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Getting out of a slump less than 2 weeks before the test !?!

*devo*

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Getting out of a slump less than 2 weeks before the test !?!
« on: November 25, 2008, 06:18:47 PM »
So my goal is to get above 160.  My last 4 prep tests were 159, 163, 154, 153.  I am extremely frustrated with this huge range and especially with my last two scores.  When I got the 163 I thought I was over the "hump," but now I am suffering from a major lack of confidence.  I can only attribute it to burnout because I am just making too many mental mistakes.

Any advice on how to get out of this rut?  I need to take as many prep tests as possible, but I don't want to just keeping scoring low. 

ak2ca

Re: Getting out of a slump less than 2 weeks before the test !?!
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2008, 06:28:46 PM »
I feel you on the test prep exhaustion. I have a couple prep techniques that I found to be helpful. First, a 3L friend of mine recommended that I slow down and do some untimed sections and really focus in on which question types were stumping me and why. Also, if your score is dropping due to a particular section that you find troubling (i.e., Games, RC) you could try doing some timed and untimed drills focused just on those sections, as opposed to an entire preptest. This technique in particular, while simplistic, helped me bring up my RC average after the October test. I guess my best advice is not to focus on just getting a certain number of preptests under your belt, but rather to be sure that you're understanding why you're getting questions correct or incorrect. But this is just me--and I'm not sure I'm the best person to be giving advice since I'll be re-taking in December after a poor showing in October! These were just some methods that helped me break through the study ruts. Good luck!

Re: Getting out of a slump less than 2 weeks before the test !?!
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2008, 06:35:19 PM »
Yea, same with me. My goal is 170+. My prep tests have been 168, 174, 167, 175, 168, 167...The thing that is is unsettling, and which makes me nervous, is how much my score depends on luck. If there is an esp hard game, like the birds in the forest or rock/pop/opera game (both of which took me 15 minutes+) then I'm screwed. If the games are all fairly normal, I can sail through them with -0 and time to spare. The diff between a 167 (not t14) and 170 (some t14) is like 2-3 questions. Thats why, at least for me, the LSAT is so scary. So much depends on the test.

Re: Getting out of a slump less than 2 weeks before the test !?!
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2008, 08:00:08 PM »
Yea, same with me. My goal is 170+. My prep tests have been 168, 174, 167, 175, 168, 167...The thing that is is unsettling, and which makes me nervous, is how much my score depends on luck. If there is an esp hard game, like the birds in the forest or rock/pop/opera game (both of which took me 15 minutes+) then I'm screwed. If the games are all fairly normal, I can sail through them with -0 and time to spare. The diff between a 167 (not t14) and 170 (some t14) is like 2-3 questions. Thats why, at least for me, the LSAT is so scary. So much depends on the test.


I kind of disagree with this.  I think there's luck to an extent (for example, narrowing a questions down to two likely contenders and then making an educated guess on which one is correct), but especially in terms of games I don't think that has much luck to do with it, it's more about how well prepared you are.  You narrowed out two games that are difficult for you, birds in the forest is a simple in/out grouping game and rock/pop/opera is a complex grouping game I believe (I could be wrong on this, I haven't looked at these games in a few months), but from what a gather you're just hoping you won't get a (difficult grouping) game, instead of figuring out a good strategy for you to get these games right in the amount of time you have.  You still have 2 weeks and you can be prepared enough to tackle any game- I'm sure you've realized by now how similar they all are.

Re: Getting out of a slump less than 2 weeks before the test !?!
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2008, 08:12:38 PM »
So my goal is to get above 160.  My last 4 prep tests were 159, 163, 154, 153.  I am extremely frustrated with this huge range and especially with my last two scores.  When I got the 163 I thought I was over the "hump," but now I am suffering from a major lack of confidence.  I can only attribute it to burnout because I am just making too many mental mistakes.

Any advice on how to get out of this rut?  I need to take as many prep tests as possible, but I don't want to just keeping scoring low. 


Taking more tests is basically the opposite of what you should do at this point.

