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December 2017 to June 2018

AshleighKAshleighK Alum Member
edited June 2018 in June 2018 LSAT 786 karma

Hi all!

I am retaking the LSAT on the June 11th date. When I took the LSAT for the first time in December, I had so many hiccups prior to this. I want to explain my position in hopes of receiving some brutally honest feedback to motivate me. I started studying for the LSAT in May 2017 while doing 3 courses in the summer. I self studied using PowerScore Bibles along with 4 workbooks of LSAT practice tests. If I'm honest, I think I didn't study as hard as I should of and I didn't grasp the concepts. I was just reading the Bibles and working on sections while doing some PTs. I was prepping for the September LSAT and unfortunately, I had to postpone my exam because I got caught in Hurricane Irma (I live in Miami but I go to school in Waterloo, ON). Fast forward, LSAC allowed me to pick a date and change my test for FREE. So, I selected the December exam. I was really hopeful I could crush the LSAT with all this extra time however, the pressure of a full course load (5 courses), 3 clubs that I run, and a sport really took a toll on me. The December exam fell on a date right in the middle of semester ending thus coinciding with final exams. You can only imagine my workload with final tests, exams, papers, assignments and commitments. I was studying 25-30 hours a WEEK for the LSAT on top of my school work. I would lock myself up in the library for 8 hours on the weekends and anytime I had a break in between classes I was at the library.

The day of the test I felt so confident! I was scoring around 155 on my PTs from my diagnostic of 145 despite all of my obstacles. Then, as I was sitting in the room I lost it. It hit me all at once where I was and what was happening, I felt everyone's energy and it made me panic. I left the exam room and cried as soon as I walked into my apartment. I knew I bombed it and I did. I only got a 145 on the December exam and I tried not to discourage myself. I took a break from my LSAT studies this Winter term (Jan-April) and I just bought the Premium pack. I will start studying for the June exam on May 1st (I just need a break I just finished my exams + I need to decompress a bit!). I'm NOT working for this month, I dropped my extra online course for the summer because frankly I didn't need it, and I will either take my breaks with some work outs at my Muay Thai gym or visiting a law firm for a flexible internship.

I also burned myself out with the PTs. I went through all 4 books in 4 months. I would use timed/ untimed individual sections to work on problem areas and I would also use FULL timed tests. Looking through my custom study schedule, there are no PTs for me to take until the final weeks before the June exam. Therefore, this course is requiring me to learn the fundamentals BEFORE I begin to PT. Do you advise I follow through with this plan or try to integrate some additional PT practice? Do you think a score of 160+ is attainable with no other looming stresses around me? I think my main downfall was trying to take everything on at once and not devoting my full undivided attention. I'm looking forward to all of your responses :)

  • For reference, my weak spot is LR where I typically only get 14 correct per section
  • I improved greatly on LG from scoring 8 correct on my diagnostic to scoring near perfect scores on my PTs at times
  • RC is a section I seem to fluctuate. Sometimes I can get 9-11 correct and others, I can get around 20 correct

I only used the free trial of 7Sage during my studies for the December exam to review LG so now that I purchased a course I hope this will help me out!

Edit: Taking the September exam. If needed, retaking in November or January.


  • Victor WuVictor Wu Alum Member
    edited April 2018 661 karma


    Have you considered taking the September exam instead? It seems that you have not gone through the core-curriculum yet. I think many will recommend that you go through the CC first. With good fundamentals, you should be able to get a 160+. If you take the September exam, that will give you about 2.5 months to do the CC and about 2.5 months to do untimed sections/full PT’s/drills. It seems you are pretty solid with games, but you should still continue to foolproof them (Pacifico’s method seems to be the go-to method). If you don’t hit the score you want, you’ll have another chance in November.

