Getting admitted to a good law school is a tough, competitive task. It’s important to give yourself every edge in the admissions process, and its vital to have a respectable score on your LSAT (Law School Admission Test). The LSAT is a difficult exam…it’s meant to be. There are some simple things you can do however to improve your performance, helping to give yourself the best chance of getting into the law school of your choice.
#1 Take the Practice Test
This would seem obvious, but not everyone does it. Take the LSAT practice exam. Take it cold, without particular prior study. This will give you a sense of both where you are at now in terms of your proficiency on the LSAT, and what you ought to be aiming for. You’ll have a much easier time getting to where you want to end up if you know where you are starting from.
#2 Understand What You’re Being Tested For
The LSAT, unlike the SAT’s and other tests you might be used to taking, will not be testing your memory of certain dates, names, or other bits of information. The LSAT seeks to call forth your command of certain types of logical relationships. Study concepts like “Conditional Reasoning,” “Correlation vs. Cause and effect,” and “Negative Proof Fallacies.” Work on thinking in terms of the dynamics of logic that the test will want to see that you have a mastery of. It is in a sense learning the language that the test will be taken in, and that will be necessary to getting a decent score.
#3 Replicate Testing Conditions
With the LSAT, as with other high stakes tests, part of what makes it difficult is not just the stakes involved but the testing environment which calls for 100% focus on the task at hand. Don’t take the practice tests in a comfortable surrounding listening to your favorite songs and eating pizza. Time yourself precisely the way you will be timed on the test. Dress up for it, with all TV’s, IPods, and radios off. Go to a library or empty classroom (the colder the better). Take the practice test early in the morning if that is when you will be given the real test. Convince yourself that the practice test is real. You want to be as prepared as possible for the moment you step into that hall to take the test that is going to have a lot to do with the success of your academic future.
#4 Understanding Bad Arguments
Whether you’re planning on going to Pepperdine, USC online, or another excellent school and law program, part of what you will have to be good at is identifying bad arguments. That will be a big part of the LSAT as well. Learn what makes a weak, or fallacious, position and become adept at identifying and explaining logical inconsistency. Who won’t get through the test well without this skill.
#5 Be Positive
As with all things in life, attitude has a lot to do with your success. Study what you must study, but maintain a vision of success in your mind. Telling yourself that the world will end if you do not do well on the LSAT will make it harder to do well. Enjoy the challenge of preparing yourself however, and relish the moment when you get to sit down and apply your knowledge to that test. Do these things and you will succeed.