If the LSAT is a climb, BP is your gilded escalator.
Blueprint’s classes for the February 2017 LSAT began earlier this month, and most of the classes have hit, or will hit today, Lesson 3. This post is for everyone in the Blueprint orbit, but most especially for those going the traditional classroom route.
You may have noticed that you’ve been blasted with a titanic amount of information, making what you thought were going to be overly long classes — four hours, yeesh! — rapid fire affairs that feel overwhelming. You may have also noticed that this information is totally foreign to you, and seemingly unrelated to the practice of law. That can be unsettling, especially when it comes right on the heels of practice exam 1, which most students bomb like it was a column of Panzer tanks in a WWII video game. In other words, you might be freaking out already, just a tad.
There’s nothing to worry about, future lawyer. We gotchoo.
What you should notice on top of everything above is that, three lessons in, you still have thirteen more lessons and three workshops. New material ends at Lesson 13, which means you have six more class sessions that are all review, and even the lessons with new material do not have go at the breakneck pace of lessons 1-3.
All that is to say that you shouldn’t worry. However, you do need to capitalize on what you’ve already been through if you want to walk into the exam in February confident in your abilities. It’s not possible for you to become an expert at all the different skills in the first three lessons before hitting Lesson 4, but here’s what you need to make sure you get before you move forward.
Argument Structure. Lawyers make arguments. That’s what you’re going to do in law school and in practice as an attorney. If you can’t understand how arguments work and how to attack bad arguments, you need to find another profession. The vast majority of Logical Reasoning and Reading Comp questions — those sections make up 75% of scored questions, mind you — test your understanding of argumentation. Know the argument structure keywords from Lesson 1 like the back of your hand. Understand how a statement or statements can support another statement.
Conditional Diagramming. This skill is introduced in Lesson l and fleshed out in Lessons 2 and 3. It’s shorthand that will allow you to address some questions more quickly than you would otherwise. More importantly, there is a whole slew of questions you’ll just never get if you don’t master this skill. It’s also coming back with a vengeance later in the course when you get to Grouping Games. You’ll have a very low ceiling on your score if you leave this skill behind.
Symbolizing Rules in Logic Games. You must have a logical, coherent method for symbolizing rules that can be applied generally. That way you never have to refer to the written rules again. They’re also a great way for visualizing something that makes it much easier to understand than thinking about it in the abstract. We’ve created a comprehensive symbolizing system for you. Use it.
The Reading Comp Method. Reading Comp is the ugly stepchild of the LSAT. You think this is what you did for four (or five or six) years as an undergrad, so why bother? It’s not like what you’ve done, and timing is an absolute bitch. If you have the method down, it will help you create a roadmap of the passage and help you predict the questions that are coming at you and the answers to those questions. You know very well that you barely got through two passages on practice exam 1. If you want to get through more than that — and you do — then you need this method. You paid for it. Use it.
Confidence. Okay, so this wasn’t an explicit part of any of Lessons 1-3, but it’s important. Resolve to study hard and do all the homework, and you will see that score increase. Just like anything worth doing in life, it’s going to be difficult, but attitude is important.