Showing posts with label time. Show all posts
Showing posts with label time. Show all posts

How to Speed Up on Timed Practice LSAT Exams

LSAT Blog Speed Up on Timed Practice ExamsIn the final month of your LSAT preparation, you should take full, timed, practice exams.

Some of you have difficulty transitioning from untimed sections to timed ones. With the added pressure of timed 35-minute sections, sometimes you lose track of the fundamentals. This post will help you stick to them.

Once you already have a strong foundation in the various sections of the LSAT, most of your mistakes will be careless.

This means you missed the key words in the stimulus or answer choices.

That one word you skip or neglect can totally change the meaning.

Of course, it all comes down to being careful, but sometimes that isn't enough.

Taking PrepTest sections untimed is kind of like riding a bike with training wheels. It may look similar to riding a two-wheeler bike, but it's a very different experience from the real thing.

Finding your center of gravity was a gradual process with a patient parent or older sibling slowly letting go.

Leading us to...

2 tips for students scoring below 165

1. Adjust to the 35-minute limit
Adjusting to timed sections may be difficult, so gradually cut down the time you allow yourself per section.

If you've only been doing untimed sections, consider giving yourself 40 minutes/section in your next practice exam, then decrease 1 minute/section on each of your next exams: 39, 38, 37, etc...down to 34 or 33. You want to have a small cushion to review anything of which you were unsure. Don't forget to leave time to bubble your answers!

2. Consider not answering every question
If you're struggling to make it into the 150s, it may not be realistic for you to answer every question.

If this describes you, and if you're okay with admitting that you may not get in the 160s or 170s on Test Day, consider the following tips:

On Logical Reasoning, consider taking more time for the easier questions (the earlier ones in each Logical Reasoning section).

On Logic Games, consider skipping the hardest Logic Game. (It could be any of the games, but generally not the 1st. It also varies from person to person and from exam to exam).

On Reading Comprehension, consider skipping the passage's topic you dislike the most. Topics typically include: Humanities, Law, Natural Science, and Social Science. (Although, as I've always said, the topic shouldn't matter!) Alternatively, you might consider skipping the Comparative Reading passage.

A tip for students scoring around or above 165
Even if you're not expecting to get 165+, this tip may help you, but use it at your own risk.

-Answer the first 10 Logical Reasoning questions in 10 minutes.
Another trick many students use is to complete the first 10 Logical Reasoning questions in 10 minutes.

The benefit: the first 10 LR questions tend to be the easiest in the section. Getting through them quickly gives you more time for the more difficult questions towards the end.

Along those lines...

Remember that the average time per game or passage is not your actual limit.
Remember 8 mins and 45 secs (35 mins divided by 4 games or passages) is just the average amount of time you have for each Logic Game and Reading Comprehension passage. You'll find some LG and RC easier than others. Believe it or not, some games and passages are solvable in less than 6 minutes. For this reason, don't force yourself to complete each in the average allotted time. You can use the time you save on the easier ones for the harder ones.

Reviewing the fundamentals
However, you might still find timed sections unbearably frustrating even after you've already eased yourself into doing them. If this describes you, it may simply be that you lack a strong foundation in certain question types. Take a few days to slowly analyze your approach to the question types that give you difficulty. Don't be afraid to spend even 5-10 minutes looking at a question that you answered incorrectly or were unsure about.

As you begin to acquire the LSAT mindset, you'll adjust to the timing aspect of the exam.

If I haven't yet answered your pressing question, leave a comment!

Photo by thatguyfromcchs08

LSAT Proctors, Test Center Reviews, and Test-Taking Strategies

What will you do if the LSAT proctor at your test center doesn't give you enough time on test day? How will you deal with the guy who sniffles every 30 seconds? While this isn't as tough as trying to do a Rubik's Cube in the middle of a war zone, it can feel that way. When I took the LSAT, the proctors circled us like vultures. I wanted to reach into my clear plastic bag and toss them a sandwich so they'd leave me alone.

You're about to find out how to deal with less-than-ideal LSAT proctors and test centers, how to avoid them, and how to prepare for worst-case test day scenarios.

The LSAT Proctor:

If your LSAT proctor cuts you short on time, notify him or her immediately. It can't hurt to complain - it can only help. Getting back even 40-45 seconds to which you are entitled is significant because it can net you another question or two. LSAC's policy is to allow you to work on relevant sections after you complete section 5 for the amount of time you were shorted. Don't be shy - be assertive. You DO want to be a lawyer, right?

However, even if your proctor doesn't follow this procedure and will not listen to your complaints, obey all instructions anyway. Don't become overly argumentative, and don't cause a scene. Complete the writing section and follow all instructions - otherwise, your score may be invalidated and a mark might be placed in your file. Notify LSAC immediately after the exam of what happened. Once you're outside the test center, ask the other test-takers to do the same. Filing a report can't hurt you, so do what you can.

LSAT Test Center Reviews and LSAT Registration:

Of course, you probably want to avoid test centers like the ones mentioned above. Fortunately, other students have posted their LSAT test center reviews, so keep them in mind when you register for the LSAT, if you haven't done so already. If you know you'll be taking it on a certain date, register now. The best test centers get filled up quickly.

Test-Taking Strategies:

-Mark your answer sheet and bubble at the 5-minute warning.

The 1st page of each section lists the # of questions in the section. Make a tiny line on your answer sheet under that number. This will help you save time and prevent you from mis-bubbling. Tie up loose ends on your answer sheet when the proctor announces there are only 5 minutes left. This is especially important in case the LSAT proctor cuts your time short, which occasionally happens. You also won't have to watch the clock every few seconds at the end of the section.

