Possible to overperform on test day? (PT 170+)

NightmanCometh
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Possible to overperform on test day? (PT 170+)

Postby NightmanCometh » Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:12 pm

Every person I have talked to who took the LSAT warned "you will get a lower score on test day than your PT score." Obviously the difference varied by the person, but every single person said they got lower. These people all got very high on their PT's (170+, sometimes 175+), and on test day either barely didn't break 170 (168-169), or even if they did they got 5 or so points lower than their PT.

So I wanted to ask here, did anybody who took the real test (or know anybody who did) who PT'd in the 170s get a higher, or at least the exact same score on the real test? Again, this is not about people who scored mid 150s and got a 160, but for people who were practice testing in the 170 range.

My PT range for my past 5 tests are consistently 170-173. I am very happy to have broken through the plateau after busting my ass, but I have yet to break past 175 on any PT. I want to break 170, and so don't want to believe that I WILL get a lower score on test day, and hearing some success stories would give me a more positive mindset. On the other hand if there were no positive stories it will probably motivate me to study harder these last few days lol...

BlueDiamond
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Re: Possible to overperform on test day? (PT 170+)

Postby BlueDiamond » Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:19 pm

all i read was the title.. so if this misses the point sorry.. but the highest I ever PT'ed was a 157 then sat for it and got a 165.. so it is possible even though many think a 165 still blows i was happy

however, general consensus here seems to be that if anything youll freak out and drop a few points

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Possible to overperform on test day? (PT 170+)

Postby crumpetsandtea » Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:24 pm

I have a friend who was averaging 173-ish (highest score during PT = 177) and 180'd it.

But on the other hand I was averaging 173-ish (highest score during PT also a 177) and got a 169, and I know people who had similar stories to me, and some people who were testing 179/180 consistently and got sub-170s on the day of.

Basically what I'm trying to say is: yeah it happens, but it's a very individual thing and you won't know how it affects you until you take the test. Also, it's more likely your score drops than goes higher.

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SisterRayVU
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Re: Possible to overperform on test day? (PT 170+)

Postby SisterRayVU » Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:11 pm

I read this too. I think it comes down to nerves and ability to tune that out and recognize: this test is like the other dozen+ you've practiced. It's nothing different, nothing new. You've taken recent tests, you know what to expect. Don't let the 'weight' of it get to you. I imagine people who do significantly worse than PTs (-2pts+) have a bit of nerves.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Possible to overperform on test day? (PT 170+)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:41 pm

Avg PT around 174, highest 177, real thing 178. My instructor through Testmasters had a high of 178 and threw down a 180 on the real thing.

Don't count on it obviously, but it happens. Just gotta get locked in on test day. I've found cockiness helps; trust that the other people around you are expecting scores in the 140s and 150s.

NightmanCometh wrote:On the other hand if there were no positive stories it will probably motivate me to study harder these last few days lol...


Haha study hard anyway. One week before the real thing I broke 172 for the first time. You've still got time to go up.

horrorbusiness
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Re: Possible to overperform on test day? (PT 170+)

Postby horrorbusiness » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:03 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:Avg PT around 174...

One week before the real thing I broke 172 for the first time.


explain

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Possible to overperform on test day? (PT 170+)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:12 pm

horrorbusiness wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:Avg PT around 174...

One week before the real thing I broke 172 for the first time.


explain


Unlike a lot of posters here I'm not a big fan of the hardcore PT after PT philosophy. Most of the practice tests I took were within the last 8 days before the test. They went 172, 174, 171, 177, 172, 176, 174. So 173.7.

I did have a couple 170s in the weeks leading up to that final run. Also a 164 on my first two Testmasters diags.

thederangedwang
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Re: Possible to overperform on test day? (PT 170+)

Postby thederangedwang » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:16 pm

My pt average was around a 171-72.....on the real day i got a 173...but really coulda shoulda gotten a 175 (2 questions i actually bubbled in the wrong bubble)

Curious1
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Re: Possible to overperform on test day? (PT 170+)

Postby Curious1 » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:41 pm

crumpetsandtea wrote:I have a friend who was averaging 173-ish (highest score during PT = 177) and 180'd it.

But on the other hand I was averaging 173-ish (highest score during PT also a 177) and got a 169, and I know people who had similar stories to me, and some people who were testing 179/180 consistently and got sub-170s on the day of.

Basically what I'm trying to say is: yeah it happens, but it's a very individual thing and you won't know how it affects you until you take the test. Also, it's more likely your score drops than goes higher.


