hey Jeffort, thanks for the reply.
I've taken about 10-15 prep tests now, fully timed, 4 sections, 35 each, break between 3rd-4th section (10 minutes), and filling in the answer sheet included. Also no scratch paper. The prep tests I've taken are select ones from 7-20 (roughly 10) and then 5 from 20-30. I don't want to burn out prep tests (plannin on October 2010 official) so I want to focus in on my errors a little closer before jumpin back in and taking preps again.
I go back and review my tests, by marking the questions I get wrong (but not marking the right answer), then I review these questions and try to figure out the right answer, 2 hours or so after initially taking the test. In my review time, I usually correct 90% of my errors and score in the 175-180 range. The key however is to get those correct the first time through! lol
Often my errors are located in the advanced assumption, logical flaw, and parallel reasoning questions. I usually get down to 2 contenders (powerscore) and choose the wrong one. Then when I come back and review, it's usually the other answer that's correct.
My biggest issue is untangling those last 2 contenders, and SOLIDLY knowing with full confidence that the answer I'm choosing is correct. Usually I choose one or the other because i feel it "could be the most correct" and go with it.
Should I suspend my prep tests, go back and focus on those question types, and then do something like a Kaplan mastery book and hammer away at them? Or should I slow down, do a completely untimed prep test, and really spend as much time as needed to feel 100% correct about answers before moving on?
Also sufficient necessary diagramming I believe I'm good with, however sometimes I'll just plain diagram something wrong, when it's a more difficult question. I feel like the wording throws me off.
Ok, sounds like you have thought about and analyzed your current performance pretty well.
Yes, relax on the churning through a bunch more preptests right away idea. That doesn't meant totally stop, but ease it up and use that time instead to focus more on slow motion detailed study/review/analysis of the types you are consistently missing the most of as well as figuring out even more specifically what your performance errors are. Continuing to just do the taking lots of practice tests 'churn and burn' routine without focusing on and fixing your errors is not likely to home in on and fix your current weaknesses without detailed post-test review.
Since you mentioned Powercore I'm going to assume that you got and studied from their bibles. If so, re-read/review the chapters on the question types you mentioned.
By advanced assumption questions do you mean necessary assumption ones (The argument depends on the assumption that...) or sufficient assumption/justify the conclusion questions? They both are referred to as assumption questions (depending on whos terminology you use) but the two types are drastically different in many ways and typically give students trouble. Some of the hardest LR questions on each test that help separate the 160's from the 170's are the assumption questions.
You also mentioned flawed method of reasoning and parallel reasoning questions, which like assumption questions test you on recognition of various reasoning patterns including differentiating flawed from sound reasoning. Based on that I would suggest that you go through a bunch of the hard questions that you missed and really dissect the argument structure and identify the method of reasoning (whether flawed or sound) used. Take the time to break each argument into its pieces and carefully analyze the pattern of reasoning used to go from each of the pieces to the conclusion. Try to come up with your own descriptions of the reasoning patterns and why each one is flawed or why not.
Once you do that with a bunch of problems you should notice the pattern of repetition of the same set of common methods/flawed methods of reasoning that are staple on the LSAT. Once you are clear on them you are better able to spot each one a mile away and the harder questions based on them become much easier.
The staple list of super commonly repeated patterns of reasoning that appear in some form over and over on pretty much every LSAT is not super huge.