Cracking 175+ consistently?

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Platopus
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Cracking 175+ consistently?

Postby Platopus » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:41 pm

Looking for some advice on how to crack 175+ consistently. I've PT'ed all the tests in the 50's and I am averaging 172.5 over these PT's. My range has been 168-179. When drilling individual sections, I tend to do much better. When combining the scores of all the sections I've drilled, I usually score 176 or above, however something happens when I take a full length PT, and I tend to make more mistakes. It's not so much a stamina issue, as sections 3-5 on my PT are usually my best. I tend to miss the most questions on the first 2 sections.

PT breakdown usually looks something like this

LR (combined): -5ish
RC: -3ish
LG: -0/-1

In particular I struggle with parallel reasoning questions on LR. I've noticed that I do much better on the sections with fewer/easier parallel reasoning questions, I tend to develop a nice rhythm and usually do not miss the last few questions in these cases. I can usually make it to question 15 by the 15 minute mark, and very rarely miss these questions. Despite having a bunch of time to spare, I usually squander this time in questions 15-20, and thus rush and therefore miss most of my questions in the 20-26 range. When PTing, I usually go -1 on one LR section, and -4 or so on the other. The one with -4 is usually one with more complicate parallel questions, which of course drain time, and thus explain why I rush and miss a handful of questions in the 20-26 range.

For LR I usually have one bad section, and for RC it's usually just 1 passage where I lose all my points. Any advice on how to approach my studying in these last 6(ish) weeks until June?

ptittle
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Re: Cracking 175+ consistently?

Postby ptittle » Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:58 am

Good to notice where your mistakes are (I always tell my tutees to pay attention to whether they make clusters of mistakes at the beginning, the middle, or the end -- each position suggests a different response strategy.) If you're consistently doing worst in the first two sections, maybe you've got the kind of brain that needs a warm-up. Consider doing a bit of LR, RC, and LG BEFORE you start your 5-section test.

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Platopus
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Re: Cracking 175+ consistently?

Postby Platopus » Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:05 pm

ptittle wrote:Good to notice where your mistakes are (I always tell my tutees to pay attention to whether they make clusters of mistakes at the beginning, the middle, or the end -- each position suggests a different response strategy.) If you're consistently doing worst in the first two sections, maybe you've got the kind of brain that needs a warm-up. Consider doing a bit of LR, RC, and LG BEFORE you start your 5-section test.


Thanks, I've been thinking of doing a little warm up. How much warm up do you think would be too much? On test day I was thinking 1 game, 1 passage and 10 LR questions

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MediocreAtBest
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Re: Cracking 175+ consistently?

Postby MediocreAtBest » Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:10 pm

ptittle wrote:Good to notice where your mistakes are (I always tell my tutees to pay attention to whether they make clusters of mistakes at the beginning, the middle, or the end -- each position suggests a different response strategy.) If you're consistently doing worst in the first two sections, maybe you've got the kind of brain that needs a warm-up. Consider doing a bit of LR, RC, and LG BEFORE you start your 5-section test.


I was gonna suggest a warmup too, we all need it. Sometimes I'll just read a few LR questions before I start just to get my brain in an LSAT place, on test day I think I'm gonna do something light like a game, 5 LR questions, and a passage before the test.

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maybeman
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Re: Cracking 175+ consistently?

Postby maybeman » Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:12 pm

I used to take a full LR section, LG section, and 3 passages before each of my PTs. It helped bump me from low 170's to averaging around 177. Warmups should be way more than what is recommended above. Take a 30 minute or so break between a big warmup and the test because that's what you'll be forced to do on test day.

Also start taking PTs at your test center and use a recorded proctor. Simulating stressful conditions could help you if anticipation is hurting you (missing questions in early sections could be a symptom).

lakers180
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Re: Cracking 175+ consistently?

Postby lakers180 » Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:14 pm

have you tried drilling just parallel reasoning questions? find all of the questions from the pt's you've already done that are parallel reasoning and do them all in a giant section a few times until your getting them all right. sometimes repetition will help it click.

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Platopus
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Re: Cracking 175+ consistently?

Postby Platopus » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:16 pm

maybeman wrote:I used to take a full LR section, LG section, and 3 passages before each of my PTs. It helped bump me from low 170's to averaging around 177. Warmups should be way more than what is recommended above. Take a 30 minute or so break between a big warmup and the test because that's what you'll be forced to do on test day.

Also start taking PTs at your test center and use a recorded proctor. Simulating stressful conditions could help you if anticipation is hurting you (missing questions in early sections could be a symptom).


