What I Wish I Knew Before Taking the LSAT

As the old saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. It's pretty common to think back to what you could have done better, especially with big events just like the LSAT. Looking back at my experiences taking the LSAT, there are plenty of things I wish I had known while preparing for it and taking it the first time.

If you're at the beginning of your LSAT journey, just know that, yes, it is a long one, and there's a lot to learn, but hopefully what I learned will be helpful for you--and you'll know it before you take the LSAT.

Do more five-section preptests

Looking back, this should have been a no-brainer, but I focused a lot of my attention on the basic four-section tests that were available because I thought that would be enough. After all, if I could already get through several hours, what difference could practicing another 35-minute section make?

A pretty decent one, actually.

While prepping for my second LSAT, I chose to do more five-section practice tests--and, magically, my score increased. As much as it sucked to take even more time to study, it made such a huge difference for me that I wish I had just done it in the first place.

It's not the end-all-be-all for admissions

Naturally, if you have to spend all that time prepping for the LSAT, it feels like it's a huge deal. And, of course, it's important, just like the rest of your application materials are important. Plenty of the reading online (that I found, anyway) made it seem as if there were two options: get a good score on the LSAT and go to law school--or get a low score and don't go to law school.

That's not actually how things work (thank goodness!). Aiming for a good score is, obviously, a good course of action to follow, but pushing yourself way too hard is only going to end badly.

Don't underestimate the test

I've always been a good test-taker. It's pretty easy for me to memorize information that I learn. However, that's not how the LSAT works. While you do need to memorize the types of questions you'll see and how to get the correct answer. But you'll never know exactly what the questions will be about--after all, it's not about how well you can absorb information, but about how you think through problems and arguments.

Make sure to truly take the time to study exactly as you need to--and maybe a little extra, just because it's the LSAT.

Stay focused and be prepared

Some days I just wanted to lay around in bed and do nothing all day, especially if it was one of my days off. The last thing I wanted to do is study. Of course, it's important not to burn yourself out by solely focusing on preparing for the LSAT, but keeping yourself focused on your end goal will make things easier in the long run.




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