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Studying Approach

peterbill
LSAT Novice
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:16 pm
Points: 1

Hello!

I am currently enrolled in the live online course.
I am a 3rd year university student currently on a co-op term, so I am working full-time currently until May when I return to school.
I am hoping to write the LSATs for the first time in June.

Unfortunately, I have been falling behind in the course since it has began. Just recently I have caught up as the 5th lesson will be this week. I will also be doing my first practice test before the class this week so that I have a cold score. I am determined to stay caught up with the course and will be putting in extra study hours on the weekends.

I was wondering if I could get some tips or advice on effective methods of approaching studying/practicing.

To catch up I have been going over the lesson again and then attacking the homework section in the book, putting more emphasis on area that I find more difficult. I feel that I am still taking much longer on questions than should be and do not always get the correct answer. However, I am determined to prepare myself well and usually perform well in situations when prepared.
Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
Posts: 2648
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:01 pm
Points: 2,461

I always advise my students to limit the amount of homework they do based in part on their availability, like going to school full time or working. It's okay to do only half of a problem set, for example, or half the problems in a drill. For Lesson 2, for example, the homework has a Sufficient and Necessary Diagramming Drill with 28 problems. Set your sights on just doing the odd numbered problems for now, saving the evens for review later if you feel the need.

It's normal to take a long time on the questions at this stage, especially as you are mindfully applying the strategies you are learning. For Lesson 5, for example, you just learned the Assumption Negation Technique for Assumption questions, and you are probably thinking about negations for most, maybe all, of the answer choices. That's normal and natural at this stage, and will help you get better at coming up with negations and understanding their impact (or lack thereof) on the argument, but down the road you will need to scale that back and only use the technique in cases where you have more than one contender answer, and only as a tie-breaker between those contenders. You'll go faster because you will be more confident in your abilities and your understanding of how, and when, to apply those strategies.

One last thing, and that is to focus on what is probably the most important tool in LR, and that is prephrasing. You have to decide what you are looking for before you look at the answers! When you do that, the right answers become much more obvious, and the wrong ones become clearly wrong. If you aren't prephrasing every single LR question, you need to start making that a priority. Otherwise, the authors will trap you with attractive or confusing wrong answers every time. Try covering the answers with your hand, or an index card, or a post-it note, and don't peek until you have in mind what the answer should do, or say, or contain. As you get more consistent with that habit, you will also get better at it, and that will allow you to move faster.

Keep at it, and good luck!
Adam M. Tyson
PowerScore LSAT, GRE, ACT and SAT Instructor
Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LSATadam