Most students know that practice tests are important, but several common mistakes are made in the approach to this vital component. If you are willing to invest the time and effort it takes to complete full tests, you need to get the most out of the entire process.
Take Full Tests
Some students solely study LSAT concepts and avoid practice tests, but the LSAT is not merely a test of concepts. Even if you are completely comfortable with certain concepts in isolation, you still need to develop proper full-test pacing and endurance.
Take PTs Seriously
Students sometimes admit to being liberal with test timing, and taking extended breaks in the middle of the test. The closer you replicate the official test time parameters, the better off you’ll be in the long run. So when you are taking a timed practice test, be strict with the time.
Some Practice > No Practice
This is not an all-or-nothing proposition. If you don’t have time for a full PT, maybe you can complete a timed practice section or two. That way you still develop the familiarity, pacing, and endurance you need for an optimal performance on test day.
Review Your PTs the Right Way
Students sometimes treat their test review like something to be mindlessly checked off a list. It’s tempting to quickly review the questions you got wrong, look at the right answer, and “confirm” the answer makes sense. This kind of retrospective analysis is not ideal. Instead, make a list of the questions you got wrong, but don’t note the correct answer choices. Then go back through those questions, and try to arrive at the right answers on your own. This more closely approximates the analysis that the test actually requires.
Before moving on from a question in your review, ask yourself: would you get a similar question correct if you encountered it again? If the answer is “Yes,” that should be very reassuring, because the LSAT has many, many recurring themes. If the answer is “No,” come visit our LSAT Forum, where students, instructors, and course developers (even our company’s founder, Dave Killoran!) regularly respond to questions about specific LSATs as well as more general inquiries about the test and how to best prepare. For a much more expansive discussion focused entirely on optimizing your test review, you should check out this recent post from Dave as well!