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hopesndreams

Crazy practice score fluctuation

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Hey guys,

Just wondering if anyone went through the same things as I currently am. I've been studying for the LSAT for about 2.5 months and although lots of things are clicking and coming to light, I find that any time I switch my focus to a specific section, the other two sections scores drop - like my brain can only kick ass at one at a time. I'll nail LG's, switch to RC - finally get decent scores on that, but then I move on or try and do a full practice test to which I normally do amazing on the section i've JUST focused on, yet the other sections suck (like -9 suck). 

I'm at the point that I don't know what else to do. My brain is mush, I'm undoubtedly burnt out, but I write on the 26th and every day I don't put my nose deep in a book or do at least 50 Q's I feel so guilty (and also like its slowly all falling out my ears). I feel like I want to just put it all down and wing it on the 26th ... :( 

Any advice, tips, stories, optimism? lol

Thanks all!

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While I am by no means good at the LSAT, I myself am retaking it on the 26th, too, I would suggest that you take a day off. It would still leave you with 2 weeks of study (assuming you do the recommended nothing the Friday before). Recharging your batteries may be helpful. 

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I know this is going to sound ridiculous lol, but I literally feel like my days off make it worse. I took one yesterday and todays scores have been crap. Maybe my brain is not cut out for this. 

If you don't mind me asking, did you change anything up from the last time you wrote (assuming your re-writing for scores purposes) in regards to study techniques? 

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Just now, hopesndreams said:

I know this is going to sound ridiculous lol, but I literally feel like my days off make it worse. I took one yesterday and todays scores have been crap. Maybe my brain is not cut out for this. 

If you don't mind me asking, did you change anything up from the last time you wrote (assuming your re-writing for scores purposes) in regards to study techniques? 

I was naive in my studies. I did well in undergrad and thought that it would transition to the LSAT. I studied for a week my first write and did a single, untimed practice test. Did awful. The second time, again, I was stupid, I studied a bit more but just focused on practice tests. I didn't have the fundamental understandings so my timing was off. This time I took a course, am better able to understand the fundamentals and now I am just doing practice tests up until test day and some drilling to remain fresh on fundamentals. So, TL;DR - I was stupid my first couple of writes, and this time I took a course.

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1 minute ago, SlickRick said:

I was naive in my studies. I did well in undergrad and thought that it would transition to the LSAT. I studied for a week my first write and did a single, untimed practice test. Did awful. The second time, again, I was stupid, I studied a bit more but just focused on practice tests. I didn't have the fundamental understandings so my timing was off. This time I took a course, am better able to understand the fundamentals and now I am just doing practice tests up until test day and some drilling to remain fresh on fundamentals. So, TL;DR - I was stupid my first couple of writes, and this time I took a course.

I wish I would have known better to take a course. I went through the whole Kaplan text (before I even tried a practice test), then realized I needed a little more help and got the bibles trilogy from Powerscore (couldn't not, they were on sale for only $105) and the bibles definitely have some helpful methods and stuff but man, trying to teach it all to yourself (in only 2.5 months) now makes me feel like what in the hell was I thinking lol. 

I also have yet to time myself for a whole test. I've done random sections timing but thats it. I can't get my scores high enough to get confident enough to tackle and entire timed start to finish. 

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Just now, hopesndreams said:

I wish I would have known better to take a course. I went through the whole Kaplan text (before I even tried a practice test), then realized I needed a little more help and got the bibles trilogy from Powerscore (couldn't not, they were on sale for only $105) and the bibles definitely have some helpful methods and stuff but man, trying to teach it all to yourself (in only 2.5 months) now makes me feel like what in the hell was I thinking lol. 

I also have yet to time myself for a whole test. I've done random sections timing but thats it. I can't get my scores high enough to get confident enough to tackle and entire timed start to finish. 

What are you scoring?

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LG between 0 to -4
LR -3 to -6 

RC varies the most from like -9 to -4

but like I said, once I try them all together my brain panics and I normally excel on the section I studied the most last. 

full test I average 161-164 (untimed!)

Well sorry - average was the wrong word- I got 161 and 164 the two times I went right through 

Edited by hopesndreams
update

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6 minutes ago, hopesndreams said:

LG between 0 to -4
LR -3 to -6 

RC varies the most from like -9 to -4

but like I said, once I try them all together my brain panics and I normally excel on the section I studied the most last. 

full test I average 161-164 (untimed!)

Well sorry - average was the wrong word- I got 161 and 164 the two times I went right through 

Being that it's two weeks out, I would recommend focusing on doing full timed tests. Do 3 sections in a row without break and then do your last section. If you want full simulation, start at 9:00am and add a fifth section. Do not make the mistake I made by not doing timed simulation. You seem to have the fundamentals down. Focus on putting it all together. 161 and 164 are good scores.

