Loss of Confidence: What to do?

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nick_scheu
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:32 pm

Loss of Confidence: What to do?

Postby nick_scheu » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:34 am

I started prepping for the October LSAT in about the last week of August. A bit fast, I know, but I cold diagnosed at 162. Things went well for a while, and by using LGB and about fifteen PTs (LG is my weak spot), I got up to a peak score of 173, along with some 170s, and some 169s. The day after the 173 I got a 167 which destroyed my confidence. The next dropped me to 165, and then a 166. I can't seem to get back to the 169+ range.

I decided to take a few days off, assuming I just burnt out. Just now, I tried to take one of the first PTs I took (42) over again. I had a meltdown anytime I was unsure of an answer and couldn't complete it. I can't seem to focus, and I'm very demoralized.

Taking the LSAT in October is increasingly unlikely, but setting aside that issue, how can I get out of this funk? I took three full days off of LSAT prep, and when I jumped back in, I was right where I left off. I need to restore the positive outlook I had, but when faced with any resistance (i.e., a LR question I'm unsure of the answer to, or a LG I can't diagram perfectly), I just give up.

Has anyone been through this? Any tips on rebuilding confidence?

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The Platypus
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:59 pm

Re: Loss of Confidence: What to do?

Postby The Platypus » Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:40 am

Take some breaths. Remember when you first taking it you were loose. You started at 162 and just figured you'd take them and slowly move up. You weren't too worried about hitting a perfect score, other than maybe doing a little better than the last time. So stop freaking out on these next PT's, go back to some drilling, and be focused into the PT..but don't stress that you hit a particular score other than try to do the best on each question.

It's like a golf stroke--if you grip the club really hard, you're not going to hit better..it's going to get worst; loosen up, and suddenly your game opens up.

Just chillax a little...and take one no stress just to get you back. (maybe even see it as a second diagnostic, and if you run into something you don't know, don't panic; just try another question.)

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NoodleyOne
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Re: Loss of Confidence: What to do?

Postby NoodleyOne » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:18 am

Simply trust the process. Personal anecdote time. Before the June test (actually two tests before the June test), I had a peak score (177) that was an outlier and significantly higher than what I had been testing at before (was steadily in the 170-173 range). Due to this, I focused less on prep and review for the next week, and only took one PT which I scored a 172 on, and then came the test. I had let the confidence that the 177 gave me get to my head, and as a result I underperformed on test day.

The lesson? Screw confidence in scores. I have felt pretty meh after a 176 and I've felt good after 174s in this round of prep. If you're doing the right things, if you're tackling the questions in the correct manner, your score will eventually reflect that. Trust the process, and let fickle things like confidence not get in the way. You shouldn't be up or down come test day... you should be zen. Just get to the point where you know the test backwards and forwards. Get to the point where if a Stained Glass, Dinos, or (god forbid) Zephyr Airlines comes your way, you're prepared. Drill and review your weaknesses, and keep flexing your strengths. Don't get cocky. Just know the test, and then confidence will come from that, and you'll be less susceptible to swings.

gg2
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 12:39 pm

Re: Loss of Confidence: What to do?

Postby gg2 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:01 pm

NoodleyOne wrote:Simply trust the process. Personal anecdote time. Before the June test (actually two tests before the June test), I had a peak score (177) that was an outlier and significantly higher than what I had been testing at before (was steadily in the 170-173 range). Due to this, I focused less on prep and review for the next week, and only took one PT which I scored a 172 on, and then came the test. I had let the confidence that the 177 gave me get to my head, and as a result I underperformed on test day.

The lesson? Screw confidence in scores. I have felt pretty meh after a 176 and I've felt good after 174s in this round of prep. If you're doing the right things, if you're tackling the questions in the correct manner, your score will eventually reflect that. Trust the process, and let fickle things like confidence not get in the way. You shouldn't be up or down come test day... you should be zen. Just get to the point where you know the test backwards and forwards. Get to the point where if a Stained Glass, Dinos, or (god forbid) Zephyr Airlines comes your way, you're prepared. Drill and review your weaknesses, and keep flexing your strengths. Don't get cocky. Just know the test, and then confidence will come from that, and you'll be less susceptible to swings.


awesome advice. thanks!

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nick_scheu
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:32 pm

Re: Loss of Confidence: What to do?

Postby nick_scheu » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:35 am

Thanks for the tips. I ended up trying to change my mindset forcibly--I just told myself, and made myself believe, that even if I encountered a difficult question, it was okay, and I should keep going. My previous mindset was to just give up and stop the test if I hit a string of tough questions--hardly a good method. I also forced myself to double-down on focus--to force myself to focus, and to not just choose a "good" answer and move on.

I took PT54 (my 173) this morning and PT55 (my 167) this evening, and got 180 and 179 respectively. Obviously these aren't real scores since I already took these tests and reviewed my errors, but they did make for a big confidence boost (especially my old nemesis, the one who sparked all this, PT55).

My plan now is to take PT57*, the next one I haven't seen yet, tomorrow morning. Hopefully it's 170+, but if not, I'll just view it as part of the process (as in NoodleyOne's post).

*Yeah, I've heard about the dinos (but not enough to help me--only that "mauve" is a factor). Bring it on. If I crash-and-burn, better (for the sake of my confidence) for it to be on a PT with a legendarily hard logic game than on a run-of-the-mill LSAT.

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Br3v
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Re: Loss of Confidence: What to do?

Postby Br3v » Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:10 am

I used to have "LSAT meltdowns" when I first started studying haha, a lot of people do but they are not beneficial so just remind yourself that you need to control your emotions, put your head down and push through this test

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cloudhidden
Posts: 194
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:29 am

Re: Loss of Confidence: What to do?

Postby cloudhidden » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:26 pm

I hit a peak of 171 on some of the PT 50's. I thought I permanently turned a corner, but the recent tests have not been so kind. They seem to have targeted some of my lingering weaknesses to the exclusion of some of my strengths. Now I'm back down to 167 and in that no-man's land of doubt over taking the test nexm week. I'm taking PT 66 Saturday and putting it on the line: if I'm not happy with my score, it's up to December. But really, eight more weeks is not a big deal. I would assuredly formulate a healthier study plan. I'm begining to see my situation more clearly and think I may have been in burnout denial for some time. But moral of the story: do not let emotions or pride interfere with your good judgment. For the first time in a awhile, the LSAT does not seem like the world to me. I'm better off. I think its easy to get carried away with this test, but I have found the LSAT to punish me when I do.




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