Bridging the gap between timed and untimed practice

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Stanley Otto Swift
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Bridging the gap between timed and untimed practice

Postby Stanley Otto Swift » Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:02 pm

I've been using a new practice method recently that has yielded good results.

Complete an entire test (or section) strictly timed. DO NOT CHECK THE ANSWERS. Then go back through the test slowly, carefully, and untimed. Don't just think "oh yeah, I remember I nailed this one, so I don't need to check it." Check everything. Work the problems you didn't have time for. Find ALL your mistakes and correct them. Your goal is to end up with 100% perfection, spend as long as you need until you think you scored a 180. Then check your answers. See how well you did both timed and untimed. If there are still wrong answers, figure out exactly why you missed them (twice) and what you need to change to avoid missing those kinds of things again.

I've found this method gives you a lot of practice for one test, certainly more than you would get by just taking it and then turning immediately to the answer key. This is especially important early on when you don't want to burn through a bunch of tests before you get completely familiar with the material. I keep track of my scores, both timed and untimed, as well as the kind of questions I consistently miss.
Last edited by Stanley Otto Swift on Sun Jul 06, 2008 12:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

pasha3535
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Re: Bridging the gap between timed and untimed practice

Postby pasha3535 » Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:18 pm

A very interesting approach, Stanley. I'll have to try out to see if it helps me!

Do you mind sharing what your experience has been in score difference between timed and untimed? How many answers did you switch? Thanks.

riccardo426
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Re: Bridging the gap between timed and untimed practice

Postby riccardo426 » Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:31 pm

Did you do it all in the same day?

How long would a typical untimed last for you?

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Stanley Otto Swift
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Re: Bridging the gap between timed and untimed practice

Postby Stanley Otto Swift » Sat Jul 05, 2008 9:09 pm

pasha3535 wrote:A very interesting approach, Stanley. I'll have to try out to see if it helps me!

Do you mind sharing what your experience has been in score difference between timed and untimed? How many answers did you switch? Thanks.


I've done this with three tests. My first (ice-cold) diagnostic, I scored 154 timed, 163 untimed. Second was 158 timed, 168 untimed. Third was 163 timed, 174 untimed (including two ridiculous mistakes, should have been 176). I read somewhere on LSD (a post by Bernie IIRC) that you can expect to miss approximately twice as many questions timed versus untimed. Obviously this is just an approximation, but it seems to hold true for the most part. I take the untimed score to be a pretty good gauge of one's absolute ability to answer LSAT questions and understand the internal logic of the test. Timed scores gauge one's total set of LSAT skills, including speed, diagramming, set-ups, etc. which are not necessarily tested in untimed practice. For example, my weakness is LG. When I do a section timed, I miss anywhere from 6 to 10 questions. Horrible, I know. Untimed, I seldom miss more than 2. From this, I can deduce that it is my speed and diagramming that needs work. I understand the problems well enough, but need to be more efficient in answering the questions. I'm not worried because I know exactly what I need to work on.
Last edited by Stanley Otto Swift on Sun Aug 10, 2008 2:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Stanley Otto Swift
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Re: Bridging the gap between timed and untimed practice

Postby Stanley Otto Swift » Sat Jul 05, 2008 9:09 pm

riccardo426 wrote:Did you do it all in the same day?

How long would a typical untimed last for you?


I do it all in the same day. Four timed sections take about 2 1/2 hours to complete. I usually get some lunch, take an hour break, or otherwise rest my brain afterward. Untimed-review takes me around 4 hours or so, and that is seriously going back through EVERY question in detail and taking no correct answers for granted. I would advise that you take as much time as you need to realistically expect to get every question correct. That's the whole point of going back through the test and I wouldn't advise skimping at all on the review.

I don't see why you couldn't complete the timed and untimed sections over two days.

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dvw2587
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Re: Bridging the gap between timed and untimed practice

Postby dvw2587 » Sat Jul 05, 2008 10:41 pm

.....
Last edited by dvw2587 on Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Stanley Otto Swift
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Re: Bridging the gap between timed and untimed practice

Postby Stanley Otto Swift » Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:05 pm

dvw2587 wrote:Thanks, Stanley.

This sounds like a great way to study. Do you think it would be as effective if I took the test one day and then used your method for one of the sections each day? I don't really have enough time to dedicate that much time to studying in one day.


I think it would be equally effective. I like to take it the same day (1) because I have the time to do so (and I recognize that some others do not), and (2) because the thought processes I had while solving the questions under time constraints will be fresh in my mind. Therefore, I'll be better able to analyze how and why I missed a question. On the other hand, if you wait a few days, you can approach the test with renewed focus and enthusiasm. In the end, it probably doesn't make much difference. I think the key is to really focus on your mistakes. Isolate them and eradicate them.

kissthegerman
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Re: Bridging the gap between timed and untimed practice

Postby kissthegerman » Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:12 pm

hmm...this is interesting. I'll have to try this. Good idea. :mrgreen:

Clever username
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Re: Bridging the gap between timed and untimed practice

Postby Clever username » Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:13 pm

Are you doing any other kind of studying along with this? Or are your scores simply going up because you're gaining a greater understanding of the test by taking this approach?

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Stanley Otto Swift
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Re: Bridging the gap between timed and untimed practice

Postby Stanley Otto Swift » Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:43 pm

Clever username wrote:Are you doing any other kind of studying along with this? Or are your scores simply going up because you're gaining a greater understanding of the test by taking this approach?


