Transitioning from 1 PT to 2 PT's a week but having difficulty - please help

youbbyunyoubbyun Alum Member
edited August 2018 in General 1755 karma

hey all,

so for a few weeks now, i've been doing 1 PT a week.

This is my schedule (i'm also studying full time):

Monday: PT in the morning, Blind review/redo LG in the afternoon, watch JY's LG video explanations in the evening

Tuesday: Blind review RC (reread passage, low-high resolutions, etc.) in the morning, watch all of JY's RC video explanations in the afternoon, hand write out analysis for questions I got wrong and what to pay attention in the future (evening)

Wednesday: BR (Which I do by analyzing every single LR question, but especially those that I circle/skip) 1 LR section - all day

Thursday: BR the 2nd section LR section - all day

Friday - Watch JY video explanations for every single LR question(this takes like 5 hours, but I find it helpful as JY often breaks down cookie cutters in each explanation). When needed, I also look up LR explanations on Manhattan Prep and Powerscore LR forum. I also hand write out analysis for questions I got wrong and circled - this takes all day.

Saturday - foolproof LG. Review and cookie cutter every single question (LR and RC) in that Practice test

Sunday - foolproof older LG games. Do confidence drills for previous LR sections.

So this is my weekly schedule to do and fully review 1 practice test. it's a lot of work, and it's taking me a ton of time to finish a COMPLETE ONE practice test cycle of doing a PT and and then reviewing it.

I'm trying, however, to increase my PT rate to do 2 Practice tests per week (because I want to get more exposure to PTs in 70s and 80s), but I'm realizing this is really hard to do. I tried to do 2 PT this past week, and I felt like I was rushing so much in this cycle. By rushing to do 2 practice tests in one week, I find that I don't have enough time to foolproof LG and don't have enough time to fully review LR and RC.

Does anyone have any advice on this? Any comments or suggestions appreciated. Thanks so much.

Also - (my BR scores are in 175ish but my timed scores are in the low 160s).

Timed Scores (average):
LR -6 -6 = -12
LG -3
RC -7

BR scores
LR -1 -1= -2
LG -0
RC -2


  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    edited August 2018 8392 karma

    First of all, I don't think there's any need to do 2 full PTs in a week. Since you're studying full time though, it's a possibility. But I think it's unnecessary.

    Aside from that, I love the dedication and that you have your own rhythm figured out. However, I think you maybe are doing a little overkill on the BR. I think it's actually helpful to only BR the questions that you circled. I think it helps to show you not only where you are under-confident, but where you are over-confident.

    I would recommend a BR process that looks more like this:
    BR the questions you circled
    Then, review questions you got wrong on the BR. Make sure you understand the process on getting to the correct answer.
    Analyze your non-circled vs. circled questions that were wrong on BR. If it's not circled, figure out why you were confident on it and why that was wrong. For the circled ones, just make sure you really understand it now. You were obv not confident for good reason.
    If you are circling a lot of questions but getting them right the first time around, work on confidence drills. You know the answer but are not sure of yourself.

    The goal is to actually circle fewer and fewer questions. This also helps speed up the BR process. As you get better, you should be circling fewer, and getting more right along the way.

    If you are confident in answers and you got them right, there isn't need to be watching the videos for those questions. You know what you're doing. So if you're reviewing material that you already know and have down, it's not efficient studying. If you got a full LG right on the test and didn't circle any questions, you don't need to watch that video. Same with RC. If you are watching LR explanations on questions that you got right and did not circle (meaning, you were confident), again you are wasting time. There's really no need to review material you thoroughly understand.

    Again, I love the effort that you are putting in. You're obviously dedicated and disciplined. But I think focusing on efficient studying rather than volume, you're going to make strides a lot faster. Quality over quantity!

