Practice Scores vs. Real Scores

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Pricer
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Practice Scores vs. Real Scores

Postby Pricer » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:18 am

I am about to take the LSAT for the first time on Feb 6, and I have not put a lot of effort into studying. I've been doing decent on the practice tests, making between 169 and 176. My goal is 165 (UGA is my top choice), but obviously doing better than that would be great. From what you have seen and experienced, how do practice scores correlate with real scores? With the added pressure and tense atmosphere, I know it has to be at least a little bit harder. I am a pretty decent test taker and do not feel like I get any more nervous than the average person. Should I be worried that my actual score is going to drop below the 165 mark?

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gochrisgo
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Re: Practice Scores vs. Real Scores

Postby gochrisgo » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:26 am

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Last edited by gochrisgo on Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

EzraStiles
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Re: Practice Scores vs. Real Scores

Postby EzraStiles » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:59 am

He said his scores were between 169 and 175, not that those were his only two scores. It's very difficult to predict how practice tests translate to the real one, as that is dependent on the taker's ability to stay composed when the pressure's on. But if you've been scoring that well under strict time limits than I just recommend you get a good amount of sleep the night before, have a good breakfast, and don't bring lunchables as your mid-test snack (trust me on that one).

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gochrisgo
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Re: Practice Scores vs. Real Scores

Postby gochrisgo » Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:07 am

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gochrisgo
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Re: Practice Scores vs. Real Scores

Postby gochrisgo » Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:09 am

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Mickey Quicknumbers
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Re: Practice Scores vs. Real Scores

Postby Mickey Quicknumbers » Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:52 am

I would think the mean is around 3ish points for the average test taker, but needless to say it varies greatly from person to person. Personally, mine went down 7 from my practice test average the first time and 3 the second time.

gabletrained
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Re: Practice Scores vs. Real Scores

Postby gabletrained » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:50 am

It's the rule of 3. One of the oldest rules known to man.

luckyjd
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Re: Practice Scores vs. Real Scores

Postby luckyjd » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:53 am

Pricer wrote:I am about to take the LSAT for the first time on Feb 6, and I have not put a lot of effort into studying. I've been doing decent on the practice tests, making between 169 and 176. My goal is 165 (UGA is my top choice), but obviously doing better than that would be great. From what you have seen and experienced, how do practice scores correlate with real scores? With the added pressure and tense atmosphere, I know it has to be at least a little bit harder. I am a pretty decent test taker and do not feel like I get any more nervous than the average person. Should I be worried that my actual score is going to drop below the 165 mark?


Depends. Don't put pressure on yourself. My retake was lower than my actual, and MUCH lower than my practices up to test day (was practicing at 175 average). I think it was because I worried too much and didn't focus well. I'd almost say, don't study and just take it...considering my best score came from my first time with no studying at all.

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Cupidity
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Re: Practice Scores vs. Real Scores

Postby Cupidity » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:54 am

You should be on target, the only thing that can throw you off is being sick. PT's 168-172, took it with the flu, 166 real thing. All things considered though....that may go to show just how accurate PT's can be, if you can still be within 2 points barely able to sit-up and hold a pencil.

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moandersen
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Re: Practice Scores vs. Real Scores

Postby moandersen » Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:46 pm

Cupidity wrote:You should be on target, the only thing that can throw you off is being sick. PT's 168-172, took it with the flu, 166 real thing. All things considered though....that may go to show just how accurate PT's can be, if you can still be within 2 points barely able to sit-up and hold a pencil.


+1

I took the december test with pneumonia. Lost a couple points of my average coming into the test. I like to think what I could have gotten if healthy....

xcountryjunkie
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Re: Practice Scores vs. Real Scores

Postby xcountryjunkie » Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:49 pm

This thread feels like a bit of a downer. Just wanted to note that scores don't always decrease from PTs to the real thing. In fact, mine went up substantially. (And I'm hoping it will again this Saturday!)

EDIT: Fixed typo

lakerfanimal
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Re: Practice Scores vs. Real Scores

Postby lakerfanimal » Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:50 pm

From my own experience and what I've seen you will score within 2-3 points of your average on practice tests.

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Pricer
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Re: Practice Scores vs. Real Scores

Postby Pricer » Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:19 pm

Thanks guys. That actually helps ease my mind a little bit.

The 169-176 range is based on five actual tests, not including the initial diagnostic. I was making 159-163 on the McGraw-Hill practice tests (took four), and I was getting very frustrated. I just didn't understand some of the reasoning they provided. My friend told me the tests were not real and that only real tests were worth using. I compared his advice to TLS and other places. Apparently, the McGraw-Hill study books are crap, and I am not the only person having trouble with them. So, really, my range is 159-176, but if you only consider the real tests, the bottom is much higher. Besides that, I have read through the LGB, and that is about all I have done.

edit: I read the LRB, not the LGB. My mistake.

UTexas
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Re: Practice Scores vs. Real Scores

Postby UTexas » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:00 pm

As long as you're timing yourself honestly and don't have a massive anxiety attack, a 165 or better looks like a pretty safe bet.

I have no way of proving this, and I know nerves play a role, but I'm certain that a very significant portion of the instances in which one's LSAT score comes in substantially lower than the PT average stems from a failure to accurately simulate the real timing conditions in practice. People give themselves an extra minute, or they give themselves 35 minutes to work strictly in the test booklet, without taking into account the time used up by bubbling in the answers. Or they take long, relaxing breaks between test sections. That sort of thing. If you're doing this, then 169-176 is not really your PT range.

As a related aside, I was always dumbstruck by how many people would keep bubbling in answers and working on questions after time was called during my TestMasters diagnostics. Only fooling themselves.




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