The Final Month Before the LSAT: How to Plan
Today’s advice comes from our friends at Blueprint LSAT Prep. Blueprint students can enroll in live LSAT prep classes throughout the country, online LSAT courses from the comfort of their own home, or self-study with Blueprint’s new Logic Games book.
With a month left until the September LSAT, you may be thinking it’s time to freak out. There’s actually a lot you can get done in the last month, but it’s important that you use your time wisely. Here’s an idea of how the next month should go.
The first item on your agenda should be wrapping up the new material. If there’s anything on the LSAT that you haven’t studied yet, now’s the time. (Actually, a couple of weeks ago was the time, but let’s assume your DeLorean can’t get up to 88 MPH.)
Next, do a quick review of everything. That sounds much harder than it is; simply brush up on key concepts that were new to you during your LSAT prep. You should know how to identify anything you might encounter on the LSAT, the best way to approach it, what to expect out of the answer, and what makes the answer right or wrong. If there are any topics or concepts you know you’re shaky on, review those most thoroughly.
The next month should feature more and more timed practice and full practice tests. Once you’ve studied all the concepts on the LSAT individually, full tests are much more valuable. But don’t just do LSAT practice test after LSAT practice test in the hopes that it’ll make your score jump. Review every test you take in detail before you jump to the next one.
That last bit applies to everything you do. Whenever you get a question wrong, or you get one right but feel like you weren’t sure, go over it. Your goal should be to thoroughly understand every error. Try to figure out why the wrong answer is wrong, why the right answer is right, why the wrong answer was tempting, and why the right answer was easy to overlook. Once you feel like you can explain the question to someone else, you’ve done your job.
A common issue LSAT students face in the last month of prep is how to get faster. Trying to read everything at warp speed, only to realize that you didn’t understand a word, isn’t a good way to get faster. You should stick to solving problems methodically, step-by-step until each move becomes automatic. Once you’ve reached that point, your speed will naturally increase.
Here are some examples of issues that might be slowing you down, and how to mentally approach them: If you find yourself rereading a Logical Reasoning stimulus over and over again, what were you missing? Next time you see something similar, what should you look for the first time? If you’re doing lots and lots of tedious work for the questions on a Logic Game, did you miss a deduction? Could you have split the game into a few scenarios up front? How would you know to do that the next time you see a similar game? If you’re rereading large parts of a Reading Comp passage to answer the questions, think about what you want to make sure you get out of your initial reading next time.
During this final month, you’ll have to put in a lot of time studying. It probably (definitely) won’t be the most fun month of your life, so it’s especially important that you plan a little time away from the LSAT. Schedule a few days to take completely off from studying. For each one, do something fun that you’re positive will distract you. You’ll come back to your studying refreshed and more prepared to learn. In addition, leave some time for sleep and exercise. Going into the LSAT with serious sleep debt isn’t a recipe for success. Getting exercise, eating well, and sleeping something close to enough will help you get more out of the time you spend studying.
Finally, even though it can be scary to know that the LSAT is coming up so soon, use that fact as motivation. If everything goes well, you’ll be done with the LSAT in a month. Done forever. If you put in the work now, you’ll give yourself a great chance of never having to think about the LSAT again.