finishing undergrad 2 years early
Feel free to leave advice on application processes or lsat studying. thanks.
I'm too poor to actually afford a class. So I studied, studied, studied. What does this mean? I bought a book with 10 practice tests. I took a test under normal conditions, adhering strictly to time restraints. After scoring it, the next day or so I'd go through the questions I thought were hard, and the questions I got wrong and methodically figured out why the right answer was correct. If you take 10-15 practice tests, that's preparation enough. But it takes patience and discipline.
few waivers were sent to me automatically through an LSAC service. After you take the LSAT, they will do the same for you based on your score. If you are financially disadvantaged, you can request them from each school to which you are applying.
I studied for about one week in March and tben 3 weeks in late May/early June, an hour or two each day after work. I looked over one book (the Powerscore Logic Games Bible) and then all I did was take practice tests.
Most people study for more than a few weeks, however, so you will probably want to block off a lot of time.
Hey there. First off, good luck! It's a long process with a lot of stress involved- expect about 9 months or more of stressing from the beginning stages of studying to applying, hearing and finally deciding.
That being said, I took a Kaplan course- a great option for me because it helps you to get and stay motivated. If you can do it yourself I'd suggest getting the bible or something and just going over the preliminary stuff until you get the basics. I started studying in June for the Sept test- very lightly, did all the Kaplan homework basically, nontimed or anything, took a break while I moved from July to August, got back into the Kaplan stuff in August, doing a little more intense stuff- started timing myself when I did problem sets and then moved to timing whole sections. Starting in Sept I would come home from work and study for about four hours every night (weekdays only) doing either a couple timed sections or an entire timed test. The best advice I got and the best advice I could ever give is to start doing practice tests every single day those last couple weeks before the test. If you do it over and over and over again your body and mind sort of get used to it and even if you're like me and get sick the day of the test and freak out during an insanely difficult reading comp section, you'll just go into autopilot and do what you've done every other time. Also, expect the stress to affect you. My diagnostic was a 159 and my best practice was a 178. Those last couple of weeks before the test I was averaging about a 175 and ended up with a 172. I was THRILLED.
The powerscore bible I think just has lots of practice stuff and lessons maybe in it. I think they have one for every section of the test. I'm not too familiar with it since I've never seen/used it but I've heard good things.
I don't have that much useful info.
I studied two months working practice test after practice test. Prep courses are useless and Kaplan is probably the worst. If you can get yourself a dedicated program of study, and stick to it, all you really need is lots of practice.
Fee waivers came automatically by email or snail mail. At UVa, I asked for one when I visited, and at Georgetown, they granted me one when I called based on my #s.
I'm going to be the most useless person regarding LSAT advice: I didn't study. I went to some Pre-Law talks about how the test is formatted and scored (y'know the kind where Kaplan or TPR endorse their methods and whatnot) and I took a free moderated practice test offered on my campus. And I think I did maybe a games section in a book . . . couldn't even tell you which one. That being said, I think out of the 13 questions I missed, 11 were in one RC section (to be fair, it was widely held as the hardest RC section in recent memory :) ); on my practice test I was perfect in Reading Comp . . . I think there's something to be said for working on all of the sections, not just the ones that (you think) might give you the most trouble. Also, I'm fairly certain I went to the movies and had a couple of glasses of wine the night before the test, I might as well be an advert of what not to do.
So, though my first instinct advice-wise would be, "don't be like me", I think the most helpful thing I can tell you is to try not to stress out too hard about the entire affair - you'll perform better if you're relaxed and thinking clearly. I think a lot of people completely psych themselves out on the LSAT and they make the test harder for themselves than it actually is, building it up to these crazy mythic proportions in their minds, and then become overwhelmed and freak a bit on test day, which lowers their score.
At any rate, I'm fairly certain that wasn't what you were looking for, but I do hope it helps in some small way . . . keep me posted!
