Really confused? Are earlier tests just easier?

tinyvipers
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Really confused? Are earlier tests just easier?

Postby tinyvipers » Sat May 12, 2012 1:18 am

I've only taken the first 3 actual tests and I've been getting around -2 to -3 on LR and -1 to -2 on LG? I'm not saying I'm retarded but I don't think I'm that smart?

Are earlier tests just easier in general?

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airbud
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Re: Really confused? Are earlier tests just easier?

Postby airbud » Sat May 12, 2012 1:24 am

In my opinion (and I'm confident most hard-core LSAT preppers would agree), more recent LSATs tend to be more challenging than older ones. I think the reading comp in particular is significantly more difficult in the mid- to late- 2000s than in the early 2000s or 1990s.

tinyvipers
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Re: Really confused? Are earlier tests just easier?

Postby tinyvipers » Sat May 12, 2012 1:30 am

Thanks! I knew there was something amiss since I've never been one who is good at reading comprehension and things of that sort )(even on the SAT, I only got 750 for Critical Reading). But that really helps! How about LG? Are they easier too, or just different?

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princeR
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Re: Really confused? Are earlier tests just easier?

Postby princeR » Sat May 12, 2012 1:41 am

Earlier LG aren't necessarily harder, but they are definitely more time consuming. Previous RC are substantially easier, and the LR are just different. They are longer and definitely don't use a crisp formal logic and rely more on "common sense". This seems to be the thoughts of most LSAT takers.

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Mr. Pancakes
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Re: Really confused? Are earlier tests just easier?

Postby Mr. Pancakes » Sat May 12, 2012 1:47 am

after 2007 the difficulty went up for me.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Really confused? Are earlier tests just easier?

Postby JamMasterJ » Sat May 12, 2012 1:48 am

Earlier tests are easier to get higher scores on b/c the average amount of prep has gone up dramatically. They have to either make the test harder, or make the curve tougher to counterbalance this.

tinyvipers
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Re: Really confused? Are earlier tests just easier?

Postby tinyvipers » Sat May 12, 2012 2:27 am

That's horrible news about the RC -- that's the section I've been consistently the worst at even though I'm taking really early tests.

Gah, okay. How does one get RC (and to some extent, LR) up? Are there any strategies?

I read quite a bit of the LR Powerscore Bible but it doesn't help, especially with the time constraints.

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soj
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Re: Really confused? Are earlier tests just easier?

Postby soj » Sat May 12, 2012 6:18 pm

The difference between older and newer exams is overstated, IMO.

Keep practicing with every available exam. Insights gained from doing older exams won't be wasted on newer ones.

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Nova
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Re: Really confused? Are earlier tests just easier?

Postby Nova » Sat May 12, 2012 6:49 pm

The tests have always been equated so that 151 is about median and 170 is about the 98th percentile.

The tests have more difficult content now because the testing population has caught on to tricks and more test takers game the test.
Last edited by Nova on Sat May 12, 2012 8:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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airbud
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Re: Really confused? Are earlier tests just easier?

Postby airbud » Sat May 12, 2012 6:57 pm

Getting better at RC is a pretty individualized process, whereas with LR and LG there's much more of a standardized approach that generally works. Here's my super basic advice on RC:

1. Read the Manhattan LSAT Reading Comp book.
2. Worry less about diagramming/notating and more on big picture/commonly tested stuff explained the the above book.
3. Practice the RC section as much as you do for LG/LR. I think a lot of people neglect studying for RC because, quite frankly, it sucks the most. It's boring, frustrating because you usually don't see the sort of massive gains one usually does in the other sections, and it just feels slow.
4. Psyche yourself out/get motivated about every passage and really engage the text. When I read the passage in my head, I narrate it like I was the one that wrote it. I find that this helps keep my attention on the subject material, helps in identifying tone/shifts/contrasts/etc. I actually do this for LR too.

Hope this helps. If you take away one thing, let it be #1.

JasonR
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Re: Really confused? Are earlier tests just easier?

Postby JasonR » Sat May 12, 2012 9:57 pm

JamMasterJ wrote:Earlier tests are easier to get higher scores on b/c the average amount of prep has gone up dramatically. They have to either make the test harder, or make the curve tougher to counterbalance this.


That's just not how it works at all. And the LSAT is not curved. I keep thinking that someday we'll exterminate all of this zombie misinformation about the LSAT that never friggin' dies, but I suppose that's an impossibility with large groups of new and uninformed posters rotating into this particular forum every few months.

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Re: Really confused? Are earlier tests just easier?

Postby JasonR » Sat May 12, 2012 10:00 pm

Nova wrote:The tests have always been equated so that 151 is about median and 170 is about the 98th percentile.

The tests have more difficult content now because the testing population has caught on to tricks and more test takers game the test.


