Consecutive long days and nights of studying for the LSAT often lead to a lack of motivation and study burnout. Although the LSAT study material can be interesting, the reading passages often become dry after a while. Diagramming logic games can get repetitive. Pinpointing logical misconceptions may lead to headaches or brain freezes. While studying for the LSAT is inevitable for law school admissions, there are things you can do in between your studying sessions to invite breadth into your workflow and to give your mind a break- while still exercising it.
Your brain is a muscle. In between your rigorous sessions of LSAT test prep, you can partake in activities that will exercise the same brain muscles, without the humdrum of studying. By doing these activities daily, you can better balance your rigorous studying, and allow yourself sometime to cool off in between the cramming. Pastimes like taking a jog or walking your dog may be things you already do daily, and one way to improve your studying is to supplement your prep with equally productive pastimes.
- Play Brain Games
- Read the Editorials from Your Local Newspaper
- Read Politics
There are many games that challenge your brain. Play a game that forces you to think logically and sequentially.
A good old-fashioned board game such as Chess challenges your mind to rule out infinite possibilities of movements in order to logically defeat your opponent. Many people do a daily Sudoku or Crossword Puzzle. While these games will not inform you of the content covered on the LSAT, these puzzles help you hone your logic game skills through thinking critically, logically, and sequentially. Sudoku is a logic-based puzzle that requires a sharp, thoughtful mind for effective completion. Such brain games require the player to think and reason logically, and accordingly make quick and decisive logical decisions when playing. This is the exact same type of thinking that is required in Logic Games.
When studying for Logic Games, you’ll need to quickly diagram the different kinds of games, and identify the patterns in the information provided to critically analyze the data.
Unless you play these types of brain games regularly, you may not be in the daily practice of utilizing your intensive logic skills. It’s never too late to start playing brain games. Taking a break from LSAT studying is a good excuse to start. Once you start, keep it up! This can help you throughout life.
Reading comprehension passages on the LSAT are usually excerpts of academic writing. What better way to familiarize yourself with this type of writing (and to become an informed citizen in doing so) than to read your local newspaper’s editorials?
The editorial articles are normally short opinion pieces, similar to the length that would be found on the LSAT. These articles are written for a mature, educated audience. The articles often present thought provoking information. The objective of editorial articles it to present and defend a position. This imitates the type of thesis-driven content you will encounter on the LSAT.
A great way to take a break from your LSAT prep is to pick up your local newspaper or journal, turn to the editorials section, and read through the articles quickly yet effectively.
Time yourself. Do a fast read of the article to get the general gist, then review the list of questions for what you need to find. Go back to the article, and allow the time necessary to find the relevant and pertinent information for each clue.
Practice skimming. Learn how to read quickly and effectively. Pay attention to the content, and observe any key words or sentences that define the theme. These parts of the passage will serve as bookmarks- a place to go to find the specific information you seek.
Identify and highlight the column’s thesis and the thought process(es) the author employs to formulate his/her argument. Does the offer use specific evidence to support their claims? What is the structure of the argument? Do the ideas evolve with the argument?
While it is not required that you remember specific details within the reading comprehension sections, it is extremely helpful to know exactly wherein the article you can find the specific details being questioned. Familiarize yourself with the form of the essay or argument. Learn to identify how the author arranges the structure of his argument or opinion. How does he provide evidence? How does he support it?
Another way to make a productive game out of reading the editorial page is to skim the article then turn it down, or remove it from your sight. Recall a few words that describe each paragraph. Then write a sentence describing what you think is the author’s point. After this is complete, reread the article. See how much you remembered. Were you spot-on? Did you omit a lot of information? Improve your skimming skills!
Practice and develop the skills not only to read quickly and effectively, but also to familiarize yourself with the architecture of the article. What is the author’s goal? What is she trying to express or argue? What tactics are used to get there?
You must understand politics in order to understand law. Understanding the intricacies of American politics will help strengthen your understanding of law, as policy informs regulations and enforcement.
Staying up to date with politics may also help you on the LSAT. Oftentimes, information presented in politics contains logical misconceptions, something that’s now known as “fake news.” Identify these logical fallacies that happen in real life. This will help you identify them on the LSAT.
No matter the political affiliation, politicians from all sides have been known to use faulty comparisons, logical fallacies, equivocation, false analogies, ad hominem attacks, and more. Logical fallacies can be difficult to avoid in such heated arguments, such as the ones you will encounter on the news channels. Observe how politicians handle themselves. Do they resort to any of the logical fallacies you have studied for the LSAT?
As you read or listen to the pundits or gurus, ask yourself: Am I convinced by this person’s argument? If not, then why? What are the faults within the person’s logic?
Hone your skills of pinpointing logical fallacies. Make a list of the logical fallacies you encounter on the LSAT, and see how many of them apply to the speaker in question. The ability to identify logical fallacies in everyday conversation is crucial in the practice of law, and equally will be tested on the LSAT. Start to recognize these patterns in your everyday life.
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