As of today, there is less than one month until the September LSAT.
Does that sentence make you break out in a cold sweat? (Knees weak, something something, mom’s spaghetti?)
It shouldn’t. Right around now is when students start to get veeeerrrry nervous–their scores aren’t what they’d like, and they start to count down the final weeks until the test. However, for those taking a Blueprint LSAT class, you’re likely to see the biggest score increases as the test gets closer, simply because at this point we’re wrapping up the new material and moving into review-and-timing mode.
To put it a different way: ’til now we’ve been focused on stuffing your brain full of strategies and tips, but it’s all kinda jumbled in there and you’re still getting the hang of things. Now we’re going to start ironing things out and helping you apply the strategies more quickly. As your timing improves, you’re likely to see the dividends in your LSAT score, so don’t give up hope quite yet.
As we move into this final month of prep, here are some tips to help you make the most of it:
1. Timed practice. Lots of it.
At this point, you should be pretty comfortable with how to approach the questions, and you should be getting most questions right most of the time. If this describes you, you’re ready to start incorporating more timed practice into your studying. This can, of course, mean taking full practice tests. But it can also mean sitting down to a couple timed sections on days when you simply don’t have three and a half uninterrupted hours to spare. If you’re struggling with completing a section within the allotted time, try to figure out where you’re being most inefficient, and how you might address that inefficiency.
2. Even more reviewing of your timed practice.
Timed practice is all well and good, but the only way you’re going to learn from it is if you review the things you got wrong or weren’t totally comfortable with. We’ve talked a lot on the blog about ways to review practice tests and individual questions, but in general, you should be able to name specific reasons for why each wrong answer is wrong and why the right answer is right, and you should have a solid understanding of what tricked you about the question in the first place.
3. Targeted, untimed practice.
If you notice that you’re struggling with a particular question type, set aside a day or so to work on that type–your goal will be to get really, really good at it before you go back to doing timed practice. But if there aren’t any clear trends in the types of questions you’re getting wrong, don’t stress it–that probably means that you are proficient with all of the question types, and simply getting tricked by the questions that are more difficult, so reviewing those questions to learn their secrets is your best bet.
4. Don’t overdo it.
Students tend to think of practice tests as the end-all, be-all, and they are certainly useful when approached as described above. But ultimately, the main purpose of a practice test is to tell you your current skill level. You won’t actually improve by taking nonstop practice tests–you need to take the time to review, identify specific problems, and work on those problems. So fight the urge to pack your schedule full of PTs, and make time for the less glamorous–but arguably even more important–work of getting reeeaaal comfy with each question you approach.