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Pacing Strategy


In the last lesson, we learned how to set a reasonable score goal for your LSAT prep. Now we're going to talk about how that score goal can help you develop a customized pacing strategy for logic games. We've already figured out that you have an average of 8 minutes and 45 seconds per game in the logic game section.

However, as you might recall, some games are longer than others, and some games are significantly more difficult than others. On top of that, most test-takers don't actually need all 23 points in this section. Therefore, it doesn't make sense for most people to simply divide their time equally among all four games.

That's where having a score goal comes into play. Knowing your goal allows you to determine how many questions you need to answer correctly in the logic game section, so that you can identify how to allot your time more efficiently. At the back of each test in the actual official prep test series, there's a table that shows you how many raw points you need on that test in order to achieve a given scaled score.

If you don't have those books, you can just Google LSAT conversion table and you'll find something similar. It doesn't really matter which test you look at cuz the conversion tables are relatively consistent, and we are always sort of thinking in approximations anyways. Once you've figured out how many raw points you need to reach your scaled score goal, you should subtract that from 100 to determine how many questions you can miss on the whole test.

Next, divide that number by four to determine roughly how many points you can miss from each scored multiple choice section. Since logic games is the shortest section on the test, I typically subtract one or two form that number to get a more accurate estimate. If it's a shorter section, you're gonna be able to afford fewer misses on it than you would on a longer section.

That number that you have after doing this and rounding down, represents the number of questions you can afford to answer incorrectly in the logic games section to hit your goal. However, that number also assumes that you're equally strong across all section types. If, from your practice test results, you notice that you are particularly weak in logic games compared to, say, reading comp, you might want to go ahead and add another point or two to that number, and then subtract, of course, an equal number of points from your reading comp score to account for it.

On the other hand, if you're much stronger in logic games than in the other sections of the test, you might want to subtract a couple points from that number and add them to the other sections. Thus, you have a custom goal for the logic games section that's based both on your overall score goal and on your unique blend of strengths and weaknesses. So how does this help you with pacing in the logic game section?

We're gonna look at a couple examples. In our first example, we'll say our student here named Gary is aiming for a 160 on the exam. From the conversion tables, Gary is determined that he'll need to get about 75 raw points in order to get a 160. In other words, he can miss about 25 questions.

That's just over six questions per section, but since Logic Games is a little bit shorter, he'll say five for that section. Now, Gary really struggles with logic games, and he knows he's great at reading comprehension. So instead of aiming to miss only five in logic games, he's going to allow himself seven there and bump his reading comp allowance down by two questions to compensate.

But Gary doesn't stop there. He also knows that his main difficulty in logic games is speed, not accuracy. He simply doesn't have enough time to answer all the questions, but he usually gets all the ones he answers correct. So rather than trying to rush through all four games, Gary decides he's gonna skip one entire game and guess randomly on it.

He only needs 16 out of 23 points, so he can even afford to miss a question or two in the other three games and still hit his target. Plus, he might get lucky and guess correctly on one of the questions in the game he skips. So using his new pacing strategy, Gary now has 11 minutes and 40 seconds per game on average.

Though he should probably save one minute at the end for random guessing on the game he chooses to skip. For our second example, let's take a look at Sonja. Sonja also wants to get a 160 on the test so she, like Gary, needs 75 raw points and can miss about 25 questions. Again, that's a little over six questions, six misses per section, but she rounds that down to five in logic games since it's a shorter section.

Sonja, however, is equally strong in all sections of the test, so she's only going to allow her those five misses in the logic games section. Furthermore, Sonja knows that she works very quickly but that she tends to make errors as she goes through the section. Therefore, she's decided that she's gonna complete all four games to leave room for herself to make four or five mistakes along the way.

Therefore, Sonja's custom pace is still 8 minutes and 45 seconds per game. In our third example, we're gonna look at Maria. Maria's shooting for a 170. That means that Maria needs about 90 raw points on the exam, and she can only miss 10 questions. Ten questions on the entire exam amounts to only two and a half misses per section, and when we round that down we're getting one or two misses in logic games, that's all she's allowed.

Maria, like Sonya, is equally strong in all sections, so she's gonna allow herself those two misses in Logic Games and that's it. Maria is a very careful, very accurate test taker, but she does tend to panic toward the end of the the section when she realizes that she's running out of time. Therefore, she's decided that, rather than trying to get through every question in the section, she's gonna find 21 of the easiest questions and expect to skip 2 in advance.

Therefore, while her custom pace is still 8 minutes and 45 seconds, Maria knows that she has a little bit of leeway in there, that she doesn't have to answer quite as many questions as everyone else in the room does. So here we had three examples of how to use your score goal to develop a custom pacing strategy in the Logic Games section. To recap the process, first estimate how many raw points you need to hit your goal.

Then, determine how many misses you can make on the entire exam. Use that number to determine how many misses you can make in the logic game section. From there, consider whether logic games is your strength or your weakness and adjust that number of misses allowed to yourself in logic games accordingly. And lastly, plot your plan of attack.

Look in a little bit more detail at your real strengths and weaknesses. Do you tend to be fast but error-prone? You're probably gonna want to answer a few extra questions to allow yourself to make mistakes. On the flip side, if you're very accurate but you just move a little bit more slowly, you might wanna actually plan to skip an entire game, or at least skip a few of the toughest questions on the test so that you don't feel quite so rushed on test day.

Lastly, step back and look at how much time you're left for each of the games that you have to deal with. Remember, even those of you shooting for scores in the 160s may be able to skip an entire game in this section. Don't be tempted to answer every question. Be a smart test taker, focus on what you need to reach your goal, and don't get distracted by all the shiny objects the test makers put in front of you.

Now it's time to look at some games up close. In the next lesson, we're gonna look at a sample game to quickly familiarize yourselves with its main components.

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