By Mike Kim.
In this video and article, I offer 10 quick and important tips about how to effectively prepare for the Law School Admission Test.
Here are links to related articles and resources discussed in the passage:
Lsatters article on how to study for the LSAT
Lsatters article on how to set up your own study schedule
Lsatters Questions By Type tool
Official LSAT preptests for sale on Amazon
The LSAT Trainer website
The Ten Tips
The LSAT is unlike most other tests you take in life and so even the best students can end up wasting time and losing points if they take the wrong approach to their studies – so, I hope you find this advice useful.
1. Know that the LSAT is not just something to learn, but rather something to get better at
Of course, you need to learn about how the problems are designed and what determines right and wrong, but the LSAT is kind of chess in that it’s not what you know but rather how well you can put what you know into use that will determine your outcome. So, with that in mind…
2. Work to grow in four main areas: understanding, strategies, skills and habits
You want to make sure to develop your understanding about the exam and learn effective strategies, and then you want to give yourself plenty of time and practice to convert that learning into effective test taking skills and habits.
And a great way to do that is to…
3. Make sure your study schedule includes learning, drilling, practice tests, and plenty of time for review
Ideally you want to get in most of your learning early on in your prep, then move on to drill sets of like-problems, and then focus on practice tests toward the end of your training. Going through these phases, while making sure to carefully study and review your work, will help you turn the lessons and strategies you learn into the skills and habits you need.
In terms of the learning phase…
4. Make sure to utilize the very best study products
There are many different ways to teach this exam and a huge range in the quality of learning products. And, different products fit different students best. So, give yourself plenty of time to choose whatever books, courses, or other learning products you’d like, and don’t be afraid to combine products if you think that’ll help you get a higher score.
5. And practice applying what you learn using drill sets of like-problems
The LSAT is a highly standardized exam and the same types of problems appear again and again. Grouping these similar problems and practicing them in isolation is one of the best ways to get better at the LSAT, and that’s what drilling is. The LSAT Trainer website provides free study schedules that break up problems into drill sets for you. If you aren’t studying with the Trainer, you can utilize the free resources on the Lsatters site—including the question breakdown tool and the article on setting up your own study schedule—to easily design your own drill sets.
By the way, you’ll want to practice with only official LSAT problems. The most affordable way to get them is to buy them in the books of 10 exams that LSAC offers. You can find these on Amazon.
Ideally, by the time you are done with your drilling, you’ll feel very comfortable with the challenges that the LSAT can present. At this point you want to…
6. Finish your prep process by taking plenty of full sections and practice exams
The amount of them is up to you, but I would recommend a minimum of five or six full exams.
The LSAT changes very little from administration to administration, but, in general, you do want to save the most recent published exams to use as your final practice tests.
And if you run into any trouble along the way, make sure to…
7. Get yourself as much help as you need
There are many, many wonderful LSAT tutors around the country who can be of great use to you, you can always look into additional learning products as needed, and there are also plenty of high quality, low-cost or free LSAT study tools available online, including the Lsatters site, where you can find me hanging out regularly and answering any questions you might have.
The next bit of advice is going to sound a bit Yoda-ish but, oh well —
8. Seek wisdom, not just knowledge
Knowledge is just information in your mind, and wisdom is the proper organization of that information. Two students can know the same stuff, use the same strategies, and have the same skillset, but if one is wiser about how it all comes together, when she sees a problem in front of her on test day, she will be markedly better at applying the right skills at the right time.
So make sure to always review all that you study and practice as carefully as you can, and as you do so, always try your best to see how what you are learning comes together into a big-picture understanding of the exam.
It’s very hard to do all of this well in a short amount of time, so the next tip is to…
9. Give yourself plenty of time to study for this exam
Consider that you worked four years or more to get your undergrad GPA, and your LSAT score is going to matter more to the law school admissions officers. So, don’t beat yourself up if you decided in your mind that two months was all you needed for prep and then you realize once you get into studies that you need a LOT more.
And this leads me to my final point.
10. Make sure to give yourself a chance to perform at your best
As insane as it is, this 100 question multiple choice exam can have a huge impact on your legal career, and the great news is that the LSAT is very, very learnable. You owe it to your own future to give your prep all that you have.