Test-Prep Tips for the LSAT
The LSAT is a rigorous three-and-a-half hour exam that will test your critical-thinking skills through a series of reading comprehension, analytical reasoning and logical reasoning multiple-choice questions. The tips below provide suggestions for building the skills needed to do well on the exam in addition to some recommendations that can help you avoid unnecessary distractions on the day of the test.
Months Before Test Day
- Select a test date. The LSAT is offered in February, June, October and December. Law schools usually expect you to take the test by the December prior to the fall semester you're planning on beginning law school. Consider taking the test earlier in the year, so you have time to retake it if necessary.
- Give yourself time to prepare. Begin studying at least three months before your test date. Some law schools even recommend giving yourself up to a year to get ready for this exam. The key is not to rush yourself.
- Study the test. The Law School Admission Council (www.lsac.org) administers the LSAT. Review LSAC's website to familiarize yourself with its testing policies. You should also explore the format of the exam and learn what types of questions you'll be asked.
- Two words: Practice tests! Once you've studied up on the format of the test, start taking tons of practice exams. Use the first one as a base line, and don't be afraid if your score is low - after all, you've never done this before! As you work to improve your speed and accuracy at answering the different question types, give yourself additional practice tests to see how you're improving.
- Consider a test-prep course. Study.com's LSAT Prep & Review course is an affordable and engaging resource you can use to prepare for the test. Course material is broken down into chapters containing short video lessons that take about five minutes to watch. Plus, they're all online, so you can access lessons on your phone or tablet anywhere you go. Each lesson also includes a quiz to make sure you're absorbing the material.
The Night Before
- Check your ticket. The location of your test center may change after you register, so check the address on your admission ticket and print it out the night before your testing appointment.
- Sharpen a bunch of No. 2 pencils. Pens and mechanical pencils are prohibited, and the test center will not provide pencils or sharpeners.
- Get your resealable plastic bag ready. You're allowed to bring certain items into the test center as long as they're in a clear, one-gallon plastic bag. Make sure you have your ID, pencils and erasers, as well as any medical or feminine hygiene supplies, if necessary.
- Pack a snack. The LSAT may take as long as seven hours to administer, and there will only be one fifteen-minute break. The snack has to fit in your clear bag, so it might help if it's small.
- Leave some things at home. The LSAC's website lists items that are barred from the test center. These include electronic items, like timers, e-cigarettes and digital watches, as well as some items you may not expect, including books, mechanical erasers and hoodies. Check the list before you head to the test center.
- Know where you're going. You will not be admitted to the test once it has begun, so set aside extra time to drive to the test center and find a place to park or to take public transit.
- Sleep. You're going to need to be fresh for your test day, so try to get a good night's sleep. It may help to take the night off from studying and relax a little (if you can). Consider going to bed early.
The Day of the Test
- Eat something. Even though you may be anxious and stressed, eat a good breakfast before the test. Think of it as brain food. You don't want to be distracted by hunger.
- Go before you go in. Once you've checked in at the test center, you will not be able to leave the room - even to go to the bathroom - until the beginning of the test.
- Go ahead and guess. The first five sections are all multiple choice, and wrong answers don't reduce your score. If you can, narrow down answer choices to the most likely and make an educated guess.