Going for at least 172 in June--enough time?

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drawstring
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Going for at least 172 in June--enough time?

Postby drawstring » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:11 pm

I've taken 3 practice tests after studying the basics for a month or so. In order taken:

170 (-5 LG, -5 LR, -3 RC) (and -1 on RC as the extra section)
163 (-9 LG, -6 LR, -9 RC)
169 (-1 LG, -4 LR, -9 RC)

I feel like I'm improving on LG and LR, and I think I have a good shot of eventually missing only 3-5 questions on those sections combined. However, RC has been a major problem; I've gone from doing ok on it to bombing it and getting scores that prevent me from scoring a 172.

I've started to review and drill RC intensely, but is two months is enough time for me to make big (i.e. reduce my errors by at least 50%) improvements on that section?

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wtrc
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Re: Going for at least 172 in June--enough time?

Postby wtrc » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:20 pm

drawstring wrote:I've taken 3 practice tests after studying the basics for a month or so. In order taken:

170 (-5 LG, -5 LR, -3 RC) (and -1 on RC as the extra section)
163 (-9 LG, -6 LR, -9 RC)
169 (-1 LG, -4 LR, -9 RC)

I feel like I'm improving on LG and LR, and I think I have a good shot of eventually missing only 3-5 questions on those sections combined. However, RC has been a major problem; I've gone from doing ok on it to bombing it and getting scores that prevent me from scoring a 172.

I've started to review and drill RC intensely, but is two months is enough time for me to make big (i.e. reduce my errors by at least 50%) improvements on that section?


You are capable of 0 on LG. Don't take until you are sure you will get that (or, worst case, get -1).

LR- you need the Bible and drilling, but you have a pretty awesome starting point.

If you just started a month ago and really want a top score, I would wait until October to hammer out the fundamental issues you are still having in RC, which takes the longest to improve. Or register for June and just change the date if you are not fully ready (you lose money, but keep options open).

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Pneumonia
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Re: Going for at least 172 in June--enough time?

Postby Pneumonia » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:09 pm

There's a lot of variance in your scores (what # PT's were those?) so it's hard to know exactly where you're at. In general the easiest and quickest gains can be made in LG so that's where most start in their prep. Traditionally this is followed by LR drilling and study, but you seem pretty solid on LR (don't leave it out though, it is still 50% of your score). Manhattan is good for RC. It's hard to make big gains generally in RC, regardless of how you approach it.

I agree that October might be a better choice if possible; definitely don't even consider taking if you're not consistently -0 on LG. I posted a LG study method that worked really well for me in the "Pithypike" thread a few days ago, but you may find it excessive and unnecessary as you are doing pretty well in LG (but again, lots of variance).

If I were to venture I guess about why your scores are so varied it would be that you have a lot of natural ability and are just using mental horsepower to push your way through each section. Classic signs of this include lots of hypo's in LG, lots of re-reading in RC, and pretty good scores in LR as the questions are individual. This strategy pretty obviously conforms with your score distributions and with the variance in your scaled score.

I might very well be wrong, but if I am not then take it from me and from the gifted test taker-as-a-whole that is TLS: don't rely solely on your natural ability. Drill games and LR by type. Find an efficient notation (written or mental) method for RC that will allow you to pick up on the structure of the passage rather than the details. Take the test when you are confident and prepared, whenever that may be.

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NoodleyOne
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Re: Going for at least 172 in June--enough time?

Postby NoodleyOne » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:42 pm

Not reading the rest. You're going for a 180. Anything less is failure.

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drawstring
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Re: Going for at least 172 in June--enough time?

Postby drawstring » Fri May 10, 2013 3:35 am

My RC is down to -3 to -4, my LR is down to -1 to -4 overall, and my LG is at -2 to -5. I just started doing a lot of LG drilling and reviewing the games more thoroughly than before. Unfortunately, after 7 practice tests my average is only 170 (From my first PT to my most recent: 170, 163, 169, 171, 170, 178, 168). I've spent about 3 months studying the fundamentals of each section using Power Score books, but did so at the expense of drilling and practice testing. In the last month I've focused on the latter two methods of studying and I feel like I can improve by a few points, but it may take more than a month. I have a GPA of 4.15, and I don't want to waste it.

