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How to improve when you're already 170+?

LSAT Apprentice
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2018 10:27 pm
Points: 5

So I have something of an interesting predicament, but hopefully one that's not all that uncommon. I scored a 172 on the November LSAT. For many, this would be great, and I totally recognize that—however, this was not my first attempt, and I already had a 172 on file from a previous take, so this came as something of a disappointment. I'm applying as a splitter to some top schools, so I want to ensure that my LSAT is as good as it can be before I hit send.

In the weeks before the test, I'd been scoring 175-179 on PTs between 50-80. Typically, I went -2 on both LR sections, -2 to -4 on RC, and -0 on LG. On test day, my LG section was flawless (-0) and my RC section was almost perfect (-1), which was actually better than I had done during my practice! However, my LR sections were a relative "disaster" (-7 total, far more than I'd been PTing at). I even realized that I had let the obvious answer slip by me for at least three (500 medical books, oysters, Atlantic ocean fish) the moment I stood up from the test.

I truly feel that perhaps nerves hindered my performance and that I have yet to hit my pinnacle on an official score report, and I'm tempted to take the January 2019 administration. However, I don't want to waste my time again and risk delaying my application further if I don't have a strong strategy for the test next time around.

What would PowerScore recommend here? How can I really target and refine my studying to ensure that my LR (and overall) performance is as strong on test day if I sit for January 2019?
Robert Carroll
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:18 am
Points: 436


Your studying has been great and you can clearly achieve a very good score. You, in fact, have achieved a very good score - but I understand you want to do better!

If you were routinely scoring 175-179, I doubt very much it was a lack of subject-matter comprehension that made your score (slightly) lower on test day. Instead, it may be nerves, as you speculate. Look at your method of taking PTs and see if anything could be improved to make the stress comparable to that on the actual test. If you can practice under the same conditions as the test (to the extent possible), the test won't seem any different, and the scores you're achieving in practice will be the same as on the actual test.

Robert Carroll