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5-Section and 6-Section PTs necessary?

guitarnaraguitarnara Alum Member
in General 365 karma
Are they? I am only doing 4-Section PTs


  • c.janson35c.janson35 Free Trial Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    2398 karma
    6 section tests are definitely not necessary. I would throw in some 5 section tests when you have time though. Don't want to be caught off guard on test day with an experimental 4th section and then your focus falls off during your real 5th section. Build up that mental stamina now while you can!
  • kmojorelikmojoreli Member
    118 karma
    I have been doing all 5-section tests. Personally I think this is critically important in terms of mental stamina and being completely accustomed to how the test is going to flow on test day with 5 sections. I would never do all my pts with 4 sections and then just wing it with 5 sections on test day.
  • sarkisp23sarkisp23 Alum Member
    374 karma
    I know a lot of people use the phrase mental stamina, but I don't think it's about that at all. Sure, there's an argument to be made that doing 5 section prep tests will make you more accustomed to the actual 5 section test. That is consistent with the "practice how you play" philosophy.

    However, keep in mind you'll have more adrenaline to keep you going on actual test day. During practice, maybe you get a little tired, but then again I get tired doing anything I don't really want to do. But when I have to do it, I'm just fine. And I think most people are the same way if they admit it.

    So my advice do some 5 section tests to get a feel for it if you really want to, but not if you're doing it for just "mental stamina." It's not that hard to stay focused during a test. And it's not like it's back breaking labour or anything.
  • sarkisp23sarkisp23 Alum Member
    374 karma
    And I don't want that to come off as mean or anything. My point is just if you're already comfortable with 4 sections and you keep a consistent schedule with it, I'm sure you'll be just fine on test day. Mix a 5 section prep test or two in there to get a feel if you want. But don't overthink it.
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    I think doing 5 sections is more valuable in that it can replace drilling somewhat if you use your weakest section as the extra section so you can put more work into that area without significantly increasing the amount of time you're actually studying.
  • GSU HopefulGSU Hopeful Core
    1644 karma
    I've been doing 5 sections with the 5th section being a LG Bundle section. I plan on adding a 6th sporadically with a section composed of the LR questions that I missed or didn't completely understand from previous tests and drills.
  • littlesnickerslittlesnickers Member Inactive Sage
    edited August 2015 271 karma
    I did only 5-section tests as well. Those were the only scores I considered part of my PT average, bc they were an exact reflection of test day.

    One thing I practiced for was getting my worst section (RC) back to back, right when my brain started to get tired (which it did at the third and fifth sections).

    And I would make a different section of an older PT the experimental in four PTs in a row. Then I would score all four experimentals as an entire PT. That way I didn't slack on the experimental (can't slack on the experimental on test day bc you won't know what it is).
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    I like that last idea... I'll have to try that out...
  • NYC12345NYC12345 Alum Inactive Sage
    1654 karma
    It is best to mix up the section for experimental. The value of PTing with 5 sections is so you can get accustomed to completing two RC passages and/or 3 LR back to back. Do not consistently use LG as the experimental because it is likely the least taxing on your mental stamina. Most people find LG to be a fun break from RC and LR, so you are doing more harm than good by using your favorite section as the experimental. Also, make sure to alternate the order--don't put the experimental after the third section every time.
    @"GSU Hopeful"
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    I actually think it's not necessary to alternate the order since the rest of the test alternates anyways. I just do the extra section first and I think the idea of scoring the extra section as a full PT after four tests will help to ensure you're doing them all with proper motivation.
  • Coolmama09Coolmama09 Alum Member
    156 karma
    Can you tell during the real test which section is the experiment section? Or is it blind?
  • guitarnaraguitarnara Alum Member
    365 karma
    Nope it's blind. Otherwise test takers would probably not give a crap.
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    Eventually people are able to put it together after the fact but you won't be able to tell in the heat of the moment. If you get a double LG and one was super easy then that was probably the experimental, but it's best not to get too wrapped up in such matters because it may affect your motivation and performance...
  • Coolmama09Coolmama09 Alum Member
    156 karma
  • DaveH162DaveH162 Alum Member
    221 karma
    This reminded me of a great quote in favor of doing 5 section PTs in preparation for the real day.

    "Make training a priority because under pressure you don't rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training"
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