    I, personally, haven’t been doing any PT’s during the CC. I think the whole point of the CC is to learn and absorb as much information as possible. IDK if this will help you, but here are the steps I am trying to follow:

    1. Finish CC: absorption of material
    2. untimed sections+drills+foolproof: further absorption of material, putting knowledge to practice within the sections.
      3: timed sections+detailed analysis w/ video+foolproof: all about strategy/timing, it is all about efficiency, analysis is super important to see where I am wasting time
      4: full-PT’s+foolproof: testing endurance

    If you want more info on steps 2-4, I adapted strategies from the post-cc webinar.

    I know that’s a lot of information. But, honestly, I would really focus on completing the CC. Hope that helps. You got this!


  • LindsMitchLindsMitch Alum Member
    589 karma

    Pretty much everyone on here is going to counsel you to push your test date to September or later, which is very reasonable advice.

    However if you are absolutely tied to June for whatever reason, you likely realize you have exactly 6 weeks to prep. If you punch that timeline into the "study schedule" feature, it will give you a crazy schedule of 50+ hours per week to complete all of the content in the premium course, which is neither realistic nor prudent in my opinion, as you will most certainly exhaust yourself. I would focus my attention on the CC and the LR sections in particular in which it breaks the questions down by type. If you still have the old PTs you took, I would input them into 7sage so you can make use of the analytics feature and try to pinpoint if there are any particular types of questions you consistently miss. Then drill drill drill.

    Sounds like your LG is in good shape - if it is still the case that you are going -0/-1 on average each section, I would just do a section a day to stay fresh.

    As for RC, there are great strategies in the CC for RC and also that people have shared on these boards. I think its a bit harder to give general advice for RC because people have different strategies for how they go about completing the passages depending on their years-developed comprehension skills and sometimes just innate RC skills. Not saying you should just give up on improving here (I certainly am not, I'm prepping for June as well and still looking to make RC gains), it is just a bit more challenging to improve on in my opinion.

  • AshleighKAshleighK Alum Member
    786 karma

    @"Victor Wu" @LindsMitch
    Hi Victor and Linds, I just called LSAC and they told me that I can change my test date in the next week or so for $100 :neutral: but I think it is a good call. After I bought the course and I compiled my study schedule, I thought to myself "Um..... 70 hours a week.. h o w". One main issue I found last summer when prepping was the thought that this test became my life. It really overwhelmed me that every moment I was thinking about this test to the point that I completely killed my social and personal life. Do you both think it's important to take a break once a week or blend another activity along with LSAT studying? For example, working short hours or finding a recreational activity? Thank you both for your input and I will definitely take this moving forward with my studies! Best of luck to you both!

  • Victor WuVictor Wu Alum Member
    661 karma

    I think JY says that you shouldn't study over 30 hours a week, which is about 5 hours a day, 6 days a week. I recall in some video I watched, Yo-Yo Ma recommended that one shouldn't practice over the 5 hours a day because it isn't effective. Everyone needs time to absorb material.

    I would recommend that you definitely take at least one day off a week. So, I'll tell you my experience so far. I'm currently studying the LSAT full-time, and I think one of the easy pitfalls is burning out. So, I'm super duper careful about that. For example, I try my very best to stop studying by 6PM. But sometimes, I feel super ambitious and put in 7 hours. Typically, I'll go super light the next day - maybe like 2 hours. If I feel like I have been going ham for a week, I'm not afraid to take 2 days off. Heck, I'm going to take 4 days off this week to celebrate finishing the CC.

    It really is a blessing to be able to study the LSATs full-time because it is less of a sacrifice. I play basketball almost everyday, hang with friends, watch a bunch of tv and movies.

    I think it is all about attitude. A lot of people will go into this exam like it is life or death, which I don't think is healthy. Just because you are fatigued/tired/burned-out doesn't mean you effectively and efficiently studied. Personally, I am happy with my approach. I feel super balanced and am ready to learn from my mistakes each day. I think it would be extremely beneficial for you to structure your studying so that you are balanced and don't feel like you have to kill your social/personal life.

