As the October LSAT draws nearer and Blueprint’s LSAT classes progress through their lessons, the time has come for many of you to take your second LSAT practice exam.
Interpreting the results from the second LSAT practice exam can be a challenge. You probably haven’t covered every kind of LSAT question yet, and you probably haven’t done much to work on your pacing. That’s perfectly normal, and your goal on the second LSAT practice exam should be to improve your accuracy on the questions you get to of the types you’ve covered. But this means that as you review, the practice LSAT score doesn’t tell the whole story.
Most students see their LSAT scores go up on the second practice exam. Some don’t. It’s reasonably common for the score to go down a little bit, too. If your LSAT score doesn’t improve on the second practice exam, there’s no reason to panic. It isn’t even necessarily bad at this point. Let’s talk about why this can happen:
You might be slow. You’re learning new techniques for dealing with the questions on the LSAT. Racecar drivers often walk the course before they race on it. You’re at that stage with the LSAT right now; it’s normal to be slow. You have to really learn and internalize how to approach the various questions on the LSAT before you speed up the process, and you’ll work on that later. If your LSAT practice exam score went down because you were slow, don’t worry about it. You’ll have to work on your pace later, but mastery is more important now.
You might have tanked the questions you haven’t covered yet. Whereas on your first LSAT practice exam you approached all questions on an equal footing, by the second LSAT practice exam you probably had well-developed techniques for some questions but not much at all for others. You might be trying to fit the questions you haven’t studied yet into boxes they don’t fit in. Or you might have thrown up your hands because you didn’t know what to do. Either way, don’t worry. You’ll have strategies for dealing with everything before long.
You might have panicked. Taking a full LSAT practice exam is stressful. It’s long, hard and leaves you feeling drained. You might have gone into the second practice exam worried about the results. Some students rush though everything, throwing all the skills they’ve worked so hard on out the window. Others get so frustrated by one question that they mess up a whole section. If anything like this happened to you, make sure to do lots of timed practice once you’ve covered the rest of the material, and try to do lots of practice in conditions like the ones you’ll see on LSAT test day.
You might have a real issue with some of the material you’ve already covered. This is the least common reason for a disappointing second LSAT practice exam score, but the most important to diagnose and correct. If you struggled on the questions you’ve already studied, you need to review carefully and figure out where you went wrong. You also need to review and refine your approach to these questions, to make sure you’re doing them right. It doesn’t mean that all is lost by any means; there’s still time to fix problems with your approach. But it’s important that you work on fixing them now.
If you’re not too happy with your score on the second LSAT practice exam, one or more of the above factors are likely involved. Above all, don’t panic. You have many more LSAT practice exams to take and lots more work to do. A disappointing score on the second LSAT practice exam isn’t a good predictor of your final results; students often get good results in the end despite not improving much on the second LSAT practice exam. So don’t let it bring you down, and get back to work.