The LSAT: why finishing each section should not be your goal

LSAT test prep time management

When I first started studying for the LSAT, I put a lot of pressure on myself to finish each section in 35 minutes. In this mad dash to finish, I was missing questions I should have been getting right. I was simply going too fast. 

By rushing through questions, I was falling prey to the LSAT’s tricks and relying more heavily on guessing. I was wasting time reading and partially working through questions that I was often going to get wrong. I started giving myself enough time to answer questions and stopped using time to get halfway through problems. 

I developed a golden rule for studying that majorly boosted my scores: If you are getting less than 80% of the questions you are answering correct, you are answering too many questions. 

After a few months with this technique, I was getting nearly every question I answered correct, and I was not wasting precious testing minutes on half-baked attempts to answer questions. 

I also developed a strategy to deal with the unanswered questions I had left at the end of each section. When the proctor announces 5 minutes remaining, I randomly fill in the remaining answers on my bubble sheet. Then, I resume working on the next question. Once I have answered another question, I erase my random bubble and fill in the correct answer. This way, I have everything bubbled in at the end without wasting time checking the clock in the last 5 minutes. 

This strategy was the biggest game changer in my studying. Slow down, answer what you can accurately, and guess the rest.

Kelly is a JD Candidate at Harvard Law School. She has served as a judicial clerk working on a criminal mediation program, as well as worked at a law firm in London handling Capital Markets transactions.

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