After hearing that I have been a LSAT instructor and guide for almost four years, people interested in law school start to ask me a myriad of different questions of what I think they should do and how they should start thinking about the LSAT. A lot of questions are pretty good, but even more of them are horrible. A lot of these horrible questions come from students who want a quick fix for very high LSAT score. I tell them, with the LSAT, it’s black and white. You are either one of the elite few who already think logically and won’t have to work too hard to get a 165+ on your exam, or you are like the rest of us shmucks who will have to put in a good amount of effort during your LSAT prep and really hone your skills and ways of thinking.
I’ve put together a list of how you shouldn’t go about studying for the LSAT if you’re hoping for a score above 165+. Now, I’d first like to place a disclaimer here and note that you should really be sure what your goal score is. A “good” LSAT score is subjective to where you want to go to law school. A 167 could be a good LSAT score for one person, while a 154 is a good LSAT score for another. Alright, let’s get on to the list!
How NOT to Study for the LSAT
- (1) Use an old LSAT prep book you found on some shelf
We’ve discussed this before, but many LSAT prep companies don’t use real LSAT questions in their books. It’s cheaper for them not to pay the licensing fee. However, most non-LSAC questions do not give you an accurate picture of what to expect on the exam.
- (2) Do Logic Games in your head to save time
Have you ever done a Logic Game? Unless you are already scoring in 175+ you should not take the risk of juggling all the rules, deductions and set ups in your head. That’s pure madness. Writing it down saves time in the long run.
- (3) Underline the entire passage of the Reading Comprehension section
After asking why the entire passage is highlighted and underlined, my doe-eyed student says, “’Cuz it’s all important?” False! It can’t all be important. Here’s a secret: it’s mostly filler. You need to pinpoint the main point, the tone and purpose of the passage. With those three things you can answer almost all the questions.
- (4) Practice for the Writing Sample
It’s ungraded people! Write coherently and don’t use words you don’t know how to spell. Spend you precious time studying for the parts of the LSAT that matter.
- (5) Not take every practice test you can
The absolute best way to study for the LSAT is to finish as many practice tests as you can after learning the techniques. Once you’ve got the strategies down, it’s up to you. Don’t be afraid of the practice exam. It’s only that. Practice! I’ve seen so many students go weeks without taking practice exams because they don’t “feel like they are near their goal score yet.” So what? Who is going to scold you if you don’t get a 170 on the practice LSAT? Don’t be so harsh on yourself. A practice exam is there to help you raise your score. But don’t expect it to be where you want it to be at the get go.
Remember, don’t be so hard on yourself. Take the time to decide if law school is what you want to do. Once you’ve made the decision, really commit to it because your hard work and sacrifice will all pay off in the end.