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Getting worse at LSATs every day

jmshafikjmshafik Member
edited September 2016 in General 8 karma
I'm so incredibly pissed. I started studying in late June with the goal to take the LSAT in September. I know that's not a lot of time to study, but I am a full time teacher and I really have no other choice because I can't split focus between work and studies. So after going through the course, I began recording my LSATs with perfectly simulated conditions. I started from #39. As of now, I just completed #66, so I have 12 left.

Here is the deal, I have been doing so incredibly bad lately. My Average on my first 10 was 164.7, median was 165. On the next 10 my average was 166, median was 155.5. I actually got a 170 on LSAT #51. Now I have finished 8 more, and my average on those is 164.37, with a median of 164. My last test was a 162, and the one before that was a 163. wtf?

My LR has been consistently very good barring a few outliers; my LG went from atrocious, to bad, to slightly better but still bad. My RC has plummeted. I get 3x as much wrong now.

Honestly, it's the worst feeling in the word. I have to finish the next 12 over 19 days, (I'm at least spacing out the last 3 with lots of relaxation in the last week), and I'm starting to feel like I'm doomed to failure. I really want to go to USC or UCLA, but I'd need to get a 167 to have a shot, given the fact that my GPA is so low from my 3rd year of college - Computer Science was not my thing and I had to be my mom's caretaker. I know that I can explain that stuff in the application, but honestly it would be stupid for those universities to gamble on someone because of their situation when they have more than enough applicants that are getting better scores.

Anyways, venting over. I'm sure there are others out there experiencing the same crap.


  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma
    I would highly suggest not taking in 19 days. Doing 12 tests in 19 days is also a bad idea.

    I think you are extremely burned out. Every thing you mention sounds like a textbook symptom of doing too much. You finished the entire course and did all those tests since June? That is just too much. You can't study for the LSAT using brute force and just going non-stop. I think it is a lot like weight training. If you lift everyday you won't get big muscles, you'll end up burning too much fat/muscle and shrinking! You'll also do damage and instead of getting stronger you'll actually cause yourself problems. So first things first, take a break and consider postponing until December.

    You are a teacher so I'm sure balancing work + studying is not easy. Trust me I work and study and realize how difficult it is. But taking breaks and letting your mind absorb things is just as important as the studying itself. I mean how much can you learn from a test just by doing it and then doing another one the next day? Nothing is having time to really embed itself in your mind.

    Going forward I would say to take a break and then come back and consider doing an LG intensive. That is a section where I think everyone should work to get -0 or as close as possible on. Don't leave those points on the table. The LG section is basically math and if you learn the "equations" so to speak, you will take your score from bad to perfect.

    As for RC, why do you think you are doing worse all of the sudden? Might just be burnout. 3x worse out of nowhere.... I can't think of anything but burnout or perhaps the changes with the comparative reading in the 50s? If so, you'll get acclimated to those with time and practice.

    I would also suggest re-doing some of your PTs and not burning through the rest of them. Are you doing proper and thorough blind review? That will be something that will certainly help!

    Cheer up! For what it's worth, you are doing great for having only been studying since June. You have a lot of potential and I'd hate to see you waste it before you even reach it.

  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly + Live Member Sage 🍌 7Sage Tutor
    27711 karma
    Literally everything @"Alex Divine" said with special emphasis on not taking your remaining PTs. Taking PTs just isn't enough. After each one, you have to evaluate your performance, identify the weaknesses the PT exposed, take efforts to address those weaknesses, and only when you're confident you have made significant progress in those areas take the next PT. From there, you start the whole process over. Taking PTs is so much more intensive than just taking PTs. The good news is that those old PTs will still retain a lot of their value for these purposes. Do some retakes and work through this process and save those remaining PTs!
  • m.e.u_89m.e.u_89 Member
    38 karma
    I'm going through the same thing. My score really plummeted on the prep test i took today, and pretty much undermined all the studying I have done since starting this course as I only got one point above my first ever PT this time. It's really worrying. And my typical score is not even as good as yours are. I'm thinking I may have to cancel my LSAT for september and push it back yet again. I've taken my last 3 PTs within the span of about a month, and my last two-particularly the one I took today- really saw a dip in my score. I really hope this is just burn out.
  • desire2learndesire2learn Member
    1171 karma
    Hang in there @jmshafik because dips like that are normal. Swings in scores happen. I am also a teacher (and a parent) and I have been studying since Spring Break. Take time to work on particular types of things you are missing. For RC I used a bunch of old PTs to work on them one RC passage at a time to get better at the timing (usually aiming for 6-7 minutes depending on the number of questions) and building my skills in smaller chunks. For LG I went through a stage where I did not do well with In/Out games so I worked on a bunch of old games one at a time with reviewing my skills and getting more comfortable. For LG I have been through SEVERAL phases of identifying weaknesses and focusing on those skills for a small time. Progress is not always linear but if you are learning from every failure as being invaluable for identifying weaknesses that can be improved you will do great. Just don't lose hope and don't lose motivation. YOU CAN DO THIS! Never be afraid to fail and keep working hard anyway.
    I would suggest taking the December LSAT (or later if you feel you need more time) because that would relieve the time pressure you are facing and that is one of the most detrimental things you can do to your learning because you can't take the time to do things right.
    It's great to see a fellow SoCal teacher busting hard on the LSAT (okay, I assume SoCal because of the USC/UCLA bit and the assumptions we bring to LR questions get us in trouble).
    Best of luck and keep going!
  • leejayleeleejaylee Alum Member
    218 karma
    I know the feel. I'm actually going through this right now. Started from PT 38 -> high 160's, to low 170's in PT 50's, then back to mid160's in PT 60's. Does this mean I can't get a 170 on the real test? Heck no, I'm just going to keep trying and give it my all.

    Just believe in yourself and that all the studying you have done WILL NOT BE UNDONE because of a few bad PTs.

    I believe in you. Get into USC/UCLA because hard work will pay off!! Keep focus and concentration. Don't let the scores of a PT hurt your confidence. You know your stuff, stick with it, learn from your mistakes, and move on with it.

  • jmshafikjmshafik Member
    8 karma
    Thanks guys, I appreciate the feedback and encouragement. Most of you have suggested pushing back to December but unfortunately that just isn't feasible in terms of timing. I have taken a short break though. Yesterday was my birthday and I took the whole day off, and today I will be doing review and LG practice only. I know it's inefficient but tomorrow I'll be cramming in those PTs again. I am hoping that the dip in scores is only reflective of exhaustion and that I still learn from the mistakes. I think I am... a lot of the ones I get wrong are for ridiculous reasons - reading it backwards / ignoring "except" in the question stem, etc. Thankfully, I know that I can get into Loyola which is a great school and is by far the most convenient location for me (my wife works in Manhattan Beach 10 min away from the school). I'll have to just suck it up, keep testing/reviewing and hope for the best.

    P.S. @desire2learn I am indeed a fellow SoCal teacher!
  • blah170blahblah170blah Alum Inactive ⭐
    3545 karma
    I just wanted to say solidarity. I'm currently teaching in the Bay and, man, studying while teaching has been one of the hardest things I've ever had to do
  • desire2learndesire2learn Member
    1171 karma
    @"blah170blah" I love it! Keep rolling strong knowing that you're not the only one.
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