Just Took My First Diagnostic Test

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TommyK
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Re: Just Took My First Diagnostic Test

Postby TommyK » Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:47 pm

Dany wrote:Because it's a diagnostic? I think it's useful for seeing what an actual LSAT is like, reading through the questions, picking out what will and won't be difficult for you to study, etc. There's no sense in cutting yourself off halfway through a section and feeling like a failure the first time. First comes accuracy, then speed, and I don't think that the timed element of the exam is of the utmost importance when you're first starting out. So saying an untimed diagnostic "means nothing" is just silly. Maybe timed works better for some people, but an untimed diagnostic was useful to me.


Ok - like I said, we just have different values of diagnostics. You prefer a test that will provide an introduction to the test while not being demoralizing. I think the value of a diagnostic test shows you where your strengths and weaknesses are while being constrained to test-like conditions. I guess I could buy it if you didn't score the test, but instead just used it as a question-by-question review. So instead of noting that you got a 163 on your diagnostic, you noted that you struggled with parallel reasoning, did well with linear games, struggled with matching games, and crushed science-type RC passages. Doing this provides some in-depth info on what you're good at, without scoring you against scores derived from timed tests.

I think one of the risks of using an untimed score of your first diagnostic is that it gives you an overly-optimistic reading of where your competencies are. And if I'm faced with two different tests - one that will cause me to underprepare and one that will cause me to overprepare, I'll probably choose the second for something as important as the LSAT. I think I've sufficiently derailed this thread. GL OP.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Just Took My First Diagnostic Test

Postby DoubleChecks » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:14 pm

That and if the diag isn't timed, how would our e-dicks be measured? Seriously, it is like a 135 lb guy telling others the first time he ever benched in his life he could do reps of 150 (but with the * that he had his friend spot him the whole way through). :P

But on a more serious note, I also think timed diags give you a better sense of your starting point...which, given some flexibility, can let you know what is a reasonable goal and what isn't. But full disclosure, I subscribe to a completely different way of approaching life than the "shoot for the moon" mentalities, so it'd probably explain my prejudice.

bruss
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Re: Just Took My First Diagnostic Test

Postby bruss » Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:07 pm

Dany wrote:Because it's a diagnostic? I think it's useful for seeing what an actual LSAT is like, reading through the questions, picking out what will and won't be difficult for you to study, etc. There's no sense in cutting yourself off halfway through a section and feeling like a failure the first time. First comes accuracy, then speed, and I don't think that the timed element of the exam is of the utmost importance when you're first starting out. So saying an untimed diagnostic "means nothing" is just silly. Maybe timed works better for some people, but an untimed diagnostic was useful to me.


Ok it was useful to show that you can read and answer questions. But we are all under the assumption that if you are planning to take the lsat you have passed high school and you already know how to read and answer questions. You seem to be changing or misunderstanding the meaning(which most tlsers agree on) of diagnostic. The point of the diagnostic is to see where you stand under true conditions of the test so you can see how much you have progressed when you take pt's later down the line. What you did was take an untimed pt without know what question are on it and without know how to handle the questions. What you did was waste a fucking pt just to see if you can read and answer questions.

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Dany
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Re: Just Took My First Diagnostic Test

Postby Dany » Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:11 pm

bruss wrote:
Dany wrote:Because it's a diagnostic? I think it's useful for seeing what an actual LSAT is like, reading through the questions, picking out what will and won't be difficult for you to study, etc. There's no sense in cutting yourself off halfway through a section and feeling like a failure the first time. First comes accuracy, then speed, and I don't think that the timed element of the exam is of the utmost importance when you're first starting out. So saying an untimed diagnostic "means nothing" is just silly. Maybe timed works better for some people, but an untimed diagnostic was useful to me.

