Time Management on LR?

theycallmefoes
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Time Management on LR?

Postby theycallmefoes » Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:48 pm

For LR, I always finish the sections, but I definitely feel the pressure of the time constraint at the end - I often find it coming down to the wire with just enough time to finish bubbling in my last answers but not enough to go back and check the questions I had marked for review.

So, I'm currently prepping for the December exam, and I was hoping those of you kind souls who have done very well on the LSAT in general or on LR specifically could share some of your wisdom and answer a few specific questions I have about timing.

1. How much time do you usually have left when you finish the section (but before you go back and double-check your answers to difficult questions)?
2. Do you have any specific tricks you use to save time?
3. I know the rule-of-thumb for timing is to do the first 10 Qs in 10 minutes, but, as I said, I still find myself very pressed for time by the end of the section. Would aiming for 15 in 15 make a difference? Do any of you use different timing goals/signposts?
4. Do you always read every single answer? E.g., Suppose you have a must be true question, and answer choice A is the contrapositive of some part of the stimulus. Isn't this a case when reading the other answers is unnecessary?
5. Do you ever diagram - e.g., on questions containing formal logic?
6. Parallel reasoning questions have a tendency to slow me down. How do you go about answering them? Should I just work on drilling these questions?
7. Do you do all the questions in order? Or do you skip certain question types that, from your experience, take longer to answer?
8. I was contemplating drilling tons of easy/moderate LR questions to be able to do them as quickly as possible. Did any of you study in this way, or did you just focus on timing full sections? If I were to do this, should I just pull the first 10-15 questions from a bunch of PTs?
9. For those of you who drilled by question type: I've purchased the Cambridge bundle (from PT 1-38), and I plan on going through all of it. Some of the sections do not have many questions, so I will spend some days reviewing multiple question types. While there are some sections that I think can naturally be grouped together, I would still like your opinion on how best to organize this prep material. Also, if I would like to go through the questions in a manner that flows a long a natural progression of concepts, how should I order the question types? Should I just mimic the organization of the LGB?

Feel free to answer as many or as few of the questions as you'd like. Any and all answers will be greatly appreciated! :D
Last edited by theycallmefoes on Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

theycallmefoes
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Re: LR Advice - Timing? Please?

Postby theycallmefoes » Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:44 am

...Bump. :roll:

M.M.
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Re: Time Management on LR?

Postby M.M. » Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:52 am

I usually go -1 or -2 on LR.

1. None most of the time, I very rarely go back and check answers.
2. Nope
3. The 15 in 15 made a huge different for me. I went from ~-3.5 or so to what I'm getting now just by implementing that.
4. Yes
5. Rarely. Despite having taken a symbolic logic class and prep course I still find it slows me down a ton
6. I'd like to say I use what I learned from LRB and MLRS, but I only halfassedly do that ... very rarely if I feel pressed for time, I'll skip them and come back.
7. Other than what I said in #6, nope


I don't know why I bothered typing all that out, but the moral of the story is 15 in 15 helped me a lot.

unitball
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Re: Time Management on LR?

Postby unitball » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:54 am

M.M. how did you start doing 15 problems in 15 minutes? I mean, if you weren't doing questions that quickly beforehand, what did you start doing differently so you could finish 15 in 15?

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sabanist
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Re: Time Management on LR?

Postby sabanist » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:53 am

1. I'd usually have anywhere between five and ten minutes to go back through and check by the end of my prep.
2. For me, it wasn't about saving time, but rather developing the speed in the first place. Timed, question-type-specific drilling took me from where you are (especially on parallel-heavy sections!) to where I was on test day.
3. See above. Drilling can help this speed begin to come naturally as you become more familiar with each question type and the correct answer you'll be looking for.
4. Yes. Answers are purposefully tempting, and going through them all makes sure you select the best. I'm also the type to double check all LG answers, so this could also be a personal thing.
5. If I saw formal logic, I automatically started diagramming, whether I ended up needing it or not. It helped me wade through wordiness or confusing relationships.
6. Absolutely drill parallel questions. They are naturally long, so don't panic if they take you a while even after you practice, but work on every other question type, too, so you have the time to spare.
7. I always answered questions in order because I didn't trust myself to bubble correctly around them or remember to go back. Sad truth.
8. I drilled the Cambridge LR Bundles. They naturally progress from easy to moderate to hard, so it was a great system for me. Drilling by type is important for picking up speed before moving on to mixed reviews (PTs).
9. I sorted my drilling by personal difficulty. Must Be True was easiest for me, so I burned through them first and quickly. I saved Parallel Reasoning/Flaw and Point at Issue for last because they needed the most work and the freshest memory come test day. I would do different question types in the same day, so don't worry too much about that.

