Want to jump off a building, prep test disaster

h3jk5h
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:56 pm

Want to jump off a building, prep test disaster

Postby h3jk5h » Tue Jun 02, 2015 6:36 pm

Just did the last prep test that I have, and what do know? I bombed horrifically, and even after napping I am still seething with anger.

I've finally prepping in the high 160s/low 170s after more than a year of practice. All those hours, grinding day in and day out. And I score a 162. What a fucking joke.

I can't describe how frustrated I feel right now. This is gonna be my final retake. My confidence is crushed to ground zero.

calmike
Posts: 154
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:40 pm

Re: Want to jump off a building, prep test disaster

Postby calmike » Tue Jun 02, 2015 6:41 pm

I feel the same way. I took my last test yesterday and scored a 164 after scoring 168-170 in my last tests, i bombed both LR and LG :(

User avatar
RZ5646
Posts: 2391
Joined: Fri May 30, 2014 1:31 pm

Re: Want to jump off a building, prep test disaster

Postby RZ5646 » Tue Jun 02, 2015 7:03 pm

h3jk5h wrote:Just did the last prep test that I have, and what do know? I bombed horrifically, and even after napping I am still seething with anger.

I've finally prepping in the high 160s/low 170s after more than a year of practice. All those hours, grinding day in and day out. And I score a 162. What a fucking joke.

I can't describe how frustrated I feel right now. This is gonna be my final retake. My confidence is crushed to ground zero.


That happens to everyone. As long as your average is high enough I wouldn't worry about it. And even if you choke on the real thing, you still get 3 tries... it's very unlikely that you'll strike out 3 times in a row.

User avatar
sanibella
Posts: 430
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:29 am

Re: Want to jump off a building, prep test disaster

Postby sanibella » Tue Jun 02, 2015 7:10 pm

Why on earth would you give more importance to one single pt than the average of all those others? Makes no sense. Get it over it- it was ONE test. Focus on the scores of the others. Or better yet, focus on the mistakes you made on the one you "bombed" and fix them. Also, learn how to meditate.

User avatar
Jeffort
Posts: 1896
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:43 pm

Re: Want to jump off a building, prep test disaster

Postby Jeffort » Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:04 am

RZ5646 wrote:That happens to everyone. As long as your average is high enough I wouldn't worry about it. And even if you choke on the real thing, you still get 3 tries... it's very unlikely that you'll strike out 3 times in a row.


sanibella wrote:Why on earth would you give more importance to one single pt than the average of all those others? Makes no sense. Get it over it- it was ONE test. Focus on the scores of the others. Or better yet, focus on the mistakes you made on the one you "bombed" and fix them. Also, learn how to meditate.


Geeze you guys, OP is clearly very legitimately distressed from his score on the last fresh PT he hadn't seen/taken before after prepping for over a year and having taken the real deal twice already, leaving him with only one re-take left. Try to have at least a little bit of sensitivity and compassion for his situation instead of essentially telling him that his anger, anxiety and frustration is unwarranted, not to worry about the way below his target and recent PT range score, and that it's likely he'll nail it with a top ~96th+ percentile score next Monday.

If he was a first time taker that's only been prepping for a couple of months and could re-take it two more times if things don't go well next week, your comments would be appropriate but it's clear that you two didn't really read his post fully to understand his situation he described and the reasons he feels like jumping off a building.

OP, has your recent high 160s/low 170s PT range been from fresh PT's you hadn't seen/taken/reviewed/drilled anything from before? Or is that PT range from PT's you'd taken and reviewed in the past before re-taking them again recently to get ready for the June test?

You've been prepping long enough that I assume you've been doing thorough review hopefully including blind review, so you probably already know that the next step is to deeply and thoroughly review your performance to figure out what went wrong that cost you the roughly 10-12 raw points you needed to hit 170. While you do that, really focus on figuring out if your lower than expected score and larger number of missed questions is more in line with it just having been a bad day fluke outlier PT score (like possibly from carelessness, not sticking to your normal steps/processes, fatigue, extra anxiety because test day is soo close and/or some burnout) or if many of your misses were legitimately due to having trouble with the substance and difficulty level of the questions themselves.

