Posted by Ann Levine | June 20, 2012
Today’s LSAT advice comes from our friends at Blueprint LSAT Prep. Blueprint offers live LSAT prep classes throughout the country and online LSAT classes for those who want to study from home (or their favorite coffee shop).
What to do if you’re taking the October LSAT
If you’ve decided to take the October LSAT, you’ve made a wise decision. Taking the October LSAT means you can (A) complete the bulk of your prep before classes start in the fall, (B) you can apply early in the admission cycle (assuming you’re cool with your score), and (C) if you’re not prepared or don’t like your score, you can still take the December test and apply in the same application cycle.
If you’ve done your research on law school admissions, you know that applying earlier in the process can improve your chances of admission, which is perhaps one of the reasons why October has historically been the most popular time to take the LSAT. Another reason is that it allows students to spend the bulk of their studying over the summer, when they’re not taking other classes. Still another reason is that it’s all over before Halloween, and you can use your used books and fake blood to go trick-or-treating as an LSAT zombie.
So now that you’ve decided to take the October LSAT, it’s time to turn your attention to actually studying for the test in order to make this wise decision pay off. Bummer, I know.
Here are a few things to think about before you plunge into your LSAT prep:
1. Take a break, then get intense.
If you’re still in college (or just graduated) you’ve only been out of school for a month or less. Take a few more weeks off and let your mind rest before starting your LSAT prep. Go on vacation, learn how to skydive, become acquainted with icy beverages served with a straw by the pool. Then, around mid-July, get serious and devote serious study time (25-35 hours per week) to your prep. Prep like it’s your job, because for 3 or so months, it will be.
2. Start reading dense magazines.
Many students begin their prep course or self-study with the misconception that Reading Comprehension is the easiest section, or that it can’t be learned. In reality, Reading Comp is consistently one of the most difficult sections for students to improve their scores, and often students don’t realize this until they’re well into their prep. A big reason that students find Reading Comp so difficult is that the passages tend to be filled with confusing, esoteric words (words like, well, “esoteric”).
Get a head start now by reading some tough academic material and familiarizing yourself with technical language. Good places to start are highbrow magazines like The Economist, Scientific American, and The New Yorker (sorry dudes, but your closet Us Weekly addiction won’t help you here). The key to the Reading Comprehension section is to read for passage structure rather than trying to absorb all those minute details. Familiarizing yourself with difficult language will help you read past the tough verbiage and focus in on the passage itself.
Plus, you’ll look smarter reading all those intellectual magazines by the pool with your icy, straw-sporting beverage.
3. Prepare yourself mentally for the long road ahead.
At Blueprint, we keep ourselves sane by making LSAT prep as fun and engaging as possible. Still, it’s no cakewalk. LSAT prep will test your mental endurance like nothing you’ve experienced. At least, until you get married.
So take a deep breath, exhale, and relish the last few weeks before the slog begins.
For more information on preparing for the LSAT, visit Blueprint’s free help area.