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Experimental Section?

Sarah889Sarah889 Alum Member
in General 877 karma

Hey All,

Quick question about your PTing procedure- how do you guys decide where to put your experimental section? I've been placing it randomly. Before I take a PT or look at which sections are which, I'll decide "okay, I'll take my experimental section 2nd, 3rd, last, etc." However, being that I always know which section is my experimental section, it hardly simulates testing conditions. There is inevitably a more "relaxed" approach to a section that I already foreknow is not going to be scored.

Thoughts on this? Also, does anyone know if there are any statistics determining how often the experimental section appears first, second, third, fourth or last?



  • Daniel.SieradzkiDaniel.Sieradzki Member Sage
    edited June 2017 2301 karma


    That is a great question. What I did was break up a fresh test and use its sections as experimentals. That way, once you are done with 4 PTs you have a whole other test to grade (the 4 experimentals). You are grading them just like a normal PT. This pushes you to take the experimentals seriously.

    As for where to place the experimentals, I feel that between sections 1 and 2 or between 3 and 4 creates the most difficult test circumstances. This is because you do not get to use the experimental as a warmup (section 1) or as a meaningless section (right before break = section 3 or at the end = section 5).

    Also, do not worry about where LSAC places the experimental. In the past, they used to put it among the first 3 sections. However, that is no longer the case; they now could put it anywhere. Trying to figure out which section is experimental will only hurt you. It is a distraction. Furthermore, even if you could figure out which section is experimental, that could hurt you. Taking a 35 minute break in the middle of the test is not necessarily a good thing. There is a great post (by Jonathan Wang I think) that talks about the danger of taking a break during a difficult thing because it gets you out of the grove and messes up your focus.

  • 1000001910000019 Alum Member
    3279 karma

    Why concern yourself with the statistics of where they place it? Since 2011 it can be in any place, and that is all you should consider. Trying to game where it is placed is a recipe for disaster.

    When practicing the trouble you'd have to go through to not know which section is the experimental outweighs any benefit. If you really want that 5th section, just move it around each time you take a test.

  • AllezAllez21AllezAllez21 Member Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    1917 karma

    Like @daniel.sieradzki said, I think the best thing to do is to split up an actual test for your experimental, so that eventually it becomes its own actual graded test.

  • dan_reynoldsdan_reynolds Free Trial Member
    127 karma

    My experimental section on the June 2017 lsat was section 5

  • dan_reynoldsdan_reynolds Free Trial Member
    127 karma

    It varies

  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Monthly + Live Member Sage 🍌 7Sage Tutor
    27615 karma

    That's a really great idea @"Daniel.Sieradzki" . Never thought of doing it that way, but a great suggestion that I am stealing.

  • Zachary_PZachary_P Member
    659 karma

    Love the approach from @"Daniel.Sieradzki." In terms of "knowing" that it's the experimental section, I don't know if that matters as much as we think it might. There was a recent thread on here about how the LSAT is all about exposure in the end. Once you know the logic and the concepts, it really comes down to just doing more practice problems. I think that having to take 5 sections is as much a mental game as ayhting else. It will help you get into the habit of having two sections after the break instead of just one. This will start to train your brain for the extra 35 minutes of focus that you'll need on actual test day. So, I think you're on the right track practicing with an "experimental" section, and if you use Daniel's method, you'll get double the benefit from it!

  • NotMyNameNotMyName Alum Member Sage
    5320 karma

    Love the idea of using a fresh PT sections as experimental. Unfortunately, I don't have that kind of PT wealth to burn :neutral: But in the end, I like what @Zachary_P says and usually there is more to learn from used PTs anyway.

  • akistotleakistotle Member 🍌🍌
    edited June 2017 9366 karma

    I do something similar to what @"Daniel.Sieradzki" suggested. I use PT55-PT80 for fresh PTs and insert PTs in the 40s (that I haven't used for drills) as experimental.

    Also I usually create a 5-section PT weeks before I take the PT so that I won't remember which section was "experimental" (which I inserted) when I'm taking the test.

  • cthompson2848cthompson2848 Free Trial Member
    8 karma

    @dan_reynolds said:
    My experimental section on the June 2017 lsat was section 5

    Did you have 3 LRs?

  • dan_reynoldsdan_reynolds Free Trial Member
    127 karma

    @cthompson2848 said:

    @dan_reynolds said:
    My experimental section on the June 2017 lsat was section 5

    Did you have 3 LRs?

    @cthompson2848 said:

    @dan_reynolds said:
    My experimental section on the June 2017 lsat was section 5

    Did you have 3 LRs?


    no I had two logic games.

  • dan_reynoldsdan_reynolds Free Trial Member
    127 karma

    the one that I hated was the supervisor game... it F-ing sucked!!!!

  • Sarah889Sarah889 Alum Member
    877 karma

    @"Daniel.Sieradzki" This is a great idea! Definitely going to use this.

    Thank you everybody for your input

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