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Finished all 7sage lessons. First timed PT came back the same as cold diagnostic. How do I proceed?

dustinkeidustinkei Alum Member
edited May 2014 in General 28 karma
As the title says, I just completed all of the 7sage course lessons and took my first timed PT last week ago. I blind reviewed this PT as well. The timed and blind review scores came back the same as the cold diagnostic (about mid 140s and mid 150s respectively.) Needless to say I was pretty disappointed.

Today I tried to take another PT (62) but in the middle of it I blanked out. I started off strong with the RC section (mainly because it was topics with which I am familiar, or that I actually give a crap about), then I started gassing through the first LR section and by the time I got to LG (section 3) I completely lost motivation. By the second LR section I was running on fumes and I wasn't particularly confident in my answer choices. It didn't help that I was having issues with the proctor app which kept freezing on my phone, making me go over the allotted time. I'm feeling pretty discouraged at this time since its seeming like all this coursework was for naught. I also decided to scrap PT 62 entirely since I was feeling pretty disgusted with myself by the end of it.

I had originally planned to take the June LSAT but I don't think I'll have enough time between then and now to sufficiently address all of my issues so I'm likely going to reschedule to September.

So with all of that I could really use some pointers as to how to proceed with my studies. As JY mentioned in one of his blog posts, there are only a limited number of PTs available and I want to make the most efficient use of them so that I don't fuck it up for myself come October.

Edit: Sorry, I meant to say that ideally I'd like to correct some of the mistakes I'm making, whether it be from not getting mentally fatigued so quickly to working on weak spots before I resume PTing.

Comments

  • NellysLSATNellysLSAT Alum Member
    186 karma
    I'm in a similar situation.
    don't have any advice on how to proceed as yet. I'm awaiting responses myself on a post I sent out. But I don't think you should give up just yet. as the over used saying goes "Rome wasn't built in a day"
    I just wanted to point out that I believe the October test was moved to September.
  • NellysLSATNellysLSAT Alum Member
    edited May 2014 186 karma
    This comment was helpful for me from LSATisland:

    "It would depend on the person's study path. If there is drilling and studying of techniques between tests, there will most likely be a bigger discrepancy than if one simply does another test. Don't worry if the jumps are not as high and as quick as you'd like. Sometimes it takes some time and repetition for the ideas to set in and "click". "
  • vandyzachvandyzach Member
    358 karma
    You are totally correct about there being a limited number of PTs to use. Whether or not you have PT 40-71, DON'T TOUCH THEM. Get your hands on Pt 1-38 (I recommend by type form Cambridge) and drill those untimed. The only questions that are too old to be studying are the old mapping games (search here or TLS to find out which ones those are).

    Drill each game/question/passage and review the hell out of it. You are making a ton of mistakes on each section and you need to figure out which mistakes you are making so that you don't make them again.

    It is going to be a long road. But you can do it.
  • LSATislandLSATisland Inactive Sage
    1878 karma
    @gi-lsat2014-1 - I'm happy I could be helpful. PM me if you'd like to talk more.

    @dustinkei - I totally get the frustration at the expended time and effort. I wouldn't look at it as an irretrievable and pointless loss just because your score did not increase. I never took the 7sage course so I am not really familiar with it all, but I imagine it teaches the techniques and skills required for the LSAT. However, understanding why the LSAT works a certain way or how the logic works is not the goal for LSAT improvement. It is certainly the first and crucial step. But in my view the integration of the logic and techniques into one's thinking is the ultimate goal.

    It is possible that you now understand the LSAT techniques and logic, but it needs to be integrated by doing actual LSATs. Like the commenter above, I'd avoid the most recent tests, but I would recommend doing LSATs - at first un-timed and then timed, even by sections. At certain points you may want to go back to a 7sage lesson. But make sure that you are utilizing the knowledge in actual LSAT problems. The score should increase gradually as you implement more and make the techniques natural.

    I hope this helps. If not, feel free to PM me. I know you must be feeling enormously frustrated.
  • ikethelsatikethelsat Alum Member
    193 karma
    It took me 3 timed PTs to improve - since a certain point, a lot of stuff clicked at once and I'm up to where I want to be. Remember, you just learned a TON of stuff - applying it all consistently will take some time. I would keep reviewing material, doing problem sets, and then when you feel you have got a section or an aspect of the test nailed down, do a full PT.

    Personally, I would want more time than doing it in June if I were you. I was taking PTs weekly for the last 2 months, while working through the curriculum, and that made it easy to see the gradual improvement as I understood more and more. Now though I'm moving on to the last 15 PTs every other day until the June test, and at this point there's less time for huge leaps and bounds and more about fine tuning.