I went through the same thing before the October test.  I had scored up to a 174 on practice tests, then I hit a slump and started sliding backwards...169, 168, and even a 164 on the June 2008 test (mind you, my actual score on the June test was higher!).  From that point, I stopped doing prep tests.  I took that extra time I was using to study and got some extra sleep.  I hung out with friends.  I did things that took my mind off the test for the most part.  When I felt the urge to do some LSAT practice, I did some questions on their own, untimed.  Since LG was my favorite section, I did games and did them well.  My confidence was restored and ultimately, I broke 170 on the test day.

The cure for burn out is not to do the things that burned you out in the first place ;D

Re: Getting out of a slump less than 2 weeks before the test !?!
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2008, 08:45:52 PM »
I kind of disagree with this.  I think there's luck to an extent (for example, narrowing a questions down to two likely contenders and then making an educated guess on which one is correct), but especially in terms of games I don't think that has much luck to do with it, it's more about how well prepared you are.  You narrowed out two games that are difficult for you, birds in the forest is a simple in/out grouping game and rock/pop/opera is a complex grouping game I believe (I could be wrong on this, I haven't looked at these games in a few months), but from what a gather you're just hoping you won't get a (difficult grouping) game, instead of figuring out a good strategy for you to get these games right in the amount of time you have.  You still have 2 weeks and you can be prepared enough to tackle any game- I'm sure you've realized by now how similar they all are.

Thats a good point. Any advice on how to spend the final two weeks preparing? I am in testmasters, and almost done with all of their extra LG material, so I think I will have to start going back and doing games I have already done. Any tips on how to master the really hard ones? The birds in the forest, and the CD game, were not so much impossible for me, just very time consuming. I am doing at least 1 LR and 1 LG section per day until test day, with one prep test every other day...anything else I should be doing?

Re: Getting out of a slump less than 2 weeks before the test !?!
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2008, 08:58:57 PM »
I kind of disagree with this.  I think there's luck to an extent (for example, narrowing a questions down to two likely contenders and then making an educated guess on which one is correct), but especially in terms of games I don't think that has much luck to do with it, it's more about how well prepared you are.  You narrowed out two games that are difficult for you, birds in the forest is a simple in/out grouping game and rock/pop/opera is a complex grouping game I believe (I could be wrong on this, I haven't looked at these games in a few months), but from what a gather you're just hoping you won't get a (difficult grouping) game, instead of figuring out a good strategy for you to get these games right in the amount of time you have.  You still have 2 weeks and you can be prepared enough to tackle any game- I'm sure you've realized by now how similar they all are.

Thats a good point. Any advice on how to spend the final two weeks preparing? I am in testmasters, and almost done with all of their extra LG material, so I think I will have to start going back and doing games I have already done. Any tips on how to master the really hard ones? The birds in the forest, and the CD game, were not so much impossible for me, just very time consuming. I am doing at least 1 LR and 1 LG section per day until test day, with one prep test every other day...anything else I should be doing?

Have you all done the "hard" games in class yet?  I'm guessing you haven't yet if you are talking about the birds and CDs being hard :D
I would do the birds and the CD game again, and also that picture game (if you know which one I'm talking about) because that's similar, and anything else you've had problems on.  Oh, and I would do them until you can get them done in about 5 minutes, because I think that would be the best guage to show you have a good grasp on them.

Re: Getting out of a slump less than 2 weeks before the test !?!
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2008, 01:50:01 AM »
We did do the hard games, but I did not find them THAT hard - the grouping games with a ton of rules seem to give me the hardest time, just because they take me a LONG time. Are there any particularly hard grouping games you know of? I know there is a thread on hard games...I'll check em out.

*devo*

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Re: Getting out of a slump less than 2 weeks before the test !?!
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2008, 09:56:03 AM »
Thanks for the responses.  I think I will do a combination of shmoo and Jessica's advice.  It seems crazy not to study this close to the test, but it's honestly doing more harm than good right now.  I think taking it easy will help reduce my anxiety.