Reply To: Reread it again or buy new toolbook

February 16, 2017 at 9:15 am #2983
Mike Kim

Hey Huirong,

Those are some good q’s and tough decisions — here are some thoughts — as always, you know yourself best, so please use what you’d like and ignore whatever you think doesn’t apply to you —

1. Understanding, Strategies, Skills, Habits

I think the above is a valuable rubric for both determining how you ought to spend your practice time and how you ought to review your work.

2. In terms of figuring out which resources to use, etc.

High-level success on the LSAT requires a full combination of capacities, and a huge part of studying well is developing as specific a sense as possible of what is required of us, what we are strong at, and what we need to work on —

And one good part of taking a second time is that you should be in a better position to make such determinations — a tool I recommend is the Readiness Checklist — — you can use the lists and the suggested exercises to do some self-assessment and perhaps gain a clearer vision of what will be most effective for you to work on moving forward.

— If you find that you still need a lot of improvement in terms of understanding / strategies —

I think going through the Trainer again or utilizing additional study products can both be helpful. I have some conflicting thoughts on this —

a) I genuinely believe that the Trainer is very different from all other study resources and far more effective. Of course, I am very biased.
b) I also think different study tools fit different students best, and there can be great value in getting instruction from multiple resources.

So again, if you feel you need more help with understanding or strategies, it’s your call as to whether you keep depending on the Trainer, move on to other resources, or do some combination.

— If you find that your skills and habits are what are holding you back —

You’ll want to spend the majority of your study time on drilling and then pt’s (and, of course, review of your work) — please check out the questions by type tool — — to find additional practice work.

3. In terms of reviewing your practice work —

– The first layer of consideration is understanding — on a basic level, you want to make sure you clearly understand the issues and situation presented, why the right answer is right, and why the wrong answers are wrong. If you want to go beyond that, I think it can be extremely useful to think about why the test writers designed the problem the way the did — what they wanted to gauge with the problem, and what wrong understandings were the wrong answers designed to punish, and so on.

– Next is strategies — do you have simple, intuitive, and effective methods for handling the challenges presented?

With both understanding and strategies, one of the very best things you can do for yourself is to hold back on looking up right answers / explanations etc. — you want to develop your own sense of authority, and jumping too quickly to answers and explanations can hinder this.

– Next up are your skills and habits — if, in retrospect, you understand how a problem works and how it could be solved — did you apply that understanding or those methods or not? If not, why not? Were you not aggressive enough about applying methods, did you mistake key information, were you distracted, etc.

And finally, if possible, you want some sort of note-taking / organizational system that allows you to see patterns — so that you can recognize what types of LR q’s you have most trouble understanding, which LG game types you have most trouble diagramming, etc.

That’s it — sorry for the length — all stuff already in the Trainer but hope it was helpful reading it here — again, the best study path going forward is one uniquely suited to you — so, I encourage you to do as much self-assessment and planning as you can, and I wish you the best —