Your Foolproof Guide to Studying for the LSAT a Second Time
- Jun 21, 2017
So you took the June LSAT, and you’ve pondered, and you really think you can do better—you’ve decided to retake the LSAT in September.
The only problem is that you’re really not sure where to start—you probably have a general sense of your biggest “problem areas” from your previous round of studying, but maybe you’re not sure how to tackle them in a meaningful way, or maybe you’re not even sure what you should be focusing on. Fear not, because we’re here today to share our (nearly) foolproof guide to kicking the ass of the September LSAT when you’ve already taken it once(tm). (We’re still working on the tagline, okay?!)
1. Assemble your materials (ASAP)
You’ll probably want to start the retake process with a broad overview of the concepts on the LSAT—yep, that means reviewing how to tackle all of the question types.
The materials you use in pursuit of this goal will depend on several factors, including how you studied the first time around, what resources are available to you, and how much moolah you’re able to invest in this step. For instance, Blueprint LSAT students can extend access to their online accounts, which gives you the ability to review all of the lessons. Alternatively, you could use books (including, but not limited to, Blueprint’s excellent Logic Games and Reading Comprehension books—no matter what you use, be sure to read lots of reviews before buying). You can even review the materials you used the first time around (such as Blueprint textbooks) without any supplementary material.
2. Learn everything backwards and forwards, without worrying about timing (over the next month or so)
Chances are that you felt like you could have spent more time getting the concepts completely nailed down when you first learned about some of the topics on the LSAT. This time, you’re going to do it right—you’re going to review everything until you know it cold. You can intersperse some practice tests throughout this stage, but for now, your main focus should just be making sure that you really, really understand the subject matter.
3. Begin incorporating more timed practice—but with TONS of review (remaining month+)
After you have a firm handle on what you’re doing, you’re ready to shift into doing more timed practice. Ideally, you’d be doing a lot of practice tests, but that depends in part on your schedule. If you only have time for practice tests on the weekend, it’s totally fine to focus on doing full timed sections during the week.
Timed practice is great for giving you a progress report of sorts—it lets you know how you’re doing—but you won’t actually improve very much just from doing timed questions. That’s where reviewing your work comes in. Lots of ink has been spilled on this blog about the best way to review individual questions and practice tests, but the short version is that you need to know specifically why each wrong answer is wrong and why the right answer is right. Don’t let yourself get away with vague “this answer choice isn’t supported by the stimulus”-type explanations; push yourself to be more detailed, e.g. “The stimulus discusses the effects of alcohol on decision-making processes of people at bars, and this answer choice is about people drinking tea at cafes, so we can’t extrapolate from talking about alcohol to talking about tea.”
I’m also a big fan of re-doing questions a few weeks after you review them. You should keep a list of questions you found to be difficult, and you should revisit those questions from time to time. It’s also a great idea to redo full Logic Games sections; if you reviewed them well enough the first time around, you should have no problem setting them up and finding the deductions on the second try.
Retaking the LSAT is a lot of hard work, but it can pay huge dividends if you’re able to improve your LSAT score. The exact details of your study plan may vary, but you’ll find the best success by following this general structure. Good luck!
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