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How to Prepare for the LSAT
April 14, 2022
Preparing for the LSAT can feel overwhelming, but LSU Online has put together a guide to help you get started-- including free options you can take advantage of today!
What is the LSAT?
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a standardized exam used to test the specific skills needed to succeed in law school. Such skills include reading comprehension, logical reasoning, and writing. Since it helps admissions committees determine if you have the skills appropriate for law school, this test is one of the most critical pieces of the law school admissions process.
A good score can affect the schools you can get into and the scholarships you can earn. On a more personal level, the LSAT can also help candidates decide whether or not law school is a fitting career pathway. Because the LSAT tests practical skill level instead of just their knowledge, proper preparation is crucial.
How is the LSAT structured?
The primary portion of the LSAT consists of four multiple-choice sections that are 35 minutes long-- three scored and one unscored. In total, the exam will take 2 hours and 20 minutes. However, there is a 10-minute break after the second section. The LSAT currently has an online, live remote-proctored testing format, and the exam is completed on candidates’ own computers in any quiet place they choose.
The second part of the LSAT involves an unscored, prompted writing sample that will be sent to the law schools to which a candidate applies.
The LSAT consists of the following sections:
- Reading Comprehension
- Analytical Reasoning (also known as the logic games section)
- Logical Reasoning
- Experimental Section (this is the unscored section that the LSAC uses to validate new test questions for future use)
- LSAT Writing
How to Prepare for the LSAT
1. Get familiar with the types of questions
As mentioned previously, the LSAT does not simply assess surface-level knowledge. The exam is designed to test your logic, analytical skills, and interpretation. Most test-takers are not automatically used to such an exam structure. To combat this, becoming familiar with the types of questions on the LSAT is an essential first step to preparing for it.
2. Build a long-term study plan
The length of time needed to study for the LSAT largely depends on your starting strengths and opportunities for improvement. If you are a strong test-taker, it may be helpful to learn the basics of the LSAT and quickly move into practice tests. If you are anxious about standardized tests, it may be more beneficial to create a longer, confidence-building study plan instead. Either way, LSAT preparations should include a comprehensive long-term study plan based on your needs.
3. Take timed practice exams
Practicing for the LSAT is imperative. While studying allows you to learn and create a plan for supplementing knowledge in areas where you may need extra help, taking a timed exam will be most beneficial. An initial practice test will enhance your study efforts by giving you a baseline score to improve from. After the first one, taking repeated practice tests gives you the chance to master each of the sections on the LSAT.
4. Use your available resources
There are many resources available to those attempting the LSAT. From free timed practice exams and strategy workshops to professional LSAT preparation from organizations like Khan Academy or the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), you can find exactly what you need to help you reach your exam goals. Certain universities, like LSU, also offer intensive LSAT test prep courses from experienced instructors.
Tips for Success
Carefully analyze your incorrect answers. When working through practice questions, you should closely analyze the questions you got wrong to see where the breakdown in understanding was.
Study your strengths, too. It can be tempting to only study to improve your weaknesses. However, it is equally necessary to reinforce the areas where you are more skilled. This way, your strong skills will not go unused before the test.
Take your time when studying. While taking more than one practice test is recommended, you should not aim to take an entire LSAT practice exam each time you study. Break down your study sessions to give yourself time for in-depth analysis. Training for the LSAT is not a sprint, so you can’t expect to be able to cram.
Do not leave anything blank. Since there is no penalty for incorrect answers, make educated guesses when you don’t know an answer. Be sure to answer every question!
Prepare for the LSAT with LSU
LSU Online and Continue Education provides high-quality, affordable test preparation courses for LSAT testers. Classes are live-online, meaning that you can master test-taking from the comfort of home. LSAT textbooks, study guides, diagnostic exams, and expert instruction are all included.
We are also offering free online LSAT strategy workshops for anyone considering law school, including current juniors and seniors, recent graduates, and community professionals.
Start getting prepared for the LSAT. Sign up for an upcoming course today!
Ready to reach your goals?
Take the first step forward by completing the form and our enrollment team will contact you soon to discuss:
- What program meets your academic and career goals
- Financial aid options (employer funding, military benefits)
- Receiving credit for past education (transfer, professional development)
- The admissions process and timeline