LSAT Diary: Prep Leading Up To Test Day

LSAT Blog Prep Diary Test Day
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The following is the 2nd part of Katherine's LSAT Diary, covering the final few months leading up to Test Day. Here's the 1st part of her LSAT Diary.

Please leave her some encouragement below in the comments, and be sure to check out these LSAT Test Day tips!

Katherine's LSAT Diary, Part 2:

Day 10


Just finished another test – what a confidence boost! Scored a 164, which is solid – but aced the logic games section. That gave me confidence in my mapping strategies. I know its not realistic to expect 100% on every LG section, but it's nice to know I’m capable of performing really well there.

When I started LSAT prep, I viewed LG as my weakest section and figured it would be a detriment to my score. However, I’ve started to feel like it's conquerable. Threw in an RC section from another test (did it as my fourth section after the break) and really struggled. I felt lightheaded and sick. I had a big breakfast today and went to yoga after class. Usually post-yoga I would have a snack or a light lunch, but I wasn’t hungry today and I forgot. About two sections into the test, I felt extremely light headed. Normally I would have left to get an energy bar or something, but since you can’t have food or drink during the LSAT, I decided to power through and see how that affected me. I think on a full stomach I could raise my score at least 2 points because I would have better focus.

I still need more RC practice – When I get my other books in 3 weeks, I am going to focus on doing the science passages – those give me the most trouble and I generally lose the most points during those. LR is solid, I think if I’d felt better my concentration would have been stronger, I kept having to reread the options and the question, wasn’t retaining like I usually do. I had a little test fatigue during the RC I threw in, but not on the final section. Weirdly, I finished my final section (LR) in like 20 minutes, I made myself use another 10 to check my work and then stopped because I was so worn out. I missed 6 questions on there – four of them I’d circled because I wasn’t sure. Time for a busy weekend – I have a sorority obligation all day Saturday and a paper to write.


Day 11

Monday, woke up for 6am yoga, had a convo about raw foods with my yoga teacher (normal). Went to the dining hall for breakfast (I can cook in my apartment but laziness is fun too). Took an RC section – shockingly got 21/27 correct. Huge improvement despite the general noise of the cafeteria! I think this is already a better week for LSAT! Otherwise normal day – class, meeting, wrote a paper, grocery shopping, meeting and now general procrastination time.


Day 12

Usual day. Turned in paper, went to class and yoga. Did reading. Studying LR this evening and did another section, only got 17/25 which wasn’t awesome, but I’m going to go ahead and fault my roommate who decided to blow dry her hair while I was studying. Even worse, she blow dries it in shifts (on for a minute, off for a minute) so you can’t tune it out. Turning in early tonight because I’m feeling pretty run down even though its only Tuesday.


Day 13

Typical day, class then yoga. Another unimpressive LR performance, definitely expecting it. On the plus size, I got 21/22 on LG – which makes me feel like my previous LG performance feel like it wasn't a fluke. I think I’m mastering picturing the games in my head. I just need to bring the same sort of focus I have when practicing LG to my LR practice. Going to do some reading before I have a meeting.

Tomorrow is busy, but I’m going to go back and study my past few tests, ESPECIALLY LR since clearly I’m struggling there this week. Not a great overall practice score, around a 160, but not terrible. With some work with LR and continued consistency on LG, I think I can bump up my actual practice test scores quite a bit. I’m also aware that this section a day model is not ideal, but unfortunately it’s the best option for my schedule because it doesn’t overload me, but forces me to think about the LSAT every day (as if I wouldn’t be anyway).


Day 14

Usual schedule – class then yoga. Took another test, disappointed with my score. I have regressed so far on that section and its stressing me out. Got 75% of the RC questions correct, about 3 were missed due to changing my answer and on at least 3 I got down to two answers and one of them was correct. On the RC section I often did the same thing – so frustrating. Ate a snack before my final three sections (two LR sections and LG). Did well on LR from as well. If I can get RC back to its original standing and continue to improve LR, I know I can dominate. Aced LG again, I guess that section is officially not a crutch, but I can’t afford to neglect it from stressing about RC.

My mind was definitely wandering during the test - I take my practices in a library study room and during sections 1 and 2 (where I missed the most points), I could hear people talking in the study room next door. That’s not an excuse though, because I need to learn to ignore distractions. I note that though because of the 18 LR questions I missed, 9 were missed during section 1, as opposed to 5 during section 5 and 4 from section 3. Meaning – that reasonably without talking, I should have only missed 4-6 on section 1 and only 8-10 overall.


Day 15

Usual Monday, yoga at 6 am, class until noon. Yoga teacher made us a raw food breakfast – which was AWESOME. I had a political science luncheon to attend so I did my LSAT work at breakfast. Did LR section, got 20 out of 26, not great – but an improvement, having trouble with the questions that asked “which example of flawed reasoning matches the flawed reasoning above.”

Of the other ones I missed, it was all down to the final two answers and I didn’t pick the right one… Then I started studying for my final on Wednesday – this class is 50% the final and 50% my paper. Got my paper back, got an A, so I’m not as stressed about making up for a paper grade on the final. Briefly [tamely] celebrated a friends 21st and then got some sleep. Break starts on Wednesday and when I’m not sleeping, babysitting, or doing laundry, I will be studying the LSAT. It’s only about 6 weeks away!


