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# How long does it take you to answer a PMR or a PF question?

Member
77 karma

Hi Everyone,

It seems that some students, including me, spend a lot of time on PMR or PF questions. This has made me skip them in timed tests, even sections, which I just realized is not a good strategy. I tend to get them correct like 80% of the time in BR, but I am just worried that I'd end up spending 3 minutes per question, which is like 10% of the section time on one question. I am wondering how long it typically takes students scoring 165 and higher to answer these questions? Also, if you are sure that an AC is the correct one, do you still read the remaining ACs?

Thank you and I hope others taking the June exam can use this thread, we still have more than 4 weeks to go!!

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• Member
1804 karma

I am wondering how long it typically takes students scoring 165 and higher to answer these questions?

That is statistical information that no one may be able to answer with confidence ("typically?"). Different people may react differently to the same question (type), too.

If I speak for myself, I would say about... anywhere between 1 minute and 15 seconds and 3 minutes.

Also, if you are sure that an AC is the correct one, do you still read the remaining ACs?

Yes. There have been more than one instance where an attractive wrong answer preceded the correct one.

• Alum Member 🍌🍌
8700 karma

Depending on the argument form, it could be anywhere between a minute and a minute 10 seconds. The key is the initial form, meaning the logical structure of the argument. Knowing the logical structure of the argument goes a long wa in minimizing the time on these questions. Ideally: we should be able to disqualify an answer choice based on what the premise/conclusion is committed to saying if it is to match. Once we understand the form of the initial argument, ideally we should be hunting for the best answer at that point. Now just a side note, understanding the form of the argument has built into it two key elements: 1. Knowledge of valid/invalid argument forms and 2. Knowledge of “cookie-cutter” and non-cookie cutter ways that test writers introduce the concepts themselves. For instance: a “most” relationship can be introduced with the word most or a whole host of other words. Knowledge of these from practice speeds up the process.

Now, there are going to be some PF questions that are pretty unique. So our analysis has to be essentially done on the spot. Here we would deploy a different strategy from the one that relies on our familiarity with valid/invalid argument forms.

I hope this helps
David

• Member
4850 karma

I currently skip these questions during PT's and timed sections and usually have time to come back at the end and at least try them. In BR, they are usually pretty easy since you have the luxury of time, but for me, there are just soooooooo many words to read. I am focusing on these types of questions hard in drill / review right now, so hopefully I (and you) can get better / quicker with them.

• Yearly + Live Member Sage 🍌 7Sage Tutor
27868 karma

@"I wanna sleep" said:
I am wondering how long it typically takes students scoring 165 and higher to answer these questions?

I'm not sure the average would be useful here. It's probably a really wide range. A better question is how long should it take. And it really depends. What kind of 165 scorer are we talking about? Many 165 scorers are actually 170+ scorers suffering from debilitating under-confidence and paralyzing fear of missing anything. For these guys, the answer is not much longer than any other question of similar difficulty. If the 165 reflects the student's actual level of ability, I'd say a little longer would likely be just fine, somewhere in the 90 second range. If it's going to take any longer than that you should recognize pretty early that you need to skip it.

Also, if you are sure that an AC is the correct one, do you still read the remaining AC's?

I'm going to say no here. I think at a 165 level of ability, you've got to start learning to trust your understanding and roll out in this situation. That extra work is just going to take too long, and you're going to be right often enough that it's just not worth it. That time is going to yield better returns elsewhere. If you're wrong, then they got you; so be it. You thought a wrong answer was right, so you made an error and lost the point. I don't mind losing a point like that. It was my mistake on my own terms. It happens. What I can't abide is wasting a full minute eliminating answers after I've already found the right one. That's taking the test with fear, and it gives the test a lot of power over you that you really don't want it to have. If you're in the 165+ range, you've got to take that power back. So circle that answer and move on like a boss. If you miss it, it's one point. Correct it in review, identify the mistake, don't do it again, and feel good knowing you just addressed a mistake you wouldn't have even identified if you'd gotten the question right by pouring time into it. If you get it right, you'll sometimes answer the whole next question in the time it would have taken you to confirm. With that kind of extra time accumulating, you can really do some damage. That's frequently how those mid-160's scores start creeping into the 170's.

• Alum Member
503 karma

I am wondering how long it typically takes students scoring 165 and higher to answer these questions?

It really depends on the question. Some PMR and PF questions take up half a page, and these almost always take 2mins+, especially if the test writers decide to put the correct AC as D/E. Also, some of the PF/PMR questions are some of the most difficult of all LSAT questions -- Take a look at PT45 S4 Q20. A question like that requires 2-3 minutes IMO. Other questions are simple A-->B, /B therefore /A kind of questions. These you should knock out in under a minute.

Also, if you are sure that an AC is the correct one, do you still read the remaining ACs?

Usually if a PMR/PF question lends itself to lawgic, I will diagram it. If it's a pretty simple argument structure, like say A--->B--->C, we have A therefore C, then once I find the AC with that same argument structure I just move on.