Preparing for the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT)

Law School Admissions Test (LSAT)

The LSAT is the test required for admission to every law school in the United States. It is a time-intensive test consisting of five sections of multiple-choice questions: logical reasoning (2 sections), analytical reasoning (1 section), reading comprehension (1 section), variable section (unscored), and the writing sample(unscored). You are given 35 minutes per section.

Preparing for the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) | Image

Law schools thrive on numbers, and along with a strong GPA, the LSAT is the most integral quantitative factor for your admission to a top law school. Law school admissions weighs your LSAT score significantly, about two-thirds on it and one-third on your GPA.

The LSAT is scored on a scale from 120-180. To be competitive at the top 25 law schools your score should be 160 and above, while the top 10 law schools are more competitive, and you must strive for a 170 or higher. Each point makes a huge difference in your score and increases your odds at top schools.

When should you take the LSAT

Students who plan to go to law school immediately after receiving their undergraduate degree should take the test the summer after their junior year. Work professionals should plan to take the test a full year before attending law school. Law schools typically have rolling admissions meaning they admit students as they receive completed applications. Applying in September or October is considered early, it is also the ideal time to apply to secure your seat in a law school. Submitting your application in November is considered on time, submitting in December is late, and applying in January and February is obscenely late. Check closing dates for each law school you will apply to but plan to compile each of the required application components and get your application in early.

How to prepare for the LSAT

The LSAT is known for being a fiercely challenging exam that tests your logic, analytical skills, reading comprehension, and writing skills. Preparing for it should be like a full-time job, spending hundreds of hours studying. Start by familiarizing yourself with the structure of the test, utilizing important resources that will help you prepare for the test best. Seek out the best LSAT practice prep books, providing you with practice tests and test-taking strategies, enroll in an LSAT prep course, hire a tutor, or find a group to study with and plan to take many full-length practice exams, simulating what the real timed test will be like.

Reading comprehension and speed reading are two traits you should focus on through the study process to help with the overall test. As explained, the LSAT is a timed test, and reading through each question quickly while comprehending pertinent information is vital for every question. As time management will be essential during the test these traits will prove to serve you well. Research tips to improve your reading speed and reading comprehension.

All sections of the LSAT are important so make sure you are not spending most of your time studying on your weaknesses, but also concentrating on your strengths as well. Those who come from a humanities background will want to brush up on their problem-solving skills to do well on the logic section, while those with STEM backgrounds will want to brush up on their writing, reading, and analyzing skills.

Planning days to simulate the “real” test day every few months is highly recommended to allow yourself time management, reading comprehension, and speed-reading practice, while also familiarizing you with the structure and format of the test. The night before a test simulation set up a quiet space, have a full-length practice test ready, and place a timer next to your workstation. Get a good night’s sleep, eat a fulfilling breakfast in the morning, and take the test at a set time as if it were the real one. After the test figure out your score and assess how you did; sections of the test you need to work on, time management flow, reading comprehension, and other strategies that will benefit you.

Test Day Score Option

You’ve completed the test, maybe you feel great and maybe you don’t. If you are not feeling confident in how you did, you have the option to cancel your score. While admissions will see you have cancelled your score it does not harm your application. A low LSAT score is more detrimental than canceling your score. One or two canceled scores is normal, but you don’t want to cancel multiple test dates as this could raise red flags, perhaps sending the message that you are not ready for the demands of law school.

Bottom Line

Your LSAT score and undergraduate GPA are the two most influential factors of your law school application. Law school admission teams are seeking students with the best numbers. You must strive for the highest GPA within your undergraduate major and earn the highest LSAT score possible. A significantly high LSAT score will always outweigh your GPA.

If you’re looking for additional assistance in your college admissions journey, look no further than Solomon Admissions Consulting. We’re here to help, contact us today!

All of our blog posts are written by Former College Admission Officers who serve as members of our admission consultant team.

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