I've done some other stuff, I've gone through Superprep, and some of Testmasters' books, I just began LGB to rectify my abysmal performance on LG. To be honest, besides gaining a basic familiarity with the test and its content, nothing has helped me as much as intense, untimed review. Someone told me on another site "you have to get good before you get fast or you'll never reach your full potential." I can tell you that this is true, and I've only just begun my prep.

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Willy Beachum
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Re: Bridging the gap between timed and untimed practice

Postby Willy Beachum » Sun Jul 06, 2008 1:36 am

Doing untimed tests definitely helps, especially when you first start off. This is especially true of the LG games section-- your speed will naturally develop as you begin to understand the content at a deeper level.

Although sometimes it can be overkill. For example, you might actually damage your RC skills if you do too much untimed practice.

But the OP has a good idea-- I've actually done this before, although I would go back and look at the ones I "circled" or the ones in which I broke answer choices down to 2 answers.

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Stanley Otto Swift
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Re: Bridging the gap between timed and untimed practice

Postby Stanley Otto Swift » Sun Aug 10, 2008 2:22 pm

Bump for anyone who may not have seen this.

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Lyov Myshkin
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Re: Bridging the gap between timed and untimed practice

Postby Lyov Myshkin » Sun Aug 10, 2008 3:28 pm

this is ridiculously smart. i wish i invented this. kudos.

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Lyov Myshkin
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Re: Bridging the gap between timed and untimed practice

Postby Lyov Myshkin » Sun Aug 10, 2008 3:29 pm

by the way, how has your method been progressing? and by that i mean how are your results lately?

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Stanley Otto Swift
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Re: Bridging the gap between timed and untimed practice

Postby Stanley Otto Swift » Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:24 pm

hkfortytwo wrote:by the way, how has your method been progressing? and by that i mean how are your results lately?


Thanks for the compliment.

As for results, untimed, I rarely score below a 179 unless I make a couple stupid blunders or run into a few devilish LR questions. Timed, I've slowly but surely crept up the mountain. 154, 158, 163, 162, 165, 163, 173 (WTF!), 166, 168, 167, 171, 172, 170, 172, 177, 173, 175, 166 (WTF!), 171, 175, 177, 177, 176, 177, 171, 176.

I'm hoping for a 180, but who isn't? :mrgreen:

gates52
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Re: Bridging the gap between timed and untimed practice

Postby gates52 » Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:28 pm

Stanley Otto Swift wrote:
hkfortytwo wrote:by the way, how has your method been progressing? and by that i mean how are your results lately?


Thanks for the compliment.

As for results, untimed, I rarely score below a 179 unless I make a couple stupid blunders or run into a few devilish LR questions. Timed, I've slowly but surely crept up the mountain. 154, 158, 163, 162, 165, 163, 173 (WTF!), 166, 168, 167, 171, 172, 170, 172, 177, 173, 175, 166 (WTF!), 171, 175, 177, 177, 176, 177, 171, 176.

I'm hoping for a 180, but who isn't? :mrgreen:


When taking so many practice tests do you start with the oldest ones first and keep moving up to more recent tests as the test day approaches? Or do you just randomly pick practice tests to complete?

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blhblahblah
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Re: Bridging the gap between timed and untimed practice

Postby blhblahblah » Sun Aug 10, 2008 7:54 pm

i'd copyright that method before BP steals it...lol

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Lyov Myshkin
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Re: Bridging the gap between timed and untimed practice

Postby Lyov Myshkin » Sun Aug 10, 2008 7:59 pm

blhblahblah wrote:i'd copyright that method before BP steals it...lol


seriously.

mentat
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Re: Bridging the gap between timed and untimed practice

Postby mentat » Thu Aug 14, 2008 4:34 am

.
Last edited by mentat on Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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rfm05
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Re: Bridging the gap between timed and untimed practice

Postby rfm05 » Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:13 pm

bump for a great idea (I will try it this weekend).

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Philipsssssss
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Re: Bridging the gap between timed and untimed practice

Postby Philipsssssss » Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:49 pm

This is a truly generous method. I was doing something similar but you really nailed it!

I over-burned myself and lost focus on studying, now after i read it i have new passion for starting with this refreshing idea.

Thanks!!!

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blhblahblah
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Re: Bridging the gap between timed and untimed practice

Postby blhblahblah » Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:57 pm

One suggestion, though: if anyone is to employ this method, your respose markings should seperate from the test paper since bias is likely to occur if you go over the same questions and have circles glaring at you. Sure, bias will always be there, but at least this way it is reduced.

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Lyov Myshkin
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Re: Bridging the gap between timed and untimed practice

Postby Lyov Myshkin » Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:01 am

blhblahblah wrote:One suggestion, though: if anyone is to employ this method, your respose markings should seperate from the test paper since bias is likely to occur if you go over the same questions and have circles glaring at you. Sure, bias will always be there, but at least this way it is reduced.


or having two copies of each test helps.

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blhblahblah
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Re: Bridging the gap between timed and untimed practice

Postby blhblahblah » Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:03 am

some of us are conservationalists, tyvm :)

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Lyov Myshkin
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Re: Bridging the gap between timed and untimed practice

Postby Lyov Myshkin » Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:10 am

could always print out the second copy on recycled paper i suppose. :roll:




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