Spinoff: 30 minute sections

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AverageTutoring
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Spinoff: 30 minute sections

Postby AverageTutoring » Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:36 am

You know how it's been said that the biggest factor in the LSAT is time? I'm wondering if our perception of the time constraint is real or a function of what actually is. In other words, do we consider 35 minutes a doable but an unforgiving time limit because 35 minutes really is the minimum doable amount of time or because the LSAT is done in 35 minute sections?

I wonder if the LSAT was done in 25 or 30 minute sections, would we consider that a doable amount of time and anything over that to be super doable? Much like if we all had an extra 5 minutes today (i.e. 40 minute sections) we would consider that a ridiculous amount of time...if the LSAT switched to 25 minute sections would people consider 30 minutes far too lengthy? Or...has LSAC found the perfect time in 35 minutes?

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incompetentia
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Re: Spinoff: 30 minute sections

Postby incompetentia » Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:37 am

I blaze through tests in general, and I started out spending about 22 minutes per section. The extra 13 minutes has probably propped my score up about 8-10 points

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AverageTutoring
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Re: Spinoff: 30 minute sections

Postby AverageTutoring » Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:40 am

incompetentia wrote:I blaze through tests in general, and I started out spending about 22 minutes per section. The extra 13 minutes has probably propped my score up about 8-10 points


So you're saying if they re-structured the test for 25 or 30 minute sections we would adjust? I used to spend 28 minutes or so per section but got -6 or so wrong (on LR) but as soon as I used all the time and didnt rush to get done as fast as possible, that number went to -0/-1...so I'm not sure if I could handel 30 minute sections very well. I think I would be very rushed. But then again, if that was so maybe I would simply adjust to it and do the same? I dont know!

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incompetentia
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Re: Spinoff: 30 minute sections

Postby incompetentia » Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:46 am

Well, that was like half a post. Don't know what I was thinking...

I used to spend about 22 per section, but going to 35 has helped with my accuracy a lot. I did however take a 90-minute test (4-section) 3 days before the test...managed a 177 so it can be done even with shorter section times. There's only so much speed you need to build up, though, I think.
Also, the real day of the test seems to add about 8-10 seconds to each question's required time, so even decreasing it to 30 would bludgeon peoples' accuracy I think to a degree that is unrecoverable.

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kkklick
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Re: Spinoff: 30 minute sections

Postby kkklick » Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:05 am

I find that having real time constraints imposed causes me to not over-analyze a question and waste time on a single question that was stumping me or required extra time. In a practice room I would always sit there and made sure I got it before moving on, although I would still finish in 35 minutes barely.

30 minutes would be doable on LR no doubt, RC yes but I would not be able to double check any of my answers, and LG yes as long as there is no hybrids. Any less time would be virtually impossible for the majority of test takers, remember, there is an LSAT demographic NOT represented on TLS... Incomp is a rare case doing a section in 22 minutes high pin point accuracy, much of the rest of the testing world would suffer with decreased time limits though.

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txadv11
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Re: Spinoff: 30 minute sections

Postby txadv11 » Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:44 am

incompetentia wrote:I blaze through tests in general, and I started out spending about 22 minutes per section. The extra 13 minutes has probably propped my score up about 8-10 points


22 minutes on RC? Accurate?

Wow, you are ridiculously good :shock: .... FML... I think I could finish all four passages in 40 min lol.... (I only get to three and guess on the forth)

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incompetentia
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Re: Spinoff: 30 minute sections

Postby incompetentia » Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:12 pm

txadv11 wrote:
incompetentia wrote:I blaze through tests in general, and I started out spending about 22 minutes per section. The extra 13 minutes has probably propped my score up about 8-10 points


22 minutes on RC? Accurate?

Wow, you are ridiculously good :shock: .... FML... I think I could finish all four passages in 40 min lol.... (I only get to three and guess on the forth)

When I started, I was averaging -5 on RC. With the full 35, I'm closer to -1 or -2. Not great at RC but it's doable...never done below -2 with less than 25 minutes though

Hedwig
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Re: Spinoff: 30 minute sections

Postby Hedwig » Sat Oct 16, 2010 6:25 pm

Ha, I think having 30 minute sections would have helped me in RC. I had 5+ minutes left and spent it changing answers/thinking about changing answers/changing answers back... my original answers were probably fine, ugh. This was the first section of the test, though, so it was more due to OMG I WON'T KNOW THE ANSWER AFTER THIS OMG THIS COUNTS OMG WHAT IS THE ANSWER freak out that was going through my brain.

I generally finish LR with 10 minutes to check everything over, maybe 5 minutes on LG (or none, depending how hard I find it), and RC maybe 5-8 minutes left over.

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incompetentia
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Re: Spinoff: 30 minute sections

Postby incompetentia » Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:11 pm

I've gotten good enough at getting the answer the first time that checking over my answers in the last couple of weeks leading up to the test actually DECREASED my score...I was glad I took nearly the full 35 on each section so I wouldn't be tempted to go back and change the correct answers.

Oddly enough, the last PT I took I did on a whim in 90 minutes. Managed to post my 3rd highest PT score on it, probably because I only had to sit for an hour and a half and I managed to get done at the buzzer each time with no time for second-guessing.

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2014
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Re: Spinoff: 30 minute sections

Postby 2014 » Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:08 pm

I could finish LR's in 25-30 easy with a little bit reduced accuracy. LG and RC I take 35 on the dot.

I occasionally took practice tests and timed myself writing down when I finished, and honestly 35 minutes is the right spot. If it were less, some would adjust, but overall scores would go down I am quite sure of it.

