I just got a 180 on test 26, (-3).
You have to understand, I took the LSAT in Feb, basically cold, before I found this board and learned all the books etc you can use and got a 156, even though I had taken 4 tests and was getting a 166 or so on those. That being said, this practice 180 means buptkis until I get a better score on the real thing in a couple of weeks. However, I have changed a few things through the last couple of months that I've been studying, so in the hopes that it helps someone else, here they are. (Up until this wacky day, I was getting a range of 169-172)
1. Interestingly enough, I went to the ER 3 times a week or so ago and ended up having emergency surgery. Needless to say, I didn't really think about the LSAT for the entire week. Maybe a break is the best thing sometimes? I know it's hard when we are getting this close.
2. Games were my downfall before. I went through the games bible, didn't increase incredibly significantly, especially because of timing problems. I then made a binder with each game on it's own page, categorized by type, "linear, grouping" etc. I went back and restudied that chapter of the bible and then did each game to completion, but kept track of my time. Went back to find WHY i missed each question, and wrote it down. I discovered that I actually DID have a pattern of things I was missing, even though just taking LSAT wasn't showing it. Once I had things grouped together, the pattern emerged. On this test 26, I didn't miss any questions, first time ever. Because of my studying though, I had seen 2 of the 4 games before, and I'm sure that made a big difference too, so I might have lost a couple of points on a completely blind one, who knows? Last, on games, even after all my studying, I was still a minute or two short per game. I found that I was struggling to reconnect after bubbling each question. I decided to bubble only after I finish the entire game,and that has been the difference for me. BE CAREFUL. For me, I recheck it when I bubble, which probably costs me 15 seconds, but has saved me several minutes of trying to get back into the game moving back and forth to the answer sheet.
3. LR: Didn't plan on doing the Logical Reasoning Bible, because I typically only miss 3-5 on this section. Then, decided that was stupid, there are two of these sections, duh! Since this is somewhat of a strength, why not maximize my points on the sections that are easier for me? So glad I did, I've shaved a few points off by reading it and understanding that again, I did have a certain type that befuddled me. Missed one on each section today.
4. RC: This is my best section. I miss one or two here typically, and missed one today. I'm less help with this one because it happens to come easily, so I don't really know what I do. I guess I would say that I rephrase what I'm reading in my own words occasionally, especially if it is dense. I only underline and jot when I have to, and I refer back to the passage A LOT for the questions, because they like to trick you with nit-picky things. If you aren't a fast reader, I would probably suggest you somewhat skim, then go to the questions, because you are going to have to refer back for the specific answer anyway, and many times they tell you exactly where to go. Always read a paragraph ahead of the spot and at least a sentence or two after, or you will get nailed with a trick answer. I'm lucky here because I just read really fast, but I make up for it in my life/death struggle with games.
5. Lastly, I guess, I have put in my time. I study as much as my brain can stand. I wasn't able to do much until the end of July, but since my kids started school on Aug 7th, I have studied 2-3 hours per day on average. Obviously, you just do what you can. For me, just taking LSAT after LSAT didn't do me as much good as breaking things down, like the binder, or a certain type of question in LR etc and studying it by doing it again and again. Then I can recognize it and hold onto what I've learned about that type.
I hope any of this helps somebody. As I said, none of these practice scores mean a darn thing, but I think consistently scoring in a certain range can at least help with confidence on the big day. The silly thing is, I only have ONE law school option (moving my family probably isn't the best idea) which is ASU. I just need above a 164 or so and I'll be okay, but I would do backflips for a scholarship. Good luck to all of you! Hang in there, you can do it, all of a sudden you might have a big jump! Now I'll be scared to take another one, because it can only be downhill!