Law School Discussion

Timed or untimed? lets settle this...

Timed or untimed? lets settle this...
« on: January 31, 2009, 03:49:43 PM »
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Re: Timed or untimed? lets settle this...
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2009, 07:46:05 PM »
I started taking practice tests to prepare for the June LSAT, but I find myself getting contradicting advice: Some people say take them untimed, others say timed.

In general the consensus seems to be "take the first few untimed, and the last few before the test timed" am I correct in making that observation?

I've only taken 3 so far, 2 untimed and both untimed ones I got a 179 and a 180. How should I proceed? Should I switch them up, timed one week, untimed the next week and so on?

Please I need advice on this one!

If you are scoring near perfect on untimed exams, It sounds like you have a very solid general grasp of the material. I think your best bet it to focus on timed exams at this point. When I was taking untimed exams, I was scoring near 180 as well... but when I added the element of time, my scores dropped precipitously. Take a couple of timed exams, and consider which sections give you the most difficulty under timed conditions. For me, it was LG that suffered the most when the element of time came into play. Work through these sections of older preptests, in isolation, under both timed and untimed conditions. Meticulously reviewing errors and considering where your mistakes are being made. I'm not sure what your timed scores are right now, but with work, you should be able to close the gap significantly.

Re: Timed or untimed? lets settle this...
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2009, 06:21:29 PM »
Too late now, but I think everyone should start prep with a timed diagnostic first.

Re: Timed or untimed? lets settle this...
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2009, 03:08:19 AM »
Cause people like concrete numbers to focus on, even if they're meaningless.

EarlCat

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Re: Timed or untimed? lets settle this...
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2009, 11:57:00 AM »
Most people don't do enough untimed practice, and I think that's where the most improvement happens.  OP sounds like he's got the hang of the questions, so its now just a matter of converting that to pattern-recognition, and killing the test under timed conditions.

Many tutors and classes require students to do a timed preptest (or show an actual test score) up front, so that there is a somewhat objective measure of improvement.  This has a lot to do with score guarantees, and general covering of asses.  It's also great advertising when you can say you helped someone improve 20 points.

zippyandzap

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Re: Timed or untimed? lets settle this...
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2009, 12:02:54 PM »
timed at this point

Re: Timed or untimed? lets settle this...
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2009, 12:04:02 PM »
Too late now, but I think everyone should start prep with a timed diagnostic first.

I do think it is important to take a timed diagnostic early in your prep work... though probably not first.

I think it is a good idea to work through at least a couple of untimed exams to get a general idea of the material, then take a timed preptest to get an idea of what it is like to take the exam under the strict time conditions under which it will be administered. While your score isn't likely to mean much, the experience will give you a  better idea of what the real exam will require of you.

When I first began prepping, I was doing so well on untimed exams that I thought I had a great handle on the material. It wasn't until I took my first timed PT that realized how much work had to be done. My timed score scared me into working my ass off in the coming months. I'm not sure that I would have worked as hard for as long if I hadn't taken a timed PT early on.

EarlCat

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Re: Timed or untimed? lets settle this...
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2009, 01:47:01 PM »
It wasn't until I took my first timed PT that realized how much work had to be done. My timed score scared me into working my ass off in the coming months. I'm not sure that I would have worked as hard for as long if I hadn't taken a timed PT early on.

Good point.  Some people with high SATs might need that wake-up call too.

Re: Timed or untimed? lets settle this...
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2009, 01:05:13 PM »
Most people don't do enough untimed practice, and I think that's where the most improvement happens.  OP sounds like he's got the hang of the questions, so its now just a matter of converting that to pattern-recognition, and killing the test under timed conditions.

Many tutors and classes require students to do a timed preptest (or show an actual test score) up front, so that there is a somewhat objective measure of improvement.  This has a lot to do with score guarantees, and general covering of asses.  It's also great advertising when you can say you helped someone improve 20 points.

Totally agree...my biggest improvements have come after periods of untimed tests following periods of timed tests. I wish there was another week or two (doesnt everyone) before the Feb LSAT. I feel like I'm ALMOST there - like a couple of you guys mentioned, I'm now pretty much hitting 178-180 level untimed. Even though there's a drop when I add in timing, it's not bad right now, but it totally depends on the test. If I get a hard LG section...uh oh

zippyandzap

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Re: Timed or untimed? lets settle this...
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2009, 02:42:47 PM »
Most people don't do enough untimed practice, and I think that's where the most improvement happens.  OP sounds like he's got the hang of the questions, so its now just a matter of converting that to pattern-recognition, and killing the test under timed conditions.

Many tutors and classes require students to do a timed preptest (or show an actual test score) up front, so that there is a somewhat objective measure of improvement.  This has a lot to do with score guarantees, and general covering of asses.  It's also great advertising when you can say you helped someone improve 20 points.

Totally agree...my biggest improvements have come after periods of untimed tests following periods of timed tests. I wish there was another week or two (doesnt everyone) before the Feb LSAT. I feel like I'm ALMOST there - like a couple of you guys mentioned, I'm now pretty much hitting 178-180 level untimed. Even though there's a drop when I add in timing, it's not bad right now, but it totally depends on the test. If I get a hard LG section...uh oh

If some of your practice tests are older, take solace in the fact that the games have gotten easier.