February 2017 LSAT Thread

christmascookie
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Re: February 2017 LSAT Thread

Postby christmascookie » Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:14 am

etramak wrote:
christmascookie wrote:I just finished PT 69 (178), and have averaged a 173 from tests 61-69. How much harder do the tests get, from people who have taken 70+? What changes in your practice tests have you seen?


In the early 70s we start to see tests with at least one very difficult RC passage and/or a "weird" game. The nontraditional games aren't exactly difficult if you look at the rules carefully, but they come as a shock the first time you see them.


Thank you!

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chasima
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Re: February 2017 LSAT Thread

Postby chasima » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:30 pm

30 days til test day!

Finished PT 62 blind review yesterday, finally. Still struggling to finish the logic games section in time, will probably keep doing the entire section every day until I feel totally comfortable making all the inferences and getting every question correct with time to spare. Ended up with a BR score of 174. Clearly a lot better than my original timed score of 156 on that PT, lol.

Goal for today is to add each of the questions that I missed after BR for PT 62 into my google doc of missed BR questions, then drill with each section of PT 63. I'm not noticing a pattern with any particular question types, so guessing that's the best approach.

Also within the past two days, I've gotten into BU, Waitlisted at UCLA, and Rejected at UT so I guess that's extra motivation for the month.

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airwrecka
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Re: February 2017 LSAT Thread

Postby airwrecka » Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:46 pm

did the RC from PT 60 yesterday and went -0 on the section 8) woo!

AMcJV12
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Re: February 2017 LSAT Thread

Postby AMcJV12 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:06 pm

How many PT's a week are y'all doing? I've been sticking to two per week to give me as much time for AR review as possible.

etramak
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Re: February 2017 LSAT Thread

Postby etramak » Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:14 pm

AMcJV12 wrote:How many PT's a week are y'all doing? I've been sticking to two per week to give me as much time for AR review as possible.


I have 24 hours of free time, so, a 5 section PT on Mondays at 9 AM, 3 sections (one of each) Tuesdays-Friday at 9 AM, and a 6 section PT on Saturdays at 9 AM. Sunday is LSAT-free. My prep is mainly for mental preparation, other than getting tripped up by the occasional RC section I know the test pretty well by now.

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chasima
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Re: February 2017 LSAT Thread

Postby chasima » Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:17 pm

AMcJV12 wrote:How many PT's a week are y'all doing? I've been sticking to two per week to give me as much time for AR review as possible.


No more than 1.

etramak
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Re: February 2017 LSAT Thread

Postby etramak » Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:33 pm

Anyone try mediation to prepare? I didn't do it before my first two takes despite the recommendation of other users here and LSAT blogs/prep companies, and perhaps at my peril. I started trying it a few weeks ago and, while it could just be in my head, it seems to have some positive effects during preptests. I guess I won't really know for sure until thirty days from now. I guess this really only applies if you have some anxiety during testing.

AMcJV12
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Re: February 2017 LSAT Thread

Postby AMcJV12 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:08 pm

etramak wrote:Anyone try mediation to prepare? I didn't do it before my first two takes despite the recommendation of other users here and LSAT blogs/prep companies, and perhaps at my peril. I started trying it a few weeks ago and, while it could just be in my head, it seems to have some positive effects during preptests. I guess I won't really know for sure until thirty days from now. I guess this really only applies if you have some anxiety during testing.


I've actually been having some trouble with getting tilted during tests, so maybe I should try this. What kind of meditation have you been doing?

etramak
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Re: February 2017 LSAT Thread

Postby etramak » Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:28 pm

AMcJV12 wrote:
etramak wrote:Anyone try mediation to prepare? I didn't do it before my first two takes despite the recommendation of other users here and LSAT blogs/prep companies, and perhaps at my peril. I started trying it a few weeks ago and, while it could just be in my head, it seems to have some positive effects during preptests. I guess I won't really know for sure until thirty days from now. I guess this really only applies if you have some anxiety during testing.


I've actually been having some trouble with getting tilted during tests, so maybe I should try this. What kind of meditation have you been doing?


Personally, just following the guided meditation offered as free trials on a couple of the more popular apps available in the Apple or Google Play stores. Basically just sitting down, taking a few deep breaths, closing my eyes, and not thinking about anything other than focusing on breathing for 10-15 minutes. I asked about overcoming test anxiety on this forum after I freaked out during the Tokens passage in June 2016 and got seven questions in a row wrong, shattering my score (my mind was racing throughout the test in general, too). Anyway, someone who seemed to know what they were talking about responded to me with a really great post that offers slightly different advice for mediation (notably, he says to keep your eyes open):

BirdLawExpert wrote:Howdy, y'all, just dropping in to say good luck. It's sad to see so many familiar faces in this thread, but if you're in this thread mere hours after getting your scores back, you've got the right attitude and I know you'll do well.

