A few weeks ago, for the first time to take the LSAT (Legal Standard Admission Test), the entrance exam to most law schools in the United States. The exam consists of four blocks, with three main sections: Logical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension and Logic Games.
How to study for the LSAT?
It forms two of the exam blocks, consisting of 25 varied questions in each block where the student’s logical and argumentative ability is tested, analyzing the student’s ability to break down arguments, to differentiate premises from conclusions, and to detect assumptions in each question. It also includes the analysis of logical relationships, as well as the chance relationship between variables.
For me, this is undoubtedly the most complicated section, with issues of enormous difficulty, being a challenge to solve them correctly in the time allocated by block. Having previous knowledge in logic can be especially useful in this section.
Understand the Logic games
Here the ability to classify variables according to certain rules is analyzed. This is a complicated section because of how rare it is. This is a content that you had never studied before, at least that was my case, and that you will never see again after the exam. These are games of classification and grouping of variables following certain logical rules. In this case, it is also about analyzing the logical ability of the student to solve each of the games. Here also previous knowledge of logic can be especially useful, but the good thing is that in this section there is enough room to increase the score since the continuous practice of previous exam games allows you to increase the agility in solving these games and accuracy significantly, so you know,
Read Comprehension line by line
It is based on four texts with a total of 27 questions where it is about discerning the comprehension and analysis capacity of four texts. Here English proficiency and reading ability are essential to understand each fragment well.
This section is complicated to improve; the only way to progress is to get used to reading dense articles in English on various topics. In the LSAT we can find articles on very varied subjects, from specific aspects of science and biology to the most boring topic of literature that you can think of (I still remember a text talking about the artistic ability of the creators of perfumes in the 19th century, very interesting). You have to be prepared for everything,
Time and marks distribution
Each section must be completed in a maximum time of 35 minutes, which adds a remarkable difficulty to the test (I say it from my own experience, finishing each section in the fixed time is a challenge). This point becomes critical. Not only is it necessary to be precise in the answers to the questions, but you also have to be quick, and never get stuck in an issue that we don’t know how to solve. Getting stuck in a question can lead to a disaster in your overall test score.
Once the structure of the LSAT has been described, an issue that arises is, what are the best strategies to prepare the LSAT? In my case, I am starting to prepare again to take the test again in June. My previous months of study have helped me to realize what is better to do and not do when preparing this test, aspects that I wish I had known before.
Make a plan for LSAT
First, planning and constancy are essential to prepare the LSAT. Sorry, you have to study every day, at least one hour a day to catch up. Studying sporadically does not work. The LSAT is like a marathon, it is almost five hours of the exam, and we already know that the best way to train for a marathon is to train every day, and not just beat yourself up for a run once in a while … You have to get used to staying focused at all times in each of the sections. During the five hours of the exam.
Basically, with the LSAT, it is about classifying potential candidates for law schools on a scale of 120 to 180 points. Grant a note that is of great importance both when determining student access or not desired university, as well as potential scholarships and study aids, vital in the United States, given the tuition fees of American Universities.
Once you have decided to take the LSAT and dedicate the necessary time for your study, you need to get the best materials. LSAC, the managing entity of LSAT, sells very useful past exams. Also, numerous preparatory companies like Manhattan, Powerscore, or Blueprint offer original questions. That is a key element since it is very important to directly use questions that are going to be similar to those we will find in the test, so we will not get any surprises on the day of the exam.
Preparation for the exam
The most famous are the Logic Games, Reading Comprehension and Logical Reasoning bibles from Powerscore. I started with them, and the truth is that they are complete, although I must also say that they are very heavy to read, they are not exactly an entertaining read. These manuals discuss strategies to address each type of issue. There are more manuals of other preparers, but these are the most famous, and the truth is that they are complete. There are also exam preparation courses, but I honestly do not believe that these courses take place outside the United States.
The trick is to assimilate these strategies and then gradually improve the speed in resolving each of the issues. Personally, I think it is necessary to read these guides twice to strengthen the strategies. It is difficult. It takes time, a lot of practice, and a lot of patience.
There will be many cases in which you are convinced that you have chosen the correct option and then realize that the option you discarded in the first place is the correct answer. I must also say that it is possible to reach the average on the scale scoring (around 150 to 151 points) with two / three months of study, but climbing from there is very complicated and involves many hours of work and study and even more patience.