whats meant by first LSAT diagnostic?

barberiolisa
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whats meant by first LSAT diagnostic?

Postby barberiolisa » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:56 pm

You hear of people saying "I got a 153 on my first LSAT diagnostic test"

are they referring to what their score was after they took a first timed test from test masters OR does that also mean if you never were familiar with the materials before and got an old test book and did a practice test and got a score of 153, with never being familar with the questions or material before?

Theopliske8711
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Re: whats meant by first LSAT diagnostic?

Postby Theopliske8711 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:01 pm

A full preptest that is taken cold, without any prior studying, except perhaps an awareness of what is on the test. Usually it's the 2007 test that is given for free from LSAC.

wannabelawstudent
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Re: whats meant by first LSAT diagnostic?

Postby wannabelawstudent » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:02 pm

barberiolisa wrote:You hear of people saying "I got a 153 on my first LSAT diagnostic test"

are they referring to what their score was after they took a first timed test from test masters OR does that also mean if you never were familiar with the materials before and got an old test book and did a practice test and got a score of 153, with never being familar with the questions or material before?

It usually means your first test, before looking at any material. Typically its "timed" but I would go ahead and finish each section and if you run out of time just mark it.

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RhymesLikeDimes
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Re: whats meant by first LSAT diagnostic?

Postby RhymesLikeDimes » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:03 pm

I spent about 20 minutes reading an overview of the test before I took my "diagnostic." It's really just to give you an idea of where you are starting from without any serious prep-time.

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Skill Game
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Re: whats meant by first LSAT diagnostic?

Postby Skill Game » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:18 pm

I think that cold diagnostics do not give reliable data. To be sure, the LSAT does test some inherent knowledge of a person. But most of it can be learned

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stillwater
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Re: whats meant by first LSAT diagnostic?

Postby stillwater » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:26 pm

my first diagnostic was miserable because i didn't even understand the concept of LG.

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Poo-T
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Re: whats meant by first LSAT diagnostic?

Postby Poo-T » Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:21 am

My first diagnostic was 146. 7 months later I made a 170. So yea, It can be learned.

bp shinners
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Re: whats meant by first LSAT diagnostic?

Postby bp shinners » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:04 pm

Skill Game wrote:I think that cold diagnostics do not give reliable data. To be sure, the LSAT does test some inherent knowledge of a person. But most of it can be learned


Taking that first test gives you two things:

1) How far am I from my target score? Yes, you can study your way there, but it'll take different amounts of time based on how much of an increase it is. If you're 10 points off, you can feel pretty good about your 3 month study plan. If you're 30 points off, you might want to find a job and put off applying for a year.

2) A baseline to feel good about as you increase. Yes, the score will be a little lower than it would have otherwise because of your unfamiliarity with the test. But those first few weeks of prep can be demoralizing, and seeing a couple points improvement on the second test is enough to make it seem worth it to keep on going.

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LSAT Hacks (Graeme)
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Re: whats meant by first LSAT diagnostic?

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:41 pm

It usually means your first test, before looking at any material. Typically its "timed" but I would go ahead and finish each section and if you run out of time just mark it.


I wouldn't recommend this. I mean, it might be a good way to get used to the LSAT, but the score won't be accurate.

As BP Shinners said, a diagnostic is most useful for telling you how far from your goal you are. You need to take it timed to get a real sense of where you are.

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jcccc
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Re: whats meant by first LSAT diagnostic?

Postby jcccc » Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:19 pm

Absolutely nothing. I scored about 154 on my cold diagnostic.
Now I'm averaging somewhere around 171-173 and still got lots of time to refine my skills before the June LSAT.
Like someone said, it's not really a reliable measure of someone's true LSAT potential if you put the time and effort for it.

totoro
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Re: whats meant by first LSAT diagnostic?

Postby totoro » Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:59 am

graeme wrote:
It usually means your first test, before looking at any material. Typically its "timed" but I would go ahead and finish each section and if you run out of time just mark it.


I wouldn't recommend this. I mean, it might be a good way to get used to the LSAT, but the score won't be accurate.

As BP Shinners said, a diagnostic is most useful for telling you how far from your goal you are. You need to take it timed to get a real sense of where you are.


