5 Things You Need to Know Before You Take the LSAT

Former United States Attorney General and lawyer Robert Kennedy once said, “Lawyers have their duties as citizens, but they also have special duties as lawyers. Their obligations go far deeper than earning a living as specialists in corporation or tax law. They have a continuing responsibility to uphold the fundamental principles of justice from which the law cannot depart.” 

Photo by James Sutton on Unsplash

The legal profession is one of the oldest professions in the world, and lawyers have always been valued and respected as members of society. Apart from being a noble profession, the pay is good too. That is why a large number of students choose to become a lawyer.

If you are planning to be a lawyer too, you will have to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) to get into law schools in the US, Canada, and a growing number of other countries as well. The LSAT is a skills-based exam specially designed to assess skills that will help you succeed in a law school: critical reading, analytical reasoning, logical reasoning, and persuasive writing skills. 

The LSAT comprises six sections that are 35 minutes long and there’s a 15-minute break after the third section. The test is, therefore, three hours and 30 minutes long if we exclude the break. The test is administered in two parts—the multiple-choice exam and the LSAT Writing (written essay). The LSAT Writing has always been administered online using secure proctoring software that can be installed on the candidate’s own computer. The multiple-choice part is administered in a paper-and-pencil format. However, as of September 2019, in North America, the multiple-choice exam will be delivered on tablets provided to test takers at the test center, instead of booklets. The new format will be known as Digital LSAT. 

If you are planning to take the LSAT test, here are a few things that you should keep in mind:

1. Use apps to study

In today’s day and age, there are apps available for almost everything. So, why not use apps to prepare for your LSATs. You will be able to access your learning material even when you are traveling and have time on your hands. Also, video lessons help you understand better than books and notes. There are some outstanding apps nowadays you can use to study; try a few and find the one that works for you. 

2. Make sure to register well in advance

You can get your LSAT registration done up to 10-12 months in advance. Many law schools require that the LSAT be taken by December for admission the following fall. However, it is often advisable that you take the test earlier, perhaps in between June and October. 

But, starting with the September 2019 test administration, there have been some changes made to the test-taking limit policy. As per the new mandate, test takers will be permitted to take the LSAT three times in a single testing year (the testing year goes from June 1 to May 31) and five times within the current and five past testing years (the period in which LSAC reports scores to law schools). Candidates can now take the test a total of seven times over a lifetime. Also, starting in 2019, the LSAT will be offered nine times per year. 

3. Take plenty of practice tests

Taking regular practice tests is one of the best ways to hone your test-taking skills, understand how much of the studied portions you have retained, improve your time management skills, and spot your mistakes and work on them. Try and take at least one practice test every week.

4. To prepare, study logic

Logic is one of the strongest tools of a lawyer. Therefore, LSATs are designed to test your logical reasoning skills. It is advised you start honing your logical skills early on by either taking up online logic courses or a logic course at school. 

5. Paying for a prep course is worth it

It’s not always easy to prepare for an important test all alone. It’s easy to get distracted or overwhelmed. In such cases, you can take up a prep course to prepare. Prep courses will help you understand where you fit in with your peers, boost your competitive spirit, and stick to a schedule. There are several in-person, online, and private courses available; you can choose the best option for yourself.

Law, Order, & LSATs

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of lawyers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2018 to 2028, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for lawyers was $120,910 in May 2018. The Bureau also claims that “Demand for legal work is expected to continue as individuals, businesses, and all levels of government require legal services in many areas.” 

Therefore, the legal profession is undoubtedly lucrative and rewarding and would be a wise career move. However, the journey is not easy, and it begins with taking the LSATs. Make sure you have well equipped before you embark upon this journey and don’t shy away from help—you will need it. Good luck!

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