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Time Management Strategies

civnetncivnetn Free Trial Member
edited July 2016 in Logical Reasoning 148 karma
I recently took a 2 day break from LR.

I did 2 LR sections today and had much better results. 23/25 and 22/26. I think maybe I needed to just let information and some of the studying I've been doing, sink in. I definitely feel like some of the answers are just "coming" to me now, rather than having to think hard on them. Especially for the first 10 questions.

It's interesting. The questions I circle for blind review are rarely incorrect and sometimes during review I'll second guess myself and actually put the wrong answer down.

Regardless, I'm still finding time to be an issue. The first section I took was 5 minutes over. The second section was 10.

5 I can deal with...10...not so much.

And I know exactly where I'm slowing down as well. It's the harder questions, anywhere from 15 onward. That's also the area I get most of my wrong answers. The first 10 questions I usually complete in 10ish minutes.

I'm wondering if there are any suggestions or time management strategies, specifically for LR, that any of you would recommend?


  • TheMikeyTheMikey Alum Member
    4196 karma
    If you complete the first 10 in 10 mins, that's really good. The harder questions are definitely designed to not only be hard (shocker lol) but also to suck up a lot of your time. All I can really recommend is to look for patterns in what kinds of harder question types you're missing, if there is a pattern at all.

    Also, I spoke with someone and they recommended taking the harder LR questions ONLY from a few sections, so around question 15ish until the end (or use 7sage's question bank tool to sort it out), and make an entire LR section of just hard questions. His reasoning was that the harder questions require you to think more in an abstract way and be more alert for very small changes in the argument, as well as very small words you can easily glance at and overlook. These hard LR only sections train you to think a certain way throughout the entire section, therefore allowing you to get into the mindset of attacking each question like a hard question. It should not only improve your accuracy on harder questions, but hopefully your timing as well. This will make the easier questions even more easier he said too, which I believe because he actually happens to be an LSAT tutor.
  • alexroark5alexroark5 Alum Member Inactive ⭐
    edited July 2016 812 karma
    5 min and 10 minutes could not be a big difference. It could just be one question that really stumped you and you just decided not to move on (possibly because right now you are not timing yourself, which is completely ok if you are in the fundamentals stage) It will be rare for you to become one of the very few that don't have to skip questions throughout sections. Even the brightest have to skip. The high scorers get familiar enough with the test and with what their abilities are, to make that decision quicker than those who score lower (generally speaking). Get solid on the fundamentals, and then shorten the decision point at which you decide to skip
  • stepharizonastepharizona Alum Member
    3197 karma
    A good thing for timing is to work on a skip strategy. Know which questions are simply "not for you" there are some curve breakers that are there to separate the 178 student form a 179 student.

    I found watching the Sage taking PT 37 very liberating. On the first pass, I believe she skips 8 questions, so finishes the section in under 20 min (I believe) She then makes a second pass, and then even a 3rd pass, finally answering all of the questions and finishing in time.

    She is able to "bank" those 15 minutes, because she wastes mere seconds on tough questions and skips them.
  • AddistotleAddistotle Member
    328 karma
    I second the comments about becoming familiar with questions, and skipping!

    When I sat the test in June, there were a couple harder questions where I'd seen the blueprint so much before that it was a gimme.

    Skipping and the reasons for it, cannot be stressed enough. JY's coconut analogy is on point, if you're trying to collect as many coconuts off a tree, why waste time and energy going for the hard to reach, difficult ones, when you haven't picked all of lower, easier ones off the ground? Skipping hard questions allows you to save mental energy by answering easier ones first and leaving yourself primed for tougher ones!
  • civnetncivnetn Free Trial Member
    148 karma
    Wow. This is actually really helpful guys. I am timing myself, but not strictly, meaning that if I start going over, I don't stop, I just make sure to note the time.

    I think I am wasting my time on only 1 or 2 questions, so the skip strategy makes sense. Didn't think of that before.
  • dennisgerrarddennisgerrard Alum Member
    1644 karma
    Any advice on LR? did you watch the LR lesson before do it?
  • civnetncivnetn Free Trial Member
    148 karma
    I'm not a paid user. I don't have access to the LR lesson. I have however read virtually ever test prep companies guide to LR along with several other books. I was more looking for anecdotal advice.
  • blah170blahblah170blah Alum Inactive ⭐
    3545 karma
    It sounds like your LR accuracy is where it needs to be. Here are some tips:

    1) Creating a skip strategy that works for you.

    2) Acclimating yourself to harder questions by taking the harder LR questions ONLY from a few sections, so around question 15-25/26 until the end and make an entire LR section of just hard questions. I started doing this and it's been helpful but also demoralizing LOL.

    3) I went through every PT since 39 and "graded" them so I could use 7sage's tool to determine which LR sections are the hardest. My plan is to drill all of those first for accuracy and then timing.

    4) Drilling questions that you are spending a little too much time on (like 1.5 minutes instead of a 1 minute or 2 minutes instead of 1.5 minutes) so you fly by those. That way, on the real test, you have more leeway in working on questions that are hard for you.

  • civnetncivnetn Free Trial Member
    edited July 2016 148 karma
    Ok, so in the 3 days since I posted this I've been having MUCH more success. Here's what I've done.

