on the LSAT.

March 28, 2011

so, I’m getting ready to do the LSAT…again. in the interest of providing some pro bono advice on doing well on the LSAT, here are some non-official but pretty solid tips that I’ve discovered on my own journey.

1. take a mock LSAT cold (without studying beforehand). even though you will most likely feel like somebody has peed all over your brain afterwards, this is a great indicator of where you need to focus your attention on while studying. also, if you weren’t born a genius, the score you’ll receive is a great motivator as well.

2. decide whether you will take a class or not. taking a class is recommended if you aren’t very good at time management, or you do better if someone is explaining the concepts to you. also consider taking a class if you score under 150-155 on your mock LSAT. If you have a busy schedule because of work or school, or you are somebody who learns better by being hands-on, or if you (like me) develop your own way of thinking through things, don’t take a class. especially if that last point is true for you. it will screw your head up if you learn one way and someone else teaches you another.

3. use the powerscore bibles. holy crap are they so much better than kaplan, princeton, whatever else is on the market these days.  trust me.

4. use real preptest exams. try to avoid prep books that have “example questions” or exams that haven’t ever actually been featured in the LSAT because, well, why have margarine when you could have butter? you can find everything on amazon, or if you’re a less scrupulous individual, on certain sites online for free. however, be warned that the latter is illegal and, after all, you ARE studying to get into law school, aren’t you?

5. make a schedule from day 1 (whenever you start studying) to test day. make sure to devote more time to logic games and logical reasoning (the former because it is considered the hardest section, and the latter because there are 2 of these sections on the LSAT). however, if you find yourself failing hard on a particular type of section, focus your attention there. do not allot less than an absolute minimum of 3 months to study from start to finish unless you have done the LSAT before, or are otherwise seeking complete and utter annihilation on test day.

6. stick to your gorram schedule. do not fall behind, because you will have to work double as hard to catch up. you may eat, sleep, and breathe the LSAT for 3-6 months, but remember that you are doing this because you want to eat, sleep, and breathe LAW for, hopefully, a good deal of your future career. if you can’t handle the heat…think things over.

here’s a highly recommended list of schedules. pick whichever one fits whatever time you have left the best.

7. if you find yourself repeating the same kind of mistake, write it down on a piece of paper and remind yourself of it every time you do a game or a section. you will kick yourself hard if, for example, you know how to do the questions, but constantly don’t read the question carefully and therefore do the work all wrong.

8. heed my advice. trust me, you’ll thank me for not having to learn it the hard way!

good luck to everybody!

[edit] – I posted a much more detailed, much less snarky edition on my new blog, Law or Bust. if you’re actually really quite interested in doing well on the LSAT it wouldn’t hurt to look at that version as well.

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