Serious help during the final stretch

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patfeeney
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Serious help during the final stretch

Postby patfeeney » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:21 pm

I really need some last minute advice because I'm beginning to go a little mad and I'm considering dropping out of this ordeal altogether.

I'm scheduled for the June 10th test. Today, I took a practice test (PT 60) which I ended up quitting during the last section. The last game screwed me over and it threw me off for the LR section, so I just threw reading comp out the window and tried to nap.

My scores on PTs have declined from a 170 a month ago to two 164s in a row. I want to keep studying - I really don't want to take this test unless I can anticipate some chance at a 170 or higher - but at the same time my tests have not improved in the slightest. I drill often, I've read two of the Manhattan books and the Powerscore LG bible, and when I do individual sections, a majority of the time I get good scores.

I know it's not an endurance problem on the tests because I've been taking them carefully timed since January. However, on each of these previous PTs I've absolutely screwed up on one or two sections, normally LG or RC, without fail. I go from getting -1 or -2 on every LG drill to a sudden -6 or -7 while testing. RC is somewhat similar, although less steady while drilling.

I don't think I can be burned out because I only prep about 4 or 5 days a week, and even then only for maybe 3 or 4 hours a day.

Ultimately, I need some community consensus that I might be overthinking all of this. Am I just burned out and taking a day or two off, even with only maybe 4 more days of actual prep between me and June 10th? Or should I consider waiting until October, even though I will be back in school by then and taking my heaviest course load yet?

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westjr
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Re: Serious help during the final stretch

Postby westjr » Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:15 pm

patfeeney wrote:I really need some last minute advice because I'm beginning to go a little mad and I'm considering dropping out of this ordeal altogether.

I'm scheduled for the June 10th test. Today, I took a practice test (PT 60) which I ended up quitting during the last section. The last game screwed me over and it threw me off for the LR section, so I just threw reading comp out the window and tried to nap.

My scores on PTs have declined from a 170 a month ago to two 164s in a row. I want to keep studying - I really don't want to take this test unless I can anticipate some chance at a 170 or higher - but at the same time my tests have not improved in the slightest. I drill often, I've read two of the Manhattan books and the Powerscore LG bible, and when I do individual sections, a majority of the time I get good scores.

I know it's not an endurance problem on the tests because I've been taking them carefully timed since January. However, on each of these previous PTs I've absolutely screwed up on one or two sections, normally LG or RC, without fail. I go from getting -1 or -2 on every LG drill to a sudden -6 or -7 while testing. RC is somewhat similar, although less steady while drilling.

I don't think I can be burned out because I only prep about 4 or 5 days a week, and even then only for maybe 3 or 4 hours a day.

Ultimately, I need some community consensus that I might be overthinking all of this. Am I just burned out and taking a day or two off, even with only maybe 4 more days of actual prep between me and June 10th? Or should I consider waiting until October, even though I will be back in school by then and taking my heaviest course load yet?


I haven't even taken it a first time yet, so I'm by no means an expert, but it seems like you're psyching yourself out.

Take a couple days off (maybe even 3 or 4), and then take a PT when you've calmed yourself down and can approach the exam without feeling like you're doomed to mess up. Take it with confidence. I find that my highest scores come when I approach the test calmly and confidently. Honestly, this close to the test, you've learned *nearly everything you can learn. The key will be going into the exam with the proper mindset.

You know this stuff, man. You're freaking yourself out. You're gonna make this test your bitch. Maybe you should switch your avatar from Buster to Maeby to get in the zone better.....

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Re: Serious help during the final stretch

Postby Daily_Double » Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:28 pm

What threw you off about the last game? It's just six things assigned to six spots. The way I did it was two rows of three, above the three stories as the base. Doing some basic diagramming we know that G, L, and F/K are in one field, leaving H, J, and F/K in the other field.

Perhaps you're just moving too quickly?

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patfeeney
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Re: Serious help during the final stretch

Postby patfeeney » Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:54 pm

Daily_Double wrote:What threw you off about the last game? It's just six things assigned to six spots. The way I did it was two rows of three, above the three stories as the base. Doing some basic diagramming we know that G, L, and F/K are in one field, leaving H, J, and F/K in the other field.

Perhaps you're just moving too quickly?


