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Advice for Inconsistency on PT Performances

yujunda1996yujunda1996 Alum Member
in General 24 karma
Hello Sages,
I just joined the community quite recently and this is my first post. That being said, I had been PTing using the practice tests from the 40s to the 70s, with just a few more new ones available and with some of them done more than once. I found I have been very inconsistent in the scores I get. I can get low 170s and on the next one go down to low 160s, and when I get low 160s I often bomb different sections, sometimes RC and sometimes LG. Anyone had similar situations? What would be a good way to become more consistent. I registered for the December test, and I'm planning to apply next year. What should I do before the test at this stage. Any advice from you Sages would be greatly appreciated!


  • Rigid DesignatorRigid Designator Alum Member
    1091 karma
    I am maybe not experiencing the same *overall* swings you are (not reached the 170s yet!) but I have similarly 'bombed' sections recently. One PT I go -0 on RC and the next I go -9. I think the times I do bomb them there is something pretty basic that's gone wrong. So, for example, I might've got one or two passages that I just didn't 'get' and so I didn't do as well. What I've done in response is go back to those 'bombed' sections and go over them focussing on the basics. So for my RC sections it would be really focussing on the passage again, its arguments, its structure, any claims that jump out as one's that are important. Only once I felt like I've got that nailed would I go back to the questions I got wrong. This would all be untimed of course. I'd answer the questions again, try and pick out the right answer (if I've not checked which one is right already). Then I'd watch a video or read an explanation for it.

    I suppose this then generalises to other sections. So maybe you bombed LR and you notice you got lots of (say) necessary assumption questions wrong. I'd use your preferred resource and just brush up on what to be looking for, and what to be doing, then go back to the question and see if it feels any easier or if you notice anything new.
  • Tinyosi1Tinyosi1 Alum Member
    235 karma
    Are there any patterns you can find within the sections you do "bomb"? I know you mentioned they can be different types, but there may be something else going on.

    Are they all later in the test? Maybe you need to work on your test taking stamina. Are they all after a section/question you found hard? Maybe you are letting yourself get psyched out. Do the sections you bomb generally have you running out of time, frantic to finish the section? It could even be many of them are early in the test, and maybe you need to work on warming yourself up.

    I would try to look closer and see if there is actually something you can attribute the difference to. Do you always test under the same conditions? There are many things that might throw you, but I would guess there is something, or a couple of things, that might be causing this difference. I doubt it is entirely random and having to do with test difficulty.
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