untimed test scores translating into...?

darkatillam2
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untimed test scores translating into...?

Postby darkatillam2 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:52 pm

Lets be frank,


I know there is a lot of discussion between whether or not untimed practice tests are as beneficial as some say they are. However, I would almost guarantee those who are scoring in the 150s, and probably lower 160s are not scoring 180s on their untimed practice tests.

So my question is if I can manage to finally get some untimed PT scores of 175-180, what do you think that score would translate into timed?


Factors to consider:

I've taken 30+ timed PTs in preparation for June's LSAT.

I took the June LSAT and cancelled (mainly due to the RC section). My LG section is nearly flawless and very rarely is time an issue. In fact, I finished the June LSAT LG section with close to 5 minutes to spare.

In June I wasn't able to finish 1 or 2 LR questions per section. Also, sometimes RC can be an issue time wise. It all really depends on the difficulty of the paragraphs.


Anyway, I took the month of June off and decided to spend July working on my untimed practice as a means to plug some leaks.

So again, my question becomes... How do you think untimed scores translate into timed ones score wise?

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glewz
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Re: untimed test scores translating into...?

Postby glewz » Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:59 pm

Untimed really doesn't mean much...I'm thinking 165 (max), probably lower though.

bhan87
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Re: untimed test scores translating into...?

Postby bhan87 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:04 pm

This really depends on how much extra time you spent. Probably in the lower 160s timed would be my guess.

darkatillam2
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Re: untimed test scores translating into...?

Postby darkatillam2 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:13 pm

so you think a 180 untimed = a 165 or lower timed?

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glewz
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Re: untimed test scores translating into...?

Postby glewz » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:15 pm

Was I wrong? What were you getting on your timed PTs?
Last edited by glewz on Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

darkatillam2
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Re: untimed test scores translating into...?

Postby darkatillam2 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:22 pm

well, I'm not even close to a 180 on my untimed PTs and I was scoring 160-165 timed.

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glewz
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Re: untimed test scores translating into...?

Postby glewz » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:25 pm

Oooh, well a 180 for you might translate to a higher timed score. Bhan is right to say that it depends on how much extra time you take.

darkatillam2
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Re: untimed test scores translating into...?

Postby darkatillam2 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:34 pm

I still find it hard to believe that one's fundamentals and logic could be perfect while only their reading speed is the issue holding them back. I would think that untimed practice at a 180 would translate to something in the 170s timed. Yes, it does depend on how much extra time you take. But I would go off of the baseline that "untimed practice" means reading at your own pace, looking at the answers and analyzing them, then selecting your answer choice. Of course there could be those who look over every non-LR problem and do hypo's or recheck individual lines to double check their answers. However, I think most people do something more toward the former than the latter.

Has anyone ever been in the scenario where they were doing untimed PTs and scoring 180s then started into timed and got....?

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Shammis
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Re: untimed test scores translating into...?

Postby Shammis » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:35 pm

fwiw Time (almost) always affects test day scores. Untimed (extra 8-10 mins) I was scoring 170, but timed dropped to mid 160's - which is a pretty big drop considering LS admissions to T-14. I would wager a 4-7 point drop. But the thing to take away from this is....if you are scoring in the 170's, you know the test well enough to do it on test day. You just have to hone your skills and spot test patterns better. Given the amount of time you still have, if you scored 175, I bet you could pull at least a 170 on test day if you drilled like crazy to get your timing issue under control. Conventional wisdom (and something that helped me) is to give yourself 30-33 mins a section. Test day anxiety/adrenaline makes time fly by so prepare for having even less time. The first LSAT I sat for I blanked for a good 5 mins during the first section b/c of nerves. good luck

darkatillam2
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Re: untimed test scores translating into...?

Postby darkatillam2 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:47 pm

jstubbs wrote: I would wager a 4-7 point drop. But the thing to take away from this is....if you are scoring in the 170's, you know the test well enough to do it on test day. You just have to hone your skills and spot test patterns better. Given the amount of time you still have, if you scored 175, I bet you could pull at least a 170 on test day if you drilled like crazy to get your timing issue under control.



This makes more sense to me. Does anyone else have any experience with something similar?

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j12
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Re: untimed test scores translating into...?

Postby j12 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:48 pm

There's no point in doing untimed tests once you are familiar with the question types and structure of the test. If I were you I would continue taking time PTs and using the rest of your time to review the question you missed. Take as much time as you want to review the questions you missed until you fully understand them.

