Tips for controlling nerves on retake?

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PotenC
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Tips for controlling nerves on retake?

Postby PotenC » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:18 am

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DaRascal
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Re: Tips for controlling nerves on retake?

Postby DaRascal » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:30 am

I was so nervous the first time I took the LSAT. I tried to fool myself into believing I was confident but then when the test started I had that blackout thing happen for about the first minute and a half lol.
I think the best thing to do is to just slow it down and not worry yourself about things you can't control (e.g. "Oh I need this score to make law school worthwhile" or "I hope there aren't two reading comprehension sections" etc)

Daily_Double
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Re: Tips for controlling nerves on retake?

Postby Daily_Double » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:48 am

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PotenC
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Re: Tips for controlling nerves on retake?

Postby PotenC » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:09 am

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Daily_Double
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Re: Tips for controlling nerves on retake?

Postby Daily_Double » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:12 am

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PotenC
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Re: Tips for controlling nerves on retake?

Postby PotenC » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:16 am

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NoWorries
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Re: Tips for controlling nerves on retake?

Postby NoWorries » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:22 am

I was practicing in the high 170's a month before the test but dipped down to a huge range (think 170-180) a few weeks before the test. I went into the test completely questioning whether I would reach my original goal (173). I am usually a very relaxed individual who does well on tests but the night before I couldn't sleep. Maybe got an hour but around 8 I checked my phone and fucking lost it. I am one of those people who is essentially a zombie when I get less than 6 hours of sleep. But this was the biggest test of my life and the adrenaline was flowing. I had built up a sleep bank and believed that plus my adrenaline could get me through the next 8 hours. My instant reaction was to freak out at the fact that I had barely slept the night before the LSAT but calming myself was the key. During the test I felt amazing after the first 3 sections but the real RC hurt me. Fortunately, I was able to ignore all questions as soon as I finished them. I hit my score (maybe with a bit of luck) and I can't help but think it was about my mindset. SOMETHING WILL GO WRONG on test day but if you treat each question individually you will be fine. You need to have the mindset of a MLB player during this test. There are a shitload of games (questions) during the test and you CANNOT let the last game influence any in the future.

Also, a lack of sleep will not necessarily ruin you.

NoWorries
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Re: Tips for controlling nerves on retake?

Postby NoWorries » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:26 am

PotenC wrote:Hey Daily Double, I think our situations are very much alike, including PT history, albeit I did not even break 170 on test day and scored a 167. I thought much too much DURING THE TEST about how much was on the line and how I needed to do well first try. Between now and October, I have to work on having a clear head come test day above all else.


Yeah you absolutely cannot think about the implications of the test during the test. It is just like the PT's and you are trying to hit your max score.


BTW, do not worry about bubbling/the proctor or any other minor issue. Bubbling is not an issue at all (because the machine is very advanced and you can always do hand scored) and most proctors are pretty relaxed. Before the test we hype everything up in our brains but in reality it is just a PT with a scheduled location.

Daily_Double
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Re: Tips for controlling nerves on retake?

Postby Daily_Double » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:30 am

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Tips for controlling nerves on retake?

Postby crumpetsandtea » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:42 am

Don't do anything a week before the test and go in there HUNGRY, like "God damn I haven't done a test in a while, I can't wait to KILL IT." Work out before your test. Follow your everyday structure so it feels routine. Bring along something that has a smell that calms you down (I brought an orange).

But honestly the best way to control nerves is to feel prepared. SO leave no stone unturned.

edwardt1988
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Re: Tips for controlling nerves on retake?

Postby edwardt1988 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:10 am

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jya300
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Re: Tips for controlling nerves on retake?

Postby jya300 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:44 am

My friend and I both took 2012 October LSAT, and we both scored 169.
He retook it in February and I took the June one. We each ended up with 176 and 177.

I think taking the LSAT for the first time can be really nerve racking for many people.
The first time I took it, I just blanked out in the beginning and got even easy questions wrong.
The second time, I was in the same test center, I knew where I would go and what would happen, and I was just much more relaxed/calm in general.
So just having the experience and being familiar with the real test situation will probably already help you when you retake.

But, also, my friend and I kept drilling and PTing, reusing our tests, and that probably helped a lot.
Especially, I really focused on the recent ones (PT60-69) and did almost all of them 3 times.
When you go back to old PTs that you already did, sometimes you can look at it with a whole new perspective.
At some point, many of the questions I got wrong before suddenly made much more sense, and that gave me better strategies to attack difficult questions. So stay diligent.

Also, get used to distractions.
Personally, I do much better when I'm alone, sitting in my room in pajamas at night. (which is how I prepped for the first time)
Clearly, that is not going to be the test day condition.
I got a study partner in order to get used to doing PTs with someone around, I PTed every week with her in a different classroom, at the same time the June test was going to start. We also used the LSAT proctor dvd (you can get it on amazon) that had distractions (coughs, talking people, car noises....)
Hope that helped-

LDVM4334
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Re: Tips for controlling nerves on retake?

