Timing Issues: Timed PT + Blind Review or Untimed/Modified PT + Blind Review?

_let1295__let1295_ Monthly Member
in General 60 karma

Planning to take in January, currently PTing in the mid 150s. I usually end up with LG -7ish/LR -9ish/RC -13ish. Blind reviews usually end up in the high 160s/low 170s. Scouring discussion boards/forums tells me that means I have a grasp of the fundamentals and for the most part know how to get to the right answer, it's just a matter of getting to the answer quicker. What are some ways that helped speed up your question answering process? I've seen people say that untimed or modified timed (say 40-45min per section) allows you to focus more on process/accuracy, and though it may seem counterintuitive, being able to lock in your process will speed things up. On the other hand there's the fact the LSAT is a timed test so the best way to practice for it is by timing yourself, plus the blind review is an untimed take anyway. Thanks for any feedback!

Comments

  • SinghE660SinghE660 Monthly Member
    34 karma

    following

  • julianaporoye27julianaporoye27 Alum Member
    196 karma

    I'm literally in the same boat :(

  • canihazJDcanihazJD Alum Member Sage
    7925 karma

    Timed PT + Blind Review + in depth review of anything that gave you issues. That final step is where all your missing points and extra time comes from. I wouldn't even call BR a review... it's just an extra shot at the test without the constraint of time to provide some additional performance data. Going through my own prep and tutoring others, I've noticed that neglecting to do a as-deep-as-possible review afterward is the one most common thing about people who are having issues progressing. You need to make yourself articulate how you understood the test under time, how you understand it now, and what you will do to close the gap between the two. Speed is a product of mastery. You cannot force it.

  • learn2skipQslearn2skipQs Alum Member
    730 karma

    great post ^^

  • _let1295__let1295_ Monthly Member
    60 karma

    @canihazJD thanks for the response! So make sure I conduct a thorough review after a timed PT and BR. I couldn’t help but notice there wasn’t that much of an explanation for timed vs untimed. Would you say it’s because there’s still more benefits to timed compared to untimed?

  • canihazJDcanihazJD Alum Member Sage
    edited December 2020 7925 karma

    IMO a timed run, BR, and review gives you the benefits of just doing an untimed section, plus more. If you just do an untimed run, you miss the experience of exposure to new material under realistic conditions, and you miss the ability to differentiate between types of deficiencies with BR.

    Not to say don't ever do it. Untimed work can be very beneficial. I use to change things up... like when the draw of a relaxed section imparts some kind of overall benefit - a break in routine, I wouldn't otherwise be studying but ok fine I'll just do this off the clock, I'll just do this RC passage in bed before I go to sleep, I'm fried from LR so let me just run this games section slowly to change it up, etc. But still even in those capacities, be sure to go back later and take an honest introspective reflection on your performance, or you're wasting the majority of that material's value.

  • daliaglomelidaliaglomeli Monthly Member
    117 karma

    @let1295 Hey there, I'm literally on the same boat as you with matching numbers and goals. I noticed what helped me even get into the mid 150's was breaking sections down and asking myself, where can I speed up? This usually led me to identifying repeating patterns that I could easily ID later, allowing me to choose an answer more quickly.

    If you're interested, we could create a study group. I strongly believe that talking through the problems would help correct errors in reasoning that we may gloss over. Let me know if you're interested.

  • _let1295__let1295_ Monthly Member
    60 karma

    @daliaglomeli Just PM'ed you!

  • swanganieswanganie Yearly Member
    294 karma

    @let1295 I'm glad you posted, it helps to hear others are experiencing the same thing. I'm in the same boat as you and with the similar scoring patterns and am really re-evaluating the way I study.

    @canihazJD thanks for the responses. Do you have any advice on time spent on PT Blind Review vs in-depth review with correct answers?

    I ask because I notice I take an additional 8-12 hours just on BR, writing out my thought process and hangups for all the questions that gave me issues (which are a lot, I star questions very conservatively haha so basically everything I don't have 100% confidence). It's helpful that I can often lead myself to the right answers in BR but there's always a good handful of LR/RC questions where I spend time waffling back and forth on and ultimately still leave feeling unsure after BR. So I wonder if I'm really gaining much out of spending so much time on BR. There's a concern that maybe BR thought process is just a slowed down version of poor process under timed condition. Not sure if anyone else is questioning their time on BR like I am...

  • akhan2536akhan2536 Member
    17 karma

    This is literally me right now.

  • canihazJDcanihazJD Alum Member Sage
    7925 karma

    @swanganie said:
    @canihazJD thanks for the responses. Do you have any advice on time spent on PT Blind Review vs in-depth review with correct answers?

    I ask because I notice I take an additional 8-12 hours just on BR, writing out my thought process and hangups for all the questions that gave me issues (which are a lot, I star questions very conservatively haha so basically everything I don't have 100% confidence).

    The short answer is that it takes as long as you need it to take. If you're doing strict BR, you're not done until you are sure and articulated a reason selecting or tossing every answer choice for flagged questions. I dunno about 12 hours... but if that's what it takes then sure. It's important to BR only the questions you flag though, not every single question. You want to be able to differentiate between ones you felt confident about under time and ones you didn't, or you lose the ability to identify overconfidence errors. At the same time, let's be honest... especially early on, we're not really leaving every BR question with 100% confidence, and that's fine.

