First "Diag(?)" Test?

Korey
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First "Diag(?)" Test?

Postby Korey » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:58 pm

Hello TLSers,

I am a little confused as to what I think is being referred to as ones first Diag test.

Am I supposed to take this PRIOR to reading/studying anything? Or is this the first practice test you take after reading some strategies/books for the LSAT.
I ask because it seems like picking up an LSAT practice test and taking it without knowing really what to expect would be rather rather discouraging when I see the final score. :lol:

Also, when is "too early" to start studying for the LSAT. I will probably be told the typical "go drink a beer and relax" comments, but I am a sophomore in UG and I am trying to do EVERYTHING possible to maximize my score. But I am assuming there is a point which would be "too early" to start studying because one will run out of practice tests. Is this correct?

*apologize in advance if these are repeat questions, I could not find them in search.

Korey

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albusdumbledore
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Re: First "Diag(?)" Test?

Postby albusdumbledore » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:59 pm

I remember when I had my first beer.

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incompetentia
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Re: First "Diag(?)" Test?

Postby incompetentia » Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:03 pm

If you're studying more than six months ahead of the test, you're probably going to scare yourself into a lower score. If you want to read outside material (people always recommend The Economist around heres), that should help prepare you somewhat for RC (and somewhat even less for LR). However, specific prep materials are unnecessary until you're about (in my opinion) 4 months out.

Diagnostic generally refers to your first test, although a 'cold' diagnostic is one where you haven't looked at any material yet.
Example: "My cold diag was at 148, but I studied for 3 months and managed to score a 169 on the test."


Anyway, your diagnostic, by definition, is the test where you find out who you are and where you're going. You're not supposed to get a high score. If you do, great. Study anyway. (Thought mine was relatively high, went +12 on the test anyway.)


EDIT: For what it's worth, I've never had a beer. (Not worth much, but whatever.)

mediation_86
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Re: First "Diag(?)" Test?

Postby mediation_86 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:32 pm

cold diag was also 148, but avg. in the high 150s for the last few months, with a high of high 160s a few times. actual oct test result is 151.

How did you do it?

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incompetentia
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Re: First "Diag(?)" Test?

Postby incompetentia » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:41 pm

For clarification: The numbers in my post are just an example. 148/169 aren't actually my results

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3|ink
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Re: First "Diag(?)" Test?

Postby 3|ink » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:43 pm

incompetentia wrote:For clarification: The numbers in my post are just an example. 148/169 aren't actually my results


Did you really get a 180? Jesus. Grats.

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incompetentia
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Re: First "Diag(?)" Test?

Postby incompetentia » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:46 pm

Goddammit

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3|ink
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Re: First "Diag(?)" Test?

Postby 3|ink » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:48 pm

incompetentia wrote:Goddammit


It's what your profile says.

gerbal
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Re: First "Diag(?)" Test?

Postby gerbal » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:51 pm

I don't think a cold diagnostic is necessary or useful. If the potential of a bad score makes you nervous, don't do an initial diagnostic. I took my first PT after I'd done both bibles as well as sections from past tests, and in no way did I hurt myself by doing it.

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rinkrat19
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Re: First "Diag(?)" Test?

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:10 am

gerbal wrote:I don't think a cold diagnostic is necessary or useful. If the potential of a bad score makes you nervous, don't do an initial diagnostic. I took my first PT after I'd done both bibles as well as sections from past tests, and in no way did I hurt myself by doing it.


I wanted to see if I had any natural aptitude whatsoever or if I should just give up before I even started, so I took a cold diagnostic. I fudged a little on the time limit, but only on LG. Got a 164 on the diagnostic, and 171 on the real thing 7 weeks later.

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slax
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Re: First "Diag(?)" Test?

Postby slax » Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:32 pm

I took a cold diag and got 154. At the time, I had my sights set on a school with a median score of 163. I hadn't found TLS, so I wasn't cynical or obsessed with rankings yet. It was exciting to see how high my score was getting as the weeks went on. Starting so low meant that I had more motivation with each PT because my score was jumping so high. Having a truly cold diag is a great motivator in my opinion because you are less likely to plateau while studying. With every test my score got better and better. After PT 3 (1 1/2 months of studying), I realized I had better readjust my application plans because I had a good chance at the T14. Because of this, I never lost motivation to study. My peak performance was on the real test day; I hit my highest PT score (176).

Go for the cold diag. It'll make studying and PT results more exciting, and you'll be less likely to plataeu and lose motivation.

Now with when to start studying, I wouldn't start more than 4 months before the test. You'll hit a peak and get frustrated. You'll run out of study material. You'll get cynical. Work on your grades for now. On the other hand, your score is good for 5 years. You could study now, take the test and be done with it. If you're satisfied with your score, then you wouldn't have to worry about anything until senior year. You'd miss out on CRS contact and fee waivers probably, but if it's too much stress to put off studying then maybe it's right for you to take the test early. Also, on the off chance you do not perform as you hoped you would, you'd have ample time to try a new study strategy and nail it the next time. Don't go into studying with the idea that you'll take the test twice, but if this relieves anxiety for you, then maybe it's worth it.




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