Relative PrepTest Difficulty?

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abcde12345
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Relative PrepTest Difficulty?

Postby abcde12345 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:12 pm

After going through the SuperPrep (untimed), LGB, and LRB, I bought all 65 PrepTests, and I'm going to do them all before the test in October.

On PrepTest 1, my first ever timed test, I scored a 172, or 90 correct (-2 LR, -2 CR, -7 LG (lol)).
A week later, I took PrepTest 2. I scored a 173, or 94 correct (-2 LR, -0 CR, -5 LG).

A week later, after work ended for the summer, I started my plan of 1 PrepTest a day.
Yesterday, I took PrepTest 3. I scored a 171, or 91 correct (-2 LR, -5 CR, -3 LG).
A day later (today), I took PrepTest 4. I scored a 165, or 83 correct (-6 LR, -5 CR, -6 LG).

Obviously, my score and number correct went down significantly on Preptest 4. I scored much worse on CR on both 3 and 4. It seemed like CR was much more difficult (the answer choices seemed more verbose, and the questions less direct). And on 4, my LR score really dipped. The LR questions seemed more diverse.

So my question is, are preptests 1 and 2 (and possibly 3) much easier than the current LSAT? I know 1 is considered the first "modern" LSAT, but obviously some development has happened over the course of the past 21 years. Are my scores from 1 and 2 really indicative of an ability to score well on the test as it currently is? Or was today just a fluke day (not being in the right mindset, being home, etc.)?

In short, are the early preptests (say, 1-7) good indicators of LSAT ability? Or are they easier?

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cahwc12
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Re: Relative PrepTest Difficulty?

Postby cahwc12 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:23 pm

If you're going to take a PT a day until test day, I very highly recommend that you mix them up and don't take them sequentially. Do you really want to wait until the week before the test before you see what the current LSAT looks like?

Maybe take one PT per group of 10 each week (so like 4, 14, 24, 34, 44, 54, 64). this way you'll get a better feel for each test relative to the current state of LSATs.

A lot of people take the tests in order because they think it's best to save the most current tests for after they've honed all their skills. But you don't need nor should you want your last and most useful PTs to be your limtus tests for success. You need those to study from.

I think any PT is a fine indicator of LSAT ability, but the tests are just different. For example, from PT41+ there are no more dual-question stimuli. Certain game types are completely phased out, and certain question types are more/less prevalent.

You should use the PTs in the 60s as a benchmark to compare every other PT to, not vice versa.

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abcde12345
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Re: Relative PrepTest Difficulty?

Postby abcde12345 » Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:26 am

Your advice about scrambling PTs is great. I never thought about that. Thanks.

As far as the tests just being "different": do you think these differences lead to any fluctuations in difficulty? Certainly, they must?

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cahwc12
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Re: Relative PrepTest Difficulty?

Postby cahwc12 » Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:34 am

Yes, they certainly do. A 173 was the 99th percentile on every modern PT, but that doesn't mean that if it were released today it would still be that way. People studying for the LSAT in December 1991 didn't have 70 PTs and several excellent prep companies to utilize. You do.

Don't worry so much about the score as how you feel about each test relative to the newest tests. The newer tests are more difficult, but you're more prepared than people were taking the test in the early 90s.

I highly recommend taking a PT in the 60s next, then breaking it down in depth. Then use that as the baseline to compare other PTs to. If you average about one PT in the 60s per week (say, Saturday at 830am) it will give you a good series of benchmarks and progress indicators to work from.

Trying to crack the rosetta stone for PT variation from PT 1 to 3 and 66 is not likely to be as useful.




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