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Studying for December rewrite

Allison MAllison M Alum Member Inactive Sage
edited October 2014 in General 810 karma
I confidently blew through almost all of my study materials in preparation for the September test, not anticipating that I would need to rewrite. I was scoring in the high 170s on my PTs, so what could go wrong, right? Well, a HUGE stress-induced bubbling error could (and did). I cancelled my score and will be re-writing in December.

After taking a week off from studying, I want to get back into the swing of things. The problem is that I have just one clean PT: I took PTs 35 - 72 as full-length exams, did the games from every test, and used up the LR and RC from about half of the early tests. The one exception is PT 68, which I accidentally skipped over.

Does anyone have any advice about how to study in the absence of clean PTs? Is drilling with blind review my best bet? Should I review old PTs? Anything?


  • adrian.mikoadrian.miko Alum Member
    191 karma
    I only have a few prep-tests left over myself... would definitely just look over the mistakes you had in the previous PT's and try to understand where you went wrong. Re-doing full PTs which were previously done isn't really much help.
  • joegotbored-1joegotbored-1 Alum Member
    edited October 2014 802 karma
    Hey Allison,

    Sorry to hear about the bubbling. It could happen to any of us. I think since you were already scoring so high, I would do super hardcore BR. By that, I mean following the tips of some of the other scorers in your range who have posted here that they write out explanations for every question they get wrong or were even moderately uncertain about under timed conditions.

    Retake the 10-15 most recent tests, regardless of how you scored on them. Then, on anything you circled or get wrong, write out a full explanation of the stimulus and each answer. If you want to go crazy, write out what would need to change in the stimulus or question stem to make any given wrong answer correct.

    You're already doing really well, so retaking several used PTs probably won't hurt or help too much. But.... doing extensive BR as described could put you into the -1 or -0 realm since you were already high 170s. Wouldn't that be swell :)

    Use the bubble sheet for everything including drills. I caught one bubbling error about 15 questions in on S3 or S4 on test day. Fortunately, I was in the habit of circling my intended answer on my booklet and so I was able to track back to find the starting point of my mis-bubble and correct. I typically checked about every 5 questions to make sure my numbering was right sequentially, and that I hadn't accidentally skipped a row. I think this was crucial in catching my error early and helped me recover my nerves.

    If it hadn't been part of my study habit, I'd have been screwed on the second half of that section. Remember, you're already scoring well, so the retakes on PTs wouldn't be to improve your scores, but rather to adopt the new bubble-checking habit. It will probably slow you down by about a minute or maybe 2 minutes on any given section so your rhythm will be off and it will take a few weeks to get used to it. Once you're used to it, you will probably get that time back, and your nerves will die down too because you'll be more confident that you have not made any bubble errors.

    Good luck!
  • Allison MAllison M Alum Member Inactive Sage
    810 karma
    Thanks for your input! Writing out explanations for questions that I've gotten wrong is a good idea.

    The crazy thing is that I had been practicing bubbling methods up to test day, but all those good habits just went out the window when it came to the real thing... Maybe more emphasis on meditation/other stress management techniques would be advisable this time around!
  • chrijani7chrijani7 Alum Member
    827 karma
    I am in a similar boat myself. I blew through most of my material leading up to Sept LSAT. I didn't have a bubbling error, but I do think that the nerves got to me and may have affected my performance. I am anticipating a rewrite before scores are released, and will likely rewrite regardless. I believe I can do better a second time around. But, again what do retakers do when they have slim to none fresh PT's? I have about 4 fresh PT's. Also curious Allison what your study schedule looks like for the rewrite, such as are you going to be going over the basics again?
  • Allison MAllison M Alum Member Inactive Sage
    810 karma
    @chrijani7, I'm starting off by going through all of the questions that I ever got wrong and writing out explanations as to why I got them wrong. I was never great about doing a thorough blind review, so I think this will be helpful in my case. I'll spend the rest of my time working through the LR and RC sections I haven't done, as well as the games that I'm less familiar with. I don't plan to go over the basics again, though of course I may if I find my comprehension slipping.
  • ENTJENTJ Alum Inactive ⭐
    3658 karma
    It sounds bizarre, but it really helps talking out the right answer choice. Whether it be to a significant other, pet, or to inanimate helps to solidify your understanding when you hear what you're actually saying. :)
  • K-MagnetK-Magnet Alum Member
    283 karma
    For writing out why the right AC is absolutely correct and the 4 other ACs are absolutely incorrect, I suggest that you consider posting to the corresponding video explanations on 7sage (depending on your package).