  • LawrealtyLawrealty Core Member
    71 karma

    Hey Guys, hope someone can give me some advice.. Whenever I go through a sample prep slowly I seem to get the answers correctly but as soon as I switch to time conditions, I NEVER seem to finish any sections....

  • AshleighKAshleighK Alum Member
    786 karma

    @"Victor Wu" That sounds so reassuring to me because I was hoping I could do something like that too! I'm also lucky where I can dedicate a full-time approach to LSAT studying. My parents are very supportive and told me I don't need to work this summer if I don't want to or I can pick up light shifts with them. I wanted to shadow a family friend who owns a law firm in Downtown Miami and he's also very supportive of my studies! I've heard so many stories about people spending hours studying and locking themselves away and others where people just treat it like another part of their everyday routine. You definitely deserve to take those days off!

  • AshleighKAshleighK Alum Member
    786 karma

    @venalexb Hi! That happened to me when I first started my PTs. I think this should signal to you that you may be feeling nervous under the timed pressure or you might not truly understand what the questions are asking you OR both. You should try the Blind-Review method to understand what questions you're getting wrong and why. I would also suggest doing some untimed sections to determine if you're missing questions due to time constraints. Overall, I think this is a very common obstacle and once you figure it out you'll be golden! For me, I found that I was rushing to answer all the questions and I would skim. SO, I wasn't grasping what the question was asking me in the first place. I hope this helps! :smile:

  • LawrealtyLawrealty Core Member
    71 karma

    Nice to see this feed is moving... Victor .. do you have any advice for me

  • LawrealtyLawrealty Core Member
    71 karma

    @ashleighkong22 Hi. Thanks for that... I was getting nervous.... and I guess I am on the right path with regards to your suggestion... I am looking at the explanations as to why I got some incorrect. Much appreciated, and all the best in your September exam... perhaps a study buddy might also help you.

  • Victor WuVictor Wu Alum Member
    661 karma

    @ashleighkong22 best of luck!
    @venalexb are you BRing properly? Speed comes with mastery of material. I wouldn't rush for speed just yet. I would get comfortable solving the problems untimed. Maybe before you start timing yourself, you can just use a stopwatch so that you aren't pressured to finish in 35 minutes, but you are still pressured to move swiftly.

  • keets993keets993 Alum Member 🍌
    6045 karma

    I second everything Victor said. @ashleighkong22 it seems like you were overloaded and didn't have time to properly absorb anything or master the fundamentals. I had the same thing happen when I tried studying during the final year of undergrad and working part-time and my LSAT studies were more about checking off the to-do list than the journey. Since you don't have the pressure to work I would really recommend using that free time to actually relax. It seems counterintuitive but quality over quantity. There are some days I feel guilty for only studying 2 hours or so when I'm studying full-time but if you're still able to absorb things then it's worth it. If you try for June, I fear the same thing will happen where you overload yourself and burn out. You don't want to put too much pressure on the test and instead feel confident that you'll hit around your target score based on your last 5-10 PT's before you take it.

  • keets993keets993 Alum Member 🍌
    6045 karma

    @venalexb can you be more specific? Are you not finishing every section? Are you employing skipping strategies for LR to make sure you lay your eyes on every question at least once? Have you foolproofed LG? How's your RC? Are you getting these things rights in BR? What's your PT and BR score? Based off of that, the advice will change. Whether you should focus on mastering fundamentals first or if it's timing strategies you need.

  • keets993keets993 Alum Member 🍌
    6045 karma

    @"Victor Wu" congrats on finishing CC man! I see your comments everywhere on the curriculum and you deserve to enjoy this break.

  • Victor WuVictor Wu Alum Member
    661 karma

    @keets993 thanks, I'm sure we all deserve a nice long break lol

  • LawrealtyLawrealty Core Member
    71 karma

    Thanks @Keets993! I have a tutor but found out about 7Sage from her (really wished I guys earlier). I have not done foolproof LG but thought this website was awesome. I really see that I need work, especially with inferences. Sadly, I had another tutor before my current one and I didn't get half of what I have learnt so far. I also did night classes with a somewhat reputable LSAT programme and it didn't go well. Just money being wasted!.. I must take some of the blame as I am working with a tight schedule and studying. So I don't think I studied hard enough..

