LSAT Anxiety...

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jw316
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Re: LSAT Anxiety...But Not That Kind (Begging for Help!)

Postby jw316 » Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:34 pm

Hey guys I just took and scored PT 50, about to take a lil break and spend the rest of the evening reviewing and figuring out where to go from here.

I scored a 165 (-5 RC, -4 LR, -4 LG, -3 LR, total of -16).

**In terms of timing there was some stuff I noticed:

RC: I noticed that I finished with 5:00 left in RC and should've reviewed AC's with that leftover time but I didn't really know where to start.
- Missed one in the first passage, one in the second, two in the third, one in the fourth.

LR1: First LR section I marked where I was at time and needed another few mins to do the last 3 questions in the section. However I also noticed and marked how at least one of the questions in 1-10 tripped me up for quite a few mins where I kept running through the a/c's again and again and going back to the stimulus, although I did get that question right, it cost me far too much time in the section as a whole.
- Missed one in the first 10; missed 3 in 10-20; missed 0 in 20-25.

LG: First game felt the "easiest," then I kind of got slapped in the face with subsequent games. Managed to just plug & chug/brute force my way through it and skipped around with questions to save time/hope that a later question might make it easier to answer a question that had made me pause. Definitely needed extra time to finish this section but I spent at least 3 mins just staring at the first game that slapped me in the face and that can't happen. Worst case I do what I did after those 3 mins and just try things but obviously I know major things went wrong here for me not to have at least diagrammed all of the games quickly/efficiently and correctly.
- Missed zero in the first game, two in the second game, zero in the third game, two in the fourth game.

LR2: Like the first LR section, I marked where I was at time and needed another few mins to do the last 3 questions in the section. Similar to LR1 an early question or two tripped me up and made me pour over the a/c's again and again wasting a lot of time that I really needed later. It also happened again in the middle of the section where I spent at least 2-3 mins on a question and kept pouring over the stimulus and a/c's just to still have pretty much no idea which a/c was correct (I got that question wrong AND wasted the time so since they're all worth 1 pt I should've moved on and come back to it).
Obviously if this happened in both LR sections it's something I really need to look out for.
- Out of the three questions I missed (14, 18 and 22), one was the question mentioned above which after wasting all that time I had marked with a "?" meaning "F*** if I know, let's "guess"

What I've gathered from this PT is that during this portion of studying, I've at least improved my baseline understanding of the sections.

- RC I definitely need to focus on in terms of strategies and internalizing as I read, with that 5:00 remaining that's a TON of time I could have used either at the end or going through the section to go back to the passage and make sure my a/c's were supported.

- LG is definitely my weakest and probably needs the most focus because even just setting up those games more quickly/efficiently/properly/better/however you want to put it, could have made a difference on that section.

- LR while it feels like my strongest area, if that's the case then I need to trust myself more as I'm working through and just move on to the next question. Mark it and come back if I need to but the worst thing I can do is to keep allowing myself to waste time.

- Timing: clearly the biggest thing for me, I know part of that comes with more PTs and just naturally having an idea of pacing but I really have to get timing down at the very least to ensure I'm finishing all of my sections on time and not just guessing on the final 3/4 questions to fill something in before the proctor calls time. I've considered taking all sections in 30 mins to combat that (so that when I do get 35 it feels like an eternity) but I'm not sure if I should reduce from 35 min to 30 min just yet (perhaps one of you has insight there?)

- Overall: Need to still focus on all of the sections, I still have BEYOND PLENTY of work to do, but at least this PT has shined a light on things.

Thank you all again for your time, energy, effort, replies in this thread or to my PM's, etc. I really can't say that enough. You all rock!

Please don't hesitate to weigh in based on the above new information! :)

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Jeffort
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Re: LSAT Anxiety...But Not That Kind (Begging for Help!)

Postby Jeffort » Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:37 pm

Wow, that's a big jump from your previous score, so that's certainly good news for your potential to improve quickly. If PT50 was a fresh test you've never seen any of the questions from before during prior prep work, it's even better news for how quickly you may be able to improve into the 170s range. Even if it wasn't a fully fresh test it's still good news though.

