Dealing with Test Anxiety

cnl177
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Dealing with Test Anxiety

Postby cnl177 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:56 pm

So I am currently taking an course in preparation for the December LSAT. My blind diagnostic score was a 153 (last year) and during the my first practice in my course, I got a 160 (after not having looked at an LSAT problem in months). In the past couple of weeks, I have got much better at answering the questions in most sections and learned a lot of test tricks. If I take an un timed LSAT, ill get in the low 170's and I don't even think it takes me much longer than 35 mins per section.

However, in the last two weeks, I have fallen apart doing timed practice tests in my class. It feels like I forget everything I learn as soon as the timer start. I can't think about the questions clearly and just stop caring because I know i'm messing them up. This is not just in the last few minutes of each section, but throughout the entire test. My scores in last week was slightly lower than my blind diag (even though I have gotten better at the test when not timed).

If I get this feeling during the pt's, I can't imagine what the real thing will be like. I'm sure my case is not unique. Has anyone else had similar problems with test anxiety and found ways to cope with it?

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PourMeTea
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heythatslife
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Re: Dealing with Test Anxiety

Postby heythatslife » Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:25 pm

cnl177 wrote:If I take an un timed LSAT, ill get in the low 170's and I don't even think it takes me much longer than 35 mins per section.

However, in the last two weeks, I have fallen apart doing timed practice tests in my class. It feels like I forget everything I learn as soon as the timer start.


Your problem isn't really test anxiety, per se. That term is reserved for those who do everything they can to prepare but still fall apart on the actual exam day because of the anxiety caused by the knowledge that so much depends on their performance on this test.

In your case, it's just that you haven't taken enough timed PTs, and you haven't learned to think under those conditions. So the remedy is simple - go do more timed PTs, at least 20-30 of them.

cnl177
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Re: Dealing with Test Anxiety

Postby cnl177 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:25 pm

heythatslife wrote:
cnl177 wrote:If I take an un timed LSAT, ill get in the low 170's and I don't even think it takes me much longer than 35 mins per section.

However, in the last two weeks, I have fallen apart doing timed practice tests in my class. It feels like I forget everything I learn as soon as the timer start.


Your problem isn't really test anxiety, per se. That term is reserved for those who do everything they can to prepare but still fall apart on the actual exam day because of the anxiety caused by the knowledge that so much depends on their performance on this test.

In your case, it's just that you haven't taken enough timed PTs, and you haven't learned to think under those conditions. So the remedy is simple - go do more timed PTs, at least 20-30 of them.



I will definitely do more PT's, but does not really explain why i'm doing worse than when I started studying. Is that common?

dosto
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Re: Dealing with Test Anxiety

Postby dosto » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:33 pm

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edwardt1988
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Re: Dealing with Test Anxiety

Postby edwardt1988 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:23 pm

heythatslife wrote:
cnl177 wrote:If I take an un timed LSAT, ill get in the low 170's and I don't even think it takes me much longer than 35 mins per section.

However, in the last two weeks, I have fallen apart doing timed practice tests in my class. It feels like I forget everything I learn as soon as the timer start.


Your problem isn't really test anxiety, per se. That term is reserved for those who do everything they can to prepare but still fall apart on the actual exam day because of the anxiety caused by the knowledge that so much depends on their performance on this test.
In your case, it's just that you haven't taken enough timed PTs, and you haven't learned to think under those conditions. So the remedy is simple - go do more timed PTs, at least 20-30 of them.


This is correct. I had a huge problem with that. When I finally found a way to deal with it, I scored 11 points higher on the test

cnl177
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Re: Dealing with Test Anxiety

Postby cnl177 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:43 pm

edwardt1988 wrote:
heythatslife wrote:
cnl177 wrote:If I take an un timed LSAT, ill get in the low 170's and I don't even think it takes me much longer than 35 mins per section.

However, in the last two weeks, I have fallen apart doing timed practice tests in my class. It feels like I forget everything I learn as soon as the timer start.


Your problem isn't really test anxiety, per se. That term is reserved for those who do everything they can to prepare but still fall apart on the actual exam day because of the anxiety caused by the knowledge that so much depends on their performance on this test.
In your case, it's just that you haven't taken enough timed PTs, and you haven't learned to think under those conditions. So the remedy is simple - go do more timed PTs, at least 20-30 of them.


This is correct. I had a huge problem with that. When I finally found a way to deal with it, I scored 11 points higher on the test


20-30 PT's might be tough in less than a month and working full time. I initially wanted to take it right after my class, but is it worth waiting till Feb?

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heythatslife
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Re: Dealing with Test Anxiety

Postby heythatslife » Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:00 am

If you absolutely must apply this cycle then take as many timed PTs as possible before the December test. But if you intend to or are able to apply in the next cycle, then I recommend waiting until the Feb test and working on your timed PTs.

IMHO, once you get to a certain level, 2/3 of scoring highly on the LSAT is about timing (and performance under time pressure) so you really wanna have this issue fixed beforehand, especially since this will be your third sitting.

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Jeffort
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Re: Dealing with Test Anxiety

Postby Jeffort » Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:36 am

cnl177 wrote:
edwardt1988 wrote:
heythatslife wrote:
cnl177 wrote:If I take an un timed LSAT, ill get in the low 170's and I don't even think it takes me much longer than 35 mins per section.

However, in the last two weeks, I have fallen apart doing timed practice tests in my class. It feels like I forget everything I learn as soon as the timer start.


Your problem isn't really test anxiety, per se. That term is reserved for those who do everything they can to prepare but still fall apart on the actual exam day because of the anxiety caused by the knowledge that so much depends on their performance on this test.
In your case, it's just that you haven't taken enough timed PTs, and you haven't learned to think under those conditions. So the remedy is simple - go do more timed PTs, at least 20-30 of them.


This is correct. I had a huge problem with that. When I finally found a way to deal with it, I scored 11 points higher on the test


20-30 PT's might be tough in less than a month and working full time. I initially wanted to take it right after my class, but is it worth waiting till Feb?


How many timed PTs have you taken in the last week or two? If you are talking about just 2 or 3 total, a lot of it is probably just getting used to working questions at a faster pace under the time pressure since you hadn't been doing timed practice before except for one diag. It takes a few full timed tests to get more settled into remembering to make sure to do all the same steps to solve questions that you normally do when untimed. You just need to think about the steps and follow them when timed and don't let the time pressure cause you to deviate from your normal strategies. It takes a good amount of practice tests to get all the steps worked into a faster test day pace, but 3 weeks can be enough to get used to the timing if you do a few a week and also carefully review mistakes to make corrections test by test to your approach.

Try it and see how far it gets you with a few more PTs. If you aren't scoring where you want by day before the test, you can just withdraw your registration and take it later so you have nothing to lose by pushing forward under the assumption you are taking the Dec test.

Careful review of everything that went wrong with each PT is crucial so that you consciously adjust your approach on the next one to prevent making the same mistakes again, which at this point is probably just failing to follow the proper steps of analysis and instead bouncing around in a disorganized thought process way.

If your untimed performance and accuracy is legitimately what you say it is, your timed performance should not be drastically different after a few practice tests and you reminding yourself to follow all the steps and procedures for each question when doing timed sections even though the time pressure tells you to skip steps to move faster. Moving faster at the expense of points is stupid so don't let the time pressure alter the logical steps of analysis you take to solve each question.




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