How Relevant are the 80's and 90's Practice Tests?

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How Relevant are the 80's and 90's Practice Tests?

Post by TPat » Fri Mar 25, 2016 3:46 pm

Is performance on the practice PGRE's from the 80's and 90's even a good indicator and should we spend much time on those tests? The new tests seem so different.

I just took the practice test from 1992 and sucked at it (even considering the generous curve). I was pissed, so I then immediately sat for the full 2008 test and got into the very high 900's. So, what I'm saying is that even considering the curve, even after having taken a practice test directly before and having a fried brain, the current tests still make much more sense to me. Should I just focus on the more recent material as it will be more similar to the actual test and is more efficient to learn, or will the old stuff come back to bite me if I ignore it? What do you folks who are getting ready to take it/have taken it think?

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Re: How Relevant are the 80's and 90's Practice Tests?

Post by TakeruK » Fri Mar 25, 2016 4:18 pm

I took the test in 2009** and 2011 and they were both far more similar to the 2008 test than anything else. Others who have taken the test between 2009 and 2015 told me the same thing.

(** In 2009, the 2008 practice test wasn't available yet, so that was a very unfun surprise!)

So, I would say test takers should pay a lot more attention to the 2008 test than the older ones. I still think the older tests are still good study material---you should still know the material presented. But, I would not worry about things like taking a timed practice test and comparing your scores. I think both the test itself and the population of test takers have changed too much. Note that percentile scores are only valid for a certain test year, so using the 1992 test's score chart to determine your percentile rank isn't very meaningful as you are comparing yourself to a test taker in 1992, not the ones today.

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Re: How Relevant are the 80's and 90's Practice Tests?

Post by physicist91 » Sun May 15, 2016 12:35 am

i agree with you because the previous tests such as 86,92,97 were too taxing because the questions were too abstracted.

however, the questions in the 08 test do ask much clear questions to us. actually, today`s tests are much much far much easier than 08 test. (i did take the PGRE on 16,April,2016 :D )

but i don`t mention that you should abandon to solve and study the older tests.

they anyway contain a lot of valuable questions. by solving and studying the elder one, you will be able to get a clear understanding of the GREP test and you also will be able to get a lot of knowledge to solve GREP.

i recommend you to solve every problem in the samples and make the note to notice that which problems you could not solve or did not understand.

for example, if you have an incorrect answer in the problem number 1, you need to write down how to solve it in your note.

here are almost solutions for the samples except 08 but you can find the solution for 08 on the internet.

* this is just my additional statement. if you have still a lot of time before taking the exam, it would be a good idea to solve the problems in the General physics book,such as Holiday, and Modern physics, such as Beiser. however, in this case, you need to focus on solving the problems which you often have made wrong answers in PGRE samples. for instance, i was really vulnerable to solve electromagnetism, especially Biot-savart law. in this case, i had found some problems which had to do with Biot-Savart law. after solving some problems,i started understanding how to approach and solve the Biot-Savart law.

anyway, good luck bro.

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