Biggest drops for 170+ PTers

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bernaldiaz
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Biggest drops for 170+ PTers

Postby bernaldiaz » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:15 am

I've seen a lot of threads where there practice vs actual LSAT scores. I'm asking something a bit more specific. Primarily for people who had high PT's (but anyone can chime in), what was your drop from your HIGHEST PT to your actual score? I'm sort of interested to see if anyone who had mastered the material enough to get say a 175-180 on a practice test struggled enough on game day to go well below 170.

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Errzii
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Re: Biggest drops for 170+ PTers

Postby Errzii » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:27 am

I think realistically you can probably expect a variance of anywhere from 3 points (normal) to 5 points (extreme) when comparing PT to actual score pending on external factors like how you perform under the testing environment and the difficulty of the test. Anything beyond that and you either got extremely lucky or something went horribly wrong. FWIW, my highest PT was 177 (not counting tests with questions that I had already seen) and got a 175 on the actual.

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johansantana21
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Re: Biggest drops for 170+ PTers

Postby johansantana21 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:32 am

Don't underestimate test day pressure/nerves. I know a friend who scored 175+ every test who never broke 165 on 3 attempts at the real thing.

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Onthebrink
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Re: Biggest drops for 170+ PTers

Postby Onthebrink » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:32 am

Was averaging about a 174-175 on PTs before I took it the first time. I got a 167 but there were moderately extenuating circumstances. 2nd time I bumped it to a 171.

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180asBreath
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Re: Biggest drops for 170+ PTers

Postby 180asBreath » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:33 am

I saw guys go from 170's average (with a high of ~178) get a 160-163. Test anxiety and deviating from one's normal habits can absolutely destroy one's score. One way of remedying this is taking it 3-4 times; there's no way you can choke that many times - you'll end up with a 170.

Personally, I had a high of 174 and an average of 169 (-13.5); I ended up with a 166 after making some huge mistakes (missing 3 questions on the first LG, changing several right answers to wrong answers, and basically choking on RC.

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bernaldiaz
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Re: Biggest drops for 170+ PTers

Postby bernaldiaz » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:40 am

180asBreath wrote:I saw guys go from 170's average (with a high of ~178) get a 160-163. Test anxiety and deviating from one's normal habits can absolutely destroy one's score. One way of remedying this is taking it 3-4 times; there's no way you can choke that many times - you'll end up with a 170.

Personally, I had a high of 174 and an average of 169 (-13.5); I ended up with a 166 after making some huge mistakes (missing 3 questions on the first LG, changing several right answers to wrong answers, and basically choking on RC.


Yeah, I followed your 10 weeks to a 180 thread, and not going to lie, that sort of disheartened me (not you specifically but I think one of the people who was doing it with you). Are you staying with your score?

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suspicious android
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Re: Biggest drops for 170+ PTers

Postby suspicious android » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:56 am

Significant drops of 8-10 are fairly common. Not as common as people scoring within a few points of their average, thankfully, but still common. Not everyone is honest with themselves or us about their prep conditions, some people freak out more on test day than others (the latter definitely applied to me). Focusing on your preptest scores is not really a great way to prepare for the test anyway, so I'd just try not to worry about it.

Test day is going to be different than all the other's, there's nothing to be done about that. Focus on your understanding of the material. Try to learn the things that the LSAT is testing you on. Try to get fast. Don't focus on your average, or your goal score, just focus on getting as much right as possible and after every section or test, figure out what you did wrong on that section. Do better next time.

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tmon
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Re: Biggest drops for 170+ PTers

Postby tmon » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:01 am

Practice average was mid-low 170s with a high of 177. Started studying in February of 2011. Postponed to October. Scored a 162. The worst part about it was it didn't feel that different. In hindsight I can see how I was getting away from the techniques of answering questions, but still am shocked it was that bad. Scored a 168 on December retake, which is still pretty disappointing considering the curve. Call it nerves or whatever, but I'm not usually a person who gets nervous for big things and I'm generally really calm. Don't really have any advice though, other than don't obsess over it so much that it becomes the be-all, end-all of your life because that only adds to the pressure of it.

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ThomasMN
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Re: Biggest drops for 170+ PTers

Postby ThomasMN » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:09 am

johansantana21 wrote:Don't underestimate test day pressure/nerves. I know a friend who scored 175+ every test who never broke 165 on 3 attempts at the real thing.


