Two Weeks.... Advice?

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abcde12345
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Two Weeks.... Advice?

Postby abcde12345 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:45 pm

So, with 2 weeks left to study, I took my first PT (PT 60, 4-section) in over a month today. I hadn't taken a PT because I was drilling; I did a very, very sped-up version of pithy's guide, doing ~6 hours of practice daily.

I scored a 170, -11 (88/99), with consistent performance on each section (-3 LR, -2 LR, -3 LG, -3 CR). I'm not upset, but I'm not encouraged either. I want to give myself the best chance possible at HYS, so a 170 won't do it, especially if it's only a 4-section PT. With just two weeks left, what should I do?

Some extra info that will help you help me:

I know reviewing is important, but I don't know how to do it effectively, and I can't seem to motivate myself to review. So advice on how to do properly review would be of great help.

Telling you specifics would help you help me. But, as my score suggests, there aren't really any specifics (at least not any I can locate). It's just one wrong here, another wrong there, and it adds up.

As far as LR, I get the difficult questions wrong (no kidding), and that's about it. Is there a general/different approach to take to these questions that could allow me to improve my score? I find there is a fundamentally different dynamic to difficult questions (e.g., they require you to make more indirect and less supported inferences). How can I capture and take advantage of this dynamic?

If I have one specific problem, it is with grouping games. All my wrong LG came from the last grouping game, which was also the hardest game. I'm still drilling grouping, but I find it hard to make inferences. Basically I write all the rules down and just go into the problems with a blank diagram. There just seems to be so many possibilities. I would greatly appreciate advice on how to improve this.

Finally, I'm pretty good with timing, so that's not an issue. I was on question 20 of the 1st LR by the 22nd minute or something. (But then I got lazy/confident and went slower, so I slipped up twice. So I guess that's something I could work on.)

Thanks for your help.
Last edited by abcde12345 on Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

WanderingPondering
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Re: Two Weeks.... Advice?

Postby WanderingPondering » Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:55 pm

I'd drill the LG until you can get -0 consistently. That's 3 solid points right there.

What LR questions are you missing? Parallel flaw? Assumption? I've found those two to be the hardest for me. Takes going back into the Bibles and finding where you're messing up.

Good luck

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abcde12345
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Re: Two Weeks.... Advice?

Postby abcde12345 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:00 pm

WanderingPondering wrote:I'd drill the LG until you can get -0 consistently. That's 3 solid points right there.

What LR questions are you missing? Parallel flaw? Assumption? I've found those two to be the hardest for me. Takes going back into the Bibles and finding where you're messing up.

Good luck


Thanks, I planned on doing that LG over and over again (it's a doozie; have you seen that one?).

As far as the LR--that's the thing; there's no pattern. I got 1 weaken wrong, 1 assumption wrong, 1 mss wrong, 1 strengthen wrong, and 1 point at issue wrong. 3 of those 5 were LSAT-rated difficult. So it's more a problem with difficult questions. If your (or anyone) has any advice on how to tackle difficult ?s, that would be appreciated too. Actually, I'll edit this in my post.

WanderingPondering
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Re: Two Weeks.... Advice?

Postby WanderingPondering » Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:09 pm

How's your timing been? The harder questions tend to (but not always!) be in the last 1/3rd of the section. Are you rushing at this point? I try to get through question 15 in under 15 minutes, leaving me with at least 2 minutes/question going forward.

I'm actually taking PT 60 tomorrow, so we'll see about the games!

drive4showLSAT4dough
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Re: Two Weeks.... Advice?

Postby drive4showLSAT4dough » Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:20 pm

Re: reviewing. I find that writing a one or two word explanation next to each wrong answer is a helpful strategy to ingrain why each wrong answer is wrong, especially for harder questions. This reaffirms the process you used to find the credited respose, and forces you to look at the question from a different angle on ones you missed. Downsides: takes time, doesn't solve the motivation issue.

Also, more practice -> easier questions faster -> more time for hard LR questions -> (hopefully) higher score

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abcde12345
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Re: Two Weeks.... Advice?

Postby abcde12345 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:19 pm

WanderingPondering wrote:How's your timing been? The harder questions tend to (but not always!) be in the last 1/3rd of the section. Are you rushing at this point? I try to get through question 15 in under 15 minutes, leaving me with at least 2 minutes/question going forward.

I'm actually taking PT 60 tomorrow, so we'll see about the games!


