need some advice-- take Dec '13 or postpone?

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inyoureyes89
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need some advice-- take Dec '13 or postpone?

Postby inyoureyes89 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:52 am

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Last edited by inyoureyes89 on Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Jeffort
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Re: need some advice-- take Dec '13 or postpone?

Postby Jeffort » Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:45 am

Have you tried carefully reviewing your performance with each of those PTs to figure out exactly what types of mistakes you made and what types of trouble you had with the questions you missed? The only way to stop making mistakes is to first figure out which ones you are currently making. Just by the gist of your post I'm going to guess that you've mainly just been doing timed practice and not much else to prep recently, am I right?

Also, calm down, you seem overly stressed and possibly in oversaturation feeling burnt out mode, which would make sense if you've mainly just been doing timed practice over and over. A sudden drop to a 159 signals burnout or really hung over or something else that knocked your brain out of whack. You should probably be doing more review and less timed PTs.

Careful thorough review followed by drilling to practice doing whatever types of stuff you messed up on in the PTs is the key to improvement and consistency.

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Christine (MLSAT)
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Re: need some advice-- take Dec '13 or postpone?

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:42 am

I agree with Jeffort - if you're not reviewing thoroughly, you have no way of knowing what's really going on. You need to take a giant step back and focus on the 'why' instead of the 'what' of the score.

The first thing I'll point out is that you say your summer scores were 161-166. Looking at the overall arc, that would suggest that it's not your most recent scores that are the outliers, but rather those two 170s. If that's the real picture, then it sounds like you're describing a situation where you've never seen significant improvement - across your whole study period. But that may not be that surprising if you've only spent an hour a week on it the entire time. Is that how much you were studying over the summer only, or has that been true during the fall as well? That is a very small amount of time to study, and unless you were mindblowingly efficient and targeted during that hour of study, it would be very difficult for most people to really lock in new understanding that way.

Generally speaking, when scores do drop (which I'm not sure yours actually have), there are a few likely culprits:

1) You have no process or methodology to your approach, and are flying primarily on instinct. As a result, when instinct fails you, you have nothing to fall back on and your scores fluctuate somewhat wildly. This is what generally happens when people study primarily by simply taking full length tests without substantial meaningful review. The only remedy is to actually build a process, and that usually takes a lot more than 1.5 wks.

2) You freaked yourself out. Something happened during a PT, and you panicked. A weird game, a crazy difficult RC passage, who knows, and you knew you were bombing and couldn't get a handle on the fear. That lower score rocked your confidence and every PT after that you went in timidly, or recklessly racing, or something as compensation for what you were feeling. This is purely psychological, and you've got to meditate or peptalk yourself back into the game. Taking a break can help.

3) You started to overanalyze. Sometimes in the push to get that next few points, people start to massively overanalyze arguments that are not that complex, passages that are not that nuanced, etc. If you're getting harder questions right, but starting to miss more easy questions, this could be you.


If I were to guess, I'd put you in category #1, just from your description of your prep, but there may be a ton you're not telling us. In any case, you need to sit down and do some serious introspection on both your process of approaching questions in a timed environment, and also your process of review/comprehension building.

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inyoureyes89
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Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:11 pm

Re: need some advice-- take Dec '13 or postpone?

Postby inyoureyes89 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:11 am

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Last edited by inyoureyes89 on Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

SkepticalAboutLaw
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:44 pm

Re: need some advice-- take Dec '13 or postpone?

Postby SkepticalAboutLaw » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:07 pm

You might be getting rusty. PTs alone with no targeted review can do that. You're no longer learning new things, nor are you reviewing what you do know. Your skills understandably then atrophy. It's like a skier who trains by running the Olympic race course again and again and again without ever hitting the gym, reviewing race video, or working on technique.

I would recommend entering your PTs into LSAT Q&A to get a picture of your weaknesses. Then perhaps in a last ditch attempt to improve before December 7, you could pick up a Cambridge drill packet or two of some areas that are giving you trouble. If there is a particular LR question type that you used to answer correctly but have recently begun missing, that's probably a great area to target for review. At this point, you're not likely to learn things you do not know well enough to get them right in December, but you may be able to strengthen some areas that have gone soft.

And being tired or stressed out really will kill your performance. Sorry to hear your work schedule is not cooperating with LSAT prep.




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