The best way to study for the LSAT is through focused, methodical practice, to regularly identify and eliminate weak spots. Like a tennis player preparing for a tournament, you should build your skills by practicing at the peak of your abilities rather than reinforcing old habits through inattentive practice.
However, even the most hardcore LSAT needs to take breaks. Hours spent analyzing dry reading comprehension passages about scientific advances and stringing together conditional statements to find hidden inferences can seem exhausting.
While there’s no substitute for practicing the LSAT with real questions, here are some lighter activities to keep your brain in shape during downtime. Think of these habits as stretching or jogging between more intense fitness routines.
- Read critically.
- Train under extreme stress.
- Shift your focus.
- Identify logic flaws.
- Move your body.
The reading comprehension section of the LSAT is difficult to master, due to its fast pace and complex prose. His passages have nothing to do with the light, skimming articles that invade the Internet.
To practice tackling difficult passages, play a game by deciphering the driest, most opaque texts you can find, such as academic papers in unfamiliar areas or poorly written opinion essays.
Practice unraveling the writer’s argument and tracing its structure. How does the argument flow from paragraph to paragraph? What is the author’s main point? What evidence supports the author’s claims? How could the parts of the argument be rearranged more logically?
For a tougher challenge, dive into legal language, like terms of service for software products. Practice careful reading to make sense of complex clauses, then practice reading at a faster pace to understand how those clauses connect without aiming for perfect recall.
Compared to these doozies, the LSAT will seem much less intimidating.
Train under extreme stress
One of the worst LSAT study habits to develop is depending on perfect conditions like absolute silence and a full night’s rest. Chances are something will go wrong on test day, from a grumpy proctor to a spotty network connection.
To avoid these eventualities, try to practice under imperfect conditions. Do a practice section in a crowded cafe. Logic diagram games when you are hungry or tired.
Don’t judge yourself on the results. It’s about showing that these hindrances are hardly lethal and finding ways around the distractions.
Shift your focus
Maintaining composure and self-awareness is key to managing test anxiety. Build this key habit during everyday moments so you can rely on it when under stress.
Whenever you feel tense or frustrated during a strenuous chore or a flash of road rage, try to catch yourself in the act and focus on something else, like a nearby object. You don’t need to shut down or fight your feelings, just try to redirect your train of thought.
That way, when a difficult LSAT question ignites your anxieties, it’ll be easier to notice what’s going on and move on to a different question. Since it’s easy to flag questions for later exam on the digital LSAT, there’s no reason to dwell on difficult questions.
Detect logic faults
Politicians, pundits and activists of all political stripes make the wrong arguments, whether out of ignorance or bad faith. Political debates are great hunting grounds for faulty logical reasoning.
Read political speeches or interviews and practice identifying common logical errors such as curricular reasoning, ambiguities, source arguments, and over-generalization.
Identifying logical errors in everyday speech is not only a key LSAT skill, it is directly relevant to legal practice.
Move your body
The LSAT is not only mentally taxing, but also physically exhausting. It takes a lot of energy and stamina. Hours of practice can be exhausting and leave your body sore.
To reduce the consequences of the test, take care of your health by eating nutritious meals and maintaining light exercise routines such as walking or cycling.
Studying for the LSAT is a marathon, not a sprint. Maintain a good pace so you don’t run out before you reach the finish line.