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Hi everyone,

I'm looking for some encouragement.

I have dedicated about 25-30 hours per week studying since November 2020, with the anticipation of taking the June LSAT, but had to reschedule because I wasn't ready.

I anticipated taking the August LSAT, but I dropped 7 points after taking PT 85 two days ago. I'm even more demoralized after after attending the Crystal Ball for the August LSAT and recognizing the the importance of nailing these more modern tests.

I've read all three bibles, taken a live course, attended webinars, listened to nearly all the podcasts, and now am working with a tutor. There's not much more I can do.

I've read all the blog articles about confidence; however, it's difficult to not feel like there is something fundamentally wrong with me. Everyone has told me that I'm doing the studying the "right" way, with devoting a few days after a PT to dissecting and reviewing the PT.

It's incredibly demoralizing to know that I've put everything I've had into this test for nearly a year and I'm feeling this way. I know I shouldn't let one PT change my outlook or hinder my progress, but, honestly, how do I not get myself into an anxious mess after all the investment I've put into my success.

I'm really not trying to play the victim, and comparing my success to others isn't going to be helpful at all. But it's difficult to believe that additional success is possible when all LSAT experts as saying "You'll be ready by August" or "You're doing everything right" and time and time again, I haven't met my goals. And it certainly is not for a lack of discipline or will.

I'm at a 159 and really aiming for a 163, or better, a 165.

Am I reaching for the impossible? Should I just accept that I'm not meant for this test?
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Hey MountainGirl,

I'll start off by saying that you are absolutely not alone in your woes. I am currently prepping for my first LSAT (August) right now and have only been preparing for about 10 weeks so far, so you have a huge leg up on me as far as time investment is concerned! I think the fact that you have committed so much time to this already should be a positive thought for you. There's no way that you have gotten this far without developing a solid understanding of the test and skills necessary to succeed at it. Just because you don't feel like you don't have the skills/knowledge does not mean that you do not possess them.
One of the most (oddly) encouraging things that I have ever read about doing PTs is that scores are bound to fluctuate wildly from test to test sometimes. How can that be encouraging? I think it's because it helps me realize that EVERYBODY has fluctuation in their scores sometimes. No two LSAT questions/tests are going to be exactly the same. You can have your skills locked down on a certain question type, and then suddenly run across a new scenario that you have never seen before and it throws you off. You get that question wrong. Does it mean that you're bad at that question type or bad at the test? Not at all, you're simply being exposed to something different and unfamiliar, and you should just do your best to learn from it.
My whole life has practically revolved around the LSAT since I began prep. If I have a good test day, life is good. If not, life sucks. It is a roller coaster to get through this process, for certain. One thing that helps me get through the bad days and bounce back is reminding myself that I am capable of performing better than I just did. For example, I am usually able to score -0 or -1 on a LG section, but today I went -5. Why? I came across a weird game that I was unfamiliar with (PT 60, Game 3 in case you were wondering) and did not know how to approach it. Despite this terrible score compared to my norm, I know that it is an exceptional occasion and not the new norm I'll be facing. Having said that, I'll ask you this: Have you ever scored at or above where you need to be on any given section to get the score you want? Have you succeeded at this multiple times? If "yes" to the first question, and especially if "yes" to the second question, that should tell you that you do in fact have all of the skills you need. You simply need to be able to bring those skills and performances together once: Test Day. For example, the best scores I have ever seen on any of my sections are -2 in LR (one section), -3 in RC, and -0 in LG. The only time that I have ever seen scores like that reflected across an entire test were on an untimed one. Since I have moved on to timed practice, my scores initially dropped off, and it was very discouraging at first. However, I know that I am capable of scoring where I want to be because I have done it!
It sounds to me like you're a little stuck dwelling on your defeats right now, and I would say that you should take a look at some of your past work where you have succeeded and celebrate some of those victories. You have the skills and the knowledge by now, almost certainly.
 Robert Carroll
PowerScore Staff
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I want to emphasize that a single dip is not necessarily indicative of a problem, and that you ARE doing the right things (as you know). Our blog post here is relevant: ... at-casino/

Variation can happen.

I also want to emphasize that, while we at PowerScore think that newer tests, especially 80-89 and the May 2020 test, are more indicative of the likely test content than older tests, the differences are outweighed by the similarities. What I mean is that it's easy to think "I did poorly on PT 85; I'll only do well on the kinds of tests we don't see any more." Largely, the content is so similar that you shouldn't give special significance to the fact that the test was 85.

Keep at the studying and look at the specifics of what didn't go well on tests, and don't emphasize too much the slips! Look at what is consistently difficult.

Robert Carroll

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