Hope this helps!

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LSAT Hacks (Graeme)
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Re: Time Management on LR?

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:28 pm

Scored 177, now an LSAT instructor. If things go right, I'll get -0, but everyone makes mistakes.

1. 5-10 minutes.
2. Focus on the stimulus. Extra time spent here makes you faster when you go through the answers.
3. I don't use any time specific goals. But, I have a surplus of time, and probably an intuition for when I'm spending too long on a questions. Here's the algorithm I use to decide when to skip

    Read stimulus.
    If don't understand, reread stimulus.
    Otherwise, read question stem.
    Reread stimulus, trying to think of answer to question.
    Read all answers fast, eliminating those that are obviously wrong. (this is so that you at least look at E before you waste 30 seconds puzzling over B. Sometimes E is obviously right)
    Go through answers in depth, looking to eliminate all but 1-2.
    If down to one, confirm it with stimulus (takes 1 second, usually), and move on.
    If down to two, take it as a clear sign that I missed something. Reread stimulus to see what I missed.
    If still not clear, circle question, move on, come back at end of section.

4. It doesn't take long to read over all the answers. I don't necessarily think through them in depth, but at least *looking* at everything is the key to avoiding trap answers. If you get to the end and two answers seem right, you're wrong, somehow.
5. Yes, but it's only 1-3 questions per section. Diagramming is simply inapplicable most of the time.
6. Focus on the structure. Could be formal logic, or something more unique. If you're 100% clear on the structure, you can eliminate wrong answers that don't mirror it.
7. I do everything in order. There is a switching cost. But if you *know* that parallel reasoning destroys you, and you're not aiming for a super high score, then it makes sense to blindly skip some questions.
8. I just did full sections.
9. N/A. I only did full sections.

Review is essential. Try to figure out why every answer is right or wrong. Blind review helps you to do this correctly. If you check the answers first, you're likely to make up nonsense reasons. Even I do this, if I misread the answer.

If you're having trouble figuring out all the answers, even on review, you can try using LSAT explanations AFTER you've reviewed on your own. (Like Hacking the LSAT, *cough*)

theycallmefoes
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Re: Time Management on LR?

Postby theycallmefoes » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:07 pm

M.M. wrote:3. The 15 in 15 made a huge different for me. I went from ~-3.5 or so to what I'm getting now just by implementing that.

Good to know. I figured that was a reasonable goal, but having it validated by someone who does really well on LR makes me feel like I'm on the right track with my prep - so, thanks!

Sabanist and Graeme - you two are godsends. :D (Not to mention LR wizards - I mean, finishing with 5-10 minutes to spare?! :shock:)

sabanist wrote:8. I drilled the Cambridge LR Bundles. They naturally progress from easy to moderate to hard, so it was a great system for me. Drilling by type is important for picking up speed before moving on to mixed reviews (PTs).
9. I sorted my drilling by personal difficulty. Must Be True was easiest for me, so I burned through them first and quickly. I saved Parallel Reasoning/Flaw and Point at Issue for last because they needed the most work and the freshest memory come test day. I would do different question types in the same day, so don't worry too much about that.

Same here, so that's probably how I'll approach it as well. How exactly did you drill? Did you do batches of questions at a time (say, 25 or so, depending on how many there are of that question type) and time yourself? Would repeating a set of questions after not looking at them for a few days help with speed, or did you only repeat the ones that you had missed or found difficult?

graeme wrote:Here's the algorithm I use to decide when to skip

    Read stimulus.
    If don't understand, reread stimulus.
    Otherwise, read question stem.
    Reread stimulus, trying to think of answer to question.
    Read all answers fast, eliminating those that are obviously wrong. (this is so that you at least look at E before you waste 30 seconds puzzling over B. Sometimes E is obviously right)
    Go through answers in depth, looking to eliminate all but 1-2.
    If down to one, confirm it with stimulus (takes 1 second, usually), and move on.
    If down to two, take it as a clear sign that I missed something. Reread stimulus to see what I missed.
    If still not clear, circle question, move on, come back at end of section.

