The Official September 2014 Study Group

ilikebaseball
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby ilikebaseball » Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:38 am

Well, for the most part, the most popular testing day is June. From what I've been told (not sourced, again) is that in September there are less people and a bunch of retakers (indicating unsatisfactory scores from June).

If you look at the history of the LSAT, the September/ October one has almost always been a tick or two more generous. This past June, it was -13. That would indicate that September will be -14. But one must also factor in that there was an extraordinary game (not saying it was hard... just different) in June which may attribute to the curve. Either way, I don't think its crazy to think that the curve is likely gonna be 13 or 14 just based on past trends.

blacklungz
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby blacklungz » Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:43 am

Hey all. Long time lurker, and I've decided to create an account and ask a few questions regarding my study strategy for the September LSAT. I'm currently enrolled in a Testmasters course and have been doing all the homework (just recently started incorporating timing into the HW). I've taken only two five-section-PTs. I'm currently missing 6 on RC, 7 on each LR and I'm nearing perfection on LG. However, in untimed conditions, I'm getting 1-2 misses in LR and 2-3 misses in RC. I feel as though my fundamentals are pretty sound but it's just a matter of taking it under timed conditions. I plan on taking about 10-12 additional PTs before actual test day.

A few questions:
(1) Is a 170+ realistically attainable?
(2) Should I be focusing on completing all of my Testmasters HW, or just really focus on the harder questions at the end of the HW sections only?
(3) What can I do other than PTs to work on my timing? Drilling certain sections? Timing my homework more frequently?

Thanks for any advice in advance!

cavalier2015
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby cavalier2015 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:02 am

correct me if im wrong, but doesn't a higher curve mean high difficulty? shouldn't we hoping for a lower curve so the exam is easier (granted easier exam = need more concentration to not get tricked)

ilikebaseball
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby ilikebaseball » Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:06 am

cavalier2015 wrote:correct me if im wrong, but doesn't a higher curve mean high difficulty? shouldn't we hoping for a lower curve so the exam is easier (granted easier exam = need more concentration to not get tricked)

usually yes. but difficulty for some doesnt mean difficulty for everyone. Difficult often just means different. As in, something we havent seen before. In june, that game was a freakin piece of cake. You could've completed that in literally 5 minutes. However, it was "different" and foreign to anything we had ever seen, so people freaked out and flunked it. The difficulty may stem in the LR section, but you may be a natural at LR.

From the PT's I've taken (minus 55, holy shit that was rough) the test always seems to even out in some way. If there were 2 hard games, then one of the LR sections might be a breeze, or there may be easy passages, etc.

jmjm
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby jmjm » Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:08 am

cavalier2015 wrote:correct me if im wrong, but doesn't a higher curve mean high difficulty? shouldn't we hoping for a lower curve so the exam is easier (granted easier exam = need more concentration to not get tricked)


not always.
pt-72 >> pt-71 on a raw score difficulty scale imo even though the curve was harsher in pt-72.

ilikebaseball
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby ilikebaseball » Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:12 am

either way though, I think I'd rather have a difficult test with a -14 curve than an easier test with -9 but that's just me.

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lsatkillah
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby lsatkillah » Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:39 am

PT 62
RC: -3
LR: -11 (blood and tears drippin down my face)
LG: -7 (including 6 questions from game 2 skipped. more blood and tears)

Scaled: 165

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Gray
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Gray » Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:23 am

ilikebaseball wrote:either way though, I think I'd rather have a difficult test with a -14 curve than an easier test with -9 but that's just me.


Ohhhh yeah. Me too. Although I'm obviously not hoping for a WTF LG or a brutal RC.

I'd really rather not come out of this test feeling mentally eviscerated. That's my only wish right now.

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bound
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby bound » Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:25 am

mmorrell94 wrote:
ilikebaseball wrote:
cavalier2015 wrote:^^source?

if this turns out to be true, i'm going to hate sitting in my exam room and taking a fucking hard test.

i'm hoping a for easier LG than junes.

but on a serious note, don't bother with speculation.


no source other than the people I study with. They evaluated the trends and said that the September curve is likely to be 13 or 14. Less people take the test in September, and this one is more than likely gonna be even less than Sep 2013.

So no real credibility, just fun to talk about


Does less people usually indicate an easier curve?


Absolutely not. The "curve" is based on the difficulty level of the test.

HRomanus
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby HRomanus » Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:30 am

Study enough, fall behind at work.

Not study enough, catch up at work.

Broke up with a girl yesterday so I could focus on LSAT.