(And yes, fee waivers are automatic, but schools can search for you under more criteria than just your LSAT score. So you know.)
If you want to maximize your chances at a top school, I would suggest that you take the Feb LSAT and then wait to apply either next cycle or two cycles from now. You are still extremely young (which is usually considered a negative) and the Feb LSAT is too late to be competitive in this cycle. Make sure to write great essays that highlight your diversity factors, and keep up your grades!
For the LSAT, I self-studied with 35 PrepTests and the 2 Powerscore Bibles. Find a system that works for you. If you feel like you need the schedule of a class, take Testmasters, Blueprint or Powerscore. If you are very self-motivated and disciplined, Powerscore and NOVA make excellent materials. Good luck!
I had thought about taking the Feb. test, but personal issues came up and I decided to take more time and study over the summer for the Sept. test. I didn't take any classes, but took my first practice test in January, read more and more about the test (and logic games especially) over the semester. During the summer, I took one practice test a week for the first two months, two a week for the next four weeks, and then relaxed for the last week, no tests.
After each test, I spent a while tracking which types of questions that I got wrong most often, and worked on those types of questions over my lunch breaks at work. Definitely be sure you're ready to take the test now - I paid a little extra to switch my test dates, but it was definitely worth it in terms of being relaxed enough during the test to do well. If I'd taken it earlier, I would probably have been too nervous to concentrate. Good luck!
based on what city slicker 4 life said i have a few more things to add. Do not take the Princeton Review. I took it and honestly, the information that I felt really changed my score was from outside sources. I think it is good advice to just digest every problem, not just the ones you get wrong. Take 6 to 8 practice exams before the actual test, that will give you a good feel. I think 6 to 8 weeks too is a good period to study. eventually you will hit a plateau. I think being disciplined and diligent is the way to go. Also, a lot of my friends were taking aderol before there exams. I don't know how people feel about this on here, personally i think it is wrong to do. However, there are a lot of herbal and homeopathic medicines you can take. I took a DHA and fish oil supplement that really helped me focus more. my score went up 5 points after taking it regularly and just not drinking for a month, not even a glass of wine. Let me know if you want some more advice. My LSAT score was not the best (157), and the reading comp killed me. I think i got 16 wrong alone on that section. It sounds like you are dedicated though and will really do well. best of luck.
I actually just studied by going through the Logic Games Bible, Logical Reasoning Bible, and taking a ton of practice tests. I studied for a few hours a night, probably 5 nights a week for several months, going over all of my practice tests and reading the Bibles twice. Good luck!!!
I studied for the LSAT throughout last summer over the duration of about four months. I took such a long time because every now and then you will get sick of it and need to take a few days off to refresh. If you are self-motivated I dont think you need to take an expensive course, all I did was buy a Kaplan book and a bunch of practice tests. If you have trouble with logic games like I did initially there are specific books just about them which I found very helpful. All in all, I recommend taking a lot of time to study for it and if you are just getting started February might be coming up a bit quick. Since you are so young it might not hurt to push back to June to give yourself more time. Not to put any added pressure, but the LSAT is INCREDIBLY important in the process. So it's worth taking the time to completely prepare for. Good luck!
Hey there. I'm also too poor to take a class (though my roommate took one and improved her score by 10 points, so I'm definitely not knocking it). I bought a Kaplan book of strategies, which didn't really help. Mostly, I ended up going to the library and taking full tests (the real LSAC ones) under timed conditions. Then I would go back over them and see what I'd done wrong. I worked a lot on diagraming for the games section as well. Fee waivers... I didn't get that many so I'm probably not the one to ask. I really enjoyed studying for the LSAT, it's a pretty fun test if you've got to have your life determined in a 3 hour standardized test.
I studied almost entirely by doing practice questions and timed sections of real LSATs. I bought 2 or 3 books that had lots of questions, and then I just went through them and got used to the different types of questions. I found that one of the most important things is to get the timing down, especially on the logic games section, so there's really no substitute for doing lots of timed practice sections.
