Breaking a plateau

Prepare for the LSAT or discuss it with others in this forum.
User avatar
PhiladelphiaCollins

Bronze
Posts: 248
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:31 am

Breaking a plateau

Postby PhiladelphiaCollins » Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:28 pm

Just as the title says, I wanted to get some tips and feedback for how to get out of this rut I'm in. My last few tests have oscillated between 161-163 (I had a 166 thrown in there too but that was on a test that I think I'd seen twice before). I'm BRing pretty thoroughly and

I know the conventional wisdom is to 'focus in on your weak spots' but the thing is for me right now they're kind of jumping all over the place. My RC went from -2 on my last test to a -13 today, and my LR will be anything between -2 and -9. When I drill LG (timed, bubbled) I can usually go -2 or -1 with time remaining, but on my PTs its been between -4 and -6 consistently.

I'm wondering if 'just keeping at it' is the way to go, or if anyone who has been in a similar situation has anything they can add.

User avatar
RamTitan

Silver
Posts: 1092
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:45 pm

Re: Breaking a plateau

Postby RamTitan » Sun Aug 07, 2016 3:19 pm

How many tests have you done? If there is a big difference between your tests and drilling scores, then it means you need to work on your mental stamina and focus. Also, what is your reviewing process like? This is the big key for making improvements. For example, any game where you miss a question you should do over and over again until you recognize the pattern of the game, as there will almost surely be another game like either already in existence or down the road.

User avatar
PhiladelphiaCollins

Bronze
Posts: 248
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:31 am

Re: Breaking a plateau

Postby PhiladelphiaCollins » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:12 pm

RamTitan wrote:How many tests have you done? If there is a big difference between your tests and drilling scores, then it means you need to work on your mental stamina and focus. Also, what is your reviewing process like? This is the big key for making improvements. For example, any game where you miss a question you should do over and over again until you recognize the pattern of the game, as there will almost surely be another game like either already in existence or down the road.


Since May I've done about 8 tests. I'm a retaker though so this is this time around. But yeah, I'm seeing a pretty big difference between my drilling score and PT scores.

My review process is pretty much normal BR. I go through RC and LR pretty thoroughly not knowing which ones are right/wrong and I re-do each game set until I get it perfect.

User avatar
RamTitan

Silver
Posts: 1092
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:45 pm

Re: Breaking a plateau

Postby RamTitan » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:45 pm

PhiladelphiaCollins wrote:
RamTitan wrote:How many tests have you done? If there is a big difference between your tests and drilling scores, then it means you need to work on your mental stamina and focus. Also, what is your reviewing process like? This is the big key for making improvements. For example, any game where you miss a question you should do over and over again until you recognize the pattern of the game, as there will almost surely be another game like either already in existence or down the road.


Since May I've done about 8 tests. I'm a retaker though so this is this time around. But yeah, I'm seeing a pretty big difference between my drilling score and PT scores.

My review process is pretty much normal BR. I go through RC and LR pretty thoroughly not knowing which ones are right/wrong and I re-do each game set until I get it perfect.

Are you finding that you're making a lot of silly errors when you BR?

User avatar
PhiladelphiaCollins

Bronze
Posts: 248
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:31 am

Re: Breaking a plateau

Postby PhiladelphiaCollins » Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:16 pm

RamTitan wrote:
PhiladelphiaCollins wrote:
RamTitan wrote:How many tests have you done? If there is a big difference between your tests and drilling scores, then it means you need to work on your mental stamina and focus. Also, what is your reviewing process like? This is the big key for making improvements. For example, any game where you miss a question you should do over and over again until you recognize the pattern of the game, as there will almost surely be another game like either already in existence or down the road.


Since May I've done about 8 tests. I'm a retaker though so this is this time around. But yeah, I'm seeing a pretty big difference between my drilling score and PT scores.

My review process is pretty much normal BR. I go through RC and LR pretty thoroughly not knowing which ones are right/wrong and I re-do each game set until I get it perfect.

Are you finding that you're making a lot of silly errors when you BR?


Not too much, outside of this last PT when I rushed RC and bombed it. Otherwise it's usually when I get something wrong it's like 'oh I see where I went wrong' rather than looking and thinking 'wow I must have been out to lunch' on a particular question

User avatar
RamTitan

Silver
Posts: 1092
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:45 pm

Re: Breaking a plateau

Postby RamTitan » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:26 pm

PhiladelphiaCollins wrote:
RamTitan wrote:
PhiladelphiaCollins wrote:
RamTitan wrote:How many tests have you done? If there is a big difference between your tests and drilling scores, then it means you need to work on your mental stamina and focus. Also, what is your reviewing process like? This is the big key for making improvements. For example, any game where you miss a question you should do over and over again until you recognize the pattern of the game, as there will almost surely be another game like either already in existence or down the road.


