Performance Test: How to Never Look Like You Ran Out of Time
If you find that you often run out of time at the end of the Performance Test, resulting in a weak last section (which shows the grader you ran out of time), try this strategy I developed while doing practice Performance Tests.
First, you have to get the PT (performance test) organized. So once you've read through the library and facts (however you like to approach the material), plan out the organization and get it written down using headers.
Second, write out your first section or two. This is important because you need to have a strong start to impress the graders, AND if your organization is faulty, you should become aware of that within the first section or two. If that is the case, you can get the organization corrected before too much time has passed.
Third, and this is the most important part, skip to the end! Yep, skip all the middle sections and write your last section. Now, no matter what happens, you won't have a weak finish. Graders look to see if you ran out of time, and a weak finish will affect you poorly. You are now pretty much guaranteed that you will not look like you ran out of time. If you're thinking that you can't do the last section because you haven't done the prior ones, you would be wrong in almost every situation. It is rare that the last section on the PT would be wholly dependent on the legal conclusion reached in the prior sections. Plus, the PTs are designed so that once you have the organization correct, each section is pretty much an independent analysis. [Note: if the last section is a sub-section of a greater issue, you can't just do the last sub-section. In that case, you must do the entire last section with all its sub-sections.]
Fourth, go back and finish the middle sections in their respective order. If you run out of time, it will be hidden somewhere in a middle section, and not as obvious to the graders. This will minimize the overall effect of running out of time on your score.
A final tip to help even more is to write out the rule for each section when you write down the organization/sections. Articulating the rule for each issue is, as you know, a big part of your PT (and usually where a lot of time is spent). If you do this, you will already have the I and R for the entire PT. Then you write the first 1 or 2 sections, then the last section. If you're running out of time towards the end, it is much easier to breeze through an analysis and conclusion. You don't want to be racing the clock and trying to formulate the legal rule - you are too stressed in that situation for your brain to think efficiently, and your rule statement won't be as good as it would be if you had thought it out well.