The LSAT Did Not Go So Well. What Should I Do?: Oh man, you think, walking out of the testing center. You knew the LSAT would be tough, but what you just experienced was brutal. The logic games had you tied up in knots. The reading comprehension passages were incomprehensible. And the logical reasoning sections were torture. What just happened to me?
We’ve all been there, and know the sinking feeling of not doing well on a test. With all the prep and hard work that goes into the LSAT, you might wonder what you should do next if you think the test did not go well this time. Here are some tips!
The LSAT Did Not Go So Well. What Should I Do?
1. Take a short break…
You need to give your mind a break from the anxiety and stress of studying. Although you might feel you need to immediately jump back into the fray, resist the urge. Give yourself time to recover, at the very least a few days. Although this will take away from your time to study for the next test, it will give your mind a chance to reset and put the experience behind you.
2. … And then keep studying!
After taking some time off to recharge your batteries, get right back into studying. The reason for this approach is twofold. First, three weeks is a long time to do nothing towards improving your score. There will naturally be some attrition in your LSAT skills during your downtime. So, to minimize the amount of edge you lose, start reviewing as soon as you can. Second, the turnaround time between LSATs is not very long, generally about 10-12 weeks. If you wait 3 weeks until you get your score back to start studying, you are losing 25-30% of your study time before the next administration. That is huge! So, as hard as it might be, jump back into reviewing as quickly as you can.
This is truly a win-win scenario. If your score comes back low, you will already be a few weeks into review. If you do much better than you anticipated, then you can write off the time spent studying as only a few wasted hours.
3. Once your score comes back, analyze your results to see where you struggled.
Once your score is released, access your exam and your answers via your LSAC account. As much as it hurts to look at a bad score, this is the best possible way to make sure you do better next time. Assess both the sections and the type of questions you struggled with. Your scored test is a great strategic tool for structuring your study moving forward. If you notice, for example, that you did well on reading comprehension but terribly at the logic games, you know you will need to pay them special attention. If you see that strengthen/weaken questions in the logical reasoning section tripped you up, review those more frequently during your prep for your next test. Your scored test should be your blueprint for how to focus your study moving forward.
Note that the February LSAT is a non-disclosed test, meaning you will not receive a copy of the test questions. If this is the case when you take the LSAT, you will need to hit really hard on more current versions of the test to prepare for your next attempt.
4. Reevaluate how you studied, and change your approach.
The old adage “insanity is doing the same thing again and expecting a different result” holds here. If you did not do well on the LSAT, you need to do something different for your next attempt. This can take a variety of forms. If you did not have adequate time to prepare, give yourself a larger window, and consider waiting two administrations to take the test again. You could also change your tactics and study differently. If you are struggling to pinpoint what went wrong, a tutor could be a valuable way to reassess your approach. If anxiety was an issue on test day, seek out help in managing it.
The main point here is that you cannot attack the LSAT the same way as you did before! If the LSAT did not go so well, change up your approach, and you have a better chance of improving your results.
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