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Re: Spinoff: 30 minute sections

Postby JonManitoban » Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:26 pm

We're competing against other testers as much as the clock. Even with the 35 minutes, I don't always finish every question. After a couple of months of PTs, I discovered that I could get a higher raw score by spending a bit of extra time on most questions while guessing on a couple at the end (if I run out of time). Whenever I rushed to finish every question, I would PT at about 164. I consistently scored above 165 by slowing down a bit. If LSAC dropped it to 25 minutes, I think the people who thoroughly prepare for the test would take the time to figure out what speed they need to go, in order to maximize their own strengths and get their highest possible score, whether it be 160, 165, 170...etc... As with the 35 minute time frame, the people who would be hurt the most are those who fail to prepare. captain obvious/

So, when you say "doable", I say any time is doable (in the broad sense of the word), since everybody is facing that same time limit. If you meant "doable" strictly in terms of answering all the questions, then I'd say a chunk of strong testers aren't even doing that now. Like I said, I can score above 165 while still guessing on a couple per section; I find the correct response for >95% of the questions I answer without guessing.

Yes, I'm fully aware some people here don't consider 165-170 a strong score. :roll:

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suspicious android
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Re: Spinoff: 30 minute sections

Postby suspicious android » Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:04 am

Doing prep sections in 32-33 minutes I can see, to allow for test day jitters to slow you down. But unless you're getting -0 consistently at full speed, I really don't understand what the point of doing tests in 25 minutes or whatever. At that point you're just practicing making mistakes faster. Finishing in 34 minutes and 45 seconds with zero wrong is a lot more impressive and better practice than missing two questions in 25 minutes.

motiontodismiss
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Re: Spinoff: 30 minute sections

Postby motiontodismiss » Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:30 am

I'm thinking if the LSAT went down to 30 minutes or less a section, there would be fewer questions. (say 3 games/passages, 25 minutes and 20 questions, 25 minutes). 24-26 LR questions in 25 minutes is insane (I have trouble completing them in 45 let alone 25).

Eventually though I'll have to go down to 30 minute preptests....probably by the end of the month (hopefully force myself to learn to not throw good time after bad....which I do quite frequently these days). Assuming 90% overall accuracy (which is a lot to assume), you should be able to guess on one or two (assuming you get them wrong-which isn't always true) on each LR and get a 170, barring an impossible curve like -8. Then again if you can finish by all means.

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niederbomb
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Re: Spinoff: 30 minute sections

Postby niederbomb » Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:32 am

Ha, I think having 30 minute sections would have helped me in RC. I had 5+ minutes left and spent it changing answers/thinking about changing answers/changing answers back... my original answers were probably fine, ugh. This was the first section of the test, though, so it was more due to OMG I WON'T KNOW THE ANSWER AFTER THIS OMG THIS COUNTS OMG WHAT IS THE ANSWER freak out that was going through my brain.


I do this, too.

The only section I don't see lowering the time limit to 30 minutes helping the overall score on is LG. Extra time on LG just allows one to check more scenarios and, hence, be more sure of the answers. Extra time on RC/LR encourages second-guessing, which often results in changing answers right>>>wrong.

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AverageTutoring
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Re: Spinoff: 30 minute sections

Postby AverageTutoring » Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:31 pm

JonManitoban wrote:We're competing against other testers as much as the clock. Even with the 35 minutes, I don't always finish every question. After a couple of months of PTs, I discovered that I could get a higher raw score by spending a bit of extra time on most questions while guessing on a couple at the end (if I run out of time). Whenever I rushed to finish every question, I would PT at about 164. I consistently scored above 165 by slowing down a bit. If LSAC dropped it to 25 minutes, I think the people who thoroughly prepare for the test would take the time to figure out what speed they need to go, in order to maximize their own strengths and get their highest possible score, whether it be 160, 165, 170...etc... As with the 35 minute time frame, the people who would be hurt the most are those who fail to prepare. captain obvious/

So, when you say "doable", I say any time is doable (in the broad sense of the word), since everybody is facing that same time limit. If you meant "doable" strictly in terms of answering all the questions, then I'd say a chunk of strong testers aren't even doing that now. Like I said, I can score above 165 while still guessing on a couple per section; I find the correct response for >95% of the questions I answer without guessing.

Yes, I'm fully aware some people here don't consider 165-170 a strong score. :roll:


Yup. I meant "doable" as you can answer every question without being rushed. Clearly most people cant do this as of right now, but I would submit that if the time limit increased to 40 minutes those test takers would still have trouble. But from a high scorers perspective, is it possible to answer 26 LR questions in 35 minutes because that's really what it should take or because that's what LSAC has set the time to be? If LSAC said...hmmm...nope, 35 is too much, we want you guys to have 25 or 30...would we be able to adjust so that we could answer every question in no rush?

I agree that we would adapt and we would find out what worked best for us (i.e. taking all the time for 24 and guessing on the last 1/2 or whatever ratio we find to be best) but would it be possible, on the large scale, for top scorers to do what they do now? That is, would it be possible for them to answer every question in good time?

I dont know...I really think 35 minutes is perfect. I dont think I could personally adjust to a 30 minute section.

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incompetentia
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Re: Spinoff: 30 minute sections

Postby incompetentia » Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:58 pm

I think there would be a smaller group of top scorers that have different thinking processes than the current group of top scorers.

I know that I had to struggle to get to a good point in my scores with the current test setup, but I think I'd have less trouble relatively with the shorter sections.




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