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Author Topic: In your experience: average score drop from practice test to real thing  (Read 1471 times)

killblues

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So I've heard it frequently in these parts that it's typical to expect a -3 to -4 point drop from practice tests to the real thing.  For you all who've taken the tests already, how much has this proven to be true?  (One of the primary considerations driving me right now is that, although I'm content with my current scores if I get them on the real thing, a lot of people seem to say "expect a -4 drop".  Which would be depressing if it happens :()

Noooo

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Re: In your experience: average score drop from practice test to real thing
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2007, 09:58:05 AM »
My guess is that the 4 point drop is because people give them unrealistically ideal conditions when doing practice tests.  Maybe they give themselves an extra minute, or they take breaks between sections, etc.  Come game day they can't do those things, and they lose a few points.  So my guess is if we simulate preptests as closely as possible to the real thing, there shouldn't be a point drop really.

UFBoldAsLove

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Re: In your experience: average score drop from practice test to real thing
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2007, 10:20:15 AM »
Me = 5 pts.  :-[
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Noooo

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Re: In your experience: average score drop from practice test to real thing
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2007, 10:37:50 AM »

It's the first standardized test I've walked out of thinking I did better than I actually did.


It seems a lot of the June '07 takers were like that.  There was a lot of chirping around here immediately after that test, but no shortage of clipped wings laying around a few weeks afterwards.

non parata est

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Re: In your experience: average score drop from practice test to real thing
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2007, 12:00:18 PM »

It's the first standardized test I've walked out of thinking I did better than I actually did.


It seems a lot of the June '07 takers were like that.  There was a lot of chirping around here immediately after that test, but no shortage of clipped wings laying around a few weeks afterwards.
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Ulfrekr

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Re: In your experience: average score drop from practice test to real thing
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2007, 12:11:48 PM »
I had a 4-5 point drop both times. I did all my preptests under stringently realistic conditions as well- no fudging of time or anything like that. In my case, at least, I attribute the drop to not being able to accurately simulate the test conditions, as much as I tried. For some reason, the quiet of the testing room really distracted me. I could hear the scratching of my pencil, and it bothered me, and then I was worried about it bothering the people around me, and I ended up just getting really distracted. If I were to retake, I would probably do half of my preptests somewhere where there were a lot of other people- because I obviously found it difficult to concentrate when I was worrying about the people around me; and the other half I'd do somewhere absolutely silent, since I actually found the test room alarmingly quiet. But that's just me.
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Re: In your experience: average score drop from practice test to real thing
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2007, 12:13:47 PM »
As long as you can simulate and become comfortable with the test day experience prior to actually taking the test, you can lower the likelihood of suffering a drop.

This means incorporating the test into your routine. For example, make sure you get up at 7:00 in the week before the test, take a few full-length prep tests starting at 9:15 a couple of times, etc.

When you actually get into the testing facility, remind yourself that this is no different than a prep test - the skills are the same, the material is familiar, there won't be anything surprising, and that you're just going to stay focused and perform the same way you always do.

Also, remember that you want to go to law school, and this is just something you have to do to get there. Don't blow it all out of proportion.

papercranes

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Re: In your experience: average score drop from practice test to real thing
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2007, 12:20:48 PM »
I dropped about 3-4 points from my late-study average (ie, the last four weeks prior to the test. I don't count my first couple of weeks as part of my "real average" because I was just learning the test.) My all time high was also MUCH higher than my real score.

I agree that you can't simulate the actual stress of test day.
Like a lot of people here, I know that I test well, but it's always been in circumstances where it didn't quite matter as much. UG exams, at the end of the day, are only a part of a class, which is only part of your GPA. One point here or there isn't going to make or break you. The LSAT is obviously very different.

I did TM so some of my prep test conditions were pretty accurate (except for the fact that there were only 4 people in the room instead of ~100 at the real thing)

Also, I never took the SATs and I only took one UG class with a multiple choice exam, so it was generally a different experience for me.
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Re: In your experience: average score drop from practice test to real thing
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2007, 12:26:34 PM »
My score was about 6-7 points below my PT average on the ten most recent tests.

mchllhcm

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Re: In your experience: average score drop from practice test to real thing
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2007, 12:30:52 PM »
-3 from my average of 168 on June 07.