Shifting Into Retake Mode

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So your LSAT score came out. It didn’t knock your socks off. You’ve evaluated your options and decided that you’re going to retake the LSAT. Follow the steps below to shift your mentalty into retake mode.

1. Take a Moment to Reflect

In the days before the LSAT, you were probably doing lots of practice tests and timed practice. Now, it’s time to slow down. Review everything. Take advantage of in-depth analytics in your LSAT prep to discover what your weaker areas are. Find out what you need to work on before you five back into your prep. It’s critical that you scrutinize your performance and determine if you might need to go back and get some practice on diagramming questions, or buckle down and suffer through some Reading Comprehension passages.

2. Review Correctly

Reviewing questions you’ve done is always important, but it’s especially important for you now. Every time you miss a question or get one right by lucky guess, try to pick that question apart until you feel like you could explain it to someone else. Don’t worry about your speed just yet; it’s time to really focus on your mastery of the test’s underlying logic.

Try explaining LSAT questions to yourself. You know the basics now, or at least you’re brushing up on them. When you get something wrong, before you look at an explanation, try to use the answer key to figure it out. Now that you know that A is wrong, and B is right, can you figure out why? Can you point to the exact words that make it so? Then look at an explanation, and keep in mind that there’s sometimes more than one valid way to look at things. You can reuse LSAT questions. Unless you have some kind of crazy photographic memory, they’ll be just as good for you the second time.

3. Practice as Realistically as Possible

Some people find the real test seems way harder than their LSAT prep tests did. The test wasn’t harder – the environment was. If you never took your tests in realistic testing environments, the real thing probably seemed like a hellish nightmare. When prepping for a retake, try to replicate the real testing environment as much as you can when taking LSAT practice tests. Get someone to proctor for you. If you’re taking a class, make sure to come to all proctored exams rather than doing them at home alone. If you found five-section tests to be harder than four-section tests, take only five-section tests. Build up your stamina and mental endurance.

4. Switch LSAT Prep Methods

It’s important to find the right prep for your unique learning style. When evaluating how you can improve in an LSAT retake, consider taking a different type of LSAT prep. If you took an LSAT class, maybe try private tutoring or an online course (or both). Sometimes changing one thing can make a big difference in your overall score.

5. Find the Time

The most critical thing you need during your LSAT prep is time. The best prep materials in the world mean nothing if you don’t have adequate time to prepare. Make more time than you did last time. Make more time than you think necessary. It’s better to do too much LSAT prep than too little. Your score can always be higher. So make the time, come up with a study schedule, and don’t let yourself fall behind. Aim for at least a month of timed LSAT sections and full LSAT practice tests. But that should come after your thorough review of everything. Get started now.

Try to stay positive. Whether you were happy with your practice test LSAT scores but got tripped up on the real thing, or you never quite got to where you wanted to be, know that I’ve seen students in both situations improve greatly on a retake. You’ll have to put in some serious work, so think of where you’d like to be in a few years and use that as motivation.

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