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Shammis
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Re: untimed test scores translating into...?

Postby Shammis » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:52 pm

j12bash wrote:There's no point in doing untimed tests once you are familiar with the question types and structure of the test. If I were you I would continue taking time PTs and using the rest of your time to review the question you missed. Take as much time as you want to review the questions you missed until you fully understand them.


+1

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glucose101
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Re: untimed test scores translating into...?

Postby glucose101 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:09 pm

jstubbs wrote:
j12bash wrote:There's no point in doing untimed tests once you are familiar with the question types and structure of the test. If I were you I would continue taking time PTs and using the rest of your time to review the question you missed. Take as much time as you want to review the questions you missed until you fully understand them.


+1


+1, lol

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loomstate
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Re: untimed test scores translating into...?

Postby loomstate » Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:19 pm

I don't know how helpful this is to higher scores, but when I was learning the test format etc, i took untimed tests, and when I switched to timed, my score averages were exactly the same (162-165). From there I've only taken timed tests, so I cant speak to the relationship with timed and untimed higher scores.

darkatillam2
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Re: untimed test scores translating into...?

Postby darkatillam2 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:32 pm

glucose101 wrote:
jstubbs wrote:
j12bash wrote:There's no point in doing untimed tests once you are familiar with the question types and structure of the test. If I were you I would continue taking time PTs and using the rest of your time to review the question you missed. Take as much time as you want to review the questions you missed until you fully understand them.


+1


+1, lol




The only problem is I'm almost out of new PTs to take. So I figured I'd take June to polish up on leaks doing some of the PTs I took at the start of my prep, then spend August/Sept doing fully timed old PTs (and the few new ones I have). I figured re-reading the LR bible and slowly tracking all my mistakes and trying to make less in an untimed setting would be beneficial.

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incompetentia
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Re: untimed test scores translating into...?

Postby incompetentia » Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:32 pm

There is no correlation between timed and untimed tests per se.

There's no point in waiting until you're scoring consistently at 178 untimed to switch to timed, but if you're still barely breaking 160 untimed, you need to work on question types before you switch over. From the switch, you'll have to treat it as a separate set of scores, and work it up from there.

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Sloth Hero
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Re: untimed test scores translating into...?

Postby Sloth Hero » Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:59 am

People who get 180 timed get 180 untimed.

Too many factors involved in the calculation.

When I take my 'untimed' PT I just mark when I run out of time, and then finish up. I calculate 2 scores, one with the 'timed', and the rest of the questions I didn't finish I just pretend I had marked all "D", and then I calculate my untimed score, which includes whatever answers I chose after I ran out of time.

Doing this should give you a clear idea of your personal translation from untimed to timed.

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Perdevise
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Re: untimed test scores translating into...?

Postby Perdevise » Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:03 pm

glucose101 wrote:
jstubbs wrote:
j12bash wrote:There's no point in doing untimed tests once you are familiar with the question types and structure of the test. If I were you I would continue taking time PTs and using the rest of your time to review the question you missed. Take as much time as you want to review the questions you missed until you fully understand them.


+1


+1, lol



This. You're just wasting material by taking stuff untimed. Even timed PTs aren't a perfect predictor of your real score, so why would untimed tests mean anything? Taking an extra five minutes for any given section should result in a dramatic increase. I would bite the bullet and start timing.

Edited upon reading later responses: The time limit is the whole point. Your brain is simply not thinking the same way when its untimed. You may develop inefficient techniques (trying out every possible combination) instead of successful techniques (ruling out answers by quickly skimming for violated rules).

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suspicious android
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Re: untimed test scores translating into...?

Postby suspicious android » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:12 am

Perdevise wrote:Edited upon reading later responses: The time limit is the whole point. Your brain is simply not thinking the same way when its untimed. You may develop inefficient techniques (trying out every possible combination) instead of successful techniques (ruling out answers by quickly skimming for violated rules).


How useful is an untimed test for someone scoring 165? Not very. Someone scoring 140? For that person, there's not much point in taking it timed, their accuracy is so low doing things quickly isn't really the issue, they've got to learn how to do it right in the first place. People at the high ends of the scale sometimes forget how hard this test is for other people. The vast majority of test-takers will never touch 160. Telling those people to do only timed practice is like telling a fat kid to get better at basketball by working on his dunking.

bruss
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Re: untimed test scores translating into...?

