The LSAT: The Self-Study Guide to Your Future

By Louisa Hallett on June 1, 2017

Law school is a popular choice for those seeking higher education after a Bachelor’s Degree. However, with low job prospects and huge loans required it may make you want to rethink your future decisions. Yet, if you are anything like myself, you are far from intimidated. You want that law degree so badly! You need to be competitive in order to succeed, and what better way to do that than to prove to your potential law school that you already have the skill set of a lawyer?

The LSAT, or Law School Admissions Test, is scored based on your right answers. This means that each answer you get wrong is not counted toward your score. However, it also means that every score you get wrong means one less point received. For prospective law students, that is the most terrifying thought. To look competitive to law schools you need a strong LSAT score and to look competitive to the job market, you need to be in a highly qualified and respected law school. Anyone else want to scream?

So, how do you ensure the best methods of doing well on your LSAT test? You could always go the typical route and sign up for those LSAT Prep courses! Some highly recommended ones are those from the PowerScore Organization, however, you have to be ready to drop a lot of money on that course – I’m talking hundreds. Since this is your future and especially if you are not good at self-studying, then I would actually recommend spending the hundreds of dollars. Or you could take a crack at my self-study method for the LSAT!

At first, the LSAT seemed daunting. It was staring me right in the face and, honestly, I did not even know where to begin. So I decided to read articles (such as this) for tips on how to effectively and efficiently study for this almost life determining test. There were so many tips on how to self-study and I wanted to remember them all. Instead of keeping all the tabs on my computer open until the LSAT test date, I decided to start a binder.

Yes. A lame, color-coated divider, organized, and labeled to perfection, binder.

I started printing every article that I found even remotely helpful and then started highlighting and three-hole punching them, to put them behind the correct tab of the binder. This was the first tab that I created. From these articles, I started looking up the recommended books that were used by individuals who received perfect scores on the LSAT. The books that were most recommended were the PowerScore books, and even though they were a little pricey, they were still a lot cheaper than paying for an entire course.

The next tab I decided to create was for notes. I chose these notes from the books that I used, websites I found online that gave good tips, and even practice test questions from previous LSAT’s with step-by-step instructions on how to approach and best solve them. These were crucial in the beginning stages of my LSAT self-study journey, for I always had something to look back on when I got puzzled, stuck, or confused.

My third tab included score keeping. One of the key self-study success tips is to take as many previous LSAT tests you can get your hands on. I created a chart through excel that included labels for when the test was originally administered, how I scored on each section, and what my score was overall. I started off with a 168 on my first test. Even though I am aware this is high for a “first test,” I had also studied for two weeks, two hours a day, until I decided to take my first timed practice test. After reviewing what I got wrong, I went back and studied even more. Again, two hours a day and then scored a 171 on my first, 173 on my third, 176 on my fourth and my last four switched between 178/179. The key is to enter the actual LSAT with the consistent score on the practice exams that you are looking to score on test day.

As I mentioned previously, I studied for at least two hours a day. Self-studying to achieve a high score takes an immense amount of dedication, drive, and discipline. I studied for two days every single day until I noticed my scores were consistent and at the place I wanted them to be. After that, I maintained doing one section of a practice test a day as well as at least two logic game questions a day to keep my mind sharp and ready.

If you are planning on attending law school, remember that the LSAT is one of the most crucial factors in getting accepted into a competitive school and therefore, a competitive job market. I personally love what I have accomplished and look forward to the future. I hope this LSAT self-study guide has given you at least a step forward into your journey to studying for the LSAT.

Best of luck!

"History is important for the future. For without the study of the past, we have no future." -Me I love political science and history. I believe the study of written and oral rhetoric enables the reality of exceptional and efficient communication.

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