LSAT Diary: LSAT Game Plan

LSAT Blog LSAT Diary LSAT Game Plan
This installment of LSAT Diaries comes from Michela, who followed one of my LSAT study schedules and went from a 149 to a 163 (she's already shared some of her tips).

Enjoy, and if you want to be in LSAT Diaries, please email me at (You can be in LSAT Diaries whether you've taken the exam already or not.)

Thanks to Michela for sharing her experience and advice!

Michela's LSAT Diary:

I made up a Game Plan sheet and read it before every preptest and before the actual LSAT. I related a lot of my prep to sports, as if I were preparing for a big game ie eating right, warm up exercises, visualization, and the game plan strategy. I'll copy and paste my game plan, yours will be different, it's supposed to include the strategies that work for you. It's been adjusted many times over the course of my prep and it was ever-evolving/improving:


1) Calm down and don’t panic, you know how to do every type of game
2) Start the 1st game 1st
3) Asses other games quickly based on size
4) Lay out the names and spaces like always
5) Games that seem hard often have easy questions
6) If it’s not coming together, adjust diagram
7) Utilize the highlighter to stabilize original diagram
8) Identify free floating entities
9) Identify valid hypotheticals for future questions
10) If running out of time, do specified questions first
11) Skip substitution questions

1) Most number of questions first
2) Parallel passage second
3) Save the lowest numbered passage for last
5) Maintain pace
6) Do NOT zone out
7) Stay engaged and interested
8) Identify the viewpoints
9) If you’re not getting it, don’t keep reading without figuring it out!

1) Quickly glance at question stem
2) Don’t be speedy, don’t be greedy!
3) Focus on the conclusion
4) Prephrase answers where applicable
5) Read the stimulus properly the first time
6) Don’t be so quick to cross of answer choices, make certain that it’s truly wrong
7) Don’t just guess, be 100% confident!
8) Skip parallel reasoning, hard formal logic/conditional questions, and justify
10) Be a critical reader, don’t make stupid mistakes
11) Don’t spend too long on questions that aren’t coming together
12) Watch out for absolute terms in the stimulus, stem, and answer choices
13) Never relax, always examine ALL answer choices
14) One answer is completely correct, the other 4 choices are completely wrong

1) Remember to adjust analog watch before each section and be aware not to pull off markers
2) Remember to mark unfinished questions on bubble sheet, but also remember to erase after
3) Circle and star unfinished questions in booklet, star questions that you are unsure of
4) Don’t make careless errors in bubbling and marking the answers
5) Sharpen pencils at the break
6) Transfer answers one at a time for LR, transfer answers one game/passage at a time for AR/RC
7) Don’t get down because of a bad game or passage, you can still do good
8) Don’t dwell on past questions
9) Focus on the present and the task at hand, one question at a time
10) Don’t freak out when the proctor calls 5 minutes, but you should bubble in remaining blanks
11) Don’t be distracted by other test takers
12) Arrive at 7:45 and complete 3 games and a page of LR

1) You have prepared exceptionally well, there is nothing more you could have done to improve your score
2) Regardless of what score you get, you will get into at least one law school
3) This test is not a measure of your intelligence or aptitude for law school
4) Everything happens for a reason
5) Be positive, aggressive and confident. The LSAT rewards confidence
6) Think of how much more preparation and work you have put in as opposed to thousands of other test takers

Photo by bdorfman


  1. That is an awesome post. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. "Don’t be distracted by other test takers"

    Unfortunately, you can't choose your seat and a hacking/coughing/sniffling person sitting nearby WILL distract you unless you have Zen-like concentration. Also, proctors going in and out of the room, slamming the doors will knock you right out of the test no matter where you are sitting.

  3. I can vouch for this approach! Though I'm doing my game plan progressively.

    After every test, I jot down a ton of observations about my mood, approach to questions, tendencies and common errors, etc. Both generally and within sections. I then take a few of the most important and changeable observations and write them into a "Game Plan" that I read before the next test.

    As I improve and game plan strategies become second nature, they don't show up in my post-test observations. Consequently, I only write things on a test's game plan that still have not set in. This way, I'm not trying to juggle a thousand strategies in my head and can really focus on the currently pertinent ones. This has reduced my stress and made my strategies really manageable.

    Once I learn to dribble, I stop telling myself to dribble and just do it so I can focus on my jump shot.

  4. Just wondering: did you write an addendum about the score difference to attach to your apps?

  5. I would also add, "take a deep breath before each LG." It worked for me while I was doing the practice tests. I became more relaxed and less nervous and was able to think and diagram more clearly.

  6. I am of mixed tribe here in Kenya. Belonging to the Maasai meant I was earmarked for marriage at a young age as most of my peers were. However, my parents were able to move from that and I managed to acquire what I can pretty much call a decent education in a public school near my village.

    See, the education system in Kenya is very competitive and you can only get the best if you acquire extremely good grades.(unless of course you have money to acquire something better) I worked my way through high school and got grades enough to help me get direct entry into campus. However, I didn't make the cut points for Law School here in Kenya and had to settle for a different course in one of the universities in the city.

    A legal profession is something I have wanted to pursue for as long as I can remember and settling into something else was a major struggle. I, however, went through with it and finished my first degree this year.

    A friend had mentioned the LSAT and as soon as I was done with my last campus exam, I started looking for information on it.

    I also made a plan to get the money to pay for it so I could do it in December. My plan was to spend all of August looking for materials to prepare for it. All sites I came across were very expensive in terms of cost for prep materials. I stumbled on lsat blog and wrote to Steve to seek information on where I could get the latest affordable material on lsat preps and he emailed me some links.

    I also wrote to friends in the diaspora to ask them to link me up with friends who'd done the last before to see if they could get me study books.

    My material should be in before the end of the month hopefully, then I can work out a study schedule.

    I believe every journey begins with a step and this are my baby steps to my law degree:)

  7. Wow.. great post. This is very helpful. Thanks for sharing!