When you say you've been practicing at 169-172 . . .

framboozer
Posts: 213
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:38 pm

When you say you've been practicing at 169-172 . . .

Postby framboozer » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:16 pm

When you say you're practicing at a certain score range, let's say 168-172, what do you personally mean? Are you basing this on your last 3 tests? Your last 5? Are you including your outliers? I mean, I see people say things like they're practicing 158-167 and that's really a pretty big range that doesn't indicate much. I'm especially curious, because collective wisdom is that you should be consistently practicing a few points above where you want to score, because in all likelihood, you won't hit the top of your range on test day.

Basically I want you to tell me what you consider to be my range. Skip to the bottom if you don't care about my back story:

I started taking practice tests regularly at the beginning of September in preparation for the October LSAT. I know that's pretty short notice, but I did prep in the past when I thought I was going to take the LSAT before, but I could never study consistently for an extended period of time like I am now. So I already had a good foundation and had been through the Bibles, which I read through again in August. I never technically finished the Logical Reasoning Bible, but I realized I did much better when I trusted my instincts and honed them by checking for explanations on the Manhattan LSAT Forums.

This time I decided that it was time to get serious and that I was going to put my all into the October 2012 test. I found a study partner and we decided to meet 4 times a week to take strictly timed tests, which we would then go over in detail. We simulated test conditions as best as possible, if not making it even harder on ourselves by taking the test in public. For the first half of the month, most of the tests were in cafe's where I endured terrible music and to my horror screaming toddlers physically bumping into my chair and trying to talking to me. It turns out one local cafe hosts "children's story time" on Monday's at 10:30. Yea, never again. We changed to using libraries primarily after that, changing the venue regularly. So anyway, that's my background story and here are my scores:

4 Section Tests:
9/5/12 - PT 52 - 164 (Home)

9/10/12 - PT 46 - 159 (Cafe)
9/11/12 - PT 58 - 160 (Cafe)
9/13/12 - PT 47 - 166 (Cafe)
9/14/12 - PT 45 - 167 (Library)

9/17/12 - PT 44 - 165 (Cafe)
9/18/12 - PT 50 - 162 (Cafe)
9/20/12 - PT 59 - 169 (Cafe)
9/21/12 - PT 63 - 170 (Library)

9/24/12 - PT 51 - 169 (Cafe)

5 Section Tests:
9/25/12 - PT 62 - 165 (PT 24, Sec. 1 as Experimental) (Library)
9/27/12 - PT 60 - 170 (PT 24, Sec. 2 as Experimental) (Library)
9/28/12 - PT 61 - 170 (PT 24, Sec. 3 as Experimental) (Library)

10/1/12 - PT 64 - 173 (PT 24, Sec. 3 as Experimental; Total for PT 24 Experimental: 175) (Library)
10/2/12 - PT 65 - 175 (PT 27, Sec. 2 as Experimental) (Library)

I've obviously made great gains in the past two weeks and I'm not counting the individual sections I've been using for practicing my speed. For the record, speed has been my main issue this month. A large chunk of my points off especially on those earlier tests were questions I just didn't have time to get to. Reaching 170 coincided with when I decided to stop dwelling on questions and seriously focus on increasing my speed. Since then, I feel like I see the test in a whole different light. I feel much more in control.

Edit: Added 10/2/12 - PT 65 Info
Last edited by framboozer on Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PDaddy
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:40 am

Re: When you say you've been practicing at 169-172 . . .

Postby PDaddy » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:42 pm

Good work! :)

As for your other question, each person needs to decide for himself his comfort level. However, you are correct about practice scores and their reliability as indicators. The best rule-of-thumb is that you should consistently practice at 5+ points above your target score, and by "consistently", I mean for every 10 tests, you must score 5+ points above the target 9 times, with that tenth score being at least 2-3 points above target. If you aren't above target for large numbers of consecutive tests, you are not likely to hit your target on test day.

The higher the target score, the more consistent you must be, because higher scores require greater understanding of the test (i.e. how to approach the most difficult questions the psychometricians can throw at you). Higher scorers thus have a much smaller margin of error. In my book, a true 170+ scorer can do it all of the time...no matter what. And a 175-180 scorer will never fall below those numbers in practice. A 165-169 scorer is in that range at least 8 out of 10 times.