I have a few questions, though I understand the last two may be out of scope in this section of the forum, and I'd appreciate input, :

1. I have about 10 PTs from 50-68 remaining, as well as 41-49 and 3 February tests from the LSAC 'Super Prep' book. How useful are the latter two collections of tests given the content of the current tests?

2. Will retaking a 168-170 and then getting 172 or higher be viewed unfavorably by HYS to the extent that my chances are significantly lowered compared to getting a 172 or higher on the first try?

3. Would my chances of acceptance at those schools be significantly better, all else equal, if I applied early in September as opposed to after the October LSAT?

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Going for at least 172 in June--enough time?

Postby Dr. Dre » Fri May 10, 2013 3:56 am

I believe NoodleyOne is best suited to answer your above question.

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Jeffort
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Re: Going for at least 172 in June--enough time?

Postby Jeffort » Fri May 10, 2013 4:47 am

drawstring wrote:My RC is down to -3 to -4, my LR is down to -1 to -4 overall, and my LG is at -2 to -5. I just started doing a lot of LG drilling and reviewing the games more thoroughly than before. Unfortunately, after 7 practice tests my average is only 170 (From my first PT to my most recent: 170, 163, 169, 171, 170, 178, 168). I've spent about 3 months studying the fundamentals of each section using Power Score books, but did so at the expense of drilling and practice testing. In the last month I've focused on the latter two methods of studying and I feel like I can improve by a few points, but it may take more than a month. I have a GPA of 4.15, and I don't want to waste it.

I have a few questions, though I understand the last two may be out of scope in this section of the forum, and I'd appreciate input, :

1. I have about 10 PTs from 50-68 remaining, as well as 41-49 and 3 February tests from the LSAC 'Super Prep' book. How useful are the latter two collections of tests given the content of the current tests?

2. Will retaking a 168-170 and then getting 172 or higher be viewed unfavorably by HYS to the extent that my chances are significantly lowered compared to getting a 172 or higher on the first try?

3. Would my chances of acceptance at those schools be significantly better, all else equal, if I applied early in September as opposed to after the October LSAT?


You are fine, stop stressing.

The test is still over four weeks away, which is plenty of time to do a sufficient amount of timed practice tests to get better/more consistent and shave a few points off the amount you are missing to push yourself above 170. From 168ish+, improving more is just a matter of cutting out the few stupid/careless mistakes you make since most points lost by 170+ scorers are just dumb careless errors. More timed practice helps you get your routine down even better so you are on your game better and less prone to making dumb/careless mistakes or ones caused by stress or fatigue.

You studied properly so far by spending your previous study time learning all the fundamentals well before moving into doing timed practice tests even though it sounds like you think it was a mistake to wait until now to do timed tests. You are probably just stressing since you just got into doing PTs and aren't perfect right away or every time and because test day is approaching, thus making everything much more real and stressful. Don't let the stress and pressure affect you if you can. Just happily plow forward taking more PTs, reviewing, identifying your errors, fixing them, practice more, lather rinse repeat, sleep and eat and be happy. Your score should go up a few points or more over the next few weeks if you practice and review properly and get into a good regular routine.

All of the tests you listed in #1 are useful for where you are at for practice and drilling but I'd only rely on timed scores from the most recent ones (50-68) as good rough indications of how you'd score on test day had you had to take the real thing that day and don't get overconfident if your scores on tests 41-49 or the SuperPrep ones are higher than on newer ones and also near perfect.

#2: Your chances at HYS would be lowered a little bit by having a 168 and a 172 rather than just a 172, but whether the amount is significant or not is a bit of a mystery and depends on what the schools actual policy about interpreting multiple scores is in practice. If the school averages the scores rather than just focusing on the highest one, then it matters more but those three schools aren't exactly forthcoming about how they look at it when an applicant has another score that is lower except the vague 'we take all parts of the application into consideration' if they don't outright state they take the average.

