LSAT Timing Tips
LSAT Timing Tips: I always tell students that the LSAT has two equally challenging and important aspects: the material and timing. In fact, for many, timing is more difficult than the material. Given all day, most people who study LSAT material could score well on the test. When a person studies for the LSAT, they are actually preparing for two tests, one of which focuses on the material, and one of which focuses on timing. In that vein, here are some LSAT timing tips to help with the timing side of things!
1. Start timing yourself early in your prep.
I’ve written about this in more detail before, but you should start timing yourself very early in your LSAT preparation. Timing is such a crucial element on the LSAT. You should place similar emphasis on preparing for the time strictures of the test as you do for the material on the test. Once you have some familiarity with the material, start running a timer while you solve problems.
Now, no one is expecting you to immediately conform to the testing time limits, especially for logic games. But, knowing roughly how much time you take to solve a problem your first week of practice serves two purposes. First, it will help you develop an internal clock so you pace yourself correctly on test day. You are allowed an analog watch when you sit for the LSAT, but an internal clock will help you avoid getting too absorbed with any one question. Secondly, timing your prep early allows you to see the progress you make over time. This will let you know if you need to reach out for any help if you don’t see your time go down and your correct answers go up as you study,.
2. If timing is an issue for whole sections, start smaller.
If you notice that you run out of time while taking whole LSAT sections, start to split them up. For students with timing issues, I advise starting with smaller sections, and then working up to bigger ones. For example, if you cannot finish 25-26 Logical Reasoning questions in 35 minutes, time yourself taking ten, and use a proportional amount of time (around 13.5 minutes). Most students struggle with timing due to mental fatigue issues. If you can’t wrap your mind around a question after 35 minutes of scrutinizing questions, shrink your scope. This allows you to really focus on your timing, while also building up mental endurance. Once you consistently finish 10 questions in the allotted time, bump yourself up to 15 questions next time you study. Repeat until you are taking full sections!
3. If you struggle with a particular problem, skip it to save yourself time!
Students who struggle with a particular type of problem often run out of time agonizing over them on the test. My best advice to save time in these instances is to read closely, but quickly move on from, any specific problem or type of problem you struggle with. You want to see all the problems on the test, and aren’t likely to have much success randomly guessing the correct answer to questions 23 and 24 if you spend 5 minutes trying to figure out question 16 in any particular section. So, if you don’t know an answer after spending the requisite time on a specific problem, move on and come back to it later. Yes, you will have to re-read it. However, you’re more likely to benefit from seeing all the problems on the test than focusing on one specific one!
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