How to deal with stress?

polisciguy123
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Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:16 am

How to deal with stress?

Postby polisciguy123 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:20 pm

So I took another practice test today and I got a 153. The only reason why I got a 153 was because I redid by first section.
I got -13 on the first section and knew that stress screwed me up again. The second time I took it (timed), I got a -5. Obviously, there's a huge discrepancy in the scoring and I've noticed that whenever I take a PT the first time around, I bomb it. The second time I take it by section I end up scoring a lot higher. I think this is due to stress. -5 would have been my highest score for LR to date. My other LR section was -10, RC was -11 and LG was -8, but that hasn't happened the last three times since I'm scoring about -3 or -4 on them.

I am set to take it in September and I my highest score was today, a 153. I don't want to hear about how I should postpone until December because I've seen people take 5 and 6 weeks and do wonders with them. Plus, TLS is usually people saying "Oh, I had a diagnostic at 161 and ended at 173", which is not true for the vast majority of people. I know that I can do well and get a 165 (my ultimate goal, though a 163 would be just as fine for me) but I feel like stress is hurting me. I'm studying 3 hours at least every single day, and I am trying to take 3 practice tests a week. I've been dreaming of going to BC for the longest time, and I don't want to stop until I get there. I just don't want to risk it and apply with a 163 and 3.38 in December (assuming I get that score).

I've been noticing which ones I'm getting wrong and I going over the practice exams for 2 hours+. What can I do to reduce the stress I have when taking this test? I start reading the stimulus so fast that I don't understand what's going on, so I have to read it again, and then I get frustrated and lose points that shouldn't have been lost. I hate asking for help, but here I am. I need help.

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Saylor1720
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Re: How to deal with stress?

Postby Saylor1720 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:44 pm

I'm not sure if it's all stress. I would stop taking 3 PTs a week. 1 maybe 2, and review them thoroughly. This is going to help you understand your mistakes, and make improvements. Use the Manhattan Logical Reasoning forums for the questions you cannot figure out yourself upon review. Drill full sections for parts of the week and review those as well.

There are a lot of good study guides on this site, I would suggest looking at those and making a 6 week game plan. You have a lot of room for growth if you plan it properly.

Also, don't think of the test as "life or death". Just go in, answer the questions and get out. Life goes on, plus there's unlimited re-takes now, so can take it again and again and again. There's no doubt in my mind you can get to a 163 if you study properly.

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LesPaul1995
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Re: How to deal with stress?

Postby LesPaul1995 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:48 am

polisciguy123 wrote:So I took another practice test today and I got a 153. The only reason why I got a 153 was because I redid by first section.
I got -13 on the first section and knew that stress screwed me up again. The second time I took it (timed), I got a -5. Obviously, there's a huge discrepancy in the scoring and I've noticed that whenever I take a PT the first time around, I bomb it. The second time I take it by section I end up scoring a lot higher. I think this is due to stress. -5 would have been my highest score for LR to date. My other LR section was -10, RC was -11 and LG was -8, but that hasn't happened the last three times since I'm scoring about -3 or -4 on them.

I am set to take it in September and I my highest score was today, a 153. I don't want to hear about how I should postpone until December because I've seen people take 5 and 6 weeks and do wonders with them. Plus, TLS is usually people saying "Oh, I had a diagnostic at 161 and ended at 173", which is not true for the vast majority of people. I know that I can do well and get a 165 (my ultimate goal, though a 163 would be just as fine for me) but I feel like stress is hurting me. I'm studying 3 hours at least every single day, and I am trying to take 3 practice tests a week. I've been dreaming of going to BC for the longest time, and I don't want to stop until I get there. I just don't want to risk it and apply with a 163 and 3.38 in December (assuming I get that score).

I've been noticing which ones I'm getting wrong and I going over the practice exams for 2 hours+. What can I do to reduce the stress I have when taking this test? I start reading the stimulus so fast that I don't understand what's going on, so I have to read it again, and then I get frustrated and lose points that shouldn't have been lost. I hate asking for help, but here I am. I need help.


Perhaps counter intuitively, the worst thing you can actually do is tell yourself to calm down. Stress is an emotion of arousal, whereas calmness is the antonym of excitement. Thus, stress is more easily channeled into excitement. Think about this consistently for the next few days and even try to work it into your daily habits which will then be channeled into your prep. This really gets your mind thinking about what LSAT requires of you and not just a score or judging how many you get wrong in a section and so you are nervous all the time. This is unproductive.

