6 Points in 9 Days?

6235456148
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6 Points in 9 Days?

Postby 6235456148 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:30 pm

Currently scoring at ~167, looking for ~172; have 9 study days before the exam; most of my misses are timing related; can I hit my goal? thoughts on my plan? any suggestions?

Currently missing:
AR: 4-5 mostly timing related
LR: 3-4 (per section) skipping long parallel reasoning/flaw questions, circling back if extra time
RC: 4-5 mostly timing related

I'm most frustrated with my AR scoring--I would like to be missing 0-1
I believe that I can pick up 1-2 on RC and 1(maybe 2) on LR by doing regurlar full exams and fine-tuning my reading with precision

Between now and test day I'll be taking a (timed) full exam each day, as well as drilling on individual sections (also timed)

RECENT EXAMS November
Date / Practice Exam / Score
16 / e26 / 163
17 / e38 / 165
21 / e69 / 165
23 / e37 / 167
24 / e36 / 167
27 / e39 / 168

PRE-EXAM PLAN (next 9 days)
Date / Practice Exam / Other / Score
28 / Jn07 / AR / ??? have to work
29 / e35 / AR-LR / ??? have to work
30 / e50 / AR-RC / ???
01 / e51 / AR-LR / ???
02 / e33 / AR-RC / ??? have to work
03 / e32 / AR-LR / ??? have to work
04 / e62 / AR-RC / ???
05 / e63 / AR-LR / ???
06 / e64 / go hiking / ???
07 EXAM

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MistakenGenius
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Post removed.

Postby MistakenGenius » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:48 pm

Post removed.
Last edited by MistakenGenius on Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

062914123
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Re: 6 Points in 9 Days?

Postby 062914123 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:57 pm

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Last edited by 062914123 on Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

blackbirdfly
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Re: 6 Points in 9 Days?

Postby blackbirdfly » Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:37 am

bee wrote:this is EXTREMELY unlikely. you also havent factored in the reality that most people perform worse on test day than they did in PTs due to nerves/strict conditions. ideally, you would be PTing 5+ points above your minimum acceptable score before you take the test. before october, i was averaging 175/176, with a bunch of 180s thrown in, and i ended up with a 170. if i were you, i would postpone until february and work on getting your timing issues under control. from what you're describing, this is not an easy fix and will take some time to do properly.



This is the best advice you're going to get. An increase like that in one week is very unlikely.


You shouldn't be too discourage from trying though. One week will not dramatically alter your score, but you may see some gains in terms of pacing.

6235456148
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Re: 6 Points in 9 Days?

Postby 6235456148 » Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:41 am

MistakenGenius and bee, thank you

A few follow-up thoughts and questions...

1. I believe I'm under estimating the difficulty of each gained point in the 170+ range
2. Skipping parallel LR questions... rather than "skip" these, I simply move them to the end and tackle them last. This moves my strengths up and lets me 'game' my enemy a bit. Even still, I take your point: don't give anything to LSAC, take every point.
3. Not drilling is another point well taken. On thinking about this I very much agree with you.
4. Game-day performance. It's something I've thought of, but I agree, it's more likely to hurt me rather than be a non-factor

So, given that hitting my target 170+ is a main goal (which you both feel is unlikely for the Dec7 exam), my dilema is:
- seeing the benefits of tackling exams by limiting sections to 30min will take some time to pay out -- a PLUS ONE for taking in Feb
- i've used up most all the applicable practice material

Do I pull-back from the Dec7 exam, tackle my shortcomings (timing or otherwise), and build toward Feb? (remember, limited prep test material left)
OR
Do I blitz hard for Dec7 (burning through my remaining material) and see what happens? (this question is somewhat related to my perception that a retake is damaging--if I'm looking for a 172 and I get a 165, I now need a retake at 178 to hit that mark due to averaging)

Thanks both of you for your time...and congrats on great scores!

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Clearly
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Re: 6 Points in 9 Days?

Postby Clearly » Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:56 am

adriansw wrote:MistakenGenius and bee, thank you

A few follow-up thoughts and questions...

1. I believe I'm under estimating the difficulty of each gained point in the 170+ range
2. Skipping parallel LR questions... rather than "skip" these, I simply move them to the end and tackle them last. This moves my strengths up and lets me 'game' my enemy a bit. Even still, I take your point: don't give anything to LSAC, take every point.
3. Not drilling is another point well taken. On thinking about this I very much agree with you.
4. Game-day performance. It's something I've thought of, but I agree, it's more likely to hurt me rather than be a non-factor

So, given that hitting my target 170+ is a main goal (which you both feel is unlikely for the Dec7 exam), my dilema is:
- seeing the benefits of tackling exams by limiting sections to 30min will take some time to pay out -- a PLUS ONE for taking in Feb
- i've used up most all the applicable practice material

Do I pull-back from the Dec7 exam, tackle my shortcomings (timing or otherwise), and build toward Feb? (remember, limited prep test material left)
OR
Do I blitz hard for Dec7 (burning through my remaining material) and see what happens? (this question is somewhat related to my perception that a retake is damaging--if I'm looking for a 172 and I get a 165, I now need a retake at 178 to hit that mark due to averaging)

Thanks both of you for your time...and congrats on great scores!

There is no such thing as averaging.

062914123
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Re: 6 Points in 9 Days?

Postby 062914123 » Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:58 am

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Last edited by 062914123 on Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Jeffort
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Re: 6 Points in 9 Days?

Postby Jeffort » Thu Nov 28, 2013 3:39 am

Saying your mistakes are mostly timing related is an excuse that blinds you from taking a careful look at exactly what mistakes you are making in the processes you actually use to work through questions and make decisions. Timing is only an adequate explanation for missed questions that you simply never addressed before time ran out. Your mistakes with ones you did attempt are not mainly caused by the limited time you have to think about the question, but instead are cause by you doing the wrong steps during the time you do have to solve the question.

