1. attend all classes, test sessions, and workshops/review sessions
seems simple enough but it's amazing how many disappear as the course progresses. ditto for those who think they don't need the extra review sessions. funny, if they knew so much, they'd be getting 180s. 2. do all the assigned work
another no-brainer but skipping this one is all too common.3. take advantage of help available through the course.
phone helplines, email, instructor phone, office hours, asking questions of your instructor 4. form study groups
just like LSD, attempting to explain problems is a great way to clarify concepts
and identify weak areas.5. redo problems that you have trouble with.
do your homework -- hopefully real test questions and passages -- in pencil
, erase your marks on missed questions and questions that took a lot of time and effort or were exceptionally confusing, flag answer choices you couldn't clearly provide a reason to keep or discard, and come back to them all again later. lather rinse repeat (ahem) until you fully understand.
don't quit on a problem until you can:
a. break it down into its component structure
b. describe what is going on logically, structurally, and in common sense terme
b. identify why -- in detail! -- each answer choice is right or wrong. 6. aim for accuracy.
don't time yourself until close to the test.7. you've exhausted the course material when you are able to stand in front of a class and TEACH that problem.
i don't want to hear another word from those saying they've done all the homework and they need more material; they likely hadn't gained mastery over the huge steaming pile of 52 available lsats -- that's over 5000 questions, people. c'mon now.
8. supplement as needed
powerscore books, superprep, formal logic texts, links provided in my links thread. but don't go overboard so you end up sacrificing homework time to reading potentially conflictibe strategies and advice from second rate sources. that's a recipe for disaster.
9. postpone and retake or self study if you need to.
learning the skills necessary to maximize your score may be a somewhat longer term project than you expected; this is NOT a test of knowledge but of skills. not everyone takes to this stuff like the proverbial ducks to water. don't be ashamed. you are not necessarily stupid. you are not alone.
10. sleep and eat properly.
another no brainer, but easy to forget yet SO detrimental to your ability to learn the material.11. be patient with yourself
it's not uncommon to score the same or below your initial diagnostic score on the second. don't worry and don't panic. it takes time to absorb the concepts and strategies.
12. use LSD
no, not that LSD. here, i mean.
now, *some* people disagree with me, but i say, use it judiciously for fellow student support, and access to the experts in residence who will likely help you out with areas and specific questions you are fuzzy about. also, as mentioned before, trying to explain problems to and with other students is a great way to learn, and the professionals around here will prevent mistakes and misinformation from faulty attempts from being spread. just don't spend *too* much time here or let it interfere with study time.
13. pay attention in class
turn off your f-ing cell phones, pee before class or during the break or just hold it, get your damn drinks and snacks before class and not during
(that one always shocked me), and for god's sake STOP f-ing TALKING!!! it's disrespectful and distracting for your instructor, and your fellow students spent good money to be there and shouldn't be distracted or miss any content just because you are bored or trying to hook up with a hottie. 14. make your coursework your priority in life.
say goodbye to the boy/girlfriend and direct them to internet porn sites, tell your neighbors you are on sabbatical, leave a giant bag of kibble out for your cat, dump out all alcohol/drugs, tell your friend you are spending the next X weeks in a tibetan monastery, and try to cut work/school/commute times to their absolute minimums. you get out of it what you put into it.15. 2 hours of homework for every class hour is average...
...do you want an average score increase, too? c'mon, think about it.16. follow the schedule and structure of your course.
you chose your particular course for a reason: why are you trying to second guess the way it is structured? if you don't trust their way of doing things, why did you sign up? they set it up the way it is set up for a reason: based on their experience, many years in some cases, this is the best way in their opinion to improve your score. don't be a fool and follow the regurgitated advice of self-studiers from the internet and try to pound down multitudes of timed tests instead of the material provided and sequence advised by your course. it's just silly. and possibly self-destructive.17. contact the main office of your respective course if you are having serious problems with...
...class facilities, instructor professionalism or competence, course books or other materials, and other global course problems. they probably want to know about it. if they aren't aware they can't fix the problem. also, the odds that you can negotiate a compromise or compensation goes down exponentially as the course progresses. and think about it: it's good business to have content customers.18. there are no dumb questions.
okay, that's a lie, there are dumb questions. but so f-ing what? you paid you money, you deserve an answer. and if you have a question, odds are pretty good that someone else is wondering the very same thing but doesn't have the balls to raise their hand.19. you don't have to speak in class.
this one is for OFFmason. just ask your instructor at the break to not call on you, or say "pass" if you are called on. no sweat. this isn't law school, you don't have to do it if it freaks you out.
edit: i may come back and add more later.