Dave Hall wrote:
Dr Clifford Huxtable wrote:Hey Dave,
I was wondering if you had any tips for retakers who have used up all of their PTs and how much of an affect this has, since I am assuming by the time you reached your 180 you must have looked at every exam countless times. Luckily most of the newer PTs I've only gone through once but how approximate of a gauge do your think those exams can be for your abilities on a fresh exam.
Based on my experience with my students, I think that taking tests that you've already seen before is likely to be quite indicative of your current ability. Sure, you may remember some features of some of the material, but those sorts of recollections are generally as prone to misleading you as to helping you (consider many times you thought to yourself, "I remember this! I HATED this question. Now, was (C) the right answer and I picked (E), or was it the other way around? YEGADS! I STILL HATE THIS QUESTION!").
One thing I'd like to do, if I can, is shift your focus a bit, toward viewing PrepTests as learning vehicles, rather than just progression meters. I mean, it really doesn't matter to your life at all how many questions you got right on any practice test. Really. In absolute earnest truth, you could miss every single question on a practice exam, and still come out of that experience a better LSAT-taker, if you use those questions to understand what the test wants from you and how the test writers like to phrase right answers.
So, knowing that results of tests you've taken before cannot be perfect
indicators of your current ability (though still believing, as I do, that they are good
indicators), let us use those performances not as score-markers (so, try not to think "I got a 169 on that re-test, which means I should have gotten a 167 if it were a fresh test"). Instead, let's use those performances as experience points.
Success is not measured in scaled scores; it's measured by how many of the questions you understand. So, yeah, maybe you got a 161 or whatever on a re-test, but what's really meaningful about the experience is that you know why the right answers are correct for over 80% of the questions now. That's
the kind of knowledge that you can be certain is reliable; it's the knowledge on which your score will depend.