Sticking with preptest 30 and up

enigmabk
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Sticking with preptest 30 and up

Postby enigmabk » Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:01 pm

Assuming a limited time frame, would it be the best to stick with preptests 30 and over?

VasaVasori
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Postby VasaVasori » Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:28 pm

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Geetar Man
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Re: Sticking with preptest 30 and up

Postby Geetar Man » Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:51 pm

I think 30 and up are best. Start taking them once you're at a point where you can take 3 a week (with review) up until the last few days before test day. You should have taken pt 65 as your last one and reviewed

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Mr. Pancakes
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Re: Sticking with preptest 30 and up

Postby Mr. Pancakes » Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:52 pm

Geetar Man wrote:I think 30 and up are best. Start taking them once you're at a point where you can take 3 a week (with review) up until the last few days before test day. You should have taken pt 65 as your last one and reviewed

I noticed a different feel to the last couple of years tests. I would go over the last couple of years at least a week or two before test day.

enigmabk
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Re: Sticking with preptest 30 and up

Postby enigmabk » Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:59 pm

I have pretty much all the preptests and i have done 7-20 but im contemplating skipping 21-29 and starting on 30 because i have seen multiple threads and posts with people claiming that the tests before 30 are much more different as opposed to the ones after 30. I am registered for the june 2012 lsat and have no job or school at the moment

VasaVasori
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Postby VasaVasori » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:24 pm

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Last edited by VasaVasori on Sat May 02, 2015 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

enigmabk
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Re: Sticking with preptest 30 and up

Postby enigmabk » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:29 pm

VasaVasori wrote:I mean, if you are at PT 20, to finish all the PTs between now and the test you would have to do 2 PTs every three days and then add a few more gaps in there to finish all the PTs comfortably in time for the actual LSAT.

If you're not working and not in school, I'd imagine you have a lot of free time, so why not just do them all? If you are going to cut out any, at this point you want to cut out 20-30. But if you have the time, I'd try to do as many as I could.

I figured that would give me more time to review each exam down to detail, as opposed to if i were to include 21-29.

however, i can see your point.

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pizzabrosauce
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Re: Sticking with preptest 30 and up

Postby pizzabrosauce » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:05 pm

21-29's LGs are still good practice since they are more difficult, and the section seems headed back in that direction.

MLBrandow
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Re: Sticking with preptest 30 and up

Postby MLBrandow » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:59 am

enigmabk wrote:I have pretty much all the preptests and i have done 7-20 but im contemplating skipping 21-29 and starting on 30 because i have seen multiple threads and posts with people claiming that the tests before 30 are much more different as opposed to the ones after 30. I am registered for the june 2012 lsat and have no job or school at the moment


enigmabk,

At that rate, you won't see any tests from the last major change (comparative reading) until 2-3 weeks before the real test. You'll develop habits from older tests and expectations of question types, only to be thrown for a loop when things change as you begin to take more recent tests.

Why do you place an emphasis on doing the tests in order? If it's true that more recent tests are a more accurate representation of what the June '12 LSAT will look like, why wait until 2-3 weeks before to begin to see tests that most resemble it?

Instead, why not take some of those tests now, and possibly repeat them in two months? You may be stressing out over particular LR questions that might just be poorly worded artifacts of old tests, whereas questions like that will simply never appear on a modern LSAT.

Moreover, if you've only taken PT 7-20, you've never seen a modern LR section that lacks double-stemmed arguments. This change occurred in PT40, and you won't even be exposed to an LR section like this until late April.

While there is certainly merit in doing all PTs for maximum exposure to all the possible things that test-makers can throw at you, I question whether there is any benefit to doing them in chronological order, and I further question whether time spent on these oldest PTs might have been better spent focusing instead on newer PTs.

Ask yourself your reasons for saving the newest PTs until last; it's likely because you want the most accurate predictions of your PT range heading into the real LSAT. But wouldn't you rather use some of these most recent LSATs as part of your core review, rather than as litmus tests marking your progress at the end of your preparation? Do you really need 15 litmus tests heading into the last few weeks of your prep? Wouldn't two or three suffice?

Also worth mentioning is that four years ago when I was first prepping, there were only ~45 tests to study with. It was almost impossible to get a hold of the out-of-print PTs and there was barely any comparative reading practice, so doing all the tests and in order wasn't as big a deal. Now, there are 71 easily available tests. There are enough tests that you can repeat modern tests two months apart, when you will have forgotten most of the questions/answers. And while I still find myself recognizing questions (and some answers) from four years ago, it doesn't change my approach to these questions. I've also noticed that there isn't a significant drop off in my memory of test questions from a few weeks to several years. I think if you have the chance to take a very recent test like PT60 twice, and not remember most of the answers, that will be much more insightful than taking PT60 once and PT3 once.

