Some Advice/Help Needed

Trajectory
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:04 pm

Some Advice/Help Needed

Postby Trajectory » Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:50 pm

So basically I took the LSAT in October '12, and felt unprepared but somehow managed to trick myself into thinking its ok to go ahead and take it after about 2 months of prep work...not nearly as hard as I should have prepped. I got a 155. I was not happy with that but I guess from a certain point that score needed to be seen so I can get over the psychological aspect of actually "being there" and doing this thing (something positive that I took from that experience).

Afterwards, I signed up for the '13 February 9th test because I didnt think 1 month was enough to hit my target score of 165+. So with the shock, fear of another low score and just general idea in my head that a cancelled score or retake is very bad (canceling and/or retaking 2-3 times makes me feel as I have failed) I made a decent study plan and stuck to it (for the most part). I feel like I could have had a more structured approach though. Like dedicate 2-3 weeks per section, even more so for LR (bc of different question types). I wasnt sure how much to dedicate to each question type and what to do in the meantime with the other parts of the test, RC and LG so I dont forget them. In the end when I practiced LR I did it by question type each day, also each day I did a section of LG and RC to keep my skills up to par. I decided when to do PT's the day before (I dont know if that was a good idea). I wasnt exactly sure of the best time to do full PTs. When I did they were 4 sections, no break. I did a total of ~20 full PTs. Finally started reaching 163-166.

This previous week before the test today, I did 3 PT's (Tues, Wed, Thurs) 164-162-160. I started to panic a bit there. Day before this test (yesterday) lots of things went wrong and I couldnt really relax, tried to review but couldnt even do that. This led into some serious anxiety (Ive never had much anxiety about any test. Not much the 1st time around taking the LSAT), no sleep led to coming in the test today utterly drained out. Heart racing and negative thoughts all up in my head! :( ....I couldnt focus for one second. The whole test seemed like binary code to me at first and completely stumped me towards the end. That in itself induced more panic and led to time running out and guessing. None of which will lead me to my 166 :(

I dont know what to do now, cancel the score? It will be low. Retake in June? Stick it out and see, and then possibly retake? I wanted to apply late for '13 but that wont happen I suppose, at least not with a 155 I dont think. If I do cancel, what new approaches should I take for studying (if any)? I just dont know what to do and feel pretty low about my performance just now. It really sucks after the ridiculous amounts of work. I really appreciate any help.

Thanks Again

totoro
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:55 pm

Re: Some Advice/Help Needed

Postby totoro » Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:13 pm

Hi, I am sorry that you are feeling discouraged. I also sat for the Oct 2012 LSAT, and I also felt incredibly discouraged when my score came back and it was lower than any of my PT's. I self-reflected, and part of it is that it is difficult to do your best in test day conditions, but I also realized that I hadn't truly mastered the test. When you truly master the LSAT, you should be able to achieve a relatively tight range of PT scores and at that point the real one won't feel any different from the practice ones. This was hard to take after 300 hours of studying but I put in 200 more hours for my retake - this is just to give you an idea of the kind of time and self-reflection that is required for improvement, and not to get discouraged. Try not to define yourself by one number, because at the end of the day, this test is ludicrous, where literally a single multiple choice question can make a difference in admissions; it really needs to be a lot longer in order to be an accurate reflection of a person's ability - so don't forget that. Nothing wrong with a 155, cancel, and a higher score. Schools will take your higher score.

If you do decide to take it again, my advice is it is important to study steadily and structured-ly, targeting on your weaknesses. It's okay to do a couple of PT's each week, but don't burn yourself out right before the real test.

But in order to decide whether to cancel, how many questions did you completely guess on? Was it more than usual? How far along were you in each section when time ran out?

Sweetlady75
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:25 pm

Re: Some Advice/Help Needed

Postby Sweetlady75 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:28 pm

I understand how you feel as well, but there is a huge possiblity that you did better than you think. Feeling anxiety doesn't always translate to a lower score. But, I think your decision to cancel depends on the school you are aiming to attend. Most schools take the highest score. Do some research on the school you wish to attend. Good luck.

