Taking the Law School Admission Test, or LSAT, can be one of the most nerve-wracking times in the life of a potential law student. At Concordia University School of Law, we’re dedicated to helping you succeed – even before you’re a potential student. With that in mind, here is a laundry list of helpful tips for maximizing your LSAT score and taking this crucial test.
Tip #1: Study, study, study
Get the study materials that work best for you, then study! This isn't the kind of test you can cram for, so start studying a few months before the LSAT and try to set aside some study time every day.
Tip #2: Practice makes perfect.
Take several practice tests during the course of your preparation. This will familiarize you with the types of questions being asked. After the first test or two, set a timer so you know how much time you'll have during the real test.
If you are living in the Boise area, we encourage you to take advantage of our Practice LSAT opportunity on Saturday, October 8th.
Tip #3: Read the list and check it twice.
Make sure you review – in detail – the list of things to bring and things not to bring on test day. Sharpened #2 pencils, yes. Mechanical pencils, cell phone, iPad, books, and calculators, no. For the items you can bring into the test room, they must fit inside a Ziploc bag that can be sealed. To ensure that you are you, you'll be required to write and sign a certifying statement on your answer sheet and your photo ID will be checked. You can review the complete list of items allowed and prohibited here.
Tip #4: Be prepared for the long haul.
The test takes approximately seven hours from beginning to end. That's a long time. Just know that if you bring a snack in your Ziploc bag, you'll only be able to eat it during specific break times. And make sure to visit the restroom beforehand. Once you've checked in, leaving the test room is very difficult, although there is a 15-minute break after section three.
Tip #5: Be on time.
Sounds simple enough, but know that once testing begins, no latecomers will be admitted. Period.
Tip #6: Don't have a seat.
Have a favorite place to sit? Like to be near the window, away from the door, towards the back? Shake that off before you get there, because for the LSAT, the supervisor will assign each test taker a seat.
Tip #7: Leave no bubble unfilled.
Unlike the SAT, there are no penalties for a wrong answer on the LSAT. So make sure to answer every question.
Tip #8: Points are points.
Every LSAT question is worth the same amount of points. So answer the easier questions first and if you get stuck on a question, skip it and circle it so you can quickly come back to that question later on.
Tip #9: Location, location, location.
Check your LSAT admission ticket and find the exact location of your test. If you're not sure where it is, make a trial run so you know where you're going on test day. If the test is happening somewhere with multiple buildings – like a college campus – make sure you know the building, floor, and room number.
Tip #10: The people in charge.
The test supervisor will tell you when to start and stop each separately timed section. The supervisor will also announce when there is five minutes remaining in each section. In addition, testing staff will circulate through the room making sure you're in the correct section and marking your answer sheets correctly.
Tip #11: Manage your time.
You get 35 minutes to complete each multiple-choice section. To answer all questions – as many as 27 – you need to keep your #2 pencil moving. So don't spend too much time on any one question or you won't have time to complete them all.
Tip #12: Stay focused.
Looking at question after question on a test form, it's easy for your mind to wander. Don't let it. Stay focused on the task at hand. If you have trouble with a particular question, take a deep breath and move on.
The finish line … and beyond.
You've studied for months, taken more practice tests than you care to remember, and have now completed the LSAT. Congratulations! Now what? In approximately three weeks, you'll receive your score in an email from LSAC. If you're happy with the score, great, you're done! If you didn't get the score you wanted or believe you can do better, you can take the test again. Concordia University School of Law will always evaluate your highest LSAT score on its own. But some law schools average your scores together, meaning a lower score the second time can actually hurt you.