Introduction/Advice

Journeyto99thpercentileJourneyto99thpercentile Monthly Member
in General 246 karma

Hi everyone, my name is Matt, or as I will be known on here Journeyto99thpercentile. I recently took the July lsat and was very disappointed to say the least about my score. Over the past several day's I have been reflecting on what went wrong and what I can do better to improve by the November administration of the exam. As an open disclosure I am not a paying student of the site (at least for now), but after having listened to the 7sage podcast and listened to those who overcame score plateaus to reach their dreams scores, part of what they attributed to their success was being very active in the forums and blind review. For this I am super excited to read through here daily to give my insight and seek insight from you. I bounced around the 160's in my practice exams but fell into the low 150's on my July exam. I won't get into the details to save time, but I allowed test day nerves to take me away from my test day strategy, which wasted a lot of valuable time as I had under-confidence bouts throughout my sections .

I'd love some feedback on anyone who has taken the lsat and underperformed, but was able to bounce back and reach their dream score. Please explain what you did and what you attributed your success to. One of my biggest frustrations right now is in LR. Most of my questions that I get wrong I was able to successfully narrow it down to two answers, but chose the wrong one. If anyone can give tips who have experienced similar issues and what you did to overcome it, I'd be immensely indebted to you.Thank you in advance for your replies and I look forward to traveling down this road with all of you until we can reach out dream scores!

Comments

  • MissChanandlerMissChanandler Alum Member Sage
    3256 karma

    By your username, I take it your goal is to score in the 170s? What’s your current PT average (last five or so tests)?

    I suspect that many who underperform on test day do so because they failed to stimulate testing conditions accurately in practice. Make sure you are used to taking your PRs with five sections, strict timing, all that jazz

  • AudaciousRedAudaciousRed Alum Member
    edited August 2019 2689 karma

    I'm not 99th percentile, but I went from the low to mid 50's in % to the high 80's with help from 7sage, and I am rather happy with my results. Could I maybe keep going? Sure. But I'm not exactly a spring chicken these days, and this will work for my needs. I was 1 point away from my goal score.

    The first thing I want to say is... there is so much more to 7sage than just the forums. They're awesome and community here is great, but there are digital LSAT tools that can really help you simulate the real thing and practice. You can star questions in review and come back to them, or make entire sections of questions to drill on the simulator. There are extensive explanations for all the answers, too. Bang-for-your-buck, this is the place to be. And no, I don't work here. LoL I just really believe it works, and it helped me immensely.

    Anyway.. LR. It is evil. LG, it's really just practice and recognizing which layout the problem will be. You can foolproof that, and that is time and lots of repetition. LR (and RC) is the devil. The key to getting them: really working hard to get an understanding of why every answer is right and every answer is wrong. If you cannot explain why any wrong answer is wrong to someone else, you don't have a good understanding of it. If you are caught between two answers, you're doing great work, but you're not quite there if that happens pretty often. Study the crap out of those questions until you absolutely know why the other selection is dead wrong. Over time, the trap answers become easier to spot, because you'll start seeing the same techniques used over and over.

    Everyone who got to the end of their journey told me this (learn to explain what is wrong and why, and what is right and why -- write it out if you need to). Numerous times when I started this journey. And it's frustrating. It sucks up so much time and you feel like you're beating your head into a desk. And you watch the explanations over and over, re-drill the questions later... and eventually, it starts clicking. Most of us have to change our way of thinking to get these, and my brain resisted pretty hard. I was a top-of-my-class smart cookie. I knew what I was doing (no I didn't). I went through the lessons and just kept drilling, and saw some improvement, getting to about where you are now. But it wasn't until I really studied each question in-depth, just like everyone said to do, and I started seeing the patterns and the reasoning, that it made sense. Once it makes sense, you gain confidence. Once you're confident (because you know exactly what to look for and why), the speed comes. I went from running out of time on 5+ questions or more per section to only missing 3 questions for lack of time on the entire July test (and it was that insanely hard LR section). In one section, I had 3 minutes to just go over previous answers again and make sure I selected the right answer.