The next step is deeper review of not only the questions you got wrong, but pretty much every question you felt was difficult and had to really think through carefully to make a confident decision about. Basically figure out which questions took more time/effort and the ones you had less confidence/certainty about your answer choice decisions/anything you struggled with to figure out which types of questions you should carefully study first to learn proper strategies and logical approaches for. Once you've figured out the various types that gave you trouble, carefully study the proper concepts, approach, techniques and procedures for each type and drill a good amount for each type to practice applying the new methods/approach you learned. Then it's more practice, review to figure out mistakes, practice that stuff, lather rinse repeat.

Careful thorough very deep review of everything that gave you trouble is the essential part to make sure you really figure out and understand the logic behind each question and answer choice in order to sharpen your reasoning skills in line with the ways the LSAT commonly tests the same stuff over and over.

Focusing most of your study time on reviewing to figure out weaknesses and then focused study efforts on those things to improve them is the most efficient way to use the short time you have until test day. Basically, take a timed test/section to see what goes wrong and what you could have handled better. Spend a lot of time examining what went wrong, how you could have handled things better even with stuff you got right but took a while to do, how to get better at dealing with that type of stuff/questions, focus on practicing that stuff a good amount to get better at it, repeat the process with more timed practice. With the limited time until test day it would be silly to waste time studying/practicing stuff you are already doing well with, so you should use your mistakes/trouble items as a guide for what to focus on.

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jw316
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Re: LSAT Anxiety...But Not That Kind (Begging for Help!)

Postby jw316 » Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:38 pm

Jeffort wrote:Wow, that's a big jump from your previous score, so that's certainly good news for your potential to improve quickly. If PT50 was a fresh test you've never seen any of the questions from before during prior prep work, it's even better news for how quickly you may be able to improve into the 170s range. Even if it wasn't a fully fresh test it's still good news though.

The next step is deeper review of not only the questions you got wrong, but pretty much every question you felt was difficult and had to really think through carefully to make a confident decision about. Basically figure out which questions took more time/effort and the ones you had less confidence/certainty about your answer choice decisions/anything you struggled with to figure out which types of questions you should carefully study first to learn proper strategies and logical approaches for. Once you've figured out the various types that gave you trouble, carefully study the proper concepts, approach, techniques and procedures for each type and drill a good amount for each type to practice applying the new methods/approach you learned. Then it's more practice, review to figure out mistakes, practice that stuff, lather rinse repeat.

Careful thorough very deep review of everything that gave you trouble is the essential part to make sure you really figure out and understand the logic behind each question and answer choice in order to sharpen your reasoning skills in line with the ways the LSAT commonly tests the same stuff over and over.

Focusing most of your study time on reviewing to figure out weaknesses and then focused study efforts on those things to improve them is the most efficient way to use the short time you have until test day. Basically, take a timed test/section to see what goes wrong and what you could have handled better. Spend a lot of time examining what went wrong, how you could have handled things better even with stuff you got right but took a while to do, how to get better at dealing with that type of stuff/questions, focus on practicing that stuff a good amount to get better at it, repeat the process with more timed practice. With the limited time until test day it would be silly to waste time studying/practicing stuff you are already doing well with, so you should use your mistakes/trouble items as a guide for what to focus on.


Thank you! I will update after I've done some more review/drilling/timed sections. Ideally going to try to take another PT tomorrow or if not then Sunday morning around the same time I'd be taking the LSAT in Dec. I'm definitely planning on 6/8 section PTs at some point for stamina/endurance (not yet). However, because of my timing issues thus far is my idea to start doing sections in 30 mins a good one or is it too soon for that step?

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jw316
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Re: LSAT Anxiety...But Not That Kind (Begging for Help!)