Trajectory
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:04 pm

Re: Some Advice/Help Needed

Postby Trajectory » Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:33 pm

Thanks for the reply! When I got my October '12 score back I took the time to self reflect and decided that I definitely didnt put in the amount of work I needed too in order to get where I wanted. This time I did put in the work but just maybe not in the right way and burned out completely, including psyching myself out. and as much as I would hate to say it I didnt feel like I had the test completely mastered. Im not even sure what that would actually feel like. One thing is that I didnt change the environment in which I did PTs and when this test was given to me it could have just thrown me for a loop because I wasnt in my environment. But ive never had these issues before this. Was my score range not tight enough? How did you do on your last retake? It is just a number yes, very important one, but ridiculous way to test people nonetheless. Sometimes coupled with family and friends around who just dont understand its hard to explain yourself.

Well, 2 on each LR section ( 3 sections) 1st logic game i skipped and ran out of time to go back and do it. So embarrassingly enough, 6 questions there (my strongest point, I go -1 -2 there). The first LR I felt like I was just bubbling in answers that I dont know how I came to because of the lack of focus which led to lack of synthesizing the information. While keeping time I was anywhere from 5-10 minutes behind in where I was on specific spots on each section vs where I was supposed to be, as usual.

totoro
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:55 pm

Re: Some Advice/Help Needed

Postby totoro » Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:03 pm

I got a 170 on my retake, which is what I was aiming for, though I took about 50+ PT's (some as section drills but most as full-length tests). My philosophy (as another nervous test taker) is that if you are aiming for a 170, make sure you PT at least a couple points higher (i.e. aim for 180). That way, you have some wiggle worm for being nervous when it comes to the actual test day. If you can PT at 165+, you can probably be more confident that you can hit a 165 on test day.

OK, so that's actually not a lot of questions you guessed on. That's about 10 questions you guessed on. For LG, were those 6 completely shot in the dark guesses or did you feel like you got some of them as the time went out?

Also, it is hard for me to gauge how accurate you were with the first LR, or what it means that you weren't 'focused', do you have a guess of a range in how many you got right out of the 25? (The same thing happened to me and I went into auto-pilot, but try to tell yourself to stay calm during LR because it's all about the details.. and a single word can matter.)

But if your goal is 165+, you can still get about 17 questions wrong. From what you're saying, it sounds like you did better than a 155 but it's uncertain if you hit your 165.

Personally, I would give it a couple days to think about it, and don't cancel unless you still feel like you really underperformed after a couple days. Remember, a lot of people think they do worse than they actually did because they remember the stressful parts. And not canceling a score does not hurt as much as before since the majority of schools just take the highest score now, though they may want an explanation.

Also, don't feel that bad! Something like 20% people take the LSAT twice. And 7% of test takers take it three times. It's really not that uncommon to have to give it a few shots. If you're not in a hurry to go to law school, I would suggest you can get a private tutor the next time you take it, so they can help you target your weaknesses. Going -1-2 in LG is awesome; LG is the most reliable and if you are able to do that, it will be much easier to get your overall score up.

Trajectory
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:04 pm

Re: Some Advice/Help Needed

Postby Trajectory » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:25 am

Good stuff right there. A 170 is solid in my book! 50 is a good bit, also something I suppose I can fix is accurately keeping track of what tests I use and for. Before I pretty much left PTs 40-60 for actual full PT but just randomly chose other tests to drill off of. Also, maybe because I hit my mark exactly on just towards the end of studying I felt like that I had no room for wiggle to make a mistake during the actual test in order to hit that mark, so I can see the positive in Pting above the target score now. Thing is, I never thought about that because I have never gotten anxiety/nervous before. Thats definitely a good strategy that I overlooked.

It seems like a ton to me, for I know what it took to get ~165s on PTs and this seemed way far off to me. Ah jeez, those 6 on LG (1 full game) I never even got to....complete shot in the dark. I had trouble of course with some other questions, ones I had time for, and made educated guesses when I had to, but this was just randomness.