Also, you have to train yourself to not judge yourself on score alone, but rather gage your skill set to improve. This is seemingly obvious and you may think you are already doing it, but actually thinking about improving your skills takes away the pressure you are feeling. Literally write down or tell yourself you will do this, so when you catch yourself only caring about how many you need to get right in an LR section to get into a top school you can catch yourself.

Lastly, I would go against a lot of advice on this site and recommend looking into taking a course for September. Like a personal trainer, having an instructor tell you what to do so you do not have to take forever to realize certain skills/mentality is worth it, and frankly the internet/self-study approach can only provide so much for some people. Sure, there are some people who can skip class in college and self study and graduate summa, but it sounds like your not that person (nor am I) and so could benefit by paying for an actual course and taking in class, proctored exams, involving VERIFIED learning science coming from VERIFIED TOP SCORERS, and not solely from bro science off of the internet.

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Slippin' Jimmy
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Re: How to deal with stress?

Postby Slippin' Jimmy » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:52 pm

polisciguy123 wrote:Plus, TLS is usually people saying "Oh, I had a diagnostic at 161 and ended at 173", which is not true for the vast majority of people.

This is not true for most TLSers that I've talked to. Personally, I started at a 153 and scored a 171, but it took a lot more than a few weeks to get there, it took 5+ months. You need to remove this artificial deadline of taking in September and postpone if you aren't at least within striking distance of your goal score. While it is generally better to apply early, you'd do better with a higher LSAT in December than a mediocre score in September.

This entire post is really irritating. I think you know the correct answer is you need a lot more time than you have before the September test, but you come in here telling us not to give you that correct advice.

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Platopus
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Re: How to deal with stress?

Postby Platopus » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:07 am

Slippin' Jimmy wrote:
polisciguy123 wrote:Plus, TLS is usually people saying "Oh, I had a diagnostic at 161 and ended at 173", which is not true for the vast majority of people.

This is not true for most TLSers that I've talked to. Personally, I started at a 153 and scored a 171, but it took a lot more than a few weeks to get there, it took 5+ months. You need to remove this artificial deadline of taking in September and postpone if you aren't at least within striking distance of your goal score. While it is generally better to apply early, you'd do better with a higher LSAT in December than a mediocre score in September.

This entire post is really irritating. I think you know the correct answer is you need a lot more time than you have before the September test, but you come in here telling us not to give you that correct advice.


As much as I would like to believe that I am a special snowflake, I can assure you that I am not. I started with a 160 diagnostic, and ended up scoring a 173. Like Slippin Jimmy, I put in 5 months of 20hr+ weeks of studying. After a month of studying I was only in the mid-160's. After 3 months I was in the upper 160's, very low 170's. Only in months 4 & 5 did I start to crack the low 170's, but I still had plenty of 170's and even a 166 in the 3 weeks before the test.

Jimmy is right, you need to think very hard about how much work you've put in so far and strongly consider post-poning. The LSAT is stressful when it is unfamiliar. To beat the stress you need to do thousands of sample problems, hundreds of sections and 20+ full timed PT's. Once you've seen a question for the 100th time, it's a lot less stressful.

AJordan
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Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:48 am

Re: How to deal with stress?

Postby AJordan » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:07 am

Also gonna echo all of that. I finished mid 170s but I improved over 20 points from my diag. I diagged in September, took the actual in February. I studied about an hour or two a day in between.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: How to deal with stress?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:00 am

polisciguy123 wrote:So I took another practice test today and I got a 153. The only reason why I got a 153 was because I redid by first section.
I got -13 on the first section and knew that stress screwed me up again. The second time I took it (timed), I got a -5. Obviously, there's a huge discrepancy in the scoring and I've noticed that whenever I take a PT the first time around, I bomb it. The second time I take it by section I end up scoring a lot higher.

I might be misunderstanding you, but doesn't the fact that you've already taken it make it easier the second time around, and that's why you're doing better the second time around?

GnarMarBinx
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Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:21 pm

Re: How to deal with stress?

Postby GnarMarBinx » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:21 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
polisciguy123 wrote:So I took another practice test today and I got a 153. The only reason why I got a 153 was because I redid by first section.
I got -13 on the first section and knew that stress screwed me up again. The second time I took it (timed), I got a -5. Obviously, there's a huge discrepancy in the scoring and I've noticed that whenever I take a PT the first time around, I bomb it. The second time I take it by section I end up scoring a lot higher.

I might be misunderstanding you, but doesn't the fact that you've already taken it make it easier the second time around, and that's why you're doing better the second time around?


I was going to respond with the same thing, but I wasn't sure if I was understanding OP correctly because that seems weirdly obvious




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