When to worry about time?

dprendergast1
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When to worry about time?

Postby dprendergast1 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:01 am

In general how long after you begin to study should you worry about time? I am scheduled to take the June 2010 LSAT and after a month of studying and stressing myself out, I am realizing that maybe I need to stop timing myself? Maybe I need to really make sure I grasp everything first because I am not seeing consistency. Every time I think I understand something I start to time myself only to get answers WRONG. Then, I lose hope. Do I have enough time at this point to just relax and try to learn the tricks to all sections COMPLETLEY or is it necessary to worry about time?

My schedule was to study LG in March, LR in April, and RC in May while taking PTs 1-2 times a week and then many times during the week leading up to the test.

However, March is practically finished and although I know how to do LGs and get answers correctly, I am not always getting EVERY answer right even when untimed, and I don’t feel as though I know all the tricks and setups that I NEED and SHOULD know. I feel like I wasted a month of just doing lots of games but not taking from them what I should have. My highest diag has been a 146, and I need to be in the 160-165 arena (158 the absolute lowest)...HELP!

leraa6587
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Re: When to worry about time?

Postby leraa6587 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:27 am

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Last edited by leraa6587 on Mon May 03, 2010 5:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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hobbsey
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Re: When to worry about time?

Postby hobbsey » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:45 am

Some good advice I read on this forum not too long ago was to take a new PT strictly timed, then, without checking answers, go back and do the exact same PT taking as much time as you need to be certain in your mind that you got the answer correct. Then check answers and compare the two tests. This will let you see what answers you’re getting wrong due to timing constraints, or due to not understanding the concepts.

For conceptual errors you need to go back to square one, and try to understand why you chose the answer you did and why the correct answer is truly correct. For timing errors you can find out what slowed you down in the first place, and what insights you had the second time that allowed you to answer the question that you might have missed due to rushing. Then you can hopefully carry that knowledge into the next test. I think you still have time before the June test to improve, but a 12-14 increase is a lot so you need to be prepared to study often and hard.

dprendergast1
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Re: When to worry about time?

Postby dprendergast1 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:45 am

@leraa6587 Thanks, I appreciate the help. Couple of questions...

Thus far I have only read through the LG bible (and not even completley). I believe I got too confident and antsy and just wanted to time myself and do lots of games thinking I would figure it out on my own<--- not working. I have the LR and RC bible as well as Kaplan books from a friend.

So, do you recommend I try your strategy (doing all lsat sections) NOW without having looked into books on other sections? OR since I have sort of gone through the LG bible, only use your strategy using all LG sections, followed by LR sections and then RC sections in the following months?

Only problem I see is that this leaves me not taking PT tests until the very end, and not allowing me to take a sufficient amount.

Seriously confused here...did I make my study plan all wrong?

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bceagles182
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Re: When to worry about time?

Postby bceagles182 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:50 am

IMO, you'd probably be best served taking a few PTs, correcting them and analyzing your weaknessnes, and then hitting those areas the hardest rather than dividing the sections up into months like you have. For me, I crushed LR accuracy from the beginning and had to work on getting the other two areas up to par before I ever considered working on my LR speed.

dprendergast1
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Re: When to worry about time?

Postby dprendergast1 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:53 am

@ hobbsey

I have tried that method last weekend. I took a test timed (made a 146), then took it untimed more closely before looking at my score and I made a 154. Very depressing.

I realize that my errors are conceptual. My ways of thinking are just not aligned corectly. Even when I have all the time in the world I am not able to predict the correct answer. This is why Ive started to think I need to read the books some more, think hard and deeply and stop timing myself. But not sure if there is time (despite me putting in 3 hrs a day of studying). I thought about a tutor to help save me time from reading the books. But, I already have all the books I need so paying for a tutoring session with Kaplan for example, may be a waste, since a large part of their program costs come from giving you books as well.

leraa6587
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Re: When to worry about time?

Postby leraa6587 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:05 am

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Last edited by leraa6587 on Mon May 03, 2010 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

leraa6587
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Re: When to worry about time?

Postby leraa6587 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:11 am

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Last edited by leraa6587 on Mon May 03, 2010 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dprendergast1
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Re: When to worry about time?

Postby dprendergast1 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:15 am

@leraa6587

Ok got it, I am going to try this out for the next week and see how this goes. I agree, taking the PT's freak me out. It must be because I have only been over the LG section in depth. My plan was silly.

Thanks a bunch, I feel good about this plan. P.S Wasn't looking forward to diving in the LR bible (its huge). But, I will skim over suggestions from each question type only because I have no idea of where to start other than using my own knowledge to figure out the answer<---which doesn't work

Last question, how long did you prep for your test with this plan? How many points of an increase did you see by test day? And I mean from the point of starting THIS study plan and actually taking the test?

dprendergast1
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Re: When to worry about time?