Since May I've done about 8 tests. I'm a retaker though so this is this time around. But yeah, I'm seeing a pretty big difference between my drilling score and PT scores.

My review process is pretty much normal BR. I go through RC and LR pretty thoroughly not knowing which ones are right/wrong and I re-do each game set until I get it perfect.

Are you finding that you're making a lot of silly errors when you BR?


Not too much, outside of this last PT when I rushed RC and bombed it. Otherwise it's usually when I get something wrong it's like 'oh I see where I went wrong' rather than looking and thinking 'wow I must have been out to lunch' on a particular question

I don't want to speak outside of my scope of expertise, but if you're understanding why you're getting the questions wrong (and am spending a considerable amount of time really dissecting the stimulus and answer choices), you should see a score improvement eventually.

User avatar
PhiladelphiaCollins

Bronze
Posts: 248
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:31 am

Re: Breaking a plateau

Postby PhiladelphiaCollins » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:59 pm

Makes sense. Guess I'll just keep at it

User avatar
ashrice13

Gold
Posts: 1793
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2016 10:30 am

Re: Breaking a plateau

Postby ashrice13 » Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:20 am

I'm in a really similar place right now. I have yet to fully break out of it so feel free to take my advice with a grain of salt, but I am finding that many of my mistakes are because I'm not reading carefully. When I do the drills, I feel less pressure and I tend to read more thoroughly.

For PT's, often during review I realize that my mistake was because I was rushing and messed up something simple (like the scope of the argument is slightly stronger than the answer I chose). When I read the question in a non-rushed manner, I can *usually* easily see where I went wrong.

I'm just working on remaining calm during the test. Any time I feel myself rush too much I stop reading, close my eyes, and take a deep breath before attacking the next question. I haven't done enough PTs since starting this to see a huge difference but I think it will prove to be helpful. At the very least, it seems to be helping with my anxiety and focus.

User avatar
SunDevil14

Bronze
Posts: 478
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:35 pm

Re: Breaking a plateau

Postby SunDevil14 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:12 am

8 tests are not enough. I was in a similar situation. The more tests you take generally the more the swings will tighten and the less you will have an extreme number of errors compared to your average.

Other than the conventional wisdom of drilling weakness what I felt was beneficial was identifying my mind states while taking the test. Mornings that I a had a little extra coffee I did well in certain sections and was careless in others. Other times when I was a bit tired I was more deliberate and accurate on certain sections while did not maintain a good pace in others. The point being is just as much as your are considering the questions, also consider you mental state. Make a note of what seems to be the most beneficial and consistently try to replicate it.

One particular insight that really helped me is that I get anxious regarding the time element. So I decided to attempt doing sections without looking at the clock until 5 minutes was called. The result was that I actually worked much quicker and more accurately when I did not think about timing. This simple change shot me up a few points in such a short amount of time. (For the people struggling with anxiety or feelings of being rushed I highly recommend giving this a try.)

It took me about a month to get from where you are at to a high 160's scorer. Don't overlook being very deliberate and detailed in every aspect of the study process, especially when it comes to reviewing incorrect answers as well as answers you got right but where not 100% sure.

User avatar
SunDevil14

Bronze
Posts: 478
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:35 pm

Re: Breaking a plateau

Postby SunDevil14 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:21 am

Also, a question more so for personal curiosity. On the sections where you have large swings, how do you do on the other sections of PT's? For whatever reason when I have large swings I tend to do very well on the other sections. I haven't quite figured out the reason why.

User avatar
boatymcboatface09

New
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:54 pm

Re: Breaking a plateau

Postby boatymcboatface09 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:39 pm

SunDevil14 wrote:8 tests are not enough. I was in a similar situation. The more tests you take generally the more the swings will tighten and the less you will have an extreme number of errors compared to your average.

Other than the conventional wisdom of drilling weakness what I felt was beneficial was identifying my mind states while taking the test. Mornings that I a had a little extra coffee I did well in certain sections and was careless in others. Other times when I was a bit tired I was more deliberate and accurate on certain sections while did not maintain a good pace in others. The point being is just as much as your are considering the questions, also consider you mental state. Make a note of what seems to be the most beneficial and consistently try to replicate it.

One particular insight that really helped me is that I get anxious regarding the time element. So I decided to attempt doing sections without looking at the clock until 5 minutes was called. The result was that I actually worked much quicker and more accurately when I did not think about timing. This simple change shot me up a few points in such a short amount of time. (For the people struggling with anxiety or feelings of being rushed I highly recommend giving this a try.)

