In the final month of your LSAT preparation, you should take full, timed, practice exams.
Some of you have difficulty transitioning from untimed sections to timed ones. With the added pressure of timed 35-minute sections, sometimes you lose track of the fundamentals. This post will help you stick to them.
Once you already have a strong foundation in the various sections of the LSAT, most of your mistakes will be careless.
This means you missed the key words in the stimulus or answer choices.
That one word you skip or neglect can totally change the meaning.
Of course, it all comes down to being careful, but sometimes that isn’t enough.
Taking PrepTest sections untimed is kind of like riding a bike with training wheels. It may look similar to riding a two-wheeler bike, but it’s a very different experience from the real thing.
Finding your center of gravity was a gradual process with a patient parent or older sibling slowly letting go.
Leading us to…
2 tips for students scoring below 165
1. Adjust to the 35-minute limit
Adjusting to timed sections may be difficult, so gradually cut down the time you allow yourself per section.
If you’ve only been doing untimed sections, consider giving yourself 40 minutes/section in your next practice exam, then decrease 1 minute/section on each of your next exams: 39, 38, 37, etc…down to 34 or 33. You want to have a small cushion to review anything of which you were unsure. Don’t forget to leave time to bubble your answers!
2. Consider not answering every question
If you’re struggling to make it into the 150s, it may not be realistic for you to answer every question.
If this describes you, and if you’re okay with admitting that you may not get in the 160s or 170s on Test Day, consider the following tips:
On Logical Reasoning, consider taking more time for the easier questions (the earlier ones in each Logical Reasoning section).
On Logic Games, consider skipping the hardest Logic Game. (It could be any of the games, but generally not the 1st. It also varies from person to person and from exam to exam).
On Reading Comprehension, consider skipping the passage’s topic you dislike the most. Topics typically include: Humanities, Law, Natural Science, and Social Science. (Although, as I’ve always said, the topic shouldn’t matter!) Alternatively, you might consider skipping the Comparative Reading passage.
A tip for students scoring around or above 165
Even if you’re not expecting to get 165+, this tip may help you, but use it at your own risk.
–Answer the first 10 Logical Reasoning questions in 10 minutes.
Another trick many students use is to complete the first 10 Logical Reasoning questions in 10 minutes.
The benefit: the first 10 LR questions tend to be the easiest in the section. Getting through them quickly gives you more time for the more difficult questions towards the end.
Along those lines…
Remember that the average time per game or passage is not your actual limit.
Remember 8 mins and 45 secs (35 mins divided by 4 games or passages) is just the average amount of time you have for each Logic Game and Reading Comprehension passage. You’ll find some LG and RC easier than others. Believe it or not, some games and passages are solvable in less than 6 minutes. For this reason, don’t force yourself to complete each in the average allotted time. You can use the time you save on the easier ones for the harder ones.
Reviewing the fundamentals
However, you might still find timed sections unbearably frustrating even after you’ve already eased yourself into doing them. If this describes you, it may simply be that you lack a strong foundation in certain question types. Take a few days to slowly analyze your approach to the question types that give you difficulty. Don’t be afraid to spend even 5-10 minutes looking at a question that you answered incorrectly or were unsure about.
As you begin to acquire the LSAT mindset, you’ll adjust to the timing aspect of the exam.
If I haven’t yet answered your pressing question, leave a comment!