#YOLO

joeisreallycool
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby joeisreallycool » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:00 am

Stupid question: when you all talk about the curves being -14, what exactly does that mean? Does that mean I can get 14 wrong and still get a 180?

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Toby Ziegler
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Toby Ziegler » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:03 am

joeisreallycool wrote:Stupid question: when you all talk about the curves being -14, what exactly does that mean? Does that mean I can get 14 wrong and still get a 180?

You can get 14 wrong and get s 170.
ETA: The curve is how many you can miss and still get a 170.

joeisreallycool
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby joeisreallycool » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:06 am

Toby Ziegler wrote:
joeisreallycool wrote:Stupid question: when you all talk about the curves being -14, what exactly does that mean? Does that mean I can get 14 wrong and still get a 180?

You can get 14 wrong and get s 170.
ETA: The curve is how many you can miss and still get a 170.



Thanks. So the curve doesn't affect anything beyond 170? Say if I'm sitting at a 169 and I only needed 2 more questions right, a -14 curve would carry me to 170 but not overboard, even though I essentially have -12 more points the curve gives me?

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Gray
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Gray » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:19 am

joeisreallycool wrote:
Toby Ziegler wrote:
joeisreallycool wrote:Stupid question: when you all talk about the curves being -14, what exactly does that mean? Does that mean I can get 14 wrong and still get a 180?

You can get 14 wrong and get s 170.
ETA: The curve is how many you can miss and still get a 170.


Thanks. So the curve doesn't affect anything beyond 170? Say if I'm sitting at a 169 and I only needed 2 more questions right, a -14 curve would carry me to 170 but not overboard, even though I essentially have -12 more points the curve gives me?


I think it's more complicated than that - people talk about "the curve" in terms of a 170, but that's just a simple way of judging it. The scale is always a bit different. Take a look at the sheet in your PTs that translates the raw score into a scaled score - sometimes there is no raw score that will translate into a 177, or something random like that.

It can also depend on the total number of Qs ( A 102 question test and a 99 question test will have a different "curve" regardless of difficulty)

This is just my understanding, and I'm no expert! Someone correct me if this is totally off base.

Learn_Live_Hope
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Learn_Live_Hope » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:22 am

smccgrey wrote:
ilikebaseball wrote:either way though, I think I'd rather have a difficult test with a -14 curve than an easier test with -9 but that's just me.


Ohhhh yeah. Me too. Although I'm obviously not hoping for a WTF LG or a brutal RC.

I'd really rather not come out of this test feeling mentally eviscerated. That's my only wish right now.


+1

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Blockofcheese
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Blockofcheese » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:41 am

HRomanus wrote:Study enough, fall behind at work.

Not study enough, catch up at work.

Broke up with a girl yesterday so I could focus on LSAT.

#YOLO


Feeling the same way. Work/study balance is something I can't get a handle on ATM. On top of that, I was diagnosed with Lupus this week and have to undergo some lengthy medical tests next week. I'm less concerned about the tests, and more concerned about the fact that I'm going to lose the one day that I have a solid 8-12 hours to study for tests that will most likely wipe my energy levels out for the whole day.

I just keep telling myself it could be worse. At least it's not September 14th :lol:

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bound
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby bound » Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:13 pm

smccgrey wrote:
joeisreallycool wrote:
Toby Ziegler wrote:
joeisreallycool wrote:Stupid question: when you all talk about the curves being -14, what exactly does that mean? Does that mean I can get 14 wrong and still get a 180?

You can get 14 wrong and get s 170.
ETA: The curve is how many you can miss and still get a 170.


Thanks. So the curve doesn't affect anything beyond 170? Say if I'm sitting at a 169 and I only needed 2 more questions right, a -14 curve would carry me to 170 but not overboard, even though I essentially have -12 more points the curve gives me?


I think it's more complicated than that - people talk about "the curve" in terms of a 170, but that's just a simple way of judging it. The scale is always a bit different. Take a look at the sheet in your PTs that translates the raw score into a scaled score - sometimes there is no raw score that will translate into a 177, or something random like that.

It can also depend on the total number of Qs ( A 102 question test and a 99 question test will have a different "curve" regardless of difficulty)

This is just my understanding, and I'm no expert! Someone correct me if this is totally off base.



All of that is true. I also think the term "curve" is a little misleading, because I'm 99% that its predetermined.

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Toby Ziegler
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Toby Ziegler » Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:33 pm

Exactly what Bound said. That's why they do experimental sections -- to help establish what the curve will be.

