How to Prepare for the LSAT

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) consists of four multiple choice sections that are scored, plus an unscored writing sample that is forwarded to each law school that an individual applies to. Each segment is 35 minutes in length. The test sections consist of reading comprehension, an analytic reasoning segment and two logical reading sections. There is also an experimental section that is unscored, but test takers won’t know which section it is. An LSAT score can range from as low as 120 to as high as 180, with an obvious average of 150. A score of 170 would ordinarily place a person around the top 3%. The LSAT is now a digital test. Even the written part of it must be done on a computer.

The LSAT Looks for Your Ability Rather Than Your Knowledge

The information that you may or may not have learned in an undergraduate program is irrelevant for purposes of the LSAT. The test is more of an aptitude test that assesses how well a person might perform in law school and in a legal career after passing the bar exam.

Do I Need to Take a Prep Class for the LSAT?

Nobody is required to take a prep class to sit for the LSAT, but if you don’t take one, you’re not giving yourself the best possible chance of obtaining your highest possible score on the test. Just about all law schools consider the LSAT to be a strong indicator of the ability of a candidate for admission to successfully complete a law school academic program, so LSAT scores are given considerable weight in an admission decision. A quality prep class will teach aspiring lawyers how to approach the test along with certain LSAT techniques to improve time management when taking the test.

Preparation Aside from the Class

Prior academic experience is irrelevant for purposes of the LSAT. You need only know how to read and write. Practice, practice and even more practice on taking the exam over at least three months gives a law school admission candidate the best possible opportunity to maximize their score. It’s recommended that preparation begin with untimed sessions while phasing into timed sessions. Remember that you’re going to be competing nationally against some incredibly talented competition. That, coupled with getting into the law school of your choice should be sufficient motivation.

Analyze Your Practice Sessions

In reviewing your practice test answers, don’t just analyze what you did wrong. Analyze what you did right too. Look closely at each question and each answer, and try to discern what led you to each answer. Focus on your logical reasoning. That’s what about 50% of the LSAT consists of. Time that you spend preparing for the logical reasoning portion of the exam is of the utmost importance. You’re likely to see that when taking the test.

Past Tests and Obtaining Copies of Them

The logical reasoning of what you see in past LSAT questions and answers might be substantially similar to what you’ll encounter when taking the test. Study those questions and answers. You’ll sharpen your logical reasoning skills. You’ll find that there is often an answer that seems right, but it isn’t right. Eliminating wrong answers quickly increases the chances of selecting a correct answer. You’re not penalized for a wrong answer, so answer all of the questions. Even a pecking chicken is going to get 20% of the answers right.

Reading Comprehension

Train yourself to identify the salient points of an article. Note any evidence, pros, cons, supporting information, motivation and conclusions. Make a conscious effort at doing this with anything that you might read, and your comprehension will increase quickly.

Practice Using Old LSAT Questions

Copies of some past tests can be obtained through the Law School Admission Council, online or at bookstores. Remember to phase into using a timer when answering old test questions, and answer as many of them as you can find. It’s recommended that those intending on sitting for the exam stay away from independent “model questions.” Only prepare with past LSAT questions. There are enough of them to work with.

Take a quality prep class. It will be money well-invested on a potentially lucrative career. Working through your course exercises along with taking and thoroughly evaluating past LSAT tests and answers will give you the best possible chance at performing at a superior level. Although you can sit for the test three times, you only want to go through the LSAT experience once. Give yourself that best possible chance.