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How to Improve? Need some advice please!

gparmar92gparmar92 Alum Member
in General 153 karma
Hey everyone, my scores on practice exams have been going down :/ I'm still early in my prep and I know I have enough time between now and December to improve big time, but yeah it don't feel too good when your average scores seem to be going down.

Anyway, my question is does anybody have a review process for practice exams that helped them improve on their weak points? What I mean is for example, what I currently do is go over all the questions I got wrong in LR, make note of the type and numbers of each type I got wrong, then revisit the corresponding lessons. That and also the 7sage method for LG (which is my weakest section it seems).

I thought maybe switching over to a different review strategy would be beneficial, since like I said my scores have been going down. So if anybody minds sharing their review process I'd really appreciate it. Or if you have any suggestions to improve the one I wrote about above that'd be awesome too.

Comments

  • runiggyrunruniggyrun Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    2481 karma
    Do you do blind review (BR) at all? That means that when you take the test you circle the questions you're not sure about. Then you go over them after the test (BEFORE looking at the answers), preferably on a clean, unmarked copy of the test, and take as much time as you need to be sure of your answer. Record those answers as your BR answers.
    It is much more beneficial to find out why an answer is correct on your own (or at least try very hard) without time constrains rather than passively look at someone else's explanation, which may work great for the way they think, but not for the specific way you naturally go about finding the right answer.
    BR is where the biggest gains happen, so if you don't do it you're shortchanging yourself
  • nanchitonanchito Alum Member
    1753 karma
    Properly BRing is something that really helped me, like psychologically lol. Don't just go over the ones that you got wrong, go over the ones that you are unsure of before you find out they are even wrong. I mean like write or even type out your explanations and thought process of the argument and each ac. Watch the vid and then go back and compare yours and jy's reasoning. Yea it's time consuming especially if you have alot of weaknesses, but it's worth it.
  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4176 karma
    By how much are your scores decreasing? I imagine you're attempting to apply that which you've learned from the curriculum, and doing that is at first very unnatural, difficult, and mechanical. This often results in a decrease in score, as you aren't able to approach questions more intuitively or with the broader picture in mind. If this is the case, you have nothing to worry about, and really working to apply the mechanics is key to eventually being able to successfully approach questions more intuitively. For example, SA questions are among the most difficult until you master the mechanics (i.e. the conditional reasoning, the overarching goal behind SA questions, the role of anticipating the correct AC). Most SA questions then become some of the easiest questions, and because of the intense work towards understanding everything about SA questions, you're able to approach them much more naturally.
  • Daniel.SieradzkiDaniel.Sieradzki Legacy Member Sage
    edited September 2016 2301 karma
    BRing is the key. It switches one's mindset from focusing on a score to concentrating on learning. Also, don't worry if it feels like a struggle when BRing, that usually means it's working.

    Reviewing a question can be mentally challenging. First, we are often attached to our first answer. Second, we do not want to find out our first answer was wrong. This is why it is important to use a blank copy of the test as @runiggyrun suggested. Even with a blank copy, you might remember which answer you selected. The answer to that is to focus on learning. The PT score does not matter. Your understanding does.
  • gparmar92gparmar92 Alum Member
    edited September 2016 153 karma
    @danielznelson said:
    By how much are your scores decreasing?
    I wasn't averaging anything special, I was at 157 but I felt good, because I thought I was only going to go up from there. Now I'm down to 150-152. I understand where you are coming from and I agree completely. When I first started practice testing I found it really difficult to apply curriculum knowledge to the actual test.

    And @ everybody else, yes I definitely blind review and you are all right, that's where the most learning comes from. When I look at the question again for a second time without a time constraint it usually changes the way I interpret the argument.

    I just got finished re-watching the commentary of Prep Test 37, and I think that (along with needing more mastery of the core curriculum) it really highlighted where I'm screwing up. To quote JY I have a tendency of "fortifying" even on questions that I can't get right away. This is a problem because then when I come across something that I should be able to understand I now have a time constraint which makes me have to skim a stimulus which is obviously terrible.

    Thanks for the responses though everyone, I appreciate it. I'll improve my BR and hopefully my learning will improve as well!

    Best of luck to all of you too!
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