    1st and I think most importantly, I've revamped my blind review system. I downloaded a better PDF tool than Adobe and after each LR section I go through a fresh copy of the test and put detailed notations for each answer choice on a fresh copy of the test; why I think each answer was wrong and why I think the correct answer is correct. I've also been putting notations about my thought process as best I can recall at the time I took the question and comparing with what the correct thought process should be.

    I wasn't doing this before. Sure, I was "blind reviewing," but not off a fresh copy of the test. I revamped my blind review after listening to Nicole Hopkins YouTube presentation about it. I also wasn't including detailed explanations for each answer choice. I'm finding that actually writing these explanations out is helping me avoid the tendency to scratch out an answer choice just because it "feels wrong," and forcing me to present logic for each of my decisions. I didn't realize how often I was just picking something because it felt right. If you had asked me, I would have said absolutely not, I never do that. Apparently I did. A lot! As a result, this is making me better at thinking through the problems logically and reducing the number of question I actually have to skip.

    2nd, I've been skipping questions I find too difficult. This is currently not a lot! Previously, because I HATE not being able to do something, and have a somewhat stubborn personality, I'd been spending 2-3 minutes possibly, on a couple of the more difficult problems. Of course this isn't acceptable, but my thought process at the time was that I'd eventually get better at them and wouldn't have to take so long ----- but I wasn't doing blind review as efficiently, so I wasn't getting better and just spun my wheels.

    I just took a LR section today and finished in 37 minutes and only got 1 wrong. So, I'm definitely improving.

    I honestly don't think there's a relationship between the question types I get wrong (although I do absolutely HATE NA Questions), so I'm not going to drill, but I do like the suggestion of taking the harder questions and drilling them, so I'll probably do that!

  • MrSamIamMrSamIam Inactive ⭐
    2086 karma
    Have a system for skipping questions. In other words, know which questions you're going to skip before you even get to them. That said, I am not promoting that you skip all of a specific question type(s). For instance, don't just skip all of the SA questions because you're uncomfortable with them. Come up with a solid system. Here is my checklist for skipping, ticking one is sufficient for skipping the question:
    1) The stimulus just didn't make sense
    2) I genuinely have no idea what the answer is, and do not anticipate the ACs helping me much
    3) I just don't feel comfortable with that question type and this particular stimulus is confusing

    Get to all of the low hanging fruit first (easy questions), then revisit the ones you skipped, with the knowledge that you shouldn't stress out over that particular question because you got to all of the easy ones.
  • StopLawyingStopLawying Alum Member
    edited July 2016 821 karma
    @MrSamIam gr8 advice! I've just started implementing the skipping strategy and it has helped immensely with both timing and accuracy.
  • MrSamIamMrSamIam Inactive ⭐
    2086 karma
    @StopLawying It usually does :). I find that when a stimulus looks wonky, often, all it takes to make sense of it is a fresh set of eyes. Or, in many cases, skipping and returning to it when timed pressure has been reduced.
  • civnetncivnetn Free Trial Member
    edited July 2016 148 karma
    Interesting @MrSamIam I'm finding that virtually all of the Q's I skip, I do so because the stimulus has just confused me. Once I return to the question I usually get it right in under a minute.

    I'm wondering what your thoughts are on my BR process. I'm finding that I'm circling a large number of questions but only changing a few in blind review. For example, I just took a LR section and circled 12 questions. I only changed 3. That number is usually smaller. Sometimes I just change 1.

    I'm kind of hoping this number goes down. It's worrying me, because I want to get to the point where I'm circling only 1 or 2 questions per section. Not 12. That's kind of ridiculous. Like, that's half a bloody section. Maybe I just need to have more confidence that I'm picking the right answer? I dunno...
  • blah170blahblah170blah Alum Inactive ⭐
    3545 karma
    I was in a similar position where I initially circled 12 questions and rarely changing my answers. If I had been more diligent, I would have realized is that these are the 12 questions/arguments that I'm likely to get stumped on in the LSAT which can manifest as questions where I'm more likely to apply bad habits or get my confidence shaken -- both of which are bad for test day. To me, it indicated areas where either my logical reasoning wasn't crystal clear or where it was still error-prone. I am now at a point where I circle about 3-4 per section.
  • civnetncivnetn Free Trial Member
    edited July 2016 148 karma
    Hmm @blah170blah I'll have to go through my past couple tests and see if I can spot any patterns in the questions I circle. What I have noticed is that when I DO get a question wrong, it's because I either A) Failed to fully understand the argument structure (usually due to tricky wording/arrangement of sentences) B) Failed to read a crucial word in the correct/incorrect answer choice.

    I have never got an answer wrong in BR.
  • MrSamIamMrSamIam Inactive ⭐
    2086 karma
    @civnetn That is absolutely fine. I myself end up circling anywhere from 10-15 problems. For about 3/4 of them, I am 95% sure that I got the answer right. However, I find that I will circle them simply because I couldn't eliminate one or two of the incorrect ACs with absolute certainty.
    I wouldn't worry too much if you're circling a ton of questions, so long as you are doing so simply because you're only around 80%+ sure that you got the question right, rather than 95%+ sure that you know why the 4 incorrect ACs are incorrect, and why the one correct AC is correct.
    Eventually you'll want that number to dwindle down, so that you can focus more of your time on questions that you truly need to devote additional time to.
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