It took me about a month to get from where you are at to a high 160's scorer. Don't overlook being very deliberate and detailed in every aspect of the study process, especially when it comes to reviewing incorrect answers as well as answers you got right but where not 100% sure.


I know I'm not the OP, but this was really good advice for me. Thanks!

User avatar
PhiladelphiaCollins

Bronze
Posts: 248
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:31 am

Re: Breaking a plateau

Postby PhiladelphiaCollins » Mon Aug 15, 2016 9:48 pm

SunDevil14 wrote:8 tests are not enough. I was in a similar situation. The more tests you take generally the more the swings will tighten and the less you will have an extreme number of errors compared to your average.

Other than the conventional wisdom of drilling weakness what I felt was beneficial was identifying my mind states while taking the test. Mornings that I a had a little extra coffee I did well in certain sections and was careless in others. Other times when I was a bit tired I was more deliberate and accurate on certain sections while did not maintain a good pace in others. The point being is just as much as your are considering the questions, also consider you mental state. Make a note of what seems to be the most beneficial and consistently try to replicate it.

One particular insight that really helped me is that I get anxious regarding the time element. So I decided to attempt doing sections without looking at the clock until 5 minutes was called. The result was that I actually worked much quicker and more accurately when I did not think about timing. This simple change shot me up a few points in such a short amount of time. (For the people struggling with anxiety or feelings of being rushed I highly recommend giving this a try.)

It took me about a month to get from where you are at to a high 160's scorer. Don't overlook being very deliberate and detailed in every aspect of the study process, especially when it comes to reviewing incorrect answers as well as answers you got right but where not 100% sure.


I like this a lot, definitely going to give it a try on my next PT.

SunDevil14 wrote:Also, a question more so for personal curiosity. On the sections where you have large swings, how do you do on the other sections of PT's? For whatever reason when I have large swings I tend to do very well on the other sections. I haven't quite figured out the reason why.


Yeah, on tests where I'd go -9 or worse on some sections, I'd rebound and go like -2 or 3 on other ones. Not sure why that is either.

User avatar
SunDevil14

Bronze
Posts: 478
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:35 pm

Re: Breaking a plateau

Postby SunDevil14 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:21 pm

PhiladelphiaCollins wrote:
SunDevil14 wrote:8 tests are not enough. I was in a similar situation. The more tests you take generally the more the swings will tighten and the less you will have an extreme number of errors compared to your average.

Other than the conventional wisdom of drilling weakness what I felt was beneficial was identifying my mind states while taking the test. Mornings that I a had a little extra coffee I did well in certain sections and was careless in others. Other times when I was a bit tired I was more deliberate and accurate on certain sections while did not maintain a good pace in others. The point being is just as much as your are considering the questions, also consider you mental state. Make a note of what seems to be the most beneficial and consistently try to replicate it.

One particular insight that really helped me is that I get anxious regarding the time element. So I decided to attempt doing sections without looking at the clock until 5 minutes was called. The result was that I actually worked much quicker and more accurately when I did not think about timing. This simple change shot me up a few points in such a short amount of time. (For the people struggling with anxiety or feelings of being rushed I highly recommend giving this a try.)

It took me about a month to get from where you are at to a high 160's scorer. Don't overlook being very deliberate and detailed in every aspect of the study process, especially when it comes to reviewing incorrect answers as well as answers you got right but where not 100% sure.


I like this a lot, definitely going to give it a try on my next PT.

SunDevil14 wrote:Also, a question more so for personal curiosity. On the sections where you have large swings, how do you do on the other sections of PT's? For whatever reason when I have large swings I tend to do very well on the other sections. I haven't quite figured out the reason why.


Yeah, on tests where I'd go -9 or worse on some sections, I'd rebound and go like -2 or 3 on other ones. Not sure why that is either.



MY most recent PT was 170

LR -2
LG -1
LR - 3
RC -6 (Many of which came from the last passage)

When I experience a large swing, typically it it either the first or last section. My guess is that large swings have less to do with accuracy and preparation, as opposed to your mental state (i.e. not being properly warmed up or mentally tired). On the front tend, I tend to warm up with past questions that I missed and go through the proper thought process or engage my mind in a 10 time game of blitz chess (If your into Sudoku or another quick logical based game try one of those before you start the test). I do not remember all too well what you are allowed to bring in the testing center, though I do know some have vending machines. Perhaps knock down a half a 5 hour energy or half an energy, just so long as you do not get to the point where you are anxious or jittery. I use that method while taking PT's at the library. While at hope I make a cup of coffee during the break.



Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum�

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot] and 12 guests