Prep Test Plateau

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Prep Test Plateau

Postby knicker » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:37 pm

There are some previous threads on plateaus but I've tried a decent chunk of that advice, and they were short threads. Figured I'd try again.

I started studying in mid-December. I spent about a week going through LSAT superprep and a bit through the bibles. No cold diagnostic. My first PT I got a 172. I've taken 8 total PTs so far, with 7 scores of either 171 or 172 (one outlier, 3 days after quitting smoking). All of these PTs are older tests (scattered in the #7-30 range). All PTs timed under test conditions with an experiment section.

My overall scores have been really consistent, and proportions of misses from each section are also consistent. Typically, I miss 4-5 on logic games, 2-3 on LR, and 2-3 on RC. These scores are also consistent with drills on individual sections. I track all of the LR and RC question types that I miss, but there don't seem to be any major trends.

My study strategy so far has been to take a drill section and then carefully go over any and all questions that troubled me. I use the sage videos a lot for logic games. I type up difficult LR questions and review them again later. I take LGs that I've already worked through and re-do them a few days later to improve speed.

I'm planning on June.

At risk of getting TL;DR'd, here are some specific questions:

-Any other study strategies I should be using?
-Any specific materials that are particularly useful for knocking out those last few right answers?
-Am I just being impatient? Should I wait until I'm 12-15 PTs in before worrying about using the wrong strategy?

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Re: Prep Test Plateau

Postby papercut » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:32 am

Your biggest chance for improvement is going to be in LG.

Something I found helpful, since I really struggled with LG, was to go back and redo a ton of the games. I ended up memorizing many of them, especially the really tough ones. I went from getting more than half wrong to getting none wrong.

I have more particular advice if you have more particular issues in LG.

For LR: are you reading the question stem first? If not, learning how to use this approach correctly will absolutely help.

It's possible to improve in RC. Essentially, you need to have the answer to the main point, the author's attitude, the organization, and even some detail questions before you ever look at the first question.

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Re: Prep Test Plateau

Postby Jeffort » Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:07 am

If you are taking the February test, you should switch to using the most recent tests for PTs. Scaled scores from early tests in the PT 7-30 range aren't representative of your precise current testing performance level on the modern test. The style, balance and emphasis of things tested and common ways they are tested has shifted in significant ways in the last 15+ years.

You should do a timed PT with a very recent test from the 60s range right away to get a better idea of your current performance on tests representative of what you'll get on test day. From there you need to carefully analyze all your mistakes in detail to figure out what to do/change to fix those issues and cut down your misses. In the 170s range its mostly about getting timing down along with full processes and strategies meant to prevent careless mistakes from costing you points since most missed points in that range are due to careless errors usually including skipping some steps in the analysis of a few questions.

Seriously though, figure out your range on modern tests, it may be lower than your current range. People frequently report getting significantly higher scaled scores on older tests compared to recent ones for various reasons.

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Re: Prep Test Plateau

Postby jabberwocky_phlegm » Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:57 am

the good news is you can improve your LG score to -0 simply by drilling every single LG ever published until your eyes bleed. I struggled with LG at first, but eventually it became so easy that I would get really surprised if I missed a single question. You just start to notice the patterns after a while and eventually you don't even have to turn your brain on until games #3 and #4 of the section.

The not-so-good news is that the RC sections on the earlier tests are easier than the more recent RC sections. You really need to take some of the newer PT's, and do extra RC sections if you have the material. A few years ago they decided to make one of the RC passages a set of two short passages that are somehow linked. The linked passages are pretty easy if you ask me, but I think they overcompensate for this by making 1 of the 3 other passages quite difficult.

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Re: Prep Test Plateau

Postby jabberwocky_phlegm » Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:02 am

oh, I forgot to mention another benefit of drilling every LG section ever published: some of the games are identical to ones published in the past. Like there's one about 3 different clans having celebrations over a 5-year cycle that's a pretty tough game, but it's exactly replicated on another test a few years later (with different words, but the exact same logical structure)

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