LSAT Analog Watch / Timer for Test Day

LSAT Blog Analog Watch Timer Test Day
LSAC's Test Day FAQ mentions that LSAC doesn't allow digital watches or timers on the exam. Whether or not this makes sense, it means you can use an analog watch or just go without.

Most test-takers feel more comfortable having some kind of watch.

Using a regular watch means:

1. you need to turn the minute hand back to 12 before each section

OR

2. you need to do math to determine how much time you have left in a given section

Neither option is ideal.

#1 isn't a great option because you'll typically have only 3 to 30 seconds between sections (excluding the break, of course). This time is best spent recuperating, clearing your mind, and preparing yourself for the next section - NOT fiddling with a tiny watch dial.

#2 isn't a great option because it would force you to add/subtract whenever you want to know how much time you have remaining. This energy and time are best spent answering questions.

So where does this leave you?

There is a watch out there that satisfies LSAC's security requirements without either of the disadvantages I outlined above.

Here is a watch that has a rotating bezel, so you can easily see how much time you have left.

(The bezel is the thing with the markings that go around the watch's face.)

Before each section, just turn the "0" part of the bezel to wherever the minute hand is. When the minute hand hits 30 on the bezel, you have 5 minutes left. At this point, it might be a good idea to bubble in your answers if you haven't already. When the minute hand hits 35 on the bezel, your proctor will likely announce that time's up (if he/she hasn't already).

Whichever watch you use, make sure you're comfortable using it during at least a few timed practice exams.



27 comments:

  1. I love this!! thank you so much for the info!

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  2. The Rolex Submariner is also another fine choice. Just make sure to use the self winder the night before.

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  3. I have an analog watch that has a stop watch feature. They should be fine with this right? it doesn't make noise, and one small dial in the center is the actual stopwatch. I have to press a button on the side to activate it.

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  4. Hi, Steve. I am just greatly amused by this post because I just bought my own analog watch a couple of hours ago at the local Target (without having read this entry)! Good thing you brought up this concern on your blog as well.

    On the other side of things, I am somewhat disappointed that there aren't as many analog women's watches with rotating bezels as men's watches. At least not at our local WalMart, Kohl's, and Target.

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  5. Submariner is perfect. Plus, if you bomb the test, you can pawn it and hit the titty bar afterward.

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    1. submariner for the bosses! no mickey mouse watches players

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  6. In regards to the analog stopwatch:

    I bought a cheap analog Adidas watch (~$30) a few years ago and it has an analog stopwatch. I think they call those watches chronographs, but I am no expert on watches.

    I couldn't find the watch I have online, but here is an example of a similar watch with the same features on amazon. This particular one costs ~$150, but you can certainly find much much cheaper ones. If you zoom in on the picture you'll notice that the left dial has a timer that counts from 0-60 minutes, the normal seconds hand will be used to count down the seconds so its very precise. With the simple push of a button it can be started, stopped and reset. You could restart it after every logic game or after every section, as per your preference. I've been timing myself using this watch just to get into the habit of it. Now as long as this type of watch is allowed on test day, I'll have great control over my time with little effort.

    Although watches with turning dials are a great solution, I find chronographs to be significantly more effective alternative at keeping time during test day.

    Good luck everyone!

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  7. During the test, I plan on bringing a regular analog watch and setting the time to midnight when the section begins. 12:35 would be the stopping time. During the test, I don't actually care what time it is in the real world, though I'm sure there will be a clock in the room if I'm curious. Taking practice tests with this system gets you used to it, and you can get a cheap analog watch at a drugstore for $5.

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  8. I plan to do the cheap drugstore watch thing as well. Plus, if you have to reset the bezel before each section, isn't that the same as resetting a watch back to 12:00 before each section?

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    1. That's a damn good point.

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    2. the bezel system is super easy and not finicky at all. Literally takes 2 seconds. Reseting the actual time is more tedious and has room for era. Sometimes when clicking the nob back in you'll inadvertently move the minute hand a minute or two forward or back. If you do this as you the section starts...well that's a major drag and distraction requiring you to remember you're a minute or two before or after.

      Just get a bezel watch. You can find one for ten bucks.

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    3. but where do you find them!!!

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  9. Thanks!!! I didn't even know these existed until I saw them on your blog.

    I found a Coleman brand women's watch with a rotating bezel at Target for $20. For me it's much easier than fiddling with the little dial on the side to set it back to 12:00. Plus if you forgot to push the dial back in to start it, and halfway through the section you look down and your watch still says 12:00, that would really suck.

    At first I sometimes misread how much time I had left, so everyone make sure to practice with it beforehand. Also I made an extra mark at 35 minutes so it's easier to see.

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    1. But what if you forget to reset the besel? It's just one more step. That's what practicing is for.

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  10. Just bought an analog watch today with rotating bezel. I never wear a watch -- or any jewelry for that matter. Incredibly helpful. Thank you so much for making this post.

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  11. TIP: Bring a watch with MINUTE hand to test. (Every well managed minute adds to your score). At the start of each section set it to 12:00. During test section let it run it's 35 minutes to 12:35. REWIND to 12:00 etc....so easy on your tired eyes! I felt bad for those people who came with no watch at my test center bc the room clock was on the high BACK end of the auditorium (200+ppl) wall...bring a watch! Good luck! : )

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  12. I agree on the set to midnight advice. It doesn't take long and will still work to the same effect. I don't wear watches but find them just as effective sitting to the side of the test.

    Is the reason why LSAC disallows digital watches or stopwatches because there's always that one idiot who doesn't set theirs properly and it goes off in the middle of the testing, creating a distraction? I used to do college debate and this happened all the time - it was so annoying!

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  13. Just buy one from Wal-mart the day before the test and then return it the day you are done with it. Ghetto, I know, but effective nonetheless.

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  14. What about regular old-fashioned stop-watches? No where do those seem to be prohibited. Only digital timers are prohibited. Has anyone ever taken an analogue stop-watch in the exam?

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  15. Hey,
    Just double checking, but I noticed the answer regarding chronographs has not been answered. Can anybody please confirm it they are allowed during test day??
    thanks!

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  16. @ Em - While I'm uncertain as to why Steve never responded to any of our comments in over 1 ½ years, I can tell you that I used my chronograph watch on the October and December 2010 LSATs. Both times I had my watch specifically inspected by a proctor (as a standard procedure, not because my watch caught their attention,) and both times I was allowed to use it.

    Hope that helps, and good luck!

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  17. Very helpful, I was planning on bringing an analog stop watch, what a surprised that would of been. I just ordered this watch for the dec exam. Ill give feedback when i receive it.

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  18. Amazon's all out of this one. Any other suggestions?

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