I just typed this up and posted it in the June Waiters Thread, but I realized it would probably do more good here. Someone in that thread had asked how to get over their test-day issues without "meditation or any of that Eastern mumbo jumbo", but I've worked with a lot of people that have issues with testing and meditation is a phenomenal tool. Here's a short guide, free of flowery spiritual language, about how and why you should be meditating if you had issues with performing on test day.

Speaking as someone who has worked a lot with students that get psyched out by tests, meditation isn't "Eastern mumbo jumbo", and it is typically the most effective tool for every student I've work with. Here's a short guide, free of any mumbo jumbo, to give you an idea of what I mean by meditation.

Ground Rules:
Don't meditate in the morning after just waking up. Meditate at a "busy" point in your day where you're actively solving problems.
Don't have your phone with you or within earshot. You need to be isolated as much as you can.
Don't meditate in the same room that you study in. Find a "neutral" location or a place in your house/apartment that you don't use very much. This seems counterintuitive but it's actually kind of important
Don't cut your time short if you're busy. That cheats you and kind of defeats the entire point of meditation. Make time for this.

Now that you've got your ground rules, here's what you're going to do. Grab that watch you use for timing sections on the test and set it to five minutes. Go sit on the floor in a neutral location facing an empty wall, and stare at that wall for five minutes. Do your best to think about nothing. Don't make plans, don't solve problems, don't think about what you're doing next, and don't think about existential nonsense or anything like that. Just sit there and stare at the wall and do your absolute best to avoid thinking of anything in particular. If you're like me, for the entire first week you do this you're going to be thinking "this is stupid, this is so stupid". That's fine. You'll get over it. Sit there for five minutes, not a second more or less. Do that for two weeks, which should be about how long it takes for you to get over the fact that you're sitting in a corner staring at a wall. Also, don't close your eyes, because hopefully you don't take tests with your eyes closed. If you do, we just solved your problem and you don't need to meditate.

After two weeks, you're going to sit there for fifteen minutes. You're going to feel like you're wasting even more of your time on this nonsense, but just do it. Don't think about your breathing or heart rate or anything like that. Just sit there for fifteen minutes and actively tell your brain to stop solving problems. If you have a train of thought, actively think about something else. Do this every day for not a second more or less than fifteen minutes. You're not going to succeed at first, you might not get anywhere close to succeeding, but keep doing it anyway. The entire point of this is to gain the ability to actively tell your brain to stop its surface-level problem solving processes for however long you may need it to. If you're getting through fifteen minutes pretty easily, then try thirty. If you're getting through thirty easily, you're probably good.

This isn't about becoming one with yourself or anything, this is about re-calibrating a mechanical issue in your thought process. The fundamental problem of most people who have issues with test taking is that when they sit down to test, they cannot control the pace at which they think. Thoughts fly in and out more quickly than normal, or not at all, and instead of taking a deep breath and being able to normalize their thought process like many people can, they have to take the test with their mind running at a thousand miles per hour or crawling at a snail's pace. That's just too mentally exhausting to deal with over a long test like the LSAT. By sitting down and forcing yourself to stop solving problems at a time when your mind is running at a high speed, you're essentially practicing that "calming" sensation that most test-takers have some innate knowledge of; you're crafting an on/off switch in your mind for problem solving. Meditation isn't good because it helps you find yourself, it's good because it's essentially the drilling equivalent of mentally preparing yourself to take a test.

CMac86
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Re: February 2017 LSAT Thread

Postby CMac86 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:19 pm

I didn't do as thorough of a BR as I'd like, but I did PT 62 tonight after work, ate dinner, and then did the BR. I felt pretty fried/tired going into this test, but I thought it would be a good chance to replicate taking the test when I'm not 100%.

My first attempt was a little rough on the LR sections. My average last the last two months was a -5/per section, tonight, it was -11 and -9. Surprisingly, this was one of the better LG sections for me as I hit -4. I ended up with an adjusted 158.

Like I mentioned earlier, I didn't do as thorough of a BR as I'd like, but I hit every question that I was less than 80% certain on. I used elimination for most of the BR. I ended up with an adjusted 172. 172 is what I need to have a more predictable shot at my reach school (3pts above the 75th), but a 160 should be enough for my target schools (just above or right at the 75th).

