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Author Topic: from untimed to timed?  (Read 2257 times)

hydeyu

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from untimed to timed?
« on: July 31, 2011, 10:08:58 AM »
Hi everyone, I'm new here, in fact I only came across this forum when searching for "hardest LR", but already I've found it vaulable :)

The thing is, I've been studying for the October LSAT for two month now, studied both Bibles and have done 4 UNtimed (but almost as quick as my brain allowed me to) tests, Preptest A, B and C in Superprep and #7. I got a 169 for PT A, which I did before reading either Bible, and 173, 172 and 170 respectively for the other three, after studying both books.

While doing PT #7 I tried to time myself, but only found myself NOT finishing either LR section in less than 40-45min, plus I didn't use the answer sheet, so add a couple minutes for filling in the ovals. And I'm starting to worry, despite my correct rate which I think is not bad for now.

I guess I'll probably be fine with RC and LG, except for the really hard ones, though.

My question is, should I start timing myself immediately, like, stop st 35min and see how many points I get (of course I'll finish the sections afterwards), or, do I continue to do tests untimed, until I feel completely comforted with all the techniques and have accummulated quite a lot experience? What do you guys think?

BTW I'm fancying ED at Columbia Law. If I end up with something like 172, with my 3.68 GPA from Hong Kong U (but first honour in my faculty being 3.2, I'm reading English and Linguistics double major), would I stand any chance?

Thanks for your advice!

Yiqi

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morris

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Re: from untimed to timed?
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2011, 12:12:42 PM »
After two months, you really need to time yourself on all the practice tests. You need to recognize the questions that you need to skip as taking too much or your time. You can mark them and come back. You need to start forcing yourself to only allot so much time to each question. Try  Underlining and boxing. Put BOXES around all terms which have definitions and all names. That way, when a term or a certian person's view/background comes up in a question you do not have to hunt the paragraph for the definition. Your eye goes to the boxes. UNDERLINE all phrases that you think might be relevant later on. This includes paragraph and passage thesis statements as well as the author's viewpoint, among others. What you underline is based on your experience taking practice tests and figuring out what you will most likely be asked later.

One danger with both of the above is doing too much marking. If you do too much, the markings become worthless, so you will need to practice balancing having the right amount of reference notes/marks.

legalrabbit

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Re: from untimed to timed?
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2011, 08:33:42 PM »
For the next 2-3 weeks, I would focus on drilling question types that are giving you the most trouble. Keep track of your time, but don't stress out about taking too long. After that, I would proceed to taking tests under strictly timed conditions (don't forget to include an experimental section!). The fact that you got 170+ untimed means that you have what it takes. Good luck!!

scenariosolver

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Re: from untimed to timed?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2011, 01:59:22 PM »
From my experience timing should become a major issue four weeks prior to the test.  I took a timed test everyday for about 25 days straight.  For some that might be a bit too much as I was becoming mentally exhausted at that rate.  The key is to spend half the day taking the test and the other half making sure that you know exactly what you did wrong on the questions that you missed.  No matter what take a break two days before the exam to regain your faculties.
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EarlCat

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Re: from untimed to timed?
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2011, 10:42:35 AM »
Timed practice is largely overrated. Take a timed test once a week just to see what neighborhood your score is in and to get a feel for your pacing. It's counter intuitive, but your speed is going to come from slow, deliberate practice, not racing the clock.

Also, I suspect your score is going to be high enough that you can't justify skipping the "hard" questions.

jcb4455

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Re: from untimed to timed?
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2011, 11:06:33 AM »
If you get 170+ you will definitely get into Columbia.  Good luck!

Ogden Law

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Re: from untimed to timed?
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2011, 11:43:21 PM »
If you are getting 170+, its time to time yourself.  I was getting 179, 180 on the practice tests, but I'm a slow reader.  On the real test, I ran out of time on the last reading comp section, guessed "c" for the last 7 questions and got them all wrong.  Time yourself.

FearAndLoathing

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Re: from untimed to timed?
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2011, 03:02:08 PM »
Timed practice is largely overrated. Take a timed test once a week just to see what neighborhood your score is in and to get a feel for your pacing. It's counter intuitive, but your speed is going to come from slow, deliberate practice, not racing the clock.

Also, I suspect your score is going to be high enough that you can't justify skipping the "hard" questions.

The one thing I would add to this is that even with untimed practice you want to be developing the habits that you will actually use on the test. Sounds obvious, but I found that I had certain habits in untimed practice that I completely disregarded when I was up against the clock. Develop the habits in untimed practice that can still be useful taking the test.

Jeffort

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Re: from untimed to timed?
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2011, 09:44:48 PM »
Timed practice is largely overrated. Take a timed test once a week just to see what neighborhood your score is in and to get a feel for your pacing. It's counter intuitive, but your speed is going to come from slow, deliberate practice, not racing the clock.

Also, I suspect your score is going to be high enough that you can't justify skipping the "hard" questions.

The one thing I would add to this is that even with untimed practice you want to be developing the habits that you will actually use on the test. Sounds obvious, but I found that I had certain habits in untimed practice that I completely disregarded when I was up against the clock. Develop the habits in untimed practice that can still be useful taking the test.




This is a really important and frequently overlooked aspect of how to effectively prepare for the LSAT in order to perform well when it counts. 

While under the security rules/procedures, stress, and time pressure of test day, it's just you with a #2 wood pencil in hand, a flimsy test booklet, a bubble answer sheet, your brain and how it is trained/programmed to react split second. 

Online/computer/multi-media devices content/videos/etc. can be very helpful for instruction about the content and concepts of the test to educate and help guide you about how to do the homework effectively. 

However, when you do the homework by working LSAT questions to apply what you have learned (whether doing questions timed or untimed and/or within whichever organization you go with), it's important to do them on paper with a pencil.  Doing the homework that way helps train/ingrain habits through repetition that are important on test day so they are automatic and you don't mess-up or have to waste time thinking about anything except the materials in front of you and selecting the credited answer choices when every point matters.