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PT 50--beginning of the major changes?

NYC12345NYC12345 Alum Inactive Sage
in General 1654 karma
I just took PT 50 and I felt like I did not even know how to complete the exam. I have familiarized myself with the test since December, but I felt like the questions were completely different than those in the 30s and 40s. I ended up circling 75% of the LR questions. Also, I could not complete 1-10 in ten minutes. Probably 4 out of the first 10 were extremely difficult. The LG was easy, but the LR was brutal. Has anyone else had this experience? Is this test an anomaly? Is this test the beginning of the drastic changes and turns that the LSAT takes?
@amanda_kw
@nicole.hopkins
@ddakjiking
@Pacifico
@"Nilesh S"
@emli1000

Comments

  • nicole.hopkinsnicole.hopkins Legacy Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    7965 karma
    @alexandergreene93 said:
    but I felt like the questions were completely different than those in the 30s and 40s.
    Yes, there's a shift. No question. My general theory is that LSAC hired new people around that time, and at other times. IMO, later tests feel quite different from earlier tests. Has logic or argument structure changed? Nope. Validity is 100% unchanged. But the tone and style of the test has changed, especially in LR. QT's show up at different intervals/frequencies, stems are worded differently, and other subtle trends.

    There is another noticeable shift in the mid-60's—thus why we're doing the later tests (we still have 67-71 to do over the next few weeks) on Fridays so that we can take them twice, as the trend more or less continues into the most modern exams.
  • nicole.hopkinsnicole.hopkins Legacy Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    7965 karma
    And, if you did PT50 (Sept 2006), you haven't even gotten to the Comparative Passages era of LR. Another major shift; IMO, one for the better (I have the least problems on Comparative Passages, but others have different experiences).
  • PetrichorPetrichor Alum Member
    359 karma
    you have shift in LGs and LRs, the 70s are different than the 60s as well.
  • blah170blahblah170blah Alum Inactive ⭐
    3545 karma
    A couple of notable changes:
    1) Ordering of LR questions has changed such that the difficulty is less predictable. It's not so cookie cutter as "10 in 10."
    2) The stimuli have gotten longer, meaning you have more convoluted language to parse through.
    3) The answer choices have gotten harder. You need to have an airtight understanding of the argument.

    For example, you used to get flaw questions where the stimulus reads like this:
    Premise: A ---- B
    Conclusion: /A ----/B

    Now, on older PTs, it used to be enough to recognize that there's some sufficient and necessary assumption confusion because there's only one answer choice that addresses a S and N confusion. But now, you'll have 2 answer choices that relate to this confusion and one will be "treats a sufficient assumption as a necessary assumption" and "treats a necessary assumption as a sufficient assumption."

    While this is a subtle shift, it means you have to double heck to make sure you're right, which takes time away from figuring out other questions.

    Also, the "easier" questions are less of a gimme. The principles have gotten a little harder and the parallel questions hinge on minor nuances you might overlook.
    4) Actually, that's pretty applicable to most of the questions. A lot of the newer LR questions hinge on things you might initially overlook. For instance, I found it really common on the later PTs that the flaw I had in mind was not the one listed in the answer choices.
    5) LG will get harder starting in the 60s so keep your LG game strong by practicing earlier question types.

