Today is November 3, exactly one month from the December 2011 LSAT. To some of you, this realization may strike fear in your hearts (or at least anxiety in your stomachs) – it’s only 30 days and there’s so much LSAT study to do! To others, it may be more time than you’d desire, at least those who fondly remember having time for a social life before all this LSAT study. Actually, a month happens to be the perfect amount of time, but only if you’re going about your LSAT study properly. To make sure you are ready to rock it next month, here are the top five things you must do as part of your LSAT study and preparation over the next 30 days:
1) Memorize every common flaw. Memorizing and understanding flaws is the single most helpful thing you can add to your LSAT study to improve your score (at least in LR). Flaw questions make up almost 20% of LR, and are the starting point for many strengthen and weaken questions, which make up another 20%, not to mention parallel flaw question and sufficient/necessary assumption questions. Flaws are important – and memorizing them in your LSAT study is the first step to being able to consistently find them.
2) Assess your weaknesses. Start a tally keeping track of why you get questions wrong in your LSAT study – did you pick an answer that evocated the terms of the stimulus (celebrity chief vs. celebrated chief)? Do you consistently misidentify the conclusion? Do you keep mis-diagraming only claims? If you don’t know what you are doing wrong in your LSAT study, you won’t be able to stop from doing it. Identify your weaknesses by tracking your mistakes and then you can address them.
3) Break out the stop watch. Start timing; take timed practice exams, but also start timing individual sections, or even groups of questions. Get used to going quickly without rushing; that is, go as fast as you can while avoiding making careless mistakes. Sounds simple, right? Start practicing.
4) Establish a game day routine. Use practice exams and your LSAT study to determine what works best for you. Is chugging three 5 Hour Energy shots 10 minutes before a test helpful or does the caffeine leave you cracked out and unable to hold the pencil still to bubble answers? Does warming up on a couple easy problems before the first section help your score? Start figuring out what works best for you. And, since the December 2011 LSAT is so early, you should also get used to waking up early and jumping into your LSAT study first thing.
5) Visit your test center. Test day is stressful enough without getting lost on your way to the LSAT and having to park in a red zone and sprint to the test center to make it on time. Figure out how to get to the test center, where to park, and where you’ll need to go to register. Don’t let all your LSAT study go to waste because you couldn’t find the test center on game day.