Feeling discouraged...

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stargirl

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Feeling discouraged...

Postby stargirl » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:23 pm

Hey all,

I just was wondering what your diagnosis would be on this issue — each practice test I get, I seem to do worse on random sections. For example, I had the worst LR score for a while. I practiced the hell out of it and it became my best section, but LG (Which was previously my best), went down the drain.

Is it common for this to happen? When I practiced LG, my LR went down. The same kind of issue happened with RC as well. I'm just wondering if this is common problem and my study methods are off?

Also, I was wondering what your method is when reviewing practice tests.

Any help is appreciated.

To be honest I really feel like giving up at this point and I feel really defeated.

(not to be dramatic lol)

Thank you.

Blueprint LSAT

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Re: Feeling discouraged...

Postby Blueprint LSAT » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:59 pm

Not uncommon at all. The LSAT is a lot more like an athletic competition than an academic test. I know this happens all the time with my golf game :P

If your studying just consists of practicing and familiarizing yourself with one part of the test so much that you start to spot a few of the pitfalls more often, but generally you are still relying on your gut and natural talent, the benefit you get will fade when you move your attention elsewhere.

To get a lasting benefit you need to break down the test until you understand how they build it and exactly what they are looking for. This replaces your gut/talent with knowledge and skill so it may make even make you slower and less accurate at first, but once you get it, it should stick. There are a lot of materials out there to help you do this. Not sure how much of this sort of approach you have already attempted, but even if you have already tried there are plenty of aides to help you try again from a different angle. You can use the guides on this forum to study or find other free online resources or sign up for an online or in-person course. I teach for Blueprint and I think our method is pretty great, but feel free to ask around :)

Once you know the test you can drill PTs until you can do it under timed conditions. Any skill will get rusty with disuse, but as long as you keep a few of each section in the rotation you shouldn't lose much progress as you shift your focus.

Another thing you might try is taking a few days off. The LSAT requires peak attention and burnout can sneak up on you so slowly you don't even notice it. If you are starting to burn out, or you are just tired one day there are times when your brain will go on autopilot and you will fall into traps, even when you know better. Again, just like a physical skill. If you run every day for a month you are going to be tired even though you have probably built a ton of stamina and strength, but if you take day 32 and 33 off then run on day 34 you will feel like a super hero compared to how you felt on day 31.

Andrew McDonald, Blueprint Instructor

stargirl

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Re: Feeling discouraged...

Postby stargirl » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:47 pm

Blueprint LSAT wrote:Not uncommon at all. The LSAT is a lot more like an athletic competition than an academic test. I know this happens all the time with my golf game :P

If your studying just consists of practicing and familiarizing yourself with one part of the test so much that you start to spot a few of the pitfalls more often, but generally you are still relying on your gut and natural talent, the benefit you get will fade when you move your attention elsewhere.

To get a lasting benefit you need to break down the test until you understand how they build it and exactly what they are looking for. This replaces your gut/talent with knowledge and skill so it may make even make you slower and less accurate at first, but once you get it, it should stick. There are a lot of materials out there to help you do this. Not sure how much of this sort of approach you have already attempted, but even if you have already tried there are plenty of aides to help you try again from a different angle. You can use the guides on this forum to study or find other free online resources or sign up for an online or in-person course. I teach for Blueprint and I think our method is pretty great, but feel free to ask around :)

Once you know the test you can drill PTs until you can do it under timed conditions. Any skill will get rusty with disuse, but as long as you keep a few of each section in the rotation you shouldn't lose much progress as you shift your focus.

Another thing you might try is taking a few days off. The LSAT requires peak attention and burnout can sneak up on you so slowly you don't even notice it. If you are starting to burn out, or you are just tired one day there are times when your brain will go on autopilot and you will fall into traps, even when you know better. Again, just like a physical skill. If you run every day for a month you are going to be tired even though you have probably built a ton of stamina and strength, but if you take day 32 and 33 off then run on day 34 you will feel like a super hero compared to how you felt on day 31.

Andrew McDonald, Blueprint Instructor



Andrew,

Thank you so much for your detailed response. I have recently started my blueprint course, so how interesting that you reached out to me! I am currently undergoing the online course, and took some time off practice tests because of burnout you've mentioned, and focused on creating practice sets and drilling the areas I need work on according to my exams. It just seems that when after I do drills on the worst, my best starts to taper down. But as you said a few factors can really contribute to this, and I think I have to slow down and really try to take a more balanced approach.

I would love to know how I can maximize my online course to the best of my ability, if you have any tips on that would be so helpful.

Thanks in advanced!

Blueprint LSAT

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Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:43 pm

Re: Feeling discouraged...

Postby Blueprint LSAT » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:41 pm

I can see how it would be discouraging to see you other scores drop when you are working so hard. I would just urge you not to get too down. Progress on this stuff is not linear. There is also a lot of variance. Try not to read too much in to any single practice test or section. Make sure not to completely ignore the other sections, but it is good to focus on shoring up weaknesses like you are. If you keep at it it will all come together eventually, but it is kind of a leap of faith and it is definitely a long haul.

