Old Practice Tests (20-40)

Jake1001
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Old Practice Tests (20-40)

Postby Jake1001 » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:41 pm

Been reading here for a couple months and have really benefitted from the discussions, thanks to all who participate.

I've gotten my hands on many of the 20-40 PTs. Are these significantly worse to practice with than the newer ones?

I'm sure that this has been discussed before, but I couldn't find it via the search function. Besides, doesn't seem like anyone on TLS has any trouble re-hashing old debates. 8)

Thanks for the help!

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NoodleyOne
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Re: Old Practice Tests (20-40)

Postby NoodleyOne » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:44 pm

General consensus is that they're fine to study with, although the test has changed it hasn't changed to the point where they are not excellent study tools. RC tends to be a little harder, LG a little different, and LR a bit different, but they're still excellent materials.

Oscar85
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Re: Old Practice Tests (20-40)

Postby Oscar85 » Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:14 pm

I break those apart... I'm only using 50-66 to take as tests, because I only have two months... 1-40 I am splitting them up and using them to drill question types/do logic games/read passages just because they were selected to be RC passages.

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cc.celina
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Re: Old Practice Tests (20-40)

Postby cc.celina » Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:51 pm

Ya, do them. I did almost every one from 20 to 65 in some form or another (probably skipped a few in the late 30s). Still really essential if you want to get the best score you can.

Oscar85
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Re: Old Practice Tests (20-40)

Postby Oscar85 » Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:53 pm

cc.celina wrote:Ya, do them. I did almost every one from 20 to 65 in some form or another (probably skipped a few in the late 30s). Still really essential if you want to get the best score you can.

What about if you drill through question type, and still do everything? I think it would be in vain to return to a test whose content you already know and receive an inflated score...

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cc.celina
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Re: Old Practice Tests (20-40)

Postby cc.celina » Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:58 pm

Oscar85 wrote:
cc.celina wrote:Ya, do them. I did almost every one from 20 to 65 in some form or another (probably skipped a few in the late 30s). Still really essential if you want to get the best score you can.

What about if you drill through question type, and still do everything? I think it would be in vain to return to a test whose content you already know and receive an inflated score...

Well a) I didn't really drill by question type until the very end, when I was sure of the types that I had been getting consistently wrong at a higher rate than the others. (Used LSAT Q&A to track my wrong answers for the last ~25 or so PTs I took.) I bought a couple of Cambridge's packets, but I really only used the Strengthen packet. I relied a lot more on reviewing wrong answers than on doing new questions of the same type - I kept a running document of all the questions I missed and re-did a lot of them periodically.

b) There's still value in taking a PT where you've seen some of the material before. True, that only the PTs that are entirely new to you are useful for gauging exactly what shape you're in. But that's not the only reason to take a PT - it's practice, not just to test yourself. Re-doing sections that are difficult for you is one of the best ways to start understanding why questions trip you up, and what kind of info you have to pay more attention to the first time around.

JohnV
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Re: Old Practice Tests (20-40)

Postby JohnV » Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:44 am

Jake1001 wrote:Been reading here for a couple months and have really benefitted from the discussions, thanks to all who participate.

I've gotten my hands on many of the 20-40 PTs. Are these significantly worse to practice with than the newer ones?

I'm sure that this has been discussed before, but I couldn't find it via the search function. Besides, doesn't seem like anyone on TLS has any trouble re-hashing old debates. 8)

Thanks for the help!


Nope, their fine. If you are serious about it you'll have done them all by the time test day comes around anyways.

Oscar85
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Re: Old Practice Tests (20-40)

Postby Oscar85 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:07 am

cc.celina wrote:
Oscar85 wrote:
cc.celina wrote:Ya, do them. I did almost every one from 20 to 65 in some form or another (probably skipped a few in the late 30s). Still really essential if you want to get the best score you can.

What about if you drill through question type, and still do everything? I think it would be in vain to return to a test whose content you already know and receive an inflated score...

