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Your Guide to the LSAT from IHateLawSchool.com

Overview of the LSAT - by Get Prepped! LSAT Preparation

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The LSAT ranks among the most difficult standardized tests. Unlike other standardized tests, the LSAT does not test your knowledge of facts or information. Instead, it tests your ability to perform specific intellectual tasks. Learn how to perform these tasks and you learn how to master the LSAT.

There are three question types on the LSAT: Analytical Reasoning Diagramming Games, Logical Reasoning Argument Passages, and Reading Comprehension Passages.

The Analytical Reasoning Diagramming Games are the hardest part of the LSAT. In this section you are asked to perform apparently silly tasks, like ‘line up seven beads on a string.’ You must practice many sample questions before you become comfortable with the games. There are four major strategies for doing well on the games.

  • First, know the 8 types of diagrams and how frequently they appear. Four of the diagram types are almost never tested while the other four types are always tested.
  • Second, know how to use the diagram templates and the appropriate diagramming symbols.
  • Third, know how to make additional conclusions about the diagram using the facts already provided.
  • Fourth, know how to use elimination techniques to reduce the number of potential answer choice before you begin diagramming. The most important elimination technique is to eliminate answer choices that contain one element that contradicts the facts of the question.

The Logical Reasoning Argument Passages count for half your LSAT score, so they are an important part of your overall strategy. This is the section where you do lawyerly things like ‘weaken an argument’ or ‘identify an assumption.’ There are three strategies for this section.

  • First, know that there are 10 question types. Again, some question types are tested more often than others. For example, the ‘make a conclusion’ question type is tested 22% of the time, while the ‘identify the point at issue’ question type is tested only 2% of the time.
  • Second, learn the techniques for answering each question type. For example, with questions that ask you to ‘identify the flaw in the reasoning’ there are 4 common logic flaws to watch for.
  • Third, know how to use elimination techniques. The major elimination techniques for this section include choices that are too similar, choices that are off the subject, and choices that use overly definitive adjectives.

The Reading Comprehension section tests your ability to read a long, complex passage and answer questions based on the passage. Similar to the other two sections, there are only a handful of question types. Test takers use a wide variety of strategies in this section. Some take extensive notes, while others employ speed-reading. Some test takers do not attempt to answer all the passages. Some preview the questions before starting the passage. The strategies you should use depend on your natural reading speed and skill.

Eliminating the wrong answer choices, continued– In all three sections of the test it is vital to efficiently eliminate wrong answer choices. Learn to identify the common mistakes made in the answer choices. By eliminating wrong answer choices quickly, you simplify the task of choosing the correct answer. There are several common answer choice mistakes: choices that are too similar, choices that are off the subject, choices that contradict the facts, and choices that use overly definitive adjectives.

Preparing for the LSAT. There are no short cuts to prepare for the LSAT. Whether you use self-study books, intensive review courses, multiple week courses, or tutoring, plan to spend many hours preparing. For every three LSAT takers there is only one first-year space. The level of competition is so high that those who do not prepare score poorly.

The important role the LSAT plays in law school admissions. Law schools rely heavily on a mathematical formula to make admissions decisions. This formula combines your undergraduate GPA and your LSAT score in roughly equal proportions. The result is that a strong LSAT score can make up for a weak GPA, and vice versa. Since your LSAT score counts as much as your GPA, any preparation you do for the LSAT is time well spent.

How about a FREE SAMPLE MINI-LSAT? Click here to see how well you can score!

Here are some of the best LSAT Study Aids:

  1. Princeton Review's Cracking The LSAT with Sample Tests on DVD
  2. 10 Actual Official LSAT Prep Tests from the Law School Admissions Council
  3. 10 More Actual, Official LSAT Prep Tests from the Law School Admissions Council
  4. Next 10 More Actual, Official LSAT Prep Tests from the Law School Admissions Council
  5. Kaplan's LSAT Advanced: Intensive Prep for Top Students
  6. Curvebreakers' Conquering LSAT Logic Games
  7. Kaplan's LSAT Logic Games Workbook

Here are some of the best guides to choosing and applying to the right law school:

  1. Barron's Guide to Law Schools
  2. US News Ultimate Guide to Law Schools
  3. Going to Law School? Everything You Need to Choose and Pursue a Degree in Law
  4. The Princeton Review 170 Best Law Schools
  5. The Princeton Review 's Law School Essays That Made a Difference
  6. Essays That Worked for Law Schools: 40 Essays from Successful Applications to the Top Law
  7. The Official Guide to ABA Approved Law Schools
  8. Planet Law School 2: Everything You Need to Know Before You Go
  9. Law School Confidential: The Complete Law School Survival Guide
Want to learn more about law school? Tons of books on law school are available on our Law School Study Aids page!

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