Five Things You Need to Know Before You Take the LSAT Next Month
As the clock ticks down to June 9 — LSAT test day for the next crop of prospective law students — your stress level is probably increasing exponentially. I get it. Well, OK, I don’t totally get it. I went to graduate school and took the GRE, which is admittedly NOT the same. But I can certainly still feel your pain. We’re not just patting giving you a thumbs up and wishing you good luck as you march into the test room, though. We’ve got five actionable tips for you to incorporate in your preparation from our resident LSAT guru, Nick, who (lucky for you) has actually walked the walk.
If you’ve already been through the LSAT and have must-read tips to live by for your fellow budding lawyers, tweet us @LawStreetMedia with #LSATPrep. Let us hear ’em!
- No prep book is as good as a prep test: Prep books can be good to know the basics, but often they don’t use actual past LSAT questions, and there just is no substitute for practicing on real LSAT questions. The LSAC sells previous LSATs by the bundle. There are now more than 70 previous LSATs to work through. Save the latest tests for last.
- Start slow and build: Don’t worry about timing at first. I repeat: don’t worry about timing. It’s far more important to understand the fundamentals of logic first. And by ‘understand,’ I don’t mean that you generally know how conditional works. I mean: you can contrapositives, negations, and spot necessary and sufficient conditions practically in your sleep. Speed comes from not having to think too hard about the easy questions. That will free up time to tackle the harder questions.
- Drill, drill, drill: Even though it seems tedious, and it is tedious, the more you practice, say, using the contrapositive, the easier it will be when you’re actually working through a game. Again, the goal is not to have to think about basic operations.
- Set a schedule and stick to it: We don’t all have eight hours a day to spend studying for the LSAT. But if you want to improve your score, you need to set aside time to work, preferably at least an hour a day. Students, even very bright students, tend to forget the basics if they study sporadically. You can generally also squeeze a bit of studying into other parts of the day. For instance, consider doing a few LR questions on the subway during your commute to work.
- Hang in there: Studying for the LSAT is a long, hard slog for basically everyone. Your score will likely go through some ups, some downs, and some plateaus. So don’t get discouraged. To my mind, the most important skill on the LSAT is the one that they can’t teach in prep books: persistence.
Chelsey Goff (@cddg) is Chief People Officer at Law Street. She is a Granite State native who holds a Master of Public Policy in Urban Policy from the George Washington University in DC. She’s passionate about social justice issues, politics — especially those in First in the Nation New Hampshire — and all things Bravo. Contact Chelsey at cgoff@LawStreetMedia.com.
Featured image courtesy of [Dvortygirl via Flickr]