Applying to law school is a dream that everyone strives for. But how many people actually take the initiative to dig deeper into finding out everything about the overall preparation process. If you want to kickstart your career in law and work for the popular companies or even establish your own you definitely need to consider learning about the LSAT exam. As the LSAT is known to be a hard exam, it requires diligent work and a daily checklist that you need to follow. Besides, the intense timing that you should spend on studying and preparation, you will be shedding a lot of cash. So how do you come up with a plan that works which will not make you regret your investment? We have collected nine tips for the LSAT that will guide you throughout the entire process. Even though every individual taking the exam has different expectations, sticking to a daily routine is an integral part of studying as the exam massively differs from other admission tests. The most difficult part is adhering to it, avoiding procrastination and maintaining motivation. For achieving that you need step by step guidance and LSAT tips to utilize every single day. Therefore, we suggest you follow our recommended nine tips that will most likely alleviate some of the stress you are feeling during your LSAT prep.
1. Visualize success and the value you will get in the end
The thought of success can create happiness! Once we attain something that seemed hard initially, the suspense wares off, and the excitement rapidly comes in. By taking time every day to imagine achieving your goal you can stay motivated and on the right path. When we experience happiness our brain releases serotonin, the hormone responsible for happiness. By keeping the picture of accomplishment in our mind’s eye each time, the happiness never fades away. Hence, if every day contains even a tiny drop of happiness, even the most complex struggles seem to be a joy. Since the LSAT exam is a struggle, imagine your life as a successful lawyer. Do your best to look at the bigger picture and think of the steps that will expedite reaching the top.
2. Review the LSAT sections
Whether you have a private LSAT tutor or you are studying on your own, be sure to review the overall format and LSAT vocabulary every day before going through your study materials. You may want to look through some materials or quizzes on logical and analytical reasoning sections, practice reading comprehension and briefly familiarize yourself with unscored variable and sample writing sections in order not to get surprised if odd questions come along. You can consider this form of revision as stretching your brain muscles and warming up before the main exercise. Doing a simple LSAT quiz or preparation each time will make you more cautious about time management and remind you about the type of questions that might pop up afterward.
3. Set a time limit for each day
As it is said, time is the only non-redeemable commodity, so proper allocation is a fundamental key to success. We recommend you have a specific time allocation for each day. That can be some time for weekday preparation and extension on the weekends. Ensure the limit you set for yourself is reasonable because procrastinating one day and doubling the hours the next day does not seem plausible. It does not matter how many months you have on your hands; the significant thing is precise allocation. If you want to get a decent score, you must spend approximately 150-300 hours reviewing the materials and practicing. Remember that time is the most expensive investment you are making. Never forget that your study-life balance should be of utmost importance. We are aware that most LSAT takers are full-time workers with little time flexibility. The most achievable time-management during LSAT prep involves 7-10 hours of self-prep and 2-3 hour sessions. That is why allocating a three month period at approximately 10-12 hours per week will be a great goal.
4. Do not forget to reward yourself
It is no secret that the LSAT is burdensome and overwhelming, but you cannot exhaust yourself by wasting time and doing nothing. Not having small rewards in front of you every day will drain your energy. Rewards are things that rejuvenate your broken concentration. Try something like the Pomodoro Technique. This technique helps break down time into intervals with short breaks. Instead of breaks, you can think of something ‘non-LSAT related’ that will make you regain focus. For example, by grabbing a quick snack, meditating, or walking around the house. Even though small rewards are significant, LSAT strategy also involves a larger reward; a big break. As depleting yourself over months is a grind on your body and mind, even leading to serious fatigue, taking a break for two or three days can sometimes be the best action. Whichever works best for you, make use of it; even those brief respites retain your stamina. Finally, never forget about the grandiose reward; your final score. During small daily rewards or even larger breaks, always remind yourself of the one thing you are putting arduous effort into. Remember possible competition; maybe your friends are also preparing, think about the bragging after you have a successful finish!
