Reason for Score Drop

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wtrc
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Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 9:37 pm

Reason for Score Drop

Postby wtrc » Mon May 06, 2013 11:26 am

Hi all,

Retaker/ full-time worker here... I was going to post this to the June thread but figured I'd make my own.

A few months ago, I finally pulled my score up from where I was steady at (170-172) to a score range I was happy with (175-177). I was satisfied with where I was, and took an already planned week long break to go on vacation, where I didn't really look at the LSAT.

Since, I've fallen down to the 170-172 range on 4 different PT's. Has anyone ever experienced a drop like that a month out? Should I be worried about the drop?

The main thing I've gone down on is LR, and timing on LG has been a bit off as well.

My studying usually consists of a few hours in the evening, and much of the day on Saturday and/or Sunday. I started doing some stuff (retaking an old section) a few mornings as well.

I figure it's a combination of more stress, less exercise than I had been doing, a bit of burnout, and some bad luck now with good luck a few weeks ago. Didn't do anything on vacation that would have... harmed my brain.

Any advice? Trying not to stress about it.

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loomstate
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:07 am

Re: Reason for Score Drop

Postby loomstate » Mon May 06, 2013 11:31 am

stress has killed my scores. im planning on taking at least 2 days off and not letting myself think about the test. im not sure if this is sage advice for you however since a break seems to have hurt your scores.. maybe you are progressing into later PTs and LR is harder?

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NoodleyOne
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Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 7:32 pm

Re: Reason for Score Drop

Postby NoodleyOne » Mon May 06, 2013 11:57 am

I know you took a week or so off and you credit that a lot to your poor scores, but I wouldn't harp on that.

I mean, score swings can happen, especially if you moved from older tests to more recent ones that don't target your strengths. What have you noticed in reviewing? Are their certain question types that are tripping you up, or certain game types? Are you doing anything differently (going faster, underlining/not underlining things in the stims)? It's like having the yips. Take a deep breath, realize that you know the correct way, and focus a lot on drilling the next week as opposed to PTing, focusing on the correct approach. Identify the conclusion, premises and gap. Go from wrong to right. Beware of strong language on NA and weak language on SA, beware of trap answers, stuff like that. Really get back down to the nuts and bolts of the process, get your form right, then get back to PTs. PTs are there to highlight your weaknesses, and Drilling is to address them. Right now you're weaknesses are showing, so drill them away. If you need to go back to the prep material you use (MLSAT, PS, whatever), for a refresher, do that.

This type of thing can happen. It happened to me (was prepping around 177, had about 4 tests in the 172-174 range, then I drilled and got back to consistent 177-8 and killed it on test day). It's good that these weaknesses are cropping up now... you have plenty of time to fix them.

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Mr. Frodo
Posts: 196
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:59 pm

Re: Reason for Score Drop

Postby Mr. Frodo » Mon May 06, 2013 12:15 pm

When I was studying for the LSAT, even the smallest drop in my scores freaked me out and had me wondering what I was suddenly doing wrong. I then took it the first time and performed 13 points worse than my PT average over the past months. In preparing for the second time around, I only studied 3 times/week, did not worry about PT scores as much as mental state, composure, timing, etc. I knew I was good at the basics and just felt like I was getting burnt out, which is what resulted in my lower than usual first time score. I surpassed my PT average by two points on my second go around, simply by being less stressed and worrying less about the LSAT (but trusting more in myself).

While flipping between upper 150's and 170's may seem extreme, I think your mental state is very important to take care of when prepping for this test. My experiences with it attest to this fact. Just realize that if you're already PTing at such a high level, you're obviously doing very little wrong.

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wtrc
Posts: 2057
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 9:37 pm

Re: Reason for Score Drop

Postby wtrc » Mon May 06, 2013 12:35 pm

Thanks to the three of you.

It's just frustrating because when I review my errors, I realize that LR really should be -1 or -2 per section at this point, not -2 to -4. Way too many obvious/dumb errors. Fortunately, still lots of time to go.

Frodo, scoring 12 points below PT average sounds like a nightmare. I'm glad you improved on the second take.

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Mr. Frodo
Posts: 196
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:59 pm

Re: Reason for Score Drop

Postby Mr. Frodo » Mon May 06, 2013 12:47 pm

wtrcoins3 wrote:
Frodo, scoring 12 points below PT average sounds like a nightmare. I'm glad you improved on the second take.



You're in a seemingly better position than I was for either test, and there is still time yet to improve further and improve your mental state. Don't burn out like I did and you'll be great!

And yes, a terrible first time result was devastating, but it gave me all the motivation I needed to kick the test's ass next time. :P




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