bakemono wrote:i'm aware of all your arguments, and then some. I just simply can't remove myself from how easy this test is (from my p.o.v. of course). I still think it's a joke, and I can't imagine anyone getting 170+'s regularly in PT's not agreeing with me. I know some people here have already commented on how hard this test was... like... this test was the hardest in recent history.... someone said? Are you on crack? There were about 5 hard questions in LR both sections combined, the LG had 3 basic linear.. how f'n hard could a basic linear be? And the other game was a standard grouping game. There was nothing experimental about it a la PT 55 game 4, zephyr game, clan game, snakes, birds (cage/exhibition), etc.... The basic linears weren't even in the area of difficulty as a June 2007 Game 3, the one about the cruise ships (?). The RC was just ok, but it's no Willa Cather, basins of attraction, etc...
Obviously i'm gonna get a lot of flak for this, and i accept that my argument holds little ground from a logical perspective, but I've taken every PT in existence, and I don't understand how people can even compare this to 55,57,50,51 let alone being the "hardest test in recent memory."
That's kinda why i thought this might be some sort of a pattern, and wanted to ask some of you less statistically challenged to perhaps offer some theories. Whatever.........
Seriously, would you like to go through each section question by question and determine the difficulty of the test? It's personal perspective of course, but it's easy enough to the point that I really think it's objectively well... "easy."
It's kinda like this. I took PT 57 and got a 173 scaled, but it was a harrowing exp. that other TLS'ers/friends that took the test with me could attest to, cause one was analyzing how i approached the test. I only had 5 minutes left for the last passage (fractal geometry) and somehow managed to get a -0 on it. I couldn't finish the LG, and the LR was pretty f'n hard too. My point is... even when i get a great score, i could still tell if the test was easy/hard. Is there even a single section from PT 59 that was harder than 57? Seriously, name one?
My theory was pretty similar to goosey's actually.
This isn't worth much, but I also found the test to be easy to normal, as compared to the other recent PTs I took in equivalent testing conditions (I've also taken 40+ tests). My raw score was better on PT 59 than a number of other recent exams. The RC was nowhere near as hard for me as a number of other tests. The games were pretty simple. I knew the curve going in, but I probably would have guessed a -11 if I had taken the exam. The LR had one or two more difficult questions, but I certainly thought it would be harder based on the TLS reactions to the test. My LR average on 59 was better than most other tests I have taken. Of course, it might have been a test that played to my strengths, or I was simply having a good day.
I also have thought of goosey's explanation for the impact of the recession on equating. This would be about the time it would start to have an impact on the tests, if there is some systematic reason to believe that people taking the LSAT because of a bad economy are less likely to be as prepared as a "normal" cycle. The only theoretical reason I can think of is that a "normal" cycle is more likely to have a higher proportion of students who have been gunning for law school for years, and are thus more likely to be prepared for the test. Test administrations with those who are fleeing a bad economy might therefore contain more students who take the test on a whim, or as one option among many, and are thus less concerned about scoring well their first time out.
In any event, the 8 administrations explanation can't really explain a spike from one test to the next, it can really only be used to suggest that the recent tests have become less exacting than those prior to those containing experimentals done by recession fleeing test takers; the effects of the change outlined by goosey would be gradual. So my best guess would be that it is a combination of a slightly harder test and the effects of a slightly less prepared population of test takers whose experimentals are starting to have an effect on the curve. One of the pieces of data that I think would be worth having is how the test breaks down in terms of percentage of credited responses for each section, and their variance. It might just be that difficult LR trips up more people than difficult LG; a good comparison on this front is the GRE, where a ton of test takers get perfect scores on the quantitative section, but the gradations for the verbal are much more pronounced. So a tough LG might not mean as much for the curve as a tough LR.
Also, is there any potential effect of the new rules on cancellations on the curve? I.e., since people can't cancel last minute any more, we might have an increase of would-have-cancelled-because-unprepared-test-takers taking the experimental sections in the sep exam, thereby impacting the dec curve? I just throw this out as a question, I assume LSAC has covered for this somehow.