How to avoid a disappointing score on the LSAT

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LSAT Blog
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How to avoid a disappointing score on the LSAT

Postby LSAT Blog » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:11 pm

There are valuable lessons to learn from those who have achieved top LSAT scores and significant score increases. (See this thread.)

However, too often, we ignore the lessons we can learn from those who did not achieve top LSAT scores and/or failed to improve significantly. By studying their experiences, future test-takers can learn what NOT to do.

So, I have the following questions for anyone who studied for the LSAT and got a score they consider disappointing, a minimal score increase, or no score increase at all.

1. What was your diagnostic (starting) score, if any?

2. What did you score on Test Day?

3. Which books did you use?

4. Did you take a prep course? If so, which?

5. For how many months did you study, and for how many hours/week? Were you also working or in college, etc.?

6. How many PrepTests did you complete?

7. What do you believe is the reason for your score?

8. What would you change if you were to retake?

9. Any other comments or suggestions?
Last edited by LSAT Blog on Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lsatkid007
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Re: How to avoid scoring 149 and below on the LSAT

Postby lsatkid007 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:34 pm

So is this considered the "Thread of shame"?

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Re: How to avoid scoring 149 and below on the LSAT

Postby LSAT Blog » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:46 pm

I certainly hope not.

Rather than stigmatizing failure, I hope we can take the opportunity to learn from others about what did not work for them.

I'm not a fan of Edison's behavior towards Tesla, but some version of this quote comes to mind:

“I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."

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052220151
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Re: How to avoid scoring 149 and below on the LSAT

Postby 052220151 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:58 pm

LSAT Blog wrote:I certainly hope not.

Rather than stigmatizing failure, I hope we can take the opportunity to learn from others about what did not work for them.

I'm not a fan of Edison's behavior towards Tesla, but some version of this quote comes to mind:

“I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."


So this is a shame thread, right?

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Pneumonia
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Re: How to avoid scoring 149 and below on the LSAT

Postby Pneumonia » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:20 pm

LSAT Blog wrote:
So, I have the following questions for anyone who studied for the LSAT and scored 149 or below

These questions are also for anyone who got a score they consider disappointing



Would love to see responses to either, though I would bet there is a better chance of people answering the second one.

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mindarmed
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Re: How to avoid scoring 149 and below on the LSAT

Postby mindarmed » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:24 pm

I sincerely doubt the people that score 149 on an administered LSAT visit TLS.

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Re: How to avoid a disappointing score on the LSAT

Postby LSAT Blog » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:44 pm

I've gotten a number of emails over the years from people who are scoring below 150 (at least on PTs) that mentioned that they're at least aware of TLS.

I think that lower scorers may simply choose to lurk more often than they post, so you don't tend to see people with low scores posting as often. (They may also visit less frequently than higher scorers.)

However, I've broadened the thread title and post a bit in the hopes that it may find a larger potential audience of respondents.

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txdude45
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Re: How to avoid a disappointing score on the LSAT

Postby txdude45 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:04 pm

.
Last edited by txdude45 on Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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052220151
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Re: How to avoid scoring 149 and below on the LSAT

Postby 052220151 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:17 am

LSAT Blog wrote:
“I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."


What does this quote even mean? I didn't do it right 10,000 times, but I didn't fail, because I found out I did it wrong 10,000 different ways?

Also, change the thread title back.

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wtrc
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Re: How to avoid a disappointing score on the LSAT

Postby wtrc » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:18 am

LSAT Blog wrote:There are valuable lessons to learn from those who have achieved top LSAT scores and significant score increases. (See this thread.)

However, too often, we ignore the lessons we can learn from those who did not achieve top LSAT scores and/or failed to improve significantly. By studying their experiences, future test-takers can learn what NOT to do.

So, I have the following questions for anyone who studied for the LSAT and got a score they consider disappointing, a minimal score increase, or no score increase at all.

1. What was your diagnostic (starting) score, if any?
157
2. What did you score on Test Day?
166
3. Which books did you use?
Testmasters only (given for the course), and not enough of them.
4. Did you take a prep course? If so, which?
Testmasters,
5. For how many months did you study, and for how many hours/week? Were you also working or in college, etc.?
I was in college full-time and working part-time. Studied 3 months. Maybe 13 hours a week including the class, but the class wasn't helping me enough or maximizing my time best, which I didn't realize at the time.
6. How many PrepTests did you complete?
5
7. What do you believe is the reason for your score?
Over-confidence. I thought that taking a course would mean a good score. I saw the 166/93rd percentile and thought it was really great, but then realized I could do better. I didn't take self-study seriously enough.
8. What would you change if you were to retake?
I am retaking in June. I'm self-studying and drilling weakness areas. Taking the LSAT a lot more seriously. Scoring much better on PT's.
9. Any other comments or suggestions? THIS TEST IS LEARNABLE. If you aren't scoring near perfect on LG, you are not ready to take the test. It's too important a test to not take seriously.

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Re: How to avoid a disappointing score on the LSAT

Postby LSAT Blog » Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:37 pm

If you took the June LSAT, I hope you rocked it!

However, if you aren't happy with your score, please share your story in this thread.

