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HELP! Low Timed Score but High BR Score: How Should I Continue To Study?

d.h.isaisd.h.isais Member
edited June 2020 in General 113 karma

Hello all! I’m having trouble bringing my timed score up to my BR score. Based on my scores and studying history, how do you guys think I should continue to study in order to bring my scores up?

Studying Background:
I scored 152 on my diagnostic on May 1st. Since May, I’ve completed the LSAT Trainer and the LG Curriculum from 7Sage.

The Problem:
Today, I took my first PT since the diagnostic and only scored 157. I think the problem is that I'm too slow. In literally every section, I run out of time around question 20 and am forced to quickly guess on the last few.
For context, I was only able to complete 3 games and it takes me about 4 minutes to read a passage in RC.
The reason that I think this is a “timing” issue instead of an “understanding” issue is that I have 85% accuracy on the questions that I do answer and because my Blind Review is solid (178). I only spend about 30 minutes on the Blind Review, so it’s not as if I spend all day to bring the score up to 178.

My Questions:

Based on my studying background and the problems I seem to be having during the exam, what would you guys recommend I do to bring my score up?

Is my problem a timing issue that can simply be resolved with more PTing? Or does my low score suggest a fundamental lack of understanding? Should I be doing multiple timed PTs a week or continue to focus on fundamentals?

As you can tell, I am at a loss and would appreciate any help.

A fellow LSATer.


  • Davidb123Davidb123 Alum Member
    70 karma

    When I finished the core curriculum my main problem was timing as well. As I continued to PT and drill out timed sections my speed improved until I was finishing with 5-7 minutes left each section when I took the Flex on the 15th.

    I think speed normally comes with practice simply because the approach to each question becomes a sort of muscle memory that you apply almost without thinking the more you train and PT.

  • d.h.isaisd.h.isais Member
    113 karma

    @BeastMode_JediKnight said:
    I think speed normally comes with practice.

    Thanks for the feedback BeastMode! I'll keep what you said in mind.

  • Chris NguyenChris Nguyen Alum Member Administrator Sage 7Sage Tutor
    edited June 2020 4538 karma

    Congrats on such a high BR score!

    Absolutely agree with @BeastMode_JediKnight. After you do a few more PTs, you should get a groove going.

    Another thing to work on is your timed strategy. There are a lot of live commentary videos on PTs that JY analyzes and you can learn a lot about section strategy when you watch them.

    Some things that I do that improved my LR Score:

    1) I am always on high active reading and engagement mode. I read slow and try my best to process everything to make sure I truly understand the stimulus.

    2) I only get to read the stimulus once. If I do not understand what I read, I immediately skip the question. (It's harder than you think to actually do! Your instinct is to reread, but usually it will be a waste of time.)

    3) When attempting the answer choices, I almost never go back to read the stimulus, unless it is to clarify a detail that will only take no more than 5 seconds.

  • Tempore NovissimoTempore Novissimo Alum Member
    edited June 2020 103 karma

    Hey congratulations on the high BR score! I think the people above have some great points that you should implement! I also struggled a lot (and still do) with a gap in my BR and Timed score. To be able to do all that we are supposed to do under timed pressure is what makes the LSAT the beast that it is.

    If you're consistently BRing in the 170s, it doesn't seem like its a foundational problem but just a pressure issue. The biggest thing is to drill and see what you're not doing while under time pressure. Are you taking a long time with finding the premise and conclusion? Is it taking some time for you to prephrase? Are you flip-flopping in-between answer choices? Speed will come with consistent drilling, but make sure to be critical in your analysis. Also, not only timing issues but take a look at what you're doing with those 20 questions you do have time for. Only doing 20 questions is not a problem at all because if you're getting those 20 correct, then you're only -5/-6 for LR. So see what mistakes in the questions you're getting wrong.

    Also, spending 4 minutes to read an RC passage is not a bad thing at all. I average 4:30 on passages usually and thats because I try to understand as much as I can upfront and not try to spend too much time on the questions themselves.

    For LG, your timing could be you're either not creating your game board upfront and spending too much time doing each individual question, or you're taking too long with your inference. Know when to cut bait and drill so that making inferences and your game board becomes second nature.

    I think as you drill more and create your own process you'll be able to get more consistent and comfortable under time. I think Cant Get Right did a 7sage webinar about Post-CC and I highly recommend it! He has some great advice on there!

    Good luck!

  • rachel-1rachel-1 Free Trial Member
    7 karma

    Congrats on the BR score! I agree with others that, based on what you've shared, this is a timing/pressure problem and not a content problem. I tend to have this issue a lot for LR sections myself, so I know what you're going through. It sounds counter-intuitive, but I have actually found that slowing myself down helps improve my overall timing. When you're rushing because you're worried about overall section time, you often have to re-read things multiple times and you struggle to make connections between the stimulus and the answers. Slowing down can prevent re-reads and misunderstandings. In trying to implement this strategy (though it's really a mindset), I've gone from consistently running out of time for the final 4+ questions each LR section to having several minutes left to review a couple of questions that I flagged. Good luck!

  • FindingSageFindingSage Alum Member
    2042 karma

    You shouldn't be too concerned about the large difference in timed/ BR score at this point as your data set is so limited having only one test post CC. I had a large gap like this for a long time and ended up having a problem different than I think we could reasonably say your experincing at this point but I still wanted to put out a few things which I think might be helpful for you.

    First, I though I needed to go faster. Because I also had the high BR score I thought by issue wasn't knowedge but speed. I read an article that basically said that the difference between those scoring in the 160's to 170's ( I still think this applies to your case) is that the high scorers can recall and apply these skills faster. Where maybe it take you 2 minutes to diagram out a SA question, some of the top scorers are doing that question in 40 seconds. One of the things I did at this point was to work on really trying to memorize conditional logic forms, and also common flaw types. This helped alot because all the sudden I could see a sufficency/necessity confusion error question in 30 seconds instead of a minute and a half. This helped me shave time off of questions, particularly questions in the first ten.

    A mistake I made in trying to go faster was rushing through the stimulus as fast as I could so I could get to the answer choices. This resulted in frequently being down to 2 answer choices or needing to re read the stimulus and also never really knowing if I was right with an answer choice. It has taken a lot of time and training, but now my focus is stimulus. The answer is in the stimulus. I have prediction for every question. My prediction is not word for word ( and I don't expect it to be) most of the time, but the structure of my prediction is there the vast majority of time. So much so that if I don't see the structure of my prediction, I am going to flag and skip the question to come back to on round two because I know I have missed something in the stimulus.

    The third thing I wanted to mention is that your BR should not be taking you 30 minutes that is way too short. The biggest improvements to my score have come because of BR. I skimped on BR for a long time and I think this is part of why I had such an extreme gap for so long. Everyone's BR process is a little different but here is what here is an idea of what I am looking for for each question:

    • Translation of the stimulus
    • Prediction
      -Answer choices
    • Change from timed to BR and if so why?

    For LR this looks like somewhere between 14-20 pages per section. This may seem like overkill or I must be a crazy person but trust me I have seen a lot of the high scorers do this much or more for good reason. The BR process has really helped train my brain to want to try to translate stimulus', really think about my prediction and then much more confidently go into the answer choices under time.

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