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The LSAT & LSAT Prep


LSAT stands for Law School Admissions Test. You must take it to apply to law school.

The Test

The LSAT is comprised of four sections: Reading comprehension, logical reasoning, analytical reasoning/games, and the essay.

The actual test is five sections; one section (not the essay) is repeated but not graded. I think this is to test out new questions but I'm not exactly sure. Anyway, the ungraded section sucks cause it makes your test longer and makes you spend precious effort on questions that won't matter for your score.

The score is on a scale of 120-180.

Reading Comprehension

This section gives you an essay or two and asks questions like, What is the authors main point? Which statement would best support the authors argument? Which point would most authors likely disagree on? Etc. There are about 4-5 passages with about 5-6 questions for each passage, totaling 26-28 questions.

Logical Reasoning

This section gives you a few sentences or two and asks questions like, The above argument relies on which of the following assumption? Which of the following, if true, most weakens the argument? Which of the statements is required for the argument to be valid? There are 25-26 logical reasoning questions.

Analytical Reasoning/Games

Don't be fooled by the name, the "games" are probably the least fun section of the test. That is, until you get good at them and feel the victory in successfully completing one. I've copied this sample question off of the LSAC website so that you know I'm not making this up. They give you a setup that will look something like the following:

A university library budget committee must reduce exactly five of eight areas of expenditure—G, L, M, N, P, R, S, and W—in accordance with the following conditions:

If both G and S are reduced, W is also reduced.

If N is reduced, neither R nor S is reduced.

If P is reduced, L is not reduced.

Of the three areas L, M, and R, exactly two are reduced

Here is a sample question for this setup:

If both M and R are reduced, which one of the following is a pair of areas neither of which could be reduced?

G, L

G, N

L, N

L, P

P, S

For each of the 4 setups, there are 6 questions for a total of 24 questions.

Preparation

I wanted to take an LSAT prep class because in high school I took one for the SAT and it helped tremendously. However, LSAT prep classes run $800-1200 and after running up more than my allotted allowance on my parents credit card I was not about to ask them to drop that kind of money without trying myself first. SO I bought myself the Barron's LSAT prep book to see what I could do.

Timeline of my LSAT prep:

January 2015- Buy LSAT prep book. Sign up for June LSAT.

May 2015- Open LSAT prep book for the first time. Realize I am completely not gunna be ready for June LSAT, reschedule to October LSAT (which is expensive AF to reschedule, BTW).

July 2015- Make a schedule for studying. I split the book into 7 sections: intro, one for each of the 4 sections of the test, and two for practice tests. I gave myself about 2 weeks for each section.

I started studying a little later than I had scheduled, but I basically read every. single. word. in that book. I didn't do as many practice tests, especially timed tests, as I wanted to, and I think it reflected in my score. Still, I felt satisfied and prepared going into the test.

October 2015- Took the LSAT, got really drunk after because so much stress was lifted off my shoulders.

I got a 160, which according to the email I got was in the 80th percentile. I was satisfied with my score and didn't feel the need to retake the test. I knew my score would help me get into good schools, and I didn't have my heart set (or the GPA for) any top tier schools, so I didn't worry about it.

Prep Classes

Like I mentioned earlier, prep classes are very expensive but, from what I heard, effective and useful.

One downfall that a friend of mine mentioned was that the prep class taught you how arrive to the right answer of every single question, but during the test, she found herself triple checking that she got to the right answer, and ran out of time on most sections. So, weigh your options and decide what works best for you!

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