Issues with timing

TunnelVision
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Issues with timing

Postby TunnelVision » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:17 pm

I am taking the LSAT in June, and I have every released PT included SP A,B,C. I have already taken A,B,C, 1,2 and 7. My scores are basically in the mid 160's (166 tonight). I am really struggling to finish sections on time. I never have enough time for the 4th RC passage, sometimes only like 1-2 minutes even. I usually end up running out of time and guessing on the last 2-3 LR problems. I have some trouble finishing LG; it depends on how hard the games are, which is a problem because I don't want to just "get lucky" with the right games on test day. Anyway, from what I have read on this forum, repetition helps a lot with LG. But what about finishing those last few problems on LR, and especially getting to that last passage on RC? Also, even though my accuracy isn't terrible for the problems I get to for RC I definitely lack confidence in choosing my answers. Any tips? I plan on taking all PT's and have a lot of time to dedicate to this. Thanks.

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glucose101
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Re: Issues with timing

Postby glucose101 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:43 pm

You're prob going to say that you've cut down everywhere where you can, but really find places to cut time, even if it's 10 seconds/passage. That is 40 secs, just by shaving 10 secs, which isn't that difficult to do. Read the passage faster. After all the PTs, you should know what's important to read, and what isn't. You should know stock question types, like main pt and purpose. Those should take literally no time. Even if 2 answers are similar, you should be @ the pt that you know what the right answer will contain.

TunnelVision
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Re: Issues with timing

Postby TunnelVision » Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:03 am

Actually MP and purpose questions are the ones that often give me trouble in that multiple answers seem attractive. I am able to easily eliminate the nonsensical choices and choices that are blatantly false, but I really struggle with choices that are true/secondary points but just don't quite express the main point/purpose. Any tips for those?

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glucose101
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Re: Issues with timing

Postby glucose101 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:13 am

My point is that after going through all the exams and their answers, you had to have noticed key things about what make main pt questions correct and what usually make them wrong.

062914123
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Re: Issues with timing

Postby 062914123 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:29 am

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Last edited by 062914123 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Scotusnerd
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Re: Issues with timing

Postby Scotusnerd » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:53 am

The trick is to read actively and aggressively the first time. You have time to read a question once, and you shouldn't have to go back except for a brief clarification. I pretty much categorize LR and RC into the same level of required reading intensity, with LG being easier since its less dense. You have to read actively and have to engage with the material, rather than sit back and let it wash over you. Take small notes on the side with RC to help you remember what section it is and who's talking about what at that time. That way when you need an answer, you can quickly look at the side notes and determine what's where.

Also, the trick with doing 10 LR in 10 minutes is a good practice as well.

It sounds like you know the material, you just gotta reorganize. That shouldn't take you more than a week if you get the right system. Keep on plugging! 8)

TunnelVision
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Re: Issues with timing

Postby TunnelVision » Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:36 am

Yeah, I do sometimes have to go back and re-read LR stims a couple times, but I am able to do the first 10 in 10 minutes. I get stuck on the later ones; some literally take me 2-3 minutes. As for RC, I definitely return to the passage frequently to answer questions. I don't re-read the entire passage or anything, but on inference questions I go back and read part of the paragraph. RC seems so much different than LR for some reason. The choices seem less confusing, but I have more trouble eliminating wrong answers. For LR, usually I can eliminate all the irrelevant and too strong wrong answers and only on the really tough ones do I have to re-evaluate everything. On the other hand, for RC I feel like I have to literally go back and forth on almost every question because they just don't seem to lend themselves to this sort of process of elimination. How can get better at answering the questions more rapidly, and particularly not getting caught up on wrong answers? Thanks guys.

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bdeebs
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Re: Issues with timing

Postby bdeebs » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:36 pm

I try to "get lucky" with all the logic games I can. It gives me a better shot with the other logic games (I think because they see me with the first logic games and get curious...then it's on).

Seriously though, if you've only worked problems from around 5 practice tests, I wouldn't personally be worried about speed yet. I'd just work each one methodically and make sure your accuracy is there. Speed can come later.

TunnelVision
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Re: Issues with timing

Postby TunnelVision » Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:45 pm

Do you think I should continue doing timed tests, and just hope to get incrementally faster, or am I not at that point yet? I know I'm only 5 tests in, but I don't want to just waste valuable material if I am approaching them in the wrong way.

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glucose101
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Re: Issues with timing

Postby glucose101 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:48 pm

Drill, don't take timed PTs. THAT would be a waste if you don't know how to attack them. Once you do know how to attack them, go into full-condition PTs.
Last edited by glucose101 on Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mikefichera
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Re: Issues with timing

Postby mikefichera » Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:49 pm

Me personally, I thought when doing the small timed sections that I scored considerably higher on them when taken individually as opposed to an entire test, so in order to simulate test conditions i'd just do the whole test.

