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Four New Year’s Resolutions for LSAT Retakers

Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? If your New Year’s Eve celebration was anything like mine, the alcohol might have taken care of that for you. Unfortunately, some of you will have to bring one acquaintance to mind in the new year – the LSAT.

With December LSAT scores coming out soon, some of you will enter the next phase of LSAT prep – gearing up for a retake. Others have already made that decision, but you’re waiting until the new year to start the studying over again. Either way, here are some resolutions to make so that you don’t enter the dreaded realm of the LSAT re-retaker.

LSAT Retaker New Year’s Resolution I: Figure out where you went wrong the first time

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting different results. Deciding to retake the LSAT is already insane enough – not changing up your game plan is a shortcut to losing your mind.

Before you start studying, figure out where you went wrong the first time. Did you not spend enough time overall on studying? Did you spread your studying over too long of a time period? Not take enough practice LSATs? Focus on your best sections instead of your weakest?

When you have a solid idea of where you went wrong on LSAT test day, you can start coming up with a study plan to fix it.

LSAT Retaker New Year’s Resolution II: Make a full-fledged study plan

A pile of books, four Red Bulls, and hopes and dreams isn’t an LSAT study plan.

First, figure out how many hours you’re going to dedicate to LSAT prep each week (aim for 20+), which days you can study (take 1-2 off), and when you’re going to study on each day.

Then, break your time up every week by section; your strongest section should take up about 20% of your time, your weakest about 45%, and the other section about 35% of your time.

LSAT Retaker New Year’s Resolution III: Schedule plenty of practice tests

Assuming you spent a decent amount of time prepping for your first LSAT, you should have a pretty solid grasp of the basic concepts being tested and a method for approaching each LSAT question type.

This second time around, it’s important that you practice those methods until they become second nature.

And the only way to do that is with practice LSATs. Save the more recent practice tests until the two weeks before LSAT test day, but slot in at least two each week after a brief review period. There’s no substitute for practicing on a full exam in test-like conditions, so make sure you get plenty of it in.

LSAT Retaker New Year’s Resolution IV: Exercise

You may have packed on some pounds studying for the LSAT on the first go. Plus, something about endorphins making you smarter. I think I saw that on the news.

Going into an LSAT retake with the same plan and expecting a different LSAT score is insanity. Planning out a smart LSAT study schedule that focuses on improving your weaknesses is the easiest money you’ll ever make (as your LSAT score will go up and scholarship offers will follow). So start 2013 off the right way.

After taking some aspirin, of course.