Plateau at 172

sglassman
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Plateau at 172

Postby sglassman » Fri May 15, 2015 11:18 am

Has anyone experienced this, or a similarly high plateau?

No easily discernable pattern to mistakes; usually missing questions due to a misreading of minutiae or highly specific wording, i.e. I will
a) think I have 100% picked the correct AC when in reality it's wrong, or
B) narrow it down to two, and get tricked by the wrong AC.

Upon review the correct answers are immediately apparent.

So, my question is how do you guys balance speed with attention to detail? Any tips? I am thinking specifically as it relates to LR, but broad suggestions are always welcome.

Also - anybody have access to Voyager's LR advice? (Not his RC).

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whacka
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Re: Plateau at 172

Postby whacka » Fri May 15, 2015 12:28 pm

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Last edited by whacka on Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sglassman
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Re: Plateau at 172

Postby sglassman » Fri May 15, 2015 12:59 pm

Do you find that you change several answers to hit the 175? That is, do you finish a section, go back and make corrections to answers that need revisiting, or do you move slower throughout the test to move more carefully up front?

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whacka
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Re: Plateau at 172

Postby whacka » Fri May 15, 2015 1:04 pm

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Last edited by whacka on Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Hornet2011
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Re: Plateau at 172

Postby Hornet2011 » Fri May 15, 2015 1:35 pm

I have had a pretty similar experience. While I wouldn't say I am stuck exactly at 172, my scores do fluctuate from around 169 (lowest in 10 tests) to 174 (highest) most fall around the 171-172 range. In reference to LR, I usually have found upon review (1) I am missed an obvious answer, (2) I messed up the parrellel reasoning question (this is something I am targeting going forward since I have about a 33% success rate on the difficult parrellel reasoning questions) (3) as OP mentioned, fluctuating between 2 answer choices or choosing the wrong one. The interesting part of my issues is USUALLY the wrong answer choices are 20-25/26, with maybe 1 if any below that. I also do not have time to review my previous choices and my answers to those questions are usually slightly hurried.

OP, when you are fluctuating between those questions that take up more time, do you notice if your original intuition is right or wrong? While I have yet to try this practice purposefully, when I have reviewed my ACs I generally notice my first choice is usually the right one. When I have done better on LR, I have noticed that I choose the answer, move on, allowing time to accurately tackle the later questions, and then readdress the previous ones (usually I keep the AC the same). I also tend to skip the really hard PR questions until the end and this has had some success in the past. I will be taking a PT today and will let you know how my new approach goes (Test 58).

sglassman
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Re: Plateau at 172

Postby sglassman » Fri May 15, 2015 1:46 pm

Hornet2011 wrote:I have had a pretty similar experience. While I wouldn't say I am stuck exactly at 172, my scores do fluctuate from around 169 (lowest in 10 tests) to 174 (highest) most fall around the 171-172 range. In reference to LR, I usually have found upon review (1) I am missed an obvious answer, (2) I messed up the parrellel reasoning question (this is something I am targeting going forward since I have about a 33% success rate on the difficult parrellel reasoning questions) (3) as OP mentioned, fluctuating between 2 answer choices or choosing the wrong one. The interesting part of my issues is USUALLY the wrong answer choices are 20-25/26, with maybe 1 if any below that. I also do not have time to review my previous choices and my answers to those questions are usually slightly hurried.

OP, when you are fluctuating between those questions that take up more time, do you notice if your original intuition is right or wrong? While I have yet to try this practice purposefully, when I have reviewed my ACs I generally notice my first choice is usually the right one. When I have done better on LR, I have noticed that I choose the answer, move on, allowing time to accurately tackle the later questions, and then readdress the previous ones (usually I keep the AC the same). I also tend to skip the really hard PR questions until the end and this has had some success in the past. I will be taking a PT today and will let you know how my new approach goes (Test 58).



Thanks for the post. In response to your final question, I notice that more often than not my original intuition is correct. I think this may have something to do with the fact that I remember the stimulus details on the original run-through, and then omit one or two of those details upon review (as opposed to using them to reinforce my original reasoning). So, when I am completely in doubt, I will tend to stick with my original thought if only because I was fresher when I originally answered it.

Where parallel reasoning is concerned, I tend to approach them somewhat unconventionally. Many people recommend comparing conclusions, however I find that it's easier just to look at a stimulus in its entirety, and instead of looking for the correct AC, look for the flaws of each AC. Don't know if that helps, but it seems to have worked well for me.

UpandDown97
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Re: Plateau at 172

Postby UpandDown97 » Fri May 15, 2015 2:01 pm

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Last edited by UpandDown97 on Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TasmanianToucan
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Re: Plateau at 172

Postby TasmanianToucan » Fri May 15, 2015 2:11 pm

UpandDown97 wrote:So don't worry. You're in an awesome spot.

Yeah, the answer to the question of "what do I do when I plateau at 172" is "celebrate!"

I found that the test prep that "teaches" the test is really designed to get people from out of the 150s and 160s into the 170s. Once you're there there's not much they can tell you.

