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Why do I perform so poorly on PT's than on timed exercises?

annaemurphy279annaemurphy279 Monthly Member
edited November 2021 in General 99 karma

Why do I feel like when I sit down to take a PT, all my practice dissipates into the air. I take timed sections frequently, and generally I can pull through them with an acceptable number of incorrect answers. But when it comes to a PT, its like all the studying I put in cannot be applied.

Is it anxiety? What is it about a PT that is so different? I'm just trying to figure out what is nerves and what is a studying issue?

Does this happen to anybody else?


  • a_pmorenoca_pmorenoc Alum Member
    633 karma

    This used to happen to me when I hadn't taken too many PT's yet. It usually is a combination of anxiety and the extra pressure that you have as if its the real thing. Plus you might be getting burnout by the end of the PT if you're not used to taking the full length. I'm sure the more you get comfortable with taking PT's, your score will be more reflective of how you do on individual timed sections!

  • Jerry GarciaJerry Garcia Alum Member
    34 karma

    It's easy to underestimate how taxing doing 4 sections in a row can be versus a problem set. You need to work on your stamina, consider drilling two full sections consecutively.

    Anxiety can also be a factor. My scores on my PTs were improved when I shifted my mindset to focus on getting as many questions right as possible versus focusing on finishing the thing under time. Also try to PT in the same place and same time every week.

  • Jordan JohnsonJordan Johnson Alum Member
    686 karma

    I think it’s likely also due to having to “switch gears” during a PT, whereas times sections tend to be focused on one of the three section types (if not even more hyper-focused within those section types).

    I’d suggest switching up the problem set categories when you take timed sections (i.e. the improvements you see if you do four LG sets in a row won’t necessarily translate to a full PT, because you’re already in the “LG” mindset when you’re doing them).

    Doing full four-section PTs for stamina purposes is also paramount, as others have mentioned.

    Hope that helps!

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