As of the writing of this post, there is one month left to go before the LSAT! Eeek! Reason numero uno for this one month LSAT alert post is to tell you that we are here as a resource for you. No matter what’s going on in your prep if you have something to ask, go ahead and ask it in the comments below! We get a lot of comments, but we try to answer as many as possible. If you want to be anonymous that’s fine, but we are here if you need help, counseling, advice, whatever, ASK AWAY! It’s easy to be freaked out with only one month to go. Hopefully, we can get you to chill out.
Here is some advice for the last month before you take the LSAT:
Don’t Worry If Your Practice Scores Are Still A Little Low
If you’ve been studying over the previous two months, it’s likely you’ve seen some improvement right? A lot of people worry that they have hit their upper limits and can’t get any better. It just doesn’t work like that. Keep practicing and drilling stuff into your brain and you will see progress. Just keep following the study schedule and forget worrying that there is some sort of wall in your mind that you can’t climb. There isn’t.
In fact, it’s likelier that all the work you’ve been doing up ’til now will start to pay dividends. My personal story: I went from still missing around 4 or 5 on logic games to missing one or none in my last month. What did I do? Step 1: stop worrying. Step 2: keep practicing. Step 3: watch the improvement.
If you don’t see much improvement, it’s likely you can fix it. Try these tips:
Identify Areas of Weakness
Gentle facepalm if you haven’t been doing this all along, but now it’s critical to see where your mistakes are. Go back over ten preptests you have already done and look at what you got wrong. Was it assumption questions? Was it parallel reasoning? Go back to your Logical Reasoning Bible and reread the section on how to attack that specific question type, then drill on a whole bunch of them.
Repeat this search and destroy technique with any weaknesses you find. Eventually, you will start to run out of weaknesses! That’s a beautiful thing. You are almost ready to take this test.
EXTRA TIP: Parallel reasoning questions are usually some of the more time-consuming ones on LR. If you are having trouble completing timed logical reasoning sections within the allotted 35 minutes, consider skipping over Parallel Reasoning questions and only coming back to them if there is time.
Focus On Health
I’ve said this a lot, so I’m not going to belabor the point: Eat healthily and exercise. Don’t let LSAT study or anything else cut into your sleep time. Don’t drink heavily. Be a little bit selfish about your health. If other people are trying to mess with your zen, kick them out of your life for a bit. Tell your parents you don’t want to talk about the LSAT at dinner. Do whatever it takes so you feel good. Except for the fact that you have to study, the last month before your LSAT should be like your birthday: it’s about you, and it’s okay to be selfish. Yes, you can cry if you want to.
The one thing I didn’t try that I might recommend is meditation. Younger me would have said no way, but I’ve heard about some pretty startling positive results from doing mindfulness exercises. Check the coverage on this study for instance: Meditation Improves Memory, Attention
This seems well worth a try to me. Worse case is that you get to unwind and relax for a bit, and that can’t be a bad thing the last month before the LSAT.
Simulate Tests The Right Way
By the last month, you are mostly just doing all real LSAT problems you can. Here’s what we have for the last month on your study schedule:
At this point is your LSAT study its time to take stock of how much material you have remaining and schedule your remaining prep. From here on out, the lion share of your study consists of simply doing timed sections and going over the answers to understand any that may have given you trouble. Schedule it out so you can do 3-4 full preptests a week the next 4 weeks. Do these every other day. On in between days don’t do a full test. Rather do 2-3 sections with rest in between sections. On these in between days, load up on more sections of whatever section type (LR/LG/RC) is giving you the most trouble.
For these full timed preptests, make sure that you are working through AT LEAST two a week under full simulated conditions. The closer you can simulate test-day conditions, the better. You can even start adding an extra section from one of your older LSAT preptests to simulate the experimental section and get used to a full 5-section test as you’ll see on test day. When adding a 5th section, I recommend picking the section type that is giving you the most trouble so that you’ll get some extra practice on your weakest area. Take these five sections under strictly timed conditions: 35 minutes per section with only a short 15-20 minute break between the third and fourth sections.
That’s how it’s gonna be on test day. Don’t expect to hit your practice average on the actual test if you haven’t been simulating practice tests the right way.
Simulating tests this way at least twice a week, and you will have the stamina for game day. Are sports metaphors appropriate right now? Absolutely! Test-taking requires endurance. If you’ve only run 20 miles in your practice before the marathon, I bet those last 4 miles are going to kill you. I know for a fact this is how it works on the LSAT. Unless you are a natural test-taker, you will run out of steam towards the end of the test unless you have learned how to focus that long by practicing.
What If Nothing Is Working???
If it’s the last month and you are still more than 10 points below the score it would take to get you into a school you would be satisfied attending, then you have a tough choice. There may be limits to how much someone can improve on the LSAT in one month. It’s probably best to keep prepping, but if you reach the middle of this month and you are nowhere near a score you would be satisfied with, it is very reasonable to consider postponing the test. Especially consider delaying if you don’t feel you have been prepping as much as you should have. You may want to start fresh and do it right the next time.
Before anyone cancels right now with a month to go, there is one emergency measure to consider: ditch any lousy system you are using to diagram LSAT problems. Here I am speaking directly to those using Kaplan or Princeton Review books to prep. Hopefully none of our regular readers are doing this, but if you are reading this now and are still using PR/Kaplan methods, QUIT RIGHT NOW BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE. I’ve beaten this point to death elsewhere so I won’t go into details, but those prep books are terrible. Use Powerscore, Manhattan, or Blueprint’s books. These are all reputable LSAT companies that earned their reputation by helping a ton of people get high scores on the LSAT.
Here are the books we most strongly recommend you use to learn how to do LSAT problems:
That said, while these books are the best out there, they may not be able to work miracles in the space of a month. You are likely better off postponing the test and trying again with the right materials if your score is still way below what you are aiming to hit.
If you do try to summon a miracle with the new books in the next thirty days, here’s how to attempt it: https://lawschooli.com/how-can-i-increase-my-lsat-score-in-under-30-days/
However, remember that canceling or retaking the LSAT is not the end of the world. In past years it was considered a disadvantage to apply later in the cycle given that so many people would be in line ahead of you. However, law school applications have been down in recent years, so law schools are eager for well-qualified applicants, even if they apply later in the cycle.
I’m not trying to get people to second guess themselves. If you are 5 points (or even a little more) below your target score right now, keep prepping and go for it! Remember that you will likely see improvements in this last month.
Best of luck to everyone!