If you’re planning to move on to an intensive master’s program like UC’s health administration degree or a law degree, you’ve already completed your bachelor’s program (or you’re in the process of completing it). This means you’re familiar with the standardized testing process, having taken the SAT prior to entering college.
This is good news, because it means you have some inkling of what awaits when you take the Law School Admission Test, or LSAT. However, this entrance exam is not meant for everyone, and it will be more difficult than the SAT.
In other words, you cannot afford to go in blind – you need to prepare. Here are just a few things you should do to ensure that you’re ready to pass with flying colors and get into law school.
- Start with a Little Homework
There are plenty of companies offering to help with LSAT prep, including study guides, mock tests, and even tutoring. These can be excellent resources for preparation and improvement if you choose the right ones.
How do you know which ones to choose? Do some research before you start spending any money. You’re not the only UM or University of Utah student to take the LSAT and your peers that have gone before have some valuable advice to offer.
When you find information online, take it with a grain of salt and pay attention to who’s saying it. For example, Kaplan and McGraw Hill are popular choices, but if they’re the ones promoting their materials as the best, you can see why it’s probably smart to get unbiased opinions.
Those who have tried different materials tend to suggest that PowerScore’s LSAT test preparation materials and courses are the way to go if you want to see the greatest improvement in test scores. Private tutors could also be helpful if you’re having trouble on your own.
- Get Logical
The LSAT has several sections, but many cite the Analytical Reasoning (or logic games) portion as the most difficult part of the test. Luckily, there are prep materials that can help you learn how to use basic logic. You should spend a lot of time on this area – honing your logic and reasoning skills will help you on other sections of the test, as well.
- Study More than You Think is Necessary
Generally speaking, it is recommended that you begin to study for the LSAT at least three months before taking the test, and that you spend no less than about five hours per week studying. Some say you should devote three hours a day, three days a week.
The truth is that you can always study more. If you’re going to study, you should think about striving for 3-hour blocks to prepare for the rigors of the test, which is 3.5 hours long. In the beginning, you can always take breaks every hour or so to reboot your brain, but by the time you’re ready to start your mock tests you’ll need to be prepared to sit for the length of the test.
- Don’t Cram
Scores on law school exams (or any exam, for that matter) won’t be improved by burning the midnight oil to cram in that last little bit of study time. If you’re not ready, sleep deprivation certainly won’t do you any favors. A well-planned schedule of study in the months leading up to the test date is your best bet.