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Gray
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Gray » Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:38 pm

I think the only way the "curve" can change due to people's performance is if a question is removed from scoring, which does happen every once in a while.

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schmelling
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby schmelling » Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:40 pm

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Last edited by schmelling on Sat Feb 28, 2015 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Gray
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Gray » Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:52 pm

schmelling wrote:I have a hard time believing the scale is predetermined since the scaled score is supposed to remain consistent with percentile ranks. I always assumed they scored everyone's test to determine their raw score and once the scores assembled themselves on a bell curve, they applied the appropriate scaled score such applies to the correct percentile in raw score. They may have an idea based on experimentals or prior testing of how this will turn out, but I highly doubt they would be able to ensure that a 170 is the 97.4 percentile every time without employing similar methodology to the one stated above.

This would indicate that the number of questions one needs to get correct for a certain scaled score actually does have an inverse relationship with the overall difficulty of the test.

That does not mean that a certain scale is equally beneficial or detrimental to every single test taker, only that it produces the same curve consistently. I have always thought, for example, that somebody with extremely high accuracy who simply reads too slow to get through all the questions no matter the difficulty would benefit highly from a "forgiving" curve, but obviously accuracy does not exist in a bubble independent of timing for nearly anyone.



LSAC wrote:A percentile rank is also reported for each LSAT score, reflecting the percentage of candidates scoring below your reported test score. The percentile for a score is based on the distribution of scores for the three-year period prior to the year in which the score is reported. Examine your report for further details.


It's most certainly determined in advance. There's a whole explanation on LSAC's website.

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Toby Ziegler
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Toby Ziegler » Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:56 pm

smccgrey wrote:
schmelling wrote:I have a hard time believing the scale is predetermined since the scaled score is supposed to remain consistent with percentile ranks. I always assumed they scored everyone's test to determine their raw score and once the scores assembled themselves on a bell curve, they applied the appropriate scaled score such applies to the correct percentile in raw score. They may have an idea based on experimentals or prior testing of how this will turn out, but I highly doubt they would be able to ensure that a 170 is the 97.4 percentile every time without employing similar methodology to the one stated above.

This would indicate that the number of questions one needs to get correct for a certain scaled score actually does have an inverse relationship with the overall difficulty of the test.

That does not mean that a certain scale is equally beneficial or detrimental to every single test taker, only that it produces the same curve consistently. I have always thought, for example, that somebody with extremely high accuracy who simply reads too slow to get through all the questions no matter the difficulty would benefit highly from a "forgiving" curve, but obviously accuracy does not exist in a bubble independent of timing for nearly anyone.



LSAC wrote:A percentile rank is also reported for each LSAT score, reflecting the percentage of candidates scoring below your reported test score. The percentile for a score is based on the distribution of scores for the three-year period prior to the year in which the score is reported. Examine your report for further details.


It's most certainly determined in advance. There's a whole explanation on LSAC's website.

I was just looking for this. :) You're a quick one!

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mornincounselor
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schmelling
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby schmelling » Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:13 pm

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Gray
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Re: The Official September 2014 Study Group

Postby Gray » Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:31 pm

schmelling wrote:I could easily be misinterpreting, so if that's the case please explain where I've misunderstood, but I've seen this explanation and interpreted it to mean exactly what I stated above. They are well aware of what percentile will earn you a certain score, but since each test is different, the "curve" (meant here as the number of questions you can get wrong and still earn a certain scaled score) is dependent on what percentage of takers was able to achieve a certain raw score. Again, they probably have an Idea of how this will play out beforehand, but i suspect they would make changes in order to have the scaled score invariably match up to the appropriate percentile rank.



That's the thing - the scaled score doesn't invariably match up with the percentile rank. You have the raw score, the scaled score, and the percentile.

When they write the test, they determine what raw score will equal what scaled score. They do this by determining the difficulty level of each question. This is what determines the "curve" that everyone talks about. Based on LSAC's estimation of the test's difficulty and the number of questions on the test, the number of questions you can get wrong and still get a 170 will vary. It does not depend on how other people do on the test.

All the percentile tells you is how you compare to the people who took it in the last three years. They are pretty damn good at developing a scale that is consistent with score distribution of past years, but if on one exam, say June 2014, there are an especially low number of score above 176, that does NOT affect your percentile rank.

I'm like 99% sure that this is correct based on my unholy lurking of TLS and obsessive researching. If someone has a better source to cite, please jump in.




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