By Bianca J. Ward
The LSAT is the most important part of the Law School application process. Your grades, application, letters of recommendation, and personal statement will be important, but the LSAT is generally the heaviest weighted criteria for admissions. Being a essay writer over the years, I’d like to say that it is so important to be prepared to ace it by checking out the tips for studying below!
Plan for Preparing for the LSAT
Make a Plan
Spend some time and look at the important aspects of preparing for the LSAT below. Be specific if you want positive results.
Based upon your GPA and your desired schools, first evaluate what you will need to get on the LSAT. This will be important in understanding how much time you will need to prepare and with what intensity. For specific information for American Bar Association (ABA) Law Schools check out their official GPA/LSAT search. To use this tool, put in your GPA and your predicted LSAT score (180 is perfect, 150 is average, and 120 is the lowest). Then see the likelihood of your acceptance.
Take Lots of Tests
Seriously, this is the most important aspect of preparing. Take the tests weekly until you take the real test. This will help you become comfortable with the test and will show you which questions you miss the most.
Re-Take Tests After Taking a Test
Review it, and look over all of the missed questions. Work out the problem and try to understand it. Then sometime that same week, re-take that test. After reviewing the same test, you will find the questions that you missed both times and can focus on those question types. After focusing on those question types, you will see dramatic improvement!
How to Survive on the Day of the LSAT
It is finally the day of the test, now what?
When I took the real test, I felt calmer than I had while taking the hundreds of practice tests and questions over the entire 6 months prior. Here are some things that helped me.
Number one for a reason. Some LSAT wizards have said that not getting sleep enough can change your score negatively between 3-6 points!
- Start getting good sleep 3 nights before. If the test is on Saturday, then start on Wednesday night.
- Don't take a sleeping pill the night of the test. If you’re still groggy from a pill, you could potentially lose 4-6 points.
- The bottom line, sleep is important. You didn't study for 4 to 6 months just to blow it on a couple of bad nights of sleep. Remember, the test is an investment in your future.
The day before the test, spend an hour or two reviewing things you already know — cramming won’t help you at this point! — then have some fun. Relieve some stress and do something that will get you tired enough to get some real sleep that night. Enjoy yourself because you have just spent the last couple of months of your life preparing. Caution: don't do something risky that will get you injured!
Eat well. Nutritious food will get your brain powered and ready to go. Start at least on Thursday but hopefully on Wednesday. If you had prepared for a marathon for as long as the LSAT, you wouldn't blow it now by eating something lousy, so don't do it to your score. Eat well, drink water, and get the mental energy you need from fruits and vegetables. Carbohydrates are also a great way to load up on nutritious energy. Warning: Don't go all out and try something new (you don’t want stomach problems) or heavy (you might get drowsy) the night before or the morning of the test.
Remember, you have studied and prepared for this. Everything will be fine. Also, this is not the most important thing in your life. If it is, before you go any further evaluate your priorities! There are more influential experiences than the LSAT so just do your best and things will work out.
Given that you have just a few chances to take the LSAT, and it is expensive, get it right the first time! Make sure that when you take it you are ready. Many schools no longer average the scores of previous LSATs, but they still look at it. If it is not what you want admissions officers to see, then don't take it.
Also, get ahead on the other aspects of your application. This will give you more time to study for the LSAT. Start your statement, letter of recommendation, transcripts, and application forms now. It will feel really good to get these things done early.