Reply To: Cold diagnostic LSAT score discouraging me!

December 28, 2015 at 9:04 am #1106
Mike Kim

Just wanted to add on to the great thoughts mentioned already —

I think that first diagnostic is most important for the experience of taking the test — now you know better what it feels like, what your challenge will be at the end of your prep, and so on, and this will help you make better use of your practice — it will give you a better chance of focusing on the instruction and strategies that will actually prove useful, and it will benefit you in many other direct and indirect ways as well —

But like the others have said, I don’t think you need to stress yourself out over your diagnostic (easier said than done, I know) — I equate it, roughly, to your first score at your first attempt at bowling, or, to be more intellectual — how good you are the first time you try playing chess (and do so without a complete¬†understanding of the rules of the game — how each piece moves, basic strategies, etc.) — in both cases, and on the LSAT itself, you really need to give yourself a bit more time to learn and practice before you can really start to accurately gauge how good you are and how good you can be —

On a practical level, you can think of your improvement as consisting of four main components —

  1. you need to develop an understanding of the exam — what determines right/wrong, what the test writers care about, etc.
  2. based off that, you need to develop effective strategies
  3. you need to get good at using your understanding and strategies (I call get developing skills)
  4. you need to get good at knowing when to use what skill

Obviously these components overlap, but they also build on top of one another, and you can use the above as a basic rubric for your improvement —

At the beginning of your prep, make sure you feel confident that you are growing your understanding and strategies — then, as you get deeper into your work, you want to transition into getting good at applying what you’ve been studying, and you may surprise yourself with how much you can improve —

And as Danny and Sarah have mentioned, we’ll be here to help in any way we can so don’t hesitate to reach out if you need any help along the way —