Scoring and Goal Setting

Transcript

Okay, it's time to talk about pacing strategy, before we delve too deep into the actual content of logic games. As I mentioned in the previous video, it's helpful to set your own scoring goals for the LSAT and use those to build your personalized pacing strategy. In order to do that, it's helpful to understand a bit about LSAT scores. On the LSAT, you get one point for every question you answer correctly.

And you are not penalized for wrong answers. Therefore, you should answer every single question every time, even if you're just randomly guessing in the last minute of the section. Since there are roughly 100 questions on the LSAT, there are roughly 100 points possible. However, you probably already know that LSAT scores are scaled from 1 to 20 to 180, not from 0 to 100.

This is because the LSAT, like most other standardized tests, is a scaled test. What that means is that your raw score which is out of 100 points, is taken and compared to the raw scores of all the other people who took the test at the same time as you, and then you're assigned a scaled score based on how you performed compared to everyone else. The scale score always form a bell shaped curve, in the middle of the curve where the line is highest we have the most common scores.

At the edges of the curve, over here and over here, we have the least common scores. The most common score on LSAT, on average, is a 150. Therefore, 150 falls right at the center of the curve. If you get a 150 on the LSAT, it means about half of the people taking the test are scoring lower than you.

Thus, you are at the 50th percentile. As we move to the right, scores move up. By the time you get to a 160, notice how much of the area under the curve is behind you. Getting a 160 on the LSAT means that about 80% of the test takers are scoring lower than you.

If you get a 170, more than 95% of test takers are scoring lower than you. As your score goes up you're being compared to stronger and stronger test takers. Thus, it gets harder and harder to make gains as your score increases because you continually have to beat tougher competition. That is essentially why no matter how long and how hard you study for the test Each of us eventually hits a plateau where our efforts start to pay off less, simply because someone else out there is always gonna do a little better than us.

Only a small handful of the best test takers in the world will get a perfect score on the LSAT. The rest of us have to set reasonable goals and aim specifically for those goals. So, how can you set a reasonable goal for your score on the LSAT? The simple answer is take a practice test.

Make sure it's a timed practice test and that you do it all in one sitting so that you're mimicking the real test environment as closely as possible. I would recommend buying ten actual official LSAT prep-tests volume five. That's a book that's released by LSAC, which is the organization that writes the LSAT, and it contains ten real LSATs that have been administered in the past. And that Volume Five is the most recent version of it, so you're getting the newest, freshest tests.

It costs less than 30 dollars and you can order it from Amazon or you can order it directly from LSAC.org. Start with PrepTest 62 and take the whole exam Like I said in one sitting under timed conditions. When you're done with the test, use the answer keys and the scoring tables at the end of the exam to calculate your scaled score.

From there here's a really nice formula that you can apply to set a goal for your own LSAT prep. First of all, you're gonna take 180 and subtract from it your score on the practice test, then you divide that by three and you get some number. That number, right here I'm marking it as X, that might be a decimal. And if it is, just round it to the nearest whole number to simplify things a little bit.

Then take that number, again we see it right here, and add it to your score on the practice test. And that equals your scoring goal. Here's a quick example to help explain it. If you were to score a 152 on your practice test, you would do 180 minus 152 equals 28.

That's your x value, again. 28 divided by three equals about nine. Again, I rounded the decimal in this case. And then we take your original score. We add our x to it. And that means that a reasonable scoring goal for someone who started with a 152 on a practice test would be a 161.

If you think this goal is too high, you're probably selling yourself a bit short. This formula leads to very reasonable goals for students who have never prepped for the exam before. Of course, if you've already spent a year prepping for the exam, you might not see your score move quite as much because it's already moved up from your initial practice test.

On the flip side, if you think this goal is too low, don't stress out about it. Think of it as a first step that you need to take before looking further down the road. Prove to yourself that you can attain this score and then do the calculation again and start working toward an even higher goal later. The really important thing to remember is this.

Don't try to overshoot your goal. That's often a recipe for disaster. A test taker who should be aiming for a 160 but behaves like a 170 score may well end up with a 155 because that person is gonna be wasting time working on really difficult questions that are not actually the ones he or she needs. Meanwhile, he or she is missing out on easier points elsewhere on the test.

On the other hand, if you should be aiming for a 160 and you behave accordingly, you may actually end up with a slightly higher score than 160, because you're gonna be a smarter test-taker than everyone else in the room. So, to recap, take a practice test, calculate your score, check out the bell-curve. Curve to just help you understand better what your score means, and then set a reasonable goal using the formula on this page.

Once you've done that, it's time to think about pacing in the logic game section.