Everyone hopes that taking the LSAT will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience—never to be repeated. Sometimes, however, things don’t go your way the first time around. Maybe you canceled your score, or perhaps you received a lower score than you desire. Fortunately, retaking the LSAT is an option. The key is to ensure that the second time’s the charm.
Many test takers find that they benefit from a short mental break from the LSAT. Waiting for your score is a perfect break but if you canceled your score, consider giving yourself one or two weeks off. Try not to think about the LSAT at all for a little while. Don’t feel guilty: even though you aren’t practicing during this time, your subconscious mind is likely still processing the LSAT.
After this break, sit down and think through each section of the LSAT, and assess your strengths and weaknesses. Are you consistently approaching each and every Logical Reasoning question the same way? Are certain Reading Comprehension passages more challenging than others, and if so, why? Do you have a steady method for setting up and solving the Logic Games?
You’re taking inventory here: figuring out what your strengths are, and identifying those areas most in need of improvement.
Once you’ve done that, you can devise an LSAT prep study schedule that reinforces best practices and also forces you to prioritize the areas in need of improvement.
Your objective is to achieve measured, intentional LSAT practice. Approach each problem methodically, with a consistent application of the same exact order of operations each time: reading the stimulus carefully and critically; reading the reading passage in its entirety, with limited strategic markup; setting up diagrams for each game by type; etc.
To prioritize areas where you feel you need the most improvement, first identify the worst case scenarios. For example: are you terrified of back-to-back Logical Reasoning or Reading Comprehension sections? Force yourself to face those fears head on: do two, timed, back-to-back Logical Reasoning sections, or Reading Comprehension sections, each and every time you sit down to work on LSAT prep. Are you worried about ambient noise? Find a noisy place and do some practice, training yourself to block out the distractions. Or download Exam Proctor by TestMax and turn on the ambient noise and/or random noise settings.
In addition to these types of strategic preparation, you should ensure that you are devoting a significant amount of time to engaged review of completed questions, practice sections, or full practice LSATs. You need to understand WHY you are making any mistakes—that is the only way to avoid replicating those mistakes.
Finally, do everything you can to avoid burnout, especially in the final weeks before you retake the exam. Consider taking only one full-length timed LSAT each week, or at the very most two; in between, review the prep test carefully, and do individual sections for additional timed practice without the exhaustion attendant to sitting through a full five-section exam.
Be sure you are well-rested in the days leading up to the test: remember, the LSAT also tests your psychological presence of mind. You’ll need to be clear and sharp so that you can apply all your skills carefully and consistently, and thereby maximize your score.
Hope this helps! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time via email or at 855.483.7862 (Monday-Friday 9am-6pm PST).