Starting practice test phase of prep for April -- recommendations for which ones to prioritize?

Hi friends! I am registered for the April test, and am aiming to have my overview of the curriculum complete in the next week-ish, so that I can move on to practice tests for the last 12-14 days. I'm not working at the moment, so I've had the brain space and time to focus on this since mid-February, and while more time would always be better, I'm ready to get this done so I can move on to the next chapter in figuring out my life! My plan is to take at least one practice test per day -- morning test, afternoon BR, and if I'm up for it, evening problem sets to work through questions that I'm iffier or feeling less confident about.

Are there any recommendations for how to prioritize the prep tests? I've been planning to work in reverse chronological order and do as many as I can without losing my mind. Other suggestions?

Comments

  • kkole444kkole444 Legacy Member
    1682 karma

    Hello @Barnsburntdown I would not recommend taking a PT everyday. 2 per week at the most. The BR process is super important and doing a PT everyday is going to devalue the BR process. It takes time to go through each of the questions and break them down. Flying through the PTs will not increase your score unless you are learning from the mistakes you are making on the exam. So Once you finish the CC I would recommend taking 1-2, maybe 3 newish PTs to see where you are at and then compare that to where you want to be. After that if you are where you want to be then you can take more PTs but of you are lower from where you want to be then I would recommend looking at the analytics and seeing where you should be focusing your time. PTs are a limited resource and once they are gone they are gone. I am not sure where your score is but if you are aiming 170+ then you are likely to use many of the PTs and almost guaranteed to use all of them from PT65-may 2020, so blowing through 10 of them in 2 weeks is not really beneficial. This is also dependent on your score, but even then if you take 10 exams in 14days and BR properly, chances are you will be burnt out when taking the April exam.
    I would take couple exams see where my weaknesses are and then drill the weaknesses for a while then go back and take another exam, and repeat the process. I would also mark/flag the questions that give me the most trouble and make sure to learn why they gave you the most trouble, so they won't do that in the future.
    This also depends on if you plan on taking the exam again after the April exam or if you are going to apply for next cycle. If you are then I would not work in reverse order. I would do a couple maybe 1 from the 80s or high 70s then 1-2 from the low 70s and see where I am at. After that I would drill from 1-35PT(and BR) and test (depending where you are and your goals) in the 50s 60s and then 3ish weeks before the actual exam take 1-2 Pts from the 80s to give you the best idea of how you are going to score on test day. This is what I would do if I was to redo my studies.

  • BarnsburntdownBarnsburntdown Monthly Member
    edited March 2021 7 karma

    Thanks — I’m not putting too much pressure on myself to get into the 170s. I scored a 151 when I took it in fall ‘05 (really did not study enough and had terrible test anxiety as a result) and scored 155 on my 1st PT. I’d like to get in the 160s and adjusting to the digital format is also part of my rationale. That said, I’m aware it’s a lot to work through in a tight time so it may end up being every other day.

    Unless I score horribly off from my target, I don’t know that I’ll test again. For more context, I’m 37, still owe a chunk from undergrad (3.7low BA from NYU in 2006), and want to work in public interest so tbh Georgia State is looking pretty good to me in terms of costs and quality. Median there is 158 ...

  • mere_mortalmere_mortal Monthly Member
    91 karma

    @kkole444 said:
    Hello @Barnsburntdown I would do a couple maybe 1 from the 80s or high 70s then 1-2 from the low 70s and see where I am at. After that I would drill from 1-35PT(and BR) and test (depending where you are and your goals) in the 50s 60s and then 3ish weeks before the actual exam take 1-2 Pts from the 80s to give you the best idea of how you are going to score on test day. This is what I would do if I was to redo my studies.

    this is the exact sort of advice i was hunting for, thank you! Just curious if you can elaborate on why that is the way you would do it? I guess drilling 1-35 is obvious since its the Core Curriculum range.

  • kkole444kkole444 Legacy Member
    1682 karma

    Hello @mere_mortal Doing 1-2 from the low 80s then a 1-3 from the low-mid 70s towards the beginning of the PT phase so I get a look and a feel to how the exam is different from the exams from 1-60. In addition after BR of the exams, and after more PTs it is recommended to go over past wrong answers try and find a trend and sure up when went wrong with the answer. When you do this you are still seeing newer-style questions while you are working in the 50s and 60s, so it is not a 'culture' shock when you go from the 50/60s to PTs in the high 80s.
    Some people say the change is not that big others say is has a significant impact on there score, but I have found that getting like 5ish from the 70s and 80s gets a good base and people can see the difference from those and the other PTs they will take from the 40-60s.

  • mere_mortalmere_mortal Monthly Member
    91 karma

    @kkole444 said:
    Hello @mere_mortal Doing 1-2 from the low 80s then a 1-3 from the low-mid 70s towards the beginning of the PT phase so I get a look and a feel to how the exam is different from the exams from 1-60. In addition after BR of the exams, and after more PTs it is recommended to go over past wrong answers try and find a trend and sure up when went wrong with the answer. When you do this you are still seeing newer-style questions while you are working in the 50s and 60s, so it is not a 'culture' shock when you go from the 50/60s to PTs in the high 80s.
    Some people say the change is not that big others say is has a significant impact on there score, but I have found that getting like 5ish from the 70s and 80s gets a good base and people can see the difference from those and the other PTs they will take from the 40-60s.

    interesting. Thanks for taking the time to explain that!

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