LSAT 101

As a senior here at BC, I’ve been thinking a lot about my future. Over the past few years, I’ve been pretty set on going to law school immediately following my graduation from BC. Part of preparing for law school includes taking a brutal test called the LSAT (Law School Admission Test). THANKFULLY, I took the test this past weekend and I’m hoping to be done with it for good. Since studying for the LSAT gave me an incredible amount of stress, panic, and anxiety, I figured I would share some of my study tips for the test while the info is still fresh in my head. Here are some of the things you should know if you’re starting to study for the LSAT:

 

Know What to Expect

Getting familiar with the test itself is so important. If you know the structure of the test, you can start getting comfortable with the layout and the setup. The LSAC (the people in charge of making the test) actually has study books that contain really helpful tips about what to expect. The LSAC guides also have detailed outlines of how the test is structured. You can also get books from LSAC with full-length practice tests and answers. Additionally, the PowerScore LSAT Bibles have a lot of really good information about the test structure and the contents of the individual components. I definitely recommend reading up on some of this stuff so that you can familiarize yourself with the way the test works. This will give you a lot of comfort and confidence come test day!

 

Consider What Approach Will Work For You

There are so many ways to approach your studying. So when you start studying, you’ll need to figure out what method works best for you. Try to decide if you want to attend a class, take an online class, get a tutor, work through study books, or study in a different way. Once you figure out what you’re willing to invest (in terms of time and money) you can start to get into the specifics. For me, I combined a few methods. I took two prep classes and I worked through professional study books. For classes, I took a Kaplan test-prep class in person and an online TestMasters class. For the workbooks, I used the PowerScore Bibles and the official LSAC prep book. It was definitely a lot of material, but I liked approaching the information from different angles. Just a note of caution: make sure you get the updated versions of study books if that’s what you plan to use. This is important because the style of the test changes year to year and it’s important to prepare for what you’ll actually face on test day.

 

Transition to Timed Practice

Once you learn the test structure and begin studying some of the strategies for the test, you’ll start doing practice problems. My advice is to work on practice problems without time restrictions, initially. After a few weeks, try timing yourself and trying to finish full problem sets within the 35 minute time period. The earlier you start practicing the timing of the test, the better. The LSAT asks you to do a lot in the 35-minute sections and it’s important you are familiar with the time restrictions.

 

Stay Calm

While I was studying, there were so many times that I simply broke down and cried. I was frustrated, stressed, and tired. Every time I would get upset, though, my parents and my friends would tell me to take a deep breath and keep working. And it works! Try not to let your frustrations take over while you’re studying. Stay calm. You’re going to get through it! This is great advice for test day, too.

 

Put in the Work

The LSAT is a hard test. There were so many times I had to miss social events, I had to stay in on weekends, and I had to give up a lot of my free time (and mental sanity) to put in the time to study for the test. However, I realized that if I was serious about going to law school, all of the hard work would be worth it. Put in the work and you’ll be one step closer to reaching your goal.

 

 

At the end of the day, the LSAT is just a test. Remember - it does not define you! Study hard, do your best, and go from there :)

 

Sources:

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