Is there a point to taking an untimed LSAT and getting a 180

lawschoolisfun2012
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Is there a point to taking an untimed LSAT and getting a 180

Postby lawschoolisfun2012 » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:05 am

2010 LSATers,

I am just wondering if I should improve my accuracy first and then my timing. Basically, to all the high scorers out there, could you definitely get a 180 untimed? Is there a point to doing untimed (and I mean a lot of extra) sections? Or should one always stick to the time limits?

Can everyone out there get a 180 with no time limits?

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cardnal124
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Re: Is there a point to taking an untimed LSAT and getting a 180

Postby cardnal124 » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:17 am

I would say stick to time limits and figure out why each question is right and wrong for accuracy. Doing untimed practice sections is a good idea if there are explanations, but an entire PT untimed seems like a waste of time to me.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Is there a point to taking an untimed LSAT and getting a 180

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:28 am

lawschoolisfun2012 wrote:2010 LSATers,

I am just wondering if I should improve my accuracy first and then my timing. Basically, to all the high scorers out there, could you definitely get a 180 untimed? Is there a point to doing untimed (and I mean a lot of extra) sections? Or should one always stick to the time limits?

Can everyone out there get a 180 with no time limits?


It depends on how far away your test date is. If you are taking in June, you need to get used to the timing constraints. If you are taking in Oct or later, there is nothing wrong with putting the majority of your current effort on just accuracy and taking a PT or two untimed, and doing some games and making all the deductions untimed. Accuracy is definitely what should be the initial focus, but plenty of pacing practice is absolutely vital.

Most people will not get a 180 with no time limits. Most people could on Games, but not on logical reasoning or reading comp. I remember getting a 175 on an untimed PT early on in studying when i was averaging around 10+ points less. I might be able to get a 180 now untimed, but there are still around 2-3 super nasty questions.

skip james
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Re: Is there a point to taking an untimed LSAT and getting a 180

Postby skip james » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:29 am

lawschoolisfun2012 wrote:2010 LSATers,

I am just wondering if I should improve my accuracy first and then my timing. Basically, to all the high scorers out there, could you definitely get a 180 untimed? Is there a point to doing untimed (and I mean a lot of extra) sections? Or should one always stick to the time limits?

Can everyone out there get a 180 with no time limits?


i never have. but i do think it's important to hone accuracy first, and doing untimed tests seems like the way for focus in on that aspect of the test. i think i did 20 or so untimed tests before moving onto pseudo-timed tests (40-45 mint constraints) and rigidly-timed tests. i didn't move to the timing aspect of the test until i was fairly consistently hitting 90-95% of the questions correct.

you should be focusing on accuracy first, then timing, but be careful with the timing as you need to do it gradually so that you don't compromise accuracy for speed. it's a bit of a delicate balance.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Is there a point to taking an untimed LSAT and getting a 180

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:32 am

cardnal124 wrote:I would say stick to time limits and figure out why each question is right and wrong for accuracy. Doing untimed practice sections is a good idea if there are explanations, but an entire PT untimed seems like a waste of time to me.


Doing an untimed PT can be really helpful for a lot of people, but typically more helpful when starting to study, rather than after a person's been studying for awhile.

I don't really like the idea of going over a PT with written out explanations- it allows you to cheat yourself of trying to struggle through the process of figuring out the questions for yourself. They're fine if you get absolutely stuck on a Q, but struggling through understanding the questions is what should be done first.

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pinkzeppelin
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Re: Is there a point to taking an untimed LSAT and getting a 180

Postby pinkzeppelin » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:53 am

One thing that I thought was useful was timing myself but not stopping. I would use a stopwatch to time how long it took, but there would be no buzzer to tell me to stop. I would just go as fast as I could. If the time was under 35 minutes, great! If not, then I had to consider where I could pick up speed/ which problems gave me the most trouble. By the time test day was coming around, I was finishing most sections in around 31 minutes. Those extra minutes help when it's game time--on the real exam I don't think I finished one section with extra time, but I'm certain if I hadn't practiced going so fast I would have been destroyed.

So my advice: don't take it totally untimed, but don't let a buzzer pressure you into making rushed decisions. Try to reason out each problem fully as quickly as you can and work on reducing your time.

skip james
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Re: Is there a point to taking an untimed LSAT and getting a 180

Postby skip james » Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:58 am

pinkzeppelin wrote:So my advice: don't take it totally untimed, but don't let a buzzer pressure you into making rushed decisions. Try to reason out each problem fully as quickly as you can and work on reducing your time.


yeah this is essentially what i did.

