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Discounting Score for Familiarity

ethaaaanethaaaan Alum Member
in General 276 karma
First post here, and was wondering about what the typical theory is behind discounting a PT score based on having previously seen a LR question in prep materials, or having done a LG before. I'm not necessarily referring to the kind of top-of-mind awareness to where you could recall the answer to a question after the stimulus, but just having a vague recelalection of the theme. My initial thought on this was that I see dozens of different LGs a week and more than a hundred LRs a week, and therefore the effect is likely negligible. Curious to here others thoughts on this and how it could skew performance analysis.

Comments

  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    No real formula for the scenario you're talking about, so just take it with a grain of salt and don't take it as truly predictive. When it comes to retakes of full PTs, people usually say anywhere from 5-10 points but that will diminish once you get into the highest score bands since you would be scoring their regardless. Don't sweat it though, there's plenty of fresh stuff to keep you occupied and give you solid analytics.
  • ethaaaanethaaaan Alum Member
    276 karma
    Pacifico,
    Thanks for that information! With LG specifically, it seems like the effect would be insignificant as long as there is sufficient time between attempts. For example: if you had seen a particular grouping game before, lets say a month ago, it is not going to significantly improve your advantage on that identical game versus a similar grouping game (a "new" game appearing on your actual test date). Thoughts?
  • NYC12345NYC12345 Alum Inactive Sage
    1654 karma
    @ethan.ames said:
    I'm not necessarily referring to the kind of top-of-mind awareness to where you could recall the answer to a question after the stimulus, but just having a vague recelalection of the theme.
    I'm of the opinion that if you don't remember the answer, then it is indicative of your logical reasoning skills. There were plenty of times when I not only remembered the theme, but I also remembered which two answer choices it was down to, and I still got the answer wrong. The key to solving a LR question is to understand the reasoning, so if you do not remember the answer or the reasoning, then you should count it as if you've never seen it before.
  • Ron SwansonRon Swanson Alum Member Inactive ⭐
    edited March 2016 1650 karma
    Echoing the responses of alexander and Pacifico. Sometimes the LSAT reuses a stimulus or a variation of the same subject matter for different questions types.

    As others have said, if you can't say in your head "I know this question, B is the answer", don't sweat it too much. It's more about the process of arriving at the right answers.
  • NYC12345NYC12345 Alum Inactive Sage
    1654 karma
    @"Ron Swanson" said:
    the LSAT reuses a stimulus or a variation of the same subject matter for different questions types.

    There are several recurring themes and topics on the LSAT, including QWERTY keyboards, dinosaurs and asteroids, joggers/runners, agriculture and irrigation, nutrition and dieting,voting/elections, etc.
  • MikeyMangoodMikeyMangood Alum Member
    100 karma
    I'd wondered this as well. The responses here already sum it up well, though. For me, I track all the LG I've done on a spreadsheet, and then practice those till I master them. Once I've done that, I try to avoid using the PT that it came from as a full practice PT, and instead work each section independently.
  • quinnxzhangquinnxzhang Legacy Member
    edited March 2016 611 karma
    I think the biggest difference from doing a game or LR question again is that you'll do it faster than you would seeing it for the first time. Even if you don't remember the details, you'll at least remember that it's, say, a grouping game or perhaps that the pieces are X, Y, Z. On a fresh game, you'd have to parse everything from scratch, which takes longer than parsing everything with some vague background memory.
  • runiggyrunruniggyrun Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    2481 karma
    The answers above pretty much have it covered. I'd add that for the games it matters a lot what kind of game it is. If it's a very garden variety one (even a difficult one) it won't matter a whole lot, especially if it's been a while since you've done it.
    But for some of the "curveballs" having seen it before can be the difference from getting it perfect to wasting 10 minutes and getting 1 question right, because the difficulty is figuring out what the hell to do with that game, and once you've done it it's unlikely you'll ever forget. For instance the game about the passing around of workpieces from PT 72, which is trivial once you know how to do it.
    Don't worry too much about the predictions - the only score that matters is the one you get on test day!
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