Yes, I stick to that same benchmark (1 min/question for the first 15) without rushing. As far as the games: the first 3 are very easy! But the 4th one is just terrible. I haven't looked at it since I took the PT, so there must be a few controlling inferences I missed. Perhaps it's not as bad as I think.

drive4showLSAT4dough wrote:Re: reviewing. I find that writing a one or two word explanation next to each wrong answer is a helpful strategy to ingrain why each wrong answer is wrong, especially for harder questions. This reaffirms the process you used to find the credited respose, and forces you to look at the question from a different angle on ones you missed. Downsides: takes time, doesn't solve the motivation issue.

Also, more practice -> easier questions faster -> more time for hard LR questions -> (hopefully) higher score


I like your reviewing strategy, and it does solve the motivation issue somewhat by minimizing time spent on wrong answers. I can definitely find the motivation to do that. I'll try it and see how it goes. Thank you.

msmith19
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Re: Two Weeks.... Advice?

Postby msmith19 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:32 pm

Three weeks, right!?

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abcde12345
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Re: Two Weeks.... Advice?

Postby abcde12345 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:03 pm

msmith19 wrote:Three weeks, right!?


Haha--I'm a cup-half-empty person. Take away Friday the 5th and I round down.

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05062014
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Re: Two Weeks.... Advice?

Postby 05062014 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:06 pm

I regularly go to bed at ~2am wake up around 11... I plan to be asleep in less than an hour and awake no later than 6 from now on. It hit me today in the middle of a boring lecture how little time is left. Two weeks from now, I plan on relaxing and getting ready to perform on the real thing.. goodnight and goodluck

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Two Weeks.... Advice?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:30 pm

I broke 170 for the first time three weeks before the real thing, so definitely don't feel like you're maxed out. There is plenty of time for more improvement. First though, you absolutely have to get games down to -0. For LR: after taking a PT figure out the types you missed and drill at least ten of each type.

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Cicero76
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Re: Two Weeks.... Advice?

Postby Cicero76 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:58 pm

You said you have problems with grouping games...have you tried the Manhattan/Atlas LSAT LG book? I know time is short, but the book is quite small and digestible and it cracked binary grouping games wiiiiiidddeee open for me. With their 'logic chain,' I actually consider grouping games to be the easiest kind now, except when they're mixed up with other kinds.

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northwood
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Re: Two Weeks.... Advice?

Postby northwood » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:05 pm

take 5 section tests, and dont give yourself a break inbetween sections 3 and 4 ( just go pee and resume). that way you get more stress and more mental endurance. IMO the most difficutl questions arise from 12-20, then at the very end. but the difficult ones depend on which question type(s) give you th most trouble. drill them, and when you see those questions, do them last.
you are doing well, adn you have time to do even better.

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lovejopd
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Re: Two Weeks.... Advice?

Postby lovejopd » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:38 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:I broke 170 for the first time three weeks before the real thing, so definitely don't feel like you're maxed out. There is plenty of time for more improvement. First though, you absolutely have to get games down to -0. For LR: after taking a PT figure out the types you missed and drill at least ten of each type.

Really :?: Thanks for your encouragement and motivation...I was kind of depressed and pissed as it nears the real LSAT...

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lovejopd
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Re: Two Weeks.... Advice?

Postby lovejopd » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:43 pm

abcde12345 wrote:
msmith19 wrote:Three weeks, right!?


Haha--I'm a cup-half-empty person. Take away Friday the 5th and I round down.

Plz tell me 3!!!!! :twisted:

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abcde12345
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Re: Two Weeks.... Advice?

Postby abcde12345 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:47 pm

First, thanks everyone for your responses! This is all immensely helpful, and I would probably be doing Kaplan if it weren't for this forum.

Tiago Splitter wrote:I broke 170 for the first time three weeks before the real thing, so definitely don't feel like you're maxed out. There is plenty of time for more improvement. First though, you absolutely have to get games down to -0. For LR: after taking a PT figure out the types you missed and drill at least ten of each type.


Thanks for the encouragement and games advice. I just did game 4, the game I went -3 on, 3 times, and it gets easier each time. As far as LR: I just finished drilling by LR type for a month, so I'm loath do do it again. I'm sure it would help, but I don't know if I would have enough motivation to get that much out of it. Plus I don't seem to be getting things wrong by type; it seems to be a combination of nerves + (some) hard questions + mental blockage under time constraints. For instance, I'm really good at principle questions, but I got one wrong today that wasn't even that hard when I looked back on it.

Cicero76 wrote:You said you have problems with grouping games...have you tried the Manhattan/Atlas LSAT LG book? I know time is short, but the book is quite small and digestible and it cracked binary grouping games wiiiiiidddeee open for me. With their 'logic chain,' I actually consider grouping games to be the easiest kind now, except when they're mixed up with other kinds.


