Are you unsatisfied with your LSAT score? Or maybe you are just starting on and want to make the most of your first attempt at the LSAT. Either way, here are ten tips to increase your LSAT score.
Tip 1: Set a study schedule and stick to it.
This may seem like a given but still too many people decide to freelance their study schedule. Set a realistic study schedule, one that you know you can actually stick to. For example, studying for 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 4 months is not a reasonable schedule. You need breaks to break up the day and the weeks and months of studying. Take snack breaks, stretch breaks, and rest your eyes. Perhaps even take a day off each week to rest and reset for the next week. Setting an unrealistic schedule is the easiest way to fall off the road. It is recommended that you study 8 hours a day, like a normal workday. If you are looking for a self-paced study guide, there are many available through Amazon.
Tip 2: Logic Games Bible
The Logic Games are probably the easiest section to increase your points in the shortest amount of time. Buy the Logic Games Bible and go through the book, mastering one game type at a time. Time yourself each time so you can see how you are progressing throughout your studying. If you go over the allotted time, finish the game and then check the answers and see where you could have saved time. If you miss a question, go over the answer and figure out what you need to do differently. It will start to go easier and shorter as you become more familiar with each format. Make sure you do many so you are ready for a variety of difficulty levels.
Tip 3: Master practice LSATs
Take practice tests, but not just any practice tests, take the real thing! LSAC as well as prep courses sell books with previous LSATs that you should use to make sure you are well versed with the format and directions of the LSAT. Check the answers after you have completed the whole pretest and review the answers you got wrong. Don’t just mark them off! It is important to shore up on your weak areas if you want a good score. Go back and reread or relearn any sections you feel weak or uncomfortable with.
Tip 4: Time Your Practice Tests
Don’t just take practice tests; take them timed, under simulated test conditions that you will encounter on test day. Give yourself 35 minutes for each section and a bathroom break between sections 3 and 4. Don’t give yourself any additional time or breaks and make sure you do not go back and finish previous section if you have any additional time left as you cannot do that on the actual test day (and that is considered cheating). Add a section to your practice test so you have five sections like the actual LSAT. Also, start and end the practice test around the same time as the actual LSAT so you will get a good feel for how to prepare for test day. This will help get you in the right frame of mind (Some bar preparation courses do this as well, as it helps to build up endurance for test day).
Tip 5: Improve Your Strengths
Just because you are already good at something doesn’t mean you can’t get even better at it. This is definitely true of the LSAT. What section are you good at? Logic Games? Try to be perfect in that section. Review anything you may have gotten wrong and figure out how to avoid the same pitfalls next time. Don’t simply be good at it, ace it!
Tip 6: Take a Practice Test Before Starting to Study
Not everyone does this but taking a practice test before you even start studying is key to success. A pre-test will allow you to know first of all, where you stand on the LSAT not only in terms of your overall score but your strengths and weaknesses and what you need to focus and improve on. Second, you can figure out how far away you are from your target score. The results may surprise you. You may have thought you were good at one thing, when really you’re terrible at it and vice versa. Take the pretest, create a baseline, and set a more efficient study schedule to maximize your strengths and shore up your weaknesses.
Tips 7: Improve Your Weaknesses
If you want a shot at a top ranking law school, then you need to make sure you don’t have many weak areas on the LSAT so you can get a high score. There is no shortcut to improving your weaknesses other than repetition. You just have to keep doing the problems, over and over again, until you feel you have mastered the section (or close to mastering). But don’t just do the problems; go over the problems you did incorrectly, and reread any materials and explanations to help you right the ship.
Tip 8: Mark Up Reading Comprehension
The Reading Comprehension section provides a passage (or dual passages) and then asks you questions about it. If you really think about it, this is preparing you for when you are interviewing future clients. To make it easier on yourself and save precious time on the LSAT, mark the passages as you go. Specifically, you should mark the main idea, author’s opinion or tone, key people or concepts, and notable dates or events. Marking this information in the passage will help you avoid having to reread the passage to answer each question or search the entire passage for an answer.
Tip 9: Get to Test Site Early
The day of the LSAT, you should arrive at the testing site at least 30 minutes early to check in, find your room, use the restroom, and get use to your surroundings before the test begins. Try to get all your nerves out before the test starts. Once you are seated, you can calm yourself, clean your mind, and think clearly to complete the LSAT. You don’t want to be rushing on test day, you may forget something or waste testing time using the restroom that will affect your score.
Tip 10: Prepare Yourself for LSAT
LSAT is not a test you can cram for in a week. It is important for you to rest and relax the day before the test. Do something fun to take your mind off the LSAT for a few hours, eat 3 good healthy meals, and go to bed early so you will wake up on time for the LSAT. On the morning of the LSAT, make sure you eat a healthy but not too heavy breakfast. Trust us, you don’t want to take the LSAT hungry; you need all your focus to be on the LSAT, not your stomach growling!
If you have additional tips for others feel free to put it in the comments below! The LSAT is tough, but not insurmountable. Preparation is key.