How accurate are the diagnostic tests?

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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: July 2004 Archive: How accurate are the diagnostic tests?
By Gianscolere (Gianscolere) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 01:52 am: Edit

i took the diagnostic test on a princeton review SAT prep book (the old edition, 2004) to see which areas i needed to improve on and got a 1450. how accurate are these diagnostic tests?

By Emilia (Emilia) on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 02:06 am: Edit

I didn't prepare for the SAT or ACT, but from the PSAT I can tell you this: my diagnostic scores ranged from 200 to 213. I ended up getting a 228.

I think the reason why I improved on the real thing was that I didn't approach the diagnostics with the same attitude that I approached the test with; I took the diagnostic tests in a hurry and didn't go back to check my answers before scoring. During the real test, I knew the pressure was on and tried my best, making sure to go back over all the problems.

So in my opinion, it depends on you: what was your mindset when you took the diagnostics? If you truly tried to mimic test conditions and had your mind in the right mode, I'd say the score you achieved on the diagnostics will be close to the real thing. If you weren't fully in "test mode" while taking the diagnostics, provided that you're a good performer and don't get jittery when taking standardized tests, you may very well improve. But it's the luck of the draw, really. Who knows what your real SAT will be like and how accurate you will be if you take guesses on the actual test.

Maybe some people who used the Princeton SAT book and already took the test can also provide their input and results...

By Gianscolere (Gianscolere) on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 05:50 pm: Edit

hey thanks emilia

does anybody else have an opinion?

By Elizabeth22 (Elizabeth22) on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 06:46 pm: Edit

PR highest diagnostic: 1350 (710 v/640 m)

Real score: 1450 (750 v/ 700 m)

By Elizabeth22 (Elizabeth22) on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 06:49 pm: Edit

I forgot to put this in my last post: How you react to test stress makes a huge difference in diagnostic accuracy. I thrive under the pressure of timed and important tests, and don't get worked up about it. You can always retake, right? But then again, I have friends who panic and are totally freaked out by tests. Their diagnostics tend to be right on or a little higher than their real scores, where as mine was lower.

By Buttcrack (Buttcrack) on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 07:43 pm: Edit

practice your diagnostics and you will probably do better on the real thing. there's even a concept about this called social facilitation in psychology. People generally do better in the presence of others on a well-practiced skill and do worse on a difficult task. So practice your stuff well and the stress will catch on to you on the real thing, making you work more efficiently.

Barrons Practice--1250ish

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