5. Forget about the target score, only focus on improvement
LSAT preparation practices do generate plight both in physical and mental states. It is crucial to remind oneself of the improvement phases. We agree that everything you are going through is for the final score, but focusing too much on it deteriorates the mental support you could get by concentrating on what you are gaining from that infuriating experience. All successful practices dictate that you should focus on one thing at a time, which improves every day until the exam day. When the exam day comes, you will utilize all the knowledge and effort to get the highest LSAT score possible. Keeping daily track of your improvements relieves some of the burden on your shoulders. Even the tiniest advantage acquired can be a game changer. For instance, finishing each section a minute earlier than before will eventually contribute to achieving more significant results on the exam day.
6. Give yourself a pep talk
I am sure you receive a lot of support from the people surrounding you. However, self-encouragement is of the utmost importance. Look around, see what others are doing at your age and inspire yourself. Choose wisely between the tradeoffs. Such as choosing to study instead of partying. Giving yourself a pep talk daily will make you more enthusiastic about reaching your objectives. A recent scientific study has shown that talking to yourself dwindles anxiety and stress while boosting performance. This is no less true for exam and test prep. Give yourself motivational and instructional speeches and reiterate the same order daily. Both methods promote positivity as motivational talks cheer you up and keep up the eagerness to study and strive for more, while self-instructional talk directs detail-orientation and accentuates what exactly you need to do for that particular day. For example, start every day by loudly stating what should be done for the day. It helps with thinking about the mechanisms of every individual task and visualizing methods to complete them correspondingly.
7. Be your own critic
Of course, you need all the encouragement and self-support to reach your goals, but especially during LSAT exam preparation, you need to criticize yourself. If you want to enroll in a J.D. program that is among the highest university rankings in the US you definitely need a 160+ LSAT score, and you should be aware that it will not be a piece of cake. Give yourself credit on what you are doing right, but also consider aspects of the LSAT problems that you need to elaborate on and master additional skills. The LSAT is not the only requirement for law school admission. Top schools do not come easy, which is why learning to grow from the beginning will come in handy even after taking the LSAT and completing the degree at the desired university. The dominant thing is separating the action from the person because you are criticizing your actions and not you as a person; you should not humiliate yourself, detect the triggers of low performance and failure and make yourself accountable for such actions. Ultimately, the ability to discern your flaws and work on personal evolution is an inherent quality. You should capacitate your abilities and aptitudes in order to pull it off in life. Always remember that the LSAT anxiety is not something that should make you step back from the most widely accepted profession and the pride you could get from yourself at the end.
8. Devote time on analyzing
Not only practicing, but analyzing the entire process after taking LSAT notes is principal for scoring plateau. Because the LSAT is considered an IQ test for future lawyers, you need to approach every small detail analytically. . Do not try to work on automation and memorization skills. Aside from the necessary usage of practice tests l, successful LSAT test takers delve into each question type and format. The most important thing is not what you learn from the preparation phase, it is how you can apply and understand the concepts from whatever you have learned. Analyzing each question type and what got you wrong can take even more time than the mundane practice. However, the thinner the gap of unfamiliarity becomes over time due to your strong analytical skills and strategies, the better and easier it will be for you to grasp new concepts and ideas for accelerating the preparation process. The thing here is that you need to make yourself comfortable with the strange unfamiliarity.
9. Be confident and remember that everything is in your hands
Have you ever thought about the law of attraction? It is basically a belief that everything you imagine is accomplishable. As positive thoughts bring in positive outcomes you should believe in yourself. Of course maintaining solid focus on your weaknesses is important, but you should intuitively know that you are the one who is capable of transforming weaknesses into strengths. Make sure to dedicate enough of yourself to setting up a study and practice plan. The thing is to never doubt confidence and face the situation with your head up.
We do understand that you may be struggling with the LSAT preparation. However, make sure to follow our recommendations. Create a daily checklist and think of other tips that may be useful to you. Of course, physical preparation is essential, but mental direction is just as important. Whether you have an LSAT private tutor or not, you are your tutor, and it is on you to maintain motivation during the entire process. We suggest you develop an LSAT strategy along with these nine tips to attain greater productivity and manifest superb performance. Make studying for the LSAT a daily habit, and keep yourself posted on the LSAT advice and instructions APEX always provides you with.
Contributor: Ruzanna Mirzoyan
Date: June 16th, 2021