bananashotgun wrote:serious and honest question for the people who are scoring ~10 points under their average PTs:
Is there a reason you're scoring so much lower on the real thing such as taking extra time during the PTs or reusing old PTs? Or is it just nerves?
It seems that more than a small minority are scoring significantly lower than their PTs. The first time I took it I scored right where I thought I would, but I was also taking my PTs in the most realistic fashion I could on fresh tests. Then again I was around 160 where now I'm around 170 so maybe that makes a difference?
Not trying to offend anyone but I'm nervous and anything under 170 for me means that I will most likely be sitting out this cycle. And all this talk about going 10 points below average means I'm fudged.
It's a good question and I've thought about it a lot. I scored a 166 in October and was averaging about 171 on my PTs, with a high of a couple 173s. Not a huge drop, but significant. I was taking brand new PTs under timed conditions, most of them at a Kaplan center so it was a fully-stimulated test day proctoring. I think my score drop came down to a couple things:
1) Text anxiety, big time. I put a lot of pressure on myself and that didn't really work out well. This time around, I'm going to try to have the exact same mindset that I do when I do a PT. It's just another test just like the ones that I've taken dozens of times before.
2) Timing issues. Because it was test day, i wanted to be 150% sure of every question, instead of being confident on the easy ones and moving on, so I ended up having to leave two blank on LG because I ran out of time, and I only got 1 other question wrong on that section, so that made a big difference. Same thing on RC --i didn't save enough time for the hardest passage, so I basically guessed on 2-3 questions and ended up with a -6. Even on my worst PTs, I would only get -4. This time around, I'm aiming to finish all of my timed sections 4-5 minutes early (which I generally do on LR anyways) so that even if I move a little slower on test day, it won't be as catastrophic.
Also, I do legitimately feel that some of the PTs are easier than the current tests. Now I'm paying more attention to when the PT was given and trying to only focus on the most recent ones I can get my hands on. I was consistently getting -0 or -1 on my LG sections beforehand, but when I hit that zones game, well...we know what happened.
The other thing I am changing this time around is I'm trying to give myself a large buffer. I was excited as soon as I hit my goal of 170 last time that I got a little too confident and didn't really make any gains for the last month of studying. This time around, I'm shooting to hit a couple 175's on my PTs before 12/1 so even with some anxiety or a surprise zones game, I won't end up too disappointed on test day.
Sorry for the long response! I hope this helps other people that had the same issue.