I had about 7 minutes left. For some reason I got absolutely stuck on the second question for that game and my mind completely shut off. I could barely even get my eyes to focus on individual words, much less read a sentence, much less understand what the hell the sentence was trying to say.

When the timer went off, I had answered two of the questions and filled in the bubbles for the rest. I immediately erased my work and tried again. I was able to figure it out and answer all of the questions correctly within 5 minutes after letting the timer run.

That psyched me out. Then going into the second LR my nerves were completely shot and I either double-guessed my answers or I made stupid mistakes.

Then I just tried to wing RC without really concentrating.

Daily_Double
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Re: Serious help during the final stretch

Postby Daily_Double » Sun Jun 02, 2013 6:07 pm

Shit man. That would kill me too. All I could suggest is just to remember that the sections even out, theoretically, in difficulty so carrying mental baggage from the previous section is counterproductive but while that all sounds well and good, I'm not sure it would be very easy to do.

MrBlueSky!
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Re: Serious help during the final stretch

Postby MrBlueSky! » Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:26 pm

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Last edited by MrBlueSky! on Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Clearly
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Re: Serious help during the final stretch

Postby Clearly » Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:40 pm

Hate to say it, but you might be better off waiting till Oct. If you want to really expect a 170+ in June, your last 10 PTs should all be 170+. Many people find themselves disappointed by getting a score reflective of their current ability, and right now, it doesn't seem like you're in consistent 170-land just yet. Keep working, take a few more PTs, and consider withdrawing if you're not happy with the results. You can cancel up till midnight before the test.

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patfeeney
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Re: Serious help during the final stretch

Postby patfeeney » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:06 pm

Clearlynotstefan wrote:Hate to say it, but you might be better off waiting till Oct. If you want to really expect a 170+ in June, your last 10 PTs should all be 170+. Many people find themselves disappointed by getting a score reflective of their current ability, and right now, it doesn't seem like you're in consistent 170-land just yet. Keep working, take a few more PTs, and consider withdrawing if you're not happy with the results. You can cancel up till midnight before the test.


I think I'm going to wait until Tuesday, then do another test.

Let's say I take it and I get a 168-169. Would that be so bad that, if I were to retake the test, my application would be hindered? In other words, would it be better to take it if I could definitely get a 168-169 and then retake it in October, or better to cancel it then take it in October?
I feel like I should wait, but at the same time I'll be back in school come the end of August and I surely won't get any effective prep in during that month and a half.

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sublime
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Re: Serious help during the final stretch

Postby sublime » Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:55 pm

..

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alexrodriguez
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Re: Serious help during the final stretch

Postby alexrodriguez » Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:24 am

Bro. I think it would be a mistake to take it this June. You don't sound confident enough. With your upcoming schedule I think it would be a mistake to take it in October also. I say wait till 2014.

I'm guessing you are still in undergrad? Don't rush this process. Slow and steady wins the race.

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patfeeney
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Re: Serious help during the final stretch

Postby patfeeney » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:04 am

louierodriguez wrote:Bro. I think it would be a mistake to take it this June. You don't sound confident enough. With your upcoming schedule I think it would be a mistake to take it in October also. I say wait till 2014.

I'm guessing you are still in undergrad? Don't rush this process. Slow and steady wins the race.


That's what I'm thinking.

At the same time, I picked a shitty double-major that's probably not going to get me a job anytime soon, and I'm not sure if I could reasonably expect myself to spend a year working part-time after graduation without going insane. I've also used almost all of the prep materials I could expect to find, so any studying for a re-take might not be effective.

RodneyRuxin
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Re: Serious help during the final stretch

Postby RodneyRuxin » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:11 am

SLOW DOWN. This is a result of burnout. Stop stressing out about them (I know it's hard) and your scores will go back up.

MrBlueSky!
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Re: Serious help during the final stretch

Postby MrBlueSky! » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:28 am

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Last edited by MrBlueSky! on Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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patfeeney
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Re: Serious help during the final stretch

Postby patfeeney » Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:32 pm

MrBlueSky! wrote: I believe you need to take a confident and well rested attempt this June. Relax and channel in your confidence from knowing you've done everything right up to this point. Don't over think or over kill by assuming your not perfect. Failing to take June would be kicking the can down the road.

It sounds like you are at best a College Junior, meaning, you have have time to (continue to) develop a strong candidacy for admission, unless you insist on going straight into LS from undergrad (whole new conversation). But in point, you have time to officially sit this June, see how it goes, see where you are, give your best confident effort, and go from there.

