I Am Stuck In An LSAT Rut! What Should I Do?
Inevitably in your LSAT review, you’ll get to a point where you seem to make no progress. This LSAT rut can be extremely frustrating, especially for those studying on a shortened schedule. In this post, we give some advice on how to conquer your LSAT rut and keep your studying on-track!
I Am Stuck In An LSAT Rut! What Should I Do?
1. Try changing when/where you study.
If you are in an LSAT rut, the solution might be as simple as changing when or where you study. Your LSAT rut may be due to the fact that you need to freshen up your study habits. A great way to jolt yourself out of complacency is to change to conditions you study under. Do you normally study in the afternoon? Try switching to a morning or evening study schedule. You can also try to change the place where you study. This doesn’t have to be a huge deal. In fact, it might be as simple as moving from your room or study to a kitchen table. Even small things like these can help get you out of your comfort zone and back into your studying groove.
2. Focus on a different portion of the test.
Often, LSAT preppers get overly focused on a particular section of the test. Generally, this tends to be one they struggle with. While it’s great to really try to improve on an area of weakness, focusing exclusively on one section for a long period can burn you out. So, if you focused on Logic Games for the last few study sessions, switch it up and try another section for review. Although the entire LSAT is built on logic and reasoning, each section uses them in a slightly different way. Changing what you focus your study time on and help reset your mind when you revisit your problem section later.
Personally, I really struggled with Logic Games when I started my prep. I found it frustrating that I wasn’t “getting it” as quickly as I wanted to. As a result, I made a decision to focus on Logical Reasoning for a week before I came back. When I cycled back to Logic Games, I had my “Eureka” moment! Suddenly, everything just made more sense. I let my brain focus on something other than my LSAT rut with Logic Games, and when I came back to them, was able to study more productively.
3. Seek out alternative study material/explanations.
Sometimes you need a different perspective to get you past an LSAT rut. If you have friends also studying for the LSAT, see if they can explain a particularly tricky issue that your prep material doesn’t cover well. Maybe you just need the issue described in slightly different language. There are also tons of online resources available. Countless forums devote themselves to breaking down the questions and answers for every single released test. See if any of these have an explanation or approach that works better for you. There is nothing wrong with using multiple resources to get passed your LSAT rut. Every prep course has weaknesses, so use alternative ones when you get stuck.
4. Try to teach a problem to someone else.
If you feel worn down by studying, teaching someone else LSAT material is a great way to both review yourself and freshen up your studying. Find a friend, parent, sibling, or really anyone willing to listen to you explain a concept or approach. Teaching forces you to clarify your own approach and technique. This can help you find flaws or places where your understanding is still fuzzy. Whoever you choose to teach to can also point out what you aren’t explaining well. If you aren’t able to get your point across, it might be that you need to review more yourself! This is a great way to identify areas to improve while mixing up your review.
5. Take a study break!
Although this may seem counter-intuitive, taking some time off from LSAT studying can actually help get you out of your LSAT rut! Your brain can only handle and process so much information at once. If you continue to cram more information at it, you are most likely doing more harm than good. There is a certain point where studying is not productive anymore. When you hit this wall, it’s best to take a study break!
Now, this doesn’t mean you can give up studying for a month. Give yourself two or three days away from studying. Much like the technique described in #2 above, this break will allow you to reset your mind and come back at studying refreshed. Many students find that a problem tormenting them on Friday seems much clearer on Monday after a weekend off. Although you lose a few days of prep, you may make your review much more productive as a result!
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