-Take some practice exams under actual LSAT conditions.


Especially in winter months, some of the other test-takers might be sick. Bring tissues and cough drops to keep them quiet. However, you don't know if this will be enough, and there might be other noises around you. For this reason, take practice LSAT exams in various public places like coffee shops or libraries. If you can take the LSAT with people around you, you can take it anywhere. Remember, earplugs are not permitted on test day.


The proctors may walk around the room throughout the course of the exam and keep a close eye on you. The other test-takers might highlight, underline, and erase excessively. Again, this means you should take the LSAT in places you would expect to be much worse than your test center.


Many students flip out when they see others turn the page before they do. They think, "I'm falling behind already. I'd better skip these questions and move on." Remember the other test-takers may have a completely different pacing strategy than you do, or maybe they just don't know what they're doing.

Stay focused on your pacing strategy, and remain confident in your techniques. Do some practice exams with a friend. This will help you get used to being around people who write or turn pages faster than you. Have a friend proctor a practice LSAT so you'll get used to having someone else keep time.

Why You Can't Improve Your LSAT Score

Everyone wants to get into a top law school, but how many people actually do?

Do the students at Harvard Law, Yale Law, and Stanford Law have superior brainpower that allows them to achieve what you can't?

Maybe law school is just a dream that crosses your mind every once in a while, but you believe everyone admitted to top law schools is lucky. This would be a great excuse to avoid studying - if it were true.

The truth is, you don't need to be a genius to get into law school. The "secret" is obvious:

Get an early start on your LSAT preparation.

One of my students was the kind of guy who sits around and makes excuses. He said the LSAT was too hard, that none of the techniques out there would work for him, and that he had no time to study. Instead, he wasted hours each day complaining and worrying instead of studying.

Finally, after a lot of pushing and prodding, I got him to actually sit down and go through some problems with me. We set a schedule and goals for each week until the LSAT, and despite his wildest expectations, he developed an appreciation for the exam. Yes, that's right. He actually started to like the LSAT, and he achieved a 175 on test day. He's now at Yale Law School.

Procrastination can eat you alive if you let it. There's no "perfect day" to begin studying. If you want to make your dream of law school come true, today is the best day to start your LSAT preparation. Here are the schedules I posted to help you get started. Of course, I'm always available to help via email and phone (or in-person if you're in NYC).

What helps you stay motivated to achieve your goals?

7 Logical Reasoning Tips and Tricks

UPDATE: I've put together a GINORMOUS list of free Logical Reasoning advice and strategies. The below tips are a good start, but click that link for much, much, more.

Logical Reasoning makes up 2 out of 4 sections on the scored portion of the LSAT. These 7 tips will help you to master this important section.

1. Use the order of difficulty to your advantage.
Work through the first 10 questions as quickly as possible. They're the easiest, so don't double-check and triple-check your answers on them just because you're a perfectionist. Instead, trust your instincts on these and move on. Build up a "time bank" by tackling these quickly so that you'll have a few minutes left over at the end of the section to go back to tougher questions that you weren't 100% sure on.

2. Manage your time wisely.

Because questions 1-10 tend to be easier, try to complete each one in under 1:20. This will give you extra time for the more difficult questions that come later.

3. Thoroughly read the stimulus.

Although passages in Reading Comp talk about concepts and use terminology you won't need to comprehend fully on an initial read, Logical Reasoning is different. You'll have to measure every word in both the question stem and the stimulus. In my experience, test-takers often read too quickly and gloss over details, which causes the majority of errors here.

4. Remember the topic of the stimulus doesn't matter.

This is especially important to remember when it comes to questions dealing with science and other technical topics (which often puzzle future lawyers who studied the humanities in college). In fact, if you're able to put aside your dislike and disinterest of the topic, you'll see that the connections between the premises (evidence) and conclusion in such question are often more straightforward than in other questions.

The best way to deal with tough scientific questions is to ignore the topic itself. Analyze the connection between the evidence and conclusion.

5. Eliminate all words that are irrelevant to the argument.

Even though you need to comprehend all the words in the stimulus, they're not all important. The only words you'll need to deal with are the ones that make up the evidence and conclusion.

Take a look at this:
Burritos are generally made with several ingredients including, but not limited to: ground beef, tomatoes, onions, and tortillas. No two burritos are made with exactly the same combination of ingredients. Thus, you can tell any two burritos apart by tasting them.
The opening line of this stimulus wasn't evidence, and it wasn't conclusion - it was simply the argument's introduction,and didn't play any meaningful role in terms of logic. You don't need to worry about it once you realize this.

6. Study smarter.

When you're marking down your answers on practice questions, try to distinguish between questions where you were sure of the answer and those where you were simply guessing. Do this even when you're "almost certain." When you're not 100% sure that your answer is correct, mark it with a "/". For example, if you narrow down the answer to either "B" or "C" (and you've crossed-off "A," "D," and "E) mark the answer as "B/C." You might even put what you consider to be the better of the two down first. If you liked "C" better than "B," you could mark it on your answer sheet as "C/B."

This technique will help to track your progress more closely and determine which types of questions to focus on.

7. Try not to diagram Logical Reasoning questions too often.

It's often a good idea to diagram stimuli involving multiple conditional statements that can be linked in some way. Sufficient Assumption questions, Must Be True questions, and Parallel Reasoning questions often fall into this category. As you become more familiar with Logical Reasoning questions, you won't feel the need to diagram as often.