PT Reliability

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wmcelhan

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PT Reliability

Postby wmcelhan » Sun Jul 24, 2016 3:13 pm

Hello,

I have begun to time PTs super strictly, allowing only enough time between sections to turn to the next section. In doing this, on my last 6 PTs I have gotten a 171,171,171,168,171,173. At what PT number should I count on these results being indicative of where I am in my prep? The test numbers are 14,19,41,21,42 and 49. Also, if I have about 25 more tests to take between now and September should I be expected to bring this up much? I still plan on going through a RC Prep book because that is the section that hurts me the most. For instance, on PT 49, I missed one LR question, zero LG, but 6 RC.

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Blueprint Mithun

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Re: PT Reliability

Postby Blueprint Mithun » Sun Jul 24, 2016 4:43 pm

wmcelhan wrote:Hello,

I have begun to time PTs super strictly, allowing only enough time between sections to turn to the next section. In doing this, on my last 6 PTs I have gotten a 171,171,171,168,171,173. At what PT number should I count on these results being indicative of where I am in my prep? The test numbers are 14,19,41,21,42 and 49. Also, if I have about 25 more tests to take between now and September should I be expected to bring this up much? I still plan on going through a RC Prep book because that is the section that hurts me the most. For instance, on PT 49, I missed one LR question, zero LG, but 6 RC.



If you've already gone through the material, then those scores should be fairly accurate. However, those aren't the most recent preptests - I'd suggest taking a couple from the 60+ range to get a better feel of how you'd do on a modern LSAT.

If you're taking 25 preptests, I'm sure your endurance will improve significantly. As for whether your score will go up, that seems likely, but you're going to want to review very carefully. And be careful not to burn yourself out.

If you're struggling with RC, I'd spend a significant amount of time practicing that section. What is your current approach to RC? Are you keeping track of perspectives, main point, and author attitude as you read? How much notation are you using? Do you find yourself frequently having to re-read chunks of the passage to get situated?

wmcelhan

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Re: PT Reliability

Postby wmcelhan » Sun Jul 24, 2016 5:03 pm

I have a hard time keeping track of a lot of that. I use no notation, but am not opposed to it. Is there any way you can point me towards some useful RC strategies? I tend to reread certain paragraphs, but not usually the whole prompt.

wmcelhan

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Re: PT Reliability

Postby wmcelhan » Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:09 pm

Blueprint Mithun wrote:
wmcelhan wrote:Hello,

I have begun to time PTs super strictly, allowing only enough time between sections to turn to the next section. In doing this, on my last 6 PTs I have gotten a 171,171,171,168,171,173. At what PT number should I count on these results being indicative of where I am in my prep? The test numbers are 14,19,41,21,42 and 49. Also, if I have about 25 more tests to take between now and September should I be expected to bring this up much? I still plan on going through a RC Prep book because that is the section that hurts me the most. For instance, on PT 49, I missed one LR question, zero LG, but 6 RC.



If you've already gone through the material, then those scores should be fairly accurate. However, those aren't the most recent preptests - I'd suggest taking a couple from the 60+ range to get a better feel of how you'd do on a modern LSAT.

If you're taking 25 preptests, I'm sure your endurance will improve significantly. As for whether your score will go up, that seems likely, but you're going to want to review very carefully. And be careful not to burn yourself out.

If you're struggling with RC, I'd spend a significant amount of time practicing that section. What is your current approach to RC? Are you keeping track of perspectives, main point, and author attitude as you read? How much notation are you using? Do you find yourself frequently having to re-read chunks of the passage to get situated?

I have a hard time keeping track of a lot of that. I use no notation, but am not opposed to it. Is there any way you can point me towards some useful RC strategies? I tend to reread certain paragraphs, but not usually the whole prompt.

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brinicolec

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Re: PT Reliability

Postby brinicolec » Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:22 pm

Along with what was already stated, I think most people expect they'll do a few points worse than normal. By the time I took the June LSAT, I was PTing between 164-169 (terrible gap, smh), more consistently on the lower-end of that range, and ended up with a 164 even though I basically froze when I first opened the exam and saw the LG section. I think it really depends on your test-taking. Do you tend to fair better, worse, or about the same in standardized testing settings? The one thing you won't be able to simulate, regardless of how hard you try, is the nerves.

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FayRays

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Re: PT Reliability

Postby FayRays » Mon Jul 25, 2016 2:35 pm

First of all, Great numbers.
I hope you improve on your RC

I suggest you read Voyager method. I haven't tried it yet, but I guess, it never hurts to check it out, it is sort of a recommended method, and you can read the comments where they put other methods as well.

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7240

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RamTitan

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Re: PT Reliability

Postby RamTitan » Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:14 pm

wmcelhan wrote:I have a hard time keeping track of a lot of that. I use no notation, but am not opposed to it. Is there any way you can point me towards some useful RC strategies? I tend to reread certain paragraphs, but not usually the whole prompt.