Hopefully it was just a fluke/bad day outlier PT score, but only deep thorough review of your performance will help you figure that out and specifically why you missed each of questions you got wrong. Did you feel like you struggled with many of the questions you got wrong or any/many of the questions you did get correct while you took the PT or did it feel like things went well and that you performed in your PT range before you scored it and got shocked by the 162?

h3jk5h
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:56 pm

Re: Want to jump off a building, prep test disaster

Postby h3jk5h » Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:35 am

Fresh prep tests for the high 160s and low 170s.

For the one that I got 162 on:
RC: normal performance
LG: made one mistake in one of the games, which costed me 4 questions. I failed to think about the game board and jumped to the questions too hastily. If I made the correct decision to split the game board, it would not have been a problem. But I simply didn't apply this step. Looking back, it wasn't luck, it was a reflection of my weakness.
LR: This is where I bombed. Even during the review session, I had trouble figuring out the correct answers to a lot of the questions. Then I realized that if I had applied POE more vigorously (i.e. read the answer choices and thought about them more thoroughly) I would not have performed too poorly. For the recent prep tests, I've been getting 2-4 wrong per section, but for this one I had a -8 in one of the sections. It felt as though all my LR weaknesses were exposed in that section.

When I was doing the two LR questions, I noticed myself struggling a lot more than usual. My reasoning process wasn't as sharp as it used to. I am not sure what happened, it felt like I lost a lot of the skills that I built (I've been doing LR at least for two hours everyday for almost a year). This is where I can't find an explanation. I improved to a point where I can process a fresh stimulus clearly such that I understood the key of what was going on (premise, conclusion, gap), but today it felt foggy. I wasn't able to process information as quick and as efficient as I used to.

Before this prep test, I told myself that I had to give everything I had, and hit a 170, because it was the last fresh prep test I had. What worries me is not that I scored this low, it's that my reasoning skills and attention to details seemed to decline overnight. I was angry, but at the same time I felt deep fear: that feeling where you know that this is your last chance and there is a decent chance you will blow it again.

Jeffort, what should I do now before test day? My dad already made it clear that postponing the test is not an option for me; I have to take it next Monday. I don't have a choice.

I simply wish to regain my form back to where it was a week and two weeks ago. That mental sharpness when analyzing an LSAT problem. The clarity in my thought process. The mental discipline of applying the same exact process to every question systematically without taking any shortcuts. The calmness to simply move on to the next question when I hit a wall and not let it affect me. I know I already possess all of those qualities, but I feel that it's escaping for me as test day approaches.

User avatar
Jeffort
Posts: 1896
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:43 pm

Re: Want to jump off a building, prep test disaster

Postby Jeffort » Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:35 am

h3jk5h wrote:Fresh prep tests for the high 160s and low 170s.

For the one that I got 162 on:
RC: normal performance
LG: made one mistake in one of the games, which costed me 4 questions. I failed to think about the game board and jumped to the questions too hastily. If I made the correct decision to split the game board, it would not have been a problem. But I simply didn't apply this step. Looking back, it wasn't luck, it was a reflection of my weakness.
LR: This is where I bombed. Even during the review session, I had trouble figuring out the correct answers to a lot of the questions. Then I realized that if I had applied POE more vigorously (i.e. read the answer choices and thought about them more thoroughly) I would not have performed too poorly. For the recent prep tests, I've been getting 2-4 wrong per section, but for this one I had a -8 in one of the sections. It felt as though all my LR weaknesses were exposed in that section.

