Why can't you improve on the SAT?

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Dr. Dre
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Why can't you improve on the SAT?

Postby Dr. Dre » Sat Aug 03, 2013 10:03 pm

I've always wondered why people people say you can't make much improvement on the SAT, for instance, like we do on the LSAT.

Why?

College Board, the creators of the SAT, say this. But to my knowledge, LSAC has never made such a statement. On the contrary, they maintain that the LSAT is learnable upon proper preparation.

Is it because the SAT is a knowledge-based exam and it's quite impossible to memorize all the stuff you need to know in 3-6 months?

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LegaleZy
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Re: Why can't you improve on the SAT?

Postby LegaleZy » Sat Aug 03, 2013 10:48 pm

Dr. Dre wrote: Is it because the SAT is a knowledge-based exam and it's quite impossible to memorize all the stuff you need to know in 3-6 months?


This. Exactly. The SAT, In my opinion, is one of those exams where if you don't know it you're just not going to. If math is not your area of expertise by the time you're taking the SAT, studying for 3 to 6 months will not greatly improve your score. Grammar, usage, diction, and vocabulary are all tested on the SAT. These are things which take a lot of memorization. There is no way to memorize for the SAT, whereas the LSAT is application of principles. If you understand the question types and wrong answer choices there's a chance you can succeed, this same principle can't be applied to the SAT.

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Balthy
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Re: Why can't you improve on the SAT?

Postby Balthy » Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:07 pm

My brother in HS was a straight C/D student most of his life, studied 2 months (using Khan Academy) and is now scoring perfect or near-perfect on the math sections of every PT. To say you can't learn SAT math in 2 months is crazy. It's like basic algebra and geometry. Of course it takes longer to memorize 500+ words but he's focusing on learning roots and making progress on that too.

lloydbraun
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Re: Why can't you improve on the SAT?

Postby lloydbraun » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:06 am

People don't know what they're talking about.

If you somehow think learning the basic rules of grammar is something that takes more than a month or so of hard of work (less really) to do, good luck cracking 150 much less being able to be good at anything in life. In my opinion getting a 2300+ score is easier than getting an LSAT 160 (provided you know maths).

Initially I scored in the high 500s on both RC and grammar/writing sections, but after reading a dozen or so books and looking at Sparknotes's SAT grammar tips while doing SAT practice tests I was able to consistently score 800s on the grammar/writing section and 750+ on the RC section. I got 2330 on the real thing. ( RC 800, WR 800, M 730, "9" essay.)

My diagnostic LSAT score was 147. The SAT is a joke in comparison.

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LegaleZy
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Re: Why can't you improve on the SAT?

Postby LegaleZy » Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:32 am

I didn't say it was impossible to improve an SAT score. I just think compard to the LSAT it's more difficult. Obviously with the right tools and a lot of hard work anything is possible. Again as I said previously in my opinion if you don't already have a solid foundation for the SAT I think drastic improvements are a little harder.

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neprep
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Re: Why can't you improve on the SAT?

Postby neprep » Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:41 am

lloydbraun wrote:People don't know what they're talking about.
My diagnostic LSAT score was 147. The SAT is a joke in comparison.

I don't think a direct comparison of the two tests has any value, despite observed correlations. It's definitely an apples-and-oranges situation. The SAT (Reasoning Test) is testing the general verbal and quantitative reasoning skills of 17 - 18 year olds, whereas the LSAT is testing specialized skills of college seniors and of those much older than that. The SAT is meant to predict undergraduate performance, whereas the LSAT is meant to predict performance in law school, and those are very different monsters. One can be well poised to at once perform phenomenally in an undergraduate program and mediocrely in law school.

kiyoku
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Re: Why can't you improve on the SAT?

Postby kiyoku » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:04 am

if "learnable" automatically was attached to the time frame of 3-6 months, then perhaps it might be difficult.

I do know people who specifically worked on their weaknesses from a couple/few years before their real test and they improved dramatically. It seems obvious that the math is more than learnable, kind of like how games seems to be the most learnable.. but that's just my opinion.

I find it really surprising that they say the College Board said that the SAT is not supposed to be learnable when there's so much evidence against that claim. Perhaps they meant something very specific?