Solid advice. I like the idea of having a structured plan for tackling questions that are problematic. Thanks!

7. I do everything in order. There is a switching cost. But if you *know* that parallel reasoning destroys you, and you're not aiming for a super high score, then it makes sense to blindly skip some questions.

Well, it's not that it destroys me, per se. I can get the correct answer, and sometimes I get there without any problem, but I'm more likely to get bogged down by a parallel reasoning question than I am by most other question types. I was thinking that if I could power my way through the rest with time to spare, then I could go through those questions more carefully. The main problem with that is that I can't get around the time it would take recognize that it's a parallel reasoning question (i.e., the time it takes to read through the stimulus and stem), which I would then have to re-read when I came back to the question at the end. So, basically, I agree with your assessment, and I think I just need to sit down and drill parallel reasoning questions until this isn't a problem for me.

Review is essential. Try to figure out why every answer is right or wrong. Blind review helps you to do this correctly. If you check the answers first, you're likely to make up nonsense reasons.

Thanks for this. I've read a few of the 7Sage blog posts, but I somehow didn't realize that there's a youtube channel.

CU44BMD
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Re: Time Management on LR?

Postby CU44BMD » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:39 pm

unitball wrote:M.M. how did you start doing 15 problems in 15 minutes? I mean, if you weren't doing questions that quickly beforehand, what did you start doing differently so you could finish 15 in 15?



Would really like to know this as well, I mean I could do this but i feel "most comfortable" hitting Q.15 around 17 mins in:/

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CyanIdes Of March
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Re: Time Management on LR?

Postby CyanIdes Of March » Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:16 pm

theycallmefoes wrote:For LR, I always finish the sections, but I definitely feel the pressure of the time constraint at the end - I often find it coming down to the wire with just enough time to finish bubbling in my last answers but not enough to go back and check the questions I had marked for review.

So, I'm currently prepping for the December exam, and I was hoping those of you kind souls who have done very well on the LSAT in general or on LR specifically could share some of your wisdom and answer a few specific questions I have about timing.


1. Anywhere from 6 minutes to no time left, depending on how many questions road blocked me. On average, I have about 2 and a half minutes left.

2. I start at Q11, always. I think it helps me in 2 ways: I start the harder questions when my mind is as fresh as possible and I can gauge how long I need to spend on the easier questions. Starting at Q1 I'd tend to spend more time on them than they need.

3. I use to do that for practice until I got timing down. Now I am for finishing Q11 - End at around 20 minutes, but if that doesn't happen I try not to rush myself unless I'm approaching 25 minutes.

4. I don't "always" read every answer, especially when I'm running behind. I mark them to come back to later if I think I need to.

5. Sometimes, to see a logic chain.

6. These are my weakness. They will slow you down because they are just long. What helps me is reformulating the stimulus in my head in a way that makes sense and can be applied to the answer choices.

7. See #3.

8. I just did entire sections, of which I've probably done over 100. I drill by question type or consult my LRB when I feel like I could benefit from more direct practice but this rarely happens now.

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sabanist
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Re: Time Management on LR?

Postby sabanist » Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:24 pm

theycallmefoes wrote:Same here, so that's probably how I'll approach it as well. How exactly did you drill? Did you do batches of questions at a time (say, 25 or so, depending on how many there are of that question type) and time yourself? Would repeating a set of questions after not looking at them for a few days help with speed, or did you only repeat the ones that you had missed or found difficult?


I was reading Manhattan LR at the same time that my Cambridge bundles arrived, so I would do maybe 25 easy questions per question type alongside the book's chapters so I could master Manhattan's methods. Then, when I finished the book, I sorted the question types like I told you, and I would do around 100 questions a day (usually in two parts with 4 logic games in between). I'd time myself, and then divide the number of minutes by the number of questions to see how many questions per minute I was churning out. I think 80 seconds is how long you have per question on the test, so if I averaged under that, I was happy.
I didn't repeat any of them, so I can't really say. Speed just came naturally with mastering the question type. Reviewing them and figuring out where I went wrong was more beneficial. Also make note of any questions you struggle with, so even if you get them right, you can review.




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