Today, my LSAT studying friends, I want to discuss a very common faux pas that many of my students make. They’ll be studying and moving along quite well, and then suddenly they are presented with a heinous question type or section that completely pulls the wool over their eyes. This small hiccup will cause their score to plummet for that exam or section, and they refuse to get back up on that LSAT horse out of fear of what this drop in score means about them. Lean in close, and listen. It means nothing. Let me give you an example. This has actually happened to yours truly. Yes, even I, your LSAT prep guru have made horrendous mistakes in my LSAT studying days.
I think I’ve mentioned before how the Reading Comprehension section was the bane of my LSAT prep life. After a while of shot-gunning Reading Comprehension section after section, I began to feel a bit more comfortable with the passages. As we’ve discussed, the Reading Comprehension section has four different passages; one of each of the following: Humanities, Social Studies, Science, and Law. In college I majored in English Literature. Therefore, I always had a penchant towards the humanities passages of the Reading Comprehension section. Whenever I was presented with a Reading Comprehension section, I’d flip to the literature passage first, so that I could feel confident in my answers and continue on. So, during a particular LSAT practice test, after skimming through the passages available to me, I flipped to a Reading Comprehension passage I believed was the designated humanities passage of the section. Why, pray tell, did I feel that this particular passage was the humanities passage? Well, I saw the words “Hansel and Gretel” repeated a few times in the different paragraphs of the passage. Therefore, I made the logical connection that, yes, this was the humanities passage.
However, as I went through it, I came to the horrible realization that it was actually the social studies passage, and though that shouldn’t have tripped me up as much as it did, I realized at the end of reading the passage that I had no idea what I had just read and really only had a few more minutes to complete the many questions attached to the passage. I panicked and got most of the questions wrong, which ended up crashing my LSAT score abnormally lower than I was used to.
Now, the correct move for me after that exam should have been to acknowledge my mistake in panicking, analyze what I could have done better and admit that sometimes weird things happen and I can’t let one test break my resolve. However, I did not do this. I, instead, got so scared of the power that the Reading Comprehension section had over my LSAT score that I avoided the section for weeks.
I tell you this cautionary tale because I want to warn you. Do not let an aberrant faux pas in your studying deter you from your LSAT prep. If I had just calmed down about that stupid Hansel and Gretel passage and learned from my mistake, I could have plowed through many more Reading Comprehension sections and overcome my fear a lot quicker. Mark my words! Get back on that horse! You will inevitably have an “off” test or section. Don’t let it frighten you. You are more than one silly score or one silly section. Yes? Yes. Good talk. Get back on that LSAT prep horse!