Study Habits of Best LSAT Students

Study Habits of Best LSAT Students

Both of the classes I teach for the June LSAT just started within the last week or so, which marks the beginning of my fourth year teaching the LSAT. In that time I’ve taught a whole ton students. Of the ones who have done best, I’ve noticed a few different traits that are common to most all of them. You’d be wise to follow their lead, doing such things as…

Planning Your Homework in Advance
A lot of people don’t bother planning out when they’ll do homework. They assume that they’ll eventually get it all in, and they can just play it by ear. Sometimes this might work for a bit, if they have tons of free time. But eventually these people don’t get the homework done in time and fall behind, which is pretty difficult to recover from. My best students don’t let this happen in the first place. They plan exactly when they’ll do their homework, and stick to the schedule. They also plan out more time than they think they’ll need, because you never know if one concept is going to be especially hard, and take an especially long time to master. Finally, they space the homework out. I’ve seen people do the exact same homework assignments, taking the exact same total amount of time, but those who do huge one-day marathons often have a hard time really learning from the work, while those who absorb the material best space those many hours out over a few days.

Coming To Every Class and Q&A
This might go without saying, but my students who done the best are the ones who have tended to come to every class, and come to the question-and-answer period as well. You have to be in class to learn from the class, so people who miss a lot of lessons or come late all the time tend to miss big important chunks of material. Also, the question-and-answer period before each lesson is a perfect opportunity to get your specific questions addressed, and also shouldn’t be missed.

Learning From Your Mistakes
This one is huge, and more than anything else it’s what separates the students who make huge improvements from those who don’t. Some people will do a ton of homework, check the answers, count how many they missed, and then call it a day. This is a terrible mistake, and for my best LSAT students checking the answer key only marks the half-way point for the homework. Once they check their answers, they then go back over every single problem they missed and figure out why they missed it. This takes a really long time, but it’s absolutely imperative that anyone who wants to see significant improvement do this. By going through this process, you’ll figure out which types of problems really give you trouble and why they give you trouble. This will allow you to recognize the mistakes that you’re making, which will prevent you from making the same mistakes the next time you see a similar problem.

4 Responses

  1. Ryan F says:

    Really great advice, I especially like the bit on reviewing your WRONG answers! I have just taken my first practice exam and noticed that I missed a lot of questions and thought to myself that it would take a long time to review each answer. But after reading your article, I have to review each question – and I will. Taking the class in San Diego and test in June…. lets get it on!

  2. Colin says:

    Great to hear that you’ll be reviewing the questions, Ryan, that is a huge component of increasing your score. But you actually don’t need to review them for the first test. When you took Practice Exam 1 you hadn’t yet learned any strategies, so it’s understandable that you missed a lot of questions. You weren’t really making “mistakes,” per se, you just didn’t know how to do it. So you can forget about the first test. For everything else, though, including all your homework, you’ll want to make sure to review your misses.

    • SHERRY C says:

      Hi Colin,

      Do you help set up study schedules for individuals taking the online course here in NYC?

      Thank You,
      Warm Regards,

      • Colin says:

        Hi Sherry. If you take a look on your MyBlueprint site, you’ll see that there are actually some suggested schedules you can use that lay out roughly how the distribution of lessons/workshops/tests should go. If you want to tweak them, that’s fine, but your schedule should stay looking similar to what we have posted online (for example you wouldn’t want to finish lesson 13 with only a week left of study). If you have any specific questions about formulating a schedule, send them on over to the email support line, and we’ll be glad to answer them for you.

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