If you’re applying to law school, then you should know that your scores on the LSAT can make or break your acceptance into certain schools. Therefore, it’s imperative that you spend a fair amount of time preparing so you do well. Don’t make the mistake of thinking all standardized tests are alike though. While tests like the SAT and the ACT test your knowledge of certain subjects, the LSAT focuses on deductive reasoning. So consider what it means to do well on the LSAT, and how you can practice and prepare to increase your score.
What it means to do well on the LSAT
The LSAT scores between 120-180, so a 180 would be a perfect score. A 160 is considered an average and acceptable score. However, most top law schools require at least a 171. So doing “well” on the LSAT is relative. Take a look at what law schools you want to apply to, what score they require, and then use that to find the score you should aim for. However, aiming for a 160 as a minimum is a good start.
How to do well on the LSAT
Aiming for a top score means nothing if you don’t know how to get there. First, learn about the format and the tricks of the LSAT. The test consists of five 35-minute sections of multiple choice questions (although one of the sections is not scored). The test features three types of questions: reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, and logical reasoning. Take note of these before you even take your first practice test. You should also know that the LSAT will ask purposefully confusing questions to make sure you read the questions thoroughly.
Then, take your first practice test about nine months before you plan to take the actual test. See where you do well and where you need to improve, and plan to practice accordingly. There are a number of classes, books, and tutors out there that can help you improve on the sections you were weaker in, and this kind of preparation can make a significant difference in your score. It’s important to target your preparation towards what you really need to improve though. If you take a generalized approach, you may spend time, money, and energy focusing on things that won’t help you improve your score that much.
If you remember nothing else about the LSAT other than these three points, you’ll do well:
- Understand the sections and tricks of the test
- Focus your preparation on your weaknesses
- Begin practicing well in advance of the test
The students with the most successful LSAT scores had these traits in common. And while you only have a 0.1% chance of receiving a perfect 180, following these steps can get you that much closer to your dream score, or more importantly, your dream school.