Excellent117
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Re: How to avoid a disappointing score on the LSAT

Postby Excellent117 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:38 pm

1. 159
2. 164 (had been PTing in the 173-177 range) and a 174 on a retake
3. Testmasters books that came with the course
4. Testmasters
5. 3-4 hours a day for about 3 months before my first test during college; for my retake the only studying I did was 3 practice tests spread out over 2 months
6. Roughly 15
7. I burned out, plain and simple. Letting my mind recover did wonders for my results.
8. I toned it way down once I had my foundation built up solidly.
9. Don't overdue it.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: How to avoid a disappointing score on the LSAT

Postby ManoftheHour » Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:45 pm

1. What was your diagnostic (starting) score, if any? 162

2. What did you score on Test Day? 163 (Been PTing in the high 160s and low 170s. Felt confident but a few careless errors sunk my score).

3. Which books did you use? Manhattan bundle, Powerscore.

4. Did you take a prep course? If so, which? None.

5. For how many months did you study, and for how many hours/week? Were you also working or in college, etc.? 3 months with about 20 hours a week. Working full time.

6. How many PrepTests did you complete? 30.

7. What do you believe is the reason for your score? Lack of drilling. Too PT focused. Because of the lack of drilling, time was still an issue.

8. What would you change if you were to retake? Drill. Drill. Drill. I'm going to make sure I can get a 180 or close to it untimed before jumping into timed PTs. Like in anything else, accuracy first before speed. Perfect practice makes perfect.

9. Any other comments or suggestions? When PTing, do the experimental section. Stamina was an issue for me. Also, no matter how much you want to jump into PTs, drill for accuracy first. Know why each answer choice is absolutely wrong before moving on.

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RhymesLikeDimes
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Re: How to avoid a disappointing score on the LSAT

Postby RhymesLikeDimes » Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:30 pm

1. What was your diagnostic (starting) score, if any? 164

2. What did you score on Test Day? 170. PTing 176-180 since beginning of May.

3. Which books did you use? Powerscore Bibles, Manhattan RC, tons of drilling books and PTs

4. Did you take a prep course? If so, which? No, self-study all the way

5. For how many months did you study, and for how many hours/week? Were you also working or in college, etc.? ~5 months, ~20h/wk on average. Worked part-time at a very lax job.

6. How many PrepTests did you complete? 25-30

7. What do you believe is the reason for your score? Test day nerves, reading too much into LR Q's, not taking 5-section PTs, or properly observing break-times

8. What would you change if you were to retake? Get all my ticket/items in order BEFORE test day. Get to the test center later so I don't have so much awkward-crowd time. Don't look at every LR question like "THIS is the tricky one."

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Re: How to avoid a disappointing score on the LSAT

Postby sah » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:43 am

[Deleted]
Last edited by sah on Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ws81086n
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Re: How to avoid a disappointing score on the LSAT

Postby ws81086n » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:26 am

1. What was your diagnostic (starting) score, if any? N/A, though I would guess I would have been in the low 160's.

2. What did you score on Test Day? 172

3. Which books did you use? Everything MLSAT and PS

4. Did you take a prep course? If so, which? Yes, Manhattan. Not worth it. Not b\c Manhattan isn't fantastic, but b\c I could have learned everything from their books that I needed to know; instructors were fine, I just didn't need them.

5. For how many months did you study, and for how many hours/week? Were you also working or in college, etc.? ~ 5 mos., I honestly have no idea how many hours/week. Lots, mainly in huge spurts. Was working the whole time.

6. How many PrepTests did you complete? 20 or so.

7. What do you believe is the reason for your score? Inasmuch as I got a good score, diligent preparation, particularly for LG. Was one of those people who was hugely intimidated by LG, and I only broke through and become a solid gamer late in the process. Inasmuch as I didn't do quite as well as I wanted, carelessness.

8. What would you change if you were to retake? Even more thorough LG drilling; keeping better watch for carelessness.

9. Any other comments or suggestions? In my opinion, the "don't do anything LSAT in the days before the test" is very wrong-headed. Not that you necessarily should do something or anything; I think it can work either way. Couple reasons to do something (since the common opinion is the opposite): 1. Any PT is perhaps liable to resemble the real thing more and more the closer you get, because you will be getting more and more nervous. I found this was definitely the case for me, especially for the last PT I took before the test, which was the night before 2. Achieving a breakthrough in one of the sections, questions types, or both. If you feel you are on the cusp of a breakthrough, and you don't study, you're really short-changing yourself.

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jetsfan1
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Re: How to avoid a disappointing score on the LSAT

Postby jetsfan1 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:43 am

Eh I'll bite

1) Diagnostic 165

2) Test Day 162 (Yes, I scored less than my diagnostic on test day...)

3) Books glanced at powerscore, didnt really use it

4) Prep Course Kaplan. They suck. Not blaming them for my failure, but they didn't help either.

