LSAT Diary: Using the LSAT Blog Study Schedule

Derek, a blog reader who serves in the military, already shared some of his LSAT reflections in his first LSAT diary. In his second, he shares some thoughts about my day-by-day study plans.

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Thanks to Derek for sharing his experience and advice, and please leave your questions for him below in the comments!

Derek's 2nd LSAT Diary:

For the second installment of my LSAT Diary, I was unsure as to what I wanted to emphasize. As far as chronology is concerned, we recently completed our deployment and are now back in the glorious United States of America. Being abroad and working within the boundaries of another country’s laws most certainly made tangible the notion that a society and its legal system have a mutually constructive relationship. It was fascinating, and frustrating, to experience that what may be rational and fair to one society would be decisively rejected as irrational and unfair by our own.

I’ll quit on the musings and move on…

For the last three months of the deployment the operational tempo was so high that I ran out of both energy and time to accomplish any worthwhile LSAT studying. Reading Scott Turow’s One L was my attempt to maintain some semblance of optimism while abroad. Yes, I know that reading it has become almost cliché amongst pre-law students, but I thought it was a really entertaining read and provided some welcome distraction.

Since returning, I purchased Steve’s 3-Month Day-By-Day LSAT Study Schedule. I have to say, I was conflicted about the purchase. Despite being a military officer, I hate being told how to do something, including studying. However, because LSAT Blog has always outdone the best commercial study guides in terms of efficiency and practicality, I decided to fork over the dough.

THE REVIEW: Definitely worth the purchase; thorough and well-structured, particularly for the majority of us who have the most difficulty with Logic Games. For each day, Steve includes links to his pertinent blog posts according to what is to be studied; this helps mitigate the time you would otherwise spend hunting down each individual post that pertains to that day’s subject.

The only thing that would make the study plan more efficient (for me at least) is if the actual text and diagrams from each of the cited blog posts were placed in an appendix and attached to the study schedule for easy reference. Although if Steve were to include that “appendix”, his “schedule” would quickly begin to suspiciously resemble a commercial study guide, subsequently causing a spontaneous and dramatic increase in price.

[Ed. If I were to include every blog post referenced, it would be far too long a document! I do link to everything for easy reference, though.]

I’ve taken the schedule, printed off the pertinent blog posts and placed everything in a three-ring binder. The three-ring binder is divided by week/LSAT subject and within each partition I have Steve’s schedule and associated blog posts and Logic Games. At the front of the binder, I have an overview of the schedule, LSAT FAQ, Logic Games Cheat Sheet and the Logic Game Categorization by Type. Once I get to the Logical Reasoning portion of the schedule, I’ll put similar documents in the “all-applicable” front section. For now, it has become my primary supplement to the PrepTests, containing all relevant blog posts and tips.

As far as actual studying goes, the logic games are getting a little easier for me. The devil is most certainly in the details. It has taken me a month or so of hard studying to finally be able to quickly filter and absorb all the rules/variables that apply to each game. It’s so rewarding to go from clueless to effectively organizing the information and nailing the questions. I am far from perfect, just hinging on proficient, but improvement is the most powerful encouragement in my book. Categorizing the games into four or five different types has helped to to alleviate the stress that I experienced when I attempted to classify the question using a system that had nearly sixteen types.

On another note, since returning, I have also read Andrew McClurg’s One L of a Ride. In it he mentions the importance of personality type in studying effectively. Within that context, he briefly describes the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and learning to curtail your studying to your mental function preferences. Just to prompt some dialogue, Has anybody studied the MBTI or believe in its credence? What are the trends as far as MBTI type entering law school these days? If you know your personality type, what effect do you think this has had on your LSAT studying? Do you think that certain personality types are more intuitive or better than others at certain sections of the LSAT?

Photo by deerleap



2 comments:

  1. Hi, Derek.

    Thank you for your service to this country.

    In response to your questions:

    - I took the full MBTI test when I was a freshman in college (six years ago). According to my test results, I am an ENTP. And I believe the test is reasonably accurate: ENTP, in my view, is a very good summary of my personality.

    - I haven't read anything that suggests a relationship between personality type and desire to attend law school. But I suspect that the law school student population is evenly split between Extroversion and Introversion; somewhat biased toward Intuition (over Sensing); heavily biased toward Thinking (over Feeling); and somewhat evenly split between Judgment and Perception. Just my hunch.

    - Has my being an ENTP affected my LSAT prep? On some reflection, yes, I'd say so. That I'm an E probably explained why I derived energy by talking with people during my breaks. (I's tend to derive energy from being alone and reflecting.) That I'm an N and a T likely contributed to my overall comfort with the test. The LSAT - with its focus on abstract relationships and emphasis on logic – caters to my personality. That I'm a P contributed to my flexibility, that is, my ability to change course if a certain approach was not working.

    - All other things being equal (intelligence, motivation, work ethic), I'd say that E's and I's as well as J's and P's are evenly matched on the test; the advantage, though, goes to N's (over S's) and T's (over F's) because of the premium placed on logical reasoning.

    Good luck with everything, Derek.

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  2. LSAT Prep Course InstructorAugust 7, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    Putting aside the comment that One L was somehow a "welcome distraction" (that book illustrated to me how nuts Turow was! It was anything but a distraction!!), I'm glad to see a student who came around to agreeing that a study schedule is a good thing. I've come across so many students who feel so compelled to jump from one area to another, or to tackle every single logic game in one sitting. That's obviously not the way to go. The best thing to do is have patience and methodically approach the exam, taking yourself deeper and deeper into its various facets so that you can master it a little at a time. Whatever the schedule, it's built on a methodical approach to the exam, which is really a universal tidbit if you think about it. You'll never master anything unless you develop a plan and follow it to the T.

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