PT 23 (Oct 1997): 173

Yesterday, I completed PT 22 under semi-timed conditions (aimed for 35 mins but allowed over time if needed) and overall, scored a 165. Another reminder that taking off whole days is a big no-no for me because it messes up my LSAT mojo. The section that brought down my score was the first LR section. Missed 7. For the rest, mediocre performance– minus 4 on RC, minus 4 on LR 2, and minus 3 on LG. See, not bad, but not great either. However, I definitely adopted a more laid back approach to this PT. I mentally coached myself to not take this score seriously since it’s been a few days since I’ve done timed sections in a row. Nice and easy, and yep, my score reflected that attitude.

Today, I completed PT 23 under strict timed conditions (35 mins or less) and scored a 173. After untimed review (without checking answers), I changed four of my answers, which would have given me a 177. So, overall breakdown: -3 on LG, -3 on LR1, -6 on LR2, and -1 on RC. Huh? New high record for LR? Why, yes, indeed! ::shakes head:: It’s unbelievable how a great PT score can boost one’s spirits. It’s sad, really. Ah, whatevs, as if I haven’t already expressed my undying love for the LSAT enough.

Not to be a Debby Downer on myself, but there’s 2 things that make this score less realistic (I genuinely believe that one needs to have an objective perspective of one’s capabilities. Blind optimism won’t cut it here):

  1. I did not include an experimental section so I had more mental energy to spend on these four sections. I plan on acclimating to a fifth section (and maybe a sixth?) next week.
  2. Modified SOS method: I performed an UNTIMED review of almost every question after finishing the section (didn’t do this for RC because I had a gut feeling that I nailed it. Sure enough, I missed only one question). This means that I had about a 30 minute to an hour break in between each section. I think this is much easier to handle than doing three sections in a row and I do plan on doing more sections in a row with no breaks in between in order simulate the real thing better. I prefer this modified version of the SOS method because the stimulus, passages, and questions are fresh in my mind so it takes much less time than when I completed it after doing the whole test. However, I did not grade the four sections until I finished all of them. I found that grading a section immediately after doing it causes some mental whiplash when I glance over my mistakes– what? huh? whodunnit? And I can’t help but calculate my score as I’m going– hm, so I missed four on the first section, six on the second section, so I need to miss only 1 on the remaining two in order to get a 170….AHHHH I can’t do this!!! FAIL! I might as well quit now. FAIL! Why do I suck so much? FAIL! Yeah, you get the idea.

It’s weird. I’ve done so many questions and PTs (c’mon this is my third time for pete’s sake); yet, I am still petrified when I sit down to do a practice test. At this point, I know the question types and basic skills to get a 170+ on the test. Now, it’s all about consistency and maintaining that difficult balance between confidence & patience. I’m going to be hitting the much newer tests (40s, 50s, 60s) very soon, so wish me luck.