Experimental section question

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Easy-E
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Experimental section question

Postby Easy-E » Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:24 pm

Is there any absolute indicators of whether a section is the experimental one? I know its obvious what type of section it is, and while I've heard people says its usually the most difficult one, it is still fairly subjective. Obviously you should take every section with full effort, but I was just curious if there was a real way to know.


Oh, another experimental section related question. Do most people try to incorporate an extra section when taking full-length PTs to simulate actual conditions, or would this be to limited benefit?

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rinkrat19
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Re: Experimental section question

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:09 pm

There are conflicting claims of whether the experimental section is "always" one of the first three sections or just "usually." In the recent past, it has been among the first three sections, but LSAC does not guarantee that. (It does make sense if you think about it--to get better data from the experimental section, they probably want to eliminate fatigue as a factor affecting scores.) So if you get one LG (or RC) in sections 1/2/3 and a second LG (or RC) in 4/5, the one in 1/2/3 was likely experimental. If you have 2 LR sections in 1/2/3 and one in 4/5, one of the first two was likely experimental, but you can't tell which. (It's like the world's easiest LG problem. Work it out.) And of course, there's no guarantee that LSAC won't switch things up and put the experimental in 4/5 on the next test, just to screw with everyone.

You absolutely can't determine which one it is by perceived difficulty. For one thing, that experimental section will be on a future test. If the experimental was always the hardest section, the LSAT would be getting harder and harder every year, approaching some theoretical asymptotic limit of infinite difficulty where the test is a blank white sheet with no possible correct answers. And for another, people will always disagree on whether a section was hard or easy, depending on whether it happened to play to each individual's personal strengths or weaknesses.

Some people have a real problem with fatigue and maintaining focus over the length of the LSAT. Some do not. The former would be well-served to practice with 5-section tests, and the latter probably wouldn't benefit much. Only you can answer that question for yourself.

Personally, a 3-hour test (with a snack break) is no big deal, and isn't even half as long as the longest exam I've taken in my life. I didn't do a 5th section on any PTs. YMMV

youarereadingthis
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Re: Experimental section question

Postby youarereadingthis » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:18 pm

On my lsat, the experimental section was by far the easiest. It was so easy, I knew it had to be experimental. It was reading comp and the first section of my exam.

I finished it nearly 10 minutes early.

I'm good, but I'm not that good :wink:

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rinkrat19
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Re: Experimental section question

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:26 pm

youarereadingthis wrote:It was so easy, I knew it had to be experimental. It was reading comp and the first section of my exam.


Nope. Your experimental happened to be the easiest for you, personally.

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Easy-E
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Re: Experimental section question

Postby Easy-E » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:42 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:There are conflicting claims of whether the experimental section is "always" one of the first three sections or just "usually." In the recent past, it has been among the first three sections, but LSAC does not guarantee that. (It does make sense if you think about it--to get better data from the experimental section, they probably want to eliminate fatigue as a factor affecting scores.) So if you get one LG (or RC) in sections 1/2/3 and a second LG (or RC) in 4/5, the one in 1/2/3 was likely experimental. If you have 2 LR sections in 1/2/3 and one in 4/5, one of the first two was likely experimental, but you can't tell which. (It's like the world's easiest LG problem. Work it out.) And of course, there's no guarantee that LSAC won't switch things up and put the experimental in 4/5 on the next test, just to screw with everyone.

You absolutely can't determine which one it is by perceived difficulty. For one thing, that experimental section will be on a future test. If the experimental was always the hardest section, the LSAT would be getting harder and harder every year, approaching some theoretical asymptotic limit of infinite difficulty where the test is a blank white sheet with no possible correct answers. And for another, people will always disagree on whether a section was hard or easy, depending on whether it happened to play to each individual's personal strengths or weaknesses.

Some people have a real problem with fatigue and maintaining focus over the length of the LSAT. Some do not. The former would be well-served to practice with 5-section tests, and the latter probably wouldn't benefit much. Only you can answer that question for yourself.

Personally, a 3-hour test (with a snack break) is no big deal, and isn't even half as long as the longest exam I've taken in my life. I didn't do a 5th section on any PTs. YMMV


I got a good laugh out of the blank white heet for the test. I don't really have any issue with sitting and taking a test (or whatever the work might be) for a long period of time, so I'll take your advice into consideration. Thank you for the reply!




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