I'm not overly concerned about scholarships since I'll be using GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program for every school, and they are all pretty generous with YRP (they cover the rest of what GI Bill doesn't pay).

UHAlum
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Re: February 2017 LSAT Thread

Postby UHAlum » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:45 am

CMac86 wrote:.


Thank you for your service!

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chasima
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Re: February 2017 LSAT Thread

Postby chasima » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:07 am

etramak wrote:
AMcJV12 wrote:
etramak wrote:Anyone try mediation to prepare? I didn't do it before my first two takes despite the recommendation of other users here and LSAT blogs/prep companies, and perhaps at my peril. I started trying it a few weeks ago and, while it could just be in my head, it seems to have some positive effects during preptests. I guess I won't really know for sure until thirty days from now. I guess this really only applies if you have some anxiety during testing.


I've actually been having some trouble with getting tilted during tests, so maybe I should try this. What kind of meditation have you been doing?


Personally, just following the guided meditation offered as free trials on a couple of the more popular apps available in the Apple or Google Play stores. Basically just sitting down, taking a few deep breaths, closing my eyes, and not thinking about anything other than focusing on breathing for 10-15 minutes. I asked about overcoming test anxiety on this forum after I freaked out during the Tokens passage in June 2016 and got seven questions in a row wrong, shattering my score (my mind was racing throughout the test in general, too). Anyway, someone who seemed to know what they were talking about responded to me with a really great post that offers slightly different advice for mediation (notably, he says to keep your eyes open):

BirdLawExpert wrote:Howdy, y'all, just dropping in to say good luck. It's sad to see so many familiar faces in this thread, but if you're in this thread mere hours after getting your scores back, you've got the right attitude and I know you'll do well.

I just typed this up and posted it in the June Waiters Thread, but I realized it would probably do more good here. Someone in that thread had asked how to get over their test-day issues without "meditation or any of that Eastern mumbo jumbo", but I've worked with a lot of people that have issues with testing and meditation is a phenomenal tool. Here's a short guide, free of flowery spiritual language, about how and why you should be meditating if you had issues with performing on test day.

Speaking as someone who has worked a lot with students that get psyched out by tests, meditation isn't "Eastern mumbo jumbo", and it is typically the most effective tool for every student I've work with. Here's a short guide, free of any mumbo jumbo, to give you an idea of what I mean by meditation.

Ground Rules:
Don't meditate in the morning after just waking up. Meditate at a "busy" point in your day where you're actively solving problems.
Don't have your phone with you or within earshot. You need to be isolated as much as you can.
Don't meditate in the same room that you study in. Find a "neutral" location or a place in your house/apartment that you don't use very much. This seems counterintuitive but it's actually kind of important
Don't cut your time short if you're busy. That cheats you and kind of defeats the entire point of meditation. Make time for this.

Now that you've got your ground rules, here's what you're going to do. Grab that watch you use for timing sections on the test and set it to five minutes. Go sit on the floor in a neutral location facing an empty wall, and stare at that wall for five minutes. Do your best to think about nothing. Don't make plans, don't solve problems, don't think about what you're doing next, and don't think about existential nonsense or anything like that. Just sit there and stare at the wall and do your absolute best to avoid thinking of anything in particular. If you're like me, for the entire first week you do this you're going to be thinking "this is stupid, this is so stupid". That's fine. You'll get over it. Sit there for five minutes, not a second more or less. Do that for two weeks, which should be about how long it takes for you to get over the fact that you're sitting in a corner staring at a wall. Also, don't close your eyes, because hopefully you don't take tests with your eyes closed. If you do, we just solved your problem and you don't need to meditate.

After two weeks, you're going to sit there for fifteen minutes. You're going to feel like you're wasting even more of your time on this nonsense, but just do it. Don't think about your breathing or heart rate or anything like that. Just sit there for fifteen minutes and actively tell your brain to stop solving problems. If you have a train of thought, actively think about something else. Do this every day for not a second more or less than fifteen minutes. You're not going to succeed at first, you might not get anywhere close to succeeding, but keep doing it anyway. The entire point of this is to gain the ability to actively tell your brain to stop its surface-level problem solving processes for however long you may need it to. If you're getting through fifteen minutes pretty easily, then try thirty. If you're getting through thirty easily, you're probably good.

