A lot of folks struggle with timing on the LSAT. Clearly, if the test were un-timed, we’d all find it a lot easier. Since we have only 35 minutes per section, if you’re having trouble finishing on time, it’s important to address your pacing.
There are several reasons folks struggle with pacing:
1. Not enough full practice under time conditions. If you’re just starting out, your mind is probably not used to the pace at which it needs to work. I know that I generally equate a good read with a slow read — but that simply doesn’t work for the LSAT. You probably can speed up considerably by just telling yourself to speed up! From now on, every problem you try should be done with a stopwatch. Also make sure you’re throwing in full practice tests along the way. Don’t wait until you’re done learning all your strategies to work on your speed.
2. Ineffective strategies. Some ways of tackling problems would work just fine if the LSAT were untimed but breakdown under time pressure. For example, in logic games, writing out all the possible scenarios doesn’t work for the vast majority of games. In reading comprehension, you simply do not have enough time to do a full re-read. In logical reasoning, you can’t wait until you’ve read the question to start thinking critically about an argument you’ve already read — you need to be reading critically from the outset.
This problem turns up more frequently with folks who are not using a book to study with, though even those who are in a course can fall prey to this problem if they don’t do timed practice, which often forces them to realize that they must indeed use the strategies they’re learning about. Read more