When I was doing the two LR questions, I noticed myself struggling a lot more than usual. My reasoning process wasn't as sharp as it used to. I am not sure what happened, it felt like I lost a lot of the skills that I built (I've been doing LR at least for two hours everyday for almost a year). This is where I can't find an explanation. I improved to a point where I can process a fresh stimulus clearly such that I understood the key of what was going on (premise, conclusion, gap), but today it felt foggy. I wasn't able to process information as quick and as efficient as I used to.

Before this prep test, I told myself that I had to give everything I had, and hit a 170, because it was the last fresh prep test I had. What worries me is not that I scored this low, it's that my reasoning skills and attention to details seemed to decline overnight. I was angry, but at the same time I felt deep fear: that feeling where you know that this is your last chance and there is a decent chance you will blow it again.

Jeffort, what should I do now before test day? My dad already made it clear that postponing the test is not an option for me; I have to take it next Monday. I don't have a choice.

I simply wish to regain my form back to where it was a week and two weeks ago. That mental sharpness when analyzing an LSAT problem. The clarity in my thought process. The mental discipline of applying the same exact process to every question systematically without taking any shortcuts. The calmness to simply move on to the next question when I hit a wall and not let it affect me. I know I already possess all of those qualities, but I feel that it's escaping for me as test day approaches.


Ok, as paradoxical as this sounds, those details are all really good news for you and your potential to hit your target score range next week.

What you described clearly tells me that your lackluster performance is due to a combination of mostly psychological stress from putting an enormous amount of mental and performance pressure on yourself, LSAT over saturation from not taking any/many days off from working LSAT questions (which can cause temporary common sense reasoning blindness under which things that are normally fairly obvious/easy to recognize and/or understand and figure out when calm, relaxed and confident/not under enormous mental pressure and stress not readily click in your brain like they normally would), and burnout.

I expect that some others that are prepping will disagree with this, but I think one of the best things you can do right now is take the next two to three days off from doing or working on anything LSAT, meaning you don't look at or do any LSAT questions for a couple of days.

That will help you regain some real life big picture common sense perspective of reasoning and analyzing things outside the context of the format of LSAT questions, give your brain some time to re-energize, and help get it out of your current myopic/tunnel vision reasoning only within LSAT LR context state of mind that likely has your brain in a state where your reasoning and analysis abilities and thought processes are clouded and cluttered by countless little LSAT specific pieces of knowledge/tactics/etc. you've memorized that only apply to certain question contexts (for example, like when doing a SA assumption question, if there's a new element in the conclusion, the CR must include that element). Being in such a mental state can get in the way of your brain simply being able to take in the information and process it in a fluid way so that the full big picture of the argument 'clicks' quickly rather than your brain being overly myopically focused on the individual pieces while also thinking about a bunch of LSAT specific tactics/techniques/factoids that can be distracting and get in the way of your brain being able to quickly see the big picture unfettered by having lots of other distracting thoughts and LSAT factoids racing through your mind at the same time.

From a psychological perspective, when you stare at/think about/obsess about the same narrow range of things for a long time, your brain temporarily loses the ability to see the big picture and notice otherwise obvious things. Not the greatest analogy but hopefully it's good enough to clarify what I'm talking about. Say you've been stuck at home for a few weeks due to a broken leg, house arrest, no $$ to go out, whatever reason. You become blind to many things about your environment like dusty shelves, dirty light switch plates, clutter, marks on the wall, dirty spots on the floor, etc. Then if you go away for a couple of days and stay somewhere else, when you come back home you suddenly notice all those things you'd become blind to due to stuck at home over saturation and due to whatever things your brain had been constantly and myopically thinking about/stressing about while you were stuck at home for a few weeks straight without a change of perspective.

