Is it all in my head?

<p>It seems to me that I just need a relatively difficult SAT with a good curve since I make the same number of stupid mistakes regardless...</p>

<p>I get anywhere from a 2200 on the easy practice tests to a 2400 on the more difficult ones (which I am assuming are curved better since they are tougher)</p>

<p>LOL if this post makes absolutely no sense, please ignore it.</p>

<p>I just really want to get above a 2300 and feel like it is just luck at this point :?
So is this real or is it just in my head?</p>

<p>It probably is somewhat real. The difference between a 2200 and 2400 is relatively few questions and has something to do with the curve. For example, you can get 3 questions wrong on an easy math test and end up with a 720. You can get 2 wrong on a slightly better curved test and end up with a 750. You just gained 30 POINTS from one question.</p>

<p>Honestly though, no college is going to be like "this applicant isn't good enough" because he/she got a 2200. I think at that level, other factors play a much larger role.</p>

<p>
[quote]
The difference between a 2200 and 2400 is relatively few questions

[/quote]

? It is like a 20 question difference. The wavering associated with the curve at the most only accounts for 10-20 points a section.</p>

<p>You just need to study more. The difficulty of a test theoretically has nothing to do with how well you score because the curve accounts for it.</p>

<p>it is definitely less than 20 - i got 8 wrong total on the march test and had a 2200 (with 10 essay)</p>

<p>and the problem is that regardless of the test's difficulty, i get like 3-8 wrong (that march one was a fluke i think) and sometimes, like 6 wrong can be a high 2300</p>

<p>I'm in the same exact situation as you. I do think that part of the increase from 2200 to 2400 is partly due to increased knowledge/better test taking. I'd say 2310 to 2400 is all in the chance zone: sometimes a -1 raw equals a 770, and sometimes it equals an 800. I'm hoping for a 2340+ on this test (I got a 2260 in the fall), so I would love a generous curve to boost me up a few extra points because the curves make the most difference in the highest scores.</p>

<p>
[quote]

The wavering associated with the curve at the most only accounts for 10-20 points a section.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Thats with the EXACT same number of questions right each time. Let's say OP has a little tiny mess-up on each section... so 3 questions. Based on what you said, if it's 20 pts a question for a harder curve AND lets say average 20 pts subtracted per wrong question (math tends to be more, CR tends to be less so lets say 20), that means 20x3 + 20x3 making a 2400 go to a 2280. Don't forget that dumb essay btw which can make a HUGE difference on the W section.</p>

<p>That was sort of exaggerated but in the worst case scenario according to your logic it's possible.</p>

<p>theoretically, if the curve is different then the difficulty must be different as well. if the curve is generous, then the test must be objectively more difficult. it all balances out. the point is that it is not in OP's head and that he or she should just study more</p>

<p>I think the point is, at a certain level of "intelligence" (i don't know if that's what you would really call it), a person could know how to do EVERY question on the test. However, even these people make one or 2 stupid mistakes in which case the curve could make a pretty big difference score-wise.</p>

<p>ok i think maybe i worded the OP incorrectly:</p>

<p>I get the pretty much the same number of questions wrong on each test, regardless of difficulty</p>

<p>
[quote]
I think the point is, at a certain level of "intelligence" (i don't know if that's what you would really call it), a person could know how to do EVERY question on the test. However, even these people make one or 2 stupid mistakes in which case the curve could make a pretty big difference score-wise.

[/quote]

If someone makes stupid mistakes, then that is their problem. How does a harsh curve grasp that it is not really because the test-taker did not understand the questions they got wrong? Bubbling wrong, reading a question wrong, and other stupid mistakes are just products of incompetence. If you are expecting to make stupid mistakes every test, then I can see why you would worry about the curve. But, at the same time, if you are making stupid mistakes every test, then you should be studying. Why don't we make the mistake 1+1=3? Because we know 100% that it equals 2. No one "misreads" 1+1. Maybe we do once every 100,000 instances. Making "stupid mistakes" constantly is just an excuse for not being able to perform well on the exam. If you know every concept inside out, you will not be making as many mistakes. Even if you score 800 45% of the time, you still have studying to do to make that 45 a 95.</p>

