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What testing conditions do you put yourself under when taking PTs?

mpits001mpits001 Alum Member
edited January 2015 in June 2014 LSAT 938 karma
Do you go to a library where some noise might occur? Do you stay at home with ear plugs and no one else home? Do you use mechanical pencils or wooden pencils? J.Y. said that when PTing we should simulate testing conditions as much as we possibly can. This ranges from possibly using the room we may take the test in, to using wooden #2 pencils instead of mechanical (which sucks because mechanical feels so much better in my hands).

If you're studying to retake the exam, what felt out of place on test day? Was it random noise from other people? Did they make constant noises such as erasing, ticking off answers loudly, or whisper to themselves? I'm curious, because these were my problems, and although they did not fully contribute to my poor score, I feel the noises played a part. Also, in my opinion, a good portion of the test is being able to stay focused and not get irritated/unfocused when people are doing quirky things.


  • harrismeganharrismegan Member
    2074 karma
    Use wooden pencils! I usually study in a quiet room, but I've heard many 170++ people advise studying in a busy place, as you get better, so you can get used to distractions!
  • mpits001mpits001 Alum Member
    edited January 2015 938 karma
    @harrismegan yeah I've heard the same too! I guess I should take some PTs at a local Starbucks or my University's library? When I first took the 7Sage course I used mechanical, now I'm using wooden. I want nothing to throw me off on test day! I remember you mentioned your score on test day vs your peak, how will you tackle the issue of studying in a busy place?

    P.S. J.Y. if I win the lottery I'm flying to where ever your H.Q. is (I think NY), and I'll hire you as my personal tutor until I get consistent 180s, LOL!
  • harrismeganharrismegan Member
    2074 karma
    Well, my testing conditions were great. I wasn't distracted by noise one bit. I think that's because my house (and dogs... mostly my dogs) are loud.
  • Marie4lawschoolMarie4lawschool Alum Member
    359 karma
    I am someone who constantly takes in everything around me, which is great for many situations but not for the LSAT! I'm fine working amid noise and activity provided it's not just occasional - that really breaks my focus and gets my attention. Unfortunately, that's been my LSAT testing experience, where things are generally very quiet but then I notice every proctor's steps-and-pause as they move through the room, my neighbor's bout of erasing or tapping of the pencil, or the dude swinging back and forth in his seat as he reads the RC...

    It is very much my inability to focus on one thing that's letting me down so now I have ear plugs ready for the February test! In my previous careers, being on the alert and processing lots of sensory information served me well. So yes, I do my timed PTs amid noise and distraction (of which there's plenty in Costa Rica where I work) but I haven't found a place that truly mimics the occasional distractions of the LSAT testing environment.

    Ideas beyond the ear plugs?
  • mpits001mpits001 Alum Member
    edited January 2015 938 karma
    @harrismegan I envy you then! I feel it was a decent contributor to my score. Once I start on the PTs, I'll be going to my university library and/or Starbucks to take full length tests.

    @Marie4lawschool Yeah I had the same issues on test day with my proctors talking to other test takers, or walking around the room constantly. The girl behind me was sick and would sniffle a lot.. She would also tick off answers as if she was coloring heavily. The room next to mine had a high school debate going on, so for a bit there was microphone use and I could hear everything they were saying, not to mention the desks they slid across the room, and the constant opening/closing of their door which closed slowly and squeaked constantly. This is why as soon as I receive my school refund money I'm signing up for the test at MY university. From what I understand, they are way more professional.

    Also, from what I understand earplugs are allowed depending on the proctor. I've read testimonies on various forums that claim their proctor allowed them to use earplugs, while others claimed the opposite. My proctor did not allow them, despite the test takers objection, while also claiming they called LSAC and LSAC said it would be fine to use them, just a warning! Thank you for the response though! :)
  • Allison MAllison M Alum Member Inactive Sage
    810 karma
    I found that taking PTs with a study group was super, super helpful. We did them in a university library, which was quiet but not totally silent. Initially, I was distracted by my fellow test takers flipping through their test books -- I had to train myself not to wonder whether they were ahead of me!

    Also, earplugs are not allowed. Some proctors may be ignorant of this fact and allow them to be used, but technically, you aren't allowed to have them on your person during the test.
  • msmith85msmith85 Alum Member
    213 karma
    I use scantrons with every PT! For some people who might be slow/cautious at bubbling it can take about a minute all together to bubble all the answers.

    Also, I do believe ear plugs are not allowed in the testing center. Double check that with LSAT before planning on that!
  • aaron.naiditch36aaron.naiditch36 Free Trial Member
    4 karma
    On your test ticket it says earplugs are not allowed, so use at your own risk! I would recommend using ways that you know 100% will be allowed on test day.
  • seamusyarbroughseamusyarbrough Free Trial Member
    36 karma
    I have taken all of my PTs in a local cafe. Heaps busy and lots of noise, but I figure if I can tune it out I will be ready for whatever on test day. It has taught me to tune out distractions, like people sitting next to me talking politics in ways I very much disagree :)
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