Week 12: The PopDay 1
I took the day off and read a book.Day 2
I had a great night of sleep. If I can wake up feeling this good on the test day, I’ll be very lucky. I changed three things about my routine yesterday that may have contributed to my good sleep:
1) I cleaned my bedroom.
2) I took a multivitamin
3) I followed this video’s directions to relax myself before falling asleep: https://youtu.be/Jyy0ra2WcQQ
Breakfast: Turkey cheddar bacon flatbread (Dunkin Donuts) + Coffee
Warm up: I reviewed wrong questions from the previous test I took as my warmup.
State of mind: As good as I physically feel right now, I still don’t have the best mentality going into this test. I’m not as focused as I want to be. I think I perform my best in high stakes situations when I go in with an aggressive and offensive mentality. Whether it’s sports, speech + debate, or any other competitive endeavor, being in an attack mode is crucial for success. If you are apprehensive, defensive, or passive, you’ve already lost the battle. PT 51Section 1: Logical Reasoning (-1)http://i.imgur.com/GMRngU2.png
I had enough time left to go back and check three questions. I ended up correctly changing two of the answers. It’s great I finished quickly enough to have time to double check answers and accurately change them but I don’t like the fact I answered questions incorrectly on my first try. At this point, it’s not realistic to count on being able to finish early enough on each section to double check answers so it’s very important to cut down on my mistakes.Section 2: Reading Comprehension (-6)http://i.imgur.com/sjlnu4Y.png
According to 7sage’s ratings of the passages, this was a relatively difficult reading comprehension section. I also think having RC as the third section contributed to the difficulty because the third section is generally when I’m most tired. Regardless of the reason, I already know RC is my biggest weakness and I’ll spend most of my remaining 6 weeks preparing for it.Section 3: Logical Reasoning (-1)http://i.imgur.com/IcjIEwQ.png
I was running out of time and skipped #24 and did #25 first. Luckily, I had enough time to give #24 a good try and get the right answer.
Section 4: Logic Games (-0)
I finished 10 minutes early and I needed it. I went back to completely redo the second game because I didn’t catch all the inferences the first time. I felt A LOT more comfortable the second time around: everything became really obvious. This is the first time I scored perfectly on a section. The strange part is, I still don’t feel completely confident with logic games, I just feel comfortable enough with certain types of games to finish them quickly so that I have enough time to stumble through harder games. Raw score: 92
Final score: 173
I’m pretty surprised by this score. I obviously didn’t gain enough skills in the past 3 days to justify a 6 point jump from my Thursday’s score of 167. The reason I did well today is mostly due to my better test taking mentality. Although I’m still a good bit away from feeling 100%, I do feel noticeably more focused and less distracted than I felt last week.Day 3
I reviewed yesterday’s test and made flash cards out of the questions I missed. Also read chapter 1 of MLSAT’s Reading Comprehension book.Day 4
I had another great night of sleep last night. Same routine as before: multivitamin + relaxing meditation. This will continue to be my routine until it stops working.
Breakfast: same as before. Turkey bacon cheddar flatbread + coffee
Warm up: same as before. Reviewed questions from the previous test.
State of mind: I still can’t bring the same intensity I brought two months ago but I still feel a lot better than last week.PT 52
Section 1: Logical Reasoning (-2)http://i.imgur.com/apeKmF0.pngSection 2: Logic Games (-1)http://i.imgur.com/4L7EPtE.png
The second game had a lot of conditional rules and sucked up a lot of time. I finished with only a few minutes left and didn’t really have time to double check.Section 3: Logical Reasoning (-2)http://i.imgur.com/odK3aHB.pngSection 4: Reading Comprehension (-2)http://i.imgur.com/lcdXeR8.png
This is my best RC performance yet. Part of the reason I did better here is because one of the questions was removed from scoring. The time I saved not doing that question went a long way to giving me enough time to do the rest of the section. I think I should start seeking out questions to skip until I can consistently score below -4 on this section.Raw score: 92
Final score: 173
I’m pretty happy about the consistency I’m seeing with my LG and LR sections. With enough work, my RC will become equally consistent. The passages in the RC section were all really interesting, I never lost focus reading them. The only passage topic I hope I won’t see on the test day is anything art related. For some reason, my mind just shuts off when I read about art. Even in logic games, where the topic doesn’t really matter, I still have trouble interpreting games when they are presented in an art-related context.Day 5
I reviewed the mistakes I made on the test and made flash cards.Day 6
Another great night of sleep. I had the same multivitamin + meditation before sleep routine.