I have of all things a slight lazy eye that just killed my real LSAT score compared to my practice tests. That one extra session coupled with practically no breaks between section made my scoring go from -2 on the first two sections to -12 on the last two. When I practiced I gave myself a slight 3-4 minute break between sections, which was enough time to let my eye rest to keep up a pretty solid -1 per section average. Screw my genetics, lol.

Before someone says something, you can't even tell I have a lazy eye. Although those magic eye things are impossible for me to do and my optometrist keeps trying to sell me on vision therapy.

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Errzii
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Re: Biggest drops for 170+ PTers

Postby Errzii » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:16 am

IMO simulating test day conditions is a very important part of prep. This is especially true for those that consistently PT at 170+ because you already understand the material and the primary goal changes focus to replicating those results on test day. Even minor things like taking a break between sections, testing with 4 instead of 5 sections, using ear buds, prepping alone instead of in a room of people, etc. can really throw you off on the actual test where you're suddenly out of your "comfort zone"

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ThomasMN
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Re: Biggest drops for 170+ PTers

Postby ThomasMN » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:20 am

Errzii wrote:IMO simulating test day conditions is a very important part of prep. This is especially true for those that consistently PT at 170+ because you already understand the material and the primary goal changes focus to replicating those results on test day. Even minor things like taking a break between sections, testing with 4 instead of 5 sections, using ear buds, prepping alone instead of in a room of people, etc. can really throw you off on the actual test where you're suddenly out of your "comfort zone"


I totally agree, but you're talking to a kid that had to play eyeball games with popsicle sticks as a kid. I was completely fine until the eye strain kicked in on my left eye. That being said, I can totally see how I'm sounding whiney. Can't really complain too much though as I got into my no.1 choice.

FloridaCoastalorbust
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Re: Biggest drops for 170+ PTers

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:21 am

retake: average ~169; real 166

retake 2: average ~171; real 169 with uncharacteristically low LG

PT high of 176 (twice). Both these times felt just the same as 168/9+.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Biggest drops for 170+ PTers

Postby JamMasterJ » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:31 am

166 from a 170-174 range. Retook for a 176

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180asBreath
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Re: Biggest drops for 170+ PTers

Postby 180asBreath » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:43 am

bernaldiaz wrote:
180asBreath wrote:I saw guys go from 170's average (with a high of ~178) get a 160-163. Test anxiety and deviating from one's normal habits can absolutely destroy one's score. One way of remedying this is taking it 3-4 times; there's no way you can choke that many times - you'll end up with a 170.

Personally, I had a high of 174 and an average of 169 (-13.5); I ended up with a 166 after making some huge mistakes (missing 3 questions on the first LG, changing several right answers to wrong answers, and basically choking on RC.


Yeah, I followed your 10 weeks to a 180 thread, and not going to lie, that sort of disheartened me (not you specifically but I think one of the people who was doing it with you). Are you staying with your score?


Yeah, that's how it goes when you put too much pressure on yourself, you burn out during prep, or you deviate from your normal methods on game day; quite frankly, when I saw that a few of us were putting up big 170's on PTs - I knew that some of us would underperform. As it came down, I believe I was in the middle of our group (160-162-166-171-173, iirc).

It all depends on what my target school ends up doing with my application. If I had to guess, I will be re-taking in June. We shall see.

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burtonrideclub
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Re: Biggest drops for 170+ PTers

Postby burtonrideclub » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:57 am

Averaged around 170, high of 177. First three scores were cancel, 166, 166. Fourth time round I only practiced with 5 section PT's, finally made a 171.

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jrthor10
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Re: Biggest drops for 170+ PTers

Postby jrthor10 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:33 am

PT average of 170-171. High of 174.

Oct. '11: 164
Dec. '11: 171

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Yeshia90
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Re: Biggest drops for 170+ PTers

Postby Yeshia90 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:29 am

A buddy of mine was PT'ing consistently in the low-to-mid-170s, then got a 159 on the real thing.

kertz
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Re: Biggest drops for 170+ PTers

Postby kertz » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:30 pm

7 points. Complete preptest range (over twenty tests) was 171-179. Average (both mean and median) was 174.

