My two-year tenure at Blueprint is coming to a bittersweet end this week. I was stealing pencils and stamps, and when the BP brass found out that I was going to law school in the fall, it was the last straw. Still, they let me write one last blog post. While doing my own LSAT prep, and then eventually helping out a few hundred students through their LSAT prep, I have gained at least a few nuggets of wisdom.
Before you gear up for your own LSAT this October, make sure you really digest the following advice. First off, buy your own pencils and postage, because employee theft is nothing to laugh about. Also…
CLEAR THAT SCHEDULE:
The most common LSAT prep misstep that students make doesn’t occur on a particular logic game, or when diagramming a tough conditional statement. Many students simply underestimate how much time that LSAT prep is going to demand. Some students will inevitably fall behind, and then they’ll try and convince themselves that they can take a few shortcuts. By the time that mid-August trip to Istanbul rolls around, these students realize that they are going to have to postpone their test date. It really doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, it is much more exhausting in the long run.
If you work a full time, nine-to-five job, you won’t be alone, but be prepared for at least a couple of 12 or 13 hour days each week (you want to be a lawyer, right?). If, however, you are working 80-hour weeks at your friendly neighborhood hedge fund, coaching a Little League team, and volunteering on Sundays, it is either time to cut back, or pick a more convenient time to study for this extremely important exam. The good news is that you are with Blueprint, and no other company is going to use the Jersey Shore, Lil’ Wayne, or the Schwarzenegger sex scandal to illuminate your LSAT prep. It’s going to be great, trust me.
HOMEWORK: DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT?
What an absurdly misleading headline. Of course you have to worry about your homework. The number one difference between the student that sees the big, double-digit score increase and the student that doesn’t is whether or not all of the homework is completed. Going to class simply isn’t enough. I feel like an old middle school teacher writing this, but it is much easier to take a night off of homework than it is to skip a class, but it will be equally damaging to your score, maybe even more damaging.
Homework is where the concepts are really absorbed. You start to see patterns among each question type, and eventually you will reach that “Aha!” moment where you realize that every LSAT is ultimately the same exam. (You’ll understand if you do all the homework).
ACCURACY FIRST, THEN SPEED:
I believe it was the (once) great Will Ferrell who said “I wanna go fast!” Move slowly through the homework for the first month. A month seems like a really long time to do something slowly, but it will pay off later. You’ll see a question about frog mating. Nice. Later, you’ll come across a question about speed limits. Fair enough. A few LSAT prep classes later, you encounter a question about a mayor’s real estate investments. As you start to really understand logical structure, and more importantly, what each question type asks for, you will eventually realize that these three questions are exactly the same.
The LSAT is a test of formalized logic. Worry about accuracy and comprehension first. The speed will come later, I promise. Understandably, most people don’t want to live in a world where frog humping and freeway speeds are related, but for now, just roll with it.
USE YOUR RESOURCES:
No other LSAT prep company will give you the sheer volume, let alone quantity, of online or in-class resources. Even if you get a homework question correct, it is a good idea to watch the video explanation for it. This reinforces the structure, helps you better understand exactly why you got the question right, and will boost your confidence, which will be a huge factor on game day. If you got the question wrong, then you have an even better reason to take a look at that online explanation.
Now, if I had said that last painfully obvious sentence to you in person, it would be grounds for throwing a soda in my face. That’s why the internet is so great.
You might be surprised by how many people don’t feel they have the time to use their resources, including the Q+A sessions with your instructor before each class. Our instructors aren’t required to stay after class, but I can honestly report that in my two years at Blueprint, not one instructor has ever gone home when class “ends”.
I wish all of you the best of luck in your LSAT prep this summer. It’s going to be a great experience.