This isn't about becoming one with yourself or anything, this is about re-calibrating a mechanical issue in your thought process. The fundamental problem of most people who have issues with test taking is that when they sit down to test, they cannot control the pace at which they think. Thoughts fly in and out more quickly than normal, or not at all, and instead of taking a deep breath and being able to normalize their thought process like many people can, they have to take the test with their mind running at a thousand miles per hour or crawling at a snail's pace. That's just too mentally exhausting to deal with over a long test like the LSAT. By sitting down and forcing yourself to stop solving problems at a time when your mind is running at a high speed, you're essentially practicing that "calming" sensation that most test-takers have some innate knowledge of; you're crafting an on/off switch in your mind for problem solving. Meditation isn't good because it helps you find yourself, it's good because it's essentially the drilling equivalent of mentally preparing yourself to take a test.



OMG The Tokens passage was such a WTF reading comprehension moment, lol. I lost most of my points from logic games (par for the course for me), but it definitely felt like I was making "educated guesses" throughout the tokens passage instead of the usually "confident this is right" answer choices.

Thank you for the info on meditating! I haven't tried it specifically for the LSAT, but I have done it just with normal yoga classes and whenever I'm feeling stressed out. I find that a youtube search usually pulls up some pretty decent meditation videos as well. I have general anxiety/depression issues that I deal with occasionally and it's definitely a great thing to do when your mind feels stuffy and cluttered with negative thoughts.

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chasima
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Re: February 2017 LSAT Thread

Postby chasima » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:10 am

CMac86 wrote:I didn't do as thorough of a BR as I'd like, but I did PT 62 tonight after work, ate dinner, and then did the BR. I felt pretty fried/tired going into this test, but I thought it would be a good chance to replicate taking the test when I'm not 100%.

My first attempt was a little rough on the LR sections. My average last the last two months was a -5/per section, tonight, it was -11 and -9. Surprisingly, this was one of the better LG sections for me as I hit -4. I ended up with an adjusted 158.

Like I mentioned earlier, I didn't do as thorough of a BR as I'd like, but I hit every question that I was less than 80% certain on. I used elimination for most of the BR. I ended up with an adjusted 172. 172 is what I need to have a more predictable shot at my reach school (3pts above the 75th), but a 160 should be enough for my target schools (just above or right at the 75th).

I'm not overly concerned about scholarships since I'll be using GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program for every school, and they are all pretty generous with YRP (they cover the rest of what GI Bill doesn't pay).


Not sure if this is your first take or a retake, but I took PT 62, freaked out, and got like a 156 on the PT. I got a 164 on the real thing in June and have been score in the low 170s since then on PTs, so I really think that PT 62 is just a rough exam in general.

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airwrecka
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Re: February 2017 LSAT Thread

Postby airwrecka » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:11 am

etramak wrote:meditation


Thanks for the meditation tips! I had not even thought to try this, but I think it's a really good idea. I usually don't have test anxiety too badly, but anything might help!

I am at work and forgot to bring my LSAT prep stuff (I usually ALWAYS have it with me) and there is literally nothing for me to do at my job and now I'm very annoyed -__-
Last edited by airwrecka on Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:13 am, edited 3 times in total.

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chasima
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Re: February 2017 LSAT Thread

Postby chasima » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:13 am

29 Days :o

A new PT came in the mail from Amazon, and I'm debating whether to take it or not. Especially since I realized that I've actually already taken it (although it was over a year ago), so I was kind of bummed when I realized it was sitting on my desk in my old blueprint book all along. Yesterday, I drilled an LR and LG section from PT 63. Did not do too bad, but my LG still needs serious work. I wonder if I'll ever "get" LG like I do the other sections :cry:

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airwrecka
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Re: February 2017 LSAT Thread

Postby airwrecka » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:15 am

chasima wrote:29 Days :o

A new PT came in the mail from Amazon, and I'm debating whether to take it or not. Especially since I realized that I've actually already taken it (although it was over a year ago), so I was kind of bummed when I realized it was sitting on my desk in my old blueprint book all along. Yesterday, I drilled an LR and LG section from PT 63. Did not do too bad, but my LG still needs serious work. I wonder if I'll ever "get" LG like I do the other sections :cry:


I have the same issues with LG. Some days I feel like I've got it, but then others I'm a mess. It's so back and forth with me, whereas LR and RC I am very confident all the time.

etramak
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Re: February 2017 LSAT Thread

Postby etramak » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:15 pm

airwrecka wrote:
chasima wrote:29 Days :o

A new PT came in the mail from Amazon, and I'm debating whether to take it or not. Especially since I realized that I've actually already taken it (although it was over a year ago), so I was kind of bummed when I realized it was sitting on my desk in my old blueprint book all along. Yesterday, I drilled an LR and LG section from PT 63. Did not do too bad, but my LG still needs serious work. I wonder if I'll ever "get" LG like I do the other sections :cry:


I have the same issues with LG. Some days I feel like I've got it, but then others I'm a mess. It's so back and forth with me, whereas LR and RC I am very confident all the time.


