Test-Day Timers

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How do you time yourself during the actual exam?

I don't use a timer for the LSAT
Any analog watch is fine for me
I use an analog with a fancy outside-dial
I bought a horrendously expensive LSAT-specific watch
You can bring a watch to the LSAT?!
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Total votes: 28


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Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:20 pm

Test-Day Timers

Post by inlovewithpiper » Tue Dec 31, 2013 4:11 pm

Hi guys,

While I was PTing, I would time myself with an analog watch during each section. I finally got into a rhythm wherein I could "mentally" time myself and, more often than not, I was right on track. After about 5 LR questions in the later-stages of my PTing, for example, I'd look down at my timer and it would invariably be ~5 mins. into the section (about 1 min per question). I had similar mental timing routines with LG and RC.

With this in mind, when I was taking PTs, I would still compulsively check the timer, even going so far as to stop reading mid-question on LR and RC to figure out exactly how much time I had left. This would result in me having to return to the question and re-read it from the beginning because the brief interruption caused a lapse in concentration. I had a friend (a very helpful one) watch me do a full, timed PT with the goal of counting how often I checked the clock and (as best as she could) keep track of the total amount of time I lost during the test by checking the timer. The result was a whopping 34 times glancing at the watch and roughly 3 mins. of total time lost.

On the June 2013 exam, I would imagine the same figures held true. For December, then, I made a spur of the moment (morning of) decision to not bring a watch into the exam and to rely only on my mental rhythm. I ended up leaving the exam with completely finished sections and some time to re-check answers, save for the last 2 questions of the final logic game, on which I guessed. This was surprising to me since I normally ended up with half of the last logic game unfinished along with half of the final RC passage questions as guesses.

My question to the TLS community is, then, what are your timing habits like for the day of the test? Do you feel like a timer is a distraction for you? I set up a poll so I can see if/how most people time themselves. Forgive me if a similar thread already exists, but via the Search Tool I couldn't find one. Thanks! :wink:


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Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:04 pm

Re: Test-Day Timers

Post by Yanky91 » Tue Dec 31, 2013 4:23 pm

I actually bought one of those stupid, overpriced, LSAT watches and it broke. I ended up using just a cheap analog watch. The timer is definitely a distraction, especially for the RC section. The timer also made me really nervous, because i kept glancing at it.

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d cooper

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Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:21 pm

Re: Test-Day Timers

Post by d cooper » Tue Dec 31, 2013 4:42 pm

With a knife, I scored an $8 Casio every 8:45 beginning at 00:25, with 00:00 being the end of the section. The same watch lasted for all three takes. Looks like this. (I can't post the image directly because of my post count.)

I tried to make it a habit not to check the watch during LR until after I finish #15. Then maybe again at #20. Any more than that and you're probably just being obsessive and wasting time.

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Re: Test-Day Timers

Post by IgosduIkana » Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:03 pm

I used an Emporio Armani watch that I bought with my first paycheck at the McDonald's I was working at in high school :D

Nice tight dial thing on the side that didn't jiggle the minute hand every time you pushed it in.


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Re: Test-Day Timers

Post by blackbirdfly » Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:53 pm

I use one of those fancy watches with the dials. I honestly never practiced with a watch, thought I've brought one to each test. I forgot to use it in October, though I used it in December. It was a time-waster for me, but it does help with timing anxiety.

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