  • youbbyunyoubbyun Alum Member
    edited August 2018 1755 karma

    hey Leah! thanks for following up. Regarding watching every video for every LR question, that's just one piece of advice I took from the legendary @"Jonathan Wang"

    i was wondering if you had any comments about Jonathan's thoughts?

    he says this from:

    "I will never defend the notion that reviewing every question is always going to be the most efficient thing for you to be doing at any particular time, but I am 100% sure that it is always worthwhile to do. I absolutely, vociferously disagree with the notion that it's a "big waste of time" in any way, shape or form. As with all strategy, though, to what extent you apply the technique depends on the context of the situation and the scope of your issues overall.

    It's easy to equate getting something right with understanding it, but the reality is that there isn't always 1:1 correspondence between the two. If you're saying that there isn't a single time where you got a question right, but the explanation made you say "uhhh that's not what I was thinking", then I'm pretty sure you either (1) aren't doing enough review - ironically, perhaps because you aren't reviewing questions you got right - or (2) are lying. So it's obviously facially bad advice to say that you can straight ignore questions you got right. The confidence angle is tacked on to distinguish between the "Yes, definitely A" and the "Uhhh I'm 60/40 A vs B so I'm going with A" situations, but even bringing that in doesn't solve the whole problem because it leaves a very insidious type of error - lucking into a right answer based on incomplete understanding, and then falsely REINFORCING the notion that you actually have a complete understanding due to the result.

    Riddle me this - where do you think all these people come from who understand a concept perfectly - say, sufficient assumptions - until they hit 4 or 5 star questions? Does anyone actually think those people just forget how to do sufficient assumptions the moment they pass some kind of threshold, or is it probably just that they got a messed up/incomplete version of SA in their head to begin with (with unprincipled shortcuts and undisciplined thought processes galore), reinforced those bad habits through getting away with murder in easy questions, and therefore fall into every trap in the book when the LSAT finally decides to hold their feet to the fire? Where do you think they picked up those habits? More importantly, how do you think they got reinforced?

    So what are people actually trying to say? When people tell you that you don't need to review a question if you got it right and you were confident, what they're essentially telling you is that questions that you got right for the wrong reasons aren't AS worth worrying about as the questions that you actually screwed up at least once. It's definitely worse to actually get a question wrong, so you should focus there first. Makes sense. And maybe they're right - after all, you did get it right, so who cares if your understanding is incomplete?

    Of course, the obvious answer is that logical fundamentals build upon themselves, much like concepts of mathematics or my plate at the buffet when I get to the prime rib station. Further, often the mistakes made in harder questions can be directly traced to iffy thought processes on mid-level questions, which in turn often implicate base level fundamentals. If you never learned to do basic algebra correctly, you're going to suck at algebra 2, and you're REALLY going to suck at calculus - and not just because you don't know wtf a derivative is, but because even if you follow all the instructions for how to take a derivative, you still have no clue how it fits with the bigger picture and are still bad at the underlying algebra, so it all takes foreeeeeeever and you miss things left and right. The entire time you might be thinking that calculus is freaking hard, but you're missing another huge chunk of the bigger picture and you're never going to fix it if you continue thinking the only thing giving you trouble is the calculus part.

    OK, shut up and get to the point Jonathan. The point is that if you have huge gaping holes in your theory, you need to address those first, period. Nobody's saying that you shouldn't look at the questions you got wrong, and I'd probably even agree that you should look at the ones you got wrong first. But unless you're like 173+ territory, I feel confident in saying that it's incredibly rare that the mistakes you make are isolated to just one or two question-specific or squirrely/corner-case issues. The vast majority of the time, your mistakes implicate your mastery of the fundamentals. And if you're making fundamentals mistakes in hard questions, guess where else you're probably also making them? How do you find out? I can only think of one way...

    The length of a video generally corresponds to the complexity of a question. If a video is 8 minutes long but you think it was easy, you should probably pay attention anyway because the balance of probability suggests that if you (the student) thought it was cake but JY (the teacher) thought it was worth extensive explanation, you're probably the one missing something.

