By Kelly Roell
These ten LSAT test tips will increase your score if you follow them all. Read on!
When you take the LSAT more than once, your scores are averaged. Need I say more? If you retake the LSAT hoping for a higher score and something goes terribly wrong, then you can really hurt yourself in the end with an even lower score than you started out with. Plus, research shows us that your score will probably only change by two points if you retake it – and those two points can go either way, my friend.
So study efficiently the first time around so you get the score you want the first time you take the LSAT.
Take a practice LSAT test before you've done any studying at all to determine where you should concentrate your study efforts. Get a baseline score. If you find that you're rocking the Logical Reasoning section, but are falling short in the Analytical Reasoning section, then you'll know to beef up your study efforts there. You won't be able to get an accurate estimate of your failings if you study before you take a practice test.
The LSAT is not a test you want to cram for, considering it's going to take you about three hours to complete, and the rest of your life to explain if you bomb it. Get your test prep materials early (at least 2-3 months) and manage your time so you can practice enough.
Remember that every LSAT question is worth the same amount of points, so go ahead and skip around, answering the questions that are easiest for you first. You don't have to be a hero and tough it out through the hardest ones. Get yourself the most points you can in case time runs out before you're finished.
Which brings me to my next point: pacing yourself. The LSAT is timed; each section is 35 minutes long, and you'll have between 25 and 27 questions to answer in that time frame. It doesn't take a mathematical genius to figure out that you won't have a lot of time for each question. So if you get stuck, take your best guess and move on. It would be far better to get that one question wrong, then to not have the opportunity to answer seven questions (which may or may not be easier for you) at the end because you ran out of time.
Most people don't sit still for three hours straight, doing highly focused, intensive brain work. It can be exhausting, and if you haven't built up your brain stamina to do just that, you could wear out before the big test day. So practice sitting at a desk (on a hard chair) and focusing through an entire practice LSAT test. Do it twice. Do it as many times as you can until you're sure you can focus for that long.
Every test prep book is not the same. Do your research. Ask your law professors or past graduates which test book was the most helpful. Read the reviews! You're only going to be as good as your test prep book is, so make sure you have one that can truly prepare you for what you need.
Your LSAT score is a huge deal. Just a few points could be the difference in getting into the school that will propel you toward a great career, and one that could set you up for mediocrity. So if you're truly struggling with your own LSAT prep, then by all means, hire a tutor. Spending the cash is worth it if the future returns are big!
Nothing will make your LSAT worse than anxiety. I'm not kidding. It can do nasty things to a test score. So find a way to mentally reduce your stress before you answer the first question. Or go for a run the morning of the test to pep up your spirits before the big test. Stress is the last thing you want to conquer you with when your future in law is on the line. You'll be dealing with high stress in the litigation world when you graduate from law school, so it's best to learn how to manage that demon now!