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Why are Pts from the 80's so hard and different compared to earlier Pts?

MarkmarkMarkmark Alum Member

What is the difference between LR questions in the 70's and 80's compared to earlier PTs?

For example, is it that recent LR questions hinge on really subtle interpretations of words, like conflating "method" and "reason" and these two words are spaced far apart in the paragraph? Is it picking up on really subtle flaws? Did the old tests just test your basic understanding of logic and not really test your ability to hunt for subtlety?

I ask because I did really well in PT 60, then did 5x worse in a pt from the 80s. This is pretty consistent too for LR. Why?


  • lexxx745lexxx745 Alum Member Sage
    3190 karma

    I dont think theres too much of a difference. I do think the answer choices are more subtle in nature, although for me that doesnt seem to make too much of a difference in score

    If anything, I found that LR was very similar and it was RC that was actually harder in the 70s

  • MarkmarkMarkmark Alum Member
    976 karma

    @lexxx745 Ah interesting. I was BRing some of 86 today and I may have found what I saw as a few big differences, in pt 86 there is hugeeeeee emphasis on being an expert grammarian ie grammar is one of the big ways LSAT tricks you. Also more complex arguments, like "counter argument, my argument, IC, C, but the flaw is between Premise 1 and the IC." Those are two differences I saw today

  • TrusttheprocessTrusttheprocess Alum Member
    771 karma

    I would disagree...
    I dont think there are much differences to be honest. i think the 80 series , language has gotten a bit tougher but its still very much the same ...

  • jmarmaduke96jmarmaduke96 Member Sage
    2891 karma

    I am inclined to agree with the above. I have taken 4 of the PTs from the 80s and my LR score hasn't fluctuated. I think that in the 80s the LR questions more frequently break away from the cookie cutter repetitions of the 40s and 50s, but that doesn't make them harder, just different. All the core skills are the same, the objective on the questions is still the same. I think overall the difference is mostly aesthetic which, I think, is quite comforting. Before I got to the 80s I was really worried that my score would tank and that I would be left floundering. Just focus on the fundamentals, and the 80s will yield just like all the other PTs!

  • MarkmarkMarkmark Alum Member
    976 karma

    I basically agree that the logic hasn't changed, but take a look at 86.1.25 the parallel flaw question. That question as well as 86.1.19 tell me the LSAC is looking for something different in these questions. I agree the difference could be "aesthetic" in that they're not testing Chinese, it's still logic, but I think there are very unique traps seen in recent tests and not in others.

    Tougher language I think definitely yes because as you see if I attempt at mimicking the LSAC's verbose verbiage and -- in that an extensive use of poor grammar not to mention embedded clauses those having no commas to indicate the embedded clause I'm inclined to think that, in addition to referential phrasing and answer choices they themselves being intricately melded and hard to parse do indeed make for a different sort of test.

    That's excessive, but take a look at 86.1.13 AC C. That's an example of a very common case of embedded clauses having no commas. Even if the reader is 100% versed in logic, if the reader isn't wary that the test has changed to focus on grammar and wording, logic won't do any good.

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