Group Study! Group Study?

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The LSAT is, by its nature, a solitary pursuit: just you and your trusty #2 pencil against the world, identifying errors in logic and determining which of the following could be true. But sometimes, LSAT-takers prefer to make their one-man (or -woman) wolf packs a little bigger by studying as part of a group. If you’ve been considering recruiting some fellow studiers for a thrilling night of LSAT prep, here are some pros and cons to consider.

The biggest advantage of LSAT study groups is that explaining concepts and questions to others is a great way to check your own understanding. You might think you understand a question, or how to play the numbers in Logic Games, or why answer choice (D) was wrong and (E) was right — but once you have to explain your thinking to someone else, you’ll soon find out just how well you actually understand it.

Having a study group can also help keep you on track with your studying; if you struggle with procrastination (and hey, who doesn’t), having a dedicated time set aside for studying can help you battle those procrastinator tendencies. For bonus points, your group can set goals in advance (for instance, that all of you will have completed a specific practice test by the day your group meets).

The biggest potential drawback of a study group is the potential for distraction. As you probably remember from every group project in school ever, it is very easy to get sidetracked by an hour-long discussion of the nuances of the latest Real Housewives episode. And while only a Sith deals in absolutes, I feel very comfortable saying in absolute terms that the LSAT will not ask for a detailed rundown on the latest fight between LeeAnn and Shonda (note: I don’t watch Real Housewives and have no idea what actually happens on it).

And, of course, a study group is only as good as the people in it. If you’re relying on other people to help explain questions or concepts to you, you need to have a certain amount of trust that they know what they’re talking about and are not leading you astray. While study groups are still certainly useful, you’ll want to be sure you’re thinking critically about everything your group discusses.

Overall, study groups can form a useful addition to your LSAT studying routine. At the end of the day, though, you’ll still be alone when taking the LSAT (of course, aren’t we all truly always alone?), so make sure that the bulk of your study time is still spent going through things on your own, the good old-fashioned way.

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