#3: No, all other things being equal, applying in October rather than in September will not diminish your chances one single bit.
Last edited by Jeffort on Fri May 10, 2013 4:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Clearly
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Re: Going for at least 172 in June--enough time?

Postby Clearly » Fri May 10, 2013 4:48 am

Do I believe you can hit 172 by June, yes, but I wouldn't recommend it. You show serious potential here, after nowhere near as much studying as many here do, you are already where many aim to be. If you were my student I would tell you this. One, BUY MANHATTAN LSATS RC BOOK, it's the only RC book out there I'd recommend, and you have my word its legit at least in how to get better at the section by reading, and answering questions. The marking up is still too much for me. Two, Keep PTing and start mixing in newer tests if you haven't already. Also, for the love of god, don't cheat yourself... I used to score 170s, smoking during the sections, taking piss breaks and stopping the clock etc. People who do this will be seriously disappointed on score release day. If you already cut yourself unrealistic slack, stop now so you have time to adjust.

Even though I believe with hard work you could hit that goal by June, I believe you WOULD by Oct, and I can see you even surpassing it if everything you've said is so far legit. Keep drilling games and if you don't have a set system to handle them yet maybe look into a program like velocity LSAT.

Keep up the good work

TL;DR- Yes for Oct, Maybe for June.

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Jeffort
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Re: Going for at least 172 in June--enough time?

Postby Jeffort » Fri May 10, 2013 5:14 am

ehh, I disagree with putting June as only a 'maybe' for OP being in proper shape to be confident going in about hitting 170+ and ready to do it, he's been prepping for a while, just not doing lots of timed practice until now. Four weeks of practice and review time is more than enough to get in and stay in shape to break 170 when already scoring in that range on a few PTs now, provided the recent ones were honest PTs under strict test day conditions not ones with smoke breaks and such.

When able to consistently score around 170 fully timed under test day conditions, it's just a matter of staying in the groove and fine tuning things to be ready for everything. Where in the range above 170 high scorers end up is somewhat a matter of test day randomness and how well one handles and reacts to the extra stress of it being the real test day.

OP, as long as you stick to it to get yourself fully in test day shape and continue to PT properly from now till test day to stay in shape, I don't see any reason you shouldn't pull off 170+ on the June test. Going from 168 (your lowest current practice score!) to test day 172+ does not and should not take another four months of practice, one more month is more than enough unless you really do something wrong.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Going for at least 172 in June--enough time?

Postby Dr. Dre » Fri May 10, 2013 11:45 am

NoodleyOne, are you there? OP needs credible advice.

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NoodleyOne
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Re: Going for at least 172 in June--enough time?

Postby NoodleyOne » Fri May 10, 2013 11:50 am

You're doing the right things. Drill LG to -0, looking up 7sage explanations and really internalizing the approaches. Don't cheat during PTs (if you have to pee, fucking hold it). In general, it seems that you have the fundamentals down, you're just struggling to put it all together on test day.

Practice RC every day. Even if it's just one passage. Pace yourself, and DON'T PANIC. If the days before the test you're not confident in your abilities to do it, you may want to consider withdrawing (if you can eat the 160 bucks).

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drawstring
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Re: Going for at least 172 in June--enough time?

Postby drawstring » Fri May 10, 2013 10:27 pm

Thanks for the advice.

To clarify, my lowest PT score is actually 163, which I got on my second PT; that score was an outlier, though my 178 was too. Six of the PTs were five sections under test-day conditions, and one of them was four sections without a break. I went a minute over on one section of the four-section test, but I got the only question I did during that time incorrect and I wouldn't have counted it if I got it correct.

Most of my errors are indeed the 'dumb careless errors' Jeffort mentions, such as assuming a point at issue question asks about disagreement when it actually asks about agreement, or forgetting basic setup rules in LG that enable the nearly instant selection of correct answers (e.g. GL or LG; G>F; correct answer to a must be true question: L comes before F). I can definitely reduce these errors, but given the typical test day drop I'm not sure that by June I can consistently get my PTs into a range (probably 173-175+) suggesting that my chances of getting at least a 172 on the real thing are good.

