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Help w/ Study Schedule for July

LSAT Novice
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon May 20, 2019 4:37 pm
Points: 4


As always, thank you for the forum, I'm a bit of a lurker and learn alot from the questions and answers. I need a bit of help evaluating/advising my study schedule for the next month, here's where I'm at:

1. Diagnostic: 151, studied sporadically in March and rose to a 157, became busy with school and ended up getting a PowerScore tutor for the month of May where I did a super intensive study schedule (about 8 hours a day) and rose to high 160s (167/168). My tutor was invaluable, and she said again and again that it was mental blocks/fear/anxiety that led me to do worse on PT then on individual sections. I often had wide fluctuations in LR (-3 to -10) and RC (-2 to -10), while LG was about solid (0 on a good section and -7 if I missed a rule/game, generally about -3). I took the June exam and my tutor and I both hope/think it's possible that I could do a 170/171 (fingers crossed of course). However, I knew that if I had more time I could definitely reach 172 and possibly my goal of 173/4/5 (my GPA is a 3.77 so I need a higher LSAT score for the top 5). I signed up for the July exam and took this past week off just to decompress before I get back into it. Unfortunately I can't afford more hours with my tutor :(.

2. Now: I have approximately 5 weeks to study for the July exam to reach at least 172 on PT and hopefully a 174 on the real one. I'd like to think it's possible, if I get over the mental blocks and do much more thorough reviews/studying. My goal is to consistently get LG: 0 - -1, LR: -2 - -3 (this may be my hardest, I always struggled on LR the most, and often experience fluctuation on the same PT i.e. -3 one section and -7 the next), and RC: -2 (RC fluctuates a lot and I think with practice I can reach some level of consistency w/ timing and accuracy).

3. What advice do you have given all of the above? More individual practice sections and review? Should I go back and skim the bibles before I start drills? Should I drill specific question types? More practice tests? I will be working about 30 hours a week for the next few months so I can only dedicate 4-6 hours a day as opposed to 8-10 hours last month.

4. Lastly should I incorporate any new study skills/techniques for the digital (I know its a 50-50 w/ score cancellation but I do want to be prepared for any/everything).

Thank you so much!
Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
Posts: 2686
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:01 pm
Points: 2,499

First of all, ka98, congratulations on the great improvement you've already made! We're delighted (but not at all surprised) that your tutor worked out so well for you.

It was wise of you to take a little time off to decompress after the test last week, and you would also be wise to plan at least a few days off in your schedule over the next five weeks, too, to avoid mental exhaustion and what we call "burn-out." The weekend before the July test, in particular, should be all about rest and relaxation and getting yourself mentally and physically ready to do your best. Your plan to reduce your average study day also looks good - 8 hours a day is too much, in my opinion. But if you are working 30 hours a week, even 6 hours a day sounds like a heavy schedule that could lead to some degree of burn-out, so be sure to take care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep, eat healthy, take mental breaks, etc. Don't stay up until midnight banging out sections of LR - that's just not healthy!

To best prepare for the digital test, in case you are in the 50% that gets one, you should incorporate digital PTs in your schedule. Currently there are 3 available for free on LSAC's website, and 10 more through Khan Academy. We are working on getting more tests available in digital format in our Online Student Center, and I would suggest you give our office a call at 800-545-1750 to inquire about what access you will have to those tests as a former tutoring student (you should still have access to the OSC for a while). You can also practice with paper tests by not taking any notes on the pages, but using scratch paper instead for diagramming games and taking notes in RC, developing your own system for the latter that best helps you to quickly access key info in the passage while looking back and forth between paper and screen. You will have some underlining and highlighting capability on the screen, so you could also incorporate some of that, but no margin notes, in your practice with paper-based tests.

Your studies should mostly focus on where you think your weak areas are, especially in LR. If there are particular types of questions that are more likely to trip you up when you are having a bad day, do untimed practice and drills with those types of questions. If there is no discernible pattern to your problems in LR, and it's really just nerves that are impacting you, then focus on PTs that simulate real testing conditions to the best of your ability, and in that way build a level of familiarity and comfort with doing the test so that on the day of the real thing it will feel like just another day of practice, with nothing to be anxious about. Also, remember that if in July you don't do as well as you just did in June, you can cancel your score and give it another try for free! At that point you would register for the October test and have plenty of time to improve some more.

Good luck, keep up the good work! We're looking forward to hearing how your June score turns out!
Adam M. Tyson
PowerScore LSAT, GRE, ACT and SAT Instructor
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