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Is a Diagnostic Test necessary??

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I am going to self-study. I believe the most important thing for me to learn is TIMING. I need to establish ways to determine the answers within or at the 1 minute and 25 second mark. I don't see the value in taking a diagnostic test. So it points that I am weak or strong at certain sections, this will change based on studying hard. I just don't see the point. 

What are your thoughts on this?

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Diagnostic Tests are a marketing gimmick for LSAT tutors to quantify and sell "improvement", even though a chunk of those gains are inherent to just having done the test before. The main real benefit is instilling the fear of god into a student that they will need to listen and learn alternate problem solving methods to get to their goal score.You have to respond to different types of questions in a fairly contrived, systematic way in order to manage time well: how you interpret and approach them during a diagnostic is mostly irrelevant.

After you've done a few PTs, preferably after studying a full curriculum, you'll know what areas are your weakness for more tailored study. I wouldn't analyze performance on a diagnostic at all. IMO its ability to predict ultimate highest LSAT score is comparable to a buzzfeed IQ test's. 

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I think a diagnostic test can be helpful because it'll highlight your intuitive strengths and weaknesses. It may help you prepare your study plan. Additionally, there are so many LSAT prep tests available (in contrast to other admissions exams, like the GMAT), so it's not like you're going to be "wasting" one on a diagnostic if you choose to complete one.

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I think a diagnostic can give a good baseline of what score is realistic for you to achieve, and therefore allows you to set a target score based on a combination of your strengths/weaknesses on the diagnostic and the median LSAT score at your first choice school. You'll also find that the time you need to spend on a given question varies based on your natural strengths (which a diagnostic will help you determine), and the difficulty of the question itself. For instance, I would recommend aiming for less than a minute each on the first ten questions in a LR section and 2-3 minutes on the difficult ones.

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Certainly not necessary. You'll score the same on test day regardless of knowing your starting point. That said I kind of regret not doing a diagnostic test simply because after studying/writing the LSAT I became curious how much I'd improved/how effective my studying had been. 

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A diagnostic isn't necessary, but it helps when you get farther down the line. Doing the exam without seeing any study materials will really highlight what types of questions you naturally find "easy" and what questions make no sense to you. This mostly applies to LR and RC (logic games improve substantially after you have a system down, so doing a raw diagnostic LG section won't tell you too much in terms of improvement). 

LR and RC is not as systematic as logic games - knowing how your brain works in default mode and what traps it falls into will allow you to focus on those areas (when test day arrives you don't want to fall back into bad habits). 

TLDR: it will help track how you handle LR and RC, less so LG, but isn't essential

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A diagnostic test is really useful. It will show you what to focus on. My first diagnostic test showed that I was very good at RC, but absolute trash at LG. This is really useful information to have when beginning to study.

 

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I found a diagnostic super helpful for motivation. I would feel great when I did a PT and thought about how much I'd improved since my diagnostic. 

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I do not think it is necessary. However, I found it helpful for me to have one because it gave me an indication of how hard I need to study in order to achieve my goal. It can also be helpful in the sense that it motivates you with a sense of urgency to make improvements. It also feels good to be able to make a comparison to see how much you have improved overall because improvement on the LSAT is a difficult feat, but an attainable one with practice nonetheless.

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I apologize if this comes across as boasting, but I found value in doing a diagnostic test for reasons that others haven't mentioned, so I'll share just to give a different perspective.

I felt that the diagnostic test was a huge load off because my diagnostic score was already high (167). This immediately alleviated most stress associated with writing the LSAT for me, and led me to not spend more on study materials than necessary. I am glad I did it, for different reasons than mentioned above.

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On 5/22/2020 at 7:20 PM, CleanHands said:

I apologize if this comes across as boasting, but I found value in doing a diagnostic test for reasons that others haven't mentioned, so I'll share just to give a different perspective.

I felt that the diagnostic test was a huge load off because my diagnostic score was already high (167). This immediately alleviated most stress associated with writing the LSAT for me, and led me to not spend more on study materials than necessary. I am glad I did it, for different reasons than mentioned above.

I second this - the first time I sat for the LSAT, I scored slightly above my diagnostic (mid 160's), but significantly lower than what I was scoring in the weeks leading up the exam. This allowed me to identify my terrible test-day anxiety so I focused on that for my second write. Having that benchmark is useful for a variety of reasons!

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Why the hell not write one to see how it feels? You're concerned about timing... why not see if those concerns are founded?

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