For those who don’t know, the LSAT is the entry exam all wannabe lawyers have to take in order to get into law school. For those of us that know we want to go to law school right after undergrad usually take the test the summer of our junior year, going into or senior year. The LSAT is offered only 4 times a year, June, September/October, December, and February. The earlier you take the test the earlier you can start applying to law schools.
Studying for the LSAT has definitely been an experience. I've kind of had to put my life on hold for this test because it's a huge deal when it comes to law school admissions!
These are just a few of the things I’ve experienced so far in my LSAT journey and some advice for other people planning on taking the test.
Studying too much is just as bad as not studying at all.
This is something I’m still trying to grasp. I normally study 3-5 hours a day for the LSAT. This may seem like a lot but it’s actually the perfect recommended amount of time as long as you’re taking breaks. They say you should have at least 100 hours of study time by the time you go in to take the test. For me, it sometimes feels like too little. Also, you don’t have to study every day; studying 5 days a week is just as good! Having to study so much is actually what makes taking the June or September/October test more ideal, you don’t have school to worry about.
Don't be over-confident.
“I’m really good at tests, I’ll nail it”
Though this may be true in past experiences, the LSAT is, unfortunately, a lot more difficult. The LSAT doesn’t test us on what we know, they test us on how we problem-solve and think critically. So how do you study to think more critically? Practice.
You can never start studying too early.
The norm for when people start LSAT studying is usually around 4 months before the test; I am one of those people. Though 4 months in advanced is sufficient, I wish I started at least 6 months in advanced, though I’m not sure if it would make that big of a difference.
Make sure you’re getting lots of rest!
This may seem cliché to say, everyone says this, but it really helps! If you aren’t getting enough rest your brain will get fried from the studying. The stress makes it harder to sleep, which is why it’s important to put in the extra effort for sleep. My mind is constantly racing about the LSAT and not scoring well enough I keep myself up at night.
Save your money!
This may sound really silly, like “what does that have to do with the LSAT?” But it has a lot to do with it! The LSAT can get extremely expensive, especially if you’re taking classes, getting tutors, or buying testing books. It will range anywhere fro several hundreds of dollars to several thousands of dollars depending on how much you’re willing to spend and how far you’re willing to go and how hard you’re willing to work to get a good score.
You will fail.
Yep. The first time you take an LSAT practice test, you’re going to do horrible.
I'm not trying to be a downer here, but it's true! Everyone says the more you practice the better you get. Well, like I said before, the LSAT is not like the tests we’re used to taking in college. At this point you’re second-guessing all your life goals and decisions.
It’s ok to procrastinate – sometimes.
As long as you’re not procrastinating too much. The reason it’s ok to procrastinate at all is because it is important to take breaks! If you don’t take breaks between studying for the LSAT, you will be over-worked and not preform as well as you would have otherwise. I was so determined to study I was studying during my "15 minute break" between sections on my practice tests!
It’s important to remember to do the best you can. If you score really low on the test but realize you didn't put in enough study time, that's your own fault. But as long as your studying as much as possible and trying harder and asking questions, you're the real winner. The truth is, you probably won’t get into an Ivy League law school, but you’re still one step closer to your goal.