  • PandaRamenPandaRamen Alum Member
    162 karma

    I am in the same boat as you. I took the December and got a meh score, not enough for my school of choice. Well only schools of choice since I am tied down in LA for the foreseeable future. I am scheduled for June, but LSAC opened a July (not disclosed) and September testing. The due date to change the date is May 15th. I would do some PTs after youre done with CC, and be honest with yourself if you can reach your target score by June 10th before May 15th comes around. I am hitting mid 150s and I am not sure if I should move to July or September as well... DM me and maybe we can help each other and hit the PTs (and wreck them)... :smile:

  • FoolProofFunFoolProofFun Alum Member
    122 karma

    Here is the fact pattern I see:

    (1) You grinded out a 10 point PT increase under very strenuous life commitments. This is a tremendous accomplishment IMO and getting a 145 on the real thing doesn't detract from that at all.

    (2) You scored no lower than your diag on what sounds like a horrible test day experience. That should actually give you confidence, in my opinion. Here is a speculation on my part: the very person who is willing to study 20+ hours a week on top of all their other commitments (insanely taxing emotionally), is the same person who will panic on test day. Why? Because you're a hard worker and probably realized you were drastically under-prepared compared to what could have been possible had you had more time/fewer commitments.

    (3) Your work was focused but did not go deeper than the section level, it sounds like. IMO, for someone who wants to max their personal best out, this isn't acceptable. You have to go deeper for LG (fool proof, however that works best for you) and RC at least (by passage type), and LR if you have the resources (like 7sage packs that let you make problem sets of specific types of questions).

    Overall, it sounds like you have the most important tool of all, which is a desire to do better. If you took all of the effort it took to force yourself to study miserably through full school and clubs, imagine what you could do if, one by one, you cut away other commitments and focused entirely on the test. I would bet good money on a 160+. Whether or not you do that is basically up to you, in purely practical terms. In terms of actual advice though, basically it sounds like you need:

    (1) to practice on a deeper level, not just timed sections
    (2) practice with full tests in realistic scenarios (5 section, use proctor intro video, practice driving to a test location, find people who will sit in a room and take tests with you, etc)
    (3) remove other commitments from your life

    20 hours per week on top of 50 hours of other stuff - I'll always take 15 hours per week with nothing else over that. The winner is the person who makes the most sacrifices to put themselves in the best possible position to study in a way that maximizes effectiveness. If you are at all feeling the tug of other commitments, it means you are sacrificing LSAT prep for something else. Might sounds extreme, but that is true, period, end of story.


  • Simple ManSimple Man Alum Member
    448 karma

    I'm in the same boat as you, Ashleigh! I choked on the December LSAT, scoring far below my PT average. I've taken a huge break since then and April. I've spent the last month lightly reviewing the CC and upgraded to the Premium. I am signed up for the June, and July LSAT. I'll take the September LSAT too if necessary.

    That being said, I'm going to go against the grain from what most people have said here:

    I'm not sure what your financial situation is, but if you can afford it I'd go ahead and just take the June LSAT. In my mind, it's just another practice test, but in a real environment. It's great practice. If you don't get a score you want, you can always retake. And when you do, you'll be all the more comfortable with a real life test taking scenario (I get test anxiety so the more comfortable the better for me). Further, If you're going to spend $100 just to change the date, why not just spend an extra $85 on signing up for the July? You'll still be fresh off your June test, and have enough time between between the July and September to decide if you want to retake one last time. By then, you should be super prepared and comfortable for anything that might come your way.

