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I think I know in my gut the answer to this question, but I need someone who is not me to say it.

I've been studying for the LSAT since the beginning of this year. I took the test in August and got a 162 -- that was around 1 to 2 points lower than my rolling average. I've taken around 20 PTS and of those have scored a 165+ 6 times. My highest being a 169. My blind review scores are all 170+.

I jumped back into studying (practice testing) at the beginning of September for the October test, but all I've done is just jump back into my practice testing routine. Two PTs a week with blind review in between. I work full time, so I get about 25-30 hours of studying in a week. But my scores, just like before my August test, are all over the place. I go from a 166 to a 161 in a week. There is no consistency. I'd be fine if every now and then my score dropped. But this is consistent - I score in the mid 160s and then drop to the low 160s in the next test. It's infuriating because I know from review and from PTing that I'm capable of more. Maybe not consistent high 170s right now, but at least consistent mid-high 160s. That's not an unrealistic expectation.

So, my question is what do I do? Is it time to maybe switch from two PTs a week to one on the weekend and spend some time actively drilling? Reviewing foundations and then drilling my weak spots. Trying to fine-tune my strategies. I don't struggle that much with timing. I think my issue is more that under timed conditions, I become less strict with using my formulated strategies in approaching questions and let the ACs guide me.

In my gut, I feel like it's time to go back to drilling and foundations for a couple of days, or else I'm meeting the definition of insanity -- doing the same thing over again and expecting different results. But I feel bad not practicing testing. If I do go back to drilling/foundations, are there strategies you recommend to make the most of my time?

Thank you!
 Rachael Wilkenfeld
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  • Joined: Dec 15, 2011
Hi allgoodthings,

It sounds like you are really working hard on this test. Here's something you might find surprising---you might find you get better results by pulling back a bit. I'd always rather see quality study over quantity of study. Just taking tests and reviewing them is not getting you the consistency you want. There are a few things you can work on to nail down that consistency.

First, I'd focus on comparing the tests you do well to those you do not. What's different? Where are the missing points? What's happening during that test? Are the blind reviews the same scores, while the timed exams are not? That often indicates that you aren't doing the sort of quality work you want to do on your PTs. You might be rushing the prephrasing. You might be avoiding diagrams. You might be just lagging in focus. You need to figure out what it is that makes those lower tests different. It's actually somewhat of a gift that you have these lower tests---it gives you a hint into what you need to avoid on the actual test. It's your brain yelling to you---"Hey! This is what I do when I'm overworked!"

Second, I'd focus on skills and areas where you are showing weakness. If you are struggling in reading comprehension, there are excellent diagnostic tests available. For logic reasoning, you can compare your notes and diagrams that you took during the test to those you do with blind review. What's the difference? Where are you trying to cut corners? Should you be skipping around more than you are? If you are struggling with games how are you using your time? Is it efficient? Do you template enough? Too much?

It's great that you are working so hard on this---but make sure that work is purposeful, driven, and designed to move toward that higher score that you know you can get. You know you have that understanding to get in the 170s. Otherwise, your blind reviews wouldn't get up there. Just give yourself some space to let your brain do all the wonderful things you know it can do.

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