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Don’t Study for the LSAT. Train for It.

One of the most underrated yet important aspects of succeeding on the LSAT is the mentality we have when we go through it. It’s easy to let this critical facet of LSAT studying fall to the side and not think about our mental approach to the exam when we prep for it.

Even the way we talk about the LSAT — studying for it [chills] — engenders a feeling of passive, tedious work. We want something better for something as simultaneously difficult and life-changing as the LSAT. That’s why I suggest that people start viewing the LSAT in a different way. 

We need to start viewing the LSAT in an active, engaging, and exciting way. [Hold for dramatic effect.]

We need to adopt the type of mentality that allows certain musicians or athletes to become the best in the world. The type of mentality that can transform one into a highly-skilled, elite, and dedicated person. We need to train for the LSAT.

The Athlete Advantage

When elite athletes train for something, they go out every day and actively do something to improve. They’re not just timidly working and going through the motions. They’re seeking to gain every advantage that they can. They don’t give up when they get tired or frustrated when things aren’t going their way. When they train for something, they’re relentless in their pursuit of greatness. 

This might sound like a script from a Nike commercial, but this really is the type of mentality you should be adopting when prepping for the LSAT. Or, as Laker fans would call it, the Mamba-mentality.

5 Ways To Train for the LSAT

Training for the LSAT distinguishes itself from studying in a few ways. Below are five ways to start training for the LSAT. 

1. Develop (And Stick To) A Routine

This is a foundational training principle that will help in two ways. First, it accounts for the fact that motivation will inevitably dwindle (after five or six weeks of studying, you might not feel quite as motivated to go through yet another science RC passage). You don’t stick to a routine because you’re motivated to do it every day; you stick to a routine simply because that’s what you do every day, no exceptions. Your mind and body go on autopilot, thus removing the need for external motivation. 

Second, creating a realistic routine that fits your normal schedule allows you to pace yourself. The LSAT is a marathon, not a sprint. You need to be putting in consistent time and effort in order to get better at it. You want sustained, long-term effort, not short bursts. Ideally, your routine should include exactly when and for how long you’ll study for the LSAT each day. 

You can see examples of LSAT study schedules here and even create your own!

2. Analyze Your Performance

You must know what your strengths and weaknesses are in order to improve them. Great athletes constantly work on their weaknesses in order to turn them into strengths and continue to work on their strengths so they’ll get even better. 

The work is ongoing, and that’s the fun part. The more specific you get with your analysis, the better. Blueprint LSAT students already see exactly where and how they need to improve with our in-depth performance analytics; try them out for free by taking a practice LSAT exam

There’s no end point here and you don’t get to a point where you’re “done” improving—although I guess you can if you get a 180 on the LSAT because there’s no more room for improvement.

3. Make Mistakes

No one likes to make mistakes. It’s humbling and makes us feel silly and embarrassed. But on the LSAT, it’s something you need to embrace. If you go through the LSAT scared of making mistakes, it will hold you back every step of the way. Top athletes don’t worry about making mistakes. They use them to make themselves better. 

Consider Giannis Antetokounmpo. The 6’11 man from Greece is arguably the best player in the NBA right now, and he tries to get a block or make the right move on defense every time. As a result, he gets dunked on sometimes. And every time this happens, Giannis simply runs back down the court and tries to score on offense. He’s not worried about looking silly in front of everyone or even of a highlight reel of him getting dunked on. He just keeps going and tries to get better. 

Making mistakes is fine; looking silly will happen on the LSAT. In fact, you should absolutely keep track of your mistakes so that you won’t make them again (we integrated a Lessons Learned Journal into our platform to make this easy). Run back down the court and use your mistakes as an advantage for the next time.

4. A Takeaway per Day

When you sit down to train for the LSAT, you want to do so with intentionality. At the end of each training session, you should have at least one takeaway from that day. For example, when I rush into the answer choices without anticipating them, I consistently get them wrong. I need to make sure I’m always anticipating. Use that takeaway to get better going into your next session. This is also where you can utilize our Lessons Learned Journal.

5. Keep Your Goal in Mind

Just as an athlete’s goal to win the season keeps them motivated, you should keep your goal in mind. 

Perhaps you have a goal score or a goal school in mind. Perhaps you want to earn enough scholarships to go to law school for free. Whatever your goal is, keep that in mind. This will help motivate you during those early mornings when you’d rather sleep in, when you’re feeling frustrated because you don’t feel like you’re improving fast enough, or when you feel like this test is just too hard. When you work toward a specific goal, it makes all the hard stuff seem a little easier. 

So there you have it! Time to charge our laptops, lace up our shoes, and go out there and train for the LSAT. And if you need a coach, our LSAT instructors and tutors are here to help you cross the finish line—and did we mention you get an actual LSAT Coach when you enroll in our 170+ Course