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7 month plateau of low 150s, help!

Nicole DNicole D Alum Member
in General 40 karma

So two summers ago (May to August2017), I started my journey. I was scoring in 131, 133 range using the Self Trainer and Powerscore books. I cancelled my test day as I was not ready. My dream is to get into Harvard. I took a break and began studying again in December with 7sage.

In March 2018, I was scoring around 141, 142. In late July-August, I was scoring low 150s (152-153), my BR score was ranging 160-161.

My breakdown since November 2018 is -5/-4 on LR, -10/-12 on RC (I haven't studied for RC at all since I began studying), and for LR (-10/-9).
It is the last PT I took as so far, as I am still not improving in LR. So, I've been doing untimed sections of old tests and going back to the basics.

However, even untimed, I usually get -11/-12 totaled for both LR sections. In the meanwhile as I practice LR, I time myself in LG and typically go (-3).

Is this normal? I am feeling immensely discouraged as I thought by now, I would be ready to take the LSAT this June. With calculating my untimed LR sections, timed LG, and assuming I am still scoring (-10/-12) on RC, I am still scoring low 150s. If I keep studying how I've been studying, will I ever reach my target score (170-175)? Any tips?

Note: I work full-time, 40hrs a week. I try to study 2 hours before work, 1hr at lunch, and 10 hours on weekends (at least 15 hours a week).


  • BumblebeeBumblebee Member
    640 karma

    I think it is a good idea to consider getting a tutor if you find yourself on a plateau. A tutor will help you diagnose your weaknesses and target those weaknesses through customized drills. You can do this!

  • PrincessPrincess Alum Member
    821 karma

    Hi! You can try joining a study group! Just message me if you're interested :smile:

    I think the Ultimate package has helped me so much! I studied for few monthes with the starter, but could have done so much better if I was aware of all the different videos and explainations I was missing. I was getting frusterated that I would be scoring so well on 7sage sets and just bombing the real preptests. I realized that I was just getting the "easy-medium" questions and had NO IDEA what I was doing with the tough questions. Thankfully, I got the ultimate package which has all the hard questions, answers, and I just got that confidence that I can actually master this test.

    I thought that the LSAT was going to just click and not be that difficult because I started scoring in the 160s range and I was going to be fine in just 3 months of studying. I got a bit overconfident thinking I could easily get into the 170s (haha, clearly I'm still here so that didn't work). Actually don't worry about the time or test dates, and understand the material! This is all the advise I would have given to myself last year when I was in your place and what I am doing right now as well:

    This is a hard test. It is going to depend on how you scored on your first diagnostic, how you score after you finish the CC, and then how much more you improve from there. Since you do have some understanding of the concepts, I think it would be even better to just take time to go over it again. Something else will click that may not have clicked the first time. I would suggest that keep studying for the LR and progress through that. At the same time, you need to do the basic logic lesson and advanced logic lesson. Once you understand the idea of "or" "Not Both" and others...then you can progress to the Logic Games! You need to make sure you go through all those logic games lessons by March. At the same time, keep studying for the LR.

    Once you have finished the lessons of the Logic Games, you are going to print off the the logic games bundle which has EVERY game from tests 1-35. Now those games, you want to do atleast 1 game EVERY DAY. Make piles, time yourself, repeat the ones you miss, continue the next day, and don't stop. The piles get bigger, it gets frusterating, keep watching the videos, and you will be fine.

    For the logic games, I swear it will just click because they just are repeated over and over. The Logical Reasoning is a bit more challenging for me though. You want to make sure you don't skip through videos because the way JY explains the WRONG answers is so much more helpful than just getting the RIGHT answer right. You want to know why something is wrong, how that wrong answer could have been correct, and how it may be the correct answer in future logical reasoning questions.

    Once the LR is done, the logic games are still in process, then just take a breath and take your first Preptest after the course. I know you haven't done the Reading Comp, but honestly just take the test and see how much you improve. This gives you more of a rubric to go off from because you learn what areas you're still weak in. This time you DRILL those areas, such as flaw quesitons or strengthen questions. You will get better slowly. Don't forget to BR all of these.

    Now as you're studying, drilling, doing logic games, then start the RC and just try to see how JY does it. Look at different strategies and implement those. Depending on that, you want to take the test! I went from a 144 (i think? maybe 143? idk) to a 162-165 in about 3.5 months. I am still studying and trying to take my time with the course, and am hoping to get a 170 by July. I definetly think you can get into the 160s, but it's going to be ridiculous amount of work! It will all be worth it though!

  • jasminesadejasminesade Alum Member
    249 karma

    I'm also in the same boat as you - scoring in the low 150's with my first exam in the 130's.
    Want to follow this discussion & see what people recommend because I definitely want to hit the 160's by June and I'm feeling discouraged as well. RC is also my worst section :neutral:

  • Nicole DNicole D Alum Member
    40 karma

    Hi thank you for your comments @Princess , I will message you for the study group!
    After I finished the CC, I took my first PT and got a 143. I then began to practice LG. So I took several games, foolproof them all in a span of 3 months. I feel so much better in them, but I understand that I should not be getting -3/-2 in the games. I have been doing timed LGs during my lunch and re-doing them the next day. I have been keeping a spreadsheet and a binder of all the PTs that I have and noting those that I got wrong and why I got them wrong when I take my timed sections.

