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Feeling very discouraged by score drop... need advice

Aristotle12344
LSAT Novice
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue May 28, 2019 7:18 pm
Points: 2

Hi, first of all, I really appreciate the help that Powerscore Forum has given me. Basically, I'm taking the June test next week. However, I have experienced a significant score drop in my PTs recently. For the late 70s PTs (75-79), I averaged around 172/173, but in PT 80, I went down to 168, felt discouraged, but got myself together and took 81 and got 170, but went back down to 166 in 85 today, which is the lowest score I've ever gotten (at least in the last 4 or 5 months)... Before that, when I was taking the 40s and 50s, I was consistently in the 170s. I'm honestly considering taking another PT or 2 before the test, just because I really need a confidence boost and my mentality is absolutely shattered right now. One of the big problems I seem to have is that I know the test itself quite well (when I took LR sections that I haven't done in the 50s, I only got 1 or so wrong) - it's just I can't adjust myself to the more convoluted language of the stimuli and questions in the 70s-80s and the less 'perfect' nature of the answers. They end up being huge time sinks for me and I often can't choose between 2 or 3 answers. The problem is, I've taken pretty much every PT, and done some of them (60s and 40s) multiple times, so I might be incredibly low in new material (only about 2 or 3 PTs) to study with if I need to retake, as I even reviewed every test very thoroughly. I was wondering if you had any advice for me? Should I go ahead and take another PT or 2? Should I even go ahead and take the June LSAT? If I retake, will studying with old material even help me score higher? Realistically, can I get 170+? I really need a 168+ to go to the schools I want to, especially because I'm an international student and given the huge cost of attending law school, I'm not sure if it's really not even worth my money to go to law school otherwise... Thank you so much.
Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
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I would advise against any more PTs this week before the June test, Aristotle12344. Instead, do untimed reviews of the LR sections in the recent tests you have already taken to try to get a better understanding of that convoluted language and the tricks they are playing with the wrong answers. That will better arm you for what may be coming, while still leaving you with material to work with to prepare for a retake if that's called for. Go ahead and take the June test, because despite your recent setbacks you know that you are capable of getting a score that would satisfy you. Look at the recent tests differently, as a good thing - you've gotten your bad tests out of the way! The odds are good that the next attempt will go well, IF you are well rested and go in feeling prepared and confident.

Can you realistically expect to score in the 170s? Absolutely! You already have! Don't let your recent scores distract you from the fact that you have shown that you are capable of doing better.

Rest your mind and body, do a little analysis of those LR questions that gave you a rough time, and then take the weekend off. Go in on Monday knowing that you have all the skills, knowledge, and experience you need to get a top score, and keep it in the back of your mind that even if things don't go your way this time around, there's always next time. You can do this!

Good luck (not that you really need it)!
Adam M. Tyson
PowerScore LSAT, GRE, ACT and SAT Instructor
Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LSATadam
Aristotle12344
LSAT Novice
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue May 28, 2019 7:18 pm
Points: 2

Hi Adam, just a follow up!

I got my score back, and I got a 170! I'm fairly happy with what I got, though I am considering a retake because I know to some extent that I can score a few points higher (I felt like it wasn't exactly my best test, even while I was taking it) and it may broaden my options more, but I've got a few more weeks to think about that. However, with this score I do think I am already in a pretty competitive position for a lot of good schools, and I just wanted to tell you how grateful I was for your advice! It was just a few days before the test, and having studied for the test throughout the semester while simultaneously trying to manage my GPA (literally trying to raise it 0.02 points!), one of the most difficult things for me was mental burnout, particularly the frustration I felt whenever I encountered the 'LSAT Casino', or the fact that my score dropped a fair amount when switching from PTs in the 50s to 70s, which made me feel as if my hard work was all in vain. The mental aspect is one of the most difficult yet crucial parts of LSAT prep based on what I've experienced, and studying for the test and taking lots of practice tests made me recognize that how you prepare yourself mentally could actually mean the difference between a score in the 160s and a 170+. I realized it's very important to keep looking for good methods to help a student cope with fluctuations in his/her mental state throughout the study period and when taking the test. Your response was incredibly encouraging to me, and what you said basically about how given that I faced two particularly hard tests in a short span of time, given my score history, probability wise the next test would likely better, and that taking another test to compensate may actually be detrimental to regaining my mental energy were really excellent pieces of advice for reorienting myself mentally. I got a full 8 hours of sleep (I usually struggle with sleep before tests) the night before the test and felt fairly relaxed going into the test, and while I didn't feel as if it was my best performance, given the mental fiasco I was in just a few days prior, I definitely knew that at least it had nothing to do with my mental state, as I felt fine going into the test, but rather, probably something to do with the 'LSAT Casino' effect! But having followed your advice and knowing that I always had another chance if I needed it, even that was something that I was prepared for and, I was able to mentally leave behind tricky sections and focus on the section at hand. So once again, thank you so much, and keep up your good work, I'm sure you're being tremendously helpful to a lot of stressed out and anxious LSAT students :-D
Stephanie Turaj
PowerScore Staff
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Aristotle12344 wrote:Hi Adam, just a follow up!

I got my score back, and I got a 170! I'm fairly happy with what I got, though I am considering a retake because I know to some extent that I can score a few points higher (I felt like it wasn't exactly my best test, even while I was taking it) and it may broaden my options more, but I've got a few more weeks to think about that. However, with this score I do think I am already in a pretty competitive position for a lot of good schools, and I just wanted to tell you how grateful I was for your advice! It was just a few days before the test, and having studied for the test throughout the semester while simultaneously trying to manage my GPA (literally trying to raise it 0.02 points!), one of the most difficult things for me was mental burnout, particularly the frustration I felt whenever I encountered the 'LSAT Casino', or the fact that my score dropped a fair amount when switching from PTs in the 50s to 70s, which made me feel as if my hard work was all in vain. The mental aspect is one of the most difficult yet crucial parts of LSAT prep based on what I've experienced, and studying for the test and taking lots of practice tests made me recognize that how you prepare yourself mentally could actually mean the difference between a score in the 160s and a 170+. I realized it's very important to keep looking for good methods to help a student cope with fluctuations in his/her mental state throughout the study period and when taking the test. Your response was incredibly encouraging to me, and what you said basically about how given that I faced two particularly hard tests in a short span of time, given my score history, probability wise the next test would likely better, and that taking another test to compensate may actually be detrimental to regaining my mental energy were really excellent pieces of advice for reorienting myself mentally. I got a full 8 hours of sleep (I usually struggle with sleep before tests) the night before the test and felt fairly relaxed going into the test, and while I didn't feel as if it was my best performance, given the mental fiasco I was in just a few days prior, I definitely knew that at least it had nothing to do with my mental state, as I felt fine going into the test, but rather, probably something to do with the 'LSAT Casino' effect! But having followed your advice and knowing that I always had another chance if I needed it, even that was something that I was prepared for and, I was able to mentally leave behind tricky sections and focus on the section at hand. So once again, thank you so much, and keep up your good work, I'm sure you're being tremendously helpful to a lot of stressed out and anxious LSAT students :-D


That's awesome Aristotle! Congrats on the score! Glad we can help!! :-D