UpandDown97
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Re: Plateau at 172

Postby UpandDown97 » Fri May 15, 2015 2:17 pm

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Last edited by UpandDown97 on Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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still
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Re: Plateau at 172

Postby still » Sat May 16, 2015 5:03 pm

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Last edited by still on Tue May 26, 2015 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sls17
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Re: Plateau at 172

Postby Sls17 » Sat May 16, 2015 5:12 pm

This is an unimportant question; there is no law school you can't get into with a 172. Congrats!

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appind
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Re: Plateau at 172

Postby appind » Sat May 16, 2015 5:16 pm

still wrote:i recommend "academic ped's"

im half serious.

they wont make you any smarter but they will increase youre focus and reading sharpness and may help you nitpick those UNLESS tricks.
of course they can backfire and make you jittery and obsessive. definitely help me though on test day


can you elaborate what you used and cognitive differences you noticed. are you referring to beta blockers or anti anxiety meds?

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still
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Re: Plateau at 172

Postby still » Sat May 16, 2015 5:30 pm

appind wrote:
still wrote:i recommend "academic ped's"

im half serious.

they wont make you any smarter but they will increase youre focus and reading sharpness and may help you nitpick those UNLESS tricks.
of course they can backfire and make you jittery and obsessive. definitely help me though on test day


can you elaborate what you used and cognitive differences you noticed. are you referring to beta blockers or anti anxiety meds?


everyone's different but i highly recommend NOT taking beta blockers or anxiety meds. the LSAT is not an interview or presentation. You want to be stressed and on edge to some degree. of course if you have some condition and are prescribed the meds you know yourself better than I do.

pm me if you want to know about what I used and what i think can help

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giantswan
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Re: Plateau at 172

Postby giantswan » Sat May 16, 2015 9:29 pm

Sls17 wrote:This is an unimportant question; there is no law school you can't get into with a 172. Congrats!



Not true, especially depending on the GPA.


OP, you are in an awesome spot but that doesn't mean there isn't room to improve.

Is there any pattern to the questions you do miss? I know you said it's usually misreading - but perhaps it happens more on certain types of questions or arguments.

I know this seems basic but I tended to make more silly mistakes when I didn't have enough sleep or I ate junk before my prep tests. Since you seem to have most of the test strategy down, I suggest taking the time to evaluate the rest of your routine. How much sleep are you getting? What are you doing between waking up and taking the test to warm up? Are you eating a breakfast/snack that will keep your energy levels consistent? Also, have you been doing five section tests? I made sure to practice with an experimental section to build stamina. I even did two extra sections on occasion just to push myself. Basically I'd say check on all those little things that may be impacting your speed/focus.

I actually started plateauing around 172 for a bit as well and had to make a lot of little adjustments to my test taking strategy and routine to move beyond it. Once I did that I was PT-ing in the high 170s and I think that is the point where you can start saying there is more luck involved than not. At 172 I think you're missing something like over 10 questions - you should definitely be able to improve on that.

sglassman
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Re: Plateau at 172

Postby sglassman » Sun May 17, 2015 7:21 pm

giantswan wrote:
Sls17 wrote:This is an unimportant question; there is no law school you can't get into with a 172. Congrats!



I actually started plateauing around 172 for a bit as well and had to make a lot of little adjustments to my test taking strategy and routine to move beyond it. Once I did that I was PT-ing in the high 170s and I think that is the point where you can start saying there is more luck involved than not. At 172 I think you're missing something like over 10 questions - you should definitely be able to improve on that.


Thanks for the response. After looking back, I think I may have found a bit of a pattern.

I have found that my errors are mostly on RC (-3), and those are when I choose between a few close possibilities. Not much I can do about those, but I am always open to new strategies if you've found a method that works...

My strategy to make up for this shortcoming is to perfect other sections. I find that I make mistakes on the broadest possible LR questions, like strengthen/weaken, really broad principle questions, etc.

One useful approach to the LSAT is to be creative - I.e. imagine a possible scenario that can break an answer choice, and if it can (for Necessary questions, for example) then one can eliminate that AC. However for these very broad questions, I tend to hit a wall where I am not certain if I am being overly creative, in other words overthinking an AC. Also, when there are two seemingly viable ACs with really vague language, I am uncertain how broadly I should interpret a word.

For example, if an AC refers to a "hypothesis", I am not sure if what I read in the stimulus would fall under the definition of a hypothesis, or if it falls short. Same goes for "theory", etc. When I get it wrong, then I can easily look bak and say "no, duh, that clearly wasn't a hypothesis it was just an opinion".

So in short it's usually a result of my a) overthinking a particular answer choice or b) being too bogged down in the minutiae of the stimulus and consequently being unable to distill only those details that are crucial for answering the question.

In other instances, it's simply that I misread a specific word or fail to fully interpret the significance of a particular AC.

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BlindGuyMcSqueezy
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Re: Plateau at 172

Postby BlindGuyMcSqueezy » Sun May 17, 2015 10:44 pm

Sls17 wrote:This is an unimportant question; there is no law school you can't get into with a 172. Congrats!

