The Law School Aptitude Test, (“LSAT”), is one of the top three things that law schools look at when determining whether or not to accept a student into their program. Along with the LSAT the other two top criteria for acceptance are a students grade point average (“GPA”) and extra-curricular/volunteer activities.
Due to the significance of the LSAT in the admissions process it is important to make sure that you do everything that is within your power to ensure that you get the highest score possible on the LSAT. The LSAT is comprised of a number of different sections. These are reading comprehension, logical and analytical reasoning and writing. The reality is that the writing section, which consists of writing a short argument for or against a position, is not scored and does carry the same weight as your posted numerical score.
Once you decided that you are going to attend law school it is time to start preparing for the LSAT. The most important thing that you can do is to start reading for at least one hour everyday. What you read as important as the actual reading. The reading comprehension section of the test consists of very dense essays on a wide variety of topics. This is the type of reading you want to be doing to prepare. Read the editorials in the New York Times, go out and buy a number of different magazines that have a reputation for good writing. Some examples: a.) National Geographic, b.) Vanity Fair, c.) Archeology Today. It is important to read articles that cover social issues, political issues, history and art. Any or all of these topics will be on the test. You can also go to websites and download essays but remember you must read a minimum of sixty minutes a day. Once you are in law school in order to be successful you will be reading between three and five hours everyday.
The next step you need to take is to go out and buy and LSAT prep book, both Kaplan and Princeton put out good review books. Read the introductions and then follow the directions. Do not just start answering questions. The introductions have very good information on how to help prepare for the test. You paid for the book so take full advantage of the publishers years of experience working with students to prepare them for the LSAT so read the introductions and learn the tips and tricks.
After you have gotten into your daily routine of reading and using your work study book you need to decide if you want to take a prep class. These classes are expensive and once again the two big names in the game are Princeton and Kaplan. There are a number of advantages to the prep classes. The instructors have all taken the test and have done well on them. You have a weekly obligation that helps to ensure you are doing what you need to do on a daily basis. You will be given access to an extremely large database of real questions and answers from previous LSAT tests and most of the people who take the LSAT will take a prep class and since the prep class really does offer a number of insights and inside tricks and tips you help to ensure that you are on an even playing field with your fellow test takers.
Six weeks before you sit for the actual LSAT drive to the location where the test is going to be given. Sit in a chair and get the feel of place. Make a decision about parking. Figure out how long it will take you to get from your home to the test location under best and worst case scenarios. You do NOT want to be rushed and frazzled the day of the test.
The test is often given on Saturday mornings. Four weeks before you are taking the actual test find a quiet place and take a full timed test. Do this every Saturday leading up to the actual test. Go over your test during the week.
For many taking the LSAT it will be the longest most intense test you have taken in your life. You want to make sure that you are mentally and physically prepared. The month before the test you are going to make sure that you are doing all that you can to be in prime shape to take the test. No alcohol or recreational drug use. You need to ensure that you are getting enough rest and that your diet is healthy and that you are exercising.
On the day of the test do the best you can. Make sure you answer every question on the test. When the test is over take a deep breath and congratulate yourself. Whatever the outcome you know that you did your best and that while the LSAT is important it is not the only things that law schools look at and then go home and take a nap.