You’ve landed on one of the most important blog posts on my website. Whether you’ve never heard of “blind review” or are already using the method in your own prep, what I am sharing with you here is a BETTER way to review for the LSAT – and even a better way to blind review. I don’t make promises lightly, but this is method that can transform your LSAT prep, so bookmark this page to come back to it if you must, but do dedicate the time to read through this post and implement what you learn.

I call this method “future-focused blind review.” Essentially, it’s a review method that looks forward as well as backward. You’ll actually learn from your mistakes, and – even better – you’ll be able to apply what you learn to future tests.

A solid, future-focused blind review process is single-handedly the best thing you can do to raise your LSAT score.

[Note: this post is an update and improvement on my older post on blind review for the LSAT. The same elements are in the older post, but this article emphasizes the way your review needs to be future-focused to be effective.]

 

What students typically do

 

Does this sound familiar?

  • You review the questions you miss, but not the questions you get right–even if they were a guess.
  • When checking your answers, you say to yourself, “Ah, that would have been my second choice.” And then you move on.
  • You read through an explanation you find online, and it makes sense, but you’re still not sure why your answer was wrong.
  • You make an effort to understand the questions you missed… but then your score doesn’t change on the next practice test.

 

Why it doesn’t work

 

What all of the above review habits have in common is their superficiality. And because of that, any learning that occurs during the review process is likely to also be superficial. But the LSAT is anything BUT superficial.

  • Reviewing only the questions you miss means you’re neglecting opportunities to learn from all of the questions you guessed on.
  • Settling for simply acknowledging that the correct answer would have been your second choice means you’re losing out on a golden opportunity to figure out what held you back at the very end. You were so close! Why couldn’t you get there?
  • Reading through explanations teaches you to follow along with someone else’s thought process. It’s a helpful model, but it doesn’t teach you how to have that thought process yourself in the future.
  • And finally, if you limit your focus to simply understanding the questions you miss, you’re stopping one step short of what you really need to do. It’s not really about the questions you already did. It’s about the questions you’ll do next time. Your review needs a focus on the future, not just on the past.

Unfortunately, most LSAT students aren’t reviewing effectively. And the temptation then is to just do more and more. I’ve seen students burn through test after test after test with only growing frustration to show for it. So resist the urge to focus on quantity rather than quality. It’s not about taking more tests or doing more drills.

Instead, work on developing the effective future-focused blind review habits I’ll show you in this post.

 

General overview of blind review

 

A quick aside about the typical method of blind review used by many LSAT students, especially those going through the 7sage curriculum. Blind review is normally described as this process:

  1. Do the questions timed. Don’t check your answers. Mark the questions you feel less than 100% sure about.
  2. Redo any questions you felt unsure about or questions you didn’t have time for. Commit to an answer, ideally after figuring out how to get to 100% certainty.
  3. Check your answers, both for the timed test and the blind review.
  4. If there were questions you missed in both your timed test and your blind review, those are the topics you should study.

And it’s true that blind review is a big improvement from what most students naturally do in their LSAT prep. But blind review as it is typically taught focuses nearly exclusively on the questions you already did and doesn’t have enough of a focus on the questions you’ll do in the future.

As a result, students often have trouble closing the gap between their timed score and their blind review score.

So, what does effective, future-focused blind review look like? And how can you make sure that your review on one practice test will actually impact your performance on the next?

 

Future-focused blind review for LSAT

 

Review is retrospective by its very nature. When we review, we’re looking back at what we already did.

So in order to shift the focus from the questions we already did to the questions we haven’t yet done, we need to add a few extra elements into the review process. 

Here’s a step-by-step outline of future-focused blind review for the LSAT. This is the same process outlined in my LSAT Practice Test Review Guide.

 

Future-focused blind review step-by-step

 

The new steps that have been added to the traditional blind review process are highlighted below.