During the couple of LSAT days off you need to do some relaxing stress reducing things and preoccupy your mind with other stuff to regain perspective. You need to somehow get your brain to stop putting soo much pressure on yourself and to stop fixating on the do or die, this is my last re-take reality of your situation. That's certainly an easier said than done thing, but it can be done by thinking about some serious bad life things/situations you could be in that you aren't (like being charged with a serious crime and facing jail time, getting news about a serious medical problem like cancer, being a homeless person, etc.) to regain perspective about your situation so that your mind realizes that there are far worse real life things and situations you could be in that make the importance of an LSAT score pale in comparison regarding the seriousness of things.

It's not easy, but you need to get your state of mind and attitude into really thinking and believing "I don't give crap about my overall score, this is just a stupid test. I know I have the abilities, have done everything I can to prepare myself, am just going to give each question the best shot I can one question at a time, not take any question too seriously and get worked up by it and stuck on it if it's really hard, etc.". This mindset is really helpful so that while taking the test you ARE NOT thinking about your overall score, how each section is going, whether or not you'll hit your goal, be able to get into your target LS's, etc. but instead on test day during the test the only thoughts that go through your mind are related to the specific question you're addressing at the moment and time management. In essence, a bit of mental denial about the importance of your score as it relates to your goals during the test is really important to help you be more calm so that your true reasoning abilities will flow unhindered by extraneous stressful thoughts and pressures about things outside your control. Compartmentalized thinking so that you're only thinking about and expending brain power and thoughts on the substance of each question, one by one, and not trying to evaluate and judge your performance as you go during the test.

During the couple of days off, you can easily keep your reasoning skills well oiled and running by just applying them to different stuff in non LSAT context. There are many ways to do this. One way is to watch some cable news shows about politics and stuff like MSNBC, CNN and Fox News shows and play 'spot the reasoning flaws' with the arguments the various pundits make. If politics would get you worked up and stressed rather than calm you down, you can also exercise your logical reasoning skills and play 'spot the flaws' just by eavesdropping on conversations/discussions/arguments/debates other people are having wherever, whether it be with your friends, students on college campuses, wherever. Just don't participate in the arguments yourself, be a fly on the wall and mentally analyze things people say, think about and identify assumptions that underlie whatever they're saying, etc.

Some moderate cardio exercise is also very helpful for reducing stress and clearing your head. Going somewhere away from home with a nice view or whatever like some nature area, hanging out by yourself for a while, just observing and appreciating the environment and letting your mind just wander and/or doing some meditation while in a nature area is also a good way to relax, re-energize and gain perspective.

You've gotta get your mental state out of the pressure cooker mode its in right now and give your brain time away from the LSAT to let it get back to normal person mode.

Just one of many examples of students I've tutored over the years. Two years ago a girl I worked with had been prepping for over a year, gotten to almost the same place with PT scores you are and then dropped to a 158 PT score 9 days before the test. She freaked and went into what sounds like pretty much the same mental place you are in now. She did the types of stuff I've outlined during a several day total break from anything LSAT and scored 169 on the real deal, higher than her highest PT (167).

I guess this is a really long winded way to say that you really need to take a couple days off from LSAT prep to decompress and get back some normal real world perspective to get yourself into a somewhat 'I don't give $hit about what score I get, I'm just going to give each question my best shot, manage my time well, and let the cards fall where they will', get out of LSAT over saturation mode, and give your brain some rest to get out of burnout mode.

Also, read the below linked thread and 'The Journey' story in the scribd link. The guy that wrote both talks a lot about the stress and psychology of prepping for the LSAT and about how he got himself to the 'I don't give a $hit' mindset that worked on test day to hit 170 on his last re-take after starting with a 145 diagnostic score.

It's really really good and I think you'll be able to relate to a lot of what he describes that he went through during his long prep journey to his 170 score. The scribd 'The Journey' link has the really insightful stuff about the psychological stuff that's most relevant to your situation:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=224337
http://www.scribd.com/doc/205229477/The-Journey
Last edited by Jeffort on Wed Jun 03, 2015 3:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
KMart
Posts: 3625
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:25 am

Re: Want to jump off a building, prep test disaster

Postby KMart » Wed Jun 03, 2015 3:41 am

OP, relax.

