Scores getting lower, not higher :(

lifeprincess13
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Scores getting lower, not higher :(

Postby lifeprincess13 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:49 pm

I have been studying for about 10 hours a day for about 3 months now. The highest I received was 158, and I keep getting lower. I just signed up for the TestMasters prep course, and they guarantee 10 points, but I started with a 153 with them. I am looking to get at least a 165, but really want to get around 170. I just do not know what to do. I am getting really frustrated not reading LG properly and getting stupid questions wrong, getting a ton of RC questions wrong in a row, and getting a whole bunch of LR questions wrong in the middle. I just do know what to do. Any advice, tips, help, anything...?


Thank you.

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gaud
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Re: Scores getting lower, not higher :(

Postby gaud » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:51 pm

10 hours a day is way too much in my opinion. Take a couple days off and clear your mind. Many of us have seen improvements after taking time off.

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Cerebro
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Re: Scores getting lower, not higher :(

Postby Cerebro » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:57 pm

lifeprincess13 wrote:I am getting really frustrated not reading LG properly and getting stupid questions wrong, getting a ton of RC questions wrong in a row, and getting a whole bunch of LR questions wrong in the middle.


Sounds like classic fatigue or burn-out. I wouldn't be surprised if your state of frustration is exacerbating the situation.

gaud wrote:10 hours a day is way too much in my opinion. Take a couple days off and clear your mind. Many of us have seen improvements after taking time off.


+1, although I disagree about the 10 hours a day part. I do that on the weekends, but I take an hour break every 2-3 hours.

Calm down
Relax
Take a break
Get some rest
Come back
Focus

bp shinners
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Re: Scores getting lower, not higher :(

Postby bp shinners » Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:50 pm

lifeprincess13 wrote:I have been studying for about 10 hours a day for about 3 months now.


That's way, way too much. You need to take breaks. Your brain won't internalize new information if you keep beating it up with it. Time off is required for you to learn.

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LionelHutzJD
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Re: Scores getting lower, not higher :(

Postby LionelHutzJD » Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:16 pm

Curious, how many hours a day do you guys study?

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gaud
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Re: Scores getting lower, not higher :(

Postby gaud » Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:20 pm

LionelHutzJD wrote:Curious, how many hours a day do you guys study?


When I was prepping I would range somewhere from 2-5 hours. It would really depend on what I was doing for the day, but I never got close to 10 hours. At least personally, I didn't feel like prep was effective after more than 5-6 hours of study. I mean, yea you are getting more work done, but it's not about getting more done rather it's about getting it done correctly. Though, I want to emphasize this was a personal preference and it is likely different for different people.

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buddyt
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Re: Scores getting lower, not higher :(

Postby buddyt » Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:33 pm

I think the sweet spot is around 2 hours a day, 6 days a week. 10 is insane.

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Funkycrime
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Re: Scores getting lower, not higher :(

Postby Funkycrime » Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:16 pm

When I was in the learning stages I would shoot for five hours daily, but if my brain wasn't having it I would have no probems calling it quits after three hours. I'll take two or three hours of solid learning over five hours consisting of wasting material at the end.

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CyanIdes Of March
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Re: Scores getting lower, not higher :(

Postby CyanIdes Of March » Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:45 pm

When I first started it was a lot, anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. Now that I'm doing pretty well on all sections I spend about 2 hours a day (2 sections a day) and I'm about to transition into five section PTs.

Ec84
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Re: Scores getting lower, not higher :(

Postby Ec84 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:15 am

Agreed- 10 hours a day is way too much, once you get over 2 1/2 to 3 hours you reach a point of diminishing returns, and you can really screw yourself up... I was in the low-mid 150's before I started really hitting the books. I got into the mid 160's but then started putting in 5-6 hours everyday. My practices started dropping until I ended up scoring a 147 (by far the lowest I had ever scored) on a practice about a week before the test. At that point I finally relaxed, stopped worrying about it and maybe studied for a couple 45 minute sessions before the test. I can't remember my actual score but I was in the 90th percentile so I would strongly suggest 1) cut back on the studying and 2) really try to not worry about it too much. Hope this helps, GL!

bp shinners
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Re: Scores getting lower, not higher :(

Postby bp shinners » Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:53 pm

gaud wrote:At least personally, I didn't feel like prep was effective after more than 5-6 hours of study.