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Re: Is there a point to taking an untimed LSAT and getting a 180

Postby Shrimps » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:51 am

What I do is do a section untimed, but I do keep track of time and, though not rushing myself, still try to work at a reasonably brisk pace. I used to take 40-50 minutes to do four logic games, but have now done a few sections in under 35 min. So, while I do think that doing PT's at a leisurely pace, taking unlimited time to test hypotheticals for each answer choice in AR, or to carefully think through each answer choice on LR may give you HARMFUL work habits (you simply won't have time for anything like that on the real test), not FORCING yourself into those 35 minutes at the beginning - only being aware of the need to keep moving along - has proven to be a fairly good strategy for me.

EDIT: um, that's exactly what pinkzeppelin said before me :)

09042014
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Re: Is there a point to taking an untimed LSAT and getting a 180

Postby 09042014 » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:07 pm

I'd be worried about learning methods that take too long.

I'd take it timed, then the next day go over questions you got wrong, or weren't' sure about (even if you got it right).

Time is a huge factor on the LSAT.

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KibblesAndVick
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Re: Is there a point to taking an untimed LSAT and getting a 180

Postby KibblesAndVick » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:16 pm

Richie Tenenbaum wrote: ... there are still around 2-3 super nasty questions.


TITCR. Even if you have all the time you need, there are still a couple of questions that are hard not because of time pressures but just because they are really hard. If you want to get a very high score (175+), I believe you have to be able to get through the rest of the questions in the section quickly. This will leave you with enough time to reason out the tough ones or make the best guess possible. Taking the test untimed won't help you with this.

The only reason you want to do any section untimed is that, by doing so, you'll be able to do future sections faster. On game day you get exactly 35 minutes so the goal is to be able to get every question correct in that time frame. If taking longer helps you reach that end (and when most people are starting out it does), then by all means do it. However, if you're already understanding the material take EVERY practice test with an added 5th "experiential" and never give yourself more than 35 minutes. Law schools don't give a damn if you can score a 180 in your living room without timing yourself. Because the whole point of taking this test is to impress those law schools, you shouldn't care either. Unless it's going to help you do better on the real thing, don't do it.

After you take the test under simulated conditions take a day or two or three and go over everything with a fine tooth comb. You can spend ten or twenty minutes on a single question during your review period. But, remember, speed is an indispensable element of getting a top score. You don't want to waste a practice test without improving your speed and endurance. Just spend a lot of time going over it after you take it under simulated conditions.

jamesieee
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Re: Is there a point to taking an untimed LSAT and getting a 180

Postby jamesieee » Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:18 pm

One pitfall of untimed practice is that it tempts you into developing habits that would destroy you in timed practice and the real thing (i.e. listing out all hypotheticals in LG, re-reading large chunks of the passage for each RC question, unnecessary diagramming of LR stimuli, et cetera). But as long as you can stay disciplined in using the correct methods all the time, I would also agree that accuracy needs to be honed before speed. That said, pacing is hugely, hugely important. The best studying tool I paid money for aside from the Bibles is my proctoring simulation DVD. After I started taking timed PTs, I used this every time without fail and I believe it was an absolutely crucial element of my doing well on test day.

tomwatts
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Re: Is there a point to taking an untimed LSAT and getting a 180

Postby tomwatts » Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:51 pm

So there's the obvious bit about "Accuracy first, timing later, so do this early in your practice but not later" that has already been adequately covered. There's another thing, too, though. Sometimes I have students who, in their timed practice, just can't seem to get enough questions right, no matter what they do, and we tinker with their approach, and tinker, and tinker, continually trying to make them go faster, and no matter what, they just get the same number of questions wrong. Then I say, all right, let's separate out accuracy issues from timing issues here. Take one of these things untimed — and really, I just mean give yourself 45-50 minutes instead of 35, because if you're getting to most of the questions in 35 minutes, you should get to all of them in around 50 minutes — and see if you still get the same number of questions wrong. If you do, then this is an accuracy thing, and fiddling with stuff to make you go faster is going to do you no good. If you don't, this is a pacing thing, and we need to figure out how to take what you can do in 50 minutes and speed it up so it happens in 35 minutes.

Back in the day when I was studying, I did every game or passage in a section no matter how long it took. I was giving myself an hour for some games sections. I just made a different mark for the questions that I did after 35 minutes had passed. I think this helped a LOT.

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Re: Is there a point to taking an untimed LSAT and getting a 180

Postby fiathebia » Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:49 am

tomwatts wrote:So there's the obvious bit about "Accuracy first, timing later, so do this early in your practice but not later" that has already been adequately covered. There's another thing, too, though. Sometimes I have students who, in their timed practice, just can't seem to get enough questions right, no matter what they do, and we tinker with their approach, and tinker, and tinker, continually trying to make them go faster, and no matter what, they just get the same number of questions wrong. Then I say, all right, let's separate out accuracy issues from timing issues here. Take one of these things untimed — and really, I just mean give yourself 45-50 minutes instead of 35, because if you're getting to most of the questions in 35 minutes, you should get to all of them in around 50 minutes — and see if you still get the same number of questions wrong. If you do, then this is an accuracy thing, and fiddling with stuff to make you go faster is going to do you no good. If you don't, this is a pacing thing, and we need to figure out how to take what you can do in 50 minutes and speed it up so it happens in 35 minutes.

