Had a bad day today. Been prepping for the LSAT the last 6 or so months but started crushing it the last 2 or so. My improvement has been pretty decent having started at 136 blind and scoring as high as 158 on a practice. Except for my last practice, my last 10 (full 5 section) or so ranged from 153 (maybe the first or second in that bunch) to 157 (3rd to last one). They were all recent exams ranging from 65 to 85. I'd say I was averaging somewhere around 155/156 for the most part (Not the greatest score in the world I know, but I'm not aiming for Harvard so it was on the higher end for where I'm applying). I took my last PT two days ago (# 85) and got a 149. I was shocked because I honestly felt pretty good while taking it. I considered maybe I was overly confident going in and maybe it was a fluke. Admittedly after reviewing, I saw that I misread some of the questions (suggesting I was going too fast), but that alone couldn't account for a 6 point dip. My confidence was down a bit which wasn't good considering I had today's LSAT to take. I tried my best to recover, but in the end, I don't think I did. My nerves were uncontrollable today. Something about that last practice test and knowing that today's counted kept me in freak out mode the whole time which is unusual for me. I usually calm down after the first few minutes of the first section in any test. Today's test was a disaster. I had a LR to start and felt the formatting of the questioning was similar to PT 85 which I found unusual. I was handling it as best I could, but the way my nerves were going, I would read questions but my brain was refusing to let me consider the arguments of many of the questions. I moved on to 2 (RC) and fought through it even though I was still very uncomfortable. When I got to the third section (also an LR), I realized I bubbled in a question in section one incorrectly which caused me to answer up to 27. That was where I lost every bit of confidence I had. It stayed on my mind and I couldn't answer any more questions in section 3 undistracted. When they called the break, I cancelled my score. It had gone as bad as it could.
My questions are has there been any changing of question formatting starting with test 84 or 85? I took both 82 and 83 and though they were on par with my earlier tests.
Also, what would anyone suggest as far as calming nerves going into the LSAT? I literally felt crippled and that's never happened to me before with any test. I think I just want this too much lol.
Question formatting PT 85 and Jan 26 LSAT
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Hey Franny - so sorry to hear the test didn't go the way you'd hoped, but there's some good news on all fronts!
First, schools won't care one bit about that cancellation, so aside from this pushing you back later into the application cycle, the no-score won't hurt you. You'll just need to pick yourself up and get ready for a retake!
Second, let's talk nerves. One thing that'll definitely help your next time out—and this may seem counterintuitive but it's true—will be this experience. Knowing what it's like to take the real thing is a huge relief because it's a familiar process/experience, and knowing how it feels to find yourself in something of a panic means you're aware enough of the issue to potentially address and fix it.
To help you with that, check out the webinar that Dave and I hosted where we talk at length about test mentality, including how to calm frayed nerves and remedy test anxiety:
Now, as for these latest tests (84, 85, and January), I completely agree with you that the nature of them, particularly their LR, has indeed evolved slightly. Nothing different about the format per se—stimuli, stems, answers are all the same in terms of presentational appearance and even underlying ideas—but the way in which the ideas are being tested, and wrong answers constructed, has gotten (in a word I've used many times to describe these latest tests) "slippier." The test makers are just better than ever at disguising right and wrong answers, and luring people in to answer traps.
We saw this from a ton of people in September and November who reported that they had their worst LR ever and couldn't believe it because they'd felt great! Dave and I, in looking at those two tests independently, even called each other one afternoon (after both Sept and Nov) and said the exact same thing: "this must've absolutely destroyed people who weren't entirely clear on what they were supposed to be doing, and who weren't operating with total precision and focus." And sure enough that's exactly what occurred. Seems it happened again in January as well.
Two things, both helpful.
One, you were savvy enough during the Jan test to at least recognize that you were being fooled. I know that's little consolation, but it beats the experience a lot of people have had lately where they feel great but shouldn't (they were unsuspecting victims, rather than you who at least knew you were being tricked and backed away). So that gives me hope that you're on the right track!