You have to figure out what went wrong with your approach and decision making process for each question you miss to figure out weaknesses in your approach that should be changed. It can be things like making sure to re-read the argument core to remind yourself of the specifics of the conclusion and the main assumption once you have it down to two tempting contenders in order to refocus in a way that will help you better make the final decision between those two answers and hopefully avoid the trap.

Do a careful review of each PT to determine your specific mistakes for each missed question instead of just writing them off as generic 'timing issues'.

You are repeatedly making the same mistakes that are causing you to miss points and they can be addressed, but not until you carefully review to figure out specifically what they are. You need to back track your entire step by step thought process of what you actually did for each missed question and compare it to how you are SUPPOSED to properly approach that question type step by step (and could have done instead of what you actually did) to see what steps you failed to do or screwed up and how the proper approach would have lead to a different answer even with the same limited amount of time.

People with timing issues of the nature you describe have them because you waste time doing things OTHER than the basic tried and true step by step process for each question type.

Do a lot of this type of review and make adjustments to your approach/strategies/procedures/verification steps/etc. if you want to see improvement, you cannot fix your mistakes until you figure out what they are in detail.

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SteelPenguin
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Re: 6 Points in 9 Days?

Postby SteelPenguin » Thu Nov 28, 2013 2:28 pm

Bee and Clearly really covered most of it, but don't worry too much about redoing old sections and materials. While your scores might not be truly representative, you'll still be able to learn a lot about your weaknesses by retaking tests and drilling, and that's what is most important.

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wtrc
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Re: 6 Points in 9 Days?

Postby wtrc » Thu Nov 28, 2013 4:39 pm

Yeah, the credited answer is already here in the thread. 6 points in 9 days is just not a thing. 6 points, especially at the high level you're already at, usually takes several+ months, not a matter of days.

If you're taking in 9 days, I would use the time til then not to try and raise your average score but rather to get into a good, calm, and confident mindset. Similar to Bee, before June I was in the mid to upper 170's with some 180's thrown in, ended with a 167 because I screwed up LG because of a stressed "brute force through quickly" mindset. Remember that your life isn't riding on this test - if something doesn't go as well as you want it to, you can take off a cycle, re-study, and rock it. There is little to lose.

And yeah, averaging, for the most part, just isn't a thing. Good luck, and happy Thanksgiving!!

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Christine (MLSAT)
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Re: 6 Points in 9 Days?

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Thu Nov 28, 2013 6:31 pm

If it is truly important to you to get 170+, then there is no question whatsoever that you should postpone til February.

I think you're correct above when you say you may be under-estimating the difficulty of point increases in the upper ranges. And Jeffort is 100% correct when he says that you are minimizing your own process mistakes by waving it off as 'timing issues'.

When people say they having "timing issues", what that really means is there is still a fundamental deficiency in true comprehension. If you are getting an LR question correct, but it takes you 2.5 minutes to do so (thereby screwing up your timing), you're doing it wrong. Either you are applying poor process, you are slow on the pattern recognition that should tell you what steps to take, or you are just reading it over and over til your gut kicks in and guides the way (no process at all). All of these leave you netting a correct answer in a terrifically inefficient way. That's what causes "timing issues".

You absolutely can clean that up - but it requires a fair bit of time, and some rather serious introspection on your own test-taking process (as well as your study process). You are not going to have any drastically score-altering epiphanies in the next 1.5 wks.

Also, inching up each point in the upper reaches is HARD. REALLY HARD. People fight hard for every single point increase. I mean, seriously, if it were a simple matter, why wouldn't more people just knock that out? There's a reason why only 1% of test-takers score 173 or higher - don't fool yourself that you can just practice a bit and waltz your way above a 170.

And finally, don't worry about having used up a lot of the test material already. All that means is that you'll have fewer untouched exams that might give you a snapshot of your immediate performance. But here's the thing - you don't learn much in the act of simply TAKING a full length preptest. You learn in the act of deep and thorough review of that exam (or section, or drill set), and thorough review of your process on both incorrect **and correct questions**. To that end, preptests you've already done are just as valuable for learning as are fresh ones.

Hope you are enjoying Thanksgiving, and good luck making a decision!

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Jeffort
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Re: 6 Points in 9 Days?

Postby Jeffort » Thu Nov 28, 2013 7:18 pm

Christine (MLSAT) wrote:
And finally, don't worry about having used up a lot of the test material already. All that means is that you'll have fewer untouched exams that might give you a snapshot of your immediate performance. But here's the thing - you don't learn much in the act of simply TAKING a full length preptest. You learn in the act of deep and thorough review of that exam (or section, or drill set), and thorough review of your process on both incorrect **and correct questions**. To that end, preptests you've already done are just as valuable for learning as are fresh ones.



Yes, don't underestimate the usefulness of materials you've already seen, they are still very valuable for further prep and improvement. If you re-take a PT you've done before, any questions you miss the second time deserve a really close review because they reflect flaws in your logic/understanding/analysis since you've seen and worked the problem before but got it wrong the second time around! That means there is something about the logic of those questions that you don't understand, otherwise you should have gotten them right the second time since you had the benefit of familiarity and possibly even remembering the question. Seriously, at your scoring level, if you get anything less than 180 on tests you've seen before, the ones you miss give you a great snapshot of types of logic/tricky answer choices you have issues with that need to be fixed, so re-taking tests a second time is actually a great way to help figure out your current weaknesses even more so than fresh tests!




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