Day 16Haven’t updated in a few days – took Tuesday off to prepare for my exam. On Wednesday I finished more sections. Decent performances on the LG and RC section – 21/22 and 23/27 (improvement!!!). Completely bombed the final LR section with a 15/26, but I could feel myself hurrying when I filled out the section, so I’m not going to be too hard on myself for that score. Ended up with a score of a 160, which is fine.

Took another practice test yesterday, won’t lie was pretty tired from Wednesday night festivities – we are on block break and a close friend finished neuroscience – widely regarded as one of the hardest classes at the school, so obviously a celebration was in order. Didn’t finish the practice test as the library closes at 5 on break (seriously?). Went to yoga instead of finishing it at my apartment and got a good nights sleep.

Today (Friday), I woke up, ate a good lunch and headed to the library to take a practice test and use the final section from another as my experimental – it was an LR section so that’s always good. Didn’t really rock that LR section either, but ended up with another 160 overall. Then I started another test – and I ROCKED it. LR could still be stronger, but I nearly aced RC and aced LG again. Ended up with a score of 168, my highest to date. Obviously I’m still going to focus on improving, but that was an excellent confidence boost. Am planning on yoga later tonight and then studying this evening.


Day 17Took two weeks off from studying – one was intentional, I was starting a new block and was returning home on Thursday through Sunday so my study schedule was going to be difficult due to traveling. Then I got sick, like really sick. The health center thought I had mono – that was traumatic, I was already mentally canceling my test date, thinking about how my 21st would be no fun etc. Then the test came back negative. Nonetheless I had a pretty nasty virus that rendered me useless from about Sunday to Wednesday. I also had to start my research paper for the block – it’s supposed to be around 30 pages and I have a lot of reading to do. So basically I haven’t studied for a few weeks.

However, I took another practice test today and scored a 168. Which is baller. Especially since I was lacking any focus during section one. This lack of focus showed, I only got 16/25 correct on that LR section. But I pulled it together and got 24/28 on RC, 24/25 on the second LR section and aced LG. Hell yeah. Going to take Saturday and Sunday off from LSAT studying as I need to make significant progress on my pre-research for my paper. But with the LSAT 4 weeks away, I will be resuming a normal study schedule for the rest of the block and then amping it up as we get closer – but I feel ready.


Day 18Test Day's approaching. Haven’t recorded an update in four weeks. Third block was a rough finish in terms of having time to study because of the 30-page research paper I had two days to write. Fourth block – LSAT study block – started off really well. I took another test and scored a 172, which was an excellent confidence boost.

Then I took another test (included an experimental LR section and actually practiced the essay so it was a full-length test) two days later and scored a 174. I decided to make that my last practice test. I’ve spent the last week resting, figuring out the lease on a bomb house for my senior year, and helping my friends with social and philanthropy events that happened this week. My first ever LSAT prep test was a 160 and the first one I started this diary with was a 156, a solid streak of 168+ tests seemed like a great finish.

Studying has been a six-month odyssey. I started with an intense prep course and then over the semester I’ve been forced to balance my academics, activities, and LSAT prep. I’ve noticed a lot of people become ascetics in the months before the LSAT. I didn’t take that path. I did get a lot of sleep and exercise regularly, but I always do that. If anything, I think taking that path would’ve made me resent the LSAT. Instead, I started to enjoy it. I mean, I’m thinking in Logic Games, and I have Logical Reasoning vocab hanging on my wall.

On the upside, it's working; my LR has steadily improved; I’ve remastered RC; and I haven’t missed more than two questions on LG in over a month. It’s going to be weird to not have this on my back for a while, hopefully this is the only time I take the test and I get to leave my LSAT prep behind, but it’ll be weird to have Friday afternoons back and not have at least 40 minutes of studying everyday.

Steve’s blog was a great tool for staying on track, if the worst happens and I have to retake the test, I’ll definitely be adopting one of his LSAT study schedules (probably the 6-month one) as a means to keep me on track. I’ve read the blog obsessively and it’s helped me feel like I know the test. The LSAT and I are frenemies, and I’m a pretty competitive person – I like to win.

I'll take a cab so that I can report to the test center at 8:30, and I’ll eat a full breakfast. I’ve got my one-gallon bag all packed, my test admission ticket printed, a new analogue watch, and freshly sharpened pencils. The night before, I plan to go to bed early and watch Legally Blonde, but I've seen it before. My involvement in my sorority makes the LSAT sequence even more of a laugh, not realistic at all.

Post-test plans? Heading to the bar. I didn’t do that on my 21st (don’t get me wrong, I had a blowout, but no bars). And then a night packed with two formals. I’ll be ready to celebrate.

Photo by bdorfman



1 comment:

  1. Katherine you are so disciplined and Lord knows you deserve a cold one. I just backed out of the June LSAT b/c I recognized there was a lot of room for improvement and I got two more tries. However, like you I plan on doing it once more and that is it.

    You are going to rock it completely given your ridiculously high score increase. Best of Luck (won't need it though)!

    Cheers,
    Neb

    ReplyDelete