Interpreting your LSAT data (my data is posted)

beyondabilities
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Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:10 am

Interpreting your LSAT data (my data is posted)

Postby beyondabilities » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:31 am

There was another post on this forum that asked if he or she should retake if the person's official score was above their median and for some reason this was a segway to me thinking about how one should interpret their PT performance when they have 30 practice tests worth of data. Some of the questions that came to mind are:

1. How can you tell you've plateaued and your LSAT score will probably not significantly increase in the near future?
2. How can you get a reliable indication of your score when the prepbooks/prep companies use a significant amount of actual LSAT questions in their material? To what extent is your score inflated as a result of seeing some of the questions?

Here is a link to a screenshot of my excel doc:
http://www.tiikoni.com/tis/view/?id=242a620

I'd also be curious to see what others see when they look at my data.



Some side notes:
a) Data is from beginning of July to end of November.
b) I took the December LSAT and got a 167 and am contemplating retaking (first test I took was a 148).
c) I took blueprint's course (which is pretty much only questions from the 2000s on - hence the problem of a lot of tainted tests) and then just did a bunch of PTs.
d) Started re-prepping beginning of March and have finished LG bible and nearly all of LR bible.

CR2012
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Re: Interpreting your LSAT data (my data is posted)

Postby CR2012 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:35 am

Honestly, from those data, I would say that you haven't plateaued. I would be worried about the extreme score deviations though.

Do you meticulously review your PT's afterwards? Are there any patterns regarding your incorrect answer choices or the types of questions you get wrong?

I ran into the same problem regarding PTing with recycled questions. When I was studying for my retake I would score higher on PTs and I knew it was due in part to my previous exposure to the questions. What I decided was that I would put very little stock in my score and focus on reviewing the incorrect answers. I would write explantations of each question, and address why my answer was wrong and why I (incorrectly) thought it was right. I would then explain why the credited answer was correct. After doing that over and over I started approaching questions a different way and reduced my mistakes.

Focus on learning the patterns within each question type and adjusting your approach to them. Even though you may have seen the QS and AC for a particular question before, if you understand the fundamental logic behind the question then you will have mastered that type of question and will have a greater chance of answering a logically similar question in the future.

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NoodleyOne
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Re: Interpreting your LSAT data (my data is posted)

Postby NoodleyOne » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:35 pm

I look at that and I'm worried about the huge swings your scores are taking. Spend more time drilling question types that are giving you trouble and more time in review. You want consistency come test day, if for no other reason that you'll be more confident of hitting your target.

beyondabilities
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Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:10 am

Re: Interpreting your LSAT data (my data is posted)

Postby beyondabilities » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:48 pm

CR2012 wrote:Honestly, from those data, I would say that you haven't plateaued. I would be worried about the extreme score deviations though.

Do you meticulously review your PT's afterwards? Are there any patterns regarding your incorrect answer choices or the types of questions you get wrong?

I ran into the same problem regarding PTing with recycled questions. When I was studying for my retake I would score higher on PTs and I knew it was due in part to my previous exposure to the questions. What I decided was that I would put very little stock in my score and focus on reviewing the incorrect answers. I would write explantations of each question, and address why my answer was wrong and why I (incorrectly) thought it was right. I would then explain why the credited answer was correct. After doing that over and over I started approaching questions a different way and reduced my mistakes.

Focus on learning the patterns within each question type and adjusting your approach to them. Even though you may have seen the QS and AC for a particular question before, if you understand the fundamental logic behind the question then you will have mastered that type of question and will have a greater chance of answering a logically similar question in the future.


I feel like I generally did that for questions that I got wrong. But, do you literally open a word doc and write out full on explanations? I would mostly just circle things within wrong ACs to highlight why it was right and write mini notes next to the ACs if need be e.g. on a MBT question I'll circle the word "most" in a wrong AC (that was a pretty stock wrong AC pattern) and move on....

Also, did you do that for reading comp questions too? One of the things the data shows is huge variability in my reading comp, which was definitely something I was never able to lock down....

beyondabilities
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Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:10 am

Re: Interpreting your LSAT data (my data is posted)

Postby beyondabilities » Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:08 pm

NoodleyOne wrote:I look at that and I'm worried about the huge swings your scores are taking. Spend more time drilling question types that are giving you trouble and more time in review. You want consistency come test day, if for no other reason that you'll be more confident of hitting your target.


I noticed that there was never a pattern in the types I got wrong i.e. I rarely got more than one question of a certain type wrong in either logical reasoning section and if I got like 6 wrong total or something, they would generally all be different types e.g. a necessary assump, a sufficient assump, a disagree question, a parallel question, etc. This made is really hard to decide what to drill. The only question type that I am particularly bad at is parallel reasoning, which I am going to try and drill a lot more this time around.

I think you might be right about the review, though. The huge fluctuations might be an indication that I didn't grasp the extent of the reason(s) why I missed the questions that I missed.

I remember always being puzzled by people that said the LSAT is a pretty consistent test and if you took the test in any recent administration, your score will likely be around the same. Like even the "score band" is a very liberal scale. My score band on the official test was a 164-170 and I got a 167. I guess my score band from my own practice tests is probably between a 166 - 172 or a 167 - 173....those are huge differences! Lastly, if the LSAT is so well correlated with law school performance (within a specific school) then how can the score band be so wide?

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NoodleyOne
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Re: Interpreting your LSAT data (my data is posted)

Postby NoodleyOne » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:11 pm

Here's a good tip that I've seen help a lot of people. Grade your test yourself. After you're done, set it down for a day or two, then come back to it and go over question by question and determine whether or not you got it right. Then, after you've graded it, check the answer sheet. That will let you know if it's the testing conditions, the time crunch, or just the flat "not getting it" that's slowing you down. If you're missing more difficult questions, work on simplifying them. If overly verbose questions are the ones tripping you up, learn to look past the convoluted language into the core of the argument.

The good news is you've got two months to tighten this up. Keep working on your weaknesses, track the question types you most commonly get wrong on lsatqa, and then drill the ever-loving hell out of them. Also, remember you're going to want to look at trends over multiple tests to find weaknesses, don't look at them in isolation.

beyondabilities
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Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:10 am

Re: Interpreting your LSAT data (my data is posted)

Postby beyondabilities » Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:31 pm

Hmm yeah now that you mention it I feel like my sense of what I get wrong or right on my PTs is/was generally pretty off. Maybe taking a couple of days and coming back to the test might not be a bad idea (or maybe even timed sections instead of whole tests). I'll give it a try.

Any other takes on the data?

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Malakai
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Re: Interpreting your LSAT data (my data is posted)

Postby Malakai » Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:56 am

CR2012 wrote: I would write explantations of each question, and address why my answer was wrong and why I (incorrectly) thought it was right. I would then explain why the credited answer was correct. After doing that over and over I started approaching questions a different way and reduced my mistakes.


Great suggestion, didn't think of this alternate view of why one may have "(incorrectly) thought their wrong AC was right"




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