Confused about LSAT strategies? Getting conflicting advice from friends, textbooks, blogs, and LSAT prep courses?
There is a plethora of LSAT resources out there and they don’t all agree on the best way to tackle a question, diagram a logic game or even read a passage. And with all the wonderful advice you can glean from lawyers, law students and self proclaimed LSAT experts, it can be tough to break through to the “best” strategies for the LSAT.
I’m constantly approached by students who are confused as to the “best” way to approach a particular part of the LSAT.
Should I read the question stems first or second?
Should I really spend that much time marking up the reading comprehension passage? or is it better to just skim it quickly? or should I take a moment at the end of each paragraph to mentally summarize the main point?
Should I use arrows for greater than and less than signs in my ordering games?
For this last one I’d scream out ARROWS! Please, please don’t use greater than and less than signs. They just lead to so many mistakes!
But for all the other questions, the answer is not so cut and dry. How can this be so? Shouldn’t there be one clearly superior LSAT strategy in each case? Unfortunately not.
The one variable that affects all these strategies is you. We all think a little differently and so different strategies will work differently for each of us. Some of us are better off carefully underlining main points and circling characters and author’s view points while we read a passage, whereas others are much better off to skim through and stop briefly to reflect at the end of each paragraph.
So how do you determine which strategies are right for you?
Test them. Do a couple of sections under timed conditions (35 minute LSAT sections) using one strategy and then do a few timed sections using another strategy and pick the one that gives you the best score.
Yes, it’s that simple. Higher score for you = better strategy for you.
It doesn’t matter what your friend used to score 180 or what the text book tells you is the only way to go. Use the strategies that give you the higher score.
That being said, there are a few strategies that are just generally a bad idea. (like the greater than and less than signs < > )
Most of these will become apparent to you as you try them out but if you’re unsure of a strategy feel free to ask me about it in the comments here and I’ll see if I can shed some light on the subject for you.