This^

I was PT-ing around 174 and managed to get 178 on test day. One of my friends was PT-ing around 178 and got a 171 on test day. I think it comes down to luck, where getting easy (manageable) games early on can really boost your confidence, and other things like having 2 games sections instead of 3 LR or 2 RC.

sfreuden
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Re: Possible to overperform on test day? (PT 170+)

Postby sfreuden » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:45 pm

My PT average was around 175-176, with my highest timed PT a 178. I scored a 180 on test day. So it is definitely possible. Good luck!

HeavenWood
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Re: Possible to overperform on test day? (PT 170+)

Postby HeavenWood » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:47 pm

NightmanCometh wrote:Every person I have talked to who took the LSAT warned "you will get a lower score on test day than your PT score." Obviously the difference varied by the person, but every single person said they got lower. These people all got very high on their PT's (170+, sometimes 175+), and on test day either barely didn't break 170 (168-169), or even if they did they got 5 or so points lower than their PT.

So I wanted to ask here, did anybody who took the real test (or know anybody who did) who PT'd in the 170s get a higher, or at least the exact same score on the real test? Again, this is not about people who scored mid 150s and got a 160, but for people who were practice testing in the 170 range.

My PT range for my past 5 tests are consistently 170-173. I am very happy to have broken through the plateau after busting my ass, but I have yet to break past 175 on any PT. I want to break 170, and so don't want to believe that I WILL get a lower score on test day, and hearing some success stories would give me a more positive mindset. On the other hand if there were no positive stories it will probably motivate me to study harder these last few days lol...

It's all about nerves. On test day, I beat my PT average by 5 points and my PT high by 1 point. I didn't quite score 170, but the principle applies no matter where you're scoring. Stay focused and you will do just fine.

Curious1
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Re: Possible to overperform on test day? (PT 170+)

Postby Curious1 » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:47 pm

sfreuden wrote:My PT average was around 175-176, with my highest timed PT a 178. I scored a 180 on test day. So it is definitely possible. Good luck!


Hey number twin. Good luck to you :)

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rinkrat19
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Re: Possible to overperform on test day? (PT 170+)

Postby rinkrat19 » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:15 pm

Possible, yes. If you're a good standardized test taker, you're much more likely to meet or exceed your PT average than someone who freaks out in tests. If nerves aren't a problem for you, once you get in the 170s, a good part of it's luck.

My PT average was 168, my highest PT was 173, and I got a 171 on the real thing. I know I could've done better with more study time (and a more structured study plan), but in terms of where I was PT-ing at that date, I was very pleased.

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SisterRayVU
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Re: Possible to overperform on test day? (PT 170+)

Postby SisterRayVU » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:24 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:If nerves aren't a problem for you, once you get in the 170s, a good part of it's luck.


Disagree about the luck part. If you PT in the 170s consistently, you're not just lucky. Really, if you PT anywhere, you're not lucky to score that. You'd be lucky (both positive and negative) if you score differently by like, 2 points though. It's hard to say since we can't get a reliable standard deviation, but it's safe to assume if you score in a certain way consistently you ain't lucky.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Possible to overperform on test day? (PT 170+)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:26 pm

SisterRayVU wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:If nerves aren't a problem for you, once you get in the 170s, a good part of it's luck.


Disagree about the luck part. If you PT in the 170s consistently, you're not just lucky. Really, if you PT anywhere, you're not lucky to score that. You'd be lucky (both positive and negative) if you score differently by like, 2 points though. It's hard to say since we can't get a reliable standard deviation, but it's safe to assume if you score in a certain way consistently you ain't lucky.


She wasn't suggesting that scoring in the 170s is the result of luck, just that scoring higher than your best PT requires a bit of luck.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Possible to overperform on test day? (PT 170+)

Postby rinkrat19 » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:44 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
SisterRayVU wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:If nerves aren't a problem for you, once you get in the 170s, a good part of it's luck.


Disagree about the luck part. If you PT in the 170s consistently, you're not just lucky. Really, if you PT anywhere, you're not lucky to score that. You'd be lucky (both positive and negative) if you score differently by like, 2 points though. It's hard to say since we can't get a reliable standard deviation, but it's safe to assume if you score in a certain way consistently you ain't lucky.


She wasn't suggesting that scoring in the 170s is the result of luck, just that scoring higher than your best PT requires a bit of luck.
Yep, this.

freestallion
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Re: Possible to overperform on test day? (PT 170+)

Postby freestallion » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:46 pm

Personally, I averaged around 173, though my last 6 or so PTs were higher (maybe average 175) closer to the test date. On the test date however I only scored 173. I was fine with this score but I think most people score around their practice test average, or maybe even a little lower.

I think several things help: if you generally test really well, and do very well under high pressure/stress situations, and do not get nervous.

