Does the experimental section affect your score?

frankdevans
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Does the experimental section affect your score?

Postby frankdevans » Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:04 pm

Before the trolls call me an idiot, I know that section is ungraded and doesn't directly affect your score--but maybe its the former B-school student and Econ fan in me that wonders if there is a causal relationship between which experimental section you happen to get and how it affects your performance on the rest of the test.

Here is my thinking so far, and if anyone knows if research like this has been conducted, I would love to know. It is pretty well regarded that the LR section is the easiest, the RC a bit harder, and the LG the hardest relatively. So I wonder if getting an experimental ultra-hard LG section would torpedo enough confidence to make a statistically significant correlation. Plus, given the ultra strict controls in place for test taking, an indicated correlation would be powerful evidence for a causal relationship (even though I know that it wouldn't conclusively prove one).

I took the test 6 years ago while a junior in undergrad. My experimental was a LG section that was ultra-hard and it made me feel like crap for the rest of the test. I was ill prepared and got a horrible score anyway. However, this time around I got a LR section as my experimental and (not sure if that was the reason) felt confident and calm thought the whole test.

I would like some input from the community on what you think of this. I would especially like for anyone to dissect the argument and play devil's advocate to find the holes in my theory.

Thanks for the help, I guess I just can't keep intellectual curiosity down.

ConsideringLawSchool
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Re: Does the experimental section affect your score?

Postby ConsideringLawSchool » Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:20 pm

Sure, but probably no more than the order of your sections

frankdevans
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Re: Does the experimental section affect your score?

Postby frankdevans » Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:47 pm

I considered that, but I noticed that my score on practice tests did not seem to differ depending on which order I took the sections. However, I am way too small a sample size. So, you definitely could be right.

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HiLine
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Re: Does the experimental section affect your score?

Postby HiLine » Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:50 pm

Even 3 LR's in a row?

ConsideringLawSchool
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Re: Does the experimental section affect your score?

Postby ConsideringLawSchool » Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:10 pm

frankdevans wrote:I considered that, but I noticed that my score on practice tests did not seem to differ depending on which order I took the sections. However, I am way too small a sample size. So, you definitely could be right.


I more mean that a super difficult RC section that comes first and ruins your confidence as opposed to getting that section at the end would have the same impact as a super difficult experimental section

frankdevans
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Re: Does the experimental section affect your score?

Postby frankdevans » Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:15 pm

HiLine wrote:Even 3 LR's in a row?


I never did 5 section PTs (even though maybe I should have). So I never had more than 2 LRs in a row. But you have to remember that it is impossible to have 3LRs in a complete row, at lease 1 has to have a break in the middle which lets your brain come out of high gear and idle for a second, which I think really helps. However, having 3 LRs in a row could drag out and thus hurt your score.

frankdevans
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Re: Does the experimental section affect your score?

Postby frankdevans » Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:18 pm

ConsideringLawSchool wrote:
frankdevans wrote:I considered that, but I noticed that my score on practice tests did not seem to differ depending on which order I took the sections. However, I am way too small a sample size. So, you definitely could be right.


I more mean that a super difficult RC section that comes first and ruins your confidence as opposed to getting that section at the end would have the same impact as a super difficult experimental section


I see what you mean and I do agree that any super hard section could derail your confidence and thus your ability to think quite as clearly. However, the point I was trying to make is that because for LSAT takers, the LG section is regarded as being inherently the most difficult--would that translate to an LG experimental section trend of lower scores across the board?

ConsideringLawSchool
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Re: Does the experimental section affect your score?

Postby ConsideringLawSchool » Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:53 pm

frankdevans wrote:
ConsideringLawSchool wrote:
frankdevans wrote:I considered that, but I noticed that my score on practice tests did not seem to differ depending on which order I took the sections. However, I am way too small a sample size. So, you definitely could be right.


I more mean that a super difficult RC section that comes first and ruins your confidence as opposed to getting that section at the end would have the same impact as a super difficult experimental section


I see what you mean and I do agree that any super hard section could derail your confidence and thus your ability to think quite as clearly. However, the point I was trying to make is that because for LSAT takers, the LG section is regarded as being inherently the most difficult--would that translate to an LG experimental section trend of lower scores across the board?


I disagree with your premise. I think that many people get to a point where they assume -0 on LG, but that is much harder to achieve on RC or LR. Each individual has tougher or more anxiety producing sections. Sure, getting your least favorite section as experimental could have a negative effect though.

frankdevans
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Re: Does the experimental section affect your score?

Postby frankdevans » Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:05 pm

ConsideringLawSchool wrote:
frankdevans wrote:
ConsideringLawSchool wrote:
frankdevans wrote:I considered that, but I noticed that my score on practice tests did not seem to differ depending on which order I took the sections. However, I am way too small a sample size. So, you definitely could be right.


I more mean that a super difficult RC section that comes first and ruins your confidence as opposed to getting that section at the end would have the same impact as a super difficult experimental section


I see what you mean and I do agree that any super hard section could derail your confidence and thus your ability to think quite as clearly. However, the point I was trying to make is that because for LSAT takers, the LG section is regarded as being inherently the most difficult--would that translate to an LG experimental section trend of lower scores across the board?


