Over the past seven weeks, I’ve written a series of essays that should serve as a foundation for any new or continuing LSAT student.
Lesson one was about where to start. The short answer is anywhere—just pick up any real LSAT question and give it your best shot. If you struggle, that’s fine! That’s what videos, written explanations, and your teachers are here for.
Lesson two was about the importance of timed sections. Time yourself early and often in your LSAT practice so that you don’t choke on the real thing.
If you took lesson one and lesson two on board, you’re already working on real LSAT questions every time you sit down to study. Lesson three was about how to make the most of your study time by thoroughly reviewing each question. Just checking the answer key ain’t enough. Go deeper in your review so you can get at the root of habitual mistakes.
It takes two mistakes to miss a question—picking a wrong answer while failing to pick the right one. Stop doing that.
Lesson four was about the importance of accuracy over speed. The LSAT rewards those who do the focused, careful work expected of an attorney. Most new students do a lot of frantic “work,” but they don’t get paid for their sloppy mistakes. Accuracy beats speed every time. And in the long run, a calm, careful approach is faster anyway.
In lesson five, I wrote that our first job is to get the easy ones right—and I went on to claim that they’re all pretty easy. Students who have started approaching the test with the careful, focused mindset I prescribed in lessons three and four should start to feel this after a few weeks of practice. When you take your time, you’ll find yourself predicting the answers to logical reasoning questions before you’re done reading the arguments. You’ll actually comprehend the reading comprehension passages, and the correct answers will feel obvious. On logic games, you’ll solve each system and harvest buckets of points instead of frantically guess-and-checking questions one at a time.
The test should feel easy if you’re approaching it correctly.
In lesson six, I wrote about how anyone can make progress toward their LSAT goals in just one hour a day. Of course, you might choose to study more. But the first high-quality hour each day will yield more results than any fourth through sixth exhausted hour you’ll ever muster. Use this hour-a-day plan as the foundation for your studies, and feel confident that even if one hour is all you can invest on a given day, you’ll be steadily making progress toward your goal.
Lesson seven was about supplementing this hour-a-day plan with work on a particular weakness. Since so many of us—myself included—start our LSAT prep with a weakness in games, I used games as an example. I described how to invest extra time in your weakest area, with the goal of turning that weakness into a strength. You’re smart, so I know you can tweak this recipe to account for a weakness in LR or RC.
If you took these lessons to heart, I’d be willing to guarantee your eventual success on the LSAT. It wouldn’t happen overnight, and it would be a lot more pleasant with a study partner, study group, or super rad team of LSAT teachers to help you along the way. But you really wouldn’t need any more in the way of schedules or gimmicks or—God forbid—technical mumbo-jumbo that only LSAT teachers can recite.
My goal isn’t to feed you, it’s to teach you how to fish.
The last thing I want to do is bog you down with theory. The LSAT makes perfect sense to those who take the time to make sense of it. So today’s lesson is no lesson at all. Go back and review the seven starting lessons. If your LSAT prep doesn’t already embody those principles, you’re not making as much progress as you could be. If you take my previous advice, you’ll be well on your way to becoming your own LSAT teacher. That’s the most powerful lesson of all.