Otherwise, you will continue to seek this 174-175 practice test mark (assuming you fall under the "most people drop 5 on game day") and may never actually take the official test.

*Research where you want to go and what taking multiple tests does to your chances of admission too. But know having a good official test score lasts 5 years. Whereas you can't even begin the law school admission conversation without an official LSAT, practice test averages don't give you that freedom.


I may be mistaken, but I feel like I'd be one of those people who wouldn't drop substantially during test day. I tend to work better when actually under the pressure than not. I have a long history of performance/ theater, and normally when I have an audience I tend to get my shit together. I've also been studying since January under the strictest conditions I could possibly forge, so we'll see how either of those affect my performance.

I just took PT 61. I got a 165, but I've realized why I got a 165 and I've come up with a strategy to help me before next Monday.

I'll sit through the test. If I feel I really did awful, I'll cancel. If not, we'll see. Hopefully getting a 165 or a 166 won't affect my chances at UPenn or Cornell if I decide to retake.

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Re: Serious help during the final stretch

Postby MrBlueSky! » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:15 pm

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Last edited by MrBlueSky! on Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Clearly
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Re: Serious help during the final stretch

Postby Clearly » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:17 pm

I'm just going to say this. You have gotten some bad advice in this thread.

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patfeeney
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Re: Serious help during the final stretch

Postby patfeeney » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:26 pm

MrBlueSky! wrote:
patfeeney wrote:I just took PT 61. I got a 165, but I've realized why I got a 165 and I've come up with a strategy to help me before next Monday.

I'll sit through the test. If I feel I really did awful, I'll cancel. If not, we'll see. Hopefully getting a 165 or a 166 won't affect my chances at UPenn or Cornell if I decide to retake.



I almost took 61 today, and realized, why not take 66-68 until test day- do you have access to those? If so take those instead, why not right?

...What strategy did you come up with? I just took PT65 today and realized, repeatedly affirming "dont let perfect be enemy of good" and thus not taking down a cup of coffee before PTing.


Well, my two major weaknesses currently seem to be that
1) I haven't seriously drilled LG in weeks so my endurance with LG sections has dropped; I'm capable of -0 but, having not done enough such sections in the past few weeks, I run out of steam when PTing, so drilling some LG sections exclusively might be useful.
2) I read through Manhattan's RC book and, although extremely helpful, I've been drilling RC so hard these past few weeks (my weakest section) that I'm beginning to burn out tremendously on it. Tonight I managed to get both a -8 and a -2 on two separate sections. I think I know what I need to know, but I'm brain-dead from so many passages (Maybe 20-30 sections in the past two weeks).

So going back to drilling LG and spacing myself from RC for a little while, perhaps until test day, might be of most benefit. I'm going to try to drill my weakest LR sections as well in between LG sections to strengthen that a bit.
If I could increase my total score by even two points by Monday, I would be pleased. It's a stretch, but we'll see.

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patfeeney
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Re: Serious help during the final stretch

Postby patfeeney » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:29 pm

Clearlynotstefan wrote:I'm just going to say this. You have gotten some bad advice in this thread.


Maybe, but MrBlueSky! is right, at the very least, in that I should probably sit through the test so, if I need to retake, I know what I'll be sitting through. Currently, I still don't quite know what the testing environment's going to feel like. Will I feel more or less rushed than I do with PTs? Will I get super-nervous working with a bunch of other people? I can cancel my score if I really think I did awful, but right now, I think I'm not on the worst track.

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Clearly
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Re: Serious help during the final stretch

Postby Clearly » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:40 pm

You should sit for the test when you are consistently scoring above your expectations. Realize that the curve gets very tight up there, and to jump from 165 to 170 means getting 7 more questions right, when you're only getting 18 wrong. You need to get basically 30% better. The test-day-experience argument is a stretch. Ask anyone who's retaken and done well, and they will tell you they have at least some concern for having retaken, and would prefer they just had their retake score. If you aren't consistently where you need to be, you need to pay serious thought to pushing the admin back.

