How to prepare for the Law School Admission Test

The LSAT is not an intelligence test that you cannot prepare for at all. It is not a knowledge test that you can study for by learning specific things, such as how to solve quadratic equations or divide fractions or correct the grammar in a sentence. It is an aptitude test which is defined in the Encyclopedia Brittanica as, "an examination that attempts to determine and measure a person’s ability to acquire, through future training, some specific set of skills." This is a type of test that you can prepare for, but only over a long period of time because it takes months to develop aptitudes.

What are these aptitudes, and how can you develop them? There are two steps to this process. The first step is aptitude development. The second is test preparation.

Aptitude Development:
This has to start as soon as you start college and should continue throughout your undergraduate education.

  • Reading Comprehension--the ability to read quickly and with understanding. You need to be able to quickly adjust to different literary voices, understand the passage, and correctly answer questions about its meaning. You develop this aptitude by becoming a person who reads for pleasure, who reads many different kinds of material--and above all who does not read just textbooks for four years. Textbooks are highly organized to be easy to understand. That is the opposite of what you will see on the LSAT.
  • Structured Thinking--the ability to apply rules to problems. You need to use logical reasoning, which means the kind of structured thinking people do when solving math problems, applying the rules of a language, or doing legal analysis where a rule from one case is applied in another. You prepare for this by taking hard courses that force you to apply rules. Mathematics; Logic; Constitutional Law; Science; and any other such course.

Test Preparation:
This is what you do in the last few months before the LSAT.
  • Systematic study either through a test preparation course or though your own planned, organized efforts
  • Obtain test preparation materials.
  • Learn the question types and practice all of them
  • Take as many timed practice LSATs as possible
  • Do not worry about your practice test scores or take false confidence in them. Just do them.