If you’re applying to law school, your law school admission test, or LSAT, is by far the most important factor in whether or not you’ll get into law school and, perhaps more importantly, what law schools will accept you. Though many law schools make a big show about how they don’t cut by the numbers, most will admit that your undergraduate grade point average and your law school admission test score are the two indicators given the most weight when they review their pool of applicants.
Your law school admission test score is heavily weighted because the test itself is designed to measure how well you’re expected to do in law school. A high LSAT score doesn’t guarantee you’ll be a good lawyer or even a good law student, but to score well on the law school admission test you need to show critical thinking ability and solid reading comprehension skills; two of the most important skills to a law school student.
A lot of both past and present controversy has been stirred up over the law school admission test, along with other standardized tests like the ACT and SAT. Detractors claim that these tests are biased toward students who “test well” and that they don’t adequately measure students’ ability. Though these claims may have merit, it still holds that law schools are most concerned with your GPA and LSAT score. These, along with your personal statement, will decide the fates of all but a few law school applicants.
So, if you’re applying to law school you’re going to want to have a good LSAT score. The best way to get a good score is to study; even great students don’t do very well on the first LSAT they take. The LSAT is given four times a year, and each year three of these old tests are released to the public. The best way to study is to get an LSAT prep book, Kaplan is a popular publisher for these guides. The prep book will give you an overview of the LSAT along with some suggestions on how to study and how to do the test well. Once you have the basics down, start taking old tests under timed conditions, since you’ll have to take the real LSAT under timed conditions as well. Since the LSAT format doesn’t change from test to test, familiarizing yourself with the format of the test and the format of the questions will be a huge help, especially when dealing with the logic puzzles. Don’t take the official LSAT until your practice test score has stabilized within five points or so; once you get to that point you can be pretty sure your official score will be in the same area.