In short, it's not that PT29 is vastly different from PT30, but that because the LSAT has changed subtly with each administration, after a certain point (some mark PT30 as a cutoff), the older PTs become dissimilar enough from the modern LSAT as to lose much of their value. And ultimately, I think one's time is better spent placing emphasis on the newest PTs at least intermittently throughout one's prep.

While I don't tout this as the best or even a very good prep schedule, I do feel it is markedly better than simply doing the PTs in order. Here's what my schedule until test day looks like:

Image

It emphasizes the most modern PTs at 3-4 per week (with TBD leaving open the option for additional PTs). Following this schedule, I'll be exposed to many of the newest tests early on and will repeat them in later weeks. I personally feel that repeating PT65 five weeks later has more value than doing PT8 once. It is worth mentioning though that I studied questions by type with PTs 1-38, and when I prepped before about four years ago I took most of PTs 7-30.

If you don't want to repeat PTs, I still recommend crafting a PT schedule somewhat similar to this (maybe fewer per week if you aren't studying full-time), and scatter the new tests and the old tests so that you don't lose a feel for the modern LSAT, and you can take some of the more nebulous questions from the early to mid 90s in a broader context.

Best of luck in whatever you decide. At the end of the day, you're looking at nuances in 99th percentile prep plans. Of course, at that level, the law of diminishing returns carries ever-weakening force.

enigmabk
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Re: Sticking with preptest 30 and up

Postby enigmabk » Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:11 pm

MLBrandow wrote:
enigmabk wrote:I have pretty much all the preptests and i have done 7-20 but im contemplating skipping 21-29 and starting on 30 because i have seen multiple threads and posts with people claiming that the tests before 30 are much more different as opposed to the ones after 30. I am registered for the june 2012 lsat and have no job or school at the moment


enigmabk,

At that rate, you won't see any tests from the last major change (comparative reading) until 2-3 weeks before the real test. You'll develop habits from older tests and expectations of question types, only to be thrown for a loop when things change as you begin to take more recent tests.

Why do you place an emphasis on doing the tests in order? If it's true that more recent tests are a more accurate representation of what the June '12 LSAT will look like, why wait until 2-3 weeks before to begin to see tests that most resemble it?

Instead, why not take some of those tests now, and possibly repeat them in two months? You may be stressing out over particular LR questions that might just be poorly worded artifacts of old tests, whereas questions like that will simply never appear on a modern LSAT.

Moreover, if you've only taken PT 7-20, you've never seen a modern LR section that lacks double-stemmed arguments. This change occurred in PT40, and you won't even be exposed to an LR section like this until late April.

While there is certainly merit in doing all PTs for maximum exposure to all the possible things that test-makers can throw at you, I question whether there is any benefit to doing them in chronological order, and I further question whether time spent on these oldest PTs might have been better spent focusing instead on newer PTs.

Ask yourself your reasons for saving the newest PTs until last; it's likely because you want the most accurate predictions of your PT range heading into the real LSAT. But wouldn't you rather use some of these most recent LSATs as part of your core review, rather than as litmus tests marking your progress at the end of your preparation? Do you really need 15 litmus tests heading into the last few weeks of your prep? Wouldn't two or three suffice?

Also worth mentioning is that four years ago when I was first prepping, there were only ~45 tests to study with. It was almost impossible to get a hold of the out-of-print PTs and there was barely any comparative reading practice, so doing all the tests and in order wasn't as big a deal. Now, there are 71 easily available tests. There are enough tests that you can repeat modern tests two months apart, when you will have forgotten most of the questions/answers. And while I still find myself recognizing questions (and some answers) from four years ago, it doesn't change my approach to these questions. I've also noticed that there isn't a significant drop off in my memory of test questions from a few weeks to several years. I think if you have the chance to take a very recent test like PT60 twice, and not remember most of the answers, that will be much more insightful than taking PT60 once and PT3 once.

In short, it's not that PT29 is vastly different from PT30, but that because the LSAT has changed subtly with each administration, after a certain point (some mark PT30 as a cutoff), the older PTs become dissimilar enough from the modern LSAT as to lose much of their value. And ultimately, I think one's time is better spent placing emphasis on the newest PTs at least intermittently throughout one's prep.