Back in the day when I was studying, I did every game or passage in a section no matter how long it took. I was giving myself an hour for some games sections. I just made a different mark for the questions that I did after 35 minutes had passed. I think this helped a LOT.


+1

skip james
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Re: Is there a point to taking an untimed LSAT and getting a 180

Postby skip james » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:39 pm

tomwatts wrote:Back in the day when I was studying, I did every game or passage in a section no matter how long it took. I was giving myself an hour for some games sections. I just made a different mark for the questions that I did after 35 minutes had passed. I think this helped a LOT.


i agree that this is the way to do things.

lawschoolisfun2012
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Re: Is there a point to taking an untimed LSAT and getting a 180

Postby lawschoolisfun2012 » Sat Mar 27, 2010 12:21 am

thanks for the advice. I am know practicing with my computer next to me. ON my google home page I have a stop clock. I start it for every question SO I know how long I am taking! This is a great idea. I finish answering the question regardless of the time limit, but I am aware of what I was doing when the time limit expired....

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blhblahblah
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Re: Is there a point to taking an untimed LSAT and getting a 180

Postby blhblahblah » Sat Mar 27, 2010 3:24 pm

lawschoolisfun2012 wrote:thanks for the advice. I am know practicing with my computer next to me. ON my google home page I have a stop clock. I start it for every question SO I know how long I am taking! This is a great idea. I finish answering the question regardless of the time limit, but I am aware of what I was doing when the time limit expired....


You're starting off on the wrong foot, Gregory. Use an analogue watch, not a computer. You want to mirror real testing conditions as much as possible. Plus, having a computer next to you while you test can be distracting for a number of reasons: radiation, noise, and any other subconcious association you may have tied to your computer (chatting, games, porn surfing, etc.)

tomwatts
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Re: Is there a point to taking an untimed LSAT and getting a 180

Postby tomwatts » Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:14 pm

blhblahblah wrote:
lawschoolisfun2012 wrote:thanks for the advice. I am know practicing with my computer next to me. ON my google home page I have a stop clock. I start it for every question SO I know how long I am taking! This is a great idea. I finish answering the question regardless of the time limit, but I am aware of what I was doing when the time limit expired....


You're starting off on the wrong foot, Gregory. Use an analogue watch, not a computer. You want to mirror real testing conditions as much as possible. Plus, having a computer next to you while you test can be distracting for a number of reasons: radiation, noise, and any other subconcious association you may have tied to your computer (chatting, games, porn surfing, etc.)

I think the point was to become aware of his timing, not to time accurately the way he'll time himself on the LSAT, so I think what you're saying here doesn't apply, as much as it would be good advice in other contexts.

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HiLine
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Re: Is there a point to taking an untimed LSAT and getting a 180

Postby HiLine » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:08 am

pinkzeppelin wrote:One thing that I thought was useful was timing myself but not stopping. I would use a stopwatch to time how long it took, but there would be no buzzer to tell me to stop. I would just go as fast as I could. If the time was under 35 minutes, great! If not, then I had to consider where I could pick up speed/ which problems gave me the most trouble. By the time test day was coming around, I was finishing most sections in around 31 minutes. Those extra minutes help when it's game time--on the real exam I don't think I finished one section with extra time, but I'm certain if I hadn't practiced going so fast I would have been destroyed.

So my advice: don't take it totally untimed, but don't let a buzzer pressure you into making rushed decisions. Try to reason out each problem fully as quickly as you can and work on reducing your time.


tomwatts wrote:So there's the obvious bit about "Accuracy first, timing later, so do this early in your practice but not later" that has already been adequately covered. There's another thing, too, though. Sometimes I have students who, in their timed practice, just can't seem to get enough questions right, no matter what they do, and we tinker with their approach, and tinker, and tinker, continually trying to make them go faster, and no matter what, they just get the same number of questions wrong. Then I say, all right, let's separate out accuracy issues from timing issues here. Take one of these things untimed — and really, I just mean give yourself 45-50 minutes instead of 35, because if you're getting to most of the questions in 35 minutes, you should get to all of them in around 50 minutes — and see if you still get the same number of questions wrong. If you do, then this is an accuracy thing, and fiddling with stuff to make you go faster is going to do you no good. If you don't, this is a pacing thing, and we need to figure out how to take what you can do in 50 minutes and speed it up so it happens in 35 minutes.

Back in the day when I was studying, I did every game or passage in a section no matter how long it took. I was giving myself an hour for some games sections. I just made a different mark for the questions that I did after 35 minutes had passed. I think this helped a LOT.


So much wisdom in these two posts. Thank you guys!




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