    Because of the shifts, I think it's important to mix tests from different decades in your PT regimen. It takes adjusting but remember, the core of the LSAT hasn't changed. If your logic is strong, you'll find success.
  • NYC12345NYC12345 Alum Inactive Sage
    edited June 2015 1654 karma
    Did you guys see a substantial drop in your PT scores? I'm currently stuck in the low to mid 160s, but I'm pretty sure I scored in the 150s on this PT, which is horrifying to even think about. If I have trouble on the newer PTs, will my scores ever recover to where they were, or am I going to be completely lost once October comes around? How did you change your prep to adjust to changes? Is it really a good idea to not take the PTs in order? I heard that it's best to take them in order.
    Also, the actual wording seemed a lot more difficult and was hard to understand at times.
  • blah170blahblah170blah Alum Inactive ⭐
    3545 karma
    Yes, I was averaging in the mid 170s and fell to a consistent 168/169 until I could adjust back up to a low 170. The greatest advantage to mixing up your PTs is the psychological component. In my opinion, the last thing you want to experience is taking PT 60s and 70s the last few weeks of your prep and FREAKING out about the fact that your scores are dropping so close to test date. It also trains your mind to get used to fluctuations in verbiage. This rang especially true for the RC. I had consistently been scoring -2/-3 on RC on the earlier PTs and couldn't get back down to that earlier average. The language of RC answer choices has gotten trickier, where the right answer choice is rarely the one that sounds like the one you anticipated. It's very time consuming and I wish I had taken the 60s and 70s earlier in my prep to account for such changes.
  • nicole.hopkinsnicole.hopkins Legacy Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    7965 karma
    @alexandergreene93 said:
    Did you guys see a substantial drop in your PT scores?
    My highest scores have come from later PT's.
  • blah170blahblah170blah Alum Inactive ⭐
    3545 karma
    You go girl @nicole.hopkins !
  • hrjones44hrjones44 Alum Member
    323 karma
    Mine have been higher in the higher numbered tests as well, but that's likely because i took the higher numbered ones later in my prep, I mixed them up but in the last few weeks i took 66-70 and they were my highest scores.
  • amanda_kwamanda_kw Alum Member
    383 karma
    Yes - as both @blah170blah and @nicole.hopkins stated, there are differences. From 50+ and then starting from 65+, there is another shift. For the 65+ shift - there are more strengthen questions that you have to approach as basically necessary assumption questions (strengthens but only marginally). More logically complete the blank questions.

    It's mainly hard because your brain will go, "what?!" when it sees the new types of questions. The differences are subtle but enough to trip you up because you've been studying other questions for a long time.

    Make sure to give yourself PLENTY OF TIME for the 65+ tests - to study them well, because it will take at least two weeks - I would say give it a month before your test - to understand and BR them to get a better understanding of the newer tests.
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    edited June 2015 8021 karma
    I'm not deep into PTs yet as I only started a few weeks ago and have had a lot of other work to do, but based on the advice that @blah170blah gave me, I've started to mix it up in order to combat these kinds of issues. I'd like to get to a PT in the early 70s by the end of the month just to see the craziness, with the likely plan being to repeat all of the 70s I've done during September before the real test, and probably saving 74 and 75 for the last week prior.
  • lschoolgolschoolgo Member
    274 karma
    The single most important distinction between pre-50s PTs and later ones is RC.

    It's undoubtedly significantly more difficult. Those who typically score -3/-4 in older RC can average as low as -8/-9 in the newer ones.
  • nicole.hopkinsnicole.hopkins Legacy Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    7965 karma
    @"amanda_kw" said:
    Make sure to give yourself PLENTY OF TIME for the 65+ tests - to study them well, because it will take at least two weeks - I would say give it a month before your test - to understand and BR them to get a better understanding of the newer tests.
    This is why we are doing the late PT's in our Friday sessions ... basically because @amanda_kw told me to do it. JK, haha ... (but also not really kidding at all).
  • nicole.hopkinsnicole.hopkins Legacy Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    7965 karma
    @Pacifico said:
    I've started to mix it up in order to combat these kinds of issues. I'd like to get to a PT in the early 70s by the end of the month just to see the craziness, with the likely plan being to repeat all of the 70s I've done during September before the real test, and probably saving 74 and 75 for the last week prior.
    Exactly—this is the idea behind our Friday sessions and I have zero fears or regrets. Furthermore, I enjoy the later tests a LOT more than the earlier ones. More crisp and well-made, IMO.
  • ddakjikingddakjiking Legacy Inactive ⭐
    2116 karma
    These guys have it done. Currently in Cabo so I'm a bit late. :P
  • NYC12345NYC12345 Alum Inactive Sage
    1654 karma
    @amanda_kw
    @nicole.hopkins
    @ddakjiking
    @Pacifico
    @"Nilesh S"
    @emli1000
    Surprisingly I scored a 164 (BR-176). Thanks for the advice. I guess the exam isn't harder, just different. In fact, after BR I found the exam to be easier than the old exams. Are the changes in the 65+ exams similar to the changes starting at 50, or is it a much more substantial change?
  • amanda_kwamanda_kw Alum Member
    383 karma
    woohoo! good job. Different is a good way to put it - the LSAT is still very consistent, despite it's changes. I feel that 65+ have more content changes, some unfamiliar question stems, etc. It's similar to what happens in the 50s, but maybe a bit more dramatic (by LSAT standards, which isn't much) You still use the same skills, but it takes awhile to become familiar with the newest tests.

