Happy 2020! February marks the start of LSAT season and in my last IG post I asked if anyone had questions about the LSAT and a lot of you responded! Im so happy to be answering your questions but before I do let me give you the run around about my journey with the dreaded LSAT.
I took the LSAT 3 times. I am not afraid of admitting this because it literally doesn't even matter anymore. And if you're out here to judge me on that then don't read my posts. The first time I took it After a whole year of studying and $2,000 spent on prep courses and tutors my score went up 4-5 points. I did Kaplan, Blueprint, Powerscore self-study and then got a private tutor. I worked part-time two days a week, while I studied the remainder of the week. I didn't really hang out with friends, I just focused myself on studying. Was it worth it? I mean, you have to take the test to get into law school but the time and the money spent, I'm not really sure. But at the end of the day I did get into law school.
Why it really took me a long time is because I struggled with extreme test anxiety.
1. What is the LSAT?
The LSAT is the law school admissions exam. In order to pursue a Juris Doctor in the U.S., you need to take this exam in order to gain entry into an ABA accredited law school.
2. What worked for you?
It took me a while to really process the material. Logic games came naturally to me as I learned to do basic ones in High School Geometry. Logical reasoning was okay....but what really killed me was the reading comprehension. I didn't have the critical reading skills that I do now, so it was tough. I really found that working one on one with a tutor was really helpful for me. I understand that not everyone has access to work with a tutor, but if you study with a friend who knows the material well its essentially the same idea. I did not like the Kaplan course whatsoever. I hated the idea of a scheduled course in addition to my other courses. I think taking a year off was the best for me. I had the free time to just study whenever I wanted to, in my pajamas, in front of the T.V. and really learn the material. In a scheduled class we went based off the instructor's schedule and frankly I was so tired I wasn't remembering any of the material being taught. Do whats best for you.
3. What prep course do you recommend? I liked doing Blueprint. The online course really tried to make the material fun, in a way that you would remember it. I liked that the videos were on repeat. Everything you needed was online, and if you had questions all you had to do was email them. It was truly convenient and I had the ability to just study at home.
4. Did you have test-anxiety?
I did immensely. I never really overcame it unfortunately, but I guess I have learned to help myself deal with it. I tried to prepare as much as possible. For example: simulating test scenarios like waking up on a Saturday morning and doing the test early. I was always a study alone person, so I had to get used to taking a long exam with 40 other people. The other thing that I am currently working on is talking myself up. I have a tendency to always talk myself down and sort of say "I can't really do this". Changing your mindset really helps your learning. So I always try to stay positive now because even in law school its so easy to lose track of yourself while being caught up in doing work.
5. When did you take the LSAT?
I took the LSAT in 2018 in January, February of 2019 and March of 2019. I do think when you take the test affects your chance of admissions because most schools have already filled their seats by March. The score is not released until a month later and they cannot consider your application until they have that score. So if you are aiming for March, I would make sure your application is as strong as it can be. I would recommend taking the exam as early as you can i.e. September 2019 for August 2020 enrollment. However, if you have no other choice like I did, then don't stress. You can still get in like me, and you'll be fine. Other factors are considered in your application: personal statement, transcript etc.
The Bottom Line
Do what is best for you. Study hard and focus and don't give up. Don't listen to what other people tell you about your career. I had people discourage me about becoming a lawyer while taking the exam and I still do. If you don't get it once, keep trying. You can take the LSAT unlimited times, not that you want to, but the chance is out there. Just remember if you're meant to be a lawyer, then you will be one.
Good Luck to everyone taking the exam! You will do great!