I'll try a little more robust warm-up as you have suggested. I think you might be on to something with this "anticipation" thing. I think I might be partly psyching myself out. Unfortunately, my test center is about 45 minutes away, so I don't have much leeway in taking PT's there. I usually take them at the local library, and trust me, there are plenty of distractions...

lakers180 wrote:have you tried drilling just parallel reasoning questions? find all of the questions from the pt's you've already done that are parallel reasoning and do them all in a giant section a few times until your getting them all right. sometimes repetition will help it click.


How would you suggest timing these mega sections? Part of my concern is the time-sink factor that negatively affects the remainder of the test after a long parallel question.

lakers180
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Re: Cracking 175+ consistently?

Postby lakers180 » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:58 pm

Platopus wrote:
lakers180 wrote:have you tried drilling just parallel reasoning questions? find all of the questions from the pt's you've already done that are parallel reasoning and do them all in a giant section a few times until your getting them all right. sometimes repetition will help it click.


How would you suggest timing these mega sections? Part of my concern is the time-sink factor that negatively affects the remainder of the test after a long parallel question.


I would try not even timing at the start. The idea is that through repetition you get better at these types of questions so that you can do them quicker and more accurately on the test. That will naturally solve the time sink issue since you'll be doing these questions quicker than now anyways. I had the same issue with parallel reasoning and I think doing a bunch and then reviewing and thinking about how the question and answers compared with each other really helped.

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Platopus
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Re: Cracking 175+ consistently?

Postby Platopus » Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:30 am

lakers180 wrote:
Platopus wrote:
lakers180 wrote:have you tried drilling just parallel reasoning questions? find all of the questions from the pt's you've already done that are parallel reasoning and do them all in a giant section a few times until your getting them all right. sometimes repetition will help it click.


How would you suggest timing these mega sections? Part of my concern is the time-sink factor that negatively affects the remainder of the test after a long parallel question.


I would try not even timing at the start. The idea is that through repetition you get better at these types of questions so that you can do them quicker and more accurately on the test. That will naturally solve the time sink issue since you'll be doing these questions quicker than now anyways. I had the same issue with parallel reasoning and I think doing a bunch and then reviewing and thinking about how the question and answers compared with each other really helped.


Thanks for the insight, this is something I've kinda known I should be doing, but have been largely deterred by the effort required to compile all the parallel questions into a mega section. 6 weeks out, so I guess nows the time

AJordan
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Re: Cracking 175+ consistently?

Postby AJordan » Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:20 am

If PR questions are your bugaboo there really is no harm in just straight skipping them until the end of the section. I don't normally advise that to the individuals I tutor because I think PR questions are almost always easier than some of the toughest NA/SA/MoR questions. How are you doing your PR questions? Have you just tried looking at them and converting them to grammatical puzzles (e.g. "dependent clause/2 object options/selection" would be an example of how I attempt to match them) or are you intently diagramming every detail? I think the latter hurts more people than it helps fwiw.

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Platopus
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Re: Cracking 175+ consistently?

Postby Platopus » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:06 pm

AJordan wrote:If PR questions are your bugaboo there really is no harm in just straight skipping them until the end of the section. I don't normally advise that to the individuals I tutor because I think PR questions are almost always easier than some of the toughest NA/SA/MoR questions. How are you doing your PR questions? Have you just tried looking at them and converting them to grammatical puzzles (e.g. "dependent clause/2 object options/selection" would be an example of how I attempt to match them) or are you intently diagramming every detail? I think the latter hurts more people than it helps fwiw.


I wouldn't say I intently diagram every detail, sometimes if I feel I have the time, I'll diagram conditional logic, but most of the time I just try to identify the flaw/pattern and start hitting the AC's. I think I need to just get more efficient at what you call "converting them to grammatical puzzles". I need to get more methodical with approaching the AC's.

AJordan
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Re: Cracking 175+ consistently?

Postby AJordan » Mon May 01, 2017 6:19 am

How are you on parallel flaw questions? Have you been able to take anything from your successes there to parallel reasoning?

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Platopus
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Re: Cracking 175+ consistently?

Postby Platopus » Mon May 01, 2017 6:22 pm

AJordan wrote:How are you on parallel flaw questions? Have you been able to take anything from your successes there to parallel reasoning?


Not really, I haven't really noticed a difference in how accurate I am. I'm also embarrassed to admit this, since I'm PTing at a reasonably high level, but I just get super flustered with parallel questions, and lack some sort of methodological plan to attack them. I panic about wasting 2 minutes on the question, and end up wasting that time anyway without actually achieving anything. At best, I am able to knock out 1-2 clearly wrong choices, but between those final three it's little more than a guess.




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