Law School Discussion

Test taking strategy that I am coming around to

superiorlobe

Test taking strategy that I am coming around to
« on: June 11, 2004, 08:02:52 AM »
So I used to read all the choices, try and eliminate, then choose the best answer.  Works well, but is time consuming.  Sometimes I would keep reading and eliminating even when I was pretty sure I had already found the correct answer.  Just wanted to be extra sure, you know.

Now I read the choices and as soon as I see an answer I just circle it and move on.  Sometimes this happens with the first choice, so I don't even read four of the answer choices.  On games of course, this is the way you should proceed.  But I am starting to do it even on arguments and reading.  So far it seems to work pretty well.  I have only made one incorrect selection in this manner.  Of course, there are a couple dozen questions sprinkled throughout the test for which I can't tell immediately what the right answer is.  In these cases I have to spend a lot of time figuring it out.  But, if I save 10 seconds per easy question using the method descibed above, then I can spend 30 seconds longer on each of the hard questions.

nathanielmark

Re: Test taking strategy that I am coming around to
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2004, 08:06:55 AM »
you have to balance it out.  this is the best approach for games (and possibly some RCs), but i have found for LRs you really need to check each answer stem. (except perhaps for some obvious assumption questions). 

lots of times an answer looks right for LRs, but another will look right also further down the line. when you try to figure out which is correct, only then will discover a word or phrase that make your first answer incorrect.  i would advise against this for LRs.

superiorlobe

Re: Test taking strategy that I am coming around to
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2004, 08:29:32 AM »
The trick is knowing yourself well enough and knowing the test well enough.  I think I can tell the difference between when an answer sounds right at first glance and when an answer must be right at first glance. Still, I need to practice this technique.

I began using this technique when I didn't manage time well and ended up having only 5 minutes to do an entire reading comp passage along with all its questions.  I just zoomed through the passage and then didn't waste time on the questions when I knew I had spotted the answer.  I found I did just as well on these passages as on others that I spent a lot more time on.

Basically there are some very easy questions on the LSAT and the less time you spend on them the better.  When you know you have an easy question, just slam down the answer and move on.

Sen

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Re: Test taking strategy that I am coming around to
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2004, 09:04:33 AM »
i've been thinking about this a great deal as well. I keep wanting to just stray along and go through everything else just to make sure. I find though, that if you don't get stuck, you should have enough time to go check every answer choice. I paced myself and did a whole section with JUST enough time- checking all the answers.

I hate to hijack the thread, but do you guys skip the parrallel reasoning question and come back to it? I'm not too bad at it per say but that badboy eats up alot of my time. I've never ever skipped a question and came back to it- i just see it as leaving yourself open to the idea that you *might* not finish on time. But I'm thinking now that its pretty important to leave the time consuming q's last since that way you won't be troubled by the fact that you're spending so much time on one question in the middle of the test.

-Sen

superiorlobe

Re: Test taking strategy that I am coming around to
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2004, 09:17:28 AM »
On logical reasoning I time myself as I go along, and use number of questions complete versus number of minutes passed as a barometer of whether I should skip the parallel the reasoning questions.  If I am doing well on time (say 16 minutes have passed and I am on question 14) then I just get it over with.  If I am not doing well on time, say 30 minutes have passed and I am on question 20, then I skip it.

By the way, there is nothing worse about not finishing by one question and guessing it compared to finishing on time and getting one question wrong.  Swallow your pride and do the smart thing for your score.

superiorlobe

Re: Test taking strategy that I am coming around to
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2004, 09:29:46 AM »
i've been thinking about this a great deal as well. I keep wanting to just stray along and go through everything else just to make sure. I find though, that if you don't get stuck, you should have enough time to go check every answer choice.

But you always get stuck.  You might not get stuck on that question, but you will get stuck on another question.  The strategy is to know that you have an easy question and then just move on as quickly as possible so that you have more time for the questions you are going to get stuck on.

I also have that great temptation to keep stringing along and double checking the rest of the answer choices, but those are precious seconds that could be better used on a 170-level question later in the section.