Are early prep tests useless?

Tainted_Praise
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Are early prep tests useless?

Postby Tainted_Praise » Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:31 pm

I think I remember reading on here some time ago that all prep tests before 30 are completely useless because the LSAT has changed sooooo much since then. Well. I just recently purchased a 2011 KAPLAN LSAT prep book with "actual lsat questions" but....They are all seem to be from prep tests like 9, 17, 10, 12, etc. The lower numbered ones. Have I wasted my money?

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Pleasye
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Re: Are early prep tests useless?

Postby Pleasye » Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:37 pm

Ah, I see you've decided to write your posts in a color that doesn't make my eyes bleed.

I'll repost what I wrote in another thread where someone asked "Are PrepTests from ALL years useful?" (http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... 6&t=145696):

The short answer to this is: yes, all of the PT's are useful. The longer answer is still yes but with a few things to consider.

You will likely spend months prepping for this test and you will want (and need) all of the material you can get your hands on. If you were to start out drilling sections/questions from PT's in the 50's you wouldn't have enough full PT's left to take tests. The earlier tests are great for breaking up into questions types and drilling questions or doing section work (as opposed to full tests).

There have been some changes to the LSAT but the changes haven't been so big that they have rendered the old material useless. Some bigger changes to keep in mind:
Reading comprehension has gone through the biggest change. The comparative reading passages were introduced in June 2007 and have been included since then.

Logic games are generally seen as harder in earlier tests, much easier in the 40's and then back to being pretty difficult (or more tricky) in the 50's.

LR hasn't changed but the composition of the sections seems to have gone through some changes. Certain question types are asked more often than they used to be asked in previous tests.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Are early prep tests useless?

Postby Stringer Bell » Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:45 pm

Old questions are still going to be helpful. The only possible "waste of money" may have been on the Kaplan book itself based on some comments I have seen. I can't confirm or deny that since I haven't been exposed to any of their learning methods. I can say Powerscore is legit.

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suspicious android
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Re: Are early prep tests useless?

Postby suspicious android » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:49 am

I'm skeptical about how useful preptests from the early 1990's are, since back then contrapositives weren't necessarily true and correlation actually did imply causation.

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Jeffort
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Re: Are early prep tests useless?

Postby Jeffort » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:57 am

suspicious android wrote:I'm skeptical about how useful preptests from the early 1990's are, since back then contrapositives weren't necessarily true and correlation actually did imply causation.


I really hope your post was meant to be sarcastic.

Online social networks need a universally recognized font face that when used clearly indicates sarcastic joke. Get to work on it Microsoft, Facebook and Google! (oh yeah, Apple and Twitter too). Innovate!!!!

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rinkrat19
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Re: Are early prep tests useless?

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:59 pm

I didn't notice much of a difference between early and late PTs in terms of usefulness. Use them all.

Excel
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Re: Are early prep tests useless?

Postby Excel » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:16 pm

The newer ones re far better.

My current plan is take the 15 newest tests twice, and review in between. i.E. take test 1, review, 2 review, etc through 15, then start over. I should have just about every type of pattern there is picked up by that time.

Folks get far far far to caught up in total scores early on, it seems, when they should simply be focusing on mistakes and realizing the score will automatically go up with less mistakes made. If the idea of "eliminating weaknesses" is the primary goal, every prep test has benefits. Focus on the individual sections first-untimed and then timed after a bit- and have mastered those concepts, move onto full length tests. From there, evaluate the test as a whole.


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EarlCat
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Re: Are early prep tests useless?

Postby EarlCat » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:56 pm

Jeffort wrote:Online social networks need a universally recognized font face that when used clearly indicates sarcastic joke. Get to work on it Microsoft, Facebook and Google! (oh yeah, Apple and Twitter too). Innovate!!!!

How about a smiley that looks like Dennis Leary?

Great post! --ImageRemoved--

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Jack Smirks
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Re: Are early prep tests useless?

Postby Jack Smirks » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:02 am

Pretty much what Pleasye said. Drill with the earlier games so you don't see any of the games from PT's 50+. This way you will have a more accurate picture of how you're performing on the more recent tests.

lawschooliseasy
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Re: Are early prep tests useless?

Postby lawschooliseasy » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:13 am

Agreed. I used the first five or ten tests to provide the 5th section in my prep tests. Then I started around PT 5 or 10 and moved forward. You won't really notice the subtle differences when you're first staring out anyway. Then, as you move closer to the test, you're moving into more representative material. If you're really serious about the LSAT you should be taking close to all 50-some prep tests. The amount of money on the line here makes the 100-200 hours you'll spend doing it completely negligible. Where else will you have the opportunity to earn $150k in a couple hundred hours?

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EarlCat
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Re: Are early prep tests useless?

Postby EarlCat » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:37 am

lawschooliseasy wrote:If you're really serious about the LSAT you should be taking close to all 50-some prep tests.


--ImageRemoved--

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jazzmastersc
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Re: Are early prep tests useless?

Postby jazzmastersc » Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:40 am

Use the older prep tests to familiarize yourself with timed practice. Start working on time strategies for LG, and try to get the first 10 LR questions correct in 10 mins. Older tests are great for these drills. I used the older tests and the LG Bible for general prep and then took about 20 of the newer prep tests before the December test. I canceled my October score because I had a bad LG section. Of course the Dec. test had the stained glass and conferences games but I ended up with -6 on LG for a 170. The trend seems to be a more difficult games section so don't be surprised if new tests have "curveball" games like some found in the earlier prep tests.

lawschooliseasy
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Re: Are early prep tests useless?

Postby lawschooliseasy » Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:49 am

EarlCat wrote:
lawschooliseasy wrote:If you're really serious about the LSAT you should be taking close to all 50-some prep tests.


--ImageRemoved--


Bullshit. Some people do it with less, sure. But how many hours do you put into studying for undergrad? LSAT is more important. Given whats on the line there is no reason not to do your best.

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EarlCat
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Re: Are early prep tests useless?

Postby EarlCat » Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:44 pm

lawschooliseasy wrote:
EarlCat wrote:
lawschooliseasy wrote:If you're really serious about the LSAT you should be taking close to all 50-some prep tests.


--ImageRemoved--


Bullshit. Some people do it with less, sure. But how many hours do you put into studying for undergrad? LSAT is more important. Given whats on the line there is no reason not to do your best.


Read the subcaption. I'm saying it's an effective approach. (Although in reality I'd do 10 tests 5 times rather than 50 tests one time, but that's a whole 'nuther discussion.)

hornedfrog
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Re: Are early prep tests useless?

Postby hornedfrog » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:21 pm

My understanding is that all of the early 1990s stuff is relevant, except for the map-oriented games (e.g. the subway line game from PT18). When I prepped, I did every single test, and it really helped.




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