I disagree with this. Sometimes a first timed test can be really demoralizing. also, taking it timed doesn't always give you a sense of "where you are"... If you are completely unfamiliar with the concept of the LSAT, taking it untimed will let you see whether you can do logic games (you should -0) and if you actually understand logic reasoning. Time comes with practice, and while it is key, it often comes much later in the game when you've mastered the concepts first. This being said, you should do what your preference is, it probably doesn't matter that much.

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gaud
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Re: whats meant by first LSAT diagnostic?

Postby gaud » Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:01 am

bp shinners wrote:
Skill Game wrote:I think that cold diagnostics do not give reliable data. To be sure, the LSAT does test some inherent knowledge of a person. But most of it can be learned


Taking that first test gives you two things:

1) How far am I from my target score? Yes, you can study your way there, but it'll take different amounts of time based on how much of an increase it is. If you're 10 points off, you can feel pretty good about your 3 month study plan. If you're 30 points off, you might want to find a job and put off applying for a year.

2) A baseline to feel good about as you increase. Yes, the score will be a little lower than it would have otherwise because of your unfamiliarity with the test. But those first few weeks of prep can be demoralizing, and seeing a couple points improvement on the second test is enough to make it seem worth it to keep on going.


This.

03152016
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Re: whats meant by first LSAT diagnostic?

Postby 03152016 » Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:26 am

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Last edited by 03152016 on Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: whats meant by first LSAT diagnostic?

Postby Dr. Dre » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:23 am

I would recommend not taking your first test timed...

bp shinners
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Re: whats meant by first LSAT diagnostic?

Postby bp shinners » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:27 am

Dr. Dre wrote:I would recommend not taking your first test timed...


I've had people do that. They tend to take about 8 hours on the exam, or they give up halfway through when they think the Logic Games sections is going to take them 4 hours by itself.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: whats meant by first LSAT diagnostic?

Postby Dr. Dre » Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:41 am

bp shinners wrote:
Dr. Dre wrote:I would recommend not taking your first test timed...


I've had people do that. They tend to take about 8 hours on the exam, or they give up halfway through when they think the Logic Games sections is going to take them 4 hours by itself.


bp shinners, do they, on average, score worse or better by not taking it timed?

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vanwinkle
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Re: whats meant by first LSAT diagnostic?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:44 am

bp shinners wrote:
Skill Game wrote:I think that cold diagnostics do not give reliable data. To be sure, the LSAT does test some inherent knowledge of a person. But most of it can be learned

Taking that first test gives you two things:

1) How far am I from my target score? Yes, you can study your way there, but it'll take different amounts of time based on how much of an increase it is. If you're 10 points off, you can feel pretty good about your 3 month study plan. If you're 30 points off, you might want to find a job and put off applying for a year.

2) A baseline to feel good about as you increase. Yes, the score will be a little lower than it would have otherwise because of your unfamiliarity with the test. But those first few weeks of prep can be demoralizing, and seeing a couple points improvement on the second test is enough to make it seem worth it to keep on going.

This. And it's useful to have it timed. It's like taking the test for real, so you know what you would have actually scored if you had just taken it without any studying/prep. You know where you are. It's not effective as a baseline if it's untimed.

When I told people I got a 153 on a cold diagnostic, I meant it. I knew that's what I would've gotten if I'd been taking it for real. And that helped me know where I was going. (And, yes, oddly enough, that was my first diagnostic score.)

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RhymesLikeDimes
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Re: whats meant by first LSAT diagnostic?

Postby RhymesLikeDimes » Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:45 am

Anyone can brute-force their way to a -0 in LG. But, if it takes you 2 hours to do it, then you are setting such an unrealistic goal for the following PTs that you are bound to get discouraged. Spending months of studying just to get back to your "diagnostic" score can't be good for the spirit. Take it timed, get your ass kicked, buy the LGB (or one of its peers), and get better every week.

bp shinners
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Re: whats meant by first LSAT diagnostic?

Postby bp shinners » Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:04 am

Dr. Dre wrote:
bp shinners wrote:
Dr. Dre wrote:I would recommend not taking your first test timed...


I've had people do that. They tend to take about 8 hours on the exam, or they give up halfway through when they think the Logic Games sections is going to take them 4 hours by itself.


bp shinners, do they, on average, score worse or better by not taking it timed?


I don't have a large enough sample size to make that determination. I've had hundreds of students take it timed - I've had maybe a dozen take their first PT untimed and then also report that score to me.




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