More recent PTs and the actual LSAT

ElectricSheep
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More recent PTs and the actual LSAT

Postby ElectricSheep » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:27 pm

I've been looking through a lot of the posts on "How to get a 160+ advice" thread and I've noticed that a lot of the people who scored high took a lot of PT's. However, most aren't specific with which PTs they took. Is it possible for someone to score well on the LSAT nowadays with just studying PT's 30's-50's? And is it imperative to take and study the most recent PTs to take the current LSAT? (This question may answer itself but i just want to be sure)

I also took PT 62 and compared them to the PT 30's and I feel its a lot different for all the 3 main sections; a comparative passage in RC and rule equivalence in LG.

Sorry if this is in the wrong forum section.

Edit:correction
Last edited by ElectricSheep on Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Clearly
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Re: More recent PTs and the actual LSAT

Postby Clearly » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:40 pm

It's possible to get through using only 40 and up. Bad idea to stop at 50... 50-68 are the most valuable tests out there, most reflective of the recent tests. LG got more "plug and chug", and RC got trickier. To clarify, there is only one comparative reading passages on each RC, never two. Once you get a feel for them, I think they're easier then regular passages; if you can detect the tone and point of each author, you're guaranteed 3 easy answers.
I would personally recommend using 30-40 for drilling by question type, or sections, whatever floats your boat; Saving 40-68 as timed tests under testing conditions. That's what I did.

ElectricSheep
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Re: More recent PTs and the actual LSAT

Postby ElectricSheep » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:46 pm

Clearlynotstefan wrote: To clarify, there is only one comparative reading passages on each RC, never two.



Sorry for that. You're right. What I meant was two small readings in the reading comp which you have to compare which constitutes one of the reading passages. XD

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Clearly
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Re: More recent PTs and the actual LSAT

Postby Clearly » Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:02 pm

ElectricSheep wrote:
Clearlynotstefan wrote: To clarify, there is only one comparative reading passages on each RC, never two.



Sorry for that. You're right. What I meant was two small readings in the reading comp which you have to compare which constitutes one of the reading passages. XD

Not a problem! You're wise to manage your materials with a strategy. I didn't, and was constantly in disarray about which tests I did, which ones I drilled, etc. Just use 50+ as full tests at the least. 60-68 are the best tests out there for what to expect.

ElectricSheep
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Re: More recent PTs and the actual LSAT

Postby ElectricSheep » Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:05 pm

I feel like those who took the LSAT in the early 2000's up to 2010 had it SO much easier...

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Clearly
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Re: More recent PTs and the actual LSAT

Postby Clearly » Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:22 pm

Eh, it's all relative. I like the newer tests more. They're more straightforward, cut and dry. You know how to do it, or you don't. Older tests were wordier and relied on more subtleties in my opinion. At the end of the day, my scores were consistently within 2-3 points in either direction across the entire band of preptests. The tendency is to view pushing points around sections as tests getting harder, but if you take timed practice tests consistently, you'll realize some tests feel harder because say a really hard game, or a super dense RC passage, but they compensate with fewer tricky LR questions, or a more generous curve. Some tests feel hard and you crush them on the curve, other tests feel easy, but you'll score poorly because the number of fairly difficult questions was higher, spread throughout the test, instead of one or two impossible games or passages, and they added up.

Basically, they're all close enough in difficulty, that it doesn't matter.

I will say this though: I'm curious to see how the decline in the recent administrations effects future tests. Realize that the number of test takers is down over all, but by a wide margin the biggest decline is in 170+ scorers. Basically, the students smart enough to break 170, are too smart to even waste the time on law school after hearing how bad the industry is right now. Between the 2009-2010 testing year and the 2011-2012 testing year, the number of LSAT scores ranging from 170 to 180 declined nearly 32 percent, to 3,428, from 5,023. The number of scores from 160 to 169 fell by almost 28 percent, to 21,854, from 30,190. In contrast, the overall decline in the number of exams in the same period was 24 percent.

Essentially this means the ratio of high to low scorers isn't correct any more. There are less high scorers taking experimental sections, which theoretically means that over time the difficulty or curve (equation) will adjust to accommodate these data. How long experimental sections take to be developed into real sections I have no idea, but when they do, tests will get easier, they have to. Unfortunately, I suspect this will take a while, in order to make sure retakers don't see the same question twice: once as an experimental, and later on the real test during a retake. This incubation period is whats doing to determine how long it takes the curve to adjust to the data just now being released. Could be a while.


Of course, this is all speculation, but it seems to be inevitable based on the way the equating process works.


On the other hand, the incubation period may be small. There is another way the LSAC could guarantee a retaker doesn't see questions twice, although the accuracy of the data would be thrown off by different demographics. Once a taker registers to take a Sabbath test, they can never again register to take a non-Sabbath test. This means any questions given on a Sabbath administration could be adapted for use on a Sat admin, with no risk of students seeing them again, June Sabbath experimental would be safe to use in Oct for instance. I don't believe the LSAC would ever do this though. It's practically guaranteed that the Sabbath test has a much less diverse pool of takers then does the standard test, and setting the curve for regular takers against Sabbath takers isn't truly representative.

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15chocolate
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Re: More recent PTs and the actual LSAT

Postby 15chocolate » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:21 pm

Do you think doing older Games (such as 1-29) helped you to do well on recent ones?
As the original poster said, a lot of high scorer did almost all PTs, and that makes me feel it's obligate to do all PTs to achieve good score (say above 165 or -0~2 in each section).
Some recent PTs contain a hard game I heard, is it more like older game? Or different types of difficulty?
I heard newer ones have more plug and chug questions, does that mean they have more trial and error questions??
I wonder whether I should do all of them (if I do this I'm not sure I have time to master them though) or repeat new ones...

rebexness
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Re: More recent PTs and the actual LSAT

Postby rebexness » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:25 pm

Honestly, even if you only do the most recent 15 or so PTs, you need to do EVERY LG. Multiple times.

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RhymesLikeDimes
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Re: More recent PTs and the actual LSAT

Postby RhymesLikeDimes » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:38 pm

Modern LG is a joke after doing the games from PTs 1-40. You definitely want to do all the old games.

Honestly, I saw virtually no change in my PT average when I jumped from the <40 tests to the newest ones. In fact, when I jumped from 45 to 61, I got my best score ever. It's certainly worthwhile to do the newer tests, but if you master the old ones, it's still great prep.

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15chocolate
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Re: More recent PTs and the actual LSAT

Postby 15chocolate » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:08 pm

Thank you for both of your replies :)




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