5 Keys to LSAT Studying (That Have Nothing to do With Practice Problems)
Any test prep service, pre-law advisor, or professional psychic will tell you that your LSAT score comes down to how many practice problems you do. While they are not wrong (seriously, DO MANY PRACTICE PROBLEMS), the fact remains that the human mind isn’t built to drill through infinite practice problems. Recognizing this makes the difference between those who take the LSAT and those who crush the LSAT. Those of us who score in the 99.5+ percentiles don’t just do more problems, we also take to heart the following five keys of LSAT studying to prevent practice problem burnout:
- Make time for relaxing, but physical, activity
You are carefully carving out time in your busy schedule to solve logic games about which nights of the week Becky can eat toast, but are you forgetting to make time to get outside and get moving. I’m not saying you have to run a marathon, just take a walk through the park, challenge a friend in disc golf, or whatever works for you. Happy body; happy brain.
- Break down arguments in op-eds or the like
If you can’t read another passage about Roman dietary habits, consider finding a newspaper opinion piece (or other persuasive writing) about a topic that isn’t boring. Then, break down the arguments the way you would LSAT prompts. Not only will an opinion piece you choose be more enjoyable to read but it will also present more of a challenge. Then, when you turn back to LSAT arguments it will seem like dissecting the arguments of fish in a barrel.
- Read for reading’s sake
The only way to get better at reading is by reading. This is easy to say, but in practice it is a real challenge, especially when you are asked to read a standardized exam writer’s thoughts on the Petrarchan sonnet poetic form. The solution is to turn to reading something you actually like whenever you find yourself overwhelmed by the reading comprehension section. Quiz yourself as you go and you should be able to see that you gradually get better at retaining what you read.
- Do Sudoku
If logic games are wearing you down, you need some way to keep that part of your brain active without diagramming M/T/W/Th/F for the umpteenth time. If only there were some fun, casual activity in which you sequence things based on logical rules and a process of elimination…
- Find a learning coach
Doing 1,000 practice problems is great and your book may even provide basic answer explanations, but what if an explanation makes no sense? Also, how do you figure out what flaw in your thinking led you to an incorrect answer? This is where taking yourself from good to great requires outside help. A great learning coach, like the ones at Novastar, can show you exactly where your reasoning is going wrong on difficult questions and will work with you to develop the tools to reason properly and efficiently every time.
Written by: Christian M – Novastar Prep Learning Coach