Comparing drilling ability vs. PT ability

User avatar
patfeeney
Posts: 437
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:47 pm

Comparing drilling ability vs. PT ability

Postby patfeeney » Sat May 25, 2013 9:10 pm

How much would you guys weigh your abilities while taking PTs compared to your abilities while drilling?
By this, I mean which would you consider a more accurate measure (relatively, of course), or your abilities - your average PT score on a section, or your average score while drilling?

Case in point: Took PT 67 today and got 7 wrong on the RC section. This was the first section I took on the test, so it wasn't an endurance problem.
Later tonight I took the RC on PT 56 (I last took it in February). I received a perfect score. My average score on RC is -3 or -4, although on the last two tests I received uncharacteristically low grades.

In short, should I trust the average of -3/ -4 from the 20 or so drill sections I've done in the past week, or should I trust the -7 average from the two most PTs I've taken, as a representative of my possibilities on the test?

Sorry if stupid.

totoro
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:55 pm

Re: Comparing drilling ability vs. PT ability

Postby totoro » Sat May 25, 2013 9:16 pm

Well obviously the one that matters is what you can get in a timed PT, because that will determine your score. But if you're asking which one is the more accurate measure of your abilities, untimed drills reflect your level of understanding of the test. However a huge part of the LSAT is to test you on time, virtually everyone would get much better scores if they could have even five extra minutes a section or something like that. You can aim for perfection - or close to it - on drills, to make sure you understand the material, but after that you need to do timed PT's until you're happy with your hypothetical scores.

tyler90az
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri May 03, 2013 6:41 pm

Re: Comparing drilling ability vs. PT ability

Postby tyler90az » Sat May 25, 2013 9:41 pm

patfeeney wrote:How much would you guys weigh your abilities while taking PTs compared to your abilities while drilling?
By this, I mean which would you consider a more accurate measure (relatively, of course), or your abilities - your average PT score on a section, or your average score while drilling?

Case in point: Took PT 67 today and got 7 wrong on the RC section. This was the first section I took on the test, so it wasn't an endurance problem.
Later tonight I took the RC on PT 56 (I last took it in February). I received a perfect score. My average score on RC is -3 or -4, although on the last two tests I received uncharacteristically low grades.

In short, should I trust the average of -3/ -4 from the 20 or so drill sections I've done in the past week, or should I trust the -7 average from the two most PTs I've taken, as a representative of my possibilities on the test?

Sorry if stupid.


That was a good question

User avatar
patfeeney
Posts: 437
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:47 pm

Re: Comparing drilling ability vs. PT ability

Postby patfeeney » Sat May 25, 2013 10:05 pm

totoro wrote:Well obviously the one that matters is what you can get in a timed PT, because that will determine your score. But if you're asking which one is the more accurate measure of your abilities, untimed drills reflect your level of understanding of the test. However a huge part of the LSAT is to test you on time, virtually everyone would get much better scores if they could have even five extra minutes a section or something like that. You can aim for perfection - or close to it - on drills, to make sure you understand the material, but after that you need to do timed PT's until you're happy with your hypothetical scores.


Let's say I always drill timed. Does that change anything?

Daily_Double
Posts: 1035
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:45 pm

Re: Comparing drilling ability vs. PT ability

Postby Daily_Double » Sat May 25, 2013 11:38 pm

patfeeney wrote:How much would you guys weigh your abilities while taking PTs compared to your abilities while drilling?
By this, I mean which would you consider a more accurate measure (relatively, of course), or your abilities - your average PT score on a section, or your average score while drilling?


It's a good question. However, the clear answer here is PTs, assuming a number of things. For example, assuming your PTs are under strictly timed conditions, without breaks, using a bubble sheet, and with a fifth section. Also, just because I think it's the best way to drill, let's assume you drill untimed and without a bubble sheet. Well now you can see the difference here. PTs are designed to measure your abilities, literally, that's what they do. Drilling however is designed to improve your abilities.

The timing aspect is unique to PTs and it can influence a number of things, for example, when you are drilling, you know what question type is coming next, it's the same as the one you just did, you don't have to read over this and be sure it's a point at issue disagree instead of point at issue agree question, but you do on PTs.

In addition, drilling is grouped by difficulty, whereas PTs have a different order. PTs usually progress from very easy (1-15), tricky (16-21), and moderate difficulty (22-26). Because of this, the tester should be able to switch mental gears quickly, effortlessly, and unconsciously, however drilling is different. You're looking at easy questions, relatively easy questions, moderately difficulty questions, and difficulty questions.

totoro
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:55 pm

Re: Comparing drilling ability vs. PT ability

Postby totoro » Sun May 26, 2013 4:33 pm

patfeeney wrote:Let's say I always drill timed. Does that change anything?


Hmm I'm not sure why you would *always* drill timed, this seems like a bad idea. I agree with the above user that drilling -> increases ability while PT -> measures ability. The way to increase your comprehension the most is to drill untimed, so you can read everything carefully and think about the questions.

But to answer your question, in that case I would say the timed PT is a better measure. What you get on a timed drill may be similar (like, within standard deviation) of what you would get on the real test, but it doesn't measure as well as if you took the whole test because a) you use a lot less stamina than a full length test and b) the psychology of it is different (I realized this when I took the real test; if you have a bad drilling section, you can check immediately how you scored, or go to the back of the test to see what the curve is, etc. However there is none of this immediate 'knowing' on the real LSAT and you just have to live with the anxiety of doing poorly through the rest of the sections).

rambleon65
Posts: 185
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 2:05 pm

Re: Comparing drilling ability vs. PT ability

Postby rambleon65 » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:45 am

I think if you're getting -3 or -4 on drilling (hopefully even better), then you have a pretty firm grasp on the techniques and understanding what to look for.

This is when you should focus on your timing. Start with individual passages timed at 8.5 mins. Then whole RC sections at 30-33 mins. Then do RC sections amidst all the other sections timed. Then do 2 RCs in a whole PT (making the other RC the experimental section).

Then the most important thing is taking a break and then coming back to the section to see not only what you missed, but WHY you missed. If it was technique thing, you need to go back to the drawing board and slow down to get the concepts down. If it was timing (i.e. stupid mistakes, rushed, ran out of time) then you know you just really need to do more timed tests.




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: addie1412, batlaw, bearedman8, blackmamba8, dontsaywhatyoumean and 10 guests