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The "5 Minutes Remaining" Strategy

Alum Member
edited January 2019 1694 karma

This has been something that works for me. In the past, I have found that when the timer calls out 5 minutes left, even if I only barely started on the last passage, I can usually finish the passage and questions before the time is up, and not notice a significant score decrease in those last passages. Taking this knowledge with me, I approached a whole section with this mentality, and was able to consistently finish before the 5 minutes warning, and having the time to go back to hard questions with a fresh eye helps tremendously, allowing me to digest all the information I previously read. This is similar to what I did when I conducted confidence drills, but this gives me a more tangible sense of urgency.
The hard part was not losing the sense of urgency. Usually, by the third passage, I start slowing down, and need to remind myself that I'm running out of time.
I would also say that this is not a technique that works for everyone, and is probably fairly advanced. You may have to first master the memory method or other fundamental techniques first before this can consistently be applied.
Hope this helps. Cheers~

PS: Just did the test, and can confirm, at least for myself, the "5 minutes remaining" strategy did wonders. It keeps the adrenaline pumping non-stop. I can't confirm that I did well, but I did finish every section before the 5 minutes call, and probably both logic game sections and an LR section with about 10 minutes left.

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Comments

• Alum Member
249 karma

I never thought of that but I will definitely try out this method! Thank you for sharing.

• Alum Member
470 karma

Wait so do you mean every reading passage with 30 minutes and not 35? I'm confused

• Alum Member
1694 karma

@keepcalmandneuron said:
Wait so do you mean every reading passage with 30 minutes and not 35? I'm confused

Not exactly. What I mean, is to have the feeling of that 30minutes call going into every passage. Imagine that 5minutes left warning as you begin reading every passage.

• Alum Member
855 karma

Recently I've been playing with reading speed and have started spending more time up front on the passage and going through the questions faster, but sometimes I do feel what you're saying -- I start becoming too lax with my time and thus start to slow down. Will definitely try your approach! One similar thing I've started trying to do is to set markers for myself for the entire passage rather than just reading the passage (before I felt like spending more than four minutes was unacceptable) so I can be a bit more flexible with gauging whether I think it's better to spend time up front and then run through the questions, or read quickly and go back. I try to move on at the 8, 16, 24, minute marks, and that's helped keep my strategy a little more flexible. At the same time, I need to start pushing those back to 7, 14, 21 (hopefully).

Would love to hear other timing strategies! RC is a beast

• Alum Member
1694 karma

@BlindReviewer said:
Recently I've been playing with reading speed and have started spending more time up front on the passage and going through the questions faster, but sometimes I do feel what you're saying -- I start becoming too lax with my time and thus start to slow down. Will definitely try your approach! One similar thing I've started trying to do is to set markers for myself for the entire passage rather than just reading the passage (before I felt like spending more than four minutes was unacceptable) so I can be a bit more flexible with gauging whether I think it's better to spend time up front and then run through the questions, or read quickly and go back. I try to move on at the 8, 16, 24, minute marks, and that's helped keep my strategy a little more flexible. At the same time, I need to start pushing those back to 7, 14, 21 (hopefully).

What do you mean by markers? In the real test, you won't have markers available to you, so it might not be the best idea to rely on these markers. Another reason is that some passages naturally demand more time from you than other passages. Like logic games, some passages are 5 minute passages, and others are 13 minute chonkers.

• Alum Member
855 karma

@Bamboosprout You can bring an analog watch, so I just pace myself based on that. And yeah, it varies depending on the passage but in general if I'm going way over time then I'll know I need to really hurry up if I'm going to get to the last passage.

• Alum Member
1694 karma

@BlindReviewer said:
@Bamboosprout You can bring an analog watch, so I just pace myself based on that. And yeah, it varies depending on the passage but in general if I'm going way over time then I'll know I need to really hurry up if I'm going to get to the last passage.

Just did the test, and can confirm, at least for myself, the "5 minutes remaining" strategy did wonders. It keeps the adrenaline pumping non-stop. I can't confirm that I did well, but I did finish every section before the 5 minutes call, and probably both logic game sections and an LR section with about 10 minutes left.
I tried your strategy too, but the effort and time I spent trying to keep a record of the timing with an analogue watch was too much for me. I felt like the simple math took me out of the flow of the LSAT, but if it works for you, then definitely keep at it.

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