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Slow down there, LSAT student!

At the beginning of Blueprint LSAT Prep’s courses, many students are understandably more than a little anxious about timing. There are a whole lot of questions on that sucker; how will they ever be able to get through them all?! And, to be honest, that anxiety will likely continue for a large portion of the course. That said, it’s a bad idea to stress about how quickly you’re getting through questions during the first half (or so) of your course, and here’s why.

It encourages rushing through the material. At the beginning of the course, we want to make sure that you understand the material backwards, forwards, and inside-out. In fact, you’re encouraged to check back to the lesson or previous questions any time you want to reference something. This goal is incompatible with trying to finish the questions as quickly as possible, and rushing will prevent you from fully absorbing the material.

It reinforces bad habits. You’re at a tender time in your LSAT studies, and it’s important to spot and fix any bad habits as soon as possible. Many of the questions you encounter at the beginning of the course are easier, on average, than questions later in the course (and, by extension, many of the questions on the real LSAT). If you rush through the questions now, you’re likely to cut corners and pick up some lazy habits. You might still do all right on the questions for now, but those bad habits will come back to bite you when you get to the trickier questions later in the course.

You don’t have the tools to work quickly and efficiently yet. The LSAT is a very learnable test, meaning that studying and practicing it can lead to a drastic improvement in your score. One of the reasons it’s so learnable is because LSAC tends to use the same tricks and test many of the same ideas, over and over. In fact, one of the most important skills you’ll master later in the course is the ability to magically anticipate the correct answer before you even look at the answer choices. However, at this point you haven’t developed your LSAT intuition enough to be able to put that skill to use as quickly. This is another reason it’s important to make sure you fully understand the questions for now – you’ll start noticing those patterns in the way LSAC tries to trick you.

Learning how to do well on the LSAT can be frustratingly slow at times, but taking your time is a necessary part of the process, and it promotes overall success. So, on behalf of LSAT instructors everywhere, I implore you to fight that urge and focus on mastering the material for now – you’ll end up much better off, and much faster, overall.