    That being said, I also enjoy the latest tests the most. The writing is much more clear and you feel much more satisfied with the correct answer choices and during blind review. Unlike some of the low 30s tests where some LR questions make me quite angry, even after learning the correct answer. lol.

    But I stand by what I said, give yourself ample time before your test to mix in the newer tests, at minimum 2 weeks, but it would be better to give yourself a month to spend lots of time doing BR.
  • NYC12345NYC12345 Alum Inactive Sage
    1654 karma
    @amanda_kw I'm taking 2 tests per week, and I will be taking PT 74 and 75 the week before the exam, so I should be set. The wording is much clearer and it feels a lot more natural. I just got so used to the convoluted nature of the older exams, so it was a bit of a shock to see the newer logical reasoning questions.
  • nicole.hopkinsnicole.hopkins Legacy Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    7965 karma
    @"amanda_kw" said:
    That being said, I also enjoy the latest tests the most. The writing is much more clear and you feel much more satisfied with the correct answer choices and during blind review.
    I said more or less the same sentence on the last BR call, which makes me suspect that there is some kind of mind-melding going on. We should both be aware of the implications of this possibly world-historical trans-geographic Vulcan experience.

    image
  • NYC12345NYC12345 Alum Inactive Sage
    1654 karma
    I took PT 51 and scored a 169! My highest score thus far. I felt like I understood the entire exam. I like the new exams a whole lot better than the old ones. I usually get -13/14 on the LR sections, but I only got 5 wrong on 51 (and 9 wrong on 50). I feel a sudden boost of confidence and I feel like getting above a 170 may not be a pipe dream after all. Can anyone relate to this experience?
    @nicole.hopkins
    @Pacifico
    @amanda_kw
    @ddakjiking
    @blah170blah
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    Great job! There's definitely a big psychological component to breaking into the higher ranges and you've made some great strides in getting there. Just don't let that confidence turn into complacency, because you'll inevitably score lower than a 169 on some future tests. Just use this as motivation to know what you're capable of and keep working hard and you'll be good to go come test day.
  • blah170blahblah170blah Alum Inactive ⭐
    3545 karma
    Congratulations! Use this test to figure out what went well for you by comparing to a test you didn't do as well on. Did you notice that the stimuli were shorter? That the answer choices were more predicable? Were the NA/ weaken questions you usually miss a lot easier this time around because they were all lumped in the 1-10 question group?

    Figuring out answers to those questions will help ensure that this is not a fluke but a new trend :)
  • GSU HopefulGSU Hopeful Monthly
    1644 karma
    I definitely noticed a change, but the type of change(s) has me puzzled. For test # 51, My raw score went down as a result of what I assume to be the time pressure on a different test. But, my blind review score is higher than it has ever been. I've always had a difficult time adjusting to the time factor and the newer tests are definitely showing that.
  • nicole.hopkinsnicole.hopkins Legacy Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    7965 karma
    @alexandergreene93 said:
    I feel a sudden boost of confidence and I feel like getting above a 170 may not be a pipe dream after all. Can anyone relate to this experience?
    This is awesome! Absolutely. I got a big fat 99th percentile score on PT50 and it was juicy and delicious. Whereas PT49 was a lil' nasty :)
  • NYC12345NYC12345 Alum Inactive Sage
    1654 karma
    @nicole.hopkins
    I got another 169 on PT 53 :)
    I changed two answers to an incorrect answer choice, which means I would have gotten a 171. I was so angry lol
  • nicole.hopkinsnicole.hopkins Legacy Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    7965 karma
    @alexandergreene93 Good for you!
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