What is the best LSAT timer to use during LSAT prep and during the actual exam?
You will need both of these LSAT timers during your prep, but you will only be allowed to bring your analog watch to the actual LSAT exam on test day.
Standard Analog Wristwatch LSAT Timer
The most common strategy is to take a simple analog watch and reset the hands to 12:00 as you start each section. Then, you can keep an eye on it as your watch is counting up to 12:35 when the section will be over.
While I don’t have any huge objections to this method, I do think that it is easy to make a mistake by setting it improperly (even 1 min off could throw your timing off for the whole section. I also have heard stories of students who reset their watch, then forgot to push the button back in when time started, so their watch wasn’t running.
BEST analog wristwatch LSAT timer
Because of these risks, I found that the best lsat analog watch is one with a rotating bezel, like this inexpensive casio watch with rotating bezel.
This way, you never have to mess with changing the time after each section. In fact, your watch will read the accurate time throughout the exam (which I also found to be a minor comfort, especially since I didn’t have a clock that was easily visible from my desk on exam day).
To use the analog watch with a rotating bezel as an lsat timer, you simply rotate the bezel so that the “60” or “0” mark on the bezel lines up with the minute hand as you start your exam. As the minutes count down, the minute hand will approach the 35 mark on the bezel, at which point time is up.
One thing that I liked about the casio watch with the rotating bezel was the fact that pencil marks show up pretty nicely on the black bezel, without ruining the watch. I made pencil marks at 8:30, 17:00 and 25:30 to divide the time into 4 equal sections (which was particularly helpful for LG and RC, but I also ended up getting used to learning where I needed to be at those marks during LR sections as well.
You need to use your analog LSAT watch on exam day. *LSAC prohibits the use of digital timers when you take the actual exam. However, you should be using your wristwatch on every preptest that you take so that you become very familiar with it.
Digital LSAT timer for LSAT prep
In addition to the analog wristwatch, you will also need a simple digital kitchen timer. While you CANNOT use this digital timer on exam day, it will be one of the most helpful tools that you use during your at-home prep.
Simply set the digital timer to signal an alarm at 35:00, hit start, then turn the timer around so you cannot see it! ONLY look at your analog wristwatch when you are taking preptests. The only purpose of the digital timer is to sound an alarm indicating that your time is up. When the alarm goes off at 35:00, drop your pencil, don’t cheat by filling in any bubbles, and then grade your results.
The kitchen timer is also great for drilling Logic Games and Reading Comprehension as well. Set the timer at 8:30, hit start, turn the timer around, then work on a single game.
By practicing consistently like this, using a digital timer that you do not look at, but which acts as “proctor” calling time at the end of the section, along with an analog watch that you use to keep pace, you will become increasingly comfortable with the stressful timing factor of the LSAT.