178! (8.12.2017)

Blergh. Took and did way better than I expected on PT 77. Went -4 overall. Comes out to a 178. So close to that 180 ~_~

Sweated sweat in the summer sun from 8:30-9:30 this morning on the tennis court. Played bad felt good.

Showered good felt good.

Sat down and took PT77: good luck, kid–you’ll need it.

Section 1: Experimental LG (-0)

Used the games section from a fresh PT 74. -0. If I had gotten anything lower (higher?) it would’ve been concerning considering I also went -0 on another copy of PT 74 over 1 & 1/2 months ago.

Section 2: RC. (-2)

Not my best RC score ever but damn good. My goal going into this section was to get through all the questions in time, which I managed to do. I’ve written a fair bit this summer about confidence w/r/t answer choices and intuition and was actively implementing my strategy of ‘trust yrself’ during this section–you (I?) almost have to to complete RC in time. More than just confidence though, I think I can contribute the low (high?) RC score to the way I was consciously reading for structure. Often details aren’t as important as the structure of the argument (especially considering the fact that if you [I?] have a solid grasp of how the paragraphs function you spend less time looking details when you need them for a specific answer).

Section 3: LR (-1)

Ahahah I don’t know how I managed a -1 on this section. Section got off to a rough start; I spent about 3 minutes alone on question #3 (fuck honeybees). I didn’t have much trouble later on, but I figured I would at least miss 1 or 2 random questions in the teens/twenties because of a reading mistake. This happens on most LR sections and I’ve just come to accept it. Weirdly (luckily?), I didn’t make any reading errors and the only question I missed was #10, which was one of those ancient prompts that in PTs 70+ have come into vogue where the answer choices are all questions.

The question stem is literally ‘The answer to which one of the following questions would most help in evaluating the argument above?’ Kind of sucks to miss these–seems like they should be easy. I think I underestimated this question and, since I was already lagging behind my usual pace, wanted to move on. Just have to remember on these types of questions to really go back to the stimulus and piece together the argument. What is conclusion? What are premises? Take the 30 seconds to go back. Take the 5 seconds for a breath.

Still, -1 on this section after feeling uncertain is fine by me.

Section 4: LG (-0)

Not much to say here. There’s an uberweird game about job interviews but the rest of the games are so simple that I had more than enough time for this section.

Section 5: LR (-1)

Felt a lot better about this section than the first LR section. Whereas the first LR section felt like a -3 upon completion, this one felt like a -1. There wasn’t one question in particular I was stumped on–although I did have a number of them circled for BR. The only question I missed was the last one of the test, #26. Was a tricky necessary assumption, I was down to a 50/50 between (C) and (E) and ended up guessing wrong.

But I shouldn’t ever have to guess. That’s one reason I like this test so much. No matter how complex the stimulus may be, for every question there is one answer choice that’s 100% correct and four answer choices that are 0% correct. Gonna see what LSAT Hacks and the kids on Manhattan Prep have to say about why (C) is wrong.

I would be more satisfied with my results today if it weren’t for the fact that I’ve taken this test before. It was actually the first test I sat in on–way back in December 2015. While I don’t remember anything from it (except vaguely the weird game), I’ve seen all of this test before. That could provide one explanation for why I did so well on RC–I’ve read those prompts before.

It might be true. Nevertheless, that was nearly two years ago. And I was on so much Vyvanse back then, and smoking so much weed during months/weeks/days leading up to the test. 95% this test felt new. Blergh.

I guess all we can definitively say is it’s hard to measure how much of an effect seeing this material once, 20 months ago, had on my performance today. Was it 1 point? 5? 10?

I scored a 165 on that day in December. I remember coming out of the testing center on Academy and walking home and almost crying because I knew–I just knew–I underperformed. My mom and sister came to visit me and I was a dick to them (being a dick is one of the main side effects, and for a lot of people one of the main appeals, of Vyvanse).

Immediately after (and maybe even during) the test, it began to dawn on me: some deeper truth about life and me and humanity (but mostly just about me). The truth: I could do so much better than I just did. I could be better than I am. It came to me as anger and self-hatred and outrage, and deep deep regret: I am not what I want to be

and but maybe I could be.

And maybe I already knew this truth, maybe I had learned it a thousand times, but maybe it kept getting lost somewhere in the smoke and endless beer piss.

I wanted to score a lot higher on that day because I knew I was capable of scoring a lot higher. Today I scored a 178. Nlergh.

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