    It's helpful that I can often lead myself to the right answers in BR but there's always a good handful of LR/RC questions where I spend time waffling back and forth on and ultimately still leave feeling unsure after BR. So I wonder if I'm really gaining much out of spending so much time on BR. There's a concern that maybe BR thought process is just a slowed down version of poor process under timed condition. Not sure if anyone else is questioning their time on BR like I am...

    That's fine. You should see BR as just your bonus round at the hard questions on the test without time constraints. In other words, what you could potentially score, at your given state, if time were not an issue. So if you in fact do have a flawed approach to a given question, and are just beating it up in BR, that will show when you check your score as a timed wrong/BR wrong or timed right/BR wrong. Just like a timed run, it can help to move off a question then come back to it later. Hopefully you can figure it out, but if we really are fixed in some incorrect approach to a question we want to have given ourselves a chance to work it out on our own. The alternative to that is what? Just saying this one's too hard, I don't get it, show me the answer... which will happen, but there's value lost in that. Hammering out those last hard ones helps even if the process you ultimately follow is flawed and you get it wrong, because you don't know the answer when you're doing it. When we review after BR, you want to be able to be very introspective about it and say "this is how I understood this under time/in BR, and this is how I understand it now... this is why there was a difference, and this is what I will do to fix it." If you weren't sure under time, and don't "commit" on BR, it's harder to identify those separate conceptualizations, and being able to articulate as much as possible to yourself in review is where your points come from.

  • emmorensemmorens Monthly Member
    1470 karma

    Following!

  • swanganieswanganie Yearly Member
    294 karma

    Appreciate for the thoughtful response @canihazJD. The 8-12hours feels pretty excessive to me too (and yes it's only on starred questions, oh man). It's probably a results of how many questions I star in my timed PT frenzy and lack of commitment during BR as you mentioned on those last 10-15 questions. I really do star every question where I can't say to myself that I hate 4 of the ACs or that I love one AC, might be excessive?

    Hammering out those last hard ones helps even if the process you ultimately follow is flawed and you get it wrong, because you don't know the answer when you're doing it. When we review after BR, you want to be able to be very introspective about it and say "this is how I understood this under time/in BR, and this is how I understand it now... this is why there was a difference, and this is what I will do to fix it." If you weren't sure under time, and don't "commit" on BR, it's harder to identify those separate conceptualizations, and being able to articulate as much as possible to yourself in review is where your points come from.

    Great points! This makes a lot of sense to me. Will definitely double down on in-depth reviews going forward.

  • swanganieswanganie Yearly Member
    edited December 2020 294 karma

    Also @let1295, for your question on modified timed section. Personally, I choose to do PTs unmodified and really remind myself to keep good form. My choice is purely to have consistency in timed score tracking and be able to look back on trends. If that means I take the L and can't finish all the LRs or RCs on time - that's fine, I'd rather do a retrospective on where I could've been more efficient than not have an exam condition score to look back on.

    But I do agree that there's value in doing modified timed sections to gradually build good habits, especially if the timed conditions really gets to someone's psyche and thought process during PTs. Reminds me of learning to play piano, starting slowly on the metronome. It can work. Maybe think about if you want the unmodified score tracking.

  • kilgoretroutkilgoretrout Alum Member
    795 karma

    confidence/ 10 in 10 drills really helped me with LR. it helps for setting the pace and getting your internal clock going. as for BR, i spent a day or two BRing every single question because i always make dumb mistakes on some really simple questions. for BR, its important to go through every answer choice and try to see what the test makers are trying to do for them. are they trying to trap you? why is the answer choice you picked the right one? why are the wrong ones wrong? that really helped me see a pattern in the test.

    it's also useful to look at how much time you spent on each question. if you spent, say, 2 minutes on an easier question that you already had the right answer for, that should give you an idea of how accurate your gut instincts are. i often fall prey to over thinking. when doing the test timed, you should be aiming for accuracy and speed, so if an answer choice starts off completely wrong, dont even give it the time of day by continuing to read it through and thinking about it. obviously that applies to the more apparently wrong answer choices, but you get what i mean.

    another note: during the timed test, if you're reading a question and something just isnt clicking, star it and move on. i starred the first 4 LR questions of my last prep test because for some reason i just couldnt focus on what they were saying, lol. after getting into a rhythm i circled back and looked at them with fresh eyes and answered them easily. for LR and RC, i have a rule where i re-read it once, and if it still doesnt make sense, i star it and move on then come back later. hope this helps!

  • canihazJDcanihazJD Alum Member Sage
    7925 karma

    @swanganie said:
    I really do star every question where I can't say to myself that I hate 4 of the ACs or that I love one AC, might be excessive?

    I'd just add that I think a comprehensive read and elimination of 4 ACs isn't necessarily required to leave a question unflagged. I think it's more dependant on your confidence in the answer choice. If I feel I have good clarity on the stimulus and task, prephrase an answer, then find exactly what I'm looking for, I probably won't even look at the remaining answers. If its in the back half of the section, maybe I'll flag, then come back to eliminate the remaining answers before unflagging. The absolute requirement for 4 hard nos comes in BR.

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