I'll keep studying hard though, and see where I'm at in a few weeks.

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drawstring
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Re: Going for at least 172 in June--enough time?

Postby drawstring » Thu May 16, 2013 9:11 pm

Leaning toward delaying now.

I just took my 8th PT and got a 169, which is now my PT average and 3 points below what I want to score at the lowest. I'm good at LR and ok at RC (I think I can improve by a point or two with more study), but I'm a consistent -4 to -5 on LG. Most of the mistakes are really stupid and frustrating, such as failing to read a rule.

I'm confident that I'll get a 172+ if I get the games down, but it will take some work.

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Br3v
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Re: Going for at least 172 in June--enough time?

Postby Br3v » Thu May 16, 2013 9:21 pm

delaying is probably the wise option if you have the patience.
Being that you are at the brink of where you want to be scoring however (really you have to factor in roughly a -4 drop on gameday due to the added pressure though) I would probably take it and see.
It's not like your drastically far from where you want to score.

If you are capable of waiting it out till October though i don't want to give you bad advice and change your mind. I just know that I would probably be anxious to take a stab at it.

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drawstring
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Re: Going for at least 172 in June--enough time?

Postby drawstring » Mon May 20, 2013 11:21 pm

June is officially off for those who care. Given the minimum score I'm going for, there's no way I'm taking the test with consistent -4 to -5 LG performances and only 8 PTs done by this point.

I've got plenty of untouched material (Cambridge packs 1-20 for LR and 1-20/21-40 for RC; PTs 41-50, about 10 from 51-68, and the 3 from the Super Prep book) to go through and lots of LG drilling to do for October, so I think I'll see some gains.

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Clearly
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Re: Going for at least 172 in June--enough time?

Postby Clearly » Tue May 21, 2013 12:26 am

drawstring wrote:June is officially off for those who care. Given the minimum score I'm going for, there's no way I'm taking the test with consistent -4 to -5 LG performances and only 8 PTs done by this point.

I've got plenty of untouched material (Cambridge packs 1-20 for LR and 1-20/21-40 for RC; PTs 41-50, about 10 from 51-68, and the 3 from the Super Prep book) to go through and lots of LG drilling to do for October, so I think I'll see some gains.

And TLS sees another reasonable decision. Go team! Good plan man.

rdelaney
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Re: Going for at least 172 in June--enough time?

Postby rdelaney » Tue May 21, 2013 12:31 am

drawstring wrote:June is officially off for those who care. Given the minimum score I'm going for, there's no way I'm taking the test with consistent -4 to -5 LG performances and only 8 PTs done by this point.

I've got plenty of untouched material (Cambridge packs 1-20 for LR and 1-20/21-40 for RC; PTs 41-50, about 10 from 51-68, and the 3 from the Super Prep book) to go through and lots of LG drilling to do for October, so I think I'll see some gains.

I just made the decision to push back to October, good luck!

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LexLeon
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Re: Going for at least 172 in June--enough time?

Postby LexLeon » Wed May 22, 2013 8:26 pm

Don't rush it.

October is a month in which you can obtain the score you need.

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drawstring
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Re: Going for at least 172 in June--enough time?

Postby drawstring » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:13 pm

Ended up with -2 on RC for a 173.

Delaying was the best decision I've made.

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Pneumonia
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Re: Going for at least 172 in June--enough time?

Postby Pneumonia » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:15 pm

happy to hear it

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LexLeon
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Re: Going for at least 172 in June--enough time?

Postby LexLeon » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:27 pm

drawstring wrote:Ended up with -2 on RC for a 173.

Delaying was the best decision I've made.


Good job!

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Clearly
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Re: Going for at least 172 in June--enough time?

Postby Clearly » Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:08 pm

Nice! See what happens when people listen to tls wisdom! Well done.




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