We know you secretly want it: your daily LSAT fix. No, you don’t need to call your dealer or risk a felony charge. But, let’s face it: the LSAT is a controlled substance, and quantities are limited. There are only 7100 LSAT questions as of March 2014, and they are expensive. To purchase all 71 practice tests in existence, it will cost you almost $400 (roughly 1/3 of the price of a Full-length LSAT course). And, even if you are taking one of our Full-length or Live-online LSAT courses, which provide access to all 7100 questions, you may still want some variety from the daily grind. Maximizing your LSAT score sometimes requires taking a break from the LSAT.
So, how do you get your daily fix without opening an LSAT book?
- Start reading the right newspapers and magazines. Want to improve your causal reasoning skills? Almost every day there is an article in the New York Times discussing some study involving correlations. Read the Science section daily. The Economist is even better. It contains articles that we swear could have been picked from the Reading Comprehension section of the LSAT (or would it be the other way around?). The Economist has both the style and the content you will find incredibly useful if you want to prep for the LSAT without opening a test prep book. Just a cursory glance at this week’s edition reveals familiar topics: Roy Lichtenstein, financial innovation, innocuous viruses, the science of memory, and so on. Read it weekly.
- Physical exercise. Physical activity is known to improve learning, so make it a habit. You don’t need access to a fancy gym or the great outdoors, although there is absolutely nothing wrong with either. Even moderate-to-low intensity cardiovascular exercise, such as walking in the park or biking around the block, can have an immensely beneficial effect on your ability to learn and retain information. Don’t take our word for it: it’s a fact.
- Mental exercise. You think Logic Games are fun but get tedious sometimes? Try Sudoku. There are ton of Sudoku resources on the web, and it’s always a fun way to pass the time while still exercising your brain. Now, you can always pay to harness your brain’s neuroplasticity, but the jury is still out on whether that really works. You are probably better off making an Advanced Linear Game out of your daily schedule.
All things considered, the rigorous cycle of lessons and homework, practice tests and test reviews, tutoring sessions and lesson recaps is the only thing that has been proven to actually increase your score. But learning how to take a break from this cycle is also crucial. Indeed, a “study break” need not be a break from the conceptual framework that underlies the LSAT: sometimes, a break can help you understand and apply that framework to a variety of seemingly disparate contexts.
Either way, there is more than one way to get your LSAT fix. Side effects are minimal and diminish over time. At worst, your friends may find it strange that you’re actually reading for fun. But they will get over it.
Photo: “Good Morning” courtesy of Ian McFarland.