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Another another post.... where to begin?

LSATcantwinLSATcantwin Alum Member Sage
in General 13286 karma

So after a brief discussion with an amazing tutor from 7Sage (Not going to tag him because I probably annoy him too much haha)
it's clear that where I'm having the most issues with this test is not the fundamentals but rather the execution.

After receiving my 163 I went back over the test to see where I had gone wrong. I couldn't really find one spot...I blind reviewed fairly easily to a 180. So how is it possible that I went -13 in LR and -7 in RC?

I'd have to say it was nerves, rushing and panic...

So now I need to figure out how to address these issues. I WILL NOT STOP working on the fundamentals. Obviously every single person will always do well to continue to entrench these into their thought process. What I need advice on is;

  • Skipping strategies that I would be comfortable with

  • Strategies to keep my mind focused on the argument and task

  • Strategies to not panic during the test

  • Ways to improve on speed/confidence/accuracy and the like.

Anyone have any good starting points for stuff like this?


  • jack.igoejack.igoe Member
    544 karma

    Hey! Kind of in the same boat as you. I got a 165 on this last test and made some silly errors with RC timing and LR.

    Something that I like to focus on during the test is process. For example, I read with my pencil tracking the words so that I don't go too fast and skip a crucial word.

    As far as skipping goes, it's a constant battle for me because I'm pretty stubborn. What I generally adhere to is the following. I read the question stem and then the stimulus once and take a glance at the answers. If I can't eliminate more than two of the options then I read back through once more. If nothing becomes clearer at that point, I force myself to skip it. This usually results in about 3 questions per LR sections for me.

    Hopefully this has helped incrementally. Best of luck & I'll be right there with ya in December!

  • H O ThomasH O Thomas Alum Member
    edited October 2017 204 karma

    Here are some things that have worked for me:

    First, identify what distracts you. Keep a note pad next to you with a pen that is only used for writing distractions. If/when something distracts you, no matter how small, write it down and then go back to studying. You must learn to cut and avoid distractions. Knowing is half the battle, and knowing what distracts you gives you more power to ignore it.
    Second, build up intense focus. Next time you study, attempt to focus on your task for 35 minutes without getting distracted. If you become distracted, perform step one, and note the time. Then immediately go back to studying. You want to attempt to shut out as much of the outside world as possible. Focus on what is in front of you. Engage it. Have a conversation with your test. If you find it hard to focus, take a break and come back.
    Third, dedicate a specific area for studying. For me, it's a table in my room that I now only use for studying. I keep all my study materials on it, and in order. Don't let it get cluttered, or disorganized. Keep it neat, and keep it for studying only. Don't eat, sleep, or do other things in that space. It will also help if you set up a time for that space as well. Create a scheduled time and place for study, and keep to it as much as possible. Whatever your space is, be it a cafe or closet, make sure it's a space you are comfortable in.

    Avoid Panic/Test Anxiety
    First, understand anxiety is a normal reaction. Even the most confident test takers feel anxiety. You can reduce it, but you can't stop it. Trying to end your anxiety about the LSAT means becoming apathetic to it. Accept you will feel anxiety now, because you'll have to do it at some point.
    Second, identify your anxiety triggers. Before every test, write why you are feeling anxiety. Yes, this includes the day of the actual test itself. Again, knowing is half the battle. Also, science has proven this helps reduce text anxiety.
    Third, weaponize your anxiety. Use those triggers identified in the previous step. You know where you are strong and weak on the test. Confronting those triggers now will reduce, if not end, them on test day.

    Ways to Improve Speed/Confidence/Accuracy
    To get better at speed and confidence, get better at accuracy. Know why the right answer is right, and the wrong answers are wrong. This will boost your confidence, which will boost your speed. Instead of trying to prove out each answer option, start from the top choice and work down. When you see your correct answer, select it and move on. You'll have time later in review to reflect on it.

    For more studying and test taking tips, I suggest you watch this series:

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    As far as skipping, I skip questions that after I read, I still can't fully understand what the argument is doing. Sometimes I give it another quick read, but usually I circle it and come back.
    My long game here is to hit 25 questions in 25 minutes. With this end goal in mind, I force myself to skip at least 3-5 questions. I come back with 10 minutes to finish them and it works out pretty well. I don't think I'd be able to consistently score -2 or better on LR without this skipping strategy.

    Have you done confidence drills? This is where you take timed LR sections, aggressively answer questions, sometimes without even reading all of the answers. Pick the one you think is right and move on. At first, you'll likely miss more than you're used to. The point here is to help alter any under confidence and find a sweet spot between being under confident and over confident.

    These are at least some good starting points that got me into the 165 range.

  • apawalterapawalter Member
    357 karma

    I struggle with a lot of these issues too!! Thanks for this discussion everyone, this tips are very helpful!

  • westcoastbestcoastwestcoastbestcoast Alum Member
    3788 karma

    Is there something unique about this exam this is stumping alot of test takers? In 7sage, reddit and other fora, many testakers lament LR and RC for their score drop. Like @LSATcantwin I had similar issues with LR and RC. And felt like nerves got me because upon cursory BR, I got couple of the questions correct.

  • jack.igoejack.igoe Member
    544 karma

    @westcoastbestcoast said:
    Is there something unique about this exam this is stumping alot of test takers? In 7sage, reddit and other fora, many testakers lament LR and RC for their score drop. Like @LSATcantwin I had similar issues with LR and RC. And felt like nerves got me because upon cursory BR, I got couple of the questions correct.

    At least in my personal experience, I'm normally decent at RC but went -8 on September. I think a big part of it was a combination of it being my last section, and the toughest passage throwing me off for the other 3 passages. As for LR, I can't remember what happened but I did not feel as bad as my score ended up being for LR.

    But again, just my own experience. Not sure how applicable it is.

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