Ok it was useful to show that you can read and answer questions. But we are all under the assumption that if you are planning to take the lsat you have passed high school and you already know how to read and answer questions. You seem to be changing or misunderstanding the meaning(which most tlsers agree on) of diagnostic. The point of the diagnostic is to see where you stand under true conditions of the test so you can see how much you have progressed when you take pt's later down the line. What you did was take an untimed pt without know what question are on it and without know how to handle the questions. What you did was waste a fucking pt just to see if you can read and answer questions.

lawl it worked just fine and wasn't a waste for me.

vtoodler
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Re: Just Took My First Diagnostic Test

Postby vtoodler » Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:36 pm

There are about 70 available practice tests.
Last edited by vtoodler on Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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FratLaw
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Re: Just Took My First Diagnostic Test

Postby FratLaw » Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:53 pm

emkay625 wrote:
vtoodler wrote:Believe it or not, I just took my first real LSAT test exam. I got a 157.

I must mention, however, that I didn't time the test. I plan to take all 70 of the available preptests before the June 2012 LSAT. I'm not going to time roughly half of the tests. The other half, however, will be strictly timed.

This is how I studied for the SAT/PSAT, and I did fine on them. I didn't begin timing at first in order to take some of the pressure off and familiarize myself with the test/ question types. Once I got familiar with PSAT/SAT, I no longer feared it, naturally got faster and was able to finish well within the allotted time. I hope this strategy works with the LSAT.

My goal is to score above 170 on the June 2012 LSAT.


Your first diagnostic really should be timed. That 157 means nothing otherwise.
Take a timed test. THEN start doing untimed prep. Follow pithypike's study schedule, which is stickied in this forum.


This!

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LexLeon
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Re: Just Took My First Diagnostic Test

Postby LexLeon » Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:54 pm

The score of an untimed test doesn't mean nothing; and it certainly wasn't a waste. Diagnosis is drawn from the Greek word for discernment (διάγνωσις), and it's not as though you haven't discerned anything. It is moreover commonly prescribed that one familiarizes him/herself with the material before s/he begins allow time to exert pressure on his or her performance.

I assume that you want to time your next test anyway. I wouldn't be surprised if your score on a timed test is right in that range as well (if not higher). You have a great amount of time between now and June to break the 170 barrier (it's really not even a barrier...). In other words, great job and you got this.

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bouakedojo
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Re: Just Took My First Diagnostic Test

Postby bouakedojo » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:15 pm

vtoodler wrote:Believe it or not, I just took my first real LSAT exam. I got a 157.

I must mention, however, that I didn't time the test. I plan to take all 70 of the available preptests before the June 2012 LSAT. I'm not going to time roughly half of the tests. The other half, however, will be strictly timed.

This is how I studied for the SAT/PSAT, and I did fine on them. I didn't begin timing at first in order to take some of the pressure off and familiarize myself with the test/question types. Once I got familiar with PSAT/SAT, I no longer feared it, naturally got faster and was able to finish well within the allotted time. I hope this strategy works with the LSAT.

My goal is to score above 170 on the June 2012 LSAT.


If you have a higher percentage of wrong answers from LG, then I'd say you have a strong chance to reach your goal.

Good luck.

fosterp
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Re: Just Took My First Diagnostic Test

Postby fosterp » Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:31 pm

I personally think a timed diagnostic is just a waste of test material unless you are already familiar with the format of the test, types of questions, etc. The test is not meant to be taken cold, and I really don't see how a cold diagnostic is really useful. I would say the variation of increases people see from a "cold" test to actual test day is so wide that it is really no accurate indicator of someone's potential performance. And other than this prediction (which I just mentioned is probably inaccurate) of how well you could actually do with prep and your own personal desire to jump ranks on test, what other use does a cold diagnostic serve?

I feel that a much wiser use of full prep tests would be getting familiar with the test sections first through the bibles/other prep books, and then doing periodic strict timed tests to see which areas you really need to work on.

I mean just as an example I took the free PT strictly timed and scored a 137 simply because I didn't know how to manage my time on the test - then scored a 170 on the real thing. What did the 137 tell me? Nothing really, it wasn't an accurate predictor of my potential, nor did it assess my strengths or weaknesses since time (which is probably what will get most cold test takers) was the major factor.

Overall, your score doesn't really mean anything at all until your in the part of your prep where you are able to reasonably do timed tests - then you can start considering where you might end up on test day.

If your really aiming for the highest score, then the finite amount of prep material should be a concern and wasting tests on "cold diagnostics" is probably a bad idea.




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