If you're taking the LSAT in July or September, you need to put in some serious study sessions over the summer. While your time at the beach may experience some cuts, it's not impossible to actually enjoy the summer if you make a study plan and stick to it. Here, we offer tips for you to study your heart out over the summer without missing the delights the season has to offer.
1) Learn About the LSAT
Before launching into your studies, it's important to familiarize yourself with the LSAT's format. The test has five 35-minute sections of multiple choice questions broken down into the following sections: Logical Reasoning (two sections), Analytical Reasoning, and Reading Comprehension.
One of these sections contains experimental questions that will not be scored. However, you won't know which of these sections is the experimental one until you get your score. There's also a 30-minute essay section that, while un-scored, will be sent to all the law schools where you apply. The test takes a total of 3.5 hours, and scores range from 120 to 180.
2) Take a Baseline LSAT Practice Test
Take a practice test at the beginning of the summer to see where you stand. Look at your scores by section and identify which areas you need to work on most. Compare your practice test score to the average admission scores at the law schools you want to attend. How do you measure up? How much do you have to raise your scores by to secure admission to your safety and reach schools? We offer a free LSAT practice test for you to work with!
3) Make a REALISTIC Study Schedule
Using the results of your baseline test, make a schedule that prioritizes the areas you need to work on most. Break down what you're studying on which days of the week and for how long. Be realistic. Build your study schedule around your childcare duties, your job, or other commitments. It's better to get two productive study sessions in per week than trying to cram in 30 minutes on your lunch break from work or during your daughter's playdate when kids are screaming in the background. Identify which times of day work best for you, and your ideal study conditions.
If you're known to ignore your alarms in the morning, don't set yourself up for failure by planning to start studying at 7 a.m. If you get distracted easily, avoid lively coffee shops and study in the library. Avoid the urge to study in your bed. Too often that leads to less than razor sharp focus and unintended naps. Take inventory of your life, your study requirements, and your LSAT strengths and weaknesses to create a realistic study schedule that will set you up to succeed.
4) Take More Practice Tests
Built into your study schedule should be time for taking more practice tests, and when you're ready, an LSAT prep course. Use these tests to chart your progress and to modify your study schedule based on what you're getting better at and what needs more of your attention.
5) Prioritize Your Health
Part of setting yourself up for success on the LSAT is taking care of your health. Studying every second of the day may feel like the right thing to do, but nobody can focus all day long. Exercising regularly, eating well, and logging enough hours of sleep will get you in the right frame of mind to study most effectively and, ultimately, raise your score.
6) Join LSAT Study Groups
Studying can be a solitary affair, and sometimes you really do need to be alone with your books. At other times, you can really benefit from the insights and company of other students in the same boat. Join a study group (aka mastermind) to inject a dose of social stimulation into your study schedule. Once a week or so, use a study group to trade strategy tips, ask questions, and compare notes. There's strength in numbers, and it'll help your mental state to be with other people who are sharing this experience.
Still unsure? Read up on more benefits of LSAT masterminds on the blog.
7) Make Time for Fun
It's summer. The sun's out, the sand is warm, and the ocean is calling. It's OK to go on that beach day with your friends or take that camping trip with your family. You can't study every minute of the summer, and you shouldn't. Social events are good for the soul, and a sense of balance will give you the healthy state of mind necessary to ace the LSAT in the fall. By no means should you neglect your studies; but, if you stick to your study schedule, you should have time to blast "Summertime" and hit the pool deck.
The LSAT will be offered on July 23, 2018 and September 8, 2018, and you can view more LSAT registration dates here.
Study hard, have fun, and good luck!