Which PTs to avoid?

RickyDnwhyc
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Which PTs to avoid?

Postby RickyDnwhyc » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:17 am

I have some practice tests dating back to 1998 and whatnot, are these still relevant at all?

Worth cycling into my study routine? or will these actually CONFUSE me and lower my score because the test has changed so much since then?

What are the least recent tests that are still relevant and worth taking?

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gaud
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Re: Which PTs to avoid?

Postby gaud » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:18 am

All of the tests are worthwhile. Begin with the older ones and move towards more recent dates. This way when test day is coming you are working on the most current ones (the ones that will likely be most similar)

RickyDnwhyc
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Re: Which PTs to avoid?

Postby RickyDnwhyc » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:46 am

That makes sense.

I'm just worried than there will be certaint types of LR / LG questions on the earlier tests that don't show up on the recent ones anymore. I don't want to end up getting stuck on these, and waste time trying to understand them and master the concepts if it won't help me with the 2013 tests...

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gaud
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Re: Which PTs to avoid?

Postby gaud » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:59 am

On some of the earlier tests the LG is less standardized than it is now (that I know of). That being said, it's still good for practice/drilling. The rest of it is similar enough to justify getting the tests.

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cahwc12
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Re: Which PTs to avoid?

Postby cahwc12 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:33 pm

gaud wrote:All of the tests are worthwhile. Begin with the older ones and move towards more recent dates. This way when test day is coming you are working on the most current ones (the ones that will likely be most similar)


this is the prevailing wisdom of TLS and in my opinion it's wrong and you shouldn't do this.

The test is markedly different today than it was in the oldest iterations and even in the 40s and 50s. Only by seeing the test in its most recent form early on can you get the most out of the older PTs.

Mix up your PTs from 40+ and take a couple of the most recent tests early on. Otherwise, you have no benchmark with which to compare the older questions to.

The older PTs are definitely worthwhile, but not in the absence of contrast to the newest tests.

The reasons you mention about not fretting about certain questions is one of the primary reasons to avoid focusing on the earlier tests first. Once you expose yourself to the newest tests, you can better understand the context for some of the oldest questions and realize that they are less similar to what you will see. There are some game types and game styles that have fallen completely out of favor on the newest tests (games where you must see some crucial deductions that either allow you to murder the game or drown in it). There are also some LR that are a little quirkier in the oldest tests, and by and large the LR is more difficult today but also more straightforward (in other words, it tends to favor higher preparation than does some of the older LR). Some of the older LR rely a bit more on very technical matters that make the questions difficult, rather than the underlying logic itself (which is what the newest LR does).


Don't misunderstand--all of the PTs are extremely valuable for prep. But you should not take them in ascending order or you will be left in the dark until the last few weeks of your prep as to what the new tests actually look like. Mix them up in your prep and eat a few of the most recent tests very early on so you can really break them down and appreciate the test as it is today (and you can repeat them later).

Too many people have this idea that they must save all the most recent tests for immediately before test day. You don't need every PT to be a litmus test for your progress, but instead they should be learning devices to elucidate your personal weaknesses. The most recent tests are the best for doing that. These same people will mercilessly drill and repeat the oldest material and then cram the newest stuff in only during the last week or two of months of preparation. Don't be like this. Instead, PT with the newest material while supplementing it with drilling older material.


If you want an overly generalized "feeling" of the PTs, maybe they look something like this:

<12 - quirky and out of the box LG, technically worded LR that relies more on content than logic for difficulty, moderate RC passages with easier questions
<40 - volatile and challenging LG that hinges on rules deductions, LR more stabilized but still often enough relies on content rather than underlying logic for difficulty, moderate RC and questions
41-50 - very easy LG, moderately challenging LR, moderate RC with slightly more challenging questions
51-60 - easy-moderate LG much more standardized, tighter and moderate LR, challenging RC passages with moderate questions
61+ - moderate and very standardized LG disguised as out-of-the-box games, difficult but straightforward LR, moderate RC passages and difficult, but straightforward questions

This is solely my own opinion but should give you an idea... mixing tests up will give you a much better perspective on what one test is like relative to the other.
Last edited by cahwc12 on Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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gaud
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Re: Which PTs to avoid?

Postby gaud » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:40 pm

Opinions are wonderful things

RickyDnwhyc
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Re: Which PTs to avoid?

Postby RickyDnwhyc » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:27 pm

cahwc12 wrote:
gaud wrote:All of the tests are worthwhile. Begin with the older ones and move towards more recent dates. This way when test day is coming you are working on the most current ones (the ones that will likely be most similar)


this is the prevailing wisdom of TLS and in my opinion it's wrong and you shouldn't do this.

