My advice to future test takers

piney
Posts: 60
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:06 pm

My advice to future test takers

Postby piney » Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:50 am

My prep consisted mostly of prep books (PowerScore, Manhattan LSAT) and actual preptests. I started preparing on and off in April, and went through probably 20-30 preptests in all, usually only one or two sections at a time, and under timed conditions with a digital stop watch. When I studied, it was either in my room or at the local public library. By then end, I was getting -0 to -3 in most sections under timed conditions.

After yesterday's test, here's what I wish I had done differently.

1) Get used to an analog watch. With the stop watch, I knew exactly how much time I had spent on each question and how much time I had to go. That's not as easy to calculate with an analog watch, and the proctor won't write a stop and finish time fo you on the board. You get a 5 minute warning, which is really only enough time to panic if you have an entire logic game left because you couldn't keep track of time.

2) When I practiced, I made the mistake of checking my answers after each section right away. This usually put me at ease, because of the five or six questions I was unsure of, I usually got most of them right and moved on to the next section with confidence. You won't be able to do that on the test. The doubt and uncertainty you have about your performance accumulates with each section, and you lose confidence very quickly. By the third section, I started to worry I might not even be able to apply this cycle (I'm 27 right now, so that's a big deal for me). I have no idea whether I scored a 175 or a 165, and that anxiety will stay with me until January.

3) Take preptests in uncomfortable and unfamiliar environments, not your dorm room or library. If you can, take your test in a classroom with no windows in a building you've never been in before. That's what test centers are like.

4) Don't expect your proctor to put you at ease. The strictness of the procedures makes you anxious from the start. You realize LSAC trusts no one and automatically assumes you're there to cheat the system. Expect to have an excentric and snippy PhD watching your every move for 3 hours, and a large group of Saturday morning volunteers who don't know the procedures and can offer no help.

5) Don't wait until December to take the test like I did. If this had been June, I could have told myself during the test that I had two more chances to get a higher score. But when I started to worry I was doing badly and knew there was no chance of redemption, I became depressed very quickly, and this probably hurt my performance.

Hope this helps.

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John_rizzy_rawls
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Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:44 pm

Re: My advice to future test takers

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:09 am

This is actually great advice. Especially point #2. Thanks.

FWIW, I hope you did very well.

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Poo-T
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:32 am

Re: My advice to future test takers

Postby Poo-T » Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:33 am

I did #2 so much practicing, knowing that it wasn't helping me.

Still, I had a lot of confidence on this test so it really didn't phase me this time.

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radar714
Posts: 154
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:35 am

Re: My advice to future test takers

Postby radar714 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:34 pm

piney wrote:5) Don't wait until December to take the test like I did. If this had been June, I could have told myself during the test that I had two more chances to get a higher score. But when I started to worry I was doing badly and knew there was no chance of redemption, I became depressed very quickly, and this probably hurt my performance.

Hope this helps.


I couldn't agree with this more. I have never in my life had any issue with test anxiety, and on both previous LSATs I took, I wasn't nervous at all. But the fact that this was my last chance really got to me, and completely screwed me on this last LSAT. Gonna be canceling as I essentially didn't finish the reading comp section...

piney
Posts: 60
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:06 pm

Re: My advice to future test takers

Postby piney » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:18 am

Assuming I did as poorly as I think I did, what are the chances NYU will let me apply now and take the February LSAT?




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