Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

acrossthelake
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:51 pm

jason8821 wrote:To the above, I think you have to admit that this is a rare quality. I mentioned that some people have a high processing speed with words, others have it with math, some have with with spatial perception, hell some have it with all 3. It's just rare to be "truly" born with such ability. To call the LSAT vocab "simplistic" seems like a bit of a stretch. The vocab is similar to The Economist, and other similar publications. Is a word like "palpable" or "conjecture" a big word?? No probably not to most people taking the LSAT, but if you never or rarely read, I doubt you would be exposed to such words in conversation, if you were able to pick them up from conversation, that would require extreme recall as their use would be scarce at best.


Actually I hear those kind of words in speech with fair regularity. Spend enough time around well-read people and you too will have the vocab of a well-read person. :lol:

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r2b2ct
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby r2b2ct » Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:57 pm

I did not read very much in early years, definitely did not read an entire book in UG or high school for that matter, went to crappy public schools, and generally slacked off in academic life. Yet I have done well on every standardized test I have ever taken. I think a lot of the difference between good test-takers and poor test-takers has to do with the ability to focus and apply yourself under pressure.

jason8821 wrote:Haha thanks for chiming in. I never understood why I was not a great standardized test taker. at a young age I could do very large math problems in my head no problem, and had a strong vocabulary, but for some reason I am unable to perform well with standardize tests, I definitely have trouble focusing for any extended period of time. I have also heard some people say that the GRE reading is harder than the LSAT, when the GRE reading for me is a complete joke, the LSAT is quite difficult. Perhaps it has to do with the short passages, and the fact that one only need be able to concentrate on reading for 5 minutes where as on the LSAT it takes 35.

I don't mean to be offensive, but you might want to talk to a doctor about this if it causes a serious problem on long tests.

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Cactus
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby Cactus » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:11 am

Hey-O wrote:People have different mental capacities. The LSAT measures verbal cognitive ability (reading, and linear thinking). People who have the natural proclivity and a life time of training in this area are going to be better standardized test takers than people who are not.

But I agree with that hard work trumps natural intelligence any day of the week. Give me a person of average intelligence who is an incredibly hard worker over a Good Will Hunting.


His name was just Will Hunting.


e.g. "Free Willy", the name of the whale is just Willy.

d34d9823
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby d34d9823 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:15 am

Cactus wrote:
Hey-O wrote:People have different mental capacities. The LSAT measures verbal cognitive ability (reading, and linear thinking). People who have the natural proclivity and a life time of training in this area are going to be better standardized test takers than people who are not.

But I agree with that hard work trumps natural intelligence any day of the week. Give me a person of average intelligence who is an incredibly hard worker over a Good Will Hunting.


His name was just Will Hunting.


e.g. "Free Willy", the name of the whale is just Willy.

Give me a Free Willy over your average killer whale anytime.

09042014
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby 09042014 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:42 am

Did you see when Die Hard drove his car into the helicopter.

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HiLine
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby HiLine » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:45 am

I think we can stop attributing intelligence to LSAT success or any other success in life. What could we go from there? Trying to be born more intelligent?

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FuManChusco
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby FuManChusco » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:52 am

Desert Fox wrote:Did you see when Die Hard drove his car into the helicopter.


Nah, I did see The Matrix dodging bullets like crazy though.

09042014
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby 09042014 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:00 am

HiLine wrote:I think we can stop attributing intelligence to LSAT success or any other success in life. What could we go from there? Trying to be born more intelligent?


Life isn't fair.

jason8821
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby jason8821 » Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:53 am

acrossthelake wrote:
jason8821 wrote:To the above, I think you have to admit that this is a rare quality. I mentioned that some people have a high processing speed with words, others have it with math, some have with with spatial perception, hell some have it with all 3. It's just rare to be "truly" born with such ability. To call the LSAT vocab "simplistic" seems like a bit of a stretch. The vocab is similar to The Economist, and other similar publications. Is a word like "palpable" or "conjecture" a big word?? No probably not to most people taking the LSAT, but if you never or rarely read, I doubt you would be exposed to such words in conversation, if you were able to pick them up from conversation, that would require extreme recall as their use would be scarce at best.


Actually I hear those kind of words in speech with fair regularity. Spend enough time around well-read people and you too will have the vocab of a well-read person. :lol:


You hear those words on a fairly regular basis from people who aren't educators? your family and friends? If that's the case I really feel at a loss, and it bolsters any argument that points to environmental as a "very" significant cause. I am lucky to get a "oblivious" or a "Tenacious" within my circle.

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slax
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby slax » Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:01 pm

See: http://www.amazon.com/Intelligence-How- ... 649&sr=8-1

Probably a mix of genes, parenting, wealth, and race. Mostly wealth, which in our country is correlated with race and good parenting. The richer your family is, the better you perform on these types of test.

Thanks Mommy!

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3|ink
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby 3|ink » Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:04 pm

slax wrote:See: http://www.amazon.com/Intelligence-How- ... 649&sr=8-1

Probably a mix of genes, parenting, wealth, and race. Mostly wealth, which in our country is correlated with race and good parenting. The richer your family is, the better you perform on these types of test.

