How to Prepare for LSAT

If your dream career is in Law and you are living in the United States or Canada, you must have heard about The Law School Admission Test or LSAT. So what exactly is the LSAT and how can you take one?

What is LSAT?

To get admission in any law school in the United States and Canada there is a standardized test administered four times a year. This test is called Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Reading and Verbal reasoning skills are measured in assessing the applicants of LSAT. Centers are designated throughout the world to conduct LSAT.

The Pre-Law Advising Office of Univerisity of Massachusetts Amherst explained that these skills are indicators of your ability to "read and understand complex material, to reason logically, to analyze information, and to perform well in a timed, stressful situation". The LSAT is the only test accepted for admission purposes by all ABA-accredited law schools and Canadian common-law law schools. So in short, if you want to show your candidacy to a Law school of choice, and LSAT result is obligatory.

LSAT structure

The LSAT has two parts: a 5-sections multiple-choice portion and a written essay called LSAT Writing. While the first portion can be administered at test centers around the world, since September 2019, North America can administer the multiple-choice portion digitally. And the LSAT Writing is administered online using secure proctoring software that can be installed on the candidate's own computer. You can also take the test on a tablet with a stylus as provided by LSAC.

How do you need to prepare?

The Princeton Review suggests that 250-300 hours of preparation would be sufficient to retrain your brains for the necessary test skills. However, depends on the starting point of each student as well as their personal ability to adopt and adapt to new skills, each student can take around three months or less at approximately 20 hours per week for revision.

To prepare for LSAT one has to acquire skills in Analytical Reasoning, Logical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension. LSAT preparation primarily starts with familiarizing yourself with the test instructions, question types and how much time you could spend on each question, and knowing for which question types you might need additional time for practice. These will require many drilling sessions with quality test preparation materials and/many experienced tutors (s)/instructor(s) who can help you explain the test questions and improve on personal mistake patterns. Properly formatted preparation for LSAT ends in good results.

There are many who offer free LSAT prep practice tests. It is always good to take up those tests to sharpen the testing skills and boost up the confidence. With the help of practice tests, you can experience the requirement of the most thorough, intense, and demanding LSAT prep around. Practice makes perfect and don't rush into the test before you have achieved stable desirable results with the mock tests.

Methods of preparation

There are usually 5 methods of preparation for the LSAT using the official LSAC materials, non-LSAC books, commercial test preparation services, self-study and no preparation. According to a Law School Admission Council Report on various LSAT prep methods from 2011-2012 to 2013-2014 academic years on U.S. News and World Report, self-studying is significantly less effective than using test preparation materials. While approximately 40% of test-takers use a combination of 2-3 preparation methods, some methods are less effective than the others. Preparation using the LSAC website’s sample questions, undergraduate institution test-preparation courses, other alternative preparation methods or no preparation at all created the worse results. General advice from this report when preparing for the LSAT test is to “prepare a lot, take numerous real practice tests and engage a tutor or preparation course to make sure you have learned all the techniques necessary to achieve your best score”.

LSAT preparation classes are conducted both in-person and online. One can choose whichever is suitable. In-person LSAT classes are definitely more verbally active when compared to online classes. The limited the number of students admitted in a class, the more interaction possibility with the instructor. That does not mean that online classes are disadvantageous. Online has a flexible option of self-studying the topics and lessons as per convenience and interest. It may have enhanced access to online forums related to topics and discussions.

Having the right study material

The key to preparing for the LSAT is selecting the right materials to study with. Trying to study with the wrong set of books you will probably spend most of your time simply spinning your wheels and not getting to study properly. Take plenty of real and timed prep tests working through one section at a time. Keeping in mind you may be under time or money constraint following are some of the must-have books while preparing for the LSAT. Recommendation by Tutors and Lawyers In order to give a practical recommendation for LSAT test-takers, the Strategist New York asked for advice from a panel of test prep experts from reputable test prep companies such as Kaplan, The LSAT Genius, 180 Degrees LSAT as well as an LSAT tutor and a practicing lawyer. And their recommendation includes:
Test takers can also refer to the LSAC’s The Official LSAT SuperPrep II™ for more official test preparation materials. There are many rep books and book series that typically cover all the basic three LSAT question types: Logical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, and Analytical Reasoning. One can easily get the advantage of numerous free resources available online. Discussion forums and online boards facilitate exchanging and analyzing the topics concerned with the LSAT.

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