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Are the tests getting harder??

nicole08nicole08 Legacy Member
in General 55 karma
So, for some background. I took the June test and did well but not the score I was looking for. I was planning on taking the test yesterday and the realized I wasn't done with my 7Sage course and wanted to be more consistent because I don't want to take it more than twice. I am curious if this has happened to anyone else. I seem to score higher on older tests (in the PT mid 50s and 60s). I know friends felt that yesterday's test was harder than the June test. Do we think maybe the LSAT test themselves are actually getting more difficult over time? I felt like I did much better on those older tests. I did score around the same when I took the June test again after the fact. I don't know though...thoughts anyone??


  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4181 karma
    If this test truly is harder than the June test, the curve will probably accurately reflect that. The tests have changed over time and challenge you by focusing on different things, but they all borrow from the same logic. The difficulty comes from having to tackle these different focuses, not so much in the logic itself being somehow more difficult.

    There are, however, things I think LSAC is doing to maintain reliable differentiation between scorers, though I could be way off as to why some of these new trends have been surfacing. I'm referring primarily to the abstract/funky logic games paired with sissified games that are easy only if you know you're stuff. The hard games are hard no matter how much prep you've had, whereas hard games in the past seemed easier to prepare for. LR seems to focus more now on subtle necessary assumptions, resolve/reconcile, most strongly supported, complete the passage, and pseudo-sufficient assumptions, whereas older tests seem in my mind to have focused more on sufficient assumptions, and must be true questions, both of which are simple to those who have mastered them, given their heavy and neat conditional logic.

    This is all, of course, my opinion. But I think I can comfortably claim that the newer tests are not objectively harder, they're just different in subtle though eventually tangible ways. And by the way, I initially sucked at the newest tests and stunk at taking them. Now, I would much rather have a newer test to an old one.
  • nicole08nicole08 Legacy Member
    55 karma
    Thank you for your input. I definitely agree that there are a shift in question types. I also do like that they moved away from the time when one stimulus would be used for two questions. I am definitely going to just do a lot of drills and hone in on logic games as that seems to be my main issue. Also, I need to practice on my timing as I seem to either rush or not have enough time. Anyone have any tips on timing strategies being more consistent?
  • DEC_LSATDEC_LSAT Alum Member
    760 karma
    @danielznelson hey do you mind telling me if the changes begin with the 60s or 70s? where exactly? i just took 60 and scored 158 and then i did 64 and scored 155.... i'm wondering why the drop...
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly Member Sage 🍌
    25579 karma
    @DEC_LSAT , that's not really a meaningful drop. You can't sweat three points or you'll drive yourself crazy. I think LSAC defines your score range as +/-3 from your actual score, so you haven't even strayed beyond your range. Follow your average, not individual tests. When you see your average drop by 4 or 5 points, then you can worry.

    The 70's drop seems to kick in pretty quickly, by 72 at least. It's not like there's a dramatic shift or anything, it's just that for some reason people see a dip. There's some different subtleties within LR, but I suspect a lot of it is psychological. I imagine that once we get into the 80's, the 70's drop will no longer be a thing and everyone will talk about how when you hit the 80's, scores tend to drop.
  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4181 karma
    Yeah, it's tough to say for sure, since it's gradual. Also, LSAC obviously doesn't view their tests so in neat, 1-10 ranges. "Common knowledge" is that 65+ is where things begin to change. But I must say, I really began to underperform on PT 70 on before getting accustomed to the newest material. Maybe it was in part psychological, but I do think the subtle differences begin around that point. Still, I think we see some new styles to LR questions as early as the mid-to-late sixties.
  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4181 karma
    Basically what @"Cant Get Right" wrote, as I now see, haha.
  • StopLawyingStopLawying Alum Member
    821 karma
    Friends of mine who took both 78 and 79 said they were about the same since the LR on 79 was supposedly really easy. Yes, it had a tough RC and LG, but LR makes up half the test. 78 had easier games, but tougher LR.
    What I'm getting at is that every test is different in its own way. If a test is truly "harder" the curve will reflect that. The only test that I think the curve didn't compensate for difficulty was 72, that test was really really difficult.
  • rafaelitorafaelito Alum Member
    1063 karma
    @danielznelson said:
    necessary assumptions, resolve/reconcile, most strongly supported, complete the passage, and pseudo-sufficient assumptions
    just curious does resolve/reconcile mean the same as disagree/agree? I know they can be different like when the stimulus is a passage and you have to solve the paradox but sometimes they strike me as using similar reasoning techniques? could be wrong about this
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly Member Sage 🍌
    25579 karma
    Yeah @RafaelBernard , they are different. With Resolve/Reconcile/Explain, there will be an argument where, basically, the conclusion appears to contradict the premises. Your task in answering the question is to make sense of how the conclusion can follow. Agree/Disagree is pretty different. You'll have two speakers and you need to figure out how their arguments interplay and overlap/conflict. You don't need to reconcile the two arguments, only discover their essential difference/similarity.

    I think that every question type does kind of use similar reasoning techniques though, so I wouldn't necessarily abandon that line of comparison. Every argument draws from the same, finite pool of reasoning techniques; and in that way, every question type does overlap. The questions merely distinguish what your exact task is: It does not change the logic.
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