Also not how equating works. Gah...

whiteness
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Re: Really confused? Are earlier tests just easier?

Postby whiteness » Sat May 12, 2012 10:03 pm

I actually do better on newer RC than older RC the shift is somewhere around pt50 or so. For me, the comparative reading gives me the boost. I do worse on the newer LR though and better on newer LG.
Last edited by whiteness on Sat May 12, 2012 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mr. Pancakes
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Re: Really confused? Are earlier tests just easier?

Postby Mr. Pancakes » Sat May 12, 2012 10:05 pm

JasonR wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:Earlier tests are easier to get higher scores on b/c the average amount of prep has gone up dramatically. They have to either make the test harder, or make the curve tougher to counterbalance this.


That's just not how it works at all. And the LSAT is not curved. I keep thinking that someday we'll exterminate all of this zombie misinformation about the LSAT that never friggin' dies, but I suppose that's an impossibility with large groups of new and uninformed posters rotating into this particular forum every few months.

The test is curved, but not curved in the way the word is traditionally used.http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/ea ... -june.html
Many people have speculated that the test is getting harder because of prep.
And next time you call someone wrong you should probably give some information on why they are wrong instead of just calling them names, numbnut.

83947368
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Re: Really confused? Are earlier tests just easier?

Postby 83947368 » Sat May 12, 2012 10:06 pm

.
Last edited by 83947368 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

JasonR
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Re: Really confused? Are earlier tests just easier?

Postby JasonR » Sat May 12, 2012 10:41 pm

Mr. Pancakes wrote:
JasonR wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:Earlier tests are easier to get higher scores on b/c the average amount of prep has gone up dramatically. They have to either make the test harder, or make the curve tougher to counterbalance this.


That's just not how it works at all. And the LSAT is not curved. I keep thinking that someday we'll exterminate all of this zombie misinformation about the LSAT that never friggin' dies, but I suppose that's an impossibility with large groups of new and uninformed posters rotating into this particular forum every few months.

The test is curved, but not curved in the way the word is traditionally used.http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/ea ... -june.html
Many people have speculated that the test is getting harder because of prep.
And next time you call someone wrong you should probably give some information on why they are wrong instead of just calling them names, numbnut.


RC fail, dipshit. I didn't call anyone a name until the first sentence of the current post. I guess we can see why your LSAT score sucked, though. It's a fact that there is a continual influx of people on this particular forum that are uninformed about the test (we were all there once) and that this makes it difficult to stamp out stubborn misinformation about it. And I could not give two shits about what "many people have speculated" or whether or not you're satisfied by the amount of information I've given. The test is not curved, and the traditional sense of the word is the only one with any meaning. Calling the test "curved" is just a lazy misapplication of that word to a different set of circumstances.

83947368
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Re: Really confused? Are earlier tests just easier?

Postby 83947368 » Sat May 12, 2012 10:47 pm

.
Last edited by 83947368 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

tinyvipers
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Re: Really confused? Are earlier tests just easier?

Postby tinyvipers » Sat May 12, 2012 11:02 pm

Thanks for the tips, Airbud. I will definitely take a look at Manhattan LSAT RC. (:

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Really confused? Are earlier tests just easier?

Postby JamMasterJ » Sun May 13, 2012 12:00 am

JasonR wrote:
Mr. Pancakes wrote:
JasonR wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:Earlier tests are easier to get higher scores on b/c the average amount of prep has gone up dramatically. They have to either make the test harder, or make the curve tougher to counterbalance this.


That's just not how it works at all. And the LSAT is not curved. I keep thinking that someday we'll exterminate all of this zombie misinformation about the LSAT that never friggin' dies, but I suppose that's an impossibility with large groups of new and uninformed posters rotating into this particular forum every few months.

The test is curved, but not curved in the way the word is traditionally used.http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/ea ... -june.html
Many people have speculated that the test is getting harder because of prep.
And next time you call someone wrong you should probably give some information on why they are wrong instead of just calling them names, numbnut.


RC fail, dipshit. I didn't call anyone a name until the first sentence of the current post. I guess we can see why your LSAT score sucked, though. It's a fact that there is a continual influx of people on this particular forum that are uninformed about the test (we were all there once) and that this makes it difficult to stamp out stubborn misinformation about it. And I could not give two shits about what "many people have speculated" or whether or not you're satisfied by the amount of information I've given. The test is not curved, and the traditional sense of the word is the only one with any meaning. Calling the test "curved" is just a lazy misapplication of that word to a different set of circumstances.

UR dumb and wrong. HTH

Equating is a curve based on past results

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soj
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Re: Really confused? Are earlier tests just easier?

Postby soj » Sun May 13, 2012 12:20 am

True or false?