Postby jw316 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:12 pm

I've studied/drilled and taken two more PT's since I've posted in this thread. With the last week remaining my plan has been to wake up and simulate test day Mon-Thurs by eating breakfast, taking a 5 section PT (break included) each day at roughly the time I'll be taking it on Saturday (not doing much of anything on Friday). After the 165 I got a 163. But after the 163 I just scored PT 67 after I took it this morning and I got rocked with a 154 (RC -10; LR1 -9, LG -9, LR2 -8):

RC: -10/-11 (-5/-6); skipped the comparative reading passage to ensure I'd have enough time for the last passage with more questions but ended up running out of time after completing that passage so I guessed the same letter for the whole passage and as such missed 4/5 questions in addition to the ones I got wrong. Missed 1 q in the first passage, 3 q's in the second, 4 q's in the third (5 if you don't count the guess), and 2 q's in the last passage.

LR1: -9 (-3); noticed mid-way through I got caught up on early/middle questions and by the time I was in the middle of the section I was panicking about not having enough time to answer all the questions. Lost focus and that happened. It was almost time for pencils down when I finished 19 so I just put the same letter down for 20-26 to make sure I had something bubbled in before time. Missed 1 q in the first 10, 2 q's in 11-19, and 20-25 were all same letter guess to avoid a blank answer but none of them were right.

LG: -9; noticed I wasn't really doing well with these games (had no idea how to set up the first game for a while then figured it out, had no idea how to set up zones and never got it before the section was over, etc.) and then just took a few deep breaths and tried to just brute force it and play around with questions. I skipped around because of this and many of the questions I was initially unsure of I was able to use work from other questions to help solve, etc. so many of the items on my answer sheet were initially marked with essentially "no idea, guess" but I ended up figuring many of those out with time. Zones killed me, never seen anything like that and though I got the first two correct the rest were a wash. Missed 1 q in the first game, 2 q's in the second, 2 q's in the third, and 4 q's in zones.

LR2: -8; after all this I was really kind of just stewing in the fact that I had gotten rocked and intermittently had trouble focusing on the last section. Kept telling myself forget the previous sections and just focus on this one. Missed 3 q's in the first 10, missed 3 q's in 10-20, missed 2 q's in 20-25.


My plan is to review all of this today/tonight in depth, drill some more and then take another simulated PT like this in the morning around test-time. I feel like if today happened on the test day, after multiple sections going like that I probably would have thought to cancel, even before the last section, based on how everything else had already gone and my need for a 170+ but certainly at least something in the 165-170 range...I refuse to give up or settle for something less, esp given how much work I put into my GPA over four years of UG. But given my H/Y/S/ aspirations and this recent score...what now?

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JazzOne
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Re: LSAT Anxiety...But Not That Kind (Begging for Help!)

Postby JazzOne » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:19 pm

jw316 wrote:But given my H/Y/S/ aspirations and this recent score...what now?

1. Adjust your expectations.
2. Work hard.

That's all you can do.

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jw316
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Re: LSAT Anxiety...But Not That Kind (Begging for Help!)

Postby jw316 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:34 pm

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Last edited by jw316 on Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Otunga
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Re: LSAT Anxiety...But Not That Kind (Begging for Help!)

Postby Otunga » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:37 pm

173 paired with a 3.9 is generally sufficient for H admission for a non-URM. 172 makes one fairly likely to get in, and a 171 gives one a 50/50 chance. For a URM, presumably it's lower; just not sure how much lower.

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jw316
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Re: LSAT Anxiety...But Not That Kind (Begging for Help!)

Postby jw316 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:51 pm

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Last edited by jw316 on Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JazzOne
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Re: LSAT Anxiety...But Not That Kind (Begging for Help!)

Postby JazzOne » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:58 pm

jw316 wrote:
JazzOne wrote:
jw316 wrote:But given my H/Y/S/ aspirations and this recent score...what now?

1. Adjust your expectations.
2. Work hard.

That's all you can do.


1.) Not willing to go to another school. Far too long to detail here but for me it's either H/Y/S or /killself (not actually, but I can't waste my GPA, and that 165, even though it was a PT and wasn't strictly timed, lets me know that at least on some level I really do "get" this stuff. But it's frustrating to see a 154 when essentially that's where I started and it's just like "....huh?"

