Practice makes perfect, as the old adage goes, but when it comes to the LSAT, getting a good score is about a lot more than pure repetition. If you want to nail the test, you've got to be strategic about your approach.
Reviewing study guides and taking practice tests can help you feel comfortable with the type of content, questions, and even time limitations of the LSAT, but there's other content to study. Think about test-taking strategy, personal strengths, and your test score goals while prepping for the test.
But once you've got your strategy and study approach down, practice and discipline come into play: practicing the LSAT again and again can cut down on stress. Those who only take one practice test (or none at all) may feel completely overwhelmed when it comes time to take the real LSAT. On the other hand, those who have taken numerous practice tests will be well-versed in the conditions and content of the exam.
That said, practicing alone can feel daunting at times, and you may not always be sure if you are using your study time wisely or effectively. This is why we encourage students to enroll in an LSAT prep course. It gives you the ability to hone your study skills, while also preparing you for the rigors of a notoriously difficult exam. An online version can especially help, especially if you're busy or have a tough time commuting to a test prep location.
Preparing With LSATMax
At LSATMax, we understand the immense benefit of being able to extend your preparation time for as long as you need. That's why you can start studying from the moment you purchase your course and choose from flexible packages that get you access for as long as you need.
This is our promise, and this is what separates LSATMax from other test-prep services. We genuinely want to see you succeed, and practicing often is the best way to make that happen.
Don't forget that you should always keep timing in mind, not just during the test, but also during the preparation phase. You need to think about how much time you have until the next LSAT test window, and how much time you will need to realistically and comfortably prepare for the exam.
Are you interested in learning more about LSAT prep? Do you want to increase your chances of getting into your dream law school? If so, be sure to sign up for our Comprehensive LSAT Prep Course today!
What Is on the LSAT?
There are 5 multiple-choice sections on the LSAT. However, only 4 of these sections are graded; the 5th is an experimental section that helps the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) test out questions for future tests. You will not know which section is ungraded, so needless to say, you must put your full effort into all 5 sections.
These sections are subdivided into three categories:
- Reading Comprehension
- Analytical Reasoning
- Logical Reasoning
There will always be at least one Reading Comprehension section, one Analytical Reasoning section, and two Logical Reasoning sections. The fifth experimental section can be any one of these categories. At the end, you'll also have to submit a writing sample.
For example, you know that there is traditionally only one section for Reading Comprehension and one for Analytical Reasoning, so if you are taking the LSAT and find that there are two of either, you will know that one of them is the ungraded section.
Similarly, if you find that there are three Logical Reasoning sections rather than two, you know that one of them must be un-scored. You still have no way of knowing which section is ungraded, only which category, so it won't change how you approach your test.
Additionally, you will also be required to produce a writing sample based on a given prompt. While this writing sample will not be graded with the rest of the test, it will be sent to law schools when you apply. It's important to do your best here as well, as it can affect admissions decisions, but it will not affect your score.
Many people simply do not realize how much lawyers need to read. Texts related to law are often dense, complex, and extremely long. As a result, the reading comprehension section is extremely important in determining a potential lawyer's abilities.
Having a strong reading comprehension score allows law schools to see an applicant's ability to extract meaning from a given text, and also make insightful inferences.
What Is on the Reading Comprehension Section of the LSAT?
There are four subsections within the Reading Comprehension section of the LSAT. Each subsection contains a lengthy text that will be similar to texts that one must read in law school or law practice.
Following each passage, you must answer between 5-8 multiple choice questions that test your ability to understand and logically interpret what you have read. In one of the four subsections, you will receive two shorter passages.
This subsection is known as Comparative Reading and will require you to analyze both texts in relation to one another. It's typically the most difficult to get done on time.
Regarding the content of these texts, it can be drawn from a wide range of topics and areas of study. For example, one reading might be related to the humanities, while another could be directly related to law. In any case, it is best to be well-versed in as many broader subjects as possible (history, biological sciences, etc.). These passages don't necessarily have anything to do with law.
That said, the Reading Comprehension section is not meant to test your preexisting knowledge of a given subject matter. You will need to hone your reading skills and be able to draw meaning from complex wording and text structures. Everything question is answerable based on only the information presented in the text: you don't necessarily need to know anything based on the topics presented to do well on the test.
The Analytical Reasoning section is meant to test your ability to draw logical conclusions from a set of facts or propositions.
