High Scores on Old Preptests but Trouble with Newer Ones

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DrLeoSpaceman

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High Scores on Old Preptests but Trouble with Newer Ones

Postby DrLeoSpaceman » Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:03 pm

I've been prepping around 15 hours a week for 2 weeks now. Started at a 163 diagnostic (with some prior exposure to test questions so can't really call it "cold" but it was strictly timed). I have taken a few earlier PTs (7-14) and scored well - 172 on PT 12, under strictly timed conditions. My problem is, when I've gone to the newer PTs (50+) my score has decreased noticably (169 and below). Is this just a natural score variation, or is there some underlying difference in the tests that would cause me to do worse on a newer test?

More generally, how would you recommend I proceed from here? Like everyone else, my goal is high 170s. I typically miss 0-3 on RC, 4-5 total on LR, and 2-7 on games - depending on whether there's a very difficult one. I've found that a lot of my mistakes are "silly mistakes" caused by misreading or fatigue, particularly on LR. Any input greatly appreciated!

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zkyggi

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Re: High Scores on Old Preptests but Trouble with Newer Ones

Postby zkyggi » Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:33 pm

Later tests are trickier. Use the search function, there are lots of threads/replies about this.
Last edited by zkyggi on Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

DrLeoSpaceman

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Re: High Scores on Old Preptests but Trouble with Newer Ones

Postby DrLeoSpaceman » Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:40 pm

I thought the scores were equated, and that the same score should represent the same level of achievement, regardless of when it's taken. Did earlier tests have more high scores than new ones?

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Experiment626

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Re: High Scores on Old Preptests but Trouble with Newer Ones

Postby Experiment626 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:47 pm

DrLeoSpaceman wrote:I thought the scores were equated, and that the same score should represent the same level of achievement, regardless of when it's taken. Did earlier tests have more high scores than new ones?


They are supposed to equate to be the same across the tests. But keep in mind that trickier does not equate to harder. It just might be that they're asking the same type of questions in a different format that you're not used to. There's nothing harder about a different format but your ability to adapt may be the issue.
Last edited by Experiment626 on Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MediocreAtBest

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Re: High Scores on Old Preptests but Trouble with Newer Ones

Postby MediocreAtBest » Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:48 pm

It seems like you'll be fine though, you're capable and you've only been studying since like yesterday. Plus you'll get some variation in scores regardless, I wouldn't expect someone who's been studying for 2 weeks to hit 170+ on every single PT they take.

Sploshy

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Re: High Scores on Old Preptests but Trouble with Newer Ones

Postby Sploshy » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:00 pm

The LR on the older tests seemed much harder to me. The games also seemed to have much weirder scenarios. The only thing that seemed easier about the older LSATs was the RC. Honestly the newer stuff seemed easier than the older, but sometimes there are extremely awkward games that show up and you have to learn how to do them in less than 10 minutes so that you have enough time for the other 3.

Did you just start doing PT's without any direction or have you read some material on how the questions are formed and what they are meant to test?

Seems like you are starting out well especially if you haven't read some learning material. I'd recommend reading The LSAT Trainer or the LSAT Bibles relatively soonish because the sooner you can get into the habit of following a certain method the more you can strengthen that habit along the way. Once you get to test day if you have good habits then the test will be a breeze. I finished sections with 10 minutes to spare and had plenty of time to look back.

I read The LSAT Trainer and I didn't exactly follow all of his methods, but seeing his methods allowed me to adapt and create my own methods that were better for me. So even if you don't want to follow someone else's methods its very helpful to see some formulated methods that you can base your own methods off of.

Also a lot of Mike's methods are helpful and I did use them. The most impactful thing that I learned was that there is ALWAYS 4 wrong answers and 1 right one. You can always eliminate 4 answers to get your right one, and I used that method to answer some of the questions on the exam that seemed to give some people a lot of trouble.

DrLeoSpaceman

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Re: High Scores on Old Preptests but Trouble with Newer Ones

Postby DrLeoSpaceman » Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:03 pm

I read the Logic Games Bible and found it extremely helpful. For the games I think it's a matter of repetition and checking solutions with 7Sage's free videos. Any tips for LR? I've heard that improvement is difficult in the LR and especially RC sections. My strategy for LR is to review the questions I got wrong, then write down why my answer choice was wrong/why the correct answer is right. Will I see improvement if I just keep chugging through PTs with this strategy, or should I be trying something more focused?

Sploshy

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Re: High Scores on Old Preptests but Trouble with Newer Ones

Postby Sploshy » Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:27 pm

RC is easier if you realize what the LSAC is testing for. It isn't like an SAT passage that tests for vocabulary or subjective answers. The LSAT RC passage tests your ability to see a logical framework much like the LR section does, but instead of small prompts you are given a large passage and several questions related to that passage. More than in any other section I found the process of eliminating very helpful in that section. The only way to get better at RC is to do more passages or read very difficult prose (some people suggest subscribing to The Economist or The New Yorker). You can improve greatly just through more PT's so I'd recommend that route and if you still see no improvement then it will probably be a good idea to start reading more often, possibly something like the aforementioned magazines, but you could probably see improvement just by reading books that you like to read more often.

Long story short RC is the hardest section to improve on, and it will just take time. Don't be discouraged without massive improvements in a little time frame. I started out -8 on average and ended at -1/0 on average. This section is mostly about being able to keep lots of chunks of information in your head so you don't have to look back very often.

I've heard people say that its hard to improve on LR and I haven't found that to be the case honestly. I was able to improve on the LR rather quickly after learning what the prompts meant, and how to attack them. The biggest thing that I learned about the LR section from The LSAT Trainer is that you should always figure out the conclusion of the argument even if it isn't asking for it and then find whatever is wrong with it, because there is usually something wrong with the conclusion otherwise they wouldn't be asking you to str/weak/findflaw/findassumptions. Some questions aren't arguments such as MBT or Most supported and you will have to learn your own way to deal with those prompts. (normally on these questions its best to look at the weakest answers first because they are usually right and eliminate from there)

The best thing that you can do is go over your answers and figure out why you were wrong without outside help. I never had to look up why I was wrong after I was about halfway through my preparing, but it could have taken even up to an hour to figure out on some of them. If you need help on some since you're just starting this forum is normally happy to help, but don't take something that someone else says for granted you need to be able to justify the answer yourself so if what they are saying doesn't make sense then you need to figure out the real reason for why the problem should be answered that way. After 50 PT's there were only 1-2 Q's I couldn't figure out and no ones advice helped on them either, but that is such a small number that I don't think it affected my score. (one of the questions I couldn't figure out was about a metaphor dealing with a bird that revealed the hidden air current; needless to say this never came up again and was really a fluke in the long run)

I'm also of the belief that everyone can get LG down to -1/0 no matter how bad you were when you started. It is a very learnable process and if you are even remotely good at puzzles then you will be able to figure them out.

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Re: High Scores on Old Preptests but Trouble with Newer Ones

Postby Iwanta180 » Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:45 am

OP, how are you doing on pure sequencing games on the newer logic games? This may seem inconsequential, but I noticed that around 2006 LSAC started introducing conditional reasoning into pure sequencing games. This is completely absent in older pure sequencing games. It threw me off for a bit but with a little practice I had it down. If you're in the same boat, check out the 7sage videos.



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