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Micdiddy
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Re: Why can't you improve on the SAT?

Postby Micdiddy » Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:33 pm

Wtf? One can improve insanely on the SAT's. The SAT is like LSAT without bite, no tricks, no surprises, everything as straightforward as possible. Learn grammar, learn math and the SAT can be rather simple.

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bizzybone1313
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Re: Why can't you improve on the SAT?

Postby bizzybone1313 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:52 pm

I have never understood why a lot people prefer the SAT vs the ACT. I took the ACT and never considered taking the SAT. Don't you get points deducted for missing a question on the SAT?

When I took the ACT, I took it cold and didn't study for it. I did well but not outstanding. As a 17 yo, I didn't have this concept ingrained me to study for the exam.

I have always wondered how someone would score on one of these standardized tests AFTER having done well in an undergrad or LS program. Let's say, for example, someone scored a 160 on the LSAT prior to attending law school. If the test is suppose to be a good indicator of logical, analytical and RC ability, shouldn't someone outperform their 160 from 3 years prior if they did real well in LS?

I am going to save a few LSAT PT's and try this experiment out. For the most part, I am going to destroy the rest of the LSAT prep materials because I don't want to ever see those books again.

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neprep
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Re: Why can't you improve on the SAT?

Postby neprep » Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:00 pm

bizzybone1313 wrote:I have never understood why a lot people prefer the SAT vs the ACT. I took the ACT and never considered taking the SAT. Don't you get points deducted for missing a question on the SAT?


I think the ACT is more popular in the Midwest. At my school, I think I met a grand total of two people who took the ACT, and that was in addition to the SAT. (Of course, this is hardly a scientific survey.)

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Why can't you improve on the SAT?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:07 pm

neprep wrote:
bizzybone1313 wrote:I have never understood why a lot people prefer the SAT vs the ACT. I took the ACT and never considered taking the SAT. Don't you get points deducted for missing a question on the SAT?


I think the ACT is more popular in the Midwest. At my school, I think I met a grand total of two people who took the ACT, and that was in addition to the SAT. (Of course, this is hardly a scientific survey.)

I grew up outside of Boston, and I don't think I even heard of the ACT until after I'd already started college. (It's probably more common now.)

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SteelPenguin
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Re: Why can't you improve on the SAT?

Postby SteelPenguin » Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:39 pm

lloydbraun wrote:My diagnostic LSAT score was 147. The SAT is a joke in comparison.


17 year old me found the SAT a lot harder than 24 year old me found the LSAT. I don't think you can really compare the two tests as far as difficulty goes, but the LSAT is definitely easier to improve on in a shorter period of time for most people.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Why can't you improve on the SAT?

Postby Dr. Dre » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:10 pm

Good discussion bros. I ask this question cause my sister is going to take it. And I remembered improving 400 points on the overall score and I was investigated by ETS for potential cheating—they found nothing. I doubt LSAC would do something like this.

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the_pakalypse
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Re: Why can't you improve on the SAT?

Postby the_pakalypse » Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:15 pm

Improved from 1990 (first official take, diag was probably 1700) to 2230 on my SAT. Improved 159 (cold) to 180 on my LSAT. 24 point improvement for SAT, 21 for LSAT. Anything is possible?

I dunno I did much better on the LSAT because I think it's more suited to my capabilities and strengths.... fixing grammar, memorizing random words etc weren't really my thing. I studied hard for the SAT. I studied hard for the LSAT. Maybe I'm just a shit test taker when it comes to it initially.

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LSAT Hacks (Graeme)
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Re: Why can't you improve on the SAT?

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:11 pm

I teach both the LSAT and the SAT. I've found both are quite learnable.

Math is easy to improve at. So it writing. It tests only a subset of grammar, and there are definite tendencies to question types that you can learn.

Reading is harder to improve at, but I saw a student who memorized a few thousands words over a 4 month period and reliably boosted his reading score 100-200 points. It's boring, but it works.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Why can't you improve on the SAT?

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:46 pm

In my day, they encouraged dumb athletes to take the ACT. Is that still typical? I took both (don't remember why) and the ACT was considerably easier. I had 1400 SAT (old format, so it was ~95th percentile) but 34 on the ACT, which was 99th.

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MistakenGenius
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