Postby dprendergast1 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:21 am

Last thing @leraa6587, in response to this:

You are also failing to realize something very crucial it seems- your answer choice should not be based on a prediction at all!! If you are predicting or slightly predicting which answer choice is correct, you are falling for a common test making trap and thus I would recommend you check out how I got over this in my previous post (by writing answers out). You seem like me, on the right track but not quite "getting" it all the way yet.


I think you are 100% correct, I am predicting answers all the way. I am using what I think "should be" the answer as well as a prediction of what Lsat "might want" rather than using a "strategy" for each question...but I do not think I can teach myself this strategy by just writing down my opinions of what I think is wrong and right. I need to hear whats correct and what to look for from SOMEWHERE right? I mean I'm sure you had your tutor by your side to explain why you were wrong or what Lsat looks for? For this, I guess I need to skim the books even for a little. Right?

leraa6587
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Re: When to worry about time?

Postby leraa6587 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:20 pm

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Last edited by leraa6587 on Mon May 03, 2010 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

leraa6587
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Re: When to worry about time?

Postby leraa6587 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:27 pm

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Last edited by leraa6587 on Mon May 03, 2010 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

leraa6587
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Re: When to worry about time?

Postby leraa6587 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:39 pm

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Last edited by leraa6587 on Mon May 03, 2010 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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hobbsey
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Re: When to worry about time?

Postby hobbsey » Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:48 pm

http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/2- ... edule.html

Here's another study schedule you might want to look at. It basically goes study lg --> study lr --> study rc --> do timed pts, but with some more structure. Giving yourself a break on timing and working on accuracy will probably be key to getting the score you want. You need to be able to gauge how well you're doing on the other sections before you can decide what strategy you want to take for LG. Don't forget to study for endurance also.

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quasi-stellar
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Re: When to worry about time?

Postby quasi-stellar » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:55 pm

hobbsey wrote:Some good advice I read on this forum not too long ago was to take a new PT strictly timed, then, without checking answers, go back and do the exact same PT taking as much time as you need to be certain in your mind that you got the answer correct. Then check answers and compare the two tests. This will let you see what answers you’re getting wrong due to timing constraints, or due to not understanding the concepts.


+1

pretty useful advice.

dprendergast1
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Re: When to worry about time?

Postby dprendergast1 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:56 pm

@leraa6587 GOTCHA!

Wheww!!, thanks so much for all the help guys. I feel a lot better. I am going to try my best and relax. I've already gone through half of an LR section writing out why each answer was right or wrong (on my lunch break at work) and I expect to finish this section and an LG section today. I will do this until i am getting no more than -1 or -2 consistently (at least 5 times in a row). The sections I am doing today are from PT 7, which I realize is way too early of a PT (especially since @leraa6587, you say LR is harder now), so next time I will start with PT 19 and work my way up.

@hobbsey why do you say that LG strategies come last?

@leraa6587 when you chose your sections, did you choose them from the same PT, or did you randomly choose 1 section from this PT, another from that PT?

If I do 2 sections a day, im guessing it will always be: LR and LG... or... LR and RC

climbintolaw
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Re: When to worry about time?

Postby climbintolaw » Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:23 pm

I found that focusing on individual sections of the LSAT was the most helpful. Initially, after some studying and a self-proctored diagnostic exam, I knew that my weaknesses were LG and RC. I couldn't come close to even finishing LG and RC sections in time, but I was pretty close on LR. So I spent the bulk of my time studying RC and LG, and then about once a week I would take a full test. As I got better at LG and RC, I got to the point where I could finish the sections, or come very close. I did this by timing individual games and prompts, and marking the times. Eventually the times added up to less than 35 minutes. RC was easier to improve the speed, but LG took a lot of practice. I would recommend you buy every previously administered test that is available (I believe there are about 45 of them).
The older games were more difficult as far as time goes, so if you master those first, you will be learn a quick pace. I did repeat a lot of the games many times. With about about a month to go, I was more or less just taking practice tests, and doing repeat games. I mixed in some review sessions of LR and RC as well down the stretch to round at my skills. LR was naturally a strength of mine, and just taking tests, or individual sections, with review was my only tactic. Some people spend a lot of time diagnosing question types and what not, but I did not. I just got the feel for them and got to the point where I was finishing easily and getting 0-4 wrong, usually 2-3 in a section.
One more important piece of advice: take it easy. Eat and sleep well. Get regular exercise. Don't worry too much about the test, if you're taking it in June, you're in good shape. You'll have more opportunities if it doesn't go well, so just take it easy. Good luck.

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FreeGuy
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Re: When to worry about time?

Postby FreeGuy » Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:42 am

climbintolaw wrote:The older games were more difficult as far as time goes


I agree with most of the other stuff you said, but what do you mean by the above sentence?

leraa6587
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Re: When to worry about time?

