What to do with two weeks left?

sprewell88
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:11 pm

What to do with two weeks left?

Postby sprewell88 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:47 pm

I need advice on what to do in the 16 days left until test day to maximize my chances at attaining my desired score. I would like a 173+ (99th percentile) but a 170 would be OK.

So, here is the deal. I started studying in July, but only really buckled down in August due to an insane summer course load (18 credits) and a full time job. My diagnostic back in July was a 152. I wasted a few weeks thinking I could get something useful out of the Princeton Review, saw that my scores were not increasing much at all and then bought the Powerscore series, which has helped tremendously. I studied the whole three books in a little less than a week at the beginning of August and started taking full-length practice tests, about two or three a week. My scores on PT's 20-35 (did like seven of these) increased slowly but steadily, until I was scoring regularly in the 165 range. End of August, on PT 40 I got a 171. Having more than a month to go I think I relaxed a little too much, and my scores have gone down since then. In the last two-three weeks I have been spending tremendous amounts of time studying, but I am not getting any better. My PTs in the 50's have been around 164-168. I am doing about five or six full length tests a week lately. Today, PT 59 I scored a 156. WTF.

I need help figuring out where to go from here. I think it is obvious that I am taking too many tests and getting burnt out. So I have not done anything since I finished my PT today and I will do NOTHING tomorrow. I also need to review a couple PTs from this past week, and I should not only look at the questions I got wrong but also, on the questions where I was deciding between two answers, review why it was the correct answer. At first LG was my biggest problem (only got like 10 right my diagnostic) but now I am scoring consistently -1 or -2 at worst. I see that RC is much harder in the 50s, and TLS users seem to agree, so perhaps review and practice might just do it? A review of Powerscore perhaps? What I cannot understand is what is happening with LR. My scores are tremendously inconsistent. Today I had a -10 section, but I have also had -1 sections and -4 for entire tests on numerous occasions. For example, on PT 54 I had -8 for the first section and -2 for the second. A few days ago I saw that speed was a problem, so I collected around six old LR sections and drillled myself for hours, doing them as fast as I could. I would do series of 10 questions, one question a minute max (average around 45 seconds), and after ten sets of ten questions with hardly a break at all I had 92% correct (which translates to about -2 per LR section, LSAT type). How can I be that accurate at that speed and then get a -10 today?!?!?!?! Also, a very odd thing. On my first ten or fifteen PTs, weaken questions were not even close to a problem, yet recently I am correctly finding only about 50 % of them.

I am thinking I should do a PT every other day, with a full review and Powerscore reviews on the kind of LR questions I am having most difficulty with. Also, I know it is late in the game, but I am considering doing a few hours with a tutor, as they could definitely give me a few pointers. In the meantime, any help you guys could give me would be much appreciated, thanks!

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crestor
Posts: 324
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:37 am

Re: What to do with two weeks left?

Postby crestor » Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:50 pm

i for one am reviewing 3-4 hours and then drinking in the evening.

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Jeffort
Posts: 1897
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:43 pm

Re: What to do with two weeks left?

Postby Jeffort » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:51 pm

OP, significant fluctuations in LR scores over a short period of time typically indicates that the person is not always sticking to applying the same full set of systematic steps of appropriate analysis and techniques consistently to each question, meaning that on bad LR days you probably skipped steps/half-assed the analysis or did the analysis differently than usual for some of the questions in the sections, thus leading to mistakes. If it wasn't that then it probably was fatigue/burnout that caused you to not fully/properly comprehend/understand/process certain things in each of the questions you missed.

Since you have been able to achieve some high scores, you need to make sure you are doing all the same steps of analysis on new tests that you did on tests you score high on since the way you took those worked. Figure out what you did differently on the tests where you scored lower so that you can prevent making the same mistake(s) again.

A common problem is that once you start consistently hitting high PT scores it becomes easy to get over confident in your abilities causing you to get a little bit lazy in the analysis on later tests. This overconfidence can lead to skipping over analysis steps to short-cut a few questions for time saving purposes cuz you are a little bit too confident about an answer choice before going through all the double checking things steps essential for navigating the hard questions successfully and for avoiding really good trap answers. When you ease up even just a little bit with how thoroughly you analyze before making each final selection it makes you more vulnerable to selecting trap answers, I suspect some of this happened to you with that outlier lower score.

rdelaney
Posts: 122
Joined: Mon May 20, 2013 12:28 am

Re: What to do with two weeks left?

Postby rdelaney » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:24 pm

I'm right there with you, I am doing ok on my RC and my LG...but my LR is KILLING my potential score.

I'm drilling LR for a week and then going back to PT's starting next week...hopefully this will get me ahead a couple points I need to boost my score.

Good luck man! We can do it!

bp shinners
Posts: 3091
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: What to do with two weeks left?

Postby bp shinners » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:39 pm

Jeffort wrote:OP, significant fluctuations in LR scores over a short period of time typically indicates that the person is not always sticking to applying the same full set of systematic steps of appropriate analysis and techniques consistently to each question, meaning that on bad LR days you probably skipped steps/half-assed the analysis or did the analysis differently than usual for some of the questions in the sections, thus leading to mistakes. If it wasn't that then it probably was fatigue/burnout that caused you to not fully/properly comprehend/understand/process certain things in each of the questions you missed.


Quoted for brilliance. Everything else he said was good, too.

sprewell88
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:11 pm

Re: What to do with two weeks left?

Postby sprewell88 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:59 pm

jeffort-thanks, you nailed it. That is exactly what it was. Not putting the right effort when down to two answers or carelessly dismissing an answer choice before really considering it.

I have been going over LR bible and it has helped me refresh my memory about a few tricks I had forgotten about. I am doing another PT tomorrow, having not done one the last two days should help a lot, as well as being mindful of applying everything I know to every single question.

Thanks for the advice.

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gelato
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:57 pm

Re: What to do with two weeks left?

Postby gelato » Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:07 am

I'm going to try going about it like this as well - thanks! Hope this helps :)




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