What it sounds like you're saying is that there's no difference between a 172 and a 180. That's absurd. First of all, a 172 does not guarantee acceptance to HYS WHATSOEVER. Second of all, the difference between 172 and 180 at a T14 could be a difference in 100 grand in scholarship money. Yes, a 172 is great, but there is always room for improvement.

Broncos15
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Re: Plateau at 172

Postby Broncos15 » Mon May 18, 2015 3:10 am

Also many people commonly drop about 3 or so points from PT to test day scores.....So if your goal is a 172 on exam day you should be aiming to PT at 175.....a 172 PT average could very well be a 169 on test day.

Does it happen to everyone? no..but it is common enough on this forum

UpandDown97
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Re: Plateau at 172

Postby UpandDown97 » Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:14 pm

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SweetTort
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Re: Plateau at 172

Postby SweetTort » Sat Jul 30, 2016 12:41 am

For me, I jumped from 172 to 175+ when I started typing out explanations to every missed PT question in RC and LR.

WeightliftingThinker
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Re: Plateau at 172

Postby WeightliftingThinker » Sun Jul 31, 2016 11:37 pm

SweetTort wrote:For me, I jumped from 172 to 175+ when I started typing out explanations to every missed PT question in RC and LR.


Did your explanations include why the other choices were incorrect?

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SweetTort
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Re: Plateau at 172

Postby SweetTort » Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:27 am

WeightliftingThinker wrote:
SweetTort wrote:For me, I jumped from 172 to 175+ when I started typing out explanations to every missed PT question in RC and LR.


Did your explanations include why the other choices were incorrect?



Why my answer was incorrect and why the correct one is correct.

WeightliftingThinker
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Re: Plateau at 172

Postby WeightliftingThinker » Mon Aug 01, 2016 4:15 pm

SweetTort wrote:
WeightliftingThinker wrote:
SweetTort wrote:For me, I jumped from 172 to 175+ when I started typing out explanations to every missed PT question in RC and LR.


Did your explanations include why the other choices were incorrect?



Why my answer was incorrect and why the correct one is correct.


How specific were your explanations? For instance, did you note how your incorrect choice was out-of-scope while the correct choice used language tailored to the stimulus?

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RamTitan
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Re: Plateau at 172

Postby RamTitan » Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:18 pm

WeightliftingThinker wrote:
SweetTort wrote:
WeightliftingThinker wrote:
SweetTort wrote:For me, I jumped from 172 to 175+ when I started typing out explanations to every missed PT question in RC and LR.


Did your explanations include why the other choices were incorrect?



Why my answer was incorrect and why the correct one is correct.


How specific were your explanations? For instance, did you note how your incorrect choice was out-of-scope while the correct choice used language tailored to the stimulus?

I used to do this as well, and while it did not result in a score increase, I believe it did solidify my LR understanding; regardless, see if it works for you.

I would write out a paragraph explaining why the answer choice was correct and why mine was wrong. Even if you don't initially understand, if you start writing/typing, you'll find that you'll start to see the logic. With that said, lately I've found it's more helpful to isolate the conclusion and reasoning, and determine what bridges the gap.

WeightliftingThinker
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Re: Plateau at 172

Postby WeightliftingThinker » Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:24 pm

RamTitan wrote:
WeightliftingThinker wrote:
SweetTort wrote:
WeightliftingThinker wrote:
SweetTort wrote:For me, I jumped from 172 to 175+ when I started typing out explanations to every missed PT question in RC and LR.


Did your explanations include why the other choices were incorrect?



Why my answer was incorrect and why the correct one is correct.


How specific were your explanations? For instance, did you note how your incorrect choice was out-of-scope while the correct choice used language tailored to the stimulus?

I used to do this as well, and while it did not result in a score increase, I believe it did solidify my LR understanding; regardless, see if it works for you.

I would write out a paragraph explaining why the answer choice was correct and why mine was wrong. Even if you don't initially understand, if you start writing/typing, you'll find that you'll start to see the logic. With that said, lately I've found it's more helpful to isolate the conclusion and reasoning, and determine what bridges the gap.


I typically notate next to the answer choice why it is wrong by identifying it as OOS (out-of-scope), W (wrong = inaccurate relative to the stimulus), or IR (irrelevant to the issue at stake). In addition, I underline the parts of the choices that give off that it is OOS, W, or IR. If there is a major takeaway, I will add it to a list of takeaways I created relevant to the specific question type. Do you think more is warranted?

I agree with you: isolating the conclusion definitely helps.

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FayRays
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Re: Plateau at 172

Postby FayRays » Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:04 am

Sls17 wrote:This is an unimportant question; there is no law school you can't get into with a 172. Congrats!


Unless his GPA is not high enough. So one must keep on trying to get the highest he could ever reach. and you always lose 1-2 points in the real LSAT because of anxiety.

172 is more than great score, I would like to reach that one day, but many law school might say no just because they want us to be SUPER HEROES :twisted:




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