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February Rewrite

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Hi guys, 

I wanted to get some advice on whether i should rewrite in February 2018, and how i could go about it. 

Reading through the posts on this forum, i think i am leaning toward just rewriting, or at least registering and seeing how my practise goes. In my practise exams, i was scoring between 155-160 over the last 2 months before i wrote the December LSAT (2017). This was my second sitting (my first test was September 2016), and i scored horribly on that exam. My big jump in score was by foolproofing and getting my LG section to near perfect. In my practise exams i go from -0 to -3 max. My RC section is always up and down. Sometimes i score about 23/27, other times i get 14/27. But my worst section is LR. i improved a little bit from my previous testing, but i still go anywhere from 13 or 14 out of 25 or 26, to only 18 or 20 max. 

my last month or two of prep before the LSAT was doing blind review of my PT's and drilling my weaker question types like Flaw and Necessary Assumption Q's, but I guess it didn't have a huge difference on my score most times (perhaps a slow and gradual difference). 

Am i doing something wrong? or not going about my studying strategically? I definitely want to be focusing this month or two before Feb on LR, since it counts for two of the sections, but if anyone can give me any advice or guidance on what i should be doing specially, i would really appreciate it! I've also been told to spend a solid week (or couple) on RC and LR separately while doing maybe a PT in-between, to grind out a lot of my issues in those sections. 

As a last note, I am expecting about a 156 on the LSAT i just wrote if all went well, which would be fine with me, but i did mess up a few questions on the LG section. My saving grace may be the RC section which i thought was fairly straightforward, and may be my best scoring section for this Dec LSAT, and one of the LR sections. But this uncertainty doesn't leave me very confident, so I am just preparing to start studying ASAP before its too late and i only have less than a month to study. 

 Thank you!

 

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Well for starters, how are you studying outside of PTs?

 

If LR is the problem, I found it vastly helpful to read through the PowerScore Bible to get a grasp of exactly what each question is asking and requires.

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1 hour ago, RNGesus said:

Well for starters, how are you studying outside of PTs?

 

If LR is the problem, I found it vastly helpful to read through the PowerScore Bible to get a grasp of exactly what each question is asking and requires.

I've done the PS Bibles, but didnt find them too helpful. i did 7sage the second time around and they were amazing. Now im sort of flipping through the LSAT Trainer to see if there are any other strategies that might make LR click better for me. 

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One thing that helped me a lot was STOP STUDYING and start practicing and drilling. No matter how many techniques or methods I learn, none of it will matter if I don't master those methods. Start doing LR sections only and do blind review, over and over again, after a while you'll see progress! 

If you want a study buddy we can go over LR sections together, I'm also preparing for the FEB LSAT, so feel free to send me a message. 

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Consider getting a tutor (that is if you're able to). I got a 157 in September and rewrote in December, and I think it went well. However, if I'm to rewrite again, I'm going to get a tutor. I actually wish I had gotten one for my second write anyway. I also used 7sage and PS. Since you're done the 7sage CC,  drilling is invaluable and your best friend. Tho every once in a while you should go back to CC/PS. 

For myself, I fixed my low 160s PT plateau by getting 7sage in July, and before going into decemver exam I was at a mid 160s plateau. I don't think, if I'm to rewrite, I can change that without a tutor tho.

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If you're considering a rewrite, here's what I've learned:

First:

My RC was pretty similar -- sometimes I'd hit around -2 to -4, sometimes I'd hit -13. It was brutal. Some of that has to do with what I've perceived as fluctuating difficulty over the years in PTs. Some of it was that I kept thinking I needed tips and advice to do better because I'm a relatively slow reader on average and often can't reasonably get through all 4 passages. I thought I had to learn to read faster and/or take better notes. In my experience, the shitty thing about RC is that a lot of advice out there just isn't helpful or doesn't take into account that people have different reading styles.

In the end, I decided to just chill out and stopped rushing through the passages and ignored advice geared towards other people who have very different reading skills. The upside to my reading style is I'm very thorough and don't forget stuff when I take my time. I take zero notes, but underline key words and phrases in the text that I might need to find again later. This translated to a lot less time spent returning to the test, which was much better than other advice I'd read which included speeding through the passage twice. I still don't finish all the questions in the fourth passage, but I can consistently pick off 3-4 quick questions on that one and take my best guess at whatever else is left. This settled me at around -4 to -8 on the most recent PTs. It's still a wider gap than I'd like and I'll never hit 170s going like that, but it's stable enough.

The only thing I kept from advice I'd heard was for the comparative passage. The first thing I do is skim the questions and note any questions that are just about passage A or B and mark them as such and return to them immediately after reading that section. I absolutely do not go to the extent that 7Sage does, which suggests going through each question after each passage eliminating answer choices. I don't know who the hell has time to read each question twice, but it definitely is not me. Maybe it works better for people who are fast readers with more trouble remembering where they read something.

Second: For LR, mental fatigue seems to have a huge impact. I found that if I studied LR right after work, I'd consistently hit around -4 to -5, but if I'm still studying at 9:30pm and drilling timed sections, that score rapidly drops to -8 or -9 and I still can't get half of them back on blind review. All I can suggest is drill often and consider what time of day it is when you're doing them and consider what else you did that day. My score was lower when I was tired (surprise!) even though my confidence wasn't also lower.

Probably the most useful thing to do is just try experimenting with a few different approaches to each section and take a moment to think about what worked and didn't. For a while, I straight up started journaling after each drill and PT and reflected on what worked and didn't. Use what you find from your journal to figure out what works and what doesn't and work on how to create for yourself the conditions in which you do everything well. This is not going to be the same thing for every person, so it's likely going to be the most useful thing you can do. Take people's advice as something to experiment with, not as the one and only way to do something.

Edited by DescartesBeforeTheHorse
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Did you use the LR analytics tool from 7sage? Or any kind of analysis/tracking of the type of questions you get wrong? 

It will definitely help you drill out the harder questions if you do that. Otherwise constant drilling is useful. IE in your car or riding the subway just reading through it and doing them makes you feel more comfortable. I'm going to second DescartesBeforeTheHorse and say, also breaking habits and shifting thought patterns/ways of approaching questions can really do wonders. Changing environments/pressure like doing it casually might be a way, but if you are plateauing a pattern shift can help you to break out of it. 

If you also aren't doing it yet, blind reviewing LR, or focusing tricky LR questions for an hour to see how the pattern of reasoning works is useful. E.G you get a question wrong after you narrow it down to two and really focusing on subtle differences between the two choices and how it fits into the question. 

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