Wednesday, January 19, 2011

December 2010 LSAT Reading Comprehension, PrepTest 62 Analysis

I'm still analyzing the LSAT administered on December 11, 2010 to see how generous the curve was, but more importantly, to make sure that the Zen of 180 algorithms correctly predicted the point distribution for each task strand.

For today, here's the reading comprehension data. The first number after the strand or task  name is the number of questions allocated on the December 2010 LSAT, and the (+/-x) is the deviation from the expected based on the average across all modern PrepTests. In other words, I'm making sure that the weights we assign to each task in order to predict your performance in the sample PrepTest analysis are correct!

I used to think that the topic of the passage didn't matter enough to be incorporated into the Zen classification system, but then I did some research into the effect content knowledge has on reading speed, which in turn affects how consistently the section gets finished on time. Which is pretty important, so I thought of some ways to increase content knowledge and practice reading opinion pieces at the same time.

If you have a suggestion for a different content-categorization system, let us know in the comments!

Meanwhile, if you compare the deviation for this LSAT to the deviation on the October 2010 reading comprehension section, the Zen system was much more accurate this go around. Overall, the December 2010 reading comprehension section was par for the course.

Passage Content/Structure

  1. Science/Expository - geology, biology
  2. Law/Opinion - medical evidence, expert testimony
  3. Social sciences/Comparative - archaeology, nutrition
  4. Arts and humanities/Transition - comparative, domestic novelists 

Passage Structure 8 (+2)
  1. Main Idea or Title 2
  2. Primary Purpose 3 (+2)
  3. [Passage Piece] Function 2
  4.  Overall Organization 1
Explicit Evidence 6 (+1)
  1. Passage or Author Says 3
  2. Meaning of or Referring to 1
  3. Mentioned by Both 2
  4. Expert Says 0
Evaluating Evidence 2 (-2)
  1. Refers to [Piece] in Order to 1 
  2. Evidence for or Against 1
  3. Additional Info Strengthens 0
  4. Additional Info Weakens 0
Opinion and Tone 4
  1. Passage or Author Implies 2
  2. Attitude on Piece 1
  3.  Expert Implies 1
Extrapolation 7
  1. Would Agree About 1 (-2)
  2. Application of or Analogous to 2
  3. Most Supported by Passage 3 (+2)
  4. Continue Argument 1