As far as fee waivers, I received most of mine through the mail a few months after the LSAT. All I did was check a box somewhere that said that I wanted my information to be sent to law schools, and the fee waivers started magically appearing. Not a bad deal.
Good luck with the application process!
There are no LSAT classes where I live, so I studied on my own using Nova's Master the LSAT, LSAC Superprep and lots of practice tests. I also used Kaplan 180, but didn't really like it. When I was using Nova and Superprep, I'd do it every night or every other night. I thought it was kind of fun, so it wasn't really a chore to me.
When I was taking tests, I'd do 1-2 a week under test conditions (timed, no breaks, etc), then go over them the next day. I would mark the ones that I wasn't sure of as I went through, and go over them to figure out why they were wrong or confirm why they were right. I did over 20 tests in total.
Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions!
Sorry I didn't respond until now. I took about 30 preptests to study for the June 2006 exam between September of 2005 and June. I also reviewed the two Powerscore Bibles. Nerves got me on test day, so to study for the September test I only took four more prep tests. Most of my practice tests were around the range of my second score. Good luck.
I would reccomend taking a course- my wife took ACE, and her score increased 10 points. I wish I had taken a course, but at the time, I was planning on going to Medical School. I simply took some practice tests that I got from my wife's books.
Thanks for the congrats. Regarding the LSATs, my biggest advice is just to wait until your scores are where you want them to be before taking it (especially since you're young and have time). Personally, I deferred actually taking the LSAT twice before taking it, just because I wasn't happy with my practice scores and thought there was still room for me to improve. The long-term periodic studying I think helped, as it made the LSATs feel very natural and familiar when I finally did take them. I took a Kaplan course, but ended up dropping...in general, I would say that if you score around a 165 or higher on your diagnostic, what you gain from the class is not worth the money. Before my actual LSATs, I did a test a day for three weeks, which I also found really helpful in judging my score. My diagnostic for Kaplan's was a 164, and my highest practice a 178. Also, I tried to use post-2000 exams, as the reading and logic games sections changed significantly around then. And beware that new section I hear they're adding to the LSAT, as it could be tricky the first time out.
Hope that helps!
Well I think you're all set with LSAT advice from all the other posters, so I would just advise that you read (or keep reading) lawschooldiscussion.org during your whole application process. It's much better than any pre-law advisor could be.
Looks like you have tons of LSAT advice...
I prepped for about 3 months by taking the Testmasters class. Really good stuff. I also took tons and tons of practice tests.
As a matter of fact, I do have some advice on LSAT preparation.
If you are bad at the logic games: buy Penny Press logic books...they are about $.99 at your local grocery store and have many, many logic problems.
If you are bad at the other 3 sections: go through them slowly, disregarding the time limit. Read each questions thoroughly, identify what it is asking for or about, and find the underlying pattern behind the questions.
Remember that many questions contain two versions of the same answer.
A) The dogs eat brown leaves.
B) The brown leaves are eaten by dogs.
If there are 2 answers like this, they are both wrong.
You can also disregard MOST answers that have ALL or NONE in the text. Unless the reading passage/paragraph contains the word all or none, the correct answer will not have either of those words.
That's about it. I think it's more important to spend a lot of time on just a few tests than take as many as you can without understanding exactly why you are missing the questions.
I think you'll find that there are only a few patterns on which the questions are based, so the answers also follow similar patterns.
Best of luck to you in the future!
I, like most people that seem to have responded here, just read a book (the 'Curvebreakers' LSAT prep book) and took a bunch of practice exams. By 'a bunch of' I mean '8'. The first two I didn't time myself, after that I just simulated a real test setting. I had about two months to prepare (I thought I was going to take the GRE and get a PhD in physics, but a research assistantship changed my mind), so I just took about one test a week, two the week before the test, and none the week of the test.
