How to Study for a Retake (or...

What to Do When You Run Out of PrepTests)

Someone recently asked me, "What should you do if you have used a lot of your LSAT material already but need to retake?"

Here are 7 tips for anyone in this common situation:

1. Redo practice tests.

Even if you've done every PrepTest (you probably haven't), you won't remember every question. The purpose of doing practice tests is to analyze the logic of each argument or game, so make sure you actually think through each question, even if you know you've done it before. Soon enough, the right answers to each question will seem obvious even if you've never seen the question before.


2. Avoid fake practice tests like the plague.

They're full of errors and not similar enough to real PrepTests. You're better off redoing old PrepTests than spending time with bad materials. Check out my LSAT retake study schedules (scroll down) for tips on how to prepare for your retake.


3. Analyze your current performance on practice tests.

Save every PrepTest answer sheet from the first time. After a few months, retake these PrepTests and compare your performance between the 1st and 2nd times. If you answered the same question incorrectly both times, spend several minutes figuring out the reason.

Keep track of all your mistakes by making a big list with the PrepTest #, Section #, and Question #. Make two columns: one for every serious mistake and one for every stupid mistake. Don't ignore stupid mistakes - they cost as many points as serious ones, and you can decrease the number of stupid mistakes you make.


4. Create strategies based on patterns in your performance.

Figure out the reason you consistently answer certain types of questions incorrectly. Even if you say you won't make the same mistake again, this alone won't prevent you from doing it the 2nd (or 3rd, 4th, or 5th) time.


5. Explain LSAT questions to a friend.

This will help you gain a fresh and concrete understanding of the arguments.


6. Create your own LSAT-style Logic Games.

This jazzes things up and indulges your creative side. More importantly, it allows you to understand their structure. Spend a lot of time creating the incorrect answers. LSAC has a consistent strategy for making wrong answers - each one is wrong for a specific reason.

By making your own Logic Games, you will begin to understand these reasons. Consider writing your own Logical Reasoning questions, too.

(Send in your LSAT-style Logic Games! I'll publish them here.)


7. Try for perfection on each PrepTest.

Allow yourself to puzzle over every question you answer incorrectly. Make sure that you fully understand why the correct answer is correct and why that tempting, but incorrect, answer choice is incorrect.

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Also see my LSAT Retake Study Schedules.



1 comment:

  1. Hi Steve, I just wrote the June LSAT. Studied for 2 months and scored a 158 but as I dont really have a strong gpa I am writing again aiming for a 165+ ( I am in Canada. Most school look only at the highest as you probably know.)

    However I did do a very stupid thing. I took your 6 month study schedule and did it all in 2 months. Not only that, I also did all the tests before test 19. So basically now I have no new tests left for me to gauge my improvement (except for the 3 superprep tests).

    I know that I ineffeciently crammed but I really need to move forward and concentrate on fixing my mistakes. Would you have any suggestions for someone in my situation?

    Thank you so much for you help.

    ReplyDelete