Focused as in I wasnt processing anything I was reading, I kept rereading and losing time = having to move even quicker = reread and lose more time = endless once it started. I tried to get a grip but of course the loss of retention and time ticking away prevented that every time. Beforehand I kept telling myself that exact thing, stay calm on each and every question and focus.

I havent cancelled it yet, I think I should give it at least until tomorrow to think through and maybe even read up on what the consequences are of doing it this way. I mean so far I'm getting the impression that applying like this...155...cancel...165+ would be ok. Correct me if I'm wrong. I just dont know what I would do if I completely bombed this, as I feel I did, and had 155...140-150.

Sometimes reading through TLS helps haha. Lots of retakes and cancellations. Also is private tutor worth it? I thought about that. But I just feel like I need to drill and adapt more than understand basics. As far as LG I feel like even if I retake that mistake would not be repeated, I enjoy LG and it is my strongest by far, I just dont understand how people manage -1 -2 on LR or RC! Thats nuts.

totoro
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:55 pm

Re: Some Advice/Help Needed

Postby totoro » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:04 pm

I think a few hours of private tutoring is always worth it if money is not that big of a concern, because sometimes it helps to have an outsider help you target your weaknesses. There are a lot of super high scorers out there who are great at explaining answers. But it's not necessary - it varies by person - and many people on here used self-study only. I think effective self-studiers will a) always take the time to review their mistakes or their strategy, rather than just practicing, b) can look at questions in different ways. So yes, you can definitely do it on your own... just make sure you have good materials (bunch of PT's, the manhattan books, the PS books).

It sounds like you are thinking about this clearly so that's great. There is not too much of a plus or minus to canceling either way. For example a 150-cancel-165 will be slightly better than a 150-150-165. And a 150-140-165 may put you at a slight disadvantage, since it will look a little like shots-in-the-dark. However, I think any concerns they will have can be swept away by an addendum.

The biggest pro to canceling - If you think you got less than 150, you will stop a bad score from appearing on your app, which again may be a slight ding against you in their mind.
The biggest con to canceling - You might have actually done well. I was going to cancel my 170 because I guessed on four LG questions, but my curiosity won over (just can't stand taking that test and not knowing how I did), and it actually came out okay.
Good luck!

Trajectory
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:04 pm

Re: Some Advice/Help Needed

Postby Trajectory » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:48 pm

I can look into that I suppose, I just havent talked to anyone who has done that so far. But I suppose I can definitely use someone to help pinpoint exact weaknesses. So far I have used self study and an online Powerscore class which just helped with the basics at first. I agree with that line of thought, I know this could all be over exaggerated on my part and my score can be a 160 or something, but realistically with the amount of guesses and what was going through my head at the time, I dont see how thats possible on this test which requires 110% focus 100% of the time. If I felt secure about every section and just had that mishap on LG I definitely would leave it.

Mik Ekim
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:06 pm

Re: Some Advice/Help Needed

Postby Mik Ekim » Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:34 pm

Hi -- this is Mike Kim, co-creator of Manhattan LSAT (though I no longer affiliated w/the company) --

I read your post and I feel your pain -- I wanted to offer some thoughts that you might find helpful -- Specifically, I wanted to offer some advice about prep so that you can be better prepared for June (and btw, you should absolutely take it again if you think you can get a higher score) -- Here are my three big points --

(1) We feel nervous when we are not in control. We feel most nervous when we have to deal with situations that are critically important to our lives, and we have to do so without a sense of control.

(2) The LSAT is critically important to your future, and it (seemingly) throws unexpected challenge after unexpected challenge at you -- it's completely understandable that you feel nervous, and that this nervousness begins a few days before the test. It's just like, when I plan to eat a hotdog for lunch, I automatically start to get heartburn about an hour before I eat it -- my body anticipates the danger.

