Bad PT's and ridiculous BR's; What is happening?

TheMashugunaMan
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Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:12 pm

Bad PT's and ridiculous BR's; What is happening?

Postby TheMashugunaMan » Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:02 pm

I've been lurking on these forums for a hot minute and have found most of the threads to be super helpful, but I've been having some trouble in my prep recently that I haven't found any really good responses on (beyond some general empathy). Maybe I just haven't looked hard enough, but either way, I figured I'd finally contribute my own post.

To give some insight into my situation:
I've been prepping for the December 2017 LSAT since the beginning of September. I took the LSAT last December and got a terrible 154 due to general laziness in prep and simply not understanding what I was in for. I started this cycle with a 152 cold diagnostic (ouch) and have steadily climbed as high as a 168 until recently. My last two PT's dropped to a 161 and 158 respectively and it was pretty soul crushing. My biggest drops were in LR which I've been reviewing like crazy (going through every question in BR in-depth as opposed to just the ones I wasn't sure on or didn't do, and working through the LR Bible). Even though my average diagnostic is sitting right where I need it to be (162) I'm still worried about the December test coming up in a little over five weeks.

What confuses me is that I BR in the 170's, often going through LR sections in half the prescribed time with around 93-100% accuracy. Even specific question types that my analytics tell me I have trouble on I go back and bulldoze through in a matter of seconds in BR. However, when I have taken this past couple of tests, I dropped the ball on quite a few pretty easy questions. I've read a lot of advice that has chalked such decreases up to time-pressure and lack of motivation, and while I want to believe that maybe I just need to be more mellow on my timed PT's, I feel like that's letting myself off too easily, and that I must be deficient in my prep in some other way. Any advice would be appreciated, especially if you've been in a similar situation before in your prep.

tl;dr - I bulldoze through BR like my brain is a quantum super-computer, but my last couple of PT's have made me feel more like a potato clock. Help pls.

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Barack O'Drama
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Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:21 pm

Re: Bad PT's and ridiculous BR's; What is happening?

Postby Barack O'Drama » Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:21 pm

I find that when people have a big gap between their timed score and BR score, they need to work on strategy. Things like skipping questions, doing 15 25 in 25, and just being confident on certain questions and getting through them quicker, will help you close the gap.

This is especially the case if you can breeze through these questions during your BR.

You also might be burnt out. You may want to consider a few days off. When we take time off our brain uses that time to encode what we've learned into our memory. Time off during prep can be just as important as prepping itself.

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BlueprintLSATXander
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Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:01 pm

Re: Bad PT's and ridiculous BR's; What is happening?

Postby BlueprintLSATXander » Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:16 pm

Another possibility has to do with burnout. This reminds me an awful lot of what happened to me when I was studying for the test. About a month out, my LR scores dropped a bunch and I similarly continued to see good BR scores. For me it was a combination of stress and burnout leading me to second guess like crazy under timed conditions (a definite problem with students who have good strategies and are able to perform well untimed). Try to think about whether you do this kind of second-guessing when timed. One thing that may help improve this is to take some LR sections on their own and practice them. You might even consider taking a section and doing it "loosely timed," such as giving yourself 40-45 minutes to do the section so that you still attempt to keep up a brisk pace but have the room to be a bit more relaxed. See how well you do and then attempt to transition back to timed sections and see if your accuracy improves at all.

The great thing about BR is that it tells you what strategies you're generally good at, but throwing in timing brings in a bunch of confounding variables such as anxiety, ability to apply techniques quickly, etc. By doing some more practice and slowly getting yourself back to timed conditions, you might increase your confidence and learn a bit more about what's causing you the trouble.

Hope this helps!

Xander




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