There are a wide variety of things one can do to dramatically improve LSAT performance. Here is a brief summary of five highly effective but often overlooked LSAT Prep suggestions (they may not all be “tricky-tricks,” but they frequently ARE under-appreciated by students!)
Once you understand these (and other) patterns of wrong answer choices, they often can become easy to identify and reject in LSAT questions. The end result each time you reject all wrong answers is the same as recognizing the right answer: getting credit for another hard-earned “raw score” LSAT point!
- Every LSAT question is weighted equally, no matter how hard or easy it is. Spending too much time on any one question even if you get it right is a bad move if it means you won’t have time to answer the last several questions of the section. Therefore, learning how and when to move on from a tough question is critically important.
- Students sometimes spend months trying to understand the content of the LSAT, but spend almost no time learning how to employ test-taking strategies like the one above.
- As one example, I recently tutored a student stuck at a certain LSAT score until I convinced her how to know when to “move on.” That may sound like simple advice, but the result was an instant practice score increase and overcoming a long-time score plateau.
- Remember: missing one time-consuming LSAT question in exchange for getting five easier LSAT questions correct is a very good tradeoff!
3. LSAT Prep Isn’t Easy, But It Is Simple
If there is one common description I hear from students frustrated by their prior LSAT Prep course, it is the following: “bloated,” “unnecessarily confusing,” and “they over-complicated things.” The LSAT isn’t easy. In fact, I can guarantee you one thing about anyone saying that the LSAT is easy: they are trying to sell you an LSAT Prep product. The exam is legitimately challenging, which is why it has been used for decades to aid law schools selecting among law school applicants.
However, just because the LSAT isn’t easy doesn’t mean that the process of LSAT Prep should over-complicate things. Effective LSAT Prep involves a simple, three-step process: (1) get excellent instruction (whether it comes from a live course, videos or books) to understand the basic, underlying logic and “legal reasoning” skills underlying the LSAT; (2) practice with LOTS of real LSAT questions, making sure you understand precisely why the right answers are right and the wrong answers are wrong; and (3) learn how to take full advantage of the LSAT’s time limitations, so that you make the 35-minute time limit work for you. Those three concepts should be the focus of any LSAT Prep instruction you receive, and none of that requires gimmicks, excessive “labels” or “categories,” or any other unnecessary distractions.
As an analogy, consider when a person is more likely to make a free-throw: if he/she shoots one free throw or gets to shoot twice? It doesn’t matter how skilled or unskilled the basketball player is, the answer will be the player shooting two free throws. The LSAT works the exact same way. Plan to take the LSAT twice, and hope that you only need to take it once.