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Serious Help With Retaking LSAT

jbanaf
LSAT Novice
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:32 am
Points: 2

Hi all. First time posting, so if i do/say something obnoxious, please spare me.
I self studied for the lsat for about 8 months (from february till the past september) and took the september lsat. I was also stupid during this time and decided to take the june test when I wasnt prepared at all and was way overconfident in my abilities (When i took the test, my average was probably a 170, but that was a 170 average by taking only 4 section tests instead of 5 section ones, and practicing without bubbling (which can cost over a minute a section)). In the end, I also wasn't feeling so well on the test day and I got a 163. Obviously that sucks, but I totally understand the 7 point drop from my average, simply because that was a very inflated average score and i wasnt able to perform at 100%.
During my time studying, i had a bunch of ups and downs, but by the end (as in, between july and september), i was consistently scoring in the 175+ range. I had used almost all the powerscore materials, had been using 7sage stuff, and had used up basically almost all the preptests. When it came to the test though, my score ended up being a 167.
Now, i know that your score drops a few points from your average, but my average for my last 10 tests was at least a 176.
I don't know where I went wrong on the test because it was a sabbath observer test and can't see my mistakes.
If I had to guess i'd say I got a pretty good score on LR (I finished both of those sections with a couple of minutes remaining), missed a couple of points on games (the last problem was seriously hard), and I know that RC felt super super difficult and I barely understood a word of some of the passages, so I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that that was the section that got me.

My question is this:
I want to retake to actually hit my potential (or at least get close to it) - how should i study for it again?
To be honest, It's hard to locate specific weaknesses I have, because on practice tests I've gotten even 180s before. I just want to get to the point where even on test day, that 180 practice can turn into a 180 (or even 173) on the test.
It's not that I have anxiety when i take the real test, or anything like that - which makes it harder to solve the problem. I just want to be able to get to the point where absolutely no matter what is thrown at me, I can make sure to hit very close to my average score.
That all being said - how should i study? Should I get a tutor? Would a tutor be able to help me (seeing that I already know the concepts really well). I need more of a study technique and study plan thatll get me to the point to translate my practice scores into real scores.

ANY and ALL help is really really appreciated.

[also, side note: I was satisfied with my score and even applied to a bunch of law schools this past october, but over time i realized i'd come to regret not reaching my potential (after all, it could save a bunch of money down the line), and i wanted to work anyway].
Jonathan Evans
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
Posts: 584
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:12 pm
Points: 471
Location: DFW, Texas

Hi, jbanaf,

I completely understand your circumstances and frustration with not hitting your target score. Your situation is not uncommon! There is a qualitative difference in taking an actual test, the pressure, the restrictions, the irritating dude sitting next to you who needs to blow his nose.

For starters, you should feel encouraged about repeating, irrespective of what preparation avenue you pursue. Here's an article about repeater statistics. TLDR: Average score increase from 1st to 2nd official test, 2.8 points. https://www.powerscore.com/lsat/help/lsat-repeater-statistics.cfm

You have already highlighted a lot you can do to prepare yourself, even from blind self-assessment of your latest LSAT! You were concerned you might have blown some points on games. In that case, consider revisiting some of the hardest, weirdest games you've done. While our explanations are excellent, try to determine whether you can master all the nuances of these games on your own. When I have to prep out material to teach, I have to understand the problems every way 'til Tuesday so that I can be prepared to answer any student question. Be your own teacher. Anticipate problems and address them. When I make a mistake working through a game, believe me, I never forget it and will never make it again.

There's a 1975 Harvard Law Review article by Ronald Dworkin called "Hard Cases," in which he explores how judges adjudicate cases in which the circumstances do not conform to established statute or precedent. These cases help push legal theory forward by subjecting principles and ideas to extreme circumstances, the proverbial trial by fire. Do the same for yourself by ensuring that even with the hardest material, you will not get caught off guard. In fact, you might find yourself thinking, "Oh I see what they're trying to do there! Sneaky!"

Extend this principle across Reading Comp, LR, and Games. If there's a passage that seems impossible, ask yourself, "What would I need to do to ace this passage in 8 minutes or less?" It can be done. You have the ability to do it.

Focus mainly on practice tests with targeted concept review. Since you already have reasonable skills mastery, you will want your practice to keep you guessing without doing too much question/game type specific drilling.

If you would like additional structure in your preparation, private tutoring is the way to go for you.

I hope this helps!
jbanaf
LSAT Novice
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:32 am
Points: 2

Thank you very much for the reply - it was super helpful! So i had also been thinking along the lines of just getting together really hard LSAT problems and doing those (e.g. combining 4 super difficult RC passages into one section and forcing myself to finish that in 35 minutes). I was wondering if you knew of any resources that collected all of the very difficult problems (like a book with only the most challenging problems), or if I would just need to look online at at a list of toughest problems and find them in the preptests.

thanks!
Jonathan Evans
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
Posts: 584
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:12 pm
Points: 471
Location: DFW, Texas

Hi, jbanaf,

We have compiled some of the most difficult material from RC, LR, and AR:


I certainly encourage you to set a timer and do these under pressure. However, I caution you about trying to compile "killer" sections out of problems such as these. There are rhythms and patterns to LSAT sections—e.g. the general easier to harder curve in LR—that an "all-hard" section would quash.

There are issues that could arise from eliding easier problems entirely. For instance, you could develop a pattern of overthinking easier problems, an unwillingness to accept the correct answer even when it's staring you in the face. "No it can't be that! That's too obvious!" Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

By all means, work with the hard stuff, but keep mixing it up with easier material too. Knowing how efficiently and quickly to deal with easier stuff; knowing what to do with medium-difficulty problems; knowing how to shift gears into difficult problems; all these skills are essential and must be practiced together.