5) Study Habits In addition to the month long Kaplan course, studied for about a month, couple of hours a day at best. Took the October 2012 Test while in school and playing D1AA football in season. Would be in classes all day, practice 3-7, dinner then in the lib by 8, study until 11 alternating between LSAT and schoolwork. Ended up dropping a class bc it was too much and bombing the LSAT, so should have focused on just one. No studying over the weekends bc we were on buses/planes across the country, had away games all to start the year. Also could never bring myself to study on Sundays with the inevitable headache.

6) How many prep tests? About 5. PTing consistent 168 through the last three. Mostly games messing me up, would hit low 170s when I gave myself an extra 5 minutes there.

7) Reason for failure? Didn't prepare even close to enough. Found TLS about the week before the test and realized how F'd I was. Went in hoping to pop a 170, which at the time I naively didnt think was too unreasonable given the past 3 168s on the last 3 tests I had taken. Advice here is wait to prep for the LSAT until you can really put in at least 4 hrs a day for minimum three months and commit to it. I treated it as kind of a hobby rather than a job. Don't do that.

8) Changes Study?

9) Other Comments Plan on retaking within a year, and will be following Noodley's guide on TLS. Might quit my job too, or just go to part time. Live, breath, eat, and shit the LSAT is gonna be my motto.

Good luck all, hope you (and I) can learn from these mistakes.

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Balthy
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Re: How to avoid a disappointing score on the LSAT

Postby Balthy » Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:01 pm

Bump. I'm super paranoid after hearing so many June horror stories. Would love to see more content on this thread.

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Adam Banks
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Re: How to avoid a disappointing score on the LSAT

Postby Adam Banks » Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:04 pm

All anyone needs to know is if you fuck up once you can bounce back, its possible. Especially if you're fuck up was due to nerves and test day stress.

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TheMostDangerousLG
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Re: How to avoid a disappointing score on the LSAT

Postby TheMostDangerousLG » Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:37 pm

(At the risk of completing the survey and coming across as a total asshole, here's my one tip to avoiding a disappointing score on the LSAT:) Don't slack on your weakest area. It's going to be the hardest (and consequently the least fun) area to improve, you're going to struggle, it's going to suck. But you will be kicking yourself on test and kicking yourself even harder when your test score comes out for slacking. Don't expect strength in certain areas to compensate for weakness in others. Just get your shit together and make sure you're ready for anything and awesome at everything.

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RuleSubstitution
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Re: How to avoid scoring 149 and below on the LSAT

Postby RuleSubstitution » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:58 pm

deputydog wrote:
LSAT Blog wrote:
“I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."


What does this quote even mean? I didn't do it right 10,000 times, but I didn't fail, because I found out I did it wrong 10,000 different ways?

Also, change the thread title back.

This made me laugh. I think the point of the quote is that you should forgive yourself for making mistakes and engage in heavy rationalization to placate your overwhelming sense of personal hatred caused by ineptitude?

It sends the message that you can still be great even though you bombed some area of your life; so congratulations.

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ScottRiqui
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Re: How to avoid scoring 149 and below on the LSAT

Postby ScottRiqui » Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:11 pm

RuleSubstitution wrote:
deputydog wrote:
LSAT Blog wrote:
“I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."


What does this quote even mean? I didn't do it right 10,000 times, but I didn't fail, because I found out I did it wrong 10,000 different ways?

Also, change the thread title back.

This made me laugh. I think the point of the quote is that you should forgive yourself for making mistakes and engage in heavy rationalization to placate your overwhelming sense of personal hatred caused by ineptitude?

It sends the message that you can still be great even though you bombed some area of your life; so congratulations.


I think Edison's quote was talking about developing the incandescent light bulb. His point was that in scientific research/experimentation, initial attempts that don't work out aren't the same as "failures". Not sure how applicable it is to the LSAT, though.

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RuleSubstitution
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Re: How to avoid a disappointing score on the LSAT

Postby RuleSubstitution » Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:25 am

Well, of course in LSAT prep we make errors, but we learn from them, correct our reasoning. I was only being facetious. Deputy's remark was funny to me.

Anyway, the quote: I often see it cited in motivational, brush-dirt-off-shoulder inspirational contexts. It's overplayed and corny, the way it's used. Does it neatly conform to the purpose of the thread? I guess we overcome flawed approaches to improve on the LSAT. Don't consider yourself a failure because you made those errors; fixing them hopefully got you where you wanted.

"Hopefully" is where the weakness of the sentiment lies; the sentiment also neglects the cost of (non)mistakes. "Hopefully" posters ITT get what they want out of their LSAT prep, making fewer mistakes (steps toward success) and wasting less time and money. There is some great info here that I wish I had looked into well before I started prepping.
Edit: "here" as in: in this forum, not ITT.

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Pneumonia
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Re: How to avoid scoring 149 and below on the LSAT

Postby Pneumonia » Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:28 am

armedwithamind wrote:I sincerely doubt the people that score 149 on an administered LSAT visit TLS.


there is a 149 thread right now

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RuleSubstitution
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Re: How to avoid scoring 149 and below on the LSAT

Postby RuleSubstitution » Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:28 pm

Pneumonia wrote:
armedwithamind wrote:I sincerely doubt the people that score 149 on an administered LSAT visit TLS.


there is a 149 thread right now

pneumonia, did you score high in June? i thought i read that somewhere. where's your guide?




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