Law School Discussion

How do I get over the hump? (no progress)

How do I get over the hump? (no progress)
« on: May 17, 2006, 02:09:39 AM »
Hello,
       I've been prepping to take the June exam for a month now or so, and can't seem to improve my scores.  I took the Oct 05 exam and snagged a 166 (my average for practice was 170).  My practices are still hovering around 170, I was hoping if any high scorers can tell me how they broke the 170 barrier to consistently get to the mid 170's?  (Btw it is imperative for me to get a 175ish score since my gpa is low, I was hoping for a 170 in Oct so I need a 174 to average the 166). Thx in advance.

dusya4

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Re: How do I get over the hump? (no progress)
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2006, 06:44:37 AM »
There is no one magic trick that works. Some people are able to score high without much practice. For me it was a gradual increase. I started out with a 164 (my lowest score) and gradually went up to high 160's. That's where my progress also halted but after about a month I started improving again. I am now scoring consistently in the mid 170's. I haven't taken the actual test yet so I'm not exactly an authority on this, but I do know what helped me get to the point where I am now and that's practice.

But you have to be smart about practice. Just taking tests and looking back at the problems you got wrong and saying "oh yeah that makes sense, what a stupid mistake" when you find out the right answer isn't going to help. You have to analyze why you got a certain problem wrong. Most likely you will see a pattern, at least in LR, in the types of questions that you consistently get incorrect.

To give more specific advice it would be important to know what sections are causing you the most grief.

Re: How do I get over the hump? (no progress)
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2006, 10:45:03 AM »
Steroids. That's how you overcome the odds.

Re: How do I get over the hump? (no progress)
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2006, 10:51:30 AM »
October 2005 had two challenging LR sections...so if your score took a dip, don't feel bad. That is the test that I took just before taking the actual LSAT...where I scored a 173...but (believe it or not) on the October 2005 practice test, I got a 149!!! I was devastated and was about to quit...LOL...so realize that some tests have harder sections in LR, others in RC and others in games...so depending on your strength and weaknesses and concentration level...your scores can fluctuate. I think that my Oct 2005 practice test was an extreme, but I had taken it with the mindset that I had it all figured out...etc...and it was a rude wake up call for me... Vera :)

Hey Vera, I share your pain - but at least you were in the 173 range!  On my first diagnostic I scored a 142 and I've taken two other exams and have slowly risen to a 151.  But on my last diagnostic I scored a 143 - Dec 04 exam. I got so discouraged after that, since I was hoping for a steady progression.  I know LG is my weakest area, but my LR fell from a 68% accuracy to 49% on that one exam!  It's def been a rude wake-up call that I need to practice, practice, practice, and really zone in on my reasoning.  Up until this point, my preparation has simply not been intense enough.

anyway good luck to you - and again, I share your pain, most acutely... Tracy

Hank Rearden

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Re: How do I get over the hump? (no progress)
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2006, 10:53:01 AM »
When you're up in those high ranges, I think a lot of it has to do with confidence.  Think to yourself, who are these people who write the LSAT?  Did they ever get into an elite law school?  If you're scoring above 165 consistently, chances are you are smarter than they are.  Use that to your advantage!  Go into each test thinking, they can't trick me; there is no question I can't get right.  Anyway, that has helped me.  

Re: How do I get over the hump? (no progress)
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2006, 11:06:09 AM »
When you're up in those high ranges, I think a lot of it has to do with confidence.  Think to yourself, who are these people who write the LSAT?  Did they ever get into an elite law school?  If you're scoring above 165 consistently, chances are you are smarter than they are.  Use that to your advantage!  Go into each test thinking, they can't trick me; there is no question I can't get right.  Anyway, that has helped me. 

I agree that confidence has a lot to do with this exam.  I took a prep course that began mid-March.  And then, subsequently, my boyfriend and I broke-up mid-April. The whole ordeal jilted my confidence and concentration.  It took a solid week to get back into the pace and I'm still far from my goal. 

Anyway, I'm only beginning to develop a mindset for this exam. I'm not scoring above 165 now, but when I get there, I'll use the "I'm smarter than they are" mantra to my advantage! 

Hank Rearden

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Re: How do I get over the hump? (no progress)
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2006, 01:24:36 PM »
Do you guys have any advice on retaining accuracy but increasing speed?  I agree that the test makers are rather predictable after doing so many exams, and when i slow down and take the time to really break down the questions, they are easy.  However, under timed conditions i seem to suffer lapses in judgement.  Is this just a factor of being able to read very closely at faster speeds?  When i look back at the question i get incorrect i sometime just have to laugh at the answer i actually chose.

Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.  That's why I've never put too much stock in the prep classes...it seems like all they do is spend a lot of time breaking down problems and games that when taking the test you'll have maybe a minute to figure out.  The best advice I could give is just to practice.  Taking lots of timed tests and then going over problems in LR and LG will make finding the patterns easier. 

erox

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Re: How do I get over the hump? (no progress)
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2006, 02:12:12 PM »
Testmasters weekend course and confidence. I NEVER broke a 170 on practice tests, but when I went into the actual LSAT, I was really relaxed and realized that stressing was only going to hurt. I ended up breaking 170, which really put me over the top in the admissions cycle.

THe weekend course was awesome because we had a fabulous instructor. Also, I had tried to take a 6 week course for GRE and found it to be way too tedious. Before taking the course, I was only getting 1 or 2 wrong on RC and LR, but the games were killing me. I learned a lot of great tricks and learned how to correctly diagram all the different types of LGs, which made a huge difference. Plus it is so much cheaper than the alternatives, if money is an issue.

I also took a million practice tests, which helped a lot, but it looks like you all are already doing that.

In terms of working faster....when taking the test, if an answer didn't automatically jump out at me, I marked the question and moved on. After finishing the easier questions, I went back through the harder ones. I managed to finish in plenty of time during the actual LSAT, but there were plenty of timed tests where I ended up running out of time and guessing on a few. As long as you can narrow it down to two answers, you are bound to get a few of the hard ones right.

If you are still not ready in June, just study more and take the October test.

Good luck everyone!

Miyabi

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Re: How do I get over the hump? (no progress)
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2006, 07:48:35 PM »
Keep at it. For a while I thought I was going to be forever stuck in the high 150s-low 160s hell, but now the scores are gradually going up.

Hopefully a month is enough time for me to work on that!