Can one do well without wearing a watch?

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180asBreath
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Can one do well without wearing a watch?

Postby 180asBreath » Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:19 am

I swear, knowing how mich time is left has always hurt me. If I realize that I have a ton of time left, the next question takes me 5 minutes. If I realize I'm in a crunch, I go too fast and my accuracy goes down.

Is it possible to just stop caring about the timing, train in a way that ensures that you will be able to finish in time, and take the test without a watch?

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bk1
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Re: Can one do well without wearing a watch?

Postby bk1 » Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:21 am

Can you do well without a watch? Obviously yes.

Though I'd suggest trying to overcome your neurosis rather than giving up access to potentially useful information.

jamesireland
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Re: Can one do well without wearing a watch?

Postby jamesireland » Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:24 am

I suppose, but couldn't you also train to not take 5 minutes when you have extra time and not go too fast when you are running short? That way you can make adjustments on test day, which may be required given how different the environment can be.

American_in_China
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Re: Can one do well without wearing a watch?

Postby American_in_China » Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:25 am

Yes. I didn't use one. I suggest people don't use them. Too much distraction, too much psychology, and too much worry goes into a watch. If you've prepared well, time shouldn't even matter (and the proctor still calls 5)

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Elston Gunn
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Re: Can one do well without wearing a watch?

Postby Elston Gunn » Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:27 am

I bought a crappy analog watch specifically for the test and then broke it literally five seconds before the first section. Because I'd taken soooo many practice tests, though, I had a good enough sense of timing that I got everything done. I think for most people, it's better to have the timer, but it's certainly not necessary.

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ThreeRivers
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Re: Can one do well without wearing a watch?

Postby ThreeRivers » Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:10 am

Semi-related note

I think I might have been the only one in my room that had a watch (testing center broke us down into rooms of 15 which was really nice). I wasn't sure if that meant I was less prepared in that others were so sick at PT's they didn't need a timer or more prepared in that others only took 1 PT's / didn't even worry about timing concerns. During the break when the whole class started going up to the proctors asking if they could somehow get a large wall clock in the room I think I knew my answer :D

Completely-related note
It is all up to you, some become SO comfortable they like it without one... for most I'd recommend having one, but using it properly. When I first started taking PT's having a watch definitely hurt me, I was constantly looking at it after every third problem / KILLING time by freaking out if not moving at pace. I later learned to just glance at it only a couple times (maybe when mid-way through LR or coming down to end of LR). For RC / LG's I took a quick glance after each section.

If you could get it so you're finishing sections in 30 minutes, maybe you're better without one. Having one on test day for me helped me greatly... I was sooo stuck on that bicycle game, but I looked at my watch and knew I just had to cut my losses and move on (and I ended up doing pretty well)

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Jeffort
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Re: Can one do well without wearing a watch?

Postby Jeffort » Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:44 am

180asBreath wrote:I swear, knowing how mich time is left has always hurt me. If I realize that I have a ton of time left, the next question takes me 5 minutes. If I realize I'm in a crunch, I go too fast and my accuracy goes down.

Is it possible to just stop caring about the timing, train in a way that ensures that you will be able to finish in time, and take the test without a watch?


The answer is YES.

This morning I posted my rant about this topic here: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=170540&p=4907565#p4907565

There is no available device you can buy or use on test-day to enhance your score due to timing or anything else other than your well trained/prepared LSAT analytical brain and ability to tune out 'background noise' to just read, focus, analyze, and wield a pencil while taking the test.

You can purchase quality preparation/educational services to get you prepared, but on test day it is just you, a few #2 pencils, the test book + answer sheet in an unfriendly environment surrounded mostly by stressed out strangers that don't give a $hit about how you perform. You just have to get used to that part of it, especially since it is the same way that law school and what comes after it goes.

Personal anecdote: On test day I only thought about time remaining and looked at my timer three or four times total, just to verify that the proctor five minute warnings were accurate. Somebody could have set off a grenade nearby in the test center and I probably would not have noticed it because of how hyper-focused on solving the test questions I was at the time.