Good luck! I'm sure you'll do fine.
I can't add much to what's already been said. I took Testmaster's and studied really hard for 3 months.
Depending on your personality this advice my be a little intense, but I would suggest to take the LSAT as if your life depended on getting every question right. Think about the amount of time you spent studying for midterms/finals in college. This test is worth more than all of that combined. Practice under testing conditions. Go into the test focused and confident. The pressure really gets to a lot of people and causes a drop from practice test scores. I think if you take every practice test like it's the real thing you can mitigate this somewhat.
Dude, I took like four practice tests total, over a few weeks. That was it. I really didnt study very hard for it at all. You will encounter better test-preparation advice from anyone else you find on this site looks like you already have, in spades. I just wanted to represent for the slacker contingent. (Or at least, cocky slackers who think that the rest of their application package is fairly strong, and that their GPA and other experiences are fairly compelling, and that they could still achieve what they wanted to with a middling LSAT effort.)
I studied for about four weeks and took five full practice tests along with five additional games section. All were from the newest LSAC book of ten. Basically, I did half of it, then finished the rest of the games, which were my weakest section.
The free sample test on the website, which I think was administered in the 1999-2002 period, was the first one I took. I made a 171 but I think I went overtime on games. The rest of my practice was timed. Scores ranged from 175, only once, to a low of 168, but it was usually 171-173.
To me, the December test seemed slightly easier than the practice tests. Games were certainly easier, which saved me - I missed four, but on practice tests I had missed four to eight. The reading comprehension was slightly tricky but I only missed one or two on that section.
The good news is that the LSAT is a very preparation friendly test.
I didn't use any books other than the LSAC book of ten. Also, I only studied two or three times per week. No one can say what strategy is best for you - just try to do what feels comfortable, and look closely at any missed questions. Ensure that you understand why you missed them.
Also, make sure not to burn out. With seventeen days left, you probably won't have time to do more than seven or eight practice tests at most.
Feel free to e-mail me if you have any additional questions. I do have a fairly good history with standardized testing, so I found that I wasn't feeling any stress at all on test day. I just wish I could have answered two more right (this would've given a 176 on the conversion used in December). I hope you do well.
Well, I took the June 06 LSAT and studied seriously studying probably in March. I wasn't able to take a course or anything. My advice to you would just be to take as many practice tests as possible, under timed conditions. After you take a couple, see where your weak points are, and if you have time and the materials, do practice sets which focus on those. And then do more practice tests. Good luck!!
i studied for maybe 3 weeks in advance and did not take the class. like everyone else on here has said, take lots of practice tests, which i am sure you are already doing. i also brought random games with me to class and worked on them when i got bored. that really helped me maximize my spare time and also made me concentrate more on the material. i went from being terrible at games to getting them all correct on the actual lsat. that's the only really different piece of advice i can offer. good luck
I studied for several months (by my self with books and, most importantly, real tests of the previous years).
At this point in your LSAT process is not to psyche yourself out as test day nears. I did do that, and score several points lower than I had hoped...so just know, if you can get a XXX practicing, you can sure as hell do it on the test too! :)
I see you've gotten lots of other advice, so all I can say is: take several practice tests, and be really strict with the time you give yourself. I recommend only allowing yourself 33 minutes per section, that way you have a bit more time for the "stress factor" on test day. I'm sure you'll be fine!
I took a class but it was really slow-paced and easy so I didn't go to half of the classes because they were so boring. That was a huge waste of money and I wouldn't recommend it. The main thing that helped me was just taking practice tests. I would work through a few untimed just to get familiar with the questions and work out what approach to the different types works best for you and then start taking timed tests. If you do them yourself, make sure that you don't take long breaks between the sections so that you get used to having to stay alert and focused for a few hour stretch. Good luck with everything!
