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Venting: Every now and then, I bomb a PT and feel like a fraud

BamboosproutBamboosprout Alum Member
edited October 2018 in General 1694 karma

Every 10 or so PTs I just get slapped with a 10 or even 15 points below average score. Seriously. Does this happen to anyone else? I don't even really know how it happens, maybe a confluences of bad circumstances, but all in all, it's an extremely curious experience.
This time, in particular, I think part of it was because of the stress. I had promised to record and show people a full 5 section PT, to both give them a different perspective and get feedback, and I think part of me felt pressured to do really well. I wanted to prove myself, because I've always had a -10 decrease from my PT average when taking the real LSAT, and felt like maybe I was a fraud. Because of this doubt, like a self-fulfilling prophecy, I had a restless night, and got sick.
And at last, I proved myself to be a fraud. It felt really uncomfortable to have this fear, and to have an experience confirm this fear. Even though my average score tells me otherwise, I can still honestly believe my fears have come true. I start to think that maybe my previous 5 or 10 tests were the outliers and that my real abilities are truly reflected solely in this one test. This is probably a form of cognitive dissonance, and it freaks me out. Since then, I've taken another PT, and it was at a formal setting, with other 7sagers. So I know it is a legit score, and my score immediately jumped back up to my previous average. Deep down, I am still confident in my capabilities and my ability to overcome this fear, but there's now a constant little feeling clawing at the back of my mind.
I honestly view this as a very revealing and positive experience, because I've realized perhaps my biggest weakness: severe performance anxiety. I now have a clear goal, and like Ray Dalio says, terrible is better than mediocre. Moving forward, I will be recording myself and showing it to others again. Hopefully it will help me get over this nagging thought in my mind. Thanks for reading.

Comments

  • keets993keets993 Alum Member 🍌
    6045 karma

    :joy: I was getting ready to go into details of how you're not a fraud and then you just...did it yourself.

    Yes it's normal, it happens to everyone. Even the recording to show someone else because then you feel like you have to be at peak performance. You're not a fraud. I don't know why some PT's go terrible aside from it helps us from being complacent. Shows that no matter where you are in your prep you can't start slacking and falling into bad habits. That's why I tell myself. It's a gift!

  • keepcalmandneuronkeepcalmandneuron Alum Member
    edited October 2018 470 karma

    I'm not even kidding...I didn't see your username in the title and was literally just going to tag you in this @Bamboosprout asking if you can relate to this. I was bummed out the whole afternoon today after our BR.

    Man I dropped 15 points on the most recent PT 72 and my BR score doesn't even differ that much...All I can say is...there is no turning back from here...only forward and upwards...

  • drbrown2drbrown2 Alum Member
    2222 karma

    I get into little slumps too and every time I have to remind myself not to be so results oriented. Going into the test with an agenda of scoring higher than my previous test almost prevents me from getting in the zone. After blind review when I see my score, I feel deflated.

    Only way forward is to keep practicing (for me still drilling games and mixing in RC) until I am so good at the test my timing issues disappear and my PT average closes in on my BR average.

    Keep going and let the PT scores be secondary to you mastering the material!!

  • _oshun1__oshun1_ Alum Member
    edited October 2018 3652 karma

    You’re not a fraud and you shouldn’t get so down on yourself. Not to bring negativity into this post but I think this is a serious fundamentals issue or over/under confidence issue which you need to work out. If you sporadically drop that many points on a regular basis then that could happen on the lsat if you don’t figure out the root of it. Take it as a learning opportunity to ensure you do great on the lsat. You’re obviously capable of doing 10+ points better than those few lower scores PTs. Those tests are outliers but you don’t want the LSAT to be an outlier too.
    Your most recent drop is definitely just performance stress and I wouldn’t worry about it. Days that I bring my GoPro to surf or when there’s a photographer out are days I surf the worst lol. No big deal. But, the stress of taking the lsat in a test center might feel similar...so you need to figure out how to not have that performance anxiety and to be confident.

  • BamboosproutBamboosprout Alum Member
    1694 karma

    @keets993 said:
    :joy: I was getting ready to go into details of how you're not a fraud and then you just...did it yourself.

    Yes it's normal, it happens to everyone. Even the recording to show someone else because then you feel like you have to be at peak performance. You're not a fraud. I don't know why some PT's go terrible aside from it helps us from being complacent. Shows that no matter where you are in your prep you can't start slacking and falling into bad habits. That's why I tell myself. It's a gift!

    Hahahaha
    At the end of the day, optimism is still my main outlook.
    I have so many bad habits T_T... a gift might be too much of a stretch for me, lol. Hahahaha. Thanks for the positive vibes =)

  • BamboosproutBamboosprout Alum Member
    1694 karma

    @keepcalmandneuron said:
    I'm not even kidding...I didn't see your username in the title and was literally just going to tag you in this @Bamboosprout asking if you can relate to this. I was bummed out the whole afternoon today after our BR.

    Man I dropped 15 points on the most recent PT 72 and my BR score doesn't even differ that much...All I can say is...there is no turning back from here...only forward and upwards...

    Hahahahaha. It was me, all along! Yeah, it's necessary to stay positive and view things humbly and earnestly. Remember to take notes on why you think you choose the wrong answer choices, so that you know how to not do it again! We'll improve, and it'll be fun...? =)

  • BamboosproutBamboosprout Alum Member
    1694 karma

    @oshun1 said:
    You’re not a fraud and you shouldn’t get so down on yourself. Not to bring negativity into this post but I think this is a serious fundamentals issue or over/under confidence issue which you need to work out. If you sporadically drop that many points on a regular basis then that could happen on the lsat if you don’t figure out the root of it. Take it as a learning opportunity to ensure you do great on the lsat. You’re obviously capable of doing 10+ points better than those few lower scores PTs. Those tests are outliers but you don’t want the LSAT to be an outlier too.
    Your most recent drop is definitely just performance stress and I wouldn’t worry about it. Days that I bring my GoPro to surf or when there’s a photographer out are days I surf the worst lol. No big deal. But, the stress of taking the lsat in a test center might feel similar...so you need to figure out how to not have that performance anxiety and to be confident.

    Yeah, good call. I just started drilling more and realized I have lost so much of my fundamentals. I need to get back into the grind and... feel the JY; anticipate the JY; become the JY.

  • keets993keets993 Alum Member 🍌
    6045 karma

    @keepcalmandneuron if it makes you feel better, and I think it will, most people drop like crazy on PT72. Like it's notorious for being one of the toughest PT's out there.

  • BamboosproutBamboosprout Alum Member
    1694 karma

    @keets993 said:
    @keepcalmandneuron if it makes you feel better, and I think it will, most people drop like crazy on PT72. Like it's notorious for being one of the toughest PT's out there.

    Hahahaha, this didn't apply to me... actually, the opposite happened. PT72 was the one that I jumped back to average on. I bombed PT70, actually. Too bad I missed the BR session for that. T_T

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