  1. Do the questions timed. Don’t check your answers. Mark the questions you feel less than 100% sure about. 
  2. Reflect on how each section and the test as a whole felt for you. 
  3. Make notes on your timing so that you don’t forget where you felt rushed, where you ran out of time, or where you spent a lot of time on a question. 
  4. Redo any questions you felt unsure about or questions you didn’t have time for. Commit to an answer, ideally after figuring out how to get to 100% certainty. 
  5. Check your answers, both for the timed test and the blind review. Reflect on what happened. 
    • Was there something you overlooked when you did the question timed? If so, how can you make sure you notice that in the future?
    • Was there something you still overlooked when you did the question untimed? If so, do you need to review any content/drill a question type?
    • What is your takeaway from this question that you want to apply to future questions?
  6. Reflect on the test as a whole and create a plan for future tests. 

 

Why future-focused blind review works

 

Future-focused blind review for LSAT emphasizes a few elements that are either lacking or seriously underdeveloped in most students’ traditional blind review processes.

These extra elements involve reflection, synthesis, and planning.

 

Reflection

 

Reflection involves taking a step back and thinking about what came out of your review. You can do this after you’ve reviewed a question, a section, or a whole practice test.

On the section or whole test level, you’ll want to reflect on timing, confidence, stress management, and any external factors (like fatigue or distraction) that may have affected your performance.

The reflection stage is where you can look at the difference between tackling a question timed and untimed. You’ll want to ask yourself what you noticed the second time around that you didn’t notice the first time. And most importantly, you’ll want to figure out how you could notice something similar in the future more easily.

Example: Let’s say a particular weaken question was tough for you under timed conditions, but in your untimed review, you noticed that the argument had a causal conclusion. Once you noticed that, you remembered that you can weaken a causal argument by introducing an alternative cause. Suddenly answer choice C jumped out at you as the right answer, whereas previously, you thought that it was wrong because you had assumed it was unrelated to the argument.

In this case, the question hinged on your ability to notice the causality in the argument. So in the future, you’ll want to add a step to your process through LR questions to ask yourself whether the argument is causal.

 

Synthesis

 

Unless you are just missing a handful of questions on the whole test, you’ll likely end up with a lot of takeaways after your review process.

That’s too much to consciously implement all at once.

So one of the last steps of your review process should be to look for trends in your takeaways. Does anything come up a lot? 

Go beyond just question type labels. It can be helpful to know what question types you tend to miss, but it’s more helpful to find commonalities in why you missed questions.

Sometimes it might be hard to find these trends. It may look on the surface like each of your takeaways are different. But ask yourself whether a more fundamental skill or mindset might underlie multiple questions.

Example: You may have missed what looks like a varied assortment of reading comp questions. Looking at question types or passage types alone, it’s hard to find trends. But you might notice that in many of these questions, your takeaway had to do with reading the answer choices more precisely so that you aren’t tempted by answers that are just “close.” You can synthesize these takeaways to one about having a more nitpicky mindset when evaluating answers.

 

Planning

 

Here’s where the real focus on the future comes in. Your review is incomplete if it doesn’t culminate in a clear plan for what you want to do on future tests.

If you’ve spent the time looking for commonalities and synthesizing your takeaways from each question you redid in your review process, you’ve likely already found your action plan for the future.

Your plan may also include section-level plans for improving your timing or test-level plans for managing your anxiety.

Limit yourself to just 2-3 things to implement on your next test. More than that and you’re less likely to be able to actually implement them.

 

Go get to work

 

Now that you know how to do a future-focused blind review of your LSAT practice tests, it’s time to put it into action. Go tackle a section or a full-length test, and try out the review process. And if you need resources to support you in your review, check out my LSAT Practice Test Review Guide or make a copy of the free Error Log spreadsheet.

LSAT Practice Test Review Guide pages

 


LSAT Notes

 

If this post resonated with you, I’d love to stay in touch. About once a week, in the form of an email newsletter, I share useful strategies and insights I’ve picked up during my years teaching the LSAT. “LSAT Notes” you can use to study more effectively and raise your score.

Often these are inspired by breakthroughs my students had that week. Other times, they respond to questions students like you have. My goal is to provide motivation and encouragement along with knowledge about the test and advice about how to study.

Learn more about it here, or to subscribe, simply fill in the form below.

 

Sign up to get your FREE error log template!

Success! Check your inbox!

Sign up to get your FREE Error Log template for LSAT!

Success! Check your inbox!