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[User Question] Lower score with 7Sage?

inactiveinactive Alum Member
edited June 2017 in General 12637 karma

Hey 7Sagers, had a user email me in with a question that I thought you'd be great at answering. Here it is:


Hi All,
I need your help urgently! I have been wanting to go to law school for years but was never able to score highly enough on the practice tests. Then I quit my job and decided to take a class and study full time. I picked 7Sage over all the other classes that I researched. I started March 18th and was at 144 on the June 2007 test now that I did the course I have been taking practice tests and I got a 134. I had been hoping to take the June test but decided to push back until September. So many questions for you. 1. Was the 7Sage course a waste of time and money since my score dropped 10 points? 2. What should I do now? Take practice tests and get a tutor to go over it with me? Do any of you tutor? Anyone willing to work with me? Thanks for your help in advance.

Comments

  • LSATcantwinLSATcantwin Alum Member Sage
    edited June 2017 13286 karma

    So much information is missing here. I am not even sure where to start. First let us start with time frame. If you started studying in March, it has been just over three months of study time. That is the bare minimum amount of time that is suggested to study and that is if you are going at the test 20-30 hours a week. I see that you had been working, and the class took most of your time. Let me ask, outside of the class how much time did you put into the test? The class is meant to show you concepts. You have to put in the work outside of class to master and to apply them.

    Given that your score has dropped so much we need to see what sections of the test are hurting you so badly. Is it logic games? logical reasoning? reading comp? all of them? We can't start attacking weaknesses until we know what they are.

    You need to go back to the basics of Lawgic and the CC. Mastering the CC is more than just watching the videos, its constantly reviewing the material and applying the needed fixes as they spring up.

    Can you negate statements? find the conclusion? the support to arguments? can you do the contra positive? Can you spot flaws? Do you know how to map logic games or how to find inferences based on the rules?

    7Sage is a wonderful community with a boat load of resources, you just need to reach out and get help. Expect to spend a lot of time mastering this test, for some people it takes well over a year (myself included).

    The LSAT is as much about effort, and time as it is about learning the material. My suggestion would be to read through the discussion forms, learn what people are doing to attack their problems, and apply them to your own study habits. Unfortunately I know this is not the kind of answer you wanted to hear. It's not some magic button that gives you the keys to a higher score. We have all been where you are, don't get discouraged. You have to work hard to gain success.

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    I really like what @LSATcantwin wrote above.

    Also, you said you have been taking PTs? What were the scores on the other PTs? Was the 134 a fluke? Or perhaps your diagnostic was a fluke? It's certainly not unheard of, that's for sure. Anyway, no I don't think it was a waste of time, but judging by how long you've been using it while working, I don't think you put enough time into the CC yet.

    Also, where are you missing points and how many?

    Have you fool proofed and mastered games from the early PTs?

    What PTs have you taken? Have you properly BR'd and addressed your weaknesses via returning to the CC and drilling them?

  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4181 karma

    It's actually quite common to see a drop in scores after having completed the curriculum. Outside of your normal variance, PTs post-curriculum may suffer from scores even lower than your diagnostic. This may be due to a variety of reasons for any one person, as I imagine it is for you, but one of the most common factors I've seen in instances like this one is just an inability to fluidly implement what you've learned, which is very natural.

    It takes time to be good at learning so much new material and attempting to implement that which we're not at all familiar with can very easily leave us initially poor results. For example, attempting to diagram conditional logic was initially for me so freaking difficult. Questions I may have answered correctly in the past were now taking me longer, because I was trying to approach them in a way I had never done before. Again, I'm sure there are a lot of other factors, and more details can definitely help with this, but the most important thing is to not freak out. The learning process won't always bring you a consistently higher score; there will likely be random dips and spikes, and that's okay. As @LSATcantwin very importantly emphasized, focus on your increasing your knowledge and mastering the concepts in the CC. From there, an increase in your score can follow.

  • H.al1997H.al1997 Alum Member
    edited June 2017 318 karma

    I sense some of your frustration. I know it can be tough, so hang in there. I am sort of in the same position as you. I haven't started full PTs, just doing single sections for RC and LR, and my scores are really bad. I think the 7sage course is hands down the best out there. I think it's learning how to use 7sage that will allow you to get the most out of it. I started in January, and for the first 4 months, I think I was doing the lessons/problem sets for the sake of just doing them. I wasn't learning anything, and I think I was more focused on getting the green circle filled. All I can say is experiment with different methods of studying. Another thing I was doing was not properly BRing RC or even LR for that matter. I was just going over the ones I did wrong with J.Y, basically just watching him go over the question/passage and A/C and be like 'oh I get it.' But that wasn't doing anything for me. I am starting to develop a good habit of BR'ing for LR and RC. When I BR for LR I go through every question and state what is the question asking me, why the A/C is wrong and why the A/C is right. Then, I review J.Y.s analysis and I type out his explanation for each A/C. Then, I try to find differences between my reasoning and his, and try to come up with mental notes to help me realize that I am making 'X-mistake, so next time make sure you do-Y to avoid this mistake,' etc. The only downside is that it's taking me soooo long, and I am so worried because it's setting me back to write in September. So I need to figure something out since I would rather not delay another year, and I don't necessarily need a 165+ (though it would be nice).

