This post originally appeared on the Magoosh LSAT blog.
Figuring out how to ace the LSAT is not easy. LSAC builds so many difficult questions into the test that performing well on test day will be challenging for even the sharpest students. You know your goal score, and you know how much you’re going to need to study. (Or perhaps you don’t know your goal score and, in that case, should check out this post featuring LSAT scores for the top 100 law schools). That said, the test is learnable, with focused effort and motivation. What are our top 5 tips regarding how to ace the LSAT?
1. Take a timed LSAT practice test cold before starting.
You won’t know how much you need to improve your score unless you have a baseline score that accurately reflects your current understanding and ability. Before looking at any LSAT test prep materials, take a timed practice test and analyze those results to determine where you need to make the greatest improvements over the next few months.
2. Be able to identify easy versus difficult LSAT questions.
Since the LSAT is a timed test, you should be able to quickly identify and differentiate easy questions from tricky ones. On practice tests, leave the difficult questions blank, mark them clearly so you’re aware which ones you’ve left blank, and return to them after you’ve finished the rest of the section.
Since correct questions are all scored equally, a difficult question will not be worth more points than an easy question. Make sure you have enough time to pick the “low-hanging fruit” first.
3. Simulate test-day conditions during LSAT practice tests.
Even if you’re used to studying in your room, you won’t be taking the LSAT in your room on test day. Try taking practice tests in a variety of environments that you’re not totally familiar with – this way you won’t be thrown off by things like classroom size or classroom temperature on the day of the test.
Take practice tests timed, and complete the writing section as part of each test.
4. Pace yourself with your LSAT study materials.
We’re advocates of using real prep tests and real LSAC questions when studying for the LSAT. That said, there are only so many questions and tests that LSAC has released.
Depending on how long you plan to study for, make sure you space out your study materials evenly. You don’t want to burn through all of your practice tests in your first few weeks of prep and then have no new questions to practice with leading up to test day.
5. Address your strengths and weaknesses to ace the LSAT.
Since every question counts for the LSAT, each one is crucial. If you find that logic games come fairly easily to you, but that logical reasoning is your weakness, spend time to 1) ensure you can answer every games question correctly on every practice test and 2) develop your logical reasoning skills by learning and practicing the question types.
Wherever your strength lies, maximize the number of points you can earn from that area. For areas of weakness, try to pick up basic tips and tricks to help you overcome your challenges. Most importantly, remember that learning how to ace the LSAT takes time, dedication, and a great LSAT study plan. There are no shortcuts for this one!
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