The Last Week Before the LSAT: Last-Ditch Efforts and How To Make Them Work

    Posted by Nikki Siclunov on

    Before we begin, let's get one thing out of the way: if you haven't already studied for the LSAT for at least 1-2 months, there is little you can do in the last week before the test. Yes, life can get in the way and sometimes even the best-laid plans go astray. Unfortunately, you cannot cram for the LSAT: it's a test of how you think, not how much you know.  

    Unlike most knowledge-based tests, the LSAT measures whether you possess the skill set necessary to excel in law school: close reading, critical reasoning, rule application, information synthesis, and the like. These are skills we develop over time, not in one week. So, if you've been putting off this LSAT project until the last week before the test, you may be better off taking the test in January instead. Plan your studies accordingly.

     
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    Topics: LSAT Prep

    Thought for Food: Eating Your Way to a 180 on the LSAT

    Posted by Nikki Siclunov on

    Just before each LSAT, we like to post these tips for feeding your brain for the test.  If you've read them before, you'll get a refresher, and if you haven't seen our posts, they'll likely come in handy. Don't forget to eat for brainpower! Bon appetit!

     

    These days nearly everyone recognizes that the foods they eat affect the appearance of their bodies; however, most people fail to realize that what they consume also has a considerable impact on how their brains work. Your diet can affect your brain’s energy level, memory, and the efficiency with which it handles its tasks. What should you eat on the days leading up to the LSAT to make sure your brain is operating at peak levels?

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    Topics: LSAT Prep

    The Ultimate Test Mentality Resource List

    Posted by Dave Killoran on

    With the LSAT right around the corner, during the final stretch you should make sure you are as mentally well-prepared as possible for the pressures of test day. To help you reach a state of pure mental power and balance, I've compiled a list of my favorite LSAT confidence resources. Make sure to set aside some time before the test to think about how you will approach the LSAT when it begins, and especially how you will react if you encounter any difficulties. It's an essential step, and one that can dramatically impact your score. Here's the list:

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    Topics: LSAT Test Mentality, LSAT Prep

    A Two-week LSAT Study Decision: Quantity or Quality?

    Posted by Jon Denning on

    With the LSAT fast approaching (two weeks away!), test takers are more eager than ever to maximize the value of their remaining study time.

    And that's exactly what I want to discuss: how, with only two weeks and likely a mountain of materials, to get the most out of the days ahead.

    The key to effective practice, particularly with time constraints, is to recognize that the volume of work you attempt is far less important than the insights even a small amount of work can give you!

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    Topics: LSAT Prep

    The Best Way to Review LSAT Practice Tests

    Posted by Dave Killoran on

    Over on the PowerScore LSAT Discussion Forum, there has been a spate of discussions about how to best review practice LSATs and homework problems. I'm seeing students make a critical error as they study, and so I want to talk about that, and then lay down a framework for optimally reviewing the problems that you complete. This will help you get the most out of the time that you spend studying. Let's start by asking, what is the critical study error that many students are making?

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    Topics: LSAT Prep

    PowerScore LSAT Forum Post of the Day: Resolve The Paradox Questions

    Posted by PowerScore Test Preparation on

    Today's LSAT Forum Post Of The Day contains a recent question from a student about a Resolve The Paradox question from the September 1998 LSAT (LR section 1, #7), and an answer from Dave Killoran providing helpful tips on what to do when you encounter Resolve questions with relevant similarities and differences. If you've never checked out our LSAT Forum before, this is the kind of help we provide for free; not just answers to questions, but often mini-lessons that expand your knowledge of all question types. Come join the conversation!

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    Topics: Law School Admissions, LSAT Prep, LSAT Forum

    LSAT Motivation: The Scoring Scale and Your Percentile

    Posted by Jon Denning on

    Let me preface this post with an explanation of my intent: I think as almost everyone approaches their LSAT administration there are moments when scores occasionally plateau and performance feels stagnant, and motivation can quickly vanish as a result.

    This is especially apparent in the mid-ranges, as students creep their way through the 140s and 150s, grinding for every point---people starting out and generally scoring lower find that everyday brings new revelations and scores improve quickly, while people in the upper ranges (160s and beyond) are naturally motivated by the consistency of their success.

    But for test takers toiling to get over the 150-level hump, a genuine passion for continued prep can be hard to find.

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    Topics: LSAT Prep

    The Secrets of Mindfulness Meditation (Your Local Monk Never Told You About)

    Posted by Lauren Hartfiel on

    This post is about mindfulness meditation: what it is, how to do it, and its scientifically-proven benefits that may help improve your LSAT performance. Buddhist monks have used mindfulness meditation for over 2,600 years in an effort to achieve self-enlightenment. However, in the past few decades scientific research has shown that its beneficial effects go beyond spiritual progression. Most current scientific research is based on the practice of secular meditation, which is our focus here in regard to LSAT preparation and performance.

    As discussed previously on this blog, the brain, like any muscle, is a transformable organ. This is called neuroplasticity. And mindfulness meditation is an exercise for your brain that research shows can reduce stress and anxiety, increase attention span, and improve working memory, the ability to use stored information to efficiently reason and make decisions—all of which are directly and profoundly applicable to standardized testing! One study from UC Santa Barbara showed that a two-week course in mindfulness—including 8, 45-minute classes where participants performed up to 20 minutes of mindfulness practice (and additional 10-minute daily meditations on their own)—led to an improvement of approximately 16% in GRE Reading Comprehension scores by enhancing concentration and dampening distracting thoughts. 

    That's a remarkable increase, attained not through intensive RC prep, but merely by incorporating meditation into their routines!

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    Topics: LSAT Test Mentality