Well a) I didn't really drill by question type until the very end, when I was sure of the types that I had been getting consistently wrong at a higher rate than the others. (Used LSAT Q&A to track my wrong answers for the last ~25 or so PTs I took.) I bought a couple of Cambridge's packets, but I really only used the Strengthen packet. I relied a lot more on reviewing wrong answers than on doing new questions of the same type - I kept a running document of all the questions I missed and re-did a lot of them periodically.

b) There's still value in taking a PT where you've seen some of the material before. True, that only the PTs that are entirely new to you are useful for gauging exactly what shape you're in. But that's not the only reason to take a PT - it's practice, not just to test yourself. Re-doing sections that are difficult for you is one of the best ways to start understanding why questions trip you up, and what kind of info you have to pay more attention to the first time around.


Awesome! Thanks for the great advice. How early in your studies did you start doing the wrong question review? I'll make sure to take 40-66 then.... otherwise I think it's too excessive. :P

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cc.celina
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Re: Old Practice Tests (20-40)

Postby cc.celina » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:20 am

Oscar85 wrote:Awesome! Thanks for the great advice. How early in your studies did you start doing the wrong question review? I'll make sure to take 40-66 then.... otherwise I think it's too excessive. :P

No problem. I probably put together the first document after about ~10 PTs - most of my PTs were via PDF so it was a simple matter of screenshotting, which was nice. While I was taking each PT, I put a big box around any question I had any trouble with, and I put these as well as any additional ones I got wrong in the doc. (For LG I did the entire game over again). From there, you can customize your study a lot - it can supplement any Cambridge LSAT question by type packet you might buy to do a bunch of previous questions of that type that you missed. I know that redoing questions gets a bad rap because it's an inaccurate representation of your score, but for me, understanding fully why every question was wrong was absolutely essential. If I didn't understand why I got it wrong the first time around, and ESPECIALLY if I got it wrong after going through my wrong-questions-packet, I looked up the explanation on the Manhattan forums and if I still didn't get it I posted about it on TLS lol.

mcs268
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Re: Old Practice Tests (20-40)

Postby mcs268 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:47 am

How arbitrary is this 40 cutoff? What's so special about it? I mean, am I really going to see my score jump up by 5 points all of a sudden? I guess what am I saying is, what difficult things won't you see on tests past 40?

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cc.celina
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Re: Old Practice Tests (20-40)

Postby cc.celina » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:54 am

mcs268 wrote:How arbitrary is this 40 cutoff? What's so special about it? I mean, am I really going to see my score jump up by 5 points all of a sudden? I guess what am I saying is, what difficult things won't you see on tests past 40?

40 is pretty arbitrary. I would go so far as to say completely so. The test has changed gradually and there is still a LOT of value in taking PTs before 40. But if you're only going to take 25 PTs, then 40 and up is the way to go. (fwiw, I'm a fan of the do-every-question-ever mode of studying)

A more natural cutoff for me seems like it'd be 52, because that's when they started doing CR, which is a pretty major change imo. I think general wisdom is just that the more recent a PT is, the more marginally applicable it will be to your real test. That doesn't at all mean there is something inherently different about PTs before an arbitrary cutoff.

If you're looking for general trends: LG has become more hypo-heavy and less inference-based, LR has gotten more logically tight, most people say RC has gotten harder but I like it more now.

Oscar85
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Re: Old Practice Tests (20-40)

Postby Oscar85 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:43 pm

cc.celina - I don't want to spoil the june 2012 test for me, but how hypo heavy was it? There are some tests that I see right now, and they have a lot of local questions, but there are of course those games that have about 4 MBT sections.

Also, around what time do you think the shift occurred? I have don't PTs 55-66, btw.

And once again, thanks for the advice.

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cc.celina
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Re: Old Practice Tests (20-40)

Postby cc.celina » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:58 pm

Um, all I can say is that it was significantly more than the LG sections in like the 30s. There weren't any big inferences where I was like "ohhh, THAT's how you do it." Mostly you just had to suck it up and sketch out some hypos. I don't think there was a specific test where they made the switch or anything. Just seems like it gradually went in that direction.

You should get PTs 55-66. If nothing else, for the comparative reading. It takes a little bit to get used to.

sama
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Re: Old Practice Tests (20-40)

Postby sama » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:01 pm

If you can completely understand the concepts, it shouldn't matter much. When you know it, you know it. So seeing some different type may even be beneficial becuz you never know when you'll see a curve ball on the exam. But try getting some updated ones too before exam date




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