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bdeebs
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Re: Issues with timing

Postby bdeebs » Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:50 pm

My more in depth 2 cents (I'm not a tutor or anything, so this is based more off personal findings than what I know to be effective over a wide range of people, so take it for what it's worth to you):

Have you ever heard the saying, "Practice makes perfect. So if you practice wrong, you'll be perfect at doing ____ wrong." That's essentially my qualm with taking a bunch of timed tests right off the bat. If you are using flawed or inefficient techniques during timed conditions, it is very difficult to recognize them or correct them if you just continue taking timed tests. Obviously there will be situations where this may be acceptable. Say you can easily get a 165, and that's all you need to get into whichever school you want...it would be a waste of energy to drill problems and try to increase your score. I believe that the majority of people benefit from spending more time in the beginning making absolutely certain they know what the question is asking, what/why the right answer is right, why the wrong answers are wrong, how the wrong answers try to fool you, and what techniques allow you to most efficiently arrive at the right answer. Unless you are a super genius, this is difficult to do if you are only allowing yourself timed conditions. So my recommendation would be to slow down until you are absolutely comfortable with the material, and then start timing yourself. If you require more time than 35 minutes, set goals on the margin of your abilities (if you can comfortably finish 20 problems in a section, then make your goal 21) and then just increase from there. If you need time for 6 more problems, and you try to fit them all in, you may sacrifice your quality testing techniques in order to cram everything in...which brings you back to square one.

TunnelVision
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Re: Issues with timing

Postby TunnelVision » Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:18 pm

Yeah, I agree with what you are saying. I actually did drilling in LR and LG (untimed) for a couple months prior to taking these exams, so I know what you are talking about with recognizing wrong answers and why they are wrong, but I never did untimed RC practice. Maybe I should just do some untimed RC sections before I jump back to timed tests. I feel like I have a solid (not perfect) understanding for LG and LR, but lack the same sort of recognition for RC, and I know if I were able to make it to that last passage with more time I would be on the verge of breaking 170. I guess it's no surprise that RC is my worst and most inconsistent section; my last 3 scores for RC are -8,-9, and -5.

fosterp
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Re: Issues with timing

Postby fosterp » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:05 pm

Personally I think the earlier tests (1-30, maybe even through 40) should be broken down into sections or even subsections of material to study from when you are still learning how to do the test. If all you have done is read through a prep book and now your trying to start timed PTs, you are rushing yourself. Time should be one of the latter things you start to practice with, and its more effective doing full timed PTs on the later tests since there have been subtle changes to the test over time in regards to the pattern of difficulty and style of questions.

If you are just starting to work on test material you should probably be doing it untimed until you can start to recognize the pattern cues the test gives you. When you are able to confidently answer most questions correctly untimed, that is when you should start factoring time into your test prep.

Alexp1206
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Re: Issues with timing

Postby Alexp1206 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:45 pm

If you're running out of time on the RC it's almost certainly because you're reading the passages TOO FAST. Try slowing down and reading them at 50% speed, constantly pausing to "translate." Be active in your reading and make sure you completely understand the passage and the authors main point + attitude before moving to the questions. On each question make sure you come up with your own answer BEFORE looking at the answer choices. In my opinion the answer choices in RC will absolutely destroy you if you don't "prephrase" as they all will seem to say the same thing. In the LR and RC sections the best way to speed up is to slow down. I know It seems counterintuitive but it works wonders. The answer choices are not your friend, they are there to throw you off. Know what you're looking for before you even glance at the answer choices.

At first you will feel a constant nagging at the back of your mind that you aren't reading fast enough. Ignore it. It's your bad habits nagging at you. These LSAT passages are very wordy and NOT easy reads. You can't read them like you would a Harry Potter book. If you do this right you'll notice that the questions seem MUCH MORE OBVIOUS because you UNDERSTAND the material. When you finish a RC section with time to spare you'll thank me. This applies for the LR as well. Slow down on the reading so you can breeze through the questions.

TunnelVision
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Re: Issues with timing

Postby TunnelVision » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:46 pm

Thanks everyone for the advice. I will revise my current techniques and do untimed tests for the next couple weeks before I try another timed one. And thanks for the advice on RC, Alex. I will slow down and see if it helps; I don't know why, but I haven't really been prephrasing with RC questions, which is something I do with LR and I think it helps a lot. I will certainly try this and I bet it will help. I probably also just need to get more comfortable with taking notes.




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