While I don't tout this as the best or even a very good prep schedule, I do feel it is markedly better than simply doing the PTs in order. Here's what my schedule until test day looks like:

Image

It emphasizes the most modern PTs at 3-4 per week (with TBD leaving open the option for additional PTs). Following this schedule, I'll be exposed to many of the newest tests early on and will repeat them in later weeks. I personally feel that repeating PT65 five weeks later has more value than doing PT8 once. It is worth mentioning though that I studied questions by type with PTs 1-38, and when I prepped before about four years ago I took most of PTs 7-30.

If you don't want to repeat PTs, I still recommend crafting a PT schedule somewhat similar to this (maybe fewer per week if you aren't studying full-time), and scatter the new tests and the old tests so that you don't lose a feel for the modern LSAT, and you can take some of the more nebulous questions from the early to mid 90s in a broader context.

Best of luck in whatever you decide. At the end of the day, you're looking at nuances in 99th percentile prep plans. Of course, at that level, the law of diminishing returns carries ever-weakening force.



thanks for your input, its much appreciated.

i've actually taken a couple of the recent preptest in the 40's 50's before i took the feb 2012 lsat (canceled due to an extremely stupid and frustrating mistake)

i think what might set us apart is my memory, i have an excellent memory and tend not to forget things, even 3 months would not be enough time for me to "forget" the older tests so i wouldn't be getting an accurate score in terms of where my skills really stand. As far as what you mentioned.

this is why i decided to start from the beginning with fresh tests and so far it has boosted my range significantly higher

As far as the comparative reading passages are concerned, I find those the easiest and always get all the questions on those passages correct

As for saving the newest pts for last, not only do i want a reliable indicator of what my actual result would be, but i can't afford to use those tests now and repeat them in June when i would remember most of the questions.

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Micdiddy
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Re: Sticking with preptest 30 and up

Postby Micdiddy » Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:19 pm

^^^^Good advice two posts above.

For some reason it's taken as gospel that preptests should be taken chronologically. I feel, though, that all pretests have very similar value, even if an older one has one or two LR questions you will certainly not see and no comparative reading passages it is still 90%+ the same material and requires the same mental capabilities to do well on.
Still, though it is fine to practice on obsolete questions, it makes no sense at all to wait until the last few weeks to expose yourself to what is NEW about the LSAT.
Though I do not plan on retaking any preptests (because I mark up my tests significantly during diagnostics and review) I will certainly mix in new preptests as early as possible during my test schedule, while still saving 3-4 for the week before test time to solidify me recognition of what I can expect to see.

MLBrandow
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Re: Sticking with preptest 30 and up

Postby MLBrandow » Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:32 pm

enigmabk wrote:thanks for your input, its much appreciated.

i've actually taken a couple of the recent preptest in the 40's 50's before i took the feb 2012 lsat (canceled due to an extremely stupid and frustrating mistake)

i think what might set us apart is my memory, i have an excellent memory and tend not to forget things, even 3 months would not be enough time for me to "forget" the older tests so i wouldn't be getting an accurate score in terms of where my skills really stand. As far as what you mentioned.

this is why i decided to start from the beginning with fresh tests and so far it has boosted my range significantly higher

As far as the comparative reading passages are concerned, I find those the easiest and always get all the questions on those passages correct

As for saving the newest pts for last, not only do i want a reliable indicator of what my actual result would be, but i can't afford to use those tests now and repeat them in June when i would remember most of the questions.


enigmabk,

We can agree to disagree, but I think you are overestimating both the quality of your memory and the worth of older PTs as well as underestimating the value of repeating practice tests. I, too, have an excellent memory, but unless you can take a test and remember every correct answer to such a degree that it inhibits the deductive process, there is great value in repeating tests. Once you take a certain number of tests, a lot of the questions end up looking alike, which causes some level of retroactive interference. Unless you are scoring 180 on repeat PTs, they should be much more revealing than taking a PT from the early 90s. Your score may not accurately reflect your improvements, but neither will taking a PT from 1993. The difference is the quality of questions you take from the newer PTs will much more closely resemble what you will fine on the June test.

Further, even if you have an "excellent memory and tend not to forget things," I fail to see how that precludes one from scattering the newest PTs across your prep, so that you can maintain focus on the newest style of PTs, rather than only become exposed to them in the few weeks before the June administration. You don't need every most recent test to accurately gauge your prep progress, and knowing exactly where you stand shouldn't be your focus; instead it should be on minimizing areas of weakness. Missing the same question twice is one of the most effective means to discover (and subsequently quash) those weaknesses.

Putting stock in an accurate score measurement rather than maximizing your prep improvements is simply the wrong way to go about prepping for a top score. You're absolutely right that taking the newest tests immediately before the actual test will provide the most accurate score prognostication, but for your prep, you would certainly get more benefit out of doing those tests multiple times, and especially doing at least some of them earlier (now) so as to better understand your early PT scores relative to the June test.

