Keeping your eyes on the prize is great—to a point. But when you’re studying for the LSAT, it’s easy to be too focused on the gap between your practice test scores and your goal score. Your end goal is important, but getting there is a gradual process, and stressing too much about how far you have to go isn’t helping you. Here’s how to handle it:
Step 1: Think about how far you’ve come
No matter how far along you are in your LSAT preparations, you know a hell of a lot more than you used to. Maybe your score has already jumped up a few points, or maybe you now know how to diagram conditional statements when previously you didn’t even notice they existed, or maybe you’re tackling those one-to-one ordering games like a pro.
The point is that it’s easy to get too hung up on how much work is left to do, but you shouldn’t let yourself forget how much you’ve already done. Practice test scores tend to change in fits and starts, and you might plateau at the same score for a while before seeing a bigger score jump. But keep in mind that you still know more than you used to.
Step 2: Focus on the little wins
There usually isn’t a single silver bullet that will lead to a huge score increase (obviously, or you would already be doing it). Instead, score increases come from small fixes that build on each other. For instance, maybe you focus on Flaw questions for a while until you can pretty consistently get them right, or you keep re-doing Logic Games until you can quickly find the deductions. Of course, the more of those little leaks that you’re able to plug, the more your score will (slowly) grow. But try not to focus too much on that; instead, identify a problem, practice it for a while, and then lather, rinse, and repeat.
Step 3: Stay positive
The LSAT can, at times, be frustrating and discouraging. We wish that weren’t the case, but the fact of the matter is that there will probably be times when you feel like your efforts aren’t paying off as much as they should be. However, focusing on those feelings won’t do you any good. Take some time off from studying if you need it, or try a different method, or take a moment to vent to your dog/mom/other non-judgmental source of support. After that, repeat steps 1 and 2, and keep on trucking.