    The discussions on here are a lot of help too. Everyone says you just need to practice a lot and to properly BR. I wouldn't touch PT's from 40+ just yet. I would go back from 1-40 and start doing sections only. Don't pressure yourself with the timing also. Just go at your pace, and see how much you can get right. The timing, in my opinion, is something that can be added once you have a full grasp of the material. I just bought the Manhattan LR book, after seeing it was recommended on the discussion forum. I can't comment much on it since I just started, but so far it's been good. It's given me confidence in the sense that I realized I actually do know my theory (thanks to 7sage), and its re-affirming some things that I knew before or was confused about, and it does have some new strategies. For example, it expressed that I need to develop a strategy for every question type. Maybe J.Y. already mentioned this and I forgot, but I felt like this was a really important tip. Now as I go through the section tests and the Manhattan prepbook, I am trying to develop a strategy for each question so when I approach it I know what to look for better. The Manhattan book is good, mostly, because it is different from 7sage and I needed that. LR has been my major focus since it is about 50% of the exam.

    This post has really great tips on how to BR for RC: https://7sage.com/discussion/#/discussion/11432/blind-reviewing-rc

    I also did not go through the whole CC yet. I skipped over LG because I wanted to get all the LR and RC lessons first. I am now going over the LG lessons while also doing section tests for LR and RC. I am doing the foolproof method for each problem set that I do for LG because I do think it's the best way to learn it. However, keep in mind that these exercises require a lot of time. As such, I don't know if I will be ready for September anymore. Though I am aiming for it, I might end up going for December if I am not scoring in the low 160s by mid-August under timed conditions. I hope this bit shows how I experimented with the recommended lesson plan offered by 7sage. I adjusted it to my needs, focus, and context/situation. We all have learning styles, and you know best how to learn, regardless if others think otherwise.

    I still have a lot to learn obviously, and I hope you know that you're not alone. My advice to you is to be more engaged in the discussions here, do only section tests and not timed until you get more use to answering questions for each section. I would not go over the C.C. again if I were you. Only refer to it as you BR the section tests.

    Personally, I believe a 160 is doable for the September test, regardless of the score you are at right now. If you need higher, I do think it will take longer and you might want to go for December. Unless you want to go to Harvard or ivy league schools or you want a really big scholarship, I would not recommend you push back applying for another year. The university I want to attend uses a formula to admit students that is based on the LSAT and GPA. According to that, I need a 161 to garuantee my admission. With that being said, however, if I am scoring in the 155+ I am still going to write and I am still going to apply because there is still a chance to be accepted for that school or, at least, to a school with a more holistic approach as I know my softs and my average-high gpa will be considered strongly. If I don't get in, I'll just go at it again for another year. I am saying this to remind you that for most universities, the LSAT is just one part of the application.

    Best of luck with everything, you can do this!

  • NotMyNameNotMyName Alum Member Sage
    5320 karma

    I started out in the 140s too. I would venture to say that a decrease is probably the combination of (1) possessing more information about the test like Lawgic, tactics, question types, etc and (2) not being comfortable deploying this info appropriately.

    I'm sorry to hear about that decrease. But many students experience a score dip while learning a new approach for some aspect on the test. That doesn't mean that the approach doesn't work. It may only mean that they are uncomfortable with the approach. I can imagine how trying to use new approaches across the entire test would result in a major score decrease as you describe. I'll try to answer your questions individually.

    1) Was 7Sage a waste of money? I really think that the LSAT prep industry is full of deception and misinformation. The most obvious piece of misinformation is that 3 months is the standard length of study. It's just not true from my own experience or that of the vast majority of other test takers i've come into contact with. A less obvious deception is that many prep courses seem to market themselves in a way that says "we have the keys to unlock this test". It's not true -- for them nor 7Sage. The difference is that 7Sage doesn't market themselves as a silver bullet. This service is mostly independent study. 7Sage offers a curriculum which is devised very well in my opinion but it's greatest advantage is that it provides this forum a common set of terms to speak to each other from. This community is the best LSAT resource I have seen. The others don't come close. Did you waste you money? Hell no. Will you reach your target score? Is 3 months a long enough period of study for you? Are you prepared to reevaluate your commitment to reaching your target score? These are questions only you can answer. But I can tell you that 7Sage has all the tools you need to get the best score you are capable of. It may, however, require a change in the way you are using these tools as well as a perception shift on your behalf.

    2) What do you do now? STOP TAKING PTS! You're only wasting valuable study material. Reach out to a Mentor/Sage in this community. Not necessarily for tutoring, but just to chat. There are a lot of variables at play here as you figure out the next move. Which section are you weakest? What is your BR score? How long are willing to study and for how many hours per week? All these things and more must be factored into your decision.

    Best of luck and please feel free to me message me or some other mentor or sage director.

  • imhungryimtiredimhungryimtired Alum Member
    44 karma

    What were your splits? A 144 with highs and lows in which sections?

  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly Member Sage 🍌
    25697 karma

    This is definitely not ideal, but really not too surprising. When we take the diagnostic, we just read things and do our best based on our untrained understanding of what we've read. When we take our first PT, we try to execute an overwhelming amount of new knowledge that we have a very tenuous grasp on. That difference in process is enormous, and our untrained intuition often outperforms our initial attempts to execute all of these new skills.

    It's not uncommon at all to need multiple passes through the curriculum before many of these skills begin really sinking in. I think another pass through would be in order. Definitely don't take any more PTs. While you go through the curriculum, remember that there is no reward for finishing. The only reward comes from understanding and in gaining the ability to train your thinking. So make sure you're moving at the pace you need to move in order to understand what's going on, not at the pace that would theoretically make you ready "on time." Aiming for a test date leads to some of the most consequential mistakes in LSAT prep. Commit to your score, not your test date.

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