Acceptance into a top-tier law school requires a high score on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). No matter if you’re a stellar student or an anxious test-taker, there are plenty of strategies for acing the exam. Here are some of the methods you should use to prepare for the LSAT and come out on top!
The LSAT includes five multiple-choice sections and one writing section, with the majority of the exam focusing on logic-based analysis. To master the critical thinking skills necessary for the test, many students take logic courses during their undergraduate studies. However, studies have shown that taking such classes isn’t always advantageous. What does help test-takers? Practice—and plenty of it.
The LSAT is unlike any standardized test that students take in high school or undergraduate programs. The purpose of it is not to demonstrate an understanding of concepts, but to analyze the candidates’ skills in analytical and logical reasoning and reading comprehension. This style makes it challenging to prepare for the exam—there’s no use attempting rote memorization for subjective topics, after all.
Therefore, to prepare for the LSAT, practice exams are a test taker’s best friend. It’s especially important to practice speed and accuracy. Since each multiple-choice section of the test is timed, be sure to complete practice tests within the allotted timeframe.
In the past, the LSAT was a pencil-and-paper test, but in recent years it has moved online and is taken at testing centers on computers or tablets. Therefore, US News recommends practicing with the many digital exams available. The following six-month plan is the recommended strategy:
Month 1: Familiarize yourself with the sophisticated language style of the LSAT. Learn to understand what precisely a question is asking for, and practice completing questions within the 35-minute time frame for each section.
Months 2 & 3: Begin working practice questions in the logical reasoning section. Do them in 35-minute and 70-minute increments, to get a feel for how many items need answering in that time block.
Months 4, 5, & 6: Complete full exams within the allotted timeframe, and identify logic areas which you need to practice or study further.
Uphold this strategy for ten hours per week every week, and be sure to check answers to understand why you got a question correct—or why your response wasn’t accurate. This way, you can tailor your practice strategy to increase your chances of not just passing, but surpassing!