Consistently touching 169-170, less than a month to go

Borscht is Best
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Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 9:23 am

Consistently touching 169-170, less than a month to go

Postby Borscht is Best » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:36 am

I'm planning to take the December test, and I'm wondering how to crawl my way to the 170+ range.

Looking back on October, I've really buckled down on reading comp this month, to the point where I'm scoring ~ -2 on the RC section. (I've done every RC section from prep tests 1-38 at least twice.)

Now I'm at prep test 58, still got ~10 saved up. Logical reasoning is more or less the same, I get stumped on maybe 1-2 questions a section (but usually able to knock off 2-3 wrong answer choices). Sometimes I make stupid mistakes while zipping though 1-10. Usually end up with -3 to -4 per section

What's surprised me are the logic games. When I was prepping before the 50s, the games were such jokes that I could finish each section with 10 minutes to spare, consistently scoring -0 or -1. But ever since PT 54 or so, the games have gotten significantly more time consuming (wouldn't say harder), and now I'm hitting -2 to -3.

What should I do with this last month? I'm thinking of taking 2 PTs a week, maybe save 68-69 in case I have to retake. How should I improve my logic games this late in the game? How about LR?

I don't want to peak yet! I've jumped from 148 already, I just want those few extra points!

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Re: Consistently touching 169-170, less than a month to go

Postby Jeffort » Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:21 am

Analyze every question you get wrong on PTs in excruciating detail to pin point exactly what happened when you attempted the question that led to an incorrect answer and deciding against the correct answer. Make a list of all your errors, even each silly mistake like overlooking the word 'no' or 'not' and keep a running list of all errors from all PTs. The list is important so you can keep track of your errors, see which ones you make more/less frequently and track progress of fixing known weaknesses. For some silly reason most people don't keep lists of their errors to keep track of what to pay attention to to get better, and instead mainly just keep track of scores and things that went well since that's the happy feel good part, not the time evaluating ways that you still suck and dumb things you thought and did you'd rather forget.

I mean extreme detailed analysis of your entire mental step by step thought process you went through from start to finish when you worked the question and got it wrong, not just what you thought when you made your final selection. You must take a look at your entire process to find the little weak links/mistakes that are costing you points, and then make changes/adjustments to your processes to prevent those mistakes, and keep doing that over and over until you get down to zero mistakes per PT. Even though selecting a wrong answer and having a flawed reason for picking it is clearly the main mistake, your true error/flaw is usually somewhere earlier in the process of getting to and evaluating the answer choices that resulted in you having a bad reason in mind that got you to pick a trap or whatever. Must dig deeper into how you attacked the question to figure out errors in your approach that lead to a misunderstanding of something/incorrect perspective, not just look at final answer decision making errors in terms of what made you go with say (A) instead of (B) when you had it down to those two.

Most of the mistakes people make that keep them just below 170 are procedural errors rather than conceptual problems, meaning that the wrong answers are usually due to deviating slightly from doing all the steps in the proper order that you know you should and normally do, but for some reason slightly deviated from for certain questions. Sometimes people miss questions because they skipped analysis steps just to save time due to time pressure and because they were feeling a little too confident about a question so eased up a bit and got a little sloppy/lazy in the full analysis leading to final selection. Figure out how timing is affecting you in terms of going through the proper analysis steps in order methodically. Evaluate whether you half-assed or messed up the steps of analysis for the Qs you get wrong, I bet the answer for most will be yes if you take a close look.

That is mainly how you go from high 160s to 170+, tons of detailed slow motion review of everything that happen while taking each PT. You must do this type of review right after you take a test in order to remember your thought process and figure out what went wrong/how you could have done things better with certain questions.

It's really just about this, figuring out your errors of the day, taking steps not to make those the next day, then seeing what mistakes you make the next day, try to fix those, repeat. If you don't change anything about your habits or processes after taking each PT and trying to learn from your mistakes, you will not improve and will just keep getting around the same score since you keep doing everything the same ways.

Habits and processes need to change in order to further boost your score, not a lot, but in some ways you need to figure out, which is what the slow motion detailed review is for.

Borscht is Best
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 9:23 am

Re: Consistently touching 169-170, less than a month to go

Postby Borscht is Best » Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:33 pm

Thanks for the help Jeffort! That's some good advice.

Now back to the grind!

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