I bought your book and love it so far.
I have a question: I will be taking the October LSAT .. I just had a baby so I am taking the extra months to spread out my studying. What is the best way for me to study? should I use your 16 week schedule and then do review, drill, practice tests after that? I should also mention I have taken the LSAT before so I know the gist of the exam.
Also I'm a bit confused how to best use your notebook organizer- from what I gathered there review pages are just to remember what questions I have trouble with and the question pages are for each INDIVIDUAL question? So how often should I use these while i'm studying? Also what kind of notes should I take on the lined pages?
Hi there -- so sorry for the delay -- I had to take some time off work but I am now back, and I hope this gets to you in time to be of use --
I do think that the 16 week sched is the best way to go -- I generally suggest students go w/the 52-71 version, but if you want to start with the 29-71 version that’s fine as well --
Keep in mind that the schedule accounts for your entire study process, not just the Trainer work, so it accounts for additional drill work, pt’s,and so on -- so, ideally, I think your mindset should be that you are spreading out the 16 week schedule over a longer period (and slowing down and spending more time on certain topics and whatnot as you see fit), as opposed to finishing up the 16 week schedule then moving on to other things.
In terms of the notebook organizer pages -- I can offer a few suggestions but in general you should feel free to use them however you see fit -- one thing to keep in mind is that if your studying goes as planned, the way you think about and study problems will be very different later in your process than it is at the beginning, so you should expect your notes and what they focus on to also change.
So, with all those caveats laid out, some general thoughts --
a) if you want, you can note every single problem you try on these pages, or you can decide to take notes on just the ones that caused you the most trouble, or you can just take notes once in while to check in on how you are progressing / as part of particular drill assignments. You can try all this out and see what you prefer and what works best for you.
b) one thing these notes ought to serve as is a record of how you solved a particular problem. So, do what u can to take /create notes that show what u were thinking (as opposed to, for example, just writing down how you think you ought
to have solved it). That way, if you go to solve that same problem again in 2 weeks, you have some way to assess what you did the same (maybe same traps you fell for, etc.) and what you did differently. This can be of tremendous benefit in helping you gain more wisdom from your review.
c) these notes should also help you in your attempt to see overall patterns in the problems that cause you trouble. When you are reviewing a particular q, it’s always much easier to see and accurately list all the trouble you had (“couldn’t decide between c and e” for example) and harder to see what caused the trouble in the first place (whereas you might believe you have trouble deciding between two answers, the main culprit for your issues could be something like the wording structure of that particular argument conclusion, which happened to make you lose sight of the conclusion’s exact meaning, which, in turn, made you attracted to an answer you shouldn’t have been attracted to).
Again, doing that sort of above assessment correctly in the moment is something none of us are very accurate at --
However, if you have an aggregate record of your work, and study it carefully, it can allow you to see certain patterns (like, wow, so many of these games that cause me trouble have this one thing in common, or so many of these LR q's from different q types that i miss happen to have same reasoning structure) that you may not see otherwise.
So, try to note your experiences in whatever way you think can be best for noticing these things later on.
d) One final specific suggestion I have is to make sure to accurately mark your process with the answers -- namely, which ones you eliminated, which ones you didn’t consider much, and which ones you picked, and so on.
For example, if on an LG q, after reading the q stem you could figure out the right answer immediately, you should indicate that on the page by circling that one right answer and leaving all others blank.
If, on another LG q, you used the process of elimination to get rid of 3 choices, then considered two answers carefully and selected one, you can notate that by crossing out those 3 choices, putting dashes next to the answers you considered carefully, then circling the one you chose.
Or you can use any other notation system you’d like -- the main point being, again, that the marks you make not only help you think through the answers in the moment, but also provide a record of which answers you eliminated, didn’t think about much, considered carefully and didn’t select, and selected. This will of huge use to you both when you review your work, and when you try the q again later and assess your progress.
Hope that helps and wish you the best -- sorry again for the delay and if you need anything else let me know -- mk