HELP!! Just got 157 from Kaplan free practice exam....

azhot
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HELP!! Just got 157 from Kaplan free practice exam....

Postby azhot » Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:28 pm

So, today I took a free LSAT practice exam with Kaplan (real PT) and ended up scoring a 157.
I have done quite a few study on the LSAT, but had never really PTed under real test conditions. In the past, I tried finish sections even if I go over the limited time and I took long break between sections. I prep at 165ish by doing that.

When I write the test on the real test-day condition for the first time today, I felt my brain was hardly functioning during the latter part of the test due to my weak mental endurance. I ended up with 30 wrongs, broken down as -2LG -7LR -11LR -10RC.

I am not happy at all with this score. I hope to get a 170+ at the end. How doable is it to improve from 157 to 170? Any suggestion for my prep strategy in the future?

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Clearly
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Re: HELP!! Just got 157 from Kaplan free practice exam....

Postby Clearly » Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:38 pm

...stop studying for this magical untimed fantasy test, and start taking more actual tests like the test will be administered?
Once you get that down, I always liked to push it even further than that so i'd be prepared for anything. I started taking each section in 30 minutes. Then I started adding a second experimental so I was taking 6 section tests.

Yes it's possible, I started well below your current score and finished above your target score, but strong English language skills are important, and frankly its very difficult for many ESL students to score at very high levels. Not saying it doesn't happen, but if you are going to do it, its going to take a lot more work and effort.

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Pneumonia
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Re: HELP!! Just got 157 from Kaplan free practice exam....

Postby Pneumonia » Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:42 pm

Never take PTs under less than fully timed conditions. Idk what you expected?

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North
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Re: HELP!! Just got 157 from Kaplan free practice exam....

Postby North » Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:46 pm

It's plenty doable. I jumped from a 152 to a 173. You've got a lot tof work ahead of you though because you haven't really been practicing. The questions on the LSAT, once you're familiar with them, are not really that difficult when you have time to think through them carefully. The LSAT is difficult primarily because you don't have that time. So you've got to learn to make the same accurate decisions you make with unlimited time in the 25 minutes or whatever that you get on the LSAT, and the. Do that for 4 hours straight. That takes a ton of practice and endurance.

Three takeaways here. First, yes you can do it, yes it will be a lot of work, and no it might not be worth it (that is to say, make sure going to law school is even a good financial decision for you). Second, because you're only getting 165 or so when you're not really taking the real LSAT, you are not nearly as familiar with the questions as you need to be. Get back to basics and work through the Manhattan/Powerscore books again. Drill the Cambridge packets over and over. Third, after you're really good at all the question types, take real timed PT's and review them. Learn how to answer the questions correctly under pressure. There are plenty of guides on TLS that will give you more detailed directions.

Scooped

azhot
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Re: HELP!! Just got 157 from Kaplan free practice exam....

Postby azhot » Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:47 pm

Clearly wrote:...stop studying for this magical untimed fantasy test, and start taking more actual tests like the test will be administered?
Once you get that down, I always liked to push it even further than that so i'd be prepared for anything. I started taking each section in 30 minutes. Then I started adding a second experimental so I was taking 6 section tests.

Yes it's possible, I started well below your current score and finished above your target score, but strong English language skills are important, and frankly its very difficult for many ESL students to score at very high levels. Not saying it doesn't happen, but if you are going to do it, its going to take a lot more work and effort.



You are right I am an ESL student I forgot to indicate.
Wow.. It seems intimidating to sit there for like three hours straight every other day....

Also, is it helpful to redo exams? I will be running out of materials in a couple of months.

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North
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Re: HELP!! Just got 157 from Kaplan free practice exam....

Postby North » Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:50 pm

azhot wrote:Wow.. It seems intimidating to sit there for like three hours straight every other day...

Uhhhh... Think very hard about whether you should be a lawyer/go to law school.

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Clearly
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Re: HELP!! Just got 157 from Kaplan free practice exam....

Postby Clearly » Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:51 pm

azhot wrote:
Clearly wrote:...stop studying for this magical untimed fantasy test, and start taking more actual tests like the test will be administered?
Once you get that down, I always liked to push it even further than that so i'd be prepared for anything. I started taking each section in 30 minutes. Then I started adding a second experimental so I was taking 6 section tests.

Yes it's possible, I started well below your current score and finished above your target score, but strong English language skills are important, and frankly its very difficult for many ESL students to score at very high levels. Not saying it doesn't happen, but if you are going to do it, its going to take a lot more work and effort.



You are right I am an ESL student I forgot to indicate.
Wow.. It seems intimidating to sit there for like three hours straight every other day....

Also, is it helpful to redo exams? I will be running out of materials in a couple of months.

Hang on now. When you say running out of materials, do you mean running out of material you have on hand, or running out of actual LSAT material that exists?

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Clearly
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Re: HELP!! Just got 157 from Kaplan free practice exam....

Postby Clearly » Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:52 pm

North wrote:
azhot wrote:Wow.. It seems intimidating to sit there for like three hours straight every other day...

Uhhhh... Think very hard about whether you should be a lawyer/go to law school.

hahahah amen.

azhot
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:25 pm

Re: HELP!! Just got 157 from Kaplan free practice exam....

Postby azhot » Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:56 pm

I drilled the cambridge package and did some untimed test to PT40s.
I expect to get it to 70 if I do timed PT every other day...

what should my strategy be? Stop doing PT now and re-drilling the cambridge package until it clicks? Or real-conditioned PT with drilling until June?


I have 4 months left until I sit my first take in June when I go back to China :D
Last edited by azhot on Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

azhot
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:25 pm

Re: HELP!! Just got 157 from Kaplan free practice exam....

Postby azhot » Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:58 pm

Clearly wrote:
North wrote:
azhot wrote:Wow.. It seems intimidating to sit there for like three hours straight every other day...

Uhhhh... Think very hard about whether you should be a lawyer/go to law school.

hahahah amen.



haha... joking. I can do it for sure, but it is just always intimidating when I think about it... And when I got time I will do 2PTs a day probably, which means I will spend like 12 hours a day PTing and analyzing answers.. Haven't done this since I took the SAT four years ago. So, I just need a few days to get used to it.

somepulp
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Re: HELP!! Just got 157 from Kaplan free practice exam....

Postby somepulp » Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:12 pm

I wasn't born here but my English is as fluent as native-born speakers and even I marvel at how many details and nuances I miss when I actually know 99% of what the passage/question is asking for/talking about. This is aside from the few times where there is an important vocab word in the RC section that I am not familiar with.

For LR and RC, 99% of the time every single word involved is there for a reason. Author attitude? Argument flaw? Shifting definitions? The nuances are vast. This is not to say that just because you are not a native-speaker, you will miss all these details, but it is just something to keep in mind because I actually gained points just from knowing what to look for, why certain words are inserted/used, how their relationships change, etc.

Regarding drilling: have you re-drilled? Do you check your mistakes and know where/why these are happening? This is SUPER important to keep in mind because, for me at least, speed came after accuracy. Once you get how it's done, you have to repeat it enough so the next question that uses the same inferences and properties, you can replicate your work faster.

Second Clearly's note about gradually adding on the 6th section. Haven't reached that point myself, but I look forward to it.

Stop wasting PTs. It seems like you are using PTs to actually drill/reinforce techniques. Redo the Cambridge packets. Not only should you not PT under lax/non-existent time conditions, you wouldn't want the extra burden of reusing PTs for further practice.




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