It's not just you - studies have shown that the brain stops retaining new information after a certain point.

lifeprincess13
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Re: Scores getting lower, not higher :(

Postby lifeprincess13 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:22 pm

Obviously, I do not do 10 consecutive hours, and I do not do just direct LSAT stuff. I start out by reading the WSJ for 1 hour like RC passages, spend a half an hour each on LG and LR. Then I work out for 2 hours, shower and eat lunch. After, I take a test and analyze what I got wrong. I then take a walk with my sister and eat dinner. Then I watch an online course for about 2-3 hours, and then apply the theories that to actual questions. Then I read for an hour, light reading. Sleep. Repeat.

I had taken a break earlier last week for a day, but that had not helped. What did help however is starting in the middle of the LR passage and working my way backwards and then forwards. Idk if anyone has tried that, but it did wonders. I used to get the middle questions all wrong, except for perhaps a few. But then I started doing this trick, and it halved the amount of questions I got wrong. I would simply start at 12 working my way to 1, and then start again at 13 working myself forward until 24 or 25. 13 to 1, and then 14 to 26, 27, if there were 26 or more questions. I would love to know if anyone has tried that and if that was worked for them.

Thanks for everyone's suggestions! :)

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RCinDNA
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Re: Scores getting lower, not higher :(

Postby RCinDNA » Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:37 pm

lifeprincess13 wrote:Obviously, I do not do 10 consecutive hours, and I do not do just direct LSAT stuff. I start out by reading the WSJ for 1 hour like RC passages, spend a half an hour each on LG and LR. Then I work out for 2 hours, shower and eat lunch. After, I take a test and analyze what I got wrong. I then take a walk with my sister and eat dinner. Then I watch an online course for about 2-3 hours, and then apply the theories that to actual questions. Then I read for an hour, light reading. Sleep. Repeat.

I had taken a break earlier last week for a day, but that had not helped. What did help however is starting in the middle of the LR passage and working my way backwards and then forwards. Idk if anyone has tried that, but it did wonders. I used to get the middle questions all wrong, except for perhaps a few. But then I started doing this trick, and it halved the amount of questions I got wrong. I would simply start at 12 working my way to 1, and then start again at 13 working myself forward until 24 or 25. 13 to 1, and then 14 to 26, 27, if there were 26 or more questions. I would love to know if anyone has tried that and if that was worked for them.

Thanks for everyone's suggestions! :)


I tried something similar to it. Now I actually do the first three questions to wake my brain up, then jump to the last page in the section and do them backwards. It really helps with my pacing.

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francesfarmer
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Re: Scores getting lower, not higher :(

Postby francesfarmer » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:14 pm

RCinDNA wrote:
lifeprincess13 wrote:Obviously, I do not do 10 consecutive hours, and I do not do just direct LSAT stuff. I start out by reading the WSJ for 1 hour like RC passages, spend a half an hour each on LG and LR. Then I work out for 2 hours, shower and eat lunch. After, I take a test and analyze what I got wrong. I then take a walk with my sister and eat dinner. Then I watch an online course for about 2-3 hours, and then apply the theories that to actual questions. Then I read for an hour, light reading. Sleep. Repeat.

I had taken a break earlier last week for a day, but that had not helped. What did help however is starting in the middle of the LR passage and working my way backwards and then forwards. Idk if anyone has tried that, but it did wonders. I used to get the middle questions all wrong, except for perhaps a few. But then I started doing this trick, and it halved the amount of questions I got wrong. I would simply start at 12 working my way to 1, and then start again at 13 working myself forward until 24 or 25. 13 to 1, and then 14 to 26, 27, if there were 26 or more questions. I would love to know if anyone has tried that and if that was worked for them.

Thanks for everyone's suggestions! :)


I tried something similar to it. Now I actually do the first three questions to wake my brain up, then jump to the last page in the section and do them backwards. It really helps with my pacing.


I hated LR and I used to get like, 4 wrong in each section, but then I started doing numbers 10-the end and then 1-9 in that order and it helped me psychologically at least. I ended up missing 3 LR total on the test. I'm convinced 1-10 are a cakewalk and should be done at the end when you're tired.

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francesfarmer
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Re: Scores getting lower, not higher :(

Postby francesfarmer » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:15 pm

Also, OP, don't take a day off, take a week off. You are burnt the hell out and one day off (which you definitely spent thinking about the LSAT, right? because how could you not) is not enough time.

I took a week off three weeks before the test because my scores started getting worse. It was exactly what I needed.

