Screwed up yay!!!...Tips for next time?

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Screwed up yay!!!...Tips for next time?

Postby Calbears123 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:58 am

Long story short started studying in September, and about a month ago switched from drilling question/game types to doing straight diagnostics. First week averaged 157-160, second week 162-165, third week 165-167, and forth week 166-169 with my highest being a 172.

Pretty happy about my scores really, actually a little bit over what I was aiming for (165), so I was feeling pretty confident going into the test.

Open the test and the my first section was LG. I was super excited because it was a pure sequencing game which I think are my best games and the ones I can do really quick. I got to the very last problem on the first game and realized that crap I diagrammed the relationship between the 2nd and 3rd rule wrong. I was so freaking mad at myself. 3 months of studying and literally 5 hours a day for the last month and I totally fuck up not only the easiest game set for myself, but I fucked up a basic diagram.

Well, that put me behind and I know I screwed up redoing the game because I was playing catchup and still extremely mad at myself causing me to rush the other three games. The rest of the test I just couldn't get it out of my mind how I messed up the simplest thing and how many points I just left behind. I know it caused me to do worse on the other sections.

I'm not canceling my score, who knows maybe the curves is good and I can still hit my target, but I doubt it, I missed too many in the LG section. So I'm going to start again on Monday to get ready for Feb.

So heres a question or two. First I plan on just doing diags everyday for the next 2 months. They seemed to help me increase my score more than drilling as long as I go over the ones I get wrong after. Where do you guys think I should start? I have a copy of every test up untill December 2011. I have about 60 days to hit 45-55 diags (some days off for holidays and break days) where do you think is a good test to start? I was thinking 15-20 since the LG in alot of the early ones have not been used since.

Another question. RC is whats keeping me from making that final leap into the 170s. Anyone got some tips or could recommend a book. On bad test I'll get -7 to -11 and sometimes I'll walk away with -2


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Re: Screwed up yay!!!...Tips for next time?

Postby retaking23 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:46 pm

Since you plan on taking Feb, definitely focus most of your efforts on PTs. I suggest you aim to do 20 (PTs 52 to 71) between now and middle of January. Afterwards, retake the last 10 PTs (62 to 71). Retaking the same material multiple times is, arguably, the most effective way to rid yourself of poor habits since you can focus more consciously on eliminating wrong answers in the proper way. Memory will definitely affect performance but it's not a big concern so long as you focus on problem solving processes. Also, the confidence boost you'll get from slightly inflated scores will be a net benefit even after accounting for your doubts about their reliability. Needless to say, review your PTs thoroughly after taking them. Adjust your PTs to work on your specific needs. For example, maybe you need to work on endurance in which case you should try adding an experimental 5th section from one the first 51 PTs or maybe even taking two PTs in one day every now and then.

As for RC: buy The Trainer. Go through that before you begin your PTs. Do not worry about doing the out of book drilling unless you want to because you will be PTing heavily afterwards anyway. The Trainer has the best instruction on RC. Its author, Mike Kim, is also on this forum and available to take any questions. Just a concrete tip I can offer now: read for argument structure. All RC passages are simply really long LR stimuli. Most, in fact, are arguing for something (i.e., against a traditional view, how best to go about something, merits or lack thereof of some scientific subject, etc.) and, so, if you can spot and mentally organize how the argument is structured, you will be that much more empowered when you tackle the questions. Work to identify premises, contradictions, main ideas, etc. All the while, be on the lookout for the author's opinion on the matter. Go about the RC sections on your PTs enough times this way, and it will become a lot easier. Do not rely on understanding how the details relate to the main idea. The nature of LSAT RC passages means that unless you have terrific memory, you will be hopelessly inefficient at processing every last detail. Just organize the parts of the passage by function and practice on getting a very general idea of what the passage is about. Do this with the mindset that you will return to the passage later to answer the questions that ask for details mentioned.

Last piece of advice is to take it easy. Do not put off your practice until it becomes really late (you cannot cram for this test), but, do not overwhelm yourself either. Take breaks when you feel mentally exhausted but create a schedule and work to maintain it. Good luck.

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Re: Screwed up yay!!!...Tips for next time?

Postby AnonymousAlterEgoC » Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:02 pm

I think we overstate the importance of PTs. After a bunch of them, especially after taking them in controlled, simulated conditions, I don't think learning occurs during the PT. It occurs afterward during the review. Yes, they're a great way to show you weaknesses. But weaknesses are often more localized than PTs reveal. For example, you may have 3-4 sufficient assumption questions on a PT, and let's say you miss one and review it. Is it really your aim to get 3/4 sufficient assumption questions correct? Most likely, you'll correct the error you made on that question when reviewing your PT, but you won't correct the more general trends that actually cause these errors. You may learn to diagram a question but not have strong enough diagramming abilities in general. So PTs really only touch the surface of your shortcomings, haha. I think we understate the importance of drilling. Buy the Manhattan RC (or something similar) and the cambridge RC sets. Become a master of reading for structure. Drill three consecutive RC sets. Intense drilling will allow you to more clearly perceive what you need to work on.

Of course, supplement this with PTs now and then

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Re: Screwed up yay!!!...Tips for next time?

Postby Mauve.Dino » Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:33 pm

camelthing wrote:I think we overstate the importance of PTs.

Yeah, I'm definitely going to agree with this. I was too PT-heavy early in my prep, when I should've been drilling and really focusing on the basics for each question type (this goes for both LG and LR). I'd review my PT results, and understand why I missed the questions I did, but I didn't really see improvement in my scores until I sat down with the Cambridge bundles and drilled extensively. I'd also credit The LSAT Trainer with vastly improving my LR accuracy (especially Flaw questions). It's a great book--definitely pick it up!

Also, there are many here on the forums who suggest using 7sage's blind review method, though I personally haven't tried it. I might give it a shot when I take my next PT (probably today or tomorrow).


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Re: Screwed up yay!!!...Tips for next time?

Postby 062914123 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:52 pm

Last edited by 062914123 on Fri Jul 04, 2014 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Screwed up yay!!!...Tips for next time?

Postby FlyingNorth » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:02 am

bee wrote:
Mauve.Dino wrote:Also, there are many here on the forums who suggest using 7sage's blind review method, though I personally haven't tried it. I might give it a shot when I take my next PT (probably today or tomorrow).

you need to blind review everything. read up on the method and apply it to every section as much as possible. it was probably the single best thing i did for my lsat score during prep.

1 pt a day is too much. 3/week is perfectly fine, and will give you enough time to sufficiently review all your mistakes and think about how you can improve next time.

This. Blind review is an incredible tool for learning from your mistakes. I saw major improvement in my PT scores once I started implementing this method, especially for LR and RC.

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