Postby leraa6587 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:22 am

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Last edited by leraa6587 on Mon May 03, 2010 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tomwatts
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Re: When to worry about time?

Postby tomwatts » Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:01 am

leraa6587 wrote:LSAC knows what these test prep companies do, and they will always have some new phrase or something that all the kids who memorized the phrases will have to freak out about since they don't know what category the phrase fits in.

In February, when I was looking to see if this was true, there was precisely one question that didn't fit into straightforward categories based on the stem. The other 100 questions were completely formulaic. You are not being entirely honest/accurate here.

For someone going for a 165, I'd recommend worrying about time when you've got untimed accuracy of at least 85%. A 165 is about 85/100 right (depends on the test — could be as few as 80/100, I think), so if you're not getting at least that many right without time pressure, there's no point in adding time pressure yet.

dprendergast1
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Re: When to worry about time?

Postby dprendergast1 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 4:40 pm

@ tomwatts

good point

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abbas123
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Re: When to worry about time?

Postby abbas123 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:17 am

tomwatts wrote:
leraa6587 wrote:LSAC knows what these test prep companies do, and they will always have some new phrase or something that all the kids who memorized the phrases will have to freak out about since they don't know what category the phrase fits in.

In February, when I was looking to see if this was true, there was precisely one question that didn't fit into straightforward categories based on the stem. The other 100 questions were completely formulaic. You are not being entirely honest/accurate here.

For someone going for a 165, I'd recommend worrying about time when you've got untimed accuracy of at least 85%. A 165 is about 85/100 right (depends on the test — could be as few as 80/100, I think), so if you're not getting at least that many right without time pressure, there's no point in adding time pressure yet.


awesome tip i'll have to try that thanks

dprendergast1
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Re: When to worry about time?

Postby dprendergast1 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:21 am

Follow up question below for anyone able to answer..
But first, I have taken 4 untimed sections so far.

1st day: PT #7 LR (-7) LG (-2)
the good: LG is supposedly harder so -2 is good
the bad: LR is supposedly easier so -7 not so good

2nd day: PT#29 LR(-10) RC(-13) woah!

My question: When reviewing LR in PT 7, I could understand why I was getting some questions wrong. Fine.

However, I just started reviewing my wrong LR answers from PT 29 and sometimes I just DON'T understand why my answer wasnt correct. I read Kaplan's explanations and sometimes I don't really agree with what they are saying. I know this sounds stupid, but in order for me to learn and retain what Ive learned, and figure out what Ive done WRONG, part of me NEEDS to FULLY understand. It's like I need someone on my level to break down my thought process and just using the explanations don't help. I feel like sometimes I can understand a certain flaw they found in the answer I chose but I dont really see how THEIR answer is much better. What do I do here? Do i need a tutor who can really explain things to me? Im taking my time and not rushing and putting a lot of thought into my choices so this is discouraging. I'm not too worried about my score right now, just understanding. I know if I can get my brain to understand my faults I can correct them, but Im not getting the patterns here, and I'm not understanding why Im getting these answers wrong!?

leraa6587
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Re: When to worry about time?

Postby leraa6587 » Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:35 pm

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Last edited by leraa6587 on Mon May 03, 2010 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tomwatts
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Re: When to worry about time?

Postby tomwatts » Mon Apr 05, 2010 5:47 pm

leraa6587 wrote:Not being entirely honest/ accurate? I think your statement is not entirely honest/ accurate. I'm glad these test prep companies' tricks worked for you.... I stated that the question typing is worthless because it is, essentially. I truly believe it is something they made up to make their programs seem more legit.

I didn't say anything about the tricks. I was talking about the question typology. Question types do exist on the LSAT, and they apply to virtually every question on the test. RC is the place where it gets a little dicey (and even there, there are definite patterns), but on LR and LG, question types do exist. Furthermore, recognizing question types allows you to recognize certain kinds of patterns on the test (which is basically what test prep is in the first place).

Whether certain "tricks" work for you or not, I don't know. It sounds as though your problem was not with the question types but with a classroom setting in general (you needed a tutor in the first place). That doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with the methods, the teachers, the classes, or you; it just means that it wasn't a good fit.

leraa6587 wrote:Congratulations on your 180, that is remarkable. However, you probably are just brilliant and would have gotten that score or similar no matter how you had prepared, which was my experience with my PR tutor as well (he scored a 172 without ever having looked at an LSAT). I was scoring in the 140's.... there was no way that I was going to be like you, or my tutor, and since PR seems to only hire people like this, they do not understand the struggle it takes to make your score increase as dramatically as someone like myself was able to.

I started with a 154. I'm not naturally good at the LSAT. I learned to be good at the LSAT, just as you had to.




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