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HELP! 21 Days Until February LSAT - Score Dropping

lsatstudenthelp5
LSAT Apprentice
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:46 pm
Points: 5

Hey guys,

So...

I have been studying for the LSAT for the last 2 months and have yet to see a major improvement in my practice test scores. I am beginning to get a little concerned. In fact, my scores have not improved since my first diagnostic (149)! For the first month of study, I followed the PowerScore 3 month self study plan and got through as much of the PowerScore Study Bibles as I possibly could. After feeling like I needed a little more structure for my studies, I enrolled in the PowerScore OnDemand course. For the last month I have been religiously studying everyday (6-8 hours a day) trying to get through as much of the course material as possible. As of right now I have completed Lessons 1-8, including most of the complimentary videos and homework/drills from those lessons. I have subsequently taken 3 practice tests and have scored a 149, 147, and 147, respectively. I find that I am generally short on time, having to rush through and sometimes guess, on the last 5-7 questions on each section. Also, I feel like whenever I get to the logic games section I always have a hard time with the initial diagramming of the games no matter how many practice games I have done; I feel like I don't have a good grasp on recognizing what type of game I am being asked to complete when it comes to grouping and advanced linear games, and generally botch my setups for those games. I don't know what to do at this point, and I am beginning to lose hope of meeting my target range of 160-165... Any help at this point on how to structure the rest of my studies would be sincerely appreciated.

I am planning on taking 4-5 PTs/week for this last stretch starting today, followed up with a detailed review of all my incorrectly answered questions. I want to finish the rest of the homework and videos on the OnDemand course but I do not think it is worth it at this point. What do you guys think? Should I try to get through some of the advanced logic games and logic reasoning lessons? How should I maximize the remaining time I have left to see the biggest jump from now to test day? I could really use some input.

Thanks
Mark
lsatstudenthelp5
LSAT Apprentice
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:46 pm
Points: 5

can someone please reply :-?
Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
Posts: 1688
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:01 pm
Points: 1,509

Hey Mark, sounds like there's a lot of frustration there, and we feel for you. First, do not give up on your goal, but keep at it to break through this plateau you are experiencing. Here are a few bits of specific advice, along with some links.

Never rush! It is better to move slowly through a section and be highly accurate as you go, failing to get to a number of questions at the end and just picking one letter as your go-to for filling in the rest of the bubbles, than it is to rush and make careless mistakes. Focus on quality over quantity - it's better to answer 15 questions and get them all right, then guess on the remaining 10 (probably getting 2 more right for a total of 17) than it is to hurry through 25 questions and only get 10 right. Never, ever, ever rush! Always work at your most accurate past, never faster. If that means occasionally skipping a question because you don't understand it, so that you can focus your energy on easier questions, then do that! It doesn't matter which questions you answer correctly, only how many you answer correctly. Here's a link to help you find ways to break through your current plateau:

https://blog.powerscore.com/lsat/how-to ... lsat-study

Next, take breaks and study less than you currently are. That may sound counter-intuitive, but if you are not already suffering from burnout then you are quickly heading in that direction. 8 hours a day is too much! You're going to get physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted at that pace. Cut it back to 3-5 hours a day, and take a day off completely here and there to relax, unwind, and recover from the stress and strain. Seriously, step away from the LSAT! Put down the pencil, take a nap, go to a movie, do something fun. For more about the value of breaks, check this out:

https://blog.powerscore.com/lsat/bid/24 ... your-score

Practice tests are great, and 4-5 total between now and the Feb test sounds like a good plan, but your review strategy is incomplete. You should not be limiting yourself to just going over the ones you missed. What about the ones that you struggled with but got right - don't you want to learn why you struggled and figure out how to do those more confidently and efficiently? What about the ones you got right without a struggle - wouldn't it be good to know WHY you got them right, so you can learn how to consistently repeat that level of success? Here's a link to get you started on a better way to review those tests, to get the most out of them:

https://blog.powerscore.com/lsat/the-be ... tice-tests

Finally, you need to prioritze the time you have left. The On Demand course is great, and there is still good info to be had from the remaining lessons, but if the fundamentals covered in the earlier lessons haven't sunk in then I would return to those rather than pushing forward to new material. Get back to basics, like how to recognize and deal with causal arguments, or what you can and cannot do with conditional claims. Work on getting one or two common game types down pat, like basic linear games and in/out grouping games (which will typically have an abundance of conditional rules about which variables can and cannot and must go with each other).

