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Improvement question

harrison.krupnickharrison.krupnick Alum Member
in June 2015 LSAT 25 karma
Since the beginning of this month I've been spending around 5 hours per day studying for the LSAT. Mainly I'm doing LR questions all day everyday. I do these untimed. I've seen a big improvement from when I first started doing them to now. I'm getting between 20 and 22 per section right consistently. However, today I took a practice test (timed and proctored) and only got 12 and 13 respectively right. I don't understand how I can be making so much improvement untimed and when I do this timed I revet back to only getting a 12 answers correct.

Do you think that allowing myself to do this completely untimed is actually hindering my improvement on a timed test? What do you think I should about this? The test is 3 weeks away and I'm consistently scouring well below what I want to be scoring. If it helps, when I take the test untimed I score between 164 and 166 every time. When I take the test timed (I've done this 3 times now) I only get a 149.

If any of you have any ideas I'd love to hear them. I devote my entire day everyday to this and I've gone through 7sage already and completed almost all of the lessons. Given that I can do reasonably well untimed, I think I have the foundation and basics of how to do the questions but for some reason I can't do any of this timed.


  • 7sagelsatstudent1807sagelsatstudent180 Alum Member
    932 karma
    I was the exact same way starting out. When I review, I try to better understand the question types and why I messed up in time constraints. I try to understand why I got it wrong, my rationale behind the logic I used, and ways to speed up my thought. It took about 7 pts before it clicked. When it clicked my scores reflected it, that is until I took the pts over 65 (the more recent tests).
  • ddakjikingddakjiking Inactive ⭐
    2116 karma
    Start drilling asap. Since you have been doing the PT untimed, your mind isn't used to solving the questions within the 35 minutes.
  • jdawg113jdawg113 Alum Inactive ⭐
    2654 karma
    It def does not hinder you, You are just used to being able to take your time and figure out what is going on, it is only natural that once you put restrictions the mental stress + lack of time available to spend on each question is going to affect your score. That is why you want to keep drilling to the point you can do untimed drilling and be at a timed pace. When you then take a PT you will be so used to LR that answering the questions are so natural that it will seem as though you aren't even timing yourself
  • brna0714brna0714 Alum Inactive ⭐
    1489 karma
    What has helped me with timing in LR is skipping questions I don't understand the first time through and returning to them at the end of the section. Once your fundamental understanding in LR is solid (and it sounds like yours pretty much is since you're able to them correct untimed) if you don't understand the question right away, then it's likely that you've misread, glossed over a key word, etc. Spinning your wheels on the same question just wastes time and causes you to rush through other questions. If you really understand the question, you should have a clear reason for selecting the correct answer and it should be relatively quick. If you're doing a lot of debating, it's likely that you've misunderstood something along the way.

    Coming back with fresh eyes is really key to catching those tricky questions and using your time efficiently. Also, next time you do a timed section consider trying to use a stopwatch with a lap function and noting your time for each question. I know this is a little cumbersome but it will let you know where you're getting hung up (particular question type, didn't move on fast enough, etc).
  • emli1000emli1000 Alum Member Inactive ⭐
    3462 karma
    It happens, it is likely that anyone could score a high score on the LSAT if it was untimed. But since we have to adapt and train our minds to perform well under a set time, it actually makes the LSAT harder. Start drilling problem sets and BR and keep track of your progress. Make sure that you are doing these problem sets under timed conditions.
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    All the advice given so far is pretty spot on, I would only add that your strategy would be okay for the moment if you were prepping for October. Since you're going for June it is well into crunch time now so everything you do should be timed except for when you BR. Even then it would probably be good to at least time yourself so you can get a feel for how long it takes you to find the right answers without time restrictions. Doing things untimed with less than a month to go will likely only serve to hurt you come test day, especially since you won't have made yourself accustomed to some level of pressure.
  • harrison.krupnickharrison.krupnick Alum Member
    25 karma
    Thank you all so much for sharing your thoughts.

    If I were to postpone and take the test in October, what do you all suggest I do as far as a studying schedule? Should I continue doing the sections untimed until I can consistently get 20-25 right per section or should be ok with only getting 18-22 right per section and begin doing every section timed and then going back for BR untimed?

    I'm treating LSAT study as my full time job so I have quite literally all day and night to study which I'm happy to do if I can get a reasonable score come October (or June of course).
  • visualcreedvisualcreed Member Inactive ⭐
    326 karma
    I'm not postponing til June, but if I would take smaller timed sections (say 10 questions) than keep raising them. After I do it timed I'd go and do a smaller scale BR, after a few times (as long as you got the basics by now) you should be getting -0, -1. Then increase the question count and work your way up to full tests. You have lots of time and you don't seem to have much else commitments so you should definitely get a high score in October.
  • eseebacheseebach Alum Member
    5 karma
    If I were in your position I would push back to september. The best advice I ever got was dont write until youre entirely ready, no harm comes by waiting a few months. One month out you should be cruising comfortably through PT's- not trying to catch up on fundamentals. The LSAT is almost impossible to crunch for. Anywho when you do the sections
    from here on out- do them all timed and fill in the bubble sheet- thats half the battle
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    Even if you wait until October you are at the point where you should be doing everything timed. Not timing yourself is just setting yourself up for failure by inducing a false sense of security. Make your practice, even drilling, as realistic and close to the real thing as possible.
  • harrison.krupnickharrison.krupnick Alum Member
    25 karma
    Just an update. I've been timing myself up (starting at 0 when beginning the section and ending either when I'm done, or when I reach 34min). I went from BRing at 18-20 questions right to only getting 12 right when timed. Since I began timing myself up and not having to worry about time like I was during my PTs, I've got anywhere from 16 to 20 correct timed! I think this a huge improvement and I'd be extremely happy if I can get 18 right consistently by June 8th.
  • xegendaryxegendary Free Trial Member
    26 karma
    How long have you been using this strategy? Sometimes I wonder how well I'd do if I just didn't check the timer at all. It's gotta be a text anxiety issue since my score drops so low when I time myself.
  • harrison.krupnickharrison.krupnick Alum Member
    25 karma
    I just started doing this on Monday!
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