<p>
[quote]
I get the pretty much the same number of questions wrong on each test, regardless of difficulty

[/quote]

That makes no sense. The difference between a generous curve and a harsh curve is like a 1 question difference. This implies that you must be getting the exact same number of questions wrong every test, which is not the same as "pretty much the same number of questions." You are overestimating the effect of the curve. If you are getting a 2200 on your practice exams, you will not get a 2300 unless you get 4-6 more questions right. It will not happen by luck or by curve.</p>

<p>I disagree crazybandit with your philosophy "if you are making stupid mistakes every test, then you should be studying". It's not necessarily that he/she makes the mistake 1+1=3 but maybe he read 1x1 instead of 1+1 and wrote 1 instead of 2. I don't think that says anything about OPs intelligence and obviously OP still knows 1+1 = 2. Keep in mind the test is 170 questions! 2 stupid mistakes is almost 99% correct. So yes, I think it is safe to assume even the smartest people make a reading error 1% of the time.</p>

<p>looking at the curves on the released (QAS i guess? ) exams, there is at least a 40 point difference between the generous and tough curves in each section</p>

<p>and the March test was wayy easy, and i got a low score - just going by the data i have...</p>

<p>Careless mistakes often have to do with degree of focus, I think. Not necessarily intelligence. Myself, I made significantly fewer "careless mistakes" on the two real SAT's I took, than on the practice ones I did.</p>

<p>
[quote]
It's not necessarily that he/she makes the mistake 1+1=3 but maybe he read 1x1 instead of 1+1 and wrote 1 instead of 2.

[/quote]

Then what separates those who can score 800 in math 10 times in a row and those who can score 800 in math only 3 times in a row? Misreading a question is still a mistake that can be avoided, perhaps by getting some glasses. Why doesn't a person who makes these mistakes spend 10 minutes per section looking over your questions after answering them? If they don't have enough time, then they should study more, master the material further, and make time. Some people are skillful enough to finish each 25-minute section in less than 15 minutes. Any reasonable person could say that these people make virtually no "stupid" mistakes. The curve is not to blame. </p>

<p>
[quote]
looking at the curves on the released (QAS i guess? ) exams, there is at least a 40 point difference between the generous and tough curves in each section

[/quote]

The difference cannot be 40 points per section all around. That implies that if you get 2 questions wrong and get a 2400 on one test (which is likely if the 2 questions are in CR) you could get 2 questions wrong on the next test and get 2280 (which is impossible). There may be a 40 point difference in some ranges, but it is virtually unheard of. At lower ranges, the difference between curves may be more evident, but if you score in the lower ranges then that just implies that the test's difficulty affected you. It all balances out systematically. Maybe not for you, but it does because that's what the curve is there for.</p>

<p>
[quote]
and the March test was wayy easy, and i got a low score - just going by the data i have...

[/quote]

You said in post #4 that you did worse on March SAT than usual. If a test was easy but had a harsh curve, then that's just how it happened. It does not say anything about the curve. It just says that you did exceptionally well on a hard test but did not realize it.</p>

<p>I was looking at the -2s across the board and there was a 40 point diff in each section, so yes, a 2400 could be a 2280, according to the data</p>

<p>Maybe im just a weirdo and i just have to focus like a maniac on test day :P</p>

<p>Lol crazybandit ill just take your advice and go study now :D</p>

<p>PS what really bothers me is that i am one of those 15 minute people, yet I usually manage to make some kind of stupid error anyway</p>

<p>
[quote]
I was looking at the -2s across the board and there was a 40 point diff in each section, so yes, a 2400 could be a 2280, according to the data

[/quote]

What is your source? I am 100% sure it is not possible. The least you could get is a 2390 or a 2380 for -2 in CR and -0 for math and writing. It is negligible.</p>

<p><a href="http://www.erikthered.com/tutor/SAT-Released-Test-Curves.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.erikthered.com/tutor/SAT-Released-Test-Curves.pdf&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>oops i just realized i was comparing -4 for cr</p>

<p>I don't think that is accurate. A -4 in CR is never a 800 I think. Maybe that includes 4 omits as opposed to 4 wrong.</p>

<p>Maybe someone else can confirm</p>