(3) The way to combat this is to study in a way that makes you feel control over the exam. The best way to do this, in my opinion, is to use the development of SKILLS AND HABITS as your primary gauge.

Most people do not do this -- most people use understanding and time spent as their gauges ("oh, I'm ready for the test because I finally understand conditional logic" or "Oh, I'm ready because I've done every practice test") but the LSAT is a test of how you think, not what you know, and unfortunately tons of practice does not guarantee a high score.

Break down and think about the LSAT in terms of what you need to be good at -- I need to be good at finding the argument conclusion, I need to be good at linking together conditional statements, etc -- work on developing these skills, and use your practice to turn these skills into habits -- by this I literally mean 1) make a list of all the things you need to be good at 2) organize these skills in a way that makes sense and 3) plan your prep (understanding concepts, developing strategies, practicing problems etc) around the development of these skills, and the work required to turn these skills into habits.

And if you are able to do this effectively what you're going to find is that by test day you'll feel far less nervous -- it doesn't mean you're going to automatically be amazing at the exam -- it does mean you will have a much more practical sense of a) how to improve during your prep b) whether you are indeed improving during your prep and c) how ready you are the challenges the LSAT will present. I also promise that the more you think about the LSAT in terms of skills and habits, the less unexpected and surprising the test will feel -- all LSATs will start looking more and more the same. And finally, I promise you you'll feel a lot more control on the real exam.

Hope the above all makes sense, and I hope you find it helpful -- best of luck in your studies.

Trajectory
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:04 pm

Re: Some Advice/Help Needed

Postby Trajectory » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:46 am

Mik Ekim wrote:Hi -- this is Mike Kim, co-creator of Manhattan LSAT (though I no longer affiliated w/the company) --

I read your post and I feel your pain -- I wanted to offer some thoughts that you might find helpful -- Specifically, I wanted to offer some advice about prep so that you can be better prepared for June (and btw, you should absolutely take it again if you think you can get a higher score) -- Here are my three big points --

(1) We feel nervous when we are not in control. We feel most nervous when we have to deal with situations that are critically important to our lives, and we have to do so without a sense of control.

(2) The LSAT is critically important to your future, and it (seemingly) throws unexpected challenge after unexpected challenge at you -- it's completely understandable that you feel nervous, and that this nervousness begins a few days before the test. It's just like, when I plan to eat a hotdog for lunch, I automatically start to get heartburn about an hour before I eat it -- my body anticipates the danger.

(3) The way to combat this is to study in a way that makes you feel control over the exam. The best way to do this, in my opinion, is to use the development of SKILLS AND HABITS as your primary gauge.

Most people do not do this -- most people use understanding and time spent as their gauges ("oh, I'm ready for the test because I finally understand conditional logic" or "Oh, I'm ready because I've done every practice test") but the LSAT is a test of how you think, not what you know, and unfortunately tons of practice does not guarantee a high score.

Break down and think about the LSAT in terms of what you need to be good at -- I need to be good at finding the argument conclusion, I need to be good at linking together conditional statements, etc -- work on developing these skills, and use your practice to turn these skills into habits -- by this I literally mean 1) make a list of all the things you need to be good at 2) organize these skills in a way that makes sense and 3) plan your prep (understanding concepts, developing strategies, practicing problems etc) around the development of these skills, and the work required to turn these skills into habits.

And if you are able to do this effectively what you're going to find is that by test day you'll feel far less nervous -- it doesn't mean you're going to automatically be amazing at the exam -- it does mean you will have a much more practical sense of a) how to improve during your prep b) whether you are indeed improving during your prep and c) how ready you are the challenges the LSAT will present. I also promise that the more you think about the LSAT in terms of skills and habits, the less unexpected and surprising the test will feel -- all LSATs will start looking more and more the same. And finally, I promise you you'll feel a lot more control on the real exam.

Hope the above all makes sense, and I hope you find it helpful -- best of luck in your studies.


Hey Mike, thanks a lot for the help! I found the Manhattan LR Guide to be VERY helpful in my understanding of LR questions which tripped me up a lot! Awesome stuff.