In the last few weeks before test day I took all timed practice tests at the same time in the morning I would face on test day to simulate test conditions. Luck had it (I hated this at the time and had evil thoughts!) that the giant lawnmowers mowed the grass right outside my bedroom window at the same time every morning. My new tiny apartment was on the edge of a golf course with a view of the 18th hole fairway + green, and the rough was all within about 100 yards of my bedroom window. Those frigging lawnmowers were louder than you can imagine, so loud that you could not have a conversation on the phone or with anybody right in front of you while they were mowing right outside the window. I bailed out of that apartment four months after I moved in cuz it really sucked and golf balls kept hitting the windows and my head when I hung out on the balcony after prep time.

Those practice conditions helped me enormously to be able to tune out all external stimuli on test day and just mentally concentrate to be 'in the zone' when it mattered.

However, I'm still a little mad at the lawnmower routine dudes since they did it 7 days a week and I could not sleep in on weekends even with earplugs in. That's why I moved out and cancelled the rental agreement four months into it right after I got my LSAT score.

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180asBreath
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Re: Can one do well without wearing a watch?

Postby 180asBreath » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:06 pm

Thanks for the replies, guys. Recently, I started turning my watch around so the face is on the inside of my wrist; I notice when I do this, I am able to forget about the timing aspect and I will regularly breeze through 10 LR's in 10 minutes. It seems like I will do this when I'm going a bit too slow and I need to speed up; once I look at my watch again, voila - I caught up on the time I had lost.

I'm doing a PT tomorrow morning. I will keep my watch in front of me and not look at it until the 20th question on LR and the 4th passage/game; I feel not having a concept of the time will force me to work quickly, as I won't feel confident that I am making good time, and it will not serve as a distraction - so it won't break my concentration.

I'm going to give it a try and see how it works. I hope to get to a point where I don't need it, as I do feel it is an impediment.

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NYC Law
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Re: Can one do well without wearing a watch?

Postby NYC Law » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:19 pm

167 here with no form of watch or other timing instrument. I didn't even take many timed full tests if that counts for anything.

So no, you don't need a watch.

Renzo
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Re: Can one do well without wearing a watch?

Postby Renzo » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:34 pm

180asBreath wrote:I swear, knowing how mich time is left has always hurt me. If I realize that I have a ton of time left, the next question takes me 5 minutes. If I realize I'm in a crunch, I go too fast and my accuracy goes down.

Is it possible to just stop caring about the timing, train in a way that ensures that you will be able to finish in time, and take the test without a watch?


I would say yes, because this is exactly what I did. But, I feel like I was an atypical case, so I hesitate to give you advice. For what it's worth, the only real prep I did was doing every logic game that exists while timing myself, so that I would have a good feel for how much time I could spare on each one. For the rest of the sections, I just went as fast I as I felt I could accurately go. This resulted in my finishing all of the non- logic game sections about 4-5 minutes early, so I had plenty of time to check my bubbling and then freak my neighbors the fuck out.

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hyakku
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Re: Can one do well without wearing a watch?

Postby hyakku » Sat Nov 05, 2011 12:46 am

It's doable, I had one for oct, but didn't use it. There was an analog one in our room they had up, but I rarely looked at it. I found that ignoring it on test day actually helped me out, on my last section (ironically enough the one I did worst one, but you know that already 180) I flipped a shit about time because I was having such a good test that I grew complacent and had to finish the last few in like five minutes. As long as you can protect against this, it's doable, but if you can comfortably, try to learn how to.

Had I had a few more weeks, I think a few days would have been dedicated to calibrating time internally, that way I wouldn't have to worry about the watch. I think that would have been incredibly helpful.

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180asBreath
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Re: Can one do well without wearing a watch?

Postby 180asBreath » Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:15 pm

So, it went pretty well. I caught myself still checking the time more than I'd like. Strangely enough, it felt like I had oodles of time when I wasn't aware of the timing.

I feel I need to develop a system and work on it.

evian1212
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Re: Can one do well without wearing a watch?

Postby evian1212 » Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:17 pm

I think its better to try and practice with a watch. I used one consistently and it really helped me realize if i was getting stuck on one question for too long/ just ease my mind that I wasn't way behind on timing.

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msblaw89
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Re: Can one do well without wearing a watch?

Postby msblaw89 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:37 am

I think it is personal preference, however its not necessary. If you take several practice tests, you should be able to build up a sort of "internal clock" for test day. I did not use a watch on test day, but I had a rough estimate of how much time I had left by say question #20 based on all of the previous practice tests I took.




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