Do you add a 5th section to your PT to account for real test

starstruck393
Posts: 657
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:19 pm

Re: Do you add a 5th section to your PT to account for real test

Postby starstruck393 » Mon May 24, 2010 12:34 pm

It really depends on you personally, whether you're having problems with the test conditions or the questions. Some people can score 180 if they had enough time; for them, the problem is getting used to the 5 35 min sections, etc. Strict practice rules are probably important, because you're not really learning how to do the questions, you're learning how to work with the constraints.

For other people, extra time really wouldn't help much because their problem is with the questions themselves. I was in this group. Time was hardly ever an issue for me. I could consistently finish most PT sections at least a few minutes early. My issue was with getting familiar with the questions (especially LR), and how they're answered. I never did 5 sections, because it breaks up the neat packages the PT's come in for things like scoring (or wastes a section and time), and creates a bigger block of time. Sometimes I'd do the four sections straight through, sometimes there would be large gaps in between. It all depended on my schedule. I did time myself, but on the occasions where I would go over 35 minutes, while I would make a mental note of it, I would just continue finishing the section, not mark the questions wrong or guess like some do, etc. I felt is was more accurate to look at how I was answering the questions than how I fit in the constraints of the test every time. All in all, my method worked out fine for me.

It really all depends on the person. If you can't finish on time, or feel fatigued, practicing without time limits or realistic conditions doesn't make much sense. But if time's not an issue, and you're just having trouble correctly analyzing what's going on in the questions, I think the extra effort to make PT's realistic outweighs the benefits.

Fark-o-vision
Posts: 590
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:41 pm

Re: Do you add a 5th section to your PT to account for real test

Postby Fark-o-vision » Mon May 24, 2010 3:36 pm

starstruck393 wrote:It really depends on you personally, whether you're having problems with the test conditions or the questions. Some people can score 180 if they had enough time; for them, the problem is getting used to the 5 35 min sections, etc. Strict practice rules are probably important, because you're not really learning how to do the questions, you're learning how to work with the constraints.

For other people, extra time really wouldn't help much because their problem is with the questions themselves. I was in this group. Time was hardly ever an issue for me. I could consistently finish most PT sections at least a few minutes early. My issue was with getting familiar with the questions (especially LR), and how they're answered. I never did 5 sections, because it breaks up the neat packages the PT's come in for things like scoring (or wastes a section and time), and creates a bigger block of time. Sometimes I'd do the four sections straight through, sometimes there would be large gaps in between. It all depended on my schedule. I did time myself, but on the occasions where I would go over 35 minutes, while I would make a mental note of it, I would just continue finishing the section, not mark the questions wrong or guess like some do, etc. I felt is was more accurate to look at how I was answering the questions than how I fit in the constraints of the test every time. All in all, my method worked out fine for me.

It really all depends on the person. If you can't finish on time, or feel fatigued, practicing without time limits or realistic conditions doesn't make much sense. But if time's not an issue, and you're just having trouble correctly analyzing what's going on in the questions, I think the extra effort to make PT's realistic outweighs the benefits.


This is how to say what I said, without being a prick. Good job, sir.

Edit: Although I will say that at the heart of my argument was the fact that people get stuck on the practice test model too easily. My friend is scoring near perfect on each section other than the games (like myself), but has refused to go any route other than the practice test model. His games section hasn't improved nearly as much as mine simply because he hasn't spent the time on it.

ohiodem
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:21 pm

Re: Do you add a 5th section to your PT to account for real test

Postby ohiodem » Mon May 24, 2010 3:51 pm

I usually added an extra section of RC to kill two birds with one stone - simulate the test and get in some extra work on my slowest section. Seems to have worked out in the end (although maybe it was just lucky that my experimental section actually was RC on the actual test) - attending a top-5 next fall.

User avatar
theavrock
Posts: 601
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:52 pm

Re: Do you add a 5th section to your PT to account for real test

Postby theavrock » Mon May 24, 2010 9:50 pm

Fark-o-vision wrote:
starstruck393 wrote:It really depends on you personally, whether you're having problems with the test conditions or the questions. Some people can score 180 if they had enough time; for them, the problem is getting used to the 5 35 min sections, etc. Strict practice rules are probably important, because you're not really learning how to do the questions, you're learning how to work with the constraints.

For other people, extra time really wouldn't help much because their problem is with the questions themselves. I was in this group. Time was hardly ever an issue for me. I could consistently finish most PT sections at least a few minutes early. My issue was with getting familiar with the questions (especially LR), and how they're answered. I never did 5 sections, because it breaks up the neat packages the PT's come in for things like scoring (or wastes a section and time), and creates a bigger block of time. Sometimes I'd do the four sections straight through, sometimes there would be large gaps in between. It all depended on my schedule. I did time myself, but on the occasions where I would go over 35 minutes, while I would make a mental note of it, I would just continue finishing the section, not mark the questions wrong or guess like some do, etc. I felt is was more accurate to look at how I was answering the questions than how I fit in the constraints of the test every time. All in all, my method worked out fine for me.

It really all depends on the person. If you can't finish on time, or feel fatigued, practicing without time limits or realistic conditions doesn't make much sense. But if time's not an issue, and you're just having trouble correctly analyzing what's going on in the questions, I think the extra effort to make PT's realistic outweighs the benefits.


This is how to say what I said, without being a prick. Good job, sir.

Edit: Although I will say that at the heart of my argument was the fact that people get stuck on the practice test model too easily. My friend is scoring near perfect on each section other than the games (like myself), but has refused to go any route other than the practice test model. His games section hasn't improved nearly as much as mine simply because he hasn't spent the time on it.


This is why I think its important to only do the 5 section tests after you have sufficiently drilled each sections and eliminated your weaknesses. This is a great point though. If you don't know the questions types well enough taking all the full length tests in the world isn't going to help, 4 sections or 5.

I did two months of drilling each section and question by type before I even started to do full length tests. This made sure to eliminate or at least highlight my weaknesses. Then I started the full lengths to simulate test day and build up stamina.




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