Postby bruss » Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:51 am

Perdevise wrote:
glucose101 wrote:
jstubbs wrote:
j12bash wrote:There's no point in doing untimed tests once you are familiar with the question types and structure of the test. If I were you I would continue taking time PTs and using the rest of your time to review the question you missed. Take as much time as you want to review the questions you missed until you fully understand them.


+1


+1, lol



This. You're just wasting material by taking stuff untimed. Even timed PTs aren't a perfect predictor of your real score, so why would untimed tests mean anything? Taking an extra five minutes for any given section should result in a dramatic increase. I would bite the bullet and start timing.

Edited upon reading later responses: The time limit is the whole point. Your brain is simply not thinking the same way when its untimed. You may develop inefficient techniques (trying out every possible combination) instead of successful techniques (ruling out answers by quickly skimming for violated rules).


Exactly. Your Brian functions differently under pressure. Doing untimed pts is a waste. Untimed is for reviewing, and how ppl cannot understand that is beyond me.

barnum
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Re: untimed test scores translating into...?

Postby barnum » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:45 am

I disagree with most of the posters. Untimed tests can tell you quite a bit even for high scorers. First off, what you still get wrong given no time restrictions is far more likely to point to concepts tested on the LSAT that you don't still fully understand. When you take timed tests, it is harder to know whether your errors are concept based or pressure and time based. Taking untimed eliminates the second variable.

Also, untimed tests can tell you quite a bit about how you would score on a timed test. Also, we all presumably score worse timed versus untimed, but one of the questions is does time effect you more than another test taker of reasonably similar LSAT skills. If so, then you need to work on time more. If you are effected the same as everybody else, then you need to work on your skills more. At my company we did a bit of an informal study where we gave everybody a full four section LSAT they hadn't seen and told them they should do it completely untimed. Take a week or two to get it done. Don't understand a question today; come back to it tomorrow, etc. We call it the 180 challenge. Given all the time you need, can you get a 180? We give them this challenge closer to the end of the course, when we are also offering weekly timed practice tests. We then charted the results of their untimed tests next to the scores they received on their timed 5 section scored exams to see if there were any correlations or conclusions we could draw. For the vast majority of people, there WAS absolutely a relationship between their timed and untimed scores. Although, we charted it out more specifically than this, we found roughly that the number of mistakes a test-taker makes untimed, is about half the number of mistakes they will make timed. For example, a test taker that makes 8 errors untimed (if we use the June 07 scale this would be a 170), we would see make about 16 errors when timed (using the same scale this would be a 163). Someone who gets 20 wrong untimed (a score of 161), we would expect to see about 40 errors timed (a score of 150). Obviously, after a point this no longer held (if you got 50 wrong untimed, you would not get 100 wrong timed).

Now with this knowledge in hand, we can understand that untimed practice is very important. A lot of my students will be working on their homework and think they are doing great because they get only 1 out of every five LR questions they do wrong. “I get most of my homework correct,” they tell me, “why are my scores not going up?” The reality is that 1 wrong out of 5 is a 20% error rate. I would only expect that to put someone in the range of a 150. Even 1 out of every 10 wrong in your homework only puts you on track for the low 160s. If you want to score consistently in the 170s, you need to get only about 1 out of every 20 questions you do untimed incorrect. That means if you did 3 reading comp passages, two passages need to be perfect and 1 passage can have at most 1 error.

This is also useful knowledge for the studiers who are always worried about taking a timed test every other day (or every day as some people on this board like to do). “How else will I know how I am scoring?” The reality is that how you do in your untimed practice, will for most people be a reliable predictor of how they do once they are under the pressure of a timed test. This means that you don’t need to waste hours and hours taking timed practice tests while not making any attempts to correct inadequacies in your LSAT understanding, but could instead use those hours focusing on how to actually get better at LSAT concepts.

darkatillam2
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Re: untimed test scores translating into...?

Postby darkatillam2 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:24 pm

barnum wrote:I disagree with most of the posters. Untimed tests can tell you quite a bit even for high scorers. First off, what you still get wrong given no time restrictions is far more likely to point to concepts tested on the LSAT that you don't still fully understand. When you take timed tests, it is harder to know whether your errors are concept based or pressure and time based. Taking untimed eliminates the second variable.