Thanks Mommy!


So richer people can afford better test prep? This is groundbreaking research.

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slax
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby slax » Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:10 pm

3|ink wrote:
slax wrote:See: http://www.amazon.com/Intelligence-How- ... 649&sr=8-1

Probably a mix of genes, parenting, wealth, and race. Mostly wealth, which in our country is correlated with race and good parenting. The richer your family is, the better you perform on these types of test.

Thanks Mommy!


So richer people can afford better test prep? This is groundbreaking research.


Deeper than that. They can afford summer daycare and books and museum trips and music lessons and teach their kids to question authority and how to play the system and have the balls to request the best and most experienced teachers. Just a few of the bonuses of having well off parents

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3|ink
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby 3|ink » Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:24 pm

slax wrote:
3|ink wrote:
slax wrote:See: http://www.amazon.com/Intelligence-How- ... 649&sr=8-1

Probably a mix of genes, parenting, wealth, and race. Mostly wealth, which in our country is correlated with race and good parenting. The richer your family is, the better you perform on these types of test.

Thanks Mommy!


So richer people can afford better test prep? This is groundbreaking research.


Deeper than that. They can afford summer daycare and books and museum trips and music lessons and teach their kids to question authority and how to play the system and have the balls to request the best and most experienced teachers. Just a few of the bonuses of having well off parents


Does the test conclude everything that you have just written, or does it conclude that richer people tend to test better? Richer children might also be worse off. They could live sheltered lives. They could watch TV or play video games instead of reading because the former are more expensive. Poorer people can have better motivation, develop better time management skills (for studying) and whatnot. The biggest advantage rich people have immediately before the LSAT is the amount they can spend on test prep materials.

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Merr
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby Merr » Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:50 pm

Cosmo Kramer wrote:
Ty Webb wrote:
Army2Law wrote:
Ty Webb wrote:
This post provides some backing to those who claim that any fool can do well on the LSAT.

You didn't "get worse" at standardized testing. The obvious answer is that the field for graduate school entrance exams (presumably college graduates) was substantially stronger than the field at Bumfuck County Elementary School.


That's what I figured, that I was testing against a pool of tougher competition instead of the sacrificial lambs in the 0-15% range who wouldn't be taking these types of exams.


There's a name for the 0-15% (or really 0-70% in most public schools) on middle school standardized tests. It's "unskilled laborer".


yeah public school kids are dummies. same for those scrubby ass state school grads. Get richer parents you losers!


FWIW I pwned a whole lot of private school kids in terms of college grades. Often it is a given for private school kids to go to college even if they are not cut out for it. This tends not to be the case with public school kids.

acrossthelake
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:59 pm

jason8821 wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:
Actually I hear those kind of words in speech with fair regularity. Spend enough time around well-read people and you too will have the vocab of a well-read person. :lol:


You hear those words on a fairly regular basis from people who aren't educators? your family and friends? If that's the case I really feel at a loss, and it bolsters any argument that points to environmental as a "very" significant cause. I am lucky to get a "oblivious" or a "Tenacious" within my circle.


Less from family(one parent is ESL), but yeah my friends(same gifted program) were using words of that variety starting in middle school. Yes, environment is very important. It establishes a norm of education level and what to strive towards.


3|ink wrote:
Does the test conclude everything that you have just written, or does it conclude that richer people tend to test better? Richer children might also be worse off. They could live sheltered lives. They could watch TV or play video games instead of reading because the former are more expensive. Poorer people can have better motivation, develop better time management skills (for studying) and whatnot. The biggest advantage rich people have immediately before the LSAT is the amount they can spend on test prep materials.


So....these things are definitely possible for individual examples, so if you grabbed a random rich kid and a random poor kid in off the street, it might fight your description, but if you look at the larger population as a whole, I doubt this. When it comes to academics, I often find it is the rich who have better time management/study skills(at the beg. of college), though motivation might be equal, just because private schools and wealthy public schools tend to have higher academic standards. This is on the whole, though, and there's bound to be exceptions.


Also, rich kids go to public school and state schools as well. :lol:

09042014
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby 09042014 » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:01 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
Also, rich kids go to public school and state schools as well. :lol:


Rich people in the suburbs make sure their rich suburbs have good schools.

Does anyone know if the LSAT is less predictive for people who grew up poor?

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3|ink
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby 3|ink » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:04 pm

acrossthelake wrote:So....these things are definitely possible for individual examples, so if you grabbed a random rich kid and a random poor kid in off the street, it might fight your description, but if you look at the larger population as a whole, I doubt this. When it comes to academics, I often find it is the rich who have better time management/study skills(at the beg. of college), though motivation might be equal, just because private schools and wealthy public schools tend to have higher academic standards. This is on the whole, though, and there's bound to be exceptions.


Also, rich kids go to public school and state schools as well. :lol:


It is possible that we are both overgeneralizing.