In my mind everything you described and said is pretty spot on. For starters it definitely struck me as a good idea to make those lists in finding what I need to work on, organizing it, and making a plan. Especially writing all of this out as I did not do that before! I think its a great suggestion that I have overlooked. I realized that even more now since I have been browsing other peoples study habits/tips and what/how they do it.

Its been 2 days since the test now and I'm getting over that sucky "I just couldn't get it done when I needed to" feeling. I haven't cancelled the score yet but I feel as if that would be best considering the amount of problems I failed to overcome. Since June is a ways away I feel a bit more optimistic in that I will be able to really give it my best shot, last time. I hope by then that I improve my score (PT) even more.

I am still sort of concerned over this cancelation deal though. Do you have any advice on that? Would it be smart/ok/not good to do it? It seems to me from what I've read on here, if how you think you did on the real LSAT is REALLY not up to par with your usual performance, or expected performance from PTs, then it would be better to cancel and not have that lower score appear especially since in my case I would have a 155--(most likely something lower from this 2nd test; 140?)-- and hopefully 165+. So it my mind it seems like it would be better to leave that out completely and focus on getting the highest mark I can the last time around so essentially it would like a 155--165. I dont know if that makes sense to anyone else.

User avatar
Skill Game
Posts: 56
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Re: Some Advice/Help Needed

Postby Skill Game » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:00 am

Trajectory wrote:
Mik Ekim wrote:Hi -- this is Mike Kim, co-creator of Manhattan LSAT (though I no longer affiliated w/the company) --

I read your post and I feel your pain -- I wanted to offer some thoughts that you might find helpful -- Specifically, I wanted to offer some advice about prep so that you can be better prepared for June (and btw, you should absolutely take it again if you think you can get a higher score) -- Here are my three big points --

(1) We feel nervous when we are not in control. We feel most nervous when we have to deal with situations that are critically important to our lives, and we have to do so without a sense of control.

(2) The LSAT is critically important to your future, and it (seemingly) throws unexpected challenge after unexpected challenge at you -- it's completely understandable that you feel nervous, and that this nervousness begins a few days before the test. It's just like, when I plan to eat a hotdog for lunch, I automatically start to get heartburn about an hour before I eat it -- my body anticipates the danger.

(3) The way to combat this is to study in a way that makes you feel control over the exam. The best way to do this, in my opinion, is to use the development of SKILLS AND HABITS as your primary gauge.

Most people do not do this -- most people use understanding and time spent as their gauges ("oh, I'm ready for the test because I finally understand conditional logic" or "Oh, I'm ready because I've done every practice test") but the LSAT is a test of how you think, not what you know, and unfortunately tons of practice does not guarantee a high score.

Break down and think about the LSAT in terms of what you need to be good at -- I need to be good at finding the argument conclusion, I need to be good at linking together conditional statements, etc -- work on developing these skills, and use your practice to turn these skills into habits -- by this I literally mean 1) make a list of all the things you need to be good at 2) organize these skills in a way that makes sense and 3) plan your prep (understanding concepts, developing strategies, practicing problems etc) around the development of these skills, and the work required to turn these skills into habits.

And if you are able to do this effectively what you're going to find is that by test day you'll feel far less nervous -- it doesn't mean you're going to automatically be amazing at the exam -- it does mean you will have a much more practical sense of a) how to improve during your prep b) whether you are indeed improving during your prep and c) how ready you are the challenges the LSAT will present. I also promise that the more you think about the LSAT in terms of skills and habits, the less unexpected and surprising the test will feel -- all LSATs will start looking more and more the same. And finally, I promise you you'll feel a lot more control on the real exam.

Hope the above all makes sense, and I hope you find it helpful -- best of luck in your studies.


Hey Mike, thanks a lot for the help! I found the Manhattan LR Guide to be VERY helpful in my understanding of LR questions which tripped me up a lot! Awesome stuff.