Also, untimed tests can tell you quite a bit about how you would score on a timed test. Also, we all presumably score worse timed versus untimed, but one of the questions is does time effect you more than another test taker of reasonably similar LSAT skills. If so, then you need to work on time more. If you are effected the same as everybody else, then you need to work on your skills more. At my company we did a bit of an informal study where we gave everybody a full four section LSAT they hadn't seen and told them they should do it completely untimed. Take a week or two to get it done. Don't understand a question today; come back to it tomorrow, etc. We call it the 180 challenge. Given all the time you need, can you get a 180? We give them this challenge closer to the end of the course, when we are also offering weekly timed practice tests. We then charted the results of their untimed tests next to the scores they received on their timed 5 section scored exams to see if there were any correlations or conclusions we could draw. For the vast majority of people, there WAS absolutely a relationship between their timed and untimed scores. Although, we charted it out more specifically than this, we found roughly that the number of mistakes a test-taker makes untimed, is about half the number of mistakes they will make timed. For example, a test taker that makes 8 errors untimed (if we use the June 07 scale this would be a 170), we would see make about 16 errors when timed (using the same scale this would be a 163). Someone who gets 20 wrong untimed (a score of 161), we would expect to see about 40 errors timed (a score of 150). Obviously, after a point this no longer held (if you got 50 wrong untimed, you would not get 100 wrong timed).

Now with this knowledge in hand, we can understand that untimed practice is very important. A lot of my students will be working on their homework and think they are doing great because they get only 1 out of every five LR questions they do wrong. “I get most of my homework correct,” they tell me, “why are my scores not going up?” The reality is that 1 wrong out of 5 is a 20% error rate. I would only expect that to put someone in the range of a 150. Even 1 out of every 10 wrong in your homework only puts you on track for the low 160s. If you want to score consistently in the 170s, you need to get only about 1 out of every 20 questions you do untimed incorrect. That means if you did 3 reading comp passages, two passages need to be perfect and 1 passage can have at most 1 error.

This is also useful knowledge for the studiers who are always worried about taking a timed test every other day (or every day as some people on this board like to do). “How else will I know how I am scoring?” The reality is that how you do in your untimed practice, will for most people be a reliable predictor of how they do once they are under the pressure of a timed test. This means that you don’t need to waste hours and hours taking timed practice tests while not making any attempts to correct inadequacies in your LSAT understanding, but could instead use those hours focusing on how to actually get better at LSAT concepts.



I very much like this post. I was basically thinking the same thing. I started in Jan. looking to take the June LSAT and basically spent only a couple of PTs on untimed practiced. The rest I did with timed or nearly timed practice. I saw some jumps in my scores but hit a plateau. I thought that in order to fix my scores and improve even more I needed to be able to at LEAST do a PT perfect untimed first. So I've been doing that and it's really been helping.

Thanks for the input!

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ms08g
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Re: untimed test scores translating into...?

Postby ms08g » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:09 pm

Why don't you add a 50/50 lifeline while you're at it. JK. But in all seriousness 180 untimed does not equal a 165+ timed. No amount of 'if I just had more time I'd be able to get all the inferences, or find exactly where in the passage the difference between rice and maize is' is an excuse for throwing timing out the window. It is a constraint on your ability, as much as the rules in LG are. Drilling question types and taking untimed tests are totally different. If you really want to see how you'd do in the land of lollypops and unicorns, then finish up untimed and calculate two scores or use the SOS method. Otherwise you're wasting effort that could be spent on honing your skills.

darkatillam2
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Re: untimed test scores translating into...?

Postby darkatillam2 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:15 pm

I think doing untimed practice is a part of "honing your skills". I'm not naive enough to think that I could score a 175 on a timed test simply because I scored that on an untimed test. However, I would argue it is impossible to score a 175 on a timed tested UNTIL you have at least score a 175 on an untimed test. It is with that thought in mind that I am continuing to do more untimed practice until August rolls around in which I will be doing timed tests.

I need to believe I can score 175+ untimed before I can do it timed. When that happens, it's more about practicing my speed and trying to maintain that level of accuracy over the next months.

bruss
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Re: untimed test scores translating into...?

Postby bruss » Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:55 pm

Untimed is for reviewing, hell maybe even drilling. But to do an untimed pt is asinine. Do you guys really need a boost of self-esteem that badly? No wonder the avg of lsat scores Hoover around the 150's.




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