According to many posts on TLS, people often lie about practice scores, time themselves ineffectively, give themselves undeserved points for questions they believe they "would answer correctly" on test day, etc. So, don't believe the hype from other people. Many of them haven't even taken the test.

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NoodleyOne
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Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 7:32 pm

Re: When you say you've been practicing at 169-172 . . .

Postby NoodleyOne » Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:35 am

According to many posts on TLS, people often lie about practice scores, time themselves ineffectively, give themselves undeserved points for questions they believe they "would answer correctly" on test day, etc. So, don't believe the hype from other people. Many of them haven't even taken the test.


This is the second time I've heard this, and I haven't seen any evidence to support it. In fact, I've seen the exact opposite. People waver about whether to give themselves credit over a misbubble, or a 10 seconds over time, and almost always opt not to. Cheating in scoring is only cheating yourself. And practice tests mean shit on here, so it's not a good way to win a pissing contest, either.

dba415
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:50 pm

Re: When you say you've been practicing at 169-172 . . .

Postby dba415 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:01 am

PDaddy wrote:Good work! :)

As for your other question, each person needs to decide for himself his comfort level. However, you are correct about practice scores and their reliability as indicators. The best rule-of-thumb is that you should consistently practice at 5+ points above your target score, and by "consistently", I mean for every 10 tests, you must score 5+ points above the target 9 times, with that tenth score being at least 2-3 points above target. If you aren't above target for large numbers of consecutive tests, you are not likely to hit your target on test day.

The higher the target score, the more consistent you must be, because higher scores require greater understanding of the test (i.e. how to approach the most difficult questions the psychometricians can throw at you). Higher scorers thus have a much smaller margin of error. In my book, a true 170+ scorer can do it all of the time...no matter what. And a 175-180 scorer will never fall below those numbers in practice. A 165-169 scorer is in that range at least 8 out of 10 times.

According to many posts on TLS, people often lie about practice scores, time themselves ineffectively, give themselves undeserved points for questions they believe they "would answer correctly" on test day, etc. So, don't believe the hype from other people. Many of them haven't even taken the test.

lolwut? Don't think people lie on here at all. Most people are on here anonymously, and are all trying to improve. Most people here are freaking pessimistic about taking the test lol. And the 5 points over requirement, think that's too strict, at least, I sincerely hope it is! my goal on test day is a 173. By your logic, I'm going to score a 166-167 on test day. :cry: That being said, your point is valid, I'm a retaker, took it once already where my avg was 166 and I scored 163 on test day. Hope that my experience will make things different this time around, and I score above or on my capabilities.

btw here are my scores, check my records, no lying here lol.

Image

framboozer
Posts: 213
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:38 pm

Re: When you say you've been practicing at 169-172 . . .

Postby framboozer » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:55 pm

I edited my original post to include today's test result. PT 65 - 175 (AWW YEA!) This is beyond my wildest dreams. I was hoping and dreaming for a 170, and in less than 30 days, I never thought it would be possible to get a 175, especially with -5 in RC (Eep). The LSAT truly feels like a new test. When I look back at my tests from the first half the month, I absolutely cringe at some of my answer choices and how I constantly ran out of time with 2-3 questions left in a LR section.

@PDaddy, so clearly I'm not there yet and there's just not enough time to become what you consider to be a true 170 test-taker by October 6th. Hopefully I will hit 170 or above regardless. I take PT 66 tomorrow. We shall see how the final hurdle goes.

dba415, just noticed that some of our scores really seem to converge, particularly on PT's 63, 65, 64, 60 and 51 (as in most of my most recent tests when I didn't suck, excluding PT 62 of course). Hear's hoping that I'll continue improving.

As for the debate over whether or not people fudge their scores or give themselves too much leeway when practicing, I've always assumed it's a mixed bag, but overall I'm not too concerned with how legitimate other people's numbers are. I find the extremely high numbers on TLS motivating nonetheless. Without TLS I wouldn't have developed proper study habits and I wouldn't have aimed so high. Frankly, I don't know what I would have aimed for. The thought irks me.




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