Last week, I pulled back the curtain on the glamorous life of an LSAT instructor. I became an LSAT sensei after taking a course with Blueprint LSAT Prep, and as a result, I’ve experienced life on both sides of the podium – from both the instructor’s and the student’s viewpoint. Here are a few of the things I wish I had known when I was beginning my LSAT journey:
1) Fluctuations in your score – even big ones – are totally normal
As an instructor, it’s pretty common to get panicked emails from students saying that their most recent practice test was, say, five points lower than the other tests they’ve been taking. Sometimes the student has a pretty good idea of why his or her score might’ve dipped, and at other times it seems like a totally random aberration. Either way, I don’t think most students realize that it’s really and truly not a cause for concern. Everyone’s score jumps or falls from time to time. If it becomes part of a pattern, then it’s probably worth bringing up with your instructor, but otherwise try not to sweat any seemingly random dips in your score.
2) We really, really want you to speak up in class. Really.
There’s nothing worse than asking a question in class and getting nothing but crickets in response. And from a less selfish perspective, if you’re ever a little confused about something your instructor just said, we would absolutely prefer that you let us know – no instructor will ever be offended by someone’s saying “hey, I didn’t really get that; could you explain it again?” Plus, it makes my job as an instructor much easier and more fun when getting someone to answer a question doesn’t feel like pulling teeth. So participate! It helps you, and your instructor will love you.
3) There’s a method to our madness
In the words of Fergie via the great early-2000s musical masterpiece “Promiscuous Girl,” “Pay attention to me, I don’t talk for my health.” Sometimes the things I tell students to do might seem silly or pointless. I’m all for students finding the method that works best for them, but I’m never trying to make anyone’s life harder by recommending, say, a certain method of taking notes on Reading Comprehension passages. Even if my suggestion seems like more work than it’s worth or like it might not work for you, I strongly recommend that all students at least try the “by the book” method first; then, after you understand it well, you can modify in whatever way suits you best.