If you normally have difficulty on standardized tests/get nervous easily then I would try to simulate the test environment as much as possible. I say prepare as best you can, but on test day don't be surprised if you score slightly lower than your average. It is certainly possible to outperform your PT average but it is simply not as common.

NightmanCometh
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Re: Possible to overperform on test day? (PT 170+)

Postby NightmanCometh » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:49 pm

Nice! I didn't expect this many cases...this is definitely encouraging. I usually perform well under pressure and for my SAT way outperformed my practice tests, but then again LSAT makes the SAT look like a freakin joke...

I'm more worried about careless mistakes than breaking down; since the margin of error once you hit 170 is so small, any careless mistakes can be fatal especially since I am on that 170 fringe on my PTs.

I do think luck IS a factor especially because any 170+ score depends so much on each answer. If you choose between two answer choices you were unsure of and it turns out to be correct, no one cares whether you made a lucky pick or genuinely knew why it was correct. Obviously there can only be 1 or at most two of these per section (LR), but they can add up to some significant point swings.

Curious1
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Re: Possible to overperform on test day? (PT 170+)

Postby Curious1 » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:56 pm

NightmanCometh wrote:Nice! I didn't expect this many cases...this is definitely encouraging. I usually perform well under pressure and for my SAT way outperformed my practice tests, but then again LSAT makes the SAT look like a freakin joke...

I'm more worried about careless mistakes than breaking down; since the margin of error once you hit 170 is so small, any careless mistakes can be fatal especially since I am on that 170 fringe on my PTs.

I do think luck IS a factor especially because any 170+ score depends so much on each answer. If you choose between two answer choices you were unsure of and it turns out to be correct, no one cares whether you made a lucky pick or genuinely knew why it was correct. Obviously there can only be 1 or at most two of these per section (LR), but they can add up to some significant point swings.


I think a very important factor (at least for me) was that I wasn't really doing the best that I could on PT's. As soon as I got to section 4 of any PT I would think, "ok it's almost over, just finish this quickly so I can see how I did." And that usually led to a really bad last section. Another thing had to do with my taking PT's at night, which was when I usually had time. I noticed a pretty significant difference between PT-ing at 9 PM on Friday during the school year versus 10 AM on Tuesday in the summer. So...with that in mind, just jump into it, make sure you get a good night's sleep, and you'll do great.

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NiccoloA
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Re: Possible to overperform on test day? (PT 170+)

Postby NiccoloA » Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:08 am

I'm hoping it has a lot to do with the environment you study in.

I study with a lot of noise (in a dorm) and with a lot of distractions around me (a dorm roommate). I go to the school where the test is going to be held at, I'm comfortable with the environment.


Unless I psyche myself out, which I don't think that I will because more and more I'm thinking that I just might not go, I'll score around 169.

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soj
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Re: Possible to overperform on test day? (PT 170+)

Postby soj » Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:23 pm

freestallion wrote:I think several things help: if you generally test really well, and do very well under high pressure/stress situations, and do not get nervous.

If you normally have difficulty on standardized tests/get nervous easily then I would try to simulate the test environment as much as possible. I say prepare as best you can, but on test day don't be surprised if you score slightly lower than your average. It is certainly possible to outperform your PT average but it is simply not as common.

I agree with this. I generally get nervous in stressful situations and don't do as well as I want to do (lol dates), but I felt strangely in the zone on test day and did better than my PT average, a little better than even my average from the last four weeks of prep (which was higher than my PT average, as I had an upward trend in PT scores). I think taking tests under simulated conditions helped a lot.

A little bit about taking practice tests vs. drilling: Many people on TLS overrate the value of doing practice test after practice test. They're anxious to see improvement without working for it by drilling. But once you get to the point where you need to review only 5-15 questions per test, I think it's fine to do just PTs, as long as you're taking the time to review those 5-15 questions thoroughly. Of course, if those 5-15 questions tend to be just one or two question types, you should drill those types. But there are certainly benefits to doing PTs: build stamina, work on pacing, measure your progress.

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Icculus
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Re: Possible to overperform on test day? (PT 170+)

Postby Icculus » Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:39 pm

The last time I tested I was averaging around a 171 prior to test day and scored a 173. I think part of it was luck and part of it is not letting nerves get you. I may be an anomaly though, because the first time I tested I was averaging around 161 and scored a 165. I think I just work better under the pressure of the real thing.

sea15
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Re: Possible to overperform on test day? (PT 170+)

Postby sea15 » Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:52 pm

You will do as well as you prepare for and as well as you normally do on standardized tests. Standardized tests really don't phase me, though I actually was a little nervous until section 2 of my LSAT.

I averaged 170 (anywhere from 165-178) in the last month of PTs (about 6) before the test, and pulled a 172 on test day, which made me very happy. I would say I outperformed my average.




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