1. The LSAT is "curved" in the sense that on harder tests, you can get more questions wrong and still get the same scaled score.

True.

LSAC goes through a bunch of steps to make sure you're not penalized for getting a tougher test or rewarded for getting an easier test. First, LSAC pretests questions using the experimental sections. Ambiguous or poorly worded questions are thrown out. Questions that seem to reward poor reasoning (i.e. questions that low scorers tend to get right more often than high scorers do) are thrown out. Then they combine the remaining questions so that the test has a good mix of hard, medium, and easy questions. But some tests inevitably end up being tougher than others, and so LSAC comes up with a conversion method that takes difficulty into account. If a test has too many easy questions, then it takes more credited responses to get a 140 on that test than on a test with fewer easy questions. If a test has too many hard questions, then it doesn't take as many credited responses to get a 170 on that test than on a test with fewer hard questions.

2. The LSAT is "curved" in the sense that every test is meant to have the same distribution of scores. In other words, if all the smart people took the June test, then the June test will have a tougher curve, and it'll be harder to score higher in June than in other administrations.

False.

The LSAT standardizes scaled scores, not percentile scores. In theory, a person will always get the same score that reflects that person's reasoning abilities. If it weren't for outside factors such as test-day condition, relative strength in a certain question type over others, and random luck, someone with a "170" reasoning ability will get a 170 no matter when that person takes the LSAT. Your score has nothing to do where you stand relative to others taking the same test. You're not competing against others sitting in your testing room. If all the smart people take the test in June, it may be more difficult to get a certain percentile score in June, but no more difficult to get a certain scaled score. If test-takers are getting smarter or more prepared, then more people will achieve high scores. But from the perspective of a single test-taker, no single scaled score will be harder to obtain. The fact that people are better prepared for the LSAT these days is reflected in the fact that a 170 used to be a 98th percentile score but is now a 97th percentile score. But people who scored a 170 in 2011 are on average no better or worse reasoners than people who scored a 170 in 2001.

3. Whether a question is labelled easy, medium, or difficult depends on how well previous test-takers did when that question was used in an experimental section, so the fact that people are getting smarter and more prepared is setting the bar higher.

False.

Everything before "so the fact that" is true. Yes, how well previous test-takers did on individual questions in experimental sections partially determines whether LSAC considers a question easy or difficult, but keep in mind that LSAC has been equating the exams precisely to deal with this problem. Conversion scales are set so that a given scaled score on any exam is equivalent to the same scaled score in the previous generation of exams, which is equivalent to the same score in the generation of exams before them, and so on. As a result, a given scaled score on any exam is equivalent to the same scaled score on all the other exams. If there are more high scorers in a certain administration, that just means more high scorers to use as data points when determining the scale for the next administrations. It does not "raise the standard."

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acrossthelake
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Re: Really confused? Are earlier tests just easier?

Postby acrossthelake » Sun May 13, 2012 12:27 am

Logic games have become more elegant, and thus easier, for newer tests compared to older ones. I know for the one I sat for there was a game where if you managed to sort of "crack it", all 5 questions were nearly instantly unlocked. Took <2 minutes to do the entire game. I don't think any of the older exams really had games like that. They also reduced from 24 to 23 questions.

LR has felt the same to me.

Reading comprehension has gotten more difficult, though not significantly so. I think I went from missing 1-2 on older tests to like 2-4 for modern ones.

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soj
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Re: Really confused? Are earlier tests just easier?

Postby soj » Sun May 13, 2012 12:36 am

The point to my long post is that while the test questions may be getting easier or harder, as far as the "objective difficulty" (as judged by LSAC) goes, any variance in difficulty is eliminated by a corresponding adjustment in the raw-to-scaled conversion scale. Of course, individuals might find certain question types tougher than other question types, and if those tougher question types are getting more common, those individuals might find recent tests more difficult, a pattern that conversion scales (which cater to all test takers, not individuals) may not account for.

JasonR
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Re: Really confused? Are earlier tests just easier?

Postby JasonR » Sun May 13, 2012 12:42 am

JamMasterJ wrote:UR dumb and wrong. HTH

Equating is a curve based on past results


So much stupidity and fail here. I no longer have any doubt as to why you rode the WLs for so long despite your numbers. Adcomms obviously paid attention to your PS.

Read the post below yours so you can (possibly) finally acquire a basic understanding of how nonsensical and wrong everything you've written in this thread is.

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soj
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Re: Really confused? Are earlier tests just easier?

Postby soj » Sun May 13, 2012 12:43 am

The jabs and personal attacks are really unnecessary.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Really confused? Are earlier tests just easier?

Postby acrossthelake » Sun May 13, 2012 12:57 am

soj wrote:The jabs and personal attacks are really unnecessary.


Yeah, this. Cut it out or get banned.




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