The DOs and DON’Ts of Mastering the LSAT
In a couple of months thousands of college students and recent graduates around the country will take the June LSAT test. Which means that right now, those thousands are trying to figure out how to prepare for the test. But if you’re one of them, have no fear, because we here at Law Street have your back!
Without further ado, here’s a list of the top dos and don’ts when preparing for the LSATs.
Do: Take a class or get some tutoring
There are so many ways to improve your LSAT score, and classes aggregate them for you and then present those tips, tricks, and skills in a scheduled format. The problem, I know, is that these classes and tutors are super expensive. But remember how I said Law Street is totally here to help? Well, we’re giving away 3-hour sessions with an awesome, super-qualified LSAT tutor named Nick. The only thing you need to do to enter is like us on Facebook and like the contest post on our page, here. One-on-one tutoring is an awesome resource for something like the LSAT because it allows you to get targeted help exactly where you need it the most.
Do: Make a schedule and stick to it
It’s going to suck, I know. But the best possible way to do well on the LSAT is to work your ass off. Treat it like a part-time job. It will be time-consuming and insane, but it’ll pay off. Take practice tests, learn new strategies, the whole shebang. And make sure that your schedule is focused on you. Here are some examples, but make sure to tweak them so that they help you work on your weak spots.
Do: Learn how to relax
Studying for the LSAT can be completely overwhelming, and it’s possible to get lost in that stress and repetition. So you need to make sure that you still take care of yourself. Find something that helps you unwind – and make it a healthy habit. For example, our Resident Legal Post-Grad, Peter Davidson, loves to use yoga for stress relief. Although, most of us aren’t quite as talented as he is:
You can find what works for you. I highly recommend random dance parties.
Don’t: Always practice in a quiet area
In a perfect, beautiful, ideal world, you would be able to take the LSAT in total peace and quiet. In the real world, however, you are going to take the LSAT in an unfamiliar environment, with a bunch of people you don’t know, and you have no idea what that’s going to be like. I’ve heard plenty of horror stories about people being able to hear sirens from outside, or a meeting happening a few rooms over. Now, this isn’t said to scare you, but realism is important. Take a few practice tests in a coffee shop or other loudish place to make sure that if the worst does happen, you’re prepared. Also make sure to check out this wiki — it contains reviews for LSAT testing sites. While it’s not all-inclusive, it may help you narrow down what environment would be the best for you to take the test in.
Do: Read Outside Articles
Seek out sources that will have articles that are similar to what you might see on the test. Here’s a great example of an article about attractiveness in the workplace from The Economist. Reading articles outside of your test prep book is great because it allows you to read something relevant and interesting while still getting some studying done.
Do: Get a Logic Book
Even though there are obviously specific books and classes for the logic reasoning section, there’s something to be said for getting yourself a background in the topic. This tip actually comes from Matt DiCenso here at Law Street, who just went through the whole law school admissions and choosing process. (After you ace the LSAT and get into a bunch of awesome law schools, make sure to check out Matt’s post on picking the right one for you.) He says that taking a logic class as an undergrad helped him prepare to wrap his mind around the logic problems and the strategies for completing them. If you have the chance, check out a free online class on logic, like this one, or pick up a book on the subject.
Do: Practice your timing
The various sections of the LSAT are, obviously, timed. So it’s important that you know how to watch that time and plan your test-taking accordingly. It’s also important to manage the anxiety that can happen for some people when they’re on the clock like that. If that’s something you’re worried about, check out this article from Manhattan LSAT blog on “time-shaving.” If you’re having a hard time getting your time down for a section, this article can help you plan out a way to take a few minutes off each week until you reach your goal time.
Don’t: Freak out about the writing section
The writing section, to be honest, really doesn’t matter at all. It’s not scored, and while it’s given to the schools, many don’t even really pay attention to it. Furthermore, while skimming over a list of possible questions can be helpful, you don’t know what it’s going to be. Usually the format is that someone has to make a decision between two different things, and your job is to write a persuasive essay in favor of one or the other. Honestly, if you’ve gotten far enough in school that you are taking the LSAT and considering law school, you should be used to writing anyway.
So now that you’ve got these tips down, head over to Facebook and enter yourself in our LSAT Prep giveaway. Remember, Law Street has your back!
Anneliese Mahoney (@AMahoney8672) is Lead Editor at Law Street and a Connecticut transplant to Washington D.C. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from the George Washington University, and a passion for law, politics, and social issues. Contact Anneliese at amahoney@LawStreetMedia.com.
Featured image courtesy of [Dan Hancock via Flickr]