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Score Plateau and LSAT is in 9 days

SabrinaD
LSAT Novice
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:32 pm
Points: 3

I need serious guidance.

I first took my LSAT in Dec. 2017 and scored a 153. I took an in person PowerScore course and expected better of myself. However, after scoring a 153 on literally ALL of my practice tests, my score was expected.

In September of 2018 I began this journey again for the November LSAT. I chose the path of self studying and the week before the test I took off of work and really dug my heels in. My diagnostic in September was back down to a 148 and by the last week I had only improved up to a consistent 153 on all of my LSAT practice tests. Because I was extremely stressed out and clearly not ready I moved my test to January.

Also a fun fact: I work 2 jobs...

Now it is January and I have been studying every change that I get. I am in the live online PowerScore course. The test is in 9 days and I still can't seem to move my score from a 153.

If only you could feel my frustration. My initial goal was a 168, but based on my track record I have lowered it to a 164.

There is no pattern on questions I am missing, at least that I have been able to figure out and I do not know how to improve.

Please help!!!
Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
Posts: 2552
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:01 pm
Points: 2,366

Without specifics about your practice test results, Sabrina, it's hard to say what you should be focused on this week, but here are a few ideas.

First, something has to change. You keep getting the same results, which means you are probably doing the same things you have always been doing. You have to try a new strategy, a different approach, to something. A few thoughts on what that might be:

- Prephrasing. Are you doing it with every single LR question? You should be, even if it takes longer. Focus on quality (getting the right answers) rather than quantity (answering more questions). Better to answer 18 questions and get them all right than to answer 25 and get 14 right, right?

- Sorting losers and contenders. Are you doing this with every single answer choice on every single question? Read the answer, and if you know that it is definitely wrong (and why it is wrong, not just that it doesn't seem right or "isn't what they were talking about"), then it is a loser. Every other answer is a contender, whether you love it, like it, or don't understand it. Waste no time on this process, don't stop to think and analyze. It's either a loser or it isn't, and then move on to the next answer. You can take time to think, compare, and analyze after you are done sorting, and then only if you have more than one contender.

- Pick your battles. Are you strategically selecting which games to do first, second, third, based on the number of questions per game and the game types you are best at? Same with Reading Comp? Are you skipping difficult LR questions rather than allowing yourself to get bogged down?

Next, change your study habits. When you take a practice test, does it have five sections, with one section simulating the experimental section, or only four? Five section tests (and even the occasional six section test) build stamina for the real thing. If you normally study and practice at home, get out of the house and go somewhere else, like a library or coffee shop or the student center at the local university, etc. The real test isn't in your kitchen, so don't work in that comfortable, familiar, distracting environment.

Take care of yourself. Be sure to rest, and to eat healthy. Tend to your emotional needs, too, whether by meditation, or having a good bull session with a friend, or watching a movie that makes you cry your eyes out. Release stress and frustration.

Finally, target one or two things that you could improve at, and don't try to do everything. It's time to pull in your focus on get better at just a couple things that routinely plague you. Maybe it's grouping games, or Parallel Reasoning questions, or Comparative Reading. Find one thing that always goes badly, and drill and practice so that you shore up that weak spot.

For additional ideas about what to do to make the most of this week, check out our blog: blog.powerscore.com/lsat . We have a bunch of good articles going up now that can help you prioritize, focus, and improve.

Best of luck this week! Break that plateau! You can do it!
Adam M. Tyson
PowerScore LSAT, GRE, ACT and SAT Instructor
Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LSATadam