Shifting Into Retake Mode

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So your June LSAT score came out. It didn’t knock your socks off. You’ve evaluated your options and decided that you’re going to retake the LSAT. What now?

In the days before the June LSAT, you were probably doing lots of practice tests and timed practice. Now, it’s time to slow down. Review everything. Focus in on your weaker areas, and try to turn them into things you confidently understand. Don’t worry about your speed just yet; it’s time to really focus on your mastery of the LSAT’s underlying logic.

Reviewing questions you’ve done is always important, but it’s especially important for you now. Everything you do, you need to review. Every time you miss a question or get one right by lucky guess, try to pick that question apart until you feel like you could explain it to someone else.

Try explaining LSAT questions to yourself. You know the basics now, or at least you’re brushing up on them. When you get something wrong, before you look at an explanation, try to use the answer key to figure it out. Now that you know that A is wrong, and B is right, can you figure out why? Can you point to the exact words that make it so? Then look at an explanation, and keep in mind that there’s sometimes more than one valid way to look at things.

You may have used up most of the available materials when you took the LSAT the first time. That’s not really a big deal. You can reuse LSAT questions. Unless you have some kind of crazy photographic memory, they’ll be just as good for you the second time. Even if you kind of remember a question, you’ll still benefit from thinking through the logic one more time.

Still, if there are full LSAT practice tests you haven’t done yet, take stock of them now and plan out how you’ll use them. Spread them out over the next few months, saving more for closer to the September LSAT, since they’ll be the best indication of your progress.

The sooner you start a thorough review of all those LSAT concepts, the sooner you’ll be able to shift into doing timed practice again. Aim for at least a month of timed LSAT sections and full LSAT practice tests. But that should come after your thorough review of everything. So get started now.

Finally, try to stay positive. Whether you were happy with your practice test LSAT scores but got tripped up on the real thing, or you never quite got to where you wanted to be, know that I’ve seen students in both situations improve greatly on a retake. You’ll have to put in some serious work, so think of where you’d like to be in a few years and use that as motivation.

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