Memorial Day weekend is here, which means we’re about two weeks away from the June LSAT. Enjoy yourself: punish your digestive tract with BBQ, and give Black Hawk Down a few goes. But don’t fritter away too much time dreaming about the massive admissions boost you could have gotten if only you had been a Delta Force operator. This time is too important to waste.
Here are some LSAT blog tips to help you make the most of your final big push toward that high June LSAT score:
Tip #1: Make sure you can get the easy points
Diagraming and formal logic are among the most learnable LSAT skills. Make sure you’ve got your sufficient and necessary condition indicators memorized – the trick is that they’re mostly synonyms for each other (every, any, all, each; must, needs, requires, depends). Diagrammable questions should be quick and easy points.
At first, the LSAT Logic Games section seems impossible. However, unlike with Logical Reasoning or Reading Comprehension, you don’t really have to change the way you think about the world to do well on Logic Games. Everyone can get to -0/-1 on LSAT Logic Games. If you’ve got a ton of room for improvement, that’s what you should focus on.
Tip #2: Know which questions you can answer quickly
Certain question types tend to be easier than others, so you should try to do these more quickly to save time for the really brutal stuff.
For LSAT Logical Reasoning, you can solve Main Point, Role, Describe, Flaw, and any diagrammable questions more quickly (about 1 minute each).
For LSAT Logic Games, you can do One-to-One Ordering games, where all the rules combine into an ordering tree, and In-and-Out games, where all the rules combine into a long transitive chain, very quickly (less than 6 minutes each).
In LSAT Reading Comprehension you should take your sweet time reading, tagging, and marking up the passage (about 5 minutes) and then fly through all the questions you anticipated (about 3-4 minutes). After reading a passage, you should always know the main point, the author’s attitude(s), the organization of the passage, and any structures ripe for specific detail questions (causal claims, examples, categories, studies, etc.).
Tip #3: Frame your weaknesses more narrowly
You need to narrow your weaknesses down to something you can correct by tweaking your procedures. “I just keep making silly errors on these Logic Games,” is not a helpful way to frame a weakness. “I keep misrepresenting the rules” is much better. Now you can do something very concrete to fix your weakness: get into the habit of writing “DOUBLE CHECK” underneath the rules before you do anything else. It’ll remind you to, well, double check your rules!
Tip #4: Have a procedure for getting un-stuck
Almost everyone will get “stuck” on an LSAT Logic Games question or two — yes, even people who have several perfect sections hanging on their fridge. The key is to have a procedure to fall back on the second you don’t know what the next step could be. Here’s mine:
(1) Double check you didn’t miss something in the prompt. For example, some Conditional questions will introduce a principle of distribution in a single little word (“once,” “exactly,” “only”). If that doesn’t fix it…
(2) Make sure you’re not forgetting about a rule. In my experience, this is the most common fix. Keep your rule representations in the bottom left-hand corner pristine and neat so you can quickly check to make sure you’ve tried to apply them all. If that still doesn’t fix it…
(3) Double check the intro. Most of the rules are in a list following the intro, but they love sneaking rules into the intro itself.
Tip #5: Have a plan to deal with the stress
The next week is gonna be rough, so you need a plan to take care of yourself. Work out every day – a 15-minute run can do wonders. Look back on all the progress you’ve already made. Feel free to take a mental health day if you need it. Hang with the bros. Go visit an animal shelter for some kitten/puppy therapy. Binge watch your favorite show. But get back to the June LSAT prep as soon as you feel better. You’ll get plenty of rest during the final week before LSAT test day. That’s your time to relax and recharge. Next week is supposed to be rough.
Good luck! And if you have any questions or crippling anxieties, feel free to leave a comment.