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okay - don't judge me on this lol, but is there a fifth section?.. like 4 (2 of which are LR) of the 5 are for marks?.. 

maybe tomorrow I'll do a timed test starting at 9 - you've convinced me .. but i'm terrified lol!

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2 minutes ago, hopesndreams said:

okay - don't judge me on this lol, but is there a fifth section?.. like 4 (2 of which are LR) of the 5 are for marks?.. 

maybe tomorrow I'll do a timed test starting at 9 - you've convinced me .. but i'm terrified lol!

No judgement. So there is a fifth one, it is not marked but you don't know which one it is. It has never been the fifth section, very rarely the fourth, though it has happened. Typically sections 1 to 3 will have one. Not that it particularly matters. But you can gauge which one it is. (Have 2 RC's, 2 LG's or 3 LR's). On an undisclosed test like January, you won't know. Though the Powerscore forum does a good job at disseminating information to figure it out. Adding in a fifth section on your own helps for stamina. I am glad I told you now so that you are mentally prepared. There is also a written section at the end (if you didn't know).

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So do a full practice test (to determine your score), and then add in a random one. Score it for yourself, but obviously you cannot count it towards your mark. 

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28 minutes ago, hopesndreams said:

I also have yet to time myself for a whole test. I've done random sections timing but thats it. I can't get my scores high enough to get confident enough to tackle and entire timed start to finish. 

You have to start doing full, timed 5-section tests now; you only have two weeks left. 

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^ This is not necessarily true. I burned myself out doing 5-section tests and got a 151 in July (among other reasons).  Doing 4 sections my second time taking the test worked better for me.. and I started timing myself about 2 weeks before the tests while adding on a few minutes each time (I needed about 2-3 more minutes originally, then did maybe 6 more tests with strict time.) So, don't stress out over the fact that you haven't fully timed yourself yet - 161 and 164 are good scores nonetheless.

 I agree with @SlickRick that a good idea is to do 3 sections in a row, a break, and then your last section, definitely timed! If you are nervous first do a few tests with 5 extra minutes and keep taking out a minute or so until you get to 35 minutes. Good luck!

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12 hours ago, jwms said:

Do you need to write the LSAT this time? 

If I want to start law school this year yup! - I only applied to Oz but haven't written my LSAT yet. 

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UPDATE. 

I'm officially terrified at how drastic my score difference is while timing myself. I literally felt like I couldn't concentrate because my heart was beating in my ears from worrying about that stupid alarm going off after 35 minutes. It made me re-read almost every question, while questioning every answer - like everything I knew was gone lol. 

Please tell me this is normal and will get better. 😧 I was incredibly naive to think time restraints wouldn't affect me simply because they didn't in undergrad. AH. 

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There is probably some holes in your skills that aren't always tested, so they don't always hurt you.  

If i were you, I would probably spend a few days reviewing a few of your tests inside and out.  Maybe you'll spot some things that are causing you some trouble.  

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5 minutes ago, hopesndreams said:

UPDATE. 

I'm officially terrified at how drastic my score difference is while timing myself. I literally felt like I couldn't concentrate because my heart was beating in my ears from worrying about that stupid alarm going off after 35 minutes. It made me re-read almost every question, while questioning every answer - like everything I knew was gone lol. 

Please tell me this is normal and will get better. 😧 I was incredibly naive to think time restraints wouldn't affect me simply because they didn't in undergrad. AH. 

[emphasis added]

If you can't relax and do better, why not speak to a professional - I mean someone paid, not necessarily a member of a regulated profession? There are people who help students relax for exams or flights if afraid to fly, etc.

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1 minute ago, 905 said:

There is probably some holes in your skills that aren't always tested, so they don't always hurt you.  

If i were you, I would probably spend a few days reviewing a few of your tests inside and out.  Maybe you'll spot some things that are causing you some trouble.  

Thanks for the suggestion!.. I have been doing that with the full untimed tests I've been doing for the last few weeks and feel like I covered and learnt a lot of stuff compared to before delving into the type of questions I got wrong consistency etc. But, while going through the timed test this morning, I didn't feel like any questions were foreign to me in terms of what they were asking etc. I recognized each question stem and type - but when it came to remembering correct/incorrect answer types, it was like my brain was flooding. I would remember something, answer confidently, then ask myself 'omg, was that about Must be Trues in LR or RC?' and stuff like that.. or simply forget tons of info from the RC passage and have to keep going back to all the notes I made over and over again. Where untimed, I feel like I retain SO much from those passages.  

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8 minutes ago, hopesndreams said:

UPDATE. 

I'm officially terrified at how drastic my score difference is while timing myself. I literally felt like I couldn't concentrate because my heart was beating in my ears from worrying about that stupid alarm going off after 35 minutes. It made me re-read almost every question, while questioning every answer - like everything I knew was gone lol. 

Please tell me this is normal and will get better. 😧 I was incredibly naive to think time restraints wouldn't affect me simply because they didn't in undergrad. AH. 

This is normal.

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