Bombed on LG 31 today. Got a couple questions wrong on the first 3 games even though I drew my diagrams correctly which is super annoying, but completely messed up game 4 because a very important rule was embedded in the opening paragraph instead of the "the following conditions must apply" section and I totally overlooked it.

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Re: February 2017 LSAT Thread

Postby AMcJV12 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:45 pm

etramak wrote:Anyway, someone who seemed to know what they were talking about responded to me with a really great post that offers slightly different advice for mediation (notably, he says to keep your eyes open)


That whole post was really helpful, thanks for sharing.

airwrecka wrote:I have the same issues with LG. Some days I feel like I've got it, but then others I'm a mess. It's so back and forth with me, whereas LR and RC I am very confident all the time


I'm the exact same way! Sometimes I'll get through 24 problems with 3 minutes left and go -1. Other times I can't even get through three games and I'll go something terrible like -10. Don't worry - I'm sure we'll have it nailed down in a month's time.

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Rigo
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Re: February 2017 LSAT Thread

Postby Rigo » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:39 pm

Drilling LG like an insane person over the next several days.
Sprinting to February.

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Re: February 2017 LSAT Thread

Postby AMcJV12 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:41 pm

171 on PT 70 today. Made some really stupid mistakes here and there that I'll need to iron out if I want to improve my score. As per usual, it came down to a less-than-stellar outing in AR, though I did go -3 on one of the LR sections (which almost never happens). Back to AR hell for me I guess.

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chasima
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Re: February 2017 LSAT Thread

Postby chasima » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:19 am

Happy Monday, TLS!

26 Days to go!

Getting really nervous. I'm going to start today by finishing up my review of the LR section from PT 63, and then moving on to do the RC section in that PT, and I'll be done. I got 4 new preptests in the mail today, and I'm not really sure when I'm going to do them. I'm currently working out of the 10 Actual, Official LSAT Preptests Volume V book and really focusing on drilling more than taking full, timed PTs, because I don't really think that I see the most improvement when I'm doing full PTs. I've noticed that I don't have a particular "question type" that I struggle with on any of the sections, so I'm just focusing on getting everything correct in 35 min at a time and then will probably move on to work through my full PTs in the next week or so.

Really really hoping to get in some solid study time before this evening. I'm going to my first Knicks game :)

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chasima
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Re: February 2017 LSAT Thread

Postby chasima » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:21 am

Also, looks like we're all paying extra special attention to LG! For some reason, I feel like I've heard a lot of people say that it's the easiest section, but that's been far from the case for me, so I can totally relate--hopefully we all pull out some great results from our hard work in a few weeks :wink:

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Mikey
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Re: February 2017 LSAT Thread

Postby Mikey » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:29 am

AMcJV12 wrote:171 on PT 70 today. Made some really stupid mistakes here and there that I'll need to iron out if I want to improve my score. As per usual, it came down to a less-than-stellar outing in AR, though I did go -3 on one of the LR sections (which almost never happens). Back to AR hell for me I guess.

A 171 with LG being your not so great section is actually really good.

LG will click, it's the same thing over and over again just different scenarios.

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airwrecka
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Re: February 2017 LSAT Thread

Postby airwrecka » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:31 am

So as I'm sure you're all aware, tomorrow is the deadline to submit a new registration photo to LSAC for the test. My photo from when I took the June exam is still in my file, so I wasn't planning to change it. However, I recently cut my hair (very significantly--my hair was more than half way down my back before and now it's shorter than shoulder-length). Do you think I should upload a new photo with short hair? Or will it be fine to leave it? If it makes a difference, I will be bringing my passport as ID and in my passport photo, my hair is short (the way it is now). Am I worrying too much about this?


Took PT 79 (i.e. the Sept 2016 test) on Friday and got a 171. HOWEVER, I think if I had not heard so much about the virus game and how hard it supposedly was, I would have done better. I did not try as hard I could have to solve the game, and looking back I definitely could have gone -1 on or even -0 on the game if I had tried. I also had tons of time leftover on both LR and the RC sections that I should have used to check my answers more thoroughly because I definitely could have picked up more points there. The good news is that these are all really good things to take with me to future tests!

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Re: February 2017 LSAT Thread

Postby Tomthecat » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:48 am

Does anybody know when the December 2016 test (PT80) will be released?




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