So where are the "missing points" going on test day?

User avatar
ScottRiqui
Posts: 3640
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:09 pm

So where are the "missing points" going on test day?

Postby ScottRiqui » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:08 pm

Reading through the various "waiting/results" threads, it seems like it's very common for testers to end up scoring at/near the bottom of their PT range (if not below it). It certainly seems more common than people scoring at or above the top of their range.

Has there been any serious discussion here as to exactly *why* this happens? Is it all due simply to "test day jitters", or is there something fundamentally lacking in our preparation? Is the LSAT getting progressive harder with each administration? Are we saving too many of the later PTs for full-blown test simulation, rather than dissecting them up into individual sections or groups of same-type questions the way we do with the earlier PTs? Are we not simulating test-day conditions well enough when we do full, timed PTs?

User avatar
CyanIdes Of March
Posts: 743
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:57 pm

Re: So where are the "missing points" going on test day?

Postby CyanIdes Of March » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:21 pm

ScottRiqui wrote:Reading through the various "waiting/results" threads, it seems like it's very common for testers to end up scoring at/near the bottom of their PT range (if not below it). It certainly seems more common than people scoring at or above the top of their range.

Has there been any serious discussion here as to exactly *why* this happens? Is it all due simply to "test day jitters", or is there something fundamentally lacking in our preparation? Is the LSAT getting progressive harder with each administration? Are we saving too many of the later PTs for full-blown test simulation, rather than dissecting them up into individual sections or groups of same-type questions the way we do with the earlier PTs? Are we not simulating test-day conditions well enough when we do full, timed PTs?


If it happens to me it's because I didn't practice enough with the analog watch, I gave myself too much leniency in timing between section switching (and I often scored my sections inbetween), and slight test day jitters. Hoping intuition kicked in on some of those difficult Q's.

User avatar
Cerebro
Posts: 239
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:22 pm

Re: So where are the "missing points" going on test day?

Postby Cerebro » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:23 pm

I don't think "test-day jitters" is a very accurate way to describe this.

As a test taker, the odds are stacked against you by design. That is, there are more factors that are likely to contribute to a test taker getting a lower score than there are factors that contribute to a test taker getting a higher score.

Preparation enables test takers to mitigate many of these factors: content, familiarity, timing, environment (to some degree), emotions, etc. But, it seems unlikely that a person would be able to prepare for every expression of one of these factors that may weigh against you on test day. For example, do most people routinely prepare for the situation in which the proctor interrupts you to ask whether that is your tissue on the floor? Or the guy next to you who slams down his pencil midway through the section and walks out of the test center? Or maybe your mind goes blank and you freeze up for some unknown reason? How many points do these breaks in concentration cost you?

User avatar
scottyc66
Posts: 719
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:19 pm

Re: So where are the "missing points" going on test day?

Postby scottyc66 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:28 pm

Cerebro wrote:I don't think "test-day jitters" is a very accurate way to describe this.

As a test taker, the odds are stacked against you by design. That is, there are more factors that are likely to contribute to a test taker getting a lower score than there are factors that contribute to a test taker getting a higher score.

Preparation enables test takers to mitigate many of these factors: content, familiarity, timing, environment (to some degree), emotions, etc. But, it seems unlikely that a person would be able to prepare for every expression of one of these factors that may weigh against you on test day. For example, do most people routinely prepare for the situation in which the proctor interrupts you to ask whether that is your tissue on the floor? Or the guy next to you who slams down his pencil midway through the section and walks out of the test center? Or maybe your mind goes blank and you freeze up for some unknown reason? How many points do these breaks in concentration cost you?

I still think any of the above issues are compounded by "test-day jitters". I was in the middle of an LR section and someone came and talked to me for 30-45 seconds asking how long the rest of my test would take and I just let the time run down and got back to it after I got him to get the hell out. Think about the kinda apeshit temper tantrum you'd throw if that happened on test day. You just don't need to care that much on the practice runs so everything is blown up the day of the test, a lot of it is determined by how you handle that stress.

User avatar
boblawlob
Posts: 524
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:29 pm

Re: So where are the "missing points" going on test day?

Postby boblawlob » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:28 pm

Possibly part of the problem is when most people take include experimental sections when they take practice tests, they already know before hand where the experimental is because they put the test order together. On test day, that doesn't happen.

bbsg
Posts: 272
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:07 am

Re: So where are the "missing points" going on test day?

Postby bbsg » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:43 pm

boblawlob wrote:Possibly part of the problem is when most people take include experimental sections when they take practice tests, they already know before hand where the experimental is because they put the test order together. On test day, that doesn't happen.


My solution for this specific problem was to take one whole PT and make it the "experimental" for four others (ie PT 50, 51, 52, and 53 would be written as preptests with a different section from 54 thrown in either third or fourth every time). Thus after 4 tests I would actually have written five preptests, and I would consider PT 54 to be a valid PT score. As a result I still had the pressure to perform on the "experimental," even though I 'knew' it was the experimental, lest one of my PTs be a rotten score.

Unknown123
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:57 pm

Re: So where are the "missing points" going on test day?

Postby Unknown123 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:06 am

In my case I'm sure it was jitters. When writing my PTs I was completely calm and confident because I knew it didn't really matter and I had been getting good scores. I even wrote one practice test (unintentionally) in so much noise it could not have been remotely representative of a real testing situation, and still managed to get a score in my practice range. Then the day of the real test when I knew it mattered, all it took was some whispering to completely throw me off my game, I couldn't focus and my score dropped by 4-11 points. This time around because was more worried about it, I felt like the practice tests mattered more and I was having trouble focusing on them the same way I did on the real test, but hopefully that's a good thing if it means they will be more representative of what my real score will be.

User avatar
kylemba
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:11 am

Re: So where are the "missing points" going on test day?

Postby kylemba » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:12 pm

Maybe I'm the exception but in October I scored my highest PT and for December I worked though the test feeling exactly how I did when I would PT, except maybe a little more focused being that it was THE DAY.

bp shinners
Posts: 3091
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: So where are the "missing points" going on test day?

Postby bp shinners » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:04 am

kylemba wrote:Maybe I'm the exception but in October I scored my highest PT and for December I worked though the test feeling exactly how I did when I would PT, except maybe a little more focused being that it was THE DAY.


You are definitely the exception for the first test. The second test tends to be a little more standardized, as far as reactions go.

User avatar
kylemba
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:11 am

Re: So where are the "missing points" going on test day?

Postby kylemba » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:41 pm

bp shinners wrote:
kylemba wrote:Maybe I'm the exception but in October I scored my highest PT and for December I worked though the test feeling exactly how I did when I would PT, except maybe a little more focused being that it was THE DAY.


You are definitely the exception for the first test. The second test tends to be a little more standardized, as far as reactions go.


Too bad October came too soon and my highest PT still wasnt high enough.

bananashotgun
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:55 pm

Re: So where are the "missing points" going on test day?

Postby bananashotgun » Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:47 pm

i asked this in another thread and no one really had an answer.

i've taken the LSAT twice (feb and this december) and i remember the week before i'd practice getting up before 7 and taking a test within the hour. the week before was hell on me and i would have a pounding headache the first few days and score below average. my score would go up gradually as i got used to getting my mind together. i could totally see people think "well i'm up everyday for work at this time so i'll be fine".

also, i think it's easier to get caught up on 1 problem because you want to be as perfect as possible on the real thing. then you run out of time and have to guess.

personally i also gave myself extra time to finish up the last question or two on PTs. luckily part of my problem is that i have trouble focusing 100% on PTs and during the real thing i was like a laser and luckily finished up on time.




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests