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Tips for Retaking in February

December LSAT scores came early this year — a Christmas present, perhaps. But maybe it didn’t feel like much of a present. If LSanta Claus (sorry) brought you a lump of coal, you might be looking toward the February LSAT. Here are some tips as you study for a retake.

Take a step back

In the final weeks leading up to the December LSAT, you were probably mostly working on timed practice, practice tests, and the like. You’ll need to do plenty more of that before February, but not just yet. Look over the December LSAT and the last practice tests you took beforehand. What was strong and what wasn’t? What pitfalls do you need to avoid in February?

Then, it’s time to go back and review everything. How should you approach each type of question? What makes an answer right or wrong? What kinds of right answers should you expect? What kinds of wrong answers? Even if you think you know all this stuff pretty well, there are probably some nuances you missed the first time around. And, of course, you should give extra attention and practice to the problem areas you’ve identified.

Teach yourself

As you transition into taking timed tests again (and you can make that transition a bit sooner than you probably did the first time you studied), make the most of the process of reviewing the tests that you took. It’s tempting to just look up an explanation for anything you get wrong, but do your best to resist that temptation. Explanations are a great resource, but now that you know what you’re doing , you can learn a lot from trying to figure out the test on your own.

Here’s what you do: You take the test timed, with an answer sheet. Circle the questions you’re not sure about. Then, set the answer sheet aside. Take a fresh look at the questions you circled and see if you can understand them now that the time pressure is off. Do the same for any questions you didn’t get to. Then, you get to score the test. Take another look at your wrong answers and any questions you had right but still don’t feel great about. Now that you know what the answer is, can you figure out why? Then look at explanations if you’re still unsure or if you want to see how someone else does it.

Don’t fear the mysterious February LSAT

The February LSAT is undisclosed. That means that when you get your score, you’ll only get to see your score. You won’t get to see the test or the breakdown of how many questions you got right. This leads to rumors that the February LSAT is weird or somehow different from other LSATs. It isn’t. The same stuff you’d do to prepare yourself for any other LSAT is what you should do to prepare for the February LSAT. February scores count just the same as other scores.

So, no excuses. Get to studying!