LSAT Diary: Adjusting to Timed LSAT Sections and PrepTests (Part 1)

LSAT Blog Diary Adjusting Timed LSAT Sections PrepTests
This installment of LSAT Diaries comes from Caroline, who followed my 5-month day-by-day LSAT study schedule and got some private LSAT tutoring from me.

(This is Part 1 of her LSAT Diary. See Part 2 here.)

She ended up scoring a 169 on the June LSAT and got a perfect score on the Logic Games section!

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 Caroline for sharing her experience and advice!

Caroline's LSAT Diary, Part 1:

I started thinking about the LSAT about a year ago. I had sort of-maybe decided that I wanted to go to law school last summer after a year of going back and forth between grad school and law school.

I found Steve's LSAT blog on a random online search when looking into various studying options. I didn't want to (nor could I afford to) spend thousands of dollars on a class. I'm also someone who has a very "I can do it on my own" attitude about most things, so I found the blog to be perfect.

After combing through Steve's blog extensively, I decided to buy the 5-month LSAT study plan and the accompanying books. While this was happening, I had committed to go live in South Africa for 3 months. I decided that I would start my studying while I was there and continue for 2 months when I returned home, all in time for the February test.

And so my studying began in South Africa. I was in a new place and could thus concentrate pretty well at night with few distractions. I followed Steve's plan to a tee—I did not do a single thing more or less to start out with. I had read about the LSAT in the weeks leading up to my study, but the fact of the matter was that I felt completely lost at first. Steve’s study guide was the perfect way to familiarize myself with the test and ease into it.

I did NOT take a diagnostic test, and I am extremely happy that I didn’t. I’m not someone who is naturally gifted at standardized tests, and I’m sure I would have bombed a practice test doing it without any familiarity, and would have squashed all hope of a great grade.

I was incredibly dedicated for those 5 months. I rarely fell behind in my study schedule and when I did, I made time to ensure that I was caught up. I began to obsess over the test, and obsess over the idea of getting a near perfect score. In a way this was good, because I made sure I always got my studying in. I was improving on time and in each section because I was dedicated and was working so hard. The bad side to this, however, was that I was setting the bar very high for myself, which made anything short of perfect a mini tragedy for me.

I took my first PrepTest 3 months into my studying. I scored a 162, and felt good. I figured I had 2 months to tirelessly do timed PrepTests, and I was sure to improve. I was right—my PrepTests were averaging in the low 170s as the test neared.

I would say that at this point my strengths and weaknesses really showed. When you are working on understanding the structure of questions in the beginning and not timing yourself, it’s a lot easier to think you are better than you are in real-LSAT conditions. During my PTing is when I found that I was struggling to finish logic games on time, often having to guess on the last 2-4 questions. I found out that how I did on reading comprehension really depended on the subject matter and my mind-set (and hence it was harder for me to improve on).

I also found that I yo-yo’ed and then plateaued with logical reasoning. It went from being my best to my worst to my best in a matter of weeks, which was frustrating. It was when I began to see a pattern in my weaknesses and strengths that I was able to hone in on and correct where I needed improvement. I wrote down the logical reasoning question types I was getting wrong and practiced those. Over time, logical reasoning was by far my best section. I should also mention that at this point in my prep (the last month or so), I was doing my own preparation and practice in addition to Steve’s plan. I think this was good for me because I was able to tailor my studying to work on my weaknesses while also doing timed PrepTests.

Logic games were a little tougher for me to improve on, and I think it was because I didn’t have a set system down for the tougher question types. I was taking a while to diagram and making stupid mistakes, like writing rules down incorrectly. Whatever the exact reason, there was a disconnect that, in retrospect, I didn’t address properly. More on that later.


Read on for Part 2 of Caroline's LSAT Diary.

Photo by bobaubuchon

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