from the test/studying t,hen take the test fresh and rested. Any thoughts?

honeycomb
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Re: Hitting the wall on LSAT Practice tests.

Postby honeycomb » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:43 am

uconjak wrote:Today I nailed a 171 on my PT .......I have been studying all morning then take the test in the afternoon. I changed it up, didn't look at the books all morning. Took test in afternoon, my dad told me I needed to step away from the test/studying t,hen take the test fresh and rested. Any thoughts?


This makes a difference for me, too. I think taking the morning off is definitely a good thing. I've found that I do need to study a few hours the day before as my scores drop when I don't.

Just make sure that you're adding an experimental to your PT. I was in the same position as you, finally overcame that plateau and then tried to do it again with an experimental but realized I had not built up enough endurance so I dropped back down.

bp shinners
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Re: Hitting the wall on LSAT Practice tests.

Postby bp shinners » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:11 pm

uconjak wrote:Today I nailed a 171 on my PT .......I have been studying all morning then take the test in the afternoon. I changed it up, didn't look at the books all morning. Took test in afternoon, my dad told me I needed to step away from the test/studying t,hen take the test fresh and rested. Any thoughts?


If I'm understanding correctly, you generally study for awhile in the morning before taking a test. This time, you took the test while fresh and scored 171.

If that's the case, there's no surprise. I never recommend taking a PT after doing any serious work (5 or 10 LR and a game to get your LSAT juices flowing is fine; more than 30 minutes of study and you start to fatigue). Always go into a PT fresh. You wouldn't run a marathon after jogging all morning.

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uconjak
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Re: Hitting the wall on LSAT Practice tests.

Postby uconjak » Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:47 am

your right on that, Just got to close to it. Couldn't see the forest from the trees. I changed the my whole program up now. take a test at around 10 am then after lunch look over test, figure out right/wrong answers. then study problem areas until 5pm, have dinner, study hard for another couple hours then...go for a walk/jog or a swim...then do it all over again. hopefully I can get to 175 by sunday nite. If I hit my 175 on sunday, I will go for it on monday.

sideoffries
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Re: Hitting the wall on LSAT Practice tests.

Postby sideoffries » Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:37 am

No trying to hijack the thread or anything, but I'm in a similar position. I'd like to go to a T14 law school, and I know I have to get a great LSAT score. My PTs have gone as follows: 157 (cold), 159, 167, 161, 162, 174, and a 159 last night. The 161, 162, 174, and 159 have all been in the past week. I just don't understand how I can go from -7 one test (Dec 2006) 3 days ago to last night's -28 (June 2011). My logical reasoning has gone from -5 cold each section, to -1 and -3 on the 174 to -6 and -9 on last night's 159. Is postponing until October the right move or am I missing something?

It's not like I'm just always missing MBT or Flaw questions either, it is an assortment of different types.

bp shinners
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Re: Hitting the wall on LSAT Practice tests.

Postby bp shinners » Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:39 pm

sideoffries wrote:It's not like I'm just always missing MBT or Flaw questions either, it is an assortment of different types.


I wouldn't postpone based on a single test - it's relatively common to bomb one test after a long period of studying.

As far as the quoted statement, it's one of those myths of the LSAT that the only thing different questions have in common is the question type, so if there's no pattern there, there's no pattern to what you're getting wrong.

In our course, we have a lesson called "Flaws But Not". The entire point is to show that the common fallacies that show up in the Flaw questions aren't limited there. Most people are aware that any operation-family question (strengthen/weaken, sufficient/necessary mainly) have flawed arguments. However, the implication family (MBT/MBF) usually rely on tricking you into making a flaw when you pick a sucker choice. To me, flaws aren't just important to the test - they are the vast majority of the test.

And while you might be answering a disparate amount of question types incorrectly, it's almost always the case that you're falling for (or missing) the same flaws/tricks over and over again.

That's why I recommend you keep track of the information from my post above - what about the wrong answer made you think it was right, and what about the right answer made you think it was wrong. The answer to the first will let you know which flaws the writers of the LSAT are tricking you into making. The answer to the second question will let you know which flaws you've over-calibrated for - the ones that you see even when they're not there.

The most common ones that people continually fall for are logical force (strong vs. weak statements) and equivocation (treating similar terms as being interchangeable). However, that doesn't mean they're the ones you're falling for. You might have issues with exclusivity or sampling flaw answers/questions. If you can start tracking which flaws you're making when answering the questions, and what flaws you're spotting when they aren't there, you can start eliminating both from happening. That's when you start to see an improvement from the mid- to high-160s into the 170s.

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uconjak
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Re: Hitting the wall on LSAT Practice tests.

Postby uconjak » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:17 pm

Took the test today, I nailed the tests before the break....made a couple stupid timing mistakes after. I am not sure if I am going o drop the test or not. I am going home and think through the test. I think I should end up between 168-173.




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