I’m fully aware that after one takes the LSAT, they want to forget about law school, logic, the LSAT, admissions, etc. for a bit. For June LSAT takers, this is totally okay (that’s one of the many reasons we most recommend taking the June LSAT). Those taking in February but not applying until the following admissions cycle are similarly able to just relax.
The October and December crowd, however, should put this time to use. Refreshing your email inbox until your score hits is not a particularly productive use of your time
Here are some suggestions on what to do while waiting for your score.
Take A Few Days Off
You’ve just taken the 3rd most stressful test you’ll ever take in your life. Only your first law school exam and the bar exam are going to top this for pressure. Take a few days off to cool out and relax.
For October and December takers, this should be done even if you think a retake may be necessary. Beyond the fact that you deserve it, it should not hurt your LSAT abilities at all to take a breather. In fact, it will more likely help them.
Finish Your Personal Statements
If you’ve been neglecting your personal statement, it’s time give it the attention it deserves. After your LSAT score and GPA accounted for, the personal statement is far and away the next most important part of your application. This is the one opportunity you get to introduce yourself as a person. Take advantage of it!
Many view the personal statement as an after thought and miss the opportunity to set themselves apart. Draft and redraft. Read great writing for inspiration, then draft some more. Get any great writers you know to read it. This is your manifesto.
If you already have a draft done up, spend this time asking yourself the hard questions about your PS. If I read this, what would I think of the writer? Do I come across as likable, or a narcissistic brat? The time since you first wrote it may have given you some perspective. If you are feeling like your personal statement is turning out to be a liability, consider getting some professional help. Peg Cheng at prelawguru and Anne Levine at lawschoolexpert provide consulting services for personal statements. It’s expensive, yes, but can have a seriously big pay out.
Considering a Retake? Maintain Your LSAT Skills
While a little break is encouraged, I very commonly see people doing absolutely no LSAT work at all in the three weeks during which they are waiting for their score. If you’re not confident in your performance and you think you may need to retake the LSAT, you simply can’t afford to wait until scores come out to start studying.
Don’t Wait: the next test will come up quickly
Say you took the December LSAT and think it’s possible you’ll score below expectations. By the time scores are released, you’ll only have about a month to prep for the February exam. If you are seeking to improve beyond where you were scoring before the December exam, a month may not be a enough time to make major strides. Do some low stress prep in this waiting period.
Tips for Retakers
If you are running low on fresh LSAT preptests, be sure to stock up so that you have plenty of new material to work through as you’re preparing for a retake. Tip: Here’s a handy list of every LSAT preptest.
If you’ve already worked through most of the available LSAT preptests, I would avoid spending much time on any fresh material (unused preptests) that you have. Those are better saved for as the next test date approaches. Instead, brush up your skills in other ways. Check out this article on how to get value out of the preptests that you’ve already worked through: Reusing Old Preptests
By now, logic games that you have not done since the beginning of your prep should feel more or less like you are doing them for the first time. Divide them up by game type and crush through big blocks of them. Give them a first pass, then make sure yoursetup is perfect. If it was not, do them again with the right setups/rule representation. This will reinforce the improved techniques.
For Logical Reasoning, search your error logs and dig out a big batch of questions you found really difficult during your initial prep. Divide them up by question type. Rather than simply doing them over, here’s my advice: write some explanations for them. Check your explanation against ones written by an expert. If you are in our Mastermind Study Group, you’ll have access to hundreds of LSAT explanations that you can compare your thought process with. I’m also happy to analyze and provide commentary on any explanation Study Group members write.
Another resource that often goes overlooked: the Powerscore workbooks.
Many people work with the Bibles in their initial prep, but don’t do the accompanying workbooks. They are a tiny investment for a lot of great practice, giving you drills and extensive explanations that bring you through the actual thought process of applying the proper techniques to questions.
On the LSAT, there are no points for originality. It’s fully okay to copy the techniques of experts! Generally, the more closely aligned your approach is with that of an expert, the better you’ll do.