In my mind everything you described and said is pretty spot on. For starters it definitely struck me as a good idea to make those lists in finding what I need to work on, organizing it, and making a plan. Especially writing all of this out as I did not do that before! I think its a great suggestion that I have overlooked. I realized that even more now since I have been browsing other peoples study habits/tips and what/how they do it.

Its been 2 days since the test now and I'm getting over that sucky "I just couldn't get it done when I needed to" feeling. I haven't cancelled the score yet but I feel as if that would be best considering the amount of problems I failed to overcome. Since June is a ways away I feel a bit more optimistic in that I will be able to really give it my best shot, last time. I hope by then that I improve my score (PT) even more.

I am still sort of concerned over this cancelation deal though. Do you have any advice on that? Would it be smart/ok/not good to do it? It seems to me from what I've read on here, if how you think you did on the real LSAT is REALLY not up to par with your usual performance, or expected performance from PTs, then it would be better to cancel and not have that lower score appear especially since in my case I would have a 155--(most likely something lower from this 2nd test; 140?)-- and hopefully 165+. So it my mind it seems like it would be better to leave that out completely and focus on getting the highest mark I can the last time around so essentially it would like a 155--165. I dont know if that makes sense to anyone else.


just basing this off my experiences from non-lsat tests...but a lot of the times even when I feel like I completely owned a test i might end up with a B. so if youre not even confident, it might be wise to cancel. but then again you wont find out where you choked the worse and then be able to adjust for that adequately.

Mik Ekim
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:06 pm

Re: Some Advice/Help Needed

Postby Mik Ekim » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:07 pm

Trajectory wrote:
Mik Ekim wrote:Hi -- this is Mike Kim, co-creator of Manhattan LSAT (though I no longer affiliated w/the company) --

I read your post and I feel your pain -- I wanted to offer some thoughts that you might find helpful -- Specifically, I wanted to offer some advice about prep so that you can be better prepared for June (and btw, you should absolutely take it again if you think you can get a higher score) -- Here are my three big points --

(1) We feel nervous when we are not in control. We feel most nervous when we have to deal with situations that are critically important to our lives, and we have to do so without a sense of control.

(2) The LSAT is critically important to your future, and it (seemingly) throws unexpected challenge after unexpected challenge at you -- it's completely understandable that you feel nervous, and that this nervousness begins a few days before the test. It's just like, when I plan to eat a hotdog for lunch, I automatically start to get heartburn about an hour before I eat it -- my body anticipates the danger.

(3) The way to combat this is to study in a way that makes you feel control over the exam. The best way to do this, in my opinion, is to use the development of SKILLS AND HABITS as your primary gauge.

Most people do not do this -- most people use understanding and time spent as their gauges ("oh, I'm ready for the test because I finally understand conditional logic" or "Oh, I'm ready because I've done every practice test") but the LSAT is a test of how you think, not what you know, and unfortunately tons of practice does not guarantee a high score.

Break down and think about the LSAT in terms of what you need to be good at -- I need to be good at finding the argument conclusion, I need to be good at linking together conditional statements, etc -- work on developing these skills, and use your practice to turn these skills into habits -- by this I literally mean 1) make a list of all the things you need to be good at 2) organize these skills in a way that makes sense and 3) plan your prep (understanding concepts, developing strategies, practicing problems etc) around the development of these skills, and the work required to turn these skills into habits.

And if you are able to do this effectively what you're going to find is that by test day you'll feel far less nervous -- it doesn't mean you're going to automatically be amazing at the exam -- it does mean you will have a much more practical sense of a) how to improve during your prep b) whether you are indeed improving during your prep and c) how ready you are the challenges the LSAT will present. I also promise that the more you think about the LSAT in terms of skills and habits, the less unexpected and surprising the test will feel -- all LSATs will start looking more and more the same. And finally, I promise you you'll feel a lot more control on the real exam.

Hope the above all makes sense, and I hope you find it helpful -- best of luck in your studies.