When I first prepped for the LSAT four years ago, I had the same feelings as you regarding the most recent tests, and I can tell you that they are unjustified. Exhausting all the prep material means that you can answer every test question correctly and understand it, not that you have simply taken all the tests.

Again, while you can't really go wrong by taking all the tests (assuming adequate review), placing chronological emphasis at the cost of temporal emphasis on the newest tests is misguided at best; and while I don't think it is damaging to your prep, it is certainly won't maximize your time spent. And again, although we're splitting hairs, the level of trend analysis and other insights you may glean from multiple exposures to the most recent tests may be a significant part of the boost that takes you from 173 to 178+ on your retake. I don't think the order of PTs harms your score, but added emphasis on the newest tests will almost certainly make a positive difference.

It seems you have your mind made up with regard to PT ordering though, so we will have to see on test day which method, if either, works better. :)

enigmabk
Posts: 149
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:52 pm

Re: Sticking with preptest 30 and up

Postby enigmabk » Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:58 pm

MLBrandow wrote:
enigmabk wrote:thanks for your input, its much appreciated.

i've actually taken a couple of the recent preptest in the 40's 50's before i took the feb 2012 lsat (canceled due to an extremely stupid and frustrating mistake)

i think what might set us apart is my memory, i have an excellent memory and tend not to forget things, even 3 months would not be enough time for me to "forget" the older tests so i wouldn't be getting an accurate score in terms of where my skills really stand. As far as what you mentioned.

this is why i decided to start from the beginning with fresh tests and so far it has boosted my range significantly higher

As far as the comparative reading passages are concerned, I find those the easiest and always get all the questions on those passages correct

As for saving the newest pts for last, not only do i want a reliable indicator of what my actual result would be, but i can't afford to use those tests now and repeat them in June when i would remember most of the questions.


enigmabk,

We can agree to disagree, but I think you are overestimating both the quality of your memory and the worth of older PTs as well as underestimating the value of repeating practice tests. I, too, have an excellent memory, but unless you can take a test and remember every correct answer to such a degree that it inhibits the deductive process, there is great value in repeating tests. Once you take a certain number of tests, a lot of the questions end up looking alike, which causes some level of retroactive interference. Unless you are scoring 180 on repeat PTs, they should be much more revealing than taking a PT from the early 90s. Your score may not accurately reflect your improvements, but neither will taking a PT from 1993. The difference is the quality of questions you take from the newer PTs will much more closely resemble what you will fine on the June test.

Further, even if you have an "excellent memory and tend not to forget things," I fail to see how that precludes one from scattering the newest PTs across your prep, so that you can maintain focus on the newest style of PTs, rather than only become exposed to them in the few weeks before the June administration. You don't need every most recent test to accurately gauge your prep progress, and knowing exactly where you stand shouldn't be your focus; instead it should be on minimizing areas of weakness. Missing the same question twice is one of the most effective means to discover (and subsequently quash) those weaknesses.

Putting stock in an accurate score measurement rather than maximizing your prep improvements is simply the wrong way to go about prepping for a top score. You're absolutely right that taking the newest tests immediately before the actual test will provide the most accurate score prognostication, but for your prep, you would certainly get more benefit out of doing those tests multiple times, and especially doing at least some of them earlier (now) so as to better understand your early PT scores relative to the June test.

When I first prepped for the LSAT four years ago, I had the same feelings as you regarding the most recent tests, and I can tell you that they are unjustified. Exhausting all the prep material means that you can answer every test question correctly and understand it, not that you have simply taken all the tests.

Again, while you can't really go wrong by taking all the tests (assuming adequate review), placing chronological emphasis at the cost of temporal emphasis on the newest tests is misguided at best; and while I don't think it is damaging to your prep, it is certainly won't maximize your time spent. And again, although we're splitting hairs, the level of trend analysis and other insights you may glean from multiple exposures to the most recent tests may be a significant part of the boost that takes you from 173 to 178+ on your retake. I don't think the order of PTs harms your score, but added emphasis on the newest tests will almost certainly make a positive difference.

It seems you have your mind made up with regard to PT ordering though, so we will have to see on test day which method, if either, works better. :)


Thank you MLB, i really appreciate your input on this, the problem is that i've done a lot more of the newer PTS prior to my february lsat and my scores for those test ranged between 170-179. I have tried taking ptest 57 and 45 as a test run last week to see if I could drill the newer pts (40-60), however i remembered every single question i got wrong and scored a 180 on both (which probably isnt representative of my lsat skills). My main issue right now is the prevention of stupid mistakes and building stamina. Frankly, focusing on the newer tests in which i precisely remember almost everything won't give me that challenge i need. I breeze through the questions without having to thoroughly go through the deductive process (especially the ones that LR require)

I agree that focusing on the newer pts would be helpful if it weren't for the fact that those are significantly more "fresh' in my mind as opposed to the older pts which I either never did or did a lot earlier.