Postby LDVM4334 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:27 am

As far as advice goes, just ignore it. Every situation is different.

If you genuinely find yourself overcome by anxiety on a regular basis, get a small prescription of propranolol. Google it if you want to know what it is.

As far as me, I re-took for the 4th time in June (first test in 2 years, 2nd in the last 4, 1st was June 2009/dinosaurs). Went RC(Exp)-LR-LG-RC-LR. Felt pretty good through the first 90% of the test.

Bombed the last 10%. Missed 6 of the last 8, and I knew it. Once I confirmed it, I canceled.

My ex-GF, who was re-taking a 162, who literally took 1 practice test between her last exam (Feb 13) and this one, got a 173 on test day.

I'm very happy for her, but it makes me feel like complete shit. Even though anecdotal evidence is worthless, it's depressing to know that despite PT'ing at 172+ on a consistent basis, I haven't been able to score there, while a person who hasn't consistently scored there randomly scores there on test day.

I'll be re-taking on October, again. I'll do the Manhattan LSAT books this time, just for comfort's sake, even though I know it's my nerves and not my abilities that fucked me.

I wish you far better luck OP, and I'm sorry for hijacking your thread for my catharsis.

If you really do find that nerves are your obstacle, there are ways to overcome that, though none are foolproof, and it's nearly impossible to test what does and doesn't work before the day of the exam.

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PotenC
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Re: Tips for controlling nerves on retake?

Postby PotenC » Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:30 pm

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mindarmed
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Re: Tips for controlling nerves on retake?

Postby mindarmed » Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:34 pm

go hangout with your friends, do something to get your mind off the LSAT the week before. if you have an SO invite her over. just have some human interaction it's the natural stress reliever

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RuleSubstitution
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Re: Tips for controlling nerves on retake?

Postby RuleSubstitution » Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:27 pm

LSAT performance psychologists would have a prosperous niche to fill of they existed (do they?). I underperformed in June. I couldn't bounce back fron a distraction. I ended up with low 160s score. I was scoring in the 167- 170 range on prep tests the two weeks before. My final prep test was 173 on the Thurs before. Any way, June was my third take. I can't seem to perform on test day. I went through the test and honestly can't believe I missed most of what I did. Would someone like me have to score in the 178-180 range to get a 170 on the real thing? Does anyone believe in the "not a good test taker" myth here? Have there been any success stories on TLS of three or more retakes that result in 10 or more pts above prior scores (low 160s to 170s)? Thank you!

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RuleSubstitution
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Re: Tips for controlling nerves on retake?

Postby RuleSubstitution » Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:35 pm

Good luck to you. It's weird how the mind responds to perceptual attack. There is so much weight on this test. I wonder how common 5-10 pt drops from ptest scores really are? I don't imagine very promising data on this subject exist.

LDVM4334 wrote:As far as advice goes, just ignore it. Every situation is different.

If you genuinely find yourself overcome by anxiety on a regular basis, get a small prescription of propranolol. Google it if you want to know what it is.

As far as me, I re-took for the 4th time in June (first test in 2 years, 2nd in the last 4, 1st was June 2009/dinosaurs). Went RC(Exp)-LR-LG-RC-LR. Felt pretty good through the first 90% of the test.

Bombed the last 10%. Missed 6 of the last 8, and I knew it. Once I confirmed it, I canceled.

My ex-GF, who was re-taking a 162, who literally took 1 practice test between her last exam (Feb 13) and this one, got a 173 on test day.

I'm very happy for her, but it makes me feel like complete shit. Even though anecdotal evidence is worthless, it's depressing to know that despite PT'ing at 172+ on a consistent basis, I haven't been able to score there, while a person who hasn't consistently scored there randomly scores there on test day.

I'll be re-taking on October, again. I'll do the Manhattan LSAT books this time, just for comfort's sake, even though I know it's my nerves and not my abilities that fucked me.

I wish you far better luck OP, and I'm sorry for hijacking your thread for my catharsis.

If you really do find that nerves are your obstacle, there are ways to overcome that, though none are foolproof, and it's nearly impossible to test what does and doesn't work before the day of the exam.

magickware
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Re: Tips for controlling nerves on retake?

Postby magickware » Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:29 pm

RuleSubstitution wrote:Good luck to you. It's weird how the mind responds to perceptual attack. There is so much weight on this test. I wonder how common 5-10 pt drops from ptest scores really are? I don't imagine very promising data on this subject exist.


Here's some more anecdotal evidence.

I was PTing between 165-168 when I took my first test back in Oct 2012. I got a 163 on the real thing.
I was PTing between 170-173 when I did a Feb. retake. I got a 163 on the real thing.
I was PTing between 170-177 when I was prepping for a June retake. I got a 165 on a PT that I saw before on the Sat before the test. I panicked and cancelled.

Nerves fucking your over is a very real thing on this test. In fact, I would argue that it is the only real factor once you're in the 170+ range.




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