Manage Time on Analytical Reasoning Questions

What is so difficult in Analytical Reasoning Section? Well, we will eventually get tired. When we're tired the questions will be a lot more difficult. Also, even if we don't get tired, we may not have enough time to solve all the questions.

Save Your Mental Energy

We don't want to use any more mental energy on a question that we have to. One way to avoid using too much energy is to write everything down. We also need an approach to the test that is simple and doesn't require too much thought. That way, when we get tired (and we will), we can still stick to our system and do well. A simple, memorizable system is one that can be applied even when you are tired and not thinking as clearly as you normally do. It is also crucial to have techniques to help you maintain focus and regain it when it has been lost. The best technique for this is taking breaks during the test. We'll talk more about that later.

Shortage of Time

Because we may not have time to do all the questions on Analytical Reasoning section, we need to have a system that maximizes the number of questions we do solve. In part we do this by speeding up on each question – having a simple and efficient approach. But we also need to do the questions in the right order. We want to do the easiest and fastest questions first, because we can do more of these in less time.

Maintain Your Pace

Given the time limits of the test, it is crucial that you maintain the proper pace and don't waste any time. On the Analytical Reasoning section you have only one minutes to do one question. You are capable of doing every question within these limits. You may not answer every single question on every set, but we are going to get pretty close. However, you don't have a lot of extra time – if you spend time doing stuff that doesn't help you solve questions, that is going to cost you points.

Manage Your Time

It is amazing how much time students waste on the test. Yet students generally don't think they are wasting time – they think that the steps they spend the most time on during the test are helping them, when an objective observer would realize that these steps don't get them points in proportion to the time they take. For example, students often want to figure out as much as possible about a set of rule on Analytical Reasoning section before they look at the questions. This can be helpful; it can save you a little bit of time on the questions. But I often see students spending several minutes doing this. There is no way that this is worth so much time. You only have about 8 minutes per set. You probably spend at least a minute, and more like two, understanding the structure of the situation in the set and the rules that are given to you. Spending an additional 3 minutes figuring out how the rules can be combined, and what may or may not happen in the set, gives you only 3 or 4 minutes to solve the questions. That's not enough.

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