    Since you are going to write it out anyway, it doesn't hurt to share those 170+ thoughts with others. Plus there are other potential benefits. Perhaps in writing it out, you realize you don't exactly know why one AC was absolutely wrong. Another 7sager might step in here. Or perhaps, you think that you are using solid justification for elimination of the 4 other ACs, but another 7sager notices a mistake in your justification & helps you tweak your process.
  • The 180 Bro_OVOThe 180 Bro_OVO Alum Inactive ⭐
    1392 karma
    Perhaps a silly question, but when ppl say "write" a test, do they just mean they are going to take the test?
  • Allison MAllison M Alum Member Inactive Sage
    810 karma
    @K-Magnet, that's the plan!

    @The 180 Bro, yes.
  • LSATislandLSATisland Free Trial Inactive Sage
    1878 karma
    @The 180 Bro:

    Yes. TheLSAT writers may mean something else, but then again they are strange people :)
  • ENTJENTJ Alum Inactive ⭐
    3658 karma
    I say we supplant another verb for "write". How about "wiggle"? I can't wait to wiggle the LSAT this Dec! :)
  • LeoFiro8LeoFiro8 Alum Member
    244 karma
    wiggle wiggle wiggle...
  • SnowballSnowball Member
    111 karma
    Hey @Allison M, could you share how your rewrite study plan actually worked out?

    I'm on the same boat as yours when you studied for the December test. I decide to rewrite in February. Before December I didn't think I need to rewrite so used up all the PTs from 30 to 73. Did all LG games. Did half of early LR and RCs. Scored in the high 170s range... The only difference is that I didn't misbubble in the real test but my nerves got to me. I'd like to hear your experience!

    Thanks a lot:)
  • Allison MAllison M Alum Member Inactive Sage
    810 karma
    I mostly did early PTs (1-35) and re-wrote a few of the later PTs. I also wrote out explanations for questions that I was unsure about. To be honest, though, I was pretty lax about it. I only really started studying again in November, and even then, it was fairly sporadic. Thanks to my studies leading up to the September test, I knew the material inside and out. All that I really needed to do was to drill or PT often enough to keep my skills sharp and stay confident going into the December exam. It sounds like you're in the same boat -- I would encourage you to take some well-earned time off before diving back in!

    I found that I was much less anxious this time around, and I'm sure it'll be the same for you.
  • Travis10Travis10 Free Trial Member
    23 karma
    Allison how did you cancel? I faxed a form, and have not heard back.
  • SnowballSnowball Member
    111 karma
    Thanks Allison! This is very helpful! I won't study like crazy this time around. I will try to write explanations and analyze my mistakes rather than rewrite tons of full PTs.
  • Allison MAllison M Alum Member Inactive Sage
    810 karma
    That's what worked for me (I think?!? waiting for the score release is KILLING ME), but do whatever feels right to you! You don't have much room to improve, so it's really more an issue of keeping the test fresh in your mind.
  • SnowballSnowball Member
    111 karma
    Thanks! You should be fine.
  • jdawg113jdawg113 Alum Inactive ⭐
    2654 karma
    Just because you have done 30-73, doesnt mean they are now useless, remember that. Although they wont be good indicators of a actual score, they are still great study material. Just try to look at the question and approach it properly rather than circle from memory! if anything it can be more useful bc anything you get wrong shows what you really need work on.
  • SnowballSnowball Member
    111 karma
    Thanks! That's what I was doing. I found that if I just worked from memory, I would circle the same wrong answer this way, I'm just reinforcing my weaknesses. But if I try to approach it as a fresh new question, I will have a better understanding of what went wrong previously, shatter that misconception or try to be more focused this time around.
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