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patfeeney
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Re: Serious help during the final stretch

Postby patfeeney » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:42 pm

Clearlynotstefan wrote:You should sit for the test when you are consistently scoring above your expectations. Realize that the curve gets very tight up there, and to jump from 165 to 170 means getting 7 more questions right, when you're only getting 18 wrong. You need to get basically 30% better. The test-day-experience argument is a stretch. Ask anyone who's retaken and done well, and they will tell you they have at least some concern for having retaken, and would prefer they just had their retake score. If you aren't consistently where you need to be, you need to pay serious thought to pushing the admin back.


I have one more PT on Thursday. If I'm too low then, I'll push back.

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Clearly
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Re: Serious help during the final stretch

Postby Clearly » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:54 pm

patfeeney wrote:
Clearlynotstefan wrote:You should sit for the test when you are consistently scoring above your expectations. Realize that the curve gets very tight up there, and to jump from 165 to 170 means getting 7 more questions right, when you're only getting 18 wrong. You need to get basically 30% better. The test-day-experience argument is a stretch. Ask anyone who's retaken and done well, and they will tell you they have at least some concern for having retaken, and would prefer they just had their retake score. If you aren't consistently where you need to be, you need to pay serious thought to pushing the admin back.


I have one more PT on Thursday. If I'm too low then, I'll push back.

I'm not saying you should or shouldn't, just be open to it, because using your first take before you are really ready is dumb. I know because I did it myself. Test room experience is nonsense. Having to worry about a retake score, schools averaging etc is real. Choking on your retake, and only having one more test to get it right: do or die, is real. Also, read into who's advice you take, you see a lot of advice around here from people that haven't actually taken the LSAT yet.

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patfeeney
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Re: Serious help during the final stretch

Postby patfeeney » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:04 am

Clearlynotstefan wrote:I'm not saying you should or shouldn't, just be open to it, because using your first take before you are really ready is dumb. I know because I did it myself. Test room experience is nonsense. Having to worry about a retake score, schools averaging etc is real. Choking on your retake, and only having one more test to get it right: do or die, is real. Also, read into who's advice you take, you see a lot of advice around here from people that haven't actually taken the LSAT yet.


Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately, I get lots of pressure even from people who have nothing to do with it.
Ideally, I'd wait, and come Thursday, I'll know for sure.

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Clearly
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Re: Serious help during the final stretch

Postby Clearly » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:07 am

patfeeney wrote:
Clearlynotstefan wrote:I'm not saying you should or shouldn't, just be open to it, because using your first take before you are really ready is dumb. I know because I did it myself. Test room experience is nonsense. Having to worry about a retake score, schools averaging etc is real. Choking on your retake, and only having one more test to get it right: do or die, is real. Also, read into who's advice you take, you see a lot of advice around here from people that haven't actually taken the LSAT yet.


Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately, I get lots of pressure even from people who have nothing to do with it.
Ideally, I'd wait, and come Thursday, I'll know for sure.

I had the same pressure, and opted to go for it...regretted it. Now I have to explain a significant jump on a retake, and worry if they think my true ability is in the middle.

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patfeeney
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Re: Serious help during the final stretch

Postby patfeeney » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:10 am

Clearlynotstefan wrote:
patfeeney wrote:
Clearlynotstefan wrote:I'm not saying you should or shouldn't, just be open to it, because using your first take before you are really ready is dumb. I know because I did it myself. Test room experience is nonsense. Having to worry about a retake score, schools averaging etc is real. Choking on your retake, and only having one more test to get it right: do or die, is real. Also, read into who's advice you take, you see a lot of advice around here from people that haven't actually taken the LSAT yet.


Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately, I get lots of pressure even from people who have nothing to do with it.
Ideally, I'd wait, and come Thursday, I'll know for sure.

I had the same pressure, and opted to go for it...regretted it. Now I have to explain a significant jump on a retake, and worry if they think my true ability is in the middle.


I mean, my fear is that I'll take the October test, study three months, and then have relatively little or no progress. How long did you wait between tests, and what was your score difference?

Of course, now that I think about it, the only loss I'll have is $160. Who knows, maybe an October test will me a colder testing room and therefore better conditions.

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davyboy
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Re: Serious help during the final stretch

Postby davyboy » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:37 pm

I work full time so on weekends I typically hammer out a 6 section exam on Saturday and then Sunday.

My scores have been dropping.

I took a few days off, and then left work early one day, wrote an exam last week and my score jumped back up into it's normal range.

Honestly, burn out is a real thing. Your mind is a muscle.




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