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Bonus! LSAT Pacing Tips for Test Day


Hello, future lawyers. One of the things I'm asked about the most is how to handle the really fast pace of the test or the stress that a lot of people experience, the anxiety when the clock is ticking? So, let's just run down four of the really big important points for conquering this. The first is gonna be that you are applying consistent methodology.

The most important part of getting the score you want is sticking to a schedule, but only slightly behind that in second place is the consistency of your methodology. Let's remember, it's a standardized test, you need to be standardized too. The test doesn't change much, you shouldn't change, right? So, we're never just gonna see how it goes and hope that we stay on schedule.

We are gonna practice the same sequence of steps on every question for reading comp, for logical reasoning, and for logic games. Develop a really strong spidey sense of what doing it in just 90 seconds or 2 minutes feels like. So, that you know when it's getting away from you, and you always know what step of the process you're on.

So for instance, logical reasoning. Step one, I'm gonna read the question first. Step two, I'm gonna read the argument or the stimulus and I'm gonna find the conclusion. Step three, I'm gonna see how the conclusion is different in its terms or context from the premises of the argument.

And step four, I'm gonna eliminate anything that doesn't fix that difference, doesn't address the gap. I always know step one, two, three, four. If it starts to get away from me, that's okay. The strategic thing to do is take a deep breath, eliminate what seems unreasonable guess, and move on.

You've gotta experiment and lock in a timing strategy before you know what's gonna work best for you on test day. So, part of this is gonna be to try different approaches and see what works best. For some people, they'll work straight through the section in order, for other people they'll skip around.

Neither of those shows consistently best results, it's gonna be based on your feeling and personal preference. But for a lot of students, shortening the section down to just 3 logic games or 3 reading comp passages, or about 18 logical reasoning questions that I'm gonna do at roughly my own pace. And just leave like 30 seconds, 60 seconds left over to quickly guess on what's left, is going to produce a higher score than assuming that I'm gonna try to give an even effort and pick the best answer on every single one.

Especially if your goal is lower than 170 or lower than 165, you should really be experimenting and thinking that this is gonna be your plan on test day. If you're looking at elite scores, then planning to register a thoughtful answer on every single question on at least two out of the three sections is probably a better idea. But don't knock it till you try it, you've gotta experiment.

And then in the last few weeks before test day, is when you'll lock in what you're really gonna do on the real thing. You've been practicing logical reasoning reading comp logic games, but are you practicing focus and confidence? Those are the things that carry you through when you're under the gun. So hopefully you're considering regular like on a weekly or daily basis that you're getting into some breathwork, maybe some meditation, or creating some positive imagery or doing some positive self talk.

But if nothing else, I really recommend a two step exercise before you start your time to practice. First have some mental bookmarking, mostly meaning you're just letting go of whatever else is in your mind. So, your grocery list, and your work project, and your friend who's in the hospital.

These are all really important things to be thinking about. But you need to put a bookmark in that, slide it up onto the shelf that's in your mind. Only the else app takes up brain power when the clock is ticking, okay? You might also consider using some positive imagery, meaning create that picture in your head of what getting 170 looks like and feels like, and keep that squarely in your mind's eye as you're working through the section or just a little bit of self talk.

Tell yourself the story of how well you're gonna do, how awesome this is about to go. Remind yourself that you belong, that you're talented, your skill, you deserve the points, okay? If you start feeling the heat when the clock is ticking, you're just gonna push your chair back, take a long, slow, deep breath. It's a totally useful investment of 10 or 15 seconds.

And remember your goal. Remember why you're here. Don't get too caught up in the moment, okay? And of course, you need lots of realistic time to practice. This has a long track record of showing the very best results for a reason. It's cuz this isn't really school, this is sports or performing arts.

You're getting ready to give a performance. You're gonna rely on experience and muscle memory on test day, and repetitively going through the motions just the same way you will when it's the real deal, is what's gonna make you feel super confident about moving through the section when you're on time, you're not gonna panic doing something that you've done 1000 times before, okay?

So, apply that consistent methodology. Again, that's the most important thing here. Feel free to experiment. You've got to try some stuff and don't think every single section is gonna be your best one along the way. Practice the focus and confidence, lots of realistic timed practice.

And remember, the plan will work if you do, happy studying.

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