Thanks for the suggestion. If I don't get any better at LG by Friday, I'll get the book and do grouping over the weekend. I've been using LGB, but I find their grouping games explanation leaves something to be desired.

northwood wrote:take 5 section tests, and dont give yourself a break inbetween sections 3 and 4 ( just go pee and resume). that way you get more stress and more mental endurance. IMO the most difficutl questions arise from 12-20, then at the very end. but the difficult ones depend on which question type(s) give you th most trouble. drill them, and when you see those questions, do them last.
you are doing well, adn you have time to do even better.


You're right; I can't cheat myself this late in the game. I was hoping to give myself a confidence boost by taking a 4-section today, but I have to start building endurance.

I have a general question:, Many (northwood and Thiago Splitter--you both included) have recommended drilling by type because certain questions give certain problems. This makes total sense to me, and I could see why people do it. But for some reason, that's just not how I think about LR. Even though I just drilled 1900 questions by type, I still think in terms of answering the question they give me, rather than answering the type. I know this is probably a mistake, but I just can't help it. Is this a fundamental flaw? Can I work with this? I just can't seem to change this mentality.

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abcde12345
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Re: Two Weeks.... Advice?

Postby abcde12345 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:47 pm

lovejopd wrote:
abcde12345 wrote:
msmith19 wrote:Three weeks, right!?


Haha--I'm a cup-half-empty person. Take away Friday the 5th and I round down.

Plz tell me 3!!!!! :twisted:


It's almost 12:00, which means only 17 days left, which is 1 day closer to 2 weeks =P!

abdistotle wrote:I regularly go to bed at ~2am wake up around 11... I plan to be asleep in less than an hour and awake no later than 6 from now on. It hit me today in the middle of a boring lecture how little time is left. Two weeks from now, I plan on relaxing and getting ready to perform on the real thing.. goodnight and goodluck


You too. You're lucky to realize it in the middle of a lecture. I realized it last night, while trying to sleep....

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hookem7
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Re: Two Weeks.... Advice?

Postby hookem7 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:52 pm

One thing that really helped me with the arguments sections was to make a tally from all my PTs of questions I missed by type. You might find that one or two types are really all that are tripping you up and you can try to correct accordingly.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Two Weeks.... Advice?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:53 pm

abcde12345 wrote:I have a general question:, Many (northwood and Thiago Splitter--you both included) have recommended drilling by type because certain questions give certain problems. This makes total sense to me, and I could see why people do it. But for some reason, that's just not how I think about LR. Even though I just drilled 1900 questions by type, I still think in terms of answering the question they give me, rather than answering the type. I know this is probably a mistake, but I just can't help it. Is this a fundamental flaw? Can I work with this? I just can't seem to change this mentality.


I wouldn't worry too much about the type. They are just broken out that way so the concepts can be taught a little more easily. Perhaps there are times when you realize the type and the answer makes a bit more sense, but if you get good at LR (and you are already pretty good) you should just be able to answer any question.

As for why I drilled by type after missing one: For each free throw Larry Bird would miss in a game he'd shoot 500 the next day.

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northwood
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Re: Two Weeks.... Advice?

Postby northwood » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:54 pm

its not a flaw if its working. its just that if there is one type of questionthat gives you troube, or takes a while, you can idntify it quickly- make a mark in the leter of your day response ( so you dont mis bubble) star it and moveon. I did it to try to figure outhow the question type inside and out- and to help plan for the actual test. but everyone has their own strategy-a dn if yours works for you and you are comfortable with it- keep doing it.

uvabro
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Re: Two Weeks.... Advice?

Postby uvabro » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:01 pm

Chill with 2 weeks the best thing u can do is just relax. Drink wine and eat good food abd do cardio. If you're hitting the 170s you don't have ro build more skills. You think marathon runners race the day of the marathon. Take a few practice tests, analyze them, get laid.

Remember if u dint do great u can just retake. Us 1ls dont have that.

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abcde12345
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Re: Two Weeks.... Advice?

Postby abcde12345 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:08 pm

Ah, that makes sense Thiago. That's actually a really good idea. If I could go back and do prep differently, I would probably intersperse the 1900 drills with PTs and do what you're saying. In an ideal world....

Hookem + Northwood: I like that idea, to allow me to become more precise in my ability analysis. If I see a pattern, then I'll designate questions of that pattern.

UVA: Haha that sounds wonderful, but I don't know what the word relax means!




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