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PT vs Drills to get a better idea of my score?

nessaaarnessaaar Core Member
in General 35 karma

I'm doing 1 RC section daily M/W + 1 LG section daily T/Th + 1 LR F + half LR section M-Th.

I'm currently studying this way utilizing the drill tool, so it'll pull sections from different PTs. To get a better idea of how I'm scoring, should I instead work on a specific PT a week?


  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Live Member Sage 🍌 7Sage Tutor
    27710 karma

    What do you plan to do with a better idea of how you're scoring? Your specific plans for that information make a big difference in the best way to proceed.

  • nessaaarnessaaar Core Member
    35 karma

    @"Cant Get Right" I plan to track my improvement/progress and to get an idea if I’m improving week after week. Otherwise, aren’t I shooting in the dark? What else could I do with a better idea of what I’m scoring - genuinely asking?

  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Live Member Sage 🍌 7Sage Tutor
    27710 karma

    Sort of a trick question, so if there don't seem to be many obvious answers, that's why, haha. Sorry about that, but it just recalls a problem I dealt with for nearly a year that really held me back. I obsessively tracked my progress but to no purposeful ends. I built my studying around it, and I could clearly see where I was scoring. But I didn't actually know how to translate knowledge of my progress into an actual plan for improvement. So that was the thrust of the question. Once you know where you're scoring, so what? You're still shooting in the dark if you don't know how to utilize that information.

    Our scores are great at telling us that further improvement is required, but my guess is you know that already. Scores are usually worthless for indicating how we might actually accomplish that improvement. So what we really need to focus on is identifying specific opportunities to improve. Emphasis on specific. Scoring terribly on RC is a clear opportunity to improve, but "get better at RC" is still not an actionable objective. We want to figure out specific aspects of our performance which costs us points. Something more like: I spaced out for that entire paragraph and didn't even realize it. Great! If we can explain how we screwed up, we can typically craft a solution. So, why did that happen? Well, it got very technical, and I realize I've done the same thing on several recent passages in similar paragraphs. So, it seems like my eyes are glossing over when things get technical. Makes sense. Now, we can craft an objective. Objective: Find a way to stay engaged while reading technical information. That is an actionable insight into our performance. Now we can workshop solutions and try things out. When we find the solution that works, we expect it to result in tangible improvements to our performance. Achievement of specific, actionable objectives translates into an increase in our score.

    So I'd want to rephrase your question to something more like "To better identify my actionable opportunities for improvement, should I instead work on a specific PT a week?"

    The answer to that can depend on where you are in your studies. Drills are commonly constructed around question type, and early in the process this can be a really significant piece of it. Eventually, though, you're going to solidify your understanding of what each question is asking you to do. At that point, you're unlikely to be missing many questions because of question type. Then, sections typically become the better tool because they shift the emphasis away from question type and give us the full spectrum of question types and difficulties. It gives more ways to screw up which gives us more opportunities which allows us to identify more objectives.

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