    In an ideal world, I would absolutely watch every video from start to finish. If you ballpark the videos for an LR section at about 5 minutes a question on average, that's 125 minutes - 2 hours - and for anyone to say that you should spend less time reviewing a section than a 7+ year LSAT professional spends explaining feels kind of ridiculous to me. But in this imperfect world, I guess whether that's too onerous for you depends on how much time you have to study and how good you really want to be. (Alternately - you can usually cut good chunk of time if you use a text resource instead of watching videos for questions you feel good about).

    For anyone who thinks they won't get anything out of watching the videos, here's something for you to try - write down your explanation for the question and walk through the answer choices, like JY does in his videos, and then go watch. If you can articulate (and I mean articulate, not just "uhh yeah that's what I meant)...say, 90% of the points JY talks about every single time you do this exercise, then fine. But if not (and I'm willing to bet this will be by far the more common outcome), perhaps reconsider whether it's actually a waste of time or if that's just your ego, laziness, or eagerness to do more questions talking.

    TL;DR: It's not the first or most important thing you should be doing, but it's incredibly helpful and worth every second in my opinion."

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    Well, I'm coming at this from a perspective of someone who worked full time while studying. I was able to study roughly 2-3 hours per weekday and 4-5 hours per weekend day. That's the max I could do without burning out. So, I had to be extremely efficient with my studying. If I'd watched every LR video of every question, I would've only maybe been able to do a full PT every 2 or 3 weeks. That doesn't work out great.

    You have the luxury of time. However, your question was how to get in more material. So I think that is a question of efficiency. I think you could very well keep doing what you're doing. It's not harmful, and I'm sure it's building great fundamentals. But if you want to figure out how to get in more material, that means that you need to look more toward efficiency. So, I was answering that question for you. I absolutely don't think you should be studying 60 hours per week. I do think that that would be harmful. It would cause all sorts of burn out. So if you want to cover more ground, I think you would need to look at what you can cut from your studying. That's the question I thought you were asking and I was answering. If you want to stick to the method you are doing, then I don't think you should add in a 2nd PT.

  • NotMyNameNotMyName Alum Member Sage
    5320 karma

    How long have you been using this study schedule and when are you planning to take? This schedule screams "burnout" to me and the idea of doubling the work makes me want to cry.

  • _oshun1__oshun1_ Alum Member
    edited August 2018 3652 karma

    When people talk about watching every LR explanation video, they're usually referring to doing so when you are going through the curriculum. Once you start taking PTs, you don't need to watch every single video. If you want to do overkill, you could watch the video for every single question you get wrong. It would be much more time efficient to simply write out your own thorough explanations for the hopefully less than 10 questions you circled for BR, and then watch the explanation videos for the questions you got right but didnt fully understand, and the questions you still got wrong after BR. Once you get out of the curriculum, you shouldn't be relying so heavily on the explanation videos. What you're doing sounds exhausting and inefficient. BRing, for someone studying full time, shouldn't take a day or maybe two if you are also drilling/foolproofing as you go along. The method you are taking is sort of brute-force learning instead of just figuring out your weaknesses and addressing them.
    I am impressed that you've been taking the time to watch every video but you don't need to do so and I don't think it is the most effective way to learn. You need to develop your own inner-voice.

  • keets993keets993 Alum Member 🍌
    6045 karma

    Agree with what's been said. I first started watching every LR video too when I started PT-ing because I saw that exact same comment by Jonathan Wang. That being said it's not always helpful, majority of the time I'm just agreeing with JY and it's very similar to what I wrote down in my BR. You say that you find JY's breakdown of cookier-cutter quetions helpful, well you can analyze your questions while doing BR that way as well. I think you can go scroll through the videos, and if you see like a 7 minute explanation for something that you found very intuitive then you can watch to see why it has a 7 minute explanation. But if your BR is already in the 170s, I don't know how efficient it would be. I only watch videos for questions that I thought were difficult and I'm either still unsure or where I need my reasoning enforced. Or if I'm incorrect, obviously watch that to see where you went wrong.