Two, to help you better understand precisely what I mean by "slipperier" and the rest, check out the Crystal Ball webinar that Dave and I did for the November, January, and March LSATs:
We talk at length about what's been going on in these latest exams, what that means for future tests, and how you should best prepare for this somewhat-new style the test makers are employing!
So that's my two (ten?) cents! You're still absolutely fine, although you do have some more prep to do to get yourself ideally situated for the next attempt. But you can get there, and the info above should hopefully help in that respect!
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Good morning Ms. Franny_i, I am alberto.
I just open up this POWERSCORE.FORUM, and saw your comment and feel the anthem and I feel your trepidation perturb theme and disappointment definitely.
I use to a biologist and nurse before my accident. And I took care of my sick relative for many years until she passed.
I am a writer sketch artist too. I consider my self very intelligent and self absorbed confident and I thought I could beat this .... the LSAT, that is. Well, its nothing like the foot and derriere to bring a human being back done to earth. Indeed this Lsat has discipline me in a way that my IQ 165 sick relative who passed could never have set me straight when I become arrogant and audacious. Its a humbling test and a proverbial challenge and lesson to learn and can be overcome. Yes, it will..
Indeed, this lesson will help tremedously in law study, you will never think in the same way never again because the whole brain structure in how to process things and has changed for the good.
This test very unusual in perspective and in presentation as well as insidious methodology. It fits the category of genus an odd animal to decipher. What I am trying to convey Ms. Franny_i, is you are not alone you are courageous very intelligent and you will succeed in law school. Furthermore, seeing your post while drinking Starbucks coffee store brought of course and brewed in my apt. on Feb 17th and wiping tears of hurt from my face, i felt compelled to write this post remark because its important to take stock in what you know you did wrong and what you need to learn and pay absolute attention too because Mr. Jon and Mr. Dave would not waste their time teaching if they felt their method their approach were not proven solid with great results. I know because these gentlemen are excellent but my personal life and health problems prevented me from taking advantage of the Bibles and the way that each lesson is presented from the drills and the explanations which are distinct and relative, hence. I was very sick trying to study for LSAT and I understood the material but I failed at practicing and thorough recognition and the wording to be careful about, should have worked a little more harder. But you Ms. Franny_i in a better position than I am and you will kick..... you know what next time with POWERSCORE just listen, and I definitely will because my dream is almost touchable for me I just have to get past the gatekeeper, so, I can proceed to attend law school in fall 2019. Have faith, thanks for reading my comment. Writing this was cathartic for me after crying and a sad weekend I will be fine and so will you, Ms. Franny_i.
Good morning again, Its Alberto.
I know that the comment I have written and sent a few minutes ago seems deep and personal but; In spite a few spelling errors and a misstep or 2, I apologized but, I need to make my statements, and I needed to write this to feel better and try to understand and accept what happened to me and to move forward positively, moreover, for my comment to be seen and to be shared for all those who feel like me crying sad defeated on this long holiday weekend of Presidential Observance. As well, rethinking the next plan for action. I need to respond and say what everyone else feeling after the Jan 2019 LSAT results. However, what I stress is a must be true statement because, the 'truth', for every reason will always abide.
Thank you and good weekend.
Last edited by alberto on Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Jon, thank you for your response. This information is very helpful. I am watching the crystal ball webinar and will watch the other webinar concerning nerves, etc... I think my concern going forward is how to prepare for these "slippier" questions. With only tests 84-86 available for reference, there isn't a ton of material to work with it appears. I certainly am happy to listen if you have any suggestions. I do think you might be right about this experience helping me. I did not expect to be as nervous as I was test day. I now know it can happen so I will try to find ways to combat it. I will skip March and take the June test (hopefully with some better prep). I will consider starting law school a year later. Thanks again!
Just a thought, but if you use our question percentage stats on our score analysis reports, it shows you the harder questions by percentage. Almost any older LSAT question that is under a 50% correct response rate would very likely feature harder, more slippery language.
Just a thought for when you are looking for those harder questions that are more in line with the style we talk about!
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