1. Spend an entire hour working on one problem.
Sometimes, a really difficult problem can teach you 10 times more than doing 10 easy (or medium ones). That’s why I sometimes recommend the super pile to my students. Need more practice? You can take a shot at our latest LSAT Logic Games Challenge, designed to help you flex those LSAT muscles.
It breaks my LSAT-tutor heart when a student walks in with bags under her eyes and a droopy face and tells me she’s been getting five hours of sleep a night because she doesn’t get to bed until midnight and wakes up at 5am to study. STOP! YOU NEED TO SLEEP! Your brain needs sleep for learning. It’s science. From a little place called Harvard.
3. Do the same game over and over again.
Think about it this way, you’re making a template in your brain of a game. And when you see a similar one next time, your brain is going to drag out that old memory, dust it off, and give you a nice push as you struggle under anxiety and panic and a sneezing neighbor.
4. Teach your mom an LSAT problem.
Been there, done it, got the t-shirt, and the t-shirt said: This was a really good exercise in making sure I actually understood a question. Key: Make sure you tell your mom (or dad, or aunt, or roommate) to really push you to explain why the wrong answer he/she likes isn’t right.
5. Turn off your cell phone.
You won’t. I know you won’t, because I know you, and you’re like me and everyone else on this forsaken 2014 tech-obsessed planet. But listen, do this much—put it on silent and flip it over. And then don’t look at it until you’ve done a whole section. Seriously, this will make your studying better.
6. Let the dog pout, let the cat kill you later.
I swear I’ve looked at cats that want to kill me. If I had one, or a dog, and I really needed to focus, I also swear I would lock them out of the room. You feel horrible, I know, because you love your pet. But since they love you back, they will understand (forget). The LSAT is a temporary priority over man’s best friend’s need for unending attention.
7. Making yourself read a whole boring article in a magazine or newspaper.
Choose whatever you find boring, something that doesn’t actually grab your attention and keep it for long. Try The Economist, or Scientific American. And then make yourself read the whole thing without taking a break. You’re going to start appreciating reading comp passages more after this, I guarantee it (maybe not)!
8. Only let yourself read each word one time.
I’m sure you aren’t someone whoever re-reads a sentence because you found yourself drifting the first time, right? No, that’s not you. That’s none of us. But regardless, I’ve assigned this as an exercise both in logical reasoning and reading comp for students who get into the bad habit of re-reading because their minds wander, and it’s great re-training.
9. Reward yourself for studying well.
This isn’t just a depressing list. There should be pay-offs for good study habits. Buy a cupcake (there are so many cupcake places near Manhattan LSAT!) or a beer or a movie on iTunes…whatever your treat of choice, but do make yourself study well to earn it. You’ll like it even more.
10. Stop scoring your tests.
This last tactic isn’t for everyone. But if you’ve become someone who’s so focused on that number, you can’t actually find the energy to do thorough review and believe in your ability to more forward because all you keep thinking about is “I WENT DOWN TWO POINTS?!” do yourself a favor and just: stop. Stop scoring. Learn it, get better, keep your chin up. And when you’re ready, score again.
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