Individuals who are preparing to take the LSAT can find resources through the test administration organization, post-secondary institutions and third-party providers.
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Preparing for the LSAT
Individuals may prepare for the LSAT by using a variety of resources. They can work at home using LSAT prep materials, or they may attend a test prep program at a college, university, or private organization. Using any of these resources, students can familiarize themselves with the six sections of the test, which are:
- Logical Reasoning
- Reading Comprehension
- Logic Games
- LSAT Experimental Section
- LSAT Writing Section
The latter two sections aren't scored; the experimental section is indistinguishable from the other sections and serves to give the test makers an idea of which questions to use in the future, while the writing section is looked at by law schools in order to make a decision between two comparable applicants.
The Law School Admission Council, Inc. (LSAC) offers a variety of materials to help students prepare for the LSAT on their own. These materials offer descriptions of the four types of questions seen on the LSAT, as well as test-taking tips. Students can also download a sample test online. The sample test is timed, just like the real test. Additional practice tests can also be purchased. Official LSAC practice tests are all previously administered tests, from June 1991 to the present. Because the LSAC is the official provider of the LSAT, it makes sense for students to use at least some of their materials when studying for the exam.
College and University Resources
Many colleges and universities help their students prepare for the LSAT. Students can meet with their pre-law advisor to discuss test-taking strategies and the results of their practice test. Pre-law advisors are a great resource for undergraduates who are considering law school, since they have usually helped many students get into law school in the past.
Colleges and universities also offer LSAT preparation courses. These courses provide a review of topics covered on the exam. Some are available in an online format, which are especially helpful for students who have work commitments or do not live near a college campus.
In these programs, students learn the structure and order of the test, along with how to improve their score if they need to take the exam more than once. Homework activities and practice tests may be assigned. Students usually must pay a fee for LSAT prep courses. The cost of study materials and diagnostic tests may be included in the fee.
There are many companies and organizations that offer online test preparation materials and/or in-person training sessions. Some of them are free, while others require students to pay a fee, so students can choose between them based on their budget. Students may want to select materials offered by well-known test preparation organizations, like The Princeton Review and Kaplan Test Prep, in order to ensure that they are receiving high-quality test preparation.
The LSAT is administered four times per year. Students wishing to enter law school in the fall must take the test by December of the preceding year. It is recommended that students take the test earlier than that, preferably in June or September.
The LSAT is offered in a multiple-choice format. It contains five sections, each of which must be completed in 35 minutes. One of the five sections is unscored, used only to test future questions. Students are tested in three areas:
- Reading comprehension
- Analytical reasoning
- Logical reasoning
Students are also given 35 minutes to provide a writing sample, which is then sent to the law schools to which they have applied. Students seeking to improve their score can take the test a second time. However, students are not allowed to take the test more than three times within a 2-year period.
There are a variety of online and in-person LSAT prep resources for individuals who are getting ready to take the exam. Students should seek out reliable resources and consider their budget when choosing between paid and free programs.