    With LR, I feel as though, maybe the Ultimate can help me. I am certain that 7sage has helped me the most in my prep. I will have to consider my finances in upgrading or maybe even taking private tutoring as @Bumblebee stated.

    @jasminesade I definitely hope others chime in as well!

  • keets993keets993 Alum Member 🍌
    6045 karma

    I agree with others that you should probably revisit the CC and/or get a tutor to help with LR. Your combined untimed score of -12 for LR means that, even in BR, you are missing quite a few questions. What is your BR process like, do you mind writing me through it?

    LR and RC are related, so any gains in one, should translate towards the other. What is your BR score for RC?

  • Nicole DNicole D Alum Member
    40 karma

    Hi @keets993 My process right now doing the sections untimed is to go through each question and to those that I hesitate in to then I mark them down with stars and I rate how difficult the questions are by giving them one star to three stars. For questions i have to skip, I immediately give them two stars and for questions i am lost in, I give them three starts.

    After I finished a section, I go back and check to see which ones I get wrong. I have a spreadsheet that separates the questions that I wrong (those i gave stars to vs. those that I didn't *overconfidence). I watch 7sage videos to the questions I get wrong and look at everyone's comments. I then write on my spreadsheet for every question I got wrong - why I believe I got it wrong and what I should do next time. On another tab, I write down pointers of what stood out/what tricked me/what I should look for for next time. Also, after doing this for both LR sections, I look at the types of questions I got wrong and see what type I keep missing, I put that on the margin.

    I have also physically in clear sheet binders PT 38-56. After I am done reviewing, I label the questions I got wrong (with one, two, three stars) and I also label if they were cookie cutter questions. I go back and look back to the questions I got wrong, but usually I already remember the answer choice. However, to those I don't, I try to do them again.

    When I was doing PTs timed and then BR, I was doing a similar process above.

    I haven't studied for RC as in the beginning of my studying, I focused on LG and now LR. But, from the latest PT I took with RC (Feb- March 2018), I got -17 and -6 in BR, in another PT, -12 and BR -11 and -14 and BR -8.

  • keets993keets993 Alum Member 🍌
    edited February 2019 6045 karma

    Okay, so from the sounds of it, I don't think you are BR-ing effectively. With blind review, you need to do your own analysis of questions you were not 100% sure about before checking which ones you got wrong. An effective BR process comprises of many steps. First, you should break down the stimulus to it's basic structure. You need to identify the premise and the conclusion. You should anticipate or prephrase gaps in the the support structure. They don't necessarily have to be "right" but the point is to get you to think critically and analytically about the support. You can also play around with the stimulus. By that I mean, if it's a weaken question, then write down ways you could strengthen the gap, try to make it valid. See how it could be an RRE or NA question. The point of these exerises is so that you see how cookie cutter and repetitive LR is, in terms of both subject matter and structure. It's at this stage that you should be able to identify cookie-cutter patterns as well: phenom/hypo; correlation/causation; etc. Once you have a clear-cut understanding of the stimulus, you should move on to the answer choices. Using your reasoning, be thorough as to why the four wrong answer choices are wrong and why the right one is right. This should all be done before you check whether you got an answer wrong or right. This test is a real beast and for most of us, it requires this kind of thorough effort. Joining a study group or getting a tutor is a huge help.

    JY and the community is more of a "last-ditch" effort to understand a question, they shouldn't be your default. You should also be writing or typing this analysis for each question down somewhere so that when you do get something wrong, you have your reasoning in front of you. It will help you figure out why you got it wrong. If you still can't figure out why you got it wrong, that's when you should use the 'help' function so someone can explain it.

    For RC, all the questions are supported by the passage. This has been and will continued to be repeated by everyone because its 100% true. You need to repeat similar steps with RC BR (especially the writing down part) because it will help you figure out where you are missing. You should be able to point to a particular line in the passage to find the support. I would recommend that you stop taking PT's right now and focus on the fundamentals and solidifying your BR process. BR is where most of the learning happens, PT's are just a snapshot of your progress.

    Hope that helps :) Let me know if you have any more questions or require further clarification, you can message me as well.

  • Nicole DNicole D Alum Member
    40 karma

    @keets993 Sorry I wasn’t that clear. I thought you meant what was my process after I finished answering all of the questions.

    So yes, first I look at the stem, I identify the premises/conclusions, and I go based on my notes how to anaylze the question. Most of which, I already do by physically writing my steps down before checking the answers. If it is MBT, I know it is logic heavy. If it is NA, I negate answers and see if something completely destroys the argument. BUT I completely understand what you mean. Your advice is really helpful. As others have stated, I think what will help is joining studying groups, tutoring, going back to the basics.

    Thank you! I will be messaging you.

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