Defeatism

govtmercenary88
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:33 am

Defeatism

Postby govtmercenary88 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:05 am

Greetings,

As a quick background, I'm signed up to take the LSAT next weekend. I started prepping almost a year ago. I originally wanted to take the LSAT last June, but decided to put it off when my average was still only around 160. The issue, primarily, was that I couldn't finish any of the sections to save my life. I got close in LR, but never even got to the last game in LG or the last passage in RC.

I decided in August that I'd hire a tutor to help me prep for the LSAT in October. I did so, knowing that I was taking 20 hours of tough classes that semester. I realized by September that it was a bad idea. I was STILL testing around 160 (still again due to timing), and classes were starting to pick up. I was too stressed by the end of the month to keep up both prep and classes, so I decided to put the LSAT off to December. Well, November rolls around and the same thing happens again. Take a few more prep tests, still test in the same range, get too stressed out by classes, and decide to postpone to February.

My logic was simple: I was graduating in December, didn't have any major commitments through February, and would thus be able to devote my time exclusively to the LSAT. So in January I start again. I only have a few more prep tests left by this point after taking so many and doing so many drills. But even with the extra time and effort put in, even with the tutoring, my scores are still around 160. I still can't finish any of the sections.

After nine months, I still haven't budged a bit. The sad thing to me is that if I could fix the timing problems I'd easily be testing around 170, but it's just not happening. I can't seem to speed up to save my life. Even more, it's taken a huge hit on my motivation, and my scores are starting to plummet as a result. I've set a high expectations of myself with regards to which law schools I'm willing to go to, and scores in this range just wouldn't do it (given my GPA isn't exactly near a 4.0 either). It's making me question whether law school is really where I should be. All because of the LSAT.

Has anyone else had experiences like this? And for those who have had problems this bad with timing, were you able to fix it? I'm thinking it's probably not a good idea to take the LSAT next week with all this happening too. Do you agree?

Thanks,

lawschool2014hopeful
Posts: 554
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:48 pm

Re: Defeatism

Postby lawschool2014hopeful » Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:07 am

Post-pone.

There is no such as a "speed issue", it is simply the result of lack of mastery over the concepts, or a lack of aptitude in reading in general.

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zhenders
Posts: 744
Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:21 pm

Re: Defeatism

Postby zhenders » Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:20 am

lawschool2014hopeful wrote:Post-pone.

There is no such as a "speed issue", it is simply the result of lack of mastery over the concepts, or a lack of aptitude in reading in general.



This.

Because you've already used up most of the materials, check out Noodley's guide for retakers. And there is loads of advice on this forum; spend five or six hours searching it and reading it on here. This IS a trainable test, but you have to train the right way (and paying loads for a tutor is not, unfortunately, any guarantee that you have been doing so).

birdlaw624
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:57 am

Re: Defeatism

Postby birdlaw624 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:52 am

What have you been doing for prep? I had significant timing issues on pretty much every section when I first started prepping but drilling each section for each question/game type really helped with that

govtmercenary88
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:33 am

Re: Defeatism

Postby govtmercenary88 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:04 pm

RE Prep:

I've tried all of the following:

Timing by question to see where I'm wasting time. Reading slower to make sure I don't miss anything and have to reread. Reading faster to make sure I don't take too long. Doing sections in 30 minutes instead of 35. Timing the same game/passage over and over until I get it done in under 8.5 minutes. Timing the how long it takes me to do literally each step in the process to see if I can speed it up. Identifying questions that take longer than average (e.g. parallel reasoning) and just skipping them. Identifying the games/passages I tend to have the easiest time with and doing them first.

What always happens is that I'll improve in one area, but then lose something in another. For example, I'll almost finish the games and get a perfect score on the ones I answered, but then bomb reading comp. Then I'll work on my reading. The next time I take an exam, my games will go to crap yet I'll get a perfect score on the ones I answered in reading comp. And the times when both of these go well, I'll see a rare slip in logical reasoning.

It's really, really frustrating. I'll put in 4-8 hours a day, yet still get nowhere. I've never been this frustrated by a test in my life.

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McAvoy
Posts: 1584
Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:33 pm

Re: Defeatism

Postby McAvoy » Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:33 pm

govtmercenary88 wrote:RE Prep:

I've tried all of the following:

Timing by question to see where I'm wasting time. Reading slower to make sure I don't miss anything and have to reread. Reading faster to make sure I don't take too long. Doing sections in 30 minutes instead of 35. Timing the same game/passage over and over until I get it done in under 8.5 minutes. Timing the how long it takes me to do literally each step in the process to see if I can speed it up. Identifying questions that take longer than average (e.g. parallel reasoning) and just skipping them. Identifying the games/passages I tend to have the easiest time with and doing them first.

What always happens is that I'll improve in one area, but then lose something in another. For example, I'll almost finish the games and get a perfect score on the ones I answered, but then bomb reading comp. Then I'll work on my reading. The next time I take an exam, my games will go to crap yet I'll get a perfect score on the ones I answered in reading comp. And the times when both of these go well, I'll see a rare slip in logical reasoning.

It's really, really frustrating. I'll put in 4-8 hours a day, yet still get nowhere. I've never been this frustrated by a test in my life.


I went through a pretty bad slump my first time through (though it wasn't based on time). If you're going to postpone, then I would say to step away for a bit. If you've sincerely put in this much effort, you might actually be trying too hard, and the problem is likely just in your head.

Once you understand what the test is and what every question type entails (which it seems you do), this test is simply not that hard to complete on time. Step away for a few weeks, get it together, spend your study time reading something dense (like some Kant), then come back with a clear mind. You'll be acclimated to spending large chunks of time on concepts far deeper than anything you'll encounter on the LSAT, and the LSAT's content will be easy by comparison, and you will be removed from this low point. If you're PTing 160, you don't lack the intellectual ability to get any score you want -- you just need to get your mind right.




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