Hey Mike, thanks a lot for the help! I found the Manhattan LR Guide to be VERY helpful in my understanding of LR questions which tripped me up a lot! Awesome stuff.

In my mind everything you described and said is pretty spot on. For starters it definitely struck me as a good idea to make those lists in finding what I need to work on, organizing it, and making a plan. Especially writing all of this out as I did not do that before! I think its a great suggestion that I have overlooked. I realized that even more now since I have been browsing other peoples study habits/tips and what/how they do it.

Its been 2 days since the test now and I'm getting over that sucky "I just couldn't get it done when I needed to" feeling. I haven't cancelled the score yet but I feel as if that would be best considering the amount of problems I failed to overcome. Since June is a ways away I feel a bit more optimistic in that I will be able to really give it my best shot, last time. I hope by then that I improve my score (PT) even more.

I am still sort of concerned over this cancelation deal though. Do you have any advice on that? Would it be smart/ok/not good to do it? It seems to me from what I've read on here, if how you think you did on the real LSAT is REALLY not up to par with your usual performance, or expected performance from PTs, then it would be better to cancel and not have that lower score appear especially since in my case I would have a 155--(most likely something lower from this 2nd test; 140?)-- and hopefully 165+. So it my mind it seems like it would be better to leave that out completely and focus on getting the highest mark I can the last time around so essentially it would like a 155--165. I dont know if that makes sense to anyone else.


Glad you found the books helpful --

In terms of canceling -- I think that's your call, but here are some thoughts you might find helpful-

1) People are bad at predicting how they did on the exam. Furthermore, people get more and more inaccurate as more time passes -- whether you know it or not, your emotional memory alters your view of your objective memory.

2) To me, I would base my decision on upside/downside, and these are the only two factors that really matter (the issue of having a lower score on your record is, in my opinion, less important) --

What is the upside of not canceling? -
you may have gotten a score that you are okay applying to schools with - maybe you got a 162/163 - not ideally what you wanted, but something that is pretty good as a backup. That will take a lot of pressure off for June.

Downside?
you've burned up your second test -- you may not be worried about this now, but if I were your advisor this would actually be the most important consideration -- imagine you prep like hell for June, get yourself to a practice-test level of 170, get thrown off by a game on the june exam, and get 165 -- at that point, you would probably kill/steal/cheat to get one more shot at the exam.

Keep in mind that I am not an admissions expert, but those are thoughts -- hope u find them helpful, and let me know if u need any follow up -- MK

Trajectory
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:04 pm

Re: Some Advice/Help Needed

Postby Trajectory » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:52 pm

Mik Ekim wrote:
Trajectory wrote:
Mik Ekim wrote:Hi -- this is Mike Kim, co-creator of Manhattan LSAT (though I no longer affiliated w/the company) --

I read your post and I feel your pain -- I wanted to offer some thoughts that you might find helpful -- Specifically, I wanted to offer some advice about prep so that you can be better prepared for June (and btw, you should absolutely take it again if you think you can get a higher score) -- Here are my three big points --

(1) We feel nervous when we are not in control. We feel most nervous when we have to deal with situations that are critically important to our lives, and we have to do so without a sense of control.

(2) The LSAT is critically important to your future, and it (seemingly) throws unexpected challenge after unexpected challenge at you -- it's completely understandable that you feel nervous, and that this nervousness begins a few days before the test. It's just like, when I plan to eat a hotdog for lunch, I automatically start to get heartburn about an hour before I eat it -- my body anticipates the danger.

(3) The way to combat this is to study in a way that makes you feel control over the exam. The best way to do this, in my opinion, is to use the development of SKILLS AND HABITS as your primary gauge.

Most people do not do this -- most people use understanding and time spent as their gauges ("oh, I'm ready for the test because I finally understand conditional logic" or "Oh, I'm ready because I've done every practice test") but the LSAT is a test of how you think, not what you know, and unfortunately tons of practice does not guarantee a high score.