User avatar
RunnerRunner
Posts: 235
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:16 pm

Re: Want to jump off a building, prep test disaster

Postby RunnerRunner » Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:48 am

KMart wrote:OP, relax.


OP: you'll be fine, it doesn't mean anything, your average is what matters. Hell, you can even see this as getting your last below average test out of your system before the one that really matters :D

User avatar
UnicornHunter
Posts: 13386
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 9:16 pm

Re: Want to jump off a building, prep test disaster

Postby UnicornHunter » Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:37 am

Are you a grown adult or is your dad making decisions for you? I agree that one score is no big deal, so if you've been hitting 170ish on most of your tests you should be confident, but really...after you crush the LOLsat it sounds like your best bet will be to sit on the score for a few years and do something not related to law.

FloridaCoastalorbust
Posts: 1302
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:43 pm

Re: Want to jump off a building, prep test disaster

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:16 am

cool

User avatar
Hand
Posts: 3519
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 11:33 am

Re: Want to jump off a building, prep test disaster

Postby Hand » Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:53 am

killing yourself now will prevent lots of future misery; I think you're onto something here OP

User avatar
sanibella
Posts: 430
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:29 am

Re: Want to jump off a building, prep test disaster

Postby sanibella » Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:17 pm

Jeffort wrote:
RZ5646 wrote:That happens to everyone. As long as your average is high enough I wouldn't worry about it. And even if you choke on the real thing, you still get 3 tries... it's very unlikely that you'll strike out 3 times in a row.


sanibella wrote:Why on earth would you give more importance to one single pt than the average of all those others? Makes no sense. Get it over it- it was ONE test. Focus on the scores of the others. Or better yet, focus on the mistakes you made on the one you "bombed" and fix them. Also, learn how to meditate.


Geeze you guys, OP is clearly very legitimately distressed from his score on the last fresh PT he hadn't seen/taken before after prepping for over a year and having taken the real deal twice already, leaving him with only one re-take left. Try to have at least a little bit of sensitivity and compassion for his situation instead of essentially telling him that his anger, anxiety and frustration is unwarranted, not to worry about the way below his target and recent PT range score, and that it's likely he'll nail it with a top ~96th+ percentile score next Monday.

If he was a first time taker that's only been prepping for a couple of months and could re-take it two more times if things don't go well next week, your comments would be appropriate but it's clear that you two didn't really read his post fully to understand his situation he described and the reasons he feels like jumping off a building.

OP, has your recent high 160s/low 170s PT range been from fresh PT's you hadn't seen/taken/reviewed/drilled anything from before? Or is that PT range from PT's you'd taken and reviewed in the past before re-taking them again recently to get ready for the June test?

You've been prepping long enough that I assume you've been doing thorough review hopefully including blind review, so you probably already know that the next step is to deeply and thoroughly review your performance to figure out what went wrong that cost you the roughly 10-12 raw points you needed to hit 170. While you do that, really focus on figuring out if your lower than expected score and larger number of missed questions is more in line with it just having been a bad day fluke outlier PT score (like possibly from carelessness, not sticking to your normal steps/processes, fatigue, extra anxiety because test day is soo close and/or some burnout) or if many of your misses were legitimately due to having trouble with the substance and difficulty level of the questions themselves.

Hopefully it was just a fluke/bad day outlier PT score, but only deep thorough review of your performance will help you figure that out and specifically why you missed each of questions you got wrong. Did you feel like you struggled with many of the questions you got wrong or any/many of the questions you did get correct while you took the PT or did it feel like things went well and that you performed in your PT range before you scored it and got shocked by the 162?


I read exactly what OP said. I do not think expending so much energy on worry/fear will be beneficial to OP at all. I gave the same advice as you, REVIEW the test, though you were much more thorough and eloquent.




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: addie1412, dietcoke1, Google [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 10 guests