MLBrandow
Posts: 129
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:12 pm

Re: Sticking with preptest 30 and up

Postby MLBrandow » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:06 pm

enigmabk wrote:
MLBrandow wrote:
enigmabk wrote:thanks for your input, its much appreciated.

i've actually taken a couple of the recent preptest in the 40's 50's before i took the feb 2012 lsat (canceled due to an extremely stupid and frustrating mistake)

i think what might set us apart is my memory, i have an excellent memory and tend not to forget things, even 3 months would not be enough time for me to "forget" the older tests so i wouldn't be getting an accurate score in terms of where my skills really stand. As far as what you mentioned.

this is why i decided to start from the beginning with fresh tests and so far it has boosted my range significantly higher

As far as the comparative reading passages are concerned, I find those the easiest and always get all the questions on those passages correct

As for saving the newest pts for last, not only do i want a reliable indicator of what my actual result would be, but i can't afford to use those tests now and repeat them in June when i would remember most of the questions.


enigmabk,

We can agree to disagree, but I think you are overestimating both the quality of your memory and the worth of older PTs as well as underestimating the value of repeating practice tests. I, too, have an excellent memory, but unless you can take a test and remember every correct answer to such a degree that it inhibits the deductive process, there is great value in repeating tests. Once you take a certain number of tests, a lot of the questions end up looking alike, which causes some level of retroactive interference. Unless you are scoring 180 on repeat PTs, they should be much more revealing than taking a PT from the early 90s. Your score may not accurately reflect your improvements, but neither will taking a PT from 1993. The difference is the quality of questions you take from the newer PTs will much more closely resemble what you will fine on the June test.

Further, even if you have an "excellent memory and tend not to forget things," I fail to see how that precludes one from scattering the newest PTs across your prep, so that you can maintain focus on the newest style of PTs, rather than only become exposed to them in the few weeks before the June administration. You don't need every most recent test to accurately gauge your prep progress, and knowing exactly where you stand shouldn't be your focus; instead it should be on minimizing areas of weakness. Missing the same question twice is one of the most effective means to discover (and subsequently quash) those weaknesses.

Putting stock in an accurate score measurement rather than maximizing your prep improvements is simply the wrong way to go about prepping for a top score. You're absolutely right that taking the newest tests immediately before the actual test will provide the most accurate score prognostication, but for your prep, you would certainly get more benefit out of doing those tests multiple times, and especially doing at least some of them earlier (now) so as to better understand your early PT scores relative to the June test.

When I first prepped for the LSAT four years ago, I had the same feelings as you regarding the most recent tests, and I can tell you that they are unjustified. Exhausting all the prep material means that you can answer every test question correctly and understand it, not that you have simply taken all the tests.

Again, while you can't really go wrong by taking all the tests (assuming adequate review), placing chronological emphasis at the cost of temporal emphasis on the newest tests is misguided at best; and while I don't think it is damaging to your prep, it is certainly won't maximize your time spent. And again, although we're splitting hairs, the level of trend analysis and other insights you may glean from multiple exposures to the most recent tests may be a significant part of the boost that takes you from 173 to 178+ on your retake. I don't think the order of PTs harms your score, but added emphasis on the newest tests will almost certainly make a positive difference.

It seems you have your mind made up with regard to PT ordering though, so we will have to see on test day which method, if either, works better. :)


Thank you MLB, i really appreciate your input on this, the problem is that i've done a lot more of the newer PTS prior to my february lsat and my scores for those test ranged between 170-179. I have tried taking ptest 57 and 45 as a test run last week to see if I could drill the newer pts (40-60), however i remembered every single question i got wrong and scored a 180 on both (which probably isnt representative of my lsat skills). My main issue right now is the prevention of stupid mistakes and building stamina. Frankly, focusing on the newer tests in which i precisely remember almost everything won't give me that challenge i need. I breeze through the questions without having to thoroughly go through the deductive process (especially the ones that LR require)

I agree that focusing on the newer pts would be helpful if it weren't for the fact that those are significantly more "fresh' in my mind as opposed to the older pts which I either never did or did a lot earlier.


enigmabk,

I didn't realize you had taken those tests last month. In light of that, I completely agree with you. Hopefully that won't be the case when you take them again in May!




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