    Also, you can fit another PT in your schedule by breaking it up into timed drills. So say PT 71, do first and second section as timed drills on friday and BR them; next day do third and fourth section and BR those as well. That way you have more data ponts. Also...I don't see a day off?? Where's that in your schedule?

  • youbbyunyoubbyun Alum Member
    edited August 2018 1755 karma

    @"surfy surf" @keets993 @NotMyName @"Leah M B"

    thanks for the thoughtful comments! really appreciate you guys taking the time to reply :)

    i've been using this schedule for about a month.

    i've been studying with 7sage for about a 8 months, and I also used Powerscore/LSAT Trainer for about 3 months before I found 7sage. My diagnostic was 149. In the beginning, I just focused on trying to get my BR score as high as it can (due to advice given from ppl like @AllezAllez21 and other sages). It took me about 3 months to bring my BR score to around 167, and then another 3 months to bring my BR score to about mid 170s.

    Now I feel like I'm in the third stage of @"Cant Get Right" 's Post-Core curriculum where my BR score is higher than my target score, and Im trying to bridge the gap.

    I'm hoping to take in September or November, but it's been frustrating not seeing faster progress. Sometimes I feel like I'm abnormally slow given my slow progress :( I have not taken an official LSAT test, because I've heard of a ton of advice to only take it when you're truly ready.

    I don't have any days off, and I study for the LSAT 7 days a week (I honestly just want to get this over with). I know some will caution burnout, but I don't necessarily feel too much burnout. I'm a avid athlete (I was a division 1 athlete in college and i really enjoy lifting weights, erging/rowing, running, doing intense interval workouts, etc.) and I make sure I get about 2 hours of cardio/strength exercise every day (whether that's 10 mile long runs or lifting heavy weights in the gym). Working out/running is great as it allows me to clear my mind and just relax. My daily exercise keeps me sane and refreshes me every day - so it's pretty easy to focus when I sit down to study.

    I also think it's sometimes inefficient to watch all of JY's video explanations...and that's something I've thought about. There are certain pros and cons. With the video explanations, sometimes JY will identify like 3-4 reasons in eliminating wrong answer choices. Often, I don't see just how WRONG an answer choice is, and it's sometimes helpful to see JY explain that -- so I Can get faster at eliminating answer choices.

    @"Leah M B"

    -- i totally get what you say. I BR every question because I want to cookie cutter every single LR question, and really break down each question's stimulus, cookie cutter trap AC's, etc. Maybe I should do this cookie cutter analysis for easy questions after I've checked my answers?

    So for my review there's a few stages. I first BR all the LR questions. I then watch JY's video explanations. I then individually analyze/notate/cookie cutter every single LR question again. I think webinar "154 to 173 - a tale of logic and games," the author advocated doing cookie cutter analysis for each question- even those you got right.

    I think my weakness now is that I haven't been drilling my weaknesses (specifically NA and SA) questions as well as have not been doing enough confidence drills. I think I should incorporate more confidence drills and weakness drilling into my routine.

    thanks for all the comments everybody, and would appreciate any additional feedback.

  • samantha.ashley92samantha.ashley92 Alum Member
    edited August 2018 1777 karma

    I would suggest looking through the webinars. Also, burnout really can happen to anyone. If you're testing in September, be extra vigilant. I would suggest making one of your 7 weekly study days a half day or a day off. Having some relaxation/social time is really important. Plus, your brain processes information while it is resting. It's kind of like working out. If you do leg day every day, your legs are not actually going to get much stronger. You have to have a rest day for the muscle fibers to heal.

  • akistotleakistotle Member 🍌🍌
    9366 karma

    Looking at your schedule, I think you haven’t really spent time analyzing what you are doing wrong under the timed conditions. Have you figured out why you get -6 per section for LR? Where do you lose time?

    I was stuck in low 160s when BR scores were 175-ish for a long time, so I know that scoring high on BR doesn’t automatically raise your actual score.

    Watching explanation videos can raise your BR scores but I think you need to implement some strategies under the timed conditions.