    So don't be discouraged, just move the test back a bit and re-evaluate your methods. You HAVE to be able to push through a full test no matter how discouraged! After all, Law School is only going to be more mentally taxing than one LSAT!
  • Jonathan WangJonathan Wang Yearly Sage
    edited May 2014 6289 karma
    GI asked me a similar question in PM, and I'll tell you what I told him - it may be worth your while to discuss this with a tutor. Many more details need to be filled in before any advice more individualized than "you have to practice" can be generated.

    In the meantime, general assessment. By far the most worrying thing about your situation is that your blind review didn't improve even after you went through the curriculum. That either means you're not holding yourself up to a high enough standard during blind review, or you didn't actually understand the curriculum. Either way, forget about the score - work on your understanding. You have 100 questions from that test to dissect and cross-reference with the curriculum to come to a better understanding of the material. Use it.

    You have to use material at some point - hell, just by going through the curriculum, you've already burned ~10-15 tests. The key is to make sure you're using it to learn and progress, and not just to generate semi-random 3 digit numbers.
  • T.J.6666-1T.J.6666-1 Member
    42 karma
    I'm here to tell the truth which might hurt but in a good way. Finishing up all the 7sage lessons isn't your goal. Instead, how much have you internalized from the lessons? You might have noticed listening to the explanations makes a lot of sense after all, but it's a different story when you actually do the question yourself. Also, doing timed prep tests puts pressure on you, so you have to get used to it. Sometime, you have to skip questions and live with a degree of certainty in order to have a shot for the harder questions. Ask yourself why you did the questions wrong. Don't set a goal of finishing some problem sets or lessons on a day. Learn from it so you won't make the same mistake again.
  • ENTJENTJ Alum Inactive ⭐
    3658 karma
    Jonathan has a lot of valid points. I want to give particular emphasis to his observation about Blind Review. Are you making sure that you have 100% certainty when you don't circle a question? Even the slightest level of doubt will undo all your hard work. The level of scrutiny you have to apply has to be incredibly high, this is why the Blind Review is very taxing and time-consuming.
  • J.Y. PingJ.Y. Ping Administrator Instructor
    edited May 2014 13435 karma
    You guys made all the good points already. I'll just reiterate that this is normal. In fact, it would be weird for your second PT to be an improvement over your first.

    In one of the very first lessons, I talk about how to study for the LSAT:
    http://7sage.com/lesson/how-to-study-for-the-lsat

    One of the points is that you really start when you start to take timed PTs over and over and over and over... and Blind Review.

    The Core Curriculum gives you the basic, foundational concepts. You get good at wielding these concepts through taking timed PTs (over and over and over) and BR. Without the Core Curriculum, you're likely just wasting PTs.

    I suppose an analogy here is basketball. You practice the fundamentals, running, dribbling, passing, talking shit, etc. But that's not the game. You gotta play lots and lots and lots of games before you get good at basketball. Of course, if you never practiced dribbling, well, take a seat son.

    Before I took my actual LSAT, I took every published PT timed (some more than once) and Blind Reviewed.
  • dustinkeidustinkei Alum Member
    28 karma
    First off - holy crap, I got J.Y. AND Jonathan to respond! I feel blessed!

    With that out of the way, thanks everyone for your pointers and words of encouragement.

    A big part of the problem I've come to realize is that I enrolled in this course in early February thinking I would have adequate time to sufficiently study for the June LSAT. This caused me to haphazardly blow through some of the lessons, resulting in the material not really sinking in. I know, I fucked up big and now I'm paying for it (especially since I blatantly disregarded JY's advice to take a year to prep.) But now that I've decided to push back the LSAT to September, I'm going through some of the earlier lessons and it seems like things are finally starting to become clearer.

    Again, thanks everyone for your replies. I really do appreciate it.
  • AlenaLSATAlenaLSAT Alum Member
    edited May 2014 182 karma
    I was also having a problem of not seeing much improvement despite doing tremendous amount of practice. One day, I just told myself that I needed to review my methods. I started to do deep analysis of each question on LR and RC, trying to understand the underlying concepts. Then, finally I started to see progress. I would compare preparing for LSAT to learning a foreign language. You need to understand and memorize the rules of grammar, understand the cultural context, and practice the vocabulary everyday to learn it successfully. So is LSAT, you need to understand the rules of logic, the rules of argument, causation, conditionality, etc. Then you need to practice them every day to commit them to memory. It is tremendous amount of work, for sure, but the good news is that you can improve.
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