Last thing, and that is your target score. On a typical test, a score of 160 means you missed roughly 26-28 questions overall in the four scored sections. That means you can afford to basically skip an entire Reading Comp passage and an entire Logic Game, just guessing on them, as well as answering only about 18 questions or so in each Logical Reasoning section. If you are going to skip a passage or game, it's better to choose one that has fewer questions, but that still means you can focus on picking the three passage and three games that you feel best about, skipping one that you don't like for whatever reason. You can skip a number of harder questions in the LR sections (typically in the mid-teens through low-20s) instead of struggling with and staring at them, hoping to make sense of them. Choose your battles! Don't try to do more than just doing better than you did the last time, and just keep going after that goal of slow and steady improvement.

Keep your chin up, and after a break, keep fighting! Good luck, we're pulling for you!
Adam M. Tyson
PowerScore LSAT, GRE, ACT and SAT Instructor
Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/66adamt
lsatstudenthelp5
LSAT Apprentice
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:46 pm
Points: 5

Hey Adam, thanks for the reply! So you recommend only doing 4-5 PTs for the remaining time I have left? I feel like that is not enough. Generally, how long should I be spending during my review of practice tests?
Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:01 pm
Points: 1,509

A good review of a practice test should take longer than the test did itself - a solid 5 hours, one whole day of your study time. Think about that - you are doing the entire test over, question by question, but without the clock to worry about. You could spend a few minutes on each question, determining what type of reasoning was present, what your best prephrase should have been, whether you had a good reason for choosing the answer you did or if you made a mistake in your reading, or your analysis, or got distracted by an attractive wrong answer, etc. Read up on that "blind review" process and you'll see that it is a long, meticulous, involved process, from which you will learn much and teach yourself valuable lessons. That's a good day's work right there!

Now, consider a schedule that looks like this:

Day 1: Practice test, timed, five sections (including a simulated experimental section by taking a section from an old test); enter your answers into the online scoring tool, but don't check to see what you got right or wrong
Day 2: Blind review
Day 3: Determine one or two areas where you have the most room for improvement. Not the question types where there was only one question, but the ones where you missed 3 of 5, for example. Do untimed study, practice, and drills to improve your understanding of those key concepts.
Days 4-6: repeat that cycle
Day 7: Rest! Catch up on the latest exploits of Spider-Man, Rick Grimes, and Cookie Monster.

Now repeat that whole process the following week. You're up to 4 practice tests. Do the same thing for the beginning part of week 3, just the 3 day cycle one time, and then stop, because it's time for the February test. Boom!

Cramming in practice test after practice test, without a deep and useful review and untimed practice to build skills in weak areas, just means you will be repeating the same mistakes over and over and learning nothing, and will lead to serious burnout. Focus on quality in your studies, rather than quantity, just like you should focus on quality rather than quantity in answering your questions.

You got this!
Adam M. Tyson
PowerScore LSAT, GRE, ACT and SAT Instructor
Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/66adamt
lathlee
LSAT Destroyer
 
Posts: 524
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:53 pm
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Hi. This might not be good enough advice cuz everyone is different, anyway, In my cases, RE-Doing the questions that I got constantly wrong and the questions that wasted way too much time again and again until I get it with I can explain to myself crystal clearly; it is tremendously helpful. After doing such, in my cases, always resulted in score increases in a week or two weeks later practicing with another prep tests.

Also always remind myself try to develop the correct and right method of doing things. For EX: as in for LG case, I was so anxious in actual and prep tests, I skipped many times setting up numerical distributions (I always considered as they are least significant part in diagramming) which I realize eventually that "if I only approached some LG with numerical distribution configuration 1st conscious ALWAYS mindset, when I start to diagram the rules and the inferences, I could have got many questions that I got wrong, correctly with significant time-saving."

Hopefully, this helps.