...for the congratulations. Re. the LSAT: I think I studied for 3-4 months. I did several of the prep books, and then, for the last month before the test, I took 1 timed prep-test per day. I ended up with over 30 timed practice tests. Still, I just got lucky with my final score. So I guess the only advice I could recommend would be... practice, practice, practice.
Good luck and thanks again!
I studied for about 4-5 weeks. I took a timed practice test once a week, and studied for maybe 30-40 minutes every other day. I found that taking timed practice sections was the most helpful. The games section was my weakest, so I focused on that, timing myself on individual problems until everything started clicking. Repetition did the trick for me...
I started when Kaplan had a free practice exam on my campus. I took the LSAT cold, never seen it before and got a 160. Then I took two more practice exams, got 168 and 173. I knew pretty early that I could do well on the exam, but I wanted to practice.
I bought all three books of practice exams. I took a few during the semester and eventually had to work on school. But basically through the month of may I went to starbucks or caribou and I sat down for 2 hours and took a simulated test. Timed ofc... but I never ran out of time b/c I'm a really fast test taker. I basically spent the month of may studying, taking about 5 exams a week. Never take two in a day b/c your brain will be fried.
The LSAT is different for everyone, but basically I'd take a few practice tests and see what your strengths and weakness are. Then I'd attack those kinds of problems specifically. Once you feel you know how to take the exam, I'd take practice exams. Icharted my progress with excell so i knew where I would peak... the highest I ever got was a 176, but I got a 171 on the real one. I was actually upset about it... but I eventually realized 171 was a pretty good score.
I see you have a bunch of advice already, but I took it in June. Almost a year earlier, I'd taken one online so I knew what to expect, and at the beginning of spring semester I started taking a practice test every couple weeks under realistic conditions, and carefully examining incorrect answers to know what to change. I increased the frequency of these to about one a week by May, and in the three weeks before the LSAT took about three or four a week (I began with older tests and moved to newer ones), in all taking about 20-25.
About two months before the LSAT, I began going through the Logic Games Bible, which was incredibly helpful, and doing a couple extra LG sections as well. The diagramming it taught helped immensely, and I would highly recommend it if you have any trouble with that section.
I took a course which had one great feature: full, proctored, real LSATs every Saturday, which I took for 8 months. For 6 months I studied about 15 hours/week, and the 6 weeks before the test, I studied 4hrs/day. Just remember, it's all about pacing. Train your brain to be comfortable doing the test over and over and over, and faster and faster and faster. And read the reading comp questions before you read the passage, try to remember the questions that ask about specifics or that deal with a specific line (mark where) and answer those as you read the passage. Trying to read it all and then answeing the questions is silly and gives you no advantage. You should be able to do any game in your sleep or you'll get screwed. Do every game ever published and make sure that you can do them well and fast. Courses probably help the most with this. I also prayed and fasted a lot. It helped.
I only studied for seven weeks, but I was very focused. I did it all on my own, using SuperPrep and other practice tests. I also liked Kaplan 180. I don't recommend Arco's book. I used every bit of spare time I could find, but I didn't burn myself out, because I knew I needed a couple hours of downtime before bed or I wouldn't be able to sleep.
Also too poor for a class, plus I was working 70 hour weeks leading up to my test day. I just bought the Powerscore Logic Games Book and studied on my own when I had time. I also bought some of the newer practice tests from LSAC. I normally scored between 168 and 176 on the practice tests and ended up with a 171 on test day, so I was pretty happy.
I took Testmasters and pretty much did every single homework problem that they gave me. I went from a diagnostic 158 to a 171 from early July 06 to the September 30 LSAT.
Just make sure you find your weaknesses and practice until you feel completely confident that you can get 95% of the questions you see correct. Aim high on the LSAT, and don't settle for decent practice scores unless you think you'll have nerves of steel on test day.
Get good grades, and do good on the LSAT. I really don't have many extracurriculars (just working part-time sophomore and junior year) and I'm doing pretty well in terms of admissions.