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slax
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby slax » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:13 pm

The book mostly theorizes over IQ tests, but it also touches on standardized tests. You could also check out Outliers by Gladwell for more on why successful people are so successful. Much more plays into it than hard work. Rich kids have been prepped for this type of testing since they were toddlers. Poor kids just can't compete with that in a general sense. There will always be exceptions of course. I had a full school schedule and worked 20 hours a week while studying for the LSAT. I got half off of a prep course. So you'd think I'd be even with a poor person in the sense that I did not have the advantage of being off while studying and not having to dish out much for a class. But I was born with an unfair advantage because of my parents. I was groomed to do well in school and on tests.

acrossthelake
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:23 pm

3|ink wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:So....these things are definitely possible for individual examples, so if you grabbed a random rich kid and a random poor kid in off the street, it might fight your description, but if you look at the larger population as a whole, I doubt this. When it comes to academics, I often find it is the rich who have better time management/study skills(at the beg. of college), though motivation might be equal, just because private schools and wealthy public schools tend to have higher academic standards. This is on the whole, though, and there's bound to be exceptions.


Also, rich kids go to public school and state schools as well. :lol:


It is possible that we are both overgeneralizing.


Should've reworded that. At my undergrad, amongst those who succeed, you get the entire range of wealth. Amongst those who struggle, those from disadvantaged backgrounds are overrepresented.

Yes, just as slax mentioned, I grew up in a community where kids really were "groomed" for success. Dance/music/sports/etc. lessons and camps were the norm. Parents were well-educated and wanted their kids to be educated as well. Kids grow up reading a bunch of books and around the age of teens, adding the Economist, the NYTimes, etc. to their regular reading list. When they get to college, they're plenty motivated to succeed in order to achieve a lifestyle that is at least equal to the one their parents provided. And they are, for the most part, very successful, though we know that a lot of our success comes from the privilege we grew up with. Part of my current career crisis is my desire to somehow feed that back into society, but not quite seeing a clear desirable mechanism for doing so yet.

Tautology
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby Tautology » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:26 pm

I think the biggest factors are good reading comprehension, calm and focus under pressure, and natural intelligence. People who have all three are good natural test takers.

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slax
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby slax » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:37 pm

Tautology wrote:I think the biggest factors are good reading comprehension, calm and focus under pressure, and natural intelligence. People who have all three are good natural test takers.



None of these 3 qualities are natural, if by natural you mean that someone is born with the quality.

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Merr
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby Merr » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:44 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
3|ink wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:So....these things are definitely possible for individual examples, so if you grabbed a random rich kid and a random poor kid in off the street, it might fight your description, but if you look at the larger population as a whole, I doubt this. When it comes to academics, I often find it is the rich who have better time management/study skills(at the beg. of college), though motivation might be equal, just because private schools and wealthy public schools tend to have higher academic standards. This is on the whole, though, and there's bound to be exceptions.


Also, rich kids go to public school and state schools as well. :lol:


It is possible that we are both overgeneralizing.


Should've reworded that. At my undergrad, amongst those who succeed, you get the entire range of wealth. Amongst those who struggle, those from disadvantaged backgrounds are overrepresented.

Yes, just as slax mentioned, I grew up in a community where kids really were "groomed" for success. Dance/music/sports/etc. lessons and camps were the norm. Parents were well-educated and wanted their kids to be educated as well. Kids grow up reading a bunch of books and around the age of teens, adding the Economist, the NYTimes, etc. to their regular reading list. When they get to college, they're plenty motivated to succeed in order to achieve a lifestyle that is at least equal to the one their parents provided. And they are, for the most part, very successful, though we know that a lot of our success comes from the privilege we grew up with. Part of my current career crisis is my desire to somehow feed that back into society, but not quite seeing a clear desirable mechanism for doing so yet.


That could hold true for upper middle class kids, but I am skeptical as to whether it is the case forh rich kids. This is simply because the key motivation you suggest (achieving a lifestyle that is at least equal to the one their parents provided) does not exist for them because in most cases that lifestyle is assured.

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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby Tautology » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:46 pm

slax wrote:
Tautology wrote:I think the biggest factors are good reading comprehension, calm and focus under pressure, and natural intelligence. People who have all three are good natural test takers.



None of these 3 qualities are natural, if by natural you mean that someone is born with the quality.


I didn't, I was using it more to refer to people who do well on tests with no prep. I don't think there's any doubt that test-taking is a skill, but the people who are good at the three things I listed are going to pick up that skill very easily.

LSAC Proctor
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby LSAC Proctor » Fri Jun 25, 2010 2:06 pm

I've worked for the lsac as a proctor for three years and now for over a year at hq. Basically standardized test scores are a function of African ancestry, or the lack their of.

acrossthelake
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Re: Why are some people really good at standardized testing?

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Jun 25, 2010 2:09 pm

Merr wrote:
That could hold true for upper middle class kids, but I am skeptical as to whether it is the case forh rich kids. This is simply because the key motivation you suggest (achieving a lifestyle that is at least equal to the one their parents provided) does not exist for them because in most cases that lifestyle is assured.


Oh, didn't realize we were distinguishing between upper middle class and the upper class. In this case, I don't have much to say since i was only really talking about the upper middle class.




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