The test is markedly different today than it was in the oldest iterations and even in the 40s and 50s. Only by seeing the test in its most recent form early on can you get the most out of the older PTs.

Mix up your PTs from 40+ and take a couple of the most recent tests early on. Otherwise, you have no benchmark with which to compare the older questions to.

The older PTs are definitely worthwhile, but not in the absence of contrast to the newest tests.

The reasons you mention about not fretting about certain questions is one of the primary reasons to avoid focusing on the earlier tests first. Once you expose yourself to the newest tests, you can better understand the context for some of the oldest questions and realize that they are less similar to what you will see. There are some game types and game styles that have fallen completely out of favor on the newest tests (games where you must see some crucial deductions that either allow you to murder the game or drown in it). There are also some LR that are a little quirkier in the oldest tests, and by and large the LR is more difficult today but also more straightforward (in other words, it tends to favor higher preparation than does some of the older LR). Some of the older LR rely a bit more on very technical matters that make the questions difficult, rather than the underlying logic itself (which is what the newest LR does).


Don't misunderstand--all of the PTs are extremely valuable for prep. But you should not take them in ascending order or you will be left in the dark until the last few weeks of your prep as to what the new tests actually look like. Mix them up in your prep and eat a few of the most recent tests very early on so you can really break them down and appreciate the test as it is today (and you can repeat them later).

Too many people have this idea that they must save all the most recent tests for immediately before test day. You don't need every PT to be a litmus test for your progress, but instead they should be learning devices to elucidate your personal weaknesses. The most recent tests are the best for doing that. These same people will mercilessly drill and repeat the oldest material and then cram the newest stuff in only during the last week or two of months of preparation. Don't be like this. Instead, PT with the newest material while supplementing it with drilling older material.


If you want an overly generalized "feeling" of the PTs, maybe they look something like this:

<12 - quirky and out of the box LG, technically worded LR that relies more on content than logic for difficulty, moderate RC passages with easier questions
<40 - volatile and challenging LG that hinges on rules deductions, LR more stabilized but still often enough relies on content rather than underlying logic for difficulty, moderate RC and questions
41-50 - very easy LG, moderately challenging LR, moderate RC with slightly more challenging questions
51-60 - easy-moderate LG much more standardized, tighter and moderate LR, challenging RC passages with moderate questions
61+ - moderate and very standardized LG disguised as out-of-the-box games, difficult but straightforward LR, moderate RC passages and difficult, but straightforward questions

This is solely my own opinion but should give you an idea... mixing tests up will give you a much better perspective on what one test is like relative to the other.


:D Thanks for this. I'll definitely take some recent tests firsts. That's a great idea.

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20130312
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Re: Which PTs to avoid?

Postby 20130312 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:36 pm

RickyDnwhyc wrote:Which PTs to avoid?

Image

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Nova
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Re: Which PTs to avoid?

Postby Nova » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:42 pm

InGoodFaith wrote:
RickyDnwhyc wrote:Which PTs to avoid?

Image


Lol, awesome. If you have time, I endorse this. If you dont have time, just do as many as you can, leaving the oldest ones out.

Im with Gaud on this one. Logic has been the same since it was thought up.

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cloudhidden
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Re: Which PTs to avoid?

Postby cloudhidden » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:38 pm

Get ready for the -8 curve on PT 48. That can demoralize a person.

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twenty
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Re: Which PTs to avoid?

Postby twenty » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:26 pm

I drummed my little fists against the wall and sobbed after 48. And I thought I was doing so well.

Also, save 1-7 until last. Some of those questions come way out of left field, and while they're probably helpful for the purposes of drilling, there's no way they're comparable to modern LSATs -- certainly not indicative of your performance.

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Funkycrime
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Re: Which PTs to avoid?

Postby Funkycrime » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:27 pm

Good Post Cahwc12.

RickyDnwhyc
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Re: Which PTs to avoid?

Postby RickyDnwhyc » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:32 pm

cloudhidden wrote:Get ready for the -8 curve on PT 48. That can demoralize a person.


Is there some way to look up the curves for every exam? Are they on the LSAC website or something?

Cambridge LSAT
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Re: Which PTs to avoid?

Postby Cambridge LSAT » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:35 pm

We have them posted here:
Consolidated Score Conversion Charts

RickyDnwhyc
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Re: Which PTs to avoid?

Postby RickyDnwhyc » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:38 pm

Cambridge LSAT wrote:We have them posted here:
Consolidated Score Conversion Charts


Thank you kindly !




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