    My advice: Be strategic and skip questions!

  • akistotleakistotle Member 🍌🍌
    9366 karma

    Also, you really should take some days off. I had a similar schedule and didn’t realize I was burned out.

    I realized that when I got my actual LSAT scores back :confounded: Don’t be like me!

  • youbbyunyoubbyun Alum Member
    edited August 2018 1755 karma


    thanks for the valuable advice! I totally agree with what you say.

    Ok so for my -6. I'm realizing I miss like 2-3 questions among the first 10 questions of a LR section. The other 2-3 are usually pretty tough 5 star questions.

    For these missed questions, I usually circle them because I feel something is not right, but I then quickly move on because it's still early in the section and I have many questions to do.

    As I finish the an LR section, I'm usually around 30 minutes and have skipped about 3-4 questions. I then go back to try to complete those 3-4 questions.

    Then Time is called!

    If I had a round 2 and went back to those 2-3 questions I circled that were among the first 10 questions, I think I can get them right!

    After all, when I blind review, I'm able to get them right. It's just sometimes when I read a question in the 1-10 section, sometimes it just doesn't click right away, and then I circle it and pick an iffy answer and then move on -- BUT i never get a chance to go back to it! :(

    any advice or suggestions?? thanks so much!

  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Monthly + Live Member Sage 🍌 7Sage Tutor
    27514 karma

    @akistotle said:
    Watching explanation videos can raise your BR scores but I think you need to implement some strategies under the timed conditions.

    Yeah, this is pretty much it. You're probably just not getting good returns on your time. Better time management may not close the gap all the way, but it is likely to be an enormous component in what you need to do.

    A couple of specifics:

    First, since you watch all the videos, make sure that you understand that the process of explanation is very, very different from the process of execution. If you're at all under any suspicion that what you should be doing under time even remotely resembles what JY is doing in the explanations, then that needs to be cleared up. It's not. Whenever available, make sure you watch the commentaries which delve into strategy much more effectively.

    Second, you really need to be doing confidence drills. This is where you address timing issues, and you'll also put your fundamentals under a lot more pressure which you need to do at this point to trigger little errors that you've been correcting by pouring time into questions. Just because you catch those mistakes doesn't mean that they weren't mistakes, and getting a question right will disguise them while you really need to be exposing them.

  • akistotleakistotle Member 🍌🍌
    edited August 2018 9366 karma


    You don’t have to try to answer all the questions. When the clock is ticking, you have to decide not to do some questions in the second round.

    With the remaining 5 minutes in the round 2, you should go back to the ones that you are iffy about but you think you can answer when you have more time.

    You said,

    If I had a round 2 and went back to those 2-3 questions I circled that were among the first 10 questions, I think I can get them right!

    If you can get those 2-3 questions, you can get -3 per section, which is fantastic.

    Getting one 5-star question right is the same one point as getting one 2 star question correct. Don’t waste time on difficult questions. This is what I mean when I say: Be strategic!

    Since your BR score is so high, I know you can get a tough question right if you have the time. But the point is how to spend your time efficiently.

    Try to miss 2 or 3 questions entirely. I know this is hard because you feel like you can answer them. Of course, you are capable of getting them right, but you shouldn't answer them because that's where you lose time. I think you are unconsciously in your BR mode when the clock is ticking.

    I think you can tell which questions are difficult in the first round, so don’t go back to those difficult ones in the second round.

    At think point, you should not aim for -0 per LR section. You first should aim for -2 or -3.

    Also, I recommend drilling SA/PSA and MC questions so that you can always get those questions under 30 seconds. If you can, you should be able to speed up a little so that you have more time in the round 2.

  • akistotleakistotle Member 🍌🍌
    9366 karma


    The great @"Cant Get Right" once said, on the LSAT:
    "The currency is time and we have 2,100 seconds. The trick is to always be getting the best deal possible in this exchange."

