beginning to think "auto pilot" isn't so great for the LSAT

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flash21
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beginning to think "auto pilot" isn't so great for the LSAT

Postby flash21 » Thu May 07, 2015 7:35 am

Hey guys,

Realized as I was drilling the other day that often I'll find myself in an autopilot mode, when I almost go (for lack of a better term) unconscious -- kind of zoning out almost. Not in a bored type of way, but almost robotic like. Although this sounds sweet, and there is something to be said for doing things second nature - I'm beginning to believe its best to stay fully aware, active and present the entire time during a PT and I don't believe things being second nature are mutually exclusive to this state of mind either. Let me explain.

I've noticed when I'm in this auto pilot mode that I'm more likely to make stupid reading mistakes on a LG rule or key word in deciding between 2 LR answer choices. I've noticed for RC it will end up being me not paying attention - and leads to a snowball effect of never understanding this passage. Even more subtly, I noticed the speed at which I WRITE during logic games slows down quite a bit.

Just a thought I had.

I guess the takeaway I had from this was to stay fully engaged every second of PT's and drilling. I think its helped me a lot.

Does anyone relate? Do you guys know what I mean when I say an almost robotic like state? I think many of us "zone out" throughout our days in everyday life - this is the type of mind-set I'm talking about.

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The Abyss
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Re: beginning to think "auto pilot" isn't so great for the LSAT

Postby The Abyss » Thu May 07, 2015 8:39 am

flash21 wrote:Hey guys,

Realized as I was drilling the other day that often I'll find myself in an autopilot mode, when I almost go (for lack of a better term) unconscious -- kind of zoning out almost. Not in a bored type of way, but almost robotic like. Although this sounds sweet, and there is something to be said for doing things second nature - I'm beginning to believe its best to stay fully aware, active and present the entire time during a PT and I don't believe things being second nature are mutually exclusive to this state of mind either. Let me explain.

I've noticed when I'm in this auto pilot mode that I'm more likely to make stupid reading mistakes on a LG rule or key word in deciding between 2 LR answer choices. I've noticed for RC it will end up being me not paying attention - and leads to a snowball effect of never understanding this passage. Even more subtly, I noticed the speed at which I WRITE during logic games slows down quite a bit.

Just a thought I had.

I guess the takeaway I had from this was to stay fully engaged every second of PT's and drilling. I think its helped me a lot.

Does anyone relate? Do you guys know what I mean when I say an almost robotic like state? I think many of us "zone out" throughout our days in everyday life - this is the type of mind-set I'm talking about.


This sounds a lot like times during a long drive for me. I'll zone out and think afterwards, "I don't really remember the last 15 minutes or so of driving." Just on auto pilot, so I know the feeling but I don't have this issue with the LSAT.

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flash21
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Re: beginning to think "auto pilot" isn't so great for the LSAT

Postby flash21 » Thu May 07, 2015 9:58 am

Abyss,

yeah its somewhat like that driving example but a bit less intense. Its not as though I don't remember parts, but I think I get a bit too robotic at times which can be especially damaging for those later questions where one word may be the difference between two tricky answer choices or even misreading a logic game rule

msp8
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Re: beginning to think "auto pilot" isn't so great for the LSAT

Postby msp8 » Sun May 10, 2015 11:23 am

I don't go on auto-pilot, I just get distracted altogether.

What was suggested to me on this forum is to actively engage whatever question you're working on. If it's for LG, then your mind should never be on auto pilot because you ought to be constantly thinking of inferences and possibilities. On LR, try underlining the conclusion; on RC, similarly, underline MP, make a couple of small notes, etc.

These underlinings/small notes are less to help you reference things than they are to combat that auto-pilot tendency.

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flash21
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Re: beginning to think "auto pilot" isn't so great for the LSAT

Postby flash21 » Sun May 10, 2015 3:32 pm

Yeah msp thats what I'm getting at. Its surprisingly difficult to stay engaged a lot of the time, but it makes a massive difference.

Budfox55
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Re: beginning to think "auto pilot" isn't so great for the LSAT

Postby Budfox55 » Wed May 13, 2015 9:06 pm

Dude, I know exactly what you mean. It's not zoning out per se, but more like going through the motions. For me I notice that it starts happening around halfway through a section. Also I notice that my pace of thinking also starts to slow down when this happens as well. I'll snap out of for a question or two, but then it'll come back. It's like you're doing what you're supposed to do technique wise, but not paying attention or thinking about what you're actually doing.

For example, in LR I'll read the question stem, get the main conclusion and premises, and go through the answer choices..but then realize I have no idea what the fuck I just read and have to go back and reread the stimulus so I could better comprehend how everything connects. Then it leads to sloppiness by either picking stupid answers when still in the state(I'll immediately find the correct answer when reviewing) or getting rushed when rereading after snapping out and realizing that I'm now spending too much time on a single question.

I also annotate and underline, still doesn't help. I'm essentially studying for the Lsat full time right now and I've noticed that in the beginning of the week, this doesn't really happen and I'll get my highest scores on PTs, then on days like today where it starts happening within 5 min of a section, I'll get 5 points lower than what I usually get.

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flash21
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Re: beginning to think "auto pilot" isn't so great for the LSAT

Postby flash21 » Thu May 14, 2015 10:38 am

Buxfox - this is exactly right. This is when nuances in language are most likely to screw you up I find.

Blueprint Ben
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Re: beginning to think "auto pilot" isn't so great for the LSAT

Postby Blueprint Ben » Thu May 14, 2015 11:12 am

You're definitely right that auto pilot isn't so great for the LSAT. But I wonder: Would this ever happen on test day? For me, it would be impossible to go on autopilot when I'm facing the stress and anxiety of the real deal. If you want to avoid auto pilot in practice, I'd say treat every PT like it's the real thing. Try to simulate the crazed hyperfocus of test day, every day. I know it's easier said than done, but I think getting yourself worked up in practice as much as you can will help to prepare you for the test day twilight zone mindbrain.

FloridaCoastalorbust
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Re: beginning to think "auto pilot" isn't so great for the LSAT

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Thu May 14, 2015 11:32 am

Auto pilot was great for me on LR. Finished -1 combined on test day. But not so much on LG/RC: ended up w/ a 169 :cry:

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earthabides
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Re: beginning to think "auto pilot" isn't so great for the LSAT

Postby earthabides » Thu May 14, 2015 11:44 am

By auto-pilot do you mean just zoning out, not second-guessing yourself, and flying through the questions?

I do that on all tests, and find it's very effective for me. But if you are the type of LSAT taker who is trying to use all kinds of weird rules and strategies etc then I could see how that would be harmful.

If not, no harm in letting you're "sub-conscious" solve the questions for you. A lot of the time I just "know" the answer, select it, and move on. Often I'm right. After doing so many questions you probably have some kind of muscle-memory working in your favour.




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