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CalAlumni
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Re: Scores getting lower, not higher :(

Postby CalAlumni » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:02 pm

10 hours a day is way too much - I don't even know what you could be studying with all that time. I do 2 days on 1 day off about 5 hours of good studying.

lifeprincess13
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Re: Scores getting lower, not higher :(

Postby lifeprincess13 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:37 pm

I think I am going to try to do both methods: (1) do 1-3, and work backwards from the last question until 4 and (2) do 11-last question and then 1-10. I used to get like 12-15 wrong in each section, and now I am getting 6 wrong. So, I still want it to go down to about 3-4. Hopefully, the two suggestions help.

Thank you SO much. I truly appreciate everyone's input here! :)

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cinephile
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Re: Scores getting lower, not higher :(

Postby cinephile » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:41 pm

Like everyone else said, 10 hours sounds like way too much. I did 2.5 when I was studying.

Anyway, I used to teach for Princeton Review and they told us to expect students scores to drop a little after beginning a course. This is normally because you start implementing strategies that take more time, so you can't complete as many questions but you're getting more of the ones you complete right. Eventually, you'll get used to using the new strategies and you'll pick up speed and your score should go up.

Striderite3
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Re: Scores getting lower, not higher :(

Postby Striderite3 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:52 pm

I agree 10 hours is encroaching on "point of diminishing returns." I did 8-10 hour days this summer while studying for the CPA and it was probably not the most efficient method. I've just started prepping for the February LSAT and I've been aiming for 20 hours a week. I nearly always get more out of my first hour or two of studying then my last hour or so.

lifeprincess13
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Re: Scores getting lower, not higher :(

Postby lifeprincess13 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:11 pm

But I am really not studying for all 10 hours: I am taking a test and analyzing incorrect answers for 4 hours, I am watching an online course and applying concepts for 4 hours, and warming up with reading the WSJ, doing 1 LG and doing about 5-8 LR questions. Does everything STILL think that my studying is reaching "the point of diminishing returns"?

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francesfarmer
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Re: Scores getting lower, not higher :(

Postby francesfarmer » Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:28 pm

lifeprincess13 wrote:I think I am going to try to do both methods: (1) do 1-3, and work backwards from the last question until 4 and (2) do 11-last question and then 1-10. I used to get like 12-15 wrong in each section, and now I am getting 6 wrong. So, I still want it to go down to about 3-4. Hopefully, the two suggestions help.

Thank you SO much. I truly appreciate everyone's input here! :)


Assuming you don't already have a tutor, hiring one for a session or two to help you with some specific question types might give you the final boost you need. That is how I went from missing 3-4 in each LR section to missing 3 LR total on the test. Tutors are expensive though. I got a free session from a tutor who was trying to get his business off the ground and needed people to review him on Yelp.

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francesfarmer
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Re: Scores getting lower, not higher :(

Postby francesfarmer » Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:30 pm

lifeprincess13 wrote:But I am really not studying for all 10 hours: I am taking a test and analyzing incorrect answers for 4 hours, I am watching an online course and applying concepts for 4 hours, and warming up with reading the WSJ, doing 1 LG and doing about 5-8 LR questions. Does everything STILL think that my studying is reaching "the point of diminishing returns"?


Yes. Your brain cannot work that long or that much in a day at peak performance. At some point, more studying is not going to help. I did 3 hours a day, five days a week for four months and it was A LOT.

Partially Deaf
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Re: Scores getting lower, not higher :(

Postby Partially Deaf » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:04 am

Striderite3 wrote:I agree 10 hours is encroaching on "point of diminishing returns." I did 8-10 hour days this summer while studying for the CPA and it was probably not the most efficient method. I've just started prepping for the February LSAT and I've been aiming for 20 hours a week. I nearly always get more out of my first hour or two of studying then my last hour or so.


I was studying for the CPA too, and I just found out today I passed AUD with a 93. I just have FAR left, but I'm putting that off until after the December LSAT.

Striderite3
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Re: Scores getting lower, not higher :(

Postby Striderite3 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:48 pm

Partially Deaf wrote:
Striderite3 wrote:I agree 10 hours is encroaching on "point of diminishing returns." I did 8-10 hour days this summer while studying for the CPA and it was probably not the most efficient method. I've just started prepping for the February LSAT and I've been aiming for 20 hours a week. I nearly always get more out of my first hour or two of studying then my last hour or so.


I was studying for the CPA too, and I just found out today I passed AUD with a 93. I just have FAR left, but I'm putting that off until after the December LSAT.


Congrats! I'm sure you'll do great on FAR as well.Yeah I went ahead and powered through all four this summer so I wouldn't have to worry about it during my MAcc program.




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