    It took me about a year and a half to get there, but I was also still in school, working and raising a child. Don't kick yourself. It's a journey. ;) Your name is very appropriate: this is more like a trek to Mount Doom and less like a walk to the nearest Circle K, especially if you're going for 99%.

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  • EagerestBeaverEagerestBeaver Alum Member
    703 karma

    Similar to AudaciousRed above, I went from low 50% to 91% with a lot of 7sage help. I don't know how many PT's you took, but if you were bouncing around and not generally improving and plateauing in a positive direction, that would indicate that you have not solidified some concepts. That variance reflects that you have the ability, but you are not producing it consistently. I would also need more info on where your scores are varying. Be mindful that it appears you need to make three big steps towards your goal. First, you need to get into the mid 160's consistently. Second, you need to get to the high 160's consistently. Third, you have to get into the 170's consistently. While it is certainly possible to get that elusive high score once on a PT, if you want to maximize your chances of doing it on the real thing, that consistency is key. Lastly, this process may take more than three months. Do not put too much pressure on yourself to do it by November because that would be counterproductive.

  • Journeyto99thpercentileJourneyto99thpercentile Monthly Member
    246 karma

    Thank you Misschandler, AudaciousRed and EagerestBeaver for your posts! I am so excited to really put in the work to get to my dream score. To answer your question Misschandler my average PT test scores would be a 162. Quick question for you AudaciousRed. When I am going through my review I often find myself clearly seeing why three of the five answers were wrong and then I'll search a forum like PowerScore, or LSATHacks to see an explanation. Although this is after the fact of me working through the problem myself, I feel like I am doing myself a disservice because I feel like I could be doing more to really make those gains and learn from why my reasoning was faulty. Also, lets suppose I am missing a concept, obviously because I didnt get it right and didnt understand that's what they were testing me on. If I didnt see it with all of the time in the world, how do I see it after the fact? Are the question explanations good for LR questions on the paid course? Are there any samples anywhere? I've always enjoyed going back to watch the LG videos to see if there was any deductions, but I am not sure I have see any really good in-depth LR question responses that don't just say something like, " this answer is out of scope and is irrelevant to conclusion" Thanks in advance. Thank you for the reminder EagerBeaver. I have heard that gains are small increments and not big jumps. I needed to hear that feedback again, so thank you.

  • Chipster StudyChipster Study Yearly Member
    893 karma

    This may seem like a funny thing for me to say (I am taking the GRE).... if it were I, signing up for the paid part of the 7Sage program would be first on my list of things to do. I had thought about LSAT and worked through the course, got help from the Sagers, etc. I looked at and even signed up for some of the other paid courses. I would commit to studying for one year and buy as high as a level of 7sage as you can afford.

  • AudaciousRedAudaciousRed Alum Member
    2689 karma

    Watching the explanations when you don't understand why you keep coming to two possibilities helps you understand why you might fall for the other answer. Over time, you start seeing patterns to the traps and the line of thinking that leads you to those traps. This takes time, but you can and will learn. Also, ask for help! Sometimes, it just takes someone else saying the same thing in a different way for it to click.
    Before you go do a video, write out an explanation as to why you can't eliminate the possibility. Put it on paper as to what your thinking is. Then watch videos/explanations and see where your thinking went off the rails. That could help you.

    I think the explanations are pretty good here, and in LR questions, it will discuss every answer choice. Sometimes, an answer choice is irrelevant because it's off topic or the likes, and so it's easy to eliminate. Chances are, these are not the ones tripping you up as much. Its been a long time since I started, but I think they still offer a decent free trial? https://7sage.com/free-trial/

  • Journeyto99thpercentileJourneyto99thpercentile Monthly Member
    246 karma

    Awesome, thanks again for your insight AudaciousRed. Thanks for your commentary as well Chipster Study.

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