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So, what’s stopping you from getting down to LSAT prep?
Dealing with test anxiety, lack of time, or just have no idea how to get started?
Let’s be honest: studying for the LSAT is time-consuming, and for the most part, pretty boring. But you need a competitive score to reach the next major milestone in your life—admission to a great law school.
If you’re struggling with motivation, and can’t seem to get your prep off the ground, you need a way to flip the script…and quickly.
Follow these steps to re-focus your energy, make a smart LSAT plan, and do yourself proud on test day.
1. Research Application Deadlines, LSAT Scores for Your Target Law Schools
Application deadlines for law schools in Ontario are usually the first week of November, the year before you want to start studying. But schools outside of Ontario all have different deadlines.
You’ll need to take the LSAT in advance of the application deadlines—so start by figuring out what kind of timeline you’re working with.
Next, take a look at the LSAT score you’ll need to compete for admission at your target schools.
Most schools provide stats on this (and other key data, like the average GPA of accepted students), so applicants can see where the cut-offs are.
Here are a couple of examples from Queen’s University Law, and the University of Toronto Law School.
U of T Law School Standards for Admission 2015-2017
Knowing what LSAT score you’re aiming for, and your deadline for taking the test, should really light a fire under you to get started with prep.
Admittedly, part of that fire will probably be anxiety about achieving a 160+ score—but you can use that to power through your next step: a mock LSAT exam.
Take a Mock LSAT Exam & See Where You Stand
If you’re procrastinating about LSAT prep, it’s probably because you have no idea where to start. Or even what’s on the exam.
Before you stress yourself out looking at random sample questions online, just dive right in and do a mock LSAT exam.
This is the best way to find out your natural strengths and weaknesses, get your baseline score, and jumpstart the study process.
You don’t have to prep before the mock—just sign up for a free exam, show up, and do your best.
Remember: This is just one of numerous practice tests you’ll be doing to build up your test-taking skills, and track your progress leading up to the exam.
Don’t heap tons of pressure on yourself before the mock; it’s just a warm up.
Map out Your Personal LSAT Study Strategy
Once you’ve gotten the mock exam out of the way, you’ll be ready for the most important stage of LSAT prep: figuring out your own personal study strategy.
This is your roadmap to your highest possible score, tailored to your specific needs. It’s a detailed plan that includes:
- an analysis of your mock exam
- which specific weak areas you need to address
- which study materials you’ll be using
- a realistic target score
- how many hours it will take you to reach that score
- a doable daily/weekly study schedule
Sounds like just another really hard task you’d rather not do? Have no idea how you’ll “analyze” your mock exam and figure out all these data points?
Well, you don’t have to. You can get an LSAT coach to do it for you, for free.
Quite a few LSAT test prep companies offer this service, at no charge, and with no strings attached. You don’t even have to sign up for a course. As long as you’ve taken the mock exam, you will qualify for a free strategy session.
Once you have your customized plan in place, you’ll know exactly what step to take next, where you’re heading, and how to get there.
Remember: Uncertainty is the enemy of motivation. Wipe out the uncertainty factor, and there’ll be nothing standing between you and your LSAT prep.
Unless of course, you’re dealing with…
LSAT Study Fatigue: The 9-5er Problem
Working a 9-5 job while prepping for the LSAT? Not loving the prospect of coming home after a long, hard day to hours of studying?
You’re not alone. Many, many LSAT challengers are dealing with the 9-5er problem, and are struggling to find motivation for daily prep. You’ll see entire discussion threads devoted to this topic on law school/LSAT forums.
There’s no easy solution here; preparing for the LSAT while putting in full time work hours takes some serious grit. However, there are a few techniques you can use to pump yourself up, and stick to your study plan:
- Set achievable daily study goals
Be realistic. Don’t promise yourself you’ll study for 3-4 hours every single night after work. That’s probably not going to happen. And then you’ll feel bad about it, and your motivation will drop even further.
Aim for something more achievable, like 1.5 to 2 hours of LSAT prep in the evening.
- Create your own “rewards” program
It worked for you back in elementary school, and it’ll work again now. Dangle a little treat or reward in front of yourself to motivate your evening LSAT prep—something you’ll get after you finish studying.
Maybe it’s a slice of cheesecake…maybe it’s something cold and bubbly…maybe it’s an episode of Stranger Things. Maybe it’s a night off to go out with your friends and forget the LSAT even exists—whatever it takes to push yourself just a little harder.
- Recharge with a workout
Hate the idea of starting LSAT prep right after you finish work? Get super sluggish after dinner, and can’t “re-boot” when it’s time to study?
Try getting some exercise before you hit the books at night. This is a fairly reliable way to re-charge yourself, and re-set your brain.
- Remember what’s at stake
Every time you feel like slacking off, and bailing on your evening LSAT prep routine, give yourself a little reality check.
Remember what your end-goal is; what you’re working for.
Think about the thousands of people you’ll be competing against for admission into a good law school. You better believe plenty of them are powering through, and hitting the books right now.
The bottom line: You can’t afford to slack. Every night you avoid prep, you’re giving your competition a better edge. (That should scare you into a few more study hours!)
Need more help sorting out your LSAT study plan, or considering a professional LSAT course for extra support?
Leave us your questions in the comment section, or give us a call. We’ll get you back on track.