pig vs. chicken

I think an honest reflection of my poor performance is needed before I dive head first into preparation again. Clearly, something isn’t clicking.

The first time around, I…
-took a summer Kaplan course in 2009
-studied for the LSAT minimally during the 2009-2010 school year
-studied intensively for about 5 weeks (between mid-May until the June test). Highest practice score was 174 and lowest was 158. Averaged around 166-8.
-took the June 2010 test near home. Got a 163. 88 Percentile.
-Response: Very Disappointed because I was comfortable and familiar with the test. I did have first-time jitters while taking the test, but I stayed calm even when I couldn’t finish a logic game. I reassured myself by vowing to finish off the beast the second time around.

The second time around, I…
-lost a lot of confidence in my ability to take the LSAT and went through the motions without being committed.
-I sped read the bibles again during the summer of 2010 thinking I needed to focus hard on LR (my worst section on the June 2010 test). I did not do any reading prep and did minimal LG prep.
-took notes from bibles and took a handful of unused practice tests (around 10) during my fall semester while taking a light load of classes. Felt extremely tired all the time and stressed because I locked myself in my room all the time. Felt burnout and didn’t bother reviewing tests seriously. Could not focus intensively on LSAT because of ___ (insert willy-nilly excuse here). Half-hearted review of practice tests because I scoring on average in the high 160s.
-I took the October 2010 test and got a 158. 75 Percentile.
-Response: SHIT. I knew my mental and physical state was not 100% since the week leading up to the LSAT was my hell week with 3 major midterms and a paper due. Still, I was stumped about why I was doing so poorly. My preparation wasn’t bullet-proof, but I knew exactly what to expect. I wasn’t particularly flustered during the test and actually thought I scored a 165+. I also targeted my worst section (LR)– HOWEVER, while I improved slightly in LR, my reading section (my holy grail) suffered as well as LG.

I can see a few things that I need to revise and continue doing:

1. Study at home
2. Take a lot of PTs. I plan to take 19 full-length, 5-section tests.
3. Review PTs seriously– this means giving myself enough time to do this. Need to be fair and reasonable in my expectations of what I can do each day without burning out.
4. I’m hesitant to look over my June 2010 and October 2010 answers again since I don’t remember the questions and I plan to take PT 60 and 61 two weeks leading up the real test to gauge how I’ve improved. I think I’ll do a comparison after I take it again.
5. Do reading prep.
6. Don’t be so trusting of the LR and LG bibles. Reading them cover to cover, alone, is not enough to score high.
7. Be a LSAT pig. When you consider a typical egg and bacon breakfast, one can say that the chicken was definitely involved. The pig, however, was committed.