I disagree with your premise. I think that many people get to a point where they assume -0 on LG, but that is much harder to achieve on RC or LR. Each individual has tougher or more anxiety producing sections. Sure, getting your least favorite section as experimental could have a negative effect though.


Perhaps that the real line of study that should be done. If you go the section you least liked or practiced the worst at, would it hurt your score. I guess my only contention might be that the LG section might disproportionately be a large chunk of test taker's least favorite and thus inevitably derail more people than any other experimental section.

tomwatts
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Re: Does the experimental section affect your score?

Postby tomwatts » Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:14 pm

If you let the experimental section affect your mindset for the rest of the test, you're taking the test in the wrong way anyway.

pippin732
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Re: Does the experimental section affect your score?

Postby pippin732 » Sun Feb 14, 2010 1:28 am

There's no doubt it can and does affect people's score. To think anything otherwise I'd have to be pretty stupid. It might not affect the people hitting over 170 every test, but someone who's going into the test trying for a 157 or something along those lines, it will have a mental impact, especially since you could essentially be taking a more difficult test.

Not all tests are created equally, not even for the same sitting like you say. I have many negative feelings towards the LSAC and this is one of them. There's no excuse, and I want to say I feel it's unacceptable for giving 2 people an arbitrarily determined different test, especially with the amount of importance that is currently placed on the LSAT.

I feel that this will eventually lead institutions to frown upon the LSAC and what it claims to stand for, whatever that may be in their delusional minds, although I believe we have already seen institutions moving away from placing the level of importance on the LSAT that it once had. I would get into other things that I believe makes the LSAC more than a little bit trivial but I don't want to get to off topic.

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superserial
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Re: Does the experimental section affect your score?

Postby superserial » Sun Feb 14, 2010 1:58 am

frankdevans wrote:It is pretty well regarded that the LR section is the easiest, the RC a bit harder, and the LG the hardest relatively.


It is?

frankdevans
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Re: Does the experimental section affect your score?

Postby frankdevans » Sun Feb 14, 2010 2:14 am

superserial wrote:
frankdevans wrote:It is pretty well regarded that the LR section is the easiest, the RC a bit harder, and the LG the hardest relatively.


It is?


If you read the postings on this site, any other LSAT site, that is the consensus. Plus, most of the books on LG are geared toward this idea. I know there are people that are pretty good naturally at the games, I'm one of them. But I also know that if you ask 100 takers which they think is the hardest part and which they have the most problems with, a plurality would say LG.

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superserial
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Re: Does the experimental section affect your score?

Postby superserial » Sun Feb 14, 2010 3:51 am

frankdevans wrote:
superserial wrote:
frankdevans wrote:It is pretty well regarded that the LR section is the easiest, the RC a bit harder, and the LG the hardest relatively.


It is?


If you read the postings on this site, any other LSAT site, that is the consensus. Plus, most of the books on LG are geared toward this idea. I know there are people that are pretty good naturally at the games, I'm one of them. But I also know that if you ask 100 takers which they think is the hardest part and which they have the most problems with, a plurality would say LG.


convincing.

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bees
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Re: Does the experimental section affect your score?

Postby bees » Sun Feb 14, 2010 3:56 am

superserial wrote:
frankdevans wrote:
superserial wrote:
frankdevans wrote:It is pretty well regarded that the LR section is the easiest, the RC a bit harder, and the LG the hardest relatively.


It is?


If you read the postings on this site, any other LSAT site, that is the consensus. Plus, most of the books on LG are geared toward this idea. I know there are people that are pretty good naturally at the games, I'm one of them. But I also know that if you ask 100 takers which they think is the hardest part and which they have the most problems with, a plurality would say LG.


convincing.


This kind of stuff convinces me I should have done much better on the LSAT, haha. I thought LG was the easiest with RC a close second. Each LR section always seemed to contain at least a question or two that I found very difficult or just didn't understand. But I got into the school I wanted so I should probably stfu...

Sandro
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Re: Does the experimental section affect your score?

Postby Sandro » Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:35 pm

frankdevans wrote:
HiLine wrote:Even 3 LR's in a row?


I never did 5 section PTs (even though maybe I should have). So I never had more than 2 LRs in a row. But you have to remember that it is impossible to have 3LRs in a complete row, at lease 1 has to have a break in the middle which lets your brain come out of high gear and idle for a second, which I think really helps. However, having 3 LRs in a row could drag out and thus hurt your score.


a 10 minute break really doesnt help much when you have 3 LR's in a row. IMO this is the worst possible scenario for me (and im sure other test takers) You are basically on LR mindfuck for 3 straight sections, with one of them being experimental and potentially a lot harder/weird. I hope that after prepping for the next months even a 3 LR train cant derail me.

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tikiman6
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Re: Does the experimental section affect your score?

Postby tikiman6 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:04 pm

I disagree that it is "pretty well regarded" that LG is the hardest, RC 2nd, and LR 3rd. On the contrary, most of the people that I have met consider LG the easiest, since the range of material presented and its predictability make it unsurprising. The relationship between experimental section type/order most likely varies person to person. I'm sure stamina comes into play: I may get warmed up and find a groove in LG, just as I may lose stamina and focus doing multiple LR/RC sections.

keg411
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Re: Does the experimental section affect your score?

Postby keg411 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:35 pm

I don't mind LR-LR-LR. But I guess that's me.




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