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How not to Panic During Timed PT/Keeping a Good Pace While Still Being Able to Focus?

Chelzie_BChelzie_B Alum Member
in General 13 karma
Doing some BR at the moment, and I am noticing that with adequate time, I am able to answer questions correctly during BR than under time constraints. Any advice?


  • Accounts PlayableAccounts Playable Alum Sage
    3107 karma
    Practice, practice, practice. I'm the same way. I'll look at a game during the PT and freak out. I'll BR it with 100% accuracy in like 5 minutes. My advice is to keep practicing under timed conditions and then BR. Over time, the more you do this, the more you will be able to internally keep time during the timed PTs.
  • DumbHollywoodActorDumbHollywoodActor Alum Inactive ⭐
    7468 karma
    Do about 40 preptests (not even kidding), maybe more. I have the same problem, and this is exactly what I'm going through.
  • Matt1234567Matt1234567 Inactive ⭐
    1294 karma
    It comes with time and practice. As you do more tests and BR them really carefully, you'll solidify your understanding and be more confident when facing a tough game, passage, or LR question under timed conditions.

    The biggest thing for me was understanding to move on after 20/30 seconds of reading a question and not understanding it. Before, I would sink 2-3 minutes in a question, and then panic when I still had so many questions left and not enough time (which also added to me rushing through questions and getting even more wrong).
  • lpadr009lpadr009 Free Trial Member
    379 karma
    This is more about practice. The more u do the more likely you are to answer faster the right answer. Never doesn't help you at all :) lol
  • harrismeganharrismegan Member
    2074 karma
    I'm the exact same way. One day I even had a panic attack during a PT.
    My advice (in addition to all the above comments about doing many PTs) is to learn to reduce stress/anxiety. Deep abdomen breathing is supposed to help with this. Take some time and practice this everyday for 5 minutes. Even if it's just before bed :). Deep breathing everyday is supposed to reduce general anxiety and keep you more calm/stress free as a person.
  • GordonBombayGordonBombay Alum Member
    456 karma
    As most others have already said deep breathing before PT's (and sometimes even during) really helps me calm down when I start to feel myself getting flustered. I also like to do 5-10 min of stretching before PT's (and during the fifteen minute break) to help ease any mental tension I'm having. Deep breathing + stretching at the same time = Major decrease in stress/anxiety for me.
  • lsatblitzlsatblitz Alum Member
    521 karma
    I've learned that I'm most focused when I've had sufficient sleep, combined with a morning workout before studying/PTing.

    Also, make sure you warm up a few different type of questions before starting. I didn't think it was necessary until I tried it for myself.
  • sarkisp23sarkisp23 Alum Member
    374 karma
    It's funny I'm actually the other way around. Having that time constraint gets me into focus. I assume most aren't that way. But perhaps it's the way you see it? I consider the time constraint as a "okay now it's for real lets go." So easily distracted without timing.

    When you focus on the time too much, you devote mental energy to it and not doing the actual questions. So a remedy that works for me is to check the time less. Care less about it. How ironic right? Doing that allows you to really get into and absorb the wording of each question, provided you've had enough practice where you have already developed a rhythm and internal clock. I don't recommend this advice to someone just starting out. So what I do now is check it at specific intervals and at no other time. So for LR let's say, at question 10 and 20 and that's it.
  • ChrissyChrissy Free Trial Member
    47 karma
    I have this same issue. But practicing has helped me a lot. I use an LSAT proctor app for every time test so I can simulate the test day. When I find my mind wonder I take one deep breath and tell myself to "focus." Also for the LG if I read the stimulus and don't get it after the second time reading it I just guess and move on because it will be better later to answer more questions. For the RC after I read the passage I find it helpful to not jump to the questions right away. Thinking about what you have read and understanding the flow and the viewpoints first will make answering the questions a lot easier and faster.
  • nicole.hopkinsnicole.hopkins Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    7965 karma
    You are asking for big picture help so I will give you big picture tips. I think your question boils down to "how do I turn my knowledge into performance that reflects the actual state of my understanding." Here is how I think you get there from where you are.

    1) Chill out
    2) Practice
    3) Be honest about your shortcomings and what you need to improve
    4) Celebrate your victories. Aggressively affirm the legitimacy of your success; for instance, if you get a question right "just because you guessed" —stop talking that way. Don't diminish your success with that kind of crap language. You got that question right because you went with your gut and it's a damn good thing you didn't burn extra time/lifeforce on it, because your gut was right. Etc.
    5) Building healthy confidence is a process and a combination of 3 and 4. Confidence is what gets you into the 99th percentile (and impeccable skills, fine-tuned habits, etc. Duh.)
    6) You are not entitled to success because you have worked hard. Working hard is the necessary condition for success. It is in no way sufficient. Cultivate humility.
    7) Drink water. Eat a balanced diet. Take B vitamins. Occasionally go outside. Exercise. Do lots of things that aren't LSAT related.

    When you do 1-7, you must follow up with #8:

    8) image

    That is my recipe for LSAT success when you've put in the hard work of learning the stuff and are struggling to bring your timed score in line with BR score. There is no magic. Just self-care and good habits of mind and body.
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