Everyone has different notation strategies, but something I noticed with high scorers is that they do little, if any, notation. In fact, RC didn't start to click for me until I gave up on underlining at all and purely focused on the passage. You'll find that if you focus on the structure when reading, the questions will be easier to answer. This takes some time though; often I'd read a passage 4x before truly understanding it. But once you do that with enough of the passages, you'll see that there are only like 3-5 different types of RC passages and attacking them will be much easier.

As for PT reliability - it has been said that the average of your last 5 PTs is a good indicator of how you can expect to score on the exam. And this did happen for me. With that said, I'd push that thinking out of your mind and not even worry about it (hard to do I know, but it's important). Go into the exam with a clear mind and the will to give an excellent performance.

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brinicolec

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Re: PT Reliability

Postby brinicolec » Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:23 pm

I'm also about to try ditching notating RC passages and see if I fair better --- or worse --- so I'll let you know how it goes.

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Barack O'Drama

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Re: PT Reliability

Postby Barack O'Drama » Tue Jul 26, 2016 2:54 am

I've heard the last 5 averaged (so long as they were strictly timed) is a reliable gauge of your LSAT ability.
Last edited by Barack O'Drama on Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Blueprint Mithun

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Re: PT Reliability

Postby Blueprint Mithun » Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:27 pm

wmcelhan wrote:
Blueprint Mithun wrote:
wmcelhan wrote:Hello,

I have begun to time PTs super strictly, allowing only enough time between sections to turn to the next section. In doing this, on my last 6 PTs I have gotten a 171,171,171,168,171,173. At what PT number should I count on these results being indicative of where I am in my prep? The test numbers are 14,19,41,21,42 and 49. Also, if I have about 25 more tests to take between now and September should I be expected to bring this up much? I still plan on going through a RC Prep book because that is the section that hurts me the most. For instance, on PT 49, I missed one LR question, zero LG, but 6 RC.



If you've already gone through the material, then those scores should be fairly accurate. However, those aren't the most recent preptests - I'd suggest taking a couple from the 60+ range to get a better feel of how you'd do on a modern LSAT.

If you're taking 25 preptests, I'm sure your endurance will improve significantly. As for whether your score will go up, that seems likely, but you're going to want to review very carefully. And be careful not to burn yourself out.

If you're struggling with RC, I'd spend a significant amount of time practicing that section. What is your current approach to RC? Are you keeping track of perspectives, main point, and author attitude as you read? How much notation are you using? Do you find yourself frequently having to re-read chunks of the passage to get situated?

I have a hard time keeping track of a lot of that. I use no notation, but am not opposed to it. Is there any way you can point me towards some useful RC strategies? I tend to reread certain paragraphs, but not usually the whole prompt.


The best way to approach RC is to read actively. That means you should be looking for certain things as you read the passage for the first time, namely those three things that I mentioned earlier. If you're having trouble keeping track of those things, then I'd suggest using some notation to help you remember the big picture ideas. Everyone has a different preference of how much notation they like to use/find effective, so it's worth experimenting with to see if it helps you.

At Blueprint, we teach everyone to annotate certain things, as a way of familiarizing them with the important aspects of an RC passage. As they eventually get more experience and progress further in the course, we leave it up to them as to how exactly they want to annotate passages, but giving them a more strict outline of what to track early on is important for developing their RC skills.

Our full RC method is detailed in our recently released Reading Comprehension guide - I'll introduce you to some of the key ideas here.

Every RC passage can be thought of as an argument or a collection of conflicting arguments. The number of perspectives is what we use to classify passages. A 'thesis' passage has one perspective, an 'antithesis' passage has two perspectives, and a 'synthesis' passage has three. Synthesis passages tend to feature a third perspective that combines the ideas of the first two perspectives. Antithesis passages often, but don't always present opposing arguments on an issue. And thesis passages have a single perspective, so they read sort of like straightforward essays.

When thinking about a perspective, try to sum up it into the following: what is this side arguing for, what's their evidence, where in the passage is their evidence located?

The author of the passage may be present or absent. A present author has a stake in the argument, and aligns with one of the perspectives. Author attitude is sometimes subtle, so you need to be on the alert for any words that denote an opinion.

A useful tip for finding the main point of a passage - if the author has an opinion on the issue, the main point usually lines up with their bias. So defining the author's attitude can help you decide if you want a neutral or opinionated answer to that main point question. The other thing to consider when looking for the main point is the scope of the passage. You want an answer that discusses the central idea that the argument was getting at, without being too specific or focusing too much on a minor issue. If you narrow it down to two answers on these questions, compare them side-by-side and look for any differences between them.

I'd suggest starting to take notes on the side of your passage if you notice anything relating to these three core concepts. This should help you track them and start to internalize the process of looking for them. I can't stress the importance of active reading enough - if you read passively, without a clear idea of what you're searching for or what to focus on, then you'll find yourself spending a lot of time re-reading parts of the passage, which is something you want to avoid.



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