    Schools only want your high score, because that's what they report for admissions data. In my mind, an upward score trend only shows you bust ass, are serious about becoming a lawyer, and never give up. And for every school that doesn't like that, fuck 'em. There's probably another 10 that will, and I'd rather learn from them anyway.

    It sounds like you burnt out for December, and I did too. I'm going to be hitting May with very focused mindset. Everything I do will be more effective, but at a measured pace that won't bring about burn out. The next cycle is in a year, and there are three, even four LSATs you could take to still apply and get in early. Take a deep breath, there is plenty of time.

    Finally, I highly encourage you to listen to a few episodes of the free podcast "Thinking LSAT." I discovered them from a thread here at 7Sage, and it has changed my entire attitude towards this test, and law school. They have very insightful content from everything LSAT to law school. Combine their knowledge with the CC, and the community here, and I know you can and will succeed.

    Best of luck to you and everyone here!

  • AshleighKAshleighK Alum Member
    786 karma

    @keets993 Hi! Yes, I definitely burned out. I was trying so hard to maintain my composure on top of school work, clubs, and LSAT studying. Especially during finals week, I'm sure you can relate to the amount of end of term assignments and exams. It was the most stressful week I ever encountered and I managed to hold it all together. I tried to tell myself to cry, scream, and release my anger AFTER the exam. But, when I opened my exam I was a bit thrown off by an experimental section and internally I lost it. I'm on my summer break now and I can 100% relate to that feeling of guilt. During my fall term, some days I would study for 5+ hours and other days for 2. I'm starting my study schedule today (I was supposed to start yesterday woops) but like you said, having a break might actually be better! Thank you for your input and best of luck to you. :blush:

  • AshleighKAshleighK Alum Member
    786 karma

    @PandaRamen I would love to be study buddies! I will message you shortly! But yeah, I was thinking of that. I'm trying to stick with my study schedule (May 1st- September 7th) and I won't begin taking PTs until early July. I might throw in a diagnostic PT to see where I stand. I think the most important part about LSAT studying is being honest with yourself. Before I learned about the BR method I would just bubble and answer (if I didn't truly understand the question). I'd pat myself on the back for getting the answer right but not comprehending WHY I got it right. Thank you for your input and I wish you the best of luck on your studies! You got this :smiley:

  • AshleighKAshleighK Alum Member
    786 karma

    @pparkes111 Thank you for your input and taking your time to respond to me! This made me feel so much better about myself. It was very difficult and when I think about it, I wish I could reverse certain actions. However, I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. I was upset at myself for the longest time for falling out on test day. I purchased a 7Sage pack and even reading through the introduction videos has changed my perspective on tackling the test. You're right, I failed to go deeper into my studies. I have to dig beneath the surface and dissect the questions, question types, and figure out why/where I went wrong. Moving forward, I'm hoping as this course progresses I can see the jump I want with the dedication and effort I put forth. Wishing you the best of luck in your studies! :smile:

  • AshleighKAshleighK Alum Member
    786 karma

    @"Simple Man" Hello! Haha, it's always good to play devil's advocate and go against the status quo! I was considering doing that just because as you said, it wouldn't make much sense to throw away money like that. Given that law schools do take your highest score, I agree with you that its best to have an upward trend. Funny story, when I applied to university I got rejected from a "lower tier" school and got accepted into a higher ranked school. Why? The lower school said "I failed to meet the minimum requirements". Moral of the story, as you stated, where one school cares the other 10 won't.

    I'm glad to know someone feels my frustration with the December LSAT! I also found the LG to be pretty difficult compared to the September LSAT?! I never took it but I had a peak when they released it and I remember thinking "of COURSE this would happen to me my first time taking this test". That freakin' floor game killed me! I originally wanted to go into law school next year after I graduate but I've changed my mind and I want to go into some other things before law school. So time is not an issue for me, but I would like to get this test out of the way for good. The day I sell my LSAT books will be the day I can feel the biggest weight lifted off my shoulders! Thank you for your kind words and time to respond! Good luck on your studies :)

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