Is there really a point to the LSAT experimental section?

justbubbles
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Is there really a point to the LSAT experimental section?

Postby justbubbles » Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:46 pm

I don't really buy into LSAC's official stance on this (ie: to test out questions that might appear on future tests). What nonsense!

They could easily drop nuggets of "experimental" type questions on the real thing and gauge feedback.

This is nothing more than to drain out a test-taker's energy.

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Icculus
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Re: Is there really a point to the LSAT experimental section?

Postby Icculus » Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:59 pm

As weird as it sounds, I think the experimental games section in December helped me because it was before the real games section. Gave me a chance to warm up, I am convinced this is why I went -1 on LG that test. Though at the time I was pissed it was there and was convinced I wen -10 on the real one. Glad I didn't cancel that one.

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bgdddymtty
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Re: Is there really a point to the LSAT experimental section?

Postby bgdddymtty » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:41 pm

justbubbles wrote:They could easily drop nuggets of "experimental" type questions on the real thing and gauge feedback.
No, they couldn't. Why do you think different administrations of the test have different curves? Because some sets of questions are harder than others. How do they know that? Because they've tested them on students whose aptitudes they know based on how they did on the rest of the test.

Also, as I understand it, they test entire sections with the idea of using them intact on future tests. Even if they didn't, two of the three LSAT sections (LG and RC) involve chunks of questions rather than individual ones, so dropping in "nuggets" would take up a significant portion of the test, making your score a lot more random than it ought to be.

This is nothing more than to drain out a test-taker's energy.
Even if it was, A)every test-taker experiences it, so it (at least theoretically) doesn't affect your score, and B)having your energy drained by a long-frustrating exam is frankly pretty good prep for law school.

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Gizmo
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Re: Is there really a point to the LSAT experimental section?

Postby Gizmo » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:13 am

bgdddymtty wrote:
justbubbles wrote:They could easily drop nuggets of "experimental" type questions on the real thing and gauge feedback.
No, they couldn't. Why do you think different administrations of the test have different curves? Because some sets of questions are harder than others. How do they know that? Because they've tested them on students whose aptitudes they know based on how they did on the rest of the test.

Also, as I understand it, they test entire sections with the idea of using them intact on future tests. Even if they didn't, two of the three LSAT sections (LG and RC) involve chunks of questions rather than individual ones, so dropping in "nuggets" would take up a significant portion of the test, making your score a lot more random than it ought to be.

This is nothing more than to drain out a test-taker's energy.
Even if it was, A)every test-taker experiences it, so it (at least theoretically) doesn't affect your score, and B)having your energy drained by a long-frustrating exam is frankly pretty good prep for law school.

+1

It seems like they would have to keep the experimental sections intact. Time investments are zero-sum, so how you perform on a section depends not only on the difficulty of any given question but also the difficulty other questions in the section. That is, spending a lot of time working on 15-20 necessarily means less time to work on 21-25. You cannot look at the questions in isolation.

Mixing experimental and real questions would be even worse, since you might spend all of your time trying to solve (potentially flawed) test questions that won't be graded at the expense of the actual ones.

asoularisen
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Re: Is there really a point to the LSAT experimental section?

Postby asoularisen » Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:45 am

Also, I feel the need to mention that an experimental section in a standardized test is by no means a unique characteristic of the LSAT...

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lakers3peat
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Re: Is there really a point to the LSAT experimental section?

Postby lakers3peat » Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:35 am

asoularisen wrote:Also, I feel the need to mention that an experimental section in a standardized test is by no means a unique characteristic of the LSAT...




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