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On the LSAT, Struggles Lead To Success

The LSAT is hard. Really hard. Students who are bogged down in the middle of LSAT study sometimes feel like it’s just something some people can do and some people can’t. The ones who feel this way invariably put themselves in the “can’t” category. Well, that mindset is self-defeating, and it runs directly counter to the results of studies about… studying. (And, hey, if improvement were impossible then Blueprint wouldn’t exist. The contrapositive of this statement is, “If Blueprint exists, improvement is possible.” And we all know Blueprint exists.)

The simple truth is that learning really hard things is possible. While it happens at a different pace depending upon the person, it does happen.

One of the things that leads to a can’t-do attitude is the fact that achieving a great score takes a few things – but people sometimes only focus on one or two of them and therefore don’t see improvement. First, of course, you have to understand how to answer the questions correctly. While providing correct answers may seem like the whole enchilada, you have to be able to do it quickly and keep up an exhausting pace for three or so hours. These three things—knowledge, speed, endurance—are the three pieces to work on before test day. All three of them are areas in which improvement is possible with hard work and a can-do attitude.

So, it’s time to ask yourself a question: Are you an American or an American’t?

(It helps to imagine this question in a Stephen Colbert voice.)

For so many very good reasons, “American” is a word and “American’t” is not. Was George Washington an American or an American’t? How about Neil Armstrong (first person on the moon for you historically challenged folk)? How about Justin Bieber? Trick question. He’s Canadian, thank God.

So, if you find yourself with a negative attitude, you have to do something about it.

First, acknowledge that this problem exists. People address negativity in many different ways, but the first step in addressing negativity is to understand that negativity is a state of mind that doesn’t reflect reality; it reflects your understandable frustration.

Second, work on it. Just like in the study referenced above, you should focus on the effort you expend and praise yourself (yes, I really said that) for that effort. Do anything else you know that helps you feel positive and confident. You’ve lived with yourself your whole life, so if anybody knows what that is, you should.

Finally, make sure there’s nothing you’re leaving on the table in terms of preparation. Workon knowledge, speed, and endurance. Check previous posts here, talk to your instructor and study mates, or do anything else you can think of to find information that will help you focus on these three things.

Then smile! You’re doing it!