I mean adjust your expectations regarding the LSAT. You may not hit your mark this time around. Those are the breaks. I wish you luck, but preparing for the downside is prudent too. People learn at different rates. You can't force yourself to master this in a set period of time.

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jw316
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Re: LSAT Anxiety...But Not That Kind (Begging for Help!)

Postby jw316 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:00 pm

JazzOne wrote:I mean adjust your expectations regarding the LSAT. You may not hit your mark this time around. Those are the breaks. I wish you luck, but preparing for the downside is prudent too. People learn at different rates. You can't force yourself to master this in a set period of time.


Thank you JazzOne. I really appreciate it.

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jw316
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Re: LSAT Anxiety...But Not That Kind (Begging for Help!)

Postby jw316 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:20 am

I saved the most recent PTs for this week (or whatever week leading up to whenever I take the test) in order to have a real baseline of where I'm at right now. That being said, my score yesterday has really shaken me up and I'm scared to keep using new materials out of fear of wasting them (did PT 67 so I just have pre 67 and 68-70).

I'm aware that Feb is typically the worst test date for this cycle but if I'm really saying HYS or nothing, would it be better to try to grind things out over the next few days and see what happens Saturday or head to NoodleyOne/Pithypike's guide and adapt that for the time between now and Feb?
(Sidenote: though I've yet to take an official administration of the LSAT, does it make more sense for me to follow a retakers guide given where I'm at right now?)

I've withdrawn the night before the LSAT three times now, do I do that again or take and cancel if it doesn't go well since I could "feel" the difference as I was working through the sections between when I did fairly well (165) and when I got rocked (154)?

I've gathered that everyone says schools rarely average, but with HYS I just have a feeling like I look a lot better to them as an applicant/maximize my chances of admission with a ~3.97/165-170+ vs a score in the 150s now then a 65/170/170+ on a retake.

As always, I truly appreciate your time and input and responses both here and in PMs. PLEASE try to chip in today if you can as I have some major decision making to do today asap. Thank you all so very much!

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jw316
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Re: LSAT Anxiety...But Not That Kind (Begging for Help!)

Postby jw316 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:49 pm

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Last edited by jw316 on Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Otunga
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Re: LSAT Anxiety...But Not That Kind (Begging for Help!)

Postby Otunga » Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:48 pm

If YS mean a lot to you, particularly more than H, then I suggest holding off until Feb. Even if H means more to you than the other two, then an argument could still be made for Feb, as if you want your strongest chances at YS, then taking in Dec just 'hoping for the best' doesn't bode well for them in the case that you score lower than what's required (median score). I only think Dec would make sense if you only cared about H on down. That way, since it's only your first take, you could get that experience at an actual administration and then score higher on a retake in Feb or June. All of the suggestions here are based on the assumption that YS take significantly lower scores than median into account more than any other schools, and that we lack good reason to suspect H on down consider them as strongly as YS do.

I think most will recommend here to hold off until Feb or June and not to rush. True, you can get the experience of an actual administration on Saturday, but if you don't feel ready, then the bottom line is that it's a waste of a take. If you compose yourself, use a proven guide for Feb or June, then you can put yourself into a better position to score as high as you'd like to. Also, provided that you're taking in Feb regardless of what you choose (and that you don't choose to solely take in June), then you have to consider the stress that comes from waiting for your score. In other words, if you take Dec, then you're going to be anxious about what you got and much of your time and investment is going to go in that direction rather than in the direction it should be - your efforts towards acing the test in Feb. With just two months between the administrations, taking in Dec hinders your ability to prepare sufficiently for Feb. Essentially, I say to take in Feb and then June if applicable.

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jordan15
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Re: LSAT Anxiety...But Not That Kind (Begging for Help!)

Postby jordan15 » Sat Dec 07, 2013 4:35 am

I don't know why you're still taking PTs if you're scoring so much lower than your goal. You need to be studying the material untimed right now because clearly you don't "get it" as much as you need to. More PTs are wasting your time.




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