I had taken the live online class and once finishing the course I felt like I wasn't understanding core concepts, so I went through every chapter again while watching all of the supplemental videos and completing each hw assignment/question in all of the books. I took the December LSAT and received a 157, which I am not thrilled about as I wanted to get into the 160s. I took 20+ practice exams, blind reviewing and tracking every question. My trackings did not display any trends in question type overall. I have mastered logic games. I did not expect to have to take the LSAT again, but I am wondering what I should do differently in the next month. Buy another book, take another course? Or do I just keep taking exams and hope for the best?
February LSAT Retake
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First of all, well done on all your hard work. I know how much homework we assign and how many of our online resources are lengthy things. It's also great to hear that you have mastered logic games. That's definitely one of the most learnable parts of the exam.
I notice that you didn't mention the Reading Comprehension section and so I have to ask how you are doing there? Are you noticing any trends on questions or passage types? Please let us know. But obviously, if you feel particularly weak on say, Law passages, it's best to get into some drilling of those, do some blind reviews, practice your VIEWSTAMP approach, etc.
As far as LR goes, it's very unusual for someone to not have a pattern of sorts. For example, perhaps you are getting the easier weakening questions, but are you struggling later in the section (say #13-23) when they get harder? If so, perhaps you want to drill in harder weakening questions to get yourself prepared for them. Also consider our Advanced Logical Reasoning Course. Our Advanced Courses are focused on tackling the most difficult questions on the LSAT (per each section). If you feel pretty comfortable with the general Logical Reasoning concepts, but you are looking for that final push to put your score over the edge, then this course is for you.
Also, the boss Dvae Killoran has written a terrific article about retakes that you may find helpful: https://blog.powerscore.com/lsat/retaki ... your-score
Per the article, I agree that Blind Reviews are a great way to get deeper into questions and sections!
Thanks for the great questions and let us know about RC and the harder LR questions for you!
Thank you for your reply. I waited to take a few more practice exams before responding to see if there are any updates. Since I started restudying after the December test, I have scored a 163, 157, and 158. So basically, no progress from the day of the exam. There are still absolutely no trends in logical reasoning question types. Sometimes I get more wrong in the last half the section, but sometimes I don't and I'll get a lot of ones in the first 10 wrong. I get more wrong in the second half, but it seems to be slight. Here is the breakdown of my last 3 scores:
163- LR 1st 10 questions: 9 correct/1 incorrect 8 correct/2 incorrect
last 10 questions: 6 correct/4 incorrect 4 correct/ 6 inccorrect
157- LR 1st 10 questions: 7 correct/ 3 incorrect 8 correct/ 2 incorrect
last 10 questions: 6 correct/ 4 incorrect 6 correct/4 incorrect
158- LR 1st 10 questions: 8 correct/ 2 incorrect 6 correct/ 4 incorrect
last 10 questions: 4 correct/ 6 incorrect 6 correct/ 4 incorrect
As for RC, it is very hit or miss on the actual excerpt itself. When I feel like I've understood the passage I will often get more wrong. The one thing I can say is that I get more global references wrong than other types of questions. Which means I guess I'm just not understanding the passage as a whole...
I'm not sure if I should continue studying for February. The thought of doing worse is definitely a real concern of mine. But as I am not seeing trends, I'm not sure if it's just luck of which questions I get on the day of.
I'll echo what Nicholas said, jaygee, and say good job on the way you are continuing to work on this. Now, I have to push back on the "no pattern" claims and ask whether you are looking for ALL kinds of patterns. Don't just look at where the questions are in a given section, but also what type they are and in what family they lie. For example, someone who misses mostly weaken, strengthen, and assumption questions may well think that there is no common pattern to those three types, but in fact they are all very similar in that they are among those types that require you to bring in new information to have some impact on a conclusion. That would make me look deeper into whether you are having problems identifying conclusions correctly, or whether you are prephrasing new information rather than merely looking for information that was already provided.
Look also to the types of reasoning used in the ones you are missing. Perhaps you are having trouble with stimuli that invoke words like "some" and "many"? Could the pattern be that Causal Reasoning eludes you, regardless of whether the questions are Flaw, Assumption, Weaken, or Strengthen? Look deeper for those patterns, try to see what those missed questions have in common. Perhaps it is as simple as the ones you miss being the ones that you are not prephrasing consistently?
As to your RC performance, this may sound counter-intuitive, but I often suggest to my students that they stop trying to comprehend what they read. RC is actually NOT about comprehension, and it is not necessary to have a good grasp of the details in order to do well on RC. In fact, taking the time to try and understand, and then to answer questions based on that understanding, may be exactly what is holding you back! Answering based on understanding is essentially the same as answering based on memory, and I never, ever trust my memory in RC. Why should I when it is an open book test? RC on the LSAT is really a test of your ability to locate and use evidence to support your answers. That means the most important task isn't to understand the contents, but to know where to find the information you need within that content when asked for it. Where was the argument? Where did they talk about dates, or about irony, or about a comparison? Quickly finding the place within the text that will answer the question at hand is what it's all about, not whether you learned anything about pronghorns or Miles Davis or judicial candor. Change your focus away from "comprehension" and towards locating and using evidence, and you may see a real improvement in your accuracy and consistency, not to mention your speed.
Keep at it, and look for those patterns in LR. They are there, somewhere, and it's up to you to suss them out. Be sure to always prephrase and to then trust and hold onto that prephrase as you sort the answers into losers and contenders. Don't let attractive wrong answers sway you from your chosen course.
Good luck! Keep pounding!
Adam M. Tyson
PowerScore LSAT, GRE, ACT and SAT Instructor
Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LSATadam
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