There is no magic LSAT trick that’ll get you 15 points in two weeks. There’s only two things that will increase your score: the amount of time you spend studying, and how quality your study time is. You can do it, and I can help!
Okay, raise your hand if you suddenly have a lot of “sitting around at home” to do.
Now wash that hand and use it to pick up a PrepTest or two.
This is your chance, pals - if you’ve got a little free time you’d otherwise be using at a restaurant or the gym (remember that? We used to go out and be around people…it was kinda terrible at the time, but we miss it now), why not devote it to LSAT prep? Real talk: millions of people are quarantined or self-isolating right now, and thousands of them are studying for the LSAT. If you aren’t using this time to kick some LSAT butt, others are, and they’re going to kick your butt in turn when it comes to the next admissions cycle.
See, it’s like a butt-kicking carousel. Either kick the LSAT’s butt or have your own kicked.
So here’s a potential study schedule I’d like you to try and let me know how it goes. This is assuming you’ve got an hour a day, plus 4 hours once a week, to devote to studying.
DISCLAIMER: I know a lot of you genuinely don’t have that time. If that’s you, don’t feel bad about it, just pare this down to the time you do have and make it work. On the other hand, if you’re telling me you don’t have time while you’re binging the Office for the eighteenth time, get ready to be the butt kickee, not the butt kicker. Get in contact with me if you want a personalized study schedule!
Okay, let’s try this on for size. It doesn’t matter what day of the week you’re starting, so I’ve just numbered the days. All that does matter is that you start now.
PrepTest (any test will do) Section 1 - Timed section 1
Whenever you’re completing a “timed section,” I want you to set two timers on your phone or whatever. One will be for 30 minutes to serve as your 5-minute warning, and the second will be for 35 minutes to tell you when you’re really done. At the five-minute warning, fill in the rest of the answer choices with the same letter (there is no advantage to any particular letter; just use the same one to simplify your life), then go back to whatever question you left off at and try to answer a few more.
When you’ve finished the time, mark how many questions you actually answered (for example, you might make a line under #21 if that was the last one you completed), and go through and try all the rest of them, untimed. These questions won’t count toward your score for the section, but you’d be crazy to miss out on the practice they can give you!
Now score the section, only counting the questions you’d actually attempted in the 35 minutes. You can see how many you magically guessed right for fun, but don’t count those as points you earned. Unfortunately, you only have a 20% each question when you guess (which is still a hell of a lot better than 0%), so I don’t want you counting those toward your score since you can’t really depend on those points.
Do NOT mark the correct answers as you score the section, only mark the ones you got wrong. Circle the number or whatever, just don’t write in the correct answer. If you knew what the answer was supposed to be, it’d really shoot you in the foot for the next step, which is reviewing your answers.
Go back to all the questions you got wrong and try them again. Often, you’ll be able to noodle your way to the right answer now that the pressure’s off. Great! Ask yourself: do I understand why this was wrong? If you don’t get why your answer was wrong and can’t find the correct answer, that’s where a tutor like me comes in. The LSAT isn’t easy, folks, and you can’t be surprised when some of the questions throw you for a loop! As a tutor, I can help you work through those questions and see what you’re missing.
Since a section will take at least 35 minutes to complete (and often much longer, if you’re taking your time to answer questions you didn’t get through in the 35 minutes), plus at least 5 minutes or so grading, plus at least 15 minutes or so reviewing incorrect answers, one hour is a conservative estimate for how long a timed section should really take you.
However, doing full sections and seriously reviewing them is the best way for you to gain the two biggest strengths you’ll need on the LSAT: comprehension of the material and mental stamina.
Okay, so that’s Day 1. Guess what you’re doing on Day 2:
Section 2 of yesterday’s PrepTest - timed section and review
Section 3 of PrepTest - timed section and review
Section 4 of PrepTest - timed section and review
After this section, you can score the whole test to see how you did overall. You should record your scores somewhere so you can see your trends as you study! I provide my tutoring students with a handy spreadsheet they can plug their scores into.
Day 5: Drill, listen to podcast, etc.
If you’ve subscribed to something awesome like the LSAT Demon, you can spend some time just drilling the sections or question types you know you struggle with. Listen to a podcast episode, etc. Don’t do nothing today, but take it easy for a day.
Full test, timed (at least 2.5 hours).
Same idea as before - set your 30- and 35-minute timers, and mark what questions you’ve actually finished at the end of 35 minutes, then attempt the rest untimed for practice.
But don’t review in the middle of the test - don’t check your answers or anything, just move on to the next section. If possible, don’t take a break between sections 1 & 2 and sections 3 & 4 to somewhat simulate the reality of test day where you’ll be stuck except for a 15-minute break in between (feel free to break for 15 minutes between sections 2 & 3).
When you’ve finished all four sections, score the whole test. If you have time today, it’s great to review while the questions are still fresher in your mind. If you can’t, which I don’t find hard to believe with busy at-home work schedules and whatnot, make sure you review tomorrow so you’re not coming back to the questions totally cold. When you go back to the questions quickly, you can remember what you were thinking and perhaps how you made the mistakes that lead you to the wrong answer. However, I’d take cold review over no review, so I’m not gonna get too picky.
Review from the day before if necessary, or take another “rest day” where you drill questions or listen to a podcast episode.
This is just a basic schedule I want you to try. It’s not magic. It’s not guaranteed to raise your score by 15 points in 2 months. It’s just based on what I know really, really works: intentional, frequent practice and meaningful review.
Finally back after my long hiatus. I took the LSAT and did well, but I’m going back for another try to get into my goal school. Working in healthcare means I can’t self-quarantine, so thankfully I can get some studying done now! Testing a new book too!
I took the LSAT diagnostic test and seriously sucked. I know that is normal for people who are new to it. And having a panic attack in the middle probably didn’t help. I’m frustrated but determined to do my best and improve. I’m not going to give up.
Enjoying Dunkin’s oatmilk latte. And so far Reading Comprehension is the easiest section. Probably all those complicated history essays I had to read and analyze. (Seriously these passages have nothing on most historians lol.) The rest of the test is terrifying so I’m glad one section isn’t too bad.
So, I’m nearing the conclusion of the first half of my junior year in undergrad, and needless to say I’m super freaked.
I know that this year is going to fly by and soon I’m going to have to take the LSAT and start applying to schools, and the whole thing is super nerve-wracking.
I want to know as much as I possibly can going into this stage, so if anyone has any particular tips or tricks for the LSAT/Applications/Personal Statements/Etc., please either pm me or reblog with your advice!!!
Thank you guys so much, and I hope you’re all doing well in your school endeavors! 😋
This was a really busy and productive day. I finished and submitted my Law and Lyrics paper and created a thorough study guide for my counterterrorism exam.
I also reached page 100 in my LSAT Reading Comprehension Bible. I’ve learned a lot about how to approach complex passages and how to spot different viewpoints, arguments, tones, and structures. So as a reward for being about 25% through the studybook, I used this Korean Egg Cream mask. I’ve been really into Korean skincare lately and have been loving sheet masks like this.
Tomorrow evening I’m going to an LSAT workshop being offered at my university. It’ll be interesting to get some perspective from the prep course area after all of my self-studying. I’ll definitely post about that tomorrow.