Break down and think about the LSAT in terms of what you need to be good at -- I need to be good at finding the argument conclusion, I need to be good at linking together conditional statements, etc -- work on developing these skills, and use your practice to turn these skills into habits -- by this I literally mean 1) make a list of all the things you need to be good at 2) organize these skills in a way that makes sense and 3) plan your prep (understanding concepts, developing strategies, practicing problems etc) around the development of these skills, and the work required to turn these skills into habits.

And if you are able to do this effectively what you're going to find is that by test day you'll feel far less nervous -- it doesn't mean you're going to automatically be amazing at the exam -- it does mean you will have a much more practical sense of a) how to improve during your prep b) whether you are indeed improving during your prep and c) how ready you are the challenges the LSAT will present. I also promise that the more you think about the LSAT in terms of skills and habits, the less unexpected and surprising the test will feel -- all LSATs will start looking more and more the same. And finally, I promise you you'll feel a lot more control on the real exam.

Hope the above all makes sense, and I hope you find it helpful -- best of luck in your studies.


Hey Mike, thanks a lot for the help! I found the Manhattan LR Guide to be VERY helpful in my understanding of LR questions which tripped me up a lot! Awesome stuff.

In my mind everything you described and said is pretty spot on. For starters it definitely struck me as a good idea to make those lists in finding what I need to work on, organizing it, and making a plan. Especially writing all of this out as I did not do that before! I think its a great suggestion that I have overlooked. I realized that even more now since I have been browsing other peoples study habits/tips and what/how they do it.

Its been 2 days since the test now and I'm getting over that sucky "I just couldn't get it done when I needed to" feeling. I haven't cancelled the score yet but I feel as if that would be best considering the amount of problems I failed to overcome. Since June is a ways away I feel a bit more optimistic in that I will be able to really give it my best shot, last time. I hope by then that I improve my score (PT) even more.

I am still sort of concerned over this cancelation deal though. Do you have any advice on that? Would it be smart/ok/not good to do it? It seems to me from what I've read on here, if how you think you did on the real LSAT is REALLY not up to par with your usual performance, or expected performance from PTs, then it would be better to cancel and not have that lower score appear especially since in my case I would have a 155--(most likely something lower from this 2nd test; 140?)-- and hopefully 165+. So it my mind it seems like it would be better to leave that out completely and focus on getting the highest mark I can the last time around so essentially it would like a 155--165. I dont know if that makes sense to anyone else.


Glad you found the books helpful --

In terms of canceling -- I think that's your call, but here are some thoughts you might find helpful-

1) People are bad at predicting how they did on the exam. Furthermore, people get more and more inaccurate as more time passes -- whether you know it or not, your emotional memory alters your view of your objective memory.

2) To me, I would base my decision on upside/downside, and these are the only two factors that really matter (the issue of having a lower score on your record is, in my opinion, less important) --

What is the upside of not canceling? -
you may have gotten a score that you are okay applying to schools with - maybe you got a 162/163 - not ideally what you wanted, but something that is pretty good as a backup. That will take a lot of pressure off for June.

Downside?
you've burned up your second test -- you may not be worried about this now, but if I were your advisor this would actually be the most important consideration -- imagine you prep like hell for June, get yourself to a practice-test level of 170, get thrown off by a game on the june exam, and get 165 -- at that point, you would probably kill/steal/cheat to get one more shot at the exam.

Keep in mind that I am not an admissions expert, but those are thoughts -- hope u find them helpful, and let me know if u need any follow up -- MK


In terms of predicting, I realize that there is a small chance I could be wrong...but out of all of the test I've taken (not LSAT) and full PTs I think I can safely conclude that it was nowhere near my performance, as in just bad. You know, the difference between the A grade feeling versus not getting an A but getting a B. Just intuitively feel like this would be a D feeling. So that upside I just cant see it happening. The downside yes, come June it will be lots of pressure but I would have to deal with that as it is. I have time to accept it by then! I just try to put myself in the spot of an admissions person and think I would rather see a 155-cancel-165 than 155-(~140)-165 ....the former seems "easier" on the eyes I would think




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