What Is on the Analytical Reasoning Section of the LSAT?
Much like the Reading Comprehension section, Analytical Reasoning is broken down into subsections, with each subsection focused on a single passage, followed by questions related to the text.
Each passage is generally unrelated to law. These readings introduce scenarios that require critical thinking skills. For example, one reading may introduce you to a situation in which two employees at a company have conflicting interests, and may need to decide how best to proceed given certain company policies.
Most of these questions will test your ability to find out either what must be true or what could be true, given certain parameters. They often come in the format of logic puzzles or games.
This section is especially important for potential law students and is sometimes weighted more heavily by admissions officers as it tests your ability to look at a set of rules and use your deductive reasoning skills to reach a reasonable conclusion.
Both of the Logical Reasoning sections test an applicant's ability to identify, evaluate, construct, and refute arguments. Somewhat counterintuitively, these are not really the ?logic puzzles' test-takers see on the Analytical Reasoning section.
What Is on the Logical Reasoning Section of the LSAT?
In these sections, you will be given brief examples of arguments, and then you must critically evaluate the validity of each. These samples are drawn from many different sources, often unrelated to law, including magazines, newspapers, and scholarly texts.
You will be expected to answer one or two questions for each sample argument. These questions might ask you to identify different parts of the argument, recognize patterns of reasoning, detect assumptions, or identify flaws in the argument. This will require you to really understand how arguments are constructed and how logic can (and cannot) be used to reach a given conclusion.
However, you are not required to have specialized knowledge of argumentation or related vocabulary. You will simply need to recognize different elements of arguments (premise, conclusion, etc.) and identify how they relate to one another.
This section comes naturally to some and is more difficult for others, but understanding the structure and reasoning behind these questions can help tremendously.
Why Is LSAT Practice So Important?
Consistent practice is the key to reaching your target LSAT score. Your LSAT prep course, whether in person or online, only comprises a small percentage of what it takes to achieve the score you want.
All an LSAT prep course can do is help facilitate and nurture the proper study skills, techniques, and expectations you need for the LSAT. The rest is up to you: discipline, time, and natural ability all have more to do with your score than prep (which is still significant, boosting a score an average of 5 to 15 points).
Does It Matter How Many Times You Take the LSAT?
Another huge factor? The number of times you take the test. The Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) recently released a study showing that–on average–second-time test takers have a higher LSAT score than first-time test takers. LSAC reported that "test-takers who repeated the LSAT gained an average of 2.8 points the second time they took the test."
The study shows that nearly 66 percent of students who took the LSAT again received a higher score on their second attempt. It is also important to note that test takers were not handpicked by LSAC. They were self-selected?the test takers chose to take the LSAT more than once.
Why Is Taking the LSAT Multiple Times So Helpful?
So, what happened between test-takers' first LSAT and their second one? Their score clearly increased because they continued to prepare in the interim, and had the advantage of experiencing a real LSAT exam first-hand.
This study shows that the true key to increasing your score is more LSAT prep?and the most efficient form of LSAT prep is practicing under time pressure on as many practice LSATs as possible.
When you take a practice LSAT practice tests, you get a feel for what the real test will be like in several ways. First and foremost, you see what the content is like. As we outlined above, there are 5 sections on the test, composed of 3 different categories. It's one thing to read a description of these categories, but it's something entirely different to actually experience what the test is like first-hand.
The more practice tests you take, the more you come to understand what kind of questions to expect, and what kind of answers will get you a higher score.
Taking Multiple LSAT Exams Can Improve Your Time Management Skills
Secondly, practice tests help you improve a very important skill: time management. Since each section is only 35 minutes long, you won't want to go too slowly in the first half of a section, only to find yourself rushing through the second half. This could lead to huge mistakes and, ultimately, a much lower score.
This is one of the primary reasons that practicing the LSAT frequently is so important. It teaches you how to pace yourself, and how to think critically, without taking up too much time considering unimportant details.
Prepare for a Perfect LSAT Score
However, it's not just about taking LSAT practice tests over and over again. You need to make each practice test matter. This is why we encourage students to try to mirror the actual testing experience every time.
This includes using time limitations, avoiding outside resources and even having background noise while you work. With proper prep, a dash of strategy, and a bit of brain power, you'll be well on your way to your target test score.