5 Daily Activities for More Effective LSAT Prep

The best way to study for the LSAT is focused and methodical practice, to steadily pinpoint and eliminate weak points. Like a tennis player preparing for a tournament, you should strengthen your skills by training at the edge of your abilities rather than reinforcing old habits with inattentive practice.

However, even the most diehard devotee of the LSAT needs to take breaks. Hours of parsing dry reading comprehension passages about scientific advancements and chaining together conditional statements to find hidden deductions can feel exhausting.

While there is no substitute for LSAT practice with real questions, here are some lighter activities to keep your brain in shape during downtime. Think of these habits as like stretching or jogging between more intense fitness routines.

— Read critically.

— Practice under extreme stress.

— Shift your attention.

— Spot logical flaws.

— Move your body.

Read Critically

The LSAT reading comprehension section is difficult to master, because of its fast pace and complex prose. Its passages are nothing like the breezy, skimmable articles that pervade the Internet.

[Learn to LSAT Reading Comprehension: What to Know]

To practice taking on tough passages, make a game out of deciphering the most dry and opaque texts you can find, like academic articles in unfamiliar fields or sloppily edited opinion essays.

Practice untangling the writer’s argument and tracing its structure. How does the argument flow from one paragraph to another? What is the author’s main point? What evidence supports the author’s claims? How could the parts of the argument be rearranged more logically?

For a harder challenge, dive into legal language, like the terms of service for software products. Practice close reading to make sense of complex clauses, then practice reading at a quicker pace to catch how those clauses connect without aiming for perfect recall.

Compared to those doozies, the LSAT will seem a lot less intimidating.

Practice Under Extreme Stress

One of the worst LSAT study habits to develop is to depend on perfect conditions like absolute silence and a full night’s rest. Chances are that something will go awry on test day, from a grumpy proctor to a spotty network connection.

To take the sting out of these contingencies, try practicing in imperfect conditions. Do a practice section in a crowded café. Diagram logic games when you’re hungry or tired.

Don’t judge yourself by the results. The point is to show that these hindrances are hardly fatal and to find ways to work around distractions.

Shift Your Attention

Maintaining composure and self-awareness is central to managing test anxiety. Build this key habit during everyday moments so that you can rely upon it under stress.

[Read: What Is a Good LSAT Score?]

Whenever you feel tense or frustrated during an onerous chore or a flash of road rage, try catching yourself in the act and shifting your focus to something else, like a nearby object. You don’t need to stop yourself or fight your feelings, just try to redirect your train of thought.

That way, when a difficult LSAT question ignites your anxieties, it will be easier to notice what’s going on and move on to a different question. Since flagging questions for later review on the digital LSAT is easy, there’s no reason to linger over hard questions.

Spot Logical Flaws

Politicians, pundits and activists of every political stripe make bad arguments, whether out of ignorance or bad faith. Political debates are great hunting grounds for flawed logical reasoning.

Read through political speeches or interviews and practice identifying common logical fallacies like curricular reasoning, equivocation, source arguments and overgeneralization.

[Read: How to Prepare for the LSAT on a Budget]

Identifying logical fallacies in everyday speech is not only a key LSAT skill, it is directly relevant to legal practice.

Move Your Body

The LSAT is not only mentally taxing, but also physically exhausting. It takes high energy and endurance. Hours of practice can feel draining and leave your body sore.

To lessen the toll of the test, take care of your health by eating nutritious meals and keeping up light exercise routines like walking or riding a bicycle.

Studying for the LSAT is a marathon, not a sprint. Sustain a good pace so you don’t burn out before you reach the finish line.

More from U.S. News

LSAT Test Day: What to Expect and Do

How to Get Ready the Week Before the LSAT

3 Last-Minute Tips to Boost Your LSAT Score

5 Daily Activities for More Effective LSAT Prep originally appeared on usnews.com

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