Practice sets are a great way to get a bunch of repetitions in on a single topic. If you aren't getting it, though, make sure to go back to the lesson/look at the explanations for the homework questions. Sometimes it just takes hearing something a different way to have it click. There are a lot of big-picture concepts in the early part of the course. Don't hesitate to go back and review them. Things like conditional reasoning and argument analysis come up over and over again across the whole test. Grinding practice questions is great, but it doesn't help much if you are just going through the motions without building on your understanding.

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LSATWiz.com

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Re: Feeling discouraged...

Postby LSATWiz.com » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:14 am

stargirl wrote:
Blueprint LSAT wrote:Not uncommon at all. The LSAT is a lot more like an athletic competition than an academic test. I know this happens all the time with my golf game :P

If your studying just consists of practicing and familiarizing yourself with one part of the test so much that you start to spot a few of the pitfalls more often, but generally you are still relying on your gut and natural talent, the benefit you get will fade when you move your attention elsewhere.

To get a lasting benefit you need to break down the test until you understand how they build it and exactly what they are looking for. This replaces your gut/talent with knowledge and skill so it may make even make you slower and less accurate at first, but once you get it, it should stick. There are a lot of materials out there to help you do this. Not sure how much of this sort of approach you have already attempted, but even if you have already tried there are plenty of aides to help you try again from a different angle. You can use the guides on this forum to study or find other free online resources or sign up for an online or in-person course. I teach for Blueprint and I think our method is pretty great, but feel free to ask around :)

Once you know the test you can drill PTs until you can do it under timed conditions. Any skill will get rusty with disuse, but as long as you keep a few of each section in the rotation you shouldn't lose much progress as you shift your focus.

Another thing you might try is taking a few days off. The LSAT requires peak attention and burnout can sneak up on you so slowly you don't even notice it. If you are starting to burn out, or you are just tired one day there are times when your brain will go on autopilot and you will fall into traps, even when you know better. Again, just like a physical skill. If you run every day for a month you are going to be tired even though you have probably built a ton of stamina and strength, but if you take day 32 and 33 off then run on day 34 you will feel like a super hero compared to how you felt on day 31.

Andrew McDonald, Blueprint Instructor



Andrew,

Thank you so much for your detailed response. I have recently started my blueprint course, so how interesting that you reached out to me! I am currently undergoing the online course, and took some time off practice tests because of burnout you've mentioned, and focused on creating practice sets and drilling the areas I need work on according to my exams. It just seems that when after I do drills on the worst, my best starts to taper down. But as you said a few factors can really contribute to this, and I think I have to slow down and really try to take a more balanced approach.

I would love to know how I can maximize my online course to the best of my ability, if you have any tips on that would be so helpful.

Thanks in advanced!

Hi Star Girl,

Like Andrew of Blueprint mentioned, the LSAT is more like an athletic competition than academic test. Like an athletic competition, there are many different components needed for success. It can be challenging when you start out, because you may just start to get good at one thing, then ignore it for a few weeks to move onto something else and then feel like you've lost your previous progress.

I think the athletic metaphor is great, and let's stick with that for a moment. Pretend you're a professional NBA player with 10 years of experience. Now, if you went a month without shooting a foul shot, you could probably go back and perform just as well. If, however, you first learned to become good at shooting free throws and took a month off, you'd be much rustier when you come back.

This seems to make studying for the LSAT impossible because you have approximately 15-19 LR question types (depending on company methodology), 5 types of logic games and the RC section and it's impossible to drill everything in a given day.

There are 2 ways to get around this:

1.) You should never be completely ignoring the question and section types you've made progress on. A good rule of thumb is to spend 50-60% of time on your weakest section and the rest of the time dispersed between the two other section types. If you're struggling with games, a good rule of thumb would be to spend that week 50% on games, and 25% on each of the other two section types.

2.) Within a section, it is best to drill it in a way that enables you to practice in a way that applies what you've learned drilling one question type to another. Let me explain. While I don't want to conflict with your Blueprint approach, a necessary step on any assumption, strengthen, weaken or flaw question will be to recognize the conclusion. So if you're struggling there on these question types, I would actually advise first becoming really proficient and time efficient on conclusion and role of statement questions.

In addition, the step by step approach on assumption, strengthen/weaken and flaw questions will be very similar to each other with only slight changes to your thinking so even if you're disproportionately struggling with flaw questions, getting better at assumption questions will also make you better at flaw questions so there's no reason to only practice flaw questions. You can stagger your studying to say do 20 flaw questions and 10 necessary assumption questions, but there's no reason to ignore them entirely.

Blueprint LSAT

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Posts: 55
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Re: Feeling discouraged...

Postby Blueprint LSAT » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:44 pm

LSATWiz.com wrote:While I don't want to conflict with your Blueprint approach, a necessary step on any assumption, strengthen, weaken or flaw question will be to recognize the conclusion. So if you're struggling there on these question types, I would actually advise first becoming really proficient and time efficient on conclusion and role of statement questions.


Not a contradiction at all, I entirely agree :D



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