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Tips on moving from 175-177 range to 178-180 range?

kaila67hkaila67h Free Trial Member
in General 52 karma
I've been stuck in the 175-177 range for the past 15ish practice tests. Any advice on moving up to a 180? I've been getting anywhere from 0-3 wrong total LR and 0-3 wrong RC. Sometimes I get a 178-180 but it's infrequent because I keep getting a couple wrong in both LR and RC. Tips from others who've moved up to the 178-180 range? What helped you to improve on LR and RC? Thanks!


  • Ron SwansonRon Swanson Alum Member Inactive ⭐
    edited May 2016 1650 karma
    You're looking for tangible tactics to move from the 99.5th percentile to like the 99.8th percentile. There is no concrete method to get from 175ish to 180ish. You're good at the LSAT. You have an awesome understanding of the material.

    You might not like hearing this, but in my opinion those few questions you miss are probably due to luck of the draw on a given test hitting a certain weakness or you just misreading a question/AC.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd just focus on maintaining your mindset rather than stress over the quest for perfection.
  • AlejandroAlejandro Member Inactive ⭐
    edited May 2016 2424 karma
    Awesome that you're in that spot. I'm not there yet but all I can say is that you have to for sure take the test in June and that perhaps you have hit your ceiling, which is fantastic. If you really want a 180 and strongly believe you can consistently score on that range, then just keep practicing and take the test again in September. I don't think a single strategy can help you at this point though. Just focus on completely understanding whatever mistakes you made on the test. Figure if they are a result of overconfidence or something more fundamental through your BR and attack the issue accordingly. Not much to say man but congratulations! I wish I were in your spot.
  • Nicole HopkinsNicole Hopkins Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4344 karma
    Hell yeah @"Ron Swanson"
  • Jonathan WangJonathan Wang Yearly Sage
    edited May 2016 6839 karma
    I'm not sure what good "it's just luck of the draw, be satisfied with what you have" is to a person who's asking specifically about how to push the envelope.

    If your goal is 180, there's simply no such thing as 'good enough' anymore. You need to be absolutely ruthless with hunting down your weaknesses and leave all of the excuses at home where they belong. Luck has absolutely nothing to do with it. Even human error must be rejected as an excuse, because there's always something more you could have done. And god forbid you made any mistakes with the actual logic, because that's just actual demonstrated incompetence on your part. All of those weaknesses they're exploiting, those answer choices you're misreading...what part of that is unavoidable, again?

    Let's be real - nobody thinks you're 'incompetent' in an absolute sense, and nobody would fault you for 'settling' for a 177 (the very notion is absurd). But when your goal is perfection, anything less than that is an utter disaster. You need to see it like that before anything can happen. Once you do, then you just do what got you from ~172 to 175 in the first place - review, analyze, and stomp out your mistakes with extreme prejudice. The fact that there aren't very many left makes no difference - it just means they're a more formidable enemy than any other that you've faced before.
  • Ron SwansonRon Swanson Alum Member Inactive ⭐
    edited May 2016 1650 karma
    @"Jonathan Wang"

    My point was to put the score in perspective; there's not much advice to give to someone who is splitting hairs within the 99th percentile. Basically, just become perfect and don't tolerate mistakes. Isn't that a given?


    I apologize if my comment came across as snarky, that wasn't what I intended. Unfortunately I don't have advice to offer you for RC, but I can offer a tip for LR. You say you're missing up to 3 just about every test? Obviously you have a strong logical foundation. The difference between getting those 3 right vs. wrong could come down to effectively allocating your time. If you can bank enough time to really digest the questions that give you trouble, I'd imagine someone with your logical foundation could eliminate all of the wrong answers. Just focus on completely finishing the section by the 30 minute mark, and using those last 5 minutes to double, even triple back on the questions that have you stumped. My .02
  • runiggyrunruniggyrun Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    2481 karma
    It's going to be tough to find specific advice to get from 99.5 to 99.8 (other than "just be perfect and don't settle for less"), because there are very few people who have actually reached the 99.8 consistently and could talk from experience, and even fewer that frequent this specific forum. Of those that do, I doubt there's a single overarching "do this and it will happen" strategy.
    Because your "misses" come in LR and RC, I would say that you need to do a couple of things:
    a. As @"Ron Swanson" suggested, try to have a few minutes left at the end of the section to go over a couple of the trickiest questions again.
    b. If there's so much as a single word out of place in an otherwise REALLY attractive answer, it's probably wrong. Use that extra time to really double check and find the actual right answer that might be something unexpected or phrased in a weird fashion.

    Really, really focus on reviewing your wrong answers and identifying what should have given them away as "traps". Try to keep those clues in mind for next time.

    Best of luck for those 178-180's, but don't forget that you're already in an awesome spot and it's OK to take some time to celebrate your hard work and accomplishments.
  • kaila67hkaila67h Free Trial Member
    52 karma
    Thanks for all the advice everyone! Perhaps I should mention that when I review my wrong answers, occassionally it's a problem that stumps me but 95% of the time I realize it was a really stupid mistake from rushing and not reading all of the answer choices. On RC I take up all or almost all of the time but on LR I usually always have at least 5 min at the end to review my work. I only review questions I've circled though. I don't think I have enough time to review all of them and the questions I make stupid mistakes from rushing on are often uncircled ones so I don't review those. Ugh.
  • runiggyrunruniggyrun Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    2481 karma
    @kaila67h said:
    On RC I take up all or almost all of the time but on LR I usually always have at least 5 min at the end to review my work. I only review questions I've circled though.
    That's a good (solvable) problem to have. It means that you're not so much stumped by the more difficult questions (which was my initial assumption), but you tend to rush more than necessary.
    Next few PT's, try to go a touch slower on LR, and make a point to read every answer carefully, eliminate 4 wrongs, select 1 right and check it against the question. Maybe make a mark on each answer as you read it (a check or a cross if you want to for Y/N). Don't focus on score, focus on doing it right. See if you can get through the section with 2-3 minutes to spare instead of 5 and if it helps you get those extra couple of points.
    You might have to play a bit with how fast you want to go, so it might take a couple of PTs to find the sweet spot, but it should pay off in the end. If your mistakes are not from answers where you weren't sure, there's little advantage to having 5 minutes left at the end - you'll just use them to go Yep, yep, yep on a couple of questions you already got right.
  • kaila67hkaila67h Free Trial Member
    52 karma
    Good advice! Thanks!!
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    Shoot for 25 in 25 during LR. That extra 10 minutes to review the curvebreakers is the best shot you'll get to correct any mistakes or misconceptions.

    LG and RC you should be finishing 3-5 minutes early and using that extra time to shore up any weak spots or difficult questions.

    If you can actually fix mistakes 95% of the time then finishing early is the best chance you have for a clean sheet at this point. Good luck!
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