The Law School Admissions Test, or LSAT, is said to be one of the most important determinants law schools use in deciding whether to accept an applicant or not. Many students rightfully feel the pressure of the test but do not know how to go about studying for it. We’ve been there before, and we know the toll the LSAT can take on a student.
That’s why we’ve come up with this guide to help future law students (and eventually coworkers) best prepare themselves to take the LSAT.
Create a Benchmark
The first step is to create a benchmark for yourself by taking a practice test. There are many good practice tests available on the internet, but we recommend obtaining an official test given in a previous year. You can obtain one of these from the Law School Admission Council, also known as LSAC. It’s recommended you take this test as a simulation of the actual test. You should complete it within the actual time constraints of the exam to get a feel for how long you should spend on each section and the individual questions.
Taking a previous LSAT test will allow you to analyze your current strengths and weaknesses. Some excel at reading comprehension but struggle through the logical reasoning sections, while others have the opposite difficulty. Discover which sections to prioritize in your studying.
Study with ACE Test Preparation
ACE is by far the best prep course for the LSAT. Both online and in-person ACE courses include 80 hours of instruction and contain thousands of pages of actual LSAT material. There truly is no better way to study than with ACE. ACE also allows students to retake the course for free if needed. Be sure to ask the instructor plenty of questions, focusing on concepts you struggled with in your practice test. Use ACE as your main study material to prep for the LSAT.
Eat, Sleep, and Breathe Logic Games
For many students, the logical reasoning sections of the LSAT exam are the most challenging. Additionally, two of the four graded multiple-choice sections are made up of these types of problems.
To help prepare for this part you’ll need to eat, sleep, and breathe logic games. Deciphering the logic game questions needs to become automatic for you before you can even know what the question is asking. There are some useful apps that can help you by sending daily drills and providing you with quality prep content. LSATMax is a great tool available for ios and android phones.
Utilize the Khan Academy Prep Course
The Khan Academy prep course is another great tool to have handy. They’ve teamed up with LSAC to give a free course to anyone preparing for the LSAT. We recommend using this mainly as a supplement to the ACE course. It never hurts to have too many prep materials! If you can’t afford or choose not to pay for ACE, however, you can rely more heavily on the Khan Academy course, as it has some valuable resources.
Spend Time Reading on a Tablet
All tests in North America have moved to digital testing – a factor that has changed the course of the exam over the past couple years. When you show up to take the LSAT at your scheduled time, you’ll receive a tablet rather than a bubble sheet. If you don’t normally spend time doing serious reading that requires comprehension on a tablet, now is the time to start.
Everything you do to study should prepare you for both the content of the exam and the environment. You want test day to feel familiar, not foreign.
Take Another Practice Test
Once you’ve put in hours studying the sections that were more difficult based on your benchmark practice test, take another one! Take as many practice tests as you have the patience for, to ensure your confidence on the day of the actual examination. A second, or even third, test can help you see the progress you’ve made since your benchmark, which in turn will calm some fears before test day.
Take Care the Night Before
Lastly, take care of yourself the night before you take the LSAT. Rely on the studying you have done in the weeks and months prior to the test rather than holding an extreme late-night cram session. Getting rest and staying calm before the test will prove to be more useful than frantic information overload. Do some light review of key concepts, but don’t overdo it. Prepare anything you’ll need for the next day. Have a good breakfast planned and get to sleep early enough to wake and eat it in the morning.
The LSAT may still be daunting, but if you take each of these steps you’ll be ready for your LSAT and your future in law school.