Breakfast: Coffee + Turkey cheddar bacon on flatbread.
Warm up: Reviewed flashcards of PT52
State of mind: I feel calm and relaxed. I am still not in the focused and aggressive mindset I prefer to be in, but I am more than thankful for good sleep + clarity of mind.PT 53
Section 1: Logical Reasoning (-1)http://i.imgur.com/1BQRoY4.png
I’m a bit surprised I got #8 wrong because I didn’t even mark it down as a hard question while I was taking the test. I fell for a trap answer and moved on before reading the rest of the answer choices. I’m not sure what the proper balance is in situations like this. Do I take more time to read all the other answers and risk running out of time or do I move quickly to build up a time surplus? I think this problem will diminish as my skill increases and I become more aware of potential trap answers but in the meantime, I should be more liberal in labeling questions I need to revisit. I’ve only been marking questions that were difficult so far, but I should also mark questions I answered without reading all the answers.
Overall, I felt really comfortable on this section. I was averaging a pace of under a minute per question through the first 15 or so questions. This gave me a lot of time for the harder questions towards the end of the section.Section 2: Logic Games (-1)http://i.imgur.com/SKWjQhN.png
I was averaging a pretty reasonable pace through the first three games and had over 10 minutes left for the last one. I think I lost a little bit of focus because of how much time I had left and I ran out of time on the last question.Section 3: Logical Reasoning (-0)
My first perfect score on a logical reasoning section. I finished this section early and had a chance to correctly change my answer for question #7 from B to A. #7 was a 1 star question that 91% of test takers answer correctly, I’m not sure why I had trouble with it and why I answered it incorrectly the first time.Section 4: Reading Comprehension (-7)http://i.imgur.com/sYSmRxo.png
I don’t even know where to begin. The first passage took me a really long time to get through and caused me to rush through the rest of the passages. I skipped passage 3 because of how long it was and went back to it when I had only 4 minutes left but I somehow only answered 1 question wrong (I guessed D for every answer and changed the answers for the questions I felt like I had a good shot at getting right). I think I should have scored way worse on this section and I got lucky because of my guesses.
I think my performance on RC is largely dependent on the topics of the passages. The passages in the previous test were all really interesting to me so I went through them at a comfortable pace. The only passage I found interesting in this section was the last one but I was so rushed that I still got 3 questions wrong.Raw score: 91
Final score: 172
I was really hoping to get a 176+ on this test and I really felt like I was on pace to do so by the time I took my break. The LR-LG-LR-RC structure is nearly perfect because LG acts as a small break between two relatively intensive LR sections and I get a full break before taking the RC section. The only way this structure could be better is if RC replaced the first LR section so I’m at my freshest when tackling the most difficult section.
172 doesn’t really reflect my performance on this test because I guessed a disproportionally high number of questions correctly for passage 3. However, it looks like I’m starting to see a lot of consistency on my LG and LR sections. My success on the test day will hinge on how consistent my RC is. With 6 weeks of preparation, I think it’s very probable I can make some serious progress on it. I think if I can average -2 on RC, I will have a very good shot at achieving my goal of 178 or better.Day 7
Finished reading chapter 2 of MLSAT’s RC guide. I really like the reading for scale method of approaching passages that have contrasting positions.
Tip: When there’s two positions in a passage, the author usually takes the second one: “some say x, but actually y is true.”Final thoughts
After two and half months, there’s finally some tangible progress to show for all the work. This was the “pop” I’ve been waiting for. I feel like things are starting to come together.
I am going to begin drilling RC next week. I've noticed that certain paragraphs of certain passages are harder to read and comprehend than others. These are the time suckers where my mistakes occur. I'm going to cut out these paragraphs and tape them onto flashcards to practice reading them. 7sage is really helpful because it gives a video explanation of how to approach and analyze each passage before doing the questions. I'm going to jot down the notes from these videos on the back of my flashcard to test myself.
I think I can approach RC the same way I approach LG. I don't need to read every passage equally well, I can focus on mastering just a few types of passages to save me time on other passages.