I believe that I have hit a plateau while using the bibles for self-studying. I've taken 4 timed practice tests in the last four weeks, with and without experimental sections based on time constraints, and have scored 149-150 on each of them. This is great because this shows that I'm not sinking below that number and only have room to improve, but it's frustrating because I'm confident that I'm right on the cusp of breaking through and getting to the 155 range and possibly further, but cant quite seem to get there. With each test I notice that one type of section will be great, and then sink down, it fluctuates and I want to try and keep it stable. For instance, my RC score was my best section on the first of four tests, but was pitiful on my most recent test while LR and LG were best and again, that is frustrating.
I study literally everyday according to the 6 month self-study plan and am building up to the June and July 2019 tests. I spend hours reviewing my practice tests and glance through my notes on the bibles before said tests.
I'm just looking for advice or additional drills I could do that would help, if there are any others. This self-study course has been incredible for me, I just want to keep improving. I appreciate any feedback!
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It's tough to say whether this is a plateau, because it's ultimately only four data points over four weeks. It's possible you just got unlucky on these tests. Further, your test date is still a few months away, so there's plenty of time to practice. That said, I do understand your frustration and want to help you score higher!
If you're studying every day, it might help to take a day off. You might be repeating some mistakes just because the new things you're learning aren't getting incorporated into your approach because you employ that approach literally every day.
Even if your best section has varied through these tests, there are going to be some things you're consistently doing well and some not so well. Identify those areas. Maybe you always nail conditional reasoning. Maybe you're good at Strengthen questions. Whatever your strong areas, you want to identify them to have the confidence to say that, at least in these areas, your approach is correct and doesn't need to be altered. Moving from a 150 to 155 means moving from doing well to doing better - you don't want to change everything. So identify what's going well. It might be that your approach to some things that are going well could be extend to your weak areas. If Strengthen questions go well but not Flaw questions, then you're good at repairing problems with an argument but not so good at identifying in words what the problem is with an argument. So use what you're good at to help you understand the questions you need help on.
Time management is another area to consider in timed PTs. In Logical Reasoning: Are you taking extra time on early questions, getting them right, and then running out later? You might be hesitating on certain questions, taking too long, and then, while getting them right, not leaving yourself enough time for other questions. Be willing to skip questions and come back to them later.
Without more information, these are the pieces of advice I can offer. If you notice anything more specific, let us know and we'll help address that!
Thank you for responding! I will admit, I do need to start taking days off and will do so once I finish the last book this week (LR bible). I will take your advice and go back through and get a feel for the questions I do well on and others that I struggle with, I should have them all listed in my problem tracker so diagnosing should be relatively simple!
With regards to timing, I feel like this could be an issue for me personally. I had originally taken an lsat course a couple years ago, for three months, and they taught me to complete every game, passage, and two page section in LR in 8 minutes and 45 seconds, regardless. Studying PowerScore's time technique is superior and has helped me get more accurate, but now I only attempt 3 LG games, 3 RC passages, and outright guess on groups of LR questions (typically numbers 15-20 or so).
When I go back and review LG sections and the games I don't attempt, I am able to accurately diagram them for the most part and get through the questions easily, maybe missing one or two questions for simple errors, and it makes me wish I even attempted the game to try and get some easy points. The same kind of goes for LR, when I attempt the questions that I missed, or just had second thoughts about but still got correct, in an untimed scenario, I only miss maybe 3 or 4 as opposed to 9 or 10.
I feel like I should experiment and spend a little less time trying to be as accurate, and moving more time to attacking more games, questions or passages. Maybe I have this reversed! I guess it's just the quest for the perfect balance haha, but let me know your thoughts.
It does make sense that your score would remain around the same if you are consistently only completing parts of the test. Accuracy is obviously important, but you need to get your accuracy to a point where your score is acceptable to you. So if you want to score 5 points higher (for example) then perhaps trying to finish 5 more questions in the LR sections would be the best way to go. If you combine that with the prior suggestions of focusing on the questions that are giving you trouble, so that you can fix them, you may find that your score starts to improve.
Please keep in mind that without watching you work through some of the problems our responses are going to be a little general. Working with a tutor for an hour or two may be the fastest way to see bigger gains.
Hope that helps!
4 posts • Page 1 of 1