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My PT and BR gap is significant and I'm writing in June. What do I do?

charlybearcharlybear Alum Member

I have only completed two preptests (yes i realize I am extremely behind for someone writing in June). I intend to write 3 a week from now until June 11. I just wrote my second preptest the other day and I scored a 154 (I was disappointed because in timed individual sections I was scoring in the low 160s). However, the next day I blind reviewed all the questions I had circled and I scored a 166. It was bittersweet because I was excited to know that I have more in the tank but also frustrated when I look at how large the gap is knowing that I have about five weeks left to prepare. I guess the purpose of me coming on here is I wanted to know if anyone was able to significantly narrow the gap between their PT score and BR score and if they have tips for doing that. Ps. I cannot postpone writing the LSAT. My personal and financial situation does not grant me that option so it's now or never kinda thing. So advice that I can use within the next month would be greatly appreciated.


  • keets993keets993 Alum Member 🍌
    6050 karma

    If you absolutely cannot postpone, first off, I would suggest not doing 3 PTs a week. You're going to burn yourself out, that's a lot of mental strain. Taking a pt is not the end of the journey but just a stop along the way to see how far you've come and to address how much further you need to go. The majority of your progress happens in BR where you can reinforce the right reasoning, unlearn the wrong reasoning, and gleam which questions were due to underconfidence errors and so forth.

    See where the gap between breakdown between your timed and br score can be easily diminished. How did you do on individual sections? If you're getting in the low 160s when you're doing them timed individually it may be an issue of fatigue. Or your brain may not have been used to from switching from LR to LG and so forth. Taking 4 or 5 sections in a row can be incredibly taxing on your brain.

    Focus on underconfidence errors, the questions where you were 80 to 90% sure of the answer but you spent that extra time when you were on the clock to become 100% sure.

    Have you full proofed games?

    Also, what is your goal score?

  • NotMyNameNotMyName Alum Member Sage
    5320 karma

    If the unthinkable were to happen and you made bubbling errors in all sections of the June test resulting in a 120 score, would you retake?

    I guess I'm wondering if June is actually a now-or-never situation. Because if it is, I think the chances of you scoring a 154 +/-2 are extremely high and I would recommend you spend all of your time with logic games since that is the easiest section to improve.

    But if June is not now-or-never but more like now-or-painfully-later, then I think you're absolutely capable of scoring in low to mid 160s even without knowing more about where your abilities lie.

  • ramster1ramster1 Member
    edited May 2018 109 karma

    One difference could be strategy? Working with the 7Sage tutors (they are very very good, btw, and most are very reasonably priced for a single session where they can cover the basics of strategy), they were super helpful in helping me figure out which questions to tackle first so that I didn't miss easy questions bc I was spending way too much time on difficult questions, even though they both count the same. Do you finish the whole section? Do you use an analog watch to keep track of your time, and do you use it effectively? Do you try to finish 20 questions in the first 20' (or something like that) so that you can go back and have more time for the harder ones?

  • Return On InferenceReturn On Inference Alum Member
    503 karma

    First, I'd like to say for someone who's new to the exam I think a difference of 12 scaled points between timed and BR is completely normal. I had a 14 point gap between my timed score and BR score for my first post-cc exam.

    As you become more familiar with the exam and doing LSAT questions, the gap you see between BR and timed will start to narrow. I can't tell you how fast it will narrow, but it will narrow as long as you keep at it.

    Also, 3 PTs per week is way too many. You need to be doing deep BRs and identifying weaknesses, drilling those weaknesses, and then only taking more PTs if you believe you've fixed them.

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    It's not really so much a matter of closing the gap between score and BR score. Typically, both of those consistently go up as you study. Like soon, your BR will be 170 and your actual test is 160. And then BR is 175 and PT is 164. Etc Etc. They don't really converge until BR maxes out at 178-180. Especially in early studying like this, you should just be focusing on fundamentals and deepening your understanding. Then both your PT and BR scores will increase.

    If you haven't foolproofed games, you should work on that. You won't have time to do all LGs 1-35, so I'd maybe even just use the question bank to make sure you are getting assorted game types and pull them from those early PTs to foolproof. Then for LR and RC, you need to work on figuring out which question types are your weakest and try to raise your understanding of those. I'd back off the full PTs and work mostly just with timed sections. Do a timed section, then do a deep dive into BR. You should spend a lot of time on BR. Make sure you really understand why you got questions wrong and why the correct answer is right. It can help sometimes to take notes, writing out explanations in your own words of why each answer choice is wrong, and why the right one is right. It's tedious, but this is how you improve.

    PTs should really just be used to check in on your progress and build some stamina. Typically I'd say you should only do 1/week, but since you are sitting for June, you might want to bump that to 2. Just make sure that you have time to do a full, thorough BR of each test. That will help you improve much more than just writing test after test and repeating the same mistakes.

  • charlybearcharlybear Alum Member
    edited May 2018 6 karma

    Thank you everyone for all the feedback. I really appreciate you taking the time. I am implementing your suggestions.

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