Feel mentally blocked during some of my PT's and can't retain what I read, advice?

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OlegPerry97

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Feel mentally blocked during some of my PT's and can't retain what I read, advice?

Postby OlegPerry97 » Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:03 pm

At this point in my preparation I know what's being thrown at me and I'm not getting stumped on a particular section or question type but my own mental ability. On good days I'm able to run through PT's with some time to spare and my scores are in the high 160's and low 170's. On bad days I'm in the low 160's and high 150's and can't even finish them sometimes. I'm not sure if it's burnout since I'm still good on more days than not and I'm concerned I'll come in flat on test day. Is there any advice to those who have experienced similar high's and low's? I'm trying to build an optimal morning routine so my results even out and I'm operating at my peak condition.

TexasApplicant

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Re: Feel mentally blocked during some of my PT's and can't retain what I read, advice?

Postby TexasApplicant » Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:48 pm

I'll give you the three things that helped me get through the mental fog. Maybe one will work for you.

1) Taking fewer tests. I started out taking a PT a day, which burnt me out after 5 days. Some people function well enough on more tests - some people don't.

2) Building a routine designed to help me feel good and have the energy to take a mentally taxing test. Working out before every PT, eating a form of protein and some vegetables so I wouldn't crash after 2 sections, and sleeping at least 7 hours the night before.

3) Mastering my response to the questions so that even when I was brain dead I could still move through problems. On LR Main Point questions I write TONE out to the side and circle the conclusions before moving to the answer choices. On all LR questions I underline the operative words in the stem. On parallel reasoning questions I circle the conclusion and diagram the logic. You get the idea.

It takes a while to figure out what works for you. I'd suggest making an excel doc with your PT results (broken down by section) and some notes about the section order, how much sleep you got, what you ate, etc. and see if you can figure out the optimum strategy. I didn't realize that lifting weights before a test made me score higher until I noticed a pattern in my PT log.

Hope this helps!

OlegPerry97

New
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2016 11:56 am

Re: Feel mentally blocked during some of my PT's and can't retain what I read, advice?

Postby OlegPerry97 » Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:12 pm

TexasApplicant wrote:I'll give you the three things that helped me get through the mental fog. Maybe one will work for you.

1) Taking fewer tests. I started out taking a PT a day, which burnt me out after 5 days. Some people function well enough on more tests - some people don't.

2) Building a routine designed to help me feel good and have the energy to take a mentally taxing test. Working out before every PT, eating a form of protein and some vegetables so I wouldn't crash after 2 sections, and sleeping at least 7 hours the night before.

3) Mastering my response to the questions so that even when I was brain dead I could still move through problems. On LR Main Point questions I write TONE out to the side and circle the conclusions before moving to the answer choices. On all LR questions I underline the operative words in the stem. On parallel reasoning questions I circle the conclusion and diagram the logic. You get the idea.

It takes a while to figure out what works for you. I'd suggest making an excel doc with your PT results (broken down by section) and some notes about the section order, how much sleep you got, what you ate, etc. and see if you can figure out the optimum strategy. I didn't realize that lifting weights before a test made me score higher until I noticed a pattern in my PT log.

Hope this helps!


Thanks I appreciate the advice. I like the idea of working out before the exam because my mental focus I feel is near the peak after a workout but if the exam check in time is at 8:45 I'd have to wake up ridiculously early to get a good lift in and thus alter my schedule again (I'm waking up pretty comfortably at 6:30). Do you take a pre workout supplement? I find that taking about half a scoop helps me at times.

TexasApplicant

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Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:11 pm

Re: Feel mentally blocked during some of my PT's and can't retain what I read, advice?

Postby TexasApplicant » Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:30 pm

OlegPerry97 wrote:
TexasApplicant wrote:I'll give you the three things that helped me get through the mental fog. Maybe one will work for you.

1) Taking fewer tests. I started out taking a PT a day, which burnt me out after 5 days. Some people function well enough on more tests - some people don't.

2) Building a routine designed to help me feel good and have the energy to take a mentally taxing test. Working out before every PT, eating a form of protein and some vegetables so I wouldn't crash after 2 sections, and sleeping at least 7 hours the night before.

3) Mastering my response to the questions so that even when I was brain dead I could still move through problems. On LR Main Point questions I write TONE out to the side and circle the conclusions before moving to the answer choices. On all LR questions I underline the operative words in the stem. On parallel reasoning questions I circle the conclusion and diagram the logic. You get the idea.

It takes a while to figure out what works for you. I'd suggest making an excel doc with your PT results (broken down by section) and some notes about the section order, how much sleep you got, what you ate, etc. and see if you can figure out the optimum strategy. I didn't realize that lifting weights before a test made me score higher until I noticed a pattern in my PT log.

Hope this helps!


Thanks I appreciate the advice. I like the idea of working out before the exam because my mental focus I feel is near the peak after a workout but if the exam check in time is at 8:45 I'd have to wake up ridiculously early to get a good lift in and thus alter my schedule again (I'm waking up pretty comfortably at 6:30). Do you take a pre workout supplement? I find that taking about half a scoop helps me at times.


I quit drinking caffeine except for test days, and on test days I work out, eat, drink some caffeine an hour before the test starts, and then take the test. You do end up having to wake earlier, but it's not all that bad. The caffeine helps a lot, and abstaining on non-test days means the effects are more noticeable (a lot more focus) which helps with the drowsiness as well.



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