  • keepcalmandneuronkeepcalmandneuron Alum Member
    470 karma

    Hello, @username_hello ! smile:

    Since the great giants of the 7Sage world have already answered your question above, I'll just chip in my two cents with my own experience hoping that you and some others could also learn something from it.

    I'm on the same boat as ya. Little background: I've started studying in April, finished CC by the end of June, and started taking 3 PT's a week (I've taken about 10 PT's and have already seen a ~14 point increase in 4 weeks). Quit my two part-time jobs because I figured spending more time to get one question right could potentially save me at least $50,000 in scholarship money in the long run...Anyways, my weekly schedule looks like this:

    Monday, Wednesday, Friday: Take fresh PTs with 5 sections
    *(I always do it in RC/LG, LR, LR, LR, LG/RC order) to prepare for WORST case scenario on test day i.e. 3 consecutive LR passages with a break in between and a super difficult RC passage that could potentially give me a bad start.

    Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: half-day BR and half-day fool-proofing (4 new games per week).

    Sunday: I would spend the day reading the Trainer book and drilling specific questions that I felt uncomfortable with and going on reddit / TLS forums / 7Sage to read what others are doing to prep their admission process (this part is giving me severe anxiety by the way as I don't even plan on starting my application without a solid LSAT score). And I finish the week with some more fool-proofing.

    My BR method for LR sections looks like this:
    I keep a journal for every single question I circled, label question type (i.e. NA, SA, AP), parse out the good ole' premise/conclusion duos from the stimulus, and ALWAYS articulate the hidden assumption (for argument questions).

    Often times I notice myself circling questions I got right solely because of a lack of confidence.And I figured out that this issue stems from not being able to ARTICULATE what the hidden assumption was (the word "hidden" is obviously redundant because assumptions ARE never explicitly stated).

    I also vote against watching every single LR video because I strongly believe more time should be spent on figuring out why the answer is right through your own logical thinking (which I'm sure you've already learned how to do through CC lessons) and focusing on shortening the time to arrive at that decision.

    All about trust and confidence in your own intellectual abilities. We really are smarter than we think (I'm a neuroscientist and I can guarantee this!). What comes after building that confidence is the ability to recognize whether it's a question you are likely going to get right after spending ~30 more seconds after the 84 second mark, OR if it's not, which you have to circle and just move on. I rely on the strategy of leaving 5-6 minutes at the end of the section to go through the questions I circled and take a jab at them with FRESH set of eyes or blank slates. And this tremendously helps me to "frame shift" and see the underlying gap that I didn't catch during my first read.

    In closing, I really hope we can all get through this with sharing information and helping each other out. I am also reciting a mantra that I will not burn out before the November test date but the truth is the fact that I'm even writing this out means I'm already burning out. .Sorry for the long comment, it's 4:30am and I couldn't go to sleep with so much anxiety building up each day. TL;DR, there is no "right" strategy but your "own". Take note of what others are saying on this forum, experiment with everything, see which works and doesn't and just stick with it.

  • youbbyunyoubbyun Alum Member
    1755 karma

    @akistotle @"Cant Get Right"

    thanks so much for your valuable advice!

    yes - i really do think i need to readjust my studying methods.

    i think i'm just gonna keep it at a MAX 1 prep test a week. and i also want to leave at least 2 days every week to specifically work on timing strategies. During those 2 days, I'm hoping to do more confidence drills (for LR and RC) as well as drill SA/PSA questions.

    I think I need more practice working under timed conditions.

  • MindyKaleMindyKale Alum Member
    350 karma

    @username_hello I don't have anything helpful to offer but I have 60 more days to study full time and I've been confused about how to review full PT's efficiently since my BR and timed scores are way off and I am still in the lower 160s. Your very thoroughly thought out review process seemed super helpful and I am planning to implement it. Thank you.

    However, I think I'll do it Games+(1/2)LR Day1, (1/2)LR+RC day 2, LR Day 3, so I can get a PT every 4 days.
    Have you thought about including 5 section PTs at all?

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