I just did a bunch of practice tests and read the bibles. Unfortunately, the most modern ones I had done before the 1st test were up to like PT 40. My avg. was around 171... don't know what happened the 1st time.
Second time, I did five or six more PTs, all modern. None a few days before the test.
Just do a bunch of PTs, get your timing down, and you'll be OK. Read the bibles if you need help with the games or reasoning.
I self studied for about 15 weeks before the test. Every day I would read prep books or do at least one practice section, taking a full test every two weeks. Kaplan's LSAT 180 was a great book, it provides the hardest material from previous tests. If you can master that you can get a good score. In the month and a half before the test I took as many practice sections as I could. Mental stamina is just as important as your ability in LR or LG. Find someone who is also taking the LSAT, take the same practice test and compare your answers + the reasoning behind them. On test day, stay confident. If you think you're going to fail you probably will. If you know you're going to score well, you will. Good luck, let me know if you have any more specific questions.
I took TestMasters and thought they did an excellent job prepping us. I did every logic game since 1991 and felt ready to go by test day!
I studied for about two months. Reading through the general book about the LSAT once, and then just taking practice tests.
One piece of advice that may be helpful: the best place to learn how to do the logic games quickly and answer correctly is through 'Logic Games' magazines (published by Pennypress I believe), not the test prep books. They are on newsstands everywhere and teach you how to think about the questions in terms of an elimination chart, very helpful.
Like many other people here, I took a class to prepare for the LSAT. I took a Kaplan classroom course and it worked really well for me (in spite of the bad reputation it has on this and other law school application discussion websites). My score improved 13 points from the diagnostic to the actual test. If you choose to take a class, make sure to take one that meets only once a week for a few months so that you'll have time to actually absorb the information. The classes that meet three or four times a week can be more or less useless because you don't have enough time to really learn the skills you'll need.
Be careful that you don't burn out by taking too many full-length practice tests. Some people get really carried away with those, and although they are useful, it is really helpful to practice your pacing by doing a few sections at a time.
The LSAT Reading comprehension section is changing a little bit, so you may want to take a class just to learn about that because old tests won't help you learn how to deal with it.
I studied for ten days, mostly by taking practice tests (about nine of them) to improve my sense of timing. I also went through the Kaplan Logic Games book, and this is probably why LG was the only section I seriously improved in. The important thing with LG is to perfect your own system of notation. You'll figure out how you like to build your charts once you've done enough of them and seen some examples of how it can be done. Don't panic if you originally aren't strong in LG; I wasn't either, but with a better sense of a timing, the possible types of games, and a solid system for notating rules, I ended up acing that section. (I then got basinpwned in RC. Check on the "Riddled Basins" passage on the September 2006 LSAT if you can. Crazy!)
Your other posters probably have better advice about how to really improve your base score, so I'd listen to them.
I basically self-studied for the LSAT. I bought the Powerscore prep books which I highly recommend. I studied from those books, and took real old LSAT tests under real testing conditions. I started studying in the beginning of August, and got a 161 on the Sept test, and studied again from October - December for the December test. But basically it's all about practicing.
haha, thanks, but I already gave you what advice I have (see above).
I took the June LSAT, started studying in Mid March and just did three hours a week until the due date and took every practice test I could find. I did Princeton Review.
Looks like you've gotten a lot of great advice already, but I'll add mine. The classes are extremely expensive, and in my opinion are only useful if you can't work up the motivation to do this on your own.
I spent about 3 months preparing for the LSAT. I used a Princeton Review book to help structure my logic games and become more efficient at them. Also, I took about 15 practice tests, using the old, real tests you can buy from LSAC. My boyfriend and I took the tests together, and towards the end we started adding a random extra section from another test, so we could get used to the full amount of time the real test would take. I think this is the best way to study, because you get comfortable with the format and length of the test, so you won't have any surprises or experience fatigue when it comes to the real thing. Good luck!