I took preptests in nearly exact testing conditions. There were two differences, and I think they were significant (especially the second):

(1) I took most preptests at 12-2PM. I only took 5 (out of 20) at 10AM. I hate mornings. My real LSAT was at 10AM. On my 10AM preptests, my average was lower - 173.

(2) I did not use a watch during my preptests. I just set a timer at 32min. and worked until it beeped. I had internalized the time constraint from practicing last year, so this never was a problem. I used a watch on the real thing, and I think it psyched me out in the LG section.

That said, my preptest scores were not normally distributed - they were skewed to the lower end.

What helped (I think):

I always took two preptests (two four-section tests) back to back. I think this prepared me to take the LSAT adequately while psychologically tired or distraught, which I was after the LG (second section) on my real 10AM LSAT.
Last edited by kertz on Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

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ben4847
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Re: Biggest drops for 170+ PTers

Postby ben4847 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:34 pm

I know a guy who was averaging 179.6 over 25 PT's, and scored a 120 on the real thing. He has tourrettes, and kept feeling like he had to fill in the wrong answer.

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bigeast03
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Re: Biggest drops for 170+ PTers

Postby bigeast03 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:35 pm

I collapsed on test day - my last ten PT average was a 176, including two 180's. Real score was a 169. I am disappoint.

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ben4847
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Re: Biggest drops for 170+ PTers

Postby ben4847 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:40 pm

Oh, let me just add my numbers to this thread to be a jerk.
Average- 171 (over like 15 PT's)
Spread- 169-175
Test day- 176

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princeR
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Re: Biggest drops for 170+ PTers

Postby princeR » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:13 pm

ben4847 wrote:Oh, let me just add my numbers to this thread to be a jerk.
Average- 171 (over like 15 PT's)
Spread- 169-175
Test day- 176

Thanks for posting this. Just prepare for every possible factor and remember to stick to your game plan.

caminante
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Re: Biggest drops for 170+ PTers

Postby caminante » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:14 pm

I think you're getting mostly extremes on here. I was really scared of a major drop on test day because of reading the horror stories on here. I think the average person should expect to score within the range of their PT average +/- 4 points. Anything out of that spread is most likely an anomaly.

My PT average was about a 177, with a couple of 180s and skewing higher toward the end of my prep. I scored a 176 on the real thing.

edited for typo.

darkatillam2
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Re: Biggest drops for 170+ PTers

Postby darkatillam2 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:51 pm

After 12 months of studying I got my average up to 171 before test day (for roughly 2 months).

My high was 176.

Actual score: 160.

Can't tell you how disappointed I am. The vast majority of my practice I used a DVD proctor which mirrored the LSAT conditions almost perfectly. However, every time I was in my living room practicing I was almost 100% calm and level headed (assuming I wasn't really tired). Come test day, I was extremely nervous (probably because of the build up) and had to use the bathroom multiple times before and during the break. I reviewed some of my LR mistakes and nearly cut myself. I was flabbergasted to find some of the horrible and stupid mistakes I had made.

There is a huge part of me that wishes I hadn't studied for so long and learned how important the LSAT was. Being a TLS member for a long time, I've read nearly every dreary law school article posted, I've memorized nearly all my schools law school transparency stats, and the stress of thinking "T14 or I'm totally and completely fucked", really didn't allow me to focus on test day.

I guess I shouldn't complain a lot as my diagnostic was 141. But that was in Nov. of 2010 and I literally hadn't picked up a book in 2 years+. After I got back in the habit my average around June was 160-165. By October it was 165-170. And by December I had multiple 173+ scores. Sigh

Oh, and my prep included : every PT administered, all the PS bibles read multiple times, Master the LSAT, Superprep (done twice), old testmasters course books that were given to me by a friend, and the Manhattan forums (which were very helpful).

kertz
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Re: Biggest drops for 170+ PTers

Postby kertz » Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:56 pm

The key is not to just get high preptest scores, but to get high preptest scores consistently. I mean no more than +/- 3 points variation at most. Realistically, if you're in the 70s already, it takes a LOT of work to be able to go from consistent 174s to consistent 177s. Don't be misled by a couple tests you get great scores on. Focus on your average, and if your preptest scores vary a lot, expect to score way below that average, for that means that you just sometimes get lucky, or that